Ok, there's nothing I can say at all to make it up to you is there? It's been ages and I can't apologise enough. Unfortunately there has been real life, work and a missing musie to comprehend with! Plus as this is nearly finished...I didn't want to write it coz I didn't want it to end L. But alas, here we are, better late than never right? Right?

As usual, shout out to my gal Jen and my pals Roxy & Summer! I miss our terrible foursome of doom and delicious Angel yummyness chats! As always, check out my profile for amazing authors...Helmi1 & Angelsblueeyedgirl (Jen) in particular!

You just want me to shut up and get on with it don't you? OK OK!!..


Xander's funeral had been brutal. Willow had stood separate from the group with Tara, not speaking and barely moving. The sky was beginning to cloud over, with a promise of rain but it was still bright and not for the first time Buffy had resented the sun keeping Angel from her. She needed his strength but had managed to hold her composure. She felt him watching from the shadows of a nearby crypt. Instead she had Gunn and Cordy either side of her, Giles, Wes and Oz nearby. Straightening her back she went to walk forwards to stand next to Willow at the grave. Willow looked up at her approach and turned away with a sneer, walking away without looking back.

Buffy's shoulders slumped but she kept her resolve. Willow had done too much damage to repair their friendship but at times like this grudges didn't seem too important. Buffy looked at Xander's grave and traced her hand around his name.

Alexander Leville Harris

He loved, He laughed, He lived.

She had said everything she needed to in her head, taking a breath she let the tears fall for the friend he was. One by one the others moved forward to say goodbye and then walked away but Buffy wasn't sure if minutes passed or hours as she stood there and contemplated whether she could have done anything to change things, whether he would still be alive if it wasn't for her. She didn't notice the clouds finally blocking the sun or the rain that had started slowly and was beginning to get worse. Buffy was lost in what could have and should have been, once again resenting her calling and her involvement of friends. She felt someone approach and was actually mildly surprised to find Gunn next to her and not Angel.

"I know what it's like, to lose a member of your team. No matter what, you blame yourself, but don't. They enter into the battle by choice and it was their decision to stay in it. Don't cheapen his life by taking that away from him. It is a battle Buffy, it's not always going to turn out well but chances are you saved him a hundred times and in a hundred ways and he got lost along the way. People make the wrong choice and go down their own paths and you have to let them. You can't shoulder everything, you just have to use it in your fight and let them live on in your heart. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago you told me 'Don't blame yourself, if you concentrate on everyone you didn't save, you will go crazy, just remember the ones you did'".

A fleeting touch to Buffy's shoulder and Gunn walked away, giving Angel a nod as he passed. He had said what he wanted to, his own memories of his sister and crew falling down on him as heavy as the rain.

This time Buffy knew it was Angel coming and with each step he took closer to her, she felt her strength rebuilding and Gunn's words doing their job. Wiping her eyes she gave a final goodbye to her friend and turned to face her future.

"Can we get out of here?" Buffy held her hand out to Angel, walking towards him. He bent and kissed her forehead.

"Of course, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you beloved".

"You were".

They turned and walked away, heading back to Giles'. Angelus was quiet and sulking, they had discovered Buffy's ability to hear him had faded and was becoming more and more infrequent. It pleased Angel to no end and put Angelus in a foul mood.

Buffy thought over their conversations recently and sighed heavily. She knew there was no other choice but the solution they had come up with but that didn't mean she liked it.

"So I guess I'll see you next weekend now right? I mean you guys have to go back and my Mom would have moved by then so I can come spend the weekend". Since the shock of Xander's death had died down, Buffy had realised it would be impossible for her to go with Angel and leave the hell mouth unattended. It put her in a bad mood.

"I do have to go back. I know I don't want to be apart from you, but what I'm doing in L.A., it's a good thing Buffy, it's...I'm helping people".

"Your charging people" Buffy huffed quietly, momentarily forgetting his enhanced hearing until he froze beside her. "Oh Angel, I'm sorry, it's just...It's a hard day and it just slipped out".

"But you meant it though right? You don't agree".

