Want, Take, Have
eyes are burning in my head and seeing only red
Riley and Xander walked in Giles' flat with empty hands in the early afternoon. Buffy and Angel were nowhere to be found. Even Willy didn't have a whisper hiding behind the bar. After a short pep talk from the Watchers, who double teamed the group, everyone went out and combed Sunnydale looking for the pair. When night leapt over day, it took with them any hope they might have been harboring. Despair set in with the coming of the night that no one had found them and no one was sure where to look next. The mansion had been visited at least once by everyone, twice by others and Buffy's house should have had a traffic light installed for all the people who wandered to her doorstep that day.
When Willow walked through Giles' front door, she ignored the eyes on her, all contemplating questions about the serum that she had no answers for. How was she supposed to predict what would happen when the spell contained both chemistry and magick? She was an expert in science and becoming an expert in the black arts, but when Wolfram & Hart mixed the two, they left her in a maelstrom of doubt. She sat down at Giles' desk and began pouring over her own notes and the steps she took, trying to figure out what she could have missed in the process.
"This whole day was a big friggin' waste of time," Cordy shouted as she collapsed onto the couch.
"No kidding," Riley answered, looking worn and broken as he sat down next to her.
"Where else could they be?" Xander said, looking around the room with desperation, "There are only so many places a vampire can go in the middle of the day. And I'm gonna assume that Buffy wouldn't leave him right now."
"I'm just as confounded as you are Xander," Giles said, looking like he was heading towards a little blind panic himself, "I went to places I didn't think they would be just to check and...nothing."
"Willow," Wesley said, edging near the witch and speaking carefully, "Is there a chance that the serum didn't work correctly? Or perhaps you and Tara can perform a location spell to find them?"
Willow looked up at Wesley and as her eyes flooded black, she said, "Maybe they don't want to be found."
when the waves retire to the darkness below, i know, i know
The first thing Buffy noticed when she woke up was the absence of Angel. And she was cold. Freezing in fact, as if the undead skin of her lover had been creating a tremendous warmth inside her and now that he was gone, she was turning to ice. She looked around the empty room finding nothing but bare white walls and the chair she was chained to. She jerked her arms and heard the sound of metal clanging on metal. The chair was reinforced steel and was bolted to the floor beneath her feet.
"Angel," she whimpered, feeling him somewhere close, but not in the room and far from close enough.
"Buffy," his voice sounded muffled from a room away.
"I'm trapped!" she yelled to him, clutching the metal of her chair in a uncontrollable frenzy, feeling the slightest bit of consolation from the sound of his voice, "And I feel...strange."
"Listen, baby," Angel said, filling his voice with as much confidence as he could, "There are other people in this building. I can smell them. Just hang on. I'll figure a way out of this."
"Kay," she called back, but she knew the confidence in his voice was false. She knew he wasn't able to move in there either. If he could move, he would already be where she was. Looking around the room, she saw brilliant daylight flooding in from a high set window and called out again, "Angel...do you...have a window?"
"Yes," he answered, losing all the confidence he had built up a second before.
"How far are you from it?" she shouting, jerking wildly in her chair.
"Angel!" she screamed, pulling so hard at the steel restraints that her wrists started to bleed.
"I'm okay, Buffy."
"How close is the light?"
"Buffy," Angel soothed, "Calm down. Everything is going to be alright, love."
"How close is the fucking light, Angel?" she screamed over the sound of the clanging metal.
"Foot and a half," he answered as he looked over his shoulder at the light behind him. The glow was weakening him and he had resigned himself to his fate from the moment her heard her voice through the wall. That was when he knew this wasn't a dream, that it was real.
"Gotta get out of here," Buffy stammered as she pulled at her chair. Angel smelled the dazzling intensity of her blood through the walls and knew immediately that she had injured herself in her attempts to escape.
"Buffy, what the hell are you doing?" Angel said, beginning to look around for a possible escape again. It was one thing to be resigned to die himself, but Buffy was an entirely different matter, "You're bleeding."
"Gotta get out of here," she repeated, wrenching against her chair with all of her strength. She felt the bolts in the floor beginning to give as she pulled, simultaneously stripping the skin from her arms.
"Stop! You're hurting yourself."
"And you're dying!" She yelled back.
On separate sides of the same wall, the soul mates pulled violently at their chairs and watching on a screen in another room, Lilah smiled at the show.
i build my towers high.
Giles and Wesley were the only ones in the room who understood the stream of words that came clearly from Tara's mouth, causing her lover to lurch forward in her chair and drop limply to the desk, red hair falling in soft waves over her face.
"Okay," Xander said, holding out his hands, "What was that?"
"I think the question here is: Where is Faith?" Cordy said.
"Right," Giles said, nodding and looking around, "Who was the last to see her?"
Everyone looked at each other blankly and Anya started laughing - wild, deep, gut clutching laughter. Xander ran across the room and grabbed her shoulders, searching her tearing eyes for some kind of possession and she squeaked out words through her guffaws, "We're all going to die."
unless i get up,
"You know," Lindsay said as he strolled into Angel's holding room, "I'm wondering what the appropriate cost is for a lost hand."
"Lindsay," Angel growled, struggling furiously against the chair.
"I mean, it's a body part. So I'm weighing my options," Lindsay added, leaning against the door that just closed, holding up his plastic hand, "I can kill you which seems like a lot of fun right now or...I can go visit your little Slayer in the next room."
"You better kill me before you touch her," Angel growled, feeling his face slip into the demon.
"She's a hottie, Angel. I can't wait to get my hands...well, hand on her," Lindsay said, walking across the room and caressing the wall the held the two lovers apart.
"She's deadly too."
"Not when she's chained to a reinforced steel chair."
"Is that how you get all your girls?" Angel growled. He pulled violently at his chair and looked down at his legs. His legs were free. Buffy's legs had to be free too. They fucking had to be.
"Just yours," he said, turning back to face the lethal beast snarling at him. Lindsay was so full of glee, it was all he could do to stop himself from breaking into laughter. Mr. Cool Collected Vampire was losing his marbles and thanks to the drugs he was given and the little potion the witch had prepared, things were only going to get worse. All Lindsay had to do was prod him in the right direction, "You know all this time we thought that your weakness was Cordelia. What a surprise we got when we discovered your nubile little treat in there."
"What the hell do you want? You obviously want something or you would have staked me already," Angel said, trying to calm himself.
