Summary: When Buffy comes back from the dead, everything has changed. Where does that leave her? What does she have left?
NC-17. There’s a little bit of sex and foul language.
AN1: I feel like this story jumps around a bit, but every time there is a part separation, it’s movement in time. This doesn’t all happen all in one day. (if it did, that would really suck for poor Buff.)
AN: I tried really hard to get this out in time. I feel it’s a little half-assed, but it’s still pretty decent. Hope you enjoy!
I don’t remember how I got here. Where am I? I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe! I gasp for breath and claw at whatever I’m inside. What is this? A coffin …? Oh my god. I punch and scratch at the lining of my prison. I need to get out. I need to get air! The first crack in the wood sends trickles of dirt down on my face. Harder. Punch harder.
Dirt pours down on me as the small crack turns into a large hole; a hole big enough for me to crawl through. I struggle through the dirt, my dress and hair catching onto bits of the … coffin as I climb out. I’m almost out, I know it. I can almost smell the air.
I reach my hand out, gripping handfuls of the ground as I pulled myself out. I gasp, air, oh thank god, air.
I cough up random clumps of dirt I sucked in while desperately searching for air. Shaking my head a bit, I look up; it’s night time. Where am I? I push myself off the cold ground, standing on shaky feet, I look around. I’m in the graveyard. I turn and look at the headstone that confirms all of my fears. I’m back.
I hold back my emotions; sadness, anger, desperation and scan the area. It’s eerily quiet and I can’t believe there’s nothing here to greet me. Not that I’d be happy to see anything or anyone, but … I find it odd. I blink, my eyes fuzzy and dry, and now I’m relying heavily on just my senses. I can see, make out figures and objects, but it’s almost like being underwater.
I begin to walk; nowhere, everywhere, anywhere. My lungs ache and every noise I make hurts my head; the crunching of the grass, a random snap of a twig – too loud. A flicker of light catches my attention from the corner of my eye. Is that the way out? The way home?
I speed up, but begin to stumble. No, it’s not the way out. I slow myself down and creep up on the large fire and the group standing around it. What happened here? Is this the same Sunnydale I left behind? Where am I? When am I?
Did a lot of time pass? Is everyone else dead? Is this what the world looks like now?
Demons. They’re all demons, standing around a fire made out of cars and parts of houses. Buildings around us are destroyed. Did the world end? If so, why am I back? How am I back?
I go around them. I need to get out of here. I need to find my way home. I’m walking awkwardly in the heels I was buried in and I resist the urge to kick them off and walk home barefoot.
I open the front door of my house; it’s unlocked and I walk in. I try to call out to someone; Dawn, Willow, Giles, anyone, but my voice does not come out. My throat feels dry and crushed. I rush through the rooms, searching for any sign of anyone. They’re all gone. There’s no proof that anyone had been residing in the house for a while. The only sound I can manage to make is one of a keening, dying animal. What is going on?
I leave my own house and search the neighborhood. The streets are deserted, cars lit aflame, windows broken in, litter in the streets. I don’t understand …
I kick in one of the neighbors front doors, granting myself access. I search the house for supplies, for life, for any sign of what happened to Sunnydale. Nothing. I search the upper floors, and am halted by a sound; a creaking of the floorboards. The slayer in me takes over and I know nothing but defending myself and killing whatever is now a threat. I tread lightly down the hallway, listening closely for the sound again.
I spin to the right in kick in another door, one of a child’s. On the floor, curled up in a ball is a little boy. He’s afraid and almost crying at the sight of me. I calm myself down and let my shoulders slump. Why was he here? How did he survive alone?
“W-what,” I rasped, my voice guttural and throat dry. “What h-happened … here?”
The boy stares at me for a moment before uncurling himself slightly. I guess he realized I look almost as badly as he does, maybe even worse considering where I had been.
“Monsters,” he whispers, a look in his eyes I recognize. “They killed everyone.”
He’s holding back tears and just by looking at him, I knew he was terrified and alone.
“I know you’re not a monster,” he points to the cross I didn’t notice he had nailed to the top of his door. I then realize he also had them above his windows and garlic along the windowsills. “What are you?”
“I’m …” what do I say to him? I’m not even sure what I am anymore. “I’m just … a girl.”
The boys name is Jason and he is six years old. He explained to me that his parents died protecting him and his sister. She had been young and died soon after. He lived off of scraps that he found throughout the house and had almost run out. I told him that I could protect him from the monsters if he wanted to come along with me. He grabbed a few things and took my hand.
