Title: Shattered

Author: Annie (Cutie34856@yahoo.com)

Summary: This is a response to Elizabeth's challenge to make Buffy loose her memory and only remember up to when she sent Angel to Hell. It's her idea that I couldn't resist, so it's not my original idea.

Spoilers: Rumors for "The Yoko Factor" and "Sanctuary", most of the 4th and 1st seasons of Buffy and Angel, most B/A history, general spoilers.

Author's Notes: Okay, this story has been going all through my mind ever since the challenge was posted and what I can do with it. The odd parts are from Buffy's POV, and the even parts are from Angel's. So it kinda goes back and forth.

+ Part One +

I feel so empty. Like a part of me has died. I think it has.

Remembering the events of the past few days, I can see where everything went wrong.

Giles told me that Faith was in LA, trying to kill Angel. So I went to help him. Instead, I found them in each other's arms.

Angel told me she wanted to change. She wanted to be a good person. That he wanted to try and save her soul. I told him she was playing with his mind. He asked me why I didn't want to let her change.

What came after was the first mistake I made. "Because she slept with my boyfriend," was what I told him.

"Well, then your boyfriend must not be very faithful to you," Angel had said back. Obviously Faith had forgotten to mention that she stole my body.

"She stole my body Angel. Riley would never sleep with anyone but me." That was it. I had told him that I was having sex with Riley, and I had also told him what he already knew. That Riley was my new boyfriend. That I had moved on. That was the first mistake.

My second one was just me talking about how loving and great Riley was the whole time I was there. I wanted to hit him where it would hurt. I did. It got to the point where he would flinch at Riley's name. I was so wrapped up in myself that while I was there, I failed to notice that he was alone.

I wanted my revenge on Angel, and I got it by telling him about Riley. And I wanted my revenge on Faith too. I never got a chance. We ended up having to fight some demons, and she saved my life. She could've let me die, but she saved me.

That threw me. I wasn't prepared for her to actually do something good. I went to LA having the idea that she would always be evil in my mind. And she beheaded the demon that was about to stab me with my own weapon.

So like the Buffy I usually am, I took my wounded pride and hostilely said good-bye to Faith and Angel. I'm glad I never played sports, because I am a really sore loser.

I didn't think I'd ever see Angel again. I saw the disappointment in his eyes at the person I had become. I regretted telling him all those things about Riley, because I saw the pain of that reflected in his eyes as well.

How much of the pain behind his eyes is because of me?

With the knowledge that I would never see Angel again etched in my mind, I returned to Sunnydale. He showed up less than a day later. He told me Cordelia had had a vision about me being in trouble. Is he always going to come running to me, no matter how much I hurt him, when he knows I'm in trouble?

I know he will. And the scary thing was, I was wondering if I would do the same, and my mind was saying no. I was over Angel. That was it.

My third mistake was sending Spike to go look for Adam with Angel. When I went to go look for them, I found Angel beating Riley up, and Spike watching on the side with a grin on his face.

I didn't think, I just acted. I kicked Angel away from my boyfriend, and I started punching him.

I saw confusion in his face right before I hit it, and then I noticed he wasn't defending himself, so I stopped.

Spike approached us and said, "Slayer, I tried to stop him, but once he found out that was Riley, he just wouldn't stop."

I noticed that Angel had glared at Spike with murder in his eyes, right before he had turned to me.

"Buffy-" he started, but I stopped his voice with my hand. "Don't say anything yet," I had said angrily.

I went over to Riley to see how he was. Angel had done a pretty good job on him. I turned to Spike. "Take him to get help." Spike had nodded and left with Riley.

Then I turned back to Angel. "What the hell were you doing you ass hole!" I had yelled.

"Buffy, please, I didn't-" Angel never got to finish his sentence because I kicked the side of his face. I could hear his neck pop, but I didn't care. I grabbed Angel by the collar of his shirt and threw him across the crypt we were in towards the door. He just let me beat him up. He never laid a finger on me.

We were out on the sidewalk now, and I finally stopped hitting him. And now comes the moment in my life I will always regret the most. I looked down at his crumpled form, bloody on the ground. I pulled him up to face me. I had wanted to see the pain in his eyes when I said what was coming.

"If you ever come back here again, I'll stake you myself. I think you're the worst mistake I've ever made."

And I will never forget the look he gave me at that moment. I have only seen Angel cry twice before, once that night on the docks, and once right after he came back from Hell, and he was so lost and confused. A single tear trickled down his face, and I could see that his heart had just broken. But his eyes were the worst. They looked like all point of living had gone out of them.

Angel didn't even bother to wipe the tear off his face. He just turned around and walked away. He didn't say anything.

That was five minutes ago, and I'm still standing on the sidewalk, staring at the spot where his figure had disappeared.

I have never hated myself more. And I feel dead inside. I'm still standing in the same spot, and more time has passed, but I'm not sure how much.

Suddenly I hear footsteps behind me. I whirled around to face Spike. "Is Riley okay?" I asked him.

Spike nodded. "So, peaches is gone?" he asked. I nodded. "He won't be coming back."

Spike chuckled and I was curious. "What is it Spike?" I asked. "Nothing, I was just thinking that you probably gave him the beating of a lifetime, right?" I nodded. "And told him off?" I nodded again. Spike just chuckled.

"What?" I asked, getting impatient. "Okay...you're gonna love this....you're going to think this is.... really funny," Spike said between laughter.

"Just spit it out," I said. "Okay, when me and Angel came up to Riley, I told Angel he was Adam. That's why peaches was beating him up. Great, huh?"

I felt all the color drain out of my face. "Oh God, what have I done!" I yelled. I started running in the direction that Angel had gone off in.

A thousand emotions are running through me. I want to kill Spike, I want to go see how Riley is, I want to find Angel, and want to tell him I was just mad, and I want to kill myself for breaking his heart.

As I keep running, my mind is screaming to me "Why are you running after him? Isn't it better this way? He can get over you!" And suddenly I stop.

I know why I'm running.

I still love him.

That hits me like ten thousand tons, and I'm trying to make my body move again, because I'll never catch him if I don't.

I love him.

Then I start seeing things in my mind, like Angel killing himself over the grief of what I've done. That got my body moving again.

I finally see him, ahead of me, on the other side of the street.

"Angel! Wait, I didn't mean what I said, please stop!" I called, running to get equal distance with him. He stops and we're facing each other, on different sides of street.

He doesn't say anything, he just looks at me with those sad eyes. "Angel, I know that you thought Riley was Adam." I take a step out into the street. "And I know that I have been the biggest bitch in the world." I take another step. "And I know that you can't forgive me for what I've done to you these past few days." I take another step towards him. "And I want you to know that I'm sorry." Another step. "And I also want you to know..." I'm in the middle of the street. I know that what I'm about to say is true.

I never loved Riley. Not like I loved Angel. And as I'm looking at Angel now, I can only see the two of us. I forget everything else, the fact that I have a boyfriend, the fact that some people don't approve of me and Angel. All I can see is him and me.

Just as I'm about to tell him I love him, he looks over and his eyes widen. He turns to me and starts running towards me.

I look over and see bright lights heading straight for me.

I hear Angel scream my name as a terrible pain shoots through me.

But I can't really feel it. The only pain I know is the pain of knowing Angel never got to hear what I truly feel in my heart....

...and then I know only the darkness.

+ Part Two +

I've lived two hundred and forty-four years on this Earth. I have witnessed all the major wars and historical events, because I've lived through them.

I've seen terrible pain caused, I've even caused some myself, and I've had my share of pain as well. But nothing compares to the pain I felt with 20 little words uttered to me.

"If you ever come back here again, I'll stake you myself. I think you're the worst mistake I've ever made."

I've killed people. I've suffered for that guilt. I've caused imaginable pain. I've even been to Hell. You think that something like that, like words, wouldn't cut deeper than anything else, but it does.

When you hear it from the one person you love more than anything else, you can imagine.

I knew that Buffy had moved on. She made that quite clear when she came to LA to put Faith in her place. I just never thought she would really get over me. God knows, I'm not over her.

When she told me that she would stake me if I ever came back, I could handle that. I knew she was talking out of defense because I beat up Riley. But when she called me the worst mistake she'd ever made, that's what hurt.

Because I think she's the best thing I've ever done.

And I don't mean it that way. Sure, making love to Buffy was the best I've ever had, but that was because I loved her. Most people think that if I just have sex, I'll lose my soul, but that's not it. Buffy and I were connected in the most loving, intimate way that night. And I loved her so much, that I felt no pain in that moment, only the pure bliss.

Buffy was my true happiness, and I really thought I was hers too. Even after that night, when I turned back into Angelus, she still loved me. She loved me enough to send me to Hell, she loved me enough to take me in when I returned, and she loved me enough not to hate me when I left.

I guess it's true, you really can stop loving a person. Buffy has only one flaw when it comes to our relationship. She thinks she endures all the pain. I'm not asking for sympathy, I choose to let her think she's the tortured one. It'll make her stronger in the long run.

I've never brooded in a hospital waiting room chair. It's uncomfortable.

I'm still trying to figure out how it all happened. I was just...her words...I wasn't prepared to handle anything. I was still trying to register that she hated me into my mind when she came after me, telling me how sorry she was.

I was really confused. Did she hate me or love me? And I'm trying my hardest not to think that I'll never know the answer to that.

As soon as that car hit Buffy, and I saw her fly 20 feet away from me, and I heard her head hit the pavement with that awful crack, I thought she was dead. And something inside me died.

I don't remember the man who hit her calling for an ambulance, I don't remember the ride to the hospital. I only remember thinking she was gone.

After I got over the shock, I called Giles. Along with him, Xander, Willow, Willow's friend, Anya, and Spike showed up.

Riley was already here. He saw Buffy being brought in. I want to hate him, but I know he makes Buffy happy, and that's what I want for her. I took in his appearance. He was pretty banged up. I felt bad. Just another thing to add to my guilty conscience.

Riley keeps giving me icy glares. I told everyone the story, that Buffy walked into the middle of the road, and I couldn't get to her in time. Spike told Riley that he had tricked me. Riley didn't care. To him, it's my fault Buffy got hit.

