Filling In The Blanks

Part Three

and I feel some fire. i'm calling out. the stars are falling down.
they knock me to the ground with the fire, fire.

Incoherent and starving, Angel prowled through the woods. He fed off a small rabbit but it only increased his hunger. Pain drove him into a desperate run. The branches and leaves whipped at his bare chest and back. After a few minutes, he no longer felt them. A blur of green and brown was broken first by the smell of her, then by the sight of her.

Predator. Something familiar, dangerous about her. He ran past her but circled around. All the senses he could control focused on the human female.

Hurt me, his growling mind thought but couldn't hold on to the abstraction, dangerous.

Buffy didn't see or hear Angel whip past her. She didn't sense him. She definitely sensed something but it couldn't have been him. She dismissed the thought of him as quickly as it reached her mind. Angel was dead. She was sure of it. So sure that she didn't notice him until his large body rammed into hers, causing her to fly back and land on the ground. She looked up at her attacker.

He stood snarling at her, his perfect white human teeth curled in a vicious snarl. The sound he emitted was not human and it was not vampire either. Blood dripped accusingly from his lips. She was frozen, half kneeling staring at her supposedly dead lover. Her insides whimpered but Slayer defense measures awoke as he charged again. She tried to stand but recovered too slowly. He slammed his body into hers once more, sending her rolling backwards head over feet. He slid in the dirt and grass of the woodsy floor, winding his body around to face his adversary. He barely paused before attacking again. Scrambling on his hands and feet, he reached out with one large arm to strike her but she grabbed the extended limb and threw him over her slight body, twisting with his weight.

The ex-lovers rose to their knees, facing off again. She swung, her fist contacting with his face. He backhanded her in return, his heavy arm forcing her on her back. He lunged and using the same tactic as before, she flipped him over her body. Jumping to her feet, she kicked, swinging all of her weight into the force of the kick. Not waiting for him to recover, she punched him and knocked him unconscious.

Buffy fell to her knees before him, staring at the face she had memorized a thousand times in her dreams since she sent him to hell. Even in his most base, serrated state, he was beautiful.

And alive.

Tears formed in her eyes in the minute she allowed herself with him. She reached out, feeling his cold skin with relief.

wrestled the angel and the angel was overcome

Lugging Angel from the woods to her house without being seen was not an easy task. The constant contact with his skin, his weight pressing against her shoulder was not the only challenge. Her mind spun in dizzy circles around her brain and she could not stop one concise thought from crashing into the next. She set him gently on the grass on the side of the house and scaled the tree with swift urgency. Waking her mother was the furthest thought in her mind as she opened her trunk, removed the top half and dug into the bottom for the chains she had stored there, flinging her belongings behind her. Crosses, stakes and holy water rained down behind her as she searched for the heavy shackles waiting at the bottom.

Once at the mansion, she chained him up and stepped away as he came to and lunged at her, snarling unlike any beast she had ever encountered. He was wildly trying to get at her and she flinched as she backed further and further away from him. He wouldn't stop his resistance against the chains and she could not stop herself from constantly flinching. She examined the charred outline of his body on the mansion floor as she spiritually backed away from reason.

Had she been anywhere near emotionally stable, had she been able to see through the heavy tears that filled her eyes, she might have noticed that the place he returned was the same place she left her ring. She didn't make the connection right away. Only one thought kept running through her mind over and over as she watched him stop his resistance and weakly rest his head against the cold marble floor: Angel is alive. Angel is alive.


still shaking, still in pain. angel or devil. i was thirsty and you wet my lips.

Angel woke shortly after she left and pulled angrily at his metal confinements. There was something he was supposed to understand, something he was supposed to remember but couldn't. He knew that smell. The smell of perfume and soap and blood and fear. He knew those, remembered that hunter. Female hunter.

Time passed and she came back. Entering the room, he sensed her and felt confusing feelings wash over him.

Hate her. Love her. Kill her. Save her.

broken back to the ceiling, broken nose to the floor.
i scream at the sounds, it's coming, crawls under the door

He snarled and curled up, crouching. The sun washed through the far part of the room as she entered. Even dim light from far away hurt his eyes. He looked away. Couldn't look into the light. She was the light. Carried the pain of it with her. He growled, rocking on the balls of his feet so slightly it could barely been seen.

