When Angels Fall by Tango


E-MAIL: Tangofic@hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Of course.
SPOILERS: A different spin on "The Gift"
DISTRIBUTION: Sure, just let me know.
FEEDBACK: Please feed me! Need it to go on!
RATING: R for language

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Let's just say, for grins (and to make my fic work), that
Angel made it back from Pylea the day the portal was going to open. K?

LYRICS: All lyrics are from Pearl Jam.


*The key was living energy. It needed to be channeled, poured into a
specific time. The energy would flow into that spot. The walls between
dimensions break down. It stops, the energy's used up, the walls come back
up. Glory uses that time to get back into her own dimension, not caring
that all manner of hell will be unleashed on earth in the meantime.* (Giles,
"The Gift)

*Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you
going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead. Course
it's her blood.* (Spike, "The Gift")


//cannot find the comfort in this world
artificial tear...vessel stabbed...//

The moment they passed through the portal, the energy lacing through Angel's
undead body was not what he felt. Buffy filled his brain, lashing out in
long, painful violent strokes, screaming and Angel screamed with it. He
roared. Cordy, Gunn, Wesley, Lorne and Fred stared at the vampire as he
fell to his knees and choked up blood.

Two hours later, Angel ran past the Scooby core, who stood, staring up at
The Slayer and The Key, now alone on the tower. A peace settled over Angel
that ebbed through the lightning and destruction, over the emerging demons
and through the crackling air. The peace and calm coming from his former
lover created a greater panic than before.

Angel ran, begging his vampiric speed for just a little more and as he made
his way, dodging cracks of light, mental patients, screaming fiends and
craters forming in the ground. He sprung up the tangled tower of twisted
metal, willing his legs to pick up speed.


//grasp and hold on...hold tight and fast...
soon be over...and I will relent...//

Buffy held Dawn by her upper arms, as lightning continued to slash the sky
and demons poured in a steady flow from the widening portal.

"Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. But
this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles...tell Giles I figured it
out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take
care of them now. You have to take care of each other now. You have to be
strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world...is to live in it. Be
brave. Live. For me."

Buffy stroked Dawn's tear stained cheek and then kissed it before she turned
and ran. Dawn stood, sobbing, as her sister made it to the end of the metal
plank and leapt off the end in a graceful swan dive.

Angel landed on the top of the tower as Buffy left it. He jumped and
catching his feet in the square hole near the end, reached down and
desperately reached for his beloved. His fingers made contact with the cuff
of her gray pants and it was enough for him to get a better hold. He tossed
her back behind him and her left wrist snapped with the force as she met the
waffled metal.

"NO!" Buffy screamed as she stood and tried to get past him to jump off
again. There was no time for goodbyes. The portal was opening wider and the
earth was infesting with Hell. He pushed her back. Buffy punched him hard
and maneuvered around him, nearly making it back to the edge.

"Please!" Buffy screamed, her eyes filled with panic, "I have to jump.

"No," Angel growled. He grabbed her and ruthlessly sunk his fangs into her
neck, stealing the precious Summer's blood, soaking the key into himself.
He dropped her nearly lifeless form at Dawn's feet and dove.

His large body buoyed in the center of the portal and Buffy crawled to the
edge, grasping the metal with her weak fingers to look down at his body.
Light stung him from all sides and his mouth was open in a silent scream
that Buffy could not see but feel. She was quickly losing consciousness
from loss of blood and fought to remain awake as she watched him rock back
and forth in a violent dance inside the power of the portal.

The sunrise was just beginning casting pinks and oranges into the sky and
the horizon looked close enough to caress. Dawn helped Buffy to her feet
and they slowly descended the tower as Angel's body fell. He landed on a
jagged pile of rock and destroyed earth and did not move.

//watch me crash
no time to question...why'd nothing last... //

"Angel," Buffy cried as she stumbled down the final stairs. Dawn stopped
moving at the foot of the swaying structure and stared at the unmoving body
of the sacrificial lamb. Buffy walked, fell and then crawled to his side.
She used his broken body to pull herself up and laid herself over him,
protecting him from the light that would soon come.

"Giles," she whispered, "Inside. Sunlight."

"Buffy," Giles answered, "You need to get to the hospital. Spike can take
Angel to safety."

"Not leaving without him," she said, gripping his shoulders tightly,
ignoring the pain flooding from her neck and wrist.

"Buffy..." Giles warned, as Xander ran to call an ambulance.

"Giles," she said, clutching him as sobs wracked her body, "I can't feel
him....I can't...feel him."

Spike limped forward to look at the woman he loved and his Grande Sire.
When vampires died their bodies turned to dust. This was common knowledge
to everyone who stood looking on. The part that wasn't common knowledge to
everyone standing there, was that since Spike was Angel's Grande Childe, he
could sense Angel's presence. Not where he was just *that* he was. Giles
looked over at Spike asking the silent question.

And Spike shook his head no.


//let my spirit pass...
this is, this is...
my...last exit//

The ambulance's roar sounded far away to The Slayer inside it. The
paramedics could not get her to release the man in her arms and was forced
to take them both on the stretcher. Her heartbeat was faint and the man she
held had none at all. As they wheeled the couple inside the emergency room,
the doctors and nurses stared at the oddity of two on a gurney. The girl's
blood was encrusted on her neck and on the chest of the man she held. It
was a macabre and sorrowful sight to the waiting staff.

The paramedic whispered to the nurse as she wheeled them into a room for
treatment, "The man is dead, but we can't get her to let him go."

"Approximate time of death?" The nurse asked as she pulled the gurney to a

"We're not exactly sure," he answered, still whispering.

"Why is that?" she asked.

"Well, his body temperature has dropped in such a way that he should have
been dead for over an hour but rigor mortis has not set in."

The nurse pulled the limp arm of the dead man up and bent it easily. Her
eyes widened as she felt his cold skin. Doctors and interns streamed in
around her as she stood eerily still. They pried at Buffy's fingers but
could not get her to release the corpse she clung to.


//wounded is the organ he left all...bloodied on the shore...
gorgeous was his savior, sees her...drowning in his wake...
daily taste the salt of her tears, but...a chance blamed fate... //

Buffy woke and found herself still on Angel's prone form and still in her
dirty, ripped clothes. She pulled her fingers from the flesh of Angel's
shoulders and found large purple bruises on his marble skin where her
fingers had been.

"Wake up, Angel," she whispered and waited for the answer that did not come.
She shook him gently and then more roughly as the feeling of his spiritual
absence sunk into her soul.

"Angel," she said more firmly as tears erupted in her eyes, "Angel, wake

No response came from the vampire. His eyes did not flutter, his mouth
didn't even twitch.

"Angel," she said, shaking him, "I know you're not dead, goddamn it. Now
wake up!"

"Ma'am?" the nurse said, standing awkwardly in the doorway.

"Angel," Buffy said, shaking him more furiously, "Honey, you have to wake
up. We're in a hospital. You know how I hate hospitals. Please."

"Ma'am," the nurse repeated, staring at the sobbing girl laying directly on
top of the dead man. The nurse shivered at the thought that the girl had
lain on top of him for hours while he no longer lived, "I'm sorry, Ms.

"He's not dead," Buffy said, caressing his face.

"Ms. Summers, we need to remove him from the room," the nurse said as the
hospital guards came into view behind her.

"No," Buffy said, shaking her head.

"I'm sorry," the nurse repeated, walking fully into the room, closely
flanked by the two guards.

"No," Buffy said, "You're not taking him. He's not dead."

The guards rushed her suddenly and Buffy flipped from Angel and to her feet.
The guards momentarily paused her panther-like leap, showing the strength
and flexibility of someone in a gym, not a hospital. She landed a solid
blow on the first guard but the second was able to grab her from behind.

"Angel!" Buffy screamed. A different vampire responded, storming into the
room. Spike kicked the guard who was struggling to stand and ripped the
second off of Buffy's tired, weak torso. The nurse backed against the wall
and looked down at the beaten guards who were struggling to their feet.

"Don't bloody touch her again," Spike commanded. His eyes flashed golden so
quickly that the staff thought that they imagined it. He put a protective
arm around Buffy and pulled her close.

"Spike," Buffy sobbed, "Tell them he's not dead. They can't take
him...away...from me."

"Sir," the nurse reasoned with the angry blonde man, "your friend is dead.
We have to remove him."

"He's not my friend and he's not dead...exactly," Spike answered.

"We will have to remove him," the nurse repeated as the guards stood and
rushed him again. He sleekly dislodged himself from The Slayer and swatted
the first guard away. The second guard was caught in the air with Spike's
undead hand wrapped around his collapsing throat.

"Sod off," Spike rasped and tossed him across the room, "all of you. No one
touches the girl and no one takes *him* any-fucking-where. Understand?"

The wide-eyed nurse nodded and fled the room, quickly tailed by the two
injured guards. He turned to find Buffy sitting on the edge of the bed,
staring down at Angel, with large, confused eyes.

"It's alright now, pet," Spike said gently. He waited as she curled herself
around Angel again and shook his head as he covered them. She nodded her
thanks and held tightly onto Angel, every muscle tensed against him.


//i'd rather you...rather you...than her...//

Giles paced in the hallway as Spike reappeared from his storming of the

"How is she?" Giles asked urgently, looking in at her.

"Lost," Spike answered.

"And Angel?"

"It doesn't make any bloody sense," Spike growled, pacing circles around
Giles, his boots marring the sterile floor.

"If he were deceased," Giles conjectured, "His body would be ashes."

"Yeah, that's the rumor," Spike muttered, "but I'm telling you like I
already have, my Sire is not in that body!"

Giles and Spike, stood like mismatched British comrades side by side,
staring into the room at the girl they both loved clutching the shell of her



Chapter 2

//don't mean to push, but I'm being shoved//

Spike stood outside Buffy's door like a juggernaut. Visions of what he
could have changed, how he could have prevented it, shook through his head.


"I made a promise to a lady," Spike answered, feeling every bit of his one
hundred twenty plus years. Every inch of his body was prepared for Doc's
strike and he easily ducked the dangerous tongue that shot out of the
demon's mouth. Doc's reflexes were slightly better than Spike's on a good
day and extremely quicker today. When Doc dropped to his knees and pulled
Spike's legs out from under him, the vampire knew before he hit the floor
that he had failed. He continued to struggle to save the girl, the
frightened girl who looked on, but Doc easily overtook him and pinned his
arms behind his back.

"Then I'll send the lady your regrets," Doc replied, more than pleased with
himself. Spike's whispered "No" barely made it out of his mouth, the look
of regret and sorrow barely made it over to Dawn, standing so perilously
close to the edge before Doc threw him over. Dawn screamed the "No" that
Spike had whispered as he fell.

On his way to the ground below, Spike had plenty of time to think about how
he could have changed things, how he could have moved differently, how he
had failed Buffy. He moved in slow motion and felt his body hit the ground
long before it did. The pile of bricks he landed on was a welcome buffer of
feathers compared to what his heart had already landed on.


//freezing...rests his head on a pillow made of concrete..again//

*A slight step to the right*, Spike thought, as he went over the scenario
again and again in his mind, staring at the wall across from him. *A twist
of the wrist and I could have been free.*

But none of that mattered now. All that mattered was Buffy's peace of mind.
That she would be safe with what remained of Angel until they could figure
this out. He was a soddin' vampire, for crying out loud, so he couldn't be
dead, right?

But an icy chill ran up and down his spine for every second of the ten hours
that The Slayer slept. Something was seriously wrong. Spike didn't know
how or why, but he couldn't sense his Grand Sire. Not at all.


//...scream...my friends...don't call me...
...friends, no they don't scream...
...my friends don't call...my friends don't...//

Giles hurried home, immediately following his conversation with Spike to
start on some heavy research. As he entered his apartment, he was nearly
struck dumb with the realization that Spike's chip did not react when he
attacked the guards.

