Want, Take, Have by Tango


E-MAIL: Tangofic@hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Of course.
SPOILERS: Help! I'm stuck in Season Four and I can't get out! For some
reason, I can't get around ideas that involve Angel coming between Buffy &
Riley, so I hope you like them too. This occurs at the end of Season 4.
Wolfram & Hart have broken Faith out of prison to get her help to do a
little damage to Buffy & Angel.
DISTRIBUTION: Of course. Please just let me know.
FEEDBACK: Yes, yes, yes! Please!
RATING: NC-17 (lots of smutty goodness headed your way *g*)(eventually, but
not in this section)
LYRICS: All lyrics are from Cake


//you part the waters,
the same ones that i'm drowning in.
you lead your casual slaughters,
and i'm the one who helps you win.//

Faith woke up, sitting in a chair or actually, tied to one. She blinked her
eyes, trying to break from the groggy feeling that came from being drugged.
She scooted around in the chair, pulling against the ropes and finding she
was effectively trapped.

"Good," Lilah said, perching on the edge of a large desk, "You're awake."

"I'm supposed to be in jail," Faith answered, wanting to rub her head,
wanting to move her hands. She looked down at the ropes holding her,
wondering if she would be able to break them once she revived herself

"They're nylon," Lilah said, crossing her legs and smiling, "Five thousand
pounds of pressure couldn't break those babies."

"What, so you're pissed that I didn't kill Angel?" Faith said, leaning
against the chair and trying to breath evenly but everything seemed so slow
and crooked.

"The partners are very disappointed in the way the whole thing played out,"
Lilah said, "We never actually thought you would kill him. We hoped you
would succeed in helping him lose his soul or that the other Slayer would
come and accomplish the deed. In the end, you cost us money, and Angel is
still alive *with* his soul."

"Untie me," Faith said, struggling weakly against her bindings, "I'll help
you fix this."

"Oh yeah," Lilah said nodding, "I'm gonna trust you. After sobbing in the
vampire's arms like a child and willingly turning yourself over to the
police, you expect us to believe that you can be trusted? God, we thought
you were a force to reckoned with. A Slayer, for crying out loud."

"So, are you going to kill me or what? I guess you didn't break me out of
prison to bore me to death with lectures on how you're disappointed in me,

"You're right, Faith," Lilah said, hopping down from the desk and landing
soundly on her high heels, before pivoting to pace condescendingly around
the room, "We didn't break you out of jail to lecture you. You are going to
help us fix this mess."

"How?" Faith asked, shivering as the drugs began to work their way out of
her system.

"Well," Lilah said, nodding at the door, "You're going to do a little
legwork for us. You can get close enough to Buffy and Angel to administer a
little soup we've worked up. If you don't fail, then we might let you

"The cops are going to be looking for me," Faith protested, looking up at
the guard who was carrying a large syringe in his hand.

"No," Lilah said, as the guard pressed the needle into her skin, "They think
you're dead."


//she'll pull out your feathers for her brand new hat,
and when she's done that she'll feed you to her cat.
so watch out. she ain't no good for you.//

Angel was draped in pleasant sleep for the first time in weeks. Although
Cordelia's couch was far from ideal for a man of his size, the vampire was
exhausted and could've slept fitfully anywhere tonight. His friends were
finally safe, he had somewhat reconciled with Buffy and Faith was tucked
safely behind bars. This was the first time he felt he could sleep without
keeping one eye open since Faith had shown up on his doorstep. Which is why
the knocking on the door was having a hard time breaking into his deep

"Damn," he muttered as he opened his eyes and looked briefly at Cordelia's
ceiling before rising to answer the door. He backed up slowly to avoid the
sunlight and was immediately attached to the trembling form of a hysterical

"Faith," Angel said, swinging the door closed and prying her tearful face
from his bare chest, "Why aren't you in jail?"

"Wolfram & H-h-hart," she heaved, reattaching herself to him, "they broke me
out, going to kill me for not killing you."

Grabbing her shoulders and pulling her an arm's length from himself and
steered her to a chair. When she was seated, he backed up to sit on the
edge of the couch, "Tell me what happened."

"Angel," Faith sniffed, "I'm so scared. They drugged me. I'm not sure what
they gave me but I feel funny. They said that I had to help them. They
said the cops think I'm dead."

Angel's first impulse was to call Kate and check out her story, but
remembered that Kate hated him now. He couldn't call Kate. His second
impulse was to call Willow to see if she could help determine what kind of
drugs were in Faith's system, except Willow equaled Buffy and he couldn't
call there either. He sighed heavily and wished he was still sleeping,
wrapped in a world of reuniting with Buffy, instead of looking at the tear
stained cheeks of the other Slayer.

"What did they ask you to do?" He asked, leaning back to listen, pretending
to not be on edge with her. Angel was aware that there are very few
absolutes in the world, but there were some: Vampires would always be
undead, the sun would always rise and set, he would always love Buffy and
Faith could never, ever be trusted.

Angel watched wearily as Faith crossed the room and perched on the couch
next to him, leaning closely in her prison jumper. He took the opportunity
to turn and face her, while moving back, trying to keep a large space
between them.

"They want me to try to kill you," she said, looking wildly around the room,
"again. Angel, I don't know what to do. Please help me."

"It's okay, Faith," he answered, his deep voice filling the room with warmth
and safety. He almost flinched as she flung herself into his arms and began
sobbing on his chest once more. He did flinch when the needle pierced his
skin. His eyes widened as he shoved her away, causing her to topple roughly
to the floor.

"Faith!" He yelled, pulling himself to his feet, swaying on weakening legs.

"Don't worry, Angel," she answered, rising to her feet as well and wiping
the tears from her face and replacing her look of despair with a cool smile.

"What the hell did you give me?" He shouted, stumbling closer to her, hoping
the sound of his voice woke Cordelia.

"You're gonna love this," she whispered as she watched him fall, "So will


//to me, coming from you, friend is a four letter word.
end is the only part of the word that i heard.//

Buffy was on patrol. Far from content, since she wasn't sure what content
was anymore, but she was okay - truly okay - tonight. Adam was dead, the
First Slayer was no longer trying to kill her friends in their dreams, Faith
was in jail and Riley had successfully disentangled himself from the
military. Things were definitely *okay.*

And the night was quiet. The air seemed to part easily for her as she
walked, the night seemed to be sleeping, barely shifting at her approach.
She almost smiled with the peacefulness of her surroundings and turned out
of the park to head home. Now that the semester was over, she was looking
forward to spending a couple of nights at home in her bed, hanging with her
mom a little bit and doing some bonafide girly things.

"Buffy," a female voice said, slicing through the peace and causing her to
look to her left.

"Faith," Buffy spat angrily, moving into a defensive stance without even
considering another option.

"I...need your help," she said with tears welling in her eyes.

"That's funny," Buffy said, narrowing her eyes at the other Slayer, "Why the
hell would I help you? And why aren't you in jail?"

"The law firm," she answered, "staged my death and broke me out. They
said...they said I had to help them kill Angel."

Buffy's eyes widened and she took several large steps closer to Faith,
"Where's Angel?" she demanded. Buffy knew that Angel was still alive. She
would have felt it already if he died. Even though her instincts told her
she was right, she still found herself worrying that maybe she wasn't.

"He's in LA," Faith answered, "I tried to warn him but he told me to leave."

"Well, that's a surprise," Buffy drawled, "Cause you've been so trustworthy
all this time."

"Buffy," Faith said, taking a feigned timid step closer, "I'm really scared.
They drugged me with something and I feel...I don't know...funny. I came
here so you could stop me from..." Faith tapered off and looked desperately
at the only girl in the world powerful enough to stop her.

"Stop you from what?!" Buffy yelled as terror filled her.

"Killing him, hurting someone else...I don't know," she said. Faith took a
step forward and stopped, began to waver and clutched her head violently.
Buffy stared at her, trying to weigh her options. Faith did look a
little...less than Faith. She was still clad in her prison clothes, her
hair was tangled and her face was streaked with tears and dirt. She looked
terrified. In spite of her nagging better judgment, Buffy began to feel
sorry for her.

"We'll walk to Giles'," Buffy said, "And you're going to let us tie you up
until we figure this out."

Faith nodded without speaking and stepped towards her. Buffy made sure
there was a good space between them as they walked and kept one eye peeled
on the dark haired girl. She couldn't help but notice that Faith was
shaking and looked genuinely afraid. In fact, the longer they walked, the
more she began to believe the story, the more she thought about what the
truth had to be in the situation and the less she watched Faith, which is
why she didn't notice the syringe in Faith's hand until it was too late.

Buffy turned and kicked Faith away, rubbing her arm as she moved, "What the
hell did you inject me with?"

"A little gift from Wolfram & Hart," Faith said as she stood and dusted
herself off.

"What was in it?" Buffy asked, feeling her limbs begin to grow heavy as she
tried to move forward.

"Don't worry, B," Faith said, smiling, "it's going to be fun."


//i can feel the pressure building high.
you should see you're headed for a storm//

"Angel!" Cordelia yelled as she slapped his unconscious face for the third
time. As she moved to hit him a fourth time, he reached up and grabbed her
hand in mid swing.

"I'm awake," he said, blinking himself awake, "You can stop hitting me now."

"Why are you on the floor?" she asked, kneeling by his side in her pajamas,
"I thought I heard you yell before."

"Yeah," he said, rubbing his head while he sat up, "I was yelling at Faith."

"Faith!" Cordy said, moving back to give him room, "She was here?"

"She drugged me," he groaned, pulling himself onto the couch again. He
quickly surveyed the feelings that were raging through his body. His head
was fuzzy, thoughts far from clear. He knew he had fallen and hit his head,
remembered his conversation with Faith, but mostly he remembered his fear
for Buffy's life. He fell asleep with a desperate need to get to his mate
and woke with the same urgent feeling.

"With what?"

"I don't know," he said, "But she mentioned Buffy. I think she's going
after her. I have to get to Sunnydale."

"You don't even know what she drugged you with," Cordy said, standing up,
"You could pass out on the highway or turn evil or...anything could happen.
I don't think you should go."

"If I was going to turn evil," Angel said, eyes darkening with irritation,
"Don't you think I would already be evil?"

"Guess I'd be dead already," she muttered sitting down on the couch next to

"Right," he said, nodding, "Besides, if something *does* go wrong. Not
saying that it will but if it does, I should be around a Slayer who can stop

Cordelia didn't argue with that logic, but she did feel a dark sense of
dread filling her heart. Angel didn't look evil and he didn't sound evil,
but there was a glint in his eyes that sent fear into her heart. She
couldn't place what it was, but it was frightening. Something was coming
and soon.


//always through such strong resistance//

When Buffy woke up, she opened her eyes with alarm and looked around her,
feeling a pounding in her head almost immediately. Three large bodies were
moving toward her and she scrambled to her feet, feeling for the stake, that
thankfully, was still in her pocket.

"Slayer," one of vampires sneered, feeling confident and unstoppable with
his two brethren at his side. He was certain that the Slayer could not take
them all. And she looked dazed. He idly wondered what had knocked her out
as he moved closer. Pity they hadn't reached her a few minutes before when
she was still unconscious. But what was the fun in that?

"If I had a penny for every time a vampire said that," she said, not
bothering to finish her sentence as she gripped her stake. Three vamps and
one Slayer who could barely gather her senses did not equal good.

"Feeling okay Slayer?" He asked with a smile as he walked closer to her,
loving the smell of fear that was radiating from the small blonde warrior.

"Fine enough to kill you," she bluffed, trying not to betray the tremors
moving through her body as she smiled back at him and kicked him in the
face. All three rushed in at once and something felt vaguely familiar about
them as two held her and the third began approaching her neck. The
movements were exactly like those of The Three the first time Angel saved
her life.

"Good dogs don't bite," she whispered involuntarily as he neared her throat.
Any strength she had woke with seemed to drain from her body with her
words, escaping into the memory and the realization that she was going to
die. She wasn't even sure if these creatures were real or part of a drugged
hallucination but she struggled against him, feeling a scream grating inside
her throat.

She felt Angel coming and knew that he was going to be too late to save her.
His nearness was whipping at her body, leaving marks on her skin that she
was sure would be visible if she looked down. She struggled against the
vice grips on her body but found the drugs had taken more than just
strength, but seemed to take ability to follow through with her movements.

The lead vampire lowered closer and closer to her skin until his teeth were
nearly grazing her skin, when he noticed Angel's mark. He pulled away and
looked at it with confusion. It wasn't just a vampire *bite*, it was a
*mark*. All vampires knew the difference. It was in the placement on the
skin, the exactness, the neatness of the scar.

"She's marked," he said, looking into her eyes, to his friends and then to
her neck with confusion.

"She's the Slayer," one of them growled, "Kill her."

"No," she screamed, kicking out and sending him flying back and away from
her neck. One of the lesser vamps, wasted no time leaning in and digging
in. The second joined him, followed closely by the third, biting her neck
above the mark and taking in her powerful blood.

"Angel!" she screamed, struggling to get them to release her even as they
drank, causing their fangs to tear her neck, digging deep holes which became
larger with each movement. One vamp turned to dust, causing the other two to
release her immediately. Buffy watched the battle before her with half
interest, feeling the three new bites on her neck. The second vamp turned
to dust and the third took that opportunity to escape, running into the

"Damn," Faith muttered as she watched the third disappear into the dark.

Buffy looked up at her savior with confusion, feeling heavier with drugs and
the loss of blood, "Why did you save me?"

"You can't die...yet," Faith said, tossing the stake into Buffy's lap, "It's
not part of the plan until later, B."

Buffy climbed to her feet as Faith disappeared in the trees in the opposite
direction as the runaway vamp. Turning, she moved toward Giles' flat again.
Each step was like quick sand as she went, trying to keep a grasp on her
consciousness long enough to get to her Watcher.


//i hope i've got a little more time.
i hope it's not the end of the line.//

Giles was already waiting for Buffy to arrive when she was carried through
the door by Riley. He quickly assessed the situation. Buffy's neck was
covered with blood, which signified multiple vampire bites and by the
frenzied look on her boyfriend's face, he clearly knew that Faith was here
as well.

"Buffy," Giles said, after closing the door, "Are you alright?"

"Yes," she said, nodding with uncertainty.

"Riley," Giles said, "The first aid kit it under the sink. Unless you feel
you should be taken to the hospital?"