Everyone thinks it's my fault. It's always my fault. It really is. Spike seems like the only one who actually believes that it wasn't my fault Buffy walked into the middle of the road, proclaiming her apologies.

I glance at my watch. It's been an hour since she was brought here, how much longer are they going to take?

As if on cue, the doctor walks out. We all stand up. "Which one of you goes by Angel?" he asked.

I stepped forward. "She's been calling your name in her sleep. She had no damage done to any bones, so she should be fine physically."

"Physically?" Xander asked.

"Yes, but she suffered massive head trauma, and the longer it takes for her to wake up, the less chances she has that she even will."

"Put it into English," Xander snapped.

"She's slipping into a coma Xander," I said quietly. The doctor nodded. Willow paled and sat back down, with her friend holding on to her hand.

Giles and Xander looked like they were in shock, just standing there. Riley was crying.

"Who can see her?" Riley asked.

"It's very hard to calm her down when we get near her. She gets defensive. And she's been calling for you," the doctor said, indicating me.

Riley glanced over at me sharply. "So only he can see her?" he asked angrily.

"I just want to see if his presence calms her down. The more stress she's under in her mind, the harder it will be for her to wake up."

I ignored Riley's angry gaze and just followed the doctor into Buffy's room. I tried really hard not to cry when I saw her.

The whole left side of her face was so bruised I could barely recognize her. She was tossing her head back and forth and moaning.

"Angel...no...Angel!" she said, thrashing around. I hurried to her and took her hand in mine. She quieted.

I didn't notice the doctor leave. I just watched her face. Even with big, purple bruises, she's still the most beautiful person I've ever seen. Ever.

She was my greatest happiness, and I was her worst mistake.

I grip her hand tighter. If she really meant what she said, I'm going to enjoy my last moments with her like this...watching her sleep.

And as I watch her sleep, I can only think of one thing.

What was she going to tell me before she got hit?

And I pray to any listening God that it wasn't another hurtful revelation.

Because I think I would shatter otherwise.

+ Part Three +

"I think she's coming around."

"Be quiet."

"Please God, let her be okay."


The first thing I realized was the pain. My head hurt. Then the second thing I realized was that I needed to open my eyes.

I slowly opened them, and bright light filled my eyes. I blinked, trying to get used to the light.

"Oh my God! Buffy!" someone said. I looked around. Where was I?

I looked over and saw that Giles, Willow, Xander, and my mother were all there, but I didn't know the other person standing next to Giles.

Before I could sort out my confusion, a man in a white coat walked in. White coat. I was in a hospital.

"Why am I here? What's going on?" I asked, panicking. I hated hospitals. They always symbolized death. Always.

"It's all right Miss Summers. You've just awoken out of a coma."

"What? What are you talking about?" I asked, confused. "Be quiet Buffy, you'll only do further damage to your head," I could hear my mother say.

What the hell was everyone talking about?

"What is going on. It doesn't help if I don't know," I said, getting really annoyed with this doctor that was just poking and prodding me.

"You've been in a coma for the past two weeks Miss Summers. It's natural to be confused, but it's not good for your heath if you get excited," he said in his professional doctor voice.

"Do I look excited?" I asked, whacking his hands away from me. "Now someone explain what is going on?" I asked.

The man I didn't know sat down in the chair by my bed and took my hand. I pulled it away. He looked confused.

Who the hell was he?

"Who are you?" I asked.

That just made him look even more confused. "Buffy, it's me. It's Riley. Your boyfriend."

Boyfriend? I don't have a boyfriend. And how did I get back in Sunnydale? I was going to LA. I was running away....Angel....

I curled into a ball and looked at him. "I don't know any Riley's and I don't have a boyfriend. Not anymore..." I said, trying not to cry. I didn't want to be here.

I hardly noticed my friends exchanging concerned glances. "Buffy, are you saying that you don't know who Riley is?" Giles asked.

"Yeah. You know him? Could you tell me who he is, because the suspense is killing me," I said sarcastically.

The room was quiet, and I could see the confusion on everyone's faces. It was then that I noticed something different about Willow.

"Will, you cut your hair," I said. It was cute.

"What? Buffy, my hair has been like this for a while now," she said, looking like I had lost my mind.

I noticed something else. "Giles, Willow, you guys aren't hurt anymore. How long have I been gone?" I asked.

I didn't get an answer, just a confused glance from just about everyone in the room.

"Buffy," Xander said suddenly. "What's the last thing you remember?"

I turned away from them. "I think you all know the answer..." she said.

"Angel?" Willow asked, her voice unsure.

I was about to say yes when Riley said, "And a car?"

I looked at him, wishing he would leave. "No, I remember Angel and Hell," I said as the tears I had been holding escaped.

"Oh my God..." Willow whispered. "She doesn't remember."

I could hear Riley ask, "Remember what?" but Willow just hurried over to me and wrapped me in her arms, comforting me.

"I sent him to Hell Will, I sent him to Hell...I didn't know you were trying the curse again...I didn't know..."

Willow seemed to stiffen, but she suddenly relaxed again and kept rocking me. As I started to fall asleep, I could hear bits of a conversation.

"She doesn't remember..."

"...anything past the summer she sent Angel to Hell."

I can tell it's dark now. Opening my eyes is easy. No one is in my room, and that's good, because I can feel myself crying again.

I sent Angel to Hell, to experience ultimate tortures, because he loved me. Because he trusted me enough...because he loved me enough...because we lost ourselves in a blind moment of passion and he lost his soul....because I was selfish.

I'm sitting up and hugging my knees, and I've never felt so alone. Angel must hate me so much. I couldn't even look at him as he was sucked away in that vortex.

I didn't want to see the hatred in his eyes. The hurt, betrayal, and hatred. He had trusted me. I killed him.

I can't stop the tears from coming anymore. I've tried to be strong, and it doesn't work. I miss Angel so much...

I can hear the door open and I look up. It was a nurse. "Is everything okay?" she asked.

"No," I whisper.

"Do you need a doctor?" she asked.

"No," I said, starting to cry again. I don't want to cry anymore. I just want to forget. Forget about Angel, forget that I loved him, forget that he hates me, forget he's being tortured beyond comprehension, forget everything.

But I can't.

"Can it be helped?" she asked.

"No," I said, wiping my eyes. It can never be helped. I'm shattered and I don't think I can ever pick up the pieces.

+ Part Four +

This is too hard.

I can't do it anymore. I can't just sit here every night while Buffy lies there because of me.

She's always lying there because of me.

Why don't I just leave? When she wakes up she'll probably tell me to go to Hell. Maybe not, because been there, done that.

The phone rings and I hope it's good news about Buffy.

"Hello?" I answer.

"Angel? It's Giles. Buffy woke up this afternoon."

Thank God. "Is she ok?" I asked.


"I'll be right there," I said.

"But Angel, there's something-" I hung up the phone before Giles could finish what he was saying.

Whatever it was, it could wait. Buffy was more important.

Even if she didn't want to see me, I had to make things right with her. Even it was for the last time.

As I hurried to the hospital, I wondered why he hadn't called me the minute she had woken up. I could've come in the sewers.

Probably because Riley and Buffy wanted to be alone. I paused, wondering if I should even continue.

Buffy has Riley now. She doesn't need me. She made that very clear, more than once.

But she did apologize. Besides, even if she doesn't want to see me, I need to see her. Even if it's just to say good-bye.

I reach the hospital and take a shaky breath. I really hope I can do this.

I walk into the waiting room, and I can hear Xander and Willow arguing.

"I can't believe you didn't tell her! That whole mess could've been avoided if you had pushed aside your little high-school crush and thought about what was better for Buffy!"

"I was thinking about what was better for Buffy. She didn't need Angel! She didn't then, and she doesn't now! Look at how much happier she is with Riley!"

"You tell me one time Xander Harris, one time when you've seen that pure joy in Buffy's eyes when she's with Riley. That's something she only has with Angel, and if you had told her we were re-cursing him, she could've stalled instead of sending him to Hell!"

"You don't think I don't feel bad Willow? Every time I see Buffy heartbroken and all messed up inside because of Angel, you don't think I feel bad? Because maybe all that heartbreak could've been avoided if Buffy had never sent Angel to Hell!"

"That still doesn't make it right Xander. And the fact that you lied about makes it worse. And the fact that you still hated Angel when he came back..."

"Why do you think I hated him Will? It was a defense. I felt bad! I still feel bad! You don't think I haven't noticed that Buffy isn't nearly as happy with Riley as she was with Angel?"

"Well, since that incident is still fresh in Buffy's mind, why don't you go tell her," Willow said.

"I can't Willow. Do you know how much she'll hate me?" Xander asked.

"Then why did you do it? Knowing you'd feel bad, and Buffy would be hurt by your betrayal. Why did you do it?"

The room was quiet and I decided to walk in.

"How is she?" I asked, causing Willow and Xander to jump at the sound of another voice.

"She's fine, under the circumstances," Willow said.

Circumstances? "What circumstances?"

"Giles didn't tell you?" Willow asked softly.

Tell me what? What was going on? "What? How's Buffy?" I asked, panicking.

"She's...well...she lost part of her memory," Xander said.

"Part?" I asked. What did he mean?

"She doesn't remember the past two years. The last thing she remembers was sending you to Hell," Willow said.

What? That's the last thing she remembers? She doesn't know who Riley is? We could...we could have a second chance?

I can feel Xander and Willow watching me as I'm trying to digest this information. "That's why you two were fighting?" I asked. Xander's face lost the remaining color it had had before.

"You heard?" he asked.

"Vampire hearing is...strong," I said. "Can I see her?" I asked, changing the subject.

"I don't know if she's strong enough to handle the emotions that will over come her when she sees you," Willow said.

"No, Angel is just what Buffy needs," Giles said, entering the waiting room with food for everyone.

"Room 216 Angel," Giles told me. I nodded and headed to the elevator. Buffy didn't remember the past two years?

She doesn't remember me coming back from Hell? Everything that happened that year. Faith, the Mayor, Graduation, me leaving...