"Oh dear," he muttered, picking up the phone.

Willow and Tara were curled in bed together nursing physical and emotional
wounds when Giles called.

"‘Lo?" Willow said, in a sleepy, bed head voice.

"Willow," Giles said, launching into his fear, "I'm truly sorry for
interrupting you and Tara, however we have a problem."

"What's up, Giles?"

"Spike's chip seems to have malfunctioned. I need you to check it out as
soon as possible. I suddenly fear for the worst," he admitted.

"Um...me too," she said, bolting up in bed and then clutching her already
pounding head.

"Willow," Giles urged, "Please, do hurry."

Hanging up the phone. Giles stood by the phone and picked it up again.
Dialing quickly, he connected with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.


//ransom paid the devil...he whispers pleasing words... triumphant are the
angels if they can...a get there first...//

Even in her sleep, Buffy's soul searched for Angel's. In her dream, she
found him waiting at the edge of a long wooded path. Gnarled trees swayed in
fierce winds that neither of them could feel. Large, thick vines seemed to
be moving, crawling around the trees and edging onto the narrow, overgrown

"Angel," she whispered, her voice echoing as if they were standing on the
edge of a canon, "I've been looking for you."

"I'm sorry, love," he whispered back, his voice not echoing but sucking away
from her, "I've gone."

"But why?" she asked, stepping forward. She took another step, then another
but each step carried her no closer to her lover.

"I stole your gift," he said.

"Death," she whispered. He nodded wordlessly and the movement caused him to
shimmer, wrecking the still air. She stared in his eyes, which flickered,
stirring the demon around in swirls of gold.

"Angel," she said again, her voice that of a small child, "Can't you come
back? Can't I find you?"

"No, baby," he said, "You can't come here."


"I've crossed," he answered. The vines began curling around his legs,
pulling him away from her. He didn't struggle as they tightened around him
and moved over his chest and around his neck.

"Angel!" she screamed, "Angel!"


//hold your head deep in my arms...my fingertips they close your eyes...
off you dream...//

Buffy woke from her long sleep to find Angel still in the exact position he
had been in when she fell asleep. Her throat was dry as if she had really
been screaming, but she was sure she hadn't. She caressed his face and heard
a rustling in the corner to see Willow whispering to a very agitated Spike.

"What's goin' on?" Buffy said, looking over with confusion.

"Red here is trying -"

"To get him to be quiet," Willow answered smoothly.

"‘Bout what?" Buffy asked, absently caressing Angel's hand.

"Right. We need to get you and Angel outta here without causing a
distraction," Spike said, looking fiercely at Willow.

"I'm sure it's illegal in about 49 states to take a corpse out of the
hospital," Xander said, leaning against the doorway, gripping a stake in his
hand, hidden behind his back just in case.

"He's not a corpse!" Buffy shouted, giving Xander a look that melted his

"They think he is," Xander squeaked, stepping into the room, "That's what I

Willow punched his arm and glared briefly before turning back to Buffy,
"Spike's gonna carry Angel outside and we can take him to your house."

"Dawn," Buffy said, in a panic, realizing her sister's absence, "Where's

"She's with Anya," Xander said, "I think she's teaching her the fine art of


//and now my bitter hands cradle broken glass,
of what was everything.//

Once Buffy & Angel were safely in bed in Buffy's room, Willow tried a second
time to get Spike to let her investigate the chip.

"You're not drilling holes in my bloody head!" Spike yelled.

"I just want a little peek," Willow said, trying to keep her voice low, in
an attempt to calm the potentially dangerous vampire down.

"No way, Red," he said, backing away, "There will be no dissecting of Spike.
You might fix the bloody thing and then I'm stuck a neutered puppy
forever. No way."

He stormed from the room and to the living room, where he said he staying
until the "bint" wakes up. Willow sighed and picked up the cordless phone
and slipped onto the back porch.

"Hello?" Giles' voice answered.

"Giles," Willow whispered.

"Yes, Willow," he answered, "Are you at Buffy's?"

"Yes," she said, "Spike won't let me look at the chip and he won't tell me
if it's working or not."

"And Angel? Has he stirred?"

"No," Willow whispered, "It's like...it's like he's dead."


//said he'll see me on the flipside //

"How'd you get away?" Buffy whispered to Angel in her dream. Everything
around them was concentrated sable oblivion that seeped into every crevice.

"I don't have long," he said swiftly. He pulled her into his arms and much
to her relief, his connection was solid. His presence filled her again as
if he were really there.

"How can I find you?" She said, her voice muffled against his chest.

"You can't," he answered, meeting her eyes sadly.

"I don't understand," she said, "You're a vampire. Your body is here. You
can't be dead."

"This is different," he said, tracing the delicate line of her jaw.


"Death," he whispered, "took the wrong soul. You were supposed to be here
and they took me instead. My body is left, just like yours would have been.
I broke the rules."


//oh, never was for you...fuck you...
this is not for you...
oh, this is not for you...yeah, you... //

Buffy woke up in a panic and looked down at Angel's closed eyes. The truth
of his words sank in as she looked at him. She blinked back tears and shook

"Angel," she ordered loudly, "Wake up."

She shook him, each movement causing the next to become more and more fierce
until she was pounding his shoulders and chest, screaming for him to wake
up. The commotion caused Dawn, Willow, Spike and Xander to come running
into the room.

Buffy was sobbing and screaming as she pounded on her absent lover to wake.
He didn't move and continued not moving until Spike pulled her off of him.
She punched him, sending him flying across the room and into her vanity.

"Why won't you wake up?" She screamed, launching herself back at him, "You
stole it! You weren't supposed to have it! It was mine."

Her last three words were repeated in desperate sobs as she collapsed on his
chest, "It was mine...it was mine....it was mine..."


Chapter 3

//you're an angel when you sleep...
how i want your soul to keep of and all around the bend.//

The tiny shards that made up Buffy's pain, quickly became a squall of anger
and determination, broadly sketching conflict over her friends' faces. She
stood and for the first time since the portal closed, she left his side.

"Buffy," Willow whispered, with the same kind of fear she had felt deep in
her heart since Angel made his descent from the tower, "Where are you

"First to the shower," Buffy answered with a grimace of pain as she moved
her stiff body, "then to find him."

"Find him?" Xander asked.

"Yes," she said, "they took the wrong soul and I'm going to get it back."

"T-the wrong soul?" Willow asked wide eyed as she watched Buffy's retreating
form march down the hallway to the bathroom door. Xander turned and met
Willow's eyes. The best friends spun and ran from the room, down the stairs
and out the front door.


//i miss you already, yeah...i miss you always...//

Buffy sat on the edge of the bed, after she had finished dressing and looked
at Angel one last time before she left the house in search of his soul. He
looked beautiful and peaceful there, as if nothing could touch him. She was
almost certain that if the sunlight came streaming into the room, it would
dare not harm him, but become engrossed in the creature, as she was.

A small quantity of fear lay buried underneath a mangled nest of resolve and
she made no attempt to unearth it. She stood and placed a gentle kiss on
his cold lips and for once she was consciously thankful that his lips were
always cold. If they hadn't been, she might've started to believe that he
could not be saved, that he was already dead. The truth was, he had been
dead for a couple of centuries and his flawless skin was deceivingly
comfortable inside the realm of pain. She knew he could trick the
underworld or other world, into keeping him on the fringes, where he could
be found. She knew she would find him and bring him home, even if she had
to *persuade* every hellbeast on the other side that this demon belonged to


//can't deny there's something wrong...//

"We've come to the same unnerving realization, Willow," Giles said, waving
his hand absently at Wesley and Cordelia, who sat on the couch caught
somewhere between illusion and reality, where the double portal-ness of this
week had left them juiced and unscrewed.

"I never said what I was panicking about," Willow said with a pout.

"Very well, Willow," Giles said, "What are you panicking about?"

"Angel's soul...oh forget it," she said, pulling herself upright from her
slumping position against the door.

"We need to get some magic stuff and recurse him before he wakes up!"
Xander's edgy voice said.

"I'm not sure that's possible," Giles said, running a hand through his
graying hair and sitting wearily at his desk.

"What do you mean?" Cordy demanded, snapping out of her confusion.

"His soul is not trapped in the same place that it is when the demon takes
over. This is...well, it's different. His soul is in an afterlife of

"Then where's Angelus?" Spike asked, letting himself in Giles' front door.

"That's what's confusing," Wesley said, inserting himself into the
conversation at last, "We cannot ascertain why Angelus did not take over the
body when the soul left."

"Spike," Giles said, looking at the vampire for guidance, "You said that you
cannot sense your Sire?"

"No, it's bizarre, that is," Spike answered, strolling in the room, "Never
recall this happening when there wasn't a pile of dust involved."

"I imagine so," Wesley added, "This is an extraordinary circumstance."

"Mr. States the Obvious strikes again," Xander muttered.

"Xander," Giles said, leaving the rest of the sentence unspoken.

"Alright, sorry," Xander said, "But we gotta so something before he wakes up
and starts killing people."

"Or worse," Willow said, looking around the room.

"There's a worse? What the hell is worse than Angelus?" Cordy asked.

"If he never wakes up," Willow said, looking around the room at the
perplexed faces, "Buffy... won't ever get over it if he doesn't wake up.
Not if he did it to save her."


//she don't wander in...don't wander in here, she...
she don't wander in here...don't wander in here...//

Buffy didn't stumble across the spell to get to The Powers That Be, she
didn't just happen to find it on her way to get to the meat and bone of the
matter. The spell had lain tucked safely inside the pages of her journal
for a long, long time.

The first time Riley made love to her, that very night she dreamt of another
lover, who couldn't have a heartbeat but did, who shouldn't breathe promises
of love against her ear, but had. The Day That Wasn't unraveled itself and
slithered into her memories a little tighter every night, until she slept
just to pull him down inside her again. It took a long time for her to
begin to think that the dreams were memories and longer than that to
actually believe it.

Humane patterns of logic and reason kept her from knowing for sure until she
saw him again. The pain and anger that broke through in every word he spoke
to her forced her to admit the truth. He was angrier than he had ever been
at her that night when Faith went away to jail. Every syllable that he
spoke was propaganda for his cause, even though he no longer believed it was

Instead of telling him she knew, that she had kept her promise and
remembered, she unleashed the frustration she felt for the loss of the
future she would never know. She was furious that he had given up his
humanity, that he would have allowed her to go on with her life without the
gift of that memory. Nothing had ever felt so perfect as lying against his
chest and listening to the impossibly precious sound of his heartbeat.

When he ordered her out of LA, she stopped by his apartment to pick up her
things and found the instructions to the gateway and the spell. No, she
didn't stumble upon it, she searched for it. Scrawling her own copy, she
shoved it in her pocket before she left town.

She wasn't sure what she had intended to do with it. But now it all made
sense. She needed this spell that could have been lost with the explosion
of the building. It could be stored inside Angel's mind and nowhere else for
all she knew, if she hadn't taken it that night. She had looked back on it
in weak moments so many times, that the paper was heavily creased and the
words were smudged. It didn't matter that it was barely legible because she
had memorized it long before.

//i will walk...with my hands bound
i will walk...with my face blood
i will walk...with my shadow flag
into your garden, garden of stone...//

She stood before the sacred white doorway and performed the ritual, only
half believing she would gain access. But with a final toss of the potion,
she saw white smoke pour from the opening that appeared before her.

She stepped inside and looked around anxiously. No one met her at the
entrance and no one stopped her from walking down the great hall where the
Arteries stored legends and souls. The walls whispered, smoothing emotions
over her skin, stopping and resuming in time with her heartbeats.

"Why have you disturbed us?" the Arteries demanded, sounding like a man and
a woman speaking in time with each other, but far away from the other half
of the voice, as if they surrounded her but did not give her the comfort of
being embraced.

"I've come for Angel," she said, trying to keep her voice strong.

