High School Hell

Author: Kristian

E-Mail: eriks_girl2005@yahoo.com

Summary: Buffy and Angel are the two most popular kids in high school and they hate each other with a passion. What happens when Buffy’s in a bad relationship and her only hope is the one person she doesn’t trust?

Rating: R

Category: AU

Disclaimer: Do I look like a 40 year old guy?

Distribution: The Eternal Flame, Love is Forever, you want it? Takie it… just let me know where!

Feedback: Come on, is that even a question I have to answer?

AN: Thank you to Lynn and Akay who helped with the smutty scenes later on… love yas

Sixteen year old Buffy Summers was jamming to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” one morning as she got ready for another fun filled day of high school hell. Granted she was one of the most popular girl’s on campus, but that didn’t mean that she didn’t have her own problems. Certain expectations were wearing thin on her lately, and a certain man or men really, were really wearing her down.

It was common high school knowledge that the head cheerleader (i.e. Buffy) and the quarter back of the football team (i.e. Angel “the player” O’Reilly) were supposed to date. The mere thought made Buffy want to throw up last night’s pasta dinner. She got shivers as the suggestion of her Angel left her mind.

She couldn’t lie and say that the guy was a dog, in fact, he was a total hottie. He didn’t have the rep of being “the player” for nothing. The man was so obnoxious though. He was always rude to her and being an asshole. When he wasn’t being arrogant, he was trying to make some disgusting pass at her. It was a mutual hatred, he hit on her just to piss her off most days. Other days made her wonder.

Buffy shook off the thoughts of Angel, who also happened to be her next door neighbor and Buffy’s best friend Faith’s twin brother. She checked herself in the mirror, smoothing out her skirt and gently running her hands over her short blonde locks. It was another sunny day in Sunnydale, California. The outfit she’d chosen to wear to school that day was absolutely her favorite. She wore a pink lacey tank top with a blue jean skirt and her blue jean sandals.

Feeling satisfied with her appearance, Buffy skipped down stairs and into her kitchen where she grabbed her back-pack and the money on the table that her mother had left for her to take for lunch. Buffy saw that her younger sister Dawn hadn’t left yet. Rolling her eyes she walked out the door and saw Faith standing on the end of her driveway waiting for her.

“Hey Faith,” Buffy greeted happily to her best friend.

“Hey B! You wanna walk today?” Faith asked after she greeted her long time friend and neighbor. It was such a gorgeous day outside and Faith had wanted to walk to school. It wasn’t a long walk, about ten minutes.

“Yeah, why ride in this baby when you can walk?” the voice of the devil filled the air and Buffy tried to not let him get to her; especially this early in the day.

Ignoring him, Buffy turned to Faith and said, “Let’s walk, you know that stench is really starting to permeate the air.” She waved her tiny hands in front of her cute button nose to indicate she smelled something foul.

Smiling satanically, he replied, “Awww, Buff, I’m touched. I didn’t know it made you wet just to hear my voice.”

Giving up she finally turned to him seeing him for the first time that morning. He looked damn sexy as usual. He wore a pair of Banana Republic shorts and a polo top. His dark, brown hair was usual with it’s gelled spikes and he had on his sunglasses. “Don’t you have an elsewhere to be? Like with your skank of a girlfriend?” Buffy taunted him.

Faith had to chuckle at Buffy’s comments about Angel’s choice in women. She really didn’t like Cordelia Chase. Cordy was a rich, snobby, bitch who had managed to weasel herself into Angel’s life. The only reason Faith figured they were even dating to begin with was the fact that they had to have great sex together. It certainly wouldn’t have surprised her if that was the case.

“And where’s your boyfriend this morning Ms. Smart-Ass. In jail for drugs or is off screwing this shit out of his ex Dru?” He taunted back at her equally. He realized he probably stepped on some sensitive spots and he shouldn’t have, but alas, the damage was already done. He certainly wasn’t about to apologize to her. Buffy tried not to let his words effect her so much, but the sad truth was that Spike probably was off in jail for drugs, getting drugs, or screwing Drusilla. Spike wasn’t getting any from Buffy that was for sure.

Buffy turned and walked away from both Angel and Faith. Faith smacked her brother on the upper arm and loudly whispered, “Fucker, you know better than that.” “Ooo, like I care if I hurt her feelings. I’m just pointing out true facts. Spike is an abuser of drugs, it’s not my fault that she got mixed up with him.” He stated his thoughts and views on their whole relationship.

Faith didn’t say anything else to him. She turned away and went to catch up to Buffy who had already made it down to the end of Revello Drive.

Angel sighed, and got in his car. He put on his best, ‘I know I’m sexy and I know you want to fuck me’ smile and started his ’97 Ford 4 Runner and muttered to himself before the radio blasted, “Chicks.”

At school, but the time lunch hour came around, Buffy had long forgotten her confrontation with Angel that morning. She was patiently waiting at the front doors of the school. Every day she’d wait by the doors in case Spiked decided to show up. He’d often surprise her at lunch time and he didn’t want to spend the time looking for her, when he could be with her.

“Waiting for someone Buff?” Angel snidely asked her as he approached her slowly with his lunch tray still in his hands.

“Uh-huh.” She answered almost robotically. She didn’t even notice that it was Angel she was talking to and who was talking to her.

Noticing her offhandedness, he asked her, “Ever the faithful dog, huh?”

Buffy noticed the voice this time and turned to face him. Her face was clearly masked in total fear and hatred. Fear for if Spike showed up and hatred for Angel himself. For a few moments she turned her back away from the door.

“Look Angel, I know you get some sort of sick pleasure from torturing me, but could you give it a rest? I really am waiting for Spike and he will flip if he sees me talking to you. Please, can you just get your kicks from someone else today?” she practically begged him.

He had never seen this side of her before. The Buffy Summers he knew didn’t beg, she demanded. The Buffy Summers he knew wasn’t a coward, she was a head-strong and brave woman.

Angel was actually about to utter words he’d never thought to ask her, when he briefly glanced up and outside the doors was a motorcycle parked in the front. The man sitting on top of it, took off his helmet to reveal his platinum blonde hair and icy blue eyes that were glaring at Angel at the moment.

“Buffy,” he started to say when he lowered his gaze to the floor to break the intense stare between he and Spike.

Buffy knew that Spike was out there. She was just that damn un-lucky today. She turned around to see her boyfriend throwing daggers at Angel and knew that she was done for. He crooked his index finger indicating for her to come to him. She took a deep breath and prepared herself for the confrontation.

She exited the building and Angel didn’t stop her. She approached Spike, very cautiously and carefully, making herself aware of his attire and his demeanor. He certainly looked upset, though, these days any split second could make him angry. When she reached him, he grabbed her by the upper arm and dragged her out of sight to the side of the building. The way he was gripping her arm, she could tell that she was going to have to make a trip to the bathroom before fourth hour.

“Who is that Buffy? You’re new boyfriend, hmmm? You been giving him what you haven’t been giving me?” he angrily demanded out of her.

“It was Angel, Spike. He’s my next door neighbor and I hate the guy with a blinding pass-”

The last word was cut off by him smacking her across the cheek. Pushing her roughly against the brick wall, he coldly stated, “Don’t lie to me Buff. You know I can’t stand it when you lie.”

Buffy wisely kept her mouth shut. She didn’t want to worsen her already bruised cheek than it already was. Anything she’d say about Angel right now would get her more of his wrath and she didn’t want that. She wouldn’t cry; even though the pain was so intense in her face, it feel like it was about to explode. She closed her eyes and patiently waited for Spike to make his next move. She hadn’t dared to even look at him and sometimes that was a good thing and sometimes he’d yank her around until she did look at him.

He ran his hands on her face and was careful on her right cheek where’s he’d hit her a few moments before. Already it was bruising and he could see his hand print along with the marks from his two rings. Rubbing his thumb gently over the reddened area, he whispered, “I’m sorry baby.”

She took that as her cue and looked at him. She placed her hands on his arms that were still placed gently along her jaw line. She wanted to say something, but what could she say? She was saved by the bell ringing.

Moving out of his grasp, she went to go back inside when he grabbed her again and kissed her roughly. He tried to mask the pain she was feeling by taking her mind off of it. The only problem was, Buffy could smell Drusilla on him. The thought made her gag but still she said nothing. She didn’t have time for another rousing game of the Spike and Buffy show, so she let it go.

Buffy left Spike and walked back into the school. She walked by several people before she made a mad dash into the bathroom. She could just tell the teacher that she was having feminine problems and that there was a line. She’d be okay. She thought no one had seen her, well no one from her group of friends. The only person who saw her was Angel.

Watching her run into the bathroom, Angel followed her. She didn’t look good. As much as he hated her, he felt like he couldn’t ignore her this time.

As Buffy exited the bathroom, the very last person she expected to see was waiting outside, leaning up against the wall. She didn’t know why today was just not her day, but she couldn’t really do a lot with it than deal with what she was given.

“What are you doing here?” she snipped at him obviously annoyed and tense. Her whole body was practically shaking from her “lunch” with Spike. Her hand consciously made its way to her hair to make sure that she had properly covered up her bruise

. “Cordy’s not in the bathroom.” She informed him thinking that was why he was waiting outside. She walked away letting the awkwardness linger in the air.

It took Angel a few seconds to register what happened and then he took off down the hall calling her name, trying to get her to stop. Too many people in the way and talking loudly caused Buffy to not hear him.

Angel still continued after her though, he would not give up. He cut her off by going through a classroom and made it to the other hallway before she did. He looked down and saw her making her way forward toward him.

He hadn’t noticed when she came out of the bathroom that she had changed and put on a long sleeve shirt. That fact caused his eyebrows to raise. That was something that Buffy would never be caught dead doing. Yet, here she was, doing it. She was always so chic and fashionable; it was weird to see her with a skirt and a long sleeved shirt on. He figured that Spike must have spilled something on her tank top and that was why she changed. Why she was forced to change it, was more like it.

He saw that she turned into her next class before she reached him and he couldn’t go after her. He shrugged off his worries and- his worries? Angel O’Reilly had been worried about Buffy Summers? That was NOT acceptable. Something was definitely wrong with this picture. He shook it off and went to class.

The day dragged on like an episode of The Twilight Zone or worse, Walker Texas Ranger *thanks Lynn and Akay*. Angel could have sworn that the clock was going backwards at least two times when he glanced at the clock.

Finally, the bell rang and Angel got up to leave the classroom when Buffy entered the room for her next class. She passed by him not saying anything to him as usual and usually he would make some snide comment at her, but today he just said, “Hey Buffy.”

She whipped her head at him and looked at him strangely. That wasn’t like Angel. She eyed him carefully, making sure he hadn’t been abducted by aliens and was possessed. Angel O’Reilly would rather be caught dead hanging out with the losers than say ‘hey’ to Buffy.

“If you have something to say to me Angel, just say it and let me be.” She gritted out angrily. She really didn’t want or need or have time for another round of the Buffy vs. Angel show right now.

“I-” he couldn’t come with anything to say to her. In the total time he’d known her, he had never once, not been able to say something back at her. It just wasn’t sitting well with him so he finally just muttered, “That time of the month Buff?”

At least this was familiar territory with Angel. He’d be an ass and she’d just shrug it off or say something back at him. She set her books down on the desk and turned to him. She was about to say something to him when he skipped off and met his wench out in the hallway.

Angel went about his day in his usual cocky self and wore Cordelia around his arm like she was some damn prize that he had won. Cordelia, the bitch, was totally into him and was a little lap dog for him. Anything Angel wanted, Angel got from Cordelia. She sighed and thought that at least to her, that was a relatively normal relationship. What was sad, was that even as fucked up a relationship as Angel and Cordy still seemed normal to her abusive relationship with Spike.

As that thought entered her mind, the bell rang and class started. All of Buffy’s fucked up life problems became lost to her for the class hour. It was one reason why she loved going to school so much; she could get away from her problems. Well, for most of the day anyway.

As the crowd of students were flocking to the parking lot to leave the hellhole that was Sunnydale High, Buffy was walking around the air conditioned lobby, dawdling with Faith and her other best friend Willow Rosenburg. Willow was the brains of the group. She already had colleges hounding her and she wasn’t even a senior yet!

At 2:45 the girls had to leave. Faith had soccer practice to go to (I know Faith wouldn’t play soccer, but I needed an activity where she wouldn’t get into trouble and would be out most of the time) and Willow had tutoring to get going to.

“I’ll see ya later guys.” Buffy called after her two best friends as she was left all alone. She turned back to the doors and didn’t see Spike waiting outside for her. Just to make sure that she hadn’t missed him, she walked outside and looked in the parking lot and didn’t see him there either. He was late. Again. She wasn’t sure what she should do. She didn’t have a cell phone to call him due to her father (Giles) taking it away from her for going over her minutes this last month and she didn’t have pockets to carry any loose change for a pay phone. She didn’t know where he was and had no way of finding out.

Buffy vaguely thought about walking home but decided against it. She’d wait a few more minutes for him and if he still hadn’t shown, she’d walked home then. As she was waiting she decided to finish her Spanish vocab she had for homework. She grabbed her bag and found her book. Opening it with dread she found the page where she’d already started writing.

She jumped when she heard a car horn beep at her. She looked up, hoping to see Spike was there. Much to her luck, it wasn’t Spike, but Angel. He rolled down his window and turned down his radio which was blasting “Broken” by Seether featuring Amy Lee from Evanescence.

“Prince Charming not here Buff?” the ever present mock and arrogance clearly filled her ears and her body with dread. Did this guy EVER take a hint? God he was so dense some days. It was a wonder how he was ever one of the smartest students in the school.

“Angel? Don’t you fucking get it? Today is not a day you want to piss me off. Just leave!” she shouted at him her sanity teetering on the edge. She never swore either, she just didn’t like to, but there was something about him that always brought it out in her.

Taking a sigh he gently asked, “You need a ride Buffy?”

Had he just asked her something nicely? She thought that if he wasn’t insane before, he most definitely had to be now. Had he really just been “nice” to her? Twice? In the same day?

She eyed him carefully as he shut off his truck and got out. He continued to walk to her with his sexy strut and fucking gorgeous broad shoulders. Why did he have to be so beautiful? Why did he have to be such an asshole? There were a million different ‘why’ questions she could ask herself right now, but she focused back in on Angel walking to her.

He grabbed her back pack and offered his free hand for her to take. Wisely she didn’t accept it. Angel wasn’t surprised. He gave her no reason to trust him, so why should she? Why would she ever think she could? They hated each other. Why in the world did he even offer her a ride?

The offer had already been made and he was a total jack ass, but he knew that really did need a ride.

“Come on Buffy. I know you don’t have a way home. Come with me.” He offered her.

“And just how do you know that I don’t have a ride Mr. Know it All?” she taunted him. She didn’t want him to know that he was right and that she was rideless. She hated letting people see her weaker side. There was only one person who had seen her weak and it wasn’t a good person to have let that side of her show to.

He cocked his head back to his truck and half smiled at her. He really looked at her and saw someone that he had never really looked at before. The woman sitting in front of him wasn’t the one that he’d known all his life. It was hard to comprehend that Buffy was any different than what he knew of her. Basically it had always been what everyone saw was what the truth was. From what he was seeing of Buffy today, there was definitely a whole other side of her that no one ever saw. He vaguely wondered why that was.

She stood up and was looking for any signs of deceit from him or any hidden tricks up his sleeves. She was really going against her better judgment but alas, she found herself accepting his warm hand in her tiny one and as shocked as she was, she enjoyed the feel of his touch. He was gentle and his hands weren’t rough. She still eyed him as he walked her to the passenger side of the door and opened the door for her.

As she sat in his neat and explicably clean truck she couldn’t say that she was surprised. Faith would always tell her horror stories of how much of a neat freak Angel was. She would always go over to their house when she was younger and Angel would always make them clean up their toys and put them back exactly the way they found them.

She chuckled at the thought and then he watched as he entered his truck and sat down next to her. The quick five minute ride back to their house was quiet. Though it was only five minutes, it was an awkward five minutes. Neither spoke or even looked at the other for fear that this was an actual event passing. Both wanted to believe that it was a dream.

When they got to Revello Drive Angel didn’t even pull up in her driveway. He just pulled up in his and then got out of the truck. He went to the side of the truck and opened the door for her. Instead of going into his house and fending for himself he walked her to her door and didn’t really say anything. Neither knew what to say. Finally Buffy just looked at him and thanked him for the ride home and then went inside. Angel walked back over to his house and drudged his way upstairs and into his room where he slammed his door shut.

His worst nightmare had just come true. He had just been a somewhat decent human being, even a little bit gentlemanly to Buffy! His life was over. He’d dedicated his life to hating the girl next door when he was twelve years old. It was his life’s mission to hate her, and he’d just lost his mission.

Down at the school…

Spike came speeding down the street on his motorcycle trying to get to Buffy as quickly as he could. He came up to the edge of the street and didn’t see her anywhere. She knew to wait right out here for him after school. He looked inside the windows to the doors and didn’t see her waiting inside either. Getting fed up he figured she must have walked home. She walked home when she KNEW that wasn’t allowed.

“Bitch.” He muttered under his breath and hopped back on his bike and sped off to Buffy’s house. He was going to have to teach her another lesson. He’d teacher her as many lessons as he’d have to. He was wearing thin and he wanted to fuck her. He decided that tonight would be the perfect night.

Buffy had just sat down at the kitchen table to finish her homework when her pencil lead broke. Making a whining sound she trudged up her stairs to her room and grabbed one of her mechanical pencils from by her diary. After she grabbed one, she turned around and walked back down the hallway to the stairs. She had only gone a few steps when she saw Spike at the door.

She turned as white as a ghost and ran back up the few steps as he ripped open the door and tore up the stairs taking three at a time to get to her faster. He reached her room and saw that she didn’t appear to be in the room. The window wasn’t open and her bed frame was too close to the ground to even fit a mouse underneath it. That only left one other place in her room where she could be.

Turning to the side he saw the door and an evil gleam entered his icy blue eyes and his lips curled into an evil smirk. She thought she could run and hide? She was oh so very wrong and very naïve.

Ripping open the closet door in one quick smooth motion he saw her cowering like a little puppy that had done something wrong. Gripping her hair he yanked her out of the closet and to her feet to make her stand before him.

“Where in the fuck were you? You know you’re supposed to wait for me!” he shouted at her right in her ear.

“I did wait for you. You were late. Again.” She tried to explain. Why did she just do that? Now she was sure she was gonna get it worse than if she had just stayed quiet. “You will wait for me until I get there! If I’m late, you WILL wait! Is that understood?” he demanded of her, still barking in her ear. She could smell the alcohol on his breath. He’d been drinking again. She couldn’t say she was surprised.

Nodding her head she whispered incessantly, “Yes.”

Tightening his grip on her short blonde locks, he demanded again, “Yes, what Buffy?”

The pain was making it hard to concentrate on what she was supposed to be answering but she managed somehow to whisper again, “Yes, I understand Spike.” Letting his grip on her hair go, she breathed a sigh of relief but stayed close to the wall. His moods were unpredictable and she just decided to stay put. He held out his hand for her to take, just like Angel had done earlier that afternoon. Forcing herself back to reality she accepted his hand and led her back over to the bed.

She sat down on her bed, still holding onto him and watched as he sat down next to her and took her tiny frame next to his bigger one and held her in his arms. Through the jacket pocket on the inside of his long black leather coat, she saw a small baggie and could only guess what the contents were. Again, she wasn’t surprised. Though she never did any drugs with Spike, she had to admit that she was curious. But for as many times as before he’d turned violent on her and he had held her, she felt so strange. He was acting like nothing had just happened. What was he up to?

Turning to her, Spike caught her eyes in his strong, magnetic gaze. Squeezing her hand tightly in his, Spike put his free hand on her cheek and ran it back and forth trying to sooth her. Pulling her face to him he kissed her lips pushing his tongue into her mouth. He shifted his body to face her to get a better angle.

