Disclaimer: not mine, Joss's.

Author's note: Long live episode transcripts for those of us who can't actually watch what's happening now. A missing scene from 'Orpheus' - before Angel says goodbye to Faith.

AFTER ANGELUS

His room seems alien to him, impersonal. He stands in the doorway for a moment and then goes in and closes the door behind him. Just him and the room, now. Just him.

He crosses the floor, shedding clothes as he goes. Shirt that smells of blood - Faith's blood, his blood, the blood of the nameless girl he drank earlier on. It will have to be burnt, but before he drops it on the floor he holds it for a second and inhales, deeply.

In the bathroom he stares into the mirror, and wonders, if there were a reflection, who he would see. He knows, of course, what he looks like. He's known since Pylea. And maybe that's what scared him the most when he was facing himself. There should have been more difference between them, and there wasn't. When, locked in the hallucination, he stared at himself, there was recognition. Demon and soul, soul and demon, man and vampire - there is no difference, they are all the same. If he twisted around now to look at his right shoulder, the tattoo would still be there, and he remembers the day he got it as well as he remembers the events that have marked the soul's existence.

Turning the shower on he steps under it, feeling the needle-pricks of water on muscles tired from fighting a Slayer. Another reminder that they are the same. He turns the temperature up as high as it will go, but there is no difference in the way the water touches his skin. As it runs down the drain, the water is pinkish in colour, and he traces the edge of a gash with his fingers. The fingers of a killer.

He forces himself not to go there, to turn his attention back to business, back to defeating whatever it is that is controlling them this time. If he thinks about that, maybe he can forget the rush that came as he sank fangs into the soft skin of Faith's neck, and the power of her blood down his throat, before the drug hit. Maybe he can forget the blood of the other victims he's killed in the past few days.

Maybe he can forget how he enjoyed it.

He switches the water off and steps out, dripping, into the bedroom, deliberately turning away from the pile of clothes and that smell clinging to them. He moves into the fluid rhythms of his t'ai chi exercises, willing his soul into control, reasserting the balance. He tells himself he can do this, he can be Angel again, for the family downstairs. For Connor, and Cordelia, and Fred, and Gunn, even for Wesley. And for Faith too.

Completing the exercises, he goes to the wardrobe and finds the most Angel- y clothes he can - a dark shirt and black trousers - and goes downstairs, in control.

But somewhere deep inside, the demon laughs. Because it's only a matter of time.