"The vampire," they said, sounding as if they were nodding their invisible

"Yes," she answered, "I want his soul back."

"A soul was the price for the world," they answered.

"But it was supposed to be me," she protested, "You can't keep him here. He
doesn't belong here!"

"The soul matters not," they replied, "We have given you enough gifts,

"Gifts?!" Buffy yelled, "What damn gifts have I gotten lately? I sure as
hell didn't get death. Angel took that and you took him! Now I have

"We have kept the demon from emerging," they answered, "We gave you the gift
of his absence."

"Angelus?" Buffy asked lightly.

"Yes," they said, seeming to nod invisible heads again and Buffy could
almost feel the wind alter with the movements she imagined them having.

"But..." she said, "You have to return his soul! You've lost a warrior now.
You need him."

"One of you was to be lost," they answered, "It was always the way. He
cheated you from your gift...and has given you another. He wishes to stay."

"He wishes to stay?" She asked.

"In exchange for your life, he has given his...again."

"No," she yelled, "He doesn't have a right and neither do you! Give him
back! I want him to sit up and walk! He has earned his redemption! He
deserves to move and live!"

"You wish him to awaken?" They asked.

"Yes, goddamn it," she shouted, "What do you think we have been talking

"Very well," they answered.

She fell hard back against the sewer wall. Without thinking another
thought, she stood and ran towards the Jeep to take her back home.


//the direction of the eye, so misleading
the defection of the soul, nauseously quick//

Just before morning came, an hour after Buffy was tossed from the the inner
sanctum of The Powers That Be, Spike went inside Buffy's house to watch
after Dawn. Giles, Wesley, Cordelia, Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara all had
their research positions with their heads bowed over dusty volumes as they
searched for anything that could prevent what was most certainly coming - or
not coming. No one was sure which scenario was worse, only that neither one
was very desirable.

"Nibblet?" Spike called as he closed the door behind the quickly approaching
early morning rays. He made his way up the stairs and cracked her bedroom
door open to find her soundly asleep. He leaned against the doorway and
looked in at her for a few minutes, watching her troubled slumber. The
little girl was scarred for life, he was sure of that.

Now that the chip was no longer functioning, he knew he could take three
steps across the room and sip every warm drop of blood from her tiny body.
Would she taste like The Slayer? But he felt no desire to do so and was
more than a little confused by that new experience. He didn't want to kill
her, he wanted to protect her. He used to want to protect her just for
Buffy, but along the way, he had grown to care for the smallest Summer's

*Fucking strange.*

What was stranger was the creeping stillness that clambered into his body
and hurried through his veins, reclaiming it's rightful place, as it had for
over a century. He quietly shut Dawn's door and went to Buffy's bedroom
door, clenching his teeth. Sure enough, his Grande Sire blinked his eyes
and sat up in bed.

Spike waited for several storm tossed moments as Angel gathered his
bearings, looking around the room. Orange flames of fear quaked through
Spike's undead body as the cold, soulless eyes of Angelus settled on him.
This feeling of fear, that only one demon could strangle him with, was
causing an argument of fight or flight to bat itself back and forth in his

Angelus swung his legs over the side of the bed and finally opened his mouth
to speak, "You done staring at me, Spike?"

Spike stiffened at his voice - at his Sire's voice, the voice that
commanded, killed and made no attempt to feel mercy.

"What took you so long to wake up?" Spike asked, surprised by his own
reluctance to even step into the room.

"The Powers That Be," Angelus said, "Tricky, tricky. They had me trapped
there. They wanted to keep me, but they knew they couldn't."

"Why not?" Spike asked with a grim smile, "Wouldn't have bothered me if you
had stayed all still and quiet like. I didn't mind you so much for a minute

"Well, they'll tell you that The Slayer set me free, but that's not
*exactly* true, although she did speed up the process a bit."

"Well don't keep me in suspense."

"They're kinda like the police," Angelus answered as he stood and stretched,
"They think they can hold you, but then you're released on a technicality."

"What technicality?" Spike asked, confused by Angelus' token cryptic logic.

"They can house a soul and keep it suspended forever, but I don't have a
soul. That's somewhere else. Their goodness can't hold true evil.
Besides, it's not really their gig. They move the puppet strings, but free
will fucks ‘em up every time."

"What are you going to do about The Slayer?" Spike asked trying to act
casual and evil, but came across as the lovesick puppy Angelus knew him to

"I know you're in love with her Spike. What are you the black knight?"

Spike stood silent and waited for Angelus to answer his question.

"Don't worry, Spike," he said, crossing the room, "I'm not going to kill
her. Not right away anyway."

"What are you going to do then?" Spike asked.

"Well," Angelus said, stepping into Spike's dance space and taking it over
as he glared down at his Childe, "First of all, I'm going to tell you to
walk out of this house and wait for me to call you. You are back on my
team. You don't have a soul, so quit trying to pretend you do. I, on the
other hand, am going to pretend I have one for a little while, so I strongly
suggest you keep your mouth shut. If I find out you mentioned me to any of
them, I will kill you before I kill them. Got it?"

"Yeah, mate," Spike said, backing away, "Got it. Won't tell anyone."

"Glad to hear it," Angelus said, turning and flopping back down on the bed,
"I'll just wait here for Buffy to come find me. You get the hell out."

Spike turned on his heel and shut the bedroom door behind him. He hurried
to Dawn's room and picked up her sleeping form. Grabbing her blanket and
tossing it over the both of them, he ran with the Slayer's sister out into
the day that was far less dangerous than what waited for The Slayer inside
the house.


Chapter 4


//my nemesis, a fool, not a fucking god//

"Giles," Willow asked carefully, "What happened to Glory? Shouldn't we
think of how to bind her strength or something?"


The dark sky that Ben was looking into became Giles, who kneeled beside him,
"Can you move?"

"Need a ....a minute. She could've killed me," Ben answered, taking painful

"No she couldn't. Never...and sooner or later Glory will re-emerge and make
Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that,"
Giles said as he calmly reached into his pocket, took out his glasses and
put them on as he continued to speak, "and still she couldn't take a human
life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us."

"Us?" Ben asked. His question went unanswered as Giles reached down and put
his hand over Ben's nose and mouth. Ripper calm expression remained
throughout the murder. There would be no more Glory. Not after today. The
world would be free of The Beast at long last.


"She's no longer...an issue," Giles said calmly, looking around the room
with a frightening amount of serenity and reserve, much colder than Giles'
normal stature.

"You killed her?" Xander asked, scratching his head with confusion.

"I killed *him*" Giles corrected. They all had a second for the new
information to sink in, the understanding that Giles had killed an innocent
human being, when Spike stormed in and unloaded a wiggling and screaming
Dawn on her feet inside Giles' flat and pulled the blanket off of his head.


//i'll wait for an angel, but I won't hold my breath//

Buffy slammed the Jeep in park and ran into the house calling out, "Angel?"

She detected him hunching his way under her skin and knew that he had awaken
just as The Powers had promised. She skipped up the stairs two at the time
and arrived breathless at her bedroom door to find the bed desolately empty.
An impression of his form lay in his place, the pillow concave where his
head had been. She checked every room in the house before going back out the
door into the night.

//but we unleashed a lion//

The mansion was eerily still and quiet but Buffy knew she would find him
there. He sat by the fire place which held no spark or light and stared at
the wall in front of him. Her small feet were moving quickly with a pitter
patter against the marble floor and Angelus was a slave to the sound,
desperately anxious for her hot blooded flesh to come inside the room. This
was starvation, he knew, for the flesh and blood his weaker half had gone so
long without. He leaned back with his eyes closed and waited for her.

Buffy knew he was there, she felt him as clearly and fluidly as he felt her
and ached with starvation of a different breed. She opened the door and
paused there looking at him.

"Angel?" She asked tentatively as she walked toward him.

"Buffy," Angelus whispered trying to maintain a look of pain and confusion.
She ran into his arms and held onto him.


//i saw the strain creep in...
he seems distracted and i know just what is gonna happen next...
before his first step...he is off again...//

"What's going on?" Dawn's voice squealed into a yell, causing Spike to

"Calm down, little bit," Spike said, "I just saved your bloody life."

"From what? The last hour of sleep before school?" Dawn whined.

"From Angelus," he answered, meeting Giles eyes directly. The whole
apartment fell into shocked silence. All expected it to happen, yet no one
was prepared for it. No one can ever be completely prepared for the
unleashing of The Scourge of Europe.

"Oh shit," Cordy swore, standing up to pace, "What the hell are we going to

"I can recurse him," Willow offered.

"No," Giles said, shaking his head slowly, "I'm not sure that will work this
time. The loss of his soul wasn't caused by a moment of happiness, but
through the key. We aren't even sure where his soul is or what hell
dimension he's in."

"Quite right," Wesley said, standing up to symbolize his complete agreement,
"We ought to start trying to find an alternative way to re-ensoul him."

"Whatever happens," Spike said, "I'm going back to the house. Buffy's gonna
come back sooner or later and Angelus looked a bit peckish, if you know what
I mean."

"Good plan," Giles said, but Spike was already out the door, covered in
Dawn's fluffy blue comforter.

"I don't trust him," Xander said, edging towards the door, looking out to
see the vampire running in the daylight.

"Me either," Willow said with a shiver.

"Why not?" Dawn said, with her hands resting on her pajama clad hips, "He's
got the chip."

"It's not working," Willow explained tenderly.

"He loves Buffy," Dawn said, defending the vampire, "He would never hurt

"Nevertheless," Giles said, "I think it's a good idea to follow him and warn

"On my way," Xander said, shrugging into his jacket and scooping up a

"I'll go too," Cordelia offered, following him to the door.

"Well, I'm not leaving you alone with Xander," Anya said, standing as well.
She held Xander's arm protectively with one hand and a stake with the other.
Cordelia rolled her eyes as she joined the couple on their trek to Buffy's


//hold on to the thread...the currents will shift...glide me towards you
know something's left.
and we're all allowed to dream of the next time we touch...//

When Spike didn't find Angelus at Buffy's house, he headed directly to the
mansion, just as she had. He crept into the old building, blending into the
elements and the shreds of his conscience. He peeked around the doorway,
depending on the stone wall to hide him. There, a few feet away, Angelus
took Buffy into his arms and began kissing the lips Spike had dreamt about
for months. He waited for Buffy to realize the vampire she kissed was
without a soul. And he was kept waiting, as Angelus unbuttoned her shirt
with nimble fingers.

Spike crept an inch closer and kept wide eyes on the golden flesh that
appeared. Angelus drew out round, firm breasts topped with rosy, erect
nipples that left Spike's mouth watering as they were sucked, one then the
other, between his Grande Sire's lips. Spike watched her face twist into
pleasure - eyes closed, mouth slack. Her arousal smelled like freshly
plucked delirium floating to him, alerting panic in his undead heart.

Angelus' hands moved over Buffy's body, his movements painfully exact,
showing Spike passion he was sure before today that he would never see in
her. She flamed against her lover and he thought it was more than annoying
the way Angelus performed the feat with ease. He couldn't have turned away
even if he wanted to as his Grande Sire's hands landed on The Slayer's slim
hips and began to slide her pants away. Released of material bounds, Buffy
moaned his name, not bothering to think about the curse, and unbuttoned his
shirt, kissing the cold flesh as it appeared. Angelus hid his smile of
triumph as he slid his fingers into her dripping heat.

"Angel," she moaned again as he slipped his fingers into her and glided his
thumb over her clit. Losing patience, he quickly rid himself of his pants,
lowered them both to the hard, dusty floor and plunged inside her. Spike
sucked in room temperature air as Angelus began relentlessly fucking her
with thrusts that would've caused even Darla or Dru to mewl in pain. The
Slayer winced from the force of his movements but opened wider and rocked
back against him in desperation of being separated from her lover for so

Buffy cried out in pleasure and pain, temporarily losing herself in him,
rolling in just the presence of him. But the longer they had sex, the more
she realized with terror that he was fucking her - not making love to her.
There was no tenderness in his touch, no murmurings of love.

