Under My Skin

by Tango

Disclaimer: I do not own them, get money for writing about them and have no permission
Rating: This fiction is rated NC-17
Spoiler: Buffy/Angel shipper. All lyrics are from Nine Inch Nails.

Suspending our disbelief now. . . .


I'm drunk and right now I'm so in love with you.

Angel sat in the darkness of his apartment, his "cave" as Doyle used to call it. The whiskey burned warmth into his body as he drank it. He had forgotten how much he loved the taste of it. He loved the feeling it gave him. Simplicity at its best. Drowning his sorrows after centuries of almost completely leaving alcohol alone, he felt slightly guilty. And weak.

He forgot about the weakness as he refilled his glass and took a sip, letting the memories of Buffy wash over him. His beautiful Buffy. Perfection in one woman was so rare, but she accomplished it with grace. He thought about the feel of her skin, her silky lips when they settled over his, the taste of her rich, powerful blood.

Blood. Buffy's blood. That memory ate away at him. The taste of her, the power in her veins was personified adrenaline. Thinking about tasting her again filled him with regret and the demon rattled in its cage.

I still recall the taste of your tears
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears
My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore,
scraping through my head till I don't want to sleep anymore

He needed her and he had been too long without that feeling that electrified his skin and made the tiny hairs on the back of his neck stand up. That was part of the reason why she made him feel so alive. If he could just smell her, just touch her once, he would be good. He wished that he had a keener feeling of her, something stronger that could lead him straight to her like a blimp on radar. He wished he could close his eyes and see what she was doing right then. Right now he would gladly give up his life to feel her warmth against him again. He could almost smell her arousal. He could feel her presence as if she was in the room with him. His body shook with her closeness, his eyes glazed in anticipation, his cold blood was bubbling inside him.

Stupid. She wouldn't be here and yet she felt so close. He inhaled the scent of the room deeply. Drunken, he stumbled to his feet and looked anxiously around the room, convinced he did smell her.

Settling his blurry eyes on the corner near the stairs, he made out a slight shadow.

She was there.


Head like a hole, black as your soul, I'd rather die than give you control

Lindsay was giddy as a school boy as he overlooked the shamans completing the ritual. He felt like clapping his hands and dancing around the room. The senior partners would be so pleased when this worked. There was no way it couldn't.

The shamans stood up from their ritual circle and all turned in unison, their crimson robes sweeping around them, as they faced Lindsay.

"The ritual is completed," he said, his demonic voice scratching at the still, incensed air.

"When will it kick in?" Lindsay asked, his eyes alight with excitement.

"Immediately," he answered, "She should be feeling it right now."

"And you're positive this will work?"

"It will only work if he is her true love. The spell will make her unable to control her need of her true soul mate. She will be greatly aroused and will not be sated until they are made one. Once she has mated with him once, the spell will take him over as well. They will be unable to control themselves."

"Meaning she'll have to have sex with him in order to sate her need?"

"That is correct."

"Then he will lose his soul!" Lindsay, said cheering, "And Angelus will be loosed on the world again!"

"That we cannot guarantee. We only made sure The Slayer seeks out her true mate. If Angelus is in fact, her soul mate, she will seek him out."

"Good enough for me, boys! How will it affect Angel?"

"The true mate, once he makes love to her, will be overrun with the emotions associated with her love. He will do whatever it takes to keep her by his side."

"How long does the spell last?" Lindsay asked, grinning freely.

"It's hard to say on one as strong as The Slayer. A day or two?"

Lindsay sat back in his desk chair as the Shamans left the room, thinking about what he would do with all the money he would get with his promotion to Junior Partner.


It's a part of me, it's inside of me
it's changing me

It was hot that night in Sunnydale that night as Buffy started out to patrol. She had barely made it a block from her air conditioned house before she broke into a sweat. The air was thick and sticky and it made her skin feel like a heavy layer of rubber over her lethargic muscles. It was all she could do to force herself towards the graveyard. The cool, sweet air waiting back at home beckoned for her audience but she begrudgingly continued, keeping alert and muttering complaints under her breath.

She tried to ignore the heat and the memory of Angel's hands on her body, the memory of him rejecting her, throwing her away, the memory of Parker throwing her away. She had a nice, normal boyfriend now. Riley. He was sweet and he loved her. And he wasn't Angel.

Vampires. Focus on slaying vampires. Focus on vampires who weren't Angel.

Come on, boys, she thought, come out and give Buffy a little distraction. She hoped the forces of darkness were actually trying tonight.

Halfway through her third cemetery and halfway through her second vampire, she felt him behind her, tickling her senses more alertly than the sweat that tickled her skin. She stopped cold and turned around to face him. But he wasn't there. God, she could have sworn he was. She focused on the feel of him and made a full circle trying to find him, but he wasn't there and the feeling of him was gone.

