Buffy walked slowly through the stone mansion that had been empty for months. The last time she had been here was when she had saved the world, and sent Angelus, formally Angel, her one true love, to hell. But now it was time to let go. Angel was never coming back. At least while Angelus was still on Earth, there was a chance that he would revert to Angel again, but now, he was suffering hundreds of thousands of years in hell for all the things he had done wrong. And while Angel didn't deserve that, Angelus did. Buffy walked into the main living room, the room in which Acathla had stood months before, the room in which she sent her lover and torturer to hell. The only noise was the sound of her heeled sandals hitting the stone floor with each step. But Acathla was gone now. Giles had shipped him off to a far region of Africa where he was least likely to be dug up again. The room was empty, save for a couch, love seat and coffee table. The fireplace was free from logs and only a bit of soot still sat on the bottom, the rest picked up by the wind. Once in the center of the room, she knelt. Buffy blinked back the tears. This was finally good-bye. Buffy had kept hope alive that Angel would come back to her, that everything that had happened after her seventeenth birthday and her first and only night with Angel was all a nightmare. But now she knew she had to let go. Angel would always be in her heart, she would always love him; she didn't know if she would ever really truly love another. But now, she had to move on with her life; she couldn't let the horrible things that had happened between her and Angel or Angelus stop her from living; they had already taken too much of her life from her. Buffy opened her hand and held out the silver Claddagha ring that Angel had given her the night of her birthday. She looked at it for a moment, and didn't want to ever put it down. It seemed to shimmer in the dim light that shown in from the windows high above her. She sniffed and blinked a few times before placing the ring on the ground in front of her. "Good-bye," she said softly, her voice cracking. She stood and looked around. Everything was the same as it was before she came, except for the ring sitting in the center of the room. She turned and walked away quickly, before she could change her mind and turned back.

~ As Buffy left, the sun set on the mansion. The inside was bathed in darkness. While the sun still shown off the hills in the distance, its faint glow didn't penetrate the heavy walls. It was then that the floor began to shake ever so slightly. No one would have noticed it, had anyone been there, when it had started. But soon, it was like an earthquake, although nothing around the main living room in the mansion moved. Then suddenly, a bright blue-white light emitted from the ring on the floor. The light grew, and as it did, so did the shaking. And then from nowhere, a figure dropped, shaking and naked. He lay on the ground, seizing. His body was battered and bruised, and perspiration shown on his pale skin. He blinked several times trying to see where he was. He let out a savage growl as memories began to fill his animalistic brain. And the only coherent thought that formed in his mind was Find the Slayer.


Patrolling was a good way to take her mind off of the many problems in her life. Buffy was thankful that she had someway to relieve herself of the tense emotions cursing through her. But today, no matter how many minions from hell she killed, her mind was not clearing. Thoughts of Angel still raced through her mind. She had finally said good-bye, but somehow she felt that wasn't enough. Angel would always be with her, but she needed to rid Angelus from her. Buffy wandered out of the cemetery and into the woods. She could see perfectly and knew exactly where she was going, but she stumbled over a rock due to lack of concentration. She got her balance and continued on her way, paying more attention to where she was going. There was no one in the woods- vampire or human- and only a few squirrels and birds occupied the trees. When an owl hooted, Buffy turned and went into a fighting stance, looked for enemies, then took a deep breath and continued walking. As she neared a small clearing in the woods, she heard a twig snap. She stopped and looked around, the decided it was just a squirrel. But as she began to walk again, she heard another snap, and then another, and she knew she wasn't alone. She pulled her stake out of her coat pocket and began a slow circle around herself, her eyes open and ready for attacks. And then it happened. A figure came flying out of the bushes at her. She didn't get a good look at the thing at first, but she could tell that it was a male, and that it was naked. As the figure ran at her, she easily flipped him over her shoulder and onto he ground behind her. But as she turned, her attacker was already up again. Buffy froze when she looked into the face of her attacker. Angel. He was in full vamp face and his body was bruised, but she knew it was him. He rushed at her and when she wasn't ready for the attack, he knocked her down. They rolled over each other for a while, each trying to get the upper hand. Buffy finally got up and Angel followed her move. He punched, but she avoided it. He was weak and unfocused, his only thought was to find Buffy and his primitive mind told him to kill. Buffy side stepped his next advance and then landed a heavy punch in his jaw, sending him to the ground. He rolled, about to get up, but fell unconscious in the next second. Buffy stared at him, still trying to make sense of everything that had happened. She fought to catch her breath. Finally she was about to steady herself, and she hit Angel again hard in the head, to make sure he wouldn't wake for a while. Then she grabbed his arm and began to drag his naked body though the woods toward the mansion.


