Long Time Coming. 1-2

Title: Long Time Coming              LLC ficpic
Author: Becjane
Rating: N-17
Content: A/B romance, angst. A/C friendship, eventual romance (you have to be very patient!). A/C/W/F friendship.
Disclaimer: Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: Set in Sunnydale, after Angel has returned from hell and Cordelia has spilt up with Xander. Wes and Faith are in it, but the Wes/Cordy crush is non existent because it interferes with the story. This is AU Buffy Season 3 apart from the above, so doesn’t fit in properly with the real timeline. Angel, Cordelia, and Wes are more ‘LA’ than they actually were in this season of Buffy, but I figure the ‘LA’ness was always part of their personalities and they just didn’t show it during the Buffy years. Oh and Angel isn’t quite so blind to Buffy’s faults either.
Thanks/Dedication: Thanks to Cali for the ficpic.
Feedback: Yes please, but be gentle! This is my very first fanfic and I’m kind of shy about posting it. There are so many great writers on this board, and I in no way measure up. I’m having fun writing this though, so I thought what the hell!


Ben Simmons couldn’t quite believe his luck, he was about to have sex with Cordelia Chase and he really didn’t know why. He thought back to an hour earlier when the cheerleader had marched up to him in the Bronze, and asked him to dance. He had readily agreed; after all who would refuse Queen C, the most popular girl at Sunnydale High? Ignoring the wolf-whistles from his friends, he had followed the pretty brunette to a dark corner of the dance floor where Cordelia had wound her arms tightly around his neck, and pressed her voluptuous body up against his, sending shivers of excitement coursing through him.

The two of them had left the Bronze together half an hour later, and she’d driven him to this remote spot at the edge of the woods. Cordelia had shut off the engine, climbed into the back-seat, then practically ordered him to have sex with her. He still didn’t know why; several of his friends had dated Cordelia and had told him, in rare moments of honesty, that this girl had never let any of them get much beyond first base.

He felt his blood pumping wildly through his veins and gathering rapidly in the lower half of his body as he gazed down at the dark-haired beauty lying beneath him, with her skirt up around her waist and her panties around her ankles. Ben finally decided not to question his good fortune any longer, and his trembling hands went to his pants.


Angel tilted his head back and looked up into the night sky. As he did so, the vampire felt the tension slowly drain out of him. The half moon was glowing like a lantern and the stars twinkled like fairy-lights in the inky darkness. Angel didn’t know why, but gazing up into the heavens always calmed him. For a brief moment, he could almost forget his guilt over his evil deeds as Angelus, his recent sojourn in hell, and his increasingly complicated relationship with the slayer – almost.

The vampire’s moment of calm evaporated as his superhuman senses picked up on a familiar scent – fear. Angel lifted his head, and sniffed trying to locate the source of the fear that he sensed near by. The smooth lines of his forehead shifted as the hard ridges and glowing yellow eyes of his demon emerged, then he turned and headed swiftly downhill towards a small clearing on the northern edge of the woods.


Cordelia Chase watched in the car’s dim light as the teenage boy fumbled with his belt; the sight of his erection pressing hard against his zipper made her breath come in harsh gasps and her heart pound like a bass drum in her chest. When Ben reached down to free himself from the restriction of his pants, she squeezed her eyes tightly shut trying to hold back the tears that were threatening to overflow. Cordelia drew in a deep calming breath, and attempted to focus on all the reasons that had driven her to this in the first place. She had to do it; she was going to let Ben Simmons take her virginity because there was no other option, no other way to escape from the nightmare that her life had become.

Cordelia slowly forced her brown eyes open, focused her gaze on the boy’s flushed and sweaty face, and waited for the inevitable.

Part 1

Ben finally managed to rid himself of his pants and boxers, which was no mean feat in the cramped confines of the car. He tore open the condom packet that Cordelia had handed to him, and rolled the prophylactic over his smooth, hard flesh. He’d only had sex a few times, but vividly remembered the intense feeling of wildly thrusting into a warm female body. Ben could wait no longer; he had to be inside her now. He reached down to separate Cordelia’s tanned thighs, settling himself over the beautiful young girl, impatient to enter her wet warmth.

