"Wow, Buffy that's so great ! NEVN is the computer King! God, I envy you, and I'm so proud of you" Willow chirped after reading the letter her best friend got.

"I really can't believe it. I mean- one moment, poor student, hoping to get a job behind the counter of McDonalds, next moment, poof, Miss Buffy Anne Summers, employee of NEVN, California! Yay!" Buffy cheered madly.

"I guess you escaped my destiny, then" Xander complained. "I always thought we'd sit in the same boat."

"Have you been there? How is it? It's big, isn't it? I bet it's huge" Willow babbled excited.

"It's hugely huge and so great. The only bad thing is my boss. He's a pervert and looks like a troll. I think he hates me." Buffy told her friends.

"Nah, who could possibly hate the Buffster?"

"Too many, for my liking" Buffy whined.

"Well, if that's the only bad thing. How are your colleagues?" Willow tried to hold up the good mood.

"I haven't met anyone, yet. But I know I'm one of 15 women and 207 men!" She stated.

"Woah, Congrats. Now, you're not only living, no, now you're also working in a world full of freaks !" Xander joked, but he only earned two annoyed evil glares in response.

"So tomorrow's your first day?" Willow asked excited.

"Yeah, I'm working in a team with three other guys" She smiled. "God, I'm so nervous. I'M WORKING FOR NEVN! I'M GONNA BE RICH!" She yelled happily.

"Hey, man" Doyle greeted his best friend.

"Morning, Doyle" Angel said, not really paying attention.

"Mornin'" Spike grumbled. He seemed to be still asleep.

The three of them always met at the tiny, comfortable café near NEVN. Today they'd get a new one into their team.

"What do you think he is like?" Doyle wondered aloud.

"SHE. HER name is Buffy Summers" Spike mumbled into his breakfast.

"A woman? Oh no." Angel complained.

"What? I thought you liked women." Doyle smirked.

"Oh, I adore women, but usually, all female freaks are ugly, selfish bitches." He said. "I mean, look." He pointed directly at Buffy who'd just entered the café. "Someone this beautiful would never work for NEVN. She's more the actress-type."

"Don't be so pessimistic, have a little hope! Maybe she's—Angel? ANGEL?"

Angel didn't listen to Doyle anymore. He was too busy staring at the blonde goddess in front of him. It seemed that the guy at the checkout had made a joke, cause two little laughter escaped her full, pink lips. She waved a goodbye at the dark-haired boy and turned to exit the café again , but then the guy shouted something after her which made her turn around and grin at him.

"A-N-G-E-L! Hello?" Doyle waved a hand in front of Angel's face but he didn't seem to even notice.

"Give up. He's off to la-la land." Spike remarked.

"Does la-la land involve a blonde beauty at the counter?" Doyle smirked.

"Guess so" Spike grinned.

Buffy grinned at Xander and went back to the counter, sitting down on a stool. He was about to make her the darkest coffee there is, because she was so nervous.

"Buff, calm down. You can do this. Nothing you never did before!"

"It's something else in your apartment than at a office at NEVN!"

He handed her the mug and patted her hair. "You can do that. Now go and enjoy your first day!"

"Thanks" She smiled weakly at him while grabbing the paper-mug.

At the other end of the room, two men nearly had to carry their friend out of the café.

"Thank you, so much!" Angel spit sarcastically "Now, I'm never gonna see her again! You could have let me ask her for her telephone number, at least!"

"Yeah, but then you'd began telling her what a goddess she is and we would have been late" Spike said annoyed. Angel had complained ever since they'd left the café.

Mr Snyder, their boss entered the room, followed by the blonde beauty, paper-mug in her hand. The books Angel was carrying fell to the floor with a loud thump' and Angel nearly fell to the ground himself, his knees felt like pudding.

"This is Miss Summers. You'll spend the day showing her everything and I don't want to hear anything from either of you" With that he left the room.

"Well, um… Hi, I'm Buffy!" Buffy greeted the three sheepishly.

Angel was speechless, he just stared at her.

"I'm Spike, this is Alan Francis Doyle, but we call him just Doyle and this is Angel Rielly" Spike introduced.

"Spike?" She cocked an eyebrow at him.

"William Pearson, Spike's just a nickname, but everybody calls me that way!" He explained smiling at her.

"Uh-huh" Buffy grinned.

The three of them of them went trough the entire NEVN station to show Buffy everything she needed to know. Spike and Doyle shared the talking and explaining while Angel still wasn't able to get out one line.

After Buffy had seen all she needed to see they headed back to that café.

"Excuse me, I have to use the bathroom." Buffy excused herself and disappeared into the hall to the toilets.

"How can you do this to me?!" Angel asked desperate as soon as Buffy was out of sight.

"What am I doing??" Spike asked.

"You're shamelessly flirting with her! You know I have the hots for her!" Angel whined.

"Well, somebody has to talk to the girl and since there isn't coming anything out of that mouth of yours, I'm talking to her! The flirting is just a side effect!" He grinned at his friend.

"And besides, I'm sure she has a boyfriend!" Spike added.

"Yeah, perhaps that dark-haired guy at the checkout? The two of them seem to know each other VERY well!" Doyle said.

"You think so? No. I'm sure she hasn't one." Angel said.

"Well, I think so. You bet?" Spike smirked.

"I bet."

"10$"

"OK"

"What's ok?" Buffy asked when she came back to the guys.

"They want to know if you have a boyfriend." Doyle said dryly.

"DOYLE!" Angel and Spike shouted unison.

Buffy giggled. "No. No boyfriend out there."

Spike handed Angel 10$, grumbling.

"How come someone such beautiful and funny isn't taken?" Spike flirted, earning an evil glare from Angel.

"There wasn't Mr. Right!" She smiled. "How much did you get?" Buffy asked Angel.

"10$" Angel grinned.

Buffy made herself something to eat in the microwave while phoning with Willow. Buffy lived in a apartment with a roommate named Faith. The two of them got along very well although Faith was a bit crazy. Willow lived together with Tara, just like Xander lived together with Anya. They'd all moved to L.A. after Buffy, Will and Tara had graduated from UC Sunnydale. They'd just needed to get out of that small town.

"They are so nice. Spike flirted with me the entire time and Doyle was totally buddy-like. Only Angel, I think he doesn't really like me. He barely talked to me." Buffy told her best friend.

"That doesn't mean anything. You know- some men don't speak that much. Oz didn't say much, too!" Willow said.

"Yeah, but he didn't seem so Oz-like to me." Buffy said. "He was more, well, uninterested? But he's a real hottie, tough!"

"Maybe he's shy?" Willow guessed.

"I really hope so, cause I really like him!" Buffy said hopefully.

"You have a crush" Buffy could clearly hear Willow's grin in her voice.

"Maybe I'd know it if he talked to me!" Buffy whined while her microwave made a pling' noise. "FAITH! YOUR TV DINNER IS READY!" Buffy yelled into the living room where Faith watched Roswell.