I soon found myself on the highway. I don’t know what was driving me to get out of Sunnydale, or where I was even headed, but all I did know was that I was walking towards the city. Maybe there would be someone alive there.
He trusts me. It’s an odd feeling to have a complete stranger, a child, trust you with everything they are. He walks beside me, a book-bag on his back and a teddy in his arms. His brown hair is long and he’s completely dirty. I can tell he’s getting tired as he’s slowing down. I can finally see the city’s lights, but along with their lights, also the flames and smoke. I pick him up and carry him the rest of the way. If something goes wrong, we may have to move fast.
I walk quickly and quietly with him past the border of Los Angeles, dread and despair filling my being as I scanned my eyes over the city. It was also in ruin, just like Sunnydale. Was the whole world like this? The engine of a car startles me and I rush with him into an alley. I stand statue still as I see the car driving past slowly from the corner of my eye. Jason is afraid; shaking in my arms and hiding his face in my shoulder. I squeeze my eyes tightly; hoping against all hope that whoever – or whatever – that is following us just goes away. I hear the car stop and the one of the doors open. Heavy footsteps approach quietly, like a cat and
a large shadow engulfs the alleyway.
I’m ready to put Jason down and fight when I hear the threat speak. A calm, gentle voice hits my ears and my defenses lower slightly.
“Anyone here?” they ask softly, inching closer towards us. “I’m not gonna hurt you. We just wanna help.”
It was a man. I peak out of our hiding spot to catch a glance of a balding, older, black man. He had a long scar down his face, but his features were nonthreatening. I step out fully and he almost smiles and I can practically feel the relief radiating off of him.
“I’m Gunn,” he offers, gesturing to the car. “I can help you and your son. We have facilities for you both to sleep, wash up, eat and be safe,” I think he could tell I wasn’t about to move so he called back to the car. “Fred, honey? Why don’t you come out here?”
A skinny, woman in her mid-forties, early fifties got out of the passengers side of the car. She looked very warm and motherly; I trusted her almost right away.
“Hi there,” she greeted softly, smiling at me and Jason. “Are you all hurt? We can take you back to our hotel and fix you up, get you something warm to eat –”
“What year is it?” I rasp, coughing slightly. “What happened here?”
They look at each other before returning their attention to me.
“How ‘bout we head on back to the hotel and we can discuss everything there, okay?”
They drove us around for about an hour, searching the streets for more strays like Jason and me, before heading back to the ‘hotel’ they mentioned. It looked to be one of the only buildings standing in all of California. It was old and decrepit looking, but at least it was still standing pretty sturdily by the looks of it.
“Come on in. We’ll get you both settled in and then we can get you anything you need.”
Fred is a very nice woman. She puts her arm around me and smiles warmly. I want to just burrow deep into her embrace. She leads us into the large building, holding the doors open for Jason and me. I’m still carrying him and by now, he’s asleep. I can hear him snoring softly against my ear and I can’t help but smile. It was probably ridiculous, but I was already attached to him. He put all of his faith in me and I came through for him.
The lobby was bustling with people, talking, sharpening weapons, eating and drinking, and I began to back away. It was too crowded here. I began to feel claustrophobic and I started to fear for Jason’s safety. What if they attacked and I couldn’t protect him? I couldn’t let him down now.
“It’s alright,” she whispered, wrapping her arm tighter around me. “They’re all good people – stranded, just like you. It’ll be okay.”
Just like Jason trusted me, I trusted her. I followed her lead as she walked me past all of the people, heading into a small kitchen of sorts. Standing by the fridge was a tall man, long black duster and a strong build. My stomach began to twist and I almost felt sick. I began to lose my grip on Jason and thankfully, Fred was
there. The last thing I saw was the man’s leather clad back.
When I open my eyes again, I jerk up, alerted to the fact that I no longer had Jason. What happened? I must’ve fallen from fatigue, after all, I carried a six year old through a deserted city, climbed out of my own grave, and hadn’t had food in … well, I wasn’t exactly sure how long it was, but it must’ve been a while.
“Jason,” I call out, but a hand on my shoulder stops me from moving. I jab my elbow backwards and hit whoever was holding me back. I need to find Jason.
Jumping from the small couch I had been placed on, I started to head into the other rooms.
“Buffy,” I hear as strained voice call and I stiffen. I turn around slowly, my heart swelling with familiarity.