In his overwhelming excitement, it hardly registered that Cordelia tensed the second his penis brushed against her opening, or that she grabbed hold of his forearms in a bruising grip. He didn’t notice that her brown eyes stared unseeing at the roof of the car as he slowly started to push his way inside her body; the teenage boy was completely oblivious to the young cheerleader’s distress.

Ben shook his head, trying to clear the stars from his vision. How the hell did he get here? One minute, he was between the thighs of the delectable Cordelia Chase, the next he was flat on his back on the other side of the clearing. He looked up, and immediately shrank back in terror from the monster looming over him.


Angel forced himself to get control of his inner demon. Although he had felt fear coming from the car, he quickly realised that this wasn’t rape; this was just some young girl who had got herself into a situation that she wasn’t ready for.

The vampire allowed his human features to return to his face, then strode purposefully towards the car, retrieving the boy’s pants and boxers before walking back across the clearing. Angel didn’t attempt to ascertain the identity of the car’s other occupant as he did so; the boy needed to be dealt with first.

He threw the garments at the petrified kid. “Get dressed and go home.”

The teenager scrambled to his feet, yanking on his clothes. “But it’s several miles walk back to town ….” he protested.

Angel once again allowed his vampire features to erase his handsome visage. “Go home,” the vampire repeated, keeping his voice calm and controlled, but instilling a menacing undertone to the statement; it worked a treat, as he knew it would.

“Okay, I’m going, I’m going” the blond boy stammered, backing away from Angel in terror. The teenager took off at a run towards Sunnydale, and never once looked back.

The vampire with a soul turned back towards the car.


Cordelia’s first reaction when Ben’s suffocating weight was removed from her body, was relief, quickly followed by panic. They were in the middle of nowhere, and her companion had been snatched out of the car against his will. In Sunnydale, that could mean only one thing – Vampires. The sound of heavy footsteps approaching the car broke through her frozen state, and she scrambled to a sitting position, struggling to pull up her panties. Her heart in her throat, she frantically looked around for some sort of weapon to defend herself. Oh God I am so dead!

Cordelia froze in horror as Ben’s assailant reached into the car, and removed her would-be deflowerer’s clothes.

OH . . MY . . GOD . . ANGEL !


Angel paused a few feet from the car; he really wasn’t good with the people thing. Should he try to talk to her, or just let her go and hope that the girl would not put herself in this position again? His decision was made for him when the car’s engine suddenly roared into life and it, with the unknown female occupant inside, vanished in a squeal of tyres and a cloud of dust.

The dark-haired vampire looked down at the object entwined in his cold fingers. As he held it up to the moonlight, the shiny metal caught the light. It was a delicate bracelet made up of alternate interlocking silver and gold hearts, pretty, and by the looks of things expensive. He had somehow managed to pick the article up when he had retrieved the boy’s clothes from the back seat. Angel guessed it belonged to the mystery female, but he had no way of returning the item of jewellery to its rightful owner, so he slipped the bracelet into his pocket, then set out back towards Sunnydale.


Cordelia got out of her car and raked her fingers through her long dark hair, drawing it back off her pretty face. She was home; not that she would actually call it that nowadays. The large house stood in its own grounds, surrounded by a high security fence, and to the young cheerleader it seemed more like a prison than a home of late. The majority of the house was in darkness, but for a single light coming from her father’s study on the ground floor, and another from her mother’s bedroom upstairs. Cordelia entered the house making straight for her room, hoping to avoid any contact with her parents.


No such luck apparently; she reluctantly turned. “Yes Daddy?”

Malcolm Chase looked up at his daughter, standing nervously halfway up the marble spiral staircase. “Your appointment is scheduled for two week’s time – 10 O’clock Saturday.” His authoritative tone indicated there was no room for argument.

Cordelia felt a cold finger of dread run through her body, “Yes Daddy” she replied meekly.