Buffy struggled trying to pull herself away from him. Pulling her hand away from him she pushed on his chest to get him to back off as she slid from the bed. Standing up, Spike gripped back on to her hair and asked her, “Where do you think you’re going?” as he pushed her back on to the bed.

He saw her on the bed, looking so helpless and scared. It just made him even harder thinking about what he was going to do to her. A small smirk crept up on his lips as he mockingly asked her, “Buffy, love what’s wrong?”

A small tiny scream came from her throat. She closed her eyes, as tears from Spike’s painful grip ran down her face. Spoke just laughed slightly at her. Letting her go he stood up on his knees so he could tower over her. Buffy slowly opened her glossy eyes but then quickly shut them as she saw Spike’s triumphant grin on his smug face.

Lowering himself closer to her, he moved his hand under her shirt and caressed her soft breast. His lips found their way to her neck and reached over to her desk next to her bed. Turning on the radio he cranked the volume up. His attention quickly back to the quivering girl underneath him. Unbuttoning his pants, Spike’s free hand quickly ripped off Buffy’s shirt and felt her soft nipples turn hard as he pinched them tightly.

Pushing his blue jeans down and off of his legs, he crawled back down to her and between her now naked legs. Buffy’s hands flew up pushing him away as always and she screamed as loud as she could.

Laughing loudly at the girl, he taunted her, “Love, scream all you like. No one will hear you. Getting a grip on her hands, he pushed her legs to open wide for him with his hips.

Closing her eyes the only thing she had left was to scream. She’d scream just to annoy him. Maybe that would work.

Her plan working like a charm, Spike was getting fed up with hearing her scream so since she was still lying on the bed, he straddled her chest. Buffy could smell him in her face. Forcing her mouth and jaw open, Spike forced his hard cock into her unwilling mouth.

Gagging, Buffy thought she was going to throw up with him in her mouth. Pushing his hip against her face Spike kept his hand on her jaw. He didn’t want those teeth of hers to get bite happy on him. Thrusting a few more times in her mouth, he pulled out only to thrust two fingers into her dry cunt.

Screaming loudly in pain, Spike had to cover her mouth with one of his hands. She tried to sit up but he weight was too much for her to move and he was still on her chest. Turning his head, he watched as his two fingers pump in and out of her. Pulling his still hard cock back up to her mouth and inserting it again, Buffy bit down on it so quickly before Spike had a chance to stop her.

The pain turning so blinding, Spike fell to his side and off the back side of the bed. Buffy stood up and wrapped her bed sheet around her bare bottom half of her body. Spike laid between her door and her. Her window wasn’t an option, so she had no way to escape. Getting an idea she quickly picked up the phone as someone burst open her door and made their way into her room.

Ten minutes prior…

Angel walked into his cool, air conditioned house after dropping Buffy off and thought about what he had to do today. Sighing, he knew what he had to do. He had that damn English paper to write. Growling slightly he made his way up the stair case and to his bedroom.

He was just glad that Faith wouldn’t be around this afternoon to taunt him or give him a hard time on anything. He really needed to concentrate when he wrote this paper and couldn’t afford to have any distractions.

Plopping down on his bed, he was trying so desperately to forget his random acts of kindness to Buffy today. Quickly dismissing the thoughts he tried to focus on what the contents of his paper should be. Taking a sigh and then getting up to go sit at his desk, he closed his window.

Turning back to his desk he sat down in his chair and got out his back pack. He pulled out his notebook with all his information and started to form his thoughts. As soon as his pencil hit the paper a loud booming noise came from next door through his window.

Not believing that Buffy had cranked up her music about twenty decibels he muttered under his breath as he tore open his door and stomped down the stairs, “Ungrateful bitch.”

Making his way outside after slamming his front door shut he angrily walked up to the Summers’ porch and saw that the door was slightly opened. Walking in he closed the door and made his way upstairs. Following the sound of the music he came to the last door on the left and burst through it.

Seeing Spike lying on the floor doubled over in pain and Buffy with just a sheet over her with a phone in her hand it didn’t look like a good scene to have walked in on. Buffy looked as white as a ghost when she saw that the intruder in her room was none other than the last person she wanted to see her like this.

“Angel,” she said his name like it was a prayer to the gods.

Looking confused, this wasn’t what he was expecting to find. He made his way over to the radio player and turned it off so that he could hear.

Spike finally got up and looked at the man in front of him and turned to Buffy. He glared at her and demanded, “So is this him? Is this the guy that you’ve been fucking?” Angel looked at him and just ignored him. He turned his attention to Buffy and asked her, “Are you okay?”

Spike getting royally pissed off at this random guy in Buffy’s bedroom and Buffy not kicking him out, he turned to Angel and went to grab his shirt. Buffy seeing this from behind Angel, got up and pushed Spike out of Angel’s way. Not caring that her sheet had fallen away and all she was in was a bra and her panties, she got up in Spike’s face and punched him hard in the nose.

“You fucking bastard! Get out of my house and get out of my life! I’ve had enough of your shit and I can’t take it anymore!” Buffy screamed.

She was about to hit him again when he slapped her across her cheek to calm her down.

Angel saw the slap and saw Spike’s hand to slap her again but got in his way and stopped his hand.

“Don’t you fucking touch her again!” Angel shouted at Spike in his very low almost growling voice. The glare in his eyes was so deathly, the devil himself would have run and hide with the thoughts that Angel was having at the moment.

Buffy looking down at her body and seeing her almost nakedness, quickly picked up the sheet and walked over to where Angel had Spike in a death grip. She sternly said, “Go Spike. Don’t come back.”

Spike looked like he was going to pop. Who did she think she was now? Telling him to leave? Oh the bitch was going to pay for doing this to him. She would pay indefinitely.

Spike didn’t say anything and Angel let him go. Spike backed out the doorway and Buffy waited until she heard the door shut downstairs to even breathe. There was always that possibility that he could come back. When she heard his motorcycle start and then drive away, she looked over at Angel and let the reality of what just happened fall around her.

She fell on her bed and just sobbed her heart out. She had never been so bold in her life. She laid there, sobbing, with Angel in her room and could only think that it was because he was there that she ever would dream of standing up to Spike. She came to the conclusion that it wasn’t just because it was specifically him, but the symbol of other people in her life finding out about the truth to her relationship that caused her to act out.

When had her life become so fucking twisted? She thought as she felt Angel’s hand on he shoulder. She turned up, startled and looked at him. His soft brown eyes told her that she was okay now. Doing the unthinkable, she leaped into his arms and held onto him for dear life.

Buffy just couldn’t seem to let Angel go. She held onto him and had never felt more safe in her life. She hadn’t even felt this safe with her father when he used to hold her when she’d get scared of thunderstorms when she was a little girl. She never thought that he would ever make her feel this way. She hated him. He hated her. It was simple really. She remembered when it all started, back when they were twelve and it was time for the Holiday dance.

They were both in the sixth grade and it was the first dance that they would go to where the girls got to wear dresses and the guys had to dress up. Buffy had just moved to Sunnydale the previous year and had quickly made friends with Willow Rosenburg and Faith O’Reilly. Then, Angel hadn’t been the cocky bastard that he was now. He didn’t know what a cocky bastard was.

Angel and Faith and Willow had all lived in Sunnydale since they were born and Angel was always with his friends Charles Gunn, Lindsey Summers (Buffy’s older brother), and Daniel “Oz” Osbourne.

Lindsey asked Faith to go to the dance with him, and Oz had asked Willow to go with him as well. Charles or just “Gunn” as he was called had asked a cute Texan girl named Fred to the dance. Angel had thought Buffy was really pretty and nice when she’d moved to their town and had wanted to ask her to the dance as well.

When Angel walked up to Buffy one day during lunch, he wasn’t surprised to see her giggling with Faith and Willow and another girl named Anya.

He tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around to face him. She saw him and seeing him usually made her day brighter. He would always make her laugh and would always be really sweet to her. She knew that he liked her and she liked him.

“Yes Angel?” she asked as she set down the juice box she had been drinking out of on her lunch tray.

“I was wondering if you would like to go to the dance with me?” he asked shyly. He was so nervous about asking her and then what she would say to him.

It was like a light bulb went out in her face. She really didn’t know how to tell him, so she just came out and said, “Angel, I’m sorry, but I’ve already agreed to go the dance with Riley.”

Riley Finn had always been the kid that was the next to best. Angel was always the best at whatever it was that he set his mind to. Whether it be sports or academics or whatever, Angel had always seemed to be the glory boy and Riley was always second. How could Buffy be going to the dance with him?

“I’m really sorry Angel, but he asked me yesterday after school. I was waiting for you to ask me, but when you didn’t, I said yes to Riley.” She tried to explain to him.

Taking it defensively like it was all his fault, he snapped at her, “So, what are you trying to pin it on me? That because I didn’t work up the courage to ask you until today, you’re stuck going to the dance with that loser? You didn’t have to say yes Buffy.” “I know that Angel.” She snipped back at him. She was just trying to tell him that she liked him and she wished he had asked her to the dance before and that she really didn’t want to go with Riley.

“Well, then go and have a wonderful time with him. I hope you’re happy Buffy!” he shouted as he stomped out of the lunch room and didn’t look back. That was six years ago. Now she was crying her eyes out in his arms and wasn’t wanting to let go. He didn’t know what to do. Calmly he rubbed her back and held her close.

Leaning down to her ears, he whispered, “It’ll be okay Buffy. He won’t hurt you anymore. Everything will be okay. I promise you.”

Hearing words of comfort coming from him made her cry harder for some reason. Whatever that reason was she didn’t know, but it did.

The next day at school Buffy walked up to the entrance of Sunnydale High and saw Angel standing outside of the doors waiting. This time, she knew it was for her and not for Cordelia.

She approached him and didn’t know what to say to him. Should she thank him, give him a hug, ignore him? She didn’t know! Walking up to him, she did what her intuition told her to do.

He didn’t say anything as Buffy walked up to him. She figured he must have been thinking similar thoughts as she was. He too didn’t know what he supposed to do. His body was nervous as she got right up close to him.

Standing up on her toes, she reached his cheek and lightly kissed him. She whispered “Thank you.” in his ear and promptly went to class.

“Okay,” Angel thought as he looked confused. “What the fuck was that?” he pondered as he just let it be and went to class and had a little smile on his face.

When the time came for lunch that day at 11:45, Buffy didn’t go wait for Spike out by the doors. She couldn’t not know if he was out there. So, letting curiosity get the better of her, she looked to see if he was here. The anticipation burning in the pit of her stomach made her stomach feel queasy.

She peeked her head to see if he was there and sure enough there he was waiting for her. He looked clean shaven and not wearing his trademark leather jacket. He was wearing a nice silk blue shirt with black dress pants. He had obviously remembered her favorite flowers because he was holding a bouquet of pink roses in his hands.

Still, despite that he looked like he’d shaped up, she knew that he hadn’t. No matter how many times he said that he would change, he hadn’t. She didn’t love him anymore. Not after what he tried to do to her last night. That was the final straw. Well, that had been the final straw with her, but he obviously still wanted her back and she knew what he was like when she wouldn’t come to him.

Turning around, she saw Angel sitting at a table with his hand on Cordelia’s thigh. She needed Angel to go out and tell Spike to fuck off. Or at least be with her if she felt she could. He was the only one who knew about their abusive relationship and he could kick Spike’s ass.

Rapidly making her way to the table Buffy called out his name. He looked over at her and wasn’t sure what to say or how to act again. On the one hand, all of his friends and Cordy were here so he should maintain his image and be a bastard. On the other hand, he couldn’t be a bastard to Buffy, not after what happened last night.

“Angel, there’s a man outside who is wanting to see you about something.” Buffy informed him as she reached his side.

Confused as hell, he raised his eyebrows and looked at her, “What’s he look like?”

Not wanting to say it was Spike, she tried to think of a way to tell him without actually telling him. “Umm, he was wearing a dog collar-” She was cut off by Cordy.

“Angel doesn’t know anybody that wears dog-collars. Only losers like you wear dog-collars. I mean, I don’t know why you’re so popular, I mean, you are such a reject.” Buffy had already been pushed once today by one of her teachers and she wasn’t in the mood to deal with Cordelia Chase at the moment. Still, she couldn’t stop herself, it was like she had no control over her words at all.

“I don’t know why you’re so popular Cordy. I mean, all you are is a plastic blown up Barbie doll. And a cheap brunette one at that. The only reason you’re with Angel right now because you must be a great fuck because surely you are one of the dumbest people in this school and I don’t even know why I am wasting my time talking to you.” She retorted back to her and looked at a smirking Angel.

“He was wearing a dog-collar?” Angel asked, barely able to keep the smile from his face.

“Yeah, one with *spikes* in it.” She emphasized “spikes” to get her point across that he was out there.

He caught on and his eyes widened. Getting up, he left Cordy to her lonesome and walked to the doors. Buffy followed him, leaving a shocked Cordy behind. Her mouth had practically dropped to the floor when he left with Buffy. Had he really just left with Buffy Summers? Or were her eyes deceiving her?

Once they reached the doors, Angel walked out in the bright shining sun and saw Spike sitting on the bench waiting for Buffy to come out.

“What the fuck are you doing here Spike?” Angel immediately bit out at the angry man who was not in fact wearing a dog collar.

Spike got up off the bench and came face to face with Angel and saw that he really was as big as he remembered. The eighteen year old was huge and looked like he was twenty.

“I just came here for my girl.” He explained like nothing was wrong or out of the ordinary.

Angel decided to inform him, “Well Spike, she’s not your girl anymore. I don’t think she would have screamed for you to get out of her life if she still wanted you in it.” Spike getting pissed off, ‘Who does this guy think he is?’ he wondered. Not caring how intimidating this kid was, he got up in Angel’s face and told him, “She was upset, she didn’t mean shit. She still loves me.”

Angel had to laugh. This guy was incredible. He was truly amazed at how brainless Spike could be. He realized that he was a druggie and obviously an abuser toward women, but, how could the guy be SO dense?

“Look, I’m not going to tell you again. She doesn’t want anything to do with you anymore so leave her alone.” His voice threatening and completely deadly.

Seeing Buffy out of the corner of his eye, he made his way toward her, only to be blocked by Angel stepping in his way.

“Buffy,” Spike started to coax her. If he could talk to her, he could convince her to come back to him. It always did.

“Don’t Spike. I don’t want to see you ever again. I don’t love you anymore. I don’t think I ever really did.” She said to him, not letting it get the best of her. She maintained her serious face and her demeanor.

Buffy left and walked away, letting it be and knowing it was over. She went back inside and Spike tried to follow her. He wouldn’t, couldn’t let it be left with that. Angel, thanking that the guy did move, punched Spike square in the face and backed away. “Don’t come back. If you do, I’ll do worse to you than that.” He threatened him and walked back inside.

Inside the building, he saw Buffy standing against the wall with her eyes shut. Walking up to her, he asked her quietly, “You wanna skip fourth and go talk?”

Nodding her head yes, she let herself breathe and couldn’t believe that it was finally over. She didn’t have to constantly worry about Spike anymore. God what a relief it was and such a wonderful feeling. She felt free. Truly free for the first time in a year. Buffy and Angel walked together to her locker down the hallway and neither saw two people watching them.

Cordelia stood at the end of the cafeteria looking like she was going to pop and Faith looked down the hallway at her brother and best friend and could only think, “what the hell?”

Buffy walked into her fourth hour classroom and quickly told her teacher that she needed to go talk to the guidance counselor about her classes for the next year.

Her teacher, mindless to the fact that the counselor was seeing freshman this time of the year, let Buffy go without a fight. Buffy asked for her homework and made her way to the door. When she glanced back, she saw that Faith was giving her a funny look. “Odd,” she thought. Shrugging it off, Buffy decided that she’d talk to her late to see what was going on.

She walked out to the deserted hallway and saw Angel leaning up against a set of lockers with his backpack over his right shoulder and his right arm holding it in place. She had gone to see her teacher while he had gone to see his. They both decided to use the ‘guidance counselor’ fib because it was the most believable. Angel had told his teacher that his coach had insisted all the players start to see her to deal with stress and to help improve their game.

Both Buffy and Angel walked to the court yard that was in the middle of the school yard. It was such a beautiful day outside and they figured why waste it? It would be a shame. Also, it was more probable to get caught ditching inside the building then it was outside. So, they opted for outside.

Sitting down on the benches, Buffy didn’t know where to start. Looking down on the ground, she started to fiddle with her thumbs. She would have had a hard time talking to her friends about this, and here she was, talking to at least what she used to think was the devil. Now she wasn’t so sure.

He sat down next to her and immediately sensed her uncomfortable ness. Putting a hand on her shoulder he looked down at her and told her, “It’s okay. Just start at the beginning.”

Shaking her head, that was a long time ago. That was almost six months ago. God, she had only been with Spike for six months and already it felt like she’d been with him for six years.

Sighing, she looked at him and remembered the first day she met Spike Williams. It was an unusual day that she would never forget. The sun wasn’t shining in their town called Sunnydale. The sun was hiding behind thick black clouds that were pouring down rain buckets.

Buffy, Willow and Faith were all sitting in the Espresso Pump, drinking mochas and gossiping about the latest Colin Farrell movie they had just seen.

Buffy had opted to go get some pastry desserts for them as a snack and was waiting up at the counter when he came up behind her. He tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around to see the gentlemen standing behind her.

“Yes?” she asked civilly.

“Do you happened to have a quarter on you pretty lady?” he asked her with his best smile and sad blue eyes.

Buffy was facing the man behind her and took in his appearance. He had slick peroxide blonde hair, deep blue eyes, a killer smile and was wearing a long black leather coat with a royal blue tight shirt and blue jeans.

She smiled at him and couldn’t help but think he was handsome. She put her elbows on the counter and made herself more relaxed. Blinking a few times, she smiled slightly and put on her best act.

“Why do you want it?” she asked as she ran her eyes over his body once again. Through his shirt, she could see that he had a six pack.

“Well darlin’, in all actuality, I don’t need the quarter. I just needed a reason to talk to you so I could see what you looked like.” He blushed as he admitted the truth to her.

“Why would you need a reason?” she batted her eyelashes a few times and still smiled slightly at him. She whipped her hair back to behind her ear and licked her incredibly dry lips.

“Well, I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Spike.” He introduced himself as he stuck his hand out to greet hers.

“Buffy.” She informed him equally taking his hand in hers. She didn’t look, but she could still swear to this day that she heard Willow and Faith giggling at her and the way she was behaving.

“And that’s how we met.” Buffy explained to Angel. “Since then, we’ve been together. He asked me to dinner later that night, to which I accepted and here we are.” She said as she pushed some of her blonde hair back behind her ears.

“Okay,” Angel started, “Why don’t you tell me about the first time he hit you?” he gently asked her. He didn’t want to push her too hard too fast, but if she didn’t want to tell him, he wasn’t forcing her to.

“Well, it was two weeks after we first met…” she started to tell the tale. “It was two weeks after we first started dating. We were meeting at the Bronze one night and it was the night of the Spring Fling. He was late and walked in on me dancing with another guy,” She started her tale once again.

“But the only guy you danced all night with was-”

“You?” she cut in. The only reason she was dancing with him AT ALL was because they were named Spring Fling Prince and Princess of their class. It was four minutes of pure hell for both of them. Neither wanted to be touching the other, so they stayed and danced as far away from the other as possible.

He remained silent and stern. The fact that he could have in some inadvertent way played a part in this was crashing down on him in huge waves.

“He walked in and saw us “dancing”. Afterward, he pulled me outside and started throwing all these accusations around that you and I were secret lovers and said that I was probably just your whore. When I tried to tell him that I would rather go to hell than ever date you, no offense,”

“None taken.” He didn’t miss a beat.

“And he slapped me. I was outraged. I had never been hit before and I had a friend growing up that her father used to abuse her mother and I swore to myself that I would never let that happen to me.”

“But you went back!” he shouted trying to prove his point. That was the one thing that he couldn’t comprehend! She was sitting here telling him that she would never let herself be subjected to that, and yet, she went back!