"Oh God," she moaned half in pleasure and half in fear, as he continued to
pound against her, bruising her flesh. This was the wrong demon awakened.
A cold smile twisted over his desire and he reached between her legs to
roughly twist and pinch her clit between his fingers, causing a violent
orgasm to rip through her.

"That's it, Buff," he said with an evil sneer.

Tears fell from her eyes even as her body continued to shake in the
aftermath of her climax as Angelus moved inside her. She reached up and
touched his face, forcing his cold soulless eyes to meet hers.

"Angel," she whimpered, as if saying his name would restore his soul.

"Yeah baby," he answered as his face reverted to demon form and his eyes
twisted golden. He lowered to her neck and inserted his fangs, breaking
open his mark on her.

//two steps ahead of him, punctures in your neck...//

Spike leaned forward, pressing his arousal against the hard wall and waited
for The Slayer to push Angelus away, waited for him to stop drinking. When
the normal tasting time ended, when the sipping turned to gulping, Spike
knew that Angelus intended to drain Buffy completely. And she was going to
let it happen.

As her blood touched his tongue, Angelus experienced a mind numbing orgasm.
As his seed poured into her, halting his feed didn't even cross his mind.
Spike jumped out and ran towards the copulating couple. Angelus heard his
childe and flung his arm back, catching Spike across the chest, sending him
flying across the room. Angelus withdrew from The Slayer's depths and stood
boldly naked.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk, Spikey," Angelus taunted as his childe gathered his footing.
Buffy stumbled to her feet weakly and prepared to run out but Angelus
grabbed her arm and pulled her back to his body. Faint from the loss of
blood, she stood, leaning heavily against his bare skin.

"Come on, pet," Spike said, holding out his hand, "I'll help you get out of
here. He can't beat us both."

"Think again," Angelus said, grinning, "She's weak and I'm pumped full of
Slayer blood. I don't think you're gonna beat me."

"Let her go," Spike growled, still beckoning for Buffy to join him.

"What's the matter, Spike? You pussy whipped for pussy you haven't had?"

"Sod off," Spike answered, "I'm not going to let you kill her."

"You're not going to *let* me kill her," Angelus growled back, "You
obviously have gone too long without a lesson."

Buffy stood swaying against him as the two verbally tossed back and forth,
taking inventory of her available strength. The loss of blood was fairly
severe and her mind was buzzing with their words, only half of them making
it to her ears and less than that understood.

"Come on, Buffy," Spike repeated, taking a step toward them. His eyes were
swirling golden and he suddenly felt like he was starving. He hadn't fed
since before the chip malfunctioned and the warm blood resting at the base
of her throat was calling out to him. His intentions were beginning to
dissolve even as he held his hand out for her.

"I don't think so," Angelus growled, stepping back, "Get the hell out!"

"We will, as soon as we have Buffy," Xander said with a crossbow aimed at
Angelus, trying not to notice the blatant nudeness of the pair. Angelus
pulled Buffy over his heart, blocking the bow's aim.

Using the distraction, Spike charged, running full force into his Sire
knocking him away from Buffy. Turning, he scooped Buffy's slight naked body
his arms and ran out of the mansion, followed by Xander, Cordelia and Anya.
Buffy allowed him to take her, lost in shock of what had just happened and
what almost happened.

Spike could hear Angelus' roar of anger as he stopped to cover himself with
the blanket and wrapped his duster around the naked Slayer. He made it back
to the Summers' house safely and fairly unsinged and thought amazingly that
he had been out in the sun more the last couple of months than he had for
his whole time as a vampire.

"I don't fucking get it, love," Spike growled as he took her back inside her
house and set her on her bed, "You let him...what the bloody hell were you

She stared at him, wrapped in his black leather duster, blonde hair
cascading over it, blood from her neck touching the collar, eyes wide with
tears streaming from them. Spike sat on the edge of the bed, listening to
his head pound with hunger, willing his face to remain human.

"You were going to let him kill you, weren't you?"

Her tears came more generously then and her shoulders shook as she sobbed.
He pulled her into his arms and she continued to weep for Angel's loss.

"He's gone," she muffled into his chest.

"We'll get him back," Spike said, dangerously close to her open wound. He
could just lower his head an inch and he would be there. Fangs wouldn't
even be necessary to suck the blood from her throat.

"Don't know if we can this time," She said as she continued to weep. Weak,
wounded and completely defeated, she barely felt the vampire's lips touch
her neck.

//once upon a time i could control myself.
once upon a time i could lose myself.//


Chapter 5

//memories back when she was bold and strong
and waiting for the world to come along...
swears she knew it, now she swears he's gone//

Angelus dressed quickly and ran after his fleeing childe and *his* Slayer.
He'd be damned if he'd let that little bleach blonde bastard take his woman.
He shook his head in irritation as he closed in on the Summer's house. He
couldn't believe that Spike had them all convinced, not only that he was
good in some way but that he was actually capable of love! It was
ridiculous. He knew what vampires were capable of in the arena of love and
although most were not as relentlessly cruel as himself, none were capable
of real love.

He climbed up and perched outside her window, sitting on his hunches,
prepared to strike. Spike had brought her in and wrapped his duster around
her naked body as if he were a knight in goddamn shining armor. He gathered
the tiny Slayer into his arms and held her as she cried. Angelus kept his
anger in check as his childe touched his mate and waited for the moment he
knew was about to arrive, his cue to take action.


//you guys ready...//

"Xander," Anya complained as she ran to keep up with him, "Do you really
think that Spike will do something to hurt Buffy? I mean, we're not even
sure if the chip is working or not. It might have just malfunctioned that
one time. Besides, my feet hurt and I don't want to run anymore."

"As usual," Cordy snorted as she followed with much less difficulty, "Xander
is sweeping to save his precious Buffy."

"Hey!" Xander said, puffing out tired breaths as they neared Buffy's house,
"She's in danger. Spike is dangerous. I promise, you can't trust that guy.
Now come on."

He sped up, picking up the pace as he ran through the front door and slowed
down to creep up the stairs, nearly causing his current girlfriend and his
ex to slam into his back.

"Damn it, Xander," Cordy sneered, but felt as if she really had been missing
this sort of action. Sunnyhell was...well...Sunnyhell and she had no want
or need to return here, but she kind of missed the Scoobies. Just a little.

Anya kept a sharp eye peeled on Cordelia Chase as they all huddled together
to climb the stairs, all braced for what they were about to see or what they
needed to do. Little Miss Ex X, needed to be looked after. No woman who
just happened to be Xander's ex-kitten, could be left alone even for a
second with her man. She was sure that Cordelia would attempt to steal him
if she wasn't careful. Vengeance demon memories sprung to her mind. If it
weren't for Cordelia, she never would have met Xander. Of course, Xander
did cheat on her. The thought set off alarms as they inched toward Buffy's
bedroom. If he cheated on Cordelia with Willow, what were the chances he
would cheat on her with Cordelia or some one else?


//life comes...i can feel your heart...
ooh...life comes...i can feel your heart through your neck...
life comes...i can feel your heart through your neck...
like some...i can steal your heart from your neck...//

Buffy was sobbing so hard at the loss of Angel and the horrifying return of
Angelus, that for a second she didn't feel his lips gently touch her neck.
Spike's tongue lashed out and scooped up a taste of Slayer blood resting
over her scar. He felt his body begin to charge with the taste of warm
blood and tingle with the electrifying power of Slayer blood. He clamped
his lips on her neck without another thought of love or Buffy and began to

Buffy felt it clearly when Spike began draining her life's blood away. Her
protest scratched through her throat and she vaguely heard Xander yell
Spike's name as she pushed him away and across the room with a last charge
of Slayer strength. She watched as Spike crashed against her closet door
with her blood on his lips, which he quickly licked away. Xander stood at
her doorway, crossbow aimed at Spike, with Cordelia and Anya standing behind
him, struggling to peer in.

Angelus swung casually through the window and dropped silently to the hard
wood floor with a deadly smile on his face. Ignoring Xander, who he knew
wouldn't dare try to kill him with Buffy there, he grabbed Spike by the
lapels and raised him up from the floor, off of it completely and slammed
him against her closet door.

"How dare you touch *my* mate," Angelus said through a growl, "No one kills
her but me!"

"Fuck you," Spike choaked.

"I've had enough of your *I'm-so-good-and-in-love-with-The-Slayer*
bullshit," Angelus lamented, "We both know you don't love her."

"Yes, I do," Spike protested, but the room barely caught his words and
Angelus threw him through her window. Spike took a set of blinds with him
as he crashed through the glass. When he landed on the ground, shards of
the window were rolling down the roof onto him, but Angelus didn't directly

Angelus was still standing in the bedroom looking at the nearly defenseless
Slayer. He smiled at her wickedly, "See ya soon, baby," he whispered,
before he smoothly jumped out the window and landed on the ground next to
Spike, who was just getting to his feet.


//feels so manly, when armed
glorified version of a pellet gun//

Xander felt oddly heroic and was a bit weirded out as he swept Buffy into
his arms and took her downstairs to be buckled into his car and taken to the
hospital for her second blood transfusion in a week. The tiny, now frail
Slayer in his arms, wearing Spike's leather duster, was once all he ever
wanted. Following closely, was his scrutinizing fiancee and his ex. The
three beautiful women, all now or at one time at had been the object of his
night time fantasies, and it was a surreal feeling.

He placed Buffy in the back seat gently and waited for Anya and Cordy to
climb in before he headed for the hospital. Strangely calm and freaked out
at the same time, Xander Harris knew he was going to have nightmares about
this day. Nightmares and possibly messy wet dreams.


//in love...ah ha ha ha...
...follows torture...follows reward...//

"You little fuck," Angelus swore as he picked Spike's glass strewn body up
and tossed him against the tree in agitation.

"Get the hell away from me," Spike muttered as he picked himself out of the
tree and attempted to walk away. He was free and in bloodlust and guilty.
He wanted to follow Xander's car to the hospital and finish her off. He
longed to lick the wound in her throat and crunch in like a rapid dog. He
craved a chance to make love to her and spend eternity apologizing. He
itched to find an innocent on the street and rip her throat out. He wanted,
more than anything, to get away from his Grande Sire.

"Oh no you don't," Angelus said, kicking his retreating back, sending him
face first into the Summers' yard.

"Oh bloody hell," Spike complained to the grass before climbing to his
feet...again, "What? You reserve the right to claim any bint you want and I
have to be the good little childe because you're my damn Sire! That's

"Yes," Angelus said as he regained his composure, "I can keep you starving a
in fucking corner for the rest of your unlife if I want to. But this isn't
about that. This about *my* mate."

"Oh *your mate*, is she?" Spike said, a laugh issuing from his bloody face,
"That's rich!"

"Oh come Spike, you've been trying to get what's mine your whole life. Still
crying over Dru and nipping at The Slayer's coattails. You never change."

"Oh but you do," Spike said, lighting a cigarette, "First you have a soul,
then you don't, then you bloody do! First you want Buffy, then you
don't...and on and on! I can't keep up with your mood swings."

The recently lighted smoke was crushed into his face, singing it before
falling to the ground, as Angelus' fist contacted with it.

"Be clear on a few things, *boy*," Angelus growled, "Buffy is mine. Always
was. Always will be. If I want to fuck her, I will. If I want to kill her
or turn her, I will. She belongs to me. If she dies and is in the damn
ground, you don't have a right to cry over her grave! Either you obey or
you die, it's as simple as that. I'm tire of you pussy-footing around my

"Whatever," Spike said, "You've been gone for a long time. A lot has
changed. She trusts me now...or did for a second there."

"Oh poor Spikey," Angelus snarled, "Did you fuck things up by not being able
to control yourself? Well, I'm *so* surprised."

