Disclaimer: "If only, if only," the fan-writer sighed, "All Buffy-verse characters weren't Joss' pride. If they weren't Mutant Enemies', I wouldn't be lonely, cause they could be mine… if only, if only…" ( dang, the song ain't mine either… tis Sachar's )

A/N: Pretend you're watching Season 2, you're on the edge of the seat after just watching 'Surprise,' and now you read this. Mainly, it's my version of what happens right after Angel loses his soul. Written as a gift for encircleme as part of the Btvs Santa.

Chill night air encompassed the air surrounding his fallen body, but his mind didn't recognize the cold. It did smell the warm, red blood pumping away in the nameless woman who had foolishly lingered alone in a dark alley in the middle of the night in the town of Sunnydale.

"Man, do you need help?" he heard her call out. Fool, calling to a complete stranger. Had she learned nothing living in this town? A maniacal grin spread across his hidden face as his mind delved into the endless possibilities this unsuspecting warm body provided.

"Do you want me to call 911?" the wonderfully stupid woman came closer. He continued to crouch on the ground as if in pain until the moment she was so close, she would have no chance at escaping.

"Are you okay?" she continued to try and get a response from him. When she knelt down to try and look at his face, she saw his wide grin for only a second before he swiftly straightened, crushed her body close to his, and sank his elongated fangs into her throat. Long draws of her blood, of human blood, of innocent blood, filled his body with a feeling of completion that hadn't been fulfilled in decades. Greedily drained her entirely, he carelessly let the body drop to the ground with a thud as a satisfied sigh escaped his crimson-coated mouth.

"Never better," he belatedly replied to her questions. With a gentle stretch of his neck and back, he smirked as his mind drifted to the no-longer-innocent girl lying on his bed inside. She thought yesterday was surprising? Nothing would shock her like today would… he vowed to make sure of that.

Slipping a small façade over his face along with his human guise, Angelus wanted to smirk as his eyes fell upon the small, young girl sleeping so soundly in the night. But Angel wouldn't have done that. Angel the softie would smile softly and wonder why such as evil creature as himself was blessed with this. So that's what Angelus did.

Nobody ever said Angelus pretend to be good. An excellent actor when the time called for it, he could deceive the best of them, which is exactly what he planned to do.

Gently sliding under the covers, he softly wrapped his arms around Buffy's waist, pleased when she snuggled against him and sighed contently.

"Angel?" she whispered, eyes still closed.

Using a soothing tone as Angel, his souled counter-part, would have, he mumbled into her hair reassuring, false words. "I'm here. I'm still here."

Her sleepy smile grew and she tangled her arms around his body as if trying to physically force him to stay. "I love you," she murmured as she fell back asleep. "Don't leave me," she pleaded, her insecurities getting the best of her semi-conscious mind.

Simply smiling his soft 'Angel' smile in response, Angelus let himself drift off asleep, sweet dreams of hurting this girl like he had hurt no other swirling through his devilish mind.

Oh, he wouldn't leave her.

And it would torture her.

When Buffy woke up the next morning, all thoughts of the Judge and Spike and Drusilla causing all sorts of mayhem and chaos were thousands of miles away as the aroma of cheese and eggs drifted across her face from the small kitchen area of Angel's apartment.

Finding Angel's semi-damp shirt from last night discarded on the floor, she slid from the covers and into the cool fabric, buttoning the middle few shut, before walking out of the bedroom. Her smile grew as her eyes drank in the sight of the love of her life fixing her breakfast. There was a tray on the counter, holding a small plastic plate holding a delicious smelling omelet, a plastic bowl of cut pineapple, another plastic bowl of a white sort of creamy dip, and a small vase with a single white rose resting inside. Angel had his back turned to her, the sounds of liquid pouring into a glass revealing his actions.

Her bare feet barely made a noisy as she stepped into the room, but vampire hearing easily picked up the sound. He glanced behind him, a smile gracing his features, before adding a cup of orange juice to the tray as he walked towards her.

"Hey," he greeted softly, arms opening to encompass her in his embrace.

"Is this for me?" Buffy asked, eyes wondering from the prepared food to the eyes of her lover.

