the bunny warren v. Faith

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Ressurection - Part One

Author: Kendra A Washington
Disclaimer: For legal purposes, Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt and the rest of their posse own the characters from the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the Series. BUT IN ALL OTHER WAYS THAT ARE MUCH MORE IMPORTANT-Buffy owns Angel and Angel owns Buffy. Always and forever.
Feedback: Hey, if not for me-then for all the terrific S/D and B/A fanfiction writers out there. You guys are all super talented and make our lives easier during these sad times of post Buffy and Angel breakup.
Dedication: To Kim, thanks for letting me know about this place and to all the B/A and S/D shippers, I love you guys! Don't worry-good things come to those who wait...
Distribution: Wow? You actually want this? Well email me and I'll give it you on a silver platter.
Background: This story takes place right after the Season Five episode-"Out of My Mind". Everything that came before it-including the original movie is used in this story. All the stuff after that episode doesn't count. :-) As for Riley-hey, I only brought out what was there to begin with...
Rating: I don't know-I'm not good at these things! I'll say R-but oh well.

Part I- Powerful Delusions

Riley paced back and forth in his dorm room. The wounds from the operation and the arrow still hurt. Things weren’t the same anymore. He missed the adrenaline and energy that rushed through his body. He missed that power… He liked being able to make Buffy scream. To be the dominant one…

Yet no matter how hard he tried to conquer her, there was one part of her he could never touch. Buffy didn’t think he knew. But he did. Maybe Buffy didn’t even really know herself…

Whenever they were alone together he sensed it. She was thinking about HIM. Even during sex. She didn’t think he could hear her saying HIS NAME. It was just barely a whisper- but it was still said out loud… I love you always, Angel…

Riley growled out again in pain, yet not from the wounds of his operation. He could ever dominate her- he would never fully be in control. He had no power- he had no hold over the Slayer, the most powerful being… He didn’t have the power.

A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. Struggling, he stood up and walked to the door. At the doorway was a tall, scruffy, handsome looking guy.

“Hello,” he said to the stranger.

“Hi. I’m a friend of Buffy’s. Is she here? May I come in?”

“She’s not here now,” Riley said as he looked suspiciously at the pale visitor. “And which friend might you be?”

“The name is Pike. Buffy and I go all the way back to LA-”

“You’re from the snob school,” he said about to slam the door in Pike’s face.

Regretfully, the visitor sadly looked down at the floor and said, “No I didn’t go to Hemery… Hell, I went to the large public school next door…before I had to drop out…”

“Hey, sorry, um, Pike is it? Yeah man, come in,” Riley stepped back to allow him inside.

“Thank you,” Pike said as he walked into the dorm, looking around. “Nice place.”

Riley turned his back to Pike to close the door and said, “What did you want to see Buffy abou-”

Riley stopped in mid sentence when he turned around again. The ex-commando was shocked to find Pike in full vampire game face.

“I’ve gone through some changes, definitely… Actually, I came here for you, Riley!”

Pike plunged at him and Riley barely dodged out of the way. He scrambled around the room, searching for a stake. Pike stopped his attack, and leaned with one hand on the night table. He merely started to laugh at Riley. The ex-commando tried to swallow his humiliation.

“Get away from me,” he croaked out, still weakly holding the stake.

“Look at you, man. Totally pathetic. Love bitch to the Slayer. It should be the other way around… You should be out there- killing, taking control… Buffy ought to be here, waiting for you to get home. For you tell her what to do…”

Riley found himself agreeing with this vampire, but tried not to show it. “What are you talking about?”

“I know what you’re thinking, dude. I know everything about you. Who you were… Who you still want to be. And you know what? I can help you, Riley.”

“Nobody can help me.”

“See that’s where you’re wrong. I can do things for you… WE can give you the power and authority that you really want.”

Riley’s ears perked up at the words. He relaxed his grip on the stake and motioned for Pike to continue. Pike wickedly grinned back.

“We’re looking for a few good men,” he began.

“I’ve tried that route already… For awhile I was just as strong as her. But that’s-”

“Not enough,” Pike finished for him.

“Yeah,” Riley nodded, sitting down on the bed. “Wait- Who is we?”

“A legal eagle team that I work for. Excellent bunch of kids. Do what they ask and they take good care of you. I got that pretty little ‘cycle parked outside because of them.”

“This is stupid,” Riley stood up, holding the stake above his head. “What could you possibly offer me that could make me stronger than Buffy? Stronger than anyone?”

“Immortality. Money. Power,” he hissed back.

