Title: Hooker2 the chrysalis

Title: Hooker2 the chrysalis

Author: the mean kitten

Disclaimer: we own nothing, it's all Joss Whedon, UPN and mutant enemy; we just give the fans a dose of fan-fiction.

Summary: second part of Hooker, do not read this if you haven't read hooker. I'll not spoil the story with a summary you must read it at your own risk.

Rate: M (Do I write anything else?)

Things to know: It's lighter and happier than Hooker, but it's not a fluffy romance. It deals with adult issues and will have some dark situations. It's not a linear story line, we'll jump back and forward until they meet again, ops that's a spoiler!

Also, I played a little game with the headers; it's called: guess the song, at the end of the story there's a list of the songs used, but if you think yourself knowledgeable in music try to guess them!

Pairings: Buffy and Angel, of course! Doyle/Cordelia, etc…

Notes: this is part one of three parts…

zzz

The Chrysalis

(Hooker 2)

What is a chrysalis? According to science, it's a stage, a preparation for a new state of being, the transformation that a mere insect undergoes before he can become a beautiful butterfly…

You'll wonder what we mean by this seemingly lame title, change; we mean a complete and radical transformation. At the beginning of our story (Hooker part 1) we met with larvae, the foundation of true butterflies, during the sequel we'll discover their true feelings, their dreams and nightmares, some surprises await at the next corner, some unexpected returns, and some heartfelt goodbyes … do not fret over nothing my friends, for no road can be worse than what has already been stumbled upon, or better that what is yet to be discovered…

'The constant beeping on the machine doesn't stop, though it's not reassuring in any way, there's no actual breathing happening, she's in the respirator; her heart stops every once in a while, she endured so much that she's not sure she wants to live anymore. There's a battle raging inside, the pain against the love, what will win?'

zzz

"Sometimes I cannot take this place.
Sometimes it's my life I can't taste.
Sometimes I cannot feel my face.
You'll never see me fall from grace…


How many times have I felt diseased?

You want to see the light
Nothing in my life is free..."

zzz

May 15th, 2008

The battle within…

Love will win; it's not just an axiom, it's true in its purest form.

Buffy was still unconscious, doctors dared not wake her just so she could feel unbearable amounts of pain; she was slowly healing … or slowly dying, they couldn't make up their minds about it.

So Quentin Travers decided he couldn't bear the idea of unplugging Buffy alone. He called Buffy's roommate and best friend, Willow Rosenberg to assist him in the makings of such a decision.

"I trust you understand why we had to stage Buffy's dead?" Quentin asked, pondering the body language of Willow Rosenberg and his own, they were not amiable in any way, Willow had problems with him, she still thought—probably always will—that he had sent Buffy to her dead when he allowed her to go undercover for all the wrong reasons.

"I don't understand anything about this case, Travers. But I'll agree that she was a good agent, and she gave her life in service of the force." Willow mentioned, meaning: 'she gave her life in service of your personal agenda.' At the same time, she was shifting nervously on the heels of her shoes, because Buffy laid behind the white door in front of her, an almost dead Buffy at that, but at least Willow would get to see her friend alive one last time. "Let's just get inside; I need to see her before I can decide anything."

When she opened the door, Willow was assaulted by the constant humming of several machines, Buffy was surrounded by them. She laid motionless, pale, covered in gauzes, inside that huge bed. Willow was hardly able to recognize her best friend.

"She's stable right now, we repaired the internal damage, but she's still critical." The surgeon on call mentioned, behind him came in a team a doctors; they had been trying to keep Buffy alive for weeks. "And there's the issue of her pregnancy; we think she'll heal better… without the baby." The surgeon mentioned carefully, he knew it was a delicate situation.

"You want me to kill Buffy's baby?" Willow shouted to both Quentin and the doctors in charge, outraged with the idea. "Can you assure me that she'll live if we do that?"

"We can't, but she could get better if we do. I want to save Buffy as much as you do, but you must know—" Quentin couldn't finish his ideas, Willow jumped in hollering.

"What I must know is that you didn't approve of how Buffy handled her undercover operation, she gave it all for you, and now you want me to consent to murder, because you don't approve of her marriage with Angelus O'Quinn!" Willow was aware of everything that had happened on the operation. Buffy had sent her security footage, files, letters, even emails where she corroborated the story. "If she hadn't gone so far; you wouldn't be chief of FBI west coast operations right now!" Willow was the only person Buffy would trust with her life.

Quentin didn't reply; he couldn't, there was nothing he could say that would appease Willow.

"There's only one person who could authorize this, and you know it's not me." Willow continued in a more subdued tone of voice, almost whispering, so Buffy wouldn't be upset by her screaming, Willow was staring at Buffy, she was laying there so weak. "Does Angelus O'Quinn know about the baby?"

"We can't even tell him that she's alive, much less that she's pregnant. He's hanging on such a thin thread as it is. He knows about her vendetta, about her undercover operation and still, he's willing to cooperate with us, because he thinks it's what she wanted. He thinks of it as her last wish." Quentin explained.

"And if Angelus somehow finds out that his pregnant wife is not dead and that you asked me to make her abort just to ease your conscience… he'll never cooperate with you again. You have some mighty balls. You have to tell—" Willow stopped when she listened to the strange sounds coming from the respirator. "What's that sound?"

"It seems she's starting to breath on her own." One of the nurses said, the machine was plugged to a computer, and then to a main station that reported the state of critical patients to the nurses. They came rushing when they saw the light beeping.

"What! You told me she was brain-dead." Willow grabbed Buffy's hand and leaned to whisper in her ears. "Buffy, please come back. You must live, for Angel and for your baby. They need you. You are my best friend; I need you here with me. Don't go towards the light, stay here."

Buffy started fluttering her eyelids, she could hear distant voices; she could feel something choking her, machines beeping and lights that blinded her.

"Oh my God! She's coming out of the coma! Get me more nurses, I need to remove her from the respirator." The doctor said, rushing to check Buffy's vitals. "Pupils are responding to light. Can you hear me? Blink twice if you can hear me."

Buffy thought about it, she was feeling pains that gripped her abdomen, like a thousand needles piercing everywhere. But she heard him and she understood him, so she blinked twice.

"Jesus Christ! She's alive!" Quentin shouted as he hovered above the doctors, rushing to get to her.

Buffy closed her eyes again and the past came back to life. She felt the burning sensation of been shot, then the slow drowning in her own blood, the gasping for air, the acrid smell of blood, people trying to save her, Angel screaming, more gunshots and then nothing, like peace, like the absence of everything.

The doctor removed the tube carefully. "You'll feel a gagging sensation, be calm, it will go away, cough; it will help you clear the airway." The doctor mentioned as he sat Buffy up to help her breathe.

She took a deep breath of air and gasped, feeling the tightness of her lungs, air was scarce, and her breathing was laboring. "Get me pure oxygen." The doctor ordered.

A few minutes later, Buffy was breathing easier, everybody was staring at her. "A—Angel?" She talked with a deep raspy voice, managing to say just one word, but it spoke volumes to Quentin and Willow.