Once Buffy got him to the mansion, she dug through Dru's old chest and found a pair of her handcuffs. Buffy did her best not to think about what the insane vampire had done with them as she tied up Angel. After Buffy had him bound, she sat down and looked at him. He looked awful. Bleeding cuts and scrapes, bruises and burns covered his body, some of which had been caused by their fight earlier. His body looked lifeless in its unconscious state. Buffy sat for a while and thought. She decided that this was Angelus, not Angel. Angelus was the one that she had sent to hell, so she assumed he would be the one sent back. Finally, Buffy looked at her watch. It was just past eleven. Angelus was still asleep, and judging from his poor fight, he wouldn't be strong enough to break through the chains when he awoke. Normally she was pretty sure he would have been able to break the handcuffs without a second thought. She had questions and she wanted answers, but that meant she would have to leave him alone. It wouldn't be light for another few hours, so if she left and he got loose, he could still go out and kill. But she knew that if she was here when he awoke, he could kill her. So she decided to leave, and hope that when Angelus woke, that he would either be too weak to escape, or have enough common sense to realize that it wouldn't be a good idea.


Buffy walked through the swinging doors to the Sunnydale High library. Xander sat on the table in the middle of the room, reading comic books to werewolf Oz, who paced in the weapon's cage, snarling every so often. Buffy walked slowly toward Xander. Once she was right behind him, she tapped him lightly on the shoulder, causing him to jump off the table. "Buffy," he said, turning to face her, trying to catch his breath. "God, you really shouldn't do that." "Sorry," she said. "I um, got kinda bored so I figured I'd let you off of Oz duty." She placed her coat on the table. "Why, Buffy," Xander said in a fake voice. "That's so nice. I think I'll take you up on that offer and go see if Cordy's still up." Buffy gave him a look, and he blushed. "So I can um, read her a comic." He held up the comics he had brought with him. "What ever you do with Cordy is fine, Xand," said Buffy. "As long as I don't have to know about it." She smiled and Xander grabbed his stuff and took off. Buffy took a breath and ran her hands through her hair. She looked around before she walked over to the card catalog, and pulled out the whole section labeled, uncategorized books. They were categorized; it was just that the students weren't aloud to take out books on demons. She looked through it until she found the books on Acathla. Buffy researched for hours until sleep got the best of her and she fell asleep in a chair with three books on her lap, and a few more scattered around her. She hadn't found any answers.


When Giles walked into the library the next morning, he was greatly perplexed by the site that lay before him. Xander, who was supposed to be on Oz duty, was no where to be seen, and Buffy was asleep in a chair on the upper level of the library, books on her lap and a drawer from the card catalog sitting at her feet. Giles didn't know if Buffy even knew what a card catalog was, let alone how to use one. Giles placed his coat and bag on the table, glancing at Oz who was asleep on the floor of the cage. He then walked over to Buffy. He carefully picked up one of the books on her lap. Realm of Acathla. Giles's brow furrowed. What was Buffy doing with books on Acathla? Giles was about to reach for another book, when Buffy began to wake up. Her eyes opened, and it took Buffy a second to figure out where she was. After a second her eyes met Giles's and her mind worked quickly to make up a good lie about the books. "Good morning," said Giles. "Hi," said Buffy. She lifted the books off her lap onto the floor and stood, straitening her clothes. "You're probably wondering what I'm doing with all these books." Giles nodded. "Thought so." Buffy tried to think of something to tell him. She couldn't tell him about Angel being back, not until she knew for sure if he had a soul or not. There was no way she would tell Giles if it were Angelus who was back. "I uh." Buffy began. "Buffy I know what you're doing," said Giles. Shock crossed Buffy's face. What if Angel had gotten out of the chains and Giles had seen him? "You do?" she asked. She did her best to keep her face innocent. "Yes," said Giles. "You want to find out of there is any way to bring Angel, your Angel, back form hell." Buffy relax. He didn't know. Her secret was safe. "Yeah," she lied. "Is it possible? For him to come back, as Angel, I mean?" "I've never heard of anyone returning from a demon dimension." Giles leaned against the stair railing. "It might be possible, but I don't think so. Even if we could bring him back, I highly doubt it would be as Angel. And, as much as you love Angel, I think it would be better to have Angelus in hell, rather then here on earth, reminding you of Angel." Buffy only nodded, emotion taking over too much of her.