“Turn me into a vampire? Ha! That’s just-”

“What you’ve always really wanted. You are the dominant type, I can tell… Killing what you are jealous of…What you want to be… Think about it- Ungodly night vision…Incredible strength… Dead accurate precision.”

“What about the money and power,” Riley asked, still not convinced of Pike’s claims.

“That comes as a reward from the suits. But the real killer is that you can finally control the part of the Slayer you can never conquer,” he said as he made a gash on his chest.

“Angel,” Riley realized.

Pike stood back up, looking squarely at Riley and said, “So what are you waiting for?”

It was clear to him now. Pike was right. From the very beginning, all he wanted was to rule over Buffy. All of her. He thought he could do it by making her his little love slave, dominating her. But no matter how sickeningly sweet or how strong he was- she could never be totally his. She needed to realize that she was HIS GIRL. HIS TOY. He should be in charge, and HE should be telling HER what to do.

There was only one way to drive out the thoughts she constantly had of Angel… He would silence all of her thoughts, forever. He could have the power…

Pike sensed his approval before Riley could speak. He grabbed his neck and bit into him. Riley grinned back. This was HIS CHOICE. He was taking charge. He would make Buffy fall to HIS FEET. As Riley began to feel the life drained out of him, his mouth eagerly drank the blood oozing from the cut Pike had made across his chest.

“Should take you an hour or so to rise. After that,” Pike said looking down at Riley. “I need to write my sire a little note… Then we’re off to LA.”

Part II- Prelude to Disaster

It had been a tough night for Angel. He was getting more and more sleep, but he felt less rested. Last night he could barely attack a punching bag, let alone any vampire. But he felt more energy tonight. Something was about to happen…

He turned the corner of the main street and headed downtown. The Wolfram and Heart offices were nearby, and most demon activity happened there. As Angel continued walking, he sensed that he was not alone. He was being followed. He listened at the hushed voices, trying to make out what they were saying. They both sounded vaguely familiar…

“Lindsey is too cautious, dude. We need to rub Angel out now!”

“Look, Pike- I know you’ve been doing this longer than me, but trust me. You don’t want to tangle with Angel now. You need to wait-”

“I refuse to wait anymore, Mr. Lilac,” Pike said in a very loud voice. “I can take ‘em.”

Pike with a bottle of gin in his hand ran up to Angel, about to tackle him from behind. But Angel was ready for him and easily ducked out of the way. It was obvious that Pike was drunk. He was wobbling around, just barely able to stand straight.

“This is too easy,” Angel snickered as he pulled a stake from his coat.

He stopped dead in his tracks as he got a good look at his attacker. Suddenly it dawned on him who he was about to kill.

“You’re Pike… You helped Buffy with the vampires at Hemery when she was first called.”

“Yep… That’s the old me. I got a visit from someone and he helped me see the light… Actually the darkness, dude… You know him. He’s an old friend of yours. Goes by the name of Spike.”

Angel suddenly pieced together the puzzle, “So that’s why Buffy could never find you after the battle at the gym… She hurt so much when you weren’t at your apartment.”

“Oooh… Quite the stalker huh? Even then you wanted to get in her pants… I admire you, man. She’s too whinny for me. I heard about your little fling, man.”

Angel held up the stake about ready to strike, but Pike began laughing at him again.

“She seems to have forgotten you real good. Shacking up with some college dude. Actually he and I are total buds now. He begged me to make him one of us, and now he’s in on the plot,” the drunk vampire continued.

Just then, Angel heard a shuffle from the alley. He saw a tall figure running quickly into the Wolfram and Heart building. It moved too quickly for the vampire to get a good look, but he had a feeling who it was.

“Yeah, it was great, man! I took him right in his dorm room!”

“Tell me what you know,” Angel threatened.

“Well let’s see… I know my ABC’s,” he retorted in his alcoholic stupor.

A strange energy surged within Angel, making him angry and vengeful. Suddenly, before he realized it he staked the vampire. Pike turned into dust before him. Angel wondered what had possessed him to kill his only source of information. What had he been thinking?

“I got to get to Buffy,” he said, dropping the stake and running to his car.

From the window of the tall skyscraper, Darla watched him speed away in his car. She had missed so much of the times… She had missed her Angelus. But not for long.

“Soon,” she whispered.

“So everything is going to plan,” Riley asked as he stepped up to the window.

“Yes, quite… I’ve got a free hand here when it comes to dealing with Angelus. These people want only money,” she said thoughtfully.

“But I think you know where the real focus is,” Riley said as he studied her.