Her father retreated back into his study, and the sound of the heavy wood door slamming shut reverberated around the hallway. For a short instant, Cordelia stood frozen contemplating the firmly closed door, then shook herself out of her trance to continue her way up to her room. She made a beeline for the bathroom, shedding her clothes as she went; she needed to wash away the night’s events.

As Cordelia stood under the spray, she closed her eyes and let the hot water massage her weary muscles. It would have all been over now if Angel hadn’t shown up; Cordelia didn’t know whether she was grateful to the vampire for that, or angry with him.

One fact remained though – she was still a virgin.


The next evening, soon after his internal body clock told him that the sun had gone down, Angel opened the door to reveal his pretty blonde girlfriend. Buffy smiled up at him, a look of adoration in her blue eyes. “Hey!” she said softly, reaching up on her tiptoes to briefly press her warm lips to his cold ones.

The souled vampire watched as Buffy paced around the candlelit room, picking up various objects, studying them carefully, then returning them to their original positions. “New Big Bad huh?” Angel surmised.

The petite slayer straightened and turned to face him, her blue eyes locking with his dark brown ones. “Some kind of demony thing that likes to rip people’s hearts out of their chests. Research is going nowhere fast; the Scoobies have been at it since last night. You’re needed at the library now.” Buffy abruptly turned, and moved with purpose towards the still open door.

Angel frowned, the expression marring his handsome face. That is really starting to piss me off. How come I’m always the last resort and why am I always told and never asked?

“Angel, come on. We have to go. Now.” Buffy tapped her foot against the stone floor in impatience.

With a heavy sigh, Angel grabbed his leather jacket and followed Buffy out into the night. He would deal with his girlfriends lack of respect for him later; right now there was innocents to save.


Cordelia hesitated at the School Library doors, What am I doing here? Pathetic much! Xander and I are so over so there is no need to hang out with this bunch of losers anymore.

Something deep inside of her kept drawing her back however. She was no longer ignorant of the evils in this world; she’d seen too much. Despite herself, she had to do something to help fight the good fight, and make a contribution, however small.

The young cheerleader pushed open the doors, surveying the scene in front of her. Buffy, Giles, Xander, Willow and Oz were seated around the table in the middle of the room, Willow’s laptop and books strewn on the wooden surface in front of them. On the right hand side of the room, Faith was expertly swinging a sword in wide arcs through the air surrounding her. Cordelia spied Wesley sitting in the office off the other side of the Library, studying a thick book on the desk in front of him. She watched as the watcher removed his glasses to clean them, put them back on, and continued reading. Why is he sitting on his own in the office when everyone else is out here?

Cordelia’s gaze then fell on Angel sitting on the steps near the stacks, a heavy book in his lap. She felt her heartbeat accelerate as memories of the previous night assaulted her. Calm down Cordy, he never even knew it was you, she admonished herself. Slipping her Queen C mask back into place, she walked across the room towards the central table.

“So why am I not surprised that you losers are here on a Saturday night? Oh yeah, you have no social li… Eww gross much!” Cordelia stopped in mid-flow as she spotted the picture on Willow’s laptop; a body with its chest effectively carved out.

Out of habit, Xander opened his mouth to fire back an acerbic remark, then immediately closed it again as Willow kicked him hard under the table, firing him a stern look. Oh yeah, I’m the big bad cheating boyfriend. I’d just come across as a complete bastard. Damn! I have no fun anymore.

Buffy’s eyes narrowed at the sight of the beautiful cheerleader. What is she doing here? Does she not know we only ever put up with her because she was Xander’s girlfriend? Why does the bitch still think she’s welcome?

“So tell me, what’s decided to pay the Hellmouth a visit this time?” Cordelia demanded wearily.

Wesley had ventured out of the library office on Cordelia’s arrival and his British accent broke the tense silence, answering the cheerleader’s question. “It appears some sort of demon has been unleashed in Sunnydale; one that takes its victim’s hearts as trophies. We are trying to identify the species and come up with a battle strategy, so Buffy and Faith can track down and kill it.”

