FIC: Midnight Angel (1/2)
Author: Jill
Disclaimer: let me check ... nope, still don't own them. Sigh! Part of this is
taken from the Buffy-season-5 episode "Buffy vs. Dracula". The song used in the
end is by Faith Hill and so it isn't mine either.
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: B/A, B/R and the usual pairings from the show
Distribution: my site (http://www.never-ending-love.de), Land of Denial, if you
have any of my stories, take it; anybody else tell me where it goes
Summary: Set in "Buffy vs. Dracula", after the talk between Spike and Riley, the
blond vampire takes the matters in his own hand
Spoilers: the whole B/A-cannon to be sure
Feedback: oh yes, please

Note: I was just watching "Buffy vs. Dracula" and this idea instantly popped out
of my head. I always thought that Angel had to have a say in this, especially as
Dracula bit Buffy over his mark.

Note 2: This had not been beta-read. So all the faults are mine!

Note 3: I actually liked the ending of the original episode with Dracula's
mind-games and all, but the episode was practically screaming for a B/A-meeting.


What the hell was he getting himself into, Angel wondered for what had to be the
umpteenth time. As if his life wasn't already complicated enough. His office was
gone, his apartment too, Kate Lockley was still hating his guts, his clothes
were torn, he was bloody and bruised, his conscience was killing him, there was
some sort of ancient court waiting for him, and on top of it now this.

Stifling a groan, he concentrated on the road, avoiding to look at his companion
beside him. Not for the first time, Angel wished he hadn't been so old-fashioned
when selecting his car. It was a nice car, as cars went, but it wasn't the
fastest one and time was definitely an important point here. Contrary to popular
belief, vampires couldn't fly. They used cars. And in his case old, slow ones.

This time the groan escaped his mouth and from the corner of his eye he saw a
grin flashing over his companion's face.

Damn.

The last thing he wanted was to amuse the person beside him. Person, hah! It was
no person. And about flying vampires... "You are sure this is Dracula in
Sunnydale?," he asked, breaking the silence in the car.

"Yeah," came the reply, while cigarette smoke was slowly drifting into Angel's
direction.

"Put that out," he ordered, not taking his eyes from the road.

"You look good Peaches," Spike retorted, ignoring the command.

"Very funny."

"But you do look good," the blond vampire insisted, taking another drag from his
cigarette. Nothing more fun than to annoy your grand-sire, he thought. Well,
almost nothing. "About Dracula...," he began.

"Yeah." Angel was instantly alert.

"I haven't actually seen him," Spike admitted leaning back in his seat. "Man,
this car of yours is comfortable," he said, "old-fashioned, but," he nodded
approvingly, "I like your style. You always had style. Or you rather had. Before
this soul-stuff was degrading you to some fluffy pet-vampire."

A growl came from Angel's side of the car, "You haven't seen him?," he asked, not at all interested in Spike's opinion about his car.

"No," the blond vampire shrugged, "I haven't. But Captain Cornbread has."

"Captain Cornbread?" Angel floored the accelerator, cursing his car yet again,
and lifted a brow.

"Riley Finn, ex-vampire-hunter, chip-implanter, the slayer's latest boy-toy,"
Spike clarified. He grinned when he saw his grand-sire's eyes flash yellow for a
moment. "He came to me to get information." The vampire's eyes narrowed, all fun
gone from his expression, "I really can't stand the guy. So if you're interested
in hurting him-"

"I don't hurt humans," Angel interrupted him. "My job is to help them, not hurt
them."

Spike shrugged, "Yeah, yeah, whatever you say. But you can't make me believe that it doesn't bug you that he jumps into the slayer's pants every possible moment."

His grand-sire gritted his teeth, suppressed the urge to howl in agony. The mere
thought of Buffy and another man... "She loves him," he said, "She wants to be
with him. It's not my business anymore. It's what I wanted for her. He's human,
normal."

"Yeah, normal," Spike snorted, flipping his cigarette out of the window. "Soul or no soul," he continued, running a hand through his dyyed hair, "you've always beenthe greatest liar around, Angelus."

"Mind your own business, boy," Angel warned, tightening his hold on the steering
wheel. Damn, he had no time for this. There was urgent business in L.A. But there was obviously urgent business in Sunnydale too. Dracula was after Buffy.