Darla gave a slight smile and said, “Selling out Pike was a strategic move, boy. Getting him that drunk was very good. Ambition and power are fine goals, indeed. But don’t betray me… Learn that from Angel- that filthy creature that corrupts my Angelus.”

“I can see you aren’t someone to be crossed,” he replied.

“William should be coming soon.”

“Yep…The prelude to disaster… But seriously, I know where the power is. I will not betray you.”

“Good lesson, boy. William will help us greatly…”

“Not to contradict you, Darla- But what if your plan does not work?”

“We have other options- albeit, not as poetic but they will do.”

“Should we begin our preparations?”

“We don’t have to start right away. The best part about this game is always the chase… We have enough time for dinner. Greek, Spanish, even China-men… They give me anything I want here,” Darla said as she led Riley out to supper.


Part III- Not What I Expected

Buffy lay on the bed, staring worriedly at the clock. It was almost sunrise and Buffy had no idea where Riley had gone. All she found was a note written yesterday. The note just said he needed to do something and it would take a long time. That was enough concern for alarm… And it seemed Riley had not taken his keys either.

She was about to call Willow for help when she heard a knock on the door. Thinking it was Riley, she sprang from the bed. She felt a tingling sensation all over body, something she’d never felt near Riley before.

Buffy opened the door, without really looking at who was there. She wrapped her arms around the figure, and began her assault of kisses. Soon her embrace was met and the lips returned her fury of passion. Gentle, but firm hands encircled her waist and drew her nearer. The exchange made gave Buffy a sense of relief, that the man in front of her was her home… Her love. A few minutes had gone by before Buffy realized- the body in front of her seemed very…cold.

Buffy quickly pulled away and was shocked to see a speechless Angel in front of her. Turning a slight shade of red, she stepped further away to get a look at him. Angel didn’t need to breathe for Buffy to have made him breathless at that moment.

“What are you doing to me,” Buffy asked suddenly angry.

“You kissed me,” he said, holding his hands up in defense.

“Well why didn’t you stop me? Don’t you specialize in pushing me away?”

“We’re not starting off like this. We were civil the last time I came,” he urged.

“You had no right to kiss me like that,” she added, not wanting to admit that she enjoyed the kiss as much as he had.

“No I didn’t,” he said quietly relented. “May I come in?”

“Whatever.”

“Buffy, no games. You know I-”

“Yes! Come in already,” Buffy said, moving out of the doorway.

Angel walked into the dorm room and Buffy closed the door behind him. Out of habit, she checked her appearance in the mirror before turning back to Angel. She offered him a seat, but he motioned that he preferred to stand. Buffy sat down on a chair near the bed.

“What are you doing here? No wait, let me guess… I’m in danger again huh?”

Angel didn’t flinch at the remark and continued, “I think so.”

“What? Did that Doyle friend of yours get some vision of me dying again?”

“No, Doyle’s dead.”

“Oh, sorry,” Buffy said, immediately regretting her previous tone.

“As much as it hurts, I know things work out for the best…He died for something good, Buffy. Cordelia gets the visions now. Then, you know Wesley has been helping..”

“Certainly a motley crew you have in the detective business,” Buffy said trying to get into a lighter tone. “So Cordy saw me in danger, eh?”

“No. They didn’t know I was coming here until- I actually came.”

“So what gives? How do you know I’m in danger?”

“I’ve heard some vamps talk. Had a run in with one last night in LA… Buffy, this may come as a shock-”

“I’m a big girl. I can take it,” she assured him.

“I saw Pike. He’s been turned.”

Buffy furrowed her brow at him, “How do you know who Pike is?”

“I’ve watched you for so long… Before you were called and afterward. That’s why I followed you,” he said, pain apparent in his voice.

“Oh… But no! I mean, about Pike- He took all of his stuff out of his apartment. I found a note saying that life was just too hard for him and he couldn’t deal with it. That he was dropping out of- Oh God… Just like the vampires at the college,” she gasped.

“That’s an old vampire trick. No questions asked about our victims,” Angel agreed. “He said some pretty disturbing things… I had to-”

She held up her hand, “No. It’s okay. I understand. Pike and I never really worked out anyway. I went to him that day to say goodbye… What did he say?”

“That he had been sired by Spike. But that’s not the worst of it. Where is Riley?”

“He’s not here,” Buffy said quietly, realizing that she had forgotten about Riley’s disappearance.

“Do you know where he is?”

“Do you?”

Angel sighed, “I think so.”

“Want to share with the class?”

“I think he’s been turned too.”

Buffy abruptly stood up and asked, “Did you see him?”

“No-”

“Then you don’t know, do you? He couldn’t,” Buffy said nervously starting to shake.