"You're right," Lindsay answered, nodding slowly and speaking with cautious deliberation, "I want to torture you for what you've done to me. And now, I'm just wondering...what do you think Buffy would do to save your life?"
"You piece of shit," Angel roared, lunging at him while simultaneously pulling his chair slightly loose from the floor. Angel could almost picture that bastard's hands moving over his mate, touching her in places no one but him should touch her.
"Oh you have no idea," Lindsay said, over Angel's roar, smiling as he walked towards the door.
"No, you have no idea," Angel growled, "You're crying over your hand? Just wait until I get out of this fucking chair."
"I think I'll go next door and see Buffy."
"Lindsay," Angel growled. The lawyer stopped and turned around. "If you touch her..."
"Revenge is a bitch, Angel," Lindsay said with a gleaming smile, "Your bitch, actually."
As the door quietly clicked with Lindsay's exit, something inside Angel clicked too. With a demonic bellow, he pulled against the chair, stripping the skin from his wrists and arms as he did. The only certainties in his mind were that he had to get to his mate, had to get free, even if he meant tearing off one of his own appendages to do it. Every other dash of humanity was quickly draining away.
going the distance.
Buffy was pulling against her confinements and screaming for Angel, who was no longer answering. She knew he was still alive but couldn't figure out why she could no longer hear him and why he could no longer hear her. If he could hear her, he would have answered, right?
The door opened and a handsome man in his early thirties strolled inside the room wearing a thousand dollar suit. His hair was dark and it brought out the fantastic blue of his eyes, which reflected an evil hatred, an unredeemable anger that swallowed the whole of his being.
"Who are you?" Buffy asked, pausing to rest in her relentless struggle.
"Lindsay," he said, smiling, "Representative of Wolfram & Hart, the official sponsor of your new life."
"What do you want?"
"For what?" Buffy asked calmly, or feigned calm, "I didn't do anything to you."
"Oh, but Angel did," Lindsay answered, holding up his false hand, "This is his handiwork. Like it?"
"That has nothing to do with me," Buffy said, wrenching against her chair again.
"Well, we think it does," he answered, "See, it took us an embarrassingly long time to figure out that the only way we can hurt Angel is to hurt you."
"Let me out of here," she commanded, "Where's Angel?"
"He's alive...for now," Lindsay said and then leaned in confidentially, "But I don't think that window is very healthy for him."
Buffy glared at him as she continued to struggle to get free, "Why can't I hear him anymore?"
"Let's just focus on us, shall we?"
"Kiss my ass, you bastard," Buffy sneered.
"We'll get to that, sweetie, but first let's talk about how you're going to keep Angel from becoming a big pile of dust."
Buffy took one last pull against the chair and ripped it from the floor. Slipping her handcuffs off of the legs, she turned and threw the chair with all her strength at the man standing her room. Buffy smiled at his unconscious body before kicking the door open and heading to the next room.
the very last second,
Faith was crouched in the woods, hiding from pretty much everyone at this point. She held her head in her hands and lowered to a crouch, she rocked back and forth trying to get her mind back to where it should be. Hysterics took over the aloof veneer she had spent so many years building up. It had started to splinter when she broke down with Angel, but the flood gates opened tonight in the woods and every semblance of sanity she had left was fragmenting over the forest floor.
She wanted to be good. Not just good, but redeemed. She tried, so hard and couldn't control it. She knew Wolfram & Hart had drugged her, but some place inside the lost, she lost more until there was nothing but hiccuping silence.
Footsteps crunched to her, snapping twigs and pressing grass. She waited, holding her breath and burrowing her head in her lap, as if she were an ostrich on the beach. She was yanked to her feet and looked directly into the bruised face of the guard she had beaten so brutally to escape the hotel.
"No," she whimpered, struggling weakly, as if she weren't the Slayer but a child in the supermarket.
"We're not done with you yet," he grunted in a low, gravely voice.
"Just kill me," she cried in defeat.
"It's never gonna be that easy, babe," he answered as he dragged her away.
doesn't have to use force
Lindsay McDonald woke up to the sound of laughter and didn't need to lift his head to see her shapely legs standing in front of him to know it was that bitch. He pushed himself up with a loud groan and stood slowly, clutching the quickly rising bump on his head.
"Thought you said it would take longer for them to get out of those chairs," Lilah said, still giggling and not attempting to hide it.
"Shut up, Lilah," Lindsay groaned as he started toward the door.
"Well it worked anyway," she said, following him out. Every dignified click of her heels on the tiled floor was like another dig into Lindsay's headache and he felt like knocking her on her pompous ass.
course it worked," he said, without looking back at her.
i'm never sure if it's still you.
"Anya," Xander said, shaking her roughly, "Are you crazy? Did they drug you too?"
"No," she said, wiping the tears of laughter from her face, "Don't you see? It doesn't matter anymore. Both Slayers are crazy and the only person strong enough to even kinda take them on is crazy too. Willow was our only hope after that and she's nutty too. What difference does it make if I'm cracking up? We're doomed."
"We're not doomed," Cordelia yelled, standing in a rage, "How could you just give up? We've been through much worse than this before. Get a hold of yourself!"
"Cordelia's correct," Giles said, nodding, "There's a way out of this. We just have to work through this methodically until we are able to resolve it."
"Quite right, Mr. Giles," Wesley said, straightening up again from the poor posture he had begun to sink into, "Tara, do you know how we can return Willow to her right mind?"
"I-I think I can figure it out," Tara said, "It should be a simple reversal of whatever's in her system."
"If it's that fucking easy," Riley said, rising to his feet, "Then why couldn't we have done that for Buffy?"
"I-it's n-n-not the s-s-ame thing," Tara stuttered, tears building in her eyes.
"How the hell do you know that?" Riley demanded. Giles cleared his throat roughly and glared at Riley, causing the soldier's eyes to soften slightly.
"Because," Tara said, holding up a syringe, "I saw Faith poison her and I took the needle. Now I have a sample."
"Oh," Riley said, sitting down again, before mumbling, "Sorry."
it makes my baby seem so far. i need you here with me
When Angel and Buffy finally escaped the building, both bleeding profusely from their wrists and lower arms which still sported the handcuffs. Holding hands, or rather clutching each other desperately, they sprinted away. The only sounds heard was the pounding of their feet against the ground, the clanging of their dangling handcuffs, Buffy's heavy breathing and Angel's constant growl.
