Special Thanks to my wonderful beta Kim who helps me correct stuff in my writing and nags me when I don't start writing new chapters lol

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! Hope you all have a great holidays – Sorry it took so long but now I can send it out as a Christmas present to you - Enjoy

Buffy was walking along the beach, walking just close enough for the waves to splash over her feet, when she started getting that tingling feeling she always got when Angel was around; so she stopped and watched the sunset not surprised when two arms moved and wrapped around her waist from behind, knowing it was Angel she instantly relaxed into his embrace.

"There were other ways" Angel whispered softly in her ear

"None that would have been fast enough" turning in his warm embrace she laid her head on his chest breathing in his scent and listening to his heart beat "I'm sorry"

"No matter what, I will always love you" Angel gently held her chin, tilting it up and leaned down for a kiss

"I love you" Buffy said just as their lips connected for a soft gentle kiss

As the kiss grew more passionate they failed to realise that the scenery was changing around them, as Buffy pulled away from the kiss breathless she took in her new surroundings. She was lying in her bed in her room in Sunnydale, the room looked exactly the same as it did when she was 17. Angel was sitting on the side of her bed, his fingers slowly outlining his bite mark on her neck, she looked closely at Angel, something didn't feel right… she looked into Angel's eyes noticing the evil glint in them and realised it was now Angelus.

"This makes you mine" Angelus said continuing to run his fingers along her scar

"I'm not yours, I'm Angel's" She whispered in a shaky voice, she didn't think she belonged to anyone but if it was a choice between Angelus and Angel, well Angel won hands down

"We're both the same, we both love you… in our own ways" Angelus moved his fingers slowly up her neck to her face and started to tracing the features of her face while he continued to whisper seductively to her, Buffy closed her eyes enjoying the feeling

"Of coarse you know how he feels about me… how he hates me… do you think he'll want to even look at you again after what you've done?"

Buffy eyes snapped open at Angelus' cruel but most likely true statement, meeting nothing but a blinding white light which caused her eyes to immediately snap closed again. When she tried again, slowly opening her eyes she realised that she was in an extremely white room, turning around she noticed the woman that had been standing behind her.

"We returned what we took from you, something that should have never been taken" the woman said in a kind voice

"I don't understand" Buffy said, having no idea what the lady in front of her was talking about.

"In time you will, just know that your gift is protected, do not worry about its safety" the woman answered kindly, understanding that the cryptic message must be confusing "Go, you have much that still needs to be done"

The blinding white light engulfed the room before Buffy woke up in Angel's bed at the Hyperion. Buffy laid there for a few moments trying to get her breathing and her heart beat to stop racing. "Okay, just a dream, a freaking weird and cryptically annoying dream…. But still just a dream" Buffy said to herself wiping her forehead she realised that she was drenched in sweat from her dream, getting up she decided a shower was definitely the way to go, it would help her relax and organise her thoughts.

As Buffy got dressed in her comfy blue faded jeans and a red tank top, she noticed the clock on Angel's wall and realised she'd been asleep for more then 8 hours. 'Why would no one come and wake me up? Surely they'd have something on the Beast by now'. Then she rolled her eyes as it hit her… Cordelia.

As Buffy walked towards the lobby, she stopped just before walking out on the landing above the stairs thinking she could listen to everybody in the lobby and figure out what she'd missed.

"He's so relaxed" She heard Fred say, probably referring to the sound of Angelus quietly singing to himself that she could hear coming from the monitor

"It's like he's not even in a cage" Gunn replied

"Well, in his mind, he's not" Buffy frowned in confusion, 'who was that?' Peaking around the corner she saw a green demon in a suit, moving back into her hiding spot she realised that it was Lorne

"You getting anything off him?" Gunn asked Lorne

"Let me put it this way, Moonpie. You don't want to know"

"I don't, I definitely don't" Fred commented

Just then Buffy heard the front doors to the lobby swing open, quickly peaking around again she saw Wesley, Cordelia and someone who must be Conner walk in. 'Well that answers my question Cordelia probably didn't want me tagging along so convinced them to "let" me sleep' she thought to herself

"What happened?" Gunn asked the second they walked in

"Vamps" Conner said 'Well that explains their slightly beaten up look' Buffy thought

"Did they get the Svear?" Fred asked

"No, The Beast did, Slaughtered the entire family" Wesley said

"Guess he found a way to kill them after all" Fred said sounding shocked

"So much for our big priestess rescue" Gunn said

"Are we sure Angelus doesn't know anything more? I mean maybe we should talk to…"

Fred was cut of by Wesley "No, I think he's told us everything he's going to"

"Which means our last-ditch plan, turning Angel into a soulless monster, it's a bust. If Angelus can't help us … "Gunn said trailing off

"It's time to bring back Angel" Cordelia finished for him

"Oh and he's usually so chatty" Lorne said 'huh?' Buffy thought, quickly peaking around the corner she saw Conner heading up the stairs 'shit' quickly turning around she silently rushed down the hall back to Angel's room door, turning around once she reached it she took a deep breathe and then started making her way down to the lobby again like she was just coming from her room, meeting Conner half way.