She blushed, feeling the incredible arousal that swept over her body. She had to get to Angel. Had to feel him against her once more. She broke out in a run back towards home.


She turned to face Riley. He was slowing her down. She couldn't chat with her boyfriend now.

Have to get to Angel.

"Riley, I have to go," she said, walking towards home again. He caught up with her, out of breath.

"Where are you going in such a hurry?"

"I have to go to LA," she said, not slowing her gait.

"What for?"

"Um...unfinished business."

"Buffy, is something wrong? You seem...I don't know...upset."

All of my excuses turn to lies

"Not upset. Just have to hurry, that's all. I don't mean to be rude, Riley. I just have to get to LA as soon as possible. I'll see you in a couple of days, okay?"


"Riley," she said, turning to him in front of her house, "I'm good. Okay? Just need to take care of something. I'm kinda in a hurry."

"Okay," he said reluctantly and watched as she skipped up the stairs of her house and disappeared inside.

She snatched the keys to her mom's Jeep and scrawled a quick note, letting her know that she had taken it and would return it in a couple of days. Five minutes later, she was on the highway.


Well I want to rip it up and swim in it until I drown
My moral standing is lying down

Damn near cringing from the feel of him, Buffy dove into Los Angeles. The memories attacked her senses with almost as much force as the feel of his presence. Each mile she drove made the feel of him stronger inside her. Outside his building, she jumped out the car and ran to the door, her black boots making muted thumps against the pavement.

She halted at the front door and decided a sneak attack was in order. She crept inside and made her way down the stairs. The sight of him, sitting in his leather chair, bare chested, a drink in his hand, struck her dumb. God, he was beautiful. She waited for him to feel her there, staring at him. She waited with increasing impatience as he gingerly took a sip, his lips barely touching the glass. Buffy was sure that if he didn't touch those lips to her soon, if he didn't feel her there soon, she was going to lose patience. She needed his touch. Now. She watched as he raised his head and stood up, unfolding his hard body from the leather chair and nearly stumbling as he looked desperately around the room.

Finally, after an eternity of waiting, she locked eyes with him. She loved the almost smile that tickled his lips and the storm of love attacking her from his undead eyes.


What if she touches me with those fingertips
As the words spill out like fire from her lips

"Hello lover," she purred. She was awash in shock as she realized he was drunk, swaying softly before her.

"Hello lover," he whispered and stood staring at her, not knowing what to do next. Buffy crossed the room, her narrow hips swinging with her movements. She pulled him roughly against her and deeply kissed him, feeling tension grating underneath her skin. She felt like she would break apart if he didn't make love to her soon. She tasted the whiskey on his breath, felt his arousal rising beneath his pants and felt his skin warming in her embrace. There was more ecstasy in one of his gentle caresses than whole nights of making love to other men. Of course, he wasn't a man at all. He was a demon. An exquisite demon whose soul was so beautiful, it made her want to weep with joy with the thought that he loved her.


I'm on my hands and knees. I want so much to believe

Riley looked at his watch as he waited for Giles to open his door. It was late. He hoped he didn't wake him. Giles opened the door, robe clad and Riley mumbled his apologies.

"Something the matter, Riley?" Giles asked, looking anxious.

"Well, I thought since Buffy had a problem and had to rush to Los Angeles tonight that you guys might need some help researching whatever the emergency was, but I guess I was wrong."

"What? Buffy went to LA?"

"Yes," Riley said, looking uneasily at Giles, "She left tonight. You didn't know?"

"No. No, she didn't mention anything. That seems rather odd, doesn't it?"

Giles picked up the phone and spoke urgently to a half asleep Willow, who also knew nothing of Buffy's departure. Xander, also half asleep, was soon wide awake when Giles informed him of the situation. No one knew she had left. Taking a deep breath, Giles made one final call - to Joyce.

"Well, it seems that Buffy left her mother a note and borrowed Joyce's Jeep," Giles said to the sleepy and recently assembled Scooby Gang, plus Riley.

"Buffy doesn't have a driver's license," Willow said, looking worried.

"Yeah, and she can't drive worth a damn," Xander added, looking equally concerned.

"What's in LA that would make her go there?" Riley asked, looking around the room at faces who had the answer and would rather not speak it aloud, "She seemed like she was in a terrible hurry. In fact, she was sprinting home when I caught up with her tonight."

"Um..." Willow started.

"Right. I'm going to call Wesley," Giles said, picking up the phone once more.

"Who's Wesley?" Riley asked.

"Buffy's old Watcher," Xander answered.

