By Tango

PAIRING: B/A, of course.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them. Or anything else for that matter.
DISTRIBUTION: If you already have permission to archive my fics, then you can have it. If not, please ask first. Thanks.
FEEDBACK: Please! And thank you!
RATING: NC-17 eventually
SUMMARY: B/A. Branching off in canon just after Season Four. Angel never left and he and Buffy are living together in the mansion. The curse isn’t an issue.


Buffy groaned when her alarm went off early in the morning on a Thursday. She smiled into the pillow she had thrown over her head in appreciation when the alarm stopped sounding and her lover pulled her more closely against him.

“Time to wake up,” he said in his low, rumbly morning voice as he nudged the pillow away from her face. She allowed it and snuggled against him.

“Let’s stay in today,” she managed hoarsely against his chest. “We could stay in bed. It’ll be fun.”

“Bio test,” he reminded her. She could feel the smile in his voice and it earned him a dirty look.

“Don’t wanna,” she pouted, securing her cuddle space against him more firmly. She had no intention of getting up. Last night the demon hunting had gotten way more than just extra curricular and she was tired. Bio shmio. She was staying home.

She glowed at the thought. Staying in bed with Angel all day instead of going to school would definitely have its possibilities. She would have loved to say that she knew what it was like, but so far she had gotten nowhere trying to play hooky with Angel around. He was like a big, non-budging thing. As she had told Giles on many occasions, “No one likes a non-budger.”

“Walsh gives pop quizzes. You can’t miss Psych,” he said, rubbing the skin left bare by her tank top. He trailed light caresses over her shoulders and arms.

“Walsh is the devil,” she mumbled, her voice muffled against his bare chest.

“Maybe one of his lower minions,” he conceded, smiling broadly at her morning grouchiness. He found it as endearing as he found everything else about her. Their morning ritual never stopped amusing him. Every morning he talked her out of bed, despite his desire to keep her there. The more he talked, the more annoyed she got. When the alarm went off again nine minutes later, she would already be in the shower, exasperated by his inability to help her skip school.

“Why don’t you go?” she fumed, sitting up finally and giving him a sleepy glare.

“Because sadly, they don’t accept vampires at UC Sunnydale,” he said. “I’d love to go actually. I think I’d ace History.”

“Of course, you’d wanna go. Nerd,” she groused, sitting up and stretching. She twisted and yawned, tossing her tousled hair down her back and he regretted not going for the early morning sex route instead. He leaned back in bed and watched her pad sleepily to the bathroom.

Angel lounged back in bed and lay listening to her singing in the shower. He propped his hands behind his head and tried to focus on her pretty little voice, but he couldn’t. His limits were becoming more and more apparent and his ability to overlook the flaws in their relationship were beginning to show.

He hated the day more than ever now. The idea of Buffy on campus looking beautiful and vibrant in the sunlight while he was hiding in the mansion like a freak of nature was enough to bring his game face to the fore.

Course he had always felt that way, but lately it had become worse. She was spending an inordinate amount of time with a boy on campus and it was making Angel crazy.

As a young, human man, Angel had never known anything about jealousy. Why would he? He was in it for the chase, for the domination, for the sweet release inside the body of a beautiful woman. He was a hunter before he really knew what it was to hunt.

As a soulless killer, he had never known jealousy either. He had taken lovers outside of his relationship with Darla, not to mention his regular mating with Drusilla and Darla. Being the cold, heartless beast that she was, Darla had taken many lovers as well. She enjoyed human men. She loved the way they fawned over her beauty, desperately trying to shove their impatient cocks into her. Human men with all their inability to take things one step at a time often climaxed and died at the same time. Darla died her human death as a whore and continued the life after she became a demon.

Angelus greatly enjoyed the whore in his Sire. He adored her ruthless nature, her fury, her inhibitions. He was drawn to her and often watched her take her pick among men in pubs and festivals. Sometimes he waited until she tied them to the bed before he came into the room. He liked the idea of a man screaming in terror even while he was fucking a woman.

Jealousy was new and infuriating the way that strange, uninvited human emotions were to Angelus. Buffy brought out a kind of possessiveness and jealousy in him that he hadn’t even known existed. She was so very alive and colorful and full of energy. Even when she was exhausted and covered in demon gore from Slaying, she still had a hum of vitality around her that he could never ignore. Buffy could never be in the same room with him without his knowledge.

He hated that he was bothered when Buffy was out in the day without him, her beauty absorbed by any number of young human men who could offer her the life that he never could. He hated that his senses kept picking up one scent in particular that had begun to make him edgy and restless.