“I know I went back!” she shouted back at him getting irritated and emotional. She just wished that this whole fucking chapter of her life was over with and she could move on and get on with her life.

“I don’t even remember why, but I did. He promised me he’d never do it again. Yeah right.” She rolled her eyes at that promise. That really was a laugh. “It wasn’t long after that, that I found out about the drugs. Going through his drawer looking for a shirt and seeing a bag of pot and a bottle of E really isn’t exactly my idea of fun. He admitted to smoking the pot and to sniffing some other illegal drugs, but he denied the Ecstasy. He said that it wasn’t for him, but for his friend Dru.”

She paused as she took a breath and looked up at him. His face had softened and his eyes were looking like they’d turn into mush in a moment’s notice.

“I had thought that he meant like a guy, Drew. Boy was I handed the Stupidity of the Year award with that one.” She chastised herself. Her eyes tore away from his and they rolled up as she looked to the sky. She felt the pressure rising in her throat and could feel the tears start to well up.

The subject of Dru was always so difficult for her, because in a way it was even worse than when Spike hit her. The fact that he was fucking other women and she allowed it was the worst thing she could ever do. Or not do in her case. She tried to stop him, but she’d learned quickly that she really didn’t have a lot of say in what Spike did, when Spike did it.

Thinking back, she remembered the first time she caught Spike and Dru together; in the act so to say.

She had just walked into his apartment after a long day at work at the Espresso Pump and was looking for a little R&R with her boyfriend. Maybe some snuggles even. What she really needed was some sleep. (seriously, sleep is sounding REALLY good right now)

She saw about ten beer bottles scattered around randomly and knew that he had been drinking. Shrugging it off, she turned back around to leave the apartment. She really didn’t want to be around a drunken Spike at the moment.

She had her hand on the doorknob when she heard something coming (or now she knew *someone* coming) from inside the bedroom. She turned back around, her hand leaving the doorknob and she quietly walked to the bedroom door where she heard him grunting.

She just figured it was him jacking off at a porno or something like that. She wouldn’t be surprised. Still, she opened the door and saw Spike thrusting in and out of some woman from behind.

Here eyes widened in shock and couldn’t speak. She had no words. The only thing she did was cover her mouth with her hand and let the tears flow.

Spike heard the door opening and whipped his head around to see the face of his girlfriend standing in the doorway. She was completely still. He figured she probably would have run like a bat out of hell. He guessed wrong. He could still tell that she was rocked to the core, but he’d fix that.

In order to do that, he pulled his cock out of this woman’s ass and put on a pair of boxers as the woman who she know knew as Drusilla, Dru for short, put on one of Spike’s shirts and a pair of sweatpants and quietly left the room. As she walked by Buffy, Spike thought he was about to have a heart attack.

“It’s not what you think.” He lied. It was exactly what she thought. She didn’t need to know that though. All he needed was one really superb lie and he would get off with it. It would have to be good, one that she would believe. Finally he got it. Now all he had to do was play it smooth.

“Not what I think?” Spike! You were fucking another woman! Don’t tell me it’s not what I think!” she shouted breaking out of her comatose state.

“We were drunk! I’m sorry baby. I thought it was you the whole time.” He lied through his teeth. He’d make this work good. True they did have a few drinks, but he’d only had about three or four. That was nothing to him.

“I had been missing you all day long baby and when she showed up, I was already drunk and I thought I saw you. I even asked your name, and she lied and tricked me. She told me it was you. You know I love you baby.” He laid it on thick, bringing out the heavy artillery with the words every girl loves to hear.

It was the first time that he had told her he loved her. For some reason she believed him and let it go. He seemed genuine in his apology so she forgave him. That was just the first time. The second and from then on, she knew about it and when she’d called him on it, he told her to mind her own fucking business and that he’d do whatever and do whoever the hell he wanted to whenever he wanted!

When she’d walked away the second time she caught them, he’d hit her again and the cycle of her life had begun. It was a cycle that she had tried to break out of, but no matter how hard she tried, she just kept sinking deeper and deeper into the cycle. Now this is where she was.

“Now I’m here.” She said to Angel. He had remained quiet since his outburst and there was only one thing he could think of to do right now. Though he knew it was wrong, he really couldn’t stop himself if there was a pack of lions between he and Buffy and the moment.

Taking her by the shoulders, he turned her to face him and took her lips against his and kissed her with all of his might.

To say that she was surprised by the kiss would have been the understatement of the millennium. Angel O’Reilly kissing her? Pigs would have soon flown. Her probability of talking to God himself was greater than ever sharing a kiss with Angel. Yet, there he was. His soft, warm lips pressed against hers. He wasn’t even trying to force his way into her mouth or anything. He was just kissing her, not trying to devour her like most of Spike’s kisses.

Pulling his lips away from hers, Angel immediately was shouting obscenities in his own head. He knew that he shouldn’t have kissed her, for numerous reasons, but he for some insane reason felt compelled to.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” He was apologetic and would not look at her straight in the face. He knew it was a dumb move, he didn’t want to be reminded of it. Buffy was just standing there, not believe that had just transpired between them. Angel O’Reilly AKA the Prince of Evil, had just had his lips on hers. That wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that she was mad that he had STOPPED! She had just experienced the most incredible kiss of her life from her worst enemy. Isn’t it funny how ironic life is?

“You really, really shouldn’t have.” She said in a voice that she didn’t recognize as her own.

Grabbing him this time, she forced her lips back onto his and took control of their kiss. She didn’t know what had come over her. She knew that this was Angel she was kissing and had just kissed her, but surprisingly, she didn’t care at the moment. All she wanted to do was feel him and be held by him and have him tell her she was safe.

She broke the kiss, not for her own thoughts, but for lack of oxygen. She needed to breathe. Once she and Angel were apart she was able to think more clearly.

Both parties were breathing hard from two unbelievable kisses. The fire and intensity between them had always been great. To the casual observer, it would seem that it had only been a matter of time before they started going at it like rabbits in the heat. They never expected it out of themselves though. They knew how much they had despised each other and would rather rot then even think they liked one another. When Angel made passes at Buffy it was just simply to piss her off, nothing more or sexual about it.

Now, as they stood there, in the courtyard of the school, it was the dreaded awkward silence moment. Neither knew what to say. They never expected something like this to happen.

Buffy had never expected Angel to kiss her. Angel had never expected for Buffy to kiss him after he stopped. This was all new and confusing and they didn’t know what in the hell was going on between them. One second they hate each other, the next they’re kissing and enjoying it! Why was life so cruel?

Both looked down at the grass which suddenly became very intriguing, and Buffy started to twiddle her thumbs while Angel ran his hand through his hair.

“Umm… see ya next hour?” Buffy lamely asked him.

“What is next hour?” Angel wondered. He had lost track of the time since he and Buffy had started to go in depth about her relationship with Spike. He really didn’t know what time it was.

“Chem.” She said simply.

Angel rolled his eyes and picked up his book bag. He swung it over his shoulder and they headed back to the school doors. Both walked together and in sync to their Chemistry class.

Just as Buffy and Angel were about to entered the lab, Faith popped up almost out of no where and bluntly asked them, “You two fucking?”

Angel just rolled his eyes and ignored his sister as he continued into the classroom. Faith put her hands on her hips and looked directly at a frightened Buffy. “Faith, you know that there’s nothing between me and Angel. God, how can you suggest such a thing?” she scoffed at her best friend. Did she really think that if something was going on with Angel that Buffy wouldn’t have told her right away? “I mean, even if there was, which there isn’t, but if there was, don’t you think I would have told you?”

Feeling guilty and ashamed at her accusation, Faith let it drop and went to class. As soon as she was gone, Buffy immediately felt horrible for causing Faith to feel guilty. She’d talk to her after school about it. Right now, she was off into the land of Chemistry with Angel sitting literally right next to her. He had been assigned her lab partner.

“Oh great.” She thought as she sat down next to him and laid her head on the table. ‘Why does life have to suck?’ she wondered to herself as her boring teacher went on about something for the next hour.

All through Chemistry class, Buffy had to sit and watch Cordelia make sly moves on Angel from the table over. What was worse was the fact that Angel was totally into it! He had just been kissing *her* not a half hour before. Buffy knew that she shouldn’t have trusted him. He was such a fucking jerk.

As soon as the bell rang, Buffy was out of her seat in a flash and by the door. She heard Cordelia who had moved into Angel’s lap call, “What’s your rush Bunny?” Not even bothering to answer her at the moment, she took off to her locker. She put her books away inside and grabbed the ones she needed for her last class and slammed her locker door.

Unfortunately Angel was in her last class as well. Thankfully she sat on the other side of the room from him. The seething hatred was coming out of her ears in smoke she was so pissed at him. This had been the worst blow to her.

She sat down on the desk and waited for class to start when *he* entered in the room. She heard his low, sexy voice and hated herself for letting herself become SO deluded to actually think that she could tell him something so personal about herself. Especially when she hadn’t even told her friends.

“Buffy? Can I talk to you?” Angel came up beside her and leaned down to her face to ask her.

“Why don’t you go talk to Cordy? I’m sure she’d love that.” She snapped at him. Raising his eyebrows in confusion, he still continued to ask her, “Buffy-” Turning to face him more clearly, she got right in his face and very quietly told him, “Fuck off Angel.”

Seeing that she wasn’t to be messed with right now, he turned and left to go back to his desk. Buffy turned back to the front of her desk and just breathed. That’s all she had left to do was just breathe.

After school Buffy walked right by Angel ignoring him as he tried to get her attention and was on a mission to find Faith and Willow. She needed to tell them what had been going on with her, now!

“I need to talk to you guys, now!” she demanded as she literally pulled them by their shirt sleeves and dragged them to a nearby bench.

“What’s going on B? Is this about what happened earlier with you and Angel?” Faith asked immediately.

Willow, who had been in the dark the whole day on what was going on, didn’t have a clue to what was so important. The only thing she could think of to ask was, “Oh my god Buffy, what did he do now? Is he still saying stuff about you and Spike?”

“No, it’s not about Angel. It is about me and Spike though.” She said as calmly as she could muster. This was going to be a very hard conversation for her.

“You finally screw him B? How was it? Was it any good?” Faith inquired not letting Buffy get a word in edge wise.

Willow gasped. “How could I not know about this? When did this happen Buffy? Why didn’t you tell me?” Willow asked sadly, her big green eyes starting to water and thoughts filling her head already on why this was happening.

“Would you let me talk?” She shouted at them. She never liked to yell at her friends, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

Immediately they shut up. Buffy took a deep sigh and said, “Spike and I aren’t together anymore.”

“Oh no, Buffy. What happened?” Willow asked sympathetically.

“It’s a really long story.” Buffy warned them. It really did seem like today was the day for a good ol’ game of ‘Let’s spill our deepest darkest secrets’.

“We’ve got time B.” Faith reassured her best friend. If anything, they would listen forever if they had to just know what was going on. Whatever it was, it was serious otherwise Buffy wouldn’t have been so demanding and serious. Both Faith and Willow sat there and listened to the story that Buffy had just told Angel not two hours before. During the course of the next hour, Buffy cried broke down four times, Willow sobbed five times and Faith sat there motionless. She had not uttered a single word the entire time Buffy had started telling them about Spike.

“Faith? Say something please?” Buffy practically begged her. Buffy needed both Willow and Faith’s support and help right now. It was the one thing that she thought she could count on.

Faith looked at Buffy eye to eye and didn’t say a word. She stood up and walked away. She didn’t even glance back once.

Buffy didn’t dare move a muscle to stop her. She knew it was a risk in the first place to tell them about what had been occurring in her life and she knew that the fact that she had been lying to them for the past five months about it, wasn’t going to go over well. She had just hoped that both of them would have given her the benefit of the doubt. Sadly, that didn’t seem the case with Faith at the moment.

“Oh Buffy,” Willow started, “I don’t know what to say. I understand why you felt like you had to lie to us about this, but I don’t understand why you stayed with him. I mean, were you that desperate for love? Is you life that horrible that you had to stay with an abusive asshole to escape the torment of you life? Why Buffy? Why did you stay with him?!” Willow sobbed truly confused.

“I thought I loved him.” Buffy admitted out loud for the first time.

Willow took Buffy in her arms and hugged her. Buffy let herself go for the fifth time and felt tremendous relief that Willow hadn’t turned a cold shoulder like Faith had. “I love you Buffy, you know that right?” Willow asked making sure that Buffy knew that she still had Willow.

Looking above Buffy’s shoulder, Willow saw Faith standing near the edge of the wall and wisely didn’t mention it to Buffy. All she could see was in the corner of Faith’s eye, a tear ran down her cheek.

Faith turned away from the scene of her two best friends. She wasn’t one to cry, so why was she? She hated to cry. She believed that it showed weakness and she did not ever let someone see her weak. She was one of the toughest girls in school. She couldn’t cry!

Turning back away, she left the scene and walked the LONG way to the parking lot and found her car. Jumping in, she turned on the ignition and the radio blasted, “Headstrong”.

Two minutes later, Faith pulled up in the driveway to her house and walked slamming the door. Certainly making her presence known and quite loudly, she stomped up stairs and practically kicked in Angel’s door.

“What the FUCK do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

Angel was sitting at his desk, trying to finish his damn English paper! Could the fates just give him an hour with peace? No, of course not, that would be asking too much. “What?” he looked at her confused and pissed off as hell.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing with Buffy and then Cordy?” Faith still kept up her tough act. Her brother had fucked with Buffy for the last time. This one was the worst blow he could ever do to her.

“What did she tell you?” he asked quietly as he looked away from his pissed off sister and threw down his pencil in defeat.

Placing her hands on her hips, she informed him, “She told us that you two kissed and that during Chemistry you acted like she wasn’t even alive. She said that you and Cordy were practically humping like bunnies. Which man, I get that your horny and you want some ass, but could you please drop the bitch and find someone worth while?” she sneered that last bit about his choice in women.

“Look, Cordy was the one with her hands all over *me* alright? The only reason I played along with that was to not look too suspicious. I’m going to break up with Cordy tomorrow, but I didn’t want anyone to think I might. Just kind of make it a surprise attack.” He explained to his sister looking defeated and surprisingly truthful.

She eyed him carefully. She’d learned long ago what he did when he was lying. He’d always blink exactly two times when he was lying. He hadn’t blinked once. “You picked a really stupid way to make sure that Buffy was reassured that you weren’t a dick and couldn’t trust her. She just spilled her guts to us about EVERYTHING and you know what she said?” She asked him.

He took it as a rhetorical question but then she demanded, “Do you know what she said Angel?”

“No.” he answered softly.

Letting out a staggered laugh, she looked at him in almost disgust, “She said that for once in her life, she trusted someone as much as she had trusted her mother.”

That piece of news didn’t go over well with Angel. He really had fucked up. He knew he had fucked up already, but that just made the pain a thousand times worse.

“She said that it kind of fit that it was you in a way. You’re the person with the most objective view of her and you helped her. That was the only reason she said that she felt like she couldn’t tell us, because we knew her too well.” She looked away from him and looked out his window and into the Summers’ home. She saw a lone figure move within the house and figured it was either Dawn or Buffy.

“She couldn’t tell us Angel because we’re her friends and we have expectations of her. That we wouldn’t understand because of that. She said that we couldn’t have helped her. Even if we knew, she said that it wouldn’t have helped. It was something that it was something that she had to do by herself. But you helped her. You were the one who kicked Spike’s ass. You were the one that saved her and held her as she cried. You were the one to know everything about the situation.” She continued.

Angel was really listening to what Faith was saying and could sense as she was talking that she felt some bitterness toward him because it was he that Buffy had confided in and not Faith. For the first time in their lives Buffy told someone other than Faith or Willow first about a problem. He could understand her sadness though.

“She went through living hell and we didn’t know. Willow and I kept pushing her to stay with Spike and he was doing this to her the whole time. God, what kind of friends are we? Were we so oblivious to the bruises and cuts?” she kept asking aloud.

By this time, Angel knew that she was chastising herself for not knowing sooner or recognizing signs in the past.

“Oh god, what did I do?” Faith asked herself rhetorically. A wave of realization crushed on her psyche as she remembered that she just left Buffy and didn’t say a word to her. She had turned and left her best friend when she needed her. This time Faith was available for help and she had rejected the opportunity to help Buffy in not two seconds. Looking at her brother, she saw his stillness and ran out the door telling him, she needed to go over to Buffy’s immediately and that she hoped she hadn’t screwed things up too horribly.

Knocking on the door to the Summers’ house, Jenny, Buffy’s step-mom answered the door. Taking a breath, Faith asked, “Is Buffy home yet?”

Jenny smiled for a second and then stepped to the side and let Faith in. “She’s upstairs in her room.”

“Thanks Jenny.” Faith said as she passed Jenny and walked up stairs to the last door in the hallway.

Jennifer “Jenny” Calendar had entered the scene of the Summers household when Buffy was had just entered her teen years and had lost her mother two years prior. Joyce Summers had died of a brain tumor when Buffy was just eleven years old and Dawn had been eight. Their father, Giles Summers had been heartbroken over the passing of his wife. Two years later, when Jenny Calendar had entered their lives, the girls hadn’t seen Giles that happy since their mother. They knew that Jenny wasn’t going to replace their mother, they were just happy to see their dad smile again. They figured anyone who could get him to laugh that hard, couldn’t be all bad.

Faith knocked lightly on Buffy’s door and heard Buffy lightly say, “Come in.” Faith opened the door and saw Buffy lying on her bed with a box of tissues on one side of the bed and her journal on the other. Buffy was surprised to see Faith standing before her and couldn’t muster anything to say.

“Hey.” Faith greeted as she entered Buffy’s bedroom and walked over to the bed. Buffy sat up as she watched Faith move closer to her and gratefully accepted Faith’s open arms as she hugged her best friend.

“I’m SO sorry Buffy.” Faith apologized. Buffy didn’t care at the moment why she had left earlier, she was just happy to have Faith not hate her and have her here. She

breathed a sigh of contentment that she just might come out oft this alive after all. After calming down a bit, Faith sat on the bed next to Buffy and the two were just staring at each other for a few minutes. Finally Faith was the one who started talking.

“I’m sorry about earlier Buffy. I was in shock and I reacted badly. I shouldn’t have left. It was wrong and stupid and so not what I should have done.” She apologized. Buffy looked at Faith and took her hand in her own, “Faith, it’s okay. To be honest I probably would have reacted the same way. I mean, it’s not everyday your best friend unloads this whole big ordeal onto your lap. I should have told you guys sooner.” She felt guilty. This whole thing was her fault and she should have just stayed away from Spike the first time he’d hit her.

“Okay, I guess we’re both sorry for something. I say we just call it a truce and go from here.” Faith suggested.

Buffy had no qualms or arguments about that so she just hugged Faith once again and said, “I love you Faith. You know that right?”

“I love you too B.” she told her best friend.

Hearing someone clear their throat at the door, Faith looked up and smirked to herself. Buffy looked at the door and it was like all the light and happiness faded right away. Seeing him in her house, in her bedroom really wasn’t a place she wanted to have this discussion at the moment.

Faith got up and walked toward the door. “See ya later B.” she called to Buffy as she passed the man.

Patting him on the shoulder she said, “Good luck Angel.”

Angel glared at his sister and walked into Buffy’s room. She got up off of her bed and walked to the window where she looked outside and saw Dawn and Connor playing tag. How she remembered simpler times.

“We need to talk Buffy.” He said as he sat down on her bed and faced her back. Still not facing him she said, “I guess we do.”

“I’m sorry Buffy.” Angel spoke first. “I realize that I fucked up today in Chem and I’m really sorry. I had a plan going for how I was going to deal with Cordy and I didn’t stop to think how it would make you feel.”

Buffy whipped her short hair around and looked at him straight in the eye. Was he really regretful? How could she be sure? She had to think of a way to test him. She couldn’t jeopardize herself and her trust again. It had already been broken far too many times by one too many people.

