Part One - "Meeting You"

DISCLAIMER: Nope. I still don't own them.
DISTRIBUTION: Of course you can have it! Please let me know though.

SPOILERS: Completely AU. (Besides my Wishverse fic, this is my first AU fic.) Okay, here's the premise: What if when Angel was cursed, all the vampires he sired were cursed too and the vampires they sired (i.e., Spike, Drusilla, Penn, James & Elizabeth)? So in this story, Angel never moved to Sunnydale, but Buffy did, so they never met. After High School, Buffy, Cordelia, Oz & Willow go to LA to attend UCLA. Xander goes along to be with Cordy, who he's still dating. (And Giles, being the ever faithful ex-Watcher follows too.) Everything happens almost like it did through High School except no Angel, Spike or Drusilla parts. (And Willow & Xander never cheated on Oz & Cordelia.) I'll describe the changes as I go along. Okay? It all works in my head. Really, it does. *G*

FEEDBACK: Please let me know what you think of this and if I should continue.

LYRICS: All lyrics are from the Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack.



so sad that
you love her like the stars above
so sad that you love her
hold on, hold on

"That was just bullshit!" Spike shouted as they entered the hotel lobby. He slammed his axe into the weapons cabinet angrily to emphasize his point.

"Calm down, Spike," Angel said as he moved toward the stairs to go find his bed and fall into it for some much needed rest. Every other day, Angel regretted allowing Spike to join up with Angel Investigations. The days he wasn't regretting that, he usually regretted Siring him to begin with. The boy proved useful on many occasions but for someone who always accused him of being a "Nancy boy," he never stopped whining.

"You should have let me kill that bitch," he said, following him up the stairs, stomping on each step, "She's a lawyer for fuck's sake!"

"You can't kill people. Why is it having a soul hasn't taught you that yet?" Angel asked tiredly, feeling as if this was the millionth time they'd had this conversation. Having their souls restored effected each of his children differently. None of them reverted to what they had been, but became a hybrid of their former human selves and their souless vampiric selves. Spike reacted to his soul like a rebel. He was going to be pissed off until the end of time for the remorse he was forced to shoulder.

"Maybe because I'm not a bloody pansy!" Spike only felt slightly guilty for his urge to kill her. Sure, she was human, but she was still evil and a fucking cunt on top of that. He could almost taste her blood on his tongue. Besides, she was just one bloody human. Not like he wanted to start mass murdering or anything.

"Shut up, Spike," Angel grumbled as he headed up the stairs, "I already told you if you're going to work for me you can't kill people. Either follow the rules and quit bitching or find some place else to live."

"I can't stand you, Peaches," Spike said before turning toward his room.

"Feeling's mutual, William," Angel said as he turned in the opposite direction. He shook his head at his Childe's overactive violent tendencies. It was something that he never got over and Angel was sure he never would. He wanted flesh in his hands - breaking it, loving it, fucking it. Spike was a worshiper of tactile pleasures.

And one of his favorites was lying naked in Angel's bed.

"Dru," Angel sighed, shrugging off his coat and crossing the room to look down disapprovingly at the insane and naked vampiress in his bed. After a hundred years of trying to keep her from his bed, he just couldn't seem to make her understand that he wasn't going to hurt her anymore. Even if it did feel really, really good, "What are you doing?"

"Waiting for you," she said, rolling her eyes up to looked at him as she moved her hands over her body, "I had a vision. They always make me want my Angel."

"What did you see?" he asked, sitting on the bed next to her and looking into her dark, mad eyes to keep from straying over her supple flesh. She made it so hard to resist. Most nights he was able to turn away. Most nights he could return her to her mate down the hallway.

Some nights he failed.

But only once in a great, great while.

"The Slayer," she whispered, sitting up and pulling his cold hand into hers, "She's here."

Angel shrank back and pulled his hand from Drusilla's. The Slayer.

Buffy Summers.

Every dream that wasn't a nightmare was of the little blonde goddess that was currently the most legendary Slayer to ever walk the earth. He only saw her one time. Just one perfect moment after Drusilla's vision from the Powers That Be sent him to Sunnydale to kill his Sire.

Darla had been the only member of their group that had not regained her soul. The loss of her mate and her family had made her almost crazier than Drusilla, who had always been mad as a hatter. She returned to the Master, craving more violence and blood than she ever had. She would have been the one to snuff out The Slayer before she reached her prime, but Angel went, taking Spike and Penn along to stop her.

Buffy hadn't seen him and didn't even know he existed, but god, did he see her. She was strong and lithe, glowing and golden. The immediate love he had for the girl was frightening. The idea that "The Scourge of Europe" was capable of love was laughable until that moment. He held himself in such a thickly encrusted tomb of self-hatred, he couldn't even believe that he would ever be able to love anyone, but there she was. It was all he could do not to fall to his feet before her and beg her to just look at him - without disgust in her lovely eyes.

Spike and Penn were dumbfounded by her beauty themselves and talked about her nonstop, all the way back to LA, until Angel's jealous growls muzzled them. They were just as surprised as he that he would feel so protective over her. He usually tolerated their locker room talk even if he didn't join in, but the moment they even slightly referred to getting in between her "dimpled knees" as Spike so gently put it, he roared for their silence.

"You fell in love with the fucking Slayer, didn't you?" Penn asked, after several minutes of thoughtful silence, "I mean serious, skull cracking love at first goddamn sight!"

"Don't be ridiculous," Angel buffered, feeling as if he could blush, his skin would be as red hot as his body felt. For a cold blooded demon, souled or not, he felt like fire had been injected in his veins and it wasn't planning on leaving him anytime soon.

"I think Penn's got a point," Spike said, leaning up to the front seat from the back, hanging his arms over the seats, "You're all glossy eyed like a bloody schoolboy."

"Shut up, Spike," Angel growled, "Just because I think you should respect her-"

"Whatever mate," Spike said, flopping back against his seat with a satisfied smile, "You're telling us to respect her and I'll bet a ten spot you'll be jacking off over her tonight."

"Spike," Penn said loudly over Angelus enraged growl, "Don't think now's the time. Our Sire's looking kinda murderous here."

"Sod off," Spike said, lighting a cigarette, "You're just as much a Nancy boy as he is."

Angel blinked back his memories of Buffy to focus on Dru.

"Buffy Summers is here? In LA?" Angel gasped, pulling her by her shoulders to him, forgetting momentarily that she was nude.

"Yeah," Dru said leaning her head to the side with a broad smile, "She's in college. Gonna slay here now."

"M-moving here?" Angel stuttered, releasing her shoulders and rising to his feet to pace the room, "Living here all the time?"

"Mmmhmmm," she said, crawling to the edge of the bed seductively and stopping as he headed toward the door, "Angel, where are you going?"

"Out," he answered, leaving the door open. He ignored the sound of her little whine as he left, rapidly descending the stairs and heading back out into the night.


i feel so stupid,
i feel so stupid.

