Picking Up the Pieces by Tango


Disclaimer: All the characters are based on the television shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I do not own them, get money for writing about them and have no permission from Joss Whedon or anyone else who might care.
Rating: NC-17.
Spoiler: B/R & B/A included - Buffy/Angel ‘shipper - as always. All the lyrics are from Matchbox Twenty.



it's over now and i've gone without ‘cuz you're everybody else's girl it seems to me
you'll always be everyone else's girl

Angel sat in staring at the wall. The weapons hanging on the walls glared at him, flickering from the light of the three candles burning around the room. He needed a hobby. This constant brooding wasn't helping him start this new life in LA. This constant brooding about Buffy was breaking him into more fragments than he started with before she healed him.

God, how she healed him. Remembering the pain and emptiness he felt before her was almost incomprehensible now. If the mirrors could have seen him then, they would have only reflected the nothing that he kept behind his dark eyes, the coldness he had for everything undead and alive. A great gaping void where the killing pleasures once sprang from. He didn't love his soul until he met her, didn't care if he kept it - except for the murders, he would be content to lose it again. The remorse ate away at the nothing, creating more of the same until one day he simply let hope go. Hope. What a funny word. Made him want to laugh with joyless guffaws until he was cackling like a storybook witch.

cry when you cry run when you run love when you love represent the ashes that you leave behind

Standing on the steps that day in LA, she shone brighter than the sun that threatened to burn his skin. How could one little girl change his whole life? A slayer yet to be called, her innocence tangible in the air, she became in one moment his whole reason for being. It wasn't her innocence alone that called to him, wasn't her beauty, wasn't the terrors flashing ahead in the future. Her soul curled around his, curving over him, recreating the hope that cackled in his lifeless body. She took him with her on the first hunt. She called him out on the carpet. To the mattresses, Angel. Time to fight for life again. Time to fight for life. Her life.

Whistler already knew what Angel's answer would be, long before he laid eyes on him - or rather, smelled him. He knew that the new slayer was Angel's destiny. The Powers That Be had it written centuries before. The legends intertwined. The Scourge of Europe and the strongest slayer in all of history. Together they would be strong. Whistler simply nudged Angel toward his fate. Slipped a little Buffy in his drink. Nothing would ever be the same. Thank the Powers for that one.

i bet you're hard to get over i bet the sun just won't shine

Now here with his weapons to cuddle with, Angel stared at the wall and thought about things that would suck his time. Fighting evil was only a part time job. Training could only be done for so long. Brooding formed the rest of his occupation. What can fill the time of a vampire with a soul who can think of nothing else but one little blonde Slayer in one little Hellmouth with one not so little new boyfriend? Come on, Cordy, let's have a mind numbing, brain cracking vision.


forgot about everything and everyone i needed before tryin' to get a handle on a reason
to shine pickin' up the pieces that are falling behind takes time

Riley kissed her fulls lips and thanked God again and again as he moved down to her soft jaw line and then smoothed his lips over her neck. Beautiful. So damn beautiful. He wondered if she felt his hands shaking. He never wanted to make love to someone more than he wanted Buffy. She hummed through his whole body, making him feel alive and aroused like he never had.

Kissing over her neck, his lips settled on her scar. On HIS scar. Angel's scar. The other HE. She flinched.

"What's this?" He asked, rubbing just under the scar, rubbing just under.

if you've never heard that silence it's a god awful sound

The angry puppy excuse wasn't going to work on Riley. He knew about things that went bump in the night. Buffy felt Angel's memory rear up inside her and her first urge was to run away. She wanted to push aside her arousal, his gentle caresses, the lovemaking soon to follow and she wanted to run. Instead, she tensed, stared at the wall and thought about her answer. Thought about her Angel all those miles away.

"Vampire?" He asked, kissing her shoulder, trying to keep the mood. He knew as soon as he asked her what it was, as soon as she flinched, that his question was a mistake.

She nodded, tears filling her eyes. Damn you, Angel.

what we learned here is love tastes bitter when it's gone

"Bad memories, huh?" Shut up, Riley and kiss her sadness away, he thought to himself.

She nodded again.

"Don't want to tell me that story, do you?" The stupid questions just kept on rolling out of his mouth.

"Not today," she said, trying out her smile. She thought her face was going to break away and fall to the floor, start running for the door. She kissed him. Silenced him.

don't she make you want to scream, damn

Make me forget, she thought as she pressed her soft tongue into his mouth. Make me believe that there is someone else in this world who can create happiness in me. Pure happiness is hiding somewhere inside me.

He stopped talking and focused on what seducing her again. One hand entangled in her long silky locks, one hand pulling at the ties on the back of her halter top, he moved them back towards the bed. She busied her hands, pulling his shirt over his head to reveal a tight muscular body. Small roaming hands whispered over his chest, tingling his nipples, painting his back, straying over his treasure line, resting on the waist line of his jeans.

Undressing him, undressing her - they passioned against each other, making the dropping clothes piles of lust around the room. Moving to the bed together, they worked on the same wave length, finding connection of skin and mission building in their bodies.

So warm. He was so warm, kissing her breasts, pulling her nipples into his mouth. She arched against him as he reached down to touch her sopping curls. Moving to her other breast, he rubbed her clit in slow, lazy circles. She moaned, threading her fingers through his dirty blonde hair. Trembling beneath him, she came and he made his way back to her lips, diving headfirst into the lust.

this ain't no good, in fact it's phony as hell

He entered her slowly, completely, focusing on her beautiful face. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him deeper inside. Fill the void. Make the pain go away. So warm. He was burning her. Were all men this warm? The heat that radiated between them was melting her but The Slayer hung on. She waited for the pain to disappear. She waited.


don't you know I feel the darkness closing in tried to be more than me and I gave ‘til it all
went away and we've only surrendered to the worst part of the these winters we've made

"God, Angel," Cordelia exclaimed, walking into his office.