They were beyond speech, the drugs and fear of death - not of themselves but for their mate - taking over their systems completely, they moved with simultaneous instinct through the night. The silent click that hit Angel, sounded in Buffy as well. Deep inside the potions intermixed with fear, lust, love and primitive compulsion, they were rendered powerless to the most harmful force - themselves. Each step away from the complex where they had been held was a step backwards, a degeneration. They wound into each other until "We" became the plural of "I." They were one soul in two separate bodies. When they entered the woods, the moon lavished her demands, forcing them to submit to her bidding and they turned up their heads and answered her.
clench like claws against your own skin
Humanity was held at an arm's length as Buffy & Angel moved swiftly through the newly darkened woods. Stripping away the leather and cloth binds that held their bodies from becoming one, they moved deeper, creating a trail of society behind them. They worshiped their freedom, as if their memories could hold the realization of what they now had.
The forest floor sprang to life with night sounds and melted into them, curving around each other's minds in a single force. Blending with nature and overcoming it, they felt as if they controlled the air around them. The trees swayed in a jubilant dance of true naturalistic becoming and they danced with them. Over the crickets song and the fresh beat of wind through the grass, twisted the sound of intertwining mates finally claiming what was theirs.
when you speak to her,
When Willow finally opened her brilliant eyes, Tara breathed a long sigh of relief that her lover was back. The strength that Tara had been holding onto for the hours it took to make things right, leaked through her eyes as she took her girlfriend into her arms.
"I was so afraid," she whispered, momentarily forgetting that there were others in the room.
"I'm sorry," Willow responded, clutching Tara tightly to her, "I saw the needle but it was too late and then, it was really strange...I forgot it happened."
"That's okay," Tara answered.
"Willow," Giles said, after clearing his throat deliberately, "I understand that you've been through an incident, but the matter of Buffy and Angel is really rather urgent."
"Course," Willow said, "On it...I think, I think there might have been several layers to the spell that I didn't see at first. That's what I was looking into before I...wigged or whatever. Anyway, there may be a way to reverse what I did and reset the spell."
"Alrighty," Xander said, nodding, "But how do we find Buffy & Angel?"
"Good question," Giles said with a sigh, "I suppose we should perform another sweep. Perhaps we overlooked them before?"
The group gathered weapons with half the speed of their earlier search and with a fraction of the hope. Buffy & Angel weren't merely overlooked before. They all knew it and the truth forced a grim prospect on what they might find this time around. Multiple sets of feet hauled themselves to the door, with an extended amount of coercion and forced cheerfulness as Willow settled in with Tara by her side to find the antidote to the antidote.
Faith was trawled into the complex where Buffy and Angel had been held and she stood before Lindsay and Lilah, who both looked smugly pleased with themselves.
"Please," Faith said, pulling her arm away from the guard, "I did what I was supposed to do. Why can't you leave me alone?"
"Faith," Lilah answered, "You didn't think we were going to let you go until we were sure that all this worked, did you? We can't have you out there warning your friends...can we call them friends?...we can't have them warned about the things you've done."
"You know too much," Lindsay added, "which makes you a liability that the Firm really can't afford to have right now."
"They would never trust me now anyway," she said, in a last ditch attempt to convince them, even though the tone of her voice and the listless look in her eyes told them she had already given up.
"We really can't take that chance, now can we?"
know of an ancient radiation
The group couldn't have found Buffy & Angel more quickly if they had found a phone and had the presence of mind to call them and inform them of their specific coordinates. Angel was roaring chest heaving, blood curdling howls as he carried Buffy's lifeless body through the woods. After too much time of having no sleep, no food and numerous vampires partaking of her blood, her body simply gave out. Slayer strength kept her tiny feet moving beside her mate until late into the night, but she grew slower, while Angel, still empowered from his small taste of her blood, found himself circling her.
When Buffy collapsed, when she stopped moving altogether, Angel gathered her form in his arms and continued toward the smell of blood, toward the lighted Sunnydale streets. His consciousness was so far decayed that he couldn't form the linear thought patterns needed to take her to get the help she needed, so instead he howled, creating a beacon in the night that led the Scoobies straight to his anguished cries.
Riley was the first to hear the sound, having split off from everyone else, and ran full speed toward what sounded like absolute anguish. He shot Angel three times with the dart gun before the vampire set Buffy gently on the ground and allowed himself rest. Xander came running up and helped to drag the two torn warriors back to his flat.
i didn't know if i would live or die
Faith allowed herself to be tugged toward a containment room, where she would be held until they saw fit to let her go or kill her. As she walked, or was pulled, actually, toward the room, she passed the rooms where Buffy and Angel had been held. Doors ajar, there was nothing keeping her from seeing the mangled chairs that had been wrenched from the floor and the trails of blood that led to each other. Janitors were cleaning up debris and washing up blood from several different places in the complex, diligently erasing the signs of struggle.
"What the hell happened here?" Faith asked as they wo-manhandled her toward the door of her future home.
"The other Slayer and the vampire," the gravely voice answered.
"What did they do?" she asked, jerking her head back to see the wreckage behind her.
"They escaped from their holding cells," said Gravely, "and when guards attempted to stop them, three men were killed."
"B-by the vampire?" Faith asked, turning to look directly at the guard for the first time.
"By both of them," he said, swallowing loudly, "Like they could read each other's minds or somethin'. They ripped one man completely in half."
As they neared the room, Faith thought about those chairs, those bolts, bent and laying on broken tile. Saying that they underestimated them would be an underestimation of what those idiots had done when they tried to capture Buffy & Angel. You can't bottle the power of a vampire or a Slayer and harness it to work your will. You can't turn goodness into evil without chaos leaking through the cracks. At the very second they reached the door and the guard prepared to push her inside it, Faith remembered that she was a Slayer. She remembered for the first time in years what it really meant to be a Slayer and the sheer power she had at her disposal.
And then she used it.
Riley dropped Angel on the floor just inside the door and ran to the couch, where Xander gently laid Buffy's body. Giles hurried over and the two men checked her vital signs, finding her heartbeat strong and her breathing shallow, but even.
"We should take her to the hospital," Xander said, watching the commotion from the end of the couch, "Okay...clothes for naked people, then hospital."