"No," she said, shaking her head, "I'm okay. They didn't take that much."

Buffy looked up at her concerned Watcher and launched into her story, as
Riley began tending to her wounds. She felt his hands shaking with either
concern or anger, probably both, as he gently washed away the blood,
cleaning out the holes in her skin. When she was finished with her story,
she leaned back on Riley, who held her gently. She closed her eyes, feeling
Angel's closeness more vibrantly with each breath.

"I talked to Wesley," Giles said, looking at her, bracing himself for her
reaction to the news, "Faith visited Angel as well, just as she told you,
but Cordelia says that he was drugged too."

"Is he okay?" Buffy asked, feeling Riley stiffen against her at the mention
of Angel's name.

"Yes," Giles said, "At least we think so. He's on his way here. Cordelia
said that he wanted to be near you in case something should happen...so you
could stop him."

She nodded mutely and then looked up at Giles, "If I was given the same
drug...if something happens..."

"Willow is on her way over now," Giles answered, trying to quell her fears,
"She's going to take a blood sample from you and one from Angel when he
arrives. Wesley and Cordelia will be on their way shortly to help in anyway
that they can. We'll resolve this, Buffy."

"Giles," Buffy said, moving to the edge of the couch, "We've got to find
Faith. She's out there free. She could be anywhere."

"Yes," he said, nodding. He quickly searched his mind for a solution when
there was a urgent rap on his door. Angel stood at the threshold, looking
less than normal, which matched the less than normal Buffy was currently

"Giles," Angel said, "Can I come in?"

Giles nodded without speaking, knowing the vampire did not need his
permission to enter. Standing aside, Angel walked in as Buffy rose to her
feet. She began to fall and Riley stood quickly to steady her. A deep
growl rumbled off of Angel and at first Buffy thought it was because he saw
Riley touching her but he crossed the small expanse of room to touch her

"What happened?" Angel growled, feeling the demon inside him screaming in
anger at the idea of another vampire daring to bite his mate.

"Faith drugged me too," she answered, "and I passed out. When I woke up, I
was attacked by three vampires. They almost didn't bite me cause they said
I was marked."

"How did you get away?" He asked, looking briefly at Riley.

"Faith saved me," she said, shaking her head in confusion, "She said I
wasn't supposed to die yet."

"Yet!" Angel echoed furiously, feeling anger for the harm of his mate
filling him, "I'm going to kill her."

"What happened to saving her?" Buffy asked with eyes flashing with residual
anger from their previous conversation in LA.

"I'm over that," he said, trying to calm himself and touching her neck.
Riley pulled her back to sit on the couch and out of Angel's range of touch
when Willow walked in followed by Tara, Anya and Xander.


//but if i had to choose a number,
i'd want it to be number one.
i don't want to be number two.//

Willow was intently studying the blood samples with what looked like a
dervish of complicated chemistry homework and just the sight of it made
Xander tired. He turned to face the room and looked on as Angel and Riley
glared at each other while intermittently looking over the woman they both
loved with concern. Wesley and Cordelia's arrival had added a greater
tension to the room and he was wondering what he had done to deserve the
gift of his ex's arrival. The whole room was making him tired.

"So," he said, plopping down in a chair, "How are we gonna stop the looney

"I think we should start patrolling," Angel answered, standing to his feet.
He felt a wild restlessness filling him with each second that ticked by.
Watching Riley fawn over his mate was making him crazy, as was the knowledge
that there was a lone vampire out there buzzing off the stolen Slayer's

"Angel," Wesley said, crossing the room, "I think we should wait until we
have the results of the blood work."

"I'm tired of waiting," Angel said, losing patience with the room, knowing
Buffy felt the same way. He had been glowering at Buffy's patience wearing
thin all this time. She looked like she was ready to explode any minute.

"I'm tire of waiting too," Buffy said, standing as well, "Faith is out there
doing God knows what and we're waiting here. We should be doing something
before she kills someone."

Angel was right, Buffy was ready to explode and she couldn't sit with Riley
petting her one more damn second. Every time he touched her, she felt her
skin itch with Angel's displeasure. Primal desire for each other was
commuting between the two soul mates from across the room and the
antediluvian compulsion to hunt was captivating both of them. Their base
predatory structures were rising to the surface as they felt a lust for the
kill take over all other feelings.

"Buffy," Giles said, joining Wesley's side, "I think that Wesley is right.
We should wait for the results before you two go out. We may need to
prepare an antidote."

"Giles," Buffy said, feeling anger she didn't understand taking over her
body, "I *have* to get out of here. I need fresh air."

"I think the drugs you were given may have something to do with what you are
feeling. Please wait a little bit longer. I'm sure that Willow will be
done with her research shortly."

Buffy nodded and with a great amount of irritation answered, "Fine."

Angel paced to the window and then turned around look on Buffy and her lover
once more. Even when he was fighting Riley a couple of weeks ago, he didn't
feel what he was feeling now. Now he felt an almost irresistible urge to
rip his throat out. Buffy was shying away from his touches, was no longer
leaning against the boy but away from him and the new turn had not escaped
Riley's notice either.

"What I want to know," Riley said, feeling the tension of the room soaking
into him, "Is what that vampire meant when he said that Buffy was ‘marked.'"

A low growl escaped Angel making the room tingle with fear and Buffy stood
again, preparing for the fight that would inevitably break out. She knew
what being marked meant. Not because it was ever explained to her but
because she had figured out a long time ago why that scar and no other ever
stayed on her body. Her enhanced healing abilities had removed all other
wounds from her body but scar remained and tingled from the memory of her

"Angel," Buffy said quietly in answer to his growl. She saw the anger
rising up in him and buffered it into herself.

"He wants to know, love," Angel said, knowing full well that his beloved had
figured it out a long time ago.

"Yeah, I do," Riley said, standing as well, feeling his hackles rise at the
sound of the undead calling his girlfriend "love."

"It's simple, really," Angel said, his voice resonating so close to a growl
that Buffy could almost hear it slamming against her soul.

"Angel," Buffy repeated, her voice low and her eyes digging into him.

"Would you prefer to tell him, baby?" Angel said, smiling cruelly and then
turning the smile on Riley, "See, Finn, when a vampire bites someone,
usually the intent is to kill. But if they want to make that person a
possession, mate...or a minion, they mark the body of the human, showing
other vampires that the person in question belongs to them."

"Marking your territory," Cordelia said from across the room in obvious
anger, "Like a dog pissing on a fire hydrant?"

"Essentially," Angel said with a cold, nearly insane smile, "I marked my

"Your territory?" Riley asked, blazing with anger, "Is that what you think
Buffy is? Your minion?"

"She's not my minion," Angel answered, stepping closer to Buffy, equalizing
the distance between them, creating a triangle, "She's my mate."

"Not anymore," Riley said as the rest of the room braced themselves for
violence. Riley wanted to reach out to Buffy and pull her into his side to
prove his words were true but one glance at the arboreal look in her eyes
told him that a different course of action would be advisable.

"Yes," Angel purred, sweeping his mate's body with his eyes, causing her to
shiver, "She's still mine. Tell him the truth, love. Don't you think he
deserves it?"

Buffy tried to break the feelings that were coursing through her, feelings
which Angel had since stopped trying to fight. The drugs, whatever they
were, were taking over and making her care less and less about everyone in
the room except for the darkly sexy vampire standing mere feet from here.
She could almost feel his skin beneath her fingertips, could almost feel his
arms around her. Everyone in the room was staring at them, except for
Willow, who was immersed in science.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Riley shouted, not allowing Buffy the
time to answer. He didn't want her to answer. He knew he would regret it
for the rest of his life if she did.

"She belongs to me," Angel said, voicing the growl he had held in until now,
"Always has."

"Then why is she with me?" Riley shot back, his eyes an icy blue tangible

"Because I allow her to be," he answered, feeling as if Angelus was steering
his words and only sheer will was keeping him from the kill.

"Angel," Wesley said, stepping slightly closer, "Please calm down.
Remember, you are under the influence of some substance that is making you
feel this way."

"It's always been true, Wes. Drugs are just letting me tell the truth,"
Angel said, looking briefly at the ex-watcher, before raking his eyes over
Buffy's body again, who was shaking violently now, trying to keep her

"What's always been true?" Xander asked, standing as well, more to be able
to move himself out of harm's way when it arrived than anything else, "That
Buffy *belongs* to you? What is this? Some kinda primal thing?"

"Y-yes," Buffy answered, finally breaking her silence. She never felt like
she belonged to Angel before. Never felt anything but pure love for him.
Tonight she knew. He was hers. She was his. Soul mates and equally primal
possessions of each other, drawn toward darkness together. She couldn't
stay with Riley. He couldn't handle the domination of the night that
controlled her and her mate. There was nothing in the naivete of Riley's
human mind that could grasp the reality of the shadows that swallowed her

"What?" Riley gasped incredulously, glancing over at Angel's gleaming smile
before looking back at Buffy.

"He marked me to show that I'm his mate," Buffy said nodding at the floor,
"He belongs to me as well. His mark isn't visible but it's there."

As she spoke, she moved toward her mate, touching his chest briefly and his
arm came up to land on her small hip possessively. Giving into the power of
whatever drug she had been administered, she leaned against Angel and faced
the room.

"He left me because it was too dangerous to stay," she explained, looking at
her boyfriend with the last shred of caring she had left for him and the
rest of the room. Strangely, she no longer cared about the danger that had
seemed so important before. She felt Angel pressing against her, sliding
his hand over her lower belly and pulling her in tighter. His large hand
intimately spanned the whole of her width. He leaned in and kissed her neck
gently, landing on the unbroken skin of her scar and raised his eyes to
Riley as his lips touched her skin.

"These other bite marks will fade," Angel said, pulling the bandages from
her neck gently, "but mine will remain."

"Forever," she whispered as everyone looked to see that they had started to
heal already, seeming to dim next to the gleaming mark that Angel had left
there. Her little word caused a shiver to ripple through the room. She
didn't move as Angel removed the bandages and kissed puncture, as if he were
trying to remove the stain of the other vampires' teeth from her perfect

"Buffy," Giles said firmly, causing her to snap her eyes over to her
Watcher, "Please think clearly. You have been drugged."

"I know, Giles," Buffy purred, leaning her head against Angel's broad
shoulder, "I can feel it inside me. It's like velvet."

"Buffy," Riley said in a panic, "Come over here. To me."

"What part of ‘mate' did you not understand?" Angel asked with a smile,
relishing in the feel of her burrowing against him, filling him with warmth
that he had gone without for so long.

"Angel," Cordelia snapped angrily, "You are out of your gourd. Let go of
Buffy and think for a minute. Willow's almost done figuring this out.
Right, Willow? Willow?"

"Huh?" Willow said, looking up from the multicolored vials in front of her.

"Are you almost done? I know you're all with the science right now and not
paying attention, but people are losing their damn minds in here."

"Yes," she said, looking back down, "Almost done. There's a magickcal
element here along with a medical one, so it's taking a little longer to
puzzle it out."

"Let me be the first to say ‘duh'," Xander said, looking back at Buffy and

"Angel," Buffy sighed, rubbing the hand that covered her torso, "I wanna go
out. Tired of waiting."

"‘Kay baby," he said, tickling her ear with his lips. Pivoting, he moved
with her toward the door.

"Wait!" Giles yelled, hurrying across the room but was met with the closed
door as the lovers escaped.


//you're drinking what they're selling.
your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
your chaos won't convert them.
they're so happy to rebuild it.
you'll never really kill it.//

Faith climbed in the back of a nondescript black car once she reached the
street and faced Lilah, who was sipping a glass of wine with a brilliant
smile on her face.

"The shamans say that the spells are in motion," Lilah said, "Good job."

"Yeah, whatever," Faith answered, "Are you done with me now? Cause I need a
shower and I have to get out of these clothes."

"Not quite," Lilah said, "But we have a room for you at the hotel across
town, where you will be guarded. We gathered some of your clothes and they
are waiting there for you. You can shower and change there."

"What else do you want me to do?" Faith said in irritation, tossing two
empty syringes at the lawyer, "I did what you asked."

"Yes," Lilah said nodding, "And I said ‘good job.' Now we only require a
few simple things from you. I'll tell you about those later. Right now,
we'll just sit back and watch the magick work."

"I hate you fucking people," Faith said as the car began to roll through the
streets of Sunnydale.

"Yes, well," Lilah said emptying her glass with a smile, "Most people do."


Chapter 2


//to resist it is useless
it is useless to resist it//

Angel and Buffy walked away from Giles apartment with dark power coursing
through them so violently that they felt almost impervious. Their eyes
smoldered, pulsing the air around them. Holding hands, they strutted away
from sanity and toward a whole new world of inconsequence.

"Thank you," Buffy said into the heated summer air, "I couldn't stand being
in there one more second."

"Tell me about it," Angel said, allowing his hand to glide over her ass with
a smile, "Where do you want to go?"

"I want to shower and change," Buffy said, looking down at her dirty, ripped
clothing, "Then we can go have some fun."

"Sounds good," Angel said, imagining the shower with a gleam of pleasure.
They turned toward her house in unison, their steps making one sychronized
sound on the concrete. Their thoughts and emotions seemed to ravel and
unravel together, keeping on the same wave of lunacy. The full moon shone
down on them, crying out in a scream, filling them with power and more
power. Neither of them had ever felt so free, so without mercy, so
blissfully certain of what they wanted and how they planned to obtain it.


//yeah you don't love me like i love you.
although you pretend,
i can see this will end.//

"I got it," Willow said to the stunned group, standing up from her seat and
stretching briefly before launching into her explanation, "The drug is
partially medical and partially magickal, as I said before."

"What is it's purpose?" Giles asked, cleaning his glasses quickly and
returning them to his face, only to see that Wesley was doing the same

"Yeah, cause Angel was acting all Angelus like," Xander said, "And Buffy was

"No kidding," Cordy muttered, catching a look of surprise from Xander for
her agreement with him.

"It's seems to be about invincibility," Willow said, "Not *being* invincible
but thinking they are. It dims reasoning and brings out primal feelings. A
de-civilizing drug, I guess. I think it urges them away from caring about
anything but their base desires."

"That explains a lot," Wesley said, nodding.

"Can you create an antidote?" Giles asked.

"Probably," Willow said, glancing briefly at Tara in askance, who nodded
gently, "But it'll take awhile."