"Hi you must be Conner, I'm Buffy" Buffy said holding her hand out, Conner looked at her weird before cautiously taking her hand

"Hi" Conner said giving her hand a brief shake before dropping it quickly, still cautious of her

"So I guess I over slept, what have I missed?" Buffy said trying to strike up a conversation 'wow he looks so much like Angel its almost scary'

"They're putting Angel's soul back, Angelus had nothing useful" Conner answered briefly before making a move to pass Buffy

"Did he lead you on a wild goose chase" Buffy quickly said even though she already knew what happened she wanted to continue to talking to Conner longer

"Wild goose chase?" 'Oh right, raised in different dimension'

"It means did he lead you to a dead end, give false info…"

"Oh, no everyone was just dead when we got there, The Beast got there before us"

"Oh… well that's bad, what's everyone's plans now?"

"They're bringing Angel back" Conner said sounding very unhappy with the idea

Buffy's frowned in confusion, she'll have to keep a closer eye on Conner, he was definitely on the 'Angel die' side of things

"Well that's good, one less baddie to worry about"

"Yeah I guess" Conner said before pushing past her and walking on to his room

Buffy watched him walk down the hall and out of sight, she definitely would be watching him more closely from now on, shaking herself out of her thoughts she continued to walk down into the lobby.

"Angel's soul… it's gone" Wesley said to everybody in the office

"What do you mean, gone" Buffy said from the doorway to the office startling everybody because they hadn't realised she was there

"It was in the safe, it's not in there anymore" Wesley said

Buffy looked as calm as Angelus did down in the cage leaning up against the door frame "So you lost Angel's soul?" Buffy let out a quick humourless laugh "That's…that's just great" She commented sarcastically "Didn't you have anything else besides the safe guarding Angel's soul? Didn't you have any protection spells?"

"We were all here, all the time, we didn't think it was necessary" Cordelia said

"Didn't think it was necessary or didn't think of it at all?" Buffy asked, trying to hold onto her calm façade and not let her intense anger at their idiotic choices show, it was bad enough they took Angel's soul away from him, now they had lost it.

"Didn't really think of it at all" Fred timidly said, realising they could have done more to protect Angel's soul

"Do you have any idea where it could be? Who could have taken it?" Buffy asked

"The Beast?" Gunn suggested

"The Shaman?" Lorne suggested at the same time

"Well I suggest we check the shaman first, I'm sure we would have noticed The Beast walking through the lobby, don't you think?" Buffy said with a hint of sarcasm, these people have no clue what they were doing without Angel here.

"Did you guys try anything else before just taking Angel's soul?" She asked the thought that had been bothering her ever since she turned up "Or was that the first thing you thought of and went with it before trying every other possible option" Buffy directed the question more at Wesley and Cordelia, knowing they were calling most of the shots around here now.

"Angelus was the only one that had the information we needed, taking his soul was the only option open to us" Wesley defended their actions

"The only option? Are you in any way kidding?" Buffy let her façade drop for the first time showing her intense anger to everyone; they had all shifted their positions slowly through the conversation. Fred, Gunn and Lorne had moved more to the side realising her anger was more directed at Wesley and Cordelia and wanting to keep it that way. Cordelia and Wesley had moved closer to Buffy, Cordelia with her hands on her hips.

"Look Buffy taking Angel's soul was the only way to talk to Angelus to find out more on the Beast-" Cordelia started a rant but Buffy cut her off

"But it wasn't the only way!" Buffy almost shouted at Cordelia "Did you try getting Angel to meditate, Angelus is always under the surface he could have maybe tried getting it that way, just bringing up the memory Angelus had"

"I'm not sure it would have been that simple Buffy…" Wesley said

Buffy cut off any excuse he would have come up with "Then there were other ways, the drug Doximall, you could have given him some then slapped a truth spell on him to make him talk, there would have been no danger of Angel's soul going missing, it would have been quick, simple-"

"And highly unpredictable" Wesley cut in "The effects of the drug, mixed with magic would have unforeseeable consequences, even if we had thought of it, it is highly unlikely we would have chosen to act on it"