It was only the fact that he was looking down at her, genuinely wanting to hear her answer that she complied. "I'm sorry Baby, I just can't get my head round it. We have the ability to protect the innocent, it's my calling to do it, and to charge them for saving them is just foreign to me. Who else are they going to go to? And what? If they don't pay, you don't save? I get that if people come to you with a silly case or a bodyguard thing, but if it's a serious life threatening demon or whatever…to charge them for something beyond their control? How is that right?"

"Buffy, don't ever be afraid to tell me your opinion or how you feel. It was Cordy's idea to charge people, I wasn't comfortable with it either. I hate asking for money".

"But you do it Angel".

Angel stayed quiet, unsure as to how to answer. He knew she was right and charging people for help with the supernatural was wrong. "I don't know how I would change things. If Cordy would let me change things".

"Wow. I didn't realise". Buffy looked down at the ground and started walking again, untangling her fingers from his.

"What? Buffy what didn't you realise?"

"I just didn't realise Cordelia had such an influence over you". Buffy knew she sounded jealous and hated herself for it.

"Buffy she just sort of bombarded my life. Invited herself along if you will, I didn't have much choice and in the end it worked out well".

"Right. So you can let her have her way and insinuate herself into your life but-...you know what. Forget it, I'm being crabby and starting a fight over nothing. But I'll say now and I'll say it clear. When I visit you, I won't be taking any money off anyone and as much as I get on with Cordy at the moment, if she tries throwing her weight around, there will be trouble."

"I wouldn't expect anything else" Angel shot her the half grin she loved so much and leant down to kiss her, frowning when it was barely returned. "Look Buffy-"

"No Angel, I just have some issues. I know we've been through everything over and over, I'm just emotional today. I've honestly been getting on so well with Cordy these last couple of weeks. I'm just...it's just...I'm jealous goddamn it".

Angel's shocked expression would have been comical in any other situation, however all it did was grate on Buffy's nerves. "Jealous? Buffy how could you possibly be jealous of Cordelia? I love you and only you".

"But you left me Angel. You couldn't let me be part of your life, couldn't talk to me but you let her. She has a whole part of your life that you didn't want me a part of"

"Of course I wanted you a part of it Buffy. I missed you everyday. Having Cordelia around helped me. It made me remember that you were real, that what we had was real. It hurt but I needed that reminder to convince myself you weren't a dream. I wanted it to be you there everyday but it wasn't safe and I loved you too much to allow it." Angel shot her a half grin and once again leant down to kiss her, this time getting a response.

Buffy half heartedly grimaced and chuckled. "Well if that choice comes up again, could you love me a little less?"

"Not a chance beloved". Angel entwined their fingers and they continued the walk back to Giles.


As they got closer to Giles', Buffy began to panic slightly. Her pulse quickened and her breathing shallowed.

"Sweetheart, what's wrong?" Angel pulled them to a stop, looking intently at her.

"Promise me Angel, promise you're coming back for me. You're not leaving me".

"Buffy I swear to you, I'm not leaving you, we're no where near over and I'm never leaving you again. We just have to live apart for a while". Angel's un-beating heart broke for his beloved and he pressed a desperate kiss to her lips.

Buffy wrapped her arms round his neck, deepening the kiss, pulling him into the familiar alley behind Giles'. Angel's large hands slid down either side of her waist to grip the back of Buffy's thighs, holding them firmly he lifted her, wrapping her legs round his waist. They both groaned at the friction as Buffy ground her heat on his firming member, her fingers digging in to his rippling muscles.

Angel released her mouth so she could breathe, placing small licks and bites down her neck to her collarbone, thrusting lightly against her.

"Please Angel, I need to feel you, I need you to show me" Buffy managed to moan out, her hands pulling apart either side of his shirt, luckily saving the buttons. She shivered as he nipped her neck, fully aware of the ability he had to sink his fangs into her and drain her dry. Instead of fear, lust shot through her already heated veins at the thought of Angel's fangs piercing her neck. She rubbed her hard nipples against his chest and squeezed her legs together trying to alleviate some of the tension.