"Aren't you supposed to be the school nerd?" Buffy asked looking over Willow suspiciously.

"Nerds are cool now," Willow said, flashing her best friend a bright smile, "Besides after our first day, I wanna find another place like The Bronze."

"Will," Buffy complained grabbing her bag and looking at her watch, "It's 8:30 AM on our first day as new fish in a giant new pond and you're already talking about partying tonight? Can we make it through lunch first?"

"Just planning ahead," Willow said, answering the knock on the door and keeping her brilliant smile as she kissed her boyfriend hello. There were few things more exciting to Willow Rosenberg than the first day of school. She was barely able to contain her excitement as she held Oz's hand, struggling to keep herself from jumping up and down.

"Always the planner," Buffy mumbled as she headed for the door. She, unlike Willow, was not excited. Her emotions ran closer to scared shitless actually. Although this was better than her first day at Sunnydale High when she didn't know anyone at all, she still found the mass of students on campus intimidating. They all seemed to know where they were going and what they were doing. She felt like she was the only freshman in the whole school.

Oz had played so many gigs in LA that he practically knew everyone. Willow was thrilled as hell to begin her new spurty knowledge experience. Cordelia was busy finding the snottiest bitches on campus to be her crew. The only person in her group of friends who would feel like a freshman with her was Xander and he wasn't even going to school. Giles was busy British-fying his new flat and preparing himself for his new life of leisure. There was nothing more disappointing than being the only person who was not seeing the future in such a happy, rose colored, blindingly aggravating light.

She slipped into her first class almost guiltily, feeling as if someone would spot her any second and point at her screaming, "You don't belong here! You aren't as smart as the rest of us! Shouldn't you be in a graveyard somewhere?"

She sat in the corner, near the back and tried to blend as best she could while she waited patiently for some creature of the night to appear during the day and take her from her new world of suck. The professor began to speak and somehow, in a way she totally couldn't begin to comprehend, she actually found what he was saying to be interesting. Maybe Mythology wouldn't be so bad. She might even have something to add after her years of being an active part of the so-called mythological world.

But Buffy Summers was not about to let this one class push her into the world of Academia. She knew that the rest of her classes were going to make her wish she was doing calisthenics...


...on a bed of hot coals.

School was not about having fun and learning new things. It was about having something to do during the day while all the creepy crawlies of the world were sleeping in their slime pits.


ev'rybody's free,
ev'rybody's free to feel good, to feel good

Angel wasn't stalking her. He didn't happen to call in a favor and have a certain friend hack into the UCLA database to find out where Buffy lived. He didn't go to campus at sun down and lurk until he saw her and her friends heading out for a night on the town. He certainly didn't follow them to the local club near campus, "The Velvet Dog." And he wasn't staring from a darkened corner at the sexy blonde moving to the pounding music in the club.

Okay, so he did do all that. But that's not really the point. He was just making sure she was, you know, okay and once he made certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she was melding effectively to her new habitat, he would mind his own damn business. That's what he told himself anyway.

"Ya don't love her, huh?" Penn said, appearing at Angel's side with a drink in his hand, smiling at his mentor and Sire.

"You followed me?" Angel asked, already knowing the answer.

"You followed her. Not really seeing the difference," Penn answered, watching the tantalizing Slayer move in rhythm with the music with two other very hot college girls. He felt a twinge in his groin as he watched them move together in a trio of liquid fuckableness.

"And I came along for the hell of it," Spike said, strolling up with his arm around Dru's slender waist.

"Can't I have a moment of peace without you guys following me?" Angel complained.

"Are we cramping your style?" Penn said, watching as Buffy and her friends headed for the bar to get some much needed refreshments. The club was sticky and hot from the human body heat radiating through it. "Maybe I should go ask her to dance."

"Ooh Daddy's jealous," Dru exclaimed over Angel's low growl, clapping her hands. She leaned in to Penn and whispered over the thumping beat, knowing her vampire kin could hear her, "My Angel's in love with The Slayer."

"I know, Dru," Penn said, winking at her and kissing her red lips lightly, "But since he's never even talked to her, I'm thinking she's fair game."

Angel, who could not seem to control the strange possessiveness of the girl he hadn't even talked to before, found his arm reaching out to grab his Childe by his throat. He pulled Penn in close, trying on his best deadly glare as he growled, "Don't even think about it."

"Alright, alright," Penn said, laughing and stepping out of his Sire's grip, "Calm down, buddy. I'm not going to meander over your imaginary territory. Just teasin' ya. Ya know, for the fuck of it."

"Go home," Angel said, moving away from his family.

"It's a free country," Spike said, nuzzling Drusilla as he headed with her to the dance floor, "You might have noticed we've moved to the new world."

Penn laughed heartily as Angel rigidly crossed the room to find a different dark corner to obsess from. This was really one of the most entertaining things he had ever seen his Sire go through. He had seen Angel in torment, brooding in deep sorrow and trying to atone for his sins. He had seen him enraged, killing the demons and the bad guys of the world. He had even seen him laugh and have a good time a couple times over the decades, but this was just priceless. Angel never got close to humans. He never really even got close to his own Sired children. The only one of them who might have seen a bit more of him was Dru and that was only because she couldn't keep herself out of his bed.

Penn knew that if nothing else, this was going to be a fun little ride of emotions. And he planned to use each juicy detail to his advantage. Just because he had a soul didn't mean he couldn't be a little evil some of the time. I mean, what was the point in living if you couldn't have a good time?


stars collide, worlds divide, what a pretty piece of flesh,
you are a pretty piece of flesh.
stars collide, worlds divide,
what a pretty piece of flesh,
you are a pretty piece of flesh.

"Hello salty goodness," Cordelia said, leaning away from Xander so that she could sway to the side to follow the lickable dark haired man walking around the edge of the dance floor as if touching it would cause him to catch a disease. Buffy and Willow both leaned with her to look at the man who seemed as if he had been sculpted from stone and freshly painted with sex. Well dressed and graceful, he was nothing short of devastatingly handsome. For the first time she could remember, Buffy was actually glad that Cordy was dating Xander. If she was with him, then she wasn't competition.

And Buffy was willing to compete.

"Hey!" Xander said, looking over Angel with distaste, "Looks like a freak to me."

Buffy stared openly at the sexy creature, thinking that he was someone she would like to freak, and nearly fell off her stool as he turned his head and looked directly at her as if he already knew she was there. Their eyes met and she was lost in whatever color they might be. He was too far away to tell but close enough to pierce right through her.

Buffy did not believe in love at first sight. She wasn't even sure she really believed in love at all, actually. The way her parents divorced and the few guys she had dated all proved unworthy of the chance at her heart. But the dark haired man across the room, tugged at her, carried her with him and she found herself standing up inside.

"Drool much?" Cordelia asked, making Buffy jump as if she had forgetting she had come to the club with friends.

"What?" Buffy asked, looking at the girl who had strangely wandered into the friend category during their High School years. She was still trying to figure how that happened.