"Buffy had different Watcher besides Giles?"

"Oh yeah, Giles is just one in three," Willow said brightly, "But we all like Giles the best. Buffy fired Wesley."

"Oh," Riley said looking confused.

"Long story," Xander added.

"Watcher's counsel fired Giles and sent Wesley. Buffy fired Wesley and rehired Giles," Anya said blankly.

"Guess not that long," Xander said, looking over at Giles, who was already talking to Wesley.


And I don't want to think too much about what we should or shouldn't do.
Lay my hands on heaven and the moon and the stars

"Buffy," Angel said, pulling away from her intoxicating lips with much difficulty, "What are you doing?"

"Seducing you," she said, kissing his neck and rubbing her body against his.

"Can't," he said, his voice slurred with liquor, "We gotta -"

Buffy pressed her lips back against his, pushing her tongue into his mouth, silencing him and allowing her hands and slide down to his tight rear, pulling him against her. After a few moments, she broke the kiss and pushed him back into his leather chair.

I know it's not the right thing and I know it's not the good thing
Kinda I want to, kinda I want to

"Do you love me?" She asked coyly, kneeling before him and unzipping his pants, pulling his erect cock out.

"Yes," he groaned as her tongue flicked over the soft head.

"Don't you want me?" she asked, pulling her shirt over her head, revealing her bare chest to him. He stared at her chest, his eyes heavy lidded with lust and alcohol. Taking him into her mouth, she looked into his eyes, waiting for his answer.

If she says come inside, I'll come inside for her
If she says give it all, I'll give everything to her

"More than anything," he groaned, arching his hips slightly. Buffy stood up and wiggled out of her tight jeans, and stood naked and celestial before her demon lover.

"I need to feel you inside me, Angel. I'll die if you don't make love to me," she whispered, straddling his hips and placing him inside her.

"Please," she whispered as she began to move on his lap, speaking over his ragged groan. Unable to resist, he pulled one of her nipples into his mouth, cupping her other breast with his large, cold hand.

Plunging deep inside of her, Angel leaned his head back against the chair, rolling in the ecstasy of the feel of his love and tried to gain some composure. Had to stop before he lost his soul.

"Baby, please" he pleaded, his eyes flashing golden for a second as she continued to move above him, "Please Buffy. We have to stop. Have mercy on me." Even as he spoke, he had claimed her hips to push her harder against him.

"You feel so perfect inside me, Angel," she said, her eyes filling with tears, "Can you imagine any more perfect feeling?" She whispered, nibbling on his lower lip.

You make me throw it all away

"The curse," he whispered against her lips, helpless to stop her. She had to stop it. He couldn't. Not now.

"Can you imagine the other men who have made love to me? Moving inside me like this? Is that what you want, Angel? Do you want me to go back to that?"

She watched as his face shifted to his demon form, a loud growl erupting from somewhere deep inside his muscled chest. Anger was flashing in his golden eyes. Immense jealousy like he had never felt swam through his veins.

"My mate," he growled, "My beloved."

"Yes," she said, rocking against him, "Yours."

He touched the scar on her delicate neck. His mark on her. He pushed his hips up, trying to press deeper inside her, to connect with her, to wash away the other men. In his drunken state, painted with lust, he forgot about the curse and could only think of making love to his soul mate. They climaxed together, rolling in waves of delirium, the feel of devout intimacy and unblemished passion cleansing them.

Heaven's just a rumor she'll dispel as she walks me through the nicest parts of hell
I still dream of lips I never should have kissed
Well, she knows exactly what I can't resist


Hanging up the phone, Giles turned around the face the room, feeling as if he was on trial. His eyes settled on Riley and thought about how to say what he needed to say.

"Was that Wesley calling back?" Riley asked.

"Yes," Giles said, allowing his eyes to flip to each of the faces on the room, "And I think we may have a problem."

"Did Buffy go to Dead Boy?" Xander asked, a look of undisguised disgust crossing his face.

"Dead Boy?" Riley asked, confused.

"Angel," Willow said weakly.

"Yes," Giles answered, "It appears to be the case."

I really don't know what you mean

"And? What does that mean?" Riley asked, "Who's Angel?"

"Buffy's demon lover," Anya blurted.

"Ex," Willow corrected.


"Vampire," Xander added, answering Riley's question.

"She dated a vampire?"

"Well, Angel has a soul, Riley," Willow said, squirming in her seat, looking over at Tara, who looked just as confused as everyone else.

"I bet he doesn't have one anymore," Xander said, his dark eyes showing pure anger.

"We don't know that for sure...yet," Giles answered, "Wesley and Cordelia went to Angel's and found them...um...together. They are waiting to see if he reverts to Angelus."