"What?" he asked, looking up at her wearily.

"Go find something to do. I can't take anymore of this brooding. You've been wearing ‘Buffy face' all damn day. I can't work under these conditions. Keep this up and I'll have to demand a raise."

"Have a vison and I'll have something to do," he said, picking up his book.

Cordy was right of course. His whole day had been filled with thoughts of Buffy. Thoughts of Buffy with someone else. You made this decision, he reminded himself. This is what you wanted. Well, not exactly what he wanted. Night wrapped itself around the building and Angel itched for violence. His demon begged to be unleashed on something it could destroy.

"Yeah, I'd love to. Really. I enjoy Doyle's little gift more every time I -" Her hand flew up to her head and she crumpled as the vision hit her. Angel flew around his desk and caught her, wrapping his arms around her narrow waist, holding her up. She slammed back against his chest, holding her head, convulsing in his arms. The pain scorched through her, spreading like a cancer as she intently watched the images smash against her brain.

Easing her gently into the chair in front of his desk, he lowered to a crouch in front of her. Wesley ran in and stood on the other side of her. They both waited for her to speak.

"Two women, two men. Couples. Walking down the street," she said, squinting at Angel, "Demons. Lots of them." She breathed for seconds, intently searching back through the images for a location.

"Where?" Wesley asked, as if she had simply forgotten to include the necessary details.

"Downtown. Looks like there's a liquor store on the corner. And a pawn shop." Opening her eyes fully, she looked at Angel, "They're going to...Oh God."

Angel popped up to his full height.

"Wes, we need to find out where in downtown there's a pawn shop and a liquor store next to each other. Call me on my cell phone when you find out the exact location. I'm heading downtown now."

Wesley nodded and pulled the yellow pages out of Angel's desk drawer. Thumping it down on the desk, he began hastily flipping through the pages.

"Angel, hurry," Cordy squeaked, before going slack against the chair. Nodding, he ran out of the office.


well you got to think with a girl like that any love at all, is better than nothing, it's better than nothing

Buffy tiptoed in her dorm room the next morning. Slipping off her shoes at the door, she walked over to her closet to retrieve her robe. When she turned back around, Willow was wide wake, smiling broadly.



"You didn't come home last night." Willow felt like Xander - stating the obvious.

"No, I was with Riley."

"Did you guys...um...you know...last night?" Buffy blushed and nodded, smiling at her friend.

"And? How about some blurry watercolors?"

"It was nice, Will. He was sweet," she said, settling down on her bed.

"I can't live vicariously through your smoochies if you don't give me watercolors that are a little less blurry," Willow said, sitting up on the bed, smoothing her tousled hair.

"Well, when I woke up, he was still there. Still good. Still sweet. He was wonderful," Buffy said, biting her lip. Willow beamed from across the small expanse between their beds.

"I'm glad."

"Me too."


and it's good that i'm not angry i just need to get over i'm not angry it's dragging me under i'm not angry

The shower pelted its tears on her, washing her with guilt. She didn't do anything wrong. Angel left her. He wanted her to move on, wanted her to have a normal life. So why did this feel like betrayal? Why did she feel like she had cheated on him? Again. Sleeping with Parker had felt like revenge. He had felt like escape. Riley felt like betrayal. He felt like the dirtiest clean. She tried to wash him off of her body.

Her tears mixed with the water, falling down the drain at her feet. Increasing in speed, the pain ripped through her, forcing to her knees. She couldn't wash them away. Neither of them. She hated that he could still hurt her this much. His absence was the one real thing in her life. The tears weren't real, the slaying wasn't real, the water wasn't real. The pain was real. The memory of him was real. The two hundred miles separating them - Real.

Someone take this away. She silently begged Riley to materialize, to somehow become real. Could his hands be the one thing that brushes her demon lover away? Could his smiles in the sunshine erase the darkness that held Angel inside her? Could Riley's love push Angel's aside? Please, she begged the Powers, please. Something else has to be real.


but oh how i want you to know me oh how i want you to know me
oh how i wish i was somebody else baby oh how i wish you could own me

It was all Riley could do not to skip through The Initiative. Pulled away from her warmth to go on an impromptu mission, he could still smell her on him. Sex and vanilla and sweat. Passion. He wanted ..to exclaim poetic verses outside her damn window.

"Agent Finn," Walsh's cold voice ripped through his reverie.

"Professor Walsh," he answered. His was sharp and ready, his body tensed for action and he tried to clear his mind of the warm bed he had just left.

"There is an odd uprising of unusually vigorous HSTs. They are picking people off the streets in broad daylight. Find their nest and take them out. Remember this is a kill, not a capture."

Three Initiative teams took to the streets in full commando gear. Tracing the demons to their nest in an abandoned warehouse east of town, they stormed in, full force. The first spray of bullets landed around the three demons like mist. The second spray bounced off their burly chests and slipped to the floor. Rounds three, four and five left the soldiers fearful and the demons angry. They resorted to hand to hand combat. Team three flung themselves in the fray, pulling tasers from their belts.