Faith patted lazily into the kitchen and grabbed her Mexican meal from Buffy's hands. "We still have Mousse au chocolate ice cream?" She asked.

"How does he look like?" Willow asked on the other end of the line.

"Oh god, Willow he's gorgeous. He has dark brown hair and chocolate eyes which seem to look right through you. He's tall with wide shoulders and his hands, god, Willow his hands. He has great hands and…" Buffy seemed to be able to go on and on. Faith rumoured through the fridge and shrieked with joy when she found the ice cream.

"Who has great hands?" Faith asked curious, holding both her TV Dinner and the ice cream while trying to find something to drink.

"My new colleague" Buffy whispered to Faith while listening to Willow.

"So he's handsome, I guess?

"More than handsome" Buffy smirked.

"Say Hi' to Willow for me" Faith said when she headed back into the living room to continue watching Roswell. "And later I want to know EVERYTHING about Mr. More-than-handsome colleague!" She grinned.

"His name says much! Angel. It fits to Buffy! And besides it's a beautiful name. But his high school time was either super popular-great' or hell." Willow said.

"I like Angel. It sounds good!" Buffy grinned. "Wills, what am I gonna do? Shall I just go to him and say Hi, I like your name, you want to have a date?' or what?" She said, munching on her Mexican meal.

"Well, you know- it's direct and brings it to the point, so…"

"HA HA"

Willow giggled. "Sorry Buffy, but I have to go. I'm having a movie night with Tara. Good luck for tomorrow. AND ASK HIM!" She said. "And say Hi' to Faith for me, too!"

"Yeah, Bye. Have fun"

"I will. Bye"

She hung up the phone and joined Faith on the couch to tell her EVERYTHING about her handsome colleague.

"So, you're like drooling all over her?" Spike teased Angel.

"Go away"

"You weren't able to sleep last night, were you? You look very sleepless."

"Spike you're annoying. Go scratching on the wall or something."

Doyle burst out laughing. "I don't want to scratch on the wall. I'm not my cat!" Spike said.

"Then go scratching on the carpets."

"Who does something like that?" Doyle chuckled.

"Spike's cat?" Angel guessed.

The three of them sat in their office. It was a very lazy job. You sit in front of a computer and write something down if there's a pling' in your brain and otherwise you do nothing, but get paid well all the same. You just have to have the brain then you leave a good work on the desk of the boss once a week and you and your team will be painted as the gods of NEVN. Well, and now there also is a goddess.

Buffy bounced into the room, sat her coffee down on her desk and plopped down into her big leather chair.

"Good Morning" She chirped brightly.

"Morning" They said unison.

"Wow. How do ya come to such a good mood?" Doyle asked her.

"Had a nice dream" Buffy smiled. Buffy had dreamt of a private beach, a beautiful sunset, a moonlight picnic and a naked Angel. But that was something she'd never tell anyone. Not even Willow. She wanted to keep this dream all by herself. Maybe she'd write it down. Then she'd be sure she'd never forget it.

But not in her diary. She'd write it in her secret-diary'. The one nobody knew about. She had begun it, cause she knew Faith was reading her normal one in a regular basis.

"What about?" Spike wanted to know.

Willow had asked the same question on the phone that morning, just like Xander had at the café where she'd got her coffee and Faith at breakfast, still half asleep. She'd answered all of them with the same three words. No more. "beach, sunset, picnic" Buffy thought she would be better off if she didn't talk about the best part of the dream…

She looked at Angel happily and then realised how crazy this all was. She was dreaming about more intimate situations with a man who had barely talked to her, than she had actually really lived with any of her boyfriends. Well, not that this really counts, because both her ex's and even Parker had been very lousy in bed. They would never be able to do something like that. Wait. Who said HE would be able to do that? She'd only dreamt about it. But he must be able to. It's his look. Those chocolate depths you seem to be able to drown in.

Stop. Come back to the point. You're NOT knowing him! she then noticed the sleepy clouds darkening his chocolate pools.

"You didn't sleep as well as I did, did you?" She asked.

"I guess I didn't sleep at all" He shrugged.

"I KNEW IT!" Spike remarked grinning.

Angel just shoot him with an icy glare.

How come this guy had to interrupt every potential conversation between him and his blonde goddess? His blonde goddess?? When did you start thinking about her as yours, buddy? Honestly? The moment you laid eyes on her. God, he felt so stupid. How silly was that? Falling in love with a girl you barely know and who is constantly flirting with one of your best friends…

Finally, they began to work and discussed about a program they had to fix. It seemed that Buffy was born to work in this team. She filled every lack there had been. It really wasn't such a difficult job after all. She thought it would be harder. All in all the being nervous thing had been completely out of place.

"Why don't you just ask her out? Four words. You wanna have a date?'." Spike said.

"That were five words."

"Don't skip the subject, you're obsessed with her. Do something about it. ASK HER OUT; ALREADY!"

"What if she says no? What if she only laughs in my face?" Angel whimpered.

"She won't, you'll see." Doyle said.

"And besides, she wouldn't do something like that, anyway. She'd only tell you very politely that she's not ready for a date." Spike commented.

"Oh, thanks. I'm so convinced, now!" Angel said sarcastically.

The three of them were still in their office. Buffy had gone only a few minutes before.

"I'm not saying she will. Go. To her home. Now. We have her address, remember? Go and ask her out!" Spike said.

"Oh great! And when I'm there I'm going to get pudding-knees and babble something silly and won't ask her anything! I have no reason to go to her home. I need a reason." Angel whined.

"You have a reason" Doyle stated.

"oh, and what reason have I?"

Doyle lifted keys from her desk. She must have forgotten them. "Your reason!"

He really didn't know why he agreed to do this. He was now standing in front of her door and was afraid to ring the bell. There he was. A twenty-six year-old genius too afraid to ring a fuckin' bell. He hold on on the keys for dear life and finally pressed the button of that bell…

"Yeah?" Faith answered the door.

Great. Oh how great. Now you spent the last twenty minutes in front of a door and it was the WRONG one??? How is that fair?

"Well, um. Hi. Sorry, but I'm afraid I'm wrong. I wanted to Buffy Summers."

"You're right. She lives, here. I'm Faith, her roommate." The brunette said.

"Well, good. Um, she here?"

"No, she didn't come home, yet. You want to wait or shall I leave her a message?"

"Um… no. Just… here." He handed her the keys. "She- She forgot them at work." He looked a little sad.

"Oh, you're that colleague of her's? She told me a lot about you!" Faith smiled.

Buffy had told her a lot about him? Could it be she liked him?

He couldn't do anything but smile. Buffy had told her roommate about him! "She did?"

"Yeah, Spike was the name, wasn't it?"

And gone was the smile. So, Buffy hadn't told her about him, but about SPIKE?! Of course. Spike was the one who flirted with her, of course she'd told her about HIM.