"So, they have...done...um...they have..." Willow stuttered.

"It seems so," Giles answered.

"What do you mean?" Riley said, looking more and more upset as the conversation went on, "What have they done? Did she sleep with him and what do you mean if he reverts to Angelus?"

"Look," Xander said, deciding not to dance around the subject any longer, "Angel has a soul but the moment he experiences true happiness he loses it and reverts to his less cuddly demon side, which we all affectionately call ‘Angelus'."

"And Buffy causes Angel true happiness. That's why they broke up," Willow said, delicately.

And I was feelings some feelings you wouldn't believe
It was pulling me down

"Sex with Buffy?"

"Yep, buddy. Now you're getting it," Xander snapped.

"And she had sex with him already?"

"Yes," Giles answered, "Willow, I need you to gather the materials we need to recurse Angel. I still have the orb of Thesala on my desk...as a paperweight. When we have everything we need, we need to get to LA as soon as possible."

"Before a bunch of people end up dead," Xander said.

"But I don't understand," Willow said reflectively, "Why would Buffy run off to LA and have sex with Angel? She knows what will happen."

"I'm guessing that it is a spell of some sort," Giles answered, "I cannot see any other reason for Buffy to do that."

Riley sat back in his chair, staring off, looking at nothing, while inside his head, a thousand fears and angers and broken emotions jumbled inside of him. The woman he loved, at this moment, was screwing a vampire.

"I'm going to LA with you," he announced, his voice stern with anger, "So I can dust that demon piece of shit."

He met every shocked look with the same return glance of enraged determination.


You give me the reason. You give me control.
I gave you my purity, my purity you stole.
Did you think I wouldn't recognize this compromise?

Angel picked Buffy up and carefully, slowly walked them to his bedroom, trying not to trip, while the alcohol still altered his judgement. His judgement was certainly altered because he should have been begging her to tie him up or kill him or do something before Angelus emerged but instead, he took her to bed.

He placed on the bed as gently as he would a child and stood to stare at her naked form with worship. He wanted to see her inflamed nude body in the candlelight. He wanted to look at her through his soulful eyes while he still could, while he still had a soul.

She held her arms out, beckoning him to fill them. He lowered himself, blanketing her with himself, loving the delicious feel of her skin against his. He sipped her mouth, her neck, along her clavicle, savored her breasts and the valley in between. He moved slowly, leaving a trail of coolness with his lips as he moved down her belly until he reached the treasure at the bottom of his journey. Tiny kisses of love turned into the passionately exploration as he laved the contours of her core.

He smiled into her moans, increasing his ministrations in response to her responses. She arched against him, writhing on his bed as he continued to please her, worship her. She screamed out his name as she came, shaking uncontrollably beneath him.

He traveled quickly up her body, entering her as she was still shaking, try to recover from her climax. She whimpered loudly as he entered, his coldness branding her insides as he took her.

"I love you, Angel," she whispered between ragged pants as his liquid movements wrapped her in their love.

"I love you," he whispered back. He barely got the words out when the pain hit. His soul ripped from his body, he stopped his movements, jerking with the loss of his most precious possession. A cold smile covered his lips as he began to move in her again, each stroke harder than the one before it.

You make this all go away.
I'm down to just one thing and I'm starting to scare myself.
You make this all go away. You make this all go away.
I just want something, I just want something I can never have.

"Angel?" Buffy gasped at her lover.

"Yes," Angelus answered, looking into her eyes. She knew who was moving inside her but could not bring herself to stop him. He kissed her, roughly covering her lips with his own. Tension mounting between lovers and sworn enemies created more heat than either of them expected. They both made animalistic grunts as the love making became screwing. He took her violently, reaching beneath them and grabbing her firm ass, to pull her harder against him. She wrapped her legs around his waist and slammed back against him.

"Angelus," she screamed as she climaxed, as his fangs broke her skin, as his cold seed poured into her, as her blood poured into him. When her orgasm passed, she waited for him to pull his lips from her throat. Just as she began to panic, as she wondered if he would try to kill her, he released her neck and gently licked the wound that lay exactly over his previous mark on her. He pulled himself away, just enough so he could look her in the eyes.

He was smiling like a warrior who had just defeated his greatest foe. Her face was distorted by worry but she didn't move away and he smiled more broadly.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time, Buff," he said, huskily as he hardened once more, still inside her.

"To drink my blood?"

"No," he whispered, moving inside her once more, "Although that was delicious. I meant fucking you."

She looked at him blankly.

"To fuck you as the true me. As Angelus, not your feeble souled lover," he said as he flipped her over on her hands and knees, still inside her, "To take you as the proper demon in me should." Taking her slim hips in his hands, he growled with triumph, moving inside the slick heat of The Slayer.