Confusion, torment, craving, alarm, frenzy, love, desire, need, lust dominated him and sent him into a blind fury as she approached. He rumbled inside himself. Frustration washed over him. Couldn't form words, couldn't think, couldn't know what he was supposed to know. She hovered over him and he kept his eyes away.

Human female was deceivingly small, delicate. He knew that she could hurt him, had already hurt him. The barest touch of her fingertips were like acid against his skin and he whipped his head around and released a roar in protest, repelling her and sending her back into the day where he could not follow, did not want to follow.

Memories not reaching the surface, humanity and vampiric senses could not rise over the animalistic rage that blanketed him.


we're wounded by fear, injured in doubt. i can lose myself.

Bleeding internally was right. The books she had found the library hadn't helped and lying to Giles about Angel's return had not done anything to quell her fears.

A dream, she thought even as she lied to Giles, Yeah, right.

...This was vivid. Really vivid. Three dimensional, sound surround, the hills are alive...

Her watcher's careful words weren't careful enough. Each word, phrase was like a deep slice in the shred of hope that she clung to.

...a monster...hundreds of years...of torture...take someone of extraordinary will and character to retain any semblance of self...

But maybe, her heart cried out. Maybe he wasn't a lost cause. He came back from hell didn't he? He made it this far. Couldn't he find his humanity again? He had his soul. That creature wasn't Angelus, she was sure of that. But God, it wasn't Angel. He was the monster Giles spoke of. He had lost every noticeable semblance of self, but....

"This time it's not your boyfriend who's the cold blooded....jelly donut," Willow had said.

Of course it is, she thought with heavy melancholy and fear, Buffy's life equals the worst possible prospect and the most heart wrenching pain, right? And if things weren't scary and complicated enough already, her nice, normal new boyfriend hadn't even crossed her mind until she walked through the cafeteria and saw him waving her over to his table. How was she expected to go on with this ruse of a relationship when her soul mate was snarling like a hellbeast, chained up on the other side of town?

"So, I wanted to tell you that you great today but now I want to raise that to amazing because you didn't sleep well," Scott had said. He was way too much to handle. She realized the moment she sat down that there was no way she could possibly pretend. Not today. Maybe never again. Why would she choose sweet, caring and nice over the demon-filled world of anguish waiting for her?

"That's really sweet," she said, "and I wish I didn't have to...but I I'll see you later."

She hurried to Angel, praying that somehow he was himself again and finding to her utter dismay that he was nowhere near that place.


i have climbed the highest mountains, i have run through the fields
only to be with you, only to be with you

Angel jerked at his chains. He was in pain and weak but didn't understand why. Memories of hundreds of years in hell drowned out the significantly less amount of time he spent on earth.

Earth. That's where he was. Every muscle in his weakened body strained at the metal links holding him in the corner of the large room. Her fear struck him, adding to the burning pain in his body, lapping at his raw nerves.

Mate. Fear.

Mate. Danger.

Snapping the chains free of the ceiling, he stood and ran. She was afraid. He could almost smell the death she was seeing through her hazel eyes. He ignored the pain that flew through his body as he ran to her, following his instinct. Had to get to her. Had to stop the fear. The feelings flowing off of her were excruciating. He couldn't stop them from billowing through him in palpable swells. The only concept that he could understand was that he had to get to her to make it stop. Anything to make it stop.

He found the source. Male. Threatening his mate. He attacked. He became more and more frustrated as his body refused to form the power he knew he was capable of. Weak from the torture of hell, his body just would not behave as it should and his foe was winning. Forced back, he saw the male turn on his mate again. He swung his chains over the boy's neck and flipped him over, breaking his human neck with a sickening snap.

He dropped the boy's lifeless body and turned to look at his mate. Forcing his face to return to human again, her fearful eyes clicked into place. Loving flowing out from his soul, his memories flooded back, breaking over him in a mad rush of emotion.

"Buffy?" He whispered, unsure if she was real. He approached her and fell to his knees, laying his head against her abdomen. Tears of relief swept over him and in moments he was reduced to desperate sobs, clutching her tightly, repeating her name over and over as if just that one word could save him. As he held on to her, he wished his chains could hold him against her and save him from the harsh light of reality that would come with the dawn.


i ain't got nothing but it's more than you've got.
chains no longer bind me nor the shackles at my feet.