"Shut up," Spike said, unable to defend himself.

"She's got the perfect pussy," Angelus whispered, hovering next to Spike's
ear, "Sorry, you're never gonna know, *mate*."

Spike sucked in a breath. He knew Angelus was taunting him, trying to get
to him, but it was working in the worse way. He also knew that it was the
truth...evil, yes, but completely true. He did screw it up and there was no
turning back now. With Angel's soul gone, the world he knew was about to
crumble and he had no idea how to stop it. He pulled in an unneeded breath
as he searched his pockets for another cigarette, finding his pack on the
ground with one broken cigarette remaining. Great, this just adds to his
prefect, rotting day.

"Probably as perfect as her blood," Spike muttered as he tossed the pack
away with irritation.

"Mmmm, guess you'll never know," Angelus said, strolling away, "One day,
maybe you'll be done sniffing after my seconds, Spike."


//maker of my enemies...

Giles, Wesley, Cordelia, Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara all stood and sat
around the hospital waiting room, while Buffy received her second blood
transfusion. Talk about the weirdest month of relentless stress and
out-and-out craziness. Starting with the Winnebago chase through the desert
and ending with tonight, they all were exhausted and near the edge.

The only one who wasn't tired was Angelus who strolled through the ER doors
and headed for the scent of his mate's blood. None of the Scoobies saw him,
since he didn't need to walk past them to get to her, but the nurses did.
The same nurse who had tried to get his corpse from the ward before, now
stood with her mouth open in shock.

"I'm looking for my girlfriend," he said, covering his face with worry, as
he spoke to the slack jawed nurse.

"Y-you're dead," she stuttered.

"Nah," Angelus said, unable to resist showing her his charming smile, "I was
just in a little coma. But I finally woke up."

She stood frozen watching him as he sauntered to Buffy's room and looked in
at her sleeping form, veins full of new blood. He felt bloodlust and
arousal rush his system just looking at her, pale and broken there. Bruises
from his sex and abuse, marred her perfect skin, making her look weak in her
sleep. The bandaged gash in her throat was calling to be rebroken and he
tread across to her bed.

The alarm on the nurse's station began to beep loudly as Angelus pulled the
IV from her arm. The nurses came running but found the room barren of
patient and the recent man who had returned from the dead. Guards could
have been chasing a ghost as they tore through the hospital, alerting the
Scoobies and everyone else that Buffy had been taken.


To be continued...

When Angels Fall
Part Six

By Tango

E-MAIL: Tangofic@hotmail.com
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Of course.
SPOILERS: A different spin on "The Gift"
DISTRIBUTION: Sure, just let me know.
FEEDBACK: Thank you for the feedback everyone! I really, really appreciate
it! More please!!

LYRICS: All lyrics are from Pearl Jam.


//i was bitten...must have been the devil...
he was just payin' me...
a little visit, a-reminding me of his presence...
lettin' me know...he's a-waitin' for me...//

His memory of the place was dim, but he instinctively took tunnels, weaving
through the dark to find the place he was seeking. After what seemed like
miles of walking, Angelus turned into a large room that had once been a
vampire lair. He moved through the large chamber and into a smaller one.

He lit candles around the room, after laying his captive on the bed.
Vampires have excellent night vision, but he didn't need it here. He knew
where they were in the room without looking. The chamber glowed in soft
candle light, lighting up Buffy's still unconscious body. She was lying on
a large bed in the center of the room, which was draped in luxurious silk

He crossed the room and pulled two silk scarves from a tri-fold shade in the
far corner of the room. He used it to tie her hands to the bedposts,
matching the knots in the places these silk pieces of material had been tied
many, many times before. When he was done, he looked down to see that she
was awake.

"Who's lair was this?" She asked quietly.

"Darla's," he said, smiling down at her. Buffy's eyes widened with the


"Mmmm, yes," he said, seeming to cast away in memory for a moment, "She
loved a view, you know. This wasn't her favorite place, but every vampire
needs a little hideaway on the Hellmouth and this was hers."

"Why are we here? Why haven't you just killed me already?"

"Patience, baby," he said, "I couldn't very well go to the mansion where
everyone could just stroll in and interrupt us again."

He lowered his head to whisper, "I don't like being interrupted."

"What are you going to do?"

"What's wrong, Buff? Don't like surprises?"

"Did you..." Buffy started, "Did Angel come here to see her?"

"My weakling half?" He said, sitting next to her on the bed and sweeping her
body with his eyes, "He thought about it."

"But he didn't?"

"It amazes me how well you separate us," he said, finally touching her. He
traced the curve of her arm with one finger, causing ripples of fear to run
through her body.

"I love him," she said clearly, "I hate you."

He nodded his agreement and understanding as his caress made its way down
her arm, across her torso, down her leg.

"Stop touching me," she sneered.

"Angel thought about coming here," he said wistfully, ignoring her, "He
thought about her. He wanted to be safe with her again like we used to be.
But she needed him to be evil. She wanted him to be me and he couldn't be."

"You could never be him," she said, shrinking away from his touch.

"You'd be surprised what we have in common, lover," he said, his eyes
glowing darkly in the dim light.


//even flow. thoughts arrive like butterflies.
he don't know so he chases them away.
someday yet he'll begin his life again.//

Spike paced in his crypt. He should have fed already. There should be
victims strewn on the streets with blood dripping from their broken necks.
He *wanted* to do it, but he knew he had to think first. Had to stop and
make a decision for once, instead of just acting.

He closed his eyes and thought about Buffy's blood in his mouth, rolling
across his tongue, filling his body with a feeling that no blood ever had.
Even The Slayer he drained so long ago didn't have Buffy potency and power.
She was younger, weaker, less of a Slayer. But Buffy, she soaked up life in
her veins, wove power into her body and the construction of her was created
by a genius. He palpitated with the power of her.

He was debating inside his head and occasionally out loud as he thought
about how to proceed. Should he go to Buffy and beg her forgiveness? What
a sodding joke. She would never forgive him now, never trust him. He
wanted to go out and become the big bad he knew he truly was but love still
laid under his need for violence.

On top of every emotion, sitting high above everything else, was his deep,
intense hatred for his Grand Sire. Now that he was back, Spike knew that
Angelus wasn't about to let The Slayer win again. He wasn't going to waste
his time playing around. They all thought they knew the weapon hidden
inside the mind of The Scourge of Europe, but none of them had a bloody clue
as to what the vampire was capable of. They had their books and notes about
his violent acts of the past, they had their memories of the last time he
was turned, but none of them had seen what Spike had seen.

Giles thought he was tortured by Angelus, but that was play time and Spike
knew it. He had seen Angelus tear open bodies and leave them living while
he braided their entrails. He saw victims held against his Grande Sire
begging for their lives, handing over their greatest passions and secrets at
his feet before breathing their last breath.

Spike knew that if he turned away, Buffy would die. Or Angelus would turn
her. Even Spike felt a faintness of heart when he thought about her golden
body turning pale, her vibrancy fading to grey, the life that blanketed all
else in life turning into the abhorrence that he was. He loved being a
creature of the night, enjoyed the power and strength and speed it provided.
He loved blood - the taste, the texture. He didn't love the idea of
Buffy becoming undead. He didn't love the idea of her dying.

And he hated himself for being a traitor to his brethren, but he would
rather toss the Mona Lisa on a bonfire than know of her death. Nobody who
knew Spike would have ever thought that he would still be deprived of being
what his nature called him to be after the chip was rendered useless, or,
having thought so, would not have had the nerve to say it out loud. But he
turned and left his crypt again in search of his Grande Sire.


//and now my bitter hands shake beneath the clouds,
of what was everything.
all the pictures have all been washed in black...
...tattooed everything.//

Giles was in an absolute panic. He remembered what Angelus had done to
himself and Jenny. He couldn't stand the thought of Buffy dying and the
fear was eating him up inside. It was as if the doors of his nightmares had
swung open and spilled into reality. He knew she was still alive. She had
to be. He couldn't continue to function on a cognitive level if he didn't
harbor the belief that she could still be saved.

He sat down on the couch before he fell on his hands and knees in total
mental disarray and begged The Powers That Be for her life. He looked back
on the time when he first became a Watcher, when he was first assigned to
his charge. He didn't even like Buffy at first. To be accurate, he
couldn't begin to understand her. Not only her speech, which took him years
to master, but the way she thought, acted and carried out her fealty.
Nothing the Watcher's Council trained him for could have ever prepared him
for Buffy Summers. Everything they had told him about Slayers was not true
in Buffy in some cases and exceptionally so in others.

Giles was holding his glasses loosely in his hands while the group tried to
think of what to do next. They had searched all over town and come up empty
handed. They had no idea where to look next and for all they knew, the pair
were far from town by now. Thoughts in the room bounced off the walls,
called out to each other and became entangled with the furniture as they
struggled to come to some kind of plan.

"Spike," Xander said, sitting up in his chair and catching the attention of
the room, "He has to know some place that Angel could have taken her."

Giles nodded and stood, "Capital plan, Xander."

Giles grabbed a crossbow and stuffed several vials of holy water in his
pocket on the way out wearing Ripper's face. He was not going to let his
Slayer die. Not again.


//and i, i don't know if that's my imagination, but, umm...//

Buffy's bruised body was crying out at every movement she was forced to
make. Every moment she made was an attempt to dodge the advances of the
soulless beast wearing her lover's face. As he undressed her, she refused
to beg him to stop, instead she stared coldly at him with hatred, "What? So
you're just going to rape me before you kill me?"

"No," he said, "I'm not going to force you."

"Oh, so you think I'm going to go along with this?"

"I think you're going to beg me for it," he taunted.

"Did you hear the part where I hate you?" She said through gritted teeth.

"I heard you, baby," he smoothed, "But I also felt you come around my cock
when you knew damn well who was fucking you. It wasn't your precious
boyfriend, it was me. Course, even it had been my other pathetic half, it
would have been me sooner or later. Little caught up in this body, I

"Screw you," she retorted.



//i sometimes realize...i could only be as good as you'll let me...//

An arrow caught Spike in the shoulder blade and he spun around to face his
attacker, yelling, "What the f-"

"That was a warning shot," Giles said with a mini army of Scoobies behind

"I was going to try and save the damn chit. You didn't have to bloody shoot
me!" Spike yelled, yanking the arrow from his shoulder in irritation.

"Oh, I guess that's why you were clamped to her neck before," Xander spat,
"You seemed *so* concerned with her life then."

"Look, I admit, I was tempted," Spike said, holding his hands up, "It's not
like I bit her. She was already bitten."

"And that makes it okay?" Cordy yelled with her crossbow aimed at Spike's

"Look, sod off," Spike shouted, "I'm going to find her, damn it. What the
hell do you people want?"

"Where is he keeping her?" Wesley asked.

"I was going to check the mansion."

"Been there, done that," Cordy answered.

"I'll just check old haunts until I find them then."

"Great," Xander snorted, "While you're checking out all the wrong places,
you can conveniently stall until your Sire kills Buffy."

"Why don't you just stake me then? You're wasting time!"


//and now i rub my eyes...for he has returned...
seems my preconceptions are what should have been burned...
for he still smiles...and he's still strong...
nothing's changed, but the surrounding bullshit, that has grown...//

Buffy was throwing away her resistance a little at a time as Angelus
smoothed his hands over her body. He touched every part of her, gently,
roughly, irritatingly well. It was almost as if he wanted to erase the
memory of every touch before that wasn't his. He reached between her thighs
and she tried to close them but he had already slipped inside rubbing her
clit in slow, achingly slow circles.

"I don't get you," she said angrily, "What the hell are you doing?"

"Making you mine," he said, feeling her arousal increase with every

"I'll never be yours," she shouted, struggling to keep herself from
responding to his touch, to the touch that was performed by Angel's hands,
controlled by Angelus.

"Yes, you will."

"You're going to have to kill me," she said, trying to keep the pant out of
her words.

