Buffy stared at the graves in horror, nearly bursting in dread of what she knew she had to do...

Cordelia's arm shot up from under the ground. Buffy would've been startled, had it not been exactly what she was expecting. Mom, Dawn, Willow, everyone- everyone was next. She'd have to kill them all because she didn't kill him.

She couldn't move. God, she couldn't move! She looked over to her sister's grave. Dawn's (no, not Dawn's, a monster's) fingers moved in a spider-y fashion, lightly strumming the air as her arm crept up from the soil.

She heard him sneaking up from behind her. God, even when evil, he still lurked! She should've never let this happen. She quickly spun around to face him. He backed up and, in mock-concern, asked her, "Buffy, what's wrong? You seen very tense tonight. Didn't mean to scare you."

She glared at him intensely. "Don't. Drop the act, Angelus. I know who you are now." She put a heavy emphasis on his name, weakly trying to convince him that she could tell the difference between this sadistic psycho and the man she had loved.

In response, he grinned viciously. He glanced over her shoulders and noticed Cordelia and Dawn were already half out of their graves, demonic visage already set on their faces. The others, aside from Xander, were following suit. He just couldn't bring himself to sire Queen Buffy's jester of a friend, regardless of how much pain it could've caused.

"You know, say what you want about the Chase girl, one thing you can't accuse her of is being thin-blooded." His eyes closed as he remembered. "Blood so thick and rich and intoxicating, like a fine Cabernet. And Dawn, so young and sweet, yet barely riped- "

"Stop it!"

He opened his eyes and saw tears streaming down her face as the gallery of her dead friends and family looked on. "Just, please, stop it..." She was sobbing now, as her knees buckled and she fell to the ground.

He moved over to her. On one knee, he reached out to caress her face. She didn't jerk away. Still grinning, he inquired, "What's wrong, Buffy? You know I did all this for you, just for you."

"I know. But I don't want it. Just take it back. Please, just take it all away." Her voice was small and quiet and pleading, and she sounded more like a little girl lost than an all-powerful heroine. He had been dreaming about this moment ever since he'd rid himself of that pesky soul.

"As you wish." He grabbed her suddenly, violently, and she yelped, but it was far too late to back out of this arrangement now...

---------------------------------

He lifted her dead body and held it tenderly in both arms, a twisted parody of the knight in shining armor saving his damsel in distress, and worried slightly that Dru might nag about how a body should always be buried in the traditional fashion and not just thrown about. He told his new family members they could stay with him, Spike and Dru if they desired. He thought about the lifeless girl in his arms and how she would effect everything ahead of her. He mused over many things during his journey back home, but, as he arrived at the mansion, he told Dru something he felt needed to be said. "I have given the world such a lovely and magnificent monster. Wouldn't you agree?"