His grand-childe snickered, "When did I ever do that?", he asked and continued
casually, "So Riley comes to me and wants to pay me for information about our
mutual friend, Dracula. Where he usually lives." He suddenly laughed, genuine
amusement clearly audible, "He actually wanted to hunt Dracula down. Idiotic
fool." He shook his head, "And I must be an even bigger fool, because I warned
him not to go after the 'dark prince'."

"He loves her," Angel commented, hating the truth that lay outspread before him.
Riley had been ready to lay down his life for Buffy. What other proof did he
need?

"Loves her, my ass," Spike snorted again. "But believe what you want. As far as
I'm concerned the guy is heavily in lust with the slayer, but then, I can rely to it."

Ooops. Too late Spike realised his slip. The car slithered to an instant halt and the blond vampire found himself pressed to the window, his very angry grandsire glowering at him through yellow, demonic eyes, "What did you say?," Angel asked slowly, his voice like silk. But Spike wasn't fooled. He knew that sound, and involuntarily cold shivers ran over his back.

"N-nothing," he stuttered. He hadn't been sure about his welcome in L.A., but
he'd been sure he'd leave the city alive. Att the moment, however, it seemed as
if he'd assumed too much.

Slowly, very, very slowly, Angel released his grip on the other vampire's collar, "Better not forget about it," he growled. Of course Angel would never openly admit it, but the fear on his grand-childe's face was balm on his soul. The permanently suppressed demon inside of him sighed with pleasure. And his human soul didn't regret it, because, well, Spike was evil after all.

Starting the ignition again, Angel pulled the car back on the road and for the
next minutes ignored the vampire beside him.

To say that Spike had been pissed when Angel and Wesley had found him in front of Cordelia's door, was the understatement of the century. And Angel had seen Spike in pissed-mode. But the vampire had been fuming. Raging about disrespecting humans, about insults and bastards. Several minutes had passed before Angel had realised his grand-childe was speaking about Riley Finn. That and the fact that Giles had told Wesley about the chip in the blonde's head had made Angel inviting him inside.

There the vampire had related the whole story, about Dracula being in Sunnydale
and following the slayer, and about the "fishboy" as he was calling Riley Finn,
to Angel's not so hidden amusement. And up to a certain extent he could
understand Spike's feelings. It must be pretty hard to stand in front of a human
and to swallow insult after insult, when everything inside of you was screaming
to rip the bugger's throat out.

Angel knew quite well that Spike hadn't come to him to help the slayer. Of
course the blond vampire was hoping to get his grand-sire back to Sunnydale to
watch a confrontation between him and Riley, hoping the dark-haired vampire would beat the ex-commando up, something Spike no longer could. Of course that *so* wasn't going to happen, but the fact that Dracula was stalking Buffy made Angel's skin crawl and so he'd agreed to come along.

Although he knew that Buffy wouldn't be delighted at all to see him. They had
agreed to use the phone next time and now here he was driving into *her* town,
going behind her back again. He had no intention to come face to face with her.
He would deal with Dracula and then leave. Period. Then he would go back to L.A.
and deal with the pregnant girl and the trial. No problem at all.

Yeah, sure. And pigs could fly.

He knew Dracula, had met him more than once during his wild times, and there had
been that particular incident in Hungary-

"I've heard some rumors through the vampire grapevines," Spike interrupted his
thoughts, while he was lightening another cigarette. "They say you're going
against some lawyers in L.A. Pretty evil ones they say."

"Do they now?," Angel replied, not wanting to go there. Wolfram & Hart wasn't
something he wanted to think about. And discussing the subject with Spike was
even lower on the list.

"Yeah," his grand-childe said, blowing lazy circles of smoke through the car.
"You've become some bloody hero. Hell, what a joke. Angelus, the Scourge of
Europe, one of the most vicious creatures on the planet," he shook his head,
chuckled slightly. "And now you've become a protector of humans. But I have to
give you that. They fear you almost as much as they feared you over a century
ago."