"We can't," Giles said, shaking his head, "the physicians there wouldn't know what to do with this drug they've been given. We can't risk another drug being added to the mix and creating a side effect that we don't know how to handle."
"We don't know how to handle this anyway," Riley said, standing up from the kneeling position he had taken by Buffy's side.
"Xander," Giles said, as he draped blankets over the lovers, "Please locate some clothing for these two and Willow..."
"Okay," Willow answered, standing from her chemistry project, "I created an antidote for the previous antidote, but this will just reverse the effects of the drug that I gave them, not what Faith gave them...I think."
"This is fucking great," Riley snapped, stepping back from Buffy so that Willow could give her the injection.
"I told you all we were going to die, that none of this would work, but no one listens to me," Anya added and then stopped speaking to resume her new pastime of cowering a corner.
Xander slid down the wall next to her, basking along with her in her cloud of gloom. Buffy looked horribly pale and didn't seem close to opening her pretty hazel eyes. The tension was stretching the walls in the room and as much as they all wanted to think positively, no one knew what was going to happen next. Angel hadn't stirred yet, but when he did, there was no guarantee that he was going to have a soul. Even if he did, the primal escalation could nudge him toward ripping throats out all over the room. Especially if Buffy was not awake to stop it. Yep, the cloud of gloom section of the room was working well for Xander. So he leaned back against Giles' eggshell walls and pulled Anya close to his side.
Willow injected Buffy & Angel quickly and backed away, nearly running back to her books to decipher the original drug. Cursing under her breath, she wished she could just turn back time and make it all go away. If there was just a way for everything to just undo what had been done, then maybe...
"A reversal spell," Willow said, pushing aside the large stack of papers she had been scribbling on. Casting a look toward Tara, they dove into spell books for an easier solution to the complications. A new light of hope filled Willow's heart as she began searching for a different way out of the convoluted mess they were in. She had been so knee deep in chemistry that her eyes were clouded and she was about to start doodling over her formulas.
it's such a simple machine
Faith felt the click of relief, a click on the opposite direction that Buffy & Angel had taken. Just as they had taken a different direction they normally took, so did she. She moved toward the light that she had so long avoided. Using every bit of Slayer force she could muster, she fought herself out of the building.
Lilah & Lindsay watched with disbelief as she broke away and headed back toward the only family she had ever known - family that would never trust her and would never love her. Two guards were knocked aside as they came back in the door from spying on the renegade pair of lovers.
"Tell me some good news," Lilah demanded of them as she picked up a knocked over chair and sat in it.
"The Slayer's friends found them and have taken them back to the Watcher's house."
"Jesus fucking Christ, Lilah!" Lindsay yelled, "I told you we should have taken them back to LA where we would be harder to find."
"The plan was full proof until you showed up," Lilah yelled back, "I knew I shouldn't have let you in the rooms with them. You were supposed to agitate them, not upset them so much they escalated too quickly!"
"Right, blame it on me," he yelled back.
"Shut up, Lindsay," she said, "We don't even know if the little witch will figure out how to reverse the drugs."
"She's a goddamn genius," he said, walking out of the room, "She'll figure it out and I'm not going to be here with you when the partners find out about this."
"Yeah, run away," Lilah yelled at his back, "A month ago you were wagging your tail like a puppy to be part of this project. My project!"
"You can have it!"
there. you're never there.
Buffy opened her eyes and gagged on the water that Riley was trying to nurse between her dry lips. Coughing and sputtering, she sat up on the couch and looked around, disorientated. Angel, who was now draped with chains, sat against the wall, eyeing the room through angry, narrowed eyes. A low growl rumbled through his chest as if he needed it to breathe.
Buffy sat up quickly and dropped her knees on the floor as dizziness took over her small frame. Crawling, she moved toward Angel and tugged at his chains with obvious confusion. From the moment she touched him, Angel ceased all sound and looked over his mate. Reaching blindly, he wiggled against the chains until he could touch a small piece of her skin. Buffy continued to weakly pull at the chains and after several moments, she lowered her head to his lap and nuzzled herself back to sleep. Riley looked on, as Angel threaded his fingers into her tangled golden hair. Holding a glass of water lightly in his hand, Riley breathed dejection.
It took Willow and Tara several long hours to come up with a reversal spell and during that time, Giles and Riley took turns trying to feed Buffy and force her to drink water, but they could barely force any nourishment into her body. Every time one of them tried to touch her, Angel sounded warnings in the form of snarls and growls, causing them to flinch. The rest of the group ran errands, helping as much as they could but in the end, the biggest job was to wait. And the waiting was becoming more complicated.
Finally, the spell began to take shape and the witches forced the group back into the kitchen while they performed the ritual. Everyone grabbed a section of kitchen counter, clutching the Formica as if promises could be squeezed from it.
i start to regret it,
Buffy woke with a groan and found herself back in Giles apartment on Angel's lap. She looked around the room and nearly burst into tears as the memories of the nights before sprang to mind, "Oh my God."
"Buffy, are you okay?" Xander immediately said.
"I...I don't know," she said, turning to Angel, whose eyes were open and awake, "Angel?"
He met her eyes but didn't speak, fidgeting against his chains.
"Angel?" Buffy asked again, touching his face, "Say something."
"Buffy," he said, after a long pause, as if her name was a sentence.
"I need a key to this lock," she said, holding up the padlock that held the chains closed around him.
"No way," Riley said, "You're not letting him out of those chains. He is not okay."
"Giles," Buffy said, standing and turning away from the man who still was her boyfriend, "I need the key, okay? Angel will not hurt anyone."
"Buffy," Giles said, clearing his throat, "I'm not entirely certain-"
"Someone give me the damn key!" she shouted, her voice cracking to betray her weakness. Riley walked over and held both her shoulders, which caused Angel to erupt into the first sound he had made since awakening, which was a very low growl of warning.
"Yeah," Riley said sarcastically, dropping his hands, "He's fine."
Spotting keys on Riley's belt, she snatched them up and flipped through them, ignoring his protests. She knelt beside Angel and unlocked the padlock. Quickly, she unraveled the links from his body and helped him to stand.
"Will," Buffy said, "Angel's not better. I'm really grateful for what you've already done, but could you..."
"Sure," Willow said, nodding a slow, exhausted assent, "I'll look into it."
"Thank you," she said, turning toward the door.
"Where are you going?" Riley demanded.
"Taking Angel home."
