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Breaker

Author: Blaze

Dedication: To all the great people who sent me feed back for "Buffy The hostage" I really appreciate it.

Rating: PG-I Think

Paining: B/A, Fred/Gunn and Cordelia/Devon/other

Time line/ Spoilers: This is AU Buffy is still the slayer but that's about all this story has in common with cannon Buffy.

Summary: Buffy is the slayer, she lives in the mansion and it very rich. Angel is new to the area and attends Sunnydale high. Buffy needs a handy man and guess who gets the position?

Authors note: I've been meaning to write this for over a year now and because I just finished Buffy the hostage I thought I'd give it a try. I have no idea what I mean by the title; well I do but none that makes any sense. I couldn't think of anything that would fit the story.

Part One

The huge house sat on the highest point in Sunnydale, with its towering fence surrounding the building keeping unwanted guests out of the perimeter. The night caressed the buildings exterior making the house look haunted and eerie. There was only silence; no sound could be heard, not even the humming of birds could disrupt the tranquil atmosphere. The building emanated great sadness and such loneliness. Any passer looking at the mansion would guess that that no body was home, but curled up in a ball in the master bedroom was the grieving Buffy Summers.

Buffy Summers, a seventeen-year-old girl a young girl with great responsibilities resting on her small shoulders, stared at the wall across from her. Thinking of her life and why someone in this universe thought she deserved so much pain when all she did was give up her life so others could go on living there lives with no concern for the elements that go bump in the night.

From an early age she knew she was different, that there was something special about her and it made her feel good about her self. She remembered the day of her sixth birthday when a man had approached her at her school. She wasn't scared even though he was a stranger and she knew she wasn't supposed to talk to anybody she didn't know. He'd taken her to the library and told her things and she believed him because he knew all about her scary dreams and she hadn't even told her best friend Willow about them and they told each other everything. He told her she was the Slayer, the one girl in all- the world. That would stand against the vampires the demons and the forces of darkness, and although she really didn't know what it would mean deep down, she knew it was the truth and that the feeling that she was special was true and not just a feeling.

The man’s name was Rupert Giles. But she stated that Rupert was the name of a cartoon bear and a silly name for a man, so she never called him that but used his last name Giles. His job of being a Watcher a member of a society called “the Watchers’ Council” had led him to Buffy but he couldn't take her away from her parents like the Council had ordered him to because he saw the strength she had from knowing their love. His soul purpose as a Watcher was to train and guide her young soul, so she would be prepared for the day her world would change dramatically. To get close to her to start her training he’d passes his self off as a carer with the aid of false documents so he could still be near Buffy to train her.

Buffy's parents Hank and Joyce Summers were the owners of a computer company that had once been the life’s work of Hank’s father so they had plenty of money and so Buffy never wanted for anything. They didn’t spoil her so much that she became complacent about the world around her but she always had anything she asked for.

Tragedy struck on Buffy's Tenth Birthday; her parents had been planning a special surprise birthday party for her and had been driving to her school to pick her up when a lorry jack knifed and they died in a their car two blocks from her school. Giles had the suspicion that the council may have had something to do with it because on that very day that Buffy was called. There had never in the past been a girl called before the age fifteen before so this was a shock to both the Council and Giles.

Giles had been named Buffy's legal guardian in her parent's will, and he moved them to the Hellmouth or “Boco del inferno” as the Spanish had called it when they colonised the area. Using the excuse that it was too painful for Buffy to live there any longer they started their life on the mouth of hell.

Giles bought the mansion on the outskirts of town and had a wall built around it for protection. They moved in three weeks after the accident and made it their home.

Buffy was supposed to be home schooled because Giles feared it would be too hard for her to keep her secret if she attend a regular school. But Buffy pleaded with him to let her attend high school. He caved in after she gave him her famous puppy dog eyes and pouted at him.

With the double whammy of pressure placed on to such a young child Buffy was forced to grow up fast and her maturity often surprised Giles.

At school she was in the popular social circle but she thought that had more to do with the fact that she was a head cheerleader rather that her personality. Her friend Fred was the school geek and her best friend basically ran the school and was nicknamed 'Queen C'. Life was good for her if you didn't count the fact that at night she went hunting vampires and other nasties that were out there in the dark.

For the second time in her life tragedy hit the Slayer. While she had been out on patrol she and taken off after a vampire leaving Giles alone when she returned she found him, the man she thought of as her father laying on the ground puncture holes in his neck. The blood had been drained from his body and his face was contorted in horror. She was sure her birthday was cursed.

So there she was curled up in a ball on her bed feeling all alone and empty. She had no more tears left in her. There was no one in the house; it had only ever been her and Giles. Now he was gone and she was all-alone.

:~:~:~:~: ~:~+~:~:~:~:~:~:~

Angel O'Connor slammed the door to his bedroom as hard as he possibly could and huffed angrily, almost letting out a growl. He heard a similar sound of slamming coming from downstairs and he turned from the door his mouth moved silently forming curse words, aiming them at the man he called father. Jack O'Connor had uprooted him from everything he'd ever known and moved him to a town he'd never heard of miles away from his home so he couldn't even visit his friends for comfort.

Marie O’Connor, Angel’s mother had died three years ago, so it was just he and his dad but they had never got on so there was always tension between the two. The tension had been worse since the move and they'd just had the biggest row they'd had. It had been about money of course that's all they argued about these days. Jack accused Angel of being frivolous with his money and how he needed to be more responsible.

Angel took his rage out on the unsuspecting ornaments that were settled on his windowsill throwing them against the wall and watched as they shattered into a million pieces before falling down sprinkling all over the floor in a messy pattern.

He grabbed his black school bag and shoved his books and other school stuff into it getting them ready for the morning he took his cloths off hurling them at the door and slipped in to bed. He tossed and turned hitting the bed with his hands and feet in frustration trying to get comfortable but it just didn't seem to be happening. At some point he drifted off because the next think he noticed was the morning sun creeping through the window stinging his unprepared eyes. He shut them quickly but opened them just as fast when his alarm blared. He slammed his hand down on the snooze button halting the noise. He shifted putting his legs over the side getting up facing the window and fiddled with his alarm setting it for the next morning.

He sat there and started to remember his dream from the night before. He couldn't hold on to the image but just thinking about it made him feel good. His mood was lighter, his anger forgotten from the night before as he got off the bed and went into the bathroom to get ready for school. There was this feeling in the pit of his stomach like something good was going to happen to him that day.

Part Two

Buffy walked nervously on to the Sunnydale high campus, she had been off for three weeks and hadn’t spoken to any of her friends. Her auntie Jamie had moved in with her two and a half weeks ago after social services had contacted her informing her of Giles’ death. Buffy hadn’t wanted her to move in but she didn’t have any other choice she was a minor. Jamie was glad for the change of scenery; however, because of her messy divorce from her now ex-husband. He had taken her for everything she had.

A new watcher didn’t show because Buffy and accidentally ‘forgotten’ to inform the council of Giles’ passing. She didn’t trust them, how could she? They weren’t even on the same continent and she wasn’t going to go through the rigmarole of having a new watcher. The one person she did call was a man Giles trusted by the name of Wesley. He’d promised not to tell anyone in the council about it and had agreed to help her in any way he could.

Buffy passed a few people she knew and had to make small talk before reaching the sanctuary of her homeroom. She wasn’t in there five minutes before Cordelia barged through the door and sat herself down gracefully into the seat in front of Buffy’s.

“Where have you been, I’m called you like a million times since the funeral,” Cordelia demanded.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to speak to anyone,” Buffy replied honestly.

Cordelia’s face softened and looked at her friend with sympathy, “How you doing?”

“Better,” Buffy spoke.

Cordelia saw she didn’t want to speak about it any longer so decided to change the subject, “I saw a new car in your drive this morning. Whose is it?”

Buffy rolled her eyes at her friend, “It belongs to my Auntie Jamie, and she’s my new guardian. She is totally doing my head in. She’s so fussy and panics if I leave one dirty dish in the sink. I haven't seen the woman in seven years and all of a sudden here she is taking over my life.” Cordelia was about to reply but the classroom started filling up with students and then the teacher arrived.

Buffy reclined in her seat looking at the wall above the teacher rather than at her when she was Cordelia’s arm bend and a piece of paper being placed on her desk out of the corner of her eye.

‘Coming to cheerleader practice?’

Buffy read the note then scribbled her reply on the bottom.

‘Yeah, anything so I don’t have to go home to Auntie Jamie’

Buffy patted Cordelia’s arm and placed the note on the corner of the desk. Cordelia’s arm sneaked round and picked it up.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

Angel jogged on to campus late due to his father having hidden his car keys and refused to tell him where they were until he paid rent. Angel refused to back down so ran out of the house and all the way to school; he was adamant that his father was not going to ruin his good mood.

He made it into the school ten minutes late and gained a disapproving look form his homeroom teacher and took his seat next to his friend Gunn. They hadn’t known each other long but they got on well and seemed to share the same interests.

At lunch they sat having their meals together along with some other friends and Angel was telling Gunn about his situation with his farther.

“You should get a job man, and move out. That guy need’s his head sorting,” Gunn said.

Angel nodded in agreement, “I would but there’s no way I could move out on what little money I do have,” he explained.

“I saw something in the paper this morning about a live in handy man slash driver, the money’s bound to be good working up there at the Crawford Street Mansion.”

“The house on the out skirts of Town?” Angel questioned.

“Yeah,” Gunn answered.

Angel seemed to be mulling it over; “I think I’ll check it out after school. What’s the place like?” he questioned.

Gunn started explaining about the place and who lived there but Angel’s attention had been captured by something else. Gunn followed Angel’s line of vision to follow the blond girl walking across the canteen and out of the door accompanied by her best friend Cordelia.

Angel watched as she walked confidently and laughed with the brunette. He caught a better look at her face when she brushed her hair out of her face behind her ear and looked at the other girl a blush sweeping over her face.

“Angel man,” Gunn called snapping his fingers in front of Angel's face. “You have no chance so don’t even bother thinking about it.”

“She’s beautiful,” Angel said still in a slight daze.

Angel returned his attention slightly back to his friend still picturing the blond in his head.

“Yeah she is but believe me you have no chance,” Gunn said with a serious look on her face.

Gunn now had Angel’s full attention as he listened for any information on the girl.

“Why?”

“One she’s totally out of your league and too because she doesn’t date.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know really, but she never has.”