"Great," Cordy sighed, dropping to the couch, "Who's gonna make sure the
super couple can't hurt people?"

"And what about Faith?" Xander asked. Both questions were met with silence.
With two Slayers gone rogue and one vampire on their side, the
possibilities for carnage were limitless.


//call me morbid or absurd. but to me, coming from you friend is a four
letter word//

Faith showered and dressed, already feeling better. She looked out the
peephole to see two guards standing outside her door. She craned her head
and stood on her tiptoes, trying to size them up through the tiny hole.
From her fish bowl view, it looked like they were both armed and probably
not human.

Without thinking twice, as was her way, Faith opened the door and started
fighting. The guards were chosen carefully for their ability to defend
themselves and were ordered to kill The Slayer if necessary. They were very
well trained and were nearly able to take her out, but after ten minutes of
loud fighting and the discharge of a weapon, which caused doors to open up
and down the hallway and curious eyes to peer out, Faith knocked them both
out. And ran out of the hotel.

She was met with two other thugs outside of the hotel, waiting for her in
the event that something like this would happen. Not stopping to fight
them, she dodged them and went running into the night toward Giles'
apartment. She took the long way so she could keep from being followed,
tracking through two cemeteries and about ten different backyards. Finally,
breathing heavily and terrified, she knocked on Giles' door.


//we're always on this roller coaster,
if you want me, why can't you get closer//

In the Summers' house, once the bathroom door closed, Angel's lips were
devouring Buffy's, biting at her lips, sucking her tongue urgently into his
mouth. He ripped away her clothes as he kissed her, dropping them in shreds
on the floor. She, in turn, was yanking his clothes from his body, baring
his skin to her touch. He reached between her legs and roughly felt her
sex, delving into her dripping heat and causing a loud moan of pleasure to
escape from her mouth into his. He pushed her against the closed door and
entered her, wrapping her legs around him as he thrust wildly inside her.

"Angel," she cried out as he brutally pressed her into the door, "Oh God."

"Buffy," he growled as he sucked one of her tempting nipples into his mouth.
She clawed at his back, leaving long lines of blood behind as she bucked
against him, craving his growls, which grew louder.

"Fuck me," she rasped, "harder."

He roared into motion, grabbing her ass with both hands as he moved harder
inside her, splintering the oak door behind them. The curse forgotten, with
only the most base of desires in his mind, he impressioned her into the
door, holding her weight with ease. His urgency was prodded with the
thought of her fucking Riley and Parker, of being touched by other men who
were not worthy of her. His body pistoned against hers while his mind
filled with bloody thoughts of revenge against the men who dared touch his

Buffy pressed back against her demon lover with the same urgency. Her mind
clouded by lust and want, she didn't think of the curse either. She wanted
nothing more for him to erase the memory of Riley and Parker, scarcely able
to believe that she had ever been with anyone but him. She rocked him
inside her deeper, crying out as he moved, as if each movement was a


//i am intrinsically no good
i have a heart that's made of wood
i am only biding time
only reciting memorized lines//

Giles scrutinized Faith, who was standing awkwardly near the door, preparing
to flee at any second. He hadn't her trusted in a very long time didn't
plan to start now. She looked genuinely afraid and nervous to him, but
Buffy & Angel had said much the same thing about her too. He decided to
proceed with caution.

"Faith," Giles said, with one hand on his hip, waving his glasses at her
with the other, "I certainly hope you don't expect us to be stupid enough to
believe your story."

"Look Giles," she said, "I know I messed up but they're going to kill me. I
drugged Buffy and Angel. I admit it, but for real now - I want to help."

"Giles," Xander said, looking around the room for a weapon, "She's just
going to try to kill one of us. Who are you supposed to drug this time

"Faith," Giles said ignoring Xander, "I suggest you tell us everything."

As she launched into her story, Riley stood and slipped out, finally unable
to wait any longer for some miraculous cure that could possibly be too damn


//are they strangers or lovers//

"We came in here to shower," Buffy said, as Angel finally deposited her on
her feet.

"Mmmm, so we did," Angel said, looking over her body with interest, loving
the blushing in her skin that appeared after she had just made love. He
pressed her back against the broken door, feeling his arousal already
returning as he kissed her swollen lips.

She broke the kiss with a giggle and moved toward the shower. She leaned
over and turned on the water, baring her ass and sex for her lover. He
growled as he came up behind her, running a hand against her moist core and
over her ass. She slipped away with a smile and stepped into the spray,
pulling him in along with her.

"Shower," she said firmly but playfully.

"Fuck the shower," he growled, reaching between her legs and was met with a
moan that shook his sanity, "I can tell you want something else."

"I want to be clean, Angel," she said while moaning and spreading wider for
his probing fingers. He dropped to one knee and lapped at her moist core
before sucking her clit between his lips. She convulsed against him as she
came immediately. Losing her footing in the shower, she nearly fell but he
caught her legs, flipping them over his broad shoulders as he continued to
worship her until she was screaming and clawing at the slick shower walls.

Finally, after he had taken his feel of the honey pouring from his lover, he
laid back on the shower floor and moved her over his lap as the water rained
down on them. Trembling violently, she guided him inside her, where he was
met with muscles still quivering from release. She braced her hands on his
chest as she began to ride him slowly, feeling the soft spray pelt her back.

"I love you," he whispered as held her hips in his large hands.

"I love you," she echoed, both of them rasping with pleasure. Deep inside
them, animalistic need punched out, turning their sensibilities to mush,
leaving their sense of responsibility out in the cold. Buffy and Angel both
had spent so much of the past years helping everyone else and blocking their
own desire for each other that when fealty was stripped away, all that was
left was need for each other.


//i want to do whatever it takes, takes, takes.//

Riley crept through the darkness and made his way to Buffy's house and was
almost relieved to see that there were lights on there. Since Buffy's mom
was out for the night, he knew it had to be them. A sinking feeling was
breaking through his chest as he neared the door. He didn't want to go in
there. In fact, he wanted to run away to Iowa and hide from what he
couldn't bear to find inside the house.

But he made his feet move across the street, up the walk, onto the porch and
he paused at the door, listening. Hearing no sound, he turned the knob
slowly and crept inside. The sounds he heard upon entering forced him back
out into the night to stand guard on the house. He was shaking with anger
as he backed into the shadows and waited for one of them to emerge.

After a long wait, he saw Angel leave the house alone. He stood there,
wondering if he should follow Angel or wait for Buffy. Weighing his
options, he followed the vampire into the night.


//she opened the door quietly and stepped into the night.//

Buffy finally was able to shower, in spite of Angel's growing sexual needs
and her own. As she dressed, her lover left her to stop by the mansion and
change into clothes that were less destroyed than the ones he had been
wearing. She flipped through her closet, humming to herself as she searched
for something to wear. Landing on her red leather pants, she smiled
brightly and put them on. She rubbed her neck absently as she thought about
the last time she wore these pants, when she fought Faith and he fed off
her. Seemed appropriate to wear them.

Turning back to her closet, she found a little black top that she never wore
outside of the house before today. She looked in the mirror at her bare
belly button and cleavage, feeling delightfully naughty. She slipped on
black leather boots before sauntering out in the night. In her right mind,
Buffy would have felt under dressed and overly naked in the outfit, but
tonight she only thought of Angel's eyes burning into the pieces of skin she
had left bare.

Buffy moved toward the mansion, missing him already and anxious to be back
in his arms. She picked up the pace, feeling more alone in the half hour he
had been gone than in the year he had moved to LA. Primal need for her mate
took over and she started to track him in the night, moving more toward the
feel of him than the direction she knew he traveled.


//i can see their dead weight
just dropping like stones//

Angel did not go to the mansion, but headed across the park and into a
manhole, dropping soundlessly into the sewers below. He tracked the scent
of his mate's blood through the dark maze, knowing immediately which turns
to take and which direction to travel. Angel also knew that his heightened
sense of awareness of her had increased exponentially just today, but he
embraced it freely as he tracked the lost vampire that dared to bite his

He found himself in a small crypt where four vampires sat drinking around a
fire. They all looked up, staring at the angry stranger with interest.

"Who are you?" one of them asked, looking over at him.

"Name's Angelus," he growled, causing them all to stand up with shock. *The*

"I'm just here for you," Angel said, pointing at the one vampire in the
crypt who reeked of Buffy's blood like he had just bitten her a moment ago
rather than hours before.

"W-hat do you want with me?" the vamp asked with blatant fear in his eyes.

"You fed off my mate," Angel said, reverting to game face and moving toward
him quickly.

"I don't know what you're talking about," he lied, backing away.

"You reek of The Slayer's blood," Angel snarled, catching the doomed
vampire, "Are you going to tell me you didn't see her mark?"

"No," he said, with eyes that begged for his life, "I...Master, she's The

"She's a marked Slayer," Angel said, plunging a stake in the vampire's heart
and turning on the rest of the room with angry golden eyes. They shrank
back in fear of the master vampire who had just killed their brother.

"We weren't there, Master," one of them whimpered in fear.

"I know," he said nodding as his face reverted back to human, "Spread the
news to your friends. The next vampire to touch my mate dies like he did.

"But Master," another protested, "She's The Slayer. We can't kill the

Angel's stake flew into protester's chest and the rest backed up further
when they saw him explode into dust as well.

"Anyone else have questions?" Angel growled looking around the crypt.
Silence met his glare and he turned to leave. Riley, who had watched the
whole incident from the sewers, scrambled back up the surface and ran toward
Buffy's house. Angel found the surface and headed toward the mansion.


//i want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity
who uses a machete to cut through red tape
with fingernails that shine like justice
and a voice that is dark like tinted glass//

When Buffy was halfway to the mansion, she heard footsteps behind her. She
stopped and turned around to face Riley.

"What do you want?"

"Buffy," Riley answered, "Please come back to Giles'. Willow is working on
a reversal spell for whatever you've been drugged with."

Her attire was far more revealing than what she normally wore and it made
him nervous. He knew that Angel already had made love to her, but he still
couldn't stand the idea of her body bared like that for just anyone to see.

"I don't want to," Buffy said with a smile, "I'm doing just fine."

"No, you're not," he said, taking a step closer to his girlfriend. Was she
even his girlfriend anymore? He wasn't sure now.

"Of course I am, Riley," she said, feeling Angel's approach gliding over her
skin, "It's over between us, so stop following me. Get over it already."

"Buffy, you need help," he said, looking around for Angel's inevitable
approach, "Think about this. You're screwing a demon, Buffy! You're sick."

"No," she intoned, "I *need* to be left alone. And who I *screw* is none of
your damn business."

"Buffy," Riley said, stepping closer yet again so that he could reach out
and touch her if he wanted to, "Come with me. Please."

"Go away, Riley," she said as she turned and continued on her way to the
mansion, but he grabbed her arm and spun her back around to face him. He
opened his mouth to protest her leaving and was with met her fist, which
struck his jaw, as she yanked her arm out of his grasp.

"Don't make yourself the enemy, Ri," she taunted, "That's not where you
wanna be."

"Oh, I disagree," Angel said, walking up behind them. He had put on his
leather pants as well, along with the silk maroon shirt that used to make
her weak in the knees, "I think he wants to be the enemy."

"You *are* my enemy, asshole," Riley said in a voice so strident with anger,
he almost grunted the words out. He almost respected the vampire for taking
out the vampire that had bitten her, but the fact that he had left the rest
of the crypt alive, reminded him of who he was dealing with.

"Yeah, I guess I am," Angel said, shrugging at the anger shooting at him
from the boy. Putting his arm around Buffy, he looked down at the tempting
cleavage showing from her shirt and smiled at Riley winningly.

"Come on, baby," he said to Buffy, pulling her away.

"Don't take another step with my girlfriend," Riley sneered stepping towards

"You don't want to do this. Believe me," Buffy said, in an almost whine.

"No," Riley said, daring to reach out and grab her again, which caused a
growl to erupt from Angel. He swept Riley's legs out from under him and
crunched his boot into the boy's throat.

"She's not your girlfriend anymore, boy," he growled, "She was *never*
yours. Now be on your way before I kill you."

Turning, he raised his elbow and Buffy wound her arm through his and headed
away. Riley rolled over onto his knees and coughed as he tried to clear his
throat. The slightest pressure added by Angel and his neck would have
collapsed. Riley stood and followed the lovers in the dark, knowing that
Angel could have killed him easily but didn't.


//cool blue reason wraps around your throat//

Riley crept after them and followed as they coiled their way through the
throng of hormones at The Bronze. They breezed through, bumping people out
of their way and causing others to step aside from the power and
intimidation that seemed to radiate from the couple. Several people stared
at them with interest. They couldn't put their finger on what it was that
made the attractive couple so frightening. But they were. Dominance
streamed off them in waves, backing the whole club mentally to its knees.

They moved to the danced floor and she began maneuvering in tantalizing
movements while her lover stood, swaying and moving his hands over her body.
She slithered up and down, moving against him and sending sexual energy
into the club. The longer Angel stood there surrounded by humans, the
hungrier he got. Bloodlust was making his eyes flash from brown to golden
and back again. He growled, but not of sexual want, but of hunger and the
sound stopped Buffy.

She looked up at him and caressed his face, "Feeling...mmmm....peckish?"

"Ravenous," he growled, looking down at her.

"Want a little taste?" she asked with a twinkle in her eye, leaning her head
to the side and running a finger down her delicate throat, which still had
three vampire bites and one scar on it.

"Dying for it," he whispered against her lips. She turned and leaned
against him, pushing her hips against his as she surveyed the club. He slid
his hands over her torso and over her breasts as he looked with her. He
looked over the people in the club, kissing Buffy's neck. He wanted so
badly to kill one of them but something inside him was keeping him from the

Spotting a secluded corner, Angel pulled Buffy to it, kissing her lips
gently and slowly deepening the kiss. Angel moved down to her neck slowly,
sucking his mark gently. He changed to game face quickly and prepared to
sink his teeth in her throat, when Riley knocked Buffy aside.

"Finn," Angel growled, still in game face, "I'm getting tired of you."

"My sentiments exactly," he answered, gripping a stake. Swinging, he tried
to plunge the stake in Angel's heart but was blocked easily and knocked
across the club. Angel laughed at Riley's fall, as he landed on top of a
dancing couple. Morphing back to human, he held his hand out to Buffy who
accepted it.

"Your boyfriend is becoming a pain in the ass, love," he said, "Think I'm
going to have to kill him."