“How do you know it’s not just some ordinary serial killer?” Cordelia asked, “You know like that sicko who removed his victims skins to make himself a body suit.”

At Wesley’s blank look, she expanded “You know – ‘Silence of the Lambs’ dumbass!”

Wesley decided to humour her, “The hearts were removed from the victims with the killer’s bare hands; there was no evidence of any surgical implements being used.”

“Not to mention the fact that the evil bastard appears to have claws rather than hands.” Faith emerged behind Cordelia, and pointed to the obvious gouge marks in the victim’s chest.

“There is that yes.” Wesley agreed.

“However, the identity of this demon is proving to be somewhat elusive” Giles took over the narrative, “even though its MO is pretty distinctive.”

“Meaning you got nothing,” Cordelia stated flatly.

“That would be a fair assumption.”

“So what am I looking for?” Cordelia seated herself at the table, and selected one of the books.

“We don’t need your help. Why don’t you just go and find some other people to torture with your presence?”

“Buffy!” Giles and Wesley’s shocked voices sounded simultaneously, both of them chastising the young slayer.

Cordelia felt tears spring to her eyes at Buffy’s remark and she ducked her head, trying to hide her reaction from the others in the room. I will not let Little Miss Slay-Happy get to me. I’m Cordelia Chase, premier bitch of Sunnydale High, not some blond freak who doesn’t even register on the social scale.

“Hey C, you wanna learn some fighting skills? You gotta have a head start being a cheerleader, and all, cus you must already know how to move.”

Cordelia didn’t know why Faith had chosen to interrupt, but was thankful that she had. She smiled at the brunette slayer gratefully, “Sure why not? I’m tired of being the one who always has to be rescued. Do I have ‘kidnap me’ stamped on my forehead or something?”

Angel observed the entire scene from his usual place on the sidelines. His presence often went unnoticed by Buffy’s friends; sometimes, he felt like he was watching a play that every once in a while called for audience participation. Buffy had told him that Cordelia was a superficial bitch, but the young cheerleader had always shown up for research duty, even after she and the Harris boy had split. It had never really occurred to Angel before, but Cordelia had often been the one who pointed out what the others missed too. The vampire couldn’t remember Buffy ever saying thank you.

His deep brown eyes settled on the young cheerleader and for the first time he really looked at her. She was wearing dark blue pants, a red scoop-necked top, and a pair of navy blue sneakers. The girl was beautiful and aloof, but, as the master of such things, Angel could now see beyond the mask to the defensive walls that Cordelia had carefully built up around herself.

Out of a habit born from two hundred years as a vampire, his gaze then fell to her neck and he immediately froze in shock. Cordelia was wearing a silver and gold necklace made up of interlocking hearts, identical to the bracelet that was now burning a hole in his pocket.

Part 2

(Strong B/A ahead. Sorry – have to do it; it’s necessary to the story. I’m not a B/A fan so it’s not going to last. Please stick with it – A/C goodness on the horizon.)

“You’re holding it wrong.”

Cordelia startled at the sound of Angel’s voice; the vampire never usually voluntarily spoke. She looked down at the sword she held in her grip. “Two hands on handle; nothing to it.”

The sword was swiftly knocked out of her hands, and skittered across the floor. “Okay, maybe a bit more to it. Oww that hurt!” She rubbed at her wrists, trying to relieve the pain.

“Sorry … I didn’t mean … Are you OK?” Angel reached out and caught hold of her wrists, endeavouring to massage away the tension caused by the jolt of the sword being violently removed from her grip.

Cordelia stood mesmerised, watching as the vampire rubbed his thumbs gently over her pulse points. Her traitorous body reacted immediately to his cool touch, her nipples tightened, and she felt a deep throbbing sensation begin between her thighs.

Oh God! Get a grip Chase. “I’m fine.” Cordelia snatched her hands away from the vampire’s hold, then rushed across the room to retrieve the sword.

“Okay, so how should I be holding it?” See. Calm, Cool, Collected – much better.