Buffy watched him sleeping, restless and twitching against the floor, curled in a semi fetal position. His large body trembled in pain and fear and she looked on from against the wall, keeping ten feet of safe distance between them. She couldn't tear her eyes away from him. She couldn't leave the mansion. Her whole body was numb and she was sure if she stood, she would be unable to walk.

None of it made sense. She pieces of the puzzle but she couldn't make them fit together. Angel was alive. Not in hell. Not dust. Not even a raving mad beast anymore. She had stood there with him on his knees before her and his sobs were a baptism, washing away months of trying to forget the only thing she wanted to remember. She wasn't sure how they had made it back to the mansion. She couldn't remember walking, couldn't remember removing the chains from his wrists.

There were things she remembered in the haze filled hours that had passed. She remembered his tears, his gut wrenching sobs. She remembered her name, uttered over and over again from cold undead lips. She recalled the blood on his wrists, the torn skin revealed beneath the shackles. She remembered his hands on her body, clutching her hips with the ferocity of hundreds of years of burning hell, transferred into her by the pain he forced from his tears. She recalled the total emotional breakdown, the numbness that occurred by sensory overload of the physical and emotional presence of her lover. Now she warded off the sleep that threatened to close her eyes and thus take her from her vigil but eventually her eyes were just too heavy and she slumped against wall.

Angel woke halfway through the night and looked around in panic. He focused on the outline of her small frame, laying against the wall, breathing evenly in her sleep. As his eyes sharpened in the dark, he saw her lovely face was contorted in lines of unrest and horror. He crawled slowly across the room, every bone and muscle feeling as if it been torn out and stuffed back inside in the wrong order. His coordination lacked his natural prowess but he reached her and pulled her against him, wrapping his body around her. He felt her relax against him with an automatic sigh, finding respite in his arms. Inhaling deeply, he took in her smell before he fell asleep once more.

When Buffy woke, it was close to dawn. Lazy twilight leaked through the heavy curtains and she immediately realized that the hard form against her wasn't the wall. She touched the large arm that was slung around her waist and ran her fingers over the hand that rested on her belly. She turned over, laid her head against his arm and stared at his peaceful face. He no longer twitched and moaned. She looked over the lines of his face and traced the smudges of dirt on him.

i have kissed honey lips, felt the healing in her fingertips.
it burned like fire, this burning desire

Feeling the whispered touches of her hands on his body, he blinked awake. The heavy sleep in his eyes quickly faded as he looked into her large green eyes. He couldn't form the syllables needed to speak so he stared at her for long weighted moments. Wanting to express the feelings that raged inside him, he moved down and caught her lips gently moving his tongue inside her mouth as he gathered her closer. She sighed into his mouth, passion and confusion mixing panic soup in her head. He tasted like a sacrifice, a burnt offering nudging her toward back the hell she had lived on earth while he burned below.

She placed a hand on his chest, feeling the hard muscle beneath his room temperature skin. Realizing what was happening, she tore away from his lips, jumped to her feet and ran into the daylight that crept over the horizon.

"Buffy!" He yelled. The only word he knew bouncing off the empty walls of the large room, out into the atrium, up the stairs, splashing her retreating back, propelling her forward, squeezing unwanted tears from long dry eyes.


see the stone set in your eyes, see the thorn twist in your side. I wait for you
slight of hand and twist of fate, on a bed of nails she makes me wait.
and I wait....without you

He waited for her to come back and she did. Every day.

She brought him blood, lingered for minutes, sometimes more before she hurried away. Every day she stayed a little longer, said a little bit more. He noticed that she only came during the day, right after school, as if she wanted a barrier from him that only daylight could provide. She came with plastic containers of fresh pig's blood from the butcher and left again, taking long hours of waiting with her.

Every day he remembered more, understood more. Every day he hurt less physically and more emotionally. A week after his return to the human dimension he found himself pacing like a caged animal waiting for her arrival. He was starving and frantic for her. Hearing a noise, he rushed to the heavy drapes and tore them aside.