Angel growled and slammed his slayer against the rough brick wall, absorbing her breathy cry into his mouth as his lips took possession once again. The raw need passed from Buffy to Angel in an instant and he reached between them, easily working her button free, yanking her jeans from her legs.

"Wrap your legs around me lass, I'm going te take you hard and fast. I'm going to fuck you so hard against this wall you'll never forget you're mine". Angel couldn't prevent his game-face appearing as Buffy's lust-filled scent hit his senses, he released a low growl as he positioned his hard weeping tip at her opening. "So wet for me lass, so hot ye almost burn me. My cock fills you like you were made for me".

"Just for you Angel, always for you". Buffy had nearly come apart at the dirty words falling from his sinful mouth, all the more decadent where he had once again slipped into his Irish brogue. Thrilling her with his lack of control.

Angel kissed her with unrestrained passion before slipping his tongue into her mouth, exploring her as he thrust forward, firmly embedding his cock deep inside her waiting pussy. Angel swallowed her keen of ecstasy like air and began a pounding pace as he thrust into her over and over. His tongue mimicked his movement, fucking her mouth, claiming her as his own in everyway.

Buffy braced her arms on the wall, the slight pain from being pounded into the wall unnoticed as she focused on Angel's dick filling her, clenching her inner muscles round him when he was fully inside her.

Angels eyes rolled back as Buffy tightened around him over and over. The need to bite her rose, in an almost desperate way he needed to mark her before he left. Needed the security of knowing everything in their world knew she was his. Angelus just egged him on, wanting Buffy's potent blood, wanting the maximum pleasure as he enjoyed the current claiming of their mate.

"Yes Angel! Right there baby! I'm going to come so hard round your cock baby". Buffy's arms tightened round his neck.

Both Angel and Angelus barely held onto their control as Buffy's words hit them, mildly surprised at her ease in talking that way. "I'm going to bite you baby, you're mine and I want everyone to know it". Without a second thought, Angel roughly thrust his cock into her and slipped his fangs into her throat, her blood hitting him instantly.

Buffy's head swam as she was hit from every sense, the feeling of both Angel's cock and fangs in her pushed her screaming over the edge, a million stars bursting behind her closed lids. The sudden bombardment of Angelus' input had her tightening hard round Angel's swelling shaft, ripping his release from him. A vampiric roar muffled against her throat as he shot his load deep inside her.

Come over my cock baby, that's it, cover it with your juices. You're mine. Your blood is mine. That's it, fuck her hard against the wall. Take her like she deserves to be fucked. Fuck soo good Buff, I'll never get enough. So tight around my cock Buff, squeeze me….Mine!

Angel slowed his thrusts as he finished emptying himself inside her, resting his forehead against hers.

Well, we should say good-bye more often!

Angel ignored Angelus' satisfied smirk automatically and was surprised when Buffy hit his shoulder. "Hey?"

"Oh sorry baby, that was meant for Angelus, interrupting pig"

You loved it Buff- you know soul boy couldn't have fucked you that sinfully and thoroughly in some dirty alley, that was me in their too. I mean it, you are mine.

"Says the one in the box?" Angel raised his brow before turning his attention back to Buffy. Wait, beloved, you can hear Angelus again?" He felt Angelus' excitement at the possibility.

"Oh! Yeah, I guess I can. That's weird, I had been getting used to the quiet again". Buffy whimpered as Angel's now softened penis slipped from her hole. He lowered her onto shaky legs and pressed a loving kiss to her forehead.

"Alright for you Buff, you don't get left with a whiney ass soul to drive you crazy 24-7! Least there is a possibility of getting my cock sucked from you. Mm and a taste of your sweet blood Buff."

"Hmm, blood. I wonder if that's why. I mean the aspect was all about the demons blood so I guess you could say you drinking my blood reactivates it?" Buffy's brow furrowed as she straightened her clothes.

Angel redid his buttons and looked over to Buffy. "You know that'll take some getting used to".

"Huh? What will?"