“Your grip was too rigid. You need to relax your hold, so that your hands and arms can absorb the impact. Here, I’ll show you.” Angel stepped behind her, and slid his hands slowly down her arms to adjust her grip on the sword.

Okay, so what’s with all the touching? I’m not a slayer, and I’m *definitely* not blond.

Angel finally stepped back, satisfied. “Now try.”

Cordelia swung the sword experimentally. “Hey, Cool! That feels so much better. Thanks Broody Boy.”

Angel studied her carefully; he had to say something about last night. This was no longer some anonymous teenage girl; it was someone he knew. “Cordelia….”

“Angel.” Buffy materialised by his side, slipping her small hand into his much larger one. “Giles wants us to go patrol.”

“Uhh …” Angel stole a furtive glance at Cordelia. “Isn’t Faith going with you?”

“No, one of us needs to stay here just in case anything happens. Faith drew the short straw.”

Angel looked down into Buffy’s blue-eyed gaze, and everything else faded into insignificance. “I can’t let you go alone, not when we don’t know what we are dealing with.” He reached out to tuck a stray strand of blond hair behind her ear, briefly cupping her face with his hand as he did so. He felt Buffy shiver at his gentle touch and smiled softly at her. “Okay, Let’s go.”

The souled vampire shot a brief look at Cordelia as he left the library hand in hand with his girlfriend; his talk with the cheerleader would have to wait – Buffy needed him.


Wesley stared down at the yellowing page of the book, and watched fascinated as all the words merged into one. He took his glasses off and pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger, trying to will away the rapidly developing headache.

“Here.” A chipped coffee mug was thrust in front of his face. “Figured you could use some caffeine; you’ve had your head buried in all these musty books for like forever!” Cordelia gestured at the open and discarded volumes that littered every available surface in the library office.

Wesley accepted the cup gratefully. “Thank you.” He took a sip of the hot drink and breathed in, filling his lungs with the heavenly coffee aroma; the watcher immediately felt better.

“You want a donut too? I stole them while Xander wasn’t looking. The human dustbin still managed to eat most of them though; just plain and chocolate left.” Cordelia held out the almost empty box, shaking it like a charity collection tin.

Wesley reached into the box and helped himself to the plain sugar-coated donut. He sat back in his chair as the pretty cheerleader took the other cake. Cordelia perched herself on the small table next to the desk and began to eat, pausing every so often to lick the sugar from her fingers.

“Can I help you with something?” Wesley asked politely.

“What? No, you just looked lonely in here, so I thought I’d come and ‘torture you with my presence.'” Cordelia couldn’t quite hide the hurt in her voice.

“Buffy is under a great deal of pressure right now; she didn’t mean it.” Wesley automatically defended his (or rather Giles’s) slayer, even though his heart wasn’t in it. Buffy’s remark had been uncalled for. Cordelia had only been trying to help.

“Yes, Wesley, she did but it’s Okay – I deserved it.”

“You did? How?” Wesley questioned.

“I’ve been a bitch my whole life. What goes around comes around – isn’t that what they say? I have to pay the price sometime; guess my time is now.” Cordelia smiled sadly.

Wesley sensed she wasn’t really talking about Buffy’s cruel taunt, but he didn’t know the young girl well enough to question her about it. Not that talking about emotional stuff was something he did well – he usually just made tea when such a situation arose. Every problem could be solved with tea.

“So you find anything useful yet?” Cordelia asked, swiftly changing the subject from her own troubles, but unwittingly focusing in on Wesley’s insecurities instead.

“No, nothing I’m afraid.” Wesley sighed heavily. What good was he as a watcher if he couldn’t even identify the demon that was terrorising the neighbourhood? My father was right – I am useless.

“Hey, no big. Well, it is, but I’m sure you’ll find something. You’re so good with the books and everything. Giles has to look things up most of the time, but you usually just know. Did you memorise every book at Watcher School? Cus that would be kinda sad, but cool in a dorky sorta way.”