"You were kinda staring," Willow chimed.

"Gotta agree," Oz said, causing Buffy to blush as she snuck another quick look, shifting on her sandaled feet. She wasn't even sure when she had slid off of her stool. Something about tall, dark and handsome over there was causing her body to betray her.

"I wasn't staring," Buffy said, "I was merely checking him out...a little."

"A little?" Xander snorted, wrapping his arm more tightly around Cordelia's shapely waist in an attempt to remind her that she had come to the club with a date, "You were already on his lap!"

"Oh, come on," Buffy said, looking around at her friends, then checking on the hottie's strategic location in the club and looking back at her friends again, "He's cute. I'm free. I can look."

"Look, he didn't come alone," Cordelia said, loving it when there was more to the story. Nothing like gossip worthy happenings to intrigue Queen C, "He seems to know her well."

"Yeah," Buffy said frowning at the dark haired woman who was now glued to his side. Figures that his girlfriend would be so beautiful and obviously engrossed in him. But then, who wouldn't be? She couldn't help but notice that he was still looking at her even as he talked to the woman.

In fact, the woman was looking at her too. Buffy squirmed in her seat nervously. Maybe Xander was right. They were freaks. Maybe they were swingers. God, she wanted to find out something about him. A name. Anything. She watched as the dark haired beauty, moved her hand over his broad muscular chest. Finally, with the intimate touching he looked down at his companion, giving her his full attention. Buffy, along with her friends, watched without shame as she tried to kiss him and he moved away. He said something to her, kissed her forehead and unwrapped her arms from him. The woman was smiling strangely and moving to a beat other than the one filling the club as she moved away.

Buffy watched her as she moved toward...oh god...she was coming over to their table! Buffy prepared herself for a nasty comment from the woman. She silently begged The Powers to not humiliate her tonight. The woman was gorgeous, moving in a slow slinky walk that left a trail of prowess and sex behind her. Buffy knew she would never walk like that.

Before the woman reached the table, a very attractive blonde man came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. He kissed her neck and she leaned back against him, swaying to the music in her own mind. He draped an arm over her shoulder as they moved ever closer to the table. As they passed, they were fairly far away, but close enough that Buffy heard her when she turned her head, smiled and said, "My Angel likes you."

"He does fancy you, pet," the blonde man agreed with a smile that seemed almost devious. He turned and looked back at the dark haired man who was now glaring at the couple angrily. The blonde man just smiled back while the woman seemed oblivious. He led her away and she went without looking back. Buffy turned to look back at her new crush and found him missing.

She released the breath she didn't know she was holding and looked around to survey the grinning faces of her friends.

"He does fancy you," Willow said, wiggling her eyebrows.

"So...was that girl his girl or the other guy's girl?" Xander asked, "Cause I'm confused."

"Yeah," Oz said nodding, "I think I am too."

"Maybe she's sleeping with both of them," Cordy offered, "What? She could be."

"She's not sleeping with him," Buffy said in feigned confidence. He just couldn't be sleeping with that sexy woman. Because it...just wouldn't be fair.


go, go, foes can never measure to the crew as we roll on,
blast the amplifiers in the back with the soul on.

"Hottie being attacked, 9 o'clock," Cordelia announced as they walked out in the night air, which was not cool but a refreshing change from the stifling heat of the club. Buffy paused for a second because the hot dark haired man, the blonde and another man were fighting a crew vampires in the alley. The dark haired girl stood off to the side, obviously amused by the show and as Buffy headed over to help, she saw the girl reach out for a vampire that was about to jump the blonde man from behind. She grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and lodged her red high heel shoe in his shin before staking him.

Acting now and asking questions later, Buffy aided the group in the fight, wondering where the hell this group of vampires had materialized from. She didn't want to be introduced to them after Slaying. This wasn't how she had already planned meeting her future-god-he-had-to-be lover. But there really wasn't a choice, so she pulled her stake out of her purse and ran up to join the fight.

"Okay, where did you guys learn to fight like that?" Buffy asked, looking at the group with surprise on her face after the final dust had settled. She wasn't all that used to be surprised.

"That's what we do," the dark haired man answered in a voice that was velvet over granite. She shivered as he continued, "I'm a private investigator. We handle the other cases, if you know what I mean. I'm Angel."

So that's what the woman meant when she said "my Angel." But what was with the "my" part?

"Of Angel Investigations," the blonde added, "I'm Spike. This is Drusilla."

"Penn," the other nodded with a sexy smile.

"I'm Buffy," she answered, "And these are my friends: Willow, Oz, Cordelia and Xander. guys fight vampires?"

"Yep and demons," Spike said, looking her over like she was a treat to be nibbled on, "And other sorts of nasties."

"It was nice to meet you, Buffy," Angel said, gracing her with another sentence of his addicting voice, coming from full lips. He extended his hand with a business card between his two first fingers, "Give us a call if you ever need help."

"Sure," she said watching as the foursome strode away. They all seemed so strong and confident as they walked in the night. They didn't look around them but still seemed very aware of their surroundings.

"Earth to Buffy," Xander said.


"I said, space girl, are you ready to go?"

"Uh, yeah," she nodded, stumbling after her friends. She looked over her shoulder one more time as she moved away and Angel turned, looking back at her. And she stopped breathing. Again. But just for a second.


Part Two - "Who Are You?"



i would die for you,
i would die for you,
i've been dying just to feel you by my side, to know that you're mine.

Two days later, Angel was still in a world of fierce denial. He had to mentally tie himself down to keep from running to the UCLA campus and professing his eternal love her. Even as he thought it, he knew it was preposterous for a vampire to be in love with a Slayer and even more so was thinking of telling her. He could almost feel the stake through his heart and could see the look on her face as he revealed his demon to her. A part of him thought it might be worth it just to feel her touch him before he dissipated to ash.

He wondered to the lobby and thought about feeding before going on patrol but whenever he thought about blood, he thought about being a vampire and that led directly to the infinite amount of torment he was going to suffer for loving the girl. She was so young and vibrant that she seemed to cast radiance around her and a small part of that started to seep into his dark, broody world. Every once in a while, over the past couple of days, he thought about her and how her heartbeat had increased when he spoke to her - and that was after she had just exerted herself in battle - and realized he was grinning like an idiot.

His children were having a heyday with this newest intrigue, making fun of him at every turn, teasing him without mercy and he almost didn't care. Nothing could cloud over the memory of her brilliant smile, the way she walked and her voice, the mixture of a girl finding her womanhood. It was inebriating.

"Look, it's a great bloody Poof still sniffing the memory of The Slayer," Spike called out from the couch. He shifted to slump a bit more, shifting Drusilla in his lap as he did. Angel tried to scowl in response to the comment, but it came out as more of a crooked grin instead.

"Give ‘em a break, Spike," Penn said from his prone position on the counter top. He rested his head on his folded arms and couldn't keep the smile from his own face, "I mean, I've been thinking about her too...tight little ass shaking beneath those party pants."

