New Way of Life

NOTE: I do not own these Angel and Buffy characters, but if you see anyone whom you do not recognize, he/she belongs to me.

A/N: This story takes place after Chosen, but before Conviction, meaning it's the summer in between. To put down a recap, Spike burned up, everyone (minus Anya) escaped on the school bus, Buffy and her friends haven't split up yet, and Angel Inc is preparing to move into W&H. On with the story…


          "It was so weird," said Dawn as she, Gunn, and Fred headed down the stairs of the Hyperion, going into the lobby. "Angelus hit me with this weird dark light thing and it was like I was high or something. Not that I've ever been high. I know people, though."

          "I know what you mean," Fred agreed, rubbing the side of her neck. "I read all about them, but I never knew vampire bites could hurt so badly."

          "Hey, I'm just glad you're OK," said Gunn. "Because if something had happened to you…"

          Fred reached out and gently caressed the side of his brown cheek. "It didn't. I'm fine." She leaned in towards him and gave him a light kiss on the lips, which he gave back in return.

          Dawn smiled, but then pouted, as she never got to kiss the cute guy.

          Lorne sat next to Xander on a couch, across from where Willow and Kennedy occupied an arm chair.

          "I have to hand it to you, mega witch," said Lorne. "I've never seen any mojo like that before."

          "Thanks," Willow smiled a bit bashfully. "I'm just glad it worked."

          "Willow's been at this for years you know," Xander piped up. "A while ago this evil priest guy took out one of my eyes and Will totally worked the healing hocus pocus."

          "Even though the healing potion blew up a couple of times," Kennedy added.

          "Minor flaw, Ken," said Xander. "Minor flaw."

          The door to the basement opened suddenly, revealing Angel and Wesley, both in workout clothes.

          "Hey, boys," said Lorne. "So how's the verdict?"

          "Angelus' powers have been completely transferred to Angel," said Wesley, who panted heavily. "It proved so in the session we just had."

          "I threw him across the basement a few times," Angel couldn't help, but smile.

          "Well, don't you feel special?" Angel turned to look at a very miffed Dawn.

          "Come on, Dawn," said Angel, coming upon her. "Still mad at me?"

          "A little," Dawn replied, crossing her arms.

          Angel removed his wallet from the pocket of his jeans and took out a card, handing it over to the teenager. "Well, would this change your mind?"

          Dawn looked at the card to see that it was a Visa with her name on it. "No way! What's the limit on this thing?"

          "Oh, around… " Angel smirked before continuing. "Eight hundred dollars."

          "Are you trying to bribe me?" Dawn asked, narrowing her eyes at him. Angel just nodded in reply. Dawn squealed and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug. "I love you so, so much."

          "Love you, too," Angel said, tossing her hair a little.

          When Dawn went off to show her new credit card to Willow, Angel noticed that someone was missing; the other Summers woman. He glanced out towards the front garden to see Buffy standing with her arms folded in front of a rose bush. Angel slipped away from the others and went outside.

          "Hey," Angel greeted Buffy. "What are you doing out here?"

          "Good fight last night, huh?" said Buffy.

          "Yeah, it was."

          "Good outcome for you. Angelus is dead, you have your powers, and now you can stay here and start up Angel Investigations again."

          "What are you talking about?" Angel asked seriously.

          Buffy finally turned to look at him. "You said it before. You have a business here that you can't just drop, remember?"

          "I know," Angel said then slowly stepped out, allowing the sun to shine down on him brightly. "I also remember something else said. That I wouldn't leave you. Well, that's the one I want to stick to."

          "Are you serious?"

          "Buffy, I've been fighting with myself ever since I got my soul. I've been alone, friends or no, for years. When I was human, a vampire, the world's champion, I was never truly happy until I met you. You're honestly what keeps me going. I love you, Buffy, and if you think I'm leaving you again you're crazy."

          "Do you mean that?" she asked, blinking her hazel eyes.

          Angel pulled her towards him and gave her a large kiss, sliding his tongue delicately over hers. "What do you think?"

          Buffy enfolded her arms around his neck. "Just checking. I love you, too."

          The two came in closer, kissing each other passionately.

          "Oh, my God. Are we staying in LA?" Dawn's voice asked.

          Angel and Buffy suddenly broke apart to see everyone that had been in the lobby, standing in the garden, watching the scene.

          "I think I like Rome better," said Angel.

          "Me, too," Buffy smiled at him.

          "Wes, how would you like to own one Wolfram and Hart?" Angel asked the British man.

          Wesley nodded. "Sounds like an honor."

          "Make me proud," said Angel.

          "Looks like we're going Rome or bust again," said Gunn.

          "You're coming back with us?" Angel asked his friend.

          "You're coming back with them?" Fred echoed Angel.

          Gunn shrugged and said to Angel, "Man, we started this Rome thing together and I want us to keep it that way."

          Angel smiled a little and reached out to Gunn, slapping hands affectionately with him.

          Fred looked disappointed, but kept a good face about it.

          "Well, looks like celebration is in order," said Lorne. "Now I have wine, scotch and soda, and a light merlot."

          "That spell took a lot out of me," said Willow. "I could use a drink."

          "I hear scotch is good for the soul," Xander said.

          Buffy turned to Angel and said, "Yeah, well, personally I'm up for cookies. You?"

          It took him a moment, but Angel realized what she was talking about. "Delicious," he replied before the couple went for another kiss, even more passionate than before, embracing each other in the most loving of ways.

A/N: It's over. I can't believe it's over! No fair. Oh, well. One question. Sequel, anyone? I hope you had as much fun with this story as I did. I truly do. Now… please review!