“The Watcher’s Academy” Wesley absently corrected her terminology. “I suppose I just wanted to do well. Make my F….” he paused, not wanting to reveal any real personal information. “Be top of the class.”

“Guess you aced demonology huh?”

Wesley’s mind whirled at Cordelia’s backhanded compliments. He was well aware that the majority of Buffy’s friends just saw him as an inconvenience; someone to make fun of. Wesley was technically both Buffy and Faith’s legal Watcher, but Giles was still the one they looked to for advice, despite the fact that the librarian had recently been fired by the Watcher’s Council. This was the first time anyone had recognised Wesley’s contribution.

The Watcher was stirred from his thoughts when Faith strode confidently into the room. “So *Wesley*, when are you going to find that claw demon in those boring books of yours? I’m going stir crazy stuck in here; I really need to kick some ass, dust some vamps, slay some demons. This totally sucks – B and Angel got to go patrol.”

“If it wasn’t for the constant interruptions, I might actually be getting somewhere.” Wesley snapped in irritation.

“Ooo who rattled your cage?” Faith’s rich laugh echoed around the small office.

“I made him coffee, and brought donuts and *everything*. The least he could do is show some gratitude.” Cordelia pouted dramatically.

Wesley felt a wave of remorse and looked up to apologise for his outburst, but stopped as he realised both Faith and Cordelia were grinning at him, their eyes sparkling with friendly amusement. The two girls were teasing him; the watcher relaxed, reached over, and removed two books from the stack of unopened tomes behind the desk. He handed one to each of the two brunettes. “Make yourselves useful and get reading.”

“Yes, *Dad*” The two girls replied in tandem. Wesley smiled, returning his attention to the book in front of him.


Angel shouldered the door to the mansion open, took the stairs two at a time, and entered his bedroom where he gently deposited his precious bundle on the bed. He dashed into the bathroom and yanked open the cabinet door, sending various items crashing to the tiled floor in his haste to find the first aid supplies he required. The strong, sweet smell of the slayer’s blood assaulted his nostrils as he returned to the bedroom, and only exacerbated his guilt; he’d let the girl he loved get hurt. The creature had caught them unawares, and before either of them had time to react, it had slashed Buffy with one of its claws sending the young slayer crashing into a tree in the process. The enraged vampire had managed to fight the demon off, but it had fled and Angel would not give chase when his girlfriend was hurt and bleeding on the ground a few metres away.

Buffy moaned as he gently untied the pale blue wraparound top that was now red with her blood. The vampire carefully wiped the blood away from the jagged wound on her stomach, then proceeded to wrap bandages tightly around the slayer’s midriff to stem the flow of blood and prevent infection. Angel was relieved to discover that the injury wasn’t quite as bad as he first feared, with Buffy’s accelerated slayer healing abilities, it should be gone in a few days.

“Okay – now I’m officially pissed off. ‘Freddy Kreuger’ demon is so dead.” Angel smiled briefly at the slayer’s comment, and looked up at her from where he was kneeling, in front of her, on the floor by the bed. Her blue eyes were soft and loving, her blond hair falling in messy waves around her face. Buffy was smiling at him and he felt his groin harden in response. God, she is so beautiful.

Angel silently rose, then put his hands on either side of Buffy forcing her to tilt her head back to look up into his deep brown eyes. He slowly lowered his lips to hers, stealing a brief but tender kiss. The blond girl’s top had fallen open to reveal a creamy expanse of slayer skin, and she wore a simple white half-cup bra, her small breasts spilling slightly over the top of it. As Angel looked down into his girlfriend’s beautiful blue eyes, he had a flash of memory; of Buffy lying naked in his bed looking up at him with much the same expression that she wore now. The temptation was too much; he needed to see and touch her body again. The vampire knew they couldn’t make love; the threat of unleashing Angelus was enough of a deterrent for that. However, they could do other things, more than they had been doing in these last few months since his return from hell anyway.

