Disclaimer: Characters and Premise are borrowed from the show "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel".

"Angel," Wesley said quietly, intercepting the souled vampire at his door.

"Vision or case?" Angel asked.

"Cordy, Gunn and I are going out tomorrow night. Perhaps you'd join us?" Wesley stammered.

"No," Angel replied sliding past Wesley and into his room. "I can't."

"I'm sorry," Wesley said stopping the door from shutting behind Angel.

"Why?" Angel asked.

"For what I said," Wesley clarified. "I had no right."

"You were right," Angel corrected. "She makes me feel… Fred isn't afraid of me, not even of the demon. Not because she doesn't understand what she's dealing with… She saw that thing I became in Pylea, of course she understands what I am, but she'd still not afraid. She thinks I'd never hurt her. Fred believes I'm strong enough to control it and she trusts me."

"Fred trusts me, Wesley," Angel continued his voice tinged with awe. "Her eyes are wide open, I haven't deceived her in any way and she can still trust me. Do you have any idea of what that means to me?"

"You were right Wesley, I don't know what perfect happiness is exactly, but when I hold her I'm at peace and that's not what the Rom intended for me. I can't betray the trust Fred puts in me. I'd rather die than hurt her. Still it isn't as simple as you think it is. For a century the curse was stable, but it didn't keep me in agony all that time, after the first few years it just left me numb. Then Buffy came along and taught me how to feel again. It was incredible, even when I thought the pain of it would kill me. I've found the highs balance the lows. Only it's not just Buffy and Fred who make me feel; it's all of you. When you're in danger I worry for you, and when it's over and you're still alive, I'm happy. When Cordy told me we weren't friends anymore it hurt and when she forgave me I was happy. At what point does happiness become perfect happiness?"

"The only way I know to be safe is not to feel at all."

"You don't have to worry though, I won't walk away from Cordelia's visions, not again. I want to help people, besides it's the only way to end this."

"Angel…" Wesley began to protest only to have Angel gently but firmly move him back and shut the door in his face. Then he heard the soft click of the lock being engaged.

Defeated, Wesley turned and walked down the stairs, he didn't even notice Fred standing silent and still in the alcove, her expression both determined and intensely thoughtful.



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