The demons weren't falling. They weren't stumbling. They weren't even sluggish. Team three had fallen and team two went in. As his comrades fell, Riley shot a net over the demon nearest him. Rushing across to him, he hit him once over the head with the butt of his gun. The demon reached and clutched Riley's ankle with his large hand, his strong talons cutting into his boot. Thank God for army issue boots, he thought as he swung the gun, hitting the demon at the temple. Swinging again he him until he was unconscious.

"Initiative changed," He screamed over the battle noise, "Capture! Capture!"

The demon's hand when slack as he lost consciousness and Riley pulled his leg back, wrenching his ankle from the demon's hand. Stumbling, he rolled his ankle around for a moment as he looked around at his men finding success at capturing the beasts. Gingerly placing weight on his ankle, he stepped forward to aid his men. Demon nearly crushed the bones in his ankle.


it's nothing, it's so normal

"Hello," Angel said into his cell phone.

"Angel, I think I found the location," Wesley said into his end. Giving Angel the directions, he announced that he was going to make his way to join the battle. Angel pulled up the vacant building and felt his face change before he even entered the door. The smell of blood was so powerful.

He was too late to save the couples on their leisurely stroll. He thought the newest layer of blood had to be theirs. But the layers underneath - the layers of blood and death...he spotted one demon across the room. Flipping on his phone, he stepped back out of the building.


"Yes, I'm just on my way out the door."

"Don't come."


"Don't come here."

"Why not?"

"No human could live through this. I need you to find out what these demons are and how to kill them. I've never seen anything like them," Angel said, starting to gag on his words, wishing the building would disappear so he wouldn't have to go back in there.

"Very well."

Angel gave him the description of the demon he saw and gripped his axe as he inched his way back inside.


"I thought I said, ‘kill' not ‘capture,'" Walsh said as the soldiers drug the demons into containment.

"Yes ma'am," Riley nodded, "I know but we were unable to kill them."


"Yes, we lost teams two and three. The demons were not affected by any of our weapons, including tasers. The only option was to capture."

She snapped her head to the right and barked at her aid, "Find out what they are and how to kill them." Turning on her heel, she walked angrily away.

Riley turned and began to walk out himself when a sharp pain traveled his leg. Reaching down, he pulled up his pant leg. Blood was seeping out of his boot. The monster's talon had cut right through.


I think my head is caving in

On patrol, Buffy found the streets bare. People weren't out. There were no demons, no vampires. Buffy headed toward Willy's. She stepped in and as usual was disturbed by the smell of demons, blood, alcohol, smoke and death. The smell in there was what kept this as her last resort most days. She didn't know how Willy could work here all the time. She shuddered in disgust as she walked towards the bar.

"It's THE SLAYER," Willy said loudly, announcing her entrance, "Hello SLAYER."

"Hi Willy," Buffy said, ignoring the obvious quick exits of certain members of his patronage.

"Hey there, Slayer," He said lowering his voice back to his normal level, "How are you doing? Want a drink?"

"No, as usual I'm here for information. What's going on?"

"What do you mean? It's a quiet night here on the Hellmouth. I'm running a nice, neat, legal business here."

"Why's it so quiet? I smell fear in here, Willy," Buffy said, leaning over the counter casually.

"I don't know, Slayer. I'm out of the loop these days," he said, but he was afraid. In fact, he was trembling and it wasn't her he was worked up about.

"Spill it, Willy. I don't have time for this," she said, pounding a fist on the counter in exasperation.

"Alright, alright, calm down. There are three new demons here in town. Arrived the other day. They kill everything they come across. Nobody can figure out how to kill them or what they are. They're killing demons and humans. People are afraid."


"You know what I mean. Rumor has it they were taken in by those commando boys tonight but everyone is still afraid. There are more of them coming. They say they can feel it."

and she knows she's been here too few years to feel this old

With a sigh she headed back into the street, of course more were coming. Why couldn't they find some other town to terrorize? She walked down the street and headed toward home, feeling that there wasn't going to be much action tonight.

Pain ripped through her body and she stepped back a few steps, making contact with the wall next to the movie theatre.


She turned and ran to Giles. She had to get to LA. Tonight.


it's all gonna end and it might as well be my fault


She stopped her dead run and turned to see her boyfriend hobbling toward her.

Her boyfriend. That's right.

"Riley!" She said picking up her run again to meet up with him, "You're hurt."

"Yeah, new demon in town. I think he scratched me," he said, looking sheepishly down at his bloody boot.

"I think he mauled you," she said. Pulling his heavy, muscular arm over her shoulder, she nodded ahead, "Let's get you to Giles' and get you cleaned up."

Angel's pain was coursing through her veins. She pulled Riley closer, wishing she felt his pain instead. Limping with him, they went into Giles flat.

Easing his boot off, Buffy reached for the bowl of water that Giles handed her. Riley hissed as she touched the washrag to his ankle. The wound was ugly and red. It looked to be spreading through his veins.

"What happened, Riley?" Giles asked, sitting down with tea, inspecting the wound. Riley launched into a brief review of the demons. Buffy filled Giles in on her visit to Willy's earlier that night. She jerked up as the phone rang.

"Angel," she whispered as she watched Giles answer it.

"What?" Riley asked, searching her face. Buffy didn't answer, she watched Giles as he spoke into the receiver.


"Mr. Giles. Wesley here."

"Wesley. Hello. Is there trouble?"

"I'd say so," Wesley answered looking across the room at Angel.


Giles took off his glasses as he hung up the phone. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he looked over at Buffy crouched at Riley's feet.

"We seem to have a problem," he said. Picking up the phone again, he dialed Willow's number.

