The Mark by Tango


DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Or anything else for that matter.
SPOILERS: Challenge from Soulgaluk - Full description of the challenge is at
the end of the fic
DISTRIBUTION: Sure, just let me know.
FEEDBACK: Please, please, please! And thank you!
LYRICS: All lyrics are from The Dave Matthews Band


Soulagluk, this one's for you. Hope it doesn't disappoint. It's so smutty I
am almost tempted not to post it, but hey this is your idea, not mine,
right? Right? We'll just pretend this isn't just my dirty mind. Hee, hee.
Cheers, Tango


//we look at each other wondering what the other is thinking
but we never say a thing and these crimes between us grow deeper//

Buffy walked through the double glass doors with an entourage of people in
tow but Angel barely noticed them. For the first few minutes, all he could
see was Buffy. She had a large blonde man hanging on her arm and Angel
casually observed the group before turning his dark, intense eyes back
toward his Slayer.

God, she's beautiful, Angel thought as Buffy walked down the stairs, her
diminutive hips swaying from her movements. Completely unaware of her own
magnificence, she tread the earth like an seraph in irons. Gravity weighed
her there with obligation. He thought briefly back to the time when he first
met her, how he was awestruck every time he saw her, almost unable to
believe that she was real. Mixing classical beauty and poise with a quick
wit and intelligence she walked with oblivion through her dark world. Her
body was naturally strong and athletic, while retaining its softness with
graceful, teasing rounded curves. She was a goddess forced to serve in a
human realm that did not deserve her.

That's how Angel saw her. That was how he always saw the beauty within that
shone through and radiated her outter beauty. He looked over at her
boyfriend for a second and narrowed his dark eyes as he scrutinized the
lucky bastard. He wondered if the guy realized what he had in his arms.

Riley was clutching Buffy's hand so tightly that Angel could see her
circulation slowing. He could almost hear the boy's teeth grinding together
inside his mouth, beneath his set jaw. Blue eyes were icing the vampire
down. Angel might have smiled at the boy's jealousy if he could have gotten
over his own. Angel thankfully realized that Riley loved her. At least he
valued the wonderful person he held on to. And that left Angel wondering how
he should proceed. He couldn't act like her boyfriend, it would be harmful
to act like the ex, and he couldn't talk to her without betraying his
feelings. This was going to be really, really hard. He could think of
hundreds of ways that would have been a more pleasant way to spend a Friday
night...evisceration, a little holy water, maybe a bathtub of crosses.
Anything was better than seeing Riley Finn touching Buffy. She smiled at the
boyfriend, her straight white teeth appearing between her perfect curved
lips...for him.

Angel inwardly cursed Cordelia and Wesley for making him call on the
Sunnydale crew to come to LA. He could handle anything but Buffy. Anything
was fine, anyone was easy to deal with but her...her golden hair falling in
soft waves, framing her lovely face was calling out to him to thread his
fingers through...her eyes, carefully dodging his stare, were as hazel as he
remembered, tinged with those golden specks of green, exactly as he had
memorized them. She had lost weight. A little too much perhaps, but she was
more than beautiful with her worn jeans hugging her hips, a tiny slice of
skin showing between her form fitting, low cut top and her jeans. He could
just reach out and touch that diminutive wafer of tanned exposed flesh....

He forced his eyes to look at the rest of the room. They were a gang of
misfits, scattered lightly over the marble floor: Dawn, Willow, Xander,
Giles, Anya, Tara, Cordelia, Gunn, Wesley...and Spike.

"Why the hell are you here?" Angel demanded of his Grande Childe.

"You need the brawn, Peaches," Spike answered nonchalantly, leaning against
the hotel's front desk. Spike didn't care about helping. He could give a
rat's ass if the whole bloody lot of them died. He was here for the show.
The possibilities for violence among these people were endless. He couldn't
wait for the excitement to commence.

"I don't trust him," Angel said, turning his eyes towards his ex-lover. He
briefly flipped his eyes to her newest appendage, who spoke, "I don't

Great, now him and the new boyfriend were on the same side. Damn it. He
didn't like him. He didn't like that Riley held Angel's entire world in his
arms and looked at him, her soul mate, as if he were not only threatening
their relationship but their lives. Now he had to deal with Spike, who was a
handful on his most patient days.

"Well, we need him," Buffy said, trying to keep the tremors from her words.
She was in Angel's house. Ten feet from him. Riley, gripping her hand, was a
constant reminder of his presence. She felt her friend's eyes on her as she
spoke, trying to dig beneath her brave veneer, wondering how this little
weekend excursion away from the Hellmouth was going to pan out, "Besides he
can only hurt demons. He's no threat."

"Yeah right," Cordelia spat. She looked over at Spike with disgust and then
her eyes flashed over at Angel with a silent warning. You'd better not let
that demon kill anyone. Angel met her gaze and nodded almost imperceptively,
causing an immediate softness to enter her eyes even though the scowl

"I am in the room, you know," Spike said, lighting a cigarette.

"Yes, we were trying to forget," Giles muttered and then cleared his throat,
"We should get on with the research."

"Yes," Wesley agreed, stepping forward. Both men nodded in curt British
agreement and began comparing notes.


//she was his girl; he was her boyfriend//

Riley was more than relieved when Angel was paired up with someone else
besides him and Buffy. She was tense, defensive and more than a tad jumpy
since they left Sunnydale. He wasn't sure what was more disturbing, the fact
that Angel was a vampire and he was expected to trust him as if he were a
real person or that the vampire in question had once been Buffy's lover.
Angel made him nervous. More nervous that he cared to admit. The demon
stared at his girlfriend as if she were his...something. He couldn't put his
finger on it, but he didn't like it. Buffy stared back at him in the same
strange manner. She tried to act normal but there was nothing normal about
anything when Angel was in the room.

To make matters worse, the vampire was nice. He was fucking polite and
courteous. He kept his distance from Buffy, hadn't made a move to touch her.
He hadn't even shook her hand when they came in, even after giving Dawn a
big brotherly hug. Dawn didn't even like to talk to him most days and she
was hugging Angel like he was a long lost family member. The whole thing was
disconcerting and more than a little freaky. Riley tried to tell himself
that Angel was no threat but Buffy clearly wasn't over him and Angel wasn't
a hair's breath away from being over her. He hadn't touched her physically
but emotionally she was tethered to his side.

Riley shook off his jealousy. He couldn't act all anxious or Buffy would get
more upset than she already was. He focused on the mission. They were alone
in their section of the city. Angel was all the way across town.

She's my girlfriend now, he reminded himself, I have nothing to worry about.

//i remember thinking i'll go on forever only knowing
i'll see you again but i know
the touch of you is so hard to remember but like that touch I know no

Buffy was reminding herself the same thing as she patrolled the city with
Riley: She was dating Riley, not Angel. She had tried not to look at him
while Riley was in the room, thinking that she wouldn't be able to hide the
look in her eyes - the desperate
can't-live-one-more-second-without-your-arms-around-me expression. She was
terrified that she wouldn't get through this weekend without Riley seeing
that look - the look she never gave him.

So she couldn't meet Angel's piercing gaze directly, not more for a minute
or two at a time. Even that infinitesimal amount of time was risky. She had
forgotten just how broad his shoulders were, the way his chest was traced
lightly through his shirt, betraying the sexy brawn she knew to be
underneath it. She told herself she had forgotten his large hands, his
Adonis-esque etched face, his graceful movements, his deep chocolate eyes.
She told herself she had forgotten. She hadn't. She remembered it too well.
So well that being in his presence made her feel weak and flushed.

Riley clung to her and she clung back. She needed him to save her from her
true love. She needed Agent Finn to keep her from falling into the swirling
black abyss that was Angel. His tight grip on her hand kept her from
launching herself into the vampire's arms and begging him to hold her
forever, kept her from slipping away to the demon who owned her heart.

Thank God Riley came with me, she thought. She walked beside her boyfriend,
not touching him but was inches from his large frame. She scanned the
streets for signs of a demon that could lead them to the rest of the
infestation somewhere in the city. Slayer senses sharpened, she should have
detected the dark figure melting in from the shadows, but she didn't. The
demon boldly stepped in behind the couple and brushed Buffy's right hand.
She spun around to face whatever brushed her. She saw nothing but a glimmer
of something that was already gone.


//dark clouds may hang on me sometimes but I'll work it out//

"So you're going to be wearing Buffy face all weekend," Cordy asked as she,
Angel and Gunn prowled the dark alley.

"Cordy..." Angel started.