"I'll kill you," he promised, "Don't worry."

Chapter 7

FEEDBACK: With the Oscars coming up, I thought I'd jot down my LONG note of
thank yous in this section *g*:
Thank you to everyone who has fed me on this one!
Jenn - thanks for keeping me going & reminding me that you're reading.
Lela Rose, Hope, Peygan - thank you for always giving me the feedback I so
desire. You guys are fantastic! I appreciate that you never let me down.
Thank you to everyone who have continually fed me on all my fics - Dark
Rhiannon, akeleven, Lauren, Nameless Angel, Ellie, Ryan, Eleni Angel,
Sharon, Susan K, Valentina, Jill, Specks. Sorry to anyone I missed - I
appreciate you all. Feedback makes all the difference in the world when it
comes to writing this smut.
Thank you to Eleni Angel & Starrkitty for housing my stories!


LYRICS: All lyrics are from Pearl Jam.


//and, i can still fantasize, but i keep it to myself...
keep it to myself...keep it to myself...//

Spike sent the Scoobies on miscellaneous missions around Sunnydale to check
on crypts, dives and other places that Angelus *could* possibly be, while he
sought out the only place he thought he might actually go. Darla's crypt,
adjacent from the Master's main hall, was a little room he had only been
inside once. He shivered when he thought about Darla and the pain she could
dole out. She looked fragile and feminine, but one glance into her maniacal
eyes, and any vampire with a half a brain would run in the opposite
direction or drop to his knees.

That's why Angelus was always her perfect mate. He was the only vampire who
could stand her torture, who could make her cry out and beg for more. They
spent 150 years manipulating each other and trading the upper hand. 150
years were celebrated between the two, causing other vampires to cower in
fear from the power they possessed. With a bloodline directly from the
Master, they were unstoppable until the gypsy curse.

That was the moment that Spike saw his freedom looming ahead. It took a
decade to get Drusilla to separate herself from her "grandmummy" but once
that happened, Spike was able to live the life he wanted, reek the havoc he
craved, have his mate to himself. As he crept through the tunnels, visions
of Angelus fucking his mate struck his memories. If he lived a thousand
more years, he would not forget the sight of Dru on her knees sucking his
Grande Sire's cock, pledging her devotion to him, pleading with him to hurt
her just a little bit more.

Spike entered the Master's main hall and stood there, looking around and
listening for a moment. He heard loud breathing and turned in that
direction. He knew the sound came from Buffy, that she was still alive for
now. For the second time, he was peeking around a doorway, looking in on
his love and Grande Sire. His eyes widened at what he saw and he tried to
keep a cry from sounding out loud from his throat.


//he had deciphered the illusion, trading magic for fact//

Giles had spent long years burying the memories of what he had done as his
more reckless alter ego, Ripper, but today he let it take over his body. He
had made Spike and the rest of the gang think that he was going to a couple
of crypts on the east side of town, but instead he followed Spike. Ripper
was certain that Spike knew more than he was letting on and that the blonde
vampire would lead him directly to his Slayer.

He followed along the dark tunnels keeping silent as he walked along,
waiting for his human eyes to become accustomed to the dark. He tread
silently behind the vampire, keeping a safe distance so that hopefully, he
wouldn't smell or hear him.

When he entered the Master's main chamber, buried far beneath the city, in a
church that had fallen below so long before, he felt an icy chill sweep his
body. He had never been here but he knew that this was where Buffy had
died. This was where she had first lost her life and consequently, a great
part of her innocence. The rest of that innocence was stolen by the vampire
who now held her captive.

Giles followed Spike as he went into the neighboring room and jumped back as
Angelus' hand snaked through the door and pulled his childe inside.


//i got my hand in my pocket, so determined, discreet.//

Tara & Willow were not looking for Buffy and Angelus. Well, they were
*looking*, but not in the traditional sense. They were sitting in Buffy's
house, upstairs in their bedroom. Sitting cross-legged, facing each other
with joined hands, Tara anchored Willow to this plane, while she took her
second, more dangerous trip into the aether of another dimension.

She searched for a soul there. Angel's soul. She knew if she could find
him, he would hold the answers of how to break him free from the tormenters
who held him to his agreement, punishing him for the stolen gift.


//although i must admit...he still visits my place
uninvited, as you know, he don't wait
funny how he always seems to fit in
funny how i always want to give in//

Angelus' still blunt teeth, tore at parts of Buffy's inflamed body, breaking
her skin. He inhaled the musky sweet scent that traveled to his nostrils
from his mate's pussy. His cock was throbbing and fully erect inside his
leather pants. He wanted to fuck her so badly he felt a constant growl
rumbling through his body but he waited...he waited for her to beg for it.

Truly claiming someone, just like torture, was an art form. It took time
and patience. He wanted to torment her in the way that he had never gotten
to, punish her for making him feel by making her feel. Angelus was prepared
to leave his beautiful Slayer, bleeding, bruised and inches from orgasm for
decades if he had to. He was prepared to do whatever it took until she
begged him to claim her fully and when she spread her thighs willingly for
his cock, he would take her pleasure and then her life. All it took was
time, which was the one thing vampires had plenty of.

And she was inches away. She panted as his fingers moved roughly in and out
of her sopping heat. His thumb abused her clit, leaving her hips jerking
from the lashings he gave her. His bites were bruising her skin all over
but the pain only added to her need and hunger.

*You hate him*, she reminded herself, *This is not Angel.*

But her body disagreed. Her body wanted his body. Angel's body. The
personality might not be there and the soul might be gone, but the body was
that of her lover. She looked at him and saw the man she loved - if he
wasn't speaking or looking at her directly, it helped to suspend her
disbelief. She was weakening and she knew that he was aware of it. Her
whole body begged for the plucking and he had kept her a painful inch from
climax for hours now.

"Just tell me you want it, Buff," he growled against her abdomen, biting and
kissing the skin there, "and I'll give you release."

*Release in more ways than one,* he thought, smiling against her warm skin.
She tried to move away from his lips but after all this time and torture,
she was reacting more slowly and when she tried to scoot further away from
his lips, she only collided more roughly with his probing fingers.

"I want it," she breathed, squeezing her eyes closed, as if they would make
her ears close too, that she wouldn't hear what she just said.

"What do you want?" He asked, pulling his hands away from her dripping
center and standing. She moaned as he pulled away and pressed her thighs
together as she watched him strip off his leather pants, unveiling the body
she loved before her eyes.

"I want you to..." she whispered, pressing against the silk covered mattress
while she struggled to finish her sentence.

"What?" he asked, hovering over her on the bed. She looked down at the hard
cock he gripped his large hand. He spread her legs and she didn't protest
as he knelt between them, rubbing the sensitive tip over her entrance.

"Fuck me," she breathed, "Please."

He plunged inside her, causing her throaty cry to melt into his groan. The
bodies, not just the souls, were mates. They were matched for each other in
shape and endurance. All their lives, no other lover fit this way, no other
body joined the way that they joined. As Angelus fucked his mate, the
realization finally occurred to him. He wanted to kill her for so long that
he lost sight of the big picture. But now as he moved smoothly inside her,
he decided that he didn't want to kill her, he wanted to turn her. He
wanted to make her his forever.


//she scratches a letter into a wall made of stone//

Willow fell back on the bed landing on the pillows they had positioned there
earlier and Tara waited, anchoring her lover while she sought out the lost
vampire's soul. She watched Willow's eyes fluttering behind her eyelids as
she traveled on the other side.

The longer her girlfriend was wrapped in the spell, the more nervous she
got. This was a bigger job than just an anchoring. This was the moment
that you decided what you lived for and why you were staying where you were
in your *life*, not just in this moment.

Willow was seeking out what Buffy lived for. She had always known deep
inside her heart that Buffy could not go on knowing that Angel's soul was
missing. Not just because Angelus was unleashed - the demon was just a side
effect - but knowing that Angel was not alive, not free. She needed know
that Angel was okay, that he was inside his body, to go on with her life.
Even if going on with her life meant that she would have to do it without

If Willow had heard Spike's little speech about love, screaming in your
veins to work its will, she would have agreed and understood. It took her
much longer than Buffy to realize that Angel would never just be an ex, he
would never be someone who *used* be in The Slayer's life. He *was* The
Slayers life, an impeachable layer of ethereal skin that could not be
removed, scraped off or forgotten. Ignored, perhaps, but never forgotten.

That was why she searched the realms for the soul of the legendary vampire
in love with The Slayer, who was on the edge of turning into something that
was the undead nightmare of every member of the Scooby core.


//i take your entrance back...can't let you roam inside my head
i don't want to take what you can give...
i would rather starve than eat your bread...//

"You've always been mine, Buffy," Angelus whispered against her earlobe as
he moved inside her roughly, finally claiming what was his.

"No," she choked as she moved her hips against his thrusts, wrapping her
legs around him tightly, even as her bruised and broken flesh cried out in
pain, "I'm Angel's. Not yours. I'll never be yours."

He pulled away, dislodging her legs from his hips and left himself inside
her, less than an inch of flesh, throbbing against her core, scraping at her

"*I'm* Angel," he growled, "I'm the base of everything you love. I'm the
foundation of every mushy fucking moment you've shared with him. Every time
he touched you, in the back of his mind, he wanted to rip off your clothes
you fuck you. That was me. Every time he whispered his love for you, he
thought about the blood in your veins. That bloodlust is me. He is me.
The body that walks the earth is your mate. Your body is mine. Souls are

"No," she said, moving her hips up to accept more of him, but he held her
fast against the bed, "It's not true."

"It's true," he growled, flashing yellow eyes at her, "You told him you
loved all of him, remember? *That's* me."

"No," she said, allowing the tears to slip down her cheeks freely, "I don't
love you. I don't want you. I want h-him."

He stayed perched just barely inside her and swept his lightly over her clit
as he spoke, reminding her of the passion that lay inside her, demanding
release. She trembled against him, as he remained silent, feeling her
breath, waiting as the thought, enjoying the feeling of her inner muscles
clenching against him.

"P-please," she whispered, arching against him, clutching the silk that
bound her wrists. He watched with silent pleasure as her breasts rose and
fell with her movements, erect nipples crying out for his touch.

"Please what, baby?" he asked, biting at her nipples and smiling at her
cries of pleasurepain.

"Keep...going," she begged, struggling to move her hips against him again.

"What do you want me to do?" he whispered, moving up to her neck, causing
her breathing to momentarily halt.

"Keep...fucking me...please," she panted, forcing the despicable words from
her lips. There was never a time when she hated herself more than now. But
she gasped as he resumed his thrusts inside her, cracking his pelvis against
her in violent thrusts. As he was about to find his release, cause hers and
take the life he was yearning to take, he heart a rustle behind him.

Without warning, he jumped off the bed, to the door and pulled a yelping
Spike inside the chamber. He tossed him against Darla's dressing shade,
breaking the delicate paper and wood.

"Spike," Angelus growled, looking down at his interloping childe with anger.


Chapter 8


//laid spread out before me as her body once did.
all five horizons revolved around her soul,
as the earth to the sun.
now the air i tasted and breathed has taken a turn.//

Angelus started laughing maniacally as his bare foot struck Spike across the
jaw, "You never give up do you? I always knew you were stupid, Spike, but
not *this* stupid."

Spike looked over at Buffy who had curled up in an attempt to hide her naked
skin, even though she knew he had already seen it. Her skin glowed with
passion, covered in bites and bruises. In her eyes was a wild glow, as if
she were teetering on the edge of insanity.

"Buffy," Spike said as if Angelus wasn't in the room, wiping the blood from
his mouth with the cuff of his red shirt, "Come on, love. I can help you

She glanced over at him with faraway eyes and then looked up at her bound
hands. She was breathing in heaving breaths as if she had just come in from
a marathon. She felt cold all over. And she was terrified that the cold
would stay.

"Can't," she managed to whimper.

