A Fallen Angel - Chapter 8

After spending multiple hours and manpower beyond what he was capable of, Liam had finally finished getting the gallery ready for his next big show. As he watched the students mingle with each other and hang their work, Liam smiled. It had taken him years to make this gallery a reality and now it was getting more attention than he'd ever thought possible. As he bent to pick up another piece the phone in his pocket vibrated. He straightened and pulled it out. Smiling, he answered.

"I was wondering when I was going to hear from you." He said.

"Well, I wasn't sure how this was supposed to work. I mean, it was a one night stand wasn't it?" Buffy asked.

"It can be whatever you want it to be." Liam offered. Buffy laughed. Liam left the group and headed to his back office. He closed the door and sat down in the large chair behind his desk, "So what can I do for you?"

"What can't you is more like it." Buffy teased. Oh please god let her be real and not a dream. Liam thought as he pictured her in his mind.

"You don't want to know what I can do."

"Oh, that sounds like a challenge mister." Liam laughed. They could dance like this for hours he was sure but she had called for a reason.

"Not that I don't love playing games, but really, you called me."

"I did," He heard her sigh on the other end of the phone as if she was trying to think of what to say, "I was wondering what you were doing tomorrow night." She finally said. Liam sucked in a breath and exhaled.

"I've got plans." Liam knew where this conversation was headed.

"Damn. I was hoping you'd enjoy some tantalizing company." She commented clearly pouting on the other end of the phone.

"They are plans…" He started and paused, he heard her breath catch as she waited, "That you are more than welcome to crash." He heard her smile on the other end.

"Are you sure? I wouldn't want to crash."

"Not at all, you can be my guest." Liam offered.

"Guest to what?" She asked.

"My gallery is holding that local talent showcase and I do need a date."

"What no hot young girl waiting in the wings?" Buffy asked.

"Hey you were the one asking me out, not the other way around." Liam countered.

"Touché." Liam leaned back in his hair and ran his free hand through his hair. A picture of his daughter and wife was on his desk. Liam frowned. I really need to get a different picture of Cassidy. He thought. Leaning forward, his flipped the picture face down and returned his attention to the woman on the other end of the phone.

"So, pick you up at 7?" He asked.

"How do you know I want to join you?" She asked him.

"Again, you called me."

"I'll be ready." She said. Liam smiled and allowed his mind to wander; the image of the red dress she wore the night they met made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. After a few more playful suggestions, Liam hung up the phone and stared at his office door. His vision began to blur and he rubbed his face. He must be really tired because when he opened his eyes there was another person in his office. She was standing just on the inside of the door with one hip cocked and her head tilted to the side. Her blonde hair hit to just above her shoulders and her angular jaw line begged to be kissed. She arched a single eyebrow and smiled seductively. Despite the fact that she was gorgeous, it wasn't Buffy. Slowly she walked towards him; as she moved her image changed – a woman from the Victorian era, a kimono, a peasant maids dress and then a green summer dress that left nothing to the imagination. She stopped in front of his desk and placed a single hand on the top. Slowly, she moved around the desk dragging her hand along the finish. She continued to smile as she approached him. She stopped in front of him and pulled his chair back. Liam didn't know what to do, but his body wasn't about to let him leave. There was something about this woman that was familiar; he couldn't put his finger on it, but it was if he knew her. The woman picked up the hem of her dress and hiked it up. Without hesitation, she straddled Liam as he sat in his chair. She wrapped her arms around his neck and dug her fingers into his hair. Violently, she pulled his head back causing Liam to gasp. He tried to move but she had him isolated in his seat. She kissed him without hesitation; forcing him to comply with her every move. He heard her laugh as she worked her way down his deck. Liam felt a twinge of pain and yelled out. She laughed again pulling back to reveal a demonic face that frightened him to the core. Her yellow eyes blazed with evil and her smile made his skin crawl. As if she were a ghost, she disappeared with a knock at