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Summary: Jenny is dead, and someone will pay.
Part of The Half A Chance Series
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the BtVS characters. They belong to Joss Whedon, WB, Mutant Enemies, etc. Harmony, Michael, SU and all the gypsies, except Yanna (Ms. Calendar) and her uncle, are mine though. Please don't use them without getting permission first. I'm not making any money so please don't sue.
Feedback: I love feedback, even flames as long as they're constructive. PLEASE send feedback to lalaland(at)3n.net
Special Thanks: Special thanks to my beta-readers Kitty, and Jenn C.
The night Angel's soul was restored, a few hours past midnight
Buffy and Angel sat in Angel's apartment and talked of everything that had happened since her 17th birthday. They talked of everything that Angelus had done and they cried together. Though Buffy tried to convince Angel it wasn't his fault, he still felt responsible. In the end, when she couldn't convince him it wasn't his fault, she simply forgave him. Angel was pacing around the room and Buffy was sitting on the couch. After edging around the subject of the night of Buffy's 17th birthday, Angel finally broached the subject, "Buffy, we should probably talk about our last night together."
"I know, but I don't know how to look at it anymore. It was sooo wonderful, yet because of it, ... because of me you lost your soul."
"It's not your fault," Angel said sitting beside her, "Neither of us knew it would cause the spell to break. All I knew was that I was with you and that I loved you ... I still love you."
"And I love you, but it is my fault. I'm the one who pushed, I'm the one who always pushes."
"Buffy you didn't push. We both wanted that night to happen."
"But you said 'we shouldn't'. You were the voice of reason, which I once again ignored."
"I said 'we shouldn't', I didn't say I didn't want to. Besides, the only reason I said that was because I was afraid I was pushing and wanted to give you a way out."
"A way out?? Well, at the time the last thing I wanted was a way out," Buffy said smiling and blushing slightly. Angel chuckled and the air seemed to lighten for a moment.
"Buffy, I want to tell you that nothing the demon said was true. When I remember how I taunted you with that night, I-"
"You didn't. *Angelus* did," Buffy stated firmly.
"When I remember what he did ... I would have done anything to prevent you that pain, to have stopped him. Even give up that night."
"I know. I would have done anything to keep you from losing your soul. If only I'd know ..."
"Neither of us knew I'd lose my soul. But I want you to know that what the demon said ISN'T true. That night was the most wonderful night of my life."
"Come on. You're like 240 something which means you've had like way more than 10,000 some days ... nights to compare it to. Besides, I know you must have had more experienced partners. I was just too naive to let myself see it before ..." Buffy said stumbling over her words and looking down at her hands and coming close to tears. A pained look came to Angel's eyes, as listened to her, remembering how Angelus had planted and encouraged these ideas. Angel wished he could have been there to help calm her fears and it tortured him to think she had been thinking these things of herself for the last few months.
"Buffy you have to believe me. I love you with all my heart and soul. Any night I see you, even if it's just to watch over you from afar, is a night I will always cherish and wouldn't trade for any night since I met you. That night was the most wonderful night of my life. It was ... " Angel took her hands in his, as he searched for the right words, "it was ecstasy, it was ... It was pure love." Buffy began to smile through her tears as she watched him try to put his feelings into words, savoring the look on his face, as he remembers that night and wondering how she could inspire such a look. Her hand reached up, unbidden, to slowly run down the side of his face. He looked back at her, as she freed one of her hands and reached up to touch his face. She looked into his eyes as she tried to find the right words.
"Angel, I love you so much sometimes I think my heart will break. That night was the most wonderful night of my life. But because of what happened afterwards, I'm scared. I'm scared of being that physically intimate again. I'm scared of what it'll do to you. I still can't take my eyes off you, because I'm afraid if I do it will all turn out to be a dream."
"I am here. Harmony said the only way to break the spell is with hate and indifference. I'll always love you, so the demon will never take control again. NEVER. Love will only make it stronger, but ... it won't happen again, until you're ready for it to happen. Even if that means never again," Angel said sincerely, gazing into her eyes.
Buffy smiled and blushed. "Well, I don't think it'll come to that. But promise me something."