Spike jumped to his feet and was going to run over to free her but Angelus
grabbed his arm, flinging him back to where he was.

"Slayer strength," Spike yelled, "What the hell is wrong with you? You're
tied with silk for crying out loud!"

//dark grin...he can't help when he's happy looks insane.//

"She doesn't want to go," Angelus said, smiling proudly at his
accomplishment. Buffy shook her head to protest but the fact that she was
lying there naked, reaffirmed Angelus' statement as if she had said it out
loud herself. She was still there, bound by silk scarves that she could
have easily freed herself from hours before. Angelus knew the truth, which
was slowly sinking into Spike. She had allowed him to bite her before and
she was allowing this to happen now, because she truly believed that Angel
was gone. If he was gone, then nothing else mattered anymore. The Powers
wouldn't release him. His soul was trapped in some other dimension and she
knew without going through the steps, that the Ritual of Restoration
wouldn't work this time. Her love was lost. What did it matter what
happened with her life?

"You made a mistake coming here, Spike," Angelus said, slipping into his
leather pants and uncomfortably closing them over his still erect cock.

"Whatever, mate. I'm not going to let you kill her," Spike said, standing
up again.

"Oh, I see," Angelus said, "What drugs have you been taking, William? You
think that you can stop me? Have you ever been able to stop me? After all
these years, I've never wanted to kill you as much as I do now."

"I've always wanted you dead," Spike said, facing off against his Grande

Angelus laughed at Spike's words, sending shivers through Buffy who wasn't
sure who she was rooting for in this fight. Spike would probably try to
kill her again, but then again, maybe he wouldn't. Either way, she thought,
it didn't really matter.

"You just want her for yourself," Angelus said, circling, "Do you want to
kill her Spike? You probably don't have the balls for that. You just want
to sniff behind her and try to get her to sleep with you."

"Well, if I do," Spike said, stepping closer, "At least I won't have to tie
her up."

"I could untie her now and she would stay with me. She would still give me
whatever I asked for," he answered. Spike tried to hide his look of
acknowledgment, but he knew by the look of shame on Buffy's face, that it
was true. He stopped for a moment to look in her eyes and he didn't
recognize her. His infatuation was twisting in his chest, begging his heart
to beat, attempting to become someone who could save her.


//initiatives are taken up
by the middle, there ain't gonna be any middle any more
and the cross i'm bearing home//

Tara waited for Willow to wake up and the consciousness was a long time
coming. She held her hand without moving and kept a vigil for her lover.
She began to wonder as she waited why she would risk everything she loved
for her friend, why she sent her spirit into the aether to seek out a
vampire's soul.

She had spent a lot of time thinking about Buffy and Angel's relationship
while she sat her anchoring Willow to their plane. She understood love and
friendship, but being new to both arenas, she struggled to understand real
sacrifice. When her mother died, she had lost the only person in her life
that loved her completely, unconditionally. Until she met Willow and her
friends, she had never been in a group of people who cared that much about
each other before. It was a strange feeling. A warm, good feeling that she
was afraid she was getting used to. In fact, she was starting to forget
what it was like to be alone and misunderstood. Watching Willow now, she
was afraid that she would get her old life back again.

But finally, the red headed witch opened her bright green eyes and looked up
into her girlfriend's concerned face. She spread her lips into a loud,
dazzling smile, while her eyes struggled to remain open and awake.

"Willow," Tara breathed in relief, "Did you find him?"

Willow nodded her head and pulled against Tara's hand to sit up, "I found
him and I think we can get him back."

Tara slowly began to smile and then wrinkled her nose in thought, "Is there
a way we can keep this from happening again? I don't think any of us will
be able to take a repeat performance."

"We'll have to find something," Willow answered, uncrossing her legs and
scooting to the edge of the bed, "I can only take Angelus coming out so many

"Seriously," Tara agreed, thanking the goddess that she hadn't been around
last time that demon emerged.


//you think i got my eyes closed,
but i'm looking at you the whole fucking time.//

Ripper watched from the doorway at the two vampires facing off and his
Slayer, bound to the bed, looking as if she really thought she was
defenseless. He felt anger for rising up in him. Anger at her for giving
up, for Angel & Spike for their evil natures and at himself for not
foreseeing this horrible turn of events. He looked down at the crossbow in
his hands and back at the two vampires.

Buffy would never forgive him for what he was about to do, but it had to be
done. He knew she didn't have the strength to kill Angelus. Not while he
wore her mate's face. No, he would have to do it. And she would hate him
for the rest of his life for it.

He looked up at her and saw that she had spotted him, standing in the
shadows just outside of the door. She shook her head furiously at him
without speaking, trying not to alert Spike & Angelus of his presence.
Ripper narrowed his eyes at the young girl and shook his head yes, before
picking up the crossbow to aim.

"No!" she screamed, pulling furiously at the silk scarves, actually trying
to free herself for the first time. She was barely functioning now that
Angelus had taken over her lover's body and she had convinced herself that
there was no way to get Angel back, but what if there was?

Angelus turned, looking around the room as she screamed and ripped herself
away from the bed to her feet. The arrow that flew across the room was
easily caught by Angelus who tossed it away. Angelus lunged at the Watcher,
who shot again, embedding an arrow in his chest, but missing his heart.
Buffy chased after Angelus grabbing his arm and pulling him back as Giles
shot again, missing the vampire completely. Buffy sent Angelus flying into
Spike knocking them both back against the stone wall.

Giles was reloading when Buffy yanked the crossbow from his hands. He swung
at her and she ducked, feeling embarrassingly naked as she swept his feet
out from under him. Looking nervously around her, she ran across the room
and slipped into one of Darla's black silk robes. Switching the crossbow
from hand to hand as she hastily tried to cover herself.

She looked back and saw that Angelus was already across the room, game face
intact. He ripped the arrow from his chest and was leaning in for the kill.
She pulled the trigger on the crossbow and sent an arrow into his
shoulder, causing him to jerk around to face him.

"Stop. All of you," she said, pointing the crossbow at Angelus, while
looking over them all, "Step away from Giles, lover."

"You won't kill me," he growled, "But I will kill him."

"I don't want to kill you," she said, resetting her long lost determination
in her eyes, "But I will if you don't step away from him...*now*."

Angelus stepped slowly away with a smile at the resurgence of self respect
that filled her. Just when he thought he wanted her broken, he realized
that all the fun was in the breaking. Now he would have to start all over

"Giles," Buffy said, turning to her Watcher, "Leave."

"No," he said, crossing his arms in defiance, "I'm not leaving without you."

She edged toward the door, glancing over at Spike and then Angelus and
backed toward Giles. She looked over her shoulder, checking where how far
she had to the door. Giles had the dart gun in his hands and took three
perfect shots, hitting two vampires and one Slayer, rendering them all
unconscious. Buffy looked at Giles with painful eyes of betrayal before she
closed them.

Giles stepped over his Slayer and swept the crossbow up from the floor where
it had fallen inches from her hand. He looked at the peacefully sleeping
forms of Spike and Angelus, struggling to make a decision.


//she dreams in color, she dreams in red//

Buffy found herself in the wooded place in her mind that her dreams reserved
for Angel. The trees slithered around them, preparing to take him away
again, but for now, she had him before her. His eyes were soulful and sad
as he looked over her bruises and bites.

"Why?" he asked, smoothing his hands over her face, causing a deep sigh of
longing to come from her chest.

"I can't," she said, shaking her head slightly as she looked away from his
eyes, unable to face him.

"Buffy," Angel started, but was interrupted when she cried out, "I don't
know how to save you, Angel. Giles is going to kill your body and then it's
all over. Everything is gone. There's nothing left for me there. I want
to stay with you."

"You can't, love," he said, "It doesn't work that way."

"I want to be with you," she answered.

"Our souls are not meant for eternal rest at the same place," he said,
pulling her closer to him, "I'm a demon. You're human. You're good. You
can't be with me."

She leaned her head against his chest in defeat, "I'm so tired, Angel. I
can't do this. Not anymore."

"Baby, you have to wake up," he said, smoothing his hand over her hair

"I don't want to leave you again," she said, as the vines made their way to
him to pull him back.

"Wake up, love," he said, as the vines began wrapping around his legs,
"Willow found me. She can get me out, but you have to wake up. Wake up
before Giles kills me. Wake up, love."


//oh, can't touch the bottom
in too deep, yeah...oh, can't touch the bottom//

"Buffy," a voice said as she struggled to open her eyes, "Buffy!"

"Angel," she whispered as she opened her eyes to focus on Giles. Abruptly,
she looked around the room to find two vampire bodies undusted. She sighed
with relief and then pushed Giles away from her.

"You...you...damn it, Giles! What the hell is your problem?" Buffy yelled
as she stood, stumbling as dizziness came over her. Giles shook his head at
her and steadied himself.

"What the hell is your problem, Buffy? Do you know what I saw when I came
in here?" He yelled back. She looked down in shame, checking her hands for
answers they didn't hold and then looked back up at him.

"I know," she said, "I...I gave up, but Willow found Angel. There's a way to
save him. We can get him back."

"Buffy," Giles answered sadly, "You are far beyond your right mind. I know
you love him, but how many times do we have to go through this? How many
lives must be put in jeopardy before you see that this can never be?"

"We can anchor his soul," she begged, "We can save him. Make sure this
never happens again."

"I won't be a party to this," Giles said, stepping back with his hands in
the air, "The only reason he is not dead is because I could never stand your
hating me."

"Giles," Buffy said, stepping over to lug Angelus over her shoulder, "I
promise you, it'll be okay this time."

Giles followed her silently out of the chamber, casting a final glimpse at
Spike, still laying in the corner. He would let Buffy handle him as well.
They navigated the tunnels, stopping to tranquilize Angelus again when he
started to stir. Buffy hoped with every step that in her dream she had been
actually talking to Angel and that there really was a chance for him to be


Chapter 9


//i'm just like you, think we've had enough
i can't believe a thing they want us to...oh...
oh, we all got scars, they should have 'em too...//

Everyone was already waiting at Buffy's house when they arrived with
Angelus. Everyone was wearing tired faces that looked on with shock as she
brought him in and tied him to a chair, reminiscent of how they used to
treat Spike.

"Okay," Xander said, holding his hand up, "Am I the only one here who think
thinks Dead Boy should be dusted?"

"No," Wesley said, from his chair, looking somewhat ashamed for his answer.
Giles mumbled his agreement and Cordy looked confused.

"I'm with Xander," Anya added, "I think he should not be allowed to kill
people anymore."

"Willow said there was a way," Cordy said, looking over the vampire she had
grown to love.

"So you did find him, Will?" Buffy asked, ignoring the stares at her wounds
and her strange attire.

"Yes, but how did you know?" Willow asked, looking at her friend with

"I had a dream," she answered, "Angel told me you found him. You did,
though? You found him?"

Willow nodded with a smile, feeling proud of herself and Buffy smiled back,
thanking her and gleaming with the knowledge that in her recent dreams, she
had actually been talking to Angel. They had really found themselves
through the dimensions.

"What do we need to do?" Buffy asked, looking over Willow and Tara.


//i'll ride the wave where it takes me
i'll hold the pain...release me...//

As the witches chanted the spell, the Scoobies thought that the house was
going to cave in from the pressing power of the magick, which shook the
house, attempting to loosen it from its foundation. If Buffy didn't know
better, she would have thought that there was a earthquake going on. When
the chanting ended and the spell was completed, the house continued to
wobble for several more minutes.

Buffy knelt before the chair that Angel was still tied to, waiting for him
to wake up. Silently begging him to come back to her. Finally she turned
to glance back at the witches, who were standing and shaking off the
magickal daze.

"When is he supposed to wake up?" she asked, trying not to sound demanding.
After all they had already done, the last thing she wanted to do was appear

"I don't know," Willow said, "I would think, if it worked, he would wake up

Buffy nodded, giving her friends a look of thanks and turning her eyes back
on Angel. The room was in a perpetual pause as they waited with her.
Everyone was starving, tired and in need of a shower, but no one was going
to leave the room until they knew whether it was safe to go.