Buffy, however, saw Riley as a boy, despite the fact that he was a full three years older than she. Tucked safely in the “Friend Zone” the large, blonde boy was as harmless as a fly. He was friendly and smiling, adorable in his own right and someone that she was positive she could genuinely grow to like. He seemed so normal and untouched by the darkness that surrounded her that the idea of being friends with him was intriguing. Maybe it was the Opie-ness that he exuded but it never occurred to her to say no when he asked, “Say, don’t you just love a picnic?” Cause she did love a picnic – or she loved the idea of a picnic, since she ever had actually gone on one.

In the evening following her picnic with Riley Finn, she came home to a mansion that had once been obscure and menacing, but was now filled with happiness and cheer, despite the fact that its owners were the defenders of the Hellmouth and were drenched neck deep in evil and darkness on a nightly basis.

When Buffy had finally managed to talk Angel into letting her move in with him – which despite their rampant sex life had been a challenge – he was more than willing to fill up the empty space with furniture and decorations. He told her he never saw the point before. It wasn’t really a home, it was just a place. Now with her living there, the space was warm and homey.

She smiled as she tossed her book bag on the couch they had picked out together and headed toward the heavenly smell coming from the kitchen.

“Mmmm,” she hummed in appreciation as she sauntered into the kitchen. The hobbies of her dark, vampire lover never failed to amuse her. He claimed to be the most horrible of all evil things, cursed with a soul and tormented in the shadows of his own guilt for all of the horrors he had committed, but he made pasta that melted in her mouth, could recite most of the classic writers at length without peeking at the text and could recreate a Van Gogh with his eyes closed if had the right paint.

Standing in the kitchen in sweatpants and a t-shirt, barefoot with his hair standing haphazardly on end, he looked less like the fiend he claimed to be and more like the man whose arms she snuggled in at night.

“Hey,” he said lightly, leaning down to claim her lips. His kiss was light, faintly brushing across her mouth and the hungry smile at was always across his mouth when she entered a room disappeared in an instant. Her brow wrinkled as he sniffed the air, his nostrils flaring as he took in her scent.

Angel knew all of Buffy’s scents. To humans a smile, a frown, tears – those were the telltale signs to guess how a person was feeling. To Angel a waft of a certain scent and he could guess with fairly decent accuracy how she had spent her day. Even sunshine had a distinct scent and Buffy smelled like sunshine and freshly cut grass, crisp apples and pasta salad, and underneath that was the tiniest wisp of a human male.

“How was your day?” he asked, an underlying growl beneath his words.

“Fine,” she said, frowning at him. “What’s with the face?”

“Nothing,” he snarled, turning around and facing the simmering pots on the stove. He had the faintest urge to send the artfully created Alfredo sauce careening toward the wall. Another male in such close proximity to his mate for a long enough length of time for him to *smell* the bastard on her golden skin was enough to make him want to rend things limb from limb.

“An-gel,” she barked, giving him the two syllable warning. She put her hands on her narrow hips and glared at the back of his head until he turned around to face her.

Closing his eyes, he took a deep, unneeded breath before turning to face her. “Crabby today,” he lied smoothly, pulling her into his arms.

“Why?” she asked, biting side of his throat. He growled appreciatively and pulled her closer, threading his fingers through her tousled hair.

“Cause,” he answered, smoothing his hands over her body to distract her.


The smell of *The Boy* as Angel had begun to think of him, was on Buffy more and more. The scent was more annoying than Xander and more infuriating than the short stint that Buffy had dated Scott Hope just to make him jealous her senior year in high school. At least with both of them her actions had been overt. She had no problem telling him that she had been doing those things to make him jealous, to get his attention, but this thing with The Boy was entirely different. She hadn’t mentioned him. She hadn’t so much as hinted that she was spending time with him, that they were *friends*. And every time she carried his scent, she also reeked of sunshine. Angel knew immediately that this Boy was giving her something he couldn’t.

During the first few weeks of Buffy’s friendship with The Boy, Angel kept Buffy in bed as long as vampirically possible. Every night she fell asleep from sheer exhaustion from his touch and she stumbled to the shower in the mornings with her skin tingling from his talented ministrations. No matter how grueling the patrol, no matter what hellbeast threatened their lives, his energy was unending and his ability to arouse her was tirelessly effective.

His whispered his love against fevered skin, promised her eternity again and again, but every morning when she went off to school, when she went into sunlight where he could not follow, he knew from the depths of his soul that he was going to lose her.

