The slayer was restless. She didn't know why, but she couldn't sleep and she felt like something was wrong. In keeping with following her instincts, Buffy made her way to the cemetery across from the very frat house in which she'd nearly been snake food that evening. Giles had suggested maybe it was the alcohol that had her feeling 'off'. She couldn't explain why, but it felt like more than a hangover.
She was lost in her thoughts and didn't realize anyone was with her in the cemetery until a branch snapped. She whirled on her heel, stake raised high and nearly collided with Angel. She lowered the stake slowly and let out a shaky breath. "Sorry, guess I'm a little jumpy," she mumbled.
Angel's nostrils flared. His jaw was clenched tight and his glare was cold.
"Okay, you're that pissed about a frat party? Contrary to what Cordy may have told you, I went there at her request and I wouldn't have gone if you hadn't been so down on the subject of us." Buffy flung the words at him.
"So you screwed the first person you could find." His words were far colder than the stone memorials surrounding them.
Buffy's jaw dropped in shock. "Excuse me? I didn't sc…sleep with anyone. I don't just go around sleeping with everyone I meet, regardless of how I feel."
"Give up the good girl act, Buffy. The smell of sex is all over you. The smell of semen doesn't wash away with one shower."
Tears pricked Buffy's eyes and rage flushed her cheeks. "Look, I don't know what you think about me and frankly I'm beginning not to care, but I didn't have sex with anyone. I'm a virgin, Angel. I don't give it up that easily."
Maybe it was her tears that convinced him, or the hurt that was so evident in her voice, but his anger slipped away and he was beginning to believe her. He stepped closer to her, taking a deep breath.
"Ewww, God what are you doing?" Buffy asked, shoving him away.
Angel stepped back, properly chastised. "I-I wanted to get closer to see if I could…you still smell like sex, Buffy. How did they get you down in the cellar in the first place?"
Buffy's brow furrowed. "I had a drink…Oh, God, it was drugged." She covered her mouth with her hands and tears filled her eyes and spilled over onto her cheeks. "Date rape drugs."
Angel nodded, remaining silent. In truth, he was far too angry to talk, not at Buffy now but at the boys who'd done this to her.
She shook her head. "No, no, they wouldn't-I mean, sacrifices have to be pure right? They wouldn't…I mean that'd ruin the ritual, right?" There were glistening ribbons of tears on her cheeks and her eyes pleaded with him to tell her that this atrocity had not happened. He wished he could.
"N-no, I know it, rituals have to have virgin sacrifices. I-I know it!" She yelled at the night sky.
Angel nodded and stepped toward her. She tackled him, her tiny hands grabbing for his jacket and buried her face in his chest. Angel hesitated a moment before putting his arms around her. He wasn't sure what the protocol was for having a bundle of crying slayer in your arms. "Buffy, you should go to a hospital. Let them-"
"No!" She pushed herself out of his arms. "No, I'm not going to the hospital. They'll-they'll have questions that I can't answer and they'll poke and prod and No."
Angel sighed and nodded. Buffy wiped at her red eyes and shook her head. "They couldn't have…I'm the slayer, Angel. I'm supposed to be able to stop things like that!" He didn't know what to say and he wasn't sure she expected answers anyway. He was quiet while she yelled, ranted and denied everything.
"Walk me home?" She asked once she'd exhausted herself. She didn't sound like same girl he'd talked to an hour ago.
He nodded. "Of course."
They were silent on the way back to her house. She climbed the tree into her window and slipped inside, looking back expectantly for Angel to crawl through. She curled up on the bed, hugging her pillows around her. "I want to take another shower, but I know it will wake Mom up."
Angel perched on the edge of the bed, not sure if she wanted him closer or further away. Tears trickled out of the corners of her eyes. "Will you hand me Mr. Gordo?" She asked.
Angel glanced around the room. "Who?"
Buffy smiled slightly. It disappeared in the next breath. "The stuffed pig." She pointed to her dresser where Mr. Gordo held a place of honor. He handed her the small stuffed toy and watched as she curled around it, trying to disappear. Angel stayed sitting just on the edge of the bed. He reached out and placed a hand on her leg. She looked at him gratefully, but made no move to get closer to him. They sat in silence as she cried herself to sleep.
He kept watch while she slept and as it neared sunrise he crept to the window. Her eyes opened a slit. "Please, don't leave me." Her request was thick with sleep and too many tears cried.
He glanced toward the window and the lightening sky outside. He'd already spent far too long with Buffy, unable to leave her broken like this. He could hear her mother coming up the stairs and ducked into the closet before the door opened.
"Buffy, you're still in bed? You've got to get up, Sweetie."
"Mommy, I don't feel good." It wasn't hard to believe that Buffy was sick with her red, swollen eyes and the haunted look on her face.
Joyce laid a hand on her daughter's forehead. "Oh, Honey, I can't stay home with you today. I've got a huge shipment at the gallery coming in."
Buffy shook her head. "It's okay. I just want to stay in bed anyway."
Joyce leaned over, kissed Buffy's forehead and nodded. "Alright, if you need anything call the gallery. I'll call the school once I've gotten to work."
Buffy sniffled and nodded. "Thank you."
Angel stayed in the closet, watching Buffy from the slats in the doors. He listened as her heart beat slowed down and her breathing begin to even out.
"Angel, you still here?" She whispered, half asleep.
He laid his hand on the door and closed his eyes, letting himself drown in her voice. "I'm always here, Buffy."
The images were jarred and fragmented. Rough hands on bare, silken skin—fingers wrapped tightly around wrists. She remembered struggling but being so tired, so weak and she couldn't stay awake. Cold air and pain and then blackness.
"No!" Buffy sat straight up in bed screaming.
Angel bolted from the closet, pulling her into his arms. "Shhh, you're safe now, Buffy. You're safe."
She curled into him, broken down completely in sobs. "They hurt me, Angel. They held me and they hurt."
He struggled against his vamp face and lost the battle. Angel was thankful Buffy was burrowed into him and couldn't see it. "I'm sorry, Ioniun. I'm so sorry."