"Good point," Spike said, moving his hand over Dru's thigh, feeling her tense with jealousy as he spoke, "Chit was a cutie."

"Oh, man, what I wouldn't give for one tiny taste of her-"

"Don't say it," Angel said, glaring as he moved across the lobby.

"I wasn't going to say ‘blood,'" Penn said, sitting up, "I was going to say-"

"Penn," Angel growled in a final warning.

"I was going to say ‘pussy,'" Penn said, the word coming out strangled as Angel's fist caught his nose. Penn fell off the counter top with the force of his blow and crashed to the floor.

"Shut the fuck up," Angel snarled, looking down at him with yellow eyes.

"You broke my nose," Penn said, reaching up to cup the blood that began to flow from his nostrils. Penn laughed at his Sire even as he groaned in pain, "But it was completely worth it."

Angel headed directly to the kitchen, leaving the annoying scene of the three of them behind him. He guzzled a pint of blood and tossed it in the trash before following with another. He was entertaining the idea of grumbling under his breath when he heard the familiar sharp intake of unneeded breath and a loud female wail of pain. He skidded back into the lobby to watch as Drusilla, overcome with her vision, shivered and convulsed in Spike's arms.

"It's okay, baby," Spike whispered to his lover as she stared at the ceiling. Her eyes were glazed as she saw, not what was above her, but the images flashing across her mind. Angel lowered himself to one knee and bent over her as she called out for him.

"Angel," she said, turning her head slowly. Several seconds were required before her dark eyes focused on his face, "Your Slayer..."

"What?" Angel said when she tapered off, "Is she in danger? Dru?"


see your face every place that i walk in,
hear your voice every time i'm talking.

Buffy left the coffee shop and her friends to sipping cappuccinos and debating the world's events with upperclassmen so that she could patrol. She wasn't sure what was more funny, the fact that all the suedo-intellectuals were being burnt left and right by Willow and Oz's superior knowledge on almost every subject they broached or the way that Xander protectively hung over his girlfriend trying to wipe the other men's drool off her shoes.

She could tell that Xander was having second thoughts about not attending college. Of course, he had no interest whatsoever in getting a degree or acquiring knowledge of any kind, but Cordy was simply too pretty to be left alone on that big campus alone. Buffy knew that it was only a matter of time before he started hanging around the quad on his days off work.

She regretted having to leave because for the first time, she started to feel like maybe she could belong. Not everyone was brilliant there. Some people were just normal, like her. A couple of boys even looked at her like she was a girl tonight. The problem with being treated like a girl by the boys was that she wasn't being noticed by the one person she desperately wanted to notice.

The first week of school wasn't really the best time to begin the daydreams in class but all she could seem to concentrate on was Angel. "Girly name," as Xander so vehemently insisted, or not, he melted all ability to study or even listen. And there was nothing girly about that man. She had spent the last couple days, in addition to thinking about Angel, trying to talk herself out of asking Willow to jump on the ‘net and investigate the investigator. It seemed wrong to poke around about him without his knowledge. Where he lived, what his phone number was...whether anyone lived with him - those were things that his personal business. She shouldn't stick her nose in where it didn't belong.

It would be wrong.

She smiled at her decision to ask Willow tonight when she got home when she heard a sound behind her and pulled her stake from her pocket.

"You know," she said, turning around, "It's kinda rude to interrupt other people's fantasies."

Her jaw fell open as she realized that her attacker wasn't one vampire but seven. The way the slaying had been going lately, she was beginning to think that LA had it's very own Hellmouth. She had noticed too, since her arrival here, that her Spidey sense was seriously off again. These vampires nearly tapped her on the damn shoulder before she realized they were there. She didn't have time to think about what might be wrong with her, however, because her attackers were closing in. Deadly yellow eyes shone in the night as a chorus of growls sounded.

Buffy made the first move and sent the vamp closest to her flying back with a perfectly executed crescent kick. She didn't have time to enjoy the sound of his grunt as he hit the pavement because the others moved in hard and fast, striking out at her. She dusted one as she felt hands pulling at her. Two strong arms wrapped around her, pinning her arms to her sides, attempting to squeeze the breath from her body. She jerked her head back and gave the vampire a fangful of blonde hair and hard skull. He cried out in pain, stepping back, but not far enough to avoid the stake that made all the pain disappear.

Two down and five to go, Buffy thought as she dodged a fist on one side of her and a flying leg on the other. The vampires regrouped as they moved in, realizing that they had initially underestimated their opponent. Two grabbed her arms, struggling to hold her wiggling body steady.

"Slayer," the leader snarled, anxious to say that word to an actual Slayer since he was turned. He was a huge demon, hulking over her and Buffy was beginning to get a little nervous as he moved closer. His little band of malcontents joined him because they all dreamed of the same thing he always had - to taste the blood of a Slayer. When the law firm, Wolfram & Hart, offered to give them her location and money if they could kill her, they jumped at the chance.

The vampire screamed as he fell to dust and revealed Angel holding a stake, point out, behind him. He smiled at Buffy in a greeting that would have made her weak in the knees, if she hadn't needed to escape. Angel immediately threw his stake into the chest of the vamp on Buffy's right, freeing an arm before shoving off the other two vampires who pounced on him. He heard the sound Buffy slaying the vampire who had been on her left as he staked his other two in rapid succession.

"Thanks," she said, walking over and closing the distance between them. An unbearable two feet lay between them as he turned to face her.

"You're welcome," he answered sticking his stake in his pocket just to have something to do.

"I'm glad you happened along," she answered, allowing her eyes to sweep over his broad form as she spoke, "How did you happen along?"

"Drusilla is a seer," he answered honestly, trying to appear casual as those hazel-green eyes shifted over him, "She saw you were in danger. I came to help."

"Oh," Buffy said, "So your girlfriend's a psychic then?"

"Not exactly," Angel answered and quickly added, "and she's not my girlfriend."

"Oh," Buffy said, cocking an eyebrow at him and biting her inner jaw to keep from smiling at his response...and cheering, "So what is she exactly?"

"A friend," he answered, only kinda dishonestly.

"No, I mean, if she isn't a psychic, then what is she?" Buffy nearly jumped for joy that he misunderstood her question. Maybe that meant he was interested. Maybe it just meant that he was answering the damn question.

"She gets visions from The Powers That Be of people in trouble," he answered, "She's a bit psychic, I guess. I mean, she was before she starting stewarding for The Powers, but lately all she sees are horrible scenes that need to be averted."

"So you knew her before she started getting the visions?" Buffy asked as they walked down the street together, in a sort of boyfriendly-girlfriendly way. Okay, so it wasn't couple-like at all, but it could be considered the step before that. Buffy looked at the scenery in front of her as she inwardly chided herself for reaching. He almost seemed like he was trying not to look at her and she couldn't help but wonder what that meant.


"How long have you known her?"