“I think I saw him run into a building. A place that helps demons. If it was him, then he’s planning something bad,” he said, softly trying to rub her shoulders.

She jerked away and accused, “Did you kill him too?”

“No. But I think eventually we might have to.”

“We can’t! We’ll get Willow to curse him! Get another orb,” she said as tears flowed down from her face.

“Buffy, you can’t condemn him to an existence like that. No one deserves the curse I have,” he tried to reason.

“So what? You’ll just kill him? You’d like that wouldn’t you,” Buffy said, unsure of where the emotion was coming from.

Suddenly Angel couldn’t hold back his emotions for Buffy anymore, “For all this pain I get…Yeah! I’d like to kill him! Because he can do what I can’t! And I hate him for it! He could do all those things I wanted so badly to do with you- to take you into the sunlight, to give you children, to make love…”

As Angel’s sentence trailed off, the anger left Buffy and she sighed, “I guess Pike took care of all of that… It makes sense. Pike is just Spike with an ‘S’ at the beginning.”

“I don’t think we can entirely blame this on the two of them. Riley knows a vampire when he sees one,” he said trying to lessen his previously harsh tone.

“Meaning what? He was looking to get bitten,” she questioned, half-knowing the answer.

“Pike said that Riley was begging to get changed. That Riley even invited him in.”

The harsh truth struck Buffy and she almost collapsed at the weight of it. But Angel was there to hold her up. Yet he held himself back a bit, not wanting to take advantage of her.

“Oh, Angel,” she gasped, realizing he was right. “Riley’s been obsessed with trying to beat me-”

“Has he hurt you? I swear I’ll-”

“No, not really. He’s just been trying to show he’s stronger than me… Every time we’re together, it’s like he wants to control me,” Buffy confessed.

She hadn’t told anyone about her doubts- she didn’t allow herself to think them. Yet, now it made sense. How he wanted to run experiments on Xander when he was split into two. How he didn’t tell anyone about his heart. How he could sometimes be so bent on being better than her at everything.

“Maybe he sided up with Wolfram and Hart to get that power,” Angel said, snapping Buffy out of her thoughts.

“Who?”

“Long story. I’ll explain on the way to Giles,” he said pulling her up.

“No, let’s go find Spike and then head out for LA. I feel like kicking some ass. He might have some information,” Buffy said as she wrote a note on a piece of paper.

“Shouldn’t we get Giles?”

“I’m not going to risk everyone’s life on this. If things are really that bad, I’m not going to involve the gang. I’m doing this alone. I’ll leave this note,” she said, walking out and sticking the note to the door.

“Buffy, you don’t have to do this alone,” he said, tugging at her shoulder.

“Fine. Then you can come with me…Since you have the car,” she added sheepishly.

Angel flashed a half smile, comforted in the knowledge that Buffy could still keep her sense of humor. That smile made Buffy melt, and almost lose her balance again. But she quickly regained her defenses without hinting that she had lost them to begin with. She gave a quick nod as she led Angel out of the dorm.

“Spike better watch out,” he said as the door closed behind them.

Part IV- The Drive And Its Destination

The sun just got up as Angel and Buffy hopped into the car. Angel had the top up and the windows were tinted, so no sunlight came in. First, they drove to all of Spike’s hangouts to look for him. The vampire wasn’t at any of them. At around noon, they came upon the graveyard and Buffy agreed to ruff up Spike. Angel was confused when she quickly came back a second later.

“He’s not there. Neither is Harmony. It sort of looks like there was a struggle… I found this, though.”

Buffy handed him a crumbled piece of paper. Angel took it from Buffy, and both felt the electricity surge through them when their hands brushed together. Angel tried to quiet down his emotions and read the note.

Spike,

It’s Pike. Long time no see. Now I’ve got a new deal with some lawyer people. It’s awesome! They give me all the blood and booze I want. Heard about that nasty chip in your head. And about that annoying Harmony chick that follows you around…

If you want to get rid of the blonde, the Slayer and the chip then come down to LA. Look up the law place called Wolfram and Hart. There’s someone who wants to see you down here… Can’t say anymore, but there’s more good stuff to the deal.

Pike

“Spike and Riley working together. That doesn’t sound good,” Angel said, stuffing the piece of paper into his pocket.

“Let’s just hope that they argue as much as they did when Riley was alive,” Buffy said sarcastically. “Then they’ll never get anything done.”

Angel started the car again, driving to the highway. He wanted to talk to Buffy, to comfort her. But he wasn’t sure it was his place to do this. Every inch of him wanted to be wrapped around her, telling her it was all right.