"When it does happen, promise me you'll be there when I wake up," Buffy said, her eyes showing the fear her voice only hinted at.
"I promise I'll be there. There's no where I'd rather be."
"Good, 'cause if you break your promise, I'll end up beating you with a pillow," Buffy told him as she picked up a pillow off the couch and shook it at him playfully. Angel laughed and snatched the pillow from her. When she tried to get it back, he held it above his head out of her reach. She studied him seriously for a moment, with the pillow poised above his head. She stepped up to him, put her arms around his neck and kissed him. His eyes widen for a moment before he put his arms around her waist, game forgotten. As he brought the hand holding the pillow0 down, Buffy skillfully took the pillow from him without breaking the kiss. When the kiss was finished, Buffy stepped back out of his embrace and held up the pillow. Angel looked down at his now empty hand and laughed. Buffy put the pillow back on the couch and sat down beside it, waiting to see what his next move would be. He studied her for a moment before taking a step towards her. Before he could even finish the step, he gasped and a surprised look came over his face and he sank to his knees. Buffy was by his side in an instant. "Angel??"
Angel had his hand over his heart and a smile was creeping onto his face. "Angel! What's the matter?" Buffy asked again, when he didn't reply.
"I can barely feel him. It's like a voice has suddenly been silenced to the faintest whisper from across the room and I've got this funny feeling in my chest ... and everywhere," Angel said in wonder, a look of utter awe on his face.
"What are you talking about?" Buffy asked again, beginning to edge towards hysteria.
"I think it worked," Angel said focusing on her, "I think ... my heart's beating." Buffy took his wrist, which was beginning to warm. Her look of fear instantly changed to a look of joy, as she checked and found a pulse. She jumped up and ran to the window and could just barely see the sun peeking over the horizon in a beautiful sunrise.
"The sun's coming up," she said turning back to him. He approached her slowly and hesitantly reached out to touch the silver cross that hung about her neck. He touched it and nothing happened. He looked at the window decisively. She took his hand and stood by him as he opened the blinds and looked out into the morning sunlight. She hugged him, as he stood and stared at the sunrise and let the light wash over him. She could feel tears in her eyes and she realized the day she had never dared dream of had come. She smiled up at him, before glancing at her watch. "Oh my god!!" she said, when she saw the time.
"What?!?" Angel asked startled out of his reverie.
"I've got to get home and get to school!" she paused for a moment and looked at him, "God, how I would love to just stay here with you. But my mother would notice me not coming home, and even if she didn't Snyder threatened to call her next time I was even late for class." She sighed and looked towards the door with disgust, as if it were the cause of her having to leave.
"Go. I'll be alright," Angel whispered in her ear. She turned back and smiled, before kissing him soundly.
"Enjoy your day and remember you eat food now. See you after school." she said as she kissed him again and ran out the door. He laughed as he watched her go and wondered what he was going to do all day. Buffy ran home, got ready, ran to school, and then slept through half her classes. At least *some* things were back to normal.
There was a large group of people sitting around a large campfire. The group was mostly made of men. The people's age ranged from about 21 to 100 and all had dark hair. A youth approached the group and said he had news on Angelus. The leader nodded for him to start. The youth cleared his throat and began reciting the message, "Gilt remains undiscovered. Since the last report, Gilt found that Yanna was working on a spell to give Angelus his soul back without making him suffer. He was going to suggest she be disowned by the clan, but this is now unnecessary, since she died 2 weeks ago. She was murdered. By whom is unknown, but Angelus is a probable suspect. A week ago, informants told Gilt that some huge magical occurrence happened. Then Angelus activity almost completely stopped. When he was seen, he acted like he had his soul again. Gilt was convinced that the curse or a similar spell had been put on him, until he saw a man that looked like Angelus with a girl in the daylight. Gilt found and questioned a friend of the girl. The friend told Gilt that the man was Angelus. A spell was put on Angelus that makes him human during the day and a vampire with a soul at night. The only way to break the spell is if no one in the world cares for Angelus and Angelus cares for no one. Gilt says that Angelus has made many friends and it would be almost impossible to break the spell." As the youth finished his report, there was an uproar from the council. The arguing went on long into the night. The council couldn't agree on whether they should find a way to make Angel suffer or kill him. Finally a plan was agreed on. Beshok, a huge Angelus hater, would lead a team of 6 young warriors and 2 mages. Trisn, a man about 24 years old and a childhood friend of Yanna's, would be second-in-command. The 10 of them would go to Sunnydale and stay with Gilt. The mages would try to break the spell that lets Angelus be human during the day and Beshok would do whatever he deemed necessary to make Angelus suffer.