Buffy shrugged noncommitally as Angel led her from the club, neither
bothering to see if Riley had managed to disentangle himself from the


Chapter 3

//your demons would all be around//

Riley dashed to the pay phone near the entrance of The Bronze and dialed
Giles' number. He drummed his fingers against the wall impatiently as the
phone rang.

"Giles," Riley said, bursting through the Watcher's greeting, "I need
someone to head toward The Bronze with the dart gun."

"What's happened?"

"Angel was going to feed off Buffy!" he shouted in desperation.

"What?" Giles asked with worry, "Is Buffy okay?"

"I don't think ‘okay' is the word."

"What do you mean?"

"She was going to let it happen. It was almost as if she...wanted him to do

"Dear God."

"Yeah. Dart gun?"

"Of course," Giles said, "I'll send Xander."

"I'll meet him half way."


//there's only room, there's only room, there's only room for you//

Angel & Buffy moved swiftly into the night, moving fluidly together, away
from the club and Riley's watchful eyes. Both smiled broadly as they took on
the night, slicing through the darkness with an arrogant iridescence. Angel
moved his hand under the edge of her shirt, caressing her bare back as they
walked, as if he couldn't get enough of her skin. It was so soft and perfect
beneath his fingers. So much softer than he remembered.

They moved through a nearby graveyard and happened upon two large demons
digging up a grave. Buffy groaned softly with irritation as she saw them and
walked with Angel as he attempted to move in a different direction, but the
demons spotted them and immediately turned to engage.

"Can't you just pretend you didn't see us?" Buffy asked as they moved toward
her, "Guess not."

The demons were unusually virile for...well, demons. Buffy had never seen
their kind before and was more frustrated for every second that they refused
to die. Finally jumping up she broke the first one's neck, sighing happily
when he fell with a loud thud in the partially dug grave. Buffy looked over
at Angel moving smoothly around the demon who was shaking the ground with
his large stomping feet. She leaned against a headstone and watched with
pleasure as Angel battled the remaining demon. His articulate efforts,
ducking and swinging with ease, made her belly rumble with want. Finally,
copying her movements, her lover broke the demon's neck and dropped him to
the ground. He turned and smiled at her, dusting his hands off.

Buffy looked down at their lifeless bodies, "They don't poof. Usually I
drag them somewhere."

"Do you really want to do that?" Angel asked with a devilish grin.

"Nah," she answered, shaking her head and taking his hand. With minds clear
of concern, they moved away from the grave.


//you need to straighten your posture and suck in your gut.
you need to pull back your shoulders and tighten your butt.//

"Finally," Riley shouted as Xander jogged up with the dart gun. Riley
grabbed it from his hands and turned to run in the direction he thought they
might have went.

"You're welcome!" Xander called out and began to jog after him.

"Sorry," Riley shouted over his shoulder.

"Do you even know where they are?" Xander shouted back, trying to catch up
to the soldier who was running like he was under fire.

"No," Riley said, slowing a power walk, "I don't even know if they went in
this direction. I'm just guessing."

"Calm down," Xander said, meeting his strides, "Angel's not gonna kill

"How do you know? They had sex. I'm sure you remember the curse, right?"

"Yes," Xander said, grabbing Riley's shoulder, causing him to halt for a
second, "Look Buffy knows the difference between Angel with a soul and Angel
without one. If she was letting him feed of her - and let me say yuck - I
know she wouldn't be doing it if he had lost his soul."

"She's under a spell," Riley said, "No one knows exactly what effect it's
having on them."

"She's The Slayer," Xander answered, "I'm worried too, but she can take care
of herself."

"I don't know that," Riley said, moving to walk again, "I've never met a
vamp as strong as him before."

"And Buffy's kicked his ass before," Xander said, shaking his head as he
followed, "I'm telling you, she's not gonna let him kill her."

"And I'm telling *you*," Riley said, not pausing in his steps, "That I'm not
going to sit around and find out if that's true."


//i think i'm alive and i think i'll survive.
i'm finally cutting through this haze of love, haze of love.
for days and days and days, i'm in a haze of love.//

"God, I missed you," Buffy whispered as they stopped to kiss against a large
oak tree.

"Me too," Angel whispered, digging his fingers into her leather clad lips
for emphasis. Buffy slipped to his neck, kissing along his perfect, cool
flesh and moving to his chest. She unbuttoned his shirt rapidly, worshiping
the skin she found there and moved down over his stomach. She stopped at the
button of his leather pants and smiled up at him as she freed his cock from
its confinement. Angel watched as her pink tongue flicked over the tip,
glistening with excitement and took him into her mouth. She squirmed with
enjoyment as his head thunked against the tree and a moan sprang from his

"I've always wanted to do this for you," she whispered, as she covered his
length with slow, wet kisses.

"I think I've had about a million dreams about this," he whispered back
hoarsely as he looked down to meet her eyes. He crunched his fingers into
the tree as she took him back into her mouth, moving against him in slow,
hard stokes. Colors whirled behind his eyes as she pleasured him,
kaleidoscoping the night.

A day ago, maybe less, Angel was positive that this fantasy would never come
into being. Now he almost felt like pinching himself to see if he woke up in
his bed alone like he had so many times before. Feeling her mouth sucking in
agonizing strokes over his cock, moving against him, touching him as if she
could read his mind, was almost more than he could handle and he found
himself gripping the tree harder to keep his knees from buckling.

Angel was not new to the world of oral sex. After 150 years with Darla and
numerous other sexual exploits that would have made his lover blush, nothing
compared to being with *the* woman he loved, the only woman he ever loved.
If his heart could beat, it would have stopped by now and if love was a
sound, it would have made ears bleed all over Sunnydale.

"Buffy," he said, choking her name out inside a groan, "I'm going to come."

She didn't stop but sucked harder as he released his cold seed into her
mouth. High on love and a brawny mixture drugs, they felt as if their
passion was being written out on each blade of grass. Their movements
seemed quicker and slower at once, stronger and weaker at the same time. And
Angel felt as if he needed breath to live as she crept her way back up his
body, stealing against his heaving chest. He took a moment to collect
himself before pulling her up to his lips.

"I love you," he whispered again, feeling as if he couldn't say it enough
and thought about how he was going to get those tight leather pants off of
her body, "Need to be inside you."

Her answer was a moan of agreement as their hands moved together to peel the
pants off of her slim hips and realized that her boots would need to be
removed as well. Growling with lust, Angel moved behind her, while her pants
stayed trapped at her ankles above her boots. He entered her fully, burying
himself to the root inside her blistering heat.

"Love you," she groaned as he pulled her back against his chest, clutching
both breasts with his hands, sliding over them and pinching her nipples,
before reaching between her thighs to manipulate her clit. Outlined in
moonlight, with drugs raging inside them, she panted against him, thrusting
back against him as they moved together.


//you part the waters, the same ones that I'm thirsty for.//

Xander and Riley looked down on the now tranquilized bodies of Buffy and
Angel, taking a long time to drink in what they saw before and what they had
before them now. Riley felt his heart dying. He wished he had never come
after her, he wished he hadn't seen her having sex with Angel, he wished he
hadn't seen her willingly bare her throat for him, but most of all, he
wished he hadn't seen her orgasm when he bit in. His entire view of her had
changed in a second and he was sure that he was going to vomit in any
moment. The worst part of it all was that he still loved her, still wanted
her and was incredibly turned on from seeing her naked body in the

"I told you Angel wouldn't kill her," Xander said, lifting Buffy and
slinging her over his shoulder, hoping Riley wouldn't notice his arousal.

"Yeah," Riley said, gripping Angel under his arms and dragging him over the
grass, "I know. But...she was *letting* him feed off her."

Xander shivered involuntarily and walked slowly next to Riley, "And she was
*enjoying* it."

"I know," Riley said, grunting as he pulled Angel's body, wishing he could
just stake him and get it over with.

"Why are you so damn calm all of a sudden? If that was *my* girlfriend
fucking a vampire and allowing him to suck her blood I would be freaking

"Cause this is my second round of the fun - although last time I only heard
it - and I'm getting over it."

"You're getting over it?" Xander asked, still nearly shouting.

"No," Riley said, pausing to look up at Buffy's friend, "Just sounded better
that ‘I'm in a blind panic here and too manly to show it.'"

"Oh," Xander said nodding, "That's better. Thank you."



//your feasty eyes won't make me fall apart.
your turquoise and silver won't weaken this old heart.
yeah, dancing and chanting in a sacrificial rite.
i fell to the ground on a windy, windy night.//

Buffy woke to the sound of Angel's fierce growling and found herself tied to
a chair in a nice little row made up of her, Angel and Faith.

"This is funny," Buffy said, rolling her eyes, "You can let us go now. It's
not like we hurt anyone."

"Oh but you were going to sit back while Angel sucked you dry!" Xander
shouted, feeling slightly guilty for his voyeuristic activities and the fact
that he knew Angel wasn't trying to kill her.

"You were watching us?" Buffy yelled, pulling at her ropes, feeling them
stretch slightly. She wasn't sure what Angel thought, but she thought they
had found them after the fact. They certaintly gave them plenty of time to
get dressed. She looked over at Angel to see what he was thinking and found
a look of feral anger as he stared at Riley. He knew the boyfriend had seen
the whole thing too - and had tranquilized them. Buffy looked over at Faith,
who wasn't even trying to free herself. Her head was hung in defeat.

"He watched us," Angel said, halting his growl and twisting his lips into a
cool smile as he worked on the ropes behind his back, "How'd you like what
you saw, Riley?"

"Fuck you, vampire," Riley spat, clutching a stake in his hands, wanting
more than he had ever wanted anything in his life to stake the vampire
across the room.

"Hit a nerve?" Angel asked, glancing over at Buffy to see that she was
working her binds just as diligently as he was, just as he had suspected,
"What bothered you more? My cock in your girlfriend or the way she came when
I fed off her?"

Riley dove across the room to attack his foe, but having to pass Buffy
first, he found himself flying back from the force of her boot in his chest.
Angel laughed and shook his head, looking around the room, "I can't believe
you guys didn't tie our legs. What were you thinking? I mean, really, I'm
kinda disappointed."

"We'll note that for later," Wesley said succinctly, feeling disappointed
that they hadn't thought of that before. He threw a look over at Giles who
was leaning over Willow's shoulder, in an attempt to help, but was just
prolonging the process by making her even more nervous.

"Really," Anya said, from her cozy spot in the corner, "We should have
planned this better."

Giles, Wesley, Cordelia and even Xander all cast her a angry look for
restating the obvious.

"What?" she asked, looking back at them in confusion.

"I'm going to kill him," Riley said, standing to his feet, "If someone
doesn't put a fucking gag on him."

"What? Can't take it, soldier boy?" Angel said, unraveling the last
section in his rope.

"Uh, Will," Cordy said, stepping back, as she watched them struggle with
their bonds, "I think they're not going to be tied up for very long. Where's
the potion already?"

"Just one more second," Willow said, leaning over the kitchen counter,
working diligently with Tara at her side and Giles breathing down her neck.

"That's about all you have," Angel said as the ropes snapped. Buffy's were
fraying quickly and she was just about to get free when Angel pulled them
apart. Riley pivoted, scooping up the dart gun and shot. Angel batted the
dart easily away and attacked Riley, knocking the gun from his hand. He
lunged at Riley's throat but the soldier kept him at bay, pushing the
vampire away from his defenseless jugular.

"I can't wait until the spell is broken," Riley said with gritted teeth as
he tried to wrestle Angel off of him, "And she remembers everything you've

The rest of the room looked on, wanting to help, but knowing that Buffy
would stop their attempts. So they all hovered, covered in tension as they
waited to see if someone was about to die. Finally, gaining a second of
upper hand, Riley pushed Angel off of him and rolled away, coming to his
feet. He glanced over at the dart gun, which Angel picked up. He aimed and
shot, hitting Riley's neck and watching with glee as he fell to the ground.

"Mmmm, silence," Angel said, as he reached out for Buffy's hand. Glancing
over at Giles with a deadly serious look, Angel said, "If he follows us
again, I *will* kill him."

"Buffy," Giles said, prying his eyes away from the dangerous vampire leering
at him, "You're sick and drugged. We now understand the implications of the
spell on you, but you wouldn't let Angel kill anyone, would you? As the
Slayer your duty is protect. Do you remember that? Willow has the cure. If
you just allow her to administer it, then all will be well. Please, think
for a moment."

"No Giles," Buffy said, shaking her head, "I was sick before to think I
could live my life for everyone else all the damn time and never having one
minute for myself. I haven't had anything for myself since Angel left. Now I
want to taste life...for once."

"Not like this," Giles said, "If you were in your right mind you would
realize how wrong this is."

They heard a snap behind them and Buffy & Angel turned just in time to see
Faith swinging a chair at them. It was too late to react and both were
knocked unconscious once again.

"Sorry," Faith said, looking over at Giles, "I broke your chair."

"That's...okay, Faith," Giles answered, almost unable to believe that she
had just saved the day.

"Do you want to tie me up again?" Faith asked, "I know I promised I would
stay tied up but it seemed like..."

"That's quite alright," Giles said, shaking his head at the strange turn of
events. Who would believe that Faith would be the good guy while Angel &
Buffy needed to be stopped? The whole world just seemed terribly askew

"Okay," Willow said, walking in with two full syringes, "Anti-crazy serum
coming up."

"Took you long enough," Cordy snapped.

"Shut up, CC," Xander said, "It's not like you contributed anything here."

"I was here for moral support. All you did was deliver a dart gun and

"Be quite, both of you," Giles snapped, "Willow, please continue."

Willow bit her lip to keep from smiling as she injected the two unconscious
warriors with the cure.

"How long until it works?" Wesley asked, knowing that no one wanted those
two to wake up before the effects of the spell were reversed.

"Shouldn't be long?" Willow answered, turning her answer into a question,
because truthfully, she had no idea how long it would take. They all looked
down as the lovers started to stir, groaning. Buffy looked around the room
and then to Angel, who did the same thing, both feeling fuzzy and tired.
Angel stood unsteadily and pulled her to her feet, still looking around the
room warily.

"Come on, love," he whispered and she nodded, following him out. Out on the
lawn, she whimpered and Angel nodded his agreement.

"Just a little further and we'll be safe," he said. They moved slowly
through the grass, dragging each other to safety.