"A long time," Angel answered, refusing to give her the details that would lead to bad roads of too much information, "A very long time."


you will believe in me,
and i will never be ignored.

In Angel's dream, Buffy was reaching out to touch him. When she made contact with his cold skin, he felt her warmth spread through him, tingling every place on his undead body. He dared to touch her back, tentatively pressing his lips against hers. When she responded to his kiss, he sighed into her mouth as his fingers threaded through her hair, finding it just as soft as it always was in his dreams. Her tongue moved against his and the little breaths of air escaping her lungs fed his soul as he pulled her in more closely.

Her body was a contradiction, hard and soft at once, strong and yet so pliable as she allowed him to lower her to his bed. He touched her everywhere, wanting to experience every inch of her soft, golden skin. Her clothes melted away and they took with them all of her defenses, all of his reasons to stop. He was rewarded by her moan of pleasure as he sucked one hard nipple into his mouth and twirled his tongue around it. She arched against him, fingers pressing into his back as he moved from one perfect breast to the other.

He kissed his way down her torso, unable to stop himself from dipping in to taste the cutest belly button he had ever seen. She was so warm against him and he felt his body temperature rising with each moment he was touching her. Soon he would rise above room temperature and burn along with his lover. She didn't seem to notice that his skin was cooler. She didn't seem to notice that his heart wasn't beating, that he didn't breathe. She breathed for them both, panting lust into the room.

"Angel," she moaned as he finally entered her dripping core. His soul soared with happiness as she uttered his name. The way it sounded in her heated voice, the way it looked plucking off of her red lips was more than his dream mind could handle. He struggled to hold on to her inside his dream world, willing his body not to wake as he felt her inner muscles flexing against his thrusts. Harsh reality beckoned and he growled in frustration as the dream began to freeze, as her warmth began to fade. She felt cold. She was disappearing as he began to wake, but he still felt...

Angel opened his eyes and looked down at Drusilla. She was nude and on her hands as knees, the way he used to like her before he lost his soul. He used to tell her to kneel, raise her ass in the air and keep her thighs open. He wanted to smell her dripping pussy as she sucked him off, liked her spread wide in submission for him as she pressed down. He used to love that she could take all of him, loved the feel of his cock meeting the back of her throat. He used to. Now all he felt was guilt for the things that he had done and enjoyed before.

"Dru," he groaned in frustration, caught between the erotic sight, smell and feel of her and the irritation that she was knowingly violating him. He almost felt, in a strange way, that this act was cheating on the devotion he felt for Buffy. Even before he saw his golden Slayer for the first time, he stopped sleeping with Dru almost entirely, but after he had seen her, he stopped completely. He would rather be celibate for the rest of his unlife than entertain the idea of sleeping with anyone but his heart's mate.

"My Angel," Dru whispered as she pulled back to look at him. After knowing him so intimately for so long, she stroked him perfectly, applying the exact amount of pressure as she wrapped her fingers around his erect cock. She licked the tip and smiled at his growl of lust-anger. Her eyes looked far away in the memories of what had been as she took him in her mouth again, cupping his scrotum with one hand.

"Please..." he said with gritted teeth as her movements increased, sucking him harder and faster. He couldn't ask her to stop and knew that she wouldn't anyway. He might be in love with Buffy but he was still a man. He gripped the headboard and released into her mouth. He was still recovering from his climax as she licked her lips and crawled up lay her head on his chest.

"Mmmm," she purred as she closed her eyes, moving her manicured nails over his chest and stomach absently.

"I asked you not to do that anymore," he growled but even as he spoke, he caressed her silky dark hair.

"You woke me up," she whispered, "You called to me and I came."

"What are you talking about?" he sighed, looking down at her, "Spike hates this. You know that."

"I crave you, Angel," she answered, rising to return to her mate, "I need you like you used to need Darla. It's your blood in my veins. It begs for you."

He watched her without speaking as she left the room and listened to her bare feet padding down the carpeted hallway. He had to think of a way to keep this from happening again. He thought about locking his door every night, but the times he had tried it, she still got in. He wasn't sure what it was about his Childe, but the woman had power he would never understand.


heaven help me, my head is spin'n round,
stop this airplane cause i got to get down

"You saw Angel last night," Willow said sleepily as she watched Buffy brushing out her hair and glowing with happiness.

"Why do you say that?" Buffy asked. Willow sat up in bed and gave her friend the I'm not stupid look.

"You're up an hour early and you're wearing a leather jacket two sizes too big over your pajamas. Did you sleep in that?"

"No," Buffy said, lifting her head defensively and then giggling, "With it but not in it."

"Oh God," Willow said, falling back in bed, "Tell me what happened."

"He saved me from a gang of vamps, told me Drusilla wasn't his girlfriend and gave me his jacket because he said I looked cold," she answered.

"Oh so you asked about Drusilla?"

"I couldn't help myself," Buffy said sheepishly, "Which brings me directly to asking for a favor."

"What?" Willow said, yawning. She scooted to the edge of the bed and crossed her legs as she waited for Buffy to spit out her request, which happened after several seconds of overactive mumbling and excuses.

"I want you to look up Angel and find out stuff about him on the Internet," Buffy answered.

"Buffy," Willow said, shifting to her feet and shuffling across the room, "it's invasion of privacy you know."

"Come on, Will," Buffy begged, "Just a few tidbits. We don't have to find out everything about him. Please look him up. Please?"

"No," Willow answered after a moment and began sinking under the pressure of Buffy's pout, "I'm not going to look him up...again."

"Again?" Buffy shouted, jumping to her feet.

"Well, I wanted to make sure he wasn't a creep," Willow blurted.

"Well is he? A creep?"

"I don't know. He hardly exists."


"It's the strangest thing," Willow said, settling on Buffy's bed next to her, "He runs his business out of the Hotel Hyperion. He doesn't have a driver's license or a birth certificate that I can find. Or a last name."

"Are you sure you looked hard enough?" Buffy asked quietly, not wanting to hurt the redheaded witch's feelings.

"Buffy, I checked every source I could think of."

"What about his friends?"

"They're blanks slates too," Willow said, grim faced, "It's like they all just fell out of the sky or something."

"Okay, well maybe they're from another country," Buffy volunteered, remembering Spike and Drusilla's English accents.

"From another country that doesn't keep birth records?" Willow asked.

"Well..." Buffy said, thinking about the news, "What about the hotel? How long has he been staying there? Does that girl, Drusilla, have a room there too?"

"He's not staying at the hotel," Willow corrected, "He owns it. And all four of them live there, I think."

"How could he own a hotel when he doesn't have any identification?"

"He paid cash," Willow answered and receiving the expected shocked look from her friend. He paid cash? For a hotel?


you want me?
well, fuckin' well come and find me.
i'll be waitin'

"Hello there," Penn said in a voice dripping with charm as the Slayer walked into the lobby. Every time he saw her, he regretted that the territory had already been claimed by his Sire. As she walked into the room, she looked around slowly and Penn watched as her long, silky blonde hair shifted over her shoulders. He had only been partially kidding when he said he wanted to taste her.