“Spike,” I whisper, calming myself and inching away from the door. I made no attempt to go close to him, but I wasn’t fleeing anymore either. “Where’s Jason?”
“A better question,” he mumbles softly. “When … how did you …?”
His eyes are filling with tears and I almost begin to feel badly for him. He’s obviously just as confused as I am.
“I don’t know,” I shrug, clearing my throat softly. “I just … I woke up here. I was looking for everyone but … they’re gone.”
My bottom lip quivers and now I’m trying to hold back my tears. It’s finally hit me that everyone I knew and loved was most likely dead. I wring my each of my hands slightly and then release myself, shaking all emotion out of me. This was neither the time nor place.
“What happened here? Where is everybody? Where’s …?”
I wasn’t about to ask. I couldn’t. I fell silent as Spike began to explain the last apocalypse, and the fact that I had been gone for a little more than twenty years. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. He told me Giles had taken Dawn with him to England for safety, and Willow and Tara had fled to Cleveland. Xander had been killed protecting Anya, who now resided somewhere in England with Giles and Dawn.
Before he could finish telling me everything, Jason rushed in, throwing himself into my arms. I held him, sniffling softly as I thought of what we had both lost. He lost his family and I no longer had mine.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded, sitting on my lap and holding my hands.
“Are you okay? They told me you fell. Did you hurt your head?”
I looked to Spike who shook his head.
“No, bit,” he spoke softly to the young boy, who just stared at him. “I made sure she didn’t get hurt.”
Jason smiled at bit at him and hugged me again. I knew this little boy would be with me for a while.
We had been given separate rooms, Jason and I, but he refused to be alone, so he claims he’ll ‘sleep on the floor.’ I bet I’ll wake up with him and teddy in the morning. I made sure Jason had been all cleaned up and fed before I even gave one thought to myself.
Okay, maybe I’m not so much of a killing machine anymore as I have busied most of my newly alive hours on this little boy who had even less on this earth than I did. I still had Spike, but he had no one. No one but me.
I tucked him into his bed, the one he made on the floor next to my shabby cot looking thing, and went to find clothes, food, and hot water. Those things were scarce, but the hotel seemed to have an abundance of it.
I closed the door to the bedroom softly, knowing very well that if he knew I was leaving him, he’d demand to join me. Loneliness really does affect people in the most complicated of ways.
“Hey,” Fred’s voice called from behind me. I turned and smiled as she exited an adjoining room, dressed in just a large t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Nighttime apparel didn’t really change all that much, did it? “I got a sandwich in the kitchen for you and some clothes for you to sleep in tonight.”
She was really sweet. She took my arm and led me down the steps of the enormous hall. I had so many questions that needed so many answers.
“Fred?” I questioned softly. “How did you start this? I mean, finding and taking in people? And how is this one of the only untouched buildings in … probably the whole world?”
I hear her chuckle softly, pushing the door to the kitchen open for me and leading me inside. I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but I’m confused, and I think I have every right to be.
“Well,” she said as she sat in a chair across from the one that had a freshly made sandwich and glass of milk in front of. I sat down and tried not to scarf it down disgustingly. “When the apocalypse began, we had a very powerful witch friend, Willow, cast somewhat of a protection spell on this building. Keeps bad guys out and alerts us when someone isn’t exactly who they say they are.”
I couldn’t help but stare at her at the mentioning of Willow. My best friend was a powerful witch now? I tried to take normal sized bites, but couldn’t help myself as the amount of food that went into my mouth was a little more than a human mouth could even handle. Fred just smiled and continued to speak.
“This building is owned by a wonderful man who had been protecting and helping people for as long as I can remember. It was simple back then, just ‘Angel Investigations,’ helping the helpless and all that.”
My eyes grew wide as saucers. Angel? Angel was here? Something inside me snapped, something I couldn’t pinpoint or explain. Angel was residing somewhere in this very building.
“Where is Angel?” I try not to make my voice sound so demanding, but I can’t really control much of anything I do when it comes to him.
She looks surprised at my question, stuttering a bit.
“H-He’s probably out on a quick patrol before the sun rises.”
No wonder she’s confused. I didn’t tell her my name; she has no idea who I am. Even if I told her, Angel probably never spoke of me, never gave me a second thought after I … died. Only Spike knew me here. Greedily, I stuffed the remainder of the sandwich into my mouth and gulped down the milk.