"The sun is going to rise in a couple of hours," Wesley whispered, looking
at the sky.

"Let's leave them until then," Giles suggested, "Buffy will come back to us
when the serum takes effect."

But he didn't sound sure. He didn't look sure. Giles, along with the rest of
the team of misfits, were terribly afraid that a nearly unstoppable power
had been released. The answer seemed to come too easily this time. He turned
slowly and went back into his crowded apartment, feeling his age with every
tiny movement. Wesley followed him in and looked over at the tired faces
around the room. One emotion flowed freely inside the small place: Fear. And
lots of it.


Lilah sat behind the desk in her hotel room in her makeshift office, glaring
at the guards before her with anger.

"Let me get this straight," she said, in a low angry voice, "Faith got away
and Buffy and Angel have been given a serum which may or may not reverse our

"Yes, ma'am," one of them said, nodding his head slowly.

"One couple of thing needs to happen to save your lives," she snapped, "Go
get Buffy and Angel. I will not take the shit that rolls down to me from the
senior partners because you two screwed up.! Find them and bring them to

They nodded and moved from the room. She dialed the phone in anger and
paused to look at the guard who was left standing inside her room, since it
was his job to be there, "Get the hell out into the hallway!"

He nearly tripped in his hurry to escape the woman's wrath and shut the door
slowly behind him as she hung up the phone and redialed. Taking a deep
breath, she smiled into the phone, "Lindsay. Lilah. Yes, everything is in
motion...Faith is with the Watchers...Buffy and Angel should be reaching the
apex....no, *you* should be worried. I won't screw this up, but you are
legendary in fumbling...no...no...just do your damn part!"

"Asshole," she muttered as she smiled at the phone. God, having this much
power was fun. The best part was deceiving so many birds with so few stones.
She grinned freely at the her desk. Willow had completed her part in
creating the "antidote" that would actually act as a catalyst and Faith was
in the center of the action and unknowingly would bring the whole thing
together when her drug kicked in any time now. Sighing, she leaned back and
lifted her legs to the edge of the desk. She just hoped that the little
witch hadn't seen the smoke screen.


//do you think she's swimming in your lies?
do you think it's all just murky green?
don't you think that she would realize?
yeah, do you think she has never seen?//

Faith looked down at her hands, which were starting to shake more every
hour. She shoved them in her pockets and looked around the room nervously to
see if anyone had noticed the action and released a deep breath as she saw
they hadn't. She made her way over to the corner, where the witches were
cuddling and taking quietly.

"Is the spell gonna work?" Faith asked, looking down at them.

"Um...I think so," Willow answered, feeling nervous around the other Slayer,
just as everyone else was. She remembered vividly the feel of Faith's sharp
blade against her throat not all that long ago. The fact that she was there,
in the Giles' house, being treated as someone who can be trusted was

"How long until we know?" she asked, even though Willow had already made it
clear that she wasn't sure.

"Don't know," Willow said, as Riley began to stir from his place on the
floor. He groaned and opened his eyes slowly. Realizing what had happened,
he sat up and looked around the room urgently.

"Where's Buffy?" He asked, assessing his injuries.

"Angel took her and left," Xander answered.

"Did they get the antidote?" He asked, moving slowly to his feet as he felt
the tranquilizer beginning to wear off.

"Yeah," Xander answered.

"But we don't know if it's gonna work?" Riley asked and was met with a room
of uncertain silence, "Great. I'm going to look for them."

"Riley," Giles said, stepping over to him, "I don't think that is the wisest
course of action. This is a very delicate circumstance. Angel has not killed
anyone as of yet, but we can't be sure that he won't. He seemed
very...interested in taking your life. Perhaps we ought to wait and see if
the serum worked. Buffy will come here if it does."

"And if it doesn't? Maybe he'll get a little interested in killing her.
Sorry, I'm gonna take my chances with the demon. I can't just sit around
here and wait."

"I'll go with you," Xander said, rising, "If Dead Boy kills you, at least
I'll be able to relay the story to everyone later."

Riley gave him a withering glare before heading out into the midmorning
sunshine. Xander smiled at Anya and pecked her cheek.

"Xander," Anya protested, "I don't want you to go where you can be killed.
You did that already."

"Don't worry," he said, heading for the door, "they won't kill us. They got
the serum, remember?"


Want, Take, Have
Part Four

By Tango

E-MAIL: Tangofic@hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Of course.
SPOILERS: Help! I'm stuck in Season Four and I can't get out! For some
reason, I can't get around ideas that involve Angel coming between Buffy &
Riley, so I hope you like them too. This occurs at the end of Season 4.
Wolfram & Hart have broken Faith out of prison to get her help to do a
little damage to Buffy & Angel.
DISTRIBUTION: Of course. Please just let me know. (See bottom for places to
find my other fics *g*)
FEEDBACK: Thank you to everyone who's already fed me on this one! Hope
everyone enjoys the next part!
RATING: R for language but never fear even more smutty goodness headed your
way in following parts. *g*
LYRICS: All lyrics are from Cake

//my eyes are burning in my head and seeing only red
and wishing you were dead.
is this love? is this love?//

Riley and Xander walked in Giles' flat with empty hands in the early
afternoon. Buffy and Angel were nowhere to be found. Even Willy didn't
have a whisper hiding behind the bar. After a short pep talk from the
Watchers, who double teamed the group, everyone went out and combed
Sunnydale looking for the pair. When night leapt over day, it took with
them any hope they might have been harboring. Despair set in with the
coming of the night that no one had found them and no one was sure where to
look next. The mansion had been visited at least once by everyone, twice by
others and Buffy's house should have had a traffic light installed for all
the people who wandered to her doorstep that day.

When Willow walked through Giles' front door, she ignored the eyes on her,
all contemplating questions about the serum that she had no answers for.
How was she supposed to predict what would happen when the spell contained
both chemistry and magick? She was an expert in science and becoming an
expert in the black arts, but when Wolfram & Hart mixed the two, they left
her in a maelstrom of doubt. She sat down at Giles' desk and began pouring
over her own notes and the steps she took, trying to figure out what she
could have missed in the process.

"This whole day was a big friggin' waste of time," Cordy shouted as she
collapsed onto the couch.

"No kidding," Riley answered, looking worn and broken as he sat down next to

"Where else could they be?" Xander said, looking around the room with
desperation, "There are only so many places a vampire can go in the middle
of the day. And I'm gonna assume that Buffy wouldn't leave him right now."

"I'm just as confounded as you are Xander," Giles said, looking like he was
heading towards a little blind panic himself, "I went to places I didn't
think they would be just to check and...nothing."

"Willow," Wesley said, edging near the witch and speaking carefully, "Is
there a chance that the serum didn't work correctly? Or perhaps you and
Tara can perform a location spell to find them?"

Willow looked up at Wesley and as her eyes flooded black, she said, "Maybe
they don't want to be found."


//when the waves retire to the darkness below, i know, i know//

The first thing Buffy noticed when she woke up was the absence of Angel.
And she was cold. Freezing in fact, as if the undead skin of her lover had
been creating a tremendous warmth inside her and now that he was gone, she
was turning to ice. She looked around the empty room finding nothing but
bare white walls and the chair she was chained to. She jerked her arms and
heard the sound of metal clanging on metal. The chair was reinforced steel
and was bolted to the floor beneath her feet.

"Angel," she whimpered, feeling him somewhere close, but not in the room and
far from close enough.

"Buffy," his voice sounded muffled from a room away.

"I'm trapped!" she yelled to him, clutching the metal of her chair in a
uncontrollable frenzy, feeling the slightest bit of consolation from the
sound of his voice, "And I feel...strange."

"Listen, baby," Angel said, filling his voice with as much confidence as he
could, "There are other people in this building. I can smell them. Just
hang on. I'll figure a way out of this."

"‘Kay," she called back, but she knew the confidence in his voice was false.
She knew he wasn't able to move in there either. If he could move, he
would already be where she was. Looking around the room, she saw brilliant
daylight flooding in from a high set window and called out again,
"Angel...do you...have a window?"

"Yes," he answered, losing all the confidence he had built up a second

"How far are you from it?" she shouting, jerking wildly in her chair.


"Angel!" she screamed, pulling so hard at the steel restraints that her
wrists started to bleed.

"I'm okay, Buffy."

"How close is the light?"

"Buffy," Angel soothed, "Calm down. Everything is going to be alright,

"How close is the fucking light, Angel?" she screamed over the sound of the
clanging metal.

"Foot and a half," he answered as he looked over his shoulder at the light
behind him. The glow was weakening him and he had resigned himself to his
fate from the moment her heard her voice through the wall. That was when he
knew this wasn't a dream, that it was real.

"Gotta get out of here," Buffy stammered as she pulled at her chair. Angel
smelled the dazzling intensity of her blood through the walls and knew
immediately that she had injured herself in her attempts to escape.

"Buffy, what the hell are you doing?" Angel said, beginning to look around
for a possible escape again. It was one thing to be resigned to die
himself, but Buffy was an entirely different matter, "You're bleeding."

"Gotta get out of here," she repeated, wrenching against her chair with all
of her strength. She felt the bolts in the floor beginning to give as she
pulled, simultaneously stripping the skin from her arms.

"Stop! You're hurting yourself."

"And you're dying!" She yelled back.

On separate sides of the same wall, the soul mates pulled violently at their
chairs and watching on a screen in another room, Lilah smiled at the show.


//still i build my towers high.
i watch them pierce the blue, blue sky.
still i wallow in the mire.
still i burn this earthen fire.//

Giles and Wesley were the only ones in the room who understood the stream of
words that came clearly from Tara's mouth, causing her lover to lurch
forward in her chair and drop limply to the desk, red hair falling in soft
waves over her face.

"Okay," Xander said, holding out his hands, "What was *that*?"

"I think the question here is: Where is Faith?" Cordy said.

"Right," Giles said, nodding and looking around, "Who was the last to see

Everyone looked at each other blankly and Anya started laughing - wild,
deep, gut clutching laughter. Xander ran across the room and grabbed her
shoulders, searching her tearing eyes for some kind of possession and she
squeaked out words through her guffaws, "We're all going to die."


//but unless i get up,
walk across the room
and peer down below,
i won't see their last second curves
toward a, a horizontal flight.//

"You know," Lindsay said as he strolled into Angel's holding room, "I'm
wondering what the appropriate cost is for a lost hand."

"Lindsay," Angel growled, struggling furiously against the chair.

"I mean, it's a *body part.* So I'm weighing my options," Lindsay added,
leaning against the door that just closed, holding up his plastic hand, "I
can kill you which seems like a lot of fun right now or...I can go visit
your little Slayer in the next room."

"You better kill me before you touch her," Angel growled, feeling his face
slip into the demon.

"She's a hottie, Angel. I can't wait to get my hands...well, hand on her,"
Lindsay said, walking across the room and caressing the wall the held the
two lovers apart.

"She's deadly too."

"Not when she's chained to a reinforced steel chair."

"Is that how you get all your girls?" Angel growled. He pulled violently at
his chair and looked down at his legs. His legs were free. Buffy's legs
had to be free too. They fucking *had* to be.

"Just yours," he said, turning back to face the lethal beast snarling at
him. Lindsay was so full of glee, it was all he could do to stop himself
from breaking into laughter. Mr. Cool Collected Vampire was losing his
marbles and thanks to the drugs he was given and the little potion the witch
had prepared, things were only going to get worse. All Lindsay had to do
was prod him in the right direction, "You know all this time we thought that
your weakness was Cordelia. What a surprise we got when we discovered your
nubile little treat in there."

"What the hell do you want? You obviously want *something* or you would
have staked me already," Angel said, trying to calm himself.

"You're right," Lindsay answered, nodding slowly and speaking with cautious
deliberation, "I want to torture you for what you've done to me. And now,
I'm just wondering...what do you think Buffy would do to save your life?"

"You piece of shit," Angel roared, lunging at him while simultaneously
pulling his chair slightly loose from the floor. Angel could almost picture
that bastard's hands moving over his mate, touching her in places no one but
him should touch her.

"Oh you have no idea," Lindsay said, over Angel's roar, smiling as he walked
towards the door.

"No, *you* have no idea," Angel growled, "You're crying over your hand?
Just wait until I get out of this fucking chair."

"I think I'll go next door and see Buffy."

"Lindsay," Angel growled. The lawyer stopped and turned around. "If you
touch her..."

"Revenge is a bitch, Angel," Lindsay said with a gleaming smile, "*Your*
bitch, actually."

As the door quietly clicked with Lindsay's exit, something inside Angel
clicked too. With a demonic bellow, he pulled against the chair, stripping
the skin from his wrists and arms as he did. The only certainties in his
mind were that he had to get to his mate, had to get free, even if he meant
tearing off one of his own appendages to do it. Every other dash of
humanity was quickly draining away.


//he's going the distance.
he's going for speed.
she's all alone
in her time of need.//

Buffy was pulling against her confinements and screaming for Angel who was
no longer answering. She knew he was still alive but couldn't figure out
why she could no longer hear him and why he could no longer hear her. If he
could hear her, he would have answered, right?

The door opened and a handsome man in his early thirties strolled inside the
room wearing a thousand dollar suit. His hair was dark and it brought out
the fantastic blue of his eyes, which reflected an evil hatred, an
unredeemable anger that swallowed the whole of his being.

"Who are you?" Buffy asked, pausing to rest in her relentless struggle.

"Lindsay," he said, smiling, "Representative of Wolfram & Hart, the official
sponsor of your new life."

"What do you want?"


"For what?" Buffy asked calmly, or feigned calm, "I didn't do anything to

"Oh, but Angel did," Lindsay answered, holding up his false hand, "This is
his handiwork. Like it?"

"That has nothing to do with me," Buffy said, wrenching against her chair

"Well, we think it does," he answered, "See, it took us an embarrassingly
long time to figure out that the only way we can hurt Angel is to hurt you."

"Let me out of here," she commanded, "Where's Angel?"

"He's alive...for now," Lindsay said and then leaned in confidentially, "But
I don't think that window is very healthy for him."

Buffy glared at him as she continued to struggle to get free, "Why can't I
hear him anymore?"

"Let's just focus on us, shall we?"

"Kiss my ass, you bastard," Buffy sneered.

"We'll get to that, sweetie, but first let's talk about how you're going to
keep Angel from becoming a big pile of dust."