She doesn't remember the pain we both went through because of that decision. She doesn't remember moving on, sleeping with that guy who used her, falling in love with Riley...she doesn't remember any of it.

This is our second chance. I can feel a smile reaching across my face. This can be our second chance. Things can be different.

I can make up for all the mistakes I've made. I can learn to accept that Buffy loves me, regardless of who I am. I can make love to her now that my soul is permanently bound to me, courtesy of the powers.

We can have our second chance. We can be together now. We can-

"Please Buffy, you have to remember." I stop right outside Buffy's room. I look in and see that she is asleep and Riley is holding her hand.

"Buffy, I'm so in love with you, it makes my head spin and my stomach churn, and it makes my thoughts muddled, and my actions are just...I can't help the way I am when I'm with you. You unlock this great person inside of me, and I can't lose you now. You have to remember who you are. You're not 17. You're not in High School anymore. Angel isn't in Hell. And you're with me, not in love with him," Riley said, whispering the last part.

I back away from the door. I can't. I can't take her away. It's wrong. She loves him, and she's over me. I can't take advantage of the way she is now.

I can feel the tears streaming down my face as I slide slowly down the wall to the floor. I can't try and make her be with me when she doesn't even remember who she is anymore.

I can't change what's happened in the past, I can't make her change the way she feels about me. I can't stop her from hating me, and if I went back to her now, she'd hate me even more.

Because I don't think I can control myself if she tells me she loves me. Even if it's not really the person she is now saying it.

I stand up and start to walk back down the hall. I can walk away. She'll be better for it.

She'll be better for it.

My face is soaked with my tears. Buffy's the only one who's ever had the power to make me cry. Buffy...

I just have to keep walking.

I'm almost there.

Only a few more steps, and I can walk out the door and leave.

Just keep going. Buffy doesn't need me. She doesn't love me. I can't go to her. We wouldn't be able to stop ourselves.

I'm almost there.

My tears are blurring my vision. I have to do this. It's better this way.

My hand hits the door and I push it. It swings open.

Don't look back. Just keep going. Walk away. Just walk away.

I can't control myself. I stop and I look back, and I can see her door. I can almost see her name on the clip board that's in the plastic holder.

It's better this way. It's better that I'm walking away.

That I'm walking away forever.

That I'll never come back, that Buffy will never see me again.

Buffy doesn't need me. She doesn't love me. I need to move on. She has.

I turn back around and walk out the door.

And as my heart breaks, and the tears keep falling, I tell myself only one thing.

It's better this way.

"Angel!" someone calls after me. It's Willow. I keep walking.

"You can't leave now! Not now, not when she needs you the most!"

I keep going. It's better this way.

"Angel, if you loved her at all, you wouldn't walk away! Not again!"

She has Riley. It's better this way.


I turn a corner and I can't hear her shouts anymore. She doesn't understand.

It's better this way.

+ Part Five +

I've come to a conclusion.

I'm either dreaming or I've gone insane. I'm hoping for the first one, but I'm betting it's the second one.

I mean, why would I dream up some farm hick named Riley was supposedly my boyfriend. Why would I ever be with someone other than Angel.

Willow came in my room a couple of hours ago and told me what's wrong with me. Well, what she thinks is wrong with me.

She told me I have amnesia. That I don't remember the past two years. That it's really the spring of 2000, not the summer of 1998. She told me some other stuff too.

She said I ran away the summer that Angel went to Hell. She said that I came back and eventually got over Angel. She said I blew up the high school at Graduation to stop the Mayor from ascending. Whatever that means.

Then she said that me and her decided to go to UC Sunnydale, and I met Riley there, and that we're in love. I don't buy that. She also said some stuff about some place called the Initiative, but I didn't care about that.

When I asked her if Angel ever came back from Hell, she didn't look at me and she didn't give me an answer. She said she had to leave, and that's what she did.

That either means two things. He's still suffering because of me, or he came back and hates me so much he left for good.

Willow also told me that Xander is dating a vengeance demon named Anya, and he's in love with her. Good for him, he needs someone to love. Then Willow told me that Oz left her to learn how to control his wolf, and she fell in love with a witch named Tara while he was gone. I was a little surprised about that, but I went along with it, knowing I would either wake up or I was imagining it all.

Giles is still Giles, if two years has really passed, but Willow told me he wasn't my watcher anymore, that he got fired and I quit the Watcher's Council. She also told me that Cordelia lived in LA and about another slayer that I put into a coma because she turned evil. Faith was her name. She woke up and someone in LA helped turn her around. She's in jail now. Like I care.

I'm still trying to deal with the fact that Angel is gone, and all this other stuff is dumped on me. My mom has been the least helpful, telling me to forget about Angel, because he was no good anyway. I thought she never wanted to see me again.

Well, I guess two years go by and I reconciled with her somewhere along the way.

If it's even been two years. Maybe I'm dead and this is my eternal Hell. But if I'm in Hell, where's Angel?

I can feel my eyelids start to droop, so I lay down on my pillow and will sleep to come to me.

I'm on a beach. The wind is flowing through my hair. The sun's warmth is hitting my face and it feels so peaceful. So very peaceful.

I can hear someone coming behind me. I know who it is. I'll always know.

Angel's arms wrap around me and I feel protected and loved. Something only he can make me feel.

"How did you find me?" I ask, vaguely aware that we're both in the sun.

"Even if I was blind, I would see you," he tells me. I close my eyes and smile.

"Stay with me," I say softly.

"I'll never leave....not even if you kill me...."

I bolt up in my hospital bed. It was just a dream. Just a dream. But Angel's words keep replaying in my mind.

"Not even if you kill me..."

I hug my knees to my chest and start to sob. I can hear the door open and I just want to be alone.

"Go away," I say.

"Is that really what you want?" the familiar voice asks. Could it...no...it wasn't.

I look up and my eyes widen. I can't believe who's standing five feet away from me.


I can't speak, I can't even think right now. All I can see is Angel. But it's not real, I know it's not real. I sent Angel to Hell.

"Buffy, it's okay. It's me, I'm here," he says, coming over to me. His voice is choked and it looks like he's been crying. Could it really be?

He wraps his arms around me and I know I'm not dreaming because I can feel it and the warmth that comes when I'm with him. I hold onto his jacket, squeezing it and I start to sob.

It's him, it's really him. He's really here. And everything's going to be okay from here. I know it will.

Because Angel's here, and that's all I'll ever need.

I breathe into his clothing and I can smell that distinct smell that's Angel. It's my favorite smell in the whole world.

"I never thought I'd see you again," I said between my sobs. "I'm here now," he says, his voice cracking.

I look up and see that he's crying. I've only seen Angel cry once, that night at the docks. I reach my hand up and wipe the tears from his face, and that just makes him cry harder.

He does the same to me, and we're looking into each other's eyes. Before I know what's happening my lips are on his, and we're kissing. It's bittersweet and tender, and our tears are mixed in with it.

We both pull away and I look at his face. There's confused, happy, sad, and guilty emotions mixed into his expression.

"Promise me you'll never leave," I whisper.

He pulls me close to him and starts stroking my hair. "I promise," he whispers.

That's all I need. That's all I'll ever need.

+ Part Six +

I have one weakness. Buffy.

As soon as I turned the corner and I couldn't see the hospital anymore, I knew I couldn't walk away. I couldn't.

Forget being noble and letting Riley win. Right now, Buffy needs me the most, and while she may hate me for going to her when she gets her memory back, she isn't the same Buffy I fell in love with.

The one in that hospital is.

That's when I turned around and went back. And that's why I find myself holding her hand as she sleeps.

When I came in earlier, she was crying. She told me to go away, not even looking to see who it was. When she finally looked up to see who was in her room, she was shocked. I would be too. I held her in my arms while we both cried, I kissed her and my heart broke at the memory of how tender and loving her kisses are, and now I'm watching her while she sleeps.

I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to take her in my arms and kiss her and love her and never let go, but the other part of me knows that she's in love with someone else, and it would be so wrong to talk advantage of her.

And it's so hard, knowing my soul is permanent now. I bring her hand to my lips and kiss it softly. The sun's almost up, but I'll be back.

I look for a piece of paper to leave her a note, when I hear the click of the door.

"What are you doing here?"

I turn around and I find myself face to face with Riley. Great.

"Same thing as you," I reply.

"I'd say you're taking advantage of her situation, getting in as much as you can before she gets her natural senses back," Riley tells me.

I fight down the urge to punch him.

"I'm not taking advantage of her. She needs me now, because she thinks she sent me to Hell, and she's still in love with me in her state of mind right now. As soon as she gets her memory back, I'll leave and you'll never see me again."

I'm such a hypocrite. Wasn't I just telling myself that I was taking advantage of Buffy? But my words actually made sense, I guess I just needed to hear them.


Me and Riley look over to see Buffy sitting up, staring at us. "You told me you'd never leave again. You promised!" she said to me, her eyes showing her pain.

"You just came back from Hell, and I'm not losing you again!" she told me, almost yelling.

I turn to Riley. "You didn't tell her?" I asked.

"Willow didn't tell her. Place blame where it's needed," Riley said to me.

I look at Buffy. I have to tell her the truth about our relationship. See if she wants me after that.

"Get out," I say to Riley, needing to tell this to Buffy alone. "You're going to tell her the truth? Good for you, I didn't know vampires were honest," Riley sneered.

I felt my face vamp out. "Get out!" I said, practically pushing him out of the room.

I turn to Buffy. "What's the truth?" she asks quietly.

I sit down in the chair by her bed. "Buffy, when you came home after the summer you left, I came back from Hell, and me and you decided to be friends. It didn't work and we got back together. Before your senior prom, I broke up with you in the sewers."

She looked like she was going to cry again. "You know about Faith, right?" I asked. She nods.

"She poisoned me, and the only cure was slayer's blood. You tried to kill Faith, but you only managed to put her in a coma, and you couldn't get her blood, so you let me drink yours. I almost killed you. We fought the mayor, and then I left to LA. It's almost been a year since I left."

She was quiet. "Why did you break up with me?" she finally asked, looking at me angrily.