"You not playing the dumb blonde we know and love to fuck Buff. Always knew you had a few more brain cells than they all gave you credit for. That's why I didn't underestimate you. You haven't got yourself a stupid demon here either baby."

"You, being so clever. I knew you were always smart but you never realised your potential. I'm sorry for what you had to go through but I'm so proud of you Baby. You've done so well at school and what you've picked up and learnt just by reading is amazing".

"Yeah well, I've had a lot of time on my hands. I don't like what happened either, but I'm glad in a way. The stuff I've learnt Angel, it's amazing. I really believe knowledge is power. I've always felt a frustration that I wasn't making the best of myself, using any excuse to not apply myself. Now I feel like I deserve to be who I am".

"Well as much as this so called pillow talk is giving me the warm tingles, I'm bored. Soulboy you know going back to L.A. is pointless, lets just stay in Sunnydale….or even better, stay inBuff, in Sunnydale".

Angel observed Buffy's slight blush with wonder, yet Angelus' statement rang true. It was time to go.

"I love you with everything I am Buffy".

"I love you Angel, Always, forever".

"Ahem"

I guess I'm warming to you Angelus. We'll talk later. Oh. Wait, well I guess we'll have to wait for the weekend".

Their mood rapidly deflated and no words were needed as they reached out and automatically entwined their fingers, walking out of the alley.


After spending more time than expected saying a private goodbye outside Giles' door, the supernatural pair walked solemnly into the living room.

"Finally! Jeez I thought you two were gonna stay out there forever". Faith sat up from her lounging position on the couch. Cordy was flicking through a magazine, Gunn was watching 'Passions' with Spike all the while pretending to hate it. Giles and Wes were sitting at the table drinking tea, books surrounding them. Giles quickly shut his and stood, embracing Buffy in a brief hug that said everything.

"Sorry, we were just, erm, saying goodbye" Buffy blushed and Angel couldn't resist her pout, leaning down to give her a brief kiss.

"Without words?" Faith's eyebrow raised in question.

"The best way ain't it Peaches?" Spike smirked, raising his mug before crunching another 'Weetabix' in it.

"Look we're sorry, I know you guys need to get going, you'll still make it back with plenty of time before sunrise, plus if it's raining like today, it won't even matter". Buffy had resolutely ignored the stacks of bags by the front door, another reminder that the love of her life would be leaving her. Again.

"Depends how long it takes you to pack I guess" Gunn smirked.

"Pack? Ah really Giles? Are you and Wes doing a whole big resource swap thing? Can we leave the last section from the bottom shelf. I've not finished with them yet. The new material will be handy though, I guess I'm still gonna have a lot of reading time on my hands". Buffy let out a sigh and made her way over to the bookcase, picking up Giles' book from the table.

Giles started and took the book back, causing Buffy to look at him. Keeping a firm grip on the book he removed his glasses. "Erm, perhaps you have the wrong idea Buffy. You see dear girl, you need to pack your stuff. Your Mother is leaving Friday-"

"She's kicking me out? Damn can't I catch a break?"

"Buffy for Christ sake, pull yourself together. Here we are trying to do a good thing, trying to tell you that you're coming to L.A. with us and all you can do is flit around like you've been drinking Mountain Dew for three hours straight." Cordy shoved her hands on her hips, pointedly glaring at Buffy. Until she noticed the stares from the others and Buffy's open mouthed gape.

"I'm going to where? Wha-? I don't, I mean. As much as I'd love to Cordy it's not gonna happen. I mean I have the hell mouth and, and, and well school. Responsibilities".

Cordy shrugged at the others and figured she may aswell be the one to take this conversation. "Faith is here".

"Cordy, I wouldn't call Faith a responsibility". Buffy shot an apologetic look Faiths way, shocked at the brunette smirking at her. "I mean she's been through a lot, but we're okay now, better than ever. I trust her."

"Do you B?" Faith asked joining with the conversation finally.

"Of course Faith, I don't know how it all happened but I know you've changed. I know I've changed. You're my sister in all this and I know you'll always do the best you can"

"I will. It might not always be the right thing but it will be as close as I can get it. But, do you trust me?"