"Willow, hello. Yes, there's a problem. Please call Xander and come over to my flat. We need to have a meeting."

"Giles, what is it?"

"I'll explain when everyone gets here."

"What's wrong with Angel?" Panic covered Buffy face. She already knew he was hurt. She already knew it was the same kind of demon that had hurt Riley, but she needed Giles to say it. She needed a reason to run to him.

"Wesley has called for our help. It seems Angel has been hurt. From Wesley's description, I'd say it was the same sort of demon that Riley and his men faced today."

Buffy sat back on her heels, as Willow, Xander, Tara and Anya came through the door. She turned around to face her friends, "We're going to LA."


it's almost like a disease

Buffy itched to get inside as they pulled up to Angel's. She ran inside, hearing him roar as they entered.

"Cordy," Buffy said, seeing the beautiful brunette step in front of her with her hands on her narrow hips.

"Buffy. You're looking a little last season."

"I don't have time for this," Buffy said, making a wide arch around Cordelia and running into Angel's bedroom with all of her friends and Riley close on her heels. She stopped suddenly, upon seeing him, almost causing everyone to hit her back like a set of dominos.

"Oh God," she whispered. He was lying chained to the bed, covered in blood, roaring. He was hurt all over, bleeding profusely from numerous wounds.

"Buffy," he growled, his chest heaving from his repeated roars.

"What the hell is that?" Riley said, looking at Angel, "Your ex?!"

Buffy ignored him and started toward Angel.

"Wait, Buffy," Wesley said, stepping into the room with Cordelia close behind him.

"We were able to chain him up but neither of us have been able to get near him since then."

"Yeah, he's gone completely psycho. We couldn't get his legs chained. I'm not sure you should go over there."

"He'd never hurt me," Buffy said, taking another step toward her ex-demon lover.

"You can't go over there," Riley said, limping a step closer, covered in sweat.

"Looks like Angel isn't the only one in need of medical attention," Cordy said, looking over Riley, "Soldier guy needs some drugs."

"He won't hurt Buffy, that's why you called, right?" Willow asked.

"Yes, that is what we thought," Wesley said, nodding, "Mr. Giles, we have done quite a bit of research on these beasts. Why don't you come up the office and we can discuss it further?"

Giles nodded and fell into step behind Wesley's retreating form.

"I'll be fine," Buffy whispered, keeping her eyes on Angel, "He'd never hurt me."

"Buffy, don't..." Riley said.

She continued towards the bed, where Angel screamed and roared in pain, his game face intact.

all these feelings, cloud up my reasoning, cloud up my reasoning

"Angel," she whispered, as she got to his side. Placing a hand on his face, he calmed, laid still and slipped back to his human features.

"Didn't want you to come...to see me like this," Angel whispered, "Something's inside me. Can't control it."

He gritted his blunt teeth. She smoothed her hand over his sweaty brow, "Shhh...it's going to be okay."

"My love." His words were a whisper across the room but no one missed it.

Turning her head back at her friends, she addressed Cordelia, "I need some bandages and stuff."

"Already got ‘em," she answered, nodding at the table, "I knew if anyone could reach him, you could. Although I hate to admit it. He's been wearing ‘Buffy face' for weeks anyway."

"Looks to me like he's been wearing game face," Buffy said, as he slipped into his demon visage from the pain. She unbuttoned Angel's black silk shirt, which was already in tatters. As she pulled his shirt open, he growled in pain. Buffy gasped at his deep wounds. Red lines were spider webbing through his dead veins, covering his muscled chest.

"Jesus baby," she said, wringing the wash rag out in the warm soapy water, "This might sting a little." Biting her lip, she touched the cloth against the first wound. Angel arched violently off the bed as she touched him, roaring menacingly enough so that everyone but Buffy took a step back. He jerked back from her and rattled against his chains.

"Get the hell away from me," he growled through hazed golden eyes. She pushed his shoulders back on the bed and jumped on top of his lap, pushing him down with both hands.

"Quit being a damn baby," she said.

"I might hurt you," he said, "I feel...angry. There's something in me. Poisoning me. It almost feels like...when I was poisoned...before...you know. Only angrier. Crazier." She nodded, perched on his hips, forgetting her boyfriend who was steps away. Smoothing her hand over his brow again, he nuzzled against her hand.

"It's going to be okay."

Everyone inched out of the room, feeling intrusive suddenly. Riley left reluctantly.

"She's in love with him...that demon," Riley said to Xander.

"She used to be," Xander said, "But it's over. They can't be together. They know that. It's over."

"Why not?"

"It's a long story," Willow said, brushing past them, "One that Buffy can tell him herself." She eyed Xander sharply. Brushing past them, she headed for the office to find out how the Watchers were faring. Better not leave them alone too long. There might be a British rumble. Scones could be thrown.

"I wasn't going to tell him anything," Xander said, holding up his hands.

"Doesn't look over," Riley said, glancing in at his girlfriend's nimble body straddling the vampire.

"It is. Don't worry," Xander said. But he looked worried. Forbidden love and all that.


if it's just that you're weak can we talk about it it's gettin' so damn creepy just nursing
this ghost of a chance the fiction, the romance and the technicolor dreams

"These demons appear to have a drug inside their talons that is released much like a snake bite. When they cut in, the poison is released," Wesley said, his eyes focused on Rupert's worried face.

"What have you found out about the poison? How does it affect humans and vampires? It seems as if Riley and Angel have the same thing."