They carried on with their lunch and Angel kept his eye out all day for the blonde girl but he didn’t see her for the rest of the day. Gunn had managed to drag him to watch cheerleading practice because the girl he fancied was going to be there. Her name is Fred and she helped out at practice.

They sat on the bleachers at the very top but Gunn soon left Angel to sit on his lonesome after he’d seen Fred arrive and went down to talk to her. Angel could tell the girl liked Gunn and wished they’d stop dancing around the topic and get on with it.

His focus was taken away from the two of them when he heard the cheerleader make their way on to the field and one particular girl caught his attention. The blonde girl he'd seen earlier, Buffy, Gunn had said her name was.

He watched mesmerised as she stood in front of the other girls and then they started doing routines. He watched as she took one girl over to the side that had been having trouble with what she was doing. Buffy went through the routine for the girl and the girl copied.

The practise lasted an hour and as they made their way back into the school Angel blushed. Buffy noticed he’d been staring and looked him straight in the eye.

Part three

The punch bag swung across the room after coming apart from the ceiling. Buffy trudged over to it and picked it up and took out new hooks to attach it back to the ceiling. Cheerleading practice had been no different than it had been three weeks ago. Cordelia had taken over while Buffy was out of commission and had done a good job of keeping everything running smoothly. School had been strained she had missed quiet a bit of work in those few weeks so had a lot of catching up to do. Her friend’s had totally avoided the subject of Giles or had tiptoed around the subject. Everyone however except Cordelia who was as tactless as ever. Fred hadn’t said anything but told Buffy she would be there if she wanted to talk. The teachers had loaded her with assignments to help her to catch up so patrolling was out of the question for the next couple of days.

After the familiar task of re-hanging the bag was done with, Buffy went back up stairs to take a shower. The training room was one place that was Jamie proof due to the fact that her auntie had no idea it existed as it was situated in the basement.

She dried off and put her comfy house clothes on which consisted of a baggy black T-shirt with ‘Bite me’ written on the front in red letters and her black sweat pants. Giles had always laughed when he saw that shirt he'd told her it was a daft thing for a slayer to wear but fit her attitude perfectly. A noise from the kitchen caused her to groan and roll her eyes. One thing her aunt could be accused of was being clumsy; she broke at least one plate a day. They had already had to buy one new set of plates and three new cups. Buffy had taken Giles favourite cup from the kitchen and taken it to her room for safekeeping; it was a brown mug with ‘Giles rocks’ engraved on the side. Buffy had made it form him in school when she was younger and he treasured it.

Entering the kitchen Buffy opened the cupboard and took out the dustpan and brush out, they used to be kept it under the stairs but running back and forth for them was beginning to become time consuming. She walked over to where Jamie was picking up the bigger pieces and placing them into the stainless steal bin. Jamie turned to her and shrugged then carried on with picking the pieces up and moved to the side to let Buffy sweep up the smaller shards of pot.

“What are you doing this evening?” Jamie asked.

“I have a ton of homework so I’ll be locked in my room all night,” Buffy answered. “Why?”

“There will be some people coming over to interview for the job,” Jamie told her.

Jamie got up as she spoke and moved the bin over to where it belonged next to the door.

“What Job?” Buffy asked curiously.

“The handy man job I advertised in the paper.”

“You advertised a job with out consulting me? This is my home, how could you do that?”

“Buffy I’m in charge now that Rupert is dead and I say we need help around the house. The roof needs fixing, the vanity table in your room is hanging off its hinges and that’s just the tip of the ice burg. This place needs a lot of work,” Jamie stated.

Buffy knew it was true but didn’t want to openly agree with Jamie so didn’t answer her instead she went to the fridge and took out a can of Diet coke and a bag of cut carrots before storming up stairs and slamming the door.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

Angel stood out side the mansion just staring at the huge gate in front of him. He’d spent an hour choosing what to wear and settled upon a pair of black slacks and a white dress shirt and left the top button open. He’d got changed and used the back door to leave so he didn’t have to face his father who was in the study adjacent to the front door.

When he got home from school he searched the house for his car keys but couldn’t find them so gave up and went and grabbed some food then went to his room. His dad had got in an hour later but hadn’t even tried to speak to his son. Angel rang the contact number and the person on the other end told him to be there for the interview for six o’clock.

He’d walked to the mansion slowly getting more nervous with each step he took. He’d never had a job before and was dreading the interview.

Before his courage drained away he pressed the buzzer next to the gate and waited for someone to answer.

“Hello?” a voice asked from the box on the wall.

“I’m here for the job,” Angel answered leaning into the box.

“You may as well come in then,” Buffy said with an edge to her voice.

Angel stepped on the pathway after the gate opened; it closed behind him so he walked up to the door and found it open so made his way in. He saw a man sat on one of the chairs facing the door. It looked like they had expected a good turn out because there were ten chairs lined up.

He sat next to the balding gentleman and turned his head and smiled in greeting but just earned a sneer from the man.

The door situated at the end of the line of the chairs opened and a woman with blonde curly hair and green eyes stepped out wearing a smile. The smile faded when she saw that only two people were sat there. The smile came back on to her face as her eyes travelled over Angel. She looked back to the fist man and he tried a smile out on her but it looked more like a grimace.

She held out her hand to him and he took it and shuck it, “I’m Jamie Greene,” she greeted.

“Joseph Poozanoski,” he replied.

Jamie made a motion with her arm telling him to go into the office, as she followed him in Angel saw her wipe her hand on her jeans.

Angel waited for twenty minutes before the door opened and the Joseph walked out with a scowl on his face. Jamie watched as the man walked out of the house shaking her head.

“You must be Angel,” Jamie said looking at him.

“Yeah,” he answered and stood up and raised his hand to shake hers.

“Come into my office,” she told him with a polite smile.

The interview had gone well and seeing as though there were no other applicants Angel got the job.

Angel left the house and walked home; he went to his house and began packing his belongings.

Part four

Buffy sat at the island in the centre of the kitchen eating her coco-pops and reading over her assignment that she was going to hand in two weeks early instead of the usual two weeks late. She had got it all done last nigh with only two interruptions both being people here interviewing for the handy man job. Buffy was hoping considering there had been little interest then maybe she hadn't found anyone qualified to fill the position.

Jamie made her entrance with a huge smile on her face as Buffy though that. She went around taking all the items out she needed to make her breakfast before joining Buffy at the island.

"That Handy man will be moving in today around five o'clock, I'm making a meal to welcome him to the house."

"You found somebody? And you asked them to start before even asking me?" Buffy asked astounded at the woman's audacity.

"You didn't seem interested yesterday so I didn't think it mattered," Jamie shrugged.

Buffy slammed her assignment down onto the smooth surface.

"He's going to be living here I should have at least been able to meet him. He could be an axe murder or something."

"Don't be silly, he is perfect for the job. Also he goes to your school so I'm sure you know him," Jamie reasoned.

"What's his name?" Buffy asked.

"Angel O' Conner."

"I've never heard of him, are you sure he goes to my school?" Buffy asked narrowing her eyes.

"Positive, maybe you've just never met," Jamie answered and shrugged.

Buffy didn't see the point in carrying on the conversation so finished eating her cereal in peace before washing her dishes and placing them on the draining board.

Jamie drove her to school and Buffy set about finding Cordelia to acquisition more information about this Angel O' Connor who would be living in her house.

Sure enough Cordelia was in her usual spot in the quad chatting to Harmony and aura. Buffy didn't like those girls they seemed fake and two faced.

"Cordelia," Buffy called as she neared the ground.

Harmony and Aura plastered huge smiles on their faces and said her name in union, "Buffy."

"Hey, do you mind if I steal Cordy for a moment?" Buffy asked the two.

"Go ahead," Harmony answered to her face but as soon as Cordelia and Buffy walked away the first word out of her mouth was "Bitch," and Aura giggled.

"What's the problem?" Cordelia asked as soon as they were out of the way.

"My auntie has hired a handy man to work at the house and apparently he's student here. Can you tell be about him?"

"Just give us a name," Cordelia said with a wicked smile.

"Angel O' Conner," Buffy answered.

"Angel, you don't know who Angel is? He's only the hottest guy at this school. Oh yeah you were off when he transferred," Cordelia reminded her self. "So anyway's he's tall, way good looking with dark spiked hair and these gorgeous brown eyes. He's too pale to be living in Sunnydale but it works for him."

"Yeah I think I saw him at cheerleading practice yesterday he was watching us," Buffy said remembering him. "But what about personality?"

"He's way smart, seems friendly enough and totally dateable if I wasn't dating Devon I'd so be after him. Harmony already tried asking him out but he told her in a not so polite way that he doesn't date blonde ditzy cheerleaders. So that's a plus for him anyone publicly humiliating that bitch has to be worth talking to. He's friends with Gunn who is totally into Fred did you see them at practice yesterday they were making eyes at each other but they're both to blind to see it."

"Cordelia," Buffy interrupted.

"Sorry, oh yeah as I was saying. Friends with Gunn apparently he was on his old school's football team but hasn't tried out for ours. And that's all I know."

"He seems okay," Buffy said. "But I still don't like that fact that he's going to be living with me. I don't know him from Adam."

"Yeah you do Angel's the hunk, Adam’s the geek who eats worms," Cordelia said.

"Cordelia it was a…oh never mind. I've got to go to the library before class I'll speak to you later."

Buffy walked off heading toward the main building leaving Cordelia all by her self and confused.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

Angel walked home with a happy smile on his face he was leaving home and would never had to face his over bearing father again. He's written a letter letting the jerk know that he was moving out and wouldn't have to bother about him ever again.

When he got home he placed the letter on the mantle piece propping it on a picture of his father. He took one last look at the room hoping against hope he would never have to see them for walks again. Angel stopped when he caught sight of the picture of his mother on the sideboard. He went over to it and lifted it up looking intently at a picture he had seen a hundred times but never got bored of.

It had been taken the day they had gone to the beach as a family it had been such a great day. He hadn't argued with his father all day and they even laughed together when a man fell over a woman spilling his drink all over her. Angel had taken the picture of her when she hadn't been looking. Her face was turned side ways with her hair blowing backwards forced by the wind. Her swimsuit was the colour of the sun and contrasted perfectly with the black sarong she wore around her waist. She had a look of joy on her face; she had been staring at her husband as he tried to build a sandcastle. She'd frowned at him when she realised he'd taken the picture declaring she looked awful but Angel assured her she always looked beautiful and it earned him a hug and she ruffled his hair. That had been a year before she died.