"He's in jail." Quentin was quick to answer, but Buffy turned to Willow for reassurance.

"It's true, Buffy. He's in jail. But he thinks you are dead, everyone out there thinks that you died that night." Willow mentioned in earnest; she knew that lying was wrong but telling the truth was worse, she didn't have the heart to tell Buffy that Angel had become a zombie.

"How long," Buffy asked, meaning how long had it been since the accident.

"It's been 72 days." The doctor answered; Buffy actually gasped, that was almost three months in a coma. "Do you know who you are?"

"Summers," Buffy answered with pain, she wished she had forgotten who she was, everything she had been through in those near two years she had been undercover… but she hadn't.

"Miss Buffy, did you know that you are pregnant?" The doctor asked, Buffy drank some water and cleared her throat before she spoke again.

"I wasn't sure." Buffy clarified as she remembered the last days that she had been with Angel; they were trying to have a baby, but it hadn't happened yet when they saw each other for the last time.

"Well, you are. You have about 16 to 18 weeks, by our calculations you got pregnant around February; we are not sure, you'd have to tell us when was the last time that you ovulated."

"That means that I'll be due in November." Buffy mentioned softly. She knew, at least she knew she was late in march, when she last saw Angel she was about a week late, so she hadn't been sure of anything, now it was just plain obvious. "Does Angel know? Did you tell him?"

"No, we didn't have the heart to stage your dead and tell him that you were pregnant too." Quentin answered, wondering if he had made a mistake. "Did Angelus know already?"

"We were only suspecting; we hadn't taken a test or anything like that." Buffy placed her trembling hands above her belly, it felt taught, just a little raised, a bump as people called it. "That's why he sent me away three days earlier, he didn't want me—I mean us—in any danger. He knew his life was in danger and so was mine. Where is Riley?"

"He's dead; he and Lindsay McDonald were killed that night, a bomb placed on their ride back to the headquarters." Willow answered promptly; she didn't think that Buffy ought to be bothered with the details of everything that had been said and done that night just yet, so she avoided it.

"What happened after I was shot?" Buffy asked with concern written all over her eyes.

"Crossfire, a bomb and a whole lot of arrests; that's all you should know. Right now," Quentin asked point blank; he didn't want to dwell on the details either. "But I need to know how much do you remember?"

"About the operation?" Buffy asked and Quentin nodded. "I remember everything; I don't have amnesia if that's what you are asking."

"It would be in your best interest if you were to develop a sudden case of memory loss. I don't intend to reestablish you to your status as special agent … ever again." Quentin stopped, realizing that both Buffy and Willow were staring at him with dagger eyes. "You are dead to the world and you should remain that way… for your own safety, how does witness protection program sound to you?"

"I can't believe you!" Buffy couldn't believe her own ears. After everything she had done they were letting her go without even saying thank you. "I expected a lot more from you; I guess I should've lowered my expectations a long time ago."

"What did you expect exactly?"

"Oh, I don't know; I expected a raise, a lovely desk, fame, public recognition for dismantling the O'Quinn Cartel, I don't know. What would you expect? Let me guess, you got everything that you ever wanted, and then you gave Willow a purple heart and lots of shiny medals on my behalf!" Buffy stopped to cough, her throat hurt with the effort of raising her voice to fully express her anger. "You know where you can put those medals... I want money, a big fat check with all the money I fucking earned working my ass off… literally working my ass off for you."

"Buffy, I don't think I can…" Quentin began but Buffy didn't let him finish.

"I gave my life for that operation; I sacrificed everything, my body, my soul and my dignity. So don't you dare tell me that you can't pay me what I earned! You know what? Why don't we talk about your involvement with section 52 on national television? I'm sure Daniel Holtz would love that full disclosure. Why don't I call CIA and report your shady business on my expense. You need me to keep my mouth shut, and you know the price of that."

"I'll see what I can do." Quentin answered meekly, realizing that Buffy knew too much and wishing that she had actually lost her memory. She was right; he owned her his new position. But that revealed a new risk for Buffy; she had to go on WPP ASAP or Quentin himself would get her killed.

"That's a lot better." Buffy sighed; her mind was in deep turmoil, a thousand thoughts overlapping each other. And they all came down to one thing… Angel. He thought she was dead, that was almost merciful, out of sight out of mind; if only Buffy could do that herself.

"How soon can you get me out of this place?" Buffy whispered to Willow as she started considering how to disappear from the face of the earth.

"Today… I'll see what I can do. You just stay awake. I see a bull's eye over your head." Willow answered as she thought about the safest route to Witness Protection Program.

zzz

"Feeling I've been lost for years,
You can never understand me,
Unless you've seen those tears,
But you never get to sleep when I'm away,
I don't mind the deeper that you lay,
Out of time,
Pain,
I can't sleep…"

zzz

June 12th 2008

10:15 pm

Tabula Rasa…

The bus stopped and Buffy felt like she was inside a remake of psychosis, or some cheap horror movie, it was late at night, only the bus stop seemed to be working, fur balls traveled with the wind across the dusty road.

The sign above her head said: "Welcome to Old Tulsa, Ohio. Population: 300 founded in 1954 by the Reverend Robert Sean Euclid, United Methodist church." So only by that sign Buffy knew that they would be prissy and her been a single mom would be looked upon as if she was wearing the scarlet letter.

She started walking, rolling her suit case behind her; at least it wasn't cold or raining. And she wasn't hungry or tired, she had slept all the way from California, a long trip by any means, a flight from Los Angeles to Cleveland that took 9 hours and then 4 hours on a bus, it had been a long journey indeed.

Buffy passed by several stores, a gas station, a garage, a mini market, even what looked like a hair salon, it might be small, but then Old Tulsa seemed to have everything needed.

A few more streets down the road, she passed by the church, the school, the police department and finally and Inn, the Independence Inn, it looked fairly nice, very country. A small, elderly lady welcomed Buffy from the counter.

"Good evening, Miss. My name is Emily Morton, I run the Independence Inn. How may I help you?" Emily said briskly. How could this chirpy old lady help Buffy? That was a big philosophical question, too big to answer so late at night.

"I need a room for a couple of days." Buffy answered tiredly. She didn't want to engage conversation until she had learned her new identity well.

"Do you have company?" Emily enquired as if she was expecting a tall, handsome man to come behind Buffy any time.

"Nope, it's just me." Buffy answered honestly.

"Oh, well in that case, what is your name, dear?" Buffy thought twice of her answer. She dropped her luggage and opened her wallet, her new identity laid in front of her.

"My name is Sarah Miles, here's my ID, I'm here on business, I bought Mrs. Terrence house, and I'm going to turn it into a bookstore slash coffee shop." Buffy mentioned without giving too many details. She had to say something to the old lady; maybe she would help her getting settled later.