", Penn, right?" Buffy asked.

"Yep," he nodded, taking in her slim figure while she looked around the hotel, "What can I do for you?"

"I was looking for Angel, actually," she said and Penn smiled knowingly. Of course she was looking for Angel. He couldn't believe how the man attracted women - both demon females and human. If there was a member of the opposite sex in the picture, she was swooning over his Sire. Spike and Penn had begrudgingly accepted that fact over their long years in knowing him but Penn had made a silent rule long ago to never introduce his women to Angel if it could be avoided. Drusilla was a perfect example of what not to do. Spike was crazy for living under the same roof when his mate couldn't stay out of their Sire's bed. The part that usually pissed him off the most was that except for this little blonde, Angel never even wanted them!

"He's downstairs," Penn answered, nodding toward the door, "Go on down. I'm sure he won't mind."

He grinned evilly as she headed downstairs. He knew Angel was down there working out and probably looked like shit. He watched her open the door and head down the steps with small, shy steps. He hoped the old Sire was extremely pissed off from this little stunt.

Buffy blinked as her eyes adjusted to the dim light and tiptoed basement steps. She felt like an intruder as she wandered down, taking in the musty scent that all basements seemed to have. She listened for any sounds at all but heard none and as she got to the last step, he came into view.

His muscular bare chest appeared, clearing her mind of lucid thought. His bare feet and arms moved in a graceful kata. She always thought that repeatedly doing the same movements over and over was kinda useless once the motions were memorized. Seeing him absorbed in concentration, body flexing in a god-like manner, made her change her mind. Katas were the perfect way to work out. Lesson learned.

She thought about saying something, but her throat was suddenly dry and she found herself wondering why she hurried over her after her first afternoon class to talk to him. She was content not talking, though, and continuing to look. As he turned, she saw a large bird-like tattoo on his right shoulder and it seemed seductive to her innocent eyes. She wasn't sure why a bird drawn in ink on skin would leave her breathless and flushed, but it did. Everything about how he moved, looked and smelled left her flushed. Whenever he was out of sight, she almost convinced herself that she imagined how beautiful he was until she saw him again and was corrected. She thought she was going to melt into a puddle of desire before his eyes shifted to her. His sweeping arms froze as he saw her and he blinked for a second before dropping his arms.

"Buffy," he said, inwardly cursing Penn for sending her down here. It had to be Penn because no one else would get such pleasure from making him look like an ass. Except Spike, of course, but he was more obvious about things than Penn. Angel hurriedly moved to slip his shirt back on and felt it clinging to his sweaty chest as he turned to look at her. He ran a hand over his hair and looked at the beauty standing in front of him. She was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and somehow she made the casual attire unbelievably sexy. He wanted to send flowers to the person who made those jeans. They hugged her curves in all the right places and made it very hard not to stare.

"Hi," she answered hoarsely, "I'm sorry for interrupting your workout."

"That's okay," he said. He wasn't sorry at all that she had interrupted, he was only sorry that he was all sweaty and disgusting when she arrived.

"I just wanted to thank you," she said, "for saving my life last night."

"You're welcome," he said, moving toward the stairs and leading the way back to the lobby. He gave Penn a deadly stair as his eyes landed on him and a vicious smile came back at him.

"Want something to drink?" he asked nervously.

"Yeah, we have plenty of-" Penn started and was interrupted as Angel nearly shouted over his words, "Water. We have water and tea."

"I actually have class," Buffy answered, "So I have to get back. I just wanted to drop in and thank you."

"Oh, okay," he said, nodding, trying to think of something else to say and coming up empty.

"Are you going to the club tonight?" Penn said. He ignored Angel's flashing yellow eyes as he moved in closer to the petite blonde, "It's Thursday. Ladies night."

"Are you guys going?" Buffy asked, looking over at Angel for the answer.

"Sure," he shrugged, "Why not? See you there?"

"Okay," she said, giving him a blinding smile, "See you later."

Buffy moved toward the door but didn't leave completely. She felt only slightly guilty as she leaned as closely as she could to the door without being seen. She hugged herself as she heard Angel yell at Penn, "What the hell is your problem?"

"What?" Penn asked in a voice that betrayed his pleasure at the anger coming at him.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Angel's voice answered, wafting through the doors to her ears.

"Aw, come on. Loosen up, big guy," Penn returned, "She didn't find out anything, so you can calm down now."

"Stay away from her," Angel ordered loudly, "I've seen the way you look at her. Lay one hand on her and I'll break every bone in your miserable body."

"Angelus," Penn said, responding to his Sire's violence, "You may be in love with her but you can never have her. Neither can I. We both know that."

"I know that!" Angel said quietly, "I know I can never have her. I know."


Part Three - "Bad to be Good"

NOTE: Lines used here from the "War Zone."


a weak, weak, weak, weak slave,
a weak slave that goes to the wall.

"I'm broken," Buffy sighed as Giles set about his third round of Slayerosity tests.

"Really Buffy," Giles sighed back, "You must concentrate. You are not broken."

"Something is really wrong with me and my reflexes are not the issue this time, so why are we concentrating exactly?" Buffy complained, "Maybe you're off your game too."

"Buffy, please."

"Sorry," Buffy relented, "I didn't mean that. It's just this can't sense the vampires thing and the hottie who loves me but can't love me. It's the first week of school!"

"The hottie?" Giles asked.

"Angel," Buffy explained, "Of Angel Investigations. Has this crew of attractive and annoying sidekicks."

"Why didn't you tell me that you had met him?" Giles demanded, jerking his glasses off of his face to reveal more clearly his disapproval.

"What's the big? I met a guy and I'm supposed to report it to you?"

"You met a vampire and his vampire progeny. That's what you're supposed to report to me."

"He's not a vampire, Giles," Buffy pleaded, "Please tell me he isn't a vampire and you're making this up because I've been slacking on patrol this week."

"He most certainly is a vampire."


a pretty piece of flesh, and yes, you better show your crest,
shoulder holster strapped, i'm pullin' from the chest.
guess who's gonna be the first to pull it from you.

"Need to talk to you," Spike said, coming up behind Angel on the street as he headed for The Velvet Dog for an unofficial date with Buffy. Angel was already tense and irritated that this little meeting was set up by Penn, who was trying to screw everything up as it was. He really didn't want to deal with Spike right now.

"What?" Angel asked, stopping to face Spike.

"I thought sure this Slayer thing would keep you off my mate but since she's hasn't given you any yet, I guess that means you still have to move in on my territory," he shouted.

"First of all, your mate, faithful as she is, came to me. Secondly, you're out of line, William. If you want her to stay out of my bed, then keep her out of it!"

"I'm so tired of your holier than thou Sire bullshit. You don't own her or me."

"That's a relief," Angel sneered back, "Feel free to go at any time."