Angel stood, shrugged his leather jacket off his broad shoulders, and let it drop to the floor behind him. He cupped Buffy’s sweet face between his palms, kissing her with unrestrained passion. When her lips parted involuntarily under the pressure of his kiss, he plunged his tongue into the hot cavern of her mouth. Buffy whimpered in response, her small hands rising to clutch at his wrists, as he devoured her mouth, his tongue exploring every crevice. The vampire slowly lowered them both to the bed, covering her with his big body, but still mindful of her injury. Angel could hear the rapid beating of her heart, smell the spicy scent of her growing arousal, and he growled in response to the stimuli, pressing himself into the cradle of her thighs to let her feel how much he wanted her.

Buffy finally tore her lips away from his to steal a breath. “Angel!” The vampire ignored her weak protest, and ran his lips down the column of her throat, latching on and sucking gently to encourage the blood to the surface of her skin. His hands untangled themselves from her silky hair, reaching down to unclasp the front fastening of her bra, and release her soft breasts into his waiting hands. Angel felt a surge of triumph as Buffy arched her back to press herself more firmly into his touch; her rosy nipples pebbling instantly as he circled them with his callused thumbs. “Oh god, Angel!” the slayer whimpered, as his cool lips travelled back up her neck, then proceeded to place gentle kisses along her jaw line. The vampire’s skilful hands left her breasts, and trailed slowly down her torso to unbutton her pants.

Buffy gasped as his cool fingers brushed the exposed skin of her lower abdomen; reason finally breaking through the haze of arousal enveloping her, “Angel, we can’t.”

Angel gently placed two fingers over the slayer’s full lips, that were red and swollen from their passionate kisses. “I can’t. You can.” The vampire’s voice was low and seductive as his hands returned to their previous task.

“Angel! No!” Buffy tore herself away from him. “Your soul.”

Angel ran his fingers through his spiky dark hair in frustration. “Buffy, not being able to touch you at all is driving me crazy. Do you really think I’d risk losing my soul again? Perfect happiness is a very rare thing. It’s just not going to happen from me pleasuring you in this way; I would need my own release to experience that feeling again. I know we can’t have everything, but we can have this.”

Buffy hastily re-buttoned her pants and refastened her bra, not really listening to her boyfriend’s reasoning. What is he thinking? Doesn’t he remember what happened before? I make him perfectly happy, so we have to control ourselves, despite how much we want to be together. “We can’t and you know it. You’re just letting your vampire instincts get the better of you; you have to fight that part of yourself, Angel.”

Angel felt a surge of anger at her rejection, and lashed out. “You know; sometimes I think you actually get off on holding me at arms length and teasing me. You just love the idea of being part of a tragic and forbidden romance don’t you, Buffy? It gets you all hot and bothered, doesn’t it?”

Buffy’s eyes overflowed with tears at Angel’s angry words. “No, it doesn’t. I hate it. I love you so much it makes me want to die!” Why is he being so mean? He’s a vampire and I’m the slayer – this is the sacrifice we have to make. “I want us to be normal; I want *you* to be normal.”

Angel’s heart turned to ice. That was it; in the end, that was what it really came down to. Buffy would never fully accept that he was a vampire because she viewed that part of him as evil. Angel however, knew that it was part of the person he was. As Liam, the human; he was a drunk and a waste of space, and as Angelus, in his pure vampire form; he had been evil incarnate. As Angel though, he’d found a purpose to his life, a reason for being. It had taken him a long time to find his path, but he had finally started out on a journey that, somehow, he knew he was destined to make. Angel was beginning to realise that he was approaching a fork in the road where he would have to choose which turning to take; the one that ended in a dead-end, or the one that led to redemption, but ultimately away from the woman he loved.

Angel sighed as Buffy’s quiet sobs registered. That choice could wait. Right now, he just wanted to hold the girl that had stolen his undead heart and savour the time that they did have. “I’m sorry. Please don’t cry.” He gathered the slayer in his embrace, pressing a soft kiss into her sweet-smelling hair. “You’re right; I did get carried away. I just love you so much.” He lay back down on his bed, enfolding Buffy in his strong arms, then stroked her hair soothingly until, eventually, she fell asleep.

Part 3

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