"Oh, you bought dear Esther's house! She was a very close friend of mine, I'm sad to see her departure from us so young." Emily said as she stepped out of the counter and walked towards Buffy. She had been a very close friend of Esther's. Buffy had bough the house from a grandson, since 'dear' Esther Terrence had died at the tender age of 85, a stroke. It seems that everybody knew each other in Old Tulsa.

"I'm sorry that she passed away too, I was told she had some sort of establishment at the base level?" And it would also seem that everybody was old, like the town's name.

"Yes, she did. A music school, it stopped working years ago, so we held our reunion of DAR—Daughters of the American Revolution—there every now and then; and the usual tea party. I'm sure you'll find the decorations quite charming."

"I'm sure I will." Buffy mentioned softly, she had no idea of what she would find, maybe a house full of dead cats, and a huge pottery collection.

"You've never seen the house? First thing tomorrow, I'll get you a tour." Emily mentioned as she padded Buffy in the back.

"I saw it online, I was looking for a small property built like a store and a home above it; and my real state broker suggested Mrs. Terrence home, I felt quite in love with it from pictures and videos. So here I am, now I must take a closer look at my investment."

"And you plan to open this store… all by yourself?" Emily asked; only by that question Buffy could see she was the town's gossip girl.

"Yes, I am a very independent woman; I used to write articles for a magazine in Los Angeles, I quitted and now I plan on opening a bookstore, and maybe write a few books in this lovely town too. I basically came looking for inspiration."

"Very well, Miss Sarah Miles; feel welcome to Old Tulsa. I'm sure you'll find life here is nothing like Los Angeles."

"This is exactly what I wanted. Thank you, now I need to have some rest, I can hardly keep my eyes open." Buffy lied, but she couldn't bear the third degree any more.

"Of course! Pardon my rudeness, let me show you to you room. We'll talk some more later." Emily said, promising a full third degree, some meddling and maybe even some match-making in the future.

zzz

"How the hell did we wind up like this,
Why weren't we able,
To see the signs that we missed,
And try to turn the tables…. "
zzz

March 7th 2008

"So, do you think he's ready, doc?" asked the FBI officer to the psychiatrists in charge of Angel's case.

"He's still mourning, but he's as ready as he'll ever be; besides I'm told that he has been quite cooperative with you lately." The psychiatrist answered in cynical tone of voice; she thought that Angel shouldn't be medicated so heavily, but he wasn't the first criminal to be treated like that.

"He's been like that thanks to the lovely cocktail that you suggested me to put him on." The FBI officer answered, retaliating that he was only doing what she told him to do.

"It was an emergency measure because he tried to kill himself, and then if I remember correctly he tried to kill you too. He'll have to get gradually off them, it isn't exactly healthy to overdose people with haloperidol and Lorazepam, and he's been like a zombie because of that, I hardly think he's…" The doctor began but the Office halted her speech rudely.

"Spare me your attempts of a conscience, Doctor Stevens; he was useful and cooperative, that's all that matters, now he's going away, so you better give him lots of happy pills so he can stay in that dream land he's been in for the last few days."

"You have an amazing capacity to avoid ethic issues, don't you?" Doctor Stevens mentioned very angry; she couldn't condone the idea of treating a human being like an animal. "Very well, keep him sedated, but remember that under all those drugs there's a human being suffering and when he does wake up, he might be completely lost. And by lost I mean completely cuckoo."

zzz

"Come, as you are.

As you were.
As I want you to be.

As a friend.

As an old enemy… "

zzz

April 17th 2008

A question of Faith…

Despite the doctors recommendations to lower the doze slowly and monitor him; they sent Angel away, into Witness protection Program, in a very ironic way, they were honoring the deal that they had previously made, except that now, he would never be able to find Faith, Buffy was dead, and he had no money… oh and let's not forget the fact that he was thoroughly stoned around the clock.

When Angel saw the day of light again he actually trembled, no longer hospitals beds and nurses, but actual people, streets, cars, the world again. He gazed down at the flight ticket, he was been sent to Cleveland, where he was supposed to meet with someone who would give him all the details of his new identity.

Everything seemed to be moving very fast, the lights were blinding him, he knew he was constantly drugged, he had been in that state of abandonment before, and it gave him no pleasure, he couldn't think straight, his mind kept telling him that something was wrong, something he ought to remember but it skipped him every time he was about to get it right.

Then a flight attendance came and ushered him to his seat, first class, at least they weren't submitting him to the horrors of a ten hour flight in couch.

"Can—can you get me some water?" His mouth was dry; his heart seemed too loud for his ears. "And something to eat would be great too… please."

"Of course; we have chicken breast, salmon and tenderloin, boiled vegetables and white rice. What would you like?"

"The salmon with vegetables… my wife…" There it was, that elusive thought, he turned to the empty seat beside him, and some images started coming, blood, dead, pain, Buffy. "My wife hated rice; I'll just have the vegetables." He gazed down at his left hand, no ring, they had taken it, and also he had never been given Buffy's last possessions, hell; he had never even seen her grave to begin with.

"Sure thing." The flight attendance said, touching Angel's shoulder with compassion, she knew he was some sort of a lost man, he looked so forlorn, like he wasn't really there.

"That's some heavy shit." Angel said out loud to nobody in particular after the stewardess left, he meant to say that the drugs he was under were too much; they had made him forget about Buffy.

He opened the handbag he had been carrying for hours and found the drugs, Haldol, Ativan, Valium and Ketamine. He had a mind to sell those drugs, junkies would pay top cash for that kind of abandoned state of bliss, he on the other hand, wanted nothing more than to wake up, to feel things, to remember things… he needed to grieve.

He knew what he was facing, he had gone through withdraw once before, he knew what to expect, and he wasn't that wasted this time. He wondered how long had it actually been?

"Excuse me, I'm fixing my agenda, today is the 17th right?"

"It's April 17th 2008," the woman extended her hand rather openly, she was pretty, brunette, about 30 years old. "Hi! My name is Amber, what's yours?" And she thought Angel was coming-on to her when he asked her the date.

"Thank you, my name is … Earl." Angel thought about saying his real name or making it up, and decided never to say his real name, or his nickname ever again, and he had not disclosed his new identity yet, so for the now he would be just plain Earl.

"Like the TV show! That's so funny, nice to meet you, Earl. Are you going to New York or the Cleveland?" She was quite forward, or sociable considering how single women could be on first class.

"I'm going to New York." He lied, he would never say his real anything to a stranger … she could be an FBI agent undercover.

"Business or pleasure?" She continued as if she didn't noticed the cold, unwavering eyes he was giving her, almost scanning her to see if she was about to kill him, seduce him or both.

"A little bit of both." And the real answer would be neither, it wasn't a business, it wasn't pleasant, it was just a trip. "If you excuse me, I need to use the restroom; it was nice meeting you, Amber."

He felt her eyes behind him, she was thinking about seducing him; he could tell.

Angel wondered what she would see in him, he was a cloth hanger, almost 20 pounds lighter, with beard that sprouted with no direction at all, deep red-shot eyes and a face like a serial killer.