She stood there looking as ravishing as ever, clad in a zebra print shirt and his leather jacket, a paper bag held up against her chest. She drank him in. The frantic look on his face, the sight of his bare muscular chest peaking out from his unbuttoned maroon silk shirt. She told herself that she wasn't attracted to him, that she didn't find his sculpted naked skin enticing.

"It's just me," she said, handing him the bag. He turned away from her and pulled the plastic container of blood out of the bag. He held it up preparing to open it and drink, when she asked, "How are you feeling?"

"It hurts..less," he answered lowering the blood, but keeping his back to her. If he looked at her he would see the fear and doubt on her face. He would remember more vividly than he already did the pain he had caused her and the people she loved. He would know a little more clearly that she would never be his again.

"Oh," she said, breaking the long pause, "I haven't told the others you're back."

"Giles," he muttered, another searing memory flinging itself in the saddle of his mind.

"And I'm not going to," she continued, "They wouldn't understand that you're...better. A-a-and I'm gonna keep helping you get better. It's just that everything is different. I'm a senior. I'm really working harder in school. I'm even thinking about college...And I'm involved with someone."

and you give yourself away. and you give yourself away.
and you give and you give and you give yourself away.

He jerked abruptly around. Certain that his heart had just exploded, he watched as she flinched from the quickest movement he had made since the night he killed Pete. Sorrow and regret rose to the surface as he took in her flinch. He looked over the leather jacket - the one he had given her. The smooth black leather was a harsh reminder of what no longer was. He reached out and straightened the collar on the jacket and turned back away slowly. He wished he could have touched her skin instead. He wished he had the right to want that as much as he did.

"His name is Scott," she said, decimating him with words, "He's a nice, solid guy. He makes me happy and that's what I need...someone I can count on."

Someone I can count on. Her words taunted and revealed to him what he could not provide - what he was no longer allowed to provide.

She waited for him to say something. She was kept waiting. Finally she spoke again, "Angel? Are you going to say anything?"

She was answered with silence. She walked slowly around him and could not meet his eyes. His head was bowed in defeat, staring at the floor which answered him with rebounding emptiness, prophesying the future.

"Angel?" She repeated. He wanted to shake her until her teeth chattered, hold her until her bones crushed in his arms, make love to her until she killed him. He wanted to walk outside into the day.

"Buffy," he said, his voice cracking in betrayal.

"I need you to understand," she whispered.


you broke the bonds, you loosened the chains, you carried the cross
and my shame, and my shame. you know I believed it.

"Yes. I need you to understand that things aren't...the same since you...left. Everything has changed," she said, trying to keep her words firm but knowing she was failing.

"Okay," he said, which was the only statement that didn't reveal anything he wanted to say.

"Okay? That's what you have to say?"

"What do you want me to say, Buffy?" he said, his voice low, hoarse in an almost moan of pain, "That I came back from hell for you? That in hundreds of years of torture the only human word I remembered was your name? The only thing that kept me from total annihilation was the memory of you? Is that what you want to hear?" He asked, looking up at her face, allowing her to see the tear that fell across his face.

"I..." she started.

"I know I don't deserve your love and I don't want your pity," he said, interrupting, "I just can't..."

He couldn't finish. He just looked at her, discharging hundreds of years of scourge into her eyes until she deteriorated under the burden of his gaze and ran.


my hands are tied, my body bruised, she's got me with nothing left to win and nothing else to lose

Once Scott made his hasty exit from her life, Buffy was simply unable to admit it to Angel. She couldn't tell him that the someone she could "count on" wasn't so count-on-able. She avoided the topic like the plague which was dandy with Angel who had no desire whatsoever to talk about the boy whose arms had stolen his love. He tried not to think about the boy who made her so damn happy. Scott was a blatant reminder of how Angel himself did not make her happy, how the demon in him had taken every ounce of bliss he had ever known. He couldn't think about Scott without thinking about a thousand different ways of taking him away from Buffy - most of which were bloodier than he would have admitted.

He was somewhat - but not completely - ashamed of the fact that he thought about the boy's blood on his hands nearly every day, sometimes more than once. His gut twisted when he thought about the boy's adolescent hands roaming on her body, his lips on her mouth, his body pressed against hers. He tormented himself with thoughts of what she had allowed him to do, where he had allowed him to touch her.