Angel knew what Spike was doing, why the blond vampire was being so friendly.
Spike hadn't travelled with Angelus for nothing. Mind games weren't unfamiliar to him. He wanted Angel to be his friend. At least for tonight. He wanted a ally. Someone who might hate Riley Finn as much as he did. Too bad, that Angel didn't hate the ex-commando. He didn't like him. Despised him even. But he didn't hate him.

At least not very much.

They passed the "Welcome to Sunnydale"-sign, and Angel felt his heart rate
increase. He hadn't been here for months. When he'd left the last time, he'd
thought it was for good. That the chapter Buffy was over and done with. Of course he hadn't really believed it for a second.

The chapter Buffy.

Over.

What a joke.

"Do you know where Dracula is staying?," he asked his grand-childe.

"Not the slightest," Spike replied, inhaling more smoke, "But maybe we should see the watcher. He might know more."

Angel looked towards the horizon, "It'll be day soon. We might have to wait until sundown."

"You should've kept the Ring of Amarra," Spike remarked, instantly regretting the fact that he'd brought up that particular subject. He needed a friend tonight, and Angel might still be touchy about being tortured with hot pokers. "But I know a way," he said quickly, "There's a sewer tunnel. It ends almost in front of the watcher's door. We can go there and stay in the shadows."

Angel quirked a brow, "Seems you've been busy. I didn't know there was a tunnel."

Spike shrugged, "Survival instinct."

His grand-sire knew there was more to it, but let it go for now. Not that he
pitied Spike for what had happened to him. But it couldn't be easy to live with a chip in your head, preventing you to hunt for your food, but being completely
evil inside. It wouldn't be surprising if the other vampires treated him like an
outcast.

"Where are you staying?," he asked his grand-childe.

The blond cleared his throat, obviously uncomfortable with the question. And when he finally answered, Angel knew why, "In a crypt."

"In a, what?," Angel asked incredulously, not able to suppress a chuckle.

"Yeah, yeah," Spike said thoroughly annoyed, "I know it's humiliating. It's like
in those stupid movies where the vamps are sleeping in their tombs. Wipe that
grin off your face," he warned, his voice low and growling, "I might not be able
to hit humans, but the chip doesn't prevent me from hurting vampires."

"So I've heard. And I'm already trembling in my pants," his grand-sire replied,
"So you're kind of helping the slayer. I'll bet it's the only way to get rid of
all this frustration, huh?"

"Sod off," Spike growled again, louder this time.

"You came to me."

"Yeah, and I already wish I wouldn't have. I should just have watched little
blondie being sucked dry by our old pal and then enjoy soldier-boy, all
grief-stricken."

Angel ignored his words and stopped the car near Restfield cemetery. Glancing
over at Spike, he nodded, "Show me your sewer tunnel," he ordered.

*

Careful not to become exposed to sunlight, Angel retreated into the shadows under the archway that was leading to the courtyard of Giles' apartment complex.

"Hey," Spike yelped beside him after a streak of sunlight had hit him.

"Shut up," his grand-sire hissed.

"Shut up," the blond echoed. "Easy to say. It wasn't you who started to smolder." He saw a grin flash over Angel's face and narrowed his eyes, but didn't comment
it.

The same moment the front door of Giles' apartment opened and Buffy stormed into
the courtyard.

God, she was beautiful. Angel had to close his eyes for a moment. He was hit full force with all the suppressed feelings, the longing, all the things that were out of his reach. Quickly pushing those feelings aside, he noticed Riley, following the blond.

"Hey," he called after her and grabbed her arm. "Take off that scarf," he
commanded. Angel had to suppress the urge to grab the commando right there and
rip his throat out.

"What?," Buffy stared at her boyfriend. "No," she replied, holding a protective
hand over her scarf.

Riley's eyes narrowed, and nodded as if suddenly understanding, "You're already
under the thrall of the dark prince!," he stated.

The slayer gave a little snort, "I am not under the thrall of the dark prince,"
she insisted. A breeze was floating through the courtyard and Angel's nose
suddenly caught something he couldn't clearly identify. But it was coming from
Buffy. And it wasn't her scent. And it wasn't Riley's either. His eyes widened in sudden understanding.

"Then take of the scarf," Riley demanded.

"Oh, let go of me," Buffy shouted, "This is ridiculous." She tried to break lose
from Riley's grip, but he held onto her and suddenly the scarf came off. The very same moment Willow, Giles and Xander were entering the courtyard as well.