He picked the picture up as well as three others around the room, the first of him and his mother, the second of the three of them and the third a picture of his grandmother.

He walked up stairs and placed the pictures in his bag before going through all the draws checking that there was nothing left in the room that he needed or wanted. He'd pre booked a taxi and it arrived at his house and the driver piped his horn alerting Angel to his presence. He dragged the suitcase and other bags down the stairs and locked the door behind him. He didn't look back once as the driver helped him load his bags into the boot of the car.

The driver set off in the direction of the Crawford Street mansion and made small talk about this and that as they made their way there. As the pulled up to the gate it opened and angel instructed the driver to go through. They unpacked the bags and Angel paid the driver before lugging his bags into the mansion.

Jamie was there to greet him at the door and helped him with his luggage and showed him to his room.

He was in awe when he was it; it was twice the size of his old room and it was decorated in a modern design.

She hung around like a spare part while he unpacked and placed each of his belongings away in a drawer or wardrobe. She hovered over his asking if he needed anything or wanted any help over and over again. Angel sighed in relief when the phone rang and Jamie left to answer it. When he heard her foot steps making their way back to his room he rushed to the bed and laid on it looking as though he was asleep.

Jamie walked into his room and saw his sleeping form sprawled across the bed. He looked as if he's jumped on the bed. He looked so sweet that an, "aww." Came from her mouth before she could stop it. She turned around and went down stairs to finish off dinner.

Angel's eyes popped open when he heard her leave and carried on with his unpacking.

Part Five

Buffy didn’t go to the dinner that night; she wasn’t about to jump when Jamie said Jump. She went to Cordelia’s house and they had a girlie fest watching videos and eating junk food. They were in Cordelia’s bedroom Buffy on the bed laying on her front her head resting on her right harm as her eyes watched the large flat screen. Cordelia sat in her arm chair with her legs pulled up to her chest and twisted her hair in her hands, she look utterly board. Cordelia’s little brother ran into the room and jumped on Cordelia’s bed and started tickling Buffy, who shirked with laughter.

“Xander what are you doing in my room? And leave Buffy alone,” Cordelia barked sitting up straight on the chair.

Xander sat up and Buffy tried to catch her breath little left over giggles coming from her mouth.

“You’re not the boss of me!” The six-year old boy said with conviction and a serious face before pulling out his tongue.

“Maybe not but I can tell mum and dad and you won’t get that fire engine like you wanted,” she threatened.

“But I want to play with Buffy,” Xander pouted. “We’re going to get married when I’m older.”

“Xander you know you’re my best six year old friend right? And I could never marry my best friend now could I?” Buffy asked with a smile.

“I guess not,” he said with a frown.

“And anyway I think Anya would be jealous, don’t you?” Buffy questioned.

“Yeah,” Xander said with a huge grin on his face. “She kissed me right here in front of the whollllle class today!” Xander beamed pointing to his cheek. “William was being mean to her so I kicked him.”

“That’s so sweet,” Buffy said to Cordelia.

“Yeah like a bunch of puppies,” she said sarcastically but she had a little smile on her face.

"Cordelia spell 'Shop'," Xander asked her.

"S.H.O.P," Cordelia said with a confused expression.

"What do you do at a Green light?" He then asked.

"Stop," she said wondering why he was asking her this. Buffy thought the same thing too.

"Nuh huh, you're dumb. No wonder no one likes getting in a car with you," he said and pulled out his tongue. "You go at a green light," he explained with a smug expression on his face.

Cordelia turned crimson with embarrassment, which soon turned to Anger.

“You’re such a loser. Now leave my room before I get coco the clown to visit,” she demanded.

His face turned white and he ran from the room.

“That was so mean,” Buffy chided

“I know but the little guy bugs me. Last night me told my mom that he caught me and Devon, and I quote “doing kissy face in his love shack” it was so embarrassing and mom band me from seeing Devon,” Cordelia explained. “Buffy stop laughing it’s so not funny,” She whined.

“I’m sorry,” she apologised between giggles. “But I can just see your dads face at hearing that.”

“It was a classic moment, I actually though I saw steam coming out of his ears,” her face changed from a frown to a smile and she giggled.

They both burst out laughing but it was short lived as Buffy’s cell Phone started playing pink’s “Get the party started” for the sixth time that hour. Buffy looked at her watch and it read 9:45, too late to have dinner but not too early to go to bed. She pressed a button answering the call.

“Hi, Yes, I’m sorry,” She rolled her eyes and mouthed Jamie to Cordelia. “Okay, bye.” She dropped her phone back into her bag, “I got to book, and I think I antagonised her enough for the day.”

Buffy put her shoes on and grabbed her coat; she waved goodbye to Cordelia before leaving the room. She passed Xander on the way and leaned down planting a kiss on his head. He looked up and reached a hand up to touch the spot while watching her leave.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

Angel sat quietly at the desk in his new room trying to do his homework using only the glow of the table lamp. His eyes were straining so he closed the book and retired to his bed. It had been a strange-day first Jamie fussed over him and was making him feel slightly uncomfortable then at dinnertime she had gone quiet. Apparently her niece who also lived there had promised to be home for dinner and Jamie had prepared a special meal to welcome him. But the niece hadn’t showed and Jamie was clearly annoyed. She would get up from the table every ten minutes and go to the phone dial a number listen for a minute then slam the phone down.

Jamie apologized for her behavior later on and also said sorry from her niece being very ignorant. But Angel figured there was more to it than that.

He’d manage to sneak up to his room straight after dinner saying he was tired from the move. She had bought it and hadn’t step foot in his room all night.

At around ten o’clock her head arguing it only lasted a few minutes and he soon drifted off to sleep.

He was awoken in the morning by the sound of music coming through his floor and vibration shaking his bed. He got up and looked at the floor. He’d though his room was on the bottom but there must be another floor to the place. He got dressed and went in search of the source of the music. He wandered around but as soon as he left his room he couldn’t here the music any longer and having found no doors leading anywhere downwards. He checked his watch and found he had an hour before having to leave for school so he decided to carry on with the work he’d tried to finish last night.

Twenty minutes before he had to leave he went to the kitchen to grab some breakfast before leaving for school.

He found Jamie sat at the island eating a piece of toast, “morning,” he greeted.

“Morning,” she replied with a smile. “I’m sorry you still haven’t had chance to meet my niece yet but she stormed out early this morning. She didn’t like the idea of a total stranger driving her to school.”

“She goes to school?” Angel asked, he knew she was young but he hadn’t realised she was school age. He’d found it strange that Jamie hadn’t told him anything about her.

“What’s her name?” Angel asked curiously.

Jamie’s mouth opened to answer, her phone started to ring, “Sorry,” she said before picking it up and talking to the person on the other end. “Bye,” she called before throwing him a set of car keys then climbing the stairs.

He left the house with his back pack hosted over his left should and found a brand new Maroon Toyota Yaris sat in the drive way. He pressed the “unlock” button on the car key and the he door lock popped up.

“Cool,” Angel said and grinned.

He got in the car and drove him self to school and parked in the student car park, before going in search of Gunn. He couldn’t find him anywhere so settled for going to his homeroom and waiting for him to show up there.

He didn’t have to wait long as Gunn walked in grinning for ear to ear, “hey Angel my man.”

“Gunn what’re you so happy about,” Angle questioned.

“Fred and I are dating,” Gunn answered. “We went out last night to Toco bell, we had such a great time. That girl can eat.”

“I’m happy for you,” Angle told him honestly.

“What about you? Have you spoken to your dream girl yet?” Gunn asked.

“Nope not since you dragged me to watch the cheerleading.”

“Really?” Gunn asked surprised. “You have moved into the Crawford Street Mansion haven’t you?” Gunn asked with a frown.

Gunn riffled through his bag as he spoke and took out some papers handing them to Angel who took them and started reading through them. Angel did this everyday, went through Gunn's homework spell checking.

“Yeah last nigh. Why?” Angel replied taking his eyes off the paper for just the amount of time it took to talk.

"Have you met the people who live there?" Gunn questioned.

"Well I met Jamie, she's the one who hired me. I've not met her niece yet. Apparently they don't get on all that well," Angel answered.

"Oh, well I bet you'll like her," Gunn said with a knowing smile.

Angel handed the papers back after making to minor corrections, "Better," he said.

Gunn blushed, "Fred sort of helped me with it. That girl is smart."

Angel just smiled at him.

The school day was soon over and it was time for angel to start his new job. He returned to the mansion and had a list of item that needed fixing. He started with the broken table leg in the living room and he'd just got done with that when the phone rang disrupting him. Jamie had popped out so he had to answer it.

"Hello, Greene residence. Angel speaking," Angel answered politely.

"Actually I think you'll find it's the Summers residence. The house belongs to me not Jamie," Buffy retorted rudely.

"Oh I'm sorry it's just that…" Angel didn't get time to answer before Buffy butted in.

"Put Jamie on," Buffy demanded.

"She's not in," Angel said trying to keep his cool.

"Well tell her I won’t be home for till late," Buffy ordered.

"I think she expects you home for tea," Angel said.

"Well I don't care what you think, I didn't want to hire you the whole thing was her idea she didn't even ask me. And it's my home," he could hear the distress in her voice and his anger quickly faded.

"I'm sorry, really I am. I don't even know you and your angry at me. Even though this wasn't your idea I hope you'll accept it. I really need this job," Angel pleaded.

Buffy listened on the other end of the phone and she couldn't stay angry with him, he sounded so, so she couldn't think of how he sounded. Plus the house really did need work done to it.

"Okay, I'll stop being such a bitch but could you tell Jamie I won't be home?" Buff asked.

"Sure, by the way what's your…"

"Sorry by battery is dying on me it'll will be dead soon. Bye," with that the phone went dead and all Angel was left with was the dialling tone.

He hung up the receiver then headed up to the niece's room to fix the door on a vanity cabinet. He walked along the landing and heading in the direction he was told the room was in and knew he'd found the right room because the vanity cabinet had been pulled out of the room. He wiggled the handle of the door and found the door locked. He remembered the conversation and he figured if he'd been her position he probably would have done the same. He bent down in front of the cabinet and opened the broken door and took out his tools and began to fix it. After closing the now fixed door he looked at the cabinet and was dying to look through the draws just to get at least some idea of what this girl was like. His will power didn't hold up long and his hand reached out and opened the draw on the left. It was a very thin draw lined with black velvet. On it lay six different crosses each of different design. They all and one thing in common, they were all simple, elegant object's of beauty.