I can't shake this feeling from head
There's a devil sleeping in my bed

Buffy awoke and felt Angelus blanketing her back, spooning around her.

Oh my God, she thought remembering the night before, What have I done?

She felt the hot tears pouring from her eyes as she scooted away from his body and off of the bed. Pain shot through her body from loss of contact with her lover but she continued away, confused. Her whole body was covered with soreness as she moved away from the bedroom. She felt the sobs rack violently through her and she searched for her clothes. Scooping them up by the leather chair, she couldn't control the tremors in her hands or the rain of tears as she put them on.

She had done it again. This time it could have been avoided. She tried to think back on what had happened but she didn't understand. She was out of her mind with lust. She couldn't control it. She knew he would lose his soul. She knew without a shadow of a doubt but she couldn't stop herself. She focused on the pain that covered her body, as if being away from him was the cause of it.

She killed the person she loved more than anyone in the world. Again. She lowered herself to the chair and let her grief take her over. She knew she had to kill him but she couldn't make it back in the bedroom. She couldn't take the step that was necessary to end it before someone died. Before the world began to suffer once again from the most demonic and evil of all vampires.

Why's it come as a surprise? To think I was so naive.
Maybe didn't mean that much, but it meant everything to me.

Angelus woke to the pain of her absence and found her gone. He sensed her near and knew that she hadn't left yet. He quickly crossed over to his closet and pulled on his leather pants before walking out to the living room. He found her sitting in his leather chair, crying like a lost child. He thought about killing the bitch but for some reason, his heart couldn't bare the thought of her death.

He knew he must have been under some sort of spell because last night, while his soul was still intact, he couldn't stop her and she couldn't stop herself. No matter. Now all he knew was that he had to get to her to make the pain stop sweeping over him. Whatever the spell was, he thought he ought to thank someone for it. He was free and he had The Slayer's blood inside him and her scent all over his skin.

"Why so sad?" He said crossing the room, his bare feet padding on the floor.

"I killed you. Again," she said through her tears, too weak to run or try to fight him.

"No, you freed me. Again," he said, towering over her, looking down at her blonde head. Reaching out to touch her, they both sighed with relief as the pain quickly left their bodies.

"Must have been a spell," she mumbled through her tears. He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her up, crushing his lips against hers, feeling her tears scald his skin like holy water.

There's nothing left for me to hide. I lost my ignorance, purity and pride

"Who the fuck cares?" He growled as he reached underneath her shirt, feeling for her firm breasts.

"Angelus," she whispered, "Please don't."

"You'll have to stop me," he said, kissing the raw wound on her throat and nipping her neck with his blunt teeth. She moaned in pleasure and pain.

"Please," she begged, "I can't do this again."

"You belong to me," he growled again, "And I will take you as often as I like - soul or not."

"Get your goddamn hands off of her." Angelus and Buffy jerked their heads at once to the sound of the voice across the room. Riley stood at the bottom of the stairs with Xander, Wesley and Cordelia standing behind him. He had a crossbow in his hands and it was pointing at the lovers.


You had them all on your side

Once they arrived at Angel's, Riley gripped his crossbow firmly and headed to the stairs to get to Buffy - and more importantly, to Angel. He couldn't wait to kill that undead bastard and his whole body shook with anger. First, Buffy cheated on him and he was willing to forgive her if she had, in fact, been under a spell, but that vampire was going to pay.

"Riley," Willow said, pulling on his arm, "Wait. We have to curse him again."

"You curse him again and I'm going to be downstairs, making sure Buffy's okay. I'll kill him if I get a chance, so if you want to save him you'd better curse him quick."

"But Riley-" Willow started and then closed her mouth again. She knew there was no point in trying to talk him out of it, so she dropped her hand from his arm and watched him go.

"I'll go with you," Xander said, stepping in behind Riley, Wesley and Cordelia as they headed downstairs.

"Could you guys help me perform the spell?" She said to Giles, Anya and Tara. She set her bag down on the desk and began pulling her supplies out. She pulled out the spell last, written carefully on a piece of paper. After they set up all of the materials, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Please work.


Why are you doing this to me?
Am I not living up to what I'm supposed to be?
Why am I seething with this animosity?

"Riley," Buffy whimpered.

"Another one of your white knights, galloping up to save you, Buff?" Angelus asked, with a smirk, turning slowly to face his lover's boyfriend, "Who the fuck are you?"

"I'd be the boyfriend," he answered, his eyes sharp with anger, "And you need to get the hell away from her."

"Riley, huh? And Xander? And look, there are my faithful employees. Guess you were right, Cordy. Perfect happiness works every time. Does this look like my ‘Buffy-face'?" He asked as his face transformed to his demon visage.