Staring at Buffy's neck like in trance, Angel could feel the demon inside of him
roaring in outrage at the sight of the two tiny holes in her neck.

"Why didn't you say something?," Giles demanded.

"Cause she didn't want to worry us," Xander chirped. "Right, Buffster? It's
nothin', just a scratch."

"Two deep, punctury scratches," Willow said pointedly.

"I'm not even sure why I tried to hide it. Uh ... there was this voice ... and it was," Buffy sighed, "it was telling me to cover it."

"And what did it tell you?," Riley asked acidly, "That's a thrall," he said,
looking at the others.

"You're saying Dracula has some sort of freaky mind control over her? You're
watching too many creature features, man," Xander commented. And then to Angel's
utter surprise grabbed a fly off a nearby leaf and chewed it.

The dark haired vampire exchanged a meaningful glance with his grand-childe who
had seen it as well. They both knew what it meant. Dracula had already invaded
Xander's mind and was using him for information. This was not good.

"But it does seem like he has this ... control over me. I ... even though a big
part of me is resisting." Buffy sighed deeply.

"No, that's okay," Riley said, running a hand through his hair, "I shouldn't take this personally. I mean, what with Angel, I mean, it's understandable that there would be transference. I mean, they're both broody immortals."

In his hiding place the dark-haired vampire tensed, when Buffy stood and walked
over to the ex-commando. "I am not transferring," she said firmly, I swear to you. I'm your girl." Angel flinched at her words, remembering an evening when she'd said almost the same to him. " And I'm gonna stay that way."

"Okay," the blond soldier took a deep breath, "But you're not going anywhere near him again."

"Uh-oh," Spike commented on a chuckle, "Soldier boy doesn't trust blondie. I
always suspected it, but now it's pretty obvious, don't you think?"

Angel only ignored him, but silently, he was agreeing. Riley was self-conscious
about Buffy. He was doubting her feelings, and in Angel's experience this didn't
bode well for a long-lasting relationship. A part of him felt sorry for Buffy,
because he was almost sure that Riley's days were already at her side were
already counted. But the bigger part wanted to sing a song of joy.

"Uh," Giles took a step closer, "Riley's right, you should ... you should stay
out of sight. Let the rest of us look for Dracula."

"I can't go home," Buffy replied, "He already got inside once."

Clearing his throat Xander came up as well, "You can come over to my place. I'll
make sure you stay put."

Angel tensed even more.

"Good," Giles nodded. "Um ... Riley ... and I can ... uh ... can search for
Dracula, and Willow, you and Tara could ... uh ... could do a protection spell on Buffy's mother's house, and prevent him from returning."

"Got it," Willow nodded, "How'd did he get inside anyway?"

"Because he's not your average vampire, you stupid blockheads," Spike whispered
beside Angel. "And they call themselves watchers and slayers. They don't have a
clue."

"Let's get to business," Angel replied, ignoring his grand-childe. Silently and
without being seen the two vampires returned to the sewer tunnel.

*****

"Say what you want, but the buggger's got style. Beats me how he did it, but he's actually staying in some sort of castle." Spike shook his head and chuckled
slightly.

Angel shot him a sideways glance, while he was hurrying through the hallways of
this so called castle. Whatever it was, it couldn't be real. It had to be part of
the image Dracula used to create around himself. The really stunning part,
however, was that it felt real. And the walls around the two vampires were solid. "I remember him having a thing for Dru," he said almost absentmindedly. "Darla couldn't stand him."

"And why not," Spike shot back, "Dru happens to be attractive. You thought so
once yourself."

"It wasn't me," Angel commented unnecessarily.

"Yeah, yeah, you keep saying that," the blond vampire muttered, almost bumping
into his grand-sire's back as he came to a sudden halt. He tilted his head and
saw Angel frowning.

"Did you hear that?," the dark-haired vampire asked.

"The slayer's voice," Spike answered.

The two vampires silently crept closer and true, now they could hear Buffy's
voice clearly.

"Why? Because I'm under a thrall," she said, producing a stake from her pocket.
"Well, guess again, pal."

Dracula was watching her with the hypnotising look, he'd perfected over the
centuries. Angel felt himself shiver slightly. "Put the stake down."