“Thank you, Fred,” I collected the clothes she had picked out for me and flashed her a quick smile, “I’m just gonna go up now, grab a quick shower then go to bed. Goodnight.”
I almost ran from the kitchen and sped up the stairs. Angel lived here. My Angel lived here.
I entered the bathroom at the end of the large hallway, avoiding the cracked mirror on the wall as I turned on the light. I didn’t want to look at myself just yet. I was
sure I looked … not to be funny, but dead, and I didn’t want to see how badly I really looked.
I stripped my clothes from my dirt covered body, the dress I wore for so many years tattered and torn to the point of being unrecognizable. I don’t think I ever owned a dress like this. I kicked away my heels, intending to throw everything away because I never wanted to see any of it ever again.
I was in and out quickly, the size of the shower causing my claustrophobia to kick in again. The coffin and being buried alive apparently took a toll on my wellbeing. I found a few towels in the small closet next to the toilet and opted to just use one, drying off my body and squeezing the extra water out of my hair. I slid on the extra clothing Fred provided for me and decided it was finally time - I had to look in the mirror.
First, I turned on the sink, cupping a handful of water and putting it into my mouth, rinsing and gargling in an attempt to clean my mouth. I spit out the water and wiped off my lips with the back of my hand. I raised my eyes and finally caught a glimpse of myself. I looked … like Buffy. I didn’t age a day; I looked no older than twenty. My hair was long and much darker then it had been when I was younger, and it looked like it really needed to be cut.
The shirt I wore was too big and hung off of my shoulder. With my right shoulder exposed, I looked closely at the reflection. I had a scar from childhood on the top of my shoulder – where was it? I strained my eyes trying to locate the small imperfection, but it was gone.
I was about to check the rest of my body for more missing war wounds when I heard the creaking of the door downstairs. Slipping out of the bathroom quietly, I tiptoed towards the stairs, trying to catch a peak of the man I once loved. As I inched closer to the banister, I saw him. He was stripping off his long duster,
\tossing it onto one of the couches and stretching. Oh god, he was still beautiful.
He began walking away from me, towards the kitchen area when he stopped short. I watched as his body stiffened, as if there was something nearby he had to defend himself from. He turned slowly, his dark eyes piercing right through every inch of my being as he finally noticed me. His mouth opened, nothing coming out as he stood there speechless. I made my way down the stairs at a snail’s pace, afraid of his reaction. He was stunned and he looked like he was just about to faint, or scream, or –
“Buffy,” he cried, his legs giving way and left him crashing towards the ground. He held his head in his hands and outwardly sobbed. Tears filled my own eyes as I approached him, his quivering body hunched over as he wept.
“Angel,” I whispered, reaching my hand out to touch him, any part of him would suffice. I just had to know that this was real.
I ran my fingers through his hair and he leaned into my touch, wrapping his arms around me desperately and hugging me close to him.
“Oh god, Buffy,” he sobbed, his hands roaming freely over my body. “You’re … you’re here, oh god, you’re real. You’re alive.”
He looked up at me, his face wet with his tears. My heart broke for him, and all I wanted to do was make it better.
“How?” his voice was so small. “Y-You were gone for … so long.” He took hold of my hands, his long fingers gently gliding over the now healing wounds from –
“You had to …?” his eyes were angry, hurt, as he looked up at me. He knew what I had done because he had done it himself once. “I’m sorry,” he whispered softly, pressing his cool lips against the wounds.
I resisted the urge to cry out as his beautiful lips caressed the rough skin of my knuckles. I whined softly and his attention was on me again.
“I missed you so much,” he mumbled mindlessly, his eyes, hands, senses all roaming over me again. My body rippled with the pleasure of being near him, and goosebumps formed on my skin at the intensity of his scrutiny.
“Twenty-two years, fourteen days and seven hours, Buffy,” his tearful eyes stared into mine once more. “God, I always dream that you come back to me,” his concentration is back on remembering the feel of my body. “This … is this a dream? Oh god, please say it’s not a dream.”
I gently took hold of his face and pressed my lips to his, silencing his sudden rambling and proving to him that he no longer had to dream. I was back, happily or not, and I was with him now.
He walked with me up the stairs, his hand clutching onto mine as if I was his lifeline. Maybe I was. We walked to my room and I stopped, releasing his hand as I did so.
“Well, this is me,” I mumbled, unsuccessfully trying to lighten the mood.
He took my hand again and brushed my hair back from my face with his free one.