"My home," she answered before stumbling out into the night.
am thinking of you,
Riley watched silently as Buffy walked with Angel into the night. Starlight flooded around them, creating pools of jealousy in their footsteps.
"Buffy," he said, jogging up to them, "I'm sorry, but I can't leave you alone with him. Not only is he a very unstable demon but you're weak."
"Riley, I know you're having a hard time with what's happened the last couple of days and believe me, I understand. I'm having a hard time with it too, but I have to take care of Angel right now. We'll talk later, okay?"
"This isn't about us. Okay, it is about us, but all that aside - he's dangerous. Let's rethink how we're going to deal with this," he said as he stepped closer. He ached to reach out and touch her but Angel's golden eyes were watching him closely, waiting for him to make a move toward his mate.
Buffy sighed with frustration. If she remembered nothing from the events of the days and night past, she remembered how she felt. Being reduced to everything primal, leaving humanity and duty aside, there was no escaping her true feelings. Riley disappeared, easily ignored and Angel became her whole world. He always had been her whole world. She had wanted to wait until Angel was better before she broke things off with Riley, but she could see now that this talk couldn't be pushed aside.
"Riley," she said quietly, "I know things have been...um...look, Angel was right. I do belong to him. We may have been outside of logical thought but those base feelings were...are real."
"No," Riley said, shaking his head, "You've had a rough time and I was pushing. Just take some time to think about this."
"I don't need to," she said, as her eyes filled with tears, "I've been dying without him - long before this happened. He's my other half. He is what I've been missing in my life. He left because he wanted me to be in the light but I can't be and I don't want to be if I have to be without him. I love him...I don't love you. I'm sorry."
"Buffy, we have something here. Please don't throw that away."
"I'm sorry," Buffy said, squeezing Angel's side for reinforcements she dearly wished he could give. Giving Riley one last saddened look, she began to move forward again. Riley lashed out, grabbing her arm and pulling her away from her undead mate.
"Riley, no!" Buffy screamed, but it was too late. Angel attacked. Releasing a roar with his lunge, he slammed his body against Riley's pinning him into the ground below.
The single word, "MINE" that came from Angel's mouth was barely recognizable as a word in any language as he tore violently into the boy's insipid throat. Tearing the human flesh away, Angel fed on his mate's attacker, his enemy.
well, the way you treat me, like only, slightly brings me down, a lot
Faith watched from the trees as Riley approached Buffy and Angel in the courtyard outside Giles' flat. She paused, holding on the balls of her feet, as a sprinter in a race. She waited for the lunge that would surely come and when Riley touched Buffy, Faith was already dashing across the yard.
She flinched as the roar of outrage flowed out of Angel and she dove as the sickening sound of the tearing of his flesh filled her ears. Buffy grappled her way to her feet to pull Angel away but Faith beat her there, pulling Angel away from Riley's defenseless throat and tossing the vampire against her sister Slayer's body. Angel tumbled over Buffy and pushed away from the ground, bouncing back to his feet to finish what he started.
His angry face met with Faith's fist and soon had another Slayer yanking him back from his much deserved prey. Buffy swung him around and knocked him back to the ground. As he began to stand again, Buffy dropped on top of him and pushed his shoulders roughly back, keeping him there. He paused at his attacker, looking at his mate with obvious confusion. As Riley's blood began to slip through his veins, nourishing his body, realization dawned on his face.
Faith tore away the bottom of her shirt and tied it quickly around Riley's neck before lifting him and slinging him easily over her narrow shoulder. With a quick glance at Buffy, she headed toward Giles' car, yelling for him to come out with the keys. As Giles' started his car and hurried toward Sunnydale Hospital with Buffy's dying boyfriend, she sat perched on Angel's chest, staring into the tearful eyes of her soul mate.
i won't be soothed
Angel was confused, angry, primal. His mate had stopped him from killing the man who dared touch her and forced into him long moments of remorse, which his digressed mind did not understand. Sorrow and regret had poured from her so forcefully that he found his eyes creating tears of sadness. Not for the maimed human but for her.
She walked him home and when they entered the house, he was struck with her smell in every crevice and corner. The whole house hummed with her, forced its way into his nostrils. She led him up the stairway into her bedroom and that room was even more offensive in its attack. He shed his clothes, removing the offensive material, returning to his natural form. He heard his mate suck in her breath as the sight of his body and smelled her immediate arousal. Her glance was a caress over his hard, throbbing cock and he moved toward her to sheath inside her waiting, wet heat.
She stepped back, rejecting his advances and he looked over her with confusion. Had the man's one touch hurt her in some way? He moved closer her, inspecting her bruised body for a wound he did not already know of, but she stepped away again, shaking her head and explaining in simple human terms why it was wrong to make love at a time like this. But even as she physically stepped away, he could smell the honey inside her pussy, begging for him and her eyes raked his body, sending shivers of want down his spine.
"Mate," he growled stepping closer again, every muscle tensed and hard in his frustration of her rejection. He pulled her roughly into his arms and took her lips roughly against his, while he tore away the clothing that covered her golden flesh.
"Angel," she said and he recognized his name, loving the way her tongue moved in her mouth when she pronounced it. His name this time was not an invitation but meant to be a stop to his needs, which he ignored as he reached between her legs to feel the slick heat there. He growled as he pulled one of her strong legs up to his waist and entered her. He watched her face as he lowered her to the floor, moving inside her with strong, hard thrusts. She closed her eyes and melted against him, spreading for him, arching against him as he claimed her.
Tears began streaming from her eyes as he moved inside her and soon her small frame was racked with uncontrollable sobs. He leaned in and rubbed his face against her tears, wiping them away and nuzzling her. He pushed his hands under her back and pulled her close against his chest, as he made love to her, lost in confusion of her emotion and simultaneous desire.
my intentions are good and earnest, and true
"Okay, Xander," Willow said sleepily, "Please take this to the hospital and give it to Faith. It should reverse the effects of what they gave her."
"I don't want to be anywhere near the psycho bitch," Xander said in protest, gaining a bright smile from Anya, who was pleased that Xander no longer desired the other woman he had made love to.
"Xander," Willow said, trying on her best "determined" face, despite her exhaustion.
"Fine," he muttered and headed toward the door, closely followed by Anya, who was not about to leave her man alone with that Slayer.
Willow wilted, settling into the couch for a second of rest while her mind rapidly hopped over the possible solutions for Angel's condition.