"It was a lot of things. I couldn't give you walks in the park, children, a normal life, and I knew you wanted that."

"Is that where this came from?" she asked me quietly, pulling the neck of her shirt over, revealing the scar I gave her when I drank from her. I can't look her so I look down and nod.

I can feel her hands on my cheek and she lifts my face up to hers. "Then I love it, because it's a part of you that's forever with me. How can I hate that?"

I pull her into another kiss. I miss this Buffy, the one who isn't so self centered. I know that's an awful thing to say, but ever since I left, Buffy's changed, and her attitude is very self centered. I wish it wasn't.

I pull away, and her hands are still on my cheeks. "See, it's not so hard," she said softly. I chuckled, and gave her a small smile.

"Things are going to be better Angel, I promise," she tells me, placing tiny kisses on my cheeks.

"And Angel, I don't want parks or children. I just want you," she adds, pulling me into another kiss. God I love the feel of her lips. "I'll always just want you," she whispers.

And I wish with all my soul that she means that.

But she doesn't.

+ Part Seven +

I hate the saying "Patience is a virtue." It was obviously said by a very patient person who wanted to make himself feel better by saying he was virtuous.

It's a stupid saying because no one in this world is perfectly patient. Especially not me, and especially not now.

"Just a few more papers to sign Mrs. Summers, and then you can take your daughter home," the receptionist told my mother. I rolled my eyes and leaned back in the wheelchair I was in.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, my mom finished signing all my release forms. The nurse wheeled me out to our car, but I could hardly hear her words of good-bye and feel better.

I was too excited. I would see Angel. We could be together. After Angel told me about everything that's happened that I don't remember, we spent all night talking about it. It was so wonderful, just to hear his voice.

He told me that I didn't love him anymore, that I had moved on, and while he would be here for me, we couldn't be together, because when I regained my memory, I would be angry at him.

I told him I would beat up my future self if I yelled at him. He laughed. I love the sound of his laughter. To me, it's the most beautiful sound in the world.

He told me all about how much he hated leaving me, but he really thought it was for the best. Then, everything just came pouring out. How miserable he was without me, how much he hated Riley for everything Riley could give me, how much he hated the way things were between me and him before I lost my memory, and how much he still loved me.

Then I told him how much I regretted making him sleep with me. He was shocked when I told him that.

"Why do you regret it? It was the best night of my life," he told me softly.

"Because of what it did to you. It was my fault, if I hadn't pressured you into it-"

He put his hand over my mouth. "It wasn't your fault. I have never thought it was. It happened, and we couldn't control it. I never knew you felt this way Buffy," he told me.

I nodded. "I do," I said, trying to fight off the tears that were threatening to surface.

"And I didn't want to send you to Hell. I didn't want to," I said, the emotions overwhelming me. I couldn't control myself anymore and I started to cry.

He held me in his arms. And then he said something that I will never forget. Something that made me fall in love with him all over again.

"If you asked me to close my eyes again, I'd do it in a second."

He said with so much love and trust, it made me wonder how we ever drifted apart in my future.

As the nurse helped me into our car, I touch the scar on my neck lightly. I already love it. It makes me feel like there's a part of Angel engraved on me forever.

"Buffy?" Mom asked as we drove out of the hospital parking lot.

I look at her. "Me and you have to talk about Angel," she said.

"Look Mom, I know you're upset that I slept with him, even more so that he's a vampire, but I love him. And he loves me," I say. He loves me. A smile creeps up on my face at the very thought.

Mom sighs. "Buffy, you two lead two different lives. He lives in Los Angeles, and you have Riley, who's a very nice boy. Besides Buffy, you don't remember. You'll feel very different when you do. I promise. Don't cause yourself more heartache."

I turned away from my mother. I didn't want to fight with her, not again.

"Buffy? Did you hear me?" she asked as we pulled into our driveway.

"Yes," I said.

"Are you going to abide by what I've said?" she asked.

"No," I told her, getting out of the car.

I walked up the steps to my house and opened the door. I groaned inwardly when I heard the loud yell of "Surprise!"

I was tired, but I put on my best smile and said, "Thanks you guys!"

Willow came over and hugged me, and it was then that I noticed the absence of Oz. And Cordelia. I mean, I subconsciously noticed it, and Willow might've even mentioned it, but things with Angel we're taking up a lot of my time. What happened to them?

"Where are Oz and Cordelia?" I asked. Then a thought struck me. "Are they dead?" I questioned, fearing the answer.

"No Buffy, Cordelia lives in LA and works for Angel. And I broke up with Oz," Willow said. Then I looked around the room to see who was there.

Willow, Xander, was it...yeah, Anya, Giles, Willow's friend...Tara, I think, and Riley. No Angel.

"You guys didn't invite Angel?" I asked. "We all thought it would be better if he didn't come," Mom said as she walked in.

"Not all of us," I heard Willow mutter.

I looked over at Riley, hating him even more by the second. "I'm not going to sit by you," I said.

I wasn't listening to Riley's story about his farming days back in "good 'ol Iowa". I was thinking about the night I sent Angel to Hell.

And something was bothering me. How did he get his soul back? I know the powers that screw up Buffy's life didn't do it. They wouldn't make me kill Angel with his soul. He's a warrior for them. No, Willow had to have tried the curse again.

But why didn't I know about it? Why didn't anyone tell me?

"Did you try to re-curse Angel from hospital Willow?" I blurted out, right in the middle of Riley's story.

The table went quiet. They all know what I'm talking about.

Willow looks at Xander and then she turns to me. "Yes, Buffy, I did."

"Then why didn't you guys tell me? I could've stalled. He wouldn't have gone to Hell." I say. I know my face looks pained to them.

"Buffy, this doesn't matter, it was a long time ago," Mom says. "Riley, please continue your story. Just ignore Buffy. She was a little rough around the edges when she was seventeen."

"It does matter Mother. Why didn't anyone tell me?" I ask, standing up. I can feel the tension in the room. There's something I don't know. That my future self doesn't know either.

I notice that Xander is looking anywhere but at me.

"Xander?" I asked questioningly.

"Buffy, this is silly. Just calm down and-"

"What is it!" I demand, cutting my mother off.

Xander finally looks up at me, and his eyes are filled with regret and fear.

"When I caught up with you that morning, and I told you Willow said to kick Angel's ass? Well, I was supposed to tell you we were re-cursing him. And I didn't, because I didn't want you two to be together."

I feel like I've been hit in the stomach. I can't form a complete thought. Xander? One of my best friends? I can feel myself taking deep breaths.

"What?" I manage to get out. I know my expression is making him feel bad enough, I can tell, but at this point, I don't care. I'm scared, and confused, and now this?

"Is there anything else?" I ask bitterly. "Did one of you try to kill Angel and then make him promise not to tell when you failed? Or hey, maybe someone persuaded him to leave me, for my own good! And that's why we broke up!"

Mom looked away. Oh God...

"You didn't," I say, knowing she had. She had done something.

"Right before your graduation, I went to Angel and told him a lot of things. How you had tough choices coming up, and if you couldn't make them than he would have to. That it was better for you two to be apart. I think it's why he broke up with you. Buffy, I'm sorry, I thought I was doing it for your own good."

"Yeah Buff, I did at the time too," Xander said.

"I don't believe this. You destroy the one thing that matters to me, and act like it's just something I'll forget, that I'll just forgive? For people who have my best interests at heart, you don't know what's best for me at all."

"Buffy, it was two years ago."

I look at my mother. "It wasn't for me. It's still fresh in my mind every second. And to think two years *have* gone by, and I still don't know the whole truth. Now I know why Angel thinks I hate him as my future self. I probably do, thinking it was just him who decided to leave me. Just him who hurt me. God, how do you sleep at night?" I asked, looking at my mother and Xander.

"This is unfair Buffy," Mom says.

"No, you wanna know what's unfair? All the pain Angel and I have had to go through just to make you all satisfied."

"Buffy, you have Riley now. Angel doesn't matter anymore," Xander said. Willow glared at him.

I turn to Riley. He looks confused and a little hurt. I don't care. I don't know him, and I don't want to.

"I just want you to know one thing," I say to Riley. He looks at me, and I give him my iciest glare.

"Go to Hell."

I turned around and started to leave the house. "Buffy!" Willow called after me.

I looked back. "He's staying at the mansion on Crawford Street."

I gave my best friend, the one I could always count on, a smile.

Then I turned and walked out of my house with no regrets.

Because this time it really was for good.

I knock on the large doors of the Mansion. I can hear Angel's muffled "Hold on!" and I smile.

He opens the door and frowns. Why is he frowning? Then I remember that I have tear stains on my face.

"Can I come in?" I asked. He nodded and I went inside. I turned and clung to him. He returned the embrace. "Why were you crying?" he asked, stroking my hair.

"Xander never told me Willow was trying the curse. And my mother made you go away," I said.

"Your mother told you about that?" he asked. I just kept crying.

"I'm so sorry. I love you so much. You know that, right?" he asks me, and I pull away and look into his eyes. He's crying too.

"I know," I whisper.

Soon, we're kissing and that's all I can feel. The only thing I can think is how can you love someone so much and not burst? How can you do the most awful of things to a person and have them do it back, and still want to be with them so much it aches when you're not?

I don't know how we ended up there, and I don't think he does either, but as I feel my body being laid on something soft, I know we're on his bed.

"Angel...the curse..." I whisper.

"Is permanent," he says. I think he might've already told me, I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter.

We're kissing with a fierce intensity, and I never want to stop.

"Angel, let's do it right this time," I whisper.

"It couldn't have been more right the first time," he tells me softly.

"Okay then," I say with a small smile. "Let's do it right again."

And again, the only thing I can feel are his kisses and caresses. And as we're making love, I can't help but think that this is perfect happiness.

And that's something you don't find every day.

+ Part Eight +

This truly must be what heaven is like.

Buffy is laying beside me, curled up in my arms, and I would stay like this forever if I could.

Buffy starts to stir, and I look down at her as she opens her eyes. "You're here," she says. "It's real."