"Angel, don't," Cordy gasped, trying to think of a way to talk her way out the situation but her mind was blank. The only thing she could think of was Hurry, Willow. Please hurry.

"Why not?" He asked smiling, "It's so much fun."

Buffy was standing there next to him in a daze. Guilt covered her beautiful face - guilt for cheating on Riley, for sleeping with Angel and again with Angelus, guilt for being unable and unwilling to walk away from him. She was numb all over and all she could feel was the tears streaming down her cheeks.

The spell, she thought with alarm, is that why I can't turn away from him? She felt like she would crumble to dust if she stepped away from him. She prayed that Willow was upstairs cursing him again.

"Buff, I like your boyfriend. He's so noble, storming in here to protect you from me, as if he could hurt me," Angelus snorted, flipping his hand out to catch the arrow that catapulted across the room from Riley's bow. Snapping it with one hand, he tossed it away.

"Feel free to leave, boy. This is between me and my mate. You don't have to die today," Angelus announcing, feeling more like sex than fighting. He flung his arm around Buffy's waist and pulled her close to him.

"Get your hands off of my girlfriend," Riley said, shooting another arrow at Angelus' heart, which was caught again.

"Buffy, do something," Xander yelled from the base of the stairs.

I swear I just found everything I need.
The sweat in your eyes, the blood in your veins are listening to me.

"I-I can't," she stuttered, reaching up to touch the red holes in her neck, shrinking as Angelus let a riotous laugh forth. He wanted nothing more to rush across the room and snap the boy's neck. That little fuck thought he could claim his mate? But he couldn't make himself step away from her side. Something kept him there, almost needing to be able to touch her, to feel her warmth. I'm acting like my weaker half, he thought with disgust, but still made no move to separate himself from her.

"Buffy, walk to me," Riley said, his voice almost a growl. Angelus gripped her tighter, almost feeling the bruise he was creating, as he dug his fingers into the soft flesh of her hip. She moaned lightly from the pain of his grip but made no move to stop him or to dislodge his painful hold.

"Riley," she whispered with unadulterated tears still streaming down her cheeks.

"She is mine, boy. Leave us," Angelus commanded.

"She doesn't belong to you," Riley said, his blue eyes made of ice.

"Really?" Angelus snarled, sweeping her hair aside to show the red, ugly proof of his claim on her, "If she doesn't belong to me, why did she allow me to feed off her?"

Eyes widened around the room as they stared at her neck. She looked at the floor in shame as she reddened from the eyes that dug into her.

You give me the anger. You give me the nerve.
Carry out the sentence. I get what I deserve.
Your need for me has been replaced.
And if I can't have everything well then just give me a taste

"Delicious," Angelus said, as he licked her neck, "Best taste in the world." A third arrow shot out as Angel was focusing on her neck. Buffy caught it and held it tightly inside her hand for a moment before letting it slip to the floor.

"Guess she really wants me to die," he said with a chilling smile. The spell came over him and he dropped to the floor with a loud groan, his eyes glowing momentarily with the return of his soul. Pain ripped through his body with the entrance of his misplaced essence and another shot of pain traveled through both Buffy and Angel from loss of contact with each other.

"Angel," she gasped and fell to her knees, reaching out to touch him again.

"Buffy," he groaned, looking into her tearful eyes, "Weren't we just making love? When did everyone get here?" As usual, he didn't remember anything of the past few hours when he had reverted to Angelus, but he feared he would remember soon enough. She didn't answer, just kept looking at him.

"You bastard," Riley said, stomping across the room dropping his empty crossbow and pulling a stake from his pocket.

"Riley, please," Buffy whispered, "don't." She helped Angel to his feet and sat him down in the leather chair.

"I'm killing that bastard," Riley shouted, still moving toward Angel, "He fed off you!"

Holding Angel's hand, she stepped in front of the chair, blocking Riley's path, "I let him," she whispered.

"YOU WHAT?" Riley screamed in unison with Xander's, "AGAIN?".

so what, so what does it matter now

"I let him," she whispered again. Angel stood and swept her hair again away to see his new marks in her scar. He let out a groan of pain and felt tears fill his eyes as nausea swept over him.

"Oh my God," he said, pulling her into his arms, while everyone gasped in shock at his response and tears, "I'm so sorry, love," he whispered crying onto her shoulder, "I'm so sorry."

Riley stepped closer and pulled Angel away from Buffy. He punched him hard in the face, making Angel stumble back a step. Angel took a glance at Buffy, who was still standing in the same spot, unable to clear her muddled mind, unable to decide on a course of action.