"We're still working on that part." Burrowing into the books, the Scooby core and Angel's group dove into the research. With Angel cleaned up, Buffy stayed by his side until he fell asleep. She walked out and found Riley standing vigil by the door. He was covered in sweat, shaking and swaying like he was about to fall.

"Riley, are you okay?"

"Glad you finally came out to see," he said, his usually tender blue eyes covered in anger, "How's your demon doing?"

"I think he's dying," she said through tear filled eyes, "And it looks about the same for you. We've got to find a cure for whatever is poisoning you and a way to kill these demons."

"You want to save me or him?" Riley asked, jerking his head behind him at Angel's sleeping form.

"I want to save you both," she said honestly and pulling his arm over her shoulder, she nudged him away, "Let's go see what Giles and Wes have found out."


tell me one more time how you're sorry about the way this all went down
you needed to find your space you needed to still be friends needed me to
call you if I ever couldn't keep it all together you'd comfort me tell me

Upstairs the research party was in full swing. Settling into a chair next to Riley, she sighed at she opened up her first book and then closed it again as Giles strolled over, "Here it is."

"Blood of a slayer?" Buffy asked, looking up at Giles.

i need another soul to feed on

"Afraid so," he muttered.

"Again?" Willow and Xander gasped together.

"What about humans?" Buffy asked again.

"Um..." Giles said, with a sigh, "Well, actually..."

"Hospital," Wesley said.

"Yes," Angel said from the doorway. Chains hanging from his bloody wrists, banging against his legs, "He's going to need one."

"Oh dear Lord," Wesley said, turning to look at the crazed vampire.

"Right again, Wes," he said with an evil, poison induced smile.

"Angel!" Buffy yelled, as Angel made a beeline for Riley, "Stop! You're sick. You don't want to hurt anyone."

"Wrong, Buffy," Angel said as he continued to walk toward Riley. Riley jumped up from his chair, looking just as crazed.

"Let him come over here, Buffy," Riley sneered, pulling a stake from a lower leg pocket of his pants, "I would love to sink this into his vamp heart. Let's see how his dust can take you away from me."

"That's right, soldier boy," Angel said with an evil smile, "The only way she'll stop loving me is if you kill me. She'll always me MY mate. She belongs to me."

Buffy jumped between them, pushing them both back.

"Stop! Both of you!"

"You really think a demon like you could please this woman?" Riley asked, "All you can give her is darkness. I can give her a real life."

"Soon all you'll have is darkness, too," Angel said moving towards him again.

"You think you'll be able to kill me? I kill your kind all the time."

"I haven't killed your kind in quite sometime. I think it'll come back to me though," Angel answered, his voice so cold a chill ran down Buffy's spine, "It would be worth it to kill you just for touching her."

‘cuz i'm more frightened everyday someone will take the hope i have away

"She seems to like me touching her," Riley said, "She feels good. Inside and Out."

A mad roar came out of Angel. Buffy thought she heard him snap inside with Riley's delirious comment. Angel raced across the room, grabbing the boy and throwing him against the wall, knocking the stake from his hands, "We'll see how you are on the inside."

Lowering his fangs to Riley's neck, he was a millisecond from biting in when Buffy pulled him off and flung him away.

"She saved you," Angel said, pulling himself to his feet, "Mention one more word about having sex with my beloved and I will taste your blood."

"Angel, shut up. Riley, shut up. Both of you listen. The poison is making you crazy. Angel you have to feed off me and then Riley & I will take a little trip to the hospital."

"No," Angel said, crossing his arms, "We're not doing that again."

"Why not? You seemed to enjoy it last time you fed off her," Xander said snidely.

"You don't know shit about it, Xander," Angel sneered back.

"That's the vampire that bit you?" Riley asked, walking over and touching her scar. Flinching, she jerked her neck away.

"Angel," she said, ignoring Riley's comment, "You can't die. Lost souls need you remember?"

"No," Angel said again.

"You'll die if you don't."


"Angel, you won't kill me. You can just take what you need and then I'll get a transfusion."


"Why the hell not?" She screamed.

"Because, I can't go through that again. I won't put you through that again. Besides, I don't have a lot of control right now. I've had a long life. Go to the hospital and save your boyfriend...before I kill him."

"Is that what this is about? That I moved on? It was your idea, remember?"

"Yes, I recall."

"Angel, please. The world needs you to be alive. I need you to be alive." She walked closer to him and was now a foot away.

"Drink. Drink me."

"Get away from me, Buffy."

"Save yourself with my blood."

"Listen to him, Buffy," Riley said, walking closer to her, "Let him die. He's just a demon anyway. Come to the hospital with me."

"He's not just a demon!" She said whipping around to face him, "You don't anything about us."


"Him," she amended, but it was too late, "You don't know anything about him."

"You're still in love with him, aren't you? You're actually in love with that!" Pointing at Angel's vampiric face, "He's a vampire, Buffy. A demon. He subsists on blood. He's a parasite - feeding off the life of others. Come with me."

"Shut up! Angel, please."

"No, that asshole's right. You couldn't ever have a life with me. A parasitic freak show."

"No, Angel."

"Leave me here. Go."

"Dammit, Angel. You're not listening to me. I'm not leaving you here." Pulling back, she punched him hard enough to knock him against the wall.

"That's not going to work this time, love." He leaned casually against the wall, as if she hadn't just hit him, crossing his arms defiantly.

Punching him again, his body burrowed into the wall. She violently pulled her shirt over her shoulder, ripping it and tossing her silky blonde hair back.