"Will," Tara said gently, curling up next to her girlfriend on the couch, "I think you should sleep and then maybe you'll think of how to help Angel."
"He's dangerous," Willow said with drooping eyes, "I want to help him."
"Perhaps Tara is right," Wesley said, strolling in with a cup of tea, knowing that at this point the caffeine only worked as long as it was going in, "You should rest. You've done well so far but your mind needs a rest as well as your body."
"I know I need some sleep," Cordelia said grumpily, waking briefly from her sleep in Giles' chair.
"It's just...I don't know what's wrong," Willow said, as her eyes began to tear up, "I don't...I don't know how to help him. Buffy needs me and I'm failing her. I don't think I can fix this."
"You're not failing, Willow," Tara said, pulling her against her tightly.
"This isn't your sole responsibility," Wesley added, "No one expects you to have all the answers."
Willow nodded through her tears as she fell into a sound sleep, unable to keep her mind working for one more second. With a sigh of relief, Tara rested her head against Willow's and went immediately to sleep as well.
oh, baby, i was bound, to let you go
"Giles," Faith said, as she rubbed her arm from the injection that Xander had just administered in an especially squimish way, as if he wasn't sure if he was afraid to touch her or that she would hit him after he gave her the shot. She just nodded her thanks and turned to the man who used to be her Watcher, "You have to believe me when I tell you that this wasn't my fault. They drugged me and -"
"Faith," Giles said, interrupting, "I expect that we will have a long way to go before you are able to regain my trust."
"I know," she said, nodding sadly.
"In order to do that, you will allow yourself to be taken to England where you will report to the Watcher's Council for punishment and rehabilitation."
"You mean...you mean I don't have to go back to jail?" She asked, with eyes lighting up with hopefulness.
"I suspect they will imprison you themselves," he said, "But officially, no. I don't think they will send you back to jail here. Especially since the local authorities seem to think you are deceased."
"Yeah," she said, settling into a plastic chair, "That's the best thing that has happened to me in a long time."
"You may disagree once you are in England," he said, looking over at her sadly. He knew the Watcher's Council was harsh and at times very unnecessarily hard on people who have made mistakes. In Faith's case, there would probably be a large amount of discipline involved, which was likely to be exceptionally unpleasant.
"Excuse me," a doctor said, approaching in a blue scrubs, "Are you the family of Riley Finn?"
"We're friends," Giles said, holding out his hand to shake the doctor's, "I'm Ruppert Giles. His family lives in the Midwest, so we are here in their stead."
"Dr. Wilkins," he said, taking Giles' hand.
"How is he?"
"We were able to stabilize him and believe that he will recover, but he has extensive damage to his throat and numerous other contusions over his body. I understand he was attacked?"
"Wild dogs," Xander answered, "Last night."
"I see," the doctor said, nodding with a furrowed brow, "Mr. Finn is currently heavily sedated and will not regain consciousness for several hours. If you like, you can go home and return later in the evening when the anesthetic has worn off."
"Course," Giles said, shaking the doctor's hand again, "Thank you very much, Doctor."
but how can you say you'll be happy
Buffy was wrapped in Angel's arms on the floor next to her bed in a deep coma-like sleep that a hurricane couldn't have woken her from. She finally released all of her pain, sorrow and pent up frustration in Angel and now slept fitfully in his arms.
"Buffy?" Joyce called up the stairs as she entered the house. She carried her bags up the stairs and dropped them in her room before calling out again and heading to Buffy's room. It was fairly early in the morning, so she figured her daughter would still be asleep. What she didn't count on was seeing her daughter, naked and bruised, lying on the floor, curled against the very large, very nude body of her ex-vampire lover.
"Oh my God," she said, stumbling back and causing Angel to open his eyes. He looked up at Joyce curiously and it didn't occur to him to move to cover himself or his mate. He simply stared at her while she stared back. Joyce hurried away, slamming the door behind her. Buffy murmured in her sleep and sought out Angel, pulling him against her again without waking.
want a girl with the right allocations
"Breathing!" Willow said, blinking herself awake and causing the room to rouse from it's sleep as her word beat its way into numerous eardrums.
"Huh?" Cordelia said, jerking awake, "What are you yelling about?"
"Breathing," Willow said, pulling gently away from Tara and rising to her feet.
"Oookay," Cordy answered, as Wesley and Tara looked on, "Got that part. Now what are you talking about?"
"The spell," Willow said, flipping through the spell book, "The reversal spell said...'return what was to the first breath.'"
"Angel doesn't breath!" Willow said brightly, "That's why it didn't work. We allotted the spell for three days and he didn't breath in the last three days so how could he return to that state?"
"Ah," Wesley said nodding, "Is there another spell or way to alter this one?"
"Probably," she said, absently lowering to the chair and digging into the spell. Tara smiled brightly and sleepily and looked over at Wesley who was smiling and then to Cordy who had fallen back asleep.
you've entered the room with great caution
When Buffy woke up late in the afternoon, it didn't take her long to realize that her mother was home and an even shorter time to realize that she had seen the two of them. She moved away from Angel, leaving him sleeping on the floor and pulled a robe around her.
Joyce was in the kitchen, cleaning furiously, as if the shine in the counters could somehow erase the memory of what she had seen.
"Mom?" Buffy asked timidly as she made her way into the kitchen. Joyce jumped with a start and looked up at her daughter.
"Buffy," Joyce said, setting down her sponge and stripping off her yellow plastic gloves, "What is going on?"
"I can explain."
"I certainly hope so," she said, shuddering at the memory of the broken bathroom door and the vision of the lovers on the floor, "Actually, I'm not sure I want to hear this but I want him to leave."
"It's not that simple Mom," Buffy said, "Something happened while you were gone."
"We were drugged and...a lot happened, but listen, Angel needs me right now."
"And I see he's had you," Joyce said, crossing her arms across her chest in disapproval and disgust, "I'm sorry. Are you okay, honey? You look horrible."
"Mom, I'm fine," Buffy said, stepping closer to the island which stood between her and her mother.
"Your neck," Joyce said, practically running around the island to inspect her daughter's bitten, broken skin, "Angel, did this to you!"
"No, Mom," Buffy said, shaking her head, "I was attacked after I was drugged. Angel didn't hurt me."