I smile at her and nod before giving her a gentle kiss on her lips.

"Angel," she says as we lie there together. I look at her, waiting for the rest of her sentence.

"How bad does my hair look?" she asks me. I can't help but laugh at her. She's so innocently cute in the morning.

"It looks perfect Buffy. In fact, I think it's too perfect."

I take some of her hair and flip it over to the other side of her head. "There, much better," I say with a laugh.

She smiles at me. "You've changed."

"You laugh more. You smile more. You act more goofy," she says as she puts her hair back into place.

"I like it."

"Me too," I tell her. Soon, her lips are on mine. God, I love kissing her. She starts chuckling into our kiss and then pulls away.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

She lays down on the bed and grins up and me seductively. "Oh Angel, we're all alone in this big bed. Whatever are we going to do?" she says with a false pitiful voice.

I grinned and pretended to think about it. "I have no idea..." I trailed off.

I was still pretending to think about it when she shot up and pulled me down on top of her.

"If you really don't know," she said seductively. "Let me show you."

As her lips trail all over my face, my neck, my chest, my lips...Wesley's words keep playing in my mind.

"Do you realize how rare true happiness is?"

Yeah, I do.

"Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?" I asked her.

"Yeah, this is something I need to do alone. I need to get things straightened out with everyone. You'll be here when I'm done, right?"

"Yes," I told her.

"And you're coming on patrol with me tonight, right?"

"Of course."

"Okay. Bye," she said as she gave me a gentle kiss. "I love you," she said as she walked out the door.

"I love you too," I said right before the door closed.

I walked into the kitchen and got out some blood. I poured it into a cup and sat down.

This was all so confusing to me. I love Buffy and I love being with her. And this Buffy, she's the one I really fell in love with. The Buffy I know now has changed so much. I guess I have too. Even the Buffy from the past noticed it.

The Buffy that should be here now is so different. She takes slaying differently now. Like it's a curse. Like she doesn't care about it as much anymore. All she cares about is Riley. She's even drifted away from her friends. I thought that was something that would never happen.

The Buffy from the past would never let that happen. I thought leaving Buffy would be better for her and everyone else, that she could still be the same Buffy, just with someone else. I didn't want her to become disconnected with everything around her. I didn't want her to change. She did, though.

I don't think she wanted me to change either. It was perfectly clear that she didn't like the person I had become when she came to LA. The problem is, I do. I enjoy life more now that I'm more open with people, I'm more easy going. I don't brood as much. I feel more alive now.

I think that's the problem with me and the Buffy from now. We don't like what each other has become. But this Buffy from the past, she loves me no matter what I'm like. She even loved me when I was Angelus.

Past Buffy and Now Buffy are so different, it's hard to tell that they're the same people. That what makes this so hard. I want Past Buffy to stay here, but I know Now Buffy belongs in her time, and Past Buffy belongs where she came from. The past.

I know Buffy's amnesia wont last forever. When she finally gets her memory back, she'll want to go back to Riley. She'll want her normal life back. And it'll kill me when it finally happens.

Because I don't think I can let go.

"How many demons do you think there are?" Buffy asked me as we patrolled the park.

"In Sunnydale?"

"No silly, in the world. How many different kinds, breeds, species, stuff like that. How many do you think there are?"

"I don't know. I'll have to ask Cordelia, she found this demon database on the Internet. She could probably find out."

"How is Cordelia?" Buffy asked.

"She's good. I hope she and Wesley are doing all right back in LA."


"He's a watcher. He was Faith's," I told her, not sure she knew that Giles was fired last year.

"Oh, okay," she said. A vampire jumped out at us, and she dusted it quickly.

"I hate the ones that think jumping out is going to scare people," Buffy said.

"So, how did it go today with your friends?" I asked.

"I didn't see Xander or my mother, but I met Xander's girlfriend Anya. She's funny. I talked to Giles. He told me he got fired. I told him I was sorry if I said anything to upset him last night. He said I didn't. He seems pretty okay with the whole situation right now. He said we could come over for tea," Buffy said, giving me a smile as she said the last part.

"Tea, huh?" I asked. She nodded.

"Then I went to see Willow. I met Tara. And I found out why Willow isn't dating Oz anymore. She's a lesbian. Tara is her girlfriend. Shocker, isn't it?"

"Yeah. I always thought she and Oz were perfect for each other. But I've seen Tara, and she seems nice," I told her.

"She is! I don't have a problem with Willow's decision, because Willow and Tara are completely cool. They showed me this really neat spell they can do, where a rose flies all around the room."

"Sounds like you had quite the day," I joked.

"What did you do today?" she asked me.

"Well...I slept most of the day, to tell you the truth."

Another vampire jumped out at us.

"I'm going to kill you," he said.

Buffy staked him and said, "Yeah, you did such a good job of that," she told the vampire's dust.

"I think we're done for the night," Buffy said, putting her hand back into mine.

We walked back towards the mansion in companionable silence, hand in hand.

I opened the door for her, and we stepped into the mansion.

To face Xander. And Joyce.

"Buffy, we need to talk," Joyce told Buffy.

"And Angel, I have to say something to you," Xander told me.

"If you have something to say to me, you can say it in front of Angel," Buffy said to her mother.

"You're not in your right head. Please, just let me speak to you in private," Joyce said to Buffy.

"Go on, I'll be right here," I said to her. She nodded and followed her mother out of the room.

I turned to Xander. This should be interesting.

"Look Angel, I've felt bad about the way I've treated you for a long time. Especially about how I lied to Buffy about us re-cursing you. I was in love with her, and I wanted her for myself. The thing is, ever since I stopped loving her, I realized what an ass hole I had been to you."

"I know you've met Anya, and I'm so in love with her it confuses me. And every time I see that Willow and Anya, or Buffy and Anya aren't getting along, it kills me, because I really want them to accept her. I realized that I had acted the same way towards you that Willow and Buffy do to Anya. So, I wanted to apologize for everything, and I really hope things between you and Buffy work out."

I didn't know what to say. Had this really just come from Xander's mouth.

"Thank you. I always knew there was a good person in you somewhere," I said with a grin.

"Yeah, just don't tell Joyce. She thinks I'm berating you right now."

"Oh, and you know how much I love talking to Joyce," I said sarcastically.

Xander chuckled and then stopped abruptly. He looked at me in shock. "I didn't know you we're funny!" Xander exclaimed.

"It happens," I said, amused.

"Yeah, but I hope Buffy comes to her senses and dumps Riley, because he's a dick."

I look at Xander. "I thought you two got along."

"Oh yeah. I get along with Mr. Fish. He's always complaining. 'Buffy isn't here when I want her here' or 'My soldier friends don't like me anymore' or 'I'm in pain, pity me'. And he can't even fight for himself."

"So I've noticed," I said, remembering how I had beat him up.

"Oh yeah. I thought that was pretty funny. You know, I wish I told Buffy all this stuff earlier, it feels really good to get it all out," Xander said.

Suddenly, the sounds of shouting came into the room. Buffy and Joyce.

"Wanna go watch the weather happening outside?" Xander asked, eager to get away.

"Yeah," I said as we went outside.

I went over what Xander had said in my mind. I have the support of Buffy's friends.

Our relationship has their support.

Maybe things will work out after all.

+ Part Nine +

I knew it was stupid to think Angel and I weren't going to run into anymore problems, that we were just going to be happy. I forgot that my mother still existed.

"You can't just show up here and demand that I do what you want Mom!" I said as she pulled me into another room, away from Xander and Angel.

"Buffy, I am your mother, and you are still a child," Mom told me. "No! I'm not. You tell me that I'm nineteen. That makes me able to do a lot of things I couldn't do before! Besides, you've never controlled my life. I wont let you start now!"

"I'm not going to watch you destroy your life Buffy! Angel is and always will be not good enough for you!"

"How do you know what's good enough for me mother? You've never known! You never will!" I said, my voice raising.

"Don't talk back to me Buffy!"

"I can do whatever the hell I want, and that includes being with Angel!"

We both hear the front door shut, and I know Xander and Angel have left.

"Why did you come here Mom?" I asked, my voice not as loud.

Mom was quiet for a moment. "Because you're my daughter, and I only want what's best for you," she said, her voice going from loud to soft and loving.

I shook my head. "No, you don't. If you really wanted what's best for me, you'd let me be with Angel. No, you just want what's best for you," I said with tears in my eyes.

"If you had really wanted what's best for me, you wouldn't have told Angel to leave me."

Mom sighed. "Buffy, I'm not going to say this again, it will never work between you two. Just come home with me and we'll get this whole thing sorted out."

"No," I said forcefully. "I wont go, and you know why? Because Angel and I are meant for each other! He's my soulmate!"

Mom glared at me. "How can he be your soulmate when half the time he doesn't even have a soul?"

I felt like I had been hit in the gut with a ton of bricks. How could she say that? How?

She must've seen the pain on my face. "Buffy, I'm sorry, I-" I didn't give her time to finish. I had already started running out the door.

I could hear her calling after me. I didn't care, I didn't want to care. The pain in my heart was too great. I'm still running. Tears are cascading down my face. I know that the people walking past are looking at me. I don't care.

// Buffy stands by the Santa Monica pier. She looks over when she feels that feeling. The feeling that Angel is near. She looks over and sees him walking in the shadows. Then he keeps going. Into the sunlight. Without burning. She watches in amazement as he approaches her. Then he's kissing her passionately, and she's responding, hoping with all of her heart that she's not dreaming...//

I've reached the park. I keep going. I have to get away. I have to get away...

// "So, lets just go with the mature plan. I call you, you call me?" "We keep in touch." Angel and Buffy come in contact. "I better go," Buffy says. "Right, remove the temptation." Buffy places her hand on Angel's. "We'll make this work, right?" It's too much. They both start to kiss hungrily. Angel is backed up against the wall. Buffy jumps into his arms and soon they're on the table. Kissing, touching, caressing...//

I trip and fall. I look around. I'm in the woods. How did I end up here? Where are these memories coming from?