"Okay," Buffy replied, her face glazing over, the stake suddenly gone from her
hand, she stared at it, as if not able to believe what she was seeing. "Right."
Angel could see her desperately fighting to clear her head. "That ... was not ... you," she said uncertainly, "I did that. I did that because ... I wanted to."

Dracula only watched her. He was standing completely still, a strange aura
surrounding him.

Angel knew what it meant. He had seen that part before and he didn't like it at
all. He could see the fear entering Buffy's eyes, and she whimpered, "Maybe I
should rethink that thrall thing."

Slowly stepping from his hiding place, aware that Spike was moving behind him,
Angel crossed the hall of the castle. He knew that Dracula was too concentrated
on Buffy to even notice him. At least for now.

"Stay away from me." He could hear Buffy's voice waver.

"Are you afraid I will bite you?," Dracula asked, his voice washing through the
air like velvet while he was walking closer to the blond. "Slayer, that's why you came in the first place."

"No," Buffy replied, but her voice betrayed the fear she was feeling right now.
And Angel hated it. She was strong. She'd always been strong. He didn't want her
scared. "Last night ... it's not gonna happen again," she went on.

Something flashed through Dracula's eyes, but he kept coming closer. His voice
dropped another notch, "Stop me," he invited. "Stake me."

Angel saw Buffy taking a step back, "I ...," she started and her gaze flickered
to the stake on the table. "Any minute now."

"Do you know why you cannot resist?," Dracula asked.

"Cause you're famous?," Buffy asked flippantly, but her voice was still full of
fear.

"Because I do not want you to," he informed her, reaching out with his hand,
almost touching her, but not doing it yet. He spread his fingers, and Angel heard him murmur something. In result, Buffy's eyes glazed over for a second time, but now she seemed completely gone, her will taken from her.

Exchanging a short glance with Spike, Angel stepped forward, "Dracula," he said
almost casually, crossing the hall, coming to stand beside Buffy, who wasn't
moving at all, just stood there, as in trance.

Fury flashed through the older vampire's eyes, but then recognition hit him,
"Angelus," he said, actually sounding delighted. Then his gaze fell on the
dark-haired vampire's companion, and the delight instantly vanished, "And
William." Looking back at Angel, he slightly shook his head, "I never understood
why you even bothered to travel with ... his kind," he remarked on a sigh.

"Hey," Spike stepped forward, "Dark Prince or however you call yourself these
days. Don't insult a fellow vampire." Dracula all but rolled his eyes at that.
"Besides. I'm Spike today. And ...," his eyes narrowed, "May I remind you, you
still owe me eleven bucks."

Dracula heaved an almost pained sigh, and shook his head again, "Details.
Details." He sighed again, "I know his sire is insane and that explains a lot,
but you should've gotten rid of him," he told Angel.

"I tried," the dark-haired vampire replied on a chuckle. "But he somehow keeps
coming back all the time." He never took his eyes off the older vampire. There
was no way he could just overpower Dracula. Not even if Spike helped him, which
he probably would after the insults he'd experienced. But Dracula was too
experience, too clever to be defeated that easily.

"I'm disappointed though," Dracula went on, ignoring Buffy for the moment. He
waved a hand over Angel's form, "What ever happened to you? You used to have such great taste in clothes." Another heavy sigh. "Our world really turns upside
down."

Looking down at himself, Angel shrugged, "I got into an argument," he explained,
the torn clothing.

"And he's got a thing for black these days," Spike remarked, not liking that they all but ignored him. "It's all the guilt he's carrying around."

Dracula's gaze sharpened instantly. His eyebrows rose, "Guilt?" He tilted his
head, his eyes almost piercing through the dark-haired vampire. And then sudden
understanding lit up in them, "You have a soul. You are the one. I've heard of
you. They talk about you all over the planet. Some in awe, others in horror, many in disgust." He slightly shook his head, "A sentiment, I feel welling up in
myself now," he muttered, turning away for a moment.

Then turning back to the two vampires he asked, "So, I suppose you didn't come to watch me turning the slayer?"