“Yeah, well I felt shitty. I felt like what happened today between us was one big fat joke! I mean, come on Angel, you and me? The word disastrous wouldn’t even describe what a relationship between us would be like.”

“How can you know that Buffy? You can’t unless we give ourselves a shot. I’ll be the first to admit that I wouldn’t have pictured us in a relationship, but, I’m willing to give us a shot because I think that I could care for you more than I am at this moment.” He admitted to her aloud.

Her face softened at his words and her eyes turned vulnerable. What did she say? Should she say anything? She didn’t know.

Buffy moved toward him and placed her hand on his chest and softly said his name like a sacred prayer, “Angel?”

Angel covered her tiny manicured hand, with his larger, softer one. He looked deep into her emerald eyes and just wanted to drown in the sea of green.

“What the fucking hell?” A third voice yelled as Buffy’s eyes widened and saw the figure standing in the doorway.

“FUCK!” her mind screamed. “Oh god NO!” she screamed in her head. What in the hell was he doing here? He was supposed to be up at college! Could this day get any worse?

“What the hell are you doing to my sister O’Reilly?” Lindsey Summers demanded of his best friend of three years. He walked in on his little sister and his best friend looking romantically involved. Something weird was going on.

“Lindsey,” Buffy immediately took her hand away from Angel’s chest and walked over to her older brother.

Giving him a big hug, she was happy that he was here, but now wasn’t the greatest time. She was right in the middle of a VERY important conversation with Angel and in walked her brother. Her older brother who happened to be best friends with Angel and who also happened to have no knowledge that she had even been dating a guy named Spike.

“Sis!” Lindsey embraced the loving arms of his sister. He’d been missing her so he had decided to come home for the weekend. Kind of a spur of the moment kind of deal. He wanted to surprise her. He was the one getting the surprise.

Letting go of him, Buffy smiled and quietly asked him, “Linds, can you give us a second? I really need to finish this conversation with Angel.”

Nodding his head, he walked downstairs to see his step-mother preparing dinner. He placed his bag on the couch and walked into the kitchen to help her. He missed his family, though the joys of college life were wonderful.

Upstairs, Buffy looked back at Angel and half smiled to him. He returned the kind look and slightly nodded his head for her to come to him.

She walked to him all the while smiling at him and he at her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her in tightly to his chest.

“So, what’s going on with us?” he asked her turning a little more serious. Shrugging just her right shoulder, Buffy answered, “I don’t know. I mean, this is all a little weird,”

“Yeah,” he definitely agreed with her statement. It felt totally weird. “But I’m willing to try this if you are.” She added with a little seductive smile playing on the corner of her lips.

He looked down at her from his towering size and took her luscious sweet lips against his own. He could taste her cherry vanilla lip gloss and it tasted like heaven. She tasted the sweetest of anyone he’d ever kissed. She was pure bliss and happiness.

He was controlling himself as best he could. He didn’t want to do anything that she might freak out at. It was only yesterday that she dumped her abusive boyfriend, and today she was kissing him. He thought she might not be ready for some more passionate action.

The kiss itself only lasted for a total of twenty five seconds, but to Buffy and Angel, it lasted much longer. Angel broke the kiss and both were breathing heavily from lack of oxygen. Their eyes drifted and met somewhere in the center and caught the others attention and drifted together like a north and south pole on a magnet.

“So, is that a yes?” Buffy quipped.

Laughing, Angel asked her, “What do you think?”

Teasing him back, she playfully told him, “I don’t know, you might have to remind me.”

Pulling her in tightly again, he whispered, “I guess I will.”

As soon as his lips were to touch her skin on the side of her neck, Buffy heard Jenny call, “Buffy! Dinner!”

Huffing slightly, she looked at Angel apologetically and walked downstairs with him. She opened the front door for him and walked him outside on the front porch. Turning back inside the house, she shut the door and walked to the dining room.

“What was Angel doing here?” Lindsey immediately grilled her.

Almost instantly getting defensive she snapped back, “It’s none of your business Lindsey. God, you’ve been home for what, ten minutes and already we’re back to the third degree on me with guys?”

The gleam in his eyes were as serious as death, he warned her, “Buffy, are you involved with Angel?”

Not sure how to answer that question, she shrugged it off and answered him, “If we were, it would have nothing to do with you, so just back off! ”

She started to storm out of the dining room but he grabbed her arm to turn her back to face him. Flashes of when Spike did that to her, she yelled, “Let go of me!” Forcefully yanking her arm out of his grasp she stormed off into the kitchen to help Jenny with anything that needed to be done.

Lindsey was left in shock and confusion. “What was that all about?” he wondered as he set his place on the table.

Five minutes later Giles walked in the door. He was surprised to see his son’s car in the drive way when he pulled up. He walked into his beautiful home and saw his loving wife, two daughters and his son sitting at the dinner table, waiting for him. Lindsey stood up and walked over to his dad and gave him and hug and a kiss hello. It had been a few months since he’d been home, and Lindsey had missed all the members of his family.

Giles greeted his family as he kissed his wife and sat down across from her at the other end of the table. Putting his napkin in his lap, he took a sip of his wine and helped himself to the salad as the rest of the family helped themselves to the corn and the chicken.

Jenny started the conversation on Lindsey. “So, Linds, you have any special girls up at school that you like?”

Chewing his piece of chicken, he wiped his mouth and answered his step-mother. “There’s a few that have managed to catch my eye, but none that I’m serious enough to bring home.”

Dawn giggled and Lindsey looked at her, “What about you shrimp? You got the boys of Sunnydale Junior High drooling?”

She giggled again and blushed.

Teasing her on, Lindsey prodded, “Ahhh, who’s the boy?”

Deciding she didn’t want to say it, she just teased him further and said in a sing-song voice, “No one.”

Buffy darted in and said, “Connor O’Reilly!”

Gasping, Dawn playfully hit her sister and angrily yelled, “Buffy!” The whole family thought it was so cute how their little Dawn was acting all grown up with her first crush.

Immediately, Dawn retaliated, “Oh yeah, Buffy? What was Angel doing in your room earlier? Didn’t look like you two were fighting like you always are.”

Buffy’s eyes grew wide and she looked down at her plate. This wasn’t going to go over well. She could already feel the intensity coming off of her father. That was expected. To have Lindsey there too wasn’t helping the situation. This was going to be one LONG dinner.

Giles lightly set his silverware down on the table and looked at his eldest daughter across the table from him. The silence of the room was deafening. It was almost like the calm before the storm. At any moment it would come down on them.

“Buffy?” he asked civilly.

Looking up at her father in the eyes, she tried her best not to freak out right here at the dinner table. She really didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of the whole family. “May I speak to you in private?” his voice was a cold as steel. Pushing his chair out of the way, he stood up and saw that she hadn’t moved

. “NOW!” he demanded.

Buffy immediately got up and walked with her head down to her father who hadn’t moved. She felt a strange sense of déjà vu of when Spike use to do the same thing. He’d always wait for her to pass first when he was pissed. He used that tactic for different reasons though. Pushing those horrific thoughts to the back of her mind, she focused on the serious mess she was in with her father.

“What’s going on Buffy?” he asked in a serious tone. He didn’t mind if she had boys in the house, but there was to be absolutely no kissing or anything more. If what Dawn said was true, there was going to have be some serious punishments going on. “I’m sorry Dad. Faith and I were in my room and then Angel came in. Faith left and then Angel and I kissed. I’m really sorry.” She apologized. She really did feel bad. It wasn’t like she had been intentionally setting out to kiss Angel. She had been pissed off at him when he first got there.

“I was under the impression that you and Angel still were at qualms with each other. Since when did that involve kissing?” he asked confused, but calmer. She sounded truly regretful. Not that she got caught, but that she had broken one of his rules. Buffy had never been the “rule-breaker” type. That had always been Lindsey.

“There’s been a few recent events that have caused Angel and I to re-evaluate our relationship and we’ve decided that we’re going to give it a shot.” She replied happily. Her grin was so happy, it was causing Giles to wonder if she was up to something. After realizing that this was Buffy and not Dawn he was talking to, he shrugged it off, and determined that she must really be happy.

“Well Buffy, I’m glad that you’ve finally set aside your differences with Angel, but Jenny and I will have to discuss rules for you and he to follow if you are dating.” He warned her.

Shaking her head, she laughed, “Of course dad.”

“Shall we finish dinner?” he suggested as he held his arm out for her to take. Happily accepting, she stopped right in front of the door. Placing her finger on her lips to show him to be quiet, he looked at her strangely.

Slightly pushing him aside, she went to the side of the door and placed her hand on the revolving door and opened it. There stood Lindsey and Dawn with their ears pressed to the door listening.

Buffy looked expectantly at her brother and sister. Giles was glaring. His eyebrows were raised at them and then he looked at Jenny. She could only shrug. “I can’t control them.” She said defeated.

Dawn laughed a little and Lindsey could only stand up to his full height and chuckle nervously. This was not good.

Giles just broke his serious stare and laughed. He was just messing with his son. Though he was a little mad at him for eavesdropping on his and Buffy’s conversation, he imagined that it was Dawn that conned him into it. He realized that Lindsey would be having his own words with Buffy later.

Placing his hand on his sons shoulder, Giles said, “Let’s finishing eating. I’m starving.”

Dinner went by smoothly as the rest of the Summers family talked and laughed and ate their delicious food. Mostly the conversation was directed at Lindsey and what he had been doing lately. Buffy had a strange feeling that this was only the “family” version of events in the past few months.

After dinner, Buffy was up in her room listening to “The Reason” by Hoobastank (hehe Lindsay) when there was a knock on her door.

“Come in!” she shouted as she turned down her stereo. She walked over to window and saw Angel sitting in his room at his desk. She guessed he was working on his paper, but she enjoying her view of him. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and she got a good view of his tattoo on his right shoulder. It was too sexy for her to turn her gaze from. It was practically making her mouth drool.

“Hey.” Lindsey said as he entered his sister’s room and saw her staring out the window. He knew that it was Angel’s room that was across the yard.

She whipped her head back around and saw her brother standing there. “Ooh, busted!” her brain thought.

“How you doing Buffy?” he started out conversationally. He sat down on her bed and took her stuffed pig Mr. Gordo in his hands and held on to him as he waited for her to answer.

A little confused as to why he wasn’t ranting and raving at her at the moment, Buffy wearily lied to him and said, “I’ve been good.”

Shaking his head in a sign of ‘good’, she asked him, “What about you? I know that that story was just the G-Rated version of your life for the past few months, dish Linds.”

“Nah, you wouldn’t be interested.” He denied her. He loved playing the older brother angle. It had given both he and Buffy fun times in the past.

“Hello! I just asked you to share! Spill, College-boy.” She almost demanded sternly from him. She needed to hear the story of his life to forget hers for the past few months.

“Okay, there’s this red head that lives down the hall...” he started as she turned her full attention to his story about this girl that he liked. He told her about all of his

“adventures” of college life. She used to always love to hear him talk about his stories of wild parties, so it felt good. It felt like old times.

She laughed at how he met his best friend Wesley. Apparently the two were at a party together and neither were old enough to be drinking, but were drinking nevertheless. The cops came by and since neither were old enough to be drinking, Lindsey hid in a closet and met Wesley who was also hiding in the closet. Since then, the two had been best friends. (AN: that’s how my bro met his best friend)

After he shared all of his stories with her, he surprised her by going down stairs and going to talk to Dawn, without even mentioning the name Angel or anything about what he walked in on. That fact made her wonder. It wasn’t like him. Then she remembered that he had been listening in on her conversation with Giles and that’s probably what made him re-think talking with her.

Buffy sighed contently, and changed into her silky pajamas. She sat down on her bed and decided to write an entry in her journal. This should make for an interesting entry. She’d decided to title it “Beautiful Disaster” after the song by Kelly Clarkson that was playing on her stereo at the moment.

Downstairs, Lindsey told his dad and Jenny that he was just going out for some air. Closing the door, he hopped off the porch and made his way over to the O’Reilly’s house. Knocking on their door, he silently waited for someone to answer the door, preferably the person he was needing to talk to.

“Hey,” he said to the person in front of him. He slightly raked his eyes over their built frame and smiled.

“Hey cutie.” Faith greeted him. She grabbed his shirt collar and brought him to meet her lips.

Lindsey lightly pushed Faith away and looked at her tiredly. This could not happen again. They both knew it. Why did she keep trying to relight the candle when there was no wax left to be burnt?

“Faith, you know it’s over between us. Why do you keep trying to do this? You know how I feel about you, but it can never work between us.” He softly reminded her as he saw that she got a little sad.

“What? Can’t we just have some good ol’ fashion fun?”

Seeing her again and her beautiful body and to see and feel her lips again was making him melt. He always loved looking into the dark pools that were her eyes, and the way she was looking at him, with her bottom lip slightly sticking out was making him want to forget everything that had happened between them and jump her then and there.

“See anything you like?” she asked seductively as she smiled innocently. ‘Yeah, I know first hand she’s anything but innocent.’ Lindsey thought as he was almost staring at her.

Getting a grip on reality and not delving into his own sexual fantasies that were involving her, a bed with velvet sheets, chains and a whip, he asked her, “I need to talk to your brother.”

Cockily she asked, “Which one?” The fearsome look in his dark green eyes told her that now was not the time to be messing around and pulling shit. His body language was screaming anger and there was just a hint of lust behind that thick wall of anger. She was proud that she could still turn him on, but was extremely frightened for who he was pissed at. Her first guess was the man upstairs that he was here to see. Oh how she was glad she wasn’t Angel at the moment.

“Upstairs.” She simply said as she turned to the side of the door and allowed him in to their house.

“Thanks,” he said shortly as he brushed passed her and quickly but quietly walked up the stairs to Angel’s bed room.

Knocking on his door, Lindsey seethed with a burning, blinding anger for the boy that used to be his best friend. Who did Angel think he was putting the moves on his sister? He remembered their feud and could only wonder when it seized fire. In high school for his last two years, Lindsey had never had to worry about them every becoming a couple. Now something was going on with them, and it wasn’t a good thing.

He’d been Angel’s best friend since Angel had been a freshman on the Varsity football team. He’d heard Angel’s stories on the bus rides to games of all the women he’d “conquered”. Lindsey knew that Angel had bounced almost from girl to girl every few weeks.

Lindsey was NOT about to let his sister be fooled by that bastard’s charms. He’d put an end to this now!

“Come in!” Lindsey heard Angel shout from inside his bedroom.

He opened the door and saw Angel sitting at his desk writing something. “One second.” He said to the person in the room.

Lindsey waited a few minutes, not making a single sound to try and let him know who was at the door. A few moments passed and Angel finally put his pencil down and sighed in relief. Turning around in his chair, that relief was very shortly lived as he saw Lindsey standing there with his arms crossed and looking pissed off beyond belief.

“Lindsey.” Angel greeted in a manic tone.

“Angel.” He replied back just as coldly and just as deep wounded.

Standing up and walking to the man that stood in front of him, Angel crossed his arms in a similar manner that Lindsey was, and shortly asked him, “What can I do you for?”

“You can stay the hell away from my sister, that’s what you can do O’Reilly.” Lindsey warned.

Angel shook his head at his once upon a time best friend in naivety and deep sense of unawareness. What right did Lindsey have to be barging in here pissed off at Angel? He hadn’t been around for the past few months of Buffy’s life. He didn’t know what she had been going through with Spike. He’d bet that Lindsey didn’t even know that she was dating a guy at all!

“Really?” Angel asked debating on whether or not to tell him about Buffy’s life for the past few months and tell him that she would probably be in the hospital right now if it wasn’t for him.

“What are you deficient? Yes, really. Now I realize that you have school with her, so you’re bound to see her, but after school and on weekends, it stops!” he threatened and ordered him.

“Well Lindsey, thanks for your input, but I’m afraid that you don’t have any control over what I do, or who I date. I realize that you have some more value in Buffy’s case because you’re her brother, but don’t for one minute think you can barge into *my* home and tell me what I *can* and *can’t* do. Get out.” He ordered.

Lindsey looked at Angel and warned, “Watch your back O’Reilly. I might just have to convince Buffy of the worthless piece of shit you really are.”

Angel wasn’t affected by Lindsey’s words one bit. He was used to being called a bastard, because he acted like one most of the time. However, in this case, things were slightly different. Lindsey turned to leave with a self-satisfying smirk on his face.

“Oh Lindsey, before you have anymore thoughts of how you can get me and Buffy apart, just remember this one little thing. What would Buffy think if she found out her best friend and her brother were fucking behind her back? I don’t think she’d appreciate it very much. Especially the part on why you two never made it to her birthday party last year.” He threatened, bringing out only *some* of his ammo. Angel had lots of dirty little tales running around him in all of his friends.

Turning wide eyed, Lindsey left the room and rushed downstairs not even bothering to see Faith or say night to her.

Walking into his bedroom in his own house, he shut his door and leaned his head against the wooden door. He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath. “What in the hell did I just start?” he wondered. He took off his shirt and threw it in with the basket of dirty clothes he needed to do and started to un-do his belt buckle. Taking off the buckle he undid his jeans and left his boxers on. Climbing into bed, he could only wonder to himself, “What in the hell did I just do?”

Buffy woke the next morning feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Grinning happily, almost stupidly, she jumped out of bed, eager to see Angel across the way. Pulling her cute pink blinds up, her smile faded as she saw that he wasn’t there. Where was he?

Thinking for a few minutes, she vaguely remembered Faith telling her once that Angel got up at an ungodly hour and went running every morning. If that was true, she was really wanting to see him with all his muscles and strong, broad shoulders glisten in sweat from his work out for maintaining a healthy body. God, she was drooling and he wasn’t even in sight! Getting a grip on herself, she grabbed her stereo and headed for the bathroom for her morning shower.

Ten minutes later she came back to her room to find Dawn snooping around and reading her diary! She just thanked the lord that Dawn was reading her regular diary and not the one that spilled everything about her and Spike.

“Dawn!” she screamed at her younger sibling.

Dawn instantly dropped the book and scurried out of her sister’s room. Huffing, Buffy closed her door. Happy to be left alone in the privacy of her room, she set her stereo back on her dresser and plugged it back in. Turning it on, she stuck in one of her favorite CD’s as of late. Evanescence’s “Going Under” filled her room as she sang along to Amy Lee.

Opening her closet door, she thought about her outfit for the day. Passing by her regular tops, she looked in her dresses and gasped when she saw it. It was the perfect thing to wear to drive Angel nuts! Smiling devilishly, she pulled it out and closed her closet door.

Setting the dress on her bed, she took the towel off of her head and ran the towel over her hair for a few minutes to let it breathe. She grabbed her brush and comb from her dresses to smooth out her short blonde tresses. She’d never get used to having short hair. She’d always loved to have it be long, and natural and shiny, but in a sea of rage and insanity one day after another bout with Spike, she simply took her scissors and cut it off.

That was then, this was now. Now she was growing it back out and could not wait for the day she was able to put it back up in different styles again. Her mother had taught her how to play with her hair and how to make hair-does and she always felt that close connection with her mother when she did her hair each morning. She’d think about what her mom would say or do or help her with. A small smile crossed her face as she flipped her head upside down, turned the blow-dryer on high and held her brush tightly.

Five minutes later, she flipped back up and brushed her now incredibly dry blonde locks. Sighing with content she walked back over to her bed and grabbed the little dress she had picked out.

Pulling the dress over her head she brought it down to her waist as she took off her towel. She’d been passing by the store when she saw this cute little white dress with little pink flowers all over it, with the cutest little pink sash for a bow. She tied the bow in front and was almost ready to go.

Walking back over to her closet door, she grabbed a pair of white sandals and slipped her nail-polished toes onto them. Strutting over to her jewelry box, she took out a pair of little silver hoops and an old silver locket her father had given to her mother. Walking downstairs she saw that Dawn was just walking out the door and as usual, Jenny and Giles were gone for work. Lindsey was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, ‘The sports section most likely.’ Buffy thought. He put the paper down and looked at her.

