Author's note: I have no idea how far this will go, but for starters I think it's going to be a rewrite of the end of season 2. Not because I think I can do it BETTER than Joss, but... I always wanted to try out some new character relationships.

Chapter 1: Passion Play

The scoobies stood around Giles' empty apartment, still too much in shock from Jenny's death to think clearly.

"So Giles is gonna try to kill Angel, then?"

Xander scoffed. "Well, it's about time somebody did."


"I'm sorry, but let's not forget that I hated Angel long before you guys jumped on the bandwagon. So I think I deserve a little something for not saying 'I told you so' long before now. And if Giles wants to go after the... fiend that murdered his girlfriend, I say, 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'"

Buffy walked slowly down the stairs as the full impact of what had happened – what was still happening – hit her. "You're right."

"Thank you."

"There's only one thing wrong with Giles' little revenge scenario."

"And what's that?"

She looked at him in horror. "It's gonna get him killed."

Angelus had been taken by surprise. That annoyed him. He had expected Buffy to show up, though later rather than sooner; if he knew her, she'd be spending the evening weeping with her little friends. As for the watcher, he had been half hoping the police would lock him up for a while – come on, ex-girlfriend found dead in the apartment of weird loner? Sure, the police in Sunnydale were so incompetent you'd think someone had given specific orders to hire only the dumbest of the dumb, but still, that's gotta be suspicious. Having Giles convicted of murdering the woman he loved would have been beautiful. But no, instead here he was, whaling on him with a baseball bat. Admirable, in a way. But mostly incredibly stupid. Angelus waited for an opening, and when it came he lashed out, grabbing Giles by his throat and lifting him clear off his feet. The baseball bat clattered to the concrete floor.

"All right. You've had your fun. But you know what it's time for now? Huh? Come on, Rupert old boy, you're supposed to be the one with the answers."

He wasn't really waiting for a reply – his hand blocking Giles' windpipe, slowly choking the life out of him, pretty much made one impossible anyway. Angelus tilted his head to take in the anguish and impotent rage on his victim's face.

"You know, killing your girlfriend was amusing and all. I love a good chase, especially the part where you almost let them get away. There's something poetic about seeing that last flicker of hope flare up and then blow it out... wouldn't you agree, Willie?"

The two other vampires had re-emerged from the back of the factory. Spike seethed at being called by his old name. "Just kill him and be done with it. If the watcher's here, the Slayer can't be far behind. We need to get out of here."

His grandsire didn't even dignify him with a look, never taking his eyes off Giles. "Now, Rupert... to be perfectly frank, I've been wanting to kill you since I first met you, soul or not. Of course, that's true for most Englishmen, but you're even more annoying than some I could mention. All that crap about destiny and procedure and good and evil and... really, I don't see how Buffy even stays awake around you. Of course, I don't see her around, so maybe she finally had enough of you too. Maybe it'll be best for all of us if I just kill you right here."

He brought Giles within biting distance... and Giles did the only thing that remained to him and spat in his tormenter's face. Thrusting his victim back up into the air fast enough to almost snap the librarian's neck one-handed, Angelus grimaced. "Then again... Dru, honey? You want this piece of garbage? I really can't be bothered. He tastes like... tea." Angelus threw Giles down at Drusilla's feet, where he struggled weakly to crawl away. Cooing gently, she lifted him like a rag doll and buried her fangs in his neck.

By the time Buffy reached the factory, it was empty except for Giles' body lying on the floor. Do I really need to describe it in detail? Count every tear, relate every word she whispered to him between sobs, describe the horror on her face as she realized she couldn't be sure he had not been turned? Let's just leave it at the daughterly kiss she placed on his forehead before she doused him with gasoline from the Molotov cocktails he had brought. She stood outside watching as the factory burned, a tiny girl with power but no direction, desperately trying to remember some prayer to guide Giles on his way, trying to hold on to his image, burn it into her mind along with everything he taught her... but as the flames rose, she felt only cold, grief and solitude.

"I can't do this alone."