Well it was mostly true anyway, Angel didn't hurt her. He did bite her, but some things were better left unsaid. She took a deep breath and continued, "He's not going to lose his soul."
"How do you know that? How can you be sure?"
"Because it would have...happened already," Buffy said, feeling as if the words were large cotton balls in her mouth, soaking up all the moisture there.
"I don't want to hear this," Joyce said, turning away and walking several steps across the room.
"I'm sorry Mom," Buffy said, leaning against the counter, "I know you want me to be with someone who can give me children and a different future than Angel can, but I'm The Slayer. I can't have that anyway."
"Buffy," Joyce said sternly turning back around, "You cannot do this to yourself. I won't let you. You can't live your life with a vampire! It's horrible and unnatural and...disgusting."
"I love him," Buffy whispered hoarsely through thick tears that lodged in her throat. She watched her mother shudder at her words and continued, "God, I wish I didn't. I know you wish I didn't. You know how much easier my life would be if I didn't love him? If I didn't miss him every minute of every day? But I do. I love him with everything that's in me. I can't live without him. Even you can't tell me you haven't noticed how much I've changed since he left me...how much I've died."
"Please reconsider," Joyce said, trying to choose her words carefully, "He can't give you anything that a normal woman should have. He can't even go in the sunlight!"
"I know. I know that."
"You'll be wasting your life," Joyce whispered in despair.
"No," Buffy said, shaking her head adamantly, "I've been wasting my life...until now."
sitting there thinking your thoughts
It didn't seem like a week had passed but it had. Faith had been shipped off to London, where the Watcher's Council was preparing the battery of tests and abuses they planned to afflict on the Slayer. Willow had successfully performed the spell on Angel and after three days of heart wrenching conversations, which rivaled the sewer talk that they had before Prom, Angel gathered Wesley and Cordelia and headed back to LA to think - and brood.
Buffy gathered her wits and went to Sunnydale Hospital to face her boyfriend, who had been taken out of Intensive Care, but was still under close observation. She walked slowly to his room, thinking and rethinking the speech she had prepared, but when she walked through the door, she lost all memory of what she had planned to say.
Her hand flew to her mouth as she looked on his body, attached to tubes and monitors. Angel had caused irreparable damage to his throat and Giles told her that the doctors thought for a moment that he would lose his ability to speak. If she had anything to thank The Powers That Be for, it was the life of Riley. If he had died, she would never have been able to get over the guilt she would have had to carry with her. She was already carrying tremendous guilt and she had no doubt that Angel carried it doubly all those miles away as well.
"Riley," she said, as she walked in the room. He turned to her, looking her over with pained, morphine intensive eyes.
"Buffy," he muffled, inspecting her neck, which had almost completely healed, but still had large yellow and purple bruises.
"How are you?" she asked.
"Yeah, I guess so," she said, beginning to fidget nervously.
"So you're here to make sure we're broken up," he asked.
"I wanted to see how you were...if you were okay."
"I'll live," he answered, "With a huge scar, but I'll live."
"I'm sorry," she said, truthfully, "I never meant for any of this to happen."
"Riley, I-" she started, but he raised his hand weakly to cut her off.
"Buffy, please don't," he said quietly, "Just go."
"Please," he begged, "If you ever cared about me, you won't say the words. I know you're going back to him. I understand. I just...I can't hear you say it. Just give me that, okay?
"Okay," she said, nodding as the tears fell over her face. She leaned in and kissed his forehead and he closed his eyes as she made contact, knowing that was the last he would have of her lips, being that close to her skin, almost holding her. She looked briefly in his eyes before turning and heading back out of the door and into the hallway, where headed toward the exit. As she walked, she cried for the pain she had caused him, for not being able to love him. Even though she wasn't sure if Angel was going to come back, she knew that she could no longer live that lie with Riley.
your enemies enraged
Angel had been back in LA for a week and he couldn't wait to get back out again. He had a rage inside him that had not gone away with Willow's spell and he waited for his peace of mind - or the closest thing to peace of mind he could have - but it never came. Finally, he left Cordelia's apartment in search of the vengeance he knew was his.
He waited for night's safe cloak to come on and then moved swiftly through her door as the sun nestled under the horizon. He went directly to Wolfram & Hart and strolled through the front door, as if he were a welcome guest. The vampire alarms went off, but he made it safely into the elevator and into Lindsay's office before anyone was able to even get near him.
"Lindsay," he growled as he walked in and shut the door, locking it behind him.
"I didn't touch her," the lawyer said, using his desk as a shield, as if he actually thought it would keep the vampire from getting to him.
"Not directly," Angel growled, "But you did drug her, chained her to a chair, drove her insane."
"We digressed her. We didn't drive her insane," Lindsay corrected.
"Oh," Angel said nodding in brutal sarcasm, "I guess I'll go then, cause that's completely different!"
"Listen," Lindsay said, holding up his plastic hand.
"No, you listen," Angel said, leaping over the desk and slamming the terrified lawyer against the floor length glass window which overlooked the city, as the guards began to beat on the door, "Torturing me and my friends are one thing, but hurting my mate -"
"Angel," Lindsay choked, over the sound of guards breaking down the resilient oak door, "If you kill me you won't get out of this building alive."
"You think I'm worried about that?" Angel growled, slamming his head against the window and smiling at the trickle of blood that smeared on the spotless glass.
"She's fine," Lindsay said, struggling and groaning in pain, "We didn't hurt her."
"If she wasn't fine, you and your pathetic bitch would already be dead," Angel said as the guards busted through the door and circled with their stakes. Angel spun around, showing his game face to the new audience, holding Lindsay by the neck in front of his heart.
"Back the fuck off or he dies."
The guards did not move but stood there, waiting for Lindsay's orders. Angel waited too and finding no change, he squeezed, crushing the fragile spinal neck bones and causing Lindsay to scream for the guards to back off. They moved back outside of the room and waited there. Angel walked toward the door with the lawyer ahead of him and used him as a shield. He dragged Lindsay into the elevator with him and tried to overcome the urge to feed off him and drop his lifeless body on the expensive carpeted elevator floor. When the doors opened to the lobby, Lindsay, regretfully, still lived and an entourage of guards waited for them there.
Angel escorted Lindsay to the front doors and stopped before exiting the building. He grabbed his plastic hand and crushed it to emphasize his point as he spoke, "Touch Buffy again and you die. Speak to her and you die. If something happens to her, I'll come back here and murder every person in this building, do you understand me? You won't be crying over your hand. You won't need it. Got me?"