He closed the draw and checked the others there was nothing in the other draws but the scented paper that lined the bottoms so when the draws were opened you were hit by the scent of Palmer violets he inhaled it deeply then closed the last draw.

Angel was hit with a thought and he smiled to him self before running down to his room and taking out a black box from out of his bag. He ran back up the stairs and placed the contents of the box onto the black velvet. He closed the door and stood up and went back to his jobs. After he finished he went to his room changed his clothes.

Part Six

The sun was safely tucked away on the other side of the planet and had been for quiet a while by the time Buffy made her way home. She'd been to the cemetery patrolling but had only found one vampire to stake.

She entered the house making sure not to make any noise so she wouldn't wake any one in the house. She climbed the stairs and dragged her dresser back into her room and pushed it into position; she walked into her bathroom and undressed before stepping into the shower. She washed away the grime she'd picked up from rolling around on the cemetery floor before turning off the shower and stepping out wrapping a large fuzzy towel with pictures of little vampires dotted all over the surface around her body.

She unhooked the cross from around her neck and cradled it in one hand as she opened the draw. She placed the necklace onto the velvet and was about to close it when she noticed something that hadn't been there before. She picked up the thick silver cross and examined it. It was beautiful and she wondered where it had come from. Then she remembered Angel had been fixing the cabinet he must have put it there but why? She shrugged deciding she would ask him at breakfast the next day.

She towel dried her hair and changed into her nightie and climbed into bed.

The next day she was awoken by a car honking its horn right out side her window. She rubbed her face and lifted her head letting her eyes settle onto the bright red numbers on the digital alarm clock. She couldn't quite see what it said yet due to the light shinning on them and her eyes still not adjusted to the morning sun. When she finally saw what time it was she shot up straight and jumped out of bed. The honking started again so Buffy went to the window to see Jamie staring up at the window looking annoyed. Buffy went about getting read and did it in fifteen minutes a record for her. She realised she mustn't have set her alarm the night before and cursed her self.

After running down the stairs she slammed the door shut behind her as she hurled out of it like a whirlwind.

The door on her side was open so she jumped into the passenger side of the car and quickly pulled on her seat belt. Jamie just looked at her out of the side of her eyes and drove off.

"Who's Wesley?" Jamie asked suspiciously as they approached the school.

"Oh, err he's an old friend of Giles'. Why?" Buffy asked.

"He rang for you last night, he sounded older," she commented.

"Yeah, he's been calling seeing how I am. He lives in England. He feels like he's responsible for me because he was close to Giles," Buffy lied.

"Oh," Jamie replied.

The car pulled up in front of the school and Buffy was now forty-five minutes late, it's didn't really bother her. But if the principal caught her he would freak.

There was nobody out side the school and Buffy made her way in to the deserted hall ways being as quiet as she could and moving quickly. She found her next class and made up some believe able excuse for why she was late but she still earned a detention for her efforts.

During the school day she tried to find Angel but he never seemed to be anywhere in view. He seemed impossible to find so she gave up and decided to just see him at home.

Detention was a boring hour which she spent reading through the demonology book she was sure contained the answer as to what evil was roaming Sunnydale at the minute. A demon had attacked a young boy, according to the papers though it had been a pervert in a Halloween make up. From the description she had enough to go and remembered the information of the demon coming from this book.

Hunting was a definite option for the night-time. Plans had been made between her and Cordelia but she needed to stop this thing before it attacked again.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

The school day was as good as any school day got at Sunnydale high. Angel had, had History, Math then Geography all in a row and he had started to get a headache and as the day progressed it got exceedingly worst. His mood was reflecting the pain and he snapped at people for no reason or would scowl at them.

"Why smile when a scowl will do," Gunn had mocked.

A huge assignment had been given out that would be due in, in a week so spent any moment he had spare huddled in the library doing research. The books there all seemed to be dusty and a musty smell with them. He kept sneezing and the constant shake of the head was making the headache worse.

He slammed the large book shut in annoyance and a cloud of dust rose from it tickling the back of his nose and he gasped as a particularly powerful sneeze began.

“Are you okay?” asked a male voice with an English accent.

Angel carried on gasping the sneeze just didn’t seem to want to come out.

“Potato,” The English man said.

Angel laughed, as it was the last thing in the world he’s expected to hear. “Excuse me?” Angel asked.

“I said potato, and I see it did the trick,” he spoke that at Angel confused expression he continued. “It was just something a cousin of mine once said while my auntie was about to sneeze it stopped her immediately. I say it all the time now and 3 out of five times it works. People find it funny and the sneeze normally disappears.”

“Oh right, maybe I’ll try it sometime,” Angel said with a shrug. “Where did you come from?” Angel asked. “I’ve been here an hour,” he continued.

“I’m afraid I fell asleep on the couch in my office, I only arrived this yesterday from England. I’m the new Librarian, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce.” Wesley offered his hand.

“Angel O’ Conner, I’m new too, I started here four weeks ago,” Angel said and shook the man’s hand. “One thing you should find though is that you’ll be able to get a lot of sleep. Hardly anyone ever uses his library.”

“Really how come?” Wesley questioned.

“Not sure really, I guess they find it spooky. I’ve heard some stories too about the old librarian Heinrich Joseph Nest I’m told he was a real monster. Apparently he started a cult with in the school and called himself “The Master” a student called Luke was murdered because of him.”

“For someone who’s not sure why people don’t come in here you sure know a lot,” Wesley said with a chuckle.

“They’re just stories, I doubt there’s any truth to them,” Angel shrugged.

“Let’s hope not,” Wesley smiled.

“It was nice meeting you Mr Pryce but I got to head off,” Angel started collecting his belonging and putting them into his backpack.

The drive home seemed to release some of the tension from his head; he was feeling a lot better by the time he got home. Jamie wasn’t here when he arrived but he found a note taped to the fridge door held up by a magnet containing a picture of a little blond girl the not had things that needed to be done written on it.

After completing all the jobs that needed to be done he made himself some food and settled into his room.

At some point while he’d been studying he must have fallen asleep because the next thing he heard was the banging of music and the vibrations shaking his bed. He climbed out of bed and groaned when he noticed the time before pulling on some clothes and headed out of his door to take another look around.

Just down the corridor from his room was another room that was empty apart from the old bookcase in the corner. It only had one book on the shelf. The music wasn’t as loud in this room but it could still be heard. He touched the wall and the vibrations could be felt. He went over to the bookcase and it seems out of place. He looked at the lonely book and pulled on it.

Nothing happened. Well so much for the secret passageway idea, that only ever worked in the movies. He was about to leave when he noticed the paint was a different shade next to the book shelve, it was the same size and shape of the bookshelf. Angel stood between the wall and the edge of the bookcase and pressed his back to the wood and pushed. The bookcase moved and a door stood behind it.

The door swung open with one gentle push and hit the wall making a quiet thud. Angel placed his foot on the squeaky floorboard and started down the slowly walking on the edges to create less noise.

He stopped short when he noticed the small blond girl hitting the hell out of a wooden dummy in the centre of the room hitting it with every beat of the music. She was dressed in a little bikini type top and sweat pants leaving her mid drift on show. Her hair was hung messily in a ponytail leaving pieces hanging out.

He started walking towards her and was about to tap her on the shoulder when she grabbed hold of his arm over her shoulder and twisted it as she moved around and threw him down to the floor. She moved above him holding him down with her hand to his neck.

Part Seven

Buffy was looking down at her target when recognition hit her like a tone of bricks. It was Angel who she had just thrown to the ground. She’d been training when she’d heard someone approaching, Jamie didn’t know about this place so that only left demons to attack there. It wouldn’t be the fist time.

“I’m so sorry,” Buffy said jumping up and holding out her hand for him.

Angel moved his shoulders back rotating them seeing is there was any damage. He took her hand and placed his other on the ground to push up.

“It’s my fault I shouldn’t have approached you like that,” he said with a smile trying not to concentrate on the feeling he got from being around her.

“How did you get in here?” Buffy asked her face twisted with a frown.

“I could here music and I went to find out what it was, I moved the book case upstairs and found the door so I came down,” Angel explained. “How do you get in here?” Angel asked curious.

“There’s a door from the out side. As you probably already gathered Jamie and I don’t really get on all-that well and this is the one place she can’t find me. We better go back up and put that cabinet back so she doesn’t know it’s there,” Buffy went toward the stairs and started up them and Angel followed.

At the top they closed the door and Angel slid the Bookcase across putting it back into place.

“Are you hungry?” Buffy asked.

“Yeah but I don’t know whether I should eat at this time in the morning; it just isn’t natural,” Angel joked.

“I’m up at this time every day, I don’t sleep a lot and I like to get my work out done early,” Buffy explained. Her stomach rumbled and she looked down covering it with her hand. “I guess I’m hungry, come on let’s go get something to eat.”

They walked into the kitchen and Buffy went through cupboards looking for something to eat. “There’s nothing but some eggs and two slices of bacon,” Buffy moaned and her stomach rumbled again.

“Here let me,” Angel offered took the eggs and bacon from her.

Buffy sat at her usual stool at the island in the centre of the kitchen and watched at he started to prepare breakfast. She started asking him question like, why are you living here and not at home? And where are you from? All the personal stuff she could think of.

“What is this, twenty questions?” Angel asked with a laugh.

He turned back to the stove and carried on with what he was doing.

“If your going to live in my house I think I deserve to know something about you,” Buffy said but in a nice way.

Angel told her everything from his mother dying to the fight he’d had with his dad and Gunn telling him about the job. When he’d told her everything about him he asked her questions and she started telling him everything about herself. Well as much as she could and she embellished a little here and there.

Buffy placed her dish into the sink along with Angels and washed them and he dried, “You have to cook more often,” Buffy stated.

Angel smiled shyly, “first I’d need food to cook.”

“Well come on then,” Buffy took his hand and started pulling him out of the door.

They went to the local supermarket and did a big shop, it filled all the cupboards and the fridge was busting. They had anything and everything they should need for weeks.

Jamie was still in bed when they’d got home and was still sound asleep when they headed to the mall where Buffy’s friends would be hanging out that day. Buffy saw the congregation of people near the Expresso Pump and promptly stopped in her tracks.