“Stay with me,” he pleaded, apparently unwilling to let me go.
“I can’t,” I whispered softly, opening the door to my room quietly and letting him peak in. Jason was still asleep, only now he was on my bed, not in his own.
Angel stood staring for a moment, confused, hurt, stunned. I squeezed his hand slightly and he looked down at me again, his brown eyes revealing no emotion.
“When …? You have a … son?” he was obviously confused.
“I found him. He was all alone in Sunnydale,” I watched him fondly for a moment before looking up at Angel again. “His name is Jason.”
“So you took him with you.” He was finally catching up and understood.
He smiled down at me, his eyes gleaming with pride. Without a word, he bent his head down, catching my lips with his. The world collapsed around us as we kissed. I knew this, him with me and being in his arms would be the closest I would ever get to home again.
“Goodnight,” he whispered when he pulled away, giving me another small kiss before turning to walk away.
I kept my grip on his hand and he didn’t get far. Stopping once more, he looked back at me questioningly. I pushed open the door a little more and tugged him towards me.
“Stay with me,” I repeated his previous words softly. I didn’t want to be without him anymore. “Please.”
I woke up surrounded by warmth. I felt Angel’s strong arm around my stomach, holding me flush against his body. Jason was curled up in front of me, teddy crushed between us as I held him. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelming love for the situation I currently found myself in. Angel, the man who held my heart for so long and Jason, a little boy who put every bit of faith in me when I had nothing; when I was nothing. Now for both of them, I could be someone, start over, and be something more than an unhappy slayer who now mourned her own death.
I stretched slightly, petting Jason’s long, brown hair as I watched him sleep. He was a log, just like Angel. It would take a marching band to wake the both of them up.
I felt Angel pull me closer, if that was even possible, and I felt his nose against my shoulder, his lips caressing my back. His hand slid up and cupped one of my breasts and my breath caught in my throat. Oh god, what was he doing?
“Angel?” I whispered, not wanting to move in fear of waking Jason and having him see this display of affection.
“Need you,” he growled lowly into my ear and I shivered. We could not be doing this – for numerous reasons.
“Angel … Angel, stop,” I moaned as he continued to knead my, suddenly sensitive flesh. “Please … Angel …”
We were moving too fast and treading dangerous waters. Why was he so touchy feely now? Was he even awake? I was beginning to lose control and just let him take me right there, with poor, innocent Jason next to us on the bed. No, I needed to stop him – stop us.
I grabbed his hand and for a moment, I thought about gliding him down between my legs and letting him touch me there. Oh god, this was Angel, my Angel. I had him and now I was telling him no? Be an adult, Buffy. Be strong. I freed myself from his iron grasp and turned around in his arms, coming face to face with him and confirming the fact that he was not awake.
“Angel,” I whispered softly, shaking him by his shoulder. He stirred, but did not wake. “Wake up, Angel,” I pleaded as I felt his hands wandering again. He had obviously been very alone for a very long time. I’m not sure if that pleases me or not.
Of course it does! It proves he’s still mine and I’m still his.
“Buffy?” I heard a small, groggy voice call. Crap.
I rolled over again, ignoring the fact that Angel now had his hand inside my shirt.
“Hi, Jay,” I smiled softly at the half-asleep boy next to me who was rubbing his eyes and cradling his teddy. “Did you sleep well?”
He nodded at me, then finally noticed the arm wrapped around me.
“Who is that?” his voice was very small. I think he was afraid.
“He’s a friend. You can meet him later,” I offered, knowing if I woke Angel now one of two things would probably happen; either he’d ravish me within an inch of my life or he’d be grumpier then the dwarf was. Either way, it wouldn’t be good. “Are you hungry?”
He thought for a moment before nodding again. He climbed out of the bed and waited for me to dislodge myself from Angel’s grasp. Once I was free, I got out of bed and led him out into the hallway, to the bathroom. I let him go, and then led him down to the kitchen where Fred and Gunn were eating.
“Hey, kid,” Gunn greeted Jason gently, and the little boy waved a bit. “You hungry?”
I crawled back in bed beside him, snuggling into his arms just as if I had never left. Is this what my life would be like now? Snuggling with my honey and taking care of Jason? Wait … is Angel my honey now? What are we exactly?