“So… If he didn’t like Spike then everyone else must have loved him,” Angel finally blurted out.

“The gang was encouraging… My mother the most,” Buffy sadly admitted.

“Things will work out, Buffy. If not with Riley, then with some other-”

“Just stop it Angel! Now!”

“I’m sorry,” he apologized.

“It’s just that…Riley was supposed to be normal Joe guy. Then I find out he’s some commando for secret government demon hunters. Then when he’s finally out, when he’s normal- he wants to be a super hero.”

“What do you mean?”

“He had to get an operation or else he’d die. His body couldn’t handle having super abilities. It came from some chemical thingie his directors gave him.”

“I see,” he said, letting Buffy continue.

“But he didn’t tell anyone about it until it was almost too late. I had to force him to get it and be normal… We both almost got killed.”

“Oh,” he said calmly, trying to hide the sadness.

Angel didn’t have to be forced into being a regular guy. Yet he couldn’t protect her as a normal guy. No, he wanted the best for Buffy. He would bare whatever pain or agony if it could keep her alive and happy.

Yet it was clear from the little Buffy said, Riley wanted powers only to impress her… Maybe even to control her. How could Riley have been so selfish? How could he have let Riley put her through this hell?

“Angel, it was real bad. He was acting so stupid! Damn, it! Why is it that all the guys in my life feel like they need super powers in order to be with me?”

So you took twenty-four hours to weigh the ups and downs of being a normal Joe and you decided it was better being a super hero?

Angel almost lost control of the car at her remark and said worriedly, “What do you mean ALL the guys?”

“Well like Riley and yo- No wait, I meant just Riley,” Buffy said stopping mid sentence.

She leaned back into the passenger seat and wondered. What made her say both Riley AND Angel had the choice of having supernatural abilities? Angel always had his vampire senses. Nothing in the world could ever change him into a normal guy…

Angel could not shake off the strange, almost clouded energy that surrounded them. Did Buffy know about last Thanksgiving? No, the oracles saw to that. She would never know… Or feel that pain he had right now.

Angel sat up ridged in the seat, not looking directly at Buffy. His thoughts went back to the day that never happened. The utter joy came not from being normal- but having no limits placed on them. To pour out all of his soul into Buffy. Then came pain of having to let her walk out of his office, eventually into the arms of someone else. Why couldn’t Riley understand the amazing gift he had been given?

The couple was lost in their own thoughts as they continued their trek to LA. They stopped for gas and food only once, since Angel couldn’t be in the sunlight. Buffy filled up the gas tank and grabbed some take out from a nearby diner. Within a few minutes they were back on the road, with little words exchanged between them.

The skies had suddenly turned dark and storm clouds blocked the setting sun. Strangely, Angel heard a sputtering sound from his car. He pulled off the road, onto the roofed parking lot of a run down motel. He and Buffy got out of the car to survey the damage. When Angel opened up the hood, a flood of smoke whipped out in front of him. Buffy coughed, trying to fan away the vapor. Angel stuck his head inside.

“I guess the car is just worn out. Driving back and forth without a long rest. Funny, that’s never happened before.”

“The car isn’t the only one worn out. Angel, you’ve spent almost two days without any sleep. Maybe we should just rest here for a while,” Buffy suggested.

“Lately, I’ve been sleeping too much… But you’re right. We could both use the rest. You can get something to eat. We’ll get two rooms,” he said, as they both walked over to the roofed clerk’s office.

“You don’t have to- We can just share the one room. Only for the night.”

“It just wouldn’t be a good idea.”

Buffy was too tired to argue with him, and just shrugged. They walked into the office and asked for two rooms. The clerk shook his head.

“Sorry kids, only got one. It’s a good one though, just put in new sheets.”

“Fine, we’ll take it,” Buffy said as she shot a no nonsense look at Angel.

He didn’t argue with her. Angel paid the man the money and filled out the register. While he did that, Buffy found the only working vending machine. She put in the quarters, getting herself some cookies, a soda, and some chips. She met Angel outside again and they walked nervously together to their room.

Part V- The Conspiracy Meeting

A woman’s scream could be heard through the quiet halls of Wolfram and Hart. It was after hours and most people had already left to go home. The only souls present were Lindsey and Lila, who were supervising the warlock’s work.

“Let my will be done,” he concluded.

Harmony tried in vain to get out of the chains and undo the gag. She wriggled around in the pentagram, almost knocking over Spike. At the moment they touched, a fireball of energy shot from the warlock’s hand. The fireball engulfed the two, and Harmony felt herself turn into ashes.