He responded with a quick, chaste kiss on her lips before twirling them around, arms capturing her waist as he guided her to the counter.

"Yeah, but you were suppose to be asleep, stay in bed," Angel whispered in her ear. For a fleeting second, she thought that she had heard anger in his tone, but then she twisted her head and saw his soft smile and dismissed it for early morning stupidity.

"When did you get all this stuff?" she asked. Buffy knew that as a vampire, Angel only kept pig's blood around his apartment, and certainly not the items necessary to create such a human breakfast.

His arms left her waist as he moved to put the almost full carton of orange juice into the fridge and Buffy saw that there were only the remains of a few human items left inside.

"Went to the store early this morning, before the sun rose. You were sleeping. I wanted to surprise you." Angel explained.

"Well, consider me thoroughly surprised," Buffy answered with a smile as she sat down at the stool. She looked for a fork and didn't see one, until Angel pulled a plastic one out of nowhere and slid it across the countertop.

"All plastic, eh?" she grinned as Angel sat down beside her.

He shrugged. "I don't need anything but a glass."

"Don't you ever eat normal food? Just for the taste?" Buffy inquired. She noted that he didn't flinch when she was 'normal' as he usually did. She also noticed that he seemed much more confident than she had come to accept him to be around her. She liked it.

He scrunched up his nose in disgust as he glanced at the rather drool-worthy looking and smelling food before quickly covering his response and shrugging again. "Nah."

"Anyways," he continued, stretching his hand out and picking up a piece of pineapple. He dipped it in the creamy white dip, gathering a generous amount on the yellow fruit before bringing it to her lips. "This is about you."

Buffy's eyes shined as she opened her mouth. She shyly glanced down at the floor as he plopped the fruit inside and it fell victim to her teeth. The juice of the pineapple mixing with the sweet, sugary dip danced with her taste buds in her mouth. She saw Angel's eyes drift from her own to her lips. It surprised her how much his gaze reminded her of Xander lusting after a chocolate-lathered donut. With returning to her eyes, Angel leaned down and kissed her hard on the mouth, tongue pressing forward to join the sweet pineapple juice and sugary nameless dip that still coated her tongue. Shock washed over her from his forwardness, but she found she could back away and break the aggressive kiss - his hand was in the way, pushing her head closer and closer to his own, forcing their lips harder and harder together. Shaking her head from side to side in an attempt to still fight off the kiss, she found Angel unwilling to give in to her wish to break off. So she gave in a kissed him back.

As soon as she did so she felt a new surge of satisfaction and aggression flow from his body as he pressed even harsher, tongue delving into her mouth in an effort to erase the knowledge of any taste but that of his mouth. She knew that she shouldn't fight back, she couldn't win if she tried.

When the pressure on the back of her head loosened and his hand fell to the hair covering her neck, twisting the strands as his tongue retreated and his lips left hers completely after briefly dropping a gentle kiss to the mouth he had just ravished.

"What's the matter?" he whispered huskily in her ear, demon reveling in the fear that simply reeked from her body.

"N-nothing," she replied, breathless, not wanting to tell him the truth, that he had scared her. She knew how withdrawn he got whenever she mentioned his condition. "I, uh," she searched for an excuse she could feed him. "I have morning breath."

"And I know I have blood breath," he responded, kissing down the side of her face.

The way he so casually dismissed the fact of his being a vampire and how that made him different shook Buffy to the core.

"I, uh, I have school," Buffy protested, suddenly wishing she was far away from the vampire she had been extremely close to last night. She tried to push him away, but her half-hearted attempt did nothing against his vampire strength.

"Hey, hey," he soothed gently, grasping her shoulders in her hands and pulling her towards him so he could look at her eyes. She wouldn't meet his gaze. "What's wrong, lover?" he asked softly.

She stiffened at the word. He never called her anything but Buffy. And why did he say it with such a sardonic tone?

She pulled away, desperate to get to school and away from him for a while so she could think. What had happened to him? Swiftly moving to the bedroom, she quickly searched the room for her clothes, blinking back tears that threatened to spill over. This wasn't her boyfriend. Did guys always do this, change how they acted around you after you slept with them? Or was it just a morning thing?

Suddenly she felt his presence behind her, and when she twirled around, he caught her arms mid-spin. She gasped lightly.

"What is it, baby?" he questioned, soft eyes gazing at her lovingly. Except it wasn't. Something was different about his eyes.

"I, uh, um," she found she no longer held the ability to form a coherent thought. As she tried to look everywhere but him, she saw the concerned frown on his face twist chaotically as it threatened to burst into a wide, sardonic grin. She cocked her head to the side, curious at her boyfriend's actions.

"Angel?" she questioned, eyebrows furrowing and eyes narrowing in concern.

"Yeah, lover?" he replied, before the demon burst out with laughter at the look on her face. He released her arms and turned his face towards the ceiling as a deep, mocking laughter filled the air. Buffy simply sank to the bed, still donned in only his button-up shirt, staring at him in confusion, worry and hurt flashing contradictorily together from her eyes. She bit on her lower lip, waiting for him to say something, anything.

When the laughter stopped, the grin was still pasted on his face. His eyes were darker than she had ever seen them, but they were dancing with amusement of the most sinful kind. The sight scared her even more.

"Ya know," he started. His voice seemed different, harsher yet careless. Just like his laughter that still echoed in her mind. "That's the thing about that word. Lover."

Buffy frowned; she still didn't understand what was going on.

"Well, with people like you," he continued, pointed looking at her as he sat down on the bed next to her. She could help but shiver as the instinct to move over washed through her, but remained still, wanting to know what was bothering the man she knew she loved. "I mean, sure ya love me. I mean," his voice transformed, it was gentler, his eyes softer, touch smooth and caring as his hands covered hers where they lay by her side. "You do love me, right?"

She swallowed. Despite any weird occurrences, that she knew. "Of course, Angel, you know that. You know I love you," her response seemed almost like a plea in his ears, and he loved it.

Then he was back, the thing that seemed to take over Angel's body as he acted this way with her. "Yeah, that's the thing," he continued in his loud, uncaring voice, hands gripping her wrists almost painfully. "You can love someone, but that sure doesn't make you a lover, never mind a good lover."

"Angel, do you mean," Buffy looked crest-fallen. She looked into her lap. "Was it me?" she whispered, "Was I bad?"

She was crushed when he casually thought about it for a moment. She bit down on her lip, eyes filling with hurt and clouding over with soon-to-be tears.

"Well, I wouldn't say bad necessarily. I mean, c'mon, you're a Slayer," he leered at her, "Sure doesn't take away from the bedroom experience. Though, I did have quite the bar for you to meet." He gave her a small, almost sympathetic-seeming frown. "What with me spending decades with a vampire who was paid to do that kind of thing? Oh, and, lemme tell ya, nothing adds to experience like a lil bit of insanity. And then you add in both of them at the same time? Yeah, you really had no chance, did ya?"

He smiled cruelly down at her, tears started to slip down her face as she sat stone-still on the bed, listening to the words that dragged her down to hell without being able to fight against them. Without the strength to fight against them. Without the will.

"Angel…" she murmured, wishing with all her heart that she would wake up, that he would stop telling her these things that smashed her heart into pieces over and over again.

His hands left hers to move to her thigh, fingers gently swirling, twisting, spinning, drawing patterns in her flesh that moved higher and higher up as he leaned closer and closer.

"But we could always give you a second chance to prove yourself…" he whispered into her ear.

Tears ran freely down her cheeks as she helplessly stared into space. She did nothing to stop him as he lowered her broken body down to the bed.

"Why?" she sobbed softly, needing to know the answer.

"Why?" he looked down at her incredulously. "Why what?"

"Why are you hurting me Angel?" she cried, her voice barely audible. "I love you."

A sardonic grin once again covered his face as he said, "Exactly."

"I thought, I thought you loved me too," she murmured.

"Surprise," he whispered, before ending all conversation with another bruising kiss in which he was the master and she simply a submissive, whimpering servant with tears streaking across her face as she wished for the nightmare to be over.