"Well, I should go, then" Angel finally said and turned around to head for the staircase. "Bye" He shouted.

"Bye" Faith said, a little confused.

His life was crap! It always went this way. In high-school he always had have the good ideas, but he'd had to tell them the others. So every time they got in handy one of his so called friends had used them. Or his 13th birthday party when his mother had baked a cake and all of his guests had eaten them, but nobody had thought about

keeping a piece for him. It always went this way. His last girlfriend, too. The one he'd first made love to. She had only wanted to make her ex jealous and by the time he came crawling back to her, he was last day's toilet paper. Used and flushed down the toilet.

But why now, too? Buffy Summers was so stunning. She was sexy and funny and kind and intelligent and friendly and beautiful and giving and… perfect. Why?

Why? Why didn't she like him? Hadn't she smiled at him today? Hadn't she gifted him with that beautiful smile just this morning? Why couldn't she just like him?

Buffy came home after she'd been at the Gernot's, the café Xander worked in. First she panicked when she noticed she'd lost her keys, but then she remembered that Faith should be home. She was probably watching some repetition of South Park or something.

Buffy spotted her keys on the table the moment she entered the apartment which was strange, because she was sure she'd taken them with her when she'd gone to work that morning.

"Faith?" She called while taking off her brown leather jacket.

"Yeah?" Faith shouted. She sat in front of the TV as usual. South Park.

Buffy went into the living-room and joined Faith on the couch, taking some of the popcorn that were placed on the couch table in a huge bowl.

"That colleague you told me about, what was his name, Angel or Spike?" Faith asked after a while.

"I told you about all three, but I gave much more details about Angel!" She grinned.

"Oh"

"What, Oh?"

"Well, he was here. He brought your keys. I said something like Oh, B.'s colleague? She told me a lot about ya, name's spike, right?' Then he got a look on his handsome face like I had just killed his puppy and took off" Faith admitted.

"What?!"

"Sorry" Faith said sheepishly.

"It's okay, I guess" She said . And after a while: "like you had just killed his puppy? He was disappointed?"

"Yeah. Like I'd just shoot him or better like I'd just ripped out his heart and eaten it for dinner. I think he was about to cry right in front of me!" She said. "I really felt bad for him!"

"Wait. He'd only look like that when he felt something for me, wouldn't he?"

"I guess"

"Does that mean he likes me?" She chirped.

"I hate you!" Angel came stomping into Gernot's and plopped down on the sofa at the table where his friends and colleagues were sitting at.

"I take it, it hasn't gone this well then?" Spike teased.

"Oh, she wasn't even, there!"

"Why exactly do you hate me, then?"

"Her roommate was there. I gave her the keys and she was all Buffy told me a lot about you' and I was She did' and she said Spike was the name, wasn't it?'" He whined sarcastically.

Both Spike and Doyle were laughing their heads off.

"Funny. Really." Angel grumbled.

"You want something?" Xander asked Angel.

"Bloody Mary"

And with that Xander was gone again.

The Gernot's was a very nice and comfortable café. Couches and armchairs everywhere, fluffy white towel-carpets' and dark red wall papers. In the corner was a billiard table.

"That's not fair!" Angel whined.

"Well, maybe when you talked to her then you'd get her on a date with you. Buffy Summers may be a genius, but she can't read your thoughts!" Doyle said the same moment Xander brought Angel's drink.

"You guys know the Buffster?" Xander asked buffed.

"We're working with her" Doyle said.

"You guys are the colleagues!" He grinned.

"Yeah. Right, I remember you! You're the potential boyfriend guy from the checkout. I lost 10$ because of you!" Spike said.

Xander cocked an eyebrow at him.

"Never mind. You can do us a favour?" Spike smirked.

"What kind?" Xander asked sceptically.

"Did Buffy say anything about a Angel Rielly?" Doyle jumped in.

"Dark-haired. Handsome. Uninterested in her." Xander replied simply.

"Uninterested? HE??" Spike yelped.

"That's what she told Will, sorry guys, but duty calls." With that he headed back to the checkout where a several people were already lining up.

"I think you need to do something about the uninterested' part" Spike advised his friend grinning.

Buffy was alone in her apartment. Faith was over at Dru's, they were going to the movie's. Drusilla Morton was one of their best friends and had her apartment in the same building as Buffy and Faith. Buffy and Dru knew each other from Sunnydale High. They d both changed there the same time. Buffy from L.A., Hemery, because of their parent's divorce and Dru from England, 'cause her father had got a new job there. After High School They'd gone separate ways, when Dru had gone to UC Boston. She was now a famous designer. But their ways had crossed each others again, when Buffy had moved into Faith's too large apartment.

It was a Friday night, but Buffy remained stuck at home. Even Willow hadn't the time for her, because she was on a weekend vacation with Tara and wouldn't be back until Sunday evening. Anya had a long day at work, just like Xander who was still at the Gernot's.

"Buff, ya know- I'll get fired if I keep on talking to you on the phone this long!" Xander complained. "Why don't you come, here? We've got plenty of chocolate ice cream, too."

Buffy chuckled and let her spoon drop into the open carton of mousse au chocolate ice cream. "How did you know that?"

"Oh, come on. A lonely Friday night. It's depri-Buffy time!" He commented. "What are you waiting for? Come, here!" He said.

She frowned. "Depri-Buffy?"

"Come, here!" He said mocking.

"Give me ten minutes," She gave in.

He chuckled lightly. "Oh, and Buff?"

"Yeah?"

"You have an admirer!"

"Dream on, Xan!" She replied dryly. "Later"

"Later" He said. She could hear his boss' voice clearly in the background, yelling at him.

"My life is crap!" She mumbled to herself while grabbing her brown leather jacket.

When she came into Gernot's she was very surprised to see Angel, Spike and Doyle sitting in the corner at a couch table. Once again, all she could think about was how gorgeous Angel looked.

"Buff!" Xander shouted from the counter. She patted lazily towards him and smiled when she noticed that all three heads had turned towards her as soon as they heard Xander yelling her name.

She plopped down on one of the black stools and let her head sink onto the counter. "You said something about chocolate ice cream?"

He laughed and put the carton out of the fridge under the counter. "You know- chocolate has those happiness hormones' in it. For women it's kind of a sex replacement!" He mocked.

"It's not. It's frustration food!" She said.

Xander handed her a bowl of ice cream. "I have a break later, we'll go to the grocery-shop and buy all those sin food, how does that sound?"

"Good!" She beamed.

"Go over to her."

"No."

"GO OVER."

"NO!"

"GO!"

"What am I gonna say?" He winced.

"Good god, Angel you really need some self-confidence. When did you last look into a mirror?" Doyle asked.

"But--"

"GO!" They shouted unison, which caused the half of the café to look at them.