He was relieved that he didn't smell Scott's mark on her. She hadn't slept with him. Angel was sure that was the one thing that kept him sane. Soon his scent faded from her completely. He neared the borders of happiness as he realized that she was no longer seeing him. Dangerous hope crept up inside him.

He felt a little guilty about the thrill he felt about her being without the boy. He went into the atrium and for the first time, went through the motions of a Tai Chi kata. He moved slowly, conserving his strength, but unable to move her face from his meditative thoughts. As he turned, extending his arm, he found her watching from the doorway, in the crossfire of his fingertips.

"Buffy," he said, frozen momentarily as vision and reality collided.

"I didn't know you could do that," she said in awe, her eyes hungrily gobbling up his bare chest and deep gaze.

"I'm feeling better," he said, straightening and taking a short step. His concentration gone, he started to collapse and he caught himself with a hand on the concrete bench beside him. She hurried over and helped him up, moving closely to his bare chest. He put his arm around her and walked slowly with her to the living room where the only light was a roaring fire.

"It's late," he said as they made their way to the couch, "How did you get away?"

"Oh it was easy," she said jokingly, "Started a fire in the prison laundry room. Rode out in the garbage truck."

"Oh," he said, sitting down slowly, trying to recover from the closeness of her but finding himself staring at the tempting cleavage peaking out from her low cut black top, which happened to be in his direct line of sight.

"I'm joking. No garbage. Smell me," she said, stepping closer, bringing her chest even closer to his eyes. He forced his eyes to her face and was trapped there instead. It took her several moments to realize their perilous closeness and leaned over to set the blood down on the couch next to him. He took the opportunity to look at her chest again as she bent her knees slightly and leaned in, moving the bare skin closer to him. She turned and sat down in the chair adjacent to the couch.

"How is Scott?" Angel asked, curious if she would tell him the truth, unable to stop himself from asking.

"Scott? Oh, um, boyfriend Scott. Oh actually...he's not...oh he's fine," she lied, words stumbling from her lips. Changing the subject she nodded at the paper bag, "Oh that's for you. It's fresh from the butcher."

"Thanks," he said, reaching into the bag. She watched as he licked his lips and set the blood down again. She looked away pretending not to notice.

"You're being careful right?" Angel asked from across the room.

"With Scott?" Buffy asked in surprise.

"With slaying."

"Oh, yeah. Of course," she answered, swallowing a sigh of relief, "Fully carefulness." She didn't want to think about Angel thinking about Scott. Especially not with him so few feet away, his hard bare chest beckoning tiny kisses...

"I worry about you," he said, breaking her fantasy, digging deeply into her eyes.

"I worry about you," she said with a look that betrayed her concern for his health.

"I'm getting stronger."

"Pretty soon you won't need me," she said lightly.

"That will be better," he said, breaking both of them with the realness of the words.

"Yeah," she said and watched him look away. She stared at him and realized with a sudden brick-like thunk that they were both starving. Sitting there pretending, they were starving to death. Hungry for truth, passion and love that was completely unavailable to them, they were wasting away in the world they had been given. It made her ill to think about spending the rest of her life making believe she didn't love him, pretending not to want him when really the only thing she could think of doing was crossing the room and straddling his hips. She wanted to feel his arms around her again, feel his mouth move against hers. She longed to have it back again.

The wetness seeped inside her and she clenched her legs together. She waited for a moment to recover before she stood, "I should go. Mom will worry."

"Yes," he said, standing, "You should." He watched her lush frame twist itself to standing, watched the soft curve of her hips gently sway with her movements. He felt like whispering - whispers in adoration and worship for the girl who had once been his goddess. She still was in his mind. Somewhere buried deep inside him, he knew that there would never be another chance like he had before he changed.

He inhaled her arousal silently as he watched her gather her things. He wanted to thank her for it, beg her not to give him anymore of it. He wanted to promise to disappear from the face of the earth if she would give him just a small taste of it. He was torn in between what was possible and what was unfathomable.


like coming home and you don't know where you've been
like black coffee, like nicotine
i need your love i need your love i need your love i need your love

Buffy walked in the dark towards Angel's mansion again. She chided herself for her weakness but all she could think of was earlier in the day when he had taken her hands in his during training, pulled her into his embrace. She had already trained with Giles that day but she didn't feel the need to mention it to Angel. It wasn't important. Important was her body turning, arching up to meet his lips, him leaning down a whisper from meeting her.