I pull away from him in thought, looking at his, surprisingly older features. His hair was a bit longer than before, and he was much bulkier than when he left Sunnydale. He looked tired, worn out. I didn’t know vampires could look tired. He had a small scar on his cheek and it got me wondering how he got it. I ran my finger over the small dent in his face and thought of all the situations he could have got that in.
A shaving nick. That would be hilarious since not only did Angel not grow facial hair, but he would have no way to see himself. Can vampires grow facial hair? If their actual hair can grow, why can’t their facial hair? I ran my fingers over his chin, checking for stubble. Nothing. Not one little hair.
As hilarious as the shaving scenario was, it was unlikely.
Maybe he was held captive and his kidnappers tied him up and purposely scarred him. I didn’t like thinking about someone hurting him like that, so I pushed that thought away. I frowned and looked up at his sleeping face once more, only he wasn’t sleeping anymore. His dark eyes gazed into my own and I melted.
“You’re really here,” he whispered in amazement.
Before I could reply or question him about his mystery scar, he crushed my lips with his almost painfully in his frenzy. Fireworks went off in the back of my head and my heart was beating fast. Too fast. I pulled away from him and rested my forehead against his, staring into his happily shining eyes.
“I’m here,” I smiled down at him, happy to be in his arms once more. Just like when …
My body went frigid in his embrace and I pulled away from him. I couldn’t seem to catch my breath and I saw him begin to panic, obviously afraid he was going to lose me again.
“Buffy? Are you alright?”
I nodded as I attempted to steel myself. I would never go home. This was home now. I had to stop thinking about where I had been the past twenty years and start concentrating on where I was now. I swallowed roughly and faced him once more, trying to smile just a little so he would stop worrying.
“I’m okay. I just …” That was it. I thought about it and the dam broke.
I let out a wail that was reminiscent to that of a newborns and began to cry. I didn’t want to do this in front of him. I felt him wrap his arms around me and I fell into him. I hated this feeling and I didn’t know what to do, so I cried.
“Shh, it’s alright,” I heard him coo, and I did calm down, but only slightly. My whole being ached and I didn’t know how to fix it.
“No it’s not,” I cried, shaking my head. “I was okay! I was okay and happy and safe and … something tore me out. Brought me back here … to hell.”
I told him. I told him and he was silent. He was making me nervous with his dark, deep stare that was nothing but frightening to someone who didn’t know him. I had been in heaven, and I was literally ripped out and thrown into hell. Why?
“Angel,” I whimpered softly. “Why did I come back? We were so happy!” I tried to explain to him, but he still looked so angry, so confused. “We were together
and god, everything was so beautiful. Then I woke up in …”
“I know,” he breathed. “I know.”
When night fell Angel and I went on patrol together. We did not speak about my outburst since it happened and I really had no intention of bringing it up, but I knew I would have to eventually. I knew he wanted to say something to me. I could almost sense it in his stance, in the emotion that radiated off of him. He wanted to ask me questions.
“I’m okay,” I finally broke the silence between us. “I’m fine now.”
“Are you?” he practically snapped at me.
I stopped in my tracks and stared at him. He stopped a few steps ahead of me, facing away from me. I’m sure he knew I took offense to his words mainly because I wasn’t sure what he was implying exactly.
“I just mean,” he didn’t turn around. “What you’ve gone through … it’s traumatic.”
“I can handle it!”
He turned around to face me and I could see the worry furrowing his brow. I sighed softly at the sight of him, and I only wished he would believe me.
“Angel, as long as I have you … I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid of waking up here every day if I get to be with you.”
“What if something happens? To me? To us? Will you still be okay? Will you still be able to pick up the pieces and be the Buffy I know you to be?”
“What are you saying? That I can’t handle myself because I’m a walking corpse with too much emotion?”
“Buffy …” I knew he didn’t mean what I was implying, but I didn’t want to think about it anymore. Thinking about it hurt. I just wanted to forget.
I continued to walk, leaving him a few steps behind me as I stomped away. I heard him follow quietly behind me. I didn’t mean to snap at him, but if we continued to dwell on it, I would drown, and I didn’t want to.
As we walked down the deserted streets, we passed building after building. All abandoned. We continued to give each other the silent treatment and I knew we probably wouldn’t speak again until we were in bed. I continued to stomp ahead of him, frustrated at our bickering.
A crackling of a flame caught my attention and I stopped, looking in the direction I heard it in. Behind an old warehouse of sorts was a small fire; I could see it from where I was standing. I wandered closer, leaving him behind on the streets. As I snuck up on whatever was sitting around this campfire, I noticed a few captive people; two women and a man. The man looked just about dead, but the women were crying and bruised up. Around the fire were vampires, at least seven, heating up … branding irons? Or were they knives? Doesn’t matter.