// "And peanut butter! Preferably crunchy!" "Got it!" Angel runs back to the bed, arms loaded with food. Buffy and Angel both start eating. "God I love food." "Food is good." Buffy and Angel lay back, Angel with a carton of Cookie Dough Fudge Mint Chip Ice Cream. "I'm through with the whole needing to be mature thing. That time you just spent in the kitchen? It was enough time apart," Buffy says. "Too much," Angel tells her with a smile. They start kissing and ice cream falls on Angel's chest from his spoon. "Well, mortal coordination leaves something to be desired," he says with the chuckle. "Wrong," Buffy tells him. "It's just right." She licks the ice cream off his chest...//

I fall to the ground again. There's pain. I can feel the pain. Something's happening to me...

// "That's such a good sound. Thump, thump. Thump, thump." "It feels pretty amazing." "We'll find a way to make this work, right?" "We will." Buffy snuggles closer to Angel. "Angel, this is the first time I've ever felt this way. Like a normal girl, content in the arms of her normal boyfriend." Angel kisses the top of Buffy's head. "Sleep." "No I want to stay awake so this day can keep happening." "We'll make another one like it tomorrow..."//

Oh God. What's happening to me?" What am I seeing? No one told me about this... No one...

// "Cordelia, where's Angel?" Cordelia shrugs.... "It's your fault he went to fight that thing!" "What thing?...." Buffy gets to the factories to see the Mora Demon beating Angel to death. She jumps down and starts to fight... "The jewel, you have to smash the jewel..."Shh, you're all right now. Everything's going to be fine. We're together now, and that's all that matters..."//

The pain in my head is so great... I can't think.... I don't even know where I am... Angel...

// "I asked them to turn me back." "What? Why?"... "I'm a liability to you, you saw that. If I stay human, I'll get us both killed." ... "I'm the only one who will remember..." "How much time?" "A minute." "A minute? It's not enough time! It's not enough time!..."I'll never forget, I'll never forget, I'll never forget, I'll never forget, I'll never-" "So, we keep our distance until time has passed, and eventually we'll-" "Forget."//

I scream, but not from the pain in my head, from the pain in my heart. Angel gave up the one thing he's wanted most for me. And he's been forced to carry those memories alone.

Well, not anymore.

+ Part Ten +

I wish Xander would've been this interesting before.

We're walking over to Giles' house, and I've discovered that he can be a really great friend. I've also found out that Buffy and the rest of his friends haven't really been friends to him at all.

"I have a lot of stuff I did in the past to make up for," Xander had told Angel. "The main thing being all the crap I pulled concerning you."

"I appreciate that," I had told him.

We reached Giles' house and Xander went in. When I didn't come in he turned around to look at me questioningly. "Oh, right," he said. "Come in."

We went in and I immediately knew something was wrong. Joyce, Giles, and Riley were sitting at Giles' table with a bunch of herbs and candles and a large book. Willow was looking at them angrily, and even Tara had an expression on her face. I'm not exactly sure what it was.

"What's going on?" Xander asked. Everyone looked over at us. I guess they hadn't known we were there.

"Oh...Xander...Angel. You're...you're here," Giles said nervously.

"What did you do?" Xander asked, noticing the items on the table as well.

"They cast a spell," Willow said angrily. "They cast it before any of us got here. It was to give Buffy her memory back."

I looked over to the table and saw Riley looking at me triumphantly. His face said it all.

He'd won.

"Oh...well, that was unexpected," was all I could manage to say.

"It was no way for Buffy to live. We all agreed it was best to return her memories," Giles said.

"You three agreed! I believe the rest of us were left out of the decision. Maybe some of us like this Buffy better!" Willow said.

"It's the same Buffy," Riley said.

"No it's not," Xander said. "Buffy is so wrapped up in you that she forgets all about everything else. Slaying and the people who love her, and that's a lot more important than being with you every second of every day," Xander said to Riley.

"I don't take Buffy away from her duties as a slayer. I help her slay," Riley said angrily.

"Oh yeah, and I'm sure bringing the Initiative into it was a good idea. 'Hey, let's bring the slayer into a place where slaying isn't needed. Where guns solve everything, and the people there have the authority on everything'," Willow said sarcastically.

"We're the only ones in this area trained to kill creatures. We certainly do a better job than you people here. Buffy being the exception, of course," Riley told Willow.

I watched this fight in silence. I didn't have anything constructive to say. How could I? Buffy had her memories back. She would go back to Riley. And I'd have to leave.


The yelling stopped when the door opened. I looked over and there she was. Buffy. She had tear tracks down her face, and she looked so sad. I just wanted to take her into my arms and hold her until the sadness went away.

"Buffy! Thank God, I thought you'd never be you again," Riley said running over to her and pulling her into his arms.

"Don't touch me," Buffy said quietly.

Riley pulled away. "What?"

"I said don't touch me," Buffy repeated. Could I be hearing this right?

"But...don't you have your memory back?" Riley asked, confused.

"Not of the past two years. Only one memory," Buffy said, looking at me.

"I told you I'd never forget," she said, her voice choking.

I looked at her for a moment before what she was saying registered in my mind. She remembered. She knew.

She let out a small sob and ran to me. She jumped into my arms and her lips were on mine. I didn't care that we had an audience, all that mattered was that she knew.

She knew.

Buffy pulled away from me and started to kiss all over my face. "I love you!" she kept saying in between them.

"Okay, could someone please explain this to me?" I heard Joyce yell. We looked over to see Joyce and Riley looking very angry, Giles looking confused, and Willow, Tara, and Xander happy.

Buffy noticed the table then. She slowly fell out of my arms.

"What's that?" she asked, walking over to the table.

"You cast a spell? Without me knowing about it? What if I had been fighting a demon? I could've been killed!" Buffy said.

"Buffy, just calm down. You're here now, and we can try it again," Joyce said.

Try again? No...

"I don't want to try again. I don't want to go back to the life my present self lives."

"Buffy you say that because you don't know that life," Riley told her.

"I know this life. This is the one I like. I don't want to leave," Buffy said, her voice shaking with anger and tears.

I walked over to the table where the spell book was. The book was still open to the page with the spell they had used.

I read the words carefully. And only one phrase caught my eye.

'And the forgotten memories will be returned'

Forgotten memories. That was it. That was why the spell didn't work. They needed to change the word forgotten.

I looked over at Buffy. She looked so lost and confused. I knew that she couldn't live that way. She belonged in the past. Not here. It wasn't fair to either Buffy.

"When you cast the spell, it did work, but not the way you wanted," I said to Giles. "She remembers a day that I turned mortal and we were together. I had the day turned back because Buffy would've died if I had stayed mortal. I was the only one who would remember the day. She this passage here?" I said, showing Giles in the book.

"You need to change the word to past. 'And the past memories will be returned'," I said.

Giles looked at me for a moment. "I always knew you we're the most noble person I've ever known," he said.

I nodded to him and turned to Buffy.

"What's going on?" she asked quietly.

"Nothing Buffy. Everything's going to be okay," I told her.

"What were you talking to Giles about? What are they doing?" Buffy asked, looking over my shoulder and Giles, Joyce, and Riley preparing to do the spell again.

"Angel?" she asked. I could feel tears running down my face. She brought her hand to my cheek and wiped them away.

"Something's happening, isn't it?" she asked, tears running down her own face.

"Shhh," I said. "Buffy, do you remember when I said that I would close my eyes again for you if you asked? Because I trusted you. Well, would you close your eyes for me?" I asked.

Buffy closed her eyes. "You're not sending me to Hell, are you?" she said with a laugh. "No," I said.

I could hear them chanting. I saw Willow, Xander, and Tara looking at us sadly.

"I love you Buffy, never forget that," I told her.

"Never. I'll never forget," she said, tears falling down both of our faces as we both realized what she had just said.

"I love you Angel," Buffy said, her eyes still closed.

We kissed, our tears mingling together. Suddenly, I felt this rush of electricity run through us. I could hear the chanting getting louder and louder. We were still kissing as I saw a flash of images run through my mind.

Buffy coming back from LA. Buffy finding me in the forest. Buffy taking care of me. Spike talking to us in the magic shop. Faith and everything that happened with her. Me giving Buffy the demon's heart. Me breaking up with her in the sewer. Buffy crying about it with Willow. Us dancing at the prom. Me getting shot with Faith's arrow before her graduation, her trying to get Faith's blood and failing. Me drinking from her. Me leaving. Parker taking advantage of her. Her meeting Riley. Her first kiss with him. The first time she slept with him. Faith and Buffy switching bodies. And finally I saw us, I heard her tell me those things, I saw myself walk away, I saw her chase me and I saw her get hit by a car.

A surge of energy forced us apart. Once we weren't connected anymore, I stopped seeing her memories.

The chanting stopped and the room was silent. I opened my eyes and saw that everyone was looking at Buffy.

She looked up at Riley and smiled. "Riley!" she exclaimed before she jumped up off the ground and into her arms. They started to kiss and I felt my heart break all over again.

I stood up silently and walked away quietly. No one seemed to notice. It was better that way.

I walked quietly back to the mansion where my car was parked. I willed my mind not to think. I knew I couldn't handle it if I did.

I got into my car and drove away. I passed the sign that said "Now Leaving Sunnydale. Please Come Back Soon"

I knew I would never come back.

And I knew one more thing as the thoughts of what had happened took over my wall against them.

The words "I'll never forget" would still haunt me.

+ Part Eleven +

The kiss was so warm. So warm...warm?

I heard the click of Giles' front door shutting and the reality of what I was doing, what I had just done, came crashing down on me.

I was kissing Riley when Angel had just given the world for me.


I pulled away from Riley as quick as I could. "What's wrong with you Buffy?" he asked me. "You have your memories back. We can go back to the way it was before," Riley told me.

I shook my head. "No. We can't. Because I learned things that I never knew before, and those things change everything."

"But you just kissed me," Riley said, confused and starting to look a little scared.

"The last thing I remembered was that I loved you. It was my first instinct when I got back all those memories. I was just happy to know everything again," I told him, hoping he'd catch the word I used.

"Love, not loved right?"

He caught.

"Riley-" I started, but he cut me off.