"No, it wasn't a question," she said, looking briefly at Gunn, who was
trying to hide his smile of recognition.

"Well then," Angel sighed, "What's the point?"

"Nothing," she said with a grimace, "Just making an observation."

She looked into Angel's irritated eyes, which were nestled deeply inside a
no-doubt-about-it ‘Buffy face' expression.

"Butting out." She said, holding her hands up and continuing down the alley.

"Thank you," he said.

"Crabby," she muttered to Gunn, as if she didn't think his vampiric hearing
would detect the sound of her voice.

"Don't blame him," Gunn said with a grin, "She's hot. I'd be a little damn
grouchy if I saw my woman on some other guy's arm."

Cordy slapped his arm in protest, "You're not helping."

"What? It's true," Gunn said, not losing his grin. This was entertainment,
he thought. He had long waited to meet the infamous Buffy. Meeting the
little woman who was The Slayer and had caught the iron heart of Angel was a
very interesting Friday night for him. He couldn't get over the fact that
she was so tiny. Smaller than Cordelia, even, she stood like a warrior with
the curves of a woman. He was trying to wrap his mind around the whole
picture, which was complicated and immense.

//i say my hell is the closet i'm stuck inside. can't see the light//

"I'm not crabby," Angel hissed, over their voices and lengthened his strides
to put some distance between them. He wasn't crabby. He wasn't grouchy. He
was pissed. Pissed that he couldn't just kill the demons by his damn self
without a bunch of judgmental people hanging around him and telling him how
he was supposed to act. How the hell was he supposed to act anyway? Buffy
was there with her blonde boy toy, hanging on his arm and refusing to meet
his eyes. He was pissed that he wasn't allowed to pissed. She was going on
with her normal damn life, with her normal damn boyfriend. He hoped they
went on lots of sunny fucking picnics. He hoped ants infested their lunches.

He knew he was being irrational. Of course he was irrational. How could
logic step in when continuing to love her made no sense? He couldn't be with
her, couldn't make love to her, couldn't give her anything that big dufus
could. It was enough to make him insane. He was in a cloud of disillusion,
which might have been part of the reason he didn't sense the dark being
misting out from the shadows. He felt a brush on his hand and turned around
to face Cordy and Gunn.

"What?" He said as he turned around and noticed that they were a good four
paces away from him and could not have possibly touched him.

"What?" Gunn asked in return.

"What the hell was that?" He said, swinging around in a broad circle,
searching the alley and finding nothing.

"What the hell was what?" Gunn asked.

Cordelia shrieked in pain and stumbled back, her body shaking with the
torment of a brain cracking vision. Her hands flew to her head and Angel
caught her just before she landed on the hard cement, writhing in pain.


//i come into your psyche. you're sleeping - i'm in your mind filled waiting
on desire//

It was nearly dawn when they found the nest and took it out. By the time the
battle ended, the sun was brightly shining above ground and they were all
below in the sewers covered in gutter stench and demon mucus. Angel led them
safely through the sewers and back to the hotel where they all dove into
rooms to shower.

Sleep should have come next but the whole crew was hungry and wired from a
night of saving the world. Freshly showered and changed, clean shiny faces
emerged one by one to raid the fridge. Food was scarce in a hotel that
normally housed only a vampire, so Cordelia called for a mountain of pizzas.

Buffy dangled her hand under Giles' nose, revealing a black tattooed mark,
about an inch in diameter, "What's that?"

"I don't know," she answered, "I wouldn't be showing it to you if I knew."

"Looks familiar," Giles said, as Angel sauntered in.

"What looks familiar?" The vampire asked. Buffy jerked her head up to look
at him

"The mark on Buffy's hand," Wesley replied, nodding at The Slayer, "I seem
to remember seeing it somewhere before myself."

//and travel my eyes over you//

Angel closed the distance in the room, grabbed her hand and looked intently
at it. From the instant he touched her, Angel felt old desire, years buried,
scramble to the surface. Touching her again, feeling her soft skin and the
indescribable heat that came off it made his entire body scream with desire.
He felt renewed. He struggled for an argument to release her hand, to step
away - to run away, but could not find the resolve to even take a step back.

"What?" Buffy said, looking up at him. The heat that Angel felt, raced
through her body, feeling even her little toes with blazing emotion and
confusion. Angel twisted his hand around and revealed an identical mark, his
face distorted with concern.

"Oh," she said, looking over at Giles, "This probably isn't good."

This definitely wasn't good, she thought.. Angel wasn't looking at her hand
anymore, he was looking into her eyes and not just in a longing - I want you
back kinda way. He was staring with a hungering, mouth-watering - I'm gonna
make love to you in right now in front of all of your friends any second if
you don't stop me kinda way.

"No," Giles said, "I daresay it is not. Do you remember anything of note
that could have caused it?"

"Something brushed me in the alley," she said, thinking back reflectively,
trying to keep her breath from speeding into her words as she spoke, "But I
didn't see anything so I just thought I bumped into something...or

Buffy last few words were more a mumble as she looked down at her hand,
still captured in Angel's. Warmth wasn't just settling over her now, fire
was racing through her veins. She almost gasped as she felt the arousal
twinge between her thighs. Angel stepped in closer, inhaling her scent. Her
whole body screamed with want as he squeezed her hand tighter and bored into
her eyes with his own. He struggled for control, as he opened his mouth to

"The same thing happened to me," Angel said. His deep voice was hoarse and
cracked with buried want - buried want that was quickly rising to the
surface and he was helpless to stop it, "But Cordy had a vision and then we
went after the demons and I kinda forgot about it. I didn't see whatever
touched me either."

He couldn't tear his eyes away from her even as he spoke. Giles and Wesley
gave each other a concerned look at they observed the actions of the vampire
and Slayer. They looked up as Riley and Xander entered the room but Buffy &
Angel did not. They almost...couldn't.

"Buffy," Giles said, stepping forward, "Perhaps I ought to talk to you

"What's going on?" Riley said, feeling icy panic drawing up inside him as he
saw the locked gazes of his girlfriend and her supposed ex. Riley froze,
taking in the way they were looking at each other. The vampire was holding
her hand, his thumb caressing a long, slow trail over her smaller one. Riley
felt his hackles rising as he realized that the vampire had no intention of
releasing her hand.

"Nothing," Buffy and Angel said in unison, unable to look over at him, even
for a second.

"Buffy," Riley said, stepping closer and grabbing her other hand, "What's
going on?"

A long minute passed before she answered. Every bit of her will power was
needed to turn her eyes away from Angel to look at her boyfriend. She
ordered her body to pull away from the hand that held her but she couldn't.
Angel groaned inside himself as she turned away. He reached out and caressed
the side of her face, gently bringing her eyes back to his.

"What the hell is going on?" Riley yelled, pulling her hand harshly, "What
the hell are you doing to her?" Riley could clearly see that she was in some
sort of daze. When he spoke, Buffy and Angel didn't respond if they heard
him. Riley pulled her away, breaking Angel's hold on her. He wasn't going to
stand back and let that vampire pull her deeper into his thrall. It was
obvious that they didn't have any normal kinda relationship.

"Angel," Buffy whimpered as she felt sharp pain dig deeply into her body all
over. Buffy sagged against Riley as the pain took her over.

"Buffy," Angel said, feeling the same pain twisting through him. His face
reverted to vamp, as he realized that not touching Buffy was what was
causing the agonizing pain. Before Riley had time to act, Angel rushed with
vampiric speed across the room, yanked her from his arms and moved her back
across the room. Angel leaned in, capturing her lips as if Riley wasn't
there. He plunged into her mouth, pulling her flush against him, one hand
spanning the small of her back, one lost in the gentle tangles of her hair.

"Buffy!" Riley screamed. He ran across the room and tried to jerk her away
again but Angel's hand came up, the heel of his palm dug into Riley's chest,
sending him flying across the room. He landed hard against the wall with the
wind knocked out of him. Panting for breath he rose shakily to his feet and
yelled her name again. Her only answer was a whimpered moan against the
vampire's mouth. The rest of the group came running in to see what the
ruckus was about and all stopped to stare in awe at the two forbidden

"Angel!" Cordy yelled twice as loud as Riley's outcry, "What the hell are
you doing?"