When the fireball disappeared, only Spike remained. He looked around for Harmony. All that remained of Harmony were the chains and gag used to bind her. He laughed out loud, and clapped his hands together.

“The vamp is back,” Spike gleamed.

“The transfer spell is complete. The other vampire’s energy is now blocking the functions of that chip. There should be no problem now,” the warlock confirmed.

“Thank you. That will be all,” Lindsey said as the warlock exited out the door.

The female lawyer walked over to the vampire and asked, “How does it feel, William?”

“Please, baby. Call me Spike. And I may call you what again?”

“Lila. But we have more-”

“No Harmony and I got my fangs back. This is bloody well Christmas. Now, what can I do for you mi’lady?”

“Actually, Spike- There is someone else who wants to see you. Two old friends actually,” Lindsey explained.

The doors opened to reveal Darla and Riley together. Spike almost flipped out. He stood there gaped faced as she and her new assistant walked over to him.

“You big sods! How the hell did you bring back Mummy? Hello Darla.”

“William. Or should I say Spike now?”

“William will do just fine,” he said, giving a wink at flustered Lila. “ So you’re the one behind all this…”

“I’m afraid not. I have these wonderful people here to thank for my presence,” Darla motioned to Lindsey and Lila.

“Are you up to speed on the situation,” Riley questioned Spike.

“What’s that big poof doing here? Why aren’t you humping the Slayer…Hey,” Spike said as he realized he felt something strange coming from Riley. “He’s a bloody vampire!”

“Before Pike’s unfortunate demise, he brought Mr. Finn to me. He has been most helpful with information on the Slayer and Angel.”

“I’ll bet. Well if that’s the case, why am I here,” he mocked.

“We thought you’d like to share in the wealth, Spike. In the downfall of the Slayer and return of Angelus,” Lila continued.

“And how are you little kids trying to do that?”

Darla smiled, “After the Oracles died, we found out some revealing information. And so I’ve been softening up Angel-”

“Don’t you mean, hardening him up,” Riley joked.

Lindsey ignored him and continued, “Darla has been giving him suggestions, appearing to him in his dreams. Messing with his emotions, reminding him of-”

“Slutty, the Vampire Slayer?”

“I’ve tried appearing as myself, but my appeal is to Angelus. So I have been trying the new approach. There are memories…They will remember,” Darla explained.

“Pike and I have lured them together down to LA. Darla was able to suggest to Buffy not to tell any of the Scooby Gang either,” Riley chimed in.

“Ah… They’re alone. So its only a matter of time ‘til they start banging each other. Clever little wanker, Riley… But didn’t the First try this mumbo jumbo?”

“He did… And it would have worked, save for their friends. As you can see, they are not an obstacle, William.”

“To ensure it, we had the warlock cast a little spell on his convertible just as they pulled to the motel we own. We only have one room available,” Lila said.

Lindsey turned to Darla and asked, “Are they taking the proverbial bait?”

“They have just arrived at the hotel… I’ve also set up a few surprises as well, to set the mood, ”Darla chuckled as she stretched out with her mind to sense Angel’s presence.

“Hate to rain on your parade, but what if they don’t do the deed? Peaches and the Slayer already know what will happen when they go whoopie.”

“If that should happen, Darla has thought of another solution,” Lila added.

Spike just smiled back, “Well then gang, what do you want little old me to do?”

Part VI- Let’s Pretend

By the time they reached the room, Buffy had already devoured her food. She didn’t know why she was so nervous. She wondered about Angel’s comments before. Did he still want to…

Angel opened the door to the small motel room. Just as they had entered, a bolt of lighting flashed the sky. Angel closed the door in time to stop the rain from coming in. The door muffled the thunder that followed.

Buffy surveyed the room. It had few furnishings. A small refrigerator that probably didn’t work. An uneven table. Then the bed. Buffy gasped at the mattress, the red silk covers. She wasn’t the only one surprised. As Angel spun around, he saw the striking similarity too. It looked just like the bed from his old apartment. The bed that he had first made love with Buffy on.

“It doesn’t look so bad,” Buffy said, ignoring her every impulse to point out her observation, wanting to relive that night.

“No, we’re here just for the night anyway. I, um, I, ah, I’d better take the floor,” Angel said as he took off his duster.

“Angel we can share the bed. I don’t mind,” Buffy said as she sat on the bed.

“I do. We’re both very vulnerable right now.”

“Ha! You’re worried that I’ll sleep with you? Because that’s the farthest thing from my mind,” Buffy half-lied.

“I just need to experience that one moment of happiness.”