A few days later
The last bell rang and Buffy sighed happily, as she left class. The school day was over. She headed towards the library, after stopping at her locker. When she arrived, Oz and Willow had beaten her there. Giles was hunched over a book at the table. "Hey," Buffy called out, as she walked in.
"Hey Buffy," Willow said.
"So any prophesies or baddies I should know about?" Buffy asked.
"I don't think so. Giles said we're going to be researching something, but then something in the book distracted him," Willow said.
"Yeah. He was listing book titles and stopped right in the middle of one. We haven't been able to catch his attention since," Oz added.
Buffy looked from one to the other and said in a sarcastic tone, "And I'm sure you've been trying." Willow blushed and Oz was about to defend Willow's honor, when Buffy's facade broke and she burst into giggles. "I'm teasing. Shesh.v Giles? ... Giles!" There was still no response from the British librarian, so Buffy pulled the book out from under his nose.
"What? Buffy I was reading that," Giles said.
"And I was trying to get your attention. What's up Giles?" Buffy asked handing the book back to him.
"Nothing at the moment. I'm doing some research so that we're not caught off guard again, but I'm afraid that there's not much you can help with unless you have a suggestion," Giles said.
"What about my little problem," Oz said, "Is there anyway I can control it? Do you know if I can wolf out, when it's not the full moon?"
"I don't know. I don't remember anything of that sort, but it's certainly something to look into."
"I'll see what I can find on the internet," Willow said, turning to the computer.
"I'll get a book and join you," Oz said going over to the card catalog.
"Well since this isn't mandatory, I'm gonna split," Buffy said, heading for the door.
"How did hunting go last night?" Giles asked, stopping Buffy.
"Okay," Buffy said turning back, "I bagged two vamps and Angel bagged 5. They still think he's on their side and keep walking up to him. They practically ask him to stake them." Buffy smiled at the irony.
"How's Angel adjusting to a non-nocturnal lifestyle?" Willow asked.
"Slowly. He loves being in the sunlight, but he can't get used to getting up when the sunrises and I think he's having trouble going to sleep when it's dark out. Monday, he was late for his first day at work 'cause he over slept. Every other morning this week, I've gone over to his apartment before school to make sure he's awake. This weekend, I'm getting him an alarm clock," Buffy said laughing. She had never thought she'd ever see Angel cranky, but that's what he was when you tried to wake him up too early. She'd learned ways to wake him up in a good mood though. She smiled at thoughts of morning kisses, but her smile disappeared as a shiver went down her spine as she remembered the tail end of a dream she'd had last night. It was all very strange. There had been a campfire, and two men arguing over it, but she couldn't understand what they were saying. Then the fight had ended and the mean one had turned toward her. The nice one had stepped back and hung his head, as if ashamed. Then Angel had appeared in the background, being held by two men and calling her name, as he tried to escape. She had stared at him for a moment, before turning back to the mean man. He had approached her with a knife raised to kill her as she woke up. The dream had the same weird feeling as the other dreams that had come true, but she didn't want to worry Giles and decided not to tell him until it started coming true. She shook off the feeling as she realized someone was talking to her. "What?"
"Has Angel started any classes yet?" Giles asked.
"Oh yeah. He got some stuff yesterday so he can take two classes on a home schooling basis. Thanks for getting him the job at the community college, Giles. Historical Research assistant may sound boring, but it's better than some jobs. Besides it means he's in the library all the time and since he usually knows the info they want from memory instead of from researching, he can study in his spare time. Thanks for all the help you've been giving him, Giles. It really means a lot to him and to me."
"Well I know it's been a long time since he's been to school. After a few hundred years it's natural to forget a lot," said a little stiffly.