"You piece of shit," he yelled as he swung to hit him again, which Angel instinctively blocked.

"I'm sorry," Angel said, parrying Riley's neck swing.

"You're sorry! You fed off Buffy and you're sorry! That's what you have to say! You're a disgusting demon and I can't wait to kill you," Riley said, plunging the stake at Angel. Angel sidestepped and kicked Riley, sending him hard to the floor.

"Yeah, I'm sorry," Angel said, "But I'm not just going to let you stake me." He walked over and pulled Buffy into his arms again, feeling the pain ebb away. Buffy saw Riley coming up behind them, brandishing his stake. Buffy pushed Angel aside as Riley raised his arm to plunge and then blocked Riley's blow, sending the stake flying across the room.

"Stop," she said, reaching out to Angel, who grabbed her hand and pulled himself back to his feet.

"Why are you protecting him?" Riley asked, trying to keep his voice from becoming a yell as Giles, Anya, Tara and Willow came tromping down the stairs.

"Because I love him," she said, her voice full of shame.

"Buffy? Are you okay?" Giles asked as he made his way over, looking at Angel warily.

"Did it work?" Willow asked, following Giles closely.

"Yes," Angel answered softly, "Thank you again, Willow."

"You're welcome again. Angel, I have something to tell you," She said in a low, even voice.

"Okay," he said, gently, feeling like he would be brooding for years to come over today.

"I changed the curse," she said.

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked.

"I took out the happiness clause. I made the curse permanent this time, so this wouldn't happen again."

Angel stood, staring at Willow in shock as his grip on Buffy's hand tightened, "Thank you. I was hoping you could help me with something else."

"Haven't you asked for enough?" Xander asked, his voice strident with anger.

"Yes, but this is for Buffy too. I'm not sure what is going on, but someone has performed some sort of spell on us. The reason Buffy couldn't fight me even when I was Angelus is because there's a spell over us. If physical contact is broken, I feel physical pain and I'm guessing she does too."

Buffy nodded in agreement, looking down at their clasped hands. Riley let out the breath he was holding, believing that everything had been explained. Once the spell was broken, she would come home with him and all would be okay again.

"I was hoping you could help us break the spell," Angel said.

"What does it feel like exactly?" Giles asked, his face covered with concern.

"Desperation," Buffy answered quietly, "Like I can't stand to not touch him."

"Someone wanted Angel to lose his soul," Willow said.

"Yes, I think so," Angel said, "Last night, it was as if we had no control over our emotions." He failed to mention that he had been drunk and could have stopped it.

"Research then," Wesley said crisply, speaking for the first time.

Buffy and Angel were both exhausted. They made their excuses and went to Angel's bed. Crawling beneath the covers together, Angel wrapped himself around her.

"I'm so sorry, love," he whispered, kissing the nearly healed mark on her neck.

"It's okay, Angel," she whispered back, "It was all my fault anyway."

"No," Angel said sternly, "Don't you ever blame yourself. Ever. I love you."

"I love you."


Don't tear it away from me. I need you to hold on to. Don't tear it away from me.
I need you to hold on to. Don't tear it away from me. I need you to hold on to.

Buffy woke up and found Angel gone. She sat up and yelled his name, even though she felt no pain from his absence. He came running in the room with Riley directly behind him, scooping her in his arms.

"It's okay, love," he whispered.

"Get away from her. Spell's broken. You have no reason to touch her now," Riley said, his arms crossed, willing himself not to rip Angel from her arms.

"What was the spell?"

"Willow was just about to tell us. Come on," he said, standing and tugging her up. They all filed into Angel's living room to find the group waiting for their return.

"Please continue, Willow," Giles asked, nodding at Willow as he cleaned his glasses.

"It was a very old spell. Actually we think it was two different spells put together, " Willow began, "And very strong if they both felt pain when they were separated. Basically...um..." she paused feeling almost guilty in admitting the truth, "the spell causes the subject, which was Buffy, in this case, to seek out her...um...soul mate."

I lean backwards inside of me

"What?!" Riley yelled, making Willow jump and startling everyone else.

"Essentially," she continued, more timid than before, "the spell causes the person to seek out their soul mate and then the other spell caused her to...have to...um..."

"Hump like bunnies," Cordelia added.

"Yeah," Willow added, "And once they do that, they can't fight the urge to keep doing that until the spell is broken."

"That's why Angelus didn't attempt to kill you, Buffy," Giles said, "And that's why you couldn't fight him...or why you didn't want to."

"Soul mate?" Riley asked, weakly, returning to the central point.

He's watching you from across the way. I cannot make this feeling go away.

Buffy looked down at the floor, searching her mind for something to say and coming up empty. How could one argue with the truth. Angel shifted uncomfortably from across the room, burning holes into his love with his piercing gaze. Where to go from here?