He looked at himself in the mirror and shuddered to think he would ever looked like that, he seemed like he was a survivor, like Tom Hanks in Cast Away… after the years of abandonment in the island of course.

God if Buffy could see him, she would burst in tears, he was a mess. If only he could see Buffy again… He couldn't even visit her grave, it was forbidden, people could be expecting him to do just that, to get him with his guard down and kill him.

zzz

"Everything's so blurry
and everyone's so fake
and everybody's empty
and everything is so messed up…

I wonder what you're doing
imagine where you are
there's oceans in between us
but that's not very far…"

zzz

April 18th, 2008

Cleveland, Ohio

Angel walked into the first church he could find and sat at the last bench, he was all alone in there; it was all so quiet that he could hear his own heart beating, and his breath hissing with each painful mouthful of air; he had already started to go through withdrawal.

"I know I'm not the most religious person in the world, but I need to have a word with you… Mr. God." He began out loud and then he stopped, how could someone talk directly to God? Well he could, anyone could, it was called "praying" but Angelus O'Quinn couldn't remember ever doing that.

"This may make no sense to you, but… I have to ask." Angel pulled a picture from his pocket, it was a Polaroid from the day after Buffy and he got married, the only thing of her he had been able to keep, he had hid it on his clothes after the breakdown. "You might have this woman up there with you, she's quite pretty, beautiful actually… she's my wife, and I kind of need to talk to her. Could you send her to spook me or something like that?"

Angel felt a strong current of wind enter the church and turned around to the main door, it was starting to drizzle, he almost hoped to find a ghost, but there was nothing there, nothing but wind.

"I suppose that she doesn't want to talk to me. I understand; we ended on bad terms; I sort of… let her die. Maybe she's not with you, maybe she's wondering around lost." Angel turned around and gazed at the images of Jesus and The Virgin Mary. "I've heard that people who died in horrible circumstances don't go to heaven; that they stay and haunt… could you send her to haunt me perhaps?"

"How long has she been dead?" The priest asked, surprising Angel.

"It's been 44 days without her," Angel double checked inside his head the numbers, it had only been a month and a half and yet he felt like he had been in a coma for years on end. "She was killed in a raid; she took bullets meant for me, she is—was—a cop."

"In that case, I'm sure that she's in heaven." The priest said, placing his hand on top of Angel's shoulder, squeezing him to show him his presence and support. "Did she know that she would die in that moment? Do you think she had time to understand and measure the weigh of her sins?"

"I don't think she could; it was all too quick for thinking… but she had free will, she was there to save me, of that I am sure. Do you think she's in heaven?"

"I'm sure she is. You on the other hand, sound and look as if you are in purgatory." The priest began and then he sat next to Angel. "That means that you are carrying the guilt of her dead on your shoulders."

"I am! I carry a very heavy load about this… sometimes I even wonder if I deserved to be saved, maybe I should just kill myself and be done with this pain."

"And you'll destroy the sacrifice she made for you? It cost her soul; it's not easy to be the dying heroine, to step in front of a bullet and spare you the pain. So you are suffering… imagine her pain to know that she died for nothing, and consider that if you do commit suicide; you'll never go to heaven, so you'll never meet her again. Are you sure you want that?"

"No, I don't… I just want to know that she's ok… that she loved me."

"She died for you! How much more love do you want? Sometimes I just feel so sad for our lord Jesus, it's people like you that make it so hard for him. You don't have any faith do you? You know what, why don't you come to our support group this weekend? You are not the only widower in the world."

"Maybe I will; you are right, I'm all out of faith these days… she had to love me; she sacrificed a lot to be there… I should just be thankful that she saved me in the first place, she didn't have to, she should've just ducked and save herself… but she didn't." Angel felt the weight of his own words; he measured them and let them penetrate his mind, she could have just saved herself but she didn't.

Angel felt like there was nothing else to say, so he left the church with a sense of having discovered something great, but he wasn't a man to let of things go that easily, so he went around all night looking for a medium so he could contact Buffy and see with his own eyes that she was in heaven.

Had he perhaps seen "Ghost" one too many times or was he just hanging onto the tiniest hope of seeing Buffy again?

zzz

April 19th, 2008

Cleveland, Ohio

"Welcome to sister Tanisha, how may I help you?" The medium said, offering Angel a warm hug.

"Are you a real psychic?" Angel asked, noticing that she looked rather normal, she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and her office, was just that, a regular office, she didn't have a crystal ball or a turban, or funny wallpapers.

"Well, I've been doing this thing since I was seven, but 'real' is something relative. What do you want?" Tanisha said, as she studied Angel as well; he looked lost, like he was a homeless person.

Angel leaned-in before he spoke again and whispered. "Can you see ghosts?" He couldn't believe he had gone that far, but he needed to know, he just needed to be sure that Buffy wasn't wondering around.

"On occasions, it depends… who died?"

"My wife, about two months ago… can you see her? Is she haunting me?" Angel asked, turning around to make sure that she got a good luck around him, just in case that Buffy was hiding behind him.

"Sweetie, there's nobody following you. And I see no trail of a lost spirits around you… although your aura is very murky; whatever you've been using is slowly killing you from the inside."

"Oh, well I'm fucking depressed, aren't I?" Angel said cynically; he was slowly becoming desperate, every day that went by without medication, he became a little crazier. And then again, medication had been killing him too.

"We'll I would be too, she was nice, smart, pretty, natural blonde and… pregnant… oh I'm sorry, been shot like that must have been awful. And you carried away like you were just another criminal… whoa that's some heavy shit!" Tani said as she saw what Angel had lived through. She was a first person type of psychic; she saw and felt things just like people had done it; she had first person's type of visions.

Angel remained rooted to the floor, trembling; he couldn't even blink for a second.

"Can you see all that? Wait… pregnant, can you be sure of that?" Angel said, with eyes she size of cannonballs and a body so taut that it could have broken if shaken.

"I'm not exactly a peeing stick! But you believe she was… I mostly read living people, not ghosts, and you give out all these details, that you are obsessing about… we'll you are wearing your pain on your sleeve, so to speak. I'm reading you. And you seem to believe that she was. Don't you have some sort of coroner's report?" Angel eluded the question on purpose; the memory of those black and white pictures haunted him, he had developed a sudden attack of dyslexia back then, he couldn't read it, and he would not read it.

"Can't you talk to her?" Angel asked becoming more and more desperate.

"I can't! She's not haunting you or anybody else, she's not here period. She's probably in heaven, all happy and blissful; I can't get her out of there, not even for you with the chocolate, sad puppy eyes." Tani said point blank, she really couldn't see a ghost anywhere near Angel, and he did have sad/chocolate/puppy eyes that would persuade women into anything.

"You should try to let go. She's beyond pain and suffering; all you can do is go on, get back to your life, didn't you have a job somewhere? I don't know, a friend, family, someone to turn to. I can't believe that you are totally and completely alone in this world."

"But I am; there's nobody, just me and… me."