"You lose your memory for less than a month and you're ready to forget everything we had because of some stupid vampire with a soul?" Riley asked, his voice rising.

"No Riley, I want to forget everything we had because of some stupid vampire with a soul," I said, my voice also rising.

"I can't believe this! He comes here, beats me up, makes you loose your memory, and you're suddenly head over heels for him again!" Riley exclaimed.

"It wasn't Angel's fault that I was hit by a car, and it wasn't Angel's fault that Spike lied to him. And if you'd like to know, I never stopped loving Angel!" I said.

"Buffy!" I heard someone exclaim off to the side of me. I turned around and glared at my mother.

"I meant what I said at that dinner you served. I don't want anything to do with you anymore," I told her coldly.

I turned to look at everyone in the room. I saw that Willow and Tara had already left, giving me some privacy. Good old Willow. I knew I had to make it up to her, the way I'd been acting.

"I'd like everyone to leave and give me and Riley some privacy," I told Giles, my mother, and Xander.

I watched them leave and turned back to Riley.

"Did you just say you never stopped loving a vampire?" Riley asked me.


"And you're willing to give up on us because he made you feel better when you were down?"

"No, I'm ending us because Angel's sacrificed his happiness and everything he's ever wanted for me. And I realized that it's not getting older that's changed me for the worse. It's being without Angel. I need him to complete me. The real Buffy."

Riley's head was bowed. He was looking at the ground. When he looked up, his eyes were filled with tears.

"I love you," he told me.

"I don't," I said softly. Then it hit me. When I told Angel that I wanted my life to be with him, and he had responded "I don't", he had meant that he didn't want my life to be with him, not the other way around. That thought brought a smile to my face.

"Do you take joy in my pain?" Riley asked angrily as he wiped his eyes.

"Riley, I'm sorry, I really am." I really was. "I don't know what else to say. I hope we can still be friends, though."

"Yeah, friends," Riley said as he grabbed his coat and left Giles' house, slamming the door shut.

I felt bad about hurting Riley, I really did. But I couldn't ignore what was in my heart. Not anymore.

I went outside and saw Xander sitting there.

"Hi," I said.

"Hey," he replied as I sat down next to him.

"So, about what happened before Angel went to Hell-"

"Buffy, I don't expect you to forgive me or even talk to me again. I really don't, but just know that I am so sorry. I don't think you'll ever know how much I regret that day," Xander told me.


"I know that I'm scum and that I should rot in Hell. You don't know how many times I thought that I should have to trade places with Angel."


"I feel so awful Buffy, I just-" I put my hand over his mouth. "You're forgiven. I still love you. I don't hate you. And now you know, and now I can chase the vampire I'm in love with, okay?" I said.

Xander nodded. I removed my hand from his mouth. "Go get him Buffy," he said. I smiled and we hugged.

"Here," he said, fishing in his pocket. He threw me a set of keys.

"My mom's car. She's out of town. Don't kill yourself," he said with a smile. I grinned and started to walk off.

"Xander?" I said, turning around.


"Anya...she's not half bad."

Xander gave me a tired smile. "Thank you Buffy."

I returned the smile and headed away from Giles' house.

I had to catch up with a particularly broody vampire.

To tell him I love him.

+ Part Twelve +

I wonder if Cordelia and Wesley know that I can hear them arguing in the next room.

Probably not.

"You don't understand Wesley! He just came back from Sunnydale! That means that Buffy regained her memory, probably said something that broke his heart, and now he's back and you say he's going to be fine!?" Cordelia exclaimed.

"It's not like the world is going to stand still for Angel's pain. There are still demons to hunt, vampires to kill, and right now we have to deal with a bunch of homeless vampire hunters, who could've been dealt with weeks ago if Angel had just left Buffy alone," Wesley told her.

"It's always nice to know you have compassionate feelings Wesley."

"I'm not saying I don't care that Buffy hurt Angel, because I do. I'm just saying we shouldn't make a colossal issue of it. He's over her, right?"

"Angel will never be over Buffy. He's always going to love her, no matter how much she tramples and breaks his heart. Always."

I turned away from the conversation then. Cordelia's words hit me hard. I was. I was always going to be in love with Buffy. No matter what she did. It was as if I got rid of one curse, only to discover another.

"Well, I'm going to head back to my place and get some research done," I heard Wesley say as the sounds of the door opening and closing filled the room.

I looked up as I heard Cordelia enter my office. She had her hands behind her back and looked like a little girl that was about to ask her father for something.

"Yes?" I asked, trying to keep an amused grin off my face.

"Guess what?" she asked, trying to sound innocent.

"What is it Cordelia?"

"You get to spend the day with me!" she exclaimed, throwing her arms up into the air as she said "me".

"You don't have to waste your afternoon Cordelia, I'll be fine, I really will. Why don't you go shopping? I'll even give you some money," I told her, knowing she couldn't resist free money.

"I wouldn't be wasting my afternoon Angel. You're my friend, the best one I've ever had, and some things are more important that shop-money, did you say?"

I smiled, her words touching me. I watched as she thought about it, then as her face lit up as she had an idea in her head.

"Okay," she said, taking the money I handed her. "Expect me to come back with a killer outfit and a surprise for you."

"Cordelia, you don't have to-"

"I thought we already covered this. You're not just my boss, okay?" she told me, cutting me off.

I nodded. "Okay."

"Good, now, no brooding while I'm gone."

"Because everyone knows he doesn't do enough of that," a voice said from the doorway.

I looked up and saw who the voice belonged to.


"Oh no, you can't be here. I've just started to make him feel better and I won't let you come here and tell him how much you love screwing your new boy toy, so you can just turn around and leave. Need me to show you out?"

I smiled in spite of the situation. That's Cordelia.

"Angel, we need to talk. Please?"

I really didn't think there was anything more to say. Her actions made it quite clear how she felt.

"I need to explain my actions," she told me.

"Oh, yeah, explaining the technique of sucking someone else's face is a real bridge builder," Cordelia said.

Buffy turned to her. "Do you want to have a rival of the bitches? Because I have four speeding tickets, I got lost twice on the roads, I got a flat tire and had to push the car two miles to the nearest gas station, and not one car passed me the whole time, so don't say waiting for someone was a good idea, and don't say I should've just left the car because it isn't mine and the gas station didn't have a phone. I've felt really crappy ever since I got my memory back, and I had to pay the guy at 'Lenny's Gas And Go' twenty bucks, and I owe one-hundred and forty to the state of California. So try me Cordelia, just try me."

Cordelia just smiled and said, "Well, have fun you two. Don't kill each other. And Buffy? If you hurt him, I'll kill you, even if you are the slayer." Then she turned and left the room.

Buffy turned back to face me. "Look, back at Giles' house, when I kissed Riley...I didn't mean to."

She didn't mean to. Well, that certainly makes it all better. Not.

"You didn't mean to? That's the best you can do? At least when I broke your heart, my reasons were better than that," I told her getting up and going out into the main office area.

"I broke your heart?" she asked as she followed me out.

"Well, yeah, after all that happened, you went and started ... what was it Cordelia said? Sucking face with Riley, what was I supposed to do? Smile and ask for a front row seat to the wedding?"

"I came here to apologize," she said. "The emotion of loving Riley was the last emotion I was feeling as my last memories were returning to me. It was an instinct. It took my mind a minute to register the fact that you were there and that I didn't want to kiss Riley. And when I finally did realize what I was doing, you were already gone."

She didn't want to kiss Riley?

"What are you saying here Buffy? You felt bad because you knew I was still in love with you, not that I ever stopped, and you came here to ease your guilt, right?" I asked angrily.

"No," she whispered. I could see the tears forming in her eyes. "I came here to tell you I love you. And then beg your forgiveness for everything I've done. For the way I've acted towards you since you left Sunnydale, for hurting you more than you've hurt me, for making you give up your humanity so I could live, and then break your heart when I told you I wanted to forget you afterwards, and for-" she was sobbing so hard it was getting hard to understand her. "-for blaming all the pain you caused me on you, because I know you were only trying to do what everyone, and yourself, thought was right."

"That's why I came here, Angel."

She wiped at her eyes, but tears still continued to fall. I wanted to go hold her in my arms, but I couldn't. It's what she wanted me to do, and as much as I wanted to, I couldn't. Not until I knew she was serious.

"What about Riley?" I asked, surprised that my own voice was think with emotion.

"I broke up with him. I told him I was in love with somebody else," she said, looking at me. I looked into her eyes and saw it there. She was serious. She wanted to be with me again. She really did.

A smile crept up on my face. "And who would this someone else be?" I asked.

She laughed even though her tears were still falling, and flung herself into my arms. We started kissing with a passionate fury.

"I love you. I love you so much," she kept saying, kissing me while she continued to cry.

"I love you too Buffy. I never stopped, I never will," I told her, feeling tears cascading down my own face.

We just stood there, kissing intensely, our tears mingling into the kiss. Finally we pulled away and just looked at each other lovingly.

"What now?" she asked.

"We see each other on weekends. And kill Faith so a new slayer can be called and you can live with me," I said.

She laughed and I wrapped my arms around her, pulling her as close to me as possible.

"And then, we run away to a far off land and have wild sex all day long," I whispered into her ear.

"Angel!" she exclaimed while she laughed. "When did you develop a sense of humor, and when did sex enter your vocabulary?" she asked, giving me a mock stern look.

"I'm really not sure about the first one, but the second one would definitely be Cordelia. Wesley can't even get through the word 'passion' without stuttering and blushing," I told her as we both laughed.

I started to gently kiss all around her neck, savoring the way she tasted.

"Angel..." she moaned.

"Hmm?" I answered, because it sounded like a questioning moan. And that sounded like it came straight from Xander.

"I love you, in case you didn't know," she said with a smile on her lips.

"Yeah, I know. And just so you can know back, I love you too."

Yeah, we both knew.

"I miss you already," Buffy said.

"Me too," I told her as we kissed. I didn't hear the door open and close until Cordelia's voice rang through my office.

"I knew it! I just knew it!"

Buffy and I looked over to see Cordelia with two shopping bags in her hands, standing in front of the door into my office.