They all shuddered watching them lock lips again while he was in game face.
She pressed against his mouth, unconcerned about the presence of sharp

"You're under some sort of spell," Giles said, trying to bring them to the
side of reason. Giles, of all people knew of their star crossed love, but
this was different...spell-induced. Angel pried his lips from The Slayer's.
Looking deeply into each other's eyes, they felt the digging stares of the

//my yellow flame she dances//

"Yes," Buffy answered, staring into Angel's beautiful golden eyes. Strange
how when they appeared on other demons she was repulsed by them but on his
face they were shimmering and soulful. Yes, his soul made the demonic change
beautiful. She watched as his brown ones reappeared. Angel tore his eyes
from his Slayer and looked over at Giles.

"Something's controlling us," he said, forcing the words out, "Can't control
it. Hurts not to touch her."

"Yes," Buffy said again, looking at Giles, "Almost like if I don't touch
him, I'll...die."

"We have to research those marks right away," Wesley said, turning to his
books. Giles walked over and grabbed one as well, ready to start the

"You two ought to stay -" Giles said, finding his book and looking up again,
finding that they were kissing each other deeply once more "- where we can
watch you."

"Upstairs," he panted moving against her lips again. The pain stayed ebbing
inside both of him, urging them further into each other. Angel knew if he
could make love to her, the pain would stop. If he could just be closer, the
pain would go away. Intense lust assaulted his undead body. He felt alive
again in her arms, against her lips.

"Yes," she moaned back. She knew the same thing Angel did. If they made
love, everything would be alright. The world would right itself in their

"NO!" Everyone else yelled. They kept kissing, entangled in each other and
moved toward the door. Silently agreeing on tactics, the group cohered
nervously, preparing to tear the lover's apart. Riley ran towards them. He
reached out and grabbed Buffy's arm preparing to tear her away from him, but
Angel caught his neck with one hand and slammed him against the wall, his
face turning rapidly to his vampire visage again.

"You're making a mistake, boy," He growled over Buffy's blonde head. She
tried to clear her mind. She knew something wasn't right here. She should be
concerned over some little details of the situation but all she could feel
was his body warming to her touch. While Angel's hand squeezed slightly
tighter over Riley's throat, Buffy stared up at Angel. She missed the
choking sound her name coming from her boyfriend's throat as she leaned in
the nibble on the cool column of Angel's neck.

"Angel," Wesley said, his voice firm and demanding. Angel pushed back from
Riley and moved the hand back to Buffy.

"Touch her again," Angel said, each word bathed in fierce growls, "And I'll
rip your throat out."

"She's not your anymore, vampire," Riley said through deep breaths. His
words were slightly less convincing since the she in question was wiggling
against Angel's body suggestively and leaving a trail of kisses on his
smooth, cold neck.

Angel's lips curved around his fangs to form a cold smile, "Looks like it."

He threaded his fingers in her golden hair as she kissed his neck and ran
another large hand over her tiny back. He caught her lips again, purposely
not changing back to human. He wanted to the boy to be afraid. He wanted
Riley to be overcome with jealousy that he couldn't keep his girlfriend from
melting against his cold, vampiric lips.

Pulling back from his neck, she met his golden eyes once more. Her green
ones weren't showing disgust from his ridged face but lust and love -
strong, uncontrollable and overwhelming. She traced his face lovingly with
her little hand, which caused a appalled gasp to irrupt from Riley, only
four feet away.

"Angel," she said, forgetting about the rest of the room, one of the
inhabitants being her boyfriend. Love taking over his body, he was unable to
keep his demon intact. He moved to his human face once more and smiled at
her, echoing her words. He took over her lips again, lust exponentially
increasing with each kiss. He backed her toward the door as he kissed her,
needing to get somewhere where he could make love to her...

And soon.

The group moved into action, attacking as an entourage of force, trying to
overwhelm them but were flung away, swatted like flies by the preternatural
pair. They couple moved toward the door once more, stepping over the bodies
of their friends who were dazedly standing up again.

"Separate," Willow's firm voice wafted from across the room. Buffy and Angel
flew apart, each landing against separate walls. They both released wounded
cries as pain shot through their bodies from their separation and scrambled
to their feet to return to each other. Spike flew at Angel while Riley
simultaneously ran to Buffy.

Buffy jerked her arm away from her boyfriend but was grabbed again. She
swung hard, contacting with his face and forcing him to stumble back a step.
Twisting, one slender leg flew up and met with the opposite side of his
face, sending him against the wall she just came from. She turned and ran
towards Angel.

On the opposite side of the room, Angel fought off Spike, brutally beating
him away. Angel was always stronger than Spike and being his Sire, he had no
qualms about violently putting the Childe in his place. Today he took no
pleasure in fighting the younger vampire, he needed The Slayer to stop the
lethal pain that attacked him. Knocking Spike away, he turned towards the
blonde who jumped into his arms, wrapping her strong legs around his waist.
He caught her lips, kissing her roughly around his fangs, and made his way
from the room with her attached to him like a second skin.

"Buffy," he moaned, his hands roaming over her body as he walked them
towards the door.

"Angel," she whispered back, squeezing against him more tightly. Angel
wasn't sure how he was going to make it very far with her rubbing against
his erect cock, her wetness seeping through her panties and soft cotton
pants. Her heat massaged his arousal, causing him to groan loudly.

//and if i've gone overboard then I'm begging you to forgive me
in my haste. when i'm holding you so, girl, close to me//

The dazed group wandered out into the lobby, watching the lovers with fear
bonding them.

"Need you...need....," she groaned, unable to express the overwhelming lust
taking her over.

Angel's head was spinning and he held onto his love for balance. He
struggled to overcome the desire that raged inside him. He couldn't make his
demon go back into hiding and he couldn't peel himself away from her. He
tried to make his mind go to any calm, peaceful place but she ground against
him harder, nearly cracking his hips with the pressure of her legs around
his waist. The danger of the curse was a nudging reminder inside his head
and he thought of how to get himself out of this situation. No answers came.

"Angel," she pleaded, his name glistening with sex over her wet lips,
"please...need you inside"

"Curse," Angel groaned, the word feral and torn, but everyone heard it,
understood it and harbored at least a second or two of hope.

"Angel," she whimpered, pressing against him earnestly, "Make love to me."

"Curse, godammit," Angel growled fiercely. He knew that he wouldn't be able
to resist even as her throbbing heat pressed against him. Her hands moved
over his body as her strong legs clamped him into place between her thighs.

"Angel," his name coming off her lips again in a raw, needy whisper. She
kissed his neck, grinding herself into him, repeating his name, sending his
body into waves of pleasure. He closed his eyes, his large hands almost
completely covering her back, holding her in place against him. Her breasts
pressed invitingly against his chest and soft strands of her hair tickled
the skin it touched.

"Angel," she whispered, biting into his neck, "Fuck"

Any resolve he might have been harboring snapped with the little words that
simmered from her mouth, along with her blunt teeth, digging into his neck.
The group looked on in utter shock, unable to turn away as Angel slammed her
to the stairs and violently ripped the front of her pants away. Ripping his
own away in turn, he fiercely sheathed himself inside her slick heat. She
cried out with him as the pairing soothed a fraction of the dangerous need
seated inside them.

//people stare and we just ignore everything
people stare and we just ignore them
and they go away, go away//

The group cringed with the force that the couple mated and waited for
someone's bones to snap. None could force their eyes away from the display
before them. They watched as Buffy ignored his demon face, kissing him
wildly and bucking him deeper into her. They waited for someone to cry out
in pain but were only met with heated mates' frenzied lovemaking, rumbling
in ecstasy.

The dangerous mating dance continued for an embarrassing length of time.
Buffy came once, twice, three times, screaming in the throes of passion,
unable to even remember or realize that there were people in the room. Angel
buried his face in her neck as he neared climax, sucking on the scar on her
neck. He reached under her shirt and pinched her nipples roughly causing
strident moans to erupt from her lips. The group strained to see if he was
feeding but couldn't tell. They waited for hell to rain down on them, all
wondering if The Slayer was about to die in the arms of her lover.

"Yes," she hissed, pulling him against her neck. He pulled away
automatically, terrified that he almost bit into the delectable flesh. He
could almost taste her blood already. The Scoobies gasped in relief as they
saw he had not fed.

"No," he said, nearly unable to get the single syllable word past his lips,
moving inside her more urgently as he felt the end drawing near, "I love

//tell me are you satisfied with fucking?//

"I love you," she whispered back. Eyes shot over to Riley's broken face and
then they collectively gasped again as The Slayer pulled him back to his
neck, "Drink."