"No," Angel slowly shook his head in the negative. "I've come to regain my
property." He nodded towards Buffy, "She's mine." He heard Spike snicker behind
him, but ignored it for the moment. He would deal with his annoying grand-childe
when this was over.

The older vampire's eyes widened, "You were the one. I see," he nodded
thoughtfully. "I saw your mark. But as she was still a human being, I supposed it wasn't the same."

"Wrong." Angel's voice was sharp.

Dracula nodded again.

Spike was right. Angel had to give him that much. Dracula had style. And - as
strange as that might sound - a sense of honor. He was living on rules of the
vampire society. Something very rare these days where most of the vampires were
living rogue.

Okay, so he had lived as a rogue himself, but that didn't mean he didn't know
about rules, and how to use to your advantage. Inwardly he almost chuckled. Who
thought having been the Scourge of Europe would come in that handy.

Dracula's gaze turned thoughtful again. "But I could smell a human male all over
her," he remarked and Angel ignored the quick stab of pain, he felt being
remembered of Riley Finn and what he was to Buffy. No, don't go there, he told
himself. You left her. So that she could have a normal life. Now she has the
normal boyfriend you wanted for her. Be happy about it, and let it go.

Yeah. Sure.

Let it go.

Maybe he should just take Mr. Pointy from the table and stake himself now.

But then he remembered all the things he'd done in L.A. throughout the last year
and he managed to pull himself together. He couldn't break down, not now, when
Buffy's life was at stake. "That's just ..."

"I understand," Dracula cut him off. He sighed again deeply. "Women," he shook
his head. "They need a ... distraction ... sometimes. Yes?"

Shooting Spike a dark look, to hold his tongue, Angel nodded, "Yes."

"Alright," Dracula agreed with a nod, turning away from Buffy. "You should teach
her though. She was an easy victim for me," he said, looking at Angel.

"Wrong."

Three heads flew around and they were staring at Buffy who was suddenly awake.

There was surprise on Spike's, disbelief on Dracula's, and a proud smile on
Angel's face. She smiled at him for a short moment, then turned back to Dracula.
"Seems the thrall doesn't work as planned, huh?," she asked flippantly.

Angel's lips were suddenly dry. "You we...," he had to clear his throat. "You
were listening all the time."

"Yeah," she told him brightly. "Nice to know that you marked me," she told him.
"Why didn't you bother to tell me?," she asked.

"Uh ... the moment didn't-"

"You mean it wasn't convenient when you had already dumped me in a sewer tunnel
only weeks before. Yeah, I can see that."

"Buffy that's not-"

"Where the hell did he go?," she asked staring at the spot where Dracula had been
standing only seconds before.

"Oh, dammit," Spike shouted. "He always does that. I hate that guy. Did I ever
tell you, I hated him?"

"I'd say the feeling is mutual," Buffy commented dryly.

"And who's giving me my eleven bucks now?," he muttered why he sauntered from the
great hall, leaving vampire and slayer on their own.

The silence that settled over the room was a little bit awkward, Buffy and Angel
looking everywhere but at each other, the blond was coughing slightly, then
frowned to herself. Finally she couldn't stand it anymore. Sighing, she lifted
her head and gazed at the vampire. "So you ... uh ... came," she began, uncertain
how to do this.

"Yeah," Angel replied, giving her his trademark half-smile. "I ... haven't
forgotten about the phone calls," he told her quickly, "I mean ... staying away
and all, but ... Spike sounded pretty urgent and I knew Dracula and-"

"It's alright," she said softly, interrupting his ramble.

He looked stunned, "It is?"

"Yeah," she smiled at him. "Dracula had me scared for a while. I appreciate your
help. And I'm *so* not going to ask what you did exactly when you met before."

He chuckled, "That might be wise."

She rolled her eyes, "Vampire memories. Did anyone ever bother to write them
down. No rewind that. They would hardly become bestsellers. With all the blood
and death and ... hey, wait. Hollywood would love this."

They both laughed, the awkwardness instantly back. "I ... better," Angel began
pointing at the door.

She nodded, "Yeah. I suppose, you have to go. Are you ...," she paused, amended
her words, "Do you have a lot to do?"

"Yeah," he replied. "A lot." And I will be human one day. Did you hear me, he
wanted to cry, I'm going to be human. And I want you to wait for me. Dump Riley
and wait for me. But of course he didn't. "I'm in the middle of a case right
now," he said instead.