“What?” she asked. He was staring at her like she was wearing the skimpiest little piece of lingerie that she owned. More than that, that Cordelia Chase owned.

“That’s what your wearing to school?” he asked incredulously.

Crossing her arms she fired back, “You have a problem with it?” Her attitude screamed, ‘Just say what you want to say already so I can throw it back at you’.

Playing the two sides of the coin, he didn’t want to seem the bad guy, so he immediately said, “Not me. I just think that Jenny or Dad might have a problem with it.” Walking up to him, she willed herself so strongly not to laugh at him and act immaturely. If she wanted to be treated like an adult by him, she’d have to act like one. Yelling, ‘Nah-nah-nah-nah” might not help her in that department.

Instead, she walked up to him, patted him on the shoulder in a mocking way and said, “Oh but dear, sweet, kind, protective brother. Father and Jenny bought this for as a birthday present this last year. I don’t think they’ll have a problem with it.”

Turning around she walked over to her books and said from over her shoulder, “But thanks for the concern. Though I know Angel will surely love it.” Still taunting him to as much as she could, she winked at him and walked out the door.

She saw Faith standing waiting for her to walk with her like everyday, but then there was Angel who had a car and who she wanted to see.

“Hey Faith.” She greeted friendly. Faith narrowed her eyebrows and thought that Buffy had become possessed.

She turned her attention from Faith to her incredible looking brother this morning. He was wearing a pair of Banana Republic Jeans and a Pierre Cordone black shirt. Not to mention the fact that his hair was perfectly spiked as always and was wearing his sunglasses which just made the whole ‘god’ thing suit him even more so.

“Hey Angel,” she greeted him very happily. She brushed right by Faith and walked up to him. Turning kind of confused she asked him, “What do we do? Do we hug? Do we kiss, hold hands, what?”

Leaning down he kissed her and then continued to take her tiny hand in his larger, softer one and said, “Ride with me today?”

Faith’s mouth dropped. First of all, Buffy and Angel had just kissed. Secondly, they were holding hands. Thirdly, Buffy had just gotten into his car! What in the hell was going on? Were they in some alternate dimension?

“Come on Faith. Pick up the jaw from the depths of hell and get in.” Angel told his sister as Buffy was buckling her seat belt. Jumping in the back, Faith closed the door. Inside the Summers home, Lindsey closed the curtains and took the juice can in his hand and crushed it with all this emotional, seething hatred for his ex-best friend. ‘You won’t get away with this O’Reilly. I’ll make sure of that.’ He thought as he paced around the living room.

In front of the Sunnydale High student body, Buffy Summers stepped out of Angel O’Reilly’s truck along with his sister. Surprising Buffy, Angel opened the car door for her and helped her out. Keeping her hand in his, they walked to school together. When they reached the front gate with Faith in tow, Angel found Cordy and her sea of sheep along with her.

Her perfectly glossed mouth dropped as well as her Prada backpack. Both seemed to simultaneously hit the cement ground at the same time. Cordy’s manicured nails seemed to be digging into her own palms as she saw that wannabe with her man! First Buffy stole the captain of the cheerleading squad title from her, then Buffy stole the Homecoming Princess title from her, and finally, Buffy stole the Spring Fling Princess title from her! Now she was going to steal Angel? Oh, hell no!

Strutting over to the “couple” hand in hand, she pushed Buffy and demanded, “What in the hell do you think you’re doing?”

A light bulb went on in Buffy’s head as she didn’t understand what the hell was Cordy’s problem? If she needed some Midol, surely one of her friends had it on hand; or rather in their purse. Lord knows that the Cordettes wouldn’t ever have anything like that in their jeans, if they ever wore jeans.

“Angel what the hell are you doing with *her*? You hate her! How can you touch such filth?” She insulted Buffy.

“I don’t know Cordy. What have I been doing with *you* for the past month?” he shot back. He wasn’t gonna just sit back and watch her bitch out Buffy. At least not without throwing down some stones himself.

She was appalled! Angel had just called her dirt and meant it! What in the hell was this? The Twilight Zone? Were they on Candid Camera and this was just a stunt? That’s what it had to be. It had to be just a cruel joke, right? Yes, that’s all it was.

“Okay, the show’s over. You can all come out now!” Cordy yelled mindlessly to absolutely no one in particular.

All three of them, Angel, Buffy and Faith looked at Cordy like she was mad and out of her mind.

“What are you talking about Cordy? There is no show. This is very real. I’m very much dumping you in front of everyone and am ironically not caring about it.” Angel said as he gripped Buffy’s hand tighter and lifted it up to show Cordy.

“We’re very much together Cordelia. Move on.” Buffy said bravely as a smile came upon her face. Angel smiled at her for support and passed Cordy with a triumphant smile on both their faces.

The rest of the day went on in the same fashion. Many people were shocked to see them as a couple, and some had been expecting it for a LONG time. They had been voted as the ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ couple since freshman year. There was no way that they had that much anger and frustration and they weren’t fucking. People could think what they wanted to. Buffy and Angel had grown tired of the rumors and simply ignored them now.

The most shocked person in the entire school was Willow. When she saw Angel and Buffy holding hands through the halls, she thought she was going to have a heart attack. Buffy had to chuckle a little at her red-headed friend. Her hystericalness when seeing them together was amusing in a cute way.

After school, Willow was walking with Buffy and Angel to Angel’s car when someone pulled up in a very familiar van. Buffy and Angel got in his car and left Willow who had been nervous about seeing *him* again.

“I hope Wills is okay.” Buffy said to Angel in his truck they backed out of the parking lot.

Taking her hand in his and kissing her knuckles, he confidently said, “She’ll be okay. She needs this.”

Nodding her head in agreement, Buffy smiled at him happily and could not believe how quickly and how dramatically her life had changed in only three days. For someone who thought her life would be nothing but a hollow mockery and shameful existence the past six months, she was looking on the other side of the rainbow and she was getting glimmer of that pot of gold.

That pot of gold right now was Angel and all the light he had shed in her life, when all she thought he was capable of was darkness and cruelty. Life really was ironic. That’s what made it so exciting and mysterious, Buffy figured. Arriving at the Summers house, Angel turned his truck off and helped Buffy out of the car like he did this morning.

Walking up to the house, Buffy invited Angel in and Angel gladly accepted. Giggling about something Buffy turned the light on in the house and was about to shut the door when Angel picked her up and shut it using her.

Attacking her mouth, she moaned in his mouth. She had been missing this all day. Sure the little pecks here and there before and after class were okay and sincere, but she missed having his cool tongue fill her mouth.

She ran her fingers over the back of his head and felt the short little brown hairs and played with them a little, driving him nuts.

Taking a breather, Angel moved his mouth from hers to her neck. Making little mewling and moaning sounds, Buffy whispered to him, “I’ve missed this all day.”

“Buffy…” Angel moaned as he went back to her mouth.

“Could you two *not* do that?” a new voice asked from the couch.

Angel stopped his massive adventure on Buffy’s mouth as he heard the voice of her brother. Setting her down off of the door, they both turned to look at Lindsey who was not looking very happy at the moment.

“Lindsey,” Buffy started.

Angel stopped her and just let things settle. He didn’t want to get into anything with Buffy right there and he certainly didn’t want to put her in any difficult spot, so he just turned to her and said, “Actually, I think I should go.”

Looking at him confused she didn’t get a chance to ask him, “Why?” before he kissed her on the cheek and said, “I’ll call you later, I promise.”

As he left, Buffy fumed at Lindsey. Her brother looked at her smugly as he just made him leave. Maybe breaking them apart wouldn’t be so hard after all.

“What’s going on Lindsey?” she demanded of him. The look in his eyes screamed triumph and she wanted to know why, now!

Innocently he walked back over to the couch and said, “Nothing.”

Not buying that shit for a minute, Buffy got right in his face and said, “Tell me right now or I’ll tell dad about what’s really been going on up at school.”

There it was. The big guns; blackmail. He’d taught her well on when to use it and for her own personal gain. Damn, he taught her too well. (thanks sis! lol) This was not good.

“You wouldn’t.” He called her bluff. She wasn’t that vindictive. Was she? God he hoped not. The last thing he needed was for his family to find out that he’d been doing drugs and drinking under age up at school. Wasn’t the best thing for his family to find out about.

“Oh I would. Now you can tell me what the hell is going on, or you can have your little secret spilled.” She threatened him. It was scary how low she would stoop to find some info out. She had to get dirty to get the dirt she guessed.

“Okay, okay. I went and saw Angel last night and told him to stay away from you. He’s no good Buffy. The guy’s a major player for women. I just don’t want you to get hurt by him.” He said lovingly like an older brother would.

Calming down a bit, she was angry as hell that he went behind her back like that, but all would come in due time.

“Lindsey, you’re my brother and I realize that you want to protect me, but back the hell off! I’ll do what I want with my life! I want Angel, so get over it!” she yelled at him as she turned away and stomped up the stairs and to her room where she proceeded to slam the door shut.

Flinching slightly when the loud thud of the door being slammed hit his ears, Lindsey said to himself, “Okay, maybe not as easy as it seems.” Thinking for a few minutes, he realized what he was lacking in this plan.

Grabbing his cell phone, he pulled it out and found a number and dialed it. He anxiously waited for them to pick up.

Up at the school, Willow had been going through her biggest test while everything had been going on at Buffy’s house.

When the van pulled up to her, Willow waited for the door to open so she could see him again. He’d been gone for almost two months touring and she hadn’t been able to get a hold of him more than half that time.

“Hey.” He greeted.

“Hey.” Willow said equally.

She looked at Oz and was just amazed that he was here. God how she’d missed him. How in the world did she survive these past two months without him? Not caring she just jumped in the van with him and kissed him.

Inside the van, Oz pulled away from Willow’s kiss. Surprising them both, Oz looked at Will, the girl that he loved, the one that he’d just spent two months away from, the girl that he know knew he never wanted to leave again.

“What’s wrong Oz?” Willow asked him confusion forming in her deep dark green eyes.

Shaking his head, “It has nothing to do with you Will. I just got back and yes I missed you like crazy and want to be with you now more than ever-”

“But?” she prodded.

“I just want to take it slow for a few days. Get back in the swing of things around here. Okay?” he asked her as he placed his hands on both sides of her cheeks and brought her forehead down to his lips and kissed her gently.

Secretly she was a little relieved that he wanted to get back to normal and not rush right back into it, but another part of her, the more insecure side of her, made her wonder. She wondered what he’d done over the past two months on the road. Where he’d been, what he’d seen, what his life had been like.

Taking this opportunity she made herself more comfortable, and sat in his lap. Totally feeling at ease with him behind her and in his arms, she allowed herself to place her head in the crook of his neck. “Tell me about your trip.” She said.

Taking her hand in his, he held it and kissed the top of it. Kissing her side temple as well, he placed his cheek on the top of her head and began telling her about his trip for the last few months.

He told her about all the gigs Dingoes had had and all the places they went. They traveled all along the coast of California and played fifteen gigs in two months. For a band that usually played two or three times a month at the Bronze for very little money, they were happy with the offer.

The afternoon continued on in the same fashion with Willow. She told him all about what had been going on in Sunnydale since he left. She told him about Buffy and Spike, and now that Buffy was with Angel. He had to admit, that one he wasn’t expecting. He had been shocked to hear about the way Spike had been treating Buffy and Buffy letting him treat her that way.

At the end of Willow’s exciting two months, they both promptly fell asleep in each other’s warm, loving arms. They truly had missed each other.

Back at the Summers house…

Buffy was in her room when she heard the door shut from downstairs. Curious, she knew that it wasn’t time for anyone to be home yet. Figuring that it was Lindsey leaving, she rushed downstairs to see where he was off to in such a hurry.

As she opened the front door, she saw that he was over at Angel’s house.

Immediately thinking that he was there to see Angel, she grew furious and started to go over there to stop him when she saw Faith answer the door.

What she saw blew her mind for a thousand words. Never in her life did she *ever* expect to see Lindsey move in on her best friend and kiss her!

“What the fuck?” she asked herself. Normally she didn’t like to swear, but when she did, it was for a good reason.

Moving to get a better view she most definitely was shocked when Faith kissed him back. Why had Faith just kissed Lindsey back? What in the hell was this?

Walking right over there, neither Lindsey nor Faith heard anyone creep up behind them. Buffy was right behind Lindsey when she tapped him on the shoulder.

Crossing her arms, both looked in horror as they were busted. Faith could only look at Buffy. She couldn’t form words for how much she had betrayed her best friend. True Buffy had kept secrets as well, but Buffy had her reasons. What was Faith’s excuse for not telling her? She had none. One night it happened, she had sex with Lindsey, and she didn’t tell Buffy.

Lindsey’s reaction was totally opposite. He didn’t have a loss for words coming out of his mouth, but a loss of words all around.

“Buffy… I ah… What are… This isn’t…” Was all he could say over and over again. Finally Buffy shook her head and ran back to their house.

Slamming the door, she ran upstairs to her room, where she could be alone. Jumping on her bed, she hugged her pillow and Mr. Gordo her stuffed pig. Letting it all come out, she sobbed into her pillow.

The pressure and stress catching up to her, she promptly fell asleep after crying. Never had she suspected anything between her best friend and her brother. She’d sort it all out the next day.

Walking back into the house, Lindsey grabbed his bag and left the house. Driving back up to school, he thought, “It’s better to just not be around Sunnydale right now.”

Faith had come out of her comatose state and wouldn’t let herself cry. God, what the hell was wrong with their lives if in three days, Faith didn’t allow herself to cry twice?

Angel came down the stairs whistling Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem” and saw the far off look on his sister’s darkened face.

“What’s wrong with you?” He asked kind of sincerely. Really looking at her now, he said, “You have the same look on your face when Rocky died. Like you-”

“Just lost my best friend? Yeah,” she finished for him. Wiping the side of her eyes, in case any treacherous tears decided to fall, she looked away from him. No matter what, she’d never been able to lie to Angel. Not just that he was her brother, but he could always tell for some reason.

“What happened?” he questioned her.

She didn’t answer for a few minutes. Shaking her, he barked, “What the hell happened Faith?”

“Li-Lindsey came over for a second and I thought maybe he had finally gotten over the whole age difference thing ‘cause he kissed me. *He* kissed *me*.” She pointed out more directly, making sure that Angel understood what she as getting at. “Anyway,” she continued, “Buffy saw us kiss and ran off. Then I looked out the window and he left. Lindsey had a bag in his hand and he drove off.”

Angel could only contain his anger and his feelings of wanting to comfort someone. He knew he should comfort Faith, she was his sister. He’d always love her no matter what, but Buffy was quickly turning into something more in his life, and if he was honest with himself, he was slowly falling in love with her.

“The worst part,” Faith started to speak again, “is that I had the chance to come clean with her. When she kept her secret from us, I should have told her, I should have. But, I didn’t. My guess is that she feels betrayed by both of us and she’ll probably never talk to me again.”

Angel’s first honest reaction was to tell her off and say something like, “Should she? You supposedly blew your only chance.”

The more rational side of Angel said, “Let me talk to her first and I’ll see what’s going on with her. Then I’ll let you know later when you should talk to her.”

Looking up grateful at her brother, she wondered and said aloud, “Who are you and what in the hell did you do to Angel?”

Chuckling at her comment, he played along and said, “I kidnapped him and locked him in chains in the basement.”

Faith just laughed and as he was walking out the door, she yelled, “Just don’t let Buffy find him down there! Who knows what’ll happen if those two are left alone long enough!”

Flicking her off in a playful way, he walked out the door and walked over to the Summers house. He skipped up on the porch and knocked on the door a few times.

The door was answered by a short brunette girl that he guessed was Dawn. He’d seen her running around with Connor before, but had never actually met her before.

Dawn sized the eighteen year old up in front of her and a coy smile came on her face.

“You’re Dawn right?” Angel asked the young girl. He guessed she was Connor’s age since they hung out, so that would make her twelve or thirteen.

“I’m Dawn.” She said conversationally. She had never seen such an attractive male before in real life. She only dreamed of them, never knew that she could find one right next door.

“Is your sister here?” he politely asked her.

“Upstairs.” She said mindlessly as she stepped out of the way for him to come into their house. It figured that the incredibly hot guy here was to see Buffy. Why did all the guys in her grade have to be such immature little boys?

“Thanks.” He said and walked upstairs to Buffy’s room.

Quietly knocking on her door, he peeked in and saw that she was asleep on her bed. Admiring the picture that she made, he was about to leave when she muttered “Angel” in her sleep.

Intrigued now, he moved into the room and shut the door. Moving to her bed, she was fast asleep in the land of dreams. And apparently he was in her dreams. This kept getting better and better.

Shaking her shoulder slightly, he whispered her name, “Buffy.”

When she didn’t wake immediately, he tried again and whispered her name a bit louder this time, “Buffy!”

Jerking out of her peaceful slumber, she looked up and saw him, still thinking it was her dream. Smiling she brought him down to her and kissed him.

Angel enjoying this attention, he sat down on her bed and repositioned his body to be more comfortable. Taking her shoulders he brought her up to him and ran his hands over the small of her back, arching her into him more.

As their tongues fiercely dueled for dominance, Angel and Buffy lost themselves in the other’s embrace. Laying her back on the bed, Angel moved to her collar bone and slowly undid the buttons to her shirt.

Not moving it to the side, he put his right hand behind her back on the small of her back and held her in place almost.

Moving up to her neck, Angel’s body covered her own and he was careful not to crush with his weight. Moaning and mewling, she cried out, “Angel…”

“Buffy…” he moaned back.

Not expecting him to answer back, her eyes shot open and felt him on top of her. Angel sensed her awareness of the previous moments events and stopped his adventurous trail of kisses along her neck and looked in her almost scared eyes.

“I’m sorry…” he apologized. Wiping his breathless lips, he apologized again, “I am SO sorry Buffy. I heard you say my name and I just came in here to wake up and then you kissed me and, oh God, I am SO sorry.”

“Oh my, no wonder that felt like the best dream in the world.” She tried to joke. Angel sat up and moved away from the bed.

Buffy looked down and saw that her shirt was unbuttoned. That was real as well she guessed.

“Well…” he said as he looked out her window.

“Well…” she said as she buttoned up her shirt blouse.

“This is new.” They both thought at the same time as they didn’t face each other. It was a time for them, where they didn’t have anything to say to the other. Things really were becoming fucked up in the ‘Dale.

Turning and looking at her once again, Angel realized how truly beautiful she really was. The way the sunlight hit her face and her hair made her seem like a golden goddess. Her emerald green eyes, reflected in his dark ones, like a sea of uncharted treasure that had been buried for a hundred years.

“I really am sorry Buffy.” He said for the third time.

“It’s okay Angel, really. It was the first nice dream I’d had since Spike. I know it’s only been a few days, but I swear, every time I close my eyes, I see him and see what could have happened if you hadn’t shown up.”

“Hey, hey, hey. Shhhh. It’s okay Buffy. I’m here, and I did show up when I did.” He sat down next to her and took her in his embrace. Running his hand through her hair, he rubbed her back with his other hand and did his best to sooth her. She wasn’t crying, but she was obviously upset.

Hearing a car door shut, Angel got up to check and see if it was one of Buffy’s parents. He looked out the window and saw that it wasn’t Buffy’s parents, but his own. His eyes growing wide, he turned to her and softly told her, “I have to go Buffy, I’m sorry.”

“What? Please don’t leave.” She begged him to stay.

“I can’t. I have to go. My parents are home, and I need to be there.” He told her, “I don’t want to go Buffy, I would much rather stay here with you believe me, but I need to go over there.”

She could hear the desperateness in his voice. He really didn’t want to leave, but it was like he was being forced to.

He kissed her softly on the mouth and then again and then turned around and left her bedroom. She got up out of her bed and walked to the window. She saw him mad dashing to his house.

She wondered what it was about his parents that always made him act like a crazy-man. She knew that they didn’t get along, but whenever she was over there, they always remained civil. When something did start to happen, Faith would drag her over to own house and they’d camp out there.