He looked over to her one final time and then got up and walked over to her. His hands were trembling uncontrollable when he tapped her on the shoulder which made her turn around. He was lost in the sight of her hair flowing over her shoulders and turn unison with her head like her velvet skirt was flowing over her smooth legs.

She looked absolutely stunning. She wore a brown long skirt and a tight black tank top matching her black platforms and brown leather jacket, covering her beautiful body.

"Well, I-I… um, I… hello." Angel stammered nervously.

"Hey" She replied.

"I just, um… I-I just, well" He grabbed onto his drink and took a sip.

"I like your name, you want to have a date?" She suddenly asked. Oh no, did you actually say that???

Angel coughed and had a hard time not to spit his drink all over the place. "What?"

"I-I mean, only if you want to, I… forget it!" She stammered embarrassed. Of course, he don't want to.

"NO! I mean, I'd love to go on a date with you. Actually, I wanted to ask you the same." He half-smiled.

"Really?" She grinned

"Yes"

They fell into a comfortable silence till Buffy remembered something. "I'm sorry about Faith. I told her about you three, but she can't keep any names in that head of her's!"

"It's ok"

"Good"

"Good"

"So, tomorrow night it is?" Faith asked curious. She and Dru came just trough the door when Buffy hopped trough the apartment, singing some old love song. Really, it seemed to be the best lonely Friday night' she ever had, and she had a lot lately. Of course, Buffy had immediately shared her news with the two.

"Yep, he's taking me to dinner at 8 p.m." She grinned. That goofy-grin was like plastered on her face. "That means, Dru you have to help me dress tomorrow!"

"No problem, dear." Dru smiled warmly.

"Hey, why aren't you asking me???" Faith exclaimed.

"Sorry, Faithy. Dru's the pro and besides every time you're dressing me I'm looking like slut!"

"Mmpf"

"Well, at least you have something to tell Willow when she comes home on Sunday!" Dru said while making herself comfortable on the couch.

"OK, but when I'm not allowed to dress you, I want at least the details afterwards!"

"You're not home afterwards! You're with Sunday in San. Fran. tomorrow, remember?"

"Oh right. Then I want the details as soon as I get back!"

"Which won't be before Monday, which means even Willow and Tara will hear those details before you will!" Dru teased.

"Mmpf"

"She asked you? Just like that?" Doyle wanted to know.

The three of them headed down the street, the Gernot's had closed only minutes before.

"Yep, I didn't even need to say anything!" He beamed. "SHE LIKES ME!" He shouted into the dark night.

"You're waking the dead!" Spike mocked.

"You need to get her a rose!" Doyle commented

"One or a dozen?" He wondered.

"One--"

"A dozen--"

"Great." Angel mumbled. "I really should stop asking you two for advise!"

"Hey, who said you should go over to her?"

"The same who said I should go to her home!"

"Right, so that was a shoot into the oven, but the second was great, tough!" Spike defended himself. "You don't know if she has a sister, do ya?"

All he got for reply was a slap on the arm…

"Wow. Buffy you look gorgeous!" Anya said when she came into Buffy's room.

"You think he'll like?" Buffy sat on her bed with Dru behind her who was curling her hair on the ends.

Buffy wore a simple mid-thigh, armless, black dress and a matching black overall and knee-length boots.

"Yes. He'll think you look very fuckable!" Anya said.

"ANYA!" Dru and Buffy shouted.

"What? I'm right! Every male would think that!"

They were interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell. "Answer the door!" Buffy said to Anya who shrugged and headed for the door.

There he was with a single rose in his hand. He wore black slacks, a black, velvet, button-up shirt and a matching leather jacket.

"You must be Angel. I'm Anya, nice to meet you. You have to wait, she needs another minute. Come in!" Anya chirped, not letting him say anything.

"Um, Hi." He replied.

Then Buffy came out of her room, followed but a brunette he didn't know. He was speechless, because Buffy looked like a real goddess.

"Hey" she smiled.

He grinned and handed her the rose. "You look absolutely stunning!" He said.

She smelled on the rose and smiled back at him. "You aren't that bad, yourself!"

He smiled his famous half-smile down at her. "We wanna go?" He asked.

"Yes" She smiled and handed Dru the rose.

"Have fun!" Dru yelled after them. One moment later the door fell shut.

"You had to spent your entire life with Spike?" She chuckled.

"Yeah, he lives in the same building as me." He grinned. "And even his parent's house was next door to mine."

The two of them had just finished dinner and sat at the table in the expensive restaurant.

"So, you lived in Sunnydale your whole life long?" He asked her.

"No, I was born, here! I moved to Sunnydale with my Mom and little sister when I was sixteen after my parent's divorce. My Uncle Giles lived, there and had got my Mom a gallery for her own, there. It was her second chance!" She explained. "She and Dawn still live there with Giles and his wife!"

"I guess you were the cheerleader?"

"At first. At Hemery I was a snob and at Sunnydale High a loser! I know both sides!" She said. "And you? My best friend and I discussed if you were a quarterback or a freak , because of your name, not long ago!"

He chuckled. "I was quarterback, but a much too shy one!" He said. "I only wasn't a loser, cause I was befriended with Spike. He was the King, there!"

"Why does every conversation between us lead to Spike?" Buffy smiled.

"I have no idea." He grinned back.

The two of them were strolling down the street. It was very late, but they had have a great evening. Dinner had been perfect and they had barely stopped talking. Angel's shyness was like blown away. With every word she said she made his crush on her only grow stronger and he felt like falling hopelessly in love.

This girl was perfect. Everything about her was perfect. She made him laugh with her dry comments and made him melt with her smile. She was so clever and beautiful and could listen this good.

He soon began telling her things he hadn't told anybody before. Even the embarrassing things of his childhood or the disaster with his last girlfriend.

The thought about his ex normally just depressed him, but Buffy made him laugh about it. He couldn't recall what she'd said, but it had made him laugh, really, really laugh all the same.

With every minute passing, he found a new side of her. She was so interesting and he wasn't able to stop explore her. There was so much in her. There was the cute and funny side, but there also was the mind-blowing sexy and seductive side. One word: She was perfect. Even if this word didn't explain her nature in the slightest kind.

She even joked about herself. He'd never met a woman with so much humour. Just moments ago she'd replied to him with something like I'm not small, I'm space-saving!'.

The urge to grab and kiss her grew stronger and stronger and his mind soon began to argue like the devil and the angel on his shoulders out of one of those cartoons.

It's a date! Kiss her already!

No. Too soon. Wait for the goodbye kiss! There is a goodbye kiss, isn't there???

When you kiss her now, you'll have both! This kiss AND the goodbye kiss!

Maybe she doesn't want it?

It's a date, you dumpass!

Maybe you'd scare her away? She could think you only want to get into her pants!

But you want to get into her pants!

Well, yeah. OK. But not only!

He decided not to kiss her, since he was walking her home, so the goodbye kiss would soon follow, wouldn't it?