Buffy took one last pull against the chair and ripped it from the floor.
Slipping her handcuffs off of the legs, she turned and threw the chair with
all her strength at the man standing her room. Buffy smiled at his
unconscious body before kicking the door open and heading to the next room.


//at the very last second,
i can change directions,
turn completely around,
if i feel so inclined//

Faith was crouched in the woods, hiding from pretty much everyone at this
point. She held her head in her hands and lowered to a crouch, she rocked
back and forth trying to get her mind back to where it should be. Hysterics
took over the aloof veneer she had spent so many years building up. It had
started to splinter when she broke down with Angel, but the flood gates
opened tonight in the woods and every semblance of sanity she had left was
fragmenting over the forest floor.

She wanted to be good. Not just good, but redeemed. She tried, so hard and
couldn't control it. She knew Wolfram & Hart had drugged her, but some
place inside the lost, she lost more until there was nothing but hiccuping

Footsteps crunched to her, snapping twigs and pressing grass. She waited,
holding her breath and burrowing her head in her lap, as if she were an
ostrich on the beach. She was yanked to her feet and looked directly into
the bruised face of the guard she had beaten so brutally to escape the

"No," she whimpered, struggling weakly, as if she weren't the Slayer but a
child in the supermarket.

"We're not done with you yet," he grunted in a low, gravely voice.

"Just kill me," she cried in defeat.

"It's never gonna be that easy, babe," he answered as he dragged her away.


//she doesn't have to use force
when she gets what she wants//

Lindsay McDonald woke up to the sound of laughter and didn't need to lift
his head to see her shapely legs standing in front of him to know it was
that bitch. He pushed himself up with a loud groan and stood slowly,
clutching the quickly rising bump on his head.

"Thought you said it would take longer for them to get out of those chairs,"
Lilah said, still giggling and not attempting to hide it.

"Shut up, Lilah," Lindsay groaned as he started toward the door.

"Well it worked anyway," she said, following him out. Every dignified click
of her heels on the tiled floor was like another dig into Lindsay's headache
and he felt like knocking her on her pompous ass.

"Of course it worked," he said, without looking back at her.


//i'm never sure if it's still you.//

"Anya," Xander said, shaking her roughly, "Are you crazy? Did they drug you

"No," she said, wiping the tears of laughter from her face, "Don't you see?
It doesn't matter anymore. *Both* Slayers are crazy and the only person
strong enough to even kinda take them on is crazy too. Willow was our only
hope after that and she's nutty too. What difference does it make if I'm
cracking up? We're doomed."

"We're not doomed," Cordelia yelled, standing in a rage, "How could you just
give up? We've been through much worse than this before. Get a hold of

"Cordelia's correct," Giles said, nodding, "There's a way out of this. We
just have to work through this methodically until we are able to resolve

"Quite right, Mr. Giles," Wesley said, straightening up again from the poor
posture he had begun to sink into, "Tara, do you know how we can return
Willow to her right mind?"

"I-I think I can figure it out," Tara said, "It should be a simple reversal
of whatever's in her system."

"If it's *that* fucking easy," Riley said, rising to his feet, "Then why
couldn't we have done that for Buffy?"

"I-it's n-n-not the s-s-ame thing," Tara stuttered, tears building in her

"How the hell do you know that?" Riley demanded. Giles cleared his throat
roughly and glared at Riley, causing the soldier's eyes to soften slightly.

"Because," Tara said, holding up a syringe, "I saw Faith poison her and I
took the needle. Now I have a sample."

"Oh," Riley said, sitting down again, before mumbling, "Sorry."


//it makes my baby seem so far. i need you here with me//

Angel and Buffy ran from the building, both bleeding profusely from their
wrists and lower arms which still sported the handcuffs. Holding hands, or
rather clutching each other desperately, they sprinted away. The only
sounds heard was the pounding of their feet against the ground, the clanging
of their dangling handcuffs, Buffy's heavy breathing and Angel's constant

They were beyond speech, the drugs and fear of death - not of themselves but
for their mate - taking over their systems completely, they moved with
simultaneous instinct through the night. The silent click that hit Angel,
sounded in Buffy as well. Deep inside the potions intermixed with fear,
lust, love and primitive compulsion, they were rendered powerless to the
most harmful force - themselves. Each step away from the complex where they
had been held was a step backwards, a degeneration. They wound into each
other until "We" became the plural of "I." They were one soul in two
separate bodies. When they entered the woods, the moon lavished her
demands, forcing them to submit to her bidding and they turned up their
heads and answered her.


Chapter 5

//clench like claws against your own skin//

Humanity was held at an arm's length as Buffy & Angel moved swiftly through
the newly darkened woods. Stripping away the leather and cloth binds that
held their bodies from becoming one, they moved deeper, creating a trail of
society behind them. They worshiped their freedom, as if their memories
could hold the realization of what they now had.

The forest floor sprang to life with night sounds and melted into them,
curving around each other's minds in a single force. Blending with nature
and overcoming it, they felt as if they controlled the air around them. The
trees swayed in a jubilant dance of true naturalistic becoming and they
danced with them. Over the crickets song and the fresh beat of wind through
the grass, twisted the sound of intertwining mates finally claiming what was


//but when you speak to her,
her eyes light up//

When Willow finally opened her brilliant eyes, Tara breathed a long sigh of
relief that her lover was back. The strength that Tara had been holding
onto for the hours it took to make things right, leaked through her eyes as
she took her girlfriend into her arms.

"I was so afraid," she whispered, momentarily forgetting that there were
others in the room.

"I'm sorry," Willow responded, clutching Tara tightly to her, "I saw the
needle but it was too late and then, it was really strange...I forgot it

"That's okay," Tara answered.

"Willow," Giles said, after clearing his throat deliberately, "I understand
that you've been through an incident, but the matter of Buffy and Angel is
really rather urgent."

"Course," Willow said, "On it...I think, I think there might have been
several layers to the spell that I didn't see at first. That's what I was
looking into before I...wigged or whatever. Anyway, there may be a way to
reverse what I did and reset the spell."

"Alrighty," Xander said, nodding, "But how do we find Buffy & Angel?"

"Good question," Giles said with a sigh, "I suppose we should perform
another sweep. Perhaps we overlooked them before?"

The group gathered weapons with half the speed of their earlier search and
with a fraction of the hope. Buffy & Angel weren't merely overlooked
before. They all knew it and the truth forced a grim prospect on what they
might find this time around. Multiple sets of feet hauled themselves to the
door, with an extended amount of coercion and forced cheerfulness as Willow
settled in with Tara by her side to find the antidote to the antidote.


//it's almost like my life will fall, my life will fall//

Faith was trawled into the complex where Buffy and Angel had been held and
she stood before Lindsay and Lilah, who both looked smugly pleased with

"Please," Faith said, pulling her arm away from the guard, "I did what I was
supposed to do. Why can't you leave me alone?"

"Faith," Lilah answered, "You didn't think we were going to let you go until
we were sure that all this worked, did you? We can't have you out there
warning your friends...can we call them friends?...we can't have them warned
about the things you've done."

"You know too much," Lindsay added, "which makes you a liability that the
Firm really can't afford to have right now."

"They would never trust me now anyway," she said, in a last ditch attempt to
convince them, even though the tone of her voice and the listless look in
her eyes told them she had already given up.

"We really can't take that chance, now can we?"


//we know of an ancient radiation
that haunts dismembered constellations//

The group couldn't have found Buffy & Angel more quickly if they had found a
phone and had the presence of mind to call them and inform them of their
specific coordinates. Angel was roaring chest heaving, blood curdling howls
as he carried Buffy's lifeless body through the woods. After too much time
of having no sleep, no food and numerous vampires partaking of her blood,
her body simply gave out. Slayer strength kept her tiny feet moving beside
her mate until late into the night, but she grew slower, while Angel, still
empowered from his small taste of her blood, found himself circling her.

When Buffy collapsed, when she stopped moving altogether, Angel gathered her
form in his arms and continued toward the smell of blood, toward the lighted
Sunnydale streets. His consciousness was so far decayed that he couldn't
form the linear thought patterns needed to take her to get the help she
needed, so instead he howled, creating a beacon in the night that led the
Scoobies straight to his anguished cries.

Riley was the first to hear the sound, having split off from everyone else,
and ran full speed toward what sounded like absolute anguish. He shot Angel
three times with the dart gun before the vampire set Buffy gently on the
ground and allowed himself rest. Xander came running up and helped to drag
the two torn warriors back to his flat.


//i didn't know if i would live or die//

Faith allowed herself to be tugged toward a containment room, where she
would be held until they saw fit to let her go or kill her. As she walked,
or was pulled, actually, toward the room, she passed the rooms where Buffy
and Angel had been held. Doors ajar, there was nothing keeping her from
seeing the mangled chairs that had been wrenched from the floor and the
trails of blood that led to each other. Janitors were cleaning up debris
and washing up blood from several different places in the complex,
diligently erasing the signs of struggle.

"What the hell happened here?" Faith asked as they wo-manhandled her toward
the door of her future home.

"The other Slayer and the vampire," the gravely voice answered.

"What did they do?" she asked, jerking her head back to see the wreckage
behind her.

"They escaped from their holding cells," said Gravely, "and when guards
attempted to stop them, three men were killed."

"B-by the vampire?" Faith asked, turning to look directly at the guard for
the first time.

"By both of them," he said, swallowing loudly, "Like they could read each
other's minds or somethin'. They ripped one man completely in half."

As they neared the room, Faith thought about those chairs, those bolts, bent
and laying on broken tile. Saying that they underestimated them would be an
underestimation of what those idiots had done when they tried to capture
Buffy & Angel. You can't bottle the power of a vampire or a Slayer and
harness it to work your will. You can't turn goodness into evil without
chaos leaking through the cracks. At the very second they reached the door
and the guard prepared to push her inside it, Faith remembered that she was
a Slayer. She remembered for the first time in years what it really meant
to be a Slayer and the sheer power she had at her disposal.

And then she used it.


//it's coming down.
it's coming down.
it's raining outside.//

Riley dropped Angel on the floor just inside the door and ran to the couch,
where Xander gently laid Buffy's body. Giles hurried over and the two men
checked her vital signs, finding her heartbeat strong and her breathing
shallow, but even.

"We should take her to the hospital," Xander said, watching the commotion
from the end of the couch, "Okay...clothes for naked people, then hospital."

"We can't," Giles said, shaking his head, "the physicians there wouldn't
know what to do with this drug they've been given. We can't risk another
drug being added to the mix and creating a side effect that we don't know
how to handle."

"We don't know how to handle this anyway," Riley said, standing up from the
kneeling position he had taken by Buffy's side.

"Xander," Giles said, as he draped blankets over the lovers, "Please locate
some clothing for these two and Willow..."

"Okay," Willow answered, standing from her chemistry project, "I created an
antidote for the previous antidote, but this will just reverse the effects
of the drug that *I* gave them, not what Faith gave them...I think."

"This is fucking great," Riley snapped, stepping back from Buffy so that
Willow could give her the injection.

"I told you all we were going to die, that none of this would work, but no
one listens to me," Anya added and then stopped speaking to resume her new
pastime of cowering a corner.

Xander slid down the wall next to her, basking along with her in her cloud
of gloom. Buffy looked horribly pale and didn't seem close to opening her
pretty hazel eyes. The tension was stretching the walls in the room and as
much as they all wanted to think positively, no one knew what was going to
happen next. Angel hadn't stirred yet, but when he did, there was no
guarantee that he was going to have a soul. Even if he did, the primal
escalation could nudge him toward ripping throats out all over the room.
Especially if Buffy was not awake to stop it. Yep, the cloud of gloom
section of the room was working well for Xander. So he leaned back against
Giles' eggshell walls and pulled Anya close to his side.

Willow injected Buffy & Angel quickly and backed away, nearly running back
to her books to decipher the original drug. Cursing under her breath, she
wished she could just turn back time and make it all go away. If there was
just a way for everything to just undo what had been done, then maybe...

"A reversal spell," Willow said, pushing aside the large stack of papers she
had been scribbling on. Casting a look toward Tara, they dove into spell
books for an easier solution to the complications. A new light of hope
filled Willow's heart as she began searching for a different way out of the
convoluted mess they were in. She had been so knee deep in chemistry that
her eyes were clouded and she was about to start doodling over her formulas.


//it's such a simple machine//

Faith felt the click of relief, a click on the opposite direction that Buffy
& Angel had taken. Just as they had taken a different direction they
normally took, so did she. She moved toward the light that she had so long
avoided. Using every bit of Slayer force she could muster, she fought
herself out of the building.

Lilah & Lindsay watched with disbelief as she broke away and headed back
toward the only family she had ever known - family that would never trust
her and would never love her. Two guards were knocked aside as they came
back in the door from spying on the renegade pair of lovers.

"Tell me some good news," Lilah demanded of them as she picked up a knocked
over chair and sat in it.

"The Slayer's friends found them and have taken them back to the Watcher's

"Jesus fucking Christ, Lilah!" Lindsay yelled, "I told you we should have
taken them back to LA where we would be harder to find."

"The plan was full proof until you showed up," Lilah yelled back, "I knew I
shouldn't have let you in the rooms with them. You were supposed to agitate
them, not upset them so much they escalated too quickly!"

"Right, blame it on me," he yelled back.

"Shut up, Lindsay," she said, "We don't even know if the little witch will
figure out how to reverse the drugs."

"She's a goddamn genius," he said, walking out of the room, "She'll figure
it out and I'm not going to be here with you when the partners find out
about this."

"Yeah, run away," Lilah yelled at his back, "A month ago you were wagging
your tail like a puppy to be part of this project. *My* project!"

"You can have it!"


//never there. you're never there.
you're never, ever, ever ever there//

Buffy opened her eyes and gagged on the water that Riley was trying to nurse
between her dry lips. Coughing and sputtering, she sat up on the couch and
looked around, disorientated. Angel, who was now draped with chains, sat
against the wall, eyeing the room through angry, narrowed eyes. A low growl
rumbled through his chest as if he needed it to breathe.

Buffy sat up quickly and dropped her knees on the floor as dizziness took
over her small frame. Crawling, she moved toward Angel and tugged at his
chains with obvious confusion. From the moment she touched him, Angel
ceased all sound and looked over his mate. Reaching blindly, he wiggled
against the chains until he could touch a small piece of her skin. Buffy
continued to weakly pull at the chains and after several moments, she
lowered her head to his lap and nuzzled herself back to sleep. Riley looked
on, as Angel threaded his fingers into her tangled golden hair. Holding a
glass of water lightly in his hand, Riley breathed dejection.