Realizing she couldn’t do anything about it now, she walked over to her closet and picked out a cute black tank-top with little sequins on it and a pair of tan khaki pants. Pulling her hair back in a pony-tail she went down stairs to see if Lindsey was home. She didn’t think that he was, but she needed to talk to him about this kissing thing with Faith.

Trudging downstairs she looked around and saw that Dawn was home, and that was it. Walking by the front window she saw that his truck was gone. Checking out his room, she saw that his bags were packed and his room was neat. He’d left. Where was he?

Seeing all of his stuff gone and his truck, she reduced that he probably went up back to school. It was only Saturday, she was sure that Wesley was probably still there, and had the day off. Deciding against her better judgment, she grabbed her car keys, wrote a quick note to her dad and Jenny and ran out the door. She was going to see her brother and she was going to get this off of her chest one way or another.

Driving out of the driveway she saw a commotion going on inside the O’Reilly house. Stopping, she shut her engine off and heard something crash from inside. Fearing that Angel or Faith might be hurt she ran to their door and burst inside.

The sight before her made her stop in shock. That seemed to be happening lately, and with this door. It was not a good door. It had bad karma. Though she didn’t know why it made her act so shocked, she’d heard the stories of Patrick O’Reilly and what a bastard he was.

She saw Angel against the wall with his father holding him there by the shirt collar. Connor was being held by Faith and Angel was breathing hard. He looked like he’d just gone a few rounds with his dad, and he probably did. Mr. O’Reilly never hit any of his kids except Angel. He had never hurt his wife when she was alive, or Faith or Connor. Angel was a different story.

“What are you doing here?” Angel asked her as he saw his girlfriend in their doorway to the kitchen.

“What are you doing here?” Angel asked his girlfriend as he saw her standing in the kitchen door.

“I um, I heard a- I thought I heard something break. I wanted to see if you-” she fumbled for the right words and then stopped letting the final words hang in the air. Mr. O’Reilly turned to his son, lightly set him on his feet, and whispered harshly in his ear, “You better get her outta here boy.”

Angel read the danger in his father’s eyes and turned his focus on the short blonde in the doorway.

“Look Buffy, it’s okay. Just get out of here.” He ordered her. When he saw her hesitate, he yelled, “GO!”

Running out the door, she slammed it shut and jumped in her car. Turning on the ignition she drove away. She was going to see Lindsey and sulk.

Daring to push his father away from him, Angel walked away and up to his room. In one smooth motion, Angel locked his door and rested his head on the wood behind him. Closing his eyes, he heard an extremely soft knock on the door.

“Angel?”

“Go away Connor.” Angel sad bitterly.

“I have some ice for your eye if you need it.” His little brother called from the hallway.

“Thanks Connor, but I’m okay.” He called.

Angel walked around his room and opened his window. Climbing out, he knew the routine like the back of his hand. He’d snuck out so many nights, he’d lost track when he was thirteen.

Jumping the last ten feet to the ground, he took off not waiting to see if anyone heard him. Rounding the corner he made his way to try and find Buffy. He’d heard her car leave and figured she’d gone somewhere like the park or the bluff to think. As he passed the center of the town, he saw that the jewelry store was still open and got an idea. He walked in the shop and was a man on a mission. He knew what he wanted and he’d be damned if someone got in his way. Looking through the charms, a smile crept on his face as he saw exactly what he was looking for.

Picking it up, he brought it to the front and paid the cashier, and was out the door. Walking around, he made his way to the park and oddly didn’t find her there. There were a few couples, but that was it. No Buffy anywhere. Turing around, he walked up to the bluff. It wasn’t that far, and he remembered her saying once how she liked the view up there at night.

Five minutes later he made his way to Kingman’s Bluff and again, he came up empty handed. No Buffy, there was only him. He was all out of ideas. He didn’t know here that well, to know where’d she go to think. He barely knew her at all. That was NOT okay with him. As he walked back down the bluff, he clutched the little silver box in his hand and thought to himself, “From now on, I’m going to know her, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to know her.”

Buffy was ten minutes from Lindsey’s dorm room when her favorite song came on the radio.

“How the hell did we wind up like this? Why weren’t we able? To see the signs we missed, try and turn the tables. I wish you’d unclench your fists and unpack your suitcase, lately there’s been too much of this, but don’t think it’s too late. Nothing’s wrong just as long as you know that someday I will… someday somehow I’m gonna make it alright but not right, I know you’re wondering when. You’re the only one who knows that. Someday somehow, I’m gonna make it alright but not right now, I know you’re wondering when…”

She sang along to Nickelback’s Someday in her car as she pulled into Herrig Dorm Rooms. She braced herself and stepped out of the car, and walked inside.

Looking at the wall, she found room 110 and walked to her left and all the way down to the hall.

She saw a few people that she knew like Linds’ friend Lorne and a girl she’d met named Lilah. She wasn’t so sure about that one, she looked to snobby for Buffy’s taste. She seemed like an older version of Cordelia and that thought just creeped her out. Shivers went down her back as she made it to his door.

Knocking, not two seconds later, he answered the door. He was a little surprised. He wasn’t expecting to see his sister of all people at his door at the moment.

“Buffy? What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I needed to talk to you. It’s about earlier, and I couldn’t wait any longer. I needed to get this off of my chest now, before I let it simmer.” She explained.

Moving to the side to let her in, and she entered his tiny dorm room. She heard the shower going and figured it was Wesley in the shower and it looked like Lindsey had just started to make himself some food.

“Have a seat.” He offered her as he suggested the chair to her right. He sat on the table corner and faced her.

“Okay, about earlier, I don’t know what’s going on with you and Faith, but I shouldn’t have overreacted like that. It’s just not everyday you see your best friend and your brother kissing.” She explained to him, trying to make sense of all her thoughts as she talked.

“Yeah, I can see that.” He agreed with her. It would be REALLY weird to see her kiss Wes. The thought kinda grossed him out on that one. It was bad enough that he left her to be with Angel, he SO did not need thoughts of those two kissing.

“But I just wanted to let you know that I still love you and Faith, but I’m just kinda curious as to why you two were kissing to begin with.” She questioned.

Taking a deep sigh, Lindsey ran his hand through his hair and started, “Well, I’m just gonna tell you the whole truth. Some of it you’re not gonna like, but it’ll be better that you know than if we continue this lie any longer.” He warned her.

An hour later, Buffy let the whole story sink into her brain. Her brother and Faith had had a secret relationship going on behind her back, they lied to her for a year and they’d been screwing each other for that year. Surprisingly Buffy took it rather well. She realized what it’s like to have a secret that you feel like you can’t tell anyone about. She didn’t blame Faith or Lindsey for that. She mostly felt hurt that they didn’t tell her. Now she knew how her friends felt about Spike.

Looking at the time, she saw that it was nearly ten o’clock and she had to get home. Hugging and kissing her brother goodbye, she said, “Thank you for telling me.” With that she walked out of his dorm and back to her car.

In Sunnydale…

Angel looked up at his house, dreading his return. He did NOT want back in that house tonight. Twiddling the box he’d bought earlier in his hand, he turned away from his house at 1632 Revello Drive and walked over to Oz’s house to crash. He usually didn’t mind, so he headed over there to sleep until tomorrow. Then hopefully he’d be able to talk to Buffy and give her, her present and show her how truly special she really was to him.

The weekend went by and still Angel hadn’t talked to or heard from Buffy. He had spent the rest of the weekend at Oz’s, and Willow hadn’t heard from her either. He hadn’t dared go back home, to even see if she was there. He didn’t want to risk being seen by his father yet. Still he knew that he had to go back. Not for himself, but for Connor and Faith.

Sunday night at nine o’clock, Angel walked into his house. Thankfully their father had already gone to bed. Apparently he had a business trip he had to leave for at three in the morning.

Faith and Connor were sitting on the couch watching Pirates of the Caribbean when he walked in.

When the door shut, Faith looked up over the couch and saw her brother walk in. Getting up, she paused the movie and stood up to meet him. Connor looked up and saw his big brother standing in the door.

“Hey.” He said simply.

“Hey.” Faith replied the same.

They both crossed their arms at the same time and a little smile between them happened. They used to always be in sync with each other with stuff like that. They guessed it was because of the whole ‘twin’ thing, but Faith and Angel had a running joke that it was just because they shared the same mind.

Connor stood there like a third wheel on the side, almost like a referee, waiting for the first thing to be said and the games to begin.

“Where were you?” she asked him.

“Oz’s.” he answered.

“You talk to Buffy?” she asked him still in the same monotone.

“Not since Friday.” He answered quickly with a straight face. He felt for his pocket. He made sure that it was still there. Tomorrow he needed to give this to her. To show her that he was falling for her, and fast.

“She’s home if you want to see her.” Faith gave him the information that Buffy had given to Faith earlier.

Looking right at the door, he punched it to the other side of the house and went straight to her house. He looked up to see if her light was on, and there were no lights on in the house. He thought, “They’re probably all asleep. I’ll see her tomorrow morning anyway.”

Sulking and going back inside, Angel sat down on the chair and watched the movie with his family. Reaching into the popcorn bowl, he got himself a handful and munched away as he watched Johnny Depp act drunk and heard Faith ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at Orlando Bloom. Rolling his eyes, he’d never understand it.

Two hours later, Angel looked at his watch and saw that it was eleven. Glancing over at the couch, he saw his brother passed out on his sister and Faith leaning towards heavy sleepiness herself.

Angel turned the TV off and picked up his brother. Carrying him to his bedroom on the first floor, Angel set him on the bed and pulled the covers of him. Running his hand over Connor’s forehead, he thought about how much life was easier at that age. He envied his brother in that way.

Walking out of the room, Angel saw Faith starting to conk out too, so he picked her up and carried her up the stairs to the room across from his. Setting her down on her bed, he whispered, “I love ya Faith. No matter what.”

“Love you too big bro.” she whispered as she fell asleep.

He got up off his knees and turned the light off while he closed the door to her room. The quick two steps to his room, were dragged as he opened his door and closed it, locking it again. Flopping on his bed, Angel put his hands and legs spread eagle and laid there for a few minutes, until he shut his lamp off and threw his shirt off. He pulled his Old Navy jeans off and threw them in the dirty clothes hamper. Climbing back into bed with just a pair of blue stripped boxers, Angel promptly fell asleep.

The next morning he woke up feeling wonderful. He had a good night’s rest on his shoulders and he was going to see Buffy very soon. Plus his father was gone for two weeks. Life was great.

Half and hour later, Angel was walking out of the house when he saw Buffy walk out of hers. Knowing that while he was excited to see her and give her his gift, he expected it to be a little awkward.

“Hey Angel.” Buffy called.

“Hey Buffy.” Angel greeted her as he walked up to her by the edge of their driveways. He was tempted and went in for it, he didn’t kiss her mouth, but he kissed her cheek, and she seemed to be okay with that.

“How was your weekend?” He asked her dumbly.

“Umm, it was okay. After Friday night, I went up to see Lindsey and we got it all worked out. Then last night, I went over to your house and I talked with Faith, but she said you were over at Oz’s, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to you.”

“I wanted to explain about that Buffy, I’m sorry I snapped at you. I got something to tell you how sorry I am, and how much you mean to me.” He told her as he pulled out the little silver box.

She was a little taken aback that he got her something. Not that she was complaining, but it was just so sweet of him to think about her like that. Though they were “dating”, it was still a weird concept in her mind.

She opened the box and saw the little charm that he had gotten her. As soon as she saw it, she knew what it meant. It was making her teary. She pulled it out and held it in her hand. The little pink pig with wings on it, was so cute, with the wink and everything. Buffy understood the symbolism perfectly. It was the whole notion of ‘when pigs fly’ that she said earlier that week about ever dating him. It was so cute.

“Thank you.” She said to him. Her smile was so bright, Angel could have sworn she could have lit the sky with all her happiness at the moment.

She was so grateful to him, she stood up on her sandal tippie toes, and kissed him hard on the mouth. Gods, how did she ever find a man as sweet as him? Especially since she was positive he was nothing more than a pathetic bastard not even a week ago? Whatever, the only thing that mattered was right now and right now she had him and she was going to make sure that she didn’t lose him.

“Gods, I love you.” She said out loud in between kisses.

Oh fuck! Had she really just said that she loved him?

“Buffy?” Angel asked as she said the three dreaded words you either hate or love to hear. Right now Angel wasn’t sure which one it was for him. He was definitely falling in love with her, but he wasn’t there yet.

“Yes?” she carefully asked him. “I’m not there yet.” He cautiously looked down at her and told her. He didn’t want to hurt her, but he wasn’t going to lie to her.

“Oh.” She said. She was a joyous that they weren’t put in that awkward spot of once you said the ‘I love you’s’ and where they’d go from there. Yet she was a little disappointed that he didn’t say it back. Still, he said, ‘yet’, which meant that he was in the process of getting there. That was definitely a good.

“I mean, I don’t want to hurt your feelings-” he started to comfort her in case she felt very hurt.

“It’s okay, Angel. I mean, I don’t even know why I said it. Not that I don’t care for you, I do, more than I thought I could, but I don’t think I’m there yet either. I don’t know why I said it, maybe because what you did was so wonderful and I felt so special- I don’t know.” She stumbled to try and find the right words to say.

“Okay, well, at least we’re both admitting that we care about each other. That we might love each other some day. Soon maybe.” He said to her as he ran his hands over her hair and could only look deep into her eyes and feel the sudden urge to take her in his arms and never let her go.

Seeing the lust in his eyes, Buffy took him and kissed him hard on the mouth for several seconds. They felt like they hadn’t really kissed in days. They needed a fix if you could call it. They were addicted to each other and needed their release.

The taste of her, the smell of her, the feel of her was driving him wild. He’d never felt these kind of things with another girl before. Sure he’d been into all the pleasures of the flesh but nothing like this. This made him feel good.

“Shall we go to class?” he asked as he let go of her embrace and took her hand in his. Taking her books and carrying them, they walked into the school together as a couple. The first day they could say they were a “couple”. When they started talking about the ‘L’ word, they were most definitely a couple.

Throughout the day, they saw each other and talked and held hands and ate lunch together. Faith had a few words to say but held back. She saw how happy they were and chose not to say anything negative. She really had no right or reason to say anything bad. Everything between she and Buffy was worked out and it was going to stay that way for a while.

“What do you want to do after school?” Angel turned and asked Buffy during their last hour and patted her knee with his right hand.

“Well, I don’t have anything going on. You?” she asked him as she smiled and placed her hand on top of his on her knee.

“I thought I’d take you to the park and we could hang out there for a bit if that was okay?” he suggested to her. He had a special surprise for her at the park.

She thought about it for a second and then said, “Sure, that sounds great. Just let me stop by my locker first and we’re good to go.”

At the end of the day, after the bell rand the hallways were filled with students going home or going to practice or just hanging out. Buffy was in such a hurry to get to the front doors. She was meeting Angel there in a minute and had to get her bag situated and everything. Opening her locker she stuffed her bag inside and grabbed her Trig book. She had homework tonight that she needed to do.

Shutting her locker door she quickly walked as fast as she could to the front doors. She saw him standing there waiting for her, talking with Oz and Willow. Oz and Angel used to be pretty good friends. Oz graduated the year before and obviously was still dating Willow. Buffy thought it was the cutest thing to see them together again. He had been gone for a bit and Willow’s light and energy just seemed to go out. Now that Oz was back, Willow was a Christmas tree again.

“Hey.” She said as she smiled happily as she came up to her best friend and her boyfriend.

“Hey.” He greeted her with a kiss and took her hand back in his where it had been secure for most of the day. Willow couldn’t help but grin stupidly at them. They were so cute together.

“You ready to go?” Buffy asked Angel as she motioned toward the door.

“Yep.” He answered her as he opened the door for her and let her walk out first. She mimicked his actions and they both politely said thank you and your welcome to the other.

She was laughing at something Angel said in front of the school when she looked over, literally glanced over her shoulder and saw her worst nightmare. Well second worst nightmare.

Her face and skin grew pale as well as her mind completely shut down. He wasn’t supposed to be here. She thought that he was never coming back.

“Hey Buffy.” Riley said as he approached the beautiful blonde girl that was his half sister.

“Riley, what are you doing here?” she let go of Angel and walked over to her half brother. She hugged him and stumbled back a bit.

“Buffy? Who is this?” Angel asked her as he sure as hell was confused as to who in the world this other guy was that she was hugging. He didn’t think it was an ex-boyfriend seeing as how she most likely wouldn’t be smiling if one of those came around her way.

“Angel, this is Riley. Riley this is Angel, my boyfriend. Angel, Riley is my half brother. Giles was married before my mom and had Riley. Riley’s been away in the Navy for a while and I didn’t know when he was coming back.” She answered.

“Oh.” Was all Angel could say to that. He really needed to get to know her. If he could, that’s what he was planning to do at the little picnic he had set up for the park. If he could get away that is.

“Well Riley, will you be at home later?” Buffy asked as she saw that Angel was getting kind of anxious and wanting to get out of there.

“Yeah, I’ll be home for a while.” He answered his lil sis. He was kind of close with her. He loved her, but he was away for most of her life and wanted to take the time to hang out and see what life was like in the Summers home now. She was just a little kid when he’d left for the Navy. Now he’d served his time and was home for a bit.

“Okay, good. Because we have plans for the afternoon, but I’ll be home by dinner time.” She told him as she hugged him goodbye. It was good to see him again.

“Okay, I’ll see you at home. Angel, it was nice meeting you. You taking care of her?” he asked Angel as he stuck his hand out for Angel to shake.

Taking the man’s hand, Angel assured him, “Don’t worry, she’s in good hands with me, and it was nice to meet you.”

Taking off, Riley turned around and Buffy and Angel walked out to Angel’s car. Throwing their stuff in the back they climbed into the front seats and Buffy gave Angel a kiss on the mouth.

“What was that for?” he looked at her, happily but a little curious. Starting up his car, she smiled at him happily, and said, “Because you’re one of the best boyfriends ever, and that I’m glad that you met Riley, and that Riley’s home. It’ll be good to see him.” She was so happy.

The smile on her face Angel wouldn’t trade for the lottery. To see her that happy was like a little kid going to see the Christmas Tree lighting for the first time. It was such a simple, base emotion and she loved it.

“So, where are we off to?” Buffy asked as he pulled up and out of the parking lot. Taking her hand in his, Angel kissed her knuckles and said, “It’s a surprise.”

She usually didn’t like those words, since most of the time it came from a person she was trying SO hard to forget, but when Angel said them to her, she didn’t know why, but she felt completely safe with him, that she could trust him, that he’d protect her, treasure her and never let anything happen to her.

Lord, she really was falling in love with him. That was a new concept. Even though she stayed with Spike for so long, and thought that she loved him, that was nothing compared to how she was feeling for Angel right now. Nothing ever would compare to this. She determined that love, this love, was cloud nine and she had a back stage pass.

Five minutes later they pulled up into the park area and Angel grabbed a basket from out of the back of his truck. When she saw it, she knew what he had planned and could only feel more love for this man. How did he go from being the arrogant asshole next door, to being the most romantic and loving man she’d ever known? In a few days as well?

“Oh well,” she thought. She wasn’t particularly caring why her view changed of him, only that it did. She was so grateful to have him in her life.

Angel set up the picnic blanket and the food that he’d prepared during his lunch hour and set it down on the blanket. He’d grabbed some apples and strawberries in one container, some ham sandwiches in the other along with some apple/cherry juice. Digging right in, she almost inhaled her sandwich.

“What?” she asked as he was lightly laughing out loud.

“Nothing.” He lied.

“No, what?” she persisted in a playful mood.

Taking a sigh, he smiled and said, “you’re so cute when you inhale your food…” Looking at him like she was about to hit him, she playfully smacked him along the shoulder and said, “That’s not fair. I didn’t eat lunch today, I’m starving.” She informed him.

“Well, then by all means, eat away.” He graciously told her as he laid back and soothed her by stroking her back with his hand as she ate.