She had almost kissed him and now she was going back over there. She brushed her discouraging thoughts away.

I need him, she thought and then almost stopped walking with the shock of her inner statement. She continued walking. She thought about the look in his eyes when she had moved away from him. He ate away at her when he looked at her like that. She definitely needed a patch or some kind of controlling device that would keep her away from him.

Half the forces of hell couldn't keep her from going to him tonight.

Part of this is Faith's fault, Buffy thought trying to place blame somewhere else besides her own narrow shoulders. Faith was the one, after all, who had broached the Angel subject tonight to begin with. She just had to bring up "boinking the undead." Faith had no idea what she was missing, Buffy mused as she entered the mansion. Unlike Faith, Buffy wouldn't have much to compare him to, but instinctively she knew that no one else would ever compare to her first lover.

Scott was a young boy and the way he touched her revealed all. She had only kissed him but even his kisses were tentative and unsure. He treated her like she was a porcelain doll that was likely break with too much pressure. Angel, on the other hand, engulfed her entire soul with one kiss, brought her to putty in his hands. He shaped her into the inflamed woman he knew she was, melting away her reserve with one look of his deep brown eyes.

She stopped at the top of the stairs. Thoughts like those were dangerous, especially when she was just a room away from an incredible amount of taboo passion. She paused there for a moment and caught her breath. She had to go down there. How could she stop herself?


one man betrayed with a kiss. in the name of love.

Xander crept into Restfield Cemetery, each step filled with quaking fear, as he prepared himself for the danger ahead. He muttered under his breath, "Hey Giles, here's a nifty idea: Why don't I alleviate my guilt by going out and getting myself really, really killed."

His fear of Lagos getting The Glove of Minengan before one of the good guys did could not swallow the passion that still raged in his veins. All these years, how had he missed Willow's beauty? Her trembling lips against his, her body folding into him, her silky hair running itself like water through his fingers were beautiful and unescapable. Somehow he couldn't latch on to the idea that holding her was wrong. All this time, he had looked for the very thing that had been by him the whole time.

He didn't have time to continue the thoughts that threaded around his fear because he heard the crypt door open. Xander watched with wide eyed shock as Angel walked out with the glove. Icy fear padded over the mere nervousness he felt before. He had allowed himself to think that the Angel chapter of their lives was over.

He stepped silently in behind him, keeping a good distance from the killer vampire. He reminded himself repeatedly that he was an idiot to do this alone as he snuck down the stairs. He knew that Buffy would want to know what Angel was up to. They needed to know what he planned to do with the glove.

i was looking through the window. i was lost, i am found.

Xander slowly made his way to a broken window and peered into the main part of the house from the gardens. He could barely keep his gasp inside his throat as he saw Buffy already in the demon's arms, kissing him passionately. Anger and betrayal smacked against him so hard, he nearly fell over as he quietly scrambled to escape. He had to get to Giles and tell him about this. Buffy had to be stopped before something happened that they would all regret.

If it hadn't already, that is.


open up the way to love, oh god. come back, heal me.

Buffy couldn't resist when Angel swooped down on her lips. He felt her long before she entered the room and the tangy fragrance of her arousal swept in ahead of her. He took her into his arms and move against her lips, pressing his tongue in her mouth in a sweet rediscovery. He groaned against her, pulling her in more closely, desperately moving across her lips, trying to take in all of the sensations before it was taken away from him.

Her smell was honeyed wine. Her dripping sweetness circled his head, leaving him dizzy and weak with hunger for her. He pulled her in even tighter with each missed breath, finally pulling her lush against his hard groin. Knowledge of what was happening sunk in and she pulled away with a gasp.

"Oh God," she moaned.

"Buffy," he pleaded in response, looking over her tiny frame in black, his mouth watering for the ample cleavage that peaked out from her tiny black tank top.

"What am I doing?" she said and then flicked her eyes up accusingly, "What are you doing?"

"I don't know," he answered. How could she be more beautiful every damn time he looked at her? More unreachable? More desirable? More fucking irresistible? He knew exactly what he had been doing...and what he wanted to do.