The word was almost as sickening as the sound of him breaking her skin,
making everyone jerk in surprise except for Spike who had reverted to game
face and was sporting a raging erection. Every fantasy that didn't include
taking a life was what he witnessed before him now. He nearly passed out
when he realized that Buffy climaxed a fourth time as his Grande Sire bit
into her neck. Spike could almost taste her blood himself. He could
definitely smell it over the sweet aroma of her sex. He was enraptured by
The Slayer and envious toward his Sire, as Angel came into her blistering
center, nursing the open wound in her throat.

Angel licked her wound gently and felt himself calming, his face returning
to his human guise as he lay nestled inside her. She was trembling around
him, holding him tightly to her and as he began to pull away, she tightened
her inner muscles and increased the pressure of her legs around his waist,
holding him hostage inside her. Angel felt himself hardening once more and
then noticed the crowd standing in the far corner of the room, off to the
side, where they could see and hear a fair amount. Using vampiric speed and
strength, he stood, seating himself deeper inside her and hurried up the
stairs wearing the most beautiful Slayer in history around his waist.

The group stood in awe still staring at the spot where the supernatural
slaves to lust had just been when the door opened. They all moved their eyes
slowly to the door to find a pizza boy overloaded with cardboard boxes of
steaming lunch, "You guys order some pizzas?"


//you walk into my days. love gives me hope
and this no better have I felt than now, my love
you drive me to distraction//

Riley slumped against the wall, certain that his heart had been ripped from
his chest and was left somewhere on the stairway where Angel and Buffy had
just been. His blues eyes were glazed over with anguish and he looked as if
his life had just flashed before his eyes.

"Get over it," Spike said, breaking the silence with a grin. Riley's eyes
wandered to the side of the room where Spike stood.

"Spike!" Willow said, actually shocked that he could be so rude. She was
shocked regularly by Spike, even though she knew she should not be surprised
by his evil mannerisms anymore.

"Well, what kind of stupid bloody human wanker would think he could hold on
to a Slayer, for crying out loud?"

"She's under a some sort of spell," Giles said, taking off his glasses and
wiping them thoughtfully, "We must find out what the mark on their hands

"Indeed," Wesley said, nodding.

"Willow," Giles said, turning to the shocked redhead, "I suggest you begin
preparing the Romani ritual to recurse Angel if we need to."

"Recurse Angel?" Riley asked, snapping back to reality, "What do you mean?
Buffy said he was cursed with a soul, but why would he need to be recursed?"

"So Buffy left that juicy little tidbit out, did she?" Spike said, rolling
in excitement. He was glad he hadn't stayed home to mope in his crypt. This
was better than Disneyland, "Let me explain it to you, soldier boy."

"Spike," Giles said stepping forward in warning, "Do shut up. You will not
be the one explain the curse."

"Aw, why not?" Spike asked with an evil grin.

"Well somebody tell me!" Riley demanded, panic filling his eyes.


//if green should slip to grey, would our hearts still bloody beat
if the mountains crumble away and the river dry, would it stop the stepping

Riley crept up the stairs while the others were busy bickering and starting
research. He was crumbling underneath the wrinkled memory of Angel plunging
into Buffy while sipping blood from her throat. Having the whole story, he
had no doubt where her scar came from. Now his only question was, how many
times did she let him do that? Was it common practice for her to consent
access to her veins? Nightly bloodletting with her vampire?

He shivered as he moved up the stairs, listening intently for sound. He
didn't have to listen very hard or very long. He heard hushed voices coming
from down the hall, so he turned to his right and began traveling down the
corridor, knowing it was a mistake with every step.

They hadn't shut the door all the way in their rush to escape the eyes of
their friends. Riley peeked inside the room, feeling like a voyeur. He was
feeling like he was violating their privacy and being violated at the same
time. He saw Buffy collapsed over Angel's broad form, panting from exertion.
Her full breasts were rising and falling with each breast and the demon's
eyes were focused on her intently.

"Buffy..." Angel started, his eyes filled with concern. She moved her eyes
to his face, turning over on her side and laying perpendicular to him, her
head on his chest.

"Don't say it, Angel," she whispered, begging him to let it go.

"The curse," he whispered back, slightly running his hand over the side of
her body, gently tracing the curves he had long since memorized. He knew
every inch of her flesh from one night of passion, every flutter of her
heartbeat, every caliber of moan that could be released from her throat.

"Please," she said, her eyes filling with tears, "I can''s too late
anyway. Can't we just have this...time? There's nothing we can do about it

"Buffy," Angel said, "You're in danger every second you stay with me now. I
couldn't bare it if I -"

Buffy made her way quickly up his body, throwing a slender leg over him and
straddling him, her wet heat resting against his stomach.

"No," she said, placing her fingers against his lips. He sucked one
manicured finger into his mouth, swirling his tongue around her delicate
fingertip, "No more talking about curses and danger."

She slipped her finger slowly out of his mouth and leaned in to kiss him
hungrily, feeling her passion reignite. She pulled back up from his lips and
stretched languidly, arching her back, leaving two perfect breasts looming
above him, her golden hair falling in soft waves behind her. Angel slipped a
hand down his chest and reached between her thighs, tracing her teasingly
before landing on her clitoris. She moaned, leaning back.

"Do you still love me?" he asked, desperation in his dark eyes. He and
Riley, listening in at the door, both eagerly awaited her answer, which was
quick to come. Angel knew that she had already said it once that night, but
he, he needed to hear it again.

"Yes," she moaned, undulating her hips against his fingers, "I never stopped
loving you Angel. I will always love you."

"What about your...boyfriend?" Angel asked, almost afraid to. His fear
increased as she stiffened against him. He pulled his hand away from her
tempting heat as he waited for her answer. Buffy was filled with remorse and
guilt as she filled the deafening silence with thoughts of just how she
would deal with her human boyfriend. Angel interpreted the silence for the
fact that she loved Riley too and pain was filling every inch of his
gorgeous naked flesh. Riley, urgently standing by the door, was filled with
hope for the first time.

"Do you love him?" Angel asked tentatively, terrified of her
answer, but unable to go on making love to her without it.

"I love you," she said clearly.

"Yes, but do you love him?"

"No," she said, leaving the word to hang in the air for a moment, before she
clarified, "I like Riley. He's sweet and nice and he cares about me. But
Angel, the only person I've ever loved is you. The only thing I've ever
wanted in my life is to be with you."

"Tell me about it," he said, with a sigh of relief. Mouth watering, Angel
flipped them, landing her across the wide bed diagonally. As he buried his
head between her firm thighs, Riley felt unadulterated tears slip from his
eyes. He backed away with the vision of them burned into his memory. He felt
sobs overtake him as he remembered the sight of her as she promised she
loved Angel and not him.


//frightens me, has me tied up in knots, can't rest for a moment//

"What mark?" Xander asked. Giles took one of the business cards sitting on
the counter and drew a rough representation of it on the back. He held it
out to Xander who looked at it and passed it over to Anya.

"Oh," Anya said, nodding curtly, "This is the mark of Animosus."

"The mark of what?" Xander asked, confused.

"‘Who', actually," Giles said, looking over at Anya for clarification.

"When I was an avenging demon," Anya started, "Animosus was famous among us
because he always ruined everything."

"Ruined your killing and maiming of men? How sad," Cordelia said, probably
sarcastically - although no one was quite sure.

"Yes, well," Anya complained, "He was annoying. Apparently still is."

"I didn't think he was annoying at all," Spike said with a devilish grin.
Everyone was with him on the memory of Buffy and Angel on the stairs. As if
on cue, they heard her moans of pleasure wafting down the stairs. They
looked over at that direction to see Riley's broken form moving down them.

"Shut up, Spike," Cordy snapped, "Anya, wanna tell us who the hell this guy

"He's puts that mark on estranged lovers and it causes an uncontrollable
lust," Anya stated simply, "If they don't have sex, they die."

"Die?" Riley said in a panic, looking around the room at the other anxious

"Yeah, pretty much," she answered, sitting down on the red couch, "There was
this one couple about seven hundred years ago. The girl thought her husband
was being unfaithful and was a step away from making her wish when Animosus
showed up and marked them."

"What happened?" Wesley asked, "Did they die?"

"They started humping like -" she started.

"Bunnies?" Cordy volunteered.

"No!" Anya answered, "Definitely not like bunnies. They humped like less
scary mammals. Tigers or wolves or something."

"Tigers are less scary than bunnies, An?" Xander asked with a smile teasing
his lips.

"Yes, bunnies are little and furry with their twitchy little noses..." she
said with a sigh, "Anyway, Animosus marked them somewhere in the marketplace
during the fall festival and they ended up humping like tigers in the middle
of the parade."