She’d never felt more relaxed than if she was with Willow and Faith over at one of their houses during their many sleepovers. She really hadn’t felt this comfortable with a guy since… well, thinking back, even then, she wasn’t really that comfortable with him. Maybe it was her subconscious trying to tell her something. Shrugging it off, she focused back on present day and that was that Spike was away and was never coming back.

“That’s what’s important.” Angel said out loud.

“What?” Buffy asked confused.

“You said that Spike was away and was never coming back.” He replied to her confusion.

“Oh,” she said, she figured that she must have said it out loud rather then to herself. Smiling back at him she leaned down and kissed him. Laying down on the blanket, the two of them snuggled closely together and took an afternoon nap.

Over in the bushes…

“That’s what you think cutie…” Spike thought as he saw the couple kissing and in love with each other. “Well, I’m gonna have to do something about that.” He claimed as he threw his cigarette and bottle on the ground and stormed off.

By the time the sun was setting, Buffy and Angel were getting up from their nap and watching the sun set from their picnic. It was an incredibly romantic setting with all the pinks and oranges filling the sky. They hadn’t seen anything so spectacular.

“It’s beautiful.” Buffy commented as she stared off into the sky.

“Yes, yes you are.” Angel replied as he could only look at her and how incredibly gorgeous she was. Not just on the outside, but as a person as well.

She looked at him when he said that. Just to spoil the mood, she said, “That is one cheesy pick up line. You already got the girl, whatchya need those awful things for?

“I do not lie.” He told her confidently.

“Ooh, someone’s confident, aren’t we?” she shot back at him with a smile on her face.

Angel looked around their area and then looked down at himself to check himself out, “Who? Me? Confident? Nah…” he shrugged it off and watched as she laughed her cute little butt off.

“In what hell dimension is that the truth?” she laughed at him.

Pretending to be shocked at her, he asked, “Are you mocking me?”

Still laughing and finding all the humor in the situation she answered, “Yes.”

He had to laugh with her. He enjoyed spending time with her. He was having fun. He didn’t remember the last girl that he went out with that it wasn’t about sex, and they just had fun. Had he ever done that with any girl before? He didn’t think so, and the thought that his first was with Buffy, just made it seem so much more special.

Looking down at her watch, Buffy regrettably said, “It’s eight, I better get home. Dad and Jenny might flip if I don’t get home soon.”

“Okay,” he agreed. He needed to get home too. He had to get everything ready for tomorrow for school for himself and for Connor. It was his week to do all the household stuff.

Grabbing the basket and the blanket, he and Buffy walked back to his car and got settled in. Their hands intertwined as he drove back home, both had smiles plastered all over their faces and neither could be brought down from cloud nine.

Angel pulled up into his driveway and got out to walk Buffy to her door. She looked in and the only thing that could take away the smile on her face was going on in her house at the moment.

Her face went flat when she heard the screaming voices. One was very clearly her father and the second clearly Riley.

Very lightly he took her hand in his and rubbed her shoulders. Quietly he asked her, “You wanna go for a walk?”

All she could do was nod. Slowly they walked away from the house in front of them that was currently having a major argument going on inside of it. Buffy just hoped that Dawn was out of there while all the shouting was going on. Though knowing Jenny, they were both together and not there in the disaster area.

For a while, Buffy didn’t say anything and Angel didn’t press what he just witnessed. He really didn’t know the situation to want to bring it up to her. If she wanted to talk about it, he had to trust that she would tell him.

“Riley went away eight years ago. I was ten years old, Lindsey was just twelve and Dawn was a baby. She doesn’t really remember him. She’s seen photos but that’s about it.” She started to tell him.

“He got into quite a bit of a rebellion and started to do a lot of things.”

“Like what?” he prodded.

She looked down and said, “He started to drink and do drugs and sleep around with a lot of girls. He didn’t care about our family or his dad. Since his mom left and said she didn’t want anything to do with him, he wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind. Until one night and I’m not sure on any of the details, the next thing I knew, we were saying goodbye and he was off to the Navy for eight years.”

Angel rubbed her shoulders for support and kept reminding her that he was here for her in any way she would let him be. He wouldn’t turn away from her or hurt her anymore then she already had been.

“Like I said, I don’t know what exactly happened; I just know that it really hurt Giles. That’s why I was so surprised to see him at school today. I didn’t think he’d ever come back.” She finished.

Feeling how tense she was, he continued to massage her arms and her shoulders. He stopped his actions for a moment to ask her, “Are you glad that he’s back?”

She turned around and faced him and truly looked confused. “Yes and no. I’m glad that he’s back because I did miss him. We’re eight years apart, but I loved him. He was my other big brother. He’d take care of me. Then I’m not because he hurt our family and he really hurt Giles. What do you think I should do?” she asked him for his advice on the subject.

Taking a deep breath, he honestly told her, “I think you should find out what happened and then decide how you feel. You’re not ten anymore Buffy, you’re eighteen. You can handle it. You’re stronger then you look.”

“Thank you.” She said gratefully. “For listening and for being so understanding. For being here when I needed you. Thank you.” She told him as he took her in his arms and wrapped them around her tightly like a security blanket. In his arms, no one would ever hurt her.

Kissing the top of her head, he murmured, “Thank you for telling me.” Letting her go, but keeping her hand in his, they walked back to her house. When they arrived, everything looked peaceful from the outside. She was afraid of what was going on inside, but she knew that she had to face it sooner or later so she might as well now.

Kissing her on the front porch, he wished her goodnight and wished her the best. He left telling her, “If you need me, you know where I live.”

Achieving his goal, he got her to smile on that one and then continued with the goodnights and walked to his house. The lights were off, and he still had to get everything ready for Connor the next day. It was still early yet. He had time.

Closing the door behind her she walked into her house and saw that it wasn’t trashed as she suspected but perfectly neat and un-trashed. With the fight she heard, she’d imagined it would have looked a lot worse and not clean.

Walking into the living room, no one was there, she tried the dining room and no one was there, the study was empty as well. She walked into the kitchen and jumped a little. She was expecting no one and there was Riley standing over the counter top with one hand on the counter top and one hand on a bottle of Jack.

Shaking her head at him, completely disappointed she was about to run off when he stopped her, “Buffy, please. Let me tell you what’s going on.”

Turning around, hearing the desperateness in his voice she turned around slowly and faced her half brother. He didn’t look drunk. In fact the bottle didn’t even look like it had been opened. “That’s weird,” she thought. “What’s going on?” she asked him.

At his apartment…

Spike looked at a picture of himself and Buffy that they took at the movies once in those little machines. She seemed happy with him. He did make her happy once. Stroking her face with his index finger, he muttered to himself, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” With that, he put the picture down and went promptly to sleep in the arms of Dru.

“Buffy,” Riley started to talk to his half-sister, “I want you to know that I didn’t touch it. I mean, yes, I had my hand on the bottle, I was about to, but I didn’t. I stopped myself. I just had a fight with Dad, I guess some things never change around here,”

“That’s not true. You changed. You stopped yourself from drinking tonight and making a mistake.” She pointed out.

“That’s not enough I guess. I don’t think I can stay here.” He concluded and informed her.

Buffy was a bit hurt. She wanted Riley to stay around because she wanted to get to know him better, but she could see where he was right. He couldn’t stay in this house. Not with Dad as well. It would end badly, and he was trying to avoid that.

“Okay, you don’t have to stay here, but could you visit a little?” she asked him.

“For you kid, sure. I’d like to get to know my lil’ sis a bit better.” He smiled and walked over to hug her.

She giggled like a little girl, happy to have him be around for a little big longer. They hugged for a few minutes before Riley looked down at her with his large blue eyes and asked her, “You datin’ anyone yet?”

Smiling thinking of her honey, she said happily, “Yes I am. His name is Angel…remember?” she started to say.

“Oh yeah, his name is *Angel*?” Riley asked a bit skeptically. What kind of guy had the name Angel?

“Yes, he lives next door.” She said with happiness in her soul. She couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of him.

“He treats you good?” Riley immediately asked her. If there was one thing he needed to know about this guy, it was if he was treatin’ his sister right. If he wasn’t, oh there would be hell to pay.

“He treats me like a god. Well, since about a week ago anyway. Before a week ago we hated each other with the fire of a thousand suns. Now, we couldn’t be happier.” She told her brother the story.

“What changed?” he asked intrigued to know how they went from hating each other to falling in love for the other. It sounded like something out of a story. *wink* It wasn’t that common that he’d known of.

Struggling to find the right words, she wasn’t about to tell Riley of all people what had been going on in her life. Especially since he just threatened if anyone had mistreated her he’d for sure kill them.

“Something happened and we just got over it. It’s no big deal. For hating each other for so long to have one little thing happen to change that, makes me wonder if we hated each other as much as we thought we did.” She thought out loud and tried to make sense of her thoughts.

“Whatever it was that made you guys realize that you like each other, I’m glad. Because you look really happy Buffy and if he’s doing this to you, he sounds like an okay guy to me.” Riley told her. He was really glad that his little sister was happy in her life. He didn’t know a lot about her life, but from what he did know, she hadn’t had it easy growing up with losing her mom and everything.

“He’s a great guy.” She reiterated. He wasn’t just an okay guy, he was a great guy. And he really was.

Walking to the back door they walked out to the back porch together and sat down on the steps and chatted away. They talked about all kind of things. They talked about sports, even though Buffy didn’t know a lot about them, movies, music, guys, girls and friends. They talked about everything about two subjects which Buffy clearly avoided: Life and what happened when Riley left. Those were two topics that she didn’t want to talk about. Especially the former. She’d do anything to just have that part of her life erased and never come back.

From over in the O’Brien house, Angel looked out his window and heard laughing and chatting from the Summers house. Moving the curtain to the side, he peeked out the window and saw Buffy sitting with Riley, chatting away and having fun.

“Good,” he thought, “You deserve it.” He finished. With a pleasant smile on his face, Angel turned around and laid down on his bed. Flipping on his bed light, he pulled out his copy of Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and continued to read it.

About twenty minutes into his book, there was a slight, small knock on his door. With his quietest voice he said, “Come in.”

The door opened and in walked Buffy. She was standing there in all her glory with her hand firmly on the doorknob, looking at him like she wanted to eat him alive.

“What are you doing here?” he asked her.

Walking over to him, she didn’t speak, she never uttered a word to him. She climbed on top of him and proceeded to kiss him hard on the mouth. Placing her hands on his face, she wanted to feel him. She needed to feel him. She needed him now!

“Buffy?” he asked her as she continued her adventure of his firm, muscular body. Feeling the sense of his chest on her hands, glad that he hadn’t been wearing a shirt to bed, she kissed his chest all the way down to the top of his boxers.

“Buffy!” he said more forcefully bringing her up to his face and stopping her movements. He saw the disappointment in her eyes. He could tell she was confused as to why he made her stop. He wasn’t gonna lie, it felt nice. It felt wonderful even, but they weren’t about sex.

“I’m not ready yet.” He told her.

“GAH!” he screamed as he jumped up out of his bed. Looking at the clock it was one twelve in the morning. He must have fallen asleep.

Thinking back to his dream, he knew what it meant and had to tell someone. He needed to tell someone now, and the person he NEEDED to tell it was asleep across the yard. Going for second best, he walked down the hallway and opened up the door to his sisters room.

“Faith! Faith wake up!” he shook her. He didn’t care that he was having to wake her up, the excitement in him was too much to just sit there and be left.

Slowly her hazel eyes opened up and saw her brother in front of her. Damn! She’d been having a REALLY nice dream with Colin Farrel too. Why did he have to ruin it? And at one thirteen in the morning? What was going on?

“I’m in love with Buffy.” He told her.

“That’s great, I’m going to sleep…” she said not having really heard him and not really caring.

“Faith! I’m in LOVE with Buffy. It’s not about sex. I don’t want to have sex with her yet. I’m not ready.” He said to her.

That got her attention. Looking at him like he was crazy, she saw the excitement and giddiness in his deep, soulful eyes.

“What do you mean, ‘you’re in love with Buffy?” she asked him slowly.

Smiling, he repeated, “I mean just that. I’m totally, completely, insanely in love with Buffy. I had a dream tonight that she was in my room, ready to have sex with me and I stopped her. I told her that I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t ready because I don’t want our relationship to be based on sex. I love her too much to do that to her.”

Smiling, Faith patted her brother on the shoulder and said, “Well congratulations, you’re now in love. And if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with Colin Farrel that you got me out of.” And with that, she fell back asleep.

Walking out her room, just enjoying this feeling, he walked back to his room and listened to music. There was no way he could sleep. Not with this revelation. There was no way! Putting in his cd, he turned to number 17 and “Headstrong” by Trapt filled his ears.

“Back off I’ll take you on, headstrong, I’ll take on anyone, I know that you are wrong, headstrong, your headstrong, back off I’ll take you on, headstrong I’ll take on anyone I know that you are wrong and this is not where you belong…I can’t give everything away… I won’t give everything away…” he sang along to himself.

Closing his eyes, still with the song playing he did as he thought he wouldn’t and fell back asleep for a peaceful sleep that he hadn’t had in a LONG time.

The next morning Angel hadn’t felt so good since before his mother was alive. He jumped out of bed and whistled a jaunty tune as he stepped into the shower. Taking off his boxers, Angel stepped inside the steaming hot water and continued to lather, scrub and completely thoroughly wash his muscular, shiny, wet body.

The whole time in the bathroom, Angel’s stupid, eat-shit grin didn’t waver. It was like he was a robot and he could only show one face and that was it. It was a happy face. Which was rare to see on Angel O’Brien. The only time Faith remembered seeing Angel act that happy was when he got a bike for Christmas one year. She remembered what he told her this early morning, and she was happy. She was extremely happy for Angel, Buffy was a great girl. He was getting the real deal when it came to her.

Taking a big, exasperated sigh, Angel kept his same face on as he walked down stairs in his outfit for the day. He had his hair styled just the way he liked it, in messy spikes, and looked hot. He had on his tight, Banana Republic blue jeans with his tight black t-shirt that so nicely fit his firm, muscular chest. All in all, he looked HOT! He sprayed on a little bit of cologne, but not too much. He didn’t want her choking for air. “You ready to go?” Angel asked Connor as he grabbed his little brother’s lunch and tossed it to him from the fridge. Catching the brown sack, Connor replied, “Yep, I’m ready.” Angel closed the refrigerator and said, “Let’s roll!” Faith walked into the kitchen and laughed at him. She had to. It was SO hard not too when he was acting goofy. It was just so un-natural to see him act like this, she was enjoying it while she could. You never knew what the future held, that’s what she always told herself. Walking outside, Angel unlocked Connor’s door and got him inside the car. Walking around to the driver’s side, Angel opened his door and immediately put on his sexy shades. The sun was shining so brightly for seven forty in the morning. That was California for you. Turning on the radio, Angel backed out of his driveway and turned up the music a bit as Connor sat there and listened like he always did. Connor wasn’t one for a lot of talking, at least, not with Angel. True he loved his brother and his family, he was just the shy, quiet kid. He definitely had the mysterious angle going for him. He could see why girls liked him at school. Also, it was painfully obvious that he was an O’Brien with the O’Brien good looks curse. He heard the girls in his grade call him a “little hottie” once. He chuckled at the memory. “You like this?” Angel asked his little brother who was jamming to the song. Shaking his head, concentrating on the music and the sound, Connor asked, “Yeah, who is this?” Angel glanced at his brother and said, “This is VAST. This is the song called Here.” “I like it.” Connor simply said. A few minutes later when that was over, Angel changed the station and passed by Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl. About to change it, Connor stopped him. “You like this?” Angel asked him intrigued. He didn’t know Connor knew who Van Morrison was. Let alone, this song. “Are you kidding? This is Van Morrison. I love them.” Connor’s eyed turned wide, looking at Angel thinking, “Do you think I’m dumb?” Angel simply shrugged, it was an honest mistake. “Sorry, I didn’t know you knew who this was. I’m surprised and impressed you know who Van Morrison is. They were way before your time. Shit they were before *my* time. Or close to it anyway. The point is, I’m proud that you’re listening to actual music and not just loud, notes that pass for music.” “Mom used to make me listen to all her old albums.” He quietly informed Angel as he pulled up to the school. Without another word and Angel in silence, Connor got out of the car and was greeted by three little middle school girls waving ‘Hi’ to him. In the back he could see Dawn looking at him, eyeing him carefully. Connor brushed by the other girls without a second look and went right for Dawn. “Must be a Summers thing to real in the O’Brien men.” Angel thought. Turning back around, Angel drove back to their house to pick up Faith and get his stuff ready to go to school. Arriving at his house he saw Faith standing outside their house with Buffy by her side. Next to her was a tall, brown haired man with his arm around Buffy’s waist. Immediately seeing the greened eyed monster, Angel ripped out of the car and started toward Buffy and his sister and the creep who thought that he could put his hands on *his* girlfriend. “Buffy?” Angel asked her raising his voice a bit. Leaving Riley’s side in an instant, Buffy smiled happily as she saw her boyfriend get out of his car looking damn fine if she did say so herself. Wrapping her arms around his neck she drove him for a big, long, hard kiss on his mouth. Breaking past his lips, their tongues battled for dominance. Both were equally passionate as their mouths dueled against each other. Neither dominated and neither trailed. Both were equal in their need, in their lust, in their love. With that thought, Angel broke the kiss and both caught their breath. Resting their foreheads against each other Angel and Buffy both closed their eyes. Turning their heads when they heard the whistling sound come from Faith, they both cocked a grin. “You two love birds almost done with the macking ‘cause we need to get to school.” Faith said as the disgust rolled off her tongue. She was fine with them being together, but she didn’t need to see her brother making out with her best friend at eight in the morning. Taking his hand in hers, Buffy led Angel over to Riley and said, “Angel this is Riley. Riley this is my boyfriend Angel.” “I hope he is, other wise you might want to approach guys a different way other then kissing them.” Riley teased her. Elbowing him lightly, she muttered, “Just say hello Riley.” Riley stuck out his hand for Angel to shake and Angel, now feeling like the stupidest person on the earth for not knowing that it was her *brother*, he took Riley’s hand in his and gave it a good firm hand shake. “It’s good to meet you Angel. I haven’t heard much about you, but from what Buffy did tell me, you sound like a nice guy.” “Well thank you. To be honest, I really didn’t know about you until yesterday. Buffy and I don’t really know each others personal lives very well.” Angel informed Riley of their relationship status. Shaking his head a bit and letting Angel’s hand go, and Riley told Angel, “Well Angel, you might want to work on that.” “Yeah, we’re working on it. We’re going out tonight to dinner and we’re going to have a nice, long talk. About everything.” Angel said with a twinkle in his eyes. He really couldn’t wait to have dinner that night. He had something VERY important he had to tell her and he couldn’t wait until he got to that time. Smiling at her as she glowed in the morning sun with his sister next to her, she caught his strong, magnetic gaze and winked at him lovingly. With her half, sexy little smirk, he thought, “How am I EVER going to make it to tonight without telling her I love her and I would worship the ground she walks on if she’s let me?” With that, he climbed into his car along with the two lovely ladies at his side and drove off to the place called Sunnydale High. That night as Angel was getting ready to pick Buffy up for dinner, when there was a knock on his door. Picking out his shirt for the night, he called, “Come in.” As he was getting out his black silk shirt, he looked over to his door and saw his father standing there. Not really in the mood for another round of son vs. father, he turned around and acted like he was busy. “Angel?” his father called and asked him as he saw his son moving about his room, placing things here and there, trying to look busy. “What do you want?” Angel asked quickly and sharply. He didn’t like his father, and his father didn’t like him. So why were they talking now? “I just wanted to let you know that I was home.” His father said as he looked at his son who was directly avoiding looking at him. “You’re home. I’m going out. Is there anything else you need or want?” Angel continued to have the same snippy attitude. The less contact with his father and the better Angel always told himself. He didn’t know why his father hated him so, he had never done anything *truly* terrible. It wasn’t like he’d committed murder or anything like that. He was still a kid and was still learning things in life. The main reason why Angel was so pushy and testy tonight was, he had to pick up Buffy in ten minutes and he still had to put on his shirt and his shoes. He needed to get moving. “Where are you going?” his father almost demanded. He’d just gotten home and he didn’t want to start anything with his no good son, but if he was pushed to it, he couldn’t make any guarantees. “I’m going to pick up my girlfriend and take her to dinner.” Angel replied for the first time looking at his father. Walking past him, not caring about anything but getting to Buffy and seeing her, he heard his father yell, “Don’t be out later then twelve!” Muttering to himself, Angel cursed, “Fucking asshole. He’s not even here half the time, what right does he have telling me when I have to come home? I’ll come home when I come home. Fucking bastard.” Taking a quick breath, he breathed out all of his anger toward his father and approached the Summers house with a calmness he rarely ever had after a confrontation with his father. Straightening his shirt, he knocked on their door and anxiously waited to see her glowing, beautiful face once again. Tonight was a *big* night. He was going to tell her that he loved her, for real this time and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. Seeing her open the door in that short little black skirt and a little pink peasant top shirt, was making his eyes widen and his mouth hit the pavement. Not to mention was drooling all over the ground.