“And that’s not going to happen,” Buffy said, beginning to lose her resolve.

“Its close to happening and I need every bit of my will to fight it. Every day. Every time I think about you. Just seeing you makes me so- It fills me up with so much joy…”

“Yeah, well- Join the club! I felt that whenever I used to see you,” Buffy said, trying to deny her own feelings at the moment.

“Look, I know we’ve never really talked about this… I didn’t lose my soul JUST because I had- with you. It happened afterward, right before we went to sleep,” he confessed.

She didn’t say anything, just looking up at him. Angel saw she was quiet, waiting for him to finish. He took an unneeded breath and looked directly at her.

“When we made love, it made me so happy.”

“Obviously,” she muttered, feeling the passion rise in her.

“That night… It changed everything. I couldn’t deny what was going on between us anymore. How right everything we did felt. That’s why I left, Buffy.“

“And you did all this for me, right? You didn’t even care how much it hurt,” Buffy said using her anger to keep her feelings at bay.

Angel was pained at Buffy’s remark, and fought every urge to protest his love for her. He wanted to tell her so many things. To let her know how deep his love ran for her… To shake into her how dangerous he was to her, just because of a selfish desire to love her. He used this pain to keep himself and the curse in check as he went on.

“Look, what I said doesn’t change anything. It only proves my point. Riley is the guy for you, if we can stop this-”

Buffy could no longer take his reasoning and screamed, “Ahhh! Angel when are you going to realize I don’t really love Riley!”

Angel looked at her in surprise, “What?”

“I don’t love Riley,” Buffy whispered as she curled into a small ball on the bed.

Angel walked over to the bed and sat down. He placed his hand on her shoulder and tried to turn her body to him. She turned slowly, and looked up into Angel’s chocolate eyes.

“I had to pretend, Angel. I overlooked everything about him- the controlling, the Initiative, even him sleeping with Faith!!!”

“He couldn’t have known-”

“You would have,” Buffy asserted.

Angel weakened from the night, had to be honest and said, “I would have.”

“I was just so…scared.”

Angel moved closer to her and asked, “Of what?”

“That I wasn’t any good… I remember what Angelus said the morning after we- well, you know. And he always says the painful things that are true,” Buffy cried.

As Buffy looked up at him, Angel let himself cup Buffy’s face with his hands. He was speechless at what Buffy was implying. He lost his voice at the thought. All he could do was gently stroke the sides of her face as she went on.

“And when I met Riley-I thought… I could love him… Or maybe there could be some practice time…That I could get better at not only you know- but just… everything,” she confessed.

“God- oh no… Don’t you realize that ALL of the time we spend together is so… precious,” he asked, wanting to strangle his demon half.

“Really,” she asked in a soft, child-like voice.

“There are no words, Buffy. Nothing can ever really quantify how special and amazing that night was for me,” he said, the passion rising in his tone.

“I tried so hard to believe that he was you… That maybe if I got better-”

“Its okay... We’re okay,” he said, trying to calm her.

“I mean…I pretended all the time… Even when I told him that having super powers wasn’t the best thing. I gave him the same speech I gave you before. Just like at Thanksgiving when we-”

Buffy’s voice suddenly trailed off as a force washed over her, willing her to remember. Angel looked at her with worry. After all this time….did she remember? As he wondered, the images and feelings came as intense as when they were first made.

Kissing, with the sun shining upon their bodies. Staring at Angel in the sunlight…

I’m sorry I kissed you like that.

Really?

Not for the kiss itself.

Good. I mean... Cause, as far as kisses go- I thought that it was well above average.

Making love on the table…

Why didn’t you ever tell me about chocolate and peanut butter?

I’m over the whole needing to be mature thing. That time we spent in the kitchen? That was enough time apart.

Too much.

Licking cookie dough fudge mint chip ice cream off his chest, then making love, again, and again, and again, and again…

Because more than ever I realize how much I love you.

No! It did happen! I know it did! I felt your heartbeat.

Just as quickly as her eyes closed, Buffy opened her eyes again. To Angel, only a second had gone by. For Buffy, she had relived an entire day with the only man she ever loved. A perfect day of just them acting naturally, being themselves. No pretending.

“I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget, I’ll forget,” Buffy cried, her eyes on Angel’s and grabbing his chest.

“Buffy, what happened just now?”

“Our perfect day,” Buffy noted sadly.

“The Oracles are dead… They still took it all back.”

“It doesn’t matter how, Angel… The point is I do,” Buffy said in a louder tone to make her voice heard above the rain.