"Anya," Giles said impatiently, "What happened? Did the couple perish?"

"I don't know."

"How can you not know?" Cordy snapped, "Angel might die from this and you
don't know?"

"And Buffy," Xander said with a glare.

"Whatever," Cordy sighed, "What do you remember?"

"The husband went into the carnival looking for his wife. He found her
looking at dresses and he ripped the front of her dress away right there and
began sucking on her breasts..."

"Anya," Giles interrupted, "Let's not get off track."

"What? That's what I remember."


//you seek up an emotion and our cup is overflowing
you seek up an emotion, sometimes your well is dry
you seek up a big monster for him to fight your wars for you
but when he finds his way to you, the devil's not going//

Riley wandered into the kitchen, searching for alcohol to drown his sorrows
in and found Spike in there drinking it. His hand was wrapped around the
neck of a bottle of single malt scotch. Spike took a deep swig and smiled at
Riley before wiping his wet mouth with the arm of his red shirt.

"Looks like you need a drink too," Spike said, before taking another swig.

"Yeah, wanna share?" Riley said, irritated that he had to share the kitchen
and the liquor with another fucking vampire. Spike pulled a glass from the
cupboard after opening several to find them and set it roughly on the
counter. He tipped the bottle and splashed several drops on the chrome
counter as he filled it.

"Good shit," Spike said, not bothering to hand Riley the glass, "Angelus
always chose the best of everything - best liquor, best women."

"Shut the fuck up, *Hostile 17*," Riley said, using his Initiative number in

"Oh, sorry, mate," Spike said, his words starting to slur as he gulped down
more, trying to arrest the memory of The Slayer's spread thighs wrapped
around his Sire. He only wished Angel had ripped her shirt away so he could
have caught a glimpse of the breasts he suspected were as perfect as the
smell of her arousal.

"Whatever," Riley said, downing the glass and slapping it back on the
counter in a demand for a refill.

"Yeah, guess you're gonna need a lot more," Spike said as moans of mating
got louder from upstairs. He filled the boy's glass again, glad he had worn
a shirt that covered his obvious arousal at the situation, "to forget my
Sire's up there nestled inside your girlfriend."

"He's your Sire?!"

"Yeah, known the Poof for my whole vampire existence. Annoying, isn't he?"

"This just keeps getting better and better," Riley said into his glass.


//hey, my friend, it seems your eyes are troubled
care to share your time with me? would you say you're feeling low and so
a good idea would be to get it off of your mind//

"Okay," Willow called out as she entered the lobby with Tara in tow, their
hands filled with bags of supplies, "Got the curse stuff."

"Good," Cordy said, "Now maybe we all won't die."

"Anyone know if he's t-t-turned yet?" Tara asked, bashfully.

Cordy cocked an ear in a flourished response, pretending to strain to hear
the loud moans gliding down the stairs, "Doesn't sound like they're in
danger, unless he's fucking her to death."

Spike, who entered the room with a drunk Riley following, laughed heartily.

"How long has it been" Willow said, " started?"

Xander looked at his watch, "About three long hours."

Xander dropped his hand and took hold of Anya's, reminding himself that he
had long since gotten over his ‘crush' on Buffy and this was just fear for
her life or of the danger but he knew that wasn't true. He knew a little
part of himself would always love his powerful little friend and nothing
bothered him more than the idea of her with Angel. Why she would choose a
bloodsucking fiend over him - or Riley for that matter - was baffling to
him. Angel never made sense to Xander. During the whole course of his
friendship with Buffy and all the weird things that had happened, all the
life threatening events, all of the long nights of fighting and research,
the only thing he really didn't understand was Buffy's love for a vampire.

Yeah, okay, Angel had a soul. Xander would even begrudgingly admit that he
was a nice guy most of the time. And sure, he was an attractive man, but
what was it about him that made her go all gooey whenever he was around? Why
didn't she understand that loving him was against the laws of nature? He was
a danger to the world when he was with her and yet, all she wanted was to be
with him. Xander snuck a glance at Riley, who was nursing a scotch, his eyes
haunted and filled with pain. This was going to be long spiraling journey in
the land of pain. He was sure about that.


//forget about the reasons and the treasons we are seeking
forget about the notion that our emotions can be swept away
forget about being guilty, we are innocent instead//

Angel was lost in the chainlinked moments. Buffy's constant arousal filling
his nostrils was unbearable next to his constant arousal. Vampire stamina
was inhuman and he knew that he could make love to her all night and then
some, but this was different. After he found release, he was immediately
hard again with no suggestion and no contact. He didn't even need her to
look at him and he was ready for more.

//touch your lips just so i know
in your eyes, love, it glows so
i'm bare-boned and crazy... for you.//

Buffy, even though she, like vampires, had more strength and stamina than
normal humans, was also amazed at her own lust level. She wanted Angel. That
was no secret and she would have had a sex fest with him when they reunited
under normal circumstances, but this feeling of need was feral,
was incredible. She was dripping with need and every time he pulled himself
from her steaming depths, she was desperate for him to return. Every muscle
of her human body was sore, her skin was bruising from their desperate,
needy movements and she was exhausted from fighting all night the night
before and making love to her ex-lover all day long, but she had no interest
in sleeping or moving away from him, even for a second.

Nothing needed to be explained to them. They understood instinctively that
if they moved away from each other, they would die. It was that simple. The
only time the pain stopped ebbing was when they were mating and fulfilled.
Mere contact was not enough. The most intimate contact was the only thing
saving them from death.

Buffy turned away from him, keeping a hand on his leg and she rose on her
hands and knees, wiggling her firm ass at him in invitation, as if he needed
it. A second later, he was on his knees behind her, slipping into her. He
waited a moment, pausing inside her, teasing her with his stillness. She
whined and flipped her head, golden hair flying to one side as she turned to
look at him. He focused on her face - her green eyes glowing with passion,
her face flushed from exertion, her lips swollen.

"You're stunning," he said as he moved inside her once more.

"So are you," she said, pushing back against him, meeting his thrusts. He
found purchase on her narrow hips and used them to pull her back against


//everybody asks me how she's doin', has she really lost her mind?
i said, i couldn't tell you, i've lost mine//

"Listen," Gunn said, looking toward the stairs, "Hear that?"

"Hear what?" Cordy answered, in a state of perpetual fear and irritation.

"Nothing," Gunn answered, "I don't hear anything at all, that's my point."

"Yes," Wesley said, nodding, "What if that means..."

"Buffy is not dead," Willow said, wishing she could make confidence fill her

"How can you be sure?" Riley said, taking a step near the stairs.

"Oh bloody hell," Spike said,"I'll go check."

"You're not going up their to help your Sire kill my girlfriend," Riley
said, grabbing Spike's arm.

Spike pulled his arm away roughly, "I got the chip, you idiot. Can't kill
the little bint."

"I'm not sure it's a good idea for you to go up there," Giles agreed,
looking from his book toward the stairs with concern, "Besides, according to
this, theoretically even Angelus would not be able to kill her."

"How can you be sure?" Willow asked, looking up from her book, "It says here
that Animosus, meaning "ardent, passionate, furious love" is a devoted
servant of Aphrodite."

"Aphrodite is the Greek Goddess of Love," Wesley added.

"Yes," Giles said, "His mark pushes estranged lovers reunite
their passion. But it also says that if they separate the result is death,
so in theory, he couldn't kill her or he would die."

"Ooookay," Xander says, "So ya think that Angel knows that or is he just
gonna find out after he kills her?"

"Instinctively, he should know," Giles offered weakly.

"So we don't know if he will kill her or not," Gunn said, hopping onto the
counter and looking around room.

"Not really," Wesley said, clearing his throat, "The Mark keeps them
together but with no soul, Angelus does not feel the same sort of love. This
situation is interesting because without a soul, the spell might not even
effect him."

"So, no one knows anything, " Riley barked, "No one knows if he's up their
screwing my girlfr...Buffy or sucking her dry!"

"Pretty much," Cordy snapped back.

"‘Kay," Spike said, nodding sarcastically, "Anyone else here think they're
going to be able to stop Peaches if he's lost his bloody soul?"

"Good point," Xander said, raising a finger, "I vote Spike goes up there."

They all mumbled in agreement, reluctantly, and Spike turned toward the
stairs, smirking. He practically danced up the stairs, free to spy on and
hopefully catch a good glimpse of the Slayer's naked body. He licked his
lips as he neared the quiet room. He was sure she was still alive because he
could smell her sex with his unearthly nostrils. He prowled down the hall
and peeked inside the room.