Lindsay nodded slowly. Angel picked him up and tossed him into the cadre of guards as he fled the building, wishing he had killed just that one little human but knowing that he couldn't. Not even Lindsay, who technically, should not count as human.
me go," she said"let me go," she said
"I don't think he's coming back," Buffy said, sitting against the large elm in the center of the quad with Willow.
"You don't know that," Willow said, taking a sip of her Mocha, sipping the plastic lid enthusiastically.
"It's been a month."
"There's a lot to think about."
"Yeah, I guess. But it took me ten minutes to make a decision. What's taking him so damn long?" Buffy asked her friend, after several long, slurping moments, "You're sure he won't lose his soul again?"
The witch shook her head emphatically, "Tara and I have bee researching it on and off since he left. It's understandable that he didn't lose it before when you guys...you know...cause you were all drugged and stuff, but it still seemed kinda strange."
"So, we looked into it and the curse's clause was singular."
"It wasn't meant to be repeated," Willow answered thoughtfully, "Once he lost his soul the first time, it wasn't meant to be returned to him. When Jenny deciphered the spell again, it had to be altered in order to work a second time."
"And she took out the soul clause?" Buffy asked, leaning forward, drinking her friend's words.
"Kay, now I'm confused."
"Well," Willow said, looking up at the cloudless blue sky while she thought of how to explain it, "She altered it so that the soul could be returned. It didn't take out the soul clause but kinda reversed it."
"So, he can't lose his soul again?"
"Well, he could technically, I guess" Willow answered with a smile, "but to lose his soul, he would have to suffer the deepest anguish possible."
"So if I make him sad, he'll lose his soul?" Buffy asked, scrunching her face in confusion.
"Well, basically it means that he has to lose his soul to lose his soul."
"The deepest anguish is losing his soul, so..."
"There's no way it can happen!"
"Not really," Willow said, falling back as Buffy dove against her friend and hugging her hard against her, causing both Mochas to fly onto the ground. Plastic lids flew off and the thick sugar filled liquid sank into the ground as Buffy embraced her friend so hard, Willow protested in pain.
been waiting for so long
"So...you're not going back?" Cordy asked, settling on her couch with a cup of tea.
"I really don't want to talk about this," Angel said, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Well," she said, shooting him a sparkling smile, "Since you've been raining in my apartment for a month, I think I have the right to ask. So...you're not going back?"
"Do you really think I have a choice?" he asked, giving her his grimmest expression.
"There's always a choice," she said, "And you're driving me nuts. I think I'm gonna have to kick you out."
"Cordy, please, don't start this," he said, as a knock sounded on the door. Angel froze, staring at the entrance. He knew who was on the other side of that door. A small piece of his soul sang, a small part cried out and a giant piece wanted to beg Cordelia not to answer that door.
"Are you going to get the door?" she asked innocently and he shot her an angry look as he realize she knew all along that Buffy was on her way. He looked briefly toward the window in annoyance as he realized he was trapped for hours inside that apartment and if Buffy wanted to torture him, a lot of effort would not be required.
"I'll get it," she said, standing, "I have some errands to run anyway. Try not to break anything."
Cordy opened the door and smiled at The Slayer and then leaned in to whisper, "You owe me and if you guys fight and break anything, you're paying for it."
"Whatever," Buffy said, rolling her eyes and then took on sincere gratitude, "Thanks Cordy."
"Whatever," Cordy echoed much too casually as she strolled into the afternoon sunshine, flipping her hair over her shoulder with triumph as she headed out.
"Buffy," Angel said as she walked in the room. She approached him quickly and he backed up just as rapidly. She caught up and pushed him down onto the couch, swinging a leg over his and settling into his lap.
"Buffy," Angel repeated as he began to push her away.
"No," she said, grabbing his hands and forcing them behind his head, "I came here to claim what's mine."
"Look - " he started, but she interrupted quickly, "Angel, I'm going to say this fast, so pay attention. I love you. I miss you. I don't care what your excuses are. I don't care about the future. I care about us. Willow found out that there's no longer a happiness clause in the curse, so the danger is gone. I've thought about this. I'm a big girl and I can decide for myself what I want to do with my life, so shut up and make love to me or I'll beat your ass until you change your mind."
Angel started at her in shock as she spoke, all the time, pressing harder against his growing arousal. She let go of his hands when she finished speaking and stared back at him, accosting him with love.
"You're evil," he growled as he pressed up against her denim clad heat. Her lips turned into a slow, sweet, marmalade smile and he bit in, hooking his life on her words.
"God, I love you," he swore as he pulled her top off, watching her breasts bounce free and her hair flutter over her shoulders against her skin. Her fingers flew over the buttons of his shirt as he lapped at her breasts, tickling her flesh with his whipping tongue. She pulled his shirt off and then stood, quickly shimming out of her tight jeans, socks and shoes, as he stood and followed suit. She swept her eyes over his naked body and breathed a long, shaky breath before pushing him roughly back onto the couch and mounting his prone form.
"Anxious, love?" he whispered with a smile as she guided his cock into her, clenching her inner muscles around him and replacing his words with a ragged moan.
"We've wasted too much time," she said, as she moved against him, pressing her hands against his broad chest, bracing her movements. He placed a large hand on her narrow hip and another between her thighs, rubbing her clit in time with her movements. She threw her head back and arched her back as she moved against him, bucking against the feel of his hard cock, his nimble fingers. He reached up and pinched her nipples and shivered with pleasure as she responded. He moved under her, burying himself deeper inside her with each stroke, needing to fill her completely, to touch every place inside her.
Buffy climaxed quickly and bent to suck his tongue into her mouth and bite at his lips as she shook in pleasure. She moved again, loving the feel of him, the perfect fit of him inside her. Her nipples skimmed over his chest as she rode her lover and together they came, their carnal moans causing phantom Dennis to blush.
Buffy collapsed against his chest shivering and panting. Angel swiftly flipped them with vampiric speed and began kissing along her body, touching his lips on every piece of delectable flesh.
"Anxious, love?" she mocked, repeating his own words as he moved over her body. He settled between her thighs, laving her clit with slow laps of his tongue. He paused and looked up at her with a twinkle in his eyes and growled, "Just claiming what's mine."
are transfixed. they are forgetting just to breath