When they arrived in front of her door she looked up at him. "So, I guess--"

"Yeah" He said.

Then, suddenly, she put her arms around his neck, pulled him towards her and kissed him hungrily. She had waited for this all night long.

He responded to her immediately and was taken back by her moves. He put his hands on her hips and pulled her closer to him when she jumped upon him and circled her legs around his waist and he leaned against her door, cause he was about to loose his balance.

When he sucked on her neck she breathed in a low voice: "You wanna come in? Faith's not home."

Well, OK. So he wanted not to rush things, but who was he to deny her? He could be strong for himself, but being strong for both of them when he was already on the edge of loosing control?

Soon all his thoughts were blown away when she pulled him into her room, kicked the door shut and pushed him onto her bed…

Angel was leaning at the counter of Buffy's kitchen, drinking coffee while Buffy was still fast asleep although it was almost 4pm. But then, she had a right to be exhausted by the things they'd done last night.

At least he could be sure it wasn't a one-night-stand thing, since they hadn't done it one time but three times.

He went back to her bedroom, dressed only in his boxers and chuckled when he saw the sign on her door that said KNOCK, GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND BEG FOR AUDIENCE'. He hadn't noticed it last night.

He leaned onto her doorframe and stared at her. She looked so beautiful and peacefully when she slept.

Then she stirred and finally opened her eyes. She sleepily reached out for the side of her bed he'd lain on only minutes before and shot up when she didn't felt him lying there. Then she saw him standing in the door and smiled. "Hey" She whispered.

"Hey" He half-smiled.

"Come here" She ordered.

He came to her and sat down on her bed, kissing her gently and lay down.

She lay down as well and rested her head on his chest when he began stroking her hair.

"I'm hoarse!" She complained, nuzzling further into him.

He chuckled. "No wonder, by all the screaming you did last night!" Angel smirked.

"HA HA"

He chuckled once more and then they fell silent again. Stroking and kissing time to time.

She sighed. "You know- I wanted you all the time. I always looked at you across the room and smelled your scent and stared at you and wondered how your skin might feel and even dreamt about you and was so depressed, because you didn't talk to me!"

He smiled. "You know what? I did the exact same. And I only didn't talk to you, cause I thought you didn't like me!"

"Why should I not like you?" She grinned up at him. Then she got up, grabbed his shirt and pulled it on.

"Hey! Where are you going?" He complained.

"Coffee" She explained simply, turning around and grinning at him.

He followed her into the kitchen and when she got her cup of coffee they went into the living room, sitting down on the couch where she ,once again, leaned into him while sipping her coffee.

"Are we a couple now?" She whispered.

"If you want us to be one, then I guess we are." He smiled down at her.

"Good" She said and then he kissed her gently and long.

The exact same moment Faith entered the apartment with Willow on her heels. Both had come back earlier and met at the bus-station.

"OK, I definitely missed something!" Willow remarked.

See you tomorrow at work!" She chirped and kissed him before he backed up the hall and blew her a kiss. She giggled happily and waited until he was gone. Then she turned around and closed the door.

"I want details. Now!" Faith stated.

"We went to dinner, he walked me--"

"Wait. You had dinner? I thought we were still at the let's figure out if it's shyness' part!" Willow said.

"I said I like your name, you wanna have a date?' at Gernot's!" Buffy chirped.

"What? You really said that?"

She only nodded intiosastically. "Well, so he walked me home and then the goodbye kiss began spiraling a bit out of control and now we're together!" She grinned.

"He good?" Faith smirked.

Buffy only shot her a glare.

"Was he a spaz?" Willow asked, changing the subject.

"No. A shy quarterback with popular friends."

"So, he really was shy?" Willow chirped.

"HELLO? What are you talking about??" Faith exclaimed. "Besides, Chinese or Pizza take-out?"

"Chinese" Buffy and Willow said.

"Cool" Faith hopped onto the counter and grabbed the cordless phone. "Wait. Where did you two do it? I need to know which places I have to avoid from now on!"

"Only my bed." Buffy said. "And, yes, he was really good!" She smirked.

"I knew it!" Faith yelped and then dialled the Chinese take-out's telephone number.

He couldn't believe it. This had to be a dream. But then, he really wouldn't be able to take it if he had to wake up. Fate was finally nice to him! Buffy Summers was his girlfriend!

Angel was on his way to work. Only a few minutes and he would see her again. When he entered the office and sat down at his desk he didn't even notice that Doyle and Spike were already there.

"MORNING!" Spike yelled for the third time.

Angel jumped up startled. "God, you scared me!" He said, but he was still grinning idiotically.

Only one moment later Buffy came in and Angel lightened up even more. "Hey sweetheart" He greeted her.

"Hey" She said and bounced to him, kissing him softly hello'.

"Oookaay! What did I miss?" Spike remarked.

They worked until 2pm, until break. The moment their break began, Buffy rushed to him and placed herself into Angel's welcoming lap.

"One date and you already did it?" Spike teased.

Buffy blushed and hid her face in Angel's chest who was shooting his laughing friend with evil glares, absently stroking her skin underneath her shirt.

"Well, we're going to lunch. You two are coming?" Doyle said, before both he and Spike exited the office.

"Nah, we're joining you later" Angel grinned.

"You ever did it in an office?" Buffy smirked as soon as Doyle and Spike had shut the door.

"Yeah" He said.

"What?"

He chuckled. "But I'd like to do it in an office, again!" He grinned back at her.

Buffy and Angel were sitting on Angel's kitchen counter, since they'd broken the kitchen table. Both munching on a box of Cookie Dough Fridge Mint Ship.

Buffy was wearing one of his shirts that were much too large for her and his boxers while Angel only wore his track trousers.

"I like you in my cloths!" He grinned.

"And I like wearing your clothes!" She grinned back at him and they kissed sweetly when the doorbell rang.

He groaned and headed for the door, still grinning at the thought of their shared day, but his smile fell immediately when he saw who was at the door.

"Hello, honey!" The blonde said sweetly.

"Darla"

"What? No hug?" Darla chirped and shoved past him.

Buffy came out of the kitchen. "Angel, what-- who are you?" She asked Darla when the strange blonde came towards her.

"Well, look at you!" Darla spat. "Angel, honey it seems you really learned something from me. You know- cheating on me is not very nice! I'm hurt." She said sarcastically, but smiling sweetly all the same.

"Darla, what are you doing here?" Angel said, glaring at her.

"Darla? As in your ex-girlfriend Darla?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah," He came to stand next to Buffy and turned towards Darla. "The emphasis on the ex'!"

Darla just ignored Angel's last comment and turned to face Buffy. "Sorry, dearie, but I have to tell you that you will be

history for him in a few days. He always comes crawling back to me! I made him. I made what he is, now! I guess you experienced him? He's good, isn't he? My lessons. I taught him all that. I can give him everything he ever dreamt about. I can still recall his words in my mind when he came to me and begged me to stay. Do you really think you're any replacement for ME? Well, sorry, but I don't think so, sweetie!"