I knew I had to go in there and help those people. That’s what we were out here for; saving people. As stealthily as possible, I pulled out my stake and prepared to go in for the kill. They must’ve smelt or sensed me, because they turned around and were certainly ready for a fight.
“Oh,” I took a step back. “So, we’re not going with the easy way this time?”
One jumped at me and I staked him right off. He was stupid, the others, not so much. They began to circle me, obviously knowing I was a slayer, but I don’t think they realized I was the slayer. Another pounced from behind, and I staked him easily. Five to go. I wonder where Angel went off to. Did he find other people to help?
“I remember you,” one spoke and I tilted my head a bit in faux interest. “You’re Angelus’s slayer.”
Okay, that actually caught me off guard. Angelus’s slayer? I don’t recall that happening. He must be older and stronger if he knew of me when Angelus was around. His lackeys finally attacked, but he stood back, just watching. I kept stealing glances at him as I punctured each heart one by one until there was no one left but him.
“I heard that you died.”
Why was he making idle conversation with me? Wasn’t he supposed to be killing me or something?
“That must’ve been at least fifteen years ago,” he looked me up at down. “You don’t look a day over twenty.”
I shrugged a bit.
“Must be immortal,” I quipped as I leapt at him.
He dodged me easily and sent a kick to my ribs that I knew I’d be feeling for days. I landed on the grass in a clump. I wasn’t expecting that either.
“You bore his mark once,” I rolled onto my back and he sent a crushing blow down on my stomach. “Your demon would have been … interesting.”
He smiled down at me and I kicked him in the shin, which did almost no damage. I needed to get up.
“Bite me,” I growled out, aiming my stake so that I could finally kill this bastard.
“If that’s what you really want …” He taunted as he stood above me, ripping the left side of my shirt by the shoulder and staring down at my neck. “Well, look at that,” he spoke in a sing-song voice. “No mark.”
My eyes widened at his words as he bent his head down to take a bite. With a primal yell, I jammed the stake up into his chest, turning him into dust that sprinkled down on me. I brushed his ashes off of my clothes and felt my neck. He hadn’t been lying; Angel’s mark was gone.
Tears built up in my eyes as I realized I really didn’t belong to him anymore. Angel was still nowhere in sight, so I freed and helped the women myself. The man had died. I lead them to the streets again where Angel was standing impatiently. He charged up to me, grabbing me and examining me for any wounds. He paid no mind to the two women beside me.
“Where did you go?” he finally noticed my shirt. I pulled the tattered garment up as to not alarm him and gestured to the girls. “I helped them out, staked a few vamps. I think we can turn in now.”
When we got back to the hotel, Angel took the girls to get fixed up and I ran upstairs to the bathroom. Closing and locking the door behind me, I pulled down the ripped piece of my shirt to inspect my neck. That bastard wasn’t lying; Angel’s mark was gone, just like my childhood scars. All my old wounds were probably gone. Coming back from the dead erased everything. Everything.
I exited the bathroom quietly and headed to my room. Opening the door, Jason was sitting on the bed with Fred, playing with teddy. He jumped off the bed at the sight of me and wrapped his arms around my legs, hugging them.
“Buffy!” he sounded so happy just to see me. I knelt down and wrapped my arms around him in turn. “You’re back! Did you kill any monsters?”
I smiled at him and nodded, brushing his hair back from his face.
“I killed a few. Saved two girls, too.”
He must’ve noticed my mood change from when I left to now because his brow furrowed as he looked at me.
“Did you fight with your friend? You look sad.”
“Yeah, pet,” a voice from behind me said. Typical Spike. “Did you have a fight with your sweetie-bear?”
I turned my head and shot him a look. He smirked and walked back out of the room as if he had never said anything.
“Sweetie-bear?” Jason questioned and I really could’ve staked Spike at that moment. “Before he was the poof, now he’s sweetie-bear?”
Oh god, Spike was gonna get it.
I was already ready for bed when Angel decided to join me. Jason was bunking with a few other young boys. I was surprised and a little upset that he decided to sleep away from me. I guess it was progress for him.
I was running my fingers through my hair in a feeble attempt to brush it. I needed a haircut. He stripped out of his coat and boots, and then sat on the bed, watching me.