"But the point is you didn't even try! You never thought to think of another way!" Buffy shouted at him, stopping she realised that causing an argument with Angel's team wasn't going to solve anything. The damage had been already done, they'd lost Angel's soul, the only thing they should be concentrating on now is getting Angel's soul back, and bringing Angel back before Angelus found a way to escape. Buffy almost shivered at that thought but fought it back; she should be concentrating on getting the team together to find Angel's soul "I'm sorry, umm… the shaman is our best bet, if he didn't take it which I don't think he did then he may be able to help us find it. Wesley you should go, you were the first to contact him, see what you can find out"

Realising a truce when he saw it Wesley went along with it realising everyone was stressed "Would you like to come along?" Wesley suggested

"No, Slayers make people nervous, from what you told me on the way here you were on good terms with him that's why I don't think he took it, bringing a Slayer along though might make him less inclined to help us find it though"

Wesley slowly nodded understanding her reasoning, besides if he did take it, they could get Buffy's help in tracking him down later, at least they'd know where it was "Cordelia get Conner, you two can come with me" Cordelia nodded at Wesley but glared at Buffy as she walked passed her and out the office door.

A few minutes later Wesley, Cordelia and Conner were off; leaving Buffy, Gunn, Fred and Lorne to mind Angelus.

"Lorne you have demon contacts right?"

"Sure thing muffin"

"Good, would you be able to go out, see what you can find out?" Buffy asked

"Awfully quiet up there" Angelus could be heard from the monitor

"Sure thing honey" Lorne quickly answered before almost running out of the hotel, wanting to be as far away from Angelus at the moment as possible

"I've had time to think and I've realised something important" Angelus could be heard continuing on the monitor "Being evil is wrong, I want to be good, I want to be Angel again" Buffy almost smirked Angelus wanting to be Angel, why couldn't he have wanted that 5 years ago it would have made her life so much simpler.

"You hear me? I'm ready"

"I'm ready too fang boy" Gunn said to himself while shooting a gout of flame across the lobby with his flame-thrower. Buffy silently added Gunn to the list of people who potentially just wanted Angel dead, making it a list of two; if you don't include the bad guys.

"He knows doesn't he? That his soul is missing"

"Probably knew before we did" Buffy answered Fred with a sad smile

"I just hope the shaman can help us" Fred commented, trying to stay positive

"That shaman should have never been brought here" Gunn said, Buffy resisted rolling her eyes, now they get that they shouldn't have brought Angelus back… after they lose Angel's soul "Now instead of just worrying about the big bad rock-eater, we got Darth Vampire living in the basement" That reminded Buffy about Sunnydale she made a mental note to call in later and make sure everything was still okay

"Bringing Angelus was our best chance"

"That you talking or Wes?" Buffy realised that they were heading into a lovers spat and slowly started retreating into a near by office

"You were pushing for it too Charles"

"Then maybe I did the wrong thing"

"Like smacking your girl around?" Angelus decided to join in from the basement having nothing else to do "I bet Wes would never hit her, he's all proper and English and that accent – oh, chicks just love a good accent. Makes 'em all buttery in their nether regions. Isn't that right, Fred?" Gunn stared at Fred but she said nothing. Buffy switched her slow retreat into a near-by office to the basement, hoping when she got down there she could keep him quiet, everybody was on edge enough without his help. Plus it would be nice not to be around clueless people for a change "You know" Angelus continued "I had a bit of an Irish brogue back in the day. If you like, I can use it on you when I rape you to death. Or" Angelus was cut off when Gunn ripped out the monitor's power cable and that's when Buffy slipped down into the basement.

"Hello Lover" Angelus says as Buffy comes down the stairs

"You're being evil" Buffy stated as she reached the bottom of the stairs referring to his comments to Gunn and Fred

"Come to spank me?" Angelus smirked when he saw her thinking about it

"As fun as it sounds I think I'll pass, I could annoy you though"

Angelus laughed "Annoy me? Just keep talking Buff you'll get there"

Buffy continued as if she didn't hear his last comment "Well I can't torture you, cause then I'd be torturing Angel and I like him more than you" Angelus growled low in his chest at that "I'll just bring a cd player down and put Barry Manilow's song Mandy on repeat. Angel likes the song, you hate it. I think it's big on the gonna annoy you big time metre" Buffy just smiled innocently at Angelus while he gave her an annoyed stare

"That's real mature Buff" Angelus rolled his eyes at her leaning against the back wall of his cage

"So did you tell them everything about the Beast like you were suppose to?"

"I told them everything they needed to know" Buffy just glared at him "What" he said innocently "If you wanted to make sure I told them everything then you should have been here"

"I gave you what you wanted, you should have told them everything" Buffy started but broke off half way through everything when she noticed Angelus chuckling to himself.

"I love to see you angry Buff" 'see evil' Buffy thought to herself.

Thank you to everyone who as been reading and/or reviewing my story, love you guys =] If your confused about the dream its okay - will be explained..... later lol