"Darla GO!" Angel shouted which made his ex turn to him.

"I'll see you two!" She said, kissed him on the cheek and exited the apartment.

Buffy let out a nervous laugher. "WHAT was that?"

"Buffy, I'm sorry" He said, but she had already turned towards his bedroom and begun searching for her clothes.

"Buffy, please. Wait. Stop." He followed every move she made and came to stop in front of her when she'd finished reclothing.

"Buffy, please--"

She finally spun around and faced him with tears in her eyes that were about to fall any minute. The sight broke his heart in thousands of little pieces. "It's true, isn't it? I-I'm just some time-filling thing, am I not? Until she's free again and, and" The tears fell and she shoved past him.

"No, Buffy, I… I, I" He stammered helplessly, following her out of the room, but she didn't stop running out. "I LOVE YOU!" He finally yelled after her. "I love you."

That made her stop and she removed her hand from the doorknob and she collapsed to the ground and into Angel's arms who came rushing towards her and broke down in tears and sobs.

She remained in his arms when she finally calmed. "Was she good?"

He sighed. "I won't lie to you. Yes she was good." She let out a sad sigh. "But with you it's better."

"Huh" She looked up at him, starlet.

"You know- Darla was perfect, she knows everything about sex one can know and she taught me a lot. I'm nearly as good as her now. But something was always missing with her. Something I have with you! The passion, the love. Darla was practise, I learned a lot from her. Which is good, so now I can show you all the things she showed me and

get also the things that were missing. With you it's passion and fire, desire and making LOVE. With Darla it's like aerobic. With you it's better, cause I love you!"

That made her tears only flow harder and she throw her arms around his neck and clung to him. "I do, too." She sobbed. "God, Angel I love you, too!"

Two months passed and Buffy and Angel grew a happy couple. Everything was great. The work and everything else. Angel was excepted very easy from all of her friends, most of Willow, Anya and Faith. Only Dru and Xander were a bit skeptic, since all they wanted to see was Buffy being not hurt. So since Parker they tested all her boyfriends with a

hard trust-test! And even Cordelia, Doyle's girlfriend, Miss I-only-wear-the-best, borrowed Buffy's clothes in a regular basis. And even Darla didn't show up in front of Angel's door, again.

"honey, you're early!" Buffy yelled out of the bathroom. Angel had just entered her apartment, he had a key for four weeks, now.

"Hey Faith" He greeted the TV-watching, telephoning brunette on the couch who mumbled a hello' between her conversation and her popcorn-munching before he headed straight to his girlfriend who was colouring her lips deep red.

"I'm sorry, but I have to go to the office, Snyder called me. He couldn't reach you or the guys, so I have to come. Wait. You're here! Why couldn't he reach you?" Angel babbled.

"Faith is talking to Sunday for two hours." She explained simply. "Besides, what right does the troll have to damage our free day?? I thought we'd go lunch!" She whined.

"We'll go lunch! Just a little later, okay?" He followed her into her bedroom.

"Do you want me to come with you?" Buffy asked.

He chuckled. "Nah, you hate Snyder, remember?"

"Right" She grinned.

"You can lend me the pxzp-file?"

"Sure" She said and began searching between her things while Angel leaned against her desk and only enjoyed watching her body move, that was until he notices a note that lay next to her keyboard.

If I can't have him,

Nobody will.

Neither you little bitch, that's for sure

Darla

"My god, Buffy. Why didn't you tell me?" Angel said shocked.

Buffy turned around and faced him with sad eyes. She just knew what he was referring to. "I… She puts those into my mailbox time to time," She admitted sadly. "it seems she knows where I live." She whispered.

"Why didn't you tell me. Buffy? Since when? God, honey I'm so sorry, you must be so scarred." He rushed to her and hugged her tightly. "I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, so so sorry"

"You don't have to, it's not your fault." She said near tears. "Since she showed up at yours. A few days later. I just- I-I didn't want to scare you, I mean- you were so down when she showed up. And yeah, I admit it, I'm scared. I'm very very scared," She sobbed "But, then. I don't' have to, right? I mean- what can she possibly do?"

"I'm sorry"

"No, ssh." She hushed. Then she handed him the file. "You have to go and see the troll!" She reminded him, trying to sound cheerily.

"Yeah, right. We see each other later at Gernot's? For lunch?" He asked when she brought him to the door.

"Yeah" She smiled and kissed him goodbye'.

Where was she? Weren't they supposed to meet at Gernots for lunch? Was she mad at him? Did something happen to her?

He was desperately confused and scared. She was more than an hour late by now. This wasn't normal at all. Normally, she always was a few minutes late, but when it was more than fifteen minutes she always sent him an SMS to let him know or just phoned. His mobile was on, so this wasn't it. Where was she?

For the seventh time he took out his mobile and tried her's. Nothing. Switched off. Just the mail-box was answering, on which he'd already left five messages. The whole thing was strange. She never switched off her mobile unless she was in a cinema. She even had it on when she was at work.

Xander came to his table and brought Angel's coffee.

"Xander, do you--"

"No, I STILL don't know where she is. Man, you asked me that four times, already!"

"Right" He mumbled and let his head fall back into his hands only to shoot it up again and once again take out his mobile phone and deal the number of Buffy's apartment.

"Hello Angie. No, B's still not here!" Faith said annoyed.

"How did you--"

"Oh please, who else? You haven't called for five minutes and sides, your number was on the display."

"Faith, please at least TRY to remember. When she went out, did anybody call her? Did she leave a message anywhere? Did somebody stop by?"

"No. Wait. Yes! There was somebody, here. A girl."

"Who" Angel said alarmed.

"I don't remember the name. Buffy called her Darlene or something."

"What?!" Angel nearly shouted.

"Or Denise or so. Sorry, but I really don't remember. B didn't introduce her to me. She seemed very pissed at the girl and they were gone soon after. I didn't really get anything, I was watching Friends'!"

"Oh my god" Angel whispered.

"Hey! Friends isn't that bad!" Faith said. "What is it? Something wrong?" She said confused.

"Yes" He yelped and hung up without saying goodbye and nearly ran out of the café after paying Xander. He gave him nearly 30$ tip.

He ran to Buffy's block. He didn't recall ever running this fast in his life, before. That was, until he bumped straight into Spike and knocked him off his feet.

"Whoa, what is it?" Spike yelled.

"She has her" He panted.

"Who has who?"

"Darla. She has Buffy!" He shouted.

"What?! Evil psycho bitch? Crazy stepmother? Old evil witch? The whore number one? Your jealous ex?" Spike shouted.

"Yes" Angel was about to run again when Spike grabbed his arm and stopped him.

"Let me. I need to find Buffy!" Angel yelled.

"And how? You don't even know where she is, right?"

"Right" He admitted.