Seeing his present state, she smirked to herself and thought, “Job well done.” She was very pleasantly pleased that she caused him to go all ‘cave-boy’ on her. She giggle to herself and took his arm even though he was too shocked to offer it.

Walking to his car in the driveway next door, he shook out of his ‘me want pretty girl’ state and opened the door for her like a true gentleman and off they were.

He hadn’t told her where they were going for dinner, it was a surprise just for her and it was going to be absolutely perfect.

When they arrived, she was gasped in surprise. He wasn’t taking her to some cheap place like McDonalds or worse, the Doublemeat Palace. Blah! Those places were gross and only should be eaten at if you were on your way somewhere far, like on a vacation or it was the first place to eat after you’d crossed the Sahara.

Plastering on her most genuine smile she looked at him and she glowed. He had brought her to The Riverfront Café/Restaurant. It was one of the most expensive restaurants in Sunnydale. He must have worked long hours where ever he worked in order to take her here.

“Angel? How can you afford this?” she blurted out being totally rude, but still used to Spike taking her to places like McDonalds and the Doublemeat Palace. “Don’t worry about it Buffy. I have enough money to pay for both of us, plus dessert.” He calmly told her, looking at her like she was insane for asking that question and then realized that she probably was used to shitty take-out places from being with Spike.

Placing his arm around her shoulder, he moved them forward as they walked into the amazing restaurant. The walls were painted with silver and blue with a hint of gold. There was giant mural on the wall of a street from Italy. The mural was so well done, Buffy had to look twice. After she did, she felt like a blonde, but she didn’t care. Shrugging it off, she walked with Angel to their reserved table with his arm over her shoulder and then showed her to her seat.

Pulling her seat out, she looked up at him and kissed him. Tackling his mouth with hers, her tongue begged entrance into his warm, mouth. Trying not to be cruel, but he had to deny her. He couldn’t make out with her now, especially in public.

Stopping the insane attack on his mouth, he looked at her and asked her quietly, not meanly, “Why did you do that?”

“Because this is already been the best night of my life.” She simply told him. “We haven’t even ordered yet.” He smiled and told her.

Shaking her head, she simply kept her grin and replied to him with a twinkle in her eyes, “I know.”

Taking his seat, they waited for their waiter or waitress to come to their table so they could look at the menu and order. Angel already knew what he wanted, but Buffy, he was guessing had never been here before.

Sipping at her ice water, Angel lovingly gazed at her from across the table and gently took her hand in his and squeezed it for reassurance and love. Love. He could say that was most definitely true now; for him at least. He didn’t know how she felt, but from the way things were going tonight, he could tell that if she wasn’t in love with him, she was extremely close.

As the young waiter came over to the table with his dark navy blue uniform and their menus in his hand, he stopped at the table and admired Buffy. She certainly was breathtaking.

Angel, knowing exactly what the guy was thinking and didn’t like it, turned to him and said, “I’d like the ravioli with a side of meat sauce and a small garden salad to go with that. And have the salad after my meal please. And I’d like a Pepsi to drink with that.” He snipped at the waiter as he shoved the menu back at him.

Buffy, who was completely oblivious to the way the waiter was looking at her and the way Angel was responding to it, turned to the young man who was to take her order and told him, “I’d like the spaghetti with light meat sauce and a Diet please.” She told him and handed him her menu.

Not even giving him a second look, Buffy grabbed Angel’s hand and looked like she was the happiest person alive and NO ONE could bring her down. She was above cloud nine with him at the moment. For some reason being with him tonight, looking all fanci-fied and glamorous made her feel special, important, matter.

Being brave, Angel decided it was time to tell her. It had been eating him up inside all day long. He didn’t want to tell her at school, that didn’t seem like an appropriate place, not to mention the fact that there were people EVERYWHERE there, and word spreads like bunnies in that school.

“Buffy? There’s something *really* important I need to tell you.” He started off. Okay, he could do this. He could do this. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. This was the moment of truth.

“What is it Angel?” she asked him looking truly worried and concerned. “Okay,” he sighed, “I love you.” He told her.

He honestly expected her to get up and run away from him leaving him all alone in a restaurant full of people watching the whole show or for her to hate him and feel disgusted by it.

“I love you too.” She told him back with a faint little smile on her face. “I mean, I understand if you don’t as well, but I just felt like I had to tell you. If I didn’t get it off my chest today, I was gonna go nuts and I don’t know if you’ve seen me nuts but I ramble and-” he rambled on.

Taking his lips on hers again, she kissed him sweetly this time in an offer of love and to say ‘shut up’.

Moving away from her lips, he looked at her and asked, “What did you say?” Laughing she wrapped her arms around his neck and placed another small gentle kiss on him.

“I love you Angel O’Brien.” She announced, not too loudly. She didn’t need EVERYONE to know.

“I love you too Buffy Summers.” He announced as well. Ten minutes later, their food arrived and the couple ate in almost complete silence, content to just have the other with them. They’d talk later. Now was the time for gushy feelings of love and happiness.

“Fucker.” Spike muttered as he sat on the other side of the restaurant with Dru by his side. Careful not to let Buffy and Angel see him or her, he quickly and obviously covered his face with his menu. He’d heard their little declaration of love to the other. “Who needs love?” he asked himself.

Running a hand down Dru’s face, he felt her cool, soft skin against his hand and pictured Buffy’s face instead of hers. He needed to get her back. If he had to kill Angel O’Brien to do so, then Angel better pick out his tombstone fast, ‘cause Spike wanted his little Buffy back. NOW!

See previous chapters... lyrics belong to Sarah McLachlan "Angel".

Wow, final chapter, *sigh*. For those of you who don't know already, I had this chapter written earlier today, set and ready to be posted as soon as I returned home from babysitting. Well, when I got home, I found out that my brother had deleted it! I wasn't very happy at all, but I pushed my little ass off to get it out tonight.

Thank You's~ Thank you to: Sarah who gave me feedback before I even posted. I love you. To Mommie who always sends great feeback. Sobad, who's feedback always is inspring. To Kassy who has just recently been sending feedback and it's VERY much appreciated. To my bestest friend Katie who would read my chapters first before everyone else and help me along. I love you VERY much and don't know what I'd do without you. Finally to my girl Akay. You've been my muse for this fic and it's #1 Fan. I love you and I don't know how I'll ever repay you.

Dedicated: To you Akay, this is for you... :)

***

A month later, Buffy and Angel were spent in Pleasantville as they barely ever had an argue over anything. They surprisingly found that they had a lot in common. Both liked the same type of music, loving Evanescence and just a bunch of songs separately not just one artist.

They learned that they loved to watch movies. Though Buffy was partial to the average chick flick and Angel to the action movie, they usually settled on a comedy. Unless Buffy was in the mood for a little ‘action’, or Angel didn’t mind watching a chick flick, they just stuck to comedies.

Along with those and many others they truly enjoyed the others company. They loved to just hold each other and even not talk. They loved to talk walks and hold each other’s hand. They made other couples gag because they loved each other so much. They didn’t care though.

The sex thing had come up a few times, but Angel kept reiterating to Buffy over and over again that it wasn’t just her that was waiting until the right time. He was waiting for the right time too.

When she heard him say that, she was confused. “You’ve had sex before Angel.” She knew.

Agreeing with her, “Yes I have had sex Buffy, but I’ve never been in love. That’s what makes it all new and a little frightening to tell you the truth. I don’t want you to ever think that I don’t love you or that I’m just using you. I’d rather die a thousand painful deaths then ever hurt you.”

“I love you too and I can’t top what you just said, so I’m just gonna say, ditto.” She told him lovingly back at him.

As they were just about to invoke on yet another heavy duty make out session, the door to Buffy’s house burst open. Who in the hell was it? Jenny and Giles were out for the evening and Dawn was staying over at a friends. Buffy and Angel had the house ALL to themselves.

“Buffy!” they called from the front door.

Letting go of her grip around Angel’s neck she looked up and had a huge smile on her face. Running to the door she jumped up and hugged Riley who was standing there with an over-night bag.

“What are you doing here?” she asked looking truly happy. She was surprised to see him here. She didn’t think he was coming in for another week.

“I got off early. Thought I’d surprise you.” He said as he looked over and saw the man he assumed was Angel standing up next to the couch. The young eighteen year old was about an inch taller then he was himself. From what Buffy had told him about Angel, he seemed to be the kind of guy that Riley would get along with.

“Hi,” Riley said awkwardly.

Buffy looked from Angel to Riley back to Angel and walked to her boyfriend. Taking his hand in hers she led him to her other brother to do the proper hello.

“Angel this is Riley my half brother. Riley this is Angel.” She introduced the two men to the other.

“It’s nice to meet you Riley.” Angel offered his hand in peace. After everything that they’d been through with Spike then Lindsey, Angel really didn’t want Riley to feel like he hated him.

“It’s great to finally meet you Angel. Buffy speaks of nothing else.” He informed the younger man.

A little of his old attitude showed as he looked at Buffy and raised his eyebrow the way he loved to do to drive her crazy, “Really? Come, let’s talk.” Angel laughed as Buffy just stood there with a big ol’ grin on her face, thanking the lord that Riley and Angel were at least civil to each other. She didn’t expect them to be best friends, but to at least remain on pleasant terms with the other. She’d given up on Lindsey.

“Well, if I interrupted Buffy, I can go out and get a bite to eat.” Riley suggested. He knew that they were wanting some alone time together.

“If you don’t mind Riley, Angel and I haven’t really had some just ‘us’ time lately. With finals coming up and hanging with the gang, we were lucky that we got the house to ourselves tonight.” Buffy explained. She really did feel bad. She felt like she was kicking her own brother out of their house.

“It’s fine Buffy. I’m just gonna go set this down and I’ll go out the back way.” He said as he winked at her and then turned to Angel. “You don’t do anything with her that she doesn’t want to.”

“Yes, sir.” Angel responded. He didn’t know what else to say to him that would be polite and could only be interpreted one way.

Riley left the room and passed by the guest room. Literally tossing his bag on the bed Riley turned and went out the back way. Seeing the blinking red light on the message machine, he pressed play to hear it.

“Hey baby, it’s me. I was just sitting here, thinking about you and about our time together. I just wanted to tell ‘ou two things. One: I want you back, and two: You remember the first time it happened? How scared you were? How you kept crying and asking me ‘why?’ over and over again, and I told you that I’d explain it all someday? If you still want to know, meet me at the old Crawford mansion in two hours.” The message ended. The machine voice then said, “Friday at seven thirty eight PM.”

Walking out through the kitchen Riley made his way up to the Crawford Mansion. Looking at his watch he saw that it was nearly nine thirty. The time who ever was supposed to meet him was about up.

As he approached the old building he saw a motorcycle parked in the front and saw a man with bleached blonde hair and a long leather coat pacing back and forth waiting for someone.

“Can I help you sir?” Riley asked as he entered the mansion.

“Who the hell are you?” Spike asked him rudely.

Riley was trying to be pleasant, but was having a hard time with it. “Well you called my house earlier and I was wondering what you were talking about and why you called my house.” He explained.

“Look, I don’t know who you are, but the only person I called today was my girl. Buffy Summers. She’s meeting me here in the next few minutes, so if you’ll excuse me.” He dismissed Riley or tried to anyway.

Curious to know what he was talking about on the message if he was talking about Buffy, he played along to get the information out of him. He didn’t look very smart, so it shouldn’t take too long.

“I had the message on my machine when I got home!” Riley argued. “555-0943?” Spike asked the man.

“Yes.” Riley agreed, knowing it was the Summers number.

“What the hell were you doing at my girls house?” Spike tried to demand. Riley grabbed him by the shirt collar and brought him close to his face. Snarling at him, Riley said, “I want to know what the FUCK you were talking about on the message.”

“Look dude, I didn’t rape her anything like that. She’s still a cherry as far as I know. Word has it that Angel-boy’s given up sex for her.” He said with disgust. How anyone could ever give up sex was beyond him.

“What did you mean, then?” Riley demanded in his loud, booming voice. Making Spike tremble he said, “You know how ladies can be. Especially when they’re little whores. Girl would flash her ass to the first guy within ten feet of her if you gave her the chance. So, I kept her in line. She knew that I meant business after I smacked her around a few times later. She was pretty good for a while, but still, I think she pissed me off just to get my attention. Greedy little bitch.”

Instantly Riley rained down a trail of blows to Spike’s face effectively breaking his nose in the process. Grabbing his arm, Riley broke it, and watched as Spike could do nothing to stop the VERY larger man in front of him that looked like he was on a murder spree.

Riley took the other arm didn’t break his arm, but broke his wrist along with a few fingers as well.

Riley took a few steps back and watched as Spike gasped for air, smirking, he brought his foot back and kicked his stomach four times.

“Who are you?” Spike asked softly feeling the pain coursing through his body. Not wanting to sound cheesy, and say, “You’re worst nightmare!” or reveal the truth to him, cause that was just stupid, he told him, “The guy that’s kicking your ass.” And effectively kicked him in the face, sending him into unconsciousness. Taking out his cell phone, Riley dialed 911.

“911 what is your emergency?” the operator greeted.

“I need an ambulance I found a man, severely beaten up at the old Crawford Mansion.” Riley told him and then hung up the phone. There was no way he was gonna get busted for this.

Walking down and into the center of town, he saw the ambulance go right by him and turn onto Crawford street.

Looking down at his hands he saw the blood on his hands from when he punched Spike’s face. Looking around, he walked into the Espresso Pump and went to the bathroom. Scrubbing as hard as he could, he got all the blood off of him and walked back out.

Deciding he had plenty of time left, his question on what to do next was answered by his stomach rumbling loudly at him.

Looking over he saw a little sit down place and went over. He didn’t want some light, barely even, café food. He wanted a meal. Ordering chicken and many sides, he ate his meal and couldn’t be happier.

Grabbing some dessert, remembering Buffy told him once that she loved to eat here, he didn’t remember exactly what she said she liked, but he thought as hard as he could. He was sure it didn’t matter, it was the thought that counted.

As Riley looked down at his watch and saw that it was just a little past eleven he figured he better head back home now. He wasn’t going to press the subject with her. He figured that if she wanted to tell him, she would. When she felt ready she would come and tell him.

As he walked in the door, he saw that there were no lights on, but heard the soft echoes of a piano coming from the living room. He walked along the hallway and expected to see Buffy and Angel in a heavy duty make out session on the couch or worse, having sex. That was an image that he didn’t need to see. Ever.

Peeking in, he saw that there was no making out or grouping or insertion of any kind. It was just Buffy and Angel dancing on the floor to the music with their foreheads pressed together enjoying the moment. Buffy was squeezed tightly against his body and from an outside perspective could tell that she was safe and secure in his arms.

“In the arms of an angel, fly away from here, from this dark cold hotel room and the endlessness that you feel, you are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie, you’re in the arms of the angel, may you find some comfort here.” The song continued on.

As the song ended, Angel and Buffy didn’t break apart, but looked up at each other, both glowing, and kissed each other softly. The looked so happy and in love. Riley never wanted to do anything to them to ever harm them in any way. He obviously hadn’t spent an incredible amount of time together, but knowing what had happened in her life, he believed that she had never been happier then when she was with Angel.

Thinking that there was no way she could have ever been happy with that man that he beat the shit out of, he was glad that she had found Angel and Angel had found her. They really deserved each other. He hoped that they lasted a long time. Before anything could get out of control Riley stepped into the living room clearing his throat. “Uh-hem.” He said.

Breaking away from Angel, Buffy turned around and was obviously flustered. Her cheeks were burning red. She couldn’t wipe the smile from her face either. “Sorry to interrupt guys, but I just got home.” Riley explained a little guiltily. They looked so happy and in love, he hated to break that for the moment. “It’s okay Riley.” Buffy told him as Angel wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned his head down on her shoulder and told her, “I better get going too Buffy. It’s late. I don’t want to go home, but I have to.”

“Okay, let me show you the door.” Buffy said taking his hand in hers and walking to the door. With a goodnight from Riley, Buffy and Angel walked to the front porch. Kissing him goodnight, Buffy told him, “I love you. Thank you for tonight, it was much needed.” And it really was. They didn’t even have a heavy-duty make out session. They watched a movie, cuddled a bit and then they danced to music. It was just quality time with each other and that’s all they needed.

Kissing her back he whispered, “Anytime.” With a wink, he kissed her again and then leaped off their porch and walked over to his house.

Buffy walked back into her house, closed the door shut, leaned back on it and sighed contently and happily.

The next day, Buffy was up in her room, waiting for Willow to arrive for their girl bonding time. Last night was Buffy and Angel’s bonding time as well as Willow and Oz’s bonding time. Today was just Buffy and Willow bonding. It was needed even more so then Buffy and Angel’s bonding time the night before.

Willow walked in from the kitchen and announced her presence. “Buffy! I’m here!”

“Okay Will! I’ll be down in a few!” Buffy answered her best friend. She was just cleaning the last bit of her room.

Noticing there were messages on Buffy’s machine, Willow called, “Buffy you have two messages on your machine want me to check ‘em?”

“Please and thank you Will!” Buffy answered back.

Pressing the Play button, Willow heard Spike’s first message and was furious that he had the NERVE to call her! Who did he think he was!? Then the second message was the Hospital calling asking for Buffy to identify a man they believed to be Spike. The only person they knew to contact was Buffy because he had her picture in his wallet, along with a list of numbers.

Willow immediately called to Buffy, “Buffy I forgot something at my house, I’ll be back in a bit!” and then deleted the two messages.

“Okay Will!” Buffy called as she heard the back door shut.

Willow ran to her car and fast tracked it to her the hospital. She knew what she had to do. She just hoped that she could.

Running to the front desk in Sunnydale Hospital, she asked the nurse if they had a man that they believed to be Spike and what room he was in.

“211.” The nurse told her as Willow ran down the hallways and to the elevator. When she got to room 211, she looked inside and there he was. Lying on the bed, still as a corpse, looking like he’d been run over by a car.

“May I help you Miss?” the doctor asked.

“Yes, I’m this patients sister.” She lied. She had to come up with something. “Well Miss. Your brother is in critical condition. He’s in a coma right now. When they brought him in, he had one concussion, a broken arm, a broken wrist, broken fingers, three cracked ribs, a broken nose and a dislocated jaw.” The doctor informed Willow. “Right now, the only thing keeping him going is life support and we don’t expect him to ever wake up. Being his sister, it is your decision…” the doctor told her.

“I don’t want him to suffer.” Willow lied through her teeth as she eyed the man in front of her that was unconscious.

“Very well.” The doctor said. He walked over to the machine keeping Spike alive and effectively turned it off.

Willow stood there and in her big, green eyes, watched Spike die. Muttering under her breath, she sad, “That’ll teach you not to fuck with my friends lives.”

-Fin

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