"That's not what I mean. Before he lost his soul, he was already brooding and feeling guilty. It was even worse when we brought him back. When you spent time with him and didn't blame him for what Angelus did. It really helped him to forgive himself," Buffy said earnestly.
Giles sighed, "Buffy, I know they're not the same person and Angel shouldn't blame himself for what the demon did. I just want to make sure we're not caught off guard again."
"I understand. Well, since I'm not being of much help here anyway, I better go. I told Angel I'd meet him outside. He said he was coming over after work so he should be here any minute now. He loves to sit outside in the sun. I'm going to have to introduce him to suntan lotion soon," Buffy joked. She rushed out to the front lawn to wait for Angel and started pacing impatiently. The memory of the dream was really starting to give her the wiggin's. Angel arrived a few minutes later to find a very agitated Buffy. The minute she saw him she ran to him and wrapped her arms around him.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" Angel asked, surprised by her reaction.
"I ... I was just worried." Angel led her over to a bench and sat down next to her.
"Why? It's daylight."
"I had one of those weird dreams last night and it's giving' me a major case of the wiggin's. Something up," Buffy told him.
"Buffy dreams are just dreams. There's nothing to be scared of," Angel said gently.
"No. These weird dreams have been right before and as a Slayer I should trust my instincts. Well, I'm getting a major wiggin's here and it says some thing's going to happen," Buffy insisted. Angel gave her a doubtful look. "Don't dismiss my wiggin's."
"Did you tell Giles?"
"No. He's already in over research mode and obsessing about being caught off guard. I don't want to add to it, so I wasn't going to tell him about it until they started coming true."
"If you don't want to tell Giles, we can't do much more than be careful. But if Giles isn't worried about your dreams coming true, there's probably nothing to worry about."
Buffy nodded, satisfied that he would at least be careful, but slightly offended that he was doubtful. She went to put her head on his shoulder, but he raised her chin with his hand and kissed her. When the kiss ended, she smiled up at him. She snuggled up to his side, put her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back so the light could fall directly on his face. It was becoming a routine now, sitting in the sun in the afternoons. Angel couldn't get enough of the sun and Buffy was content to just be with him. Angel marveled at the warm, lazy, peacefulness of it all as Buffy dozed on his shoulder. Now that he was learning how hard it was to live a life during the day and another one at night, he had gained even more respect for her. He gazed down at her lovingly. She opened one eye and looked up at him.
"What?" she asked.
"You're beautiful in the sunlight," he told her softly.
She smiled up at him and whispered back, "So are you. You know if we're going to keep having these daily sunbaths, you're going to have to learn about the wonders of suntan lotion." Angel just looked at her puzzled for a moment. She laughed, "It protects you from the sun," she explained.
Angel gave her a puzzled look and looked up at the sun and back. "I know you can get a sunburn, but I've don't remember the sun being able to hurt you any more than that," Angel said.
Buffy laughed. "It can do more than that, but it gets complicated. I'll see if Cordy doesn't have a pamphlet or something. She's so in too make-up and keeping her skin healthy she probably has one. Besides, if you heal with vampire speed at night, you may undo the damage you do during day. Humans can't heal that sort of stuff without doctors, but vampires might."
"Something else to ask Giles," Angel said.
"Now you're starting sound like the rest of us," Buffy laughed. "So where's Harmony?"
"She went back to SU. Something about paperwork and the old coots being mad about something. From the comments Michael was making, I have the feeling she broke a few rules. I hope she doesn't get into too much trouble."
"The way I've heard her talk about the council at SU, she probably argues with them all the time. Stubbornness obviously runs in the family," Buffy teased.
"Me? Stubborn? Well, I guess it's true about opposites attract, since I fell in love with a stubborn rebel."
"Me?? A rebel?" Buffy said in mock surprise.
"Who's the one that keeps breaking the prophecies? Who's the one that's dating a vampire? Who's the one who decided she didn't like the one for every generation thing, so she made it two for every generation?" Angel teased
"Me. And you forgot not using the handbook, having friends, and family. Those are against the rules too." Buffy was quiet before continuing somberly, "I wonder if Giles wishes I weren't so unruly?"