Tani was caught unaware for a second and then she began smiling, she was seeing into the future, Angel's future. "Not anymore, you'll have friends, in this new life that you are going to star very soon, you'll have many good friends. And you'll have to forgive yourself… sooner or later."

The psychic took Angel's hand inside her owns, she felt all of his pains engulf her and then she hugged him. "You didn't kill her, all you did was loved her, that will never stop, just forgive yourself and go on… live one day at a time. That's all you have to do… oh and drop the drugs, you are almost a ghost yourself, barely enough energy to stay alive, eat some chicken soup, sleep a long night and take a stroll by the beach, I guarantee you that you'll feel better after that."

"Do you think that I can come here once a week? I don't know, talk to you maybe?" The psychic was in Cleveland, Angel had no idea of where he would end up, but he could always take a bus.

"God! You are going to suck my energy right out of me. The answer is no! I've given you the tools, now you must fish your own." Tanisha said cheerfully. "You can call me. Here's my phone. I'm sure that you'll do well." She said as she handed him her business card.

"Thank you, I guess I'll be leaving now, I have to catch a bus in half an hour."

"Wait… I have a message for you… Sarah Miles, I don't know who is that or what she means to you but something tells me that you need to know that name." She saw a young, petite, brunette woman on her mind, and she saw her walking with Angel, smiling and holding hands with him.

"It doesn't ring a bell."

"It will, trust me on this, it will. May God relief you of your pains and keep you safe."

"Thank you."

zzz

"Now that it's all said and done,
I can't believe you were the one
to build me up and tear me down,
like an old abandoned house…

Guess I let you get the best of me.
Well, I never saw it coming.
I should've started running
a long, long time ago…"

zzz

April 21st, 2008

Old Tulsa, Ohio

As towns went, Angel noticed that Old Tulsa was pretty vintage, most houses were old, most people were old, even cars looked old, and that was good for him. He had been trusted with a new life.

His new name was David Moore, he was supposed to be a mechanic, and thus he was opening a garage at this place were most cars needed fixing on a daily basis, David's garage to be perfectly fucking obvious.

He was citizen number 301, he has going to have a small trailer behind the garage, money to live comfortably for about six months, and a partner: Frances Doyle, usually called Doyle, he was a local, he owned and managed the only pub in town, and he was Angel's neighbor and partner on the garage since the pub was hardly profitable, they were not many drinkers in town.

About three blocks from them was the Independence Inn, and another block down was the minimart and the church. Basically Angel was lucky to be on the main street and conveniently close to everything important on Old Tulsa, oh… and he was right in front of the bus stop, and that was a major plus. He got to see every newcomer and tourist first thing.

zzz

June 12th, 2008

What lurks just there…

"Doyle-Honey, I'm here!" Cordelia screamed as she came inside David's Garage, Angel noticed her presence by her tall heels and long legs; he got a good view of them and a lot more from under an Audi.

Cordelia Chase was Doyle's girlfriend, tall, brunette, gorgeous southern beauty, her parents were from Savannah, Georgia; but they had moved to Ohio years back; and she attended college in Salem, which was about two hours away from Old Tulsa, but she was hardly ever there, she loved hanging around Doyle and their garage too much and she was currently flunking everything else in college.

"Guess what! I'm going to work for you guys." Cordelia said as she peeked under the car and gave Angel a rather full view of her ample breasts.

"Fine," Angel mentioned suddenly out of breath, months with no sex, and now Cordy came and flaunted her goods in front of him. He pulled out from under the car and stared and the miniskirt, the heels and then the cleavage and couldn't concentrate on why she shouldn't be working there.

"Cordy-Darling! I thought you were at Salem!" Doyle said as he came out of the storeroom, she strolled sexily towards him, jumped him and then she wrapped her long limbs around him, giving Angel an even more clear view of her longs legs wrapped around Doyle's waist in some other place, and her round firm ass, with no clothes; Angel began feeling terribly uncomfortable and a little too hot and bothered all of the sudden.

"I missed you. Besides, I had this great idea…" Doyle actually stiffened when she said that. Cordy started making little circles around Doyle's chest with her perfectly manicured hands. "I could come here, and work for you guys, we could move in together so I don't have to travel back and forth every day, and we could do… you now what every night." Angel heard her and thought that was blatant manipulation, if he had ever seen it before.

"What about college, Cordy?" Angel chipped-in since Doyle seemed to be mesmerized and frankly out of words with Cordy seducing him so openly.

"I dropped-out yesterday." She answered meekly, as if it was no big deal to do so.

"You've completely lost your mind." Angel mentioned crossly.

"Who asked for your opinion?" Cordelia retaliated with anger. "I don't have what it takes to become a lawyer and I definitely have no money to pay for the stupid tuition anyway. Dad's flat out broke, so now, I have to get a job, and work my ass off like the rest of mortals." Cordelia's dad had suddenly fallen from grace, and now Cordy was practically penniless.

"How much is it? The tuition I mean, you shouldn't stop college just because you can't get the money. I can't believe you dropped-out without telling me, baby. That was messed-up." Doyle said with conviction, he didn't have much but he would gladly give it to her, so she could go to college.

"We'll loan you the money." Angel said softly, he had just about the same amount as Doyle, but he was all alone, and Cordy was a friend, it was a loan, she would pay them slowly but she would be a professional one day.

"You guys would do that for me?" Cordelia whispered with tears in her eyes as she hugged Doyle.

"You are my friend, and you are smart, you just need to study more and party less." And you remind of what happened to Buffy, Angel thought as Doyle hugged Cordy, well, that's what he thought she had gone through, in truth she had gone to college, to the FBI academy and God only knew to what else, she didn't get to be a special agent if she had dropped out college.

"You are the brain here, Cordy-darling. Of course we'll get you through college, come here, and let's go get some fresh air. This place it's getting a little crowded for me. We need to talk." Doyle suggested as he pulled Cordy down, under his arm and out the garage.

Angel watched them leave and felt something tugged at his heart, ah to be young and in love… he felt almost fine, not happy, he couldn't truly be happy again, not without her, but he could feel joy, and seeing Cordy and Doyle together made him feel hope again. Maybe one day he would give it a second try, but not now, now it was all to raw and sensible.

zzz

"Maybe redemption has stories to tell,

Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell,

Where can you run to escape from yourself?

Where you gonna go?

Salvation is here…"

zzz

Still June 18th, 2008…

10:15 pm

If only you knew…

Late at night that day, Angel stared out the window of the store, he had been drinking Tequila shots with Doyle, alcohol was the only thing he indulged in, occasionally, but that night he felt like he would be crawling up the walls very soon, so he stayed working on a Chevy mustang that needed a new engine to keep his mind off memories.

He was humming to the radio, the were playing Jazz, when he saw the bus pull over, and some small person got down, a teenager by the clothes, a female by the breasts and hips.

She had her hooded jacket on, but he could tell she was blonde, some hairs blew with the wind, she had a huge suitcase, and she was carrying it away through the middle of the street, it was dark but Angel could've sworn that she looked a lot like Buffy; in fact she had the same funny-bumpy nose and tiny frame.