Buffy went though the rest of the day mindlessly. She could barely concentrate on any of her friends, her thoughts on what was waiting for her at the mansion. Everyone had asked what was wrong, and she had simply told them she hadn't gotten any sleep last night. When the last bell finally rang, she grabbed her stuff and hurried out to the school. She would deal with Giles and Willow and Xander later. She has to make sure Angel was still chained up. Buffy walked as quickly as possible to the mansion, taking every shortcut she knew about. When she finally entered the stone building, she slowed and became more aware of her surroundings. She walked slowly into the main living room. Angelus was hunched over, him arms hung above his body by the manacles. His wounds appeared to be healing, but he was still pretty battered up. His eyes were tightly closed. Buffy hesitantly walked closer. He was still naked, and she did her best to avert her eyes. She stopped once she was right in front of him. He looked dead, and the only way Buffy knew he wasn't was that he was still solid, and couldn't fit into an ashtray. Buffy was about to reach out and touch him, when his eyes opened. Buffy jumped back almost a foot. "Slayer," he hissed. His voice was filled with hatred and loathing, and playfulness. It shattered all her hope. "Angelus," Buffy said back. There was no doubt in her mind that it was he. There were no kind emotions in his voice, no sign of her love. "I see you've changed tactics while I was gone. I never imagined you'd get into bondage." A smug, sadistic smile crossed his lips and he knew he was hurting her. "I see you've gotten a hold on yourself," said Buffy evenly, pretending that his comment meant nothing. "Well, I was sitting here, trying to figure out how to get out of these chains, when everything started to come back me." He paused. "I remember our fight and you sending me to Hell. I'm gonna have to thank you for that, Buff. That is, of course, after I get out of these chains." He pulled down on them, but they didn't budge form their secured place on the wall. He was still weak, even though his threats gave no sign of it. "I don't think so," said Buffy. "There is no way I'm going to let you go out there and kill." "How you gonna stop me, Buff? Kill me?" He laughed, a cruel and evil laugh. "You can't. You couldn't before, and you can't now. You sent me to Hell, but you can't kill me." Buffy took a deep breath and hoped she wouldn't brake down. Because part of her knew that what he was saying was true. She couldn't kill him, because she would also be killing her Angel, and she could never live with that. "Like I said before," she said as she kicked her foot out. It connected solidly with his head, knocking him unconscious once again. "Just give me time."


Buffy had found a pair of pants in one of the bedrooms and slipped them on to him. She couldn't stand to see him naked for another second, because it only seemed to turn her on. As much as she hated it, it was Angel's body, and she was attracted to it, even if it was possessed by a soulless, heartless demon. Even with pants on, one look at his naked chest, and heat flooded her. So she left. She figured that she had hit Angel hard enough to leave him unconscious for a few hours, plus he was weak, so he should be fine until morning. But Buffy wasn't fine. She didn't know what to do. If it were Angel who had come back, she would have told her friends right away. But this was different. If she told her friends that Angelus was back, they would freak, and then they would go to kill him. And get themselves killed in the process. Buffy couldn't let that happen. She couldn't take the chance of her friends getting killed, yet she couldn't kill Angel. But she couldn't let him go free, and she couldn't keep him chained up here forever either. Millions of ideas, along with their pro's and cons, were swimming in her head, but none of them made any sense in the long run. He mind was unfocused. Every emotion was running though her, like lightening, pain and hurt at the top of the list. Seeing Angel hurt. It would have been easier if he had stayed in hell. Then she wouldn't have to see him and know that it wasn't really him, that it was a soulless demon that wanted to kill her. It hurt her to know that every time she saw him, she would have to fight him, and one of those times, she would have to kill him. But Buffy couldn't think about that. She had to do something to take her mind off everything.

So, after lots of contemplating, she headed to the Bronze. Willow and Xander would most likely be there, and even if they weren't she could sit and not think. So, dressed in a tight, low neck red tank, black leather mini, and heeled boots, she walked to the only club in Sunnydale that let everyone, and anyone, in. As she got closer, she could hear the pulsating music carry on the breeze. Once at the door, she paid the cover charge to the bouncer, ignoring the suggestive looks he gave her, and made her way threw the throngs of people toward the bar. She ordered a Coke and headed toward the stage.