"Giles couldn't be more proud of you. I know from experience that you're the best slayer in the last 200 some years and you only break the rules that need breaking. Having friends and family is one of the things that makes you such a great slayer. Giles would never want another slayer and I don't think he'd ever want you to change. And neither would I. I like you just the way you are." Buffy smiled at him and kissed him.
"I love you," Buffy murmured as she closed her eyes again and settled her head on his shoulder. Angel kissed her hair and went back to his thinking. They sat silently unaware of the of the 7 men approaching them from behind.
When Beshok, Trisn and the 8 others had arrived in Sunnydale, Gilt had a little more to report. He told them that the girl Angelus had been seen with was a human girl named Buffy. She went to the local high school and was Angelus's girlfriend, before he lost his soul and after it was returned again. She helped restore his soul and was probably the one who had given Angelus the moment of pure happiness that caused him to lose his soul. Beshok decided that they would capture the girl, torture and kill her in front of Angelus. Trisn argued that she was human and killing her would be murder. Their mission was to torture Angelus, not the girl's family and friends by killing her. Beshok said that by releasing the demon she had caused many deaths and much pain, so her punishment was only fitting. Besides, they were on a quest for vengeance against Angelus, the great enemy of the clan, and anyone who was his friend was an enemy of the clan as well. Beshok overruled Trisn and sent Trisn and the 6 fighters to capture Angelus and the girl. The plan was to capture Angelus and the girl at the high school, where they spent their afternoons, and bring them back to the hotel. Gilt said he had watched them sit outside most days for at least a half hour before going inside the high school. They were hoping to capture them there. Once they got back to the hotel, they would torture the girl and eventually kill her while Angelus watched. It was going to be a little hard though, since Angelus had to be kept conscious so he could see everything.
As the duo settled down again and seemed to drift off to sleep, Trisn motioned his men forward. At his signal, the men attacked. Two went after Buffy and four others went after Angel, while Trisn held back. One yanked Buffy off of Angel and behind the bench. He held her in front of him with her arms pined behind her back, as two others grabbed Angel from behind (one on each arm) holding him against the bench. One approached Buffy to hit her and knock her out, but Buffy had other plans. She leaned back on the guy holding her and solidly kicked the man approaching her with both feet. He flew back into the two holding Angel, freeing Angel to deal with the two approaching him from the front. As Angel began trading punches with his attackers, while Buffy started working on getting free. With one foot, she pulled the gypsy's leg out from under him, as she pushed back and out with her arms. The gypsy lost his grip on her arms and lost his balance sending him onto his back. She roundhouse kicked one of the men approaching her, before turning around to the dazed gypsy and knocking him out cold. "STOP!!!" Trisn shouted, as a gypsy raised a knife to stab Buffy in the back, "No blood shed! We need them alive!" Everyone looked over at him, including Angel who also saw the knife poised above Buffy.
"Buffy!!" he yelled. Buffy turned around and kicked the knife out of the surprised gypsy's hand. Angel's attackers put his momentary distraction to good use. They punched him in the stomach and face. Angel stumbled back as Buffy jumped over the bench to stand beside him. Now they fought together and the gypsy's got the worse beating. Trisn tried to help, but things seemed to get worse and worse for his side. He stepped back for a moment. He watched as the girl beat his warriors into a bloody pulp and his warriors weren't quite holding their own against Angel. He had expected this much from Angel, he was a trained fighter after all, even if he only had human strength, but he hadn't expected this girl to be stronger and as skilled as Angel. He knew if they concentrated their efforts on Angel they would be able to capture him, but then the girl would attack from behind. No, they didn't have enough men for this. It was time to call a retreat. He picked up the still unconscious Penok (the one who had originally held Buffy) and called a retreat. The gypsy's gladly ran off in every direction knowing where to regroup. Trisn took off with Penok over his shoulder. Beshok was not going to like this.
Buffy watched the leader pick up his comrade and walk off. She stared at the man from her dream for a moment, before turning to Angel who had slumped gratefully back onto the bench. He was bruised and bloody. "Angel, are you okay?" Buffy asked sitting down next to him.
"I don't think anything's broken, so I should be fine. I can't believe they were beating on me so easily though."
"You're human now, remember. Come on. We'd better get to the library," Buffy told him. He put his arm around her shoulder and they went to the library
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