“What’s the matter?” Angel asked.

“See that guy?” Buffy asked pointing to a boy with brown hair chatting to a blonde girl.

Angel nodded, “He tried to date me about six months ago and when I snubbed him he spread rumours about me. No one believed him because everyone knows what I’m like. The fact was though that I was actually starting to like him and I’d decided if he asked me out again I’d have say yes. He’s in college and older than all of us. His name is Parker and I’ve been avoiding him ever since.”

“Do you want to go some where else?” Angel asked.

“Well there is a film I’d like to see,” Buffy suggested.

“Well come on then let’s go,” Angel offered and they went to the cinemas.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

There was only one thing Buffy wanted to see and Angel was surprised when she chose it. The film was a horror and his favourite type of film but he'd thought she'd prefer a chick flick.

Buffy's eyes had been glued to the screen from beginning to end and hadn't really moved the entire time. Angel on the other hand could not seem to control his head, it kept moving to his left to look at her. His hands where under control though as he hadn't reached over and touched her like he really, really wanted to.

"So you hungry?" Buffy asked as they walked through the doors out of the cinema.

Angel shrugged, "I guess, what do you fancy?" He asked turning to look at her.

"Chinese, I could really go for a crispy chilli beef and egg fried rice," Buffy answered him with a dream look on her face and her eyes closed. "I've not had it in ages."

"Sounds good to me," Angel agreed and they took a taxi to Chung yings the only Chinese restaurant in Sunnydale.

Like a gentleman Angle opened the door to the restaurant for her, the first thing he noticed was the unusual music. He was sure he recognised the tune and tried to think of the name, when the chorus rolled around it hit him. Quit Playing Games with My Heart by the Backstreet Boys but with no words and the song was played with different instrument giving it a different edge.

"I love this song," Buffy said with a smile and started doing a weird little dance so everyone started looking at her.

She sang the words and Angel smiled at her, she was the strangest girl he'd ever met and the only one he could ever imagine falling in love with. Love, the though hit him like a tone of bricks he wasn't sure why he thought it and it scared him. His smile faded and he wanted to walk right out of the room, the prospect of falling for her so soon was daunting and he took a step back. He looked back to her and found three waiters dancing with her trying to copy her movements and he smiled again and he found his feet routed to the spot.

Part eight

After eating their food Buffy had suggested they go to the Bronze but promised to dance differently. Clothes were changed and Angel made her promise he would be able to pay for her drinks considering she hadn't let him pay for a single thing all that day. She'd reluctantly agreed but only after she'd decided she was going to give him a pay rise because her aunt was paying him minimum wage and he deserved more.

There was no one in there that Buffy really knew so she let Angel get her a drink and they found a table to sit at. Angel eyes wandered over the dance floor and he saw Gunn and Fred in the far corner dancing and he watched them wishing his friend happiness. Angel may have only known Gunn a short time but he though of him and a best friend and knew all about his history and it was a lot more than a boy of his aged should have to go through.

Buffy noticed his preoccupation; "Do you like her?" Buffy asked.

"What?" Angel asked surprised.

"Fred, do you like her because I know her I could set you up with her?" Buffy asked with a smile at his obvious embarrassment.

"No, she's my best friend’s girl. I was just thinking how happy they look and wish I could find that kind of happiness," he answered her with a sadness in his voice.

The idea that she could like him back had actually been playing in his head but at her suggestion that maybe she could set him up with Fred had crushed his hope. It was a lost cause.

"I'm sure you will, you’re a great guy Angel," Buffy told him, she reached over and took his hand and was surprised to feel the tingling sensation in her hand and the hairs on that back of her neck stood up. She looked up in to his eyes and saw the strangest look on his face. She pulled her hand back and carried on the conversation ignoring the feeling. Angel was sure she had felt it too but with the way she was acting now made him realise he was fooling him self.

Buffy looked at her watch and was surprised to see that they'd chatted for hours and only have half an hour before the club would close.

"Want to dance?" Buffy asked.

"Okay," He was confused by the sudden change in subject but followed her onto the dance floor.

They danced for a couple of minutes when a slow song came on to end the evening, he noticed she looked nervous and instead of moving closer she kept the distance and carried on dancing but at a slower pace.

Risk wasn't a word that could usually be found in Angel's vocabulary but he decided to take one and he placed his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. She felt comfortable in his arms swaying to the music, she placed her head on his chest and her eyes slid shut. A picture of Pike entered her head; a boy she had been friend's with along time ago. His dead body hanging from the tree in the park. Giles’ cold body lying on the floor, her parents smiling faces the morning of the crash. More and more images entered her head and she remember the promise she'd made to her self when she'd found Giles’ body, to never love or get close to any body again. She looked up and moved away quickly and pushed Angel away from her. She hoped that no vampires and sees then together and ran away from him. She got to the edge of the dance floor and looked back to see his confused face. "I'm sorry," she whispered. A boy walked in front of her and blocked her from view and then she was gone.

He ran after her but she was no where in sight so made his way home and stood out side her bedroom. He heard crying and was about to knock when it stopped and he head a distinctive 'click' come from in side.

He moved back but kept his eyes on the door he hung his head and shook it. Nothing made sense to him, he has no idea why she would run away from him like that and from her locking her door it was obvious she didn't want to talk to him.

His room seemed lonely when he climbed into his comfy bed, and it seemed to quiet. He hoped he hadn't ruined any chance he'd had at being her friend, he knew she was special and had the urge to keep her safe. He felt like she needed someone in her life to protect her.

In the morning he was woken up by the sound of music like he had been before and instead of going into the basement he went into the kitchen and cooked breakfast. Jamie joined him not long after and made her self-a cup of coffee before seating her self at the island.

"Did you have a good day yesterday?" she asked.

"Yeah but Buffy seemed upset last night," he commented.

"She's a strange girl, I wouldn't think anything of it. She's been having mood swings."

As Jaime said that Buffy entered the kitchen with a happy smile on her face, “Morning,” she greeted and went to the stove and leaned next to Angel smelling the food.

"Smells good, can I have some?" she asked.

Angel didn't know what to say she was acting as if nothing had happened the night before. He nodded and she poured her self-an orange juice from the fridge and sat at the island with Jamie.

When the food was cooked he plated it up and place one in front of Jamie and one in front of Buffy and put on the table opposite Buffy before sitting there.

"I got a job yesterday," Jaime said making conversation.

"Really?" Buffy asked gob smacked. She'd expect her Aunt to live off of her money and do nothing.

"Yeah, nothing big. Just something to keep me out of the house. I left the number of the fridge and I start Monday at nine o'clock."

"Congratulations," Buffy said and smiled a genuine smile at her auntie.

"Thank you," Jamie said. "Oh I almost forgot. You got a call yesterday," Jaime said and started fishing around in her housecoat pocket before pulling out a crumpled piece of paper and handed it to Buffy.

There was a number on it and the name Wesley, the thing that shocked her was the area code of the number. It belonged to Sunnydale.

"ER, thanks." Buffy said and shoved the paper into her pocket.

She finished her breakfast and went to the phone to call Wesley. He explained to her that he'd moved there under the guise that Giles’ was sick and needed a hand in his watcher duties. The council and bought it so he moved.

He'd told her about his job at the library and insisted that she stop by on Monday before school to talk to him.

After finishing on the phone she went in search of Angel. She was determined to act like nothing had happened yesterday in the hopes of continuing their friendship.

He's tried to broach the subject but Buffy kept brushing him off and he eventually took the hint.

Part Nine

On Monday morning Angel drove them to school and Buffy made her excuses to go to the library.

Angel wandered around the school to find Gunn but couldn't find his friend so headed to the library to do some work on his assignment before the school day started.

He opened one of the swinging doors to the dark room and was about to go over to the table when he heard voices coming from the office. Not one to normally ear's drop he made an exception when he realised that one of the voices belonged to Buffy. He stood outside the door and angled his body to get the best sound.

"I can't believe you didn't tell me you were coming," Buffy said obviously mad.

"I'm sorry but there was no time I had to act fast," Wesley said.

"I'm really mad at you for doing this but I'm glad you came. I'm going crazy having no one to talk to. Since Giles…" her vice faltered. "Since Giles died I've have no one to talk to."

"What's the situation?" Wesley asked changing the subject.

"Well a little too quiet for my liking but I staked two last night," Buffy answered.

He took his glasses off and cleaning them in a Giles’ like fashion that brought a smile to her face.

"Are you training?"

"Yeah, every morning. Giles used to have to force me but now it's like I'm on auto-pilot."

"Well that's good, but I think you should come here every night after patrol, there are a few techniques I would like to show you," Wesley told her.

"Are you sure? I might hurt you."

"Yes, I will just teach you the method I will not actually spar with you. I am not a very good at the physical side."

"Well maybe you should spar with me. You need to be able to do the physical stuff. Giles was good and look that happened to him."

Buffy looked down but Wesley could tell she was upset and tell her have a moment.

"What time do you normally patrol?" he asked.

"I don't have a set time but tonight it will have to after midnight. It’s hard to get out with Jamie there."

"Okay, will you call when you arrive home to give me details?" he asked.

"Sure no prob. Now I'm really sorry but I got to go."

Wesley nodded and watched her leave.

Angel made his way to the door as fast as he could and pretended to be just entering, Buffy saw him and grabbed a book off the counter.

"Hey what are you doing here?" Angel asked. "I though you had to see a teacher."

"Oh I did I just needed to grab a book, now I'm going bye."

Buffy practically ran out of the room and Angel wondered what the conversation was all about.

He didn't ask her about it he'd tried to but he didn't know what to say so he decided he was going to follow her that night. He didn't go to bed and at half eleven he went into the garden and waited for Buffy. When she arrived he followed her but after only five minutes he lost her. He didn't know what had happened she'd been right in front of him that he walked into the ally and she was no where in sight. He looked around for awhile but couldn't see any sign of her so headed home.

Buffy jumped off the metal bar she was holding on too and followed Angel home to make sure he got home safe.

She wondered why he had followed her then though back to that morning at the library, he'd heard her talking to Wesley.

She finished her patrol and made her obligatory phone call to Wesley before going to bed.