It took Willow and Tara several long hours to come up with a reversal spell
and during that time, Giles and Riley took turns trying to feed Buffy and
force her to drink water, but they could barely force any nourishment into
her body. Every time one of them tried to touch her, Angel sounded warnings
in the form of snarls and growls, causing them to flinch. The rest of the
group ran errands, helping as much as they could but in the end, the biggest
job was to wait. And the waiting was becoming more complicated.

Finally, the spell began to take shape and the witches forced the group back
into the kitchen while they performed the ritual. Everyone grabbed a
section of kitchen counter, clutching the Formica as if promises could be
squeezed from it.


//would i start to regret it,
or would i smile,
and watch it slowly fall, fall, fall//

Buffy woke with a groan and found herself back in Giles apartment on Angel's
lap. She looked around the room and nearly burst into tears as the memories
of the nights before sprang to mind, "Oh my God."

"Buffy, are you okay?" Xander immediately said.

"I...I don't know," she said, turning to Angel, whose eyes were open and
awake, "Angel?"

He met her eyes but didn't speak, fidgeting against his chains.

"Angel?" Buffy asked again, touching his face, "Say something."

"Buffy," he said, after a long pause, as if her name was a sentence.

"I need a key to this lock," she said, holding up the padlock that held the
chains closed around him.

"No way," Riley said, "You're not letting him out of those chains. He is
*not* okay."

"Giles," Buffy said, standing and turning away from the man who still was
her boyfriend, "I need the key, okay? Angel will not hurt anyone."

"Buffy," Giles said, clearing his throat, "I'm not entirely certain-"

"Someone give me the damn key!" she shouted, her voice cracking to betray
her weakness. Riley walked over and held both her shoulders, which caused
Angel to erupt into the first sound he had made since awakening, which was a
very low growl of warning.

"Yeah," Riley said sarcastically, dropping his hands, "He's fine."

Spotting keys on Riley's belt, she snatched them up and flipped through
them, ignoring his protests. She knelt beside Angel and unlocked the
padlock. Quickly, she unraveled the links from his body and helped him to

"Will," Buffy said, "Angel's not better. I'm really grateful for what
you've already done, but could you..."

"Sure," Willow said, nodding a slow, exhausted assent, "I'll look into it."

"Thank you," she said, turning toward the door.

"Where are you going?" Riley demanded.

"Taking Angel home."


"My home," she answered before stumbling out into the night.


//i am thinking of you,
wondering what i should i do,
but i'm finally cutting through this haze//

Riley watched silently as Buffy walked with Angel into the night. Starlight
flooded around them, creating pools of jealousy in their footsteps.

"Buffy," he said, jogging up to them, "I'm sorry, but I can't leave you
alone with him. Not only is he a very unstable demon but you're weak."

"Riley, I know you're having a hard time with what's happened the last
couple of days and believe me, I understand. I'm having a hard time with it
too, but I have to take care of Angel right now. We'll talk later, okay?"

"This isn't about us. Okay, it *is* about us, but all that aside - he's
dangerous. Let's rethink how we're going to deal with this," he said as he
stepped closer. He ached to reach out and touch her but Angel's golden eyes
were watching him closely, waiting for him to make a move toward his mate.

Buffy sighed with frustration. If she remembered nothing from the events of
the days and night past, she remembered how she *felt*. Being reduced to
everything primal, leaving humanity and duty aside, there was no escaping
her true feelings. Riley disappeared, easily ignored and Angel became her
whole world. He always had been her whole world. She had wanted to wait
until Angel was better before she broke things off with Riley, but she could
see now that this talk couldn't be pushed aside.

"Riley," she said quietly, "I know things have been...um...look, Angel was
right. I do belong to him. We may have been outside of logical thought but
those base feelings were...are real."

"No," Riley said, shaking his head, "You've had a rough time and I was
pushing. Just take some time to think about this."

"I don't need to," she said, as her eyes filled with tears, "I've been dying
without him - long before this happened. He's my other half. He is what
I've been missing in my life. He left because he wanted me to be in the
light but I can't be and I don't want to be if I have to be without him. I
love him...I don't love you. I'm sorry."

"Buffy, we have something here. Please don't throw that away."

"I'm sorry," Buffy said, squeezing Angel's side for reinforcements she
dearly wished he could give. Giving Riley one last saddened look, she began
to move forward again. Riley lashed out, grabbing her arm and pulling her
away from her undead mate.

"Riley, no!" Buffy screamed, but it was too late. Angel attacked.
Releasing a roar with his lunge, he slammed his body against Riley's pinning
him into the ground below.

The single word, "MINE" that came from Angel's mouth was barely recognizable
as a word in any language as he tore violently into the boy's insipid
throat. Tearing the human flesh away, Angel fed on his mate's attacker, his


//well, the way you treat me, like only, slightly brings me down, a lot//

Faith watched from the trees as Riley approached Buffy and Angel in the
courtyard outside Giles' flat. She paused, holding on the balls of her
feet, as a sprinter in a race. She waited for the lunge that would surely
come and when Riley touched Buffy, Faith was already dashing across the

She flinched as the roar of outrage flowed out of Angel and she dove as the
sickening sound of the tearing of his flesh filled her ears. Buffy grappled
her way to her feet to pull Angel away but Faith beat her there, pulling
Angel away from Riley's defenseless throat and tossing the vampire against
her sister Slayer's body. Angel tumbled over Buffy and pushed away from the
ground, bouncing back to his feet to finish what he started.

His angry face met with Faith's fist and soon had another Slayer yanking him
back from his much deserved prey. Buffy swung him around and knocked him
back to the ground. As he began to stand again, Buffy dropped on top of him
and pushed his shoulders roughly back, keeping him there. He paused at his
attacker, looking at his mate with obvious confusion. As Riley's blood
began to slip through his veins, nourishing his body, realization dawned on
his face.

Faith tore away the bottom of her shirt and tied it quickly around Riley's
neck before lifting him and slinging him easily over her narrow shoulder.
With a quick glance at Buffy, she headed toward Giles' car, yelling for him
to come out with the keys. As Giles' started his car and hurried toward
Sunnydale Hospital with Buffy's dying boyfriend, she sat perched on Angel's
chest, staring into the tearful eyes of her soul mate.


Chapter 6

//i won't be soothed//

Angel was confused, angry, primal. His mate had stopped him from killing
the man who dared touch her and forced into him long moments of remorse,
which his digressed mind did not understand. Sorrow and regret had poured
from her so forcefully that he found his eyes creating tears of sadness.
Not for the maimed human but for her.

She walked him home and when they entered the house, he was struck with her
smell in every crevice and corner. The whole house hummed with her, forced
its way into his nostrils. She led him up the stairway into her bedroom and
that room was even more offensive in its attack. He shed his clothes,
removing the offensive material, returning to his natural form. He heard
his mate suck in her breath as the sight of his body and smelled her
immediate arousal. Her glance was a caress over his hard, throbbing cock
and he moved toward her to sheath inside her waiting, wet heat.

She stepped back, rejecting his advances and he looked over her with
confusion. Had the man's one touch hurt her in some way? He moved closer
her, inspecting her bruised body for a wound he did not already know of, but
she stepped away again, shaking her head and explaining in simple human
terms why it was wrong to make love at a time like this. But even as she
physically stepped away, he could smell the honey inside her pussy, begging
for him and her eyes raked his body, sending shivers of want down his spine.

"Mate," he growled stepping closer again, every muscle tensed and hard in
his frustration of her rejection. He pulled her roughly into his arms and
took her lips roughly against his, while he tore away the clothing that
covered her golden flesh.

"Angel," she said and he recognized his name, loving the way her tongue
moved in her mouth when she pronounced it. His name this time was not an
invitation but meant to be a stop to his needs, which he ignored as he
reached between her legs to feel the slick heat there. He growled as he
pulled one of her strong legs up to his waist and entered her. He watched
her face as he lowered her to the floor, moving inside her with strong, hard
thrusts. She closed her eyes and melted against him, spreading for him,
arching against him as he claimed her.

Tears began streaming from her eyes as he moved inside her and soon her
small frame was racked with uncontrollable sobs. He leaned in and rubbed
his face against her tears, wiping them away and nuzzling her. He pushed
his hands under her back and pulled her close against his chest, as he made
love to her, lost in confusion of her emotion and simultaneous desire.


//my intentions are good and earnest, and true//

"Okay, Xander," Willow said sleepily, "Please take this to the hospital and
give it to Faith. It *should* reverse the effects of what they gave her."

"I don't want to be anywhere near the psycho bitch," Xander said in protest,
gaining a bright smile from Anya, who was pleased that Xander no longer
desired the *other* woman he had made love to.

"Xander," Willow said, trying on her best "determined" face, despite her

"Fine," he muttered and headed toward the door, closely followed by Anya,
who was not about to leave her man alone with that Slayer.

Willow wilted, settling into the couch for a second of rest while her mind
rapidly hopped over the possible solutions for Angel's condition.

"Will," Tara said gently, curling up next to her girlfriend on the couch, "I
think you should sleep and then maybe you'll think of how to help Angel."

"He's dangerous," Willow said with drooping eyes, "I want to help him."

"Perhaps Tara is right," Wesley said, strolling in with a cup of tea,
knowing that at this point the caffeine only worked as long as it was going
in, "You should rest. You've done well so far but your mind needs a rest as
well as your body."

"I know I need some sleep," Cordelia said grumpily, waking briefly from her
sleep in Giles' chair.

"It's just...I don't know what's wrong," Willow said, as her eyes began to
tear up, "I don't...I don't know how to help him. Buffy needs me and I'm
failing her. I don't think I can fix this."

"You're not failing, Willow," Tara said, pulling her against her tightly.

"This isn't your sole responsibility," Wesley added, "No one expects you to
have all the answers."

Willow nodded through her tears as she fell into a sound sleep, unable to
keep her mind working for one more second. With a sigh of relief, Tara
rested her head against Willow's and went immediately to sleep as well.


//oh, baby, i was bound, to let you go//

"Giles," Faith said, as she rubbed her arm from the injection that Xander
had just administered in an especially squimish way, as if he wasn't sure if
he was afraid to touch her or that she would hit him after he gave her the
shot. She just nodded her thanks and turned to the man who used to be her
Watcher, "You have to believe me when I tell you that this wasn't my fault.
They drugged me and -"

"Faith," Giles said, interrupting, "I expect that we will have a long way to
go before you are able to regain my trust."

"I know," she said, nodding sadly.

"In order to do that, you will allow yourself to be taken to England where
you will report to the Watcher's Council for punishment and rehabilitation."

"You mean...you mean I don't have to go back to jail?" She asked, with eyes
lighting up with hopefulness.

"I suspect they will imprison you themselves," he said, "But officially, no.
I don't think they will send you back to jail here. Especially since the
local authorities seem to think you are deceased."

"Yeah," she said, settling into a plastic chair, "That's the best thing that
has happened to me in a long time."

"You may disagree once you are in England," he said, looking over at her
sadly. He knew the Watcher's Council was harsh and at times very
unnecessarily hard on people who have made mistakes. In Faith's case, there
would probably be a large amount of discipline involved, which was likely to
be exceptionally unpleasant.

"Excuse me," a doctor said, approaching in a blue scrubs, "Are you the
family of Riley Finn?"

"We're friends," Giles said, holding out his hand to shake the doctor's,
"I'm Ruppert Giles. His family lives in the Midwest, so we are here in
their stead."

"Dr. Wilkins," he said, taking Giles' hand.

"How is he?"

"We were able to stabilize him and believe that he will recover, but he has
extensive damage to his throat and numerous other contusions over his body.
I understand he was attacked?"

"Wild dogs," Xander answered, "Last night."

"I see," the doctor said, nodding with a furrowed brow, "Mr. Finn is
currently heavily sedated and will not regain consciousness for several
hours. If you like, you can go home and return later in the evening when
the anesthetic has worn off."

"Course," Giles said, shaking the doctor's hand again, "Thank you very much,


//but how can you say you'll be happy//

Buffy was wrapped in Angel's arms on the floor next to her bed in a deep
coma-like sleep that a hurricane couldn't have woken her from. She finally
released all of her pain, sorrow and pent up frustration in Angel and now
slept fitfully in his arms.

"Buffy?" Joyce called up the stairs as she entered the house. She carried
her bags up the stairs and dropped them in her room before calling out again
and heading to Buffy's room. It was fairly early in the morning, so she
figured her daughter would still be asleep. What she didn't count on was
seeing her daughter, naked and bruised, lying on the floor, curled against
the very large, very nude body of her ex-vampire lover.

"Oh my God," she said, stumbling back and causing Angel to open his eyes.
He looked up at Joyce curiously and it didn't occur to him to move to cover
himself or his mate. He simply stared at her while she stared back. Joyce
hurried away, slamming the door behind her. Buffy murmured in her sleep and
sought out Angel, pulling him against her again without waking.


//i want a girl with the right allocations
who's fast and thorough
and sharp as a tack//

"Breathing!" Willow said, blinking herself awake and causing the room to
rouse from it's sleep as her word beat its way into numerous eardrums.

"Huh?" Cordelia said, jerking awake, "What are you yelling about?"

"Breathing," Willow said, pulling gently away from Tara and rising to her

"Oookay," Cordy answered, as Wesley and Tara looked on, "Got that part. Now
what are you talking about?"

"The spell," Willow said, flipping through the spell book, "The reversal
spell said...'return what was to the first breath.'"


"Angel doesn't breath!" Willow said brightly, "That's why it didn't work.
We allotted the spell for three days and he didn't breath in the last three
days so how could he return to that state?"

"Ah," Wesley said nodding, "Is there another spell or way to alter this

"Probably," she said, absently lowering to the chair and digging into the
spell. Tara smiled brightly and sleepily and looked over at Wesley who was
smiling and then to Cordy who had fallen back asleep.


//you've entered the room with great caution//

When Buffy woke up late in the afternoon, it didn't take her long to realize
that her mother was home and an even shorter time to realize that she had
seen the two of them. She moved away from Angel, leaving him sleeping on
the floor and pulled a robe around her.

Joyce was in the kitchen, cleaning furiously, as if the shine in the
counters could somehow erase the memory of what she had seen.