Punch. Punch. Punch.

so go on, wreck me funny how I carry on, and not be taken over, will not roll over on anyone

"Drink, dammit!"

"Sorry love."

Punch. Punch. Punch.


i think i've already lost you i think you're already gone i think i'm finally
scared now you think i'm weak but i think you're wrong

Wesley, Cordelia, Xander, Willow, Anya, Tara, Giles and Riley stood staring at the couple. Buffy repeatedly hitting Angel, begging him to take her life's blood. Sounded like this had happened before. They winced in unison as she hit him again, blood flying from his already bloody nose. He looked at her through eyes that didn't appear to be focusing. Riley sat heavily in chair as he began to feel dizzy.

"Buffy," Riley whispered, "I think I have to go to the hospital now."

Bleeding Angel swayed before her, leaning heavily against the wall as the poison coursed through his veins. He couldn't live without her. Not anymore. He was too weak. Couldn't stop thinking of her.

"Take him to the hospital," Angel said through bloody lips.

"You take both of us," she answered, "After you drink."


"Please," she said. Trying another tactic she pressed her body against his, his blood rubbing into her white shirt. Caressing his hard chest, she looked into his eyes.

"Please," she repeated, pressing his lips against hers as the group gasped. She moved down to his neck and bit him. Hard. A low growl erupted from his chest.

"Come on, lover," she said, biting into him again, "You know you want it." She kissed and bit his neck, pressing her lithe body into him, grinding her hips against his growing arousal.

all the times I've given in you fit me like a second skin and one by one
i will begin to wear you on the days I'm feeling thin

"God, Buffy," he groaned, pulling her away from his neck and taking her lips roughly, trying to maneuver around his fangs.

"You said I'm yours," Buffy moaned, "Take what's yours." She pulled away from his lips and pressed his face into her shoulder. Holding him there, he couldn't resist. He bit in and drank.

"NO!" Riley screamed, rushing over to the couple. Buffy kicked back at him with her right leg as Angel gulped her in, sending Riley flying across the room.

"Stay away, Riley," she whimpered, holding onto Angel. She was weakening and she began to sag against him. Angel scooped her up in his arms and seconds later pulled away from her neck.


there's an awful lot of breathing room but i can hardly move if you're gone
baby you need to come home ‘cuz there's a little bit of something me in everything in you

"You piece of shit," Riley yelled, looking at Angel and standing up, "Get your demonic hands off my girl."

"I'm going to the hospital," Angel said, turning from the room, "If you want to be healed, come on."

Riley followed reluctantly but found he had to run behind Angel who was making his way out to his car in a break neck speed. Setting Buffy in the passenger seat, he buckled her in snugly. Riley fell into the back seat, barely making it inside before Angel took off, leaving the rest of the group to find their own way.

"If she dies, I'll dust you," Riley said, nearly lifeless in the back seat.

"If she dies," Angel said, glancing over at her, "I'll do it for you."

Riley's eyes widened. That demon really did love her. Of course, how could anyone not love her?


so why ya gotta stand there looking like the answer now it seems to me
you'd come around i need you now do you think you can cope you figured me out
i'm lost and i'm helpless bleeding and broken though i've never spoken i come undone

Buffy looked pale. She looked dead. Angel kneeled by her bedside, ignoring the chair he could have dragged to her side. Tears streamed down his cheeks.

She's going to live. She's going to live.

"Come on, love," he whispered, "Come back to me."

can't eat, can't sleep, could have been a bigger man, damn

He couldn't believe he had been so weak. He promised himself he wouldn't do this again. He wouldn't drain her like that ever again. He failed. Again.

she takes what she gets, and she never did flinch

Giles moved from Buffy's room, feeling a little more than guilty for watching Angel's anguished display.

"Is he going to be alright?" Giles asked Willow who just came from Riley's room.

"Yeah. They gave him some antibiotics. Apparently that's all he needed."

"Good. Good."


maybe if we ever coulda kept it all together where would we be
a thousand lost forevers and the promises you never were giving me

"Angel," she whispered before she opened her eyes. She could feel him there beside her.

"Buffy," he whispered back, "Thank God."

"Told you I would be okay," she said, opening her eyes and reaching out to wipe his tears away, "We're both okay now."

"I'm so sorry," he said, shaking his head, "I'm so sorry, love."

"No, there's no reason to be sorry."

"Yes, there is," he said, blinking through the tears that he couldn't stop.

"C'mere," she said, holding her arms out to him, which he didn't hesitate to fill, "It's alright."

Pulling him into bed with her, she sighed as he spooned her back, holding her tightly, molding around her slight body.

"Don't be sorry. Just hold me."

"I love you, Buffy."

"I love you too."

"I can't live without you anymore. I can't stand to see you with someone else. The thought of him touching you, making love to you...it makes me crazy. I can't stand it."

"What are you saying Angel?" She asked flipping over slowly in the bed to face him.

"I know you deserve a normal life, but I love you. I miss you. I want you back."

it's unnerving how just one move puts me by myself there you go
just trusting someone else now I know I can put us both through hell

"How do you feel about a little more darkness?"

"Promise you won't leave again? Because if I come back to you, I can't lose you again. I couldn't live through that again."

"I promise. I'll never turn away again."


"Okay? Does that mean you'll take me back?"

"Yes," she said, turning over again and pulling him closer against her, "I'd always take you back. I belong to you, remember?"

"Sorry about that. I was a little crazy."

"It was a little extreme but you're right. I am yours."

"Good," he said, nuzzling her hair.

"Love you," she said, sleepily.