Part Ten

The first thing Buffy noticed when she work up was the pain in her shoulder it felt like it had been crushed under a tank. The fight last night with the unusually big vampire must have been worse that she had thought. He'd thrown her at a crypt, she'd hit it will her shoulder then lie on the floor. The vampire have gone over and stood on both arms to keep her down. It hadn't hurt, or she hadn't noticed it hurt last night.

Rolling over on to her good side she sat up and surveyed the damage. Bruised, definitely bruised, She went to the closet and pulled out a long sleeve shirt and a pair of pants. The smell of Radox rose from the bath and Buffy lowered her self-in. she nearly fell asleep but caught her self in time. A radox bath always helped her muscles to relax and the pain didn't seem to be as bad as before.

She towelled herself off and put on her clean cloths, the thought of doing her work out made her arm ache so she missed it that morning and went for a walk instead. She had to think of an excuse to tell Angel for when he woke up so he wouldn't follow her again.

The kitchen was quiet except from the tap of metal on metal she heard on and off as she neared the room. She could smell pancakes and followed her nose and sat at the island and watched Angel cook.

He placed the plate in front of her and smiled, "where did you learn to cook like this?" Buffy asked after taking a bite out of her pancake.

"From my mother, her father was a chef and he taught her everything he knew."

He sat down him self and poured syrup over his breakfast.

"Well at this rate I'm going to be as big as a house and my training will be all out of whack," Buffy said trying to angle her lie into the conversation so it seemed natural.

"Training? Training for what?" Angel asked.

"Well don't tell anyone but I've been training for a while now and I'm hoping to skate in the ice show. I staked two new moves the night before but other wise it's been a slow process normally I'm quick at picking things up."

"Oh right, what does Staked mean?" Angel asked.

"It means I learnt two more moves," Buffy replied hoping he bought it. "Can I ask you a favour?" She questioned.

"Sure," Angel said.

"Well I sneak out at night to patrol the competition to see what I'm up against, I don't want Jaime knowing so if she ever notices I'm missing could you cover for me?" Buffy lied. Hopefully she's put Angel off the sent and got him to help her hide for Jaime.

"Yeah, I will. Doesn't she know your doing it?"

"No and I don't want her or anyone else to know either," Buffy said with a serious look on her face.

"My lips are sealed," Angel told her but there was something wrong with it but he couldn't put his finger on what it could be.

Buffy took her plate to the sink and watched and dried it before reaching up to put it into the cupboard. Her arm went week and the plate fell but with her quick reflexes she caught it will her other hand. Angel noticed what happened and went next to her and moved her top down so see all the bruising.

"What happened?" he asked with concern.

"Oh I fell while I was practising," she lied.

"It looks bad," he told her while his arm still on her shoulder and his eyes trained on the black and blue coloured skin.

"I'm a quick healer," Buffy told him and moved away. "It will be fine my tomorrow," she promised him.

She put her cutlery into the draw and he looked on with concern on his face.

They left for school and went to their separate classes, only meeting up for lunch and to go home.

Buffy found herself spending every minute she could with him; he became her best friend and confidant.

He'd lived with them for a month and his father still hadn't bothered to get in touch. Angel said he didn't car but Buffy could tell that even though they didn't get along he still loved his father.

Buffy insisted he go back and pick up the rest of his clothes from his house. Just to see his father one more time. Angel reluctantly agreed and on the weekend Angel drove to his old house. He couldn't make himself go in, he just stood staring at the place he couldn't call home. This was just a place he'd slept at not a home where you cared about what when on in the place or about the people who lived there.

Buffy got out of the car, she had promised she would stay in the car but she stood next to him and took his hand giving him a reassuring smile. She pulled on his hand and led him to the front door and knocked giving his hand a squeeze.

The door opened to reveal a man with dark hair and dark eyes much the same as Angel but his facial structure was very different. He was taller than Angel but his shoulders not as broad.

"What do you want Angel," He asked with an edge to his voice.

"I've just come to pick up the rest of my belongings," Angel answered with his head down.

"You don’t own anything in this house," his father told him his mouth sent in a straight line.

"Mr O'Connor I'm a friend Of Angels," Buffy said with a smile that was too polite and held out her hand for him to shake it. He just ignored her existence so she dropped her hand.

"Please just let me get the rest of my stuff and I'll never bother you again," Angel said looking his father in the eye.

"Fine, but only take your stuff if I find anything missing I'll call the police," he threatened.

Angel pushed past his dad and Pulled Buffy with him and up the stairs to his room. He started packing and she tried to help. She watched him, he looked so sad. She hadn't seen him like that in all the time she had known him. He had his back turned away from her so she stepped backwards quietly and went back down the stairs.

"Mr O'Connor," She said finding his sat on the armchair in the living room.

"What?" He sneered.

"I just wanted to talk to you," she said and moved around the chair to face him.

He placed his book on the arm spread to keep his place.

"Hey, that's Angel's favorite book," she told him.

"Yeah so what?" he asked disinterested.

"Nothing," she said then paused. "I was just wondering if before Angel goes you could just say something nice let him know you care. He deserves that at the very least."

He looked at her with shock, "And why does he deserve that. You don't know what he's like little girl." He stood up and his large frame towered over him.

"I do know what he's like and he'd the best person I know, he's kind, gentle, smart, and a really good friend," Buffy defended him.

"He's a selfish little boy who thinks the world revolves around him. He treats me with no respect. I wish he'd never been born maybe then my life would be better."

"He's anything but selfish he'd do anything for anyone. You just see him how you want to not how he is. If you could see what I saw you'd think differently. You are the selfish one, you only think about yourself. You’re a horrible person and I'm glad he's having nothing to do with you because then you'll be alone like you deserve."

Angel walked down the stairs and head the last of their conversation, his eyes widened as he saw his father's hand raise and go to strike Buffy. She caught it next to her face and squeezed and the tall man fell to the floor. He hit out with his other hand and she caught that too and squeezed that one to breaking the bone.

Angel looked on in shock, he watched as Buffy's moth moved obviously giving his father a word of warning before pushing him backwards and letting him fall against the chair he'd been sitting in looking at his hands in pain. Buffy looked at Angel with a smile and walked over too him, she took in his shocked expression. "What like I spend every morning down in the basement pushing the hell out of that dummy and you didn't think it paid off."

"Now come on," She took his hand and picked up the bag he'd been holding but dropped.

"He'd just using you for sex, you're not the first and you won’t be the last," Angel's dad called after them.

Angel dropped Buffy's hand and went over to the man he'd called dad, and punching him in the face causing him to drop into the position Buffy had left him in.

He looked back to Buffy and walked over to him she gave him a small smile and took his hand pulling him out of the house. The tension seemed to evaporate from Angel as soon as he stepped over the thresh hold.

They got into the car and Angel started the car he drove them to the mansion and went to turn off the ignition but stopped and looked over at Buffy.

"You know you are very special to me. I couldn't have done that with out you," he said looking her straight in the eye with such sincerity.

He reached out his had and touched her cheek and brushed her hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear.

She leaned forward against her better judgment and kissed him, he put his arms around her waist and pulled her over too him and on to his lap. The kiss made her feel good inside and safe, like she hadn't felt in a long time. She broke the kiss and looked at him, he kissed her forehead and she put her head against his shoulder and he rested her chin on her head.

"I fell safe with you," Buffy said breaking the silence knowing he wouldn't know how important that feeling was too her and that she didn't feel it very often.

"I fell safe with you," he told her truthfully. "Anyone who can reduce my dad to his knees would make me feel safe," he joked.

She smiled against him and moved her head to kissed his chin, then settled back into his embrace.

"Why did you run?" he asked and she knew what he meant.

"Anyone I care about dies," she told him. "I didn't want you to be next."

He tightened his arms around her and kissed her hair, "I'm not going anywhere," he promised.

"Don't make promises you can't keep," Buffy said and there was something in her voice that told him not to question that statement.

"Can I watch you skate?" Angel asked and Buffy looked up at him.

"Sure," she could skate she used to do it when she was little and had won a few awards. The question though made her remember the lies she has told and made her feel rotten.

"How about we go now?" he suggested.

"But that means I have to move and I'm really comfy," she whined.

"Okay, we'll stay like this for a while," he told her and nuzzled her hair.

She closed her eyes and prayed things could be this good forever, but she knew with her life it wouldn't last long.

Part Eleven

The rink had been closed so they had to break in, which hadn't been that had Buffy had just forced the lock on the door and their was no alarm. Angel had seemed a little uneasy about breaking and entering but Buffy had told him she did it all the time.

Angel watched her from his newly found seat on the cold ice. It had been the forth time he'd fallen and decided to stay there and just watch her instead of falling for the fifth time. She moved so gracefully across the ice it looked like she was floating. The next time she glided past him he grabbed her writ and pulled her down so she was lying on top of him.

"Your really good," Angel complimented her and moved her over a bit to make her move comfortable.

"Thanks, I've been skating since I was little," she thanked him.

Angel raised his head and kissed her softly on the lips. This was different to the first one it had more feeling, the first kiss they shared was new and short this one lasted a lot longer and made them both tingle.

They hadn't told any of their friends about their new-found relationship although she was sure Cordelia had an idea about them. They would sneak off once in a while any comeback flushed.

Two weeks together but it felt much longer to both of them, Jamie had no idea about their relationship and become so engrossed in her job she was never home. Buffy suspected Jamie had met someone and that's why she was never around. Whatever the reason Buffy was glad for it.

Buffy was finding it harder and harder to lie to Angel about why she just had to talk to Wesley everyday and how he couldn't watch her fake practise because she didn't like an audience.

Another lie was told so she could go on patrol after their date one Saturday night, she'd been wandering around for three hours and nothing had happened so she decided to go home. She passed the bronze toward the main street to her house.

She heard a bang behind her and twisted to see what was there but there was no sign of anything. She turned back around and came face to face with the mangled appearance of a vampire. She kicked him out of the way and pulled out a stake when she looked back up there was nothing. She clutched the stake tightly and carried on with her journey using all her senses to see if there was anything there. She turned the corner and there were four vampires, nothing she couldn't handle.

"Hi Slayer, I only arrived in town a couple of days ago I though I should come and introduce myself to you, the names Penn," the good looking vampire said giving her a cocky smile.

"You really didn't have to bother, could have just sent a card or called. Calling would have been good."

"But then I wouldn't get the pleasure of seeing you in Pain," He retorted with an evil glint in his eye.

Buffy felt a presence behind her and looked around to see four more vampires behind her. She was surrounded and they're weren't you average vampires by the feel of them. They felt older than the usual fledglings she usually encountered.