“What’s bothering you?”
I turned to face him and he just sat there staring. I sighed and sat down next to him. I’ll admit it; I didn’t know how to go about telling him what was on my mind.
He took hold of my hand, rubbing his thumb over my knuckles.
“You can tell me anything, Buffy.”
I didn’t know how to say it. I slipped my hand from his grasp, pulling on the neck of my shirt and exposing my left shoulder.
“It’s gone,” I whispered brokenly, like a disappointed child. “Your mark is gone.”
He was quiet for a moment before I heard him growl lowly at me. I shivered slightly, raising my eyes to meet his bright gold ones.
“Angel?” I questioned softly, unsure if that was who I was really speaking to. Maybe that vamp was right. This side of Angel, the possessive, crazy, I’m–about-to-bite-you side is Angelus. Maybe that’s who claimed me.
Before I could speak again I found myself pinned on the bed, submissively lying underneath the man who once claimed me as his mate. My mind and heart couldn’t differentiate between the man and beast, and didn’t know that the mark was gone; I no longer had to be submissive. But the marked, not the marker, in me knew its place and lay quietly underneath the growling beast.
“Angel,” I whimpered and he growled at me again, sending shivers and shockwaves straight down to my core.
I moaned helplessly as he tore my clothes from my body. I didn’t want to fight him, I didn’t want to be a slayer; I just wanted my mate to be with me, inside me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him down to me, assaulting his mouth with my own, delving my tongue deep into his mouth, fucking him with my tongue as he’d be fucking me later.
I felt his erection pressing into my thigh and I realized I feel so empty without him. I slid my hands down his beautiful body, tearing open his shirt and pushing it down his arms. Continuing my journey down, I unbuckled his belt, pulling it through the loops and tossing it aside.
“Need you,” I whimper against his lips and he lunges for my neck, nipping and kissing the throbbing vein he knows drives me insane.
I resist the urge to scream as that would alert the others in the building of our … doings. His pants are gone and before I knew it, he was inside me. I felt so whole, so complete. I clawed at his back, trying to pull him closer to me. He grabbed my hands and pushed me down into the bed. The mate in me bucks in pleasure and I let him take complete control over me. As the slayer, I could easily flip us over and ride him like there was no tomorrow, but something inside me prevented me from doing that. It might have had something to do with him sucking on the very spot where his mark used to be. My body recognizes its mate.
He’s violently thrusting into me and I cannot help but grind back into him, encouraging him on. I learned to love all of him a long time ago - especially this side of him.
“Mine,” he growls at me and my body ripples with a burst of pleasure at his words.
“Yours,” I cry back as I felt him change against my neck. Oh god, he was gonna –
I can’t help but scream now as he bites me, my orgasm causing my body to jerk and spasm as he drank from me eagerly. I screamed his name, I screamed my submission, I screamed my love. I felt his large body shudder above me as he came, jerking and moaning as he let himself go. He never let go of my hands.
Growling, he licked at the fresh mark he left, kissing and nibbling at it as he continued to close the gaping wound. My body continued to react to his administrations, and I never once tried to take control away from him.
“Angel,” I moaned softly. He kissed the closed wound, which would scar once again, and made his way up to my lips where he kissed me soundly.
“My mate, my love, my Buffy.”
This was not Angel. Well, yes, it was, but he was too possessive, too vicious to be Angel. Could he finally channel Angelus without him causing any harm to anyone? Would he lose his soul?
“Yours. Only yours,” I whispered. Even if I didn’t wake up in the morning, I wouldn’t regret this. I could never regret being with him.
“Love you,” he murmured, nuzzling against my neck.
Finally, he released my arms and I wrapped them around him, holding him close.
“I love you,” I pressed a kiss to his shoulder, nipping and biting as he had done to me. “Mine.”
I woke up the next morning, dressed once again. I was confused to say the least. I tried to sit up, but a possessive growl and an arm wrapped around me made me rethink that idea. If he had lost his soul, I don’t think he’d still be here shacked up with me. Looking to my right was Jason, snoring soundly as if nothing had even happened last night. He must’ve given up sleeping with the other children and crawled back into bed with us.
Had anything really happened last night? Or was it all a dream?
I raised my hand to my neck; touching the sore spot where I was sure would be Angel’s mark. I smiled and curled up against his chest.
The world was in ruin, people still needed saving, but I still had my Angel, and that was surely enough for me … for now.