"OK. Calm down. We'll first go over to Darla's" Spike suggested.

"Right. OK, good idea" Angel babbled desperate.

When Angel was about to kick Darla's door in, Spike stopped him and was about to open the door with a knife when he found it unlocked.

"God, buddy you really need to learn how to calm in those situations" Spike murmured.

"Well, sorry, but normally I'm not in such situations at all!" A freaked Angel exclaimed.

"Wait. Did you call the police?" Spike asked.

"Yes, but they won't do anything but wait. She's not 24 hours missing and the explanation that my ex has my girlfriend didn't scare them as much as me!" Angel yelped sarcastically. "God, Spike what is if Darla did anything to her? You know the bitch. She would do that." He whispered desperate. "What if she kills her? God, I need Buffy. She's my everything. I'm nothing without her. I NEED her back."

"Calm down, we'll find her. You'll see!"

They went further into Darla's apartment only to find it empty. Real empty. Not one thing was in there. Empty. It seemed she'd moved out of here. Angel and Spike were about to leave again when Angel noticed a single note on the once bedroom floor.

And when the angel's fall.

"What is THAT supposed to mean??" Spike exclaimed.

"It's a referring. That's some rhyme out of a poem I once read to her. That was in a bar in Palm Beach. Sunny Island." Angel mumbled.

"The thing closed four months ago!" Spike remarked.

The two looked at each other. Understanding. "Bingo"

"Does he still those shrieks when he comes?" Darla said sarcastically while sitting on Buffy's lap who was tied to a chair and looked quite damaged.

Buffy had a large cut on her forehead and her left cheek was hit bloody. She had small cuts on her lips and her right eye was black and her knuckles and wrists were sore on the place where the ropes were placed. Also her clothing was very damaged. All in all she looked horrible.

Buffy just glared at Darla, since she couldn't talk with the piece of cloth in her mouth.

"Well, anyway. You won't hear it anymore, you'll see."

Buffy winced and panicked when Darla drove a sharp knife over Buffy's leg and produced a line of blood that flowed to the ground by doing so.

"Oh, don't worry. I won't kill you. I'll just ruin your beauty and when you're ugly Angel will be mine, again. Your innocent beauty will be vanished, soon." Darla grinned evilly and tears flowed down Buffy's cheeks and she winced once more, cause the salty fluid burned on the many cuts on her face.

Then Darla boxed her hard in the rips and Buffy felt several broke with a loud noise and she coughed blood. He body hurt so much that she was sure it would kill her very soon. The piece of cloth in her mouth was soon blood-soaked.

Darla only giggled madly. "Ooooh, are you hurt?" She scratched her long finger-nails along Buffy's right cheek.

Then Darla took out her deo-spray outta her bag along with a lighter and sprayed the deo into the flame which made a fountain of fire and burned the skin of Buffy's arm.

Buffy screamed, but nobody heard her, because the scream was muffled with the cloth in her mouth and she bit into it as hard as she could to push back the pain she felt.

Then suddenly Darla stopped, looked at her watch and exited the room. "Sorry, dear, but I have to see somebody."

When Darla was gone Buffy began crying.

Angel and Spike stood in front of the old Sunny Island. The building was dark and silent.

"That doesn't look like somebody's in there" Spike commented before following Angel inside.

The moment they entered the once crowdy bar the light switched on and they spotted Darla sitting on a single chair in the empty room.

"Hello honey," Darla flirted. "I see you remembered."

"WHERE IS SHE" Angel yelled panicked.

"Where is who?" She chirped, got up and walked towards the two men. "You mean that slutty little bitch? Oh, don't worry. I won't kill her, but I can tell you that she won't look that good, anymore when I'm finished with her. I'll ruin her beauty" She came to stand directly in front of him. "Then you will be mine, again. The child won't have any control over you, anymore. I promise" She said.

"Darla, are you this dump? She doesn't have any control over me. I LOVE HER!"

"That's an imagination! When she hasn't got the beauty anymore, then you'll see HER. And then you'll realise who I am and what I mean to you, again and you will love me just the way you used to." Darla whispered.

"I never loved you, Darla. I swear to you, if you did anything to my Buffy I'll kill you!" He spit.

Darla's eyes darkened and she spit at him. Then she ran out of the building followed by Angel and Spike, but they soon lost her.

"Damnit" Spike yelled.

Angel fell onto his knees into the sand and cried.

"Kate, don't you understand? Darla's killing her! You guys HAVE to do something!" Spike yelped. Angel was standing next to him with puffy eyes.

"Please, Kate you know Darla. Buffy is in serious danger. We looked up the whole building and went back to Darla's, already. They're nowhere to be found." Angel pleaded. "Kate, Darla said something about ruin her beauty', do you understand what pain Buffy must be in? THE BITCH IS TORTURING HER!" He shouted.

Willow and Dru were near tears and Tara laid an protective arm around her girlfriend while Spike tried to soothe the hysterically brunette.

The three had joined them after Angel and Spike had phoned them and explained the situation.

"OK, Angel calm down. We're sending out an searching team."

"Thanks" Angel mumbled and plopped down into one of those plastic chairs that were everywhere in the police station. They'd already spent the last thirty minutes there.

Faith came over to him and handed him a mug of coffee. Angel silently thanked her and stared off into space. Where was she?

Darla stomped into the dark room and looked very pissed. How dare he? She grabbed one of the full boxes that were standing all over this place and threw it at the whimpering woman tied to a chair.

"OK, if he want it, so shall it be!" She whispered in her ear and bent down to open the box she'd just thrown and pulled a dress out of it. "Ooooh, that's nice! Unbelievable you have such a great taste!" She said and tossed the material aside.

"So, he don't want me. Got it. But neither will you have him, I swear." Then she smiled evilly and sat down on her knees behind the tortured woman. "You'll see. I'll torture you slowly to death!" Darla breathed against the skin of her neck.

Buffy struggled panicked and tried to loosen the ropes. Tears were flowing down her bloody cheeks like waterfalls.

"Nah, we wouldn't want to make me angry, would we?" Darla fixed the ropes, again. "Sorry, dearie, but that'll be the last day you've left!" She chirped. "'cause he's too good for you!"

Buffy just couldn't believe how one can be so crazy and heartless to do something like that to another and she was sure Darla would be able to kill her. This woman was insane. That woman gave her the most painful and scariest moments of her life. She didn't want to die that way. She wanted to die grey and old and wise crowded by tons of

grandchildren. On Angel's side. ,This couldn't be it. It couldn't. Who deserved a death like that? Why did she deserve a death like that?

Darla took out her knife and pierced the burned skin of her arms, drove it slowly and hard over her skin and made Buffy scream pain filled into the cloth in her mouth and sob panicked. "I'll make you pay for taking him away from me. It's your fault. Only yours. Anyway If he don't want me, he neither will get you!"