Angel stalked off angrily, leaving Spike steaming behind him. Although he didn't want to admit it, Angel knew that Spike was well aware of what was going on. He just couldn't deal with the idea that Drusilla was to blame, so the shit had to roll elsewhere. In the same situation, he would probably react the same way - or worse actually. If he were dating Buffy - that's a laugh - in an alternate universe where he was fit to touch just a golden hair on her head and he found out some other guy was sleeping with her...

Lost in thought, he didn't hear Spike coming up behind him again until it was too late. He felt a hand on his arm and was spun around. Using the element of surprise, Spike sucker punched his Sire.

"That was for last night!" Spike growled before pushing Angel up against the wall and speaking softly, "Now listen to me."

"Spike," Angel growled back, "You don't want to start this with me."

"Listen, mate," Spike said in an almost whisper, "Saw your other golden Childe talking to that lawyer last night."

"Why didn't you tell me this before?" Angel demanded, "You knew she couldn't sense us and that something was wrong!"

"You were so busy with my mate, I thought you didn't need to know," Spike fumed, letting go of Angel, "But listen, we both know he's never been right since he got his soul. I think they're doing something to your girl."

"Thank you, Spike," Angel said gratefully.

"Wanna thank me? Keep your dick out of Dru."

"Last time I'm going to tell you this," Angel said, quietly as he stood up from the wall, "She's coming to me and I've asked her to stop. You need to deal with her on this. I've tried to keep her away and she won't listen. With Buffy in the picture, the last thing I want is to jeopardize what I don't have with another woman."

Turning once more, Angel moved toward The Velvet Dog with a new sense of determination. He had to find out what was being done to Buffy and how to stop it.


love lorn, torn from two sides,
thinking of dark skies,
and through the heavens i be seeing worlds collide.

"Do you see him anywhere?" Buffy asked, craning her neck to see every corner of the club.

"Are you going to stake him right away or do we get to watch you beat him up first?" Xander asked excitedly. He looked around at the dirty looks he was receiving and added, "What? He's a vampire. We're all cuddly toward them now?"

"Please," Buffy said, glancing at him for a second before returning to her search of the club, "Just don't talk about Angel, okay?"

"You're talking about him," Xander said, crossing his arms.

"Shut up, Xander," Willow said harshly, "Sorry. This is a very upsetting thing for Buffy."

"Who's upset?" Cordy asked, glaring at Willow. Xander touched her leg under the table to quiet her and before the two girls began throwing insults, Buffy stood.

"There he is," Buffy said, sliding out her seat and heading across the dance floor to him. She lengthened her strides as she neared him, reminding herself that he was a creature of the night and not in any way a good guy.

Well, maybe he was a good guy. Truthfully, she was confused. Giles explained the whole cursed soul deal, but it just seemed weird. Something in her mind just wanted it to be less gray and more simple: Vampires were evil. Angel is a vampire. Angel is evil.

But it wasn't working. Certain factors kept creeping in that ruined the whole equation. He said that he loved her and apparently his friend or Childe or whatever knew it. He admitted it like it was common knowledge. Then there was the saving her life thing. She thought back on every time she'd seen him or talked to him. She, admittedly, had the tendency to be naive when it came to men, but his eyes were so deep that they had to lead to a soul.

She stopped in front of him and waited for him to acknowledge her. Hands on her hips, face covered in anger, she glowered at him.

"I need to talk to you," he said.

"Yeah, you really do, vampire," she snapped, following him to the corner, knowing that the eyes of her friends were following them as well.

"So you know now," he said just loud enough so she could hear him over the thumping house beat. The music usually pumped her up and made her feel good, but tonight it was a distracting noise, fueling her emotions.

"That'd be a big yes," she answered, shifting away from his eyes for a second and finding the rest of his physique just as distracting, "What the hell is wrong with you? Don't you think the vampire thing was a pretty big detail to not mention?"

"I don't know, Slayer," Angel said, raising his voice slightly, "Not like you were all about telling me what you do at night. Besides, how long would I have had to tell you about my soul before you staked me?"

"Glad you brought that up," she said, "You think it makes you and your little undead pals good because you have souls now?"

"No," Angel said, shaking his head negatively, "I think it makes me remorseful of what I've done in my life. It doesn't make me good. It makes me want to be good. That's not the case for all of us, which is why I need to talk to you."

Buffy waited for him to continue, feeling the lump move from her throat to her heart. She felt like she was swelling in front of him and if he kept talking she might start to believe him.

"Look, there's a law firm here in town that's so evil, they make vampires look like kittens."

Angel paused and looked around him before continuing, "I think Penn is working with them and they've done something to you. There has to be a reason you didn't sense us."

"A law firm?" Buffy asked incredibly, "The reason I can't sense vampires is because there are some evil lawyers in town? Give me a break."

Buffy said, turning away from him, feeling the anger overtake her body. He was lying. He had to be. What kind of moron would buy that story?

She felt his hand on her arm and was suddenly against his body. Two large hands covered her shoulders, holding her tightly to his chest. Taking the risk of getting his ass kicked or getting staked, he lowered his mouth to hers. He kissed her roughly, pushing his tongue into her warm mouth. Just as if his dream was coming to life, she responded to his kiss, her small hand moving up to touch the side of his face. He allowed himself to thread his fingers into her hair as he had done so many times before while he slept and deepened the kiss as he realized it was silkier, softer and warmer than his dreams could portray.

When the kiss ended, he looked down into her eyes, "I love you. I'm not supposed to and I don't want to but I can't help it. You can hate me, Buffy. You have every right to, but I'm not going to stop helping you. I'm going to do what I have to do to protect you."

"I don't know how to deal with this," Buffy answered quietly, which was a fantastic answer to Angel's starving ears. It was so much better than a straight out rejection or the stake through the heart alternative.

"You don't have to," Angel said, "I will."


i feel just like a local god when i'm with the boys.
we do what we want, yes we do what we want.
i feel just like a local god when i'm with the boys.
we do what we want, yes, we do what we want.

"Isn't that kinda revealing for patrol?" Willow asked as she accompanied her friend through the streets of LA on Friday night.

Buffy looked down at her electric blue halter and black pants, "You think it's too slutty?"

"‘Slutty' is probably not the right word," Willow said, biting her lip, "Maybe I'll just stick with ‘revealing.'"

"I guess I was just thinking about..." Buffy said, allowing her sentence to fade.

"Um, Angel?" Willow asked with a knowing grin.

"Yeah," Buffy said, nodding, "Pathetic, I know."

"It's not pathetic," Willow defended, "It's very unpathetic in a nonpathetic way, but...."

"Right," Buffy pouted as she twirled her stake in her hand, "Vampire. Will, I just...I don't know how to-"

Buffy stopped talking and listened intently. Just as Willow was about to ask what was wrong, Buffy ran down the street, turning left at the alley. Willow followed, breathing heavily as she chased after her friend. The alley looked like a war zone as a gang of teenagers fought a much larger gang of vampires. She joined the fight, slaying vampires alongside the gang members, who all wondered who the blonde intruder was. Buffy was impressed with the stake launcher attached to the back of their pick up truck and the other inventive devices they had come up with. They obviously had fought the night many times before this.