"Apparently," Wesley said, "The spell only works in cases of soul mates. The subject would go directly to their soul mate and no other person would be able to fulfill the spell."

Silence filled the room, drowning it's inhabitants with weighty evidence of the truth.


It comes down to this - your kiss, your fist and your strain -
it gets under my skin - within - take in the extent of my sin

"Buffy," Angel started, as they stood alone in the office, with everyone downstairs, waiting for them to return from their talk, "I don't know what to do."

"I know," she said, anger filling her voice, "If you think you can talk your way out of it this time, your wrong. You heard them. Soul Mates."

"But you'll never have a normal life," he said, his voice quivering with more emotion than he wanted to show.

"I'm the Slayer. I won't ever have a normal life."

"Children," he whispered.

"I want my life to be with you," she whispered back, her eyes wide, repeating the haunting words that she spoke in the sewers, "I never changed my mind about that."

"I love you so much, I can't let you waste your life with me in the darkness."

"How could loving someone be a waste?"

"I'm a demon."

"You're a demon with a permanent soul now. You're no longer a threat to the world. The only person you can hurt now is me...if you leave me...again."


"Angel, please. Let's not logic ourselves out of this. I need you in my life. I won't ever have a normal lief. Children wouldn't ever be safe and you know that. How could I be pregnant and still be The Slayer without dying? Picnics can be had at night. Ants are friendlier."

"Buffy, I don't know if this is a good idea..."

"Angel, do you love me?"

"Yes, of course. Always."

"Do you want to be with me?"

"More than anything," he repeated his words from the night before.

"Then stay with me. Please."

"I'll stay."

"Promise me forever, Angel."

Promise carved in stone deeper than the sea

"I promise. Forever," he said, gasping his words, praying she wouldn't hate him in fifty years when he was still a demon and she was without a family.


Now all that I've been hearing must be true.
I guess I'm not the only boy for you.
But that's what I get, that's what I get

"Buffy, I love you," Riley said, his voice betraying him. He knew that he had already lost her.

"I know, Riley. I'm sorry."

"Please don't do this. I know I can make you happy. I know I can," he pleaded.

"I'm so sorry, Riley. I never meant for this to happen. I never meant to hurt you. I thought there was never going to be a way for Angel & I to be together again. I was trying to move on with my life..."

"You still can."

"No, I can't. I need him."

"Have you thought about the future, Buffy? The days ahead when you age and he'll still be young. When you want to have children."

"Yes, I've thought about the future many, many times since Angel came into my life."

"Don't you see what will happen? You're going to regret this someday, Buffy. You can come home with me and I'll marry you. I'll devote my whole life to you."

"I appreciate it, Riley. I really do and I don't want to hurt you. The likelihood of my aging is very slim and I want to spend what time I have on this earth with my soul mate."

That word again. It jarred Riley's insides. He knew he couldn't argue with that. He hoped she wouldn't say it. He knew that for the rest of his life, those words would make him want to weep.

"Please, Buffy. I'm begging you here. Come back to me, give me a chance."

If I was twice the man I could be, I'd still be half of what you need.
Still you lead me and I follow. Anything you ask, you know I'll do.

"I'm sorry," she repeated.

"You will be...someday," he whispered and walked out of the room, out of the building and onto the street, uncertain of where he was going or how he was getting there. He never wanted to see her beautiful face again. The thought of her sleeping, wrapped in his arms; the thought of that demon making love to her, was enough to make him want to step out into traffic. Instead, he headed for the closest bar to drown his sorrows.


This is the only time I really feel alive. This is the only time I really feel alive.

The apartment was empty. Everyone had left and Buffy and Angel were left with heavy silence.

"Are you sorry?" Buffy asked, curled up next to Angel on the couch.

"No," he said, pulling her onto his laps and kissing her deeply, "I love you. I just don't want you to be sorry. You can still walk away."

She loved the feeling of his chest rumbling against her as he spoke.

"Shut up," she said, kissing him, shifting to straddle him.

"Yes ma'am," he answered, smiling, slipping his hand into the back of her pants and slipping another under her thin shirt.

"Excuse me, sir," she said coyly.

"Yes?" He answered, smiling even more broadly at her moan as he lightly pinched her nipple and kissed her neck.

"You're edging on naughty touching," she moaned, grinding herself into his rising arousal.

"Edging? Guess I'd better try harder then," he said in a low voice, slipping his hand down the front her pants, connecting with her inner folds.

"Guess so," she said, kissing him again. He picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. Tumbling to the bed, laughing together, they started their life together.

I am justified. I am purified. I am sanctified inside you

The End.