Then she drove the knife into Buffy's arm like the flesh was made out of butter and through the cloth in her mouth could be heard the loudest scream the walls of Buffy's apartment building's basement had ever heard.

Angel was desperate. The searching team had been searching for her for almost 6 hours, now. It was 1am and although everybody had forbidden him to search for Buffy on his own, he did, anyway. But he didn't find her, just like all the other times he already tried.

That was why he went back to Buffy's home. Who knows? Maybe a miracle happened and she would be sitting with Faith on the couch and watching TV the moment he opened the door? But, of course, this wasn't gonna happen. Buffy was held by his ex-bitch and Faith was still at the police station with the others.

He wasn't even able to think about what he would do if he lost her. He NEEDED her. Buffy was like the air he needed to breath, like the blood that kept him going, like the sunshine that kept him healthy, like the water he needed to drink to not die. To not die. He would die if he lost her. Just stop living, stop breathing, going, drinking. His life would be meaningless.

What was this life for when he wasn't allowed to spend it at her side? Would he be able to stand the loneliness her absence would create? Would he stand missing her this much? Would he crave and beg to join her?

He entered her apartment building and was pushed out of his thoughts roughly when he heard a muffled scream. Her scream. She's alive was his first thought She's in pain

He ran towards the metal door of the basement and kicked and hit and pushed and pulled, but it wouldn't get open. Locked. That was when he began to gather his thoughts. Was it reality? Did he really hear her or was it an imagination his brain needed to hear?

"Buffy? BUFFY? BUFFYYYY" He began yelling and didn't seem to ever stop, again.

Darla stopped dead in her tracks and tried to get Buffy as quiet as she could, but she howled through the cloth in her mouth as loud as she could.

Now, Angel was sure she was in there. He continued to search for something to open that door. He even wasn't able to key it open, since there was a key stuck in the lock on the inside. He pulled out his cell-phone and called Kate. Once he got open that fuckin' door, someone needed to arrest the bitch!

He ran up to the second floor, cause he recalled that he once noticed one of those emergency axes hanging, there.

The moment Angel broke through the door he could clearly hear the police cars' sirens howling through the night.

But he was scared to death by the sight he found. His Buffy, bleeding everywhere, burned, tortured, black eyed, hit bloody and with a knife on her throat held by Darla.

"One step and she's dead" The crazy blonde said to Angel.

His heart broke at the sight of his love, and it wasn't her damaged body. It were her eyes. She was crying. Those eyes were wide open with and tear-filled with an expression of utter horror and hopelessness, pleading with him to do as Darla ordered.

Angel froze at his place, immediately. "Darla, please. Don't do this." Angel pleaded.

"Sod OFF" Darla shouted in reply.

"Please" He nearly sobbed.

Buffy once again loosened her ropes a bit and was relieved that Darla was occupied with holding Angel back, so she didn't noticed what Buffy was doing this time. By the time she needed to wiggle to get her hands free and Darla noticed and turned around fuming, lifting the knife over her head and was about to push it into Buffy's flesh when Angel rushed forward and pushed her away from Buffy, grabbing the knife and holding it to Darla's stomach.

"You could NEVER kill another" Darla grinned madly.

"I'm not planning to." He said the moment Kate and her guys came in and arrested Darla.

Then he rushed to Buffy who, by the time, had got off the ropes and she flew into his arms, hugging him as tight as she could and sobbed into his chest. Her tears were flowing unison with his.

He had her back.

"Darla's real name's Emma Bennett, they say she's a psychopathic killer. They're searching for her in England, since she's seventeen. She killed her ex and her best friend along with her best friends' family when said boyfriend betrayed her with said best friend. She killed them cold-blooded after torturing them for hours" Kate explained to Angel.

They were all waiting in front of Buffy's hospital room. The doctors didn't allow them to see her.

"Well, I bloody told him something along that line from the beginning on, didn't I? I always hated the bitch!" Spike huffed.

Only a moment after that the doctor came out of Buffy's hospital room and Angel rose to his feet, immediately. "How is she?"

"She's doing ok." The doctor said. "Her injuries are pretty bad, though and she needs her rest."

"Can we see her, now?" Willow asked quietly.

"Yes, but not all together. Only one person at a time" He begged Buffy's friends.

They all shared looks with each other until Faith pushed Angel towards Buffy's door. "Come on, what are you waiting for?"

Angel smiled at her weakly and entered the room.

And there she lay with her eyes closed, jammed between dozens of machines that told the doctors and nurses how his love was doing.

He walked over to her side and sat down on a chair next to the bed and took her bruised hand carefully in his own and stroked the swollen skin of the back of her hand.

"I'm sorry" He whispered near tears.

Then she opened her eyes, turned her head to smile at him, but winced instead; her lips hurt with every movement she did with them, cause of the cuts ,that were now reopened on them.

"You're awake" He smiled and brushed a golden lock out of her bruised face.

She simply nodded and closed one of her hands weakly over his.

He sighed. "Buffy, I'm so sorry. I would understand if you blamed me. It's my fault. Without me you wouldn't have met the insane bitch in the first place. I'm sorry, so, so sorry. And if you wanted to leave me, I'd understand. Buffy I love you. All I want is you to be happy and healthy. If you don't want this I'll let you go, cause I love you far too much to deny any of your wishes. I've caused you too much pain." He said sadly, quietly.

"Angel, NO. For nothing in this world I would let you go. It's NOT your fault and I NEVER, never, never blamed you for it." Buffy said. "I thought about a lot in there. Mostly about why I deserved something like that or why there couldn't just come in some guy and shoot her and when this wasn't gonna happen why there couldn't just come in some guy and shoot me, so I wouldn't have to feel this pain." She admitted quietly. "But the most painful was that your face

wouldn't have been the last I see when I died and that my last words wouldn't have been the words I love you' to your handsome face. And it freaked me. More than ever I realised how much I love you, how much I need you. You're my everything. I would die for you. I couldn't stand loosing you when I just got out of this. I NEED YOU! Angel, I won't let you go and don't want to hear you apologises, cause I know they're gonna be heartbreakin' sweet and noble. As long as you want , I'll be at your side. Your arms are the ones I wanna die in." She smiled up at him. "When I'm far far older, of course"

Angel's eyes were tear-filled and he clung to her hand and got down on one knee. "Will you marry me?" He pulled out a small black velvet box and revealed a silver ring with a big diamond in it that was in the form of a heart.

"YES" She yelled without hesitant and kissed him, before wincing again. He looked down at her confused and she pointed at her lips. "They burn" She said while hugging him a close as she could. It was like she wanted to melt them into one person.

"I wanted to ask you that day at lunch. I had planned everything and you didn't show up." He whispered into her ear, hiding his face in her hair. "God, I would have killed myself if I lost you." She only hugged him tighter.

"Then we would have been a bit like Romeo & Juliet, don't ya think?" She whispered back.

"No," He breathed into her hair. "We're far better then them. We're Buffy & Angel!"

The End