"Yes Faith, Jeez. How many times".

"Do you trust me with the hell mouth?"

"Yes Faith, of course. I hope we're close enough now that if something wasn't right you'd be able to come to me. But you know what, I'm so proud of you. At the end of the day I shouldn't be here, it's your duty as much as mine and I have to give you the chance to prove to yourself that you can do it".

"So leave then"

"What? Faith I can't-"

"You just said it was time for me to learn that I can do it, that I can be a slayer. I can. And I'll have help from the G-man, even Spike and hey, I'll have a whole line of defence waiting a phone-call away. So blondie, are you going with your Honey?"

Buffy stood, open mouthed looking round the room. Her gaze flitted over a smiling Gunn, Wes and Cordy. A hopeful yet shocked Angel and a stoic as always Oz. She settled on Giles. "Giles? What? I mean. Is it possible?"

"Buffy, my dear girl. We have been through different possibilities and as much as I'll miss you, you deserve it. I think you'll enjoy it and Faith is right. The slayer line rests with her, how will she ever reach her full potential with you here? I'm happy to stay on here as Faith's watcher and I'm sure our visits and communications will be plenty. You'll only be a few hours away after all. As for school. Buffy, do you think I haven't noticed your recent concentration on your studies, your sudden aptitude to research and maturity. You know you will pass the early courses this semester which opens you up to anything. Buffy you've completed your studies a year early. It's extraordinary".

"So, I can go? I can just up and leave Sunnydale? I can go with Angel?" Buffy's voice broke on the last word and looked up at Giles with tears in her eyes.

"Yes Buffy. Go live your life with the man you love. You won't be able to ignore your calling but I shouldn't imagine you would want to". Giles sent a look over to Angel, noticing the thankful look at Giles use of the term 'man'. They shared a look communicating a thousand things, from the Father to the Lover, a warning and a promise. Satisfied, Giles turned back to Buffy.

"No it's part of who I am. What about the council?"

"Let me deal with the council Buffy". Giles kept that particular worry to himself. He owed it to his slayer to make this as easy as possible. He would fob them off as long as he could.

Buffy turned to Angel, her eyes bright with unshed tears as her mind ran with the possibilities. "Angel? What do you think?"

"Buffy, I want you with me more than anything but only if it's what you want. If it's too fast or you want some time to think I understand. I don't expect you to give up your life for me".

"Shut up you moron! Yes Buff of course he wants you. If he doesn't, let me out and we'll never leave my bed. Soul boy you are pushing away a nightly supply of slayer blood and fucking our mate. Can you lose your mind as well as your soul??"

"Angel. Silly man. You are my life". Buffy shot across the room to Angel's arms, boosting herself up to wrap her legs round his waist, causing the other occupants to turn away (except Spike) feeling intrusive of the couple.

"Looks like we got ourselves some hot muscle joining the crew" Gunn smiled, stepping back when Angel growled. "Aww man come on. She's hot but it doesn't mean I would touch her".

"Too right Charlie boy. Like you would have a shot".

"So you guys would be ok with me coming with you?" Buffy looked uncertain to Wes, Gunn and Cordy.

"We orchestrated this whole thing Buffy! Well Faith, Wes and Giles did but we all approved and helped! I can't wait to get back to L.A. so can we go already. We all know you're going to come with us". The trip to Sunnydale had been a little too emotionally charged for Cordy and she couldn't wait to see the back of it.

"Yeah man, we need to get back to L.A."

"Ok, well you guys head back, I'll stay overnight with Buffy. Then you can pack, say your goodbyes and see your Mom off, ok Beloved?"

"Sounds perfect".

"They spent the next hour chatting, making plans and arrangements before the L.A. crew finally left. Giles watched the couple go with a mixture of emotions before returning to the table, and reopening his earlier book. Pouring himself a healthy shot of whiskey he continued his research alone.


Buffy and Angel ended up staying in Sunnydale till the Friday, spending quality time with her Mom, Giles and Faith.