Spike sucked in an unneeded breath as he looked inside the room. The Slayer
was kneeling on the floor and between her full lips was his Sire's large
cock. He leaned against the door across the hall and watched, entranced by
the sight of her small hand gripping the base of his cock, her naked body
available to his gaze. He looked over the side profile of her perfection.
She was lovely, just as he knew she would be. Her pink tongue darted out of
her mouth as she licked the underside of his cock, illicting a low moan from
Angel before she took him in her mouth once more.

From his vantage point, Spike could see the open wound on her throat, which
obviously had been reopened several times during the hours they had been
making love. The strong smell of her blood was coming from the room mixing a
delirium cocktail when her arousal was stirred in. He remembered the times
that he had with Angel and Dru. He longed to boldly enter the room and kneel
behind her...

//this, i admit, taste so good, hard to believe an end to it
smell, touch, feel, how could this rhythm ever quit//

Spike knew every dream he had for the rest of his long unlife would have
this memory tucked inside it. Her blonde head bobbed over Angel's lap and
she turned her green eyes up to look into the lust-filled eyes of her lover.
He met her gaze, his mouth parted with no breath escaping it.

"Baby, I'm going to..." he whispered, arching slightly against her while his
knuckles clutched the bedclothes in an attempt to control himself. She
sucked him harder and moved faster against him in response to his words. He
spilled his seed inside her sultry mouth with a silent growl, his whole body

Angel, recovering quickly and already hard, pulled her onto his lap and
slipped himself inside her, smiling broadly at her moan before kissing her
urgently. Through his peripheral vision, Angel finally saw his Childe
voyeuristically watching, casually sipping from his bottle of scotch.

"Spike!" Angel said, with a growl.

"Calm down, Peaches," Spike said with disappointment of being discovered as
Angel swept the blanket that had fallen to the floor around his lover's
naked body, "Just checking to see if you are still soul-having or not."

"He's fine," Buffy said between clenched teeth. Her vaginal muscles squeezed
Angel deeply inside with her anger at the intrusion and Angel's eyes rolled
to the back of his head. She was going to kill him if she kept that up.

"Get out," Angel said, standing with her still around his waist, "And don't
come back."

Angel slammed the door loudly in Spike's face and looked at the beautiful
face inches from his own. He kissed her lightly and turned, strolling back
to the bed.

"Sorry, love," he whispered as he lowered her to the bed and watched her
hair fan the pillow.

"It's okay," she whispered as he began moving inside her in long, slow

"God, I love you," he said, "You're a dream...a miracle"

She reached around him and slide her hands over his firm behind, squeezing
him as she pressed him against her. "I'm real," she said raggedly, "You
still have a soul. You're the miracle."


//you walk to me like wine, comes to this mouth
grown tired of water all the time
you quench my heart, and quench my mind//

Spike stood in the hallway looking at the closed door and listening as they
moaned together in rhythmically. There was no justice in the world, he
thought as he turned to move back toward the stairs. If there was an ounce
of fairness anywhere, he would in there sipping The Slayer. He lost Dru
because of those two and the least he could have been given was beautiful
goddess behind that closed door. But no, Angel always won. He hated that
damn pansy. Spike hated Angel with the obedience that only perfect evil
could provide. He was torn between wishing Angelus emerged and hoping he
didn't. Believe it or not, he hated Angelus even more than he hated Angel.

He took a long gulp from the bottle of courage in his hand before he
swaggered down the stairs to meet the questioning gazes of the white hats
below. He smiled at them and of course, since he was evil, none of them knew
what his happiness meant.

"Well," Cordy demanded.

"The great Poof still has his soul," Spike said with a sigh, "Which is a
shame." Spike lowered his eyes to a ragingly jealous Riley, standing in

"Why's that? You want Buffy to die?" Riley shouted, feeling like he had left
his sense of control somewhere else.

"No," Spike said, walking past him to seat himself on the couch, slouching
lazily, "Just was wondering what Slutty the Vampire Slayer would have looked
like if she was sucking Angelus' cock instead of Angel's."

Spike didn't have time to move away, being weighted down with liquor, before
Riley's fist came in contact with his jaw. Blood burst from his lips and he
stood, staggering back from the crazy boy, "What? You asked."

"Shut up," Riley said, punching him again.

"Why? You wanted to know what I saw, didn't you?" Spike asked, licking the
blood off of his lips, "Well, I'm telling you, your woman has a perfect
little naked body. Guess she really isn't your woman anymore, huh?"

Riley hit Spike again. Then again and again, feeling only rage and jealousy
that wasn't quelled by beating this vampire. He pulled a stake from his
pocket and prepared to stake him when Giles stepped in.

"Riley," Giles said as Riley turned his delirious eyes toward his
girlfriend's watcher, "This isn't the answer. Although, I wouldn't feel
terribly upset if you staked Spike, you are killing a defenseless person."

"He's not a person," Riley said, clutching the stake in his fist.

"No, no," Giles said, "I suppose not, but it really isn't the point.
Besides, we will need his help if Angel does revert to his former self."

Riley nodded dejectedly and wished with all of his soul that Angel would
lose his, just so he could kill him. The only hope that he clung to now was
that he would be able to stake the demon that was fucking his girl. She
loved him and so he felt slightly guilty for his wish, but if there was no
Angel to stand in the way, then there would be no obstacles for him to spend
the rest of his life with her...if only he could forget what was happening

"Eureka," Wesley shouted as he looked up from a thick and dusty volume.

"Eureka?" Xander muttered, turning toward the bespectacled ex-watcher,
"Isn't that a little cheesy?"

"The only way to reverse the effects is to remove the Mark of Animosus,"
Wesley said, barely looking up from his book.

"How do we remove it?" Willow said clutching Tara's hand and keeping herself
near the circle she had created to perform the spell, in case Angel lost his

"I don't know," Wesley said, sagging in his chair, "But now all we have to
do is look for the answer."


//you've got your ball, you've got your chain
tied to me tight, tie me up again.//

"My whole body hurts," Buffy complained as Angel rested his head on her
heaving chest.

"Sorry love," he said.

"Don't be sorry," she said, smiling softly at the top of his dark head, "I'm
not. Just letting you know that when this is over, I'm going to be able to
walk for three days...maybe more."

"Then I'll carry you," he said, moving his head to look at her, his hair
tickling her left nipple with his movement.

"Carry me now," she said, "I wanna take a shower."

He languidly unfolded himself with a smile and lifted her into his arms
easily. He caught her lips as he walked to the bathroom. He stepped into the
shower and set her down on her unsteady legs. He turned on the shower, while
holding her hand and turned his face into the warm spray. He sucked a
tempting nipple into his mouth as he turned back around and kissed down the
valley between her breasts.

"Perfect," he mumbled as he lowered himself to his knees, kissing down her
stomach before lifting one of her legs and tossing it onto his shoulder,
opening her to his gaze.

"Angel," she sighed as he licked her sore, aroused clit. Can a person die
from orgasms? If they could, she was heading there and quickly. She was torn
between going back to the bed and sleeping for 18 hours and pushing against
his mouth. She chose to writhe beneath his talented lips and tongue, curling
her toes as the water danced over their bodies.


//we're strange allies with warring hearts
what wild-eyed beast you be//

"It's a pretty simple ritual," Giles said, rubbing the bridge of his nose
and squeezing his weary eyes shut for a second, "Willow it looks like you're
going to have to take a second trip to the magic shop and get a few more

"Actually," Xander said, "I think the Willow should stay here with Tara. We
might need a little witchy help if Angel loses his soul."

"Thank you, Xander," Giles said with a genuine, tired smile, "That's true.
Would you and Anya like to go get the supplies?"

"Sure," Anya said, a sexy smile fluttering over her pretty face. She pulled
the list of supplies from Giles' hand and headed toward the door, anxious to
be alone with Xander after long hours of listening to moaning from upstairs.

"The problem is," Giles said looking toward the stairs, well worn from
glances that kept stealing that way, "Why hasn't Angel lost his soul


//look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster
you know you went off like a devil in a church, in the middle of a crowded
all we can do, my love, is hope we don't take this ship down//

Upstairs, fresh and clean from the shower and back in the warm bed with
Angel, Buffy was wondering the same thing, "Angel, why do you still have
your soul?"

"I don't know," he said to The Slayer laying over the heart that she hoped
she wouldn't have to drive a stake into.