"Love you too," he whispered.

"Stay here with me," she yawned, "Don't leave."

"I won't, love. I'll be here when you wake up."


she said I tried to be but I'm not and could you please collect your things
i don't wanna be cold i don't wanna be cruel but I gotta find more
than what's happening with you

"Get your goddamn hands off her, vampire," Riley yelled as he walked in Buffy's room.

Angel & Buffy jerked awake and Buffy grimaced, as the pain shot from her neck.

"Stop yelling," Buffy said, "We don't need the whole hospital to know that Angel's a vampire."

"Angel," she said, leaning against his shoulder, "I need a minute with Riley." Kissing the top of her head, he unraveled his arms from her waist and stood. He iced Riley down with his eyes as he walked out of the room, saying nothing.

"Sorry," Riley mumbled, settling into the chair by her bed, "But I saw him on the bed with you and I kinda lost it. Been like that a lot lately. Guess the poison was something else."

"That's okay," Buffy said, sitting up in the bed, facing him.

"Please tell me you don't want to break up."

"Can't," she said with tears in her eyes.

"He can't give you a life, Buffy. I can. I can give you children and a future. He can't."

don't think that I can take another empty moment don't think that I can fake
another hallow smile it's not enough just to be sorry

"I know that, Riley. I can't have that stuff anyway. I'm The Slayer. I probably won't even live past 25, let alone have children. They would never be safe, even if I did have them."

"No, we can fight together. We don't have to have children if you don't want to. I'm in love with you. Please don't do this."

he says anything to keep her by him

"I'm sorry, Riley. I thought I could live without him. I was wrong."

"No," he begged, "You were right."

"No, I love him. I will always love him. I know that now. I'm sorry."

"Buffy, please."

well there's nothing at all to make her change her mind

"I'm sorry, Riley. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you."

"Yeah, I'm sorry too."


i'm sorry ‘bout the attitude i need to give when i'm with you
but no one else would take this shit from me and i'm so terrified

"Wes," Angel said, beckoning Wesley to him in the hallway.

"Are you sane now?" Cordy asked.

"Yes. Sorry."

"No big," Cordy answered, "Glad I didn't have to stake you. You were edging on Angelus there for a minute."

"Sorry," he repeated, "Wes, did you find out how to kill the demons?"

"Beheading and fire," Wesley answered simply.

"Okay, I'll be back."

"Shouldn't you wait for Buffy to recover and accompany you?"

"No, I don't want anyone else to be hurt by them. I'll take them out."

"What if they poison you again?" Willow asked, stepping timidly up.

"Yeah, you think you can just stop in while Buffy's still at the hospital on get a little more blood? She's not a convienence store, you know." Xander remarked.

"No, if they poison me again, I won't be back," he said, turning, his coat sweeping dramatically behind him as he exited the building.


i was listening to the radio and wondering what you're dreaming when it came to mind that I didn't care so I thought - hell if it's over i had better end it quick or I could lose my nerve are you listening - can you hear me

Riley's tear stained face did not escape the notice of anyone as he walked out of Buffy's room.

"I'm checking out the hospital and heading back to Sunnydale," he announced to the group.

"Are you okay?" Willow asked.

"Buffy broke up with me for Angel," he said, glaring at her friends, "Would've been nice if someone had mentioned to me that she was in love with a vampire before I started going out with her."

"Sorry man," Xander said, looking down, "We all thought it was actually over."

"Well, it's not. But we are. I'm outta here."

"Will you be alright?" Giles asked, taking off his glasses again in desperation.

"Yeah, I'll be just fine," Riley said, heading to his room to dress.


it's aggravating how you threw me on and your tore me out how your good
intentions turn to doubt the way you needed time to sort it out

"You broke up with Riley?" Giles asked from Buffy's doorway.


"You are reuniting with Angel, then?"

"Yes," she asked, bracing herself for the inevitable lecture.

"Are you sure that is the wisest course of action?"


"Buffy, I think that you ought to reevaluate your plans for the future. Angel cannot give you a normal life. You even admitted that it was better that you broke up, remember?" Giles said, perching on the edge of her bed, looking down at her, concern on his face.

"I love him, Giles. I know what I said. I just can't live without him anymore. We all know I'll never have a normal life."

"I suppose not."

"He's my soul mate. Even you have to admit that he loves me."

"Yes, I know," he sighed, "But that doesn't mean that I won't worry."

"I know, I know. You are all are going to constantly worry that we'll unleash Angelus again. We do have self control, you know," Buffy said, feeling that old familiar ache settle in her stomach.

"I know I'll worry," Xander said, walking in with the rest of the group behind him, "You know this isn't right, Buff. It's not just your life. If Angelus is unleashed, it's all of our lives."

"Yeah, I hate to agree with Xander but he's right. You two get pelvic and all our necks are hanging in the balance," Cordy added.

"Actually, there's no need to worry," Willow said, looking a little guilty.

"Oh, I'd say there's plenty reason to worry," Wesley chimed in.

"No, actually, I took the little happiness clause out when I cursed him again," Willow said.

"WHAT?" Buffy said, in conjunction with the rest of the group, "Why the hell didn't you tell us?"

"Because I wasn't sure...I...I was going to and then I thought maybe it didn't work and I shouldn't tell you in case it didn't and then I double checked it and I thought it was right. I was going to tell you, I really was and then he left you and..." she tapered off, her eyes filling with tears. Locking eyes with Buffy, she spoke again, "I'm sorry, Buffy, but the reason he left wasn't because he couldn't...you know...with you," she added.