Saying bye to her Mom and helping her put their personal possessions in storage had been hard for both Buffy and Joyce but renting it out provided an income and still let them hold onto the house that had seen so much. Buffy had given her details to the college and they had been reluctant to let such a good student go, her professors and advisors had all wished her the very best, shocked and awed by the positive change and happy glow that surrounded their previously withdrawn yet brilliant student.

Joyce was now on her way, a visit to Buffy's new home and vice versa already planned. Buffy had completed a heartfelt patrol with Faith the night before, re-affirming their bond and a quick stop-off warning to Spikes. Only to discover Angel had already dropped by with his own.

Oz had left with the L.A crew, planning to stay with them for a week and then moving off to get back to basics and learn about himself. No one had seen Willow and Buffy silently wished her old friend a goodbye, preying for the best possible outcome for the situation and worrying over how Willow's use of magic would turn out.

The hardest for Buffy was Giles. She gripped him a little tighter into her hug, pulling him away from the research he seemed to have been buried in recently and mindful of her strength. "You're like a Dad to me Giles. The best I could ask for. I'm gonna miss you. I love you Giles".

"And I you child. But don't think you're getting rid of me that easily or that I won't be checking up on you".

"I wouldn't expect anything less oh, watcher mine. I spoke to Leo earlier, just letting him know I was moving. I think things are going well for him. Him and Piper are expecting a baby! I can't wait to meet her. The Charmed ones Giles! Although good luck fighting evil with a baby, I feel so bad for them Giles. It's gonna be tough. Agh look at me having a good ramble, Angel's waiting in the car. Don't change your favourite to Faith OK, I don't think I could take that. I'm only a few hours away." Buffy's sudden rush made her miss the pained expression on Giles' face. He quickly masked it and said bye to his slayer.

"Never Buffy. I'll see you soon".

"Bye Giles, I'll call you when we get there".

Buffy got into the car besides Angel and took one last look back.

"Ready Sweetheart? Are you sure?" Angel knew that if it was possible his soul would have left him a thousand times over in the last few days. Buffy loved him enough to move with him, to leave her life behind. He just had to be sure to make sure he wasn't dreaming. He knew he didn't deserve it but until she changed her mind, he would have her anyway and for as long as he could. His heart felt like it was beating again, just in anticipation of having her with him but he had to be sure.

"Never been more sure of anything Angel. I love you" Buffy pressed a loving kiss to his lips and smoothed over his furrowed brow. "Angel, honestly I'm so excited. It's only because I keep expecting to wake up that I'm not bouncing around in my seat. As long as we're together we can face anything. Now take me home Lover" Buffy ended with a saucy wink.

"I love you Buffy. I can't wait to live with you, to have you in our bed".

"Angel, take me to bed or lose me forever" Buffy grinned, running her hands up his thigh.

Angel started, gunned the engine and sped off heading out of Sunnydale. "What the lady wants".

….

Back inside, Giles slammed a book shut in frustration. His research not easy, he was trying to double and triple check information he already only had the bare information on. Deciding to give up till morning he shot back the rest of his whiskey and circled the last line he had translated.

And from the two halves which become whole, does life create.


A/N: Hey guys. Well erm, I don't really know what to say here, This fic is finished! I hope you have all enjoyed it. I'm not overly enamoured with this finale but musie had left me and I figured you guys deserved an update. Nice little opening for a sequel there don'tcha think? Any guesses on what might happen hmm?

A big thank you to all those who reviewed and had me on alert. I couldn't have done this without you, your support has meant the world, and I can't believe how nice you all are about my writing. As always a huge thank you goes to my pal Jen, she took me under her wing and I'm so glad I found her! (yes you too Rox & Summer lol, angelus ho's lol).

So once again, thank you for coming along for the ride, I hope it lived up to your standards and you all enjoyed it. I'm a little sad to let this one go….but as I said….sequel perhaps?

Check my profile for amazing stories and authors. Much love, happiness and best wishes to you all. xxxxxxxxxxxx