A half hour was held in stasis as they waited and waited and waited.
Finally, his eyes began to open and Buffy leaned in, waiting to see if the
eyes that looked at her held a soul in them.

*Please, be Angel,* she pleaded silently.

"Buffy," he said, shifting in his chair, straining against the ropes.

She didn't speak right away, but looked deeply in his eyes, holding her
breath, along with everyone else. The eyes that returned her gaze held
nothing. Nothing but love and devotion, thankfulness and apology. She threw
herself at his bound form and hugged him as she released a torrent of

"Angel," she sobbed, clambering over his lap to lay her head on his

"It's okay, love," he whispered, leaning to kiss her hair, "It's me. It's

Air was breathed in all over the room and released into immediate sighs of
relief, as they realized that Angel had returned to them.


//oh, please don't go out on me, don't go out on me now
never acted up before, don't go on me now i swear i never took it for
granted, just thought of it now
suppose i abused you, just passing it on

Spike woke up to find himself alone in Darla's chamber. He looked around
the room nervously and felt with a deep sense of chagrin, that Angelus was
still alive. If there was any justice in the whole bloody world, he thought
as he stood and dusted himself off, Angelus would be dust and Buffy would
still be in this chamber...naked.

Now he was sporting a massive fucking headache and he had to go find out if
Giles & Buffy were dead somewhere, while his Sire was out dancing in their
blood. He strode out of the cavern and into the tunnels, listing his recent
annoyances in his head, one of them being that the damn Slayer still had his
leather duster.

He made his way to the Summers' house and looked in the front window to find
Buffy crying on Angel's lap with the whole crew looking on with relieved
looks on their faces. Cursing, he turned and headed for his crypt. But
stopped halfway there. Turning, he headed back toward town. He was
starving and it was *way* past time to kill someone.

The first life he took was that of a small girl, a teenager, standing near
movie theatre. Breaking into her skin was easy and her blood washed thoughts
of The Slayer from his body. He almost felt like himself as he hunted for
another warm body. This was what he should have done to begin with.
Could've saved himself a whole world of grievance.

Plans for the future began dancing over his head as he sunk his teeth in his
second victim for the evening. He would kill until he felt whole again and
that would take awhile since he had been out of the game for so long. Then
he would ditch Sunnyhell and get away from the bloody Slayer and her Scooby
bunch of doltish friends. Wistfully, he wondered if he could find Drusilla.

All that torture that Angelus had performed on Buffy, reminded him when he
used to hand it out too, instead of trying to save people from it. Maybe he
should go to Prague...


//the waiting drove me mad...you're finally here and i'm a mess//

"Baby," Angel whispered against her hair, feeling the weight of the stares
in the room, "You can untie me anytime."

"Oh," she said, wiping her face quickly with the back of her hand, before
climbing off his lap and freeing him from the ropes. Angel pulled Buffy
into his arms, holding her tightly. Over her head, he met with Giles'
unforgiving eyes.

"I'm sorry, Giles," Angel said, "Again."

"Yes, well," Giles said, relenting slightly, "I guess it's okay now that
your soul is permanent."

"If it makes you feel any better," Angel said, "I do have a large hole in my

"Actually, it does," Giles said with a smile as he turned and headed for the
front door, "Makes me feel a lot better."

Strolling outside, Giles looked up at the sky. It was just before dusk and
the air calmed around his body, wiping away the months of insufferable
stress. For the first time in a very long time, the Watcher was going to go
home and watch nothing at all. Thankfully, his services would not be needed
for awhile...he hoped.

Briefly, his thoughts fluttered to Spike and his heart sank. If there were
really Powers That Be, if they were interested in one insignificant human's
wishes, they would get Spike out of this town, or dimension, which would be
preferable. He pushed the recently dechipped vamp from his mind. He wasn't
going to think about him or about how he could come into his house anytime
he wanted.

*Damn it,* Giles thought, *nothing is ever easy.* He began thinking about
how his morning would be spent, instead of having a long sleep, followed by
tea and light reading, he would be going around uninvinting Spike from their


//the only thing i want so much...
that's the only thing i want so much...
that's the only thing i want so much...//

Everyone watched with surprised smiles as Giles walked out of the house with
a light sort of happiness that they all needed to feel too, and were
beginning to. They couldn't help but look at Buffy & Angel's reunion with
joyful smiles, as well. Buffy squealed as Angel scooped her into his arms
and ran upstairs, slamming the door to her bedroom, leaving the world out.

He set her on the bed as she released a breathless laugh. He looked at the
window that no one had bothered to fix during the commotion. He fingered
the broken shards of glass still set in the pane and turned to look at her -
which was the greatest damage he had caused. He crossed the room, where she
had stood up from the bed and opened her robe. He looked over the wounds
that he had caused, trying to wish them away. His fingers moved gently over
the marks that marred her skin.

"It's okay," she said, grabbing his hands and looking into his eyes.

"No, it's not," he said, as tears threatened to fall.

"Angel," she said, "It is okay. If I get to spend the rest of my life with
you now, then this is nothing. They'll heal."

"But I...I did this...to you," he said, letting his eyes wander over the
wounds cutting into her beautiful body.

"No," she said, "You didn't. You were...wherever you were. This was not

"I'm so sorry, Buffy," he said, as tears threatened to pool in his eyes.

"I want to stay together now," she said, changing the subject, "I don't want
you to leave again."

"Buffy," Angel said, feeling as if life always seemed to get worse, just
when he thought it was getting better, "I have duties in LA. And you need
to -"

"Shut up," she said, twisting and pushing him onto the bed. She flung a leg
over him and straddled him, "I'm tired of this bullshit. You can live here
part time. I live there part time. But I'm not living without you


"Shut up," she repeated, feeling all the anger and fear and pain swelling up
in her as she looked down on him, "I love you. You love me. That's it.
End of story. I'm keeping you this time."

"You're keeping me, huh?" Angel said, smiling in spite of himself.

"Yes," she said, flipping her hair over her shoulder, before leaning down to
look deeper in his eyes, "You're mine and I'm tired of giving up what's
mine. You, I'm keeping."

"God, I love you," he said, kissing her gently.

"So we have an agreement?" she said, wiggling over his lap suggestively.

"It doesn't sound like I have a choice," he said with a twinkle in his eye.

"You don't," she said, smiling back.

"Well, then," he said, running his hands under the robe and over her back,
"I guess it's settled then."

"Guess so," she said, pulling him in for a passionate kiss. Dueling tongues
fought inside their mouths, but Angel knew that he would let her win every
battle until the end of time, if she could forgive him for what happened
while his soul was gone...again.

She pulled away and began unbuckling his leather pants and just the fact
that he wore them was a painful reminder of what had happened. He knew she
was bruised all over. He was certain, as his memories began to complete
themselves of everything that had occurred, that she was bruised on the
inside too.

"Buffy, I don't think this is a good idea," he started, "I hurt you pretty
badly and-"

"Angel," she whispered, shutting him up once again, "I'm not afraid you
hurting me. The only way to wash this all away is for you to make new
memories to replace the old ones. I need *you* to *make love* to me."

Gently, he pulled the robe off of her and then rolled them over, nodding his
agreement. He pulled off the leather pants and tossed them to the floor,
before returning to bed and looking over her body.

"We'll burn those later," he said as he began kissing her in every place
that he had hurt her. Making his way all over her body, he landed on her
neck and kissed it gently, feeling slightly guilty that his body still
hummed with the power of her blood. He made his way down her body, over her
wrists and fingers, her damaged breasts and bruised abdomen, he could
scarcely believe that he had done all this defilement, even though the
memories clicked clearly in his mind now.

Settling between her thighs, he winced as though he were in pain when he
surveyed her bruised and torn flesh. She ran her fingers through his hair,
murmuring her whispered forgiveness as he began light pleasure where pain
had been.

"I'm sorry," he whispered against her flesh as he began to kiss those wounds
as well. He inhaled her arousal as he gently kissed her sensitive wounds. He
heard her whisper his name in a moan as he lapped at her clit, running his
hands gently over her abused thighs. He prolonged her pleasure, making her
climax again and again as he prepared himself to make love to her. As she
bucked beneath him, crying out in pleasure, he began heal.

He moved up her body and kissed her, more aroused by the idea of her tasting
herself on his lips. He didn't move to enter her, but took his time kissing
her, moving his hands lightly over her breasts. After several minutes, she
realized he was stalling and broke his kiss.

"Make love to me, Angel," she whispered, causing his whole body to twinge in
arousal. He looked in her eyes, searching for even the smallest bit of
reluctance. Finding none, he entered her slowly and heard her breath deeply
as he came in contact with sore places. He moved slowly, washed in the
feeling that his dreams had been made of for six years. As their passion
increased, he didn't move faster, but forced his strokes to be gentle and

She ground against him, digging her fingers into his broad shoulders and
wrapping her legs around his waist. She pitched harder and finally cried out
in overwhelming passion, "Angel. Please!"

"Don't want to hurt you," he groaned, feeling the need to move faster
pounding in him.

"Angel, please," she whimpered, pressing against him urgently, "I'm going to
die if you don't...please. You're not going to hurt me."

With a groan, he moved against her, delving more deeply. She anchored
against him, meeting each thrust, gasping at each meeting of her flesh with
his. Reaching between them, as he moved harder, faster, he connected with
her clit, massaging it in time with his movements. She cried out his name
again and again as she came, thrashing beneath him. Finally, as she was in
the middle of her release, he experienced true happiness...and retained his


//but i'm not about to give thanks, or apologize
i couldn't breathe, holdin' me down
hand on my face, pushed to the ground
enmity gaged, united by fear
forced to endure what i could not forgive...//

Night had barely fallen and Spike was preparing to leave his crypt and
Sunnydale altogether, when the door opened. Angel stormed in and crunched
his fist into Spike's face, sending him flying against the stone

"Bloody hell, mate," Spike yelled, "I was trying to save the bint. And from
you, I might add."

"That was after you tried to kill her as I recall," Angel said, kicking him
in the face as his childe was attempting to stand and nearly smiling at the
sound his boot made when it made contact with Spike's face.

"I wasn't trying to kill her," Spike answered, "I was...hungry."

"Oh," Angel said, nodding sarcastically, "In that case..."

He pulled him from the floor and rushed across the room, slamming him into
the nearest available piece of wall. Pulling back, he slammed him into it

"The one thing that never changes whether I have a soul or not," Angel
growled, feeling his anger at the boy nowhere near subsiding, "is that I
know what's mine. Touch her again and I will kill you. Look at her and
I'll kill you. You fucking talk to her and I'll kill you."

"I was just going to leave town," Spike said, groaning, "I loved her, you

"You're not capable of love," Angel said, dropping him with disgust. As he
headed for the door, he glanced over his shoulder at the pathetic bleeding
body of his Grande Childe, "Give my regards to Dru."

Angel didn't have to look back to see the last jerk of pain he gave to
Spike. He went back out into the darkness and headed for his love.


//my god its been so long, never dreamed you'd return
but now here you are, and here i am//

Angel crept into the room where Buffy still lay in bed, curled on her side,
looking delectable in her sleep. He hastily discarded his clothes and
climbed back in bed, easing himself around her again. She stirred and with
her eyes still closed, she snuggled into him again.

"Did you kill him?" she asked sleepily.

"No," he said, kissing her head and smiling down at her, "Probably should

"Forget him," she said, pulling him in closer and smiling as felt his
arousal rising behind her, "He's nothing to us. He's beneath us."

Angel's hand snaked around her as he began kissing her neck. Sliding down
her side, he pulled her leg over his, opening her for him.

"I love you," he whispered, as he entered her again.


The End! Hope you enjoyed it!