"Do you think whatever spell we're under has something to do with it or
maybe you're...anchored now," she said, deep in thought.

"I wish I knew," he said, smoothing his hands over the lines of her body.

"Maybe...we can be together now," she offered. He moved flipped the weight
of his body over hers and moved inside her again, "Let's just have now...for

She relented with a sigh, opening for her lover. He didn't want to think
about what would happen when they broke the spell. She really didn't want to
think about it either. That path lay littered with sorrow and badness.
Instead they immersed themselves in the happiness of the present and left
all the possibilities and lack thereof, outside of the borders of safety in
their minds. Angel couldn't think about losing her again, when he'd only
just gotten her back and inside Buffy's cluttered mind, she couldn't grasp
the idea. It made her ache inside. It would only be harder the second time
and this time she would be leaving. The miles to Sunnydale were literally
the road to hell and back to world where unhappiness was her constant


//it's haunting me, haunting me. leaves us here to get out.
though i don't believe, i don't believe this flavor in my mouth
is from my tongue alone. so bitter I wanna spit it out//

Riley sat slumped on the floor in the corner, nursing his glass of scotch
unable to make the tortured thoughts go away. Buffy was upstairs making love
to a demon, a vampire, and she loved it. She loved him. The spell forced
them to be together but it didn't force her to love him. He knew that the
words she spoke before were not caused by the spell. The truth should have
been easy to grasp: she didn't love him, she loved the demon. But it wasn't
easy and it went down like granite.

Spike wandered over to the broken boy. "I think she's coming right now,"
Spike said over Buffy's screams.

"Why can't you leave me alone?"

"Cause it's fun and I'm evil. And bored," Spike said truthfully. No one else
felt the pain he was feeling except for the shell of a man sitting drunk
against the wall. The moans of passion coming down those stairs were like
splashes of holy water on his skin. He wanted to hurt someone but couldn't.
At least not physically. The second best thing to do was emotionally slash
at Riley, whose sorrow fed him in an endless stream.

"Go away," Riley sputtered but held out his glass for Spike to fill. They
were on their second bottle and it was the last in Angel's supply. Spike
filled Riley's glass halfway, hoping they found the spell and got the hell
out of there before they ran out of scotch.

"Get over it," Spike said, lowering himself to the floor, "She's gone.
There's nothing you can do to get between them now. Believe me, I've tried."

"Why are you still talking to me?" Riley said, closing his eyes, "She's
under a spell. When it's over..."

"Keep tellin' yourself that," Spike's voice taunted, "Maybe you'll bloody
believe after awhile."

"Got the stuff," Xander said, walking in. No one needed to ask them why they
were gone so long. In fact, no one needed to look at their flushed bodies,
either, to figure it out. Xander handed the bag of supplies to Willow and
Tara, who peeked inside.

"Now what?" Cordy said, sitting up from where she had fallen asleep on
Gunn's shoulder.

"There are words to be spoken and a potion to prepare," Giles said, "But
someone's going to have to go in the room with them to do it."

All eyes looked at the floor. Even Spike had no interest in doing it, even
though he would love to see Buffy naked again. Willow finally spoke up, "I
can do it. I'll have to say the spell anyway."

Everyone nodded in agreement. Willow and Tara worked for a half hour to put
the spell together correctly and then doubling over the text to make sure it
was right, Willow stood and sighed.

"Okay," she said in her smallest voice, "Wish me luck."

"Good luck," several voices muttered in staggered reluctance as the
redheaded witch made her way up the stairs. Willow paused outside the door
and knocked firmly.

"Buffy?" She said, through the oak barrier.

"Willow?" Buffy answered.

"Yes," Willow said, "I, I have the potion to cure you guys
but I have to be in there with you to do it. Can you...cover up or

"Just a minute," Angel's low voice rumbled through the door.

Buffy and Angel got beneath the covers quickly. They looked at each other
briefly and Buffy's eyes filled with tears.

"It's okay, love," he said, kissing her forehead, "It's going to be okay."

"Okay, Willow," Buffy called out, filled with tangible sorrow. Buffy's hands
were shaking as one held Angel's under the covers and the other held the
blanket against her naked chest. Willow walked in slowly and looked over at

"This should only take a minute or two," she said, sprinkling a ochre tinted
power around them and the bed. Settling on the floor with a red and a white
candle burning before her, she began chanting a spell in Greek. The foreign
words were halting and slow coming from her mouth but she completed them
without error.

Angel smiled gently at her, knowing she was just as uncomfortable as Buffy
in the awkward situation. He was proud of Willow's pronunciation of the
Greek but couldn't find a way to compliment her without sounding
condescending, so he kept silent. Angel and Buffy felt a sharp pain cover
them and looked down at their clutched hands to see the marks disappear.

"It worked," Buffy said, the tears spilling onto her cheeks, "What if he
loses his soul now?"

"Well, we've already got the spell ready just in case," Willow admitted,
" me know if we need to do it."

"Thanks Willow," Angel said quietly.

"You're welcome. Okay, I'm gonna go back downstairs," Willow said, backing
out of the room. Before Buffy or Angel could say anything else, the door
closed behind the rapidly retreating form. Buffy laid down and gave into the
sobs that racked her body. Angel laid down with her, curling his body and
arms around his beloved, feeling tears form in his own eyes. Exhausted sleep
took them over after a short time and they laid entangled in the arms of
their soul mate, while their friends waited in the lobby below.


//why do i beg like a child for your candy?
why do i come after you like i do?
i love you. wherever you are, i swear, you be my angel. you...//

"Angel," Buffy said, turning over in his arms when she awoke with a start
several hours later. She looked over his peaceful sleeping face and repeated
his name. He would have looked dead to anyone else but that thought never
came in her mind when she saw him sleeping.

"Angel," she repeated, touching his cool face. She watched as his eyes
fluttered open. He gathered her against him and tried to close his eyes
again. He was exhausted and wanted to continue sleeping her arms instead of
facing the reality that faced them.

"Angel!" she said loudly, making him open his eyes again.

"Hi baby," he said, opening his eyes with a sleepy smile.

"I want you to make love to me," she said simply.

"What?" He said, shocked, "You can't...well, you have to be..."

"I am," she said, answering his unfinished question, "But I want to know if
your soul is permanently intact. I have to know."

"This is not a good idea," he said, already feeling his arousal returning.

"Yes, it is. I need to know and Willow has the spell ready downstairs. She
can recurse you if it happens."

"Buffy," Angel said protesting but she silenced him with a passionate his.
He relented, kissing her back deeply. He wanted to know too but he was
afraid. Serious choices would have to be made either way.

"I love you," she said as he entered her gently.

"I love you too, Buffy," he answered, kissing her neck and moving to her
sensitive nipples. He knew he never would be able to get enough of her. He
could make love to her like this forever and he would still want more.

Their lovemaking was a desperate scream inside their souls. The scream was a
warning, threat and promise of sealing or destroying their future together.
Buffy orgasmed again and again beneath her eternal lover, each release a cry
for salvation. She felt his own climax drawing near, having memorized his
movements. She bared her throat for him but was physically stood up.

"Angel," she whispered, "I want you to drink."

"I shouldn't," he said, his eyes flashing yellow.

"If this is the last time, I want you to have it," she said, the tears
betraying her fear of losing him, "Everytime you taste my blood, you become
more a part of me. Please."

He consented, climaxing as her life's essence flowed across his tongue.

//my darling heart, won't you please give in?
i may be strong but i want you back again//

They waited for a long time in each other's arms waiting for his change to
come, unspeaking. The clung desperately to each other, holding fear in both
hands. Finally, Buffy spoke, "You're anchored."

"I'm not sure," he said honestly.

"I am," she said, "It's been, like, three hours and you haven't changed.
You're not going to. You're fine."

"Maybe," he said, hesitantly.

"I don't want to be apart anymore," she said.

"Buffy, we've already been through this," he said, trying to puff his words
with confidence but fell short.

"No, we haven't," she said, "Your soul is intact now."

"That doesn't change anything. I'm still a vampire."

"So what? Who cares? I want to be with you," she said, her eyes pleading,
"That's all I ever wanted. Angel, I'm only happy when I'm with you."

"Me too," he said and it was true. That was why he left to begin with. She
made him too happy, she was too tempting, "But you need to-"

"Shut up! God!" She said, "I love you and you love me. There's nothing else,
just being together. I don't care about a fucking normal life and if you say
it, I'm gonna kill you. I'd rather do that than live through you leaving me

"Buffy, I'm not trying to hurt you," Angel said, digging painfully into her
eyes, "All I ever wanted was your happiness. I promise. I never want you to
waste your life on me."