"I can't believe you didn't tell me," she whispered, "But thanks."

"You're welcome."

"Great," Xander huffed in the corner.

"Where is Angel, anyway?" Buffy said, looking around the room.

"He went out to kill the demons," Wesley stated crispy.

"What? By himself? What if he gets poisoned again? They could kill him this time."

"He said if he was poisoned again, he would not return," Wesley added.

"God Wesley! You let him go?!"

"Do you really think I could have stopped him?"

"Dammit," she said, struggling to get untangled from the sheets, "I have to help him."

"I don't think that's a good idea," Anya said, "You're just going to get poisoned too and then we'll spend all weekend in this horrible hospital. Do you realize there are sick people everywhere in here?"

Finally able to get to her feet, Buffy moved to find her clothes.

"You guys wanna get out of here so I can get dressed?" She asked, looking around the room.

"Buffy, you're still weak," Giles said.

"Yeah and Dead Boy can take care of himself," Xander added.

"You should stay here. You don't even know how to kill them," Willow said.

"You burn down the building," Angel said, walking in with a smile. Rushing into his arms, she rubbed her face against his chest.

please don't change, please don't break the only thing that seems to work at all is you

"Thank God. Were you cut or anything?" She asked looking him over.

"No, I'm fine."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, love. Just performed a little arson. They never even touched me."

"Good, then get me out of here."


i am all that i'll ever be when you - lay your hands over me but don't go weak
on me now i know that it's weak but god help me i need this

Back at Angel's, Buffy took a long hot shower, relishing in the feel of the warm water rushing over her body. She walked out into his bedroom wearing nothing but a towel and a smile, feeling sleepy and excited about the night to come.

She could hear Angel rattling around in the kitchen, so she headed for his closet, pulling out a black velvet shirt. Xander once told her there was nothing sexier than a woman wearing nothing but a man's shirt. She slipped the velvet shirt on, smiling as the material nuzzled her erect nipples. She left the top five buttons unfastened, pulling the top open so that her perky cleavage was visible.

She brushed out her long blonde hair and then sauntered into the kitchen. She stopped to watch him, leaning against the wall, as he artfully scrambled eggs. He had shucked his soot covered shirt before he started cooking and she smiled at his muscle corded back. Now that was one sexy man.

"Smells good," she said huskily, causing him to whip his head around at the sound of her voice. He felt his arousal rising as he inhaled hers.

Dear God, he was in trouble. He knew immediately that he had made a mistake. He had forgotten how much self control was required to be around her. He was never going to make it through a lifetime with this incredibly sexy woman, let alone tonight.

shouldn't be so complicated just hold me and then just hold me again

"W-want some eggs?" he asked, turning back around to leave her sexy image behind him. He looked down at the eggs. Fucking eggs. The sexiest woman in the world was standing behind him and he was looking at eggs. He thought about her in his velvet shirt, her breasts nearly completely visible from the buttons she left unbuttoned. So goddamn sexy. Cordy was right, he was a eunuch. He might as well be. He couldn't even make love to her.

i just want to get inside you

"No," she said, her voice low and dripping with sex, "I want you."

She walked up behind him, enjoying this torture she was giving him. You shouldn't be doing this, she chided herself as she wrapped her arms around him, pressing her breasts against his back, but it's so much fun. She reached down and rubbed his arousal and felt the wetness seep between her own thighs.

"Buffy," he growled. His growls never failed to give her that low down tickle and she moaned, gently squeezing his cock through his pants and biting into his back, "You. Have. To. Stop."

"Why, should I baby?" She was driving him insane. He was so close to losing control. He turned around, pushing her against the counter, pressing his groin into her.

"Because if you keep doing that, I'm going to lose control and fuck you like an animal," he said, "I'll lose my soul. You'll have to kill me and I really wasn't planning on having that kind of relationship this time around."

"Angel, your soul is permanent."


"Willow says that when she cursed you the last time, she took out the happiness clause. You can be happy. You can...um...fuck me like an animal."

"I won't lose my soul?" he asked, reaching between her legs and groaning at the feel of her dripping sex.

"Nope," she moaned, smiling into his eyes and riding his hand, as he pushed a second finger in.

"Remind me to thank Willow," he said, smiling so broadly that he melted her heart. He captured her lips, pushing a third finger inside her wet center, rubbing her swollen clit with his thumb. She kissed him back passionately, jerking the top button of his pants off as she struggled to get them open. Oh the hell with it, she thought and ripped his pants apart, his erection bouncing free as she ripped the material away from him. He pulled his hand away as she climaxed, placed his hands on her waist and hoisted her up on the counter.

just keep you trembling

The buttons flew off of his velvet shirt as he ripped it off her tanned body. Seating himself fully inside her, she wrapped her legs around him.

"My love," he growled as he began to move inside her, pulling her right nipple into his mouth.

"Yes," she panted as he moved faster inside her, burying himself deeper with each thrust. He wrapped his arms around her and picked her up off the counter.

"Mmmm," she moaned as he shifted inside her. She wrapped her legs tighter around him, holding him like a vice so that he didn't slip out. He carried her to the bedroom, each step shifting inside her and that they were both crying out by the time he lowered them to the bed.

"I love you."

"I love you," she whispered.


"That's the whole point."

if we slide on over and accept fate then it's bound to be a powerful thing

The End. Hope you all liked this one. (Don't ya just love it when Riley loses?) Please send me your comments at Tangofic@hotmail.com or review!! Thanks and Happy New Year everyone!