A young girl, who looked to be about fifteen, screamed and Buffy spun to see the vampire sink his teeth into her throat. Her friends turned and began running towards her when Buffy dove across the alley. She knocked them both to the ground with the force of her jump, smiling as the demon's fangs slipped out of the girl. Buffy rolled over on the asphalt, grabbing the girl as she went. Depositing her shaken body to the side, Buffy rolled back and struck out contacting boot with ridged face before staking him. Buffy turned back and checked on the girl as the vampire exploded into dust.

"Are you okay?" Buffy asked, climbing to her feet and offering the teenager a hand.

"Yeah," the girl said nodding, "I thought I was a goner." Her face was ashen but by the look of her, Buffy was certain that this girl didn't usually look nourished and rosy cheeked.

"Who are you?" a deep voice from behind asked her and she turned to look at the person in question. He was tall and broad shouldered. An expression covered his handsome face that Buffy couldn't really identify. It was kinda angry-happy-irritated-relieved.

"Buffy," she answered, "Who are you?"

"Gunn," he answered, moving his palm over his smooth, hairless head, "Thanks for your help. Where'd you come from? Never seen a girl like you fight vamps before. Looks like you should be at club or something."

"Trying to get there," Buffy answered, slightly regretting her wardrobe choice for this evening, "I've never seen a vampire fighting gang before. Is that what you are?"

"Yeah," he said, nodding, "What are you? Cause you ain't no ordinary girl."

"I'm The Slayer," she answered and received a chorus of oohs and ahs from the gang behind Gunn. Willow came up and stood behind her, clearing her throat loudly and Buffy added, "This is my friend, Willow."

"Hey," Gunn said in greeting, "Thanks for helping out. We wouldn't have suffered a much bigger loss if you hadn't come along."

"You're wel-"

"Incoming!" shouted a voice followed by the body of a teenaged boy running up to Gunn with a crossbow in his hands, panting and out of breath, "Moving this way fast. Jumping roof top to roof top."

"Where you followed? He see you?" Gunn asked, turning his back on Buffy and Willow unapologetically and moving to follow his friends.

"No way," the boy answered proudly.

"Let's check it out," Gunn said as his gang filed in behind him. Buffy and Willow followed along as well as they went inside a building only to peek out from a gated entrance on the other side. Buffy sucked in a breath as she saw the "incoming" in question was Angel. He was standing in front of a rough looking man who was leaning on a parked car.

"What do you want?" the thug asked.

"Big question: What do I want?" Angel answered, pretending to think for a second, "Love - family - a place on this planet I can call my own, but you know what?"

"What?" the man asked, waiting for the answer and Buffy waited as well, already melting in the shadows from his words.

"I'm never going to have any of those things and unless these next few minutes go exactly the way I want them to, neither are you. I want to know what the firm has planned for The Slayer."

"Don't work for Wolfram & Hart anymore," he lied, unconvincingly.

"Oh! You only get one lie," Angel added, "I probably should have mentioned that first.

"Look pal," the thug said, patting Angel on the shoulder, "You're obviously not from around here, but trust me, you do not want to see my bad side."

"You show me yours," Angel said, as his face shifted to reveal his demon, "I show you mine."

Buffy looked up at Gunn who was grinning widely.

"Don't worry, ya'll," Gunn whispered to his crew, "I know that fool. It's cool."

"Okay," Angel growled, not noticing his audience. He grabbed the thug and pushed him roughly against the side of the car. "So now I'm from around here. In fact, I'm moving in, taking over. You understand me? I will dog you every night for the rest of your very short life until you bring me the information I want. I want to know what they've done to The Slayer. Are we clear?"

Angel glared as the thug nodded frantically in response. He pushed him back on last time and sneered, "Yeah, see ya tomorrow."

"You know him?" Buffy asked, peering up into Gunn's eyes.

"Yeah, well, he ain't breathing, but he's alright. I've helped him out a couple of times," Gunn answered.

"So he's good, right?" Buffy said, looking back quickly to see that Angel had already gone.

"Yeah, as far as vamps go...So, are you still clubbing it tonight?" Gunn asked with an alluring smile, "Cause all of a sudden, I feel like dancing."


well, you better not see me when you come back.

"Not to pry," Spike said as he and Angel stopped in front of Wolfram & Hart's massive office building, "But is there a reason Penn's chained up in the basement?"

"Yes," Angel answered, pausing at the entrance of the parking garage to look the blonde vampire.

"Don't keep me in suspense. I know you got a big ole yen for The Slayer, but this is kinda like Angelus behavior, isn't it? You're always telling me to be all nice like and now you're torturing people."

"This is Sire to Childe punishment," Angel said, deadly serious and angry, "He's going to stay down there until I find out what's been done to Buffy. And it's not torturing, it's holding."

"Whatever, mate."

"What you're about to see," Angel growled as a black limousine pulled out of the garage, "This is torture."

Spike followed Angel to the car and according to plan, within 30 seconds, two tires were flat and they were sitting calmly inside with Lindsey McDonald.

"Hey Lindsey," Angel said, leaning back in his seat as Spike blew smoke across the car at the lawyer.

"How's Lilah?" Spike asked with a cold smile.

"In therapy," Lindsey answered, "I should thank you for that, Spike."

"No problem," Spike said laughing happily, "Be glad to help out again anytime."

"Sorry to break up the niceties," Angel said, "But I've got some business with you, Lindsey."

"What would that be?" he asked as the black protective window separating the front of the limo from the back, slid down. Angel reached back and pulled the guard who was about to attack him through the window and pushed him to the floor. He stomped his boot down on the guard's face and turned back to the driver.

"Roll it back up," he demanded. Lindsey gave a short nod and the window slowly moved back up.

"Angel's a little testy," Spike said in a falsely confidential voice, "You guys are hurting The Slayer. Makes him all crazy."

"So why are you here?" Lindsey asked.

"Just for the fun," Spike answered truthfully, "I was hoping I could watch him kill you. He doesn't kill people too much anymore. Makes for a boring, goody-goody lifestyle we got going."

"What are you doing to The Slayer?" Angel asked, crunching his boot down on the guard so Lindsey would hear a cry of pain.

"I wasn't informed. I'm a junior partner. I do what I'm told."

"Glad to hear it," Angel growled, "Let me tell you what you're going to do. Go back to the people who actually have balls in the firm and tell them that if The Slayer isn't back to normal tomorrow, I'm coming back."

"And then what?" Lindsey asked, trying to remain calm and wondering if these defanged vampires would actually kill him, "Just for curiosity's sake."

"You don't want to know," Spike said, slapping Lindsey's suited shoulder like a comrade as he hopped back out of the car, "Trust me. It gets ugly from here."