"It's a waste to be without you. What we have is true and real. Don't take
it away, Angel. You said I make you happy. I know you love me. Stay with me,
be with me...forever this time, for as long as I have to live."


//look at me dreaming of you. all I could hope is to have you,
to have you walking with me. laughing so in love, we two
almost drunkenly i did imbibe of this fantasy of you and me//

Hours passed slowly as the group had nothing to do but wait for Buffy &
Angel to come downstairs. They waited for a sound, a scream or footsteps,
but were granted none. The silence was crushing Riley deeper into the floor
that each second passed without her.

"What the hell is taking so long?" Riley said, ripping his planted feet from
the floor to pace, "Why hasn't she come down here? Are you sure the spell

"Y-yes," Willow said, shocked at the anger flying at her from Riley's
normally kind eyes, "Buffy seemed...upset. Maybe they're talking."

"Yeah, they have a lot to talk about," Xander agreed.

"She was worried that when the spell broke, he would lose his soul."

"Oh bloody terrific," Spike spouted from his place on the floor, "Last thing
I need is my Sire tramping around in here."

"We still can perform the spell if that happens," Tara said quietly.

"Well I hope you can talk fast," Cordy added, "Cause he could kill us all
before you get half of that long ass incantation out!"

"I don't think we need be concerned," Wesley offered.

"Why?" asked Gunn, who was just as worried as everyone else that Angelus
would come down from that room. He was ready to kill him but he wasn't ready
to face The Slayer when he did.

"Because his soul is anchored," Wesley said. The statement got everyone's
attention and they all stared at him waiting for him to finish. "I anchored
it a couple of months ago."

"Why didn't you tell us?" Cordy said, punching his arm and then speaking
loudly over his "Ouch." She punched him again as she spoke, "We've been
worried all day about him coming down here to kill us and you knew the whole

"Well," Wesley said, "I wasn't entirely sure that it worked. I didn't want
to tell you in case it didn't."

"Why did you do that?" Willow asked.

"Angel was drugged by an actress and he reverted Angelus by the effects of
the drugs. It was only for a night but it terrified me. He nearly killed us
and I decided that we couldn't risk that happening again, so I looked for a
spell to anchor his soul. I didn't want to have to face his soulless half

"You should have told Buffy," Xander shouted, moving toward Wesley.

"I wasn't sure..." Wesley said weakly.

"You should have told Angel," Giles said, "He deserved to know someone was
performing dangerous magicks on him."

"Yeah, Wes," Gunn said joining in the ganging up on Wesley, "You should have
told Angel, but I'm glad you did it."

"Me too," Willow said, with a gentle smile.

"Should have told Angel what?" Angel asked coming down the stairs, fully
dressed and showered, holding Buffy's hand.

"Yes and what's with all the yelling?" Buffy asked. Her eyes falling on
Riley's tortured ones.

"Finally," Cordy said, sagging back against the counter with a sigh.

"Are you two alright?" Giles asked.

"Yeah, we're fine. Why is everyone yelling?" Buffy asked again.

"I anchored your soul, Angel," Wesley admitted quickly.

"What?" Angel said, "Why didn't you tell me? Do you have any idea what you
put us through?"

"Do you have any idea what *you* put *us* through?" Riley snapped. Everyone
in the room knew what "us" Riley was referring to.

//what you are is the beast in a lover's arms. what you are is the devil in
the sweet, sweet kiss. what you are is missing a piece. what you are is a
puzzle to me.//

"That wasn't his fault," Buffy said, "The spell..."

"Whatever," Riley said, storming from the room. He knew it was over and he
didn't want to wait to hear her say it out loud. She was holding Angel's
hand. She wasn't forced to touch him anymore and she was still was. That was
all the explanation he needed.


//sleep to dream her. i know i'll miss her later.
wish i could bend my love to hate her, wish i could be her creator to twist
her arms now//

Buffy ran out into the sunshine after Riley and only then, did she realize
that it was morning again. She was wiped out and starving, but she needed to
take care of one little emergency at a time. Angel watched her go, knowing
that he couldn't follow even if he wanted to. If she wanted to leave with
Riley, he couldn't stop her. Not that he could ever stop The Slayer from
doing what she wanted to do anyway.

"Riley!" she called. Against his will, Riley stopped. He didn't want to hear
what she had to say but he needed to hear it. It would be the only closure
he had to losing her.


"I'm...I'm sorry, Riley. I never meant for this to happen."

"But you're going back to him anyway?"

"Yes," she answered, "I didn't want to hurt you."

"Too late for that," he said angrily, "I love you Buffy. But you don't love
me, do you?"

"No, I don't and I'm sorry. I love Angel. I always have. I know it's not
fair to you."

"Would have been helpful to know this before I fell in love with you. You
could have just told me you would always love him." The word "him" sounded
like a curse coming out of Riley's mouth and his eyes were filled with pain.

"I didn't know that I wouldn't be able to love you," she said, "I thought
you could help me get over him. I care about you. I thought I could fall in
love with you."

"But you couldn't."


//oh, but the deed is done and the girl is gone
i see no faith that i have won//

"Go back to your vampire and leave me alone, Buffy," Riley said, turning
away and walking towards his SUV.


"No, don't say anything else. You can't make it better." He climbed inside,
gunned the engine and drove away. Tears washed over his face as he drove out
of sight. He drove for three miles before he pulled over and gave into
helpless sobs with one thought repeating itself in his mind - He had lost


//my love, my love, we'll beat back the pain we've found
you know i mean to tell you all the things i've been thinking
deep inside, my friend, each moment the more i love you.//

No one spoke to Angel or to each other as Buffy ran outside to catch Riley.
Angel stood on the landing, looking out into the dangerous sunshine. If she
didn't come back, he was going out there, he decided. He couldn't live with
the pain of losing her. Not again. It was a dozen small steps to salvation.
All this living with guilt, grieving, pain would be over. He watched the
door as the seconds passed, feeling everyone's eyes clawing into his back.
He waited, unable to focus on anything but the blinding light crawling
through the glass.

Buffy jogged back inside and nearly collided with her lover as she hurried
back inside. She stopped and looked up at him, drinking in his beauty and
his uncertainty. He wasn't sure if the love pouring out her eyes was
actually what he saw. Maybe she had changed her mind somewhere in the
blinding day. They stared at each other for long moments until finally she
said, "I'm back."

"Thank God," he said, the words gushing with emotion. He pulled her into his
arms and kissed her deeply. When they broke apart again, she smiled up at
him, "Feed me. I'm starving."

He smiled back and they turned to face the crowd. "Can we keep the PDA to a
minimum now?" Cordy asked, with a smile.

"Sure," Angel mumbled, "Um...sorry guys."

"Yeah, me too," Buffy said, "Anyone have any food."

"Worked up an appetite, did we?" Spike said.

His last couple words were drowned out as the entire room chorused, "Shut
up, Spike!"

blood through my veins for you
you alone have all of me
i give my world to you

The End.

Please let me know what you thought! Cheers, Tango


The Challenge

Courtesy of Soulgaluk:

Set in Season 5. Buffy, Riley & Angel are hunting a big nasty together in LA
(reason B & R are here- up to you)When a man brushes part Buffy & Angel &
leaves them with a small mark
(a la Vocah marking Cordelia) the "Mark of Animosus" the mark of estranged
lovers causing an uncontrollable lust for each other -which is lethal to


-Buffy & Angel unable to stop touching each other- literally!
-The Sunnydale Gang & A-Team teaming up together
-Spike constantly taunting Riley over Angel being with Buffy
-Buffy & Angel practically running to Angel's bedroom & staying there for
over 12 hours *G* i.e. most of the fiction
-If Buffy & Angel aren't touching etc it physically hurts them
-Anya giving very in-depth descriptions of the symptoms of people suffering
from Animosus's mark (all sexual)
-Cordelia, or Anya ID-ing the "man" as Animosus (literally meaning "ardent,
passionate furious love") -a devoted servant of Aphrodite (Greek Goddess of
Love) who has infected them. He pushes
past estranged lovers, re-uniting their passion which is so strong they
cannot ignore.
-The lust will not go away unless they can remove the marks but they cannot
get near Buffy & Angel, so they have to find Animosus & Aphrodite
-An NC-17 rating- big surprise
-The two teams must save Angel & Buffy without any help from Buffy & Angel
-Buffy & Angel coming out of the bedroom at the end complaining about the