He shook the thought away, he left the last drink untouched and went to bed instead, he knew his mind was playing tricks on him, she was just a girl coming home, not Buffy, never her.

And yet he turned to the window again, mesmerized with the figure that strolled through the street in the dark night. She walked slowly, almost dragging her feet, she was probably tired.

He thought about giving her a hand but before he could even find his t-shirt she was inside the Independence Inn, so he though that she was probably been expected there, a prodigal daughter by her looks.

He went back to bed and stared at the ceiling for hours, he wondered where he would be if Buffy hadn't died, probably there too, the small town seemed like heaven for lost souls.

zzz

June 22nd, 2008

Do you believe in second chances?

"This place smells…" Cordelia mentioned as she entered the old music school now officially been turned into a bookstore, it was dark and dusty, been closed for over a year, it was positively filthy. "Are you sure you want to remodel?" Cordelia asked to Buffy.

"I'm positive, this place already smells like a library, hopefully we'll use that to create ambience, or not…" Buffy said as she felt a surge of nausea when she uncovered a dead rat inside the old piano.

"I've changed my mind. I vote for new and clean, let's just clean this place up and then we'll think about new furniture." Buffy said as she closed the piano and made a note to call for an exterminator.

"Are you sure you want to work here?" Buffy asked with a hint of despair in her voice, if she wasn't forced to be there, she would never be.

"Yeah, is this or David's garage, I don't know about you, but I hate oil and grease, and I can't carry heavy weighs." Cordelia mentioned as she checked her nails, they were as perfect as usual.

"Ok, well hopefully people are going to be drawn to arts, books and coffee." Buffy mentioned as she started uncovering the antique furniture.

"Oh please, it practically reeks success, you forget this is a suburb for rich and retired from all over Ohio, I'm sure your store will do just fine." Cordy mentioned sassily, and that way she'll be able to keep an eye on Doyle and on his friend David too, he was just so cute, all dark and gloomy, hardly said more than a few words, and now he was chipping-in with Cordy's tuition which was a grand gesture as far as new friends went.

"You are not kidding about the reeking part though." Buffy said laughing. She had hope of success and that was more than enough.

"We'll get it off." Cordelia mentioned as she thought about playing a little matchmaking for David. "By the way since you are going to do a party to open-up the store and all that, can I invite my boyfriend… and a friend of his maybe?"

"Of course! I need you to tell him to spread the voice, I'll start handling fliers tomorrow, and a guy from Salem is making me a banner sign for the door. Hopefully will be ready for Friday June 27th, grand opening and all that. Please do invite everybody that you can find!"

"Great, I'll bring people, don't you worry about a thing. This party will be the talk of the town, and hopefully they'll come and buy stuff later."

"We'll keep our fingers cross."

zzz

"It's not over
Cause a part of me is dead and in the ground.
This love is killing me
But you're the only one
…"

zzz

June 25th, 2008

It's not over…

"Mhm whole grain or kosher bread…" Buffy wondered out loud as she shopped at the local minimart for some groceries.

The morning had began very promisingly, she had everything ready for her grand opening, the morning sickness was gone, and the doctors in Salem told her she was doing fine, but she had to eat some more, since she was slightly anemic and her baby was underweight, to that point she went to the minimart looking for foods to fatty up that baby… she had found out that day that it would be a girl, they had given her a Amniocentesis just to be sure that the baby was developing ok.

"I still hate chicken noodle soup." Angel wondered out loud as he picked noodle soup and placed it into the cart.

His morning had began horribly, he was hung-over, his head was about to explode and one of his biggest customer brought the car over because it was still leaking oil, and he had to fix it ASAP, out of groceries for over two days and tired of eating frozen pizza, Angel had decided to do some shopping.

Buffy turned to the next aisle and watched all the cans, and her favorite: the chicken noodle soup was there waiting for her, and it was even on sale, she extended her hand and picked 3 cans and at the exact same time that Buffy was picking her soups, Angel was picking up a bag of whole grain bread across the hall.

They both sighed at the same time, and as they inhaled, Buffy and Angel felt something like thunder striking through them; each other's essence lingered there in the air, determined to cause major havoc.

Angel felt like his loins were twisting in knots, he actually grasped for breath almost suffocating, it wasn't that he was choking or anything like that, something had suddenly reminded him of Buffy and his heart somersaulted because of it. He had an unexpected feeling of déjà vu, like he had been there before, like he was been haunted.

Buffy began heaving and her eyes clouded instantly, rivers of tears gathering, like she was in great pain, she actually gasped for breath, it was him, his essence, his baby, and his wife, no matter how hard she denied it, she knew damn well who she was and what she had done to him.

It hit her like a shock wave, he was alive somewhere in the world and he though her dead, hated her; she had been such a bitch. It came rushing like fire, seizing her and gripping her by the heart. After months of enforced denial, she had suddenly and painfully remembered him again, he hated chicken noodle soup, and she loved it, she actually craved it right there and then, just as much as he craved her.

Blame, Angel wasn't the only one carrying it; she had her own share of it. Pain, regret and lots of accumulated anger. God, if she could turn back time, undo everything, if only she could rip her heart out and cleanse it from the love that it so unwontedly fell.

"Why do I miss him so much? It's not fair. I saved him, isn't that enough? Can you let it be bygones? Can't you forget him?" She whispered, to her heart and to her baby, if anything she at least wanted the child, even if it was half his, maybe more so because of it, Riley's baby would have been a loved child, but she was a blessing, to endure through three months of coma and major blood loss, that baby had to be a great blessing indeed.

Buffy refused to acknowledge the true out loud, she missed him, and if she came face to face with him she would jump on his arms, and beg him to take her, even if he hated her, even if had stopped loving her because of all the lies, even if he though she was a redeemed hooker and a major bitch.

Buffy couldn't bear the essence that lingered and seemed to penetrate her every pore another second, so she left in a hurry, almost running for her life.

Angel on the other hand, remained, trying to catch that faint essence of jasmines and vanilla, he turned around and wondered if perhaps she had decided to check on him after all. And then it was gone, the smell, the feeling of utter despair, it was all gone, like it had never been there; and he also noticed that Buffy used to like Kosher bread, even though she wasn't Jewish, she said it had more fiber and she loved the tiny seeds they would place on the crust.

"I love you. If you are there listening, know that I miss you…" Angel whispered hopefully, he wished for the essence to return, for a ghost or anything else of her to be there for him, nothing, he had nothing of her, not even a picture, what he did have was a Polaroid and it was beginning to turn blurry with so much touching. "Come back… if you want to check on me, I'll be here waiting."

But nothing came back, and he went home feeling lost, like he couldn't bear to be alone. He went home and used some ecstasy, he had traded his drugs for money and a few happy pills, sometimes he just wanted to be away, and he just took two, wishing to God to die and be done with everything.