Deciding to attack before they had a chance she threw she stake and one in front of her turned into dust. She had been aiming for Penn but he pulled one of the other in front of him. The vampires behind her attacked while three in font stood where they were. Buffy flipped over them and took two more stakes out of their hiding places dusting two and kicked out breaking one of their legs causing him to fall to the floor. She staked him leaving her to fight one. She managed to get some good blows in and had split her lip and maybe broken a rib. She eventually managed to stake him as well, which left the three that had been stood in front of her. Penn still stayed where he was and the female and the ugly male approached her. Buffy reached out and pulled the females hair and kneed her in the face while spinning around and kicking the male in his face.

The woman punched Buffy in her ribs and she fell in pain and the male kicked her in her chest, he leaned over to bite her but met with her stake and turned into dust above her. She gathered her strength and jumped up and tackled the female they each got an equal number of punches and kick in and Buffy was loosing but she found her self-facing the ash of the female vampire. Penn stood in front of her, a stake in his hand.

"Sorry but it was getting tiresome watching you and I wanted my turn," he told her and punched her in her already swollen eye. She lunged with her stake but he turned it around and plunged it into her stomach. She fell to the ground hard smacking her head on the pavement.

"You will be my first," Penn told her and crouched next to her.

He curled his hand around the stake in her body and moved it a little causing her to cry out in pain. He yanked it out and she screamed louder.

He had something on his finger, which he used to cut a cross into her arm.

Buffy took the pen out of her pocket and struck out at him, she missed his heart due to her hazy vision but the biro went through his neck. She walloped him in the head with all the strength she could muster and scrabbled to her feet.

She hobbled to her house falling numerous times on the way and went straight to Angel room.

She slowly went to his bed but fell to the floor and knocked his table and a lamp crashed to the floor waking him up. He looked around his dark room and found Buffy in a heap on the floor.

"Oh my god Buffy," Angel said shocked and went to her side.

"Angel," she whispered pain evident in her voice.

"What happened?" He asked taking in her appearance.

"Was attacked," she stumbled out.

"Come on, I'll take you to the hospital," he said gathering her in his arms.

"No," she shouted and gripped his arm so tight he though she was going to beak it.

"But Buffy your injuries look really bad you need to get to hospital," Angel coaxed.

"No," she said again. "No hospitals, will be fine," she said. "Don't want to go," she said and started crying.

He placed her on his bed and she passed out. He didn't think it would be a good idea to tell Jamie what happened so he gathered some supplies and started cleaning her wounds.

When he finished he laid down next to her. She unconsciously shifted so be closer to him and he placed a comforting arm around her.

He fell asleep with her in his arms and had nightmares all night about Buffy being in trouble each time it was a different person but they always had the same disfigured face. It got worse, right before he work up he saw Buffy stick a pen through a guy's neck and woke with a start. Buffy was jostled awake and looked at Angel.

"Angel," Buffy said and looked at him.

"Buffy," he said looking at her face that last night was bruised and cut.

He touched her face to find only little traces of the bruising and that the cuts were minor. She winced at the tough on her sore skin but didn't move.

"What?" he asked. "What happened, you need to tell the police?"

"I can't and please don't say anything to anyone," she pleaded.

"On one condition," he told her. "You have to tell me everything, and I want the truth."

Buffy looked away from him and moved to sit cross-legged at the end of the bed.

"You won't believe me," she told him still not looking him in the eye. "And if by some chance you do you'll hate me or wish you didn't know and hold it against me."

"Buffy I love you nothing you say could make me hate you," he said it with such passion she felt tears come to her eyes.

"You love me?" she asked finally looking at him.

Angel looked embarrassed like he hadn't meant to say it, "Yeah."

"I love you too," she told him.

Angel made a move to get closer to her," Stop," she ordered.

Angel looked confused, "Let me speak then you can decide weather you still want to have something to do with me or not."

Angel had all kinds of scenarios going though his head on what she could possibly say.

"DO you believe in vampires? Demons? Wear wolves? Or even witches?" she questioned. "Actually don't answer that. Since I was little I always knew there was something different about me, I was stronger and faster than anyone my age was even than my mom was. I started having nightmares about girls fighting these scary monsters and people with mangled faces. I used to wake up crying and my mom would hold me but I never told her what my nightmares where about. One day thins man approached me and told me that I was something called a slayer. I was always told never to talk to strangers but this man, there was something about him that made me trust him. I listened to all he had to say. He told by about a girl called a slayer. The one girl in all the world chosen to fight against the vampire's the demons and the forces of darkness," she took on and English accent as she said that. "Giles was always better at that then me. Well anyway's he told me I was destined to be one of these girls, I didn't believe him but then he told me about the nightmares I had. I hadn't told anyone about them, no one."

Buffy paused finding it hard to talk about Giles; "He became my nanny or carer as he preferred to be called. He wasn't qualified or anything but his bosses had power and he was able to pull if off. One night he took me to the graveyard and I sat on a fresh grave where Giles told me too. I felt the ground shaking and a hand camp up beside me. A man crawled out of the grave and his face was, it was so awful and I screamed so loud. I somehow managed to stake it. I guess the vampire wasn't expecting a little six-year-old girl to be able to hurt him and I staked him and he turned in to ash. I cried for hours on Giles shoulder I understood everything that was going on and I kept asking him why. And the only answer he would ever give me was that the world is a cruel place. I wasn't actually the slayer at the time just a potential one. Giles trained me the best he could and when my parents died we moved here. Sunnydale just happens to be sitting on the entrance to Hell so the evil here is worse than anywhere else is. I was the youngest to ever be called at ten. Normally they are older than fifteen. I think my age helped me because I treated it as a game and vampires underestimated me. They still do they see a little blond girl and figure I'm an easy target."

She stopped talking and glanced at Angel she expected him to have stopped her and called her crazy.

"You haven't said a word," she said.

He got off the bed and went to her and pulled her too him and hugged her so tight she sore ribs ached.

"I love you," Angel whispered into here hair. "Even if you were covered in slime."

That as all she needed to hear and she cried on his shoulder, and didn't mind notice the pain any longer.

Part Twelve

Things had been strange between them for the past week, after Angel had declared his love Buffy had expected everything to stay as they were but they changed. Angel was trying his best to act normal but it wasn’t every day that you found out your girlfriend is a slayer and when you heard a bump in the night it could very well have been a monster that caused it. One of the other factors that caused the distance Angel kept was the fact that she’d lied to him, sure she’d had too but still it bothered him that she could lie so easily. He excepted the fact she is a slayer mostly due to the dream he had the night she lay in his arms. He saw her fighting and there was something about that image that made him feel her pain.

She had insisted on giving him some lessons on the basics of fighting. Even Wesley had thought it was a good idea. He'd taken to it quicker than she's expected. She let him think he was winning every now and then just so as not do damage his male pride. As much time they were spending together something still wasn't right between them.

The only way he could think of to get them back on track was to go out on a normal night out and do normal things like normal people. He asked her out on a date to take place on the Saturday night, she’d taken all day preparing herself and finding the perfect look. In the end she decided on a black gypsy top and black skirt with slits up the side.

He knocked on her door at seven sharp they made small talk as they walked to the car; he was the perfect gentleman helping her in and out of the car. He’d taken her too a very secluded spot on the beach where there was a blanket lay out and a hamper sat on top. Angel took the hamper off and shook the blanked removing any sand that had been on it. Buffy sat on the blanket as Angel gestured, he joined her sitting facing and opened the hamper pulling things out and setting them down.

They ate their food and chatted a little, and Buffy felt things become easier. More relaxed that they had been in a while. But there was still an underlying tension that they couldn’t seem to shift.

“Angel,” Buffy whispered after a period of awkward silence.

“Yeah?” He asked.

“Will things be right again, between us I mean?” she asked her head tilted to the side looking him in the eye.

“I hope so, I really do. I meant it when I told you I loved you, but,” he paused and looked down as if trying to see the words in the blankets stitching.

“But?” She prompted.

“You lied to me,” he blurted out and let the fact sink in before continuing. “How do I know you won’t do it again?” he asked looking back up only to find her looking away and in to the ocean.

"I can't promise I won't lie to you again Angel, there are still things in this world that I have to deal with that you shouldn't," she began and her eyes took on a far away look. "People I love have died because of me, because of what I am. There are Things you shouldn't know about." She finished.

"Well what if you promise to always tell me what you can and if you there's something you can't tell me, don't lie. Just simply say you can't tell me," Angel reasoned.

His question hadn't got the answer he'd expected. He thought she'd just agree and he would believe her and everything would be all right again. She was being honest, he had to admire her for that but the look on her face made him shiver, what could she have to hide from him that was worse that her having to fight evil on a nightly basis? He saw sadness cross her delicate features and knew that she would never say.

"Deal," she agreed and reached out her hand for him to shake.

He took it using his finger he began tracing small circles on the back of her hand. He tugged on her hand and pulled her over too him and she rested on him. One leg straight the other bent with her between them leaning on the bent leg, he held her around the chest with his arms. Her right arm rested on his bent knee while the other held his hand.

"We okay now?" She asked in and hopeful voice.

"Yeah," he answered and put his chin on her shoulder and nuzzled her neck.

They sat quietly taking comfort in the presence of each other, Angel kissed her neck once, twice and started making his way up to her face. She turned her head and their lips met in a sweet kiss that started to grow in passion. She shifted in his arms to face him and kneeled in front of him. She leaned on him and pressed him to the ground lying on top of him. Their hands began to roam and Angel flipped him over so he was above her. His hand slid up her top and played with the skin under it.

"Angel," she said breaking off from the kiss.

He understood her plea and removed his hand and placed it in her hair and kissed her again. As Much as Buffy wanted to make love to him she knew she wasn't ready to take that step.

Angel stopped kissing her and laid his next to hers keeping his arms around her waist.

"I love you," He whispered.

"Love you too," she repeated and they drifted off to sleep.

Part thirteen

All her cupboards were open and clothes strewn all over the floor, there was barley any carpet left in view.

Angel lay on her bed his head propped up by his arms; he looked on in amusement as she went through the messy piles of clothes for the third time. Her hair was in a towel and she wore her caftan to cover her body and the train trailed along behind her.

"I have no clothes," she stated and threw the red halter neck top across the room.