Another clash of thunder sounded, and the two turned their attention to the storm. They could hear the pouring of the rain on the roof. The two were in silence, listening to the drops hit the titles- thinking back to the last time this had happened. They were in a trance at the memories- all of the memories, loving and fighting together.

The two lovers turned to each other. Their eyes deeply penetrated the other’s soul. Angel’s hand was still on Buffy’s cheek. Both realized this and they began to fall into each other’s embrace. His hand moved from her cheek to her neck, letting his fingers massage her soft hot flesh. Buffy felt herself lean more into him, using her own hands to explore his back. Her hands meandered down to his pants, undoing his belt and pulling out his silk shirt. Swept up in the moment, Angel’s palms traveled under Buffy’s shirt. In one move he pulled off the garment. Before either of them knew it, their eyes met again- urging their lips to do the same. When their lips did meet, the couple lay together in bed- feeling the natural love that had always existed between them…

Part VII- The Morning After

Buffy felt Angel’s muscular velvet legs entwined with her own. At first she snuggled deeper into him. She felt his naked body snuggle back, and his hands tighten over her own nude waist. The couple’s eyes shot open in an instant. At that moment, the lovers realized that last night was not a dream…

The Slayer jumped out of bed, grabbing the red silk covers to cover herself. Angel fell out of the bed with that action. While Buffy ran around the room to look for a stake, Angel held onto the side of the bed to pull himself back on top.

“Stay away from me,” she warned, grabbing her cross from the table.

“Buffy, please-”

“No! You won’t hurt me again!”

Angel held his hands up in protest, not caring he was naked in front of her, “I’m so sorry that I did that Buffy- I had no right to do that.”

“I- Wait a minute… You called me Buffy!?!”

“What else would I call you? Especially if I’m talking to the person I lov-”

Angel stopped in mid sentence when it suddenly dawned on him. He had just made love to Buffy. And the morning after he was still here. Buffy saw the soul in Angel’s eyes and dropped her cross back on the table. She crawled into the bed and stared into his face.

Buffy placed her hand on Angel’s chest, and in surprise said, “You don’t have a heartbeat! And you’re cold!?!”

Angel was just as confused and shook his head, “We just- but I’m…still here.”

“You are still a-”

“Yeah. The demon is still here. But he seems… Occupied…”

“What’s going on???”

Angel looked down at their unclothed figures and began to worry, “I don’t know. But we ought to-“

“Oh! Right! Skirt! I had a skirt,” Buffy yelped, looking around for her clothes.

She searched all over the room to find her clothes. Angel tried to help her, but she was too fast for him. Buffy quickly dashed into the bathroom, slamming the door in Angel’s face. She couldn’t face him. As she put her clothes back on, a million thoughts were going through her mind. What had possessed them to do something so reckless? And why hadn’t Angel lost his soul again? He had said it himself, he only needed a moment of perfect happiness. All of last night was perfect happiness. Wasn’t it?

Buffy emerged from the bathroom, to see Angel buttoning up his own silk shirt. His dark sad eyes looked up at her. Not wanting to scare her, Angel decided not to discuss how passionate and blissful the night was for him. Both of them were at a loss of words. Finally the vampire tried to cut through the awkward tension.

“We need to get to my office. Talk to Wesley,” he managed to get out.

All she could do is nod in agreement. Angel then stood up pulled his duster from the chair. Together they left behind the motel room. As Buffy closed the door, she looked back at the bed. The red silk sheets still rumbled from their evening encounter.

Part VIII- The Plot Thickens

“This is completely UNACCEPTABLE! I want answers,” Lila commanded of Darla.

Darla was just about to settle into of the executive chairs when Lila began yelling at her. Lindsey quickly followed her. Darla remained calm as Lila got right in her face. When the young lawyer had started her tirade, she merely yawned back.

“He felt that happiness. Even before they did anything… physical. It was enough for him just to see her,” she assured them.

Lindsey echoed, “You do realize that we brought you back for a specific purpose. Angel has been a thorn in our sides for some time now.”

“I do not take threats… Or orders,” she hissed back. “It is for this scenario I have brought William. He and my assistant are taking care of it.”

The two lawyers looked at her in disbelief. She spun around the chair to the large table to put her feet up. Her tall frame was lost among the sharp metal letter opener, stamps, and other office supplies that littered the massive table. Both founding partners were away at the moment, leaving Lila and Lindsey in charge of the operation. They had deemed these lawyers capable- and there were more important matters to address elsewhere. How were they going to explain this?

“Just relax,” she sighed. “Pretty soon- you won’t be worrying about Angel anymore…”


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