Doyle and Cordelia found him and convinced him that he should go out with them, begrudgingly they took him to the pub and he had a few beers, but he was mostly tired so he went home early. That night Doyle and Cordelia were celebrating Cordelia's new job. If only Angel had known what he was celebrating to…

zzz

"It's been awhile,
since I've seen the way the candles light your face,
it's been awhile,
but I can still remember just the way you taste…"

zzz

June 27th, 2008

I got almost over you…

Angel was ready to go out, after all, Buffy had been dead for over four months; he needed to lighten up a little, get out of that trailer park, and make some new friends. So he decided to go to that grand opening they were all buzzing about.

He even shaved and wore decent clothes since the greasy overalls were not fit for a party. And he came in, at first there was this bunch of people he didn't know, and then he saw the books, lots of them, and they were giving away free Macchiato and Cappuccinos, good coffees as far as he was concerned.

He browsed the shelves and found-out a few paperbacks that he intended to buy later. He though a place like that was terribly needed in Old Tulsa.

He caught eye with some rather interesting pictures in the back of the store, it said "The Old 'Dale" it was some sort of impressionist version of a town, it was rather pretty, almost hopeful, and then he saw a true work of art, titled "Abby's Carousel" it was almost abstract, though he could clearly see the distorted image of a child riding in a carrousel, it reminded him of broken dreams and childhood illusions.

"I moved from L.A. a few weeks ago, I used to write stories for a magazine. Now I'm writing—or attempting—to write a novel, wish me luck." Buffy mentioned to a customer wishfully, she was separated from the paintings by a shelf.

"We'll have to read some excerpts; I must say Old Tulsa needs a famous writer desperately." The customer answered as he drew Buffy towards the pictures. "I heard you did some of these fine paintings."

"Oh, just a couple of them, the ugliest two I'd say, I just couldn't bear not knowing what people thought of them… do you like them?"

Angel felt someone staring at the same painting from across the shelf, he had also heard a voice that he remembered too well; in between the both of them there was a great many people talking and even music in the background but he would recognize her voice any place in the world.

He turned around cautiously, and stared at the face that talked so much like his love. She was wearing some sort of vintage dress, a curious print with huge black and brown flowers, drab by any means, it went down beneath her knees engulfing her in a bell-like skirt; she was petite, with short dark hair, bangs and glasses. But she had an amazing resemblance with someone else.

Buffy felt his staring and her eyes could not believe what she was seeing through the corner of her eyes. When she turned around and noticed his presence, she could've sworn he was looking at her, or more like looking through her.

Buffy was caught deer in the headlights with Angelus O'Bloody fucking Quinn staring at her, it was him, her Angel. She blinked several times and she could have sworn she felt like the floor was melting beneath her.

"Oh there's David! That's the guy I've been telling you so much about. Come here; let me introduce him to you." Cordelia mentioned as she noticed Angel approaching them, and then she pulled Buffy closer, right in front of him.

"David, this is my boss, Sarah Miles, boss this is David Moore, from David's garage." Cordelia said as she stood besides the both of them. Buffy began to say "nice to meet you" and stopped three times before she could say anything at all, she was tongue-tied; she was thinking, of all the fucking places in the world, we had to end up here …together.

"Buffy…" Angel whispered and he barely grazed his fingers across Buffy's cheek. "Good you look so much like her…" He whispered as he framed her face between his hands.

His words made Buffy plunge, she had to act, either she denied it or he would kiss her, he was so close to her, towering her body, so close she could smell his essence, know that she would never forget him. "Hi, you must be David, I heard lots about you. It's nice to meet you." Buffy said, extending her hand, making the biggest effort ever to act like she didn't know him, like her heart wasn't about to jump out of her chest.

Buffy thought she deserved an Oscar for her fine performances regarding Angel and her true feelings.

"Your voice, even your voice, your eyes… there's everything about. Do you have a twin?" Angel said afraid of touching her hand, but touching her face all over, like he couldn't believe she was there.

"Do I have a twin? I don't know. I was adopted when I turned seven. I just might. Why, do I remind you of someone? And could you please stop with the hovering you are scaring me." Buffy said as she tried to pull away from him, but he couldn't stop, he had his hands wrapped around her face.

"It's not a reminder, it's like you are exactly the same person, minus awful hair, glasses, and ugly clothes." Angel mentioned as he fingered locks of her hair, it was still silky but now it was dark.

"I liked you better blonde, but what the heck do I know? So do you guys know each other from somewhere else?" Cordelia asked, she was puzzled with Angel's behavior; and she knew that Buffy had very recently died her hair in a dying effort to look different.

Before Angel could register what Cordelia had just said, Buffy pulled away from him. "Well, it was nice to meet you too David. Feel free to look around; I'll be in the kitchen—hiding my bad hair and ugly clothes—if you guys need anything holler." Buffy said as she dislodged her face from his hands; when she touched him her body felt like she had been hit by lightning, like she could not pull away from the sheer strength of their combined energy.

He cursed himself for being so rude, but his mind wasn't working properly.

Buffy managed to finally let go of him and she almost ran to the kitchen, pushing her way through people; Angel couldn't sensor what he had already said but he could say that he was sorry, and God she looked a whole lot like Buffy, maybe too much to be someone else; so he followed her to the kitchen, chased her like rivers to the ocean, trailing on her essence.

"Take a look at this picture and tell me that you are not the spitting image of her." Angel said as he caught up with her next to the kitchen, grabbing her arm forcibly and yanking her to his side.

Buffy was forced to look at her picture. "I might be, but I resent your comments about me. What is she your sister or something? And could you let my arm go? It's getting a little numb." Buffy said as she took a closer look at the Polaroid and sighed, composing herself; she felt numbed all over not just on her arm, her arm was actually throbbing right were he had touched her.

"I'm sorry. She's my wife… my dead wife." Angel said as he let go, but he remained right next to her.

"Oh!" Buffy looked at the picture again, she remembered that day all to well, they had been at the beach, it was the day after their wedding, she was sipping a coke and he was going crazy with the Polaroid. "How did she die?"

"She was … shot. She saved me, the shots were meant for me but she took them." Angel said, speaking about it for the first time in months.

"Oh, well she was your hero then." Buffy thought it was presumptuous to be called heroine when you didn't intended to die. She just wanted to stop Lindsay from killing her witness.

"I'd rather she hadn't been; my dead would have been nothing; hers was a tragedy." He sighed and a tear winded down his cheek. "We were newlyweds; I even think she was pregnant when she died. Can you imagine the pain of her loss? I've been trying to let go for months and then I see you … and it's like an earthquake, I can't even breathe. Here, feel my heart."

Buffy placed her hand on top of his chest, it rose labored and his heart hammered loudly beneath her fingertips, he knew about the baby, at least he remembered her been late, as if the baby knew what it was all about, she began moving, Buffy felt like something was twisting inside her, like bubbles traveling back and forth .

"I'm sorry if I offend you, but you just rocked my world." Angel mentioned as he touched her cheek and kissed her temple. "You even smell like her. I'm sorry, I have to go. I can't bear this." Angel said and then he left like he had to run for his life, Buffy kept the Polaroid on her hands.