"I have to go. I love you," Buffy told me as she pulled me down for another kiss.

"Always nice to see you Cordelia," Buffy said as she passed Cordelia and went out the door.

"Oh, here we go, groping and moping all over again. Anyway, before I model my outfit, I have to give you your present."

Cordelia reached into one of her bags and pulled out a box. She handed it to me.

"Open it," she instructed.

I did as she told me and pulled the item out of the box. I looked at it. It was a beautiful silver picture frame, bordered with an old Celtic design. Inside the frame was my picture of Buffy.

"Using it as a book mark would've ruined it eventually," Cordelia told me.

I looked up at her and smiled. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. I'm happy for you," she told me, surprising me when she pulled me into a hug.

The sound of someone clearing their throat at the doorway made us both pull away and look over.

"Um, Angel?" Buffy asked.

"Do you have one-hundred and forty dollars?"

+ Part Thirteen +

You think that a vampire would know that a slayer wasn't as stupid as him. The same vamp had been following me for twenty minutes. It was time to stake him.

I turned around and said, "You know, if you wanted something, you could've just asked."

The vampire came out from the shadows, in demon face, fangs bared. "You're going to die little girl. And then you can be my plaything."

"Gee, as much fun as *that* sounds, I think I'd rather just kill you instead." He growled and charged me, I took my stake and held it out. He ran right into it. "Oops," I said with a grin.

"I think my work here is done," I said as I put my stake back in my jacket and headed back to my dorm.

As I passed by the grocery store, I thought I heard something. I looked over and walked right into someone. I heard groceries fall everywhere. Great.

"I'm so sorry," I said, picking up the persons groceries. "It's no problem," the person, a woman, said. I handed the woman her jar of tomato sauce and I saw who the woman was.

"Buffy," Mom said.

"Hello," I replied curtly.

"How have you been?" she asked, trying to make pleasant conversation. We were both well aware of the fact that we hadn't spoken to each other in almost a month.

"Better than I've been in a long time," I told her, thinking of the past year with Riley and how much better I was with Angel. Inside and out.

"I'm glad. Business has been booming at the gallery lately," she told me, expecting me to care.

But the fact still remained, she lied to me, told Angel to leave me, and then tried to pry us apart when I had lost my memory. If she'd just kept her big mouth shut in the first place, Angel might not have even left me at all.

"I'm happy that your job is going good Mom, but I really have to go," I said, walking past her, leaving the rest of her groceries scattered along the sidewalk.

"Buffy!" she called after me. The desperate tone in her voice made me turn around.

"I'm trying to make things better with you. I'm sorry for the things I did, I really am. I've apologized, and now you have to forgive me before we can take the next step up," she said.

My mother was my idol at one point in my life. She was always there for me, no matter what. I always thought she would support me no matter what I did, but being the slayer and loving Angel is something she can't handle.

And I think it was for the better that Angel and I spent some time apart. He was able to grow so much. He interacts with humans more, he jokes more, and this...this new Angel, I love him even more. If he hadn't left, Angel might not have had that chance to grow.

"Mom..." I started, ready to start mending our relationship, when I remembered that she knew all that stuff about Angel, me, and the way we felt, and she still tried to help Riley.

She was looking at me expectantly, waiting to hear what I was going to say.

"Have a nice night," I said, turning the corner.

I didn't even give her the satisfaction of looking back.

"Hey Will," I said tiredly, plopping down on my bed.

"Hi," Willow greeted.

"Buffy, we need to talk about some stuff," Willow told me.

"Okay," I said, sitting up on my bed and facing her.

"Well, you know that school's almost out and everything. So what are your plans for the summer?" she asked.

"The usual, slaying, hanging out with you guys, spending as much time as possible with Angel, that kind of stuff," I told her.

"Okay, good."

"Why good?" I asked.

"Because you're going to spend time with Angel. I don't want you to have nothing to do this summer," she said.

"I'm not going to have nothing to do this summer. I'm gonna have you and Xander to hang out with," I told her. What was she getting at?

"Well, you can hang out with Xander and Anya, but I'm not going to be here this summer Buffy. And, I'm not sure we're going to be roomies next year either."

"What? Where are you going? And what do you mean we can't be roomies anymore?" I asked.

"Tara's family lives in Oregon, and she asked me to go with her this summer to stay with them. I said yes."

"And let me guess," I said quietly, "you're going to room with Tara next year, right?"

"I'm sorry Buffy, I really am."

No! Oh great, I've made her feel bad. Nice one, Buffy.

"No, Will. I think that's great. I'm totally happy for you, I'm just going to miss you," I told her, going across the room and giving her a hug.

"Well, I'll write you. I'll just send it to Angel's place, because I know you're going to be there all the time," Willow said with a grin.

"Sunnydale has survived summers without me," I told her, smiling.

And with that thought, maybe I should just leave town and go to LA for the summer. I can pretend I've sent the neighbor's cat to Hell and I feel bad.

Willow must have seen the amused look on my face, because she asked, "What?"

"Nothing, just having a moment."

And I could accidentally kill some flowers. The guilt would be gut-wrenching...

I scare myself sometimes.

I let out a frustrated sigh. It had been a couple weeks since Angel and I had gotten back together, and if we weren't around each other physically, we called.

Every day.

And every time I dialed Angel's number, a recording came on telling me the line was no longer in service.

"Buffy, I'm sure Angel is fine. His power's probably out or something," Giles said, handing me a cup of tea.

"Yeah, Buff. Angel's fine," Xander said from his place on the couch, Anya curled up next to him.

"Then why is his line disconnected?" I asked, annoyed that I didn't know what was wrong.

There was a knock at Giles' door. Giles went to go answer it, and I heard him say, "Angel, we were just discussing you."

Giles came back into the room with Angel in tow. I ran to him and gave him a kiss, then I pulled away and smacked his arm.

"Why the hell is your line disconnected?" I asked.

"Because a demon blew up my office building," he said.

"Oh my God! Angel, are you okay?" I asked, suddenly feeling really awful for getting mad at him.

"Yeah. No one was killed. Wesley was injured, but he was the only one in the building at the time. I was feeling kind of bad about staying at Cordelia's house, so I told her that I was coming here."

"I'm just glad you're okay," I told him, giving him another kiss.

"You may stay here if you need to Angel," Giles told him. Oh no, we weren't staying in a house with other people. Definitely not.

"Actually, Angel and I were going to stay at the mansion," I said, smiling. I pulled a fake yawn and said, "Well, I'm sleepy, we better go. Bye guys." And with that, I took Angel's hand in mine and we walked out.

We arrived at the mansion and as soon as he shut the door, I pounced on him.

"I thought you were tired," he said with a laugh.

"It got us alone," I said as I started to suck lightly on his neck. He chuckled and said, "Yeah, that it did."

Angel's strong hands wove their way into my hair, and he pulled my head up and soon we were kissing with a hungry passion.

"I'm sorry that your building got blown up," I said between kisses as I started to unbutton his shirt.

"Me too," he said, reaching for the buttons on my sweater jacket.

A bunch of kisses and a great sex session later, we laid there on the floor together.

"Let's see, we've covered bed, table, rug, and now cold hard floor. Should we go for car next?" I joked.

"No, I was think more along the lines of bathtub. Or shower. Or both," Angel said with a wickedly teasing grin.

I laughed and snuggled deeper into the crook of his neck. "Are you cold?" he asked.

"After that? No, plus I'm too comfy. And the knowledge that someone could walk in that door any minute adds a thrilling excitement."

"Are you hungry?" he asked. "I'm fine," I told him.

"I just want to make sure you have everything you need," he said.

I looked up into his eyes. "I do."

We started to kiss again when suddenly he stopped. "Someone's coming," he told me.

"Well, it isn't me," I told him with an amused grin.

"No, I mean someone's coming," he said urgently.

"Oh. OH!"

We both got up and ran to a nearby closet and shut the door. True to his word, we both heard someone open the door.

"Angel? Buffy? Where are you?"

"Dammit Xander, go away so I can have sex," I hissed. "Shhh," Angel whispered.

"Guys? There's a demon that needs to be killed. Guys?" Xander called out, his voice fading as he moved to further parts of the mansion.

I looked up at Angel and gave him an amused grin. "Haven't done a closet yet."

"Buffy, this really isn't the time-"

I never got to hear the rest of what Angel was saying, because my lips covered his.

We started kissing harder and more passionately ... oh God... Angel's amazing... I could die in his arms ... oh God ... oh God... I love him so much... Angel...

We were both quiet, panting heavily, smiling at each other.

"Add closet to the list," I remarked, still breathing heavily.

"I can't believe we just did that with Xander probably two rooms away," Angel said sternly, but he had a smile on his face nonetheless.

"Oh yeah, add "Xander nearby" right after it," I said with a grin.

Angel looked up and appeared to be sniffing the air. "He's upstairs," Angel said quietly.

Angel left the closet in a flash and came back within a minute.

"You smelt him?" I asked incredulously as he handed me my clothes. Angel nodded and we hurriedly got dressed.

"Come on," Angel said, taking my hand in his.

We reached the front door just as Xander reentered the room.

"There you guys are! Did you just get here?" Xander asked.

"Yeah, we took a walk in the park," Angel lied.

"Oh, okay. There's a demon that attacked a girl right by Giles' house. He ran towards the wood. He's big, green, scaly, and he's got gray patches of fur," Xander told us.

"Okay, we're on it," I said, grabbing my jacket off Angel's floor.

"Forgot this last time I was here," I explained, hoping Xander would buy it.

"Angel," Xander started as we left the mansion, "your neighbors have really loud sex."

I had to bite my cheek to stop myself from laughing.

Angel looked over at me and grinned. We had been driving to LA for almost and hour, and he had been doing that the entire time. Something was up.

"Okay spill Angel. Why do you keep giving me goofy grins?" I asked.

"Nothing," he said, smiling as he turned his attention back to the darkened roads.

"That is not a nothing smile, Angel. Tell me," I demanded.

He put his hand on top of mine.

"It's nothing, really. There's just this really interesting prophecy I have to tell you about..."