"Shame on you," Buffy said loudly. It was all his damn fault anyway. If he wasn't so damn sexy, pulling her into his arms like that, she would have been fine. She quickly began to walk away, "Oh God, I don't even know why I came back here."

He turned and grabbed her hand, "It's good you did. I think I have what you're looking for."

He led her by the hand to a concrete pedestal, where a bundle lay wrapped in burlap cloth.

"Great," she said sarcastically, "Just where ever this was gift wrapped remind me not to shop there." Ignoring her remark, he gently unwrapped the bundle.

"The Glove of Minengon," he announced quietly.

"World's ugliest fashion accessory," she said, reaching out to touch the shining metal. Angel grabbed her hand and pulled it away from the deceivingly powerful weapon.

"Don't," he said, "Once you put it on the glove can never be removed."

"So no touching. Kinda like us." Buffy was sure she felt Angel's heart drop when he released her hand.

"You hold on to it," she said, turning away, "I'll tell Giles in the morning. At least he'll be happy."

Buffy made her way to the door. A warrior by nature, she was proud that she had made it that far. Each step away from Angel was a dissection of a emotional limb. Her body felt so heavy as she attempted to escape. She would have gotten away if she hadn't paused and looked back at the sorrow bleeding from his eyes.

i want to run. i want to hide. i want to tear down the walls that hold me inside.
i want to reach out and touch the flame.

Angel watched her back, her muscles gently dancing beneath her skin. He begged her to stop silently. He begged her for one more taste of her lips. When she paused and turned around, half of his cellular structure broke down beneath her gaze. Three heartbeats inside her elegant chest were required before he made it back in her arms.

Claiming her lips, he pulled her back into the room, leaving no room for dismissal, no space for regret to dauntingly enter, no crevice for blame. She moved against him, allowing her hands to travel the well worn paths of his back, sides and chest. Her fingers remembered the planes of his body and her frame remembered the trail to fit against him. He pulled her along, not allowing thought to enter the realm of passion as he pushed her back onto the couch. He laid himself across her, his large frame completely covering hers.

She panted into his mouth as he pressed his arousal against her hot core. Alarms went off inside both of their heads but it wasn't enough to stop the movements of their bodies as they ground against each other. He moved down her neck, praying for a few moments more. Her salty skin tasted like divinity and her moans as he pulled her top away and sipped her breasts were veracity actualized.

"Angel," she moaned arching against him as he sucked and nibbled on her painfully hard nipples, "We...can't."

"I know," he groaned against her flesh. She thought that he had understood what she said, but his movements suggested otherwise as he kissed her lean stomach. He pulled her pants and panties away, for the first time not daring to look up in askance. He feared she would stop him if he did. He traced the contours of her steaming core with his lips and tongue, running his hands over her inner thighs, spreading her legs wider for him. She bended to his will, whimpering in protest while moaning for more.

She knew she had to stop him but she couldn't tear herself away. His tongue plunged inside her dripping passage and she nearly howled in guttural abandon as he caught her clitoris between his blunt teeth.

"God, Angel," she cried, digging her fingers into his back, "Can't...oh...please...."

"Love you," he muffled into her heat, lapping her up. Crazed with the intimacy he most desired, he pulled her tighter against him, gripping her hips tightly in his large hands. If he could just feel her climax, he would be okay. He promised himself silently that this wouldn't make him want more...

and more...

Buffy's release was brutal and rasping. She screamed against him in ferocious release, arching up against him. She trembled violently and he pulled her into his lap, placing her firmly against his strained arousal. The aftermath of passion was a deeper sorrow than she could have predicted. Forever without him was a long time of misery and pain. The same held true for forever with him. She had nearly forgotten...almost but not quite. Buffy sniffed as her sobs lightened and stood, pulling her clothes back on.

"This," she said, the first word a leap ahead of the rest of the straggling sentence, "...can't happen again."

"I know," he said, sitting in the same spot, looking up at her now clothed form, "I'm sorry."

"Me too," she said, leaning in to kiss him goodbye. This kiss was long and slow. A goodbye. Not only for the night.

you stumble out of a hole in the ground. a vampire or a victim, it depend's on who's around.