"Mom?" Buffy asked timidly as she made her way into the kitchen. Joyce
jumped with a start and looked up at her daughter.

"Buffy," Joyce said, setting down her sponge and stripping off her yellow
plastic gloves, "What is going on?"

"I can explain."

"I certainly hope so," she said, shuddering at the memory of the broken
bathroom door and the vision of the lovers on the floor, "Actually, I'm not
sure I want to hear this but I want him to leave."

"It's not that simple Mom," Buffy said, "Something happened while you were

"That's obvious."

"We were drugged and...a lot happened, but listen, Angel needs me right

"And I see he's had you," Joyce said, crossing her arms across her chest in
disapproval and disgust, "I'm sorry. Are you okay, honey? You look

"Mom, I'm fine," Buffy said, stepping closer to the island which stood
between her and her mother.

"Your neck," Joyce said, practically running around the island to inspect
her daughter's bitten, broken skin, "Angel, did this to you!"

"No, Mom," Buffy said, shaking her head, "I was attacked after I was
drugged. Angel didn't hurt me."

Well it was mostly true anyway, Angel didn't hurt her. He did bite her, but
some things were better left unsaid. She took a deep breath and continued,
"He's not going to lose his soul."

"How do you know that? How can you be sure?"

"Because it would have...happened already," Buffy said, feeling as if the
words were large cotton balls in her mouth, soaking up all the moisture

"I don't want to hear this," Joyce said, turning away and walking several
steps across the room.

"I'm sorry Mom," Buffy said, leaning against the counter, "I know you want
me to be with someone who can give me children and a different future than
Angel can, but I'm The Slayer. I can't have that anyway."

"Buffy," Joyce said sternly turning back around, "You cannot do this to
yourself. I won't let you. You can't live your life with a vampire! It's
horrible and unnatural and...disgusting."

"I love him," Buffy whispered hoarsely through thick tears that lodged in
her throat. She watched her mother shudder at her words and continued,
"God, I wish I didn't. I know you wish I didn't. You know how much easier
my life would be if I didn't love him? If I didn't miss him every minute of
every day? But I do. I love him with everything that's in me. I can't
live without him. Even you can't tell me you haven't noticed how much I've
changed since he left me...how much I've died."

"Please reconsider," Joyce said, trying to choose her words carefully, "He
can't give you anything that a normal woman should have. He can't even go
in the sunlight!"

"I know. I know that."

"You'll be wasting your life," Joyce whispered in despair.

"No," Buffy said, shaking her head adamantly, "I've been wasting my
life...until now."


//you're sitting there thinking your thoughts
they are not about what is but what is not
you are sitting there breathing in your breath
you are seldom breathing life but mostly death//

It didn't seem like a week had passed but it had. Faith had been shipped
off to London, where the Watcher's Council was preparing the battery of
tests and abuses they planned to afflict on the Slayer. Willow had
successfully performed the spell on Angel and after three days of heart
wrenching conversations, which rivaled the sewer talk that they had before
Prom, Angel gathered Wesley and Cordelia and headed back to LA to think -
and brood.

Buffy gathered her wits and went to Sunnydale Hospital to face her
boyfriend, who had been taken out of Intensive Care, but was still under
close observation. She walked slowly to his room, thinking and rethinking
the speech she had prepared, but when she walked through the door, she lost
all memory of what she had planned to say.

Her hand flew to her mouth as she looked on his body, attached to tubes and
monitors. Angel had caused irreparable damage to his throat and Giles told
her that the doctors thought for a moment that he would lose his ability to
speak. If she had anything to thank The Powers That Be for, it was the life
of Riley. If he had died, she would never have been able to get over the
guilt she would have had to carry with her. She was already carrying
tremendous guilt and she had no doubt that Angel carried it doubly all those
miles away as well.

"Riley," she said, as she walked in the room. He turned to her, looking her
over with pained, morphine intensive eyes.

"Buffy," he muffled, inspecting her neck, which had almost completely
healed, but still had large yellow and purple bruises.

"How are you?" she asked.

"Been better."

"Yeah, I guess so," she said, beginning to fidget nervously.

"So you're here to make sure we're broken up," he asked.

"I wanted to see how you were...if you were okay."

"I'll live," he answered, "With a huge scar, but I'll live."

"I'm sorry," she said, truthfully, "I never meant for any of this to

"I know."

"Riley, I-" she started, but he raised his hand weakly to cut her off.

"Buffy, please don't," he said quietly, "Just go."

"But -"

"Please," he begged, "If you ever cared about me, you won't say the words.
I know you're going back to him. I understand. I just...I can't hear you
say it. Just give me that, okay?

"Okay," she said, nodding as the tears fell over her face. She leaned in
and kissed his forehead and he closed his eyes as she made contact, knowing
that was the last he would have of her lips, being that close to her skin,
almost holding her. She looked briefly in his eyes before turning and
heading back out of the door and into the hallway, where headed toward the
exit. As she walked, she cried for the pain she had caused him, for not
being able to love him. Even though she wasn't sure if Angel was going to
come back, she knew that she could no longer live that lie with Riley.


//your enemies enraged//

Angel had been back in LA for a week and he couldn't wait to get back out
again. He had a rage inside him that had not gone away with Willow's spell
and he waited for his peace of mind - or the closest thing to peace of mind
he could have - but it never came. Finally, he left Cordelia's apartment in
search of the vengeance he knew was his.

He waited for night's safe cloak to come on and then moved swiftly through
her door as the sun nestled under the horizon. He went directly to Wolfram
& Hart and strolled through the front door, as if he were a welcome guest.
The vampire alarms went off, but he made it safely into the elevator and
into Lindsay's office before anyone was able to even get near him.

"Lindsay," he growled as he walked in and shut the door, locking it behind

"I didn't touch her," the lawyer said, using his desk as a shield, as if he
actually thought it would keep the vampire from getting to him.

"Not directly," Angel growled, "But you did drug her, chain her to a chair,
drive her insane."

"We digressed her. We didn't drive her insane," Lindsay corrected.

"Oh," Angel said nodding in brutal sarcasm, "I guess I'll go then, cause
that's completely different!"

"Listen," Lindsay said, holding up his plastic hand.

"No, you listen," Angel said, leaping over the desk and slamming the
terrified lawyer against the floor length glass window which overlooked the
city, as the guards began to beat on the door, "Torturing me and my friends
are one thing, but hurting my mate -"

"Angel," Lindsay choked, over the sound of guards breaking down the
resilient oak door, "If you kill me you won't get out of this building

"You think I'm worried about that?" Angel growled, slamming his head against
the window and smiling at the trickle of blood that smeared on the spotless

"She's fine," Lindsay said, struggling and groaning in pain, "We didn't hurt

"If she wasn't fine, you and your pathetic bitch would already be dead,"
Angel said as the guards busted through the door and circled with their
stakes. Angel spun around, showing his game face to the new audience,
holding Lindsay by the neck in front of his heart.

"Back the fuck off or he dies."

The guards did not move but stood there, waiting for Lindsay's orders.
Angel waited too and finding no change, he squeezed, crushing the fragile
spinal neck bones and causing Lindsay to scream for the guards to back off.
They moved back outside of the room and waited there. Angel walked toward
the door with the lawyer ahead of him and used him as a shield. He dragged
Lindsay into the elevator with him and tried to overcome the urge to feed
off him and drop his lifeless body on the expensive carpeted elevator floor.
When the doors opened to the lobby, Lindsay, regretfully, still lived and
an entourage of guards waited for them there.

Angel escorted Lindsay to the front doors and stopped before exiting the
building. He grabbed his plastic hand and crushed it to emphasize his point
as he spoke, "Touch Buffy again and you die. Speak to her and you die. If
something happens to her, I'll come back here and murder every person in
this building, do you understand me? You won't be crying over your hand.
You won't need it. Got me?"

Lindsay nodded slowly. Angel picked him up and tossed him into the cadre of
guards as he fled the building, wishing he had killed just that one little
human but knowing that he couldn't. Not even Lindsay, who technically,
should not count as human.


//"let me go," she said
"let me go," she said
let me go and i will want you more
let me go, let me go
let me go and i will want you//

"I don't think he's coming back," Buffy said, sitting against the large elm
in the center of the quad with Willow.

"You don't know that," Willow said, taking a sip of her Mocha, sipping the
plastic lid enthusiastically.

"It's been a month."

"There's a lot to think about."

"Yeah, I guess. But it took me ten minutes to make a decision. What's
taking him so damn long?" Buffy asked her friend, after several long,
slurping moments, "You're sure he won't lose his soul again?"

The witch shook her head emphatically, "Tara and I have bee researching it
on and off since he left. It's understandable that he didn't lose it before
when you guys...you know...cause you were all drugged and stuff, but it
still seemed kinda strange."


"So, we looked into it and the curse's clause was singular."


"It wasn't meant to be repeated," Willow answered thoughtfully, "Once he
lost his soul the first time, it wasn't meant to be returned to him. When
Jenny deciphered the spell again, it had to be altered in order to work a
second time."

"And she took out the soul clause?" Buffy asked, leaning forward, drinking
her friend's words.


"‘Kay, now I'm confused."

"Well," Willow said, looking up at the cloudless blue sky while she thought
of how to explain it, "She altered it so that the soul could be returned.
It didn't take out the soul clause but kinda reversed it."

"So, he can't lose his soul again?"

"Well, he *could* technically, I guess" Willow answered with a smile, "but
to lose his soul, he would have to suffer the deepest anguish possible."

"So if I make him sad, he'll lose his soul?" Buffy asked, scrunching her
face in confusion.

"Well, basically it means that he has to lose his soul to lose his soul."


"The deepest anguish is losing his soul, so..."

"There's no way it can happen!"

"Not really," Willow said, falling back as Buffy dove against her friend and
hugging her hard against her, causing both Mochas to fly onto the ground.
Plastic lids flew off and the thick sugar filled liquid sank into the ground
as Buffy embraced her friend so hard, Willow protested in pain.


//i've been waiting for so long
i've been hoping your love's not gone
houses are sliding in the mud
rivers are raging in your blood//

"So...you're not going back?" Cordy asked, settling on her couch with a cup
of tea.

"I *really* don't want to talk about this," Angel said, crossing his arms
over his chest.

"Well," she said, shooting him a sparkling smile, "Since you've been raining
in my apartment for a month, I think I have the right to ask. So...you're
not going back?"

"Do you really think I have a choice?" he asked, giving her his grimmest

"There's *always* a choice," she said, "And you're driving me nuts. I think
I'm gonna have to kick you out."

"Cordy, please, don't start this," he said, as a knock sounded on the door.
Angel froze, staring at the entrance. He knew who was on the other side of
that door. A small piece of his soul sang, a small part cried out and a
giant piece wanted to beg Cordelia not to answer that door.

"Are you going to get the door?" she asked innocently and he shot her an
angry look as he realize she knew all along that Buffy was on her way. He
looked briefly toward the window in annoyance as he realized he was trapped
for hours inside that apartment and if Buffy wanted to torture him, a lot of
effort would not be required.

"I'll get it," she said, standing, "I have some errands to run anyway. Try
not to break anything."

Cordy opened the door and smiled at The Slayer and then leaned in to
whisper, "You owe me and if you guys fight and break *anything,* you're
paying for it."

"Whatever," Buffy said, rolling her eyes and then took on sincere gratitude,
"Thanks Cordy."

"Whatever," Cordy echoed much too casually as she strolled into the
afternoon sunshine, flipping her hair over her shoulder with triumph as she
headed out.

"Buffy," Angel said as she walked in the room. She approached him quickly
and he backed up just as rapidly. She caught up and pushed him down onto
the couch, swinging a leg over his and settling into his lap.

"Buffy," Angel repeated as he began to push her away.

"No," she said, grabbing his hands and forcing them behind his head, "I came
to claim what's mine."

"Look - " he started, but she interrupted quickly, "Angel, I'm going to say
this fast, so pay attention. I love you. I miss you. I don't care what
your excuses are. I don't care about the future. I care about us. Willow
found out that there's no longer a happiness clause in the curse, so the
danger is gone. I've thought about this. I'm a big girl and I can decide
for myself what I want to do with my life, so shut up and make love to me or
I'll beat your ass until you change your mind."

Angel started at her in shock as she spoke, all the time, pressing harder
against his growing arousal. She let go of his hands when she finished
speaking and stared back at him, accosting him with love.

"You're evil," he growled as he pressed up against her denim clad heat. Her
lips turned into a slow, sweet, marmalade smile and he bit in, hooking his
life on her words.

"God, I love you," he swore as he pulled her top off, watching her breasts
bounce free and her hair flutter over her shoulders against her skin. Her
fingers flew over the buttons of his shirt as he lapped at her breasts,
tickling her flesh with his whipping tongue. She pulled his shirt off and
then stood, quickly shimming out of her tight jeans, socks and shoes, as he
stood and followed suit. She swept her eyes over his naked body and
breathed a long, shaky breath before pushing him roughly back onto the couch
and mounting his prone form.

"Anxious, love?" he whispered with a smile as she guided his cock into her,
clenching her inner muscles around him and replacing his words with a ragged

"We've wasted too much time," she said, as she moved against him, pressing
her hands against his broad chest, bracing her movements. He placed a large
hand on her narrow hip and another between her thighs, rubbing her clit in
time with her movements. She threw her head back and arched her back as she
moved against him, bucking against the feel of his hard cock, his nimble
fingers. He reached up and pinched her nipples and shivered with pleasure
as she responded. He moved under her, burying himself deeper inside her
with each stroke, needing to fill her completely, to touch every place
inside her.

Buffy climaxed quickly and bent to suck his tongue into her mouth and bite
at his lips as she shook in pleasure. She moved again, loving the feel of
him, the perfect fit of him inside her. Her nipples skimmed over his chest
as she rode her lover and together they came, their carnal moans causing
phantom Dennis to blush.

Buffy collapsed against his chest shivering and panting. Angel swiftly
flipped them with vampiric speed and began kissing along her body, touching
his lips on every piece of delectable flesh.

"Anxious, love?" she mocked, repeating his own words as he moved over her
body. He settled between her thighs, laving her clit with slow laps of his
tongue. He paused and looked up at her with a twinkle in his eyes and
growled, "Just claiming what's mine."

//they are transfixed
they are forgetting just to breath
they are so taken by your symphony...//