Angel looked pointedly around the room and she frowned," so I have clothes but there all old. I'm going out with Cordelia I can't wear any of them."

"Anything you wear will be fine," he told her and pulled himself up and rustled under the clothes at the foot of the bed and found a green polo neck and brown pants. "Wear these," he told her.

She looked at him liked he'd grown a second head, "Angel they're awful, I can't believe I even own them."

"I don't see what's wrong with them," he told her.

"Out," she told him and pointed at the door with a playful smile on her face.

"I'm going," He raised his hands in surrender and left the room after giving her a sweet kiss on the forehead.

She went back to her closet and found it empty so turned her back to it and surveyed the mess on the floor. Her eyes locked on the perfect outfit and her picked it up and began the task of ironing it

She heard a loud bang coming from down stairs and legged it down the steps into the kitchen to find a water piper had burst and Angel was sat under it with a spanner in his hand.

"What happened?" Buffy shouted.

Angel shrugged and continued to try and stop the water flow. He didn't seem to be succeeding so Buffy trudged over to the sink and kneeled beside him, she leant forward and reached out her hand, it came in contact with the pipe and she bent it putting an end to the water flow.

"There you go sweetie," she said and kissed him on his very wet hair.

He pulled a face at her, "it only needed a woman's touch," she said and stood up and began to walk away.

She slipped on a tile and crashed down on top of Angel, he burst out laughing and she elbowed him in the stomach but eventually gave in and laughed too.

They ended up kissing and rolling around on the floor which only came to a holt when they heard the front door slam. It was Jamie and she didn't look too pleased to find the floor soaking wet and her in what seemed to be in a compromising position under the sink with the handy man.

"What's going on?" Jamie demanded.

"Angel broke the sink I was trying to fix it," Buffy said pointedly and got off the floor and flounced past her aunt. She got out of the door and glanced at her watch on but to find that she'd lost half an hour and was now running an hour late.

She took three steps at once hurrying up the stairs and pulled out the hair dryer and made quick work of drying her hair before pulling on her clothes over her slightly damp body.

Buffy left her room only to be grabbed around the waist and pushed against the wall. His lips descended on hers as they continued what was going on earlier. Buffy stopped first and rested her forehead against his, "I have to go." She said but by the tone of her voice you could tell it was not something she wanted to do.

"But you own me after leaving me to deal with Jamie," he said and kissed her once more.

"I promised Cordelia," she said and he kissed her again.

"I've bailed on her three times this week she's starting to get suspicious."

"Can I come?" he asked.

"No, Cordelia's my best friend and we need some quality time," Buffy told him and pulled away. "I'll see you later," she said and smiled and left him standing there.

She tried Cordelia's mobile when she got out side and found it to be turned off, she frowned to her self. Cordelia never turned off her mobile; she even had it on in class and refused in hospitals.

The bronze was only two blocks away so she quickened her pace. They always met inside because Buffy was scared for her friend.

Sirens pierced the air and she heard voices and people crying, her feet moved even faster and she pushed through the crowed of people gathered around the side of the bronze. A feeling of dread began to rise in her; she got through the crowd and saw a body lay on the ground.

Brown hair pillowed the head of the beautiful girl; her head lolled to the side and two holes had been make in her neck and blood had trickled out of the wound and dried.

Buffy's hand flew to her mouth and she fell to her knees at Cordelia side and tears prickled at the back of her eyes lids. She blinked and she rolled down her cheeks.

"Excuse me miss," a police officer called.

Buffy didn't take her eyes off the body; she did however notice the Biro pen also coming from Cordelia's neck. She lost her breath and scrambled to her feet. She felt a hand on her shoulder and removed it with slayer strength and ran. Something broke inside her she knew this was all her fault, he was taking revenge, and it was all her fault that Cordelia was murdered.

The heels of her boots clicked on the pavement as she fled the scene, she didn't notice the two pairs of blue eyes watching her leave.

Part fourteen

The blonde vampire had arrived in Sunnydale over a month before the death of Cordelia; she'd met up with Penn who at the time was unable to speak due to an injury to the neck.

Darla had come to this specific town to face the slayer she had been hearing all about. Demons and vampires had been using the word greatest as a prefix when taking about her. The greatest slayer this, the greatest slayer that, it was sickening so Darla decided to do something about it.

She'd been watching the slayer for the past two days, and acquired all of her background information. She'd had Penn kill the girl so the slayer would find her. The slayer had one weakness in life and Darla would use it against her to drive her insane. The loss of another loved one would drive her over the edge. She picked the perfect person for the next attack.

A boy by the name of angel, he fascinated her to no end. He had been out with the slayer the night before and he handled him self well for a mortal.

Darla could tell by their body language that they we're an item, the loving glances, the tender touches. The fact that they made out on a head stone had also given her the clue.

The boy had something special in him especially if he broke the slayer's defenses down enough to date her. She wanted the boy for herself so by taking him from the slayer she would kill two birds with one stone, brake the slayer and have herself a plaything.

: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~+~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~: ~

Buffy whizzed past Angel who had been painting the hall, and up to her room slamming her door shut.

Angel looked on in concern and followed her up he opened her door before she had a chance to lock it.

"Go away," she demanded in a small voice.

Angle walked over to her bed where she was in a heap and crying silently to herself, he laid behind her and pulled her body into his arms.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

She stayed quiet for a long time and he spoke to her in a soft voice until she let the word slip from her mouth about Cordelia's death. The MO pointed towards Penn as being the killer and she blamed herself for it.

He managed to comfort her and get her to stop crying but something he said made she close up again and she scrambled off her bed and looked at him. She seemed so lost like a little girl.

"Please leave," she ordered.

He looked at her confused and asked her why, she didn't explain just demanded he go or she'd throw him out. He saw something in her eyes that scared him and he began to move toward the door and turned his back on her.

"I can't lose you," he heard her whisper so quiet he though he imagined it.

After hearing that he remember the conversation they'd had after the dance in the bronze about how she lost everything she loved. Cordelia death put shave been the last straw.

"You can't do this Buffy I won't let you push me away," he said and turned around.

"What if I told you I didn't love you and I'd being using you for my one selfish reasons," she said her voice hard.

He winced and he felt his insides twist, he knew she was lying but to hear she say those words hurt him.

"I'd say, you’re a terrible liar and that you couldn't be selfish if you tried. You give your life for other people with every breath you take."

Her hard face faltered and she looked scared, she'd hope pushing him away would be easy but she knew deep down it wouldn't work. He knew her better that anyone and he knew her fears.

He walked over to her and pulled her into a hug.

"I love you, remember that," he whispered in to her hair.

"He's coming after you next, because you're close to me," she told him.

"Well isn't that a good reason to keep me close to you? So you can protect me?" he asked pulling away to look her in the eye.

"You just have to be Mr. logic don't you?" she asked and laughed.

He kissed her softly, then pulled away looking at her seriously.

"You need to catch this guy, and I know the perfect way," he said.

"How?" she asked looking at him quizzically.

Part fifthteen

"No," He yelled crossed his arms over his chest.

They were in the cemetery with Wesley patrolling the night of Cordelia Murder. Buffy was blocking the whole event from her mind, she didn't have time for grief, and she needed to concentrate. The luxury of being normal wasn't something she could at that time.

"Angel I'm telling you if you don't leave my sight this very minute I'll hit so hard you won't wake up till next week," she threatened.

"Buffy no, I won't leave I love you," he protested.

"I don't care just go," she ordered.

She too crossed her arms and looked at him with narrowed eyes. He looked back but realized it was a lost cause and turned and left.

Buffy let her sad eyes follow him out of the cemetery, his shoulders slumped, and his pace slow.

Angel took the long way back to the mansion, which meant he had to cross the park. He stopped near the swings and sat on one pushing back and forth letting his shoes drag in the gravel.

"Hi," a soft voice called out.

He lifted his head to see who had spoken to him and smiled at the pretty blond.

"Hey," he relied and gave her a smile.

"You look lonely, do you want to come to the bronze with me?" she asked cocking her head to the side.

"No thank you," he said not telling her more.

"Are you sure?" she asked. "I could show you a good time," her voice seductive.

"I have a girlfriend," he said.

"Really? Then where is she?"

She walked closer to him and placed a hand on either side of the metal supports.

"She's busy at the moment," he said swallowing the lump in his throat.

"My names Darla, what's yours?"

"Angel."

"Nice to meet you Angel," she whispered as she lowered her head to his.

"Hey, no playing with the food," a male voice shouted.

Darla groaned and turned from Angel facing the man who spoke.

"Penn, I do things my way," Darla confirmed.

"This is my revenge gig, so I say it's my way," Penn told her with a cocky tone to his voice.

"Really?" she questioned with a smile gracing her lips.

Darla pulled a gun out of the rim of her skirt and shot him twice in the head and he went down like a ton of bricks.

"I like it when they fall at my feet," she gloated.

"Can I interrupt this little power struggle," Buffy called walking into the park.

"Sure you can," Darla replied then pointed her gun at Buffy.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Buffy told her with a smirk on her face.

"And why would that be?"

She felt a shaped pain in her chest and her body started to disintegrate.

"Shiiiiiiit," was the last word she ever spoke.

Buffy smiled then walked over to pen and put a stake through his heart.

"Well that was easy," Buffy commented.

"Quite," Wesley said walking on to the scene.

Part sixteen - epilogue

The events of the past year seemed so long ago to Buffy, she'd settled into college making new friends, meeting knew people. She'd never forget all she lost but she had to remember that life was worth living, and giving up and Pushing people away was like forgetting about her parents and Giles, and Cordelia.

Angel had been her strength trough the hard times the love they shared made her feel tingly inside and reminded her that there was goodness in the world. He'd proposed to her on their year anniversary getting down on one knew in the middle of the cemetery and the date had been set for the week they left college.

Jamie was still as oblivious as ever and looked startled at the announcement in the paper that Buffy was to get wed. Buffy turned eighteen and bought a small cottage far from the mansion and moved Jamie's belongings in along with Jaime.

Fred and Gunn were doing the long distance thing, him staying in Sunnydale starting his own business as a P.I. Fred moved to England to study at Oxford. They're still very much in love and have long conversations over the videophone.

Wesley Carried on with his job at the school, Buffy managed to get him to have a bit of a social life and he met a woman called Lilah at a singles meeting at willies bar.

Life was finally good for Buffy and she smiled kissing her new husband on the lips.

The end.

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