"Oh. I see," she cleared her throat. "You'll be ... careful?"

That suprised him. "I will," he said softly. "You do the same."

"I will," she promised.

Suddenly pain flashed through his eyes, and he looked at the scar at her throat.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "For giving you this."

Her hand flew to the bite marks, "No," she said firmly. "Don't be. I ...," she
shrugged, color flooding her cheeks, "I kind of like it. That way, I have
something of you with me, all the time. Like a good luck charm, you know," she
grinned.

He looked startled for a moment, then smiled, "Good luck charm, huh? Pretty
uncommon."

She shrugged, "What can I say, I never was the regular girl."

His eyes turned soft, "No," he agreed, you never were.


I can feel the magic floating in the air.
Being with you gets me that way
I watch the moonlight dance across your face
and I, oh I've
Never been this swept away


Her eyes turned soft as well, and without realising it they stepped closer. "You
... uh ... should go now," she whispered, but took another step towards him.


All my thoughts just seem
to settle on the breeze
When I'm lying wrapped up in your arms
The whole world just fades away,
the only thing I hear
Is the beating of your heart.


"Yeah. I should," he agreed, his voice a whisper as well. They were only
inches apart now. "You are beautiful," he said suddenly.

She moistened her lips, "You look ... good ... too." She wanted to break free
from his mesmerizing gaze, but she couldn't. Freeing herself of Dracula's thrall
had been a piece of cake compared to this.

And then, almost as if led by invisible bands, they were in each others arms, his mouth descending on hers, he was holding her tightly, his tongue darting out, tracing the line of her lips.


And I can feel you breathe,
and it's washing over me
Suddenly I'm melting into you
There's nothing left to prove, baby all we
need is just to be
Caught up in the touch,
the slow and steady rush
And baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe


On a little moan she opened her lips and his tongue slipped past them, reclaiming familiar territory. Cool meeting hot, life meeting death, two souls meeting their other halfs, they were melting into each other, time and people separating them, just fading into nothingness.

Angel growled deep in his throat, his hands roaming over her back, then finding
their way into her hair, combing it.


In a way I know my heart is waking up
As al the walls come tumbling down
Closer than I've ever felt before and it know and you know
There's no need for words right now.


She held onto him, tightly, desperately, her tongue duelling with his, her eyes
closed, she forgot everything around them. Nothing was important anymore. Only
the man in her arms. Being close to him. Again. Finding home. Even if it was only for a short moment. But it was better than nothing. For this short moment, the emptiness was gone, filled with warmth, where there was only cold now.


And I can feel you breathe,
and it's washing over me
Suddenly I'm melting into you
There's nothing left to prove, baby all we
need is just to be
Caught up in the touch,
the slow and steady rush
And baby, isn't that the way that love's supposed to be
I can feel you breathe
Just breathe


Slowly reality was reaching their minds again, and they pulled away, Buffy a bit
breathless, she was staring at Angel with wide eyes. They didn't talk, just
looked at each other.

He was the first to find his voice again, while his hands were still on her arms, "The scar will fade," he said slowly.

"Yours?"

"No," he shook his head. "Dracula's. Mine will never go away."

"A mark," she acknowledged. "You staked your claim."

"Yeah," he agreed, their eyes still locked with each other.

"As I said. I'm glad." She smiled slightly, the spell between them suddenly
broken. "You need to leave, huh?"

"Yeah," he said again. "There's a case waiting for me in L.A. and-"

She held up a hand. "You don't have to explain. I understand." She smiled again.
"Don't be a stranger."

"I won't. There's the phone and Cordelia actually managed to explain e-mail to
me."

"E-mail, huh? A 20.th century vampire now."

"Yeah," he grinned.

They stepped away from each other, suddenly painfully aware of their closeness.
"See you around then," she said.

"Yeah, see you around."

He walked towards the door, turned again, "Oh, by the way," he grinned when she
raised a brow. "I still don't like Riley."

Her laughter followed him into the night.

*

Behind a door in the back, Xander and Giles were awkwardly studying their toes,
while tears were running over Riley's face.

END

Look out for the sequel: Midnight Whispers