Title:     Deciding Destiny

Author:  Haley Teague – haleyteague@hotmail.com

Rating:  PG-13 (Nothing you wouldn't see on the shows.)

Setting/Spoilers:  Set following "Him" on Buffy, 7.06, and "Rain of Fire" on Angel, 4.07. 

Disclaimer:  If tomorrow morning I wake up in Joss Whedon's body, then I shall charge you all enormous amounts of money to read the genius that is me.  Until that happens, though, I'll have to suffer though not making any profit whatsoever from my genius.

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Deciding Destiny

Chapter One:  One Fine Morning

            "What do you mean he's not the one?"  Lilah's tone was dangerous and low, her words clipped and steady, as she advanced on the trembling man – minion – in front of her.  "You mean to tell me that after all the time, pain, and effort I've put into this project, it's not even him?"

            "Our psy-psychics are sh-sh-showing that there is another," the man stuttered, terrified of the power the imposing woman in front of him commanded.

            "Who is it?" the female lawyer demanded.

            The man offered a trembling hand holding a manila folder out in response.  Lilah grabbed it from him and waved her hand in dismissal.  The man quickly turned and practically ran from the room, tripping on over his own feet in his effort to get away from Lilah before she decided the information in the report was his fault and punished him accordingly.

            Lilah quickly scanned the report and then stared out her window, running possibility scenarios in her mind.  Her eyes failed to see the scorched buildings of the darkened city, left over from the blazing rain that had ceased falling scarcely an hour before.  The glass of her office windows reflected back the calculating grin that formed on her lips as she lit upon the perfect plan.  The smile grew unbelievably wider as another thought popped up.  Instead of the warmth one might expect to see in the brunette's eyes accompanying the large grin, the brown orbs glittered with a cold satisfaction, contorting the smile from humor to wickedness.  Not only would she be able to kill two birds with one stone, Lilah was now going to get some personal vengeance on the company's dime.

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            Buffy swam towards consciousness, feeling lazy and utterly content.  As she lay in bed, her eyes remained closed as she savored the feeling of awaking without an alarm clock.  Ah, Saturday mornings!  How I love you! she thought, content to leave the world waiting a few more minutes.  A chill passed though her and she rolled to her side, pulling the covers up a little higher and preparing to snuggle down into them some more.

            Her plan was halted when she realized she was not alone in bed.  She froze, her mind scrambling to remember any number of reasons why someone was sharing her bed.  Maybe Dawn had a bad dream.  Or Willow and I stayed up late talking and both fell asleep here.  Or…  The list of possibilities quickly trailed off though and a sinking sensation grew in the pit of her stomach as she realized the body she was now laying next to was cold. 

Well, either I'm in bed with a dead body or a vampire.  And how bad is it that I'm hoping for the dead body? she wondered wryly.  Her mind quickly jumped to a conclusion that she didn't like and she kept her eyes closed, feigning sleep as she wracked her brain, trying to remember what could have led her to this situation, all the while chanting in the back of her mind Please don't let it be Spike.  Please don't let it be Spike.  When the only thing Buffy could remember from the night before was going to bed – alone – after a routine patrol, she slowly opened her eyes, wondering if she really would prefer to find an unknown corpse over Spike next to her.

What she saw, made the Slayer scream and jump out of the bed, scrambling backwards.

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            Cordy woke to a scream and felt whoever had been cuddled up next to her scramble away.  The previous night came rushing back to her.  Oh, god, Connor! she thought, swiftly sitting up in bed, clutching the blankets to her chest as she tried to assess what was going on.  Her automatic action halted though, when she realized that her hand held the top of the blankets not against bare skin, but a stiff, laced up bodice which accentuated her somewhat diminished cleavage.  Hey!  What happened to my bo—the thought was cut off as she remembered the scream which had awoken her.  She whipped her head up to look at the screamer, her eyes growing wide and her blood running cold as she saw who she'd been sleeping next to.  The dark haired vampire looked back at her, seemingly in just as much shock as she was.

            "Drusilla," Cordy breathed almost silently, as she scrambled backwards out of the bed, leaving the piece of furniture between herself and the crazy vampiress.  Cordy's hand quickly went to her throat, feeling for fresh puncture wounds.  While relieved to find none, she was also confused – Why would Drusilla not kill her when she had the chance?

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            Buffy watched as Darla scrambled out the other side of the bed and took a defensive posture.  A million questions ran though the Slayer's mind as she tried to assimilate the situation.  She'd woken up in a strange bed in a strange room next to a dead – of the dusty variety – vampire.  Not to mention she was wearing a dark, lacy dress.  Hmm . . . she thought, glancing down at it before quickly returning her gaze to Darla, this looks just like the type of dress always worn by –

            "Drusilla," the blonde vampiress breathed out, interrupting Buffy's thought.  The Slayer swung her head around quickly, trying to ascertain if the dark-haired vampire was behind her.  Seeing nothing, and sensing no one else, she refocused her attention on Darla.

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            As Cordy watched, the psychotic beauty glanced quickly over her shoulder and finding no one, returned her wary gaze to the other woman.  The bedroom door opened, and both women glanced between it and each other, neither content to let the other out of her sight.  Both relaxed when they saw who stood in the doorway.

            "What's all the commotion about?" the dark haired, hulking vampire demanded in a light Irish brogue. 

            Buffy felt her blood run cold as a certain awareness came over her that the figure in the doorway wasn't here to help her.  He wasn't Angel, as she'd first assumed.

            Across the bed, Cordy felt her hopes rise and sink in one fell swoop.  Although she wasn't sure how she knew, she was certain of what she knew.  The third person in the room wasn't her friendly neighborhood man-pire, Angel.

            He was Angelus.

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A/N:  So, did you like?  Did you follow?  Would you like more?  Any suggestions for the summary without giving away too much?