It was knowledge of his impending loss that sent him into a panic. It was what drove him from their bed in the middle of the night to patrol when she was fast asleep. Even making love to her all night long couldn’t chase away the terror of losing her. He fought and slayed like a vampire possessed during the nights when she was fast asleep, contented from their lovemaking. He tried to reason with himself, tried to convince himself that she loved him, that she would never stray, but deep in his soul he knew that there was more than one thing missing from their relationship. What would happen when she finally realized that her life with him would never have so many things that she would inevitably want some day? What would happen when the warmth of the sunlight reminded her that there was something dead and cold waiting for her at home?

Angel knew she wasn’t cheating on him and that fact gave him at least a little hope. He trusted her implicitly. That didn’t stop the mind numbing panic though. The scent would have been much stronger if The Boy was encroaching on his territory more than he already was.

He could have tracked The Boy anyway. He could have spent his nights trying to find the needle in the haystack, the one who was having lunch with his lover several times a week, but he didn’t. He was proud of his own restraint. In fact, a whole month went by before he ever made even the slightest move in the direction of The Boy. It wasn’t until Buffy forgot her book bag on the quad that the whole thing turned upside down.


Buffy came home on Friday night after spending the afternoon and early evening training with Giles. After Giles got over his initial funk at becoming a man of leisure after they blew up Sunnydale High, he bounced back and renewed his energies on his Slayer. He made her come over at least once a week for a training session in which he tried desperately to think of challenges for her.

After another ever so exciting training session with Giles, Buffy came home to find Angel asleep on the couch with a tattered copy of Anna Karenina on his chest. Buffy rolled her eyes at the book. Why he couldn’t just read it in English like a normal person? He had told her several times that much was always lost in translation. The original Russian version was much better. She shook her head and smiled as she set the book aside and climbed on top of him, pressing her face against his still heart.

“Hey,” he said groggily, wrapping his arms around her.

“Hey,” she echoed.

“How was training?” he asked, yawning and blinking awake.

“Giles is in full Watcher mode,” she propping her chin up on her crossed arms. “I think he’s making some of this stuff up. I mean, how many boring subjects can he possibly make me learn before he realizes that I’m Slay Gal. I Slay. What’s with the pop quizzes? He’s worse than Walsh.”

“He’s adjusting to his new life, Buffy,” Angel said, brushing her hair back from her face. “He can’t cross reference anymore, so he’s focusing on you instead.”

“We should get him a card catalog or something,” she said, brightening. “He can Dewey Decimal the hell out of his books and leave me alone.”

Angel was between laughing and asking her if she was serious when a knock sounded on the front door. They eyed each other strangely. No one ever knocked. Usually their friends shouted out a warning that they were coming in just in case there was nakedness, but no one ever knocked.

“Jehovah’s Witness?” Buffy asked, standing up.

“Girl Scouts,” Angel offered following her to the front of the mansion.

“Vacuum cleaner salesman,” Buffy answered grinning. She pushed aside the heavy velvet drape that blocked the Great Room from the garden and wound her way to the front door. Angel bristled about three seconds before she opened the door. He knew exactly who was standing on the other side.

“Riley,” Buffy sputtered in surprise. “Hi.”

“Hey,” he said, lifting her book bag in offering. “I hope you don’t mind me stopping by but you left this in the Quad today.”

“Thanks,” she said. “How’d you know where I lived?”

“Willow,” Riley answered. “She offered to give it to you but I thought it was a nice walk, besides I always wanted to see this mansion up close. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, wasn’t it?”

Riley, who had been leaning in and looking around in interest, jumped back in surprise when Angel stepped out from the shadows. “Yes, it was,” Angel said, trying to keep the snarl from his voice.

“Hi,” Riley said, holding on his hand. Angel ignored it and crossed his arms over his chest, keeping his eyes riveted on The Boy’s face. Riley dropped his hand and looked at Buffy expectantly.

“Uh, yeah,” Buffy said awkwardly. “Riley, this is Angel. Angel, Riley.” She turned and faced Angel, nearly wincing at the glare of pure hostility on her lover’s face. “Riley’s the TA in my Psych class, Angel.”

Angel managed a grunt of acknowledgment but kept his arms crossed, standing like a man who had no intention of allowing the conversation to flow with the teeniest bit of ease. Buffy, who had entertained thoughts of giving Riley a tour of the mansion, stood uncomfortably for a second and then hefted her bag up over her shoulder.

“Thanks for bringing it by,” Buffy said with a weak smile. “I would have been panicked on Monday morning when I was cramming for your evil boss’ pop quizzes.”

“Sure,” Riley said fixing a glare back on the dark man behind the girl he had a crush on. “I’ll see you around, Buffy.”

“Bye,” Buffy said halfheartedly before turning around and facing the dark and furious eyes of her demon lover.



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