Buffy knew she was getting looks from the guys. She just smiled innocently and danced by the stage. The music was slow and seductive, yet had a steady beat. She moved her hips saucily, not paying attention to the people moving around her, just letting the music flow over her. Then, she felt it. The feeling she got whenever Angel was around. It was like an arrow going threw her heart, burning and poisonous. It used to fill her with joy, now it filled her with dread. There was no way Angel could be here. He was chained to the wall, unconscious, at the mansion. But the feeling wouldn't go away.

Buffy began to look around. She walked toward the center of the dance floor, her senses alert. Then she saw him. He stood by the stairs dressed in red velvet and black leather. People passed between them, but their eyes were locked and didn't see anyone else of hear the sounds around them. From where she was, Buffy could see that most of the wounds on his face where healed or healing. She bet his body was the same. Buffy quickly moved toward him, pushing people out of her way. She had to do something.

When she reached him, a smug, seductive smile had crossed his sensuous mouth. His arms crossed his chest, and there was a clear sign that he knew he had won this round. Angel 1:Buffy 0. But that didn't mean Buffy wasn't far behind.

"How." Buffy began. She reached behind her to the back pocket of her skirt for a stake, and then remembered she hadn't grabbed one on the way out of the house. How stupid, she thought. Why not just throw myself to a fanged out vampire and beg him to bite me.

"How did I get out?" He laughed. Buffy cringed. The cruelty was evident in both his laugh and voice. "Buff, you've got to learn to check the pockets." He held up the key to the manacles that he had been locked in when she left him. Buffy's eyes went wide and her jaw dropped. Angel 2:Buffy still: 0. Angel played with the small key. "Dru must have left it in there from one of our games," he said offhand. He knew that it stung Buffy to hear that. "Speaking of which, where is my little insane bitch?"

Buffy took a deep breath to keep herself from fainting. She felt lightheaded and hoped this was all a dream. "Leave, go back to he mansion, or I'll kill you. And if you touch anyone, I'll make sure it's a long, and painful death." Buffy did her best to look menacing, but inside, she was shaking. She was scared as hell, but she was also excited. She knew Angel well enough to know that she never knew what he was going to do next. She was never sure if he would try to kill her, or try to kiss her. But then again, in their case, wasn't it the same thing?

"Buff," he said, softly. His voice was low and husky, and sexy. She hated herself for it, but she wanted him to kiss her. "I'm not here to kill. Or fight." He swept a piece of blond hair off her face. She didn't stop him, but fought to not melt at him touch. "I just went through hundreds of years of torture. All I want to do now is dance." He took her hand and led her to a secluded corner of the club.

"I never said I wanted to dance," said Buffy as Angel wrapped his strong arms around her small waist.

"You don't have to," he whispered into her ear. His voice was smooth as silk, like honey. "I could feel you the minute I entered the building. You're hot as hell Buffy. And I know its me that has you turned on." Angelus pulled her arms around his neck.

Buffy closed her eyes. He was right. Even after Angel turned, seeing him turned her on like no other man could. He put her senses on full alert, and sent chills threw her. He teased her mercilessly, then walked away, leaving her unfulfilled. She hated him for it, but even more she hated herself for wanting him.

Angel's hands moved back to her hips and slid around to rest on the small of her back. Buffy began to move her hips, grinding against him sensually, and she asked herself what she was doing. She should be trying to kill him right now, to run away and to fight, but something about with was pulling her to him and she couldn't escape. He turned off all here rational thoughts. Buffy knew part of it was because she just wanted to be held in Angel's arms, and if she closed her eyes, she could pretend that it was Angel's arms who encircled her and Angel's body she moved against. And while imagining she was with Angel was the most perfect thing in the world, it was also the most dangerous, when in reality, it was a killer who held her.

Angel began to whisper in her ear, his voice deep and his unneeded breathe tantalizing her. "See Buff, as much as you hate it, you want me, need me, as much, if not more, than Soul Boy. When you fight me, there's more passion in each move, each touch, than the light kisses you two shared." Angel slid one hand up into her hair, gripping the roots, sending shots of pain down her body. He used the other hand to pull her up and into him. Buffy's breath rushed out of her, part in fear, part in anticipation. "And I promise you this, before I kill you, I will have you again, and when you come, it will be my name you scream, not Angel's." He kissed her then, quick but fierce. His tongue plunged into her mouth, teasing hers, and she gasped for air. Then he was gone, and Buffy grasped onto a chair to keep form falling.