"It was nice meeting you… David Moore." Buffy whispered as she padded her arm, it still stung, now that she remembered his eyes, they were bloodshot, he was high, damn him, he had gone straight back into the habit again. And he was there, in Old Fucking Tulsa too, what a twist of fate, Buffy thought.

zzz

"Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like
any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave …

Like any uncharted territory
I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like
You have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed …
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight…"

zzz

July 10th, 2008

Playing with fire…

"Don't you think that those two have something going on?" Doyle whispered to Cordelia as he noticed Buffy catching fleeting glances with Angel. They were at the bookstore shopping for books on mechanics.

"Please! Sarah knows famous people and he's… well, he's Mr. gloomy, and I hardly ever see him laugh. They don't fit. And let's not mention she looks like his dead wife, 'because that's just morbid." Cordelia answered, as Buffy and Angel browsed the mechanics section.

"They are the only two single strangers in town, and they do have some serious chemistry." Doyle mentioned; he had noticed that Sarah seemed to look—more like stare—at David when she thought he wasn't looking. And David had his fair share of creepiness about staring. Twice that day, he had pulled over by the bookstore just to have some coffee and stare at the owner, and the last time Doyle checked, David didn't do coffee.

"Get out! David looks like he's into blonde supermodels, I have seen his playboy collection, and he favors blondes all the time." Cordelia whispered huskily.

"Cordelia! What have you been doing snooping around David's trailer?"

"I can't help it! He's an enigma, no past, no friends, no jobs before, and he's a seriously bad mechanic… don't you wonder where the hell he came from?" Cordelia had been studying David thoroughly; he was dark and gloomy alright, typical widower, but he was also charming, kind and even funny sometimes, when he cared to say a few words.

"No! I know where he came from… Los Angeles, just like little miss Sarah, who knows so much about the rich and famous, that's the only thing that they have in common… and they are both crazy, everybody is L.A. is crazy, baby." Doyle said as he noticed Buffy and Angel's byplay. He would get too close; she would smile, even skip a few heartbeats to his rather obvious coming on and walk away as if she was spurning him.

To his untrained eyes, she looked like she was flirting. To Cordelia's eyes Buffy was healing a broken heart, if a man like David tried to seduce you; you let him do it, period. Cordelia could even envision hot monkey sex in the back seat of the Mustang, well, she could think of that because she had done that. "Didn't Sarah used to be blonde, maybe they'll hit it off? They sure look like they are getting along."

"Fine, so let's agree in one thing: we know nothing about either one of them," Cordy said as she nipped Doyle's ear, she had began feeling a little disturbed with the staring. Who could have guest that she had some voyeuristic traits on her. "So, why don't we double-date with them?"

"Are you serious?" Doyle could pick up Cordelia's soft hint easily; she got easily bored with the small town life; Sarah and David were just the thing to spark her interest.

"What's wrong? He's your partner and she's boss/friend, I find it perfectly reasonable." Cordelia suggested, to which Doyle could offer nothing to refuse, so he had to agree with her that it could be profitable for them to get the couple together.

zzz

"Why do you need mechanics for dummies?" Buffy asked trying to keep at bay her lust, Angel looked delicious on his wife beater and dark blue overalls, they made his ass look delicious, and his chest peeked from the under the zipper, rather invitingly.

"I'm a dumb mechanic." Lately, Angel had become rather scarce with words. He felt a little too unnerved with Sarah's uncanny resemblance. And he had a huge Bonner all the time, due mostly to his towering height … he could see into Sarah's deep cleavage too easily, and her big knockers were driving him mad.

"That's pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?" Buffy said as she pulled a few basic mechanics books and handled them to Angel. "We don't have mechanics for dummies, but I'll order it online for you, what's your address?"

"I have a trailer behind the garage; you can have it delivered there." Angel mentioned as he wished he could have Sarah's cleavage delivered there too, maybe on some huge poster that he could cum all over.

"Ok, I'll see to that. Is there anything else I could do for you?" Buffy dared ask that question, if she had any sense she wouldn't have asked that; Angel's eyes seemed to grow large and his chocolate pupils seemed to dilate and stare more openly at her plunging dress.

"That'll be all." Angel mentioned, driving his eyes away by sheer force.

"Would you like another coffee maybe?" Buffy didn't want him to go away; she felt elated to have his presence there, and know that he was mesmerized with her expanding breasts. She noticed the staring, the hovering and the halted breath, she could spot sexually frustrated man miles away, and Angel looked like he was starving for some action.

"No, thanks," Angel answered as he tried to focus on anything else but Sarah. He tried not to compare, but it was inevitable. She was like Buffy's dark, older sister, and he felt like a creep for staring at her like that. "I'll be coming over for some more books later."

"Have you already read all those you took the other day?" Buffy asked wondering if he had somehow gotten over his dyslexia.

"Sure," Angel lied blatantly, and Buffy caught it, she laughed right in front of him. "Ok, I haven't! I just like coming here. It's fun." Buffy laughed some more to his comment.

"I like having you guys here. You are sort of like hope in the making. Could I interest you in any book that you will actually read?" Buffy mentioned as she browsed the action section.

"I'd love that. Don't know why I didn't ask before." Angel mentioned as he trailed behind her, catching fleeting glances to her lovely derriere, it was bigger than Buffy's, or at least he thought so.

"This is a series, it's meant for young adults, so it's light on the read. Tales of the Otori, by Lian Hearn, 4 short books about two clans in Japan, it's amazing, it draws you inside from the first page, I just couldn't put it down. Do you like Japanese themes?" Buffy said as she handed Angel the first book: 'Across the nightingale floor' Angel browsed it, feeling a sudden sense of déjà vu. Buffy had recommended him a great deal of fine books, and now Sarah did the same.

"I'd love to read them, thank you for the recommendation." Angel took all four books and paid for them; he didn't even imagine that he was buying Buffy's second favorite book, she loved them, it was the only other favorite series that she had besides Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

"I'm glad to be of some comfort… I'm sorry about your wife." She had to say something, other wise she would seem callous. "I guess it's safe to say that you loved her deeply."

"More than life itself, I still can believe that she's gone. I'll be going now; I have lots of work to do. We'll see each other around."

"I'm sure." Buffy said; she was sure they would, she couldn't leave, she should but she'll never do it. She needed to see him, to know that he was ok, to be around even if he thought she was someone else…

zzz

This isn't the end… It's like a third 33 of the whole sequel, the other 67 of the story it's still been written and will be downloaded soon….

I thought I owned you some spoilers…

Enjoy!

The mean kitten

By the way don't you dare forget the reviews!!

Songs until this point…

Korn "Freak on a leash"

Four star Mary "Pain"

Nickelback "Someday"

Nirvana "Come as you are"

Puddle of Mudd "Blurry"

Chris Daughtry "Over you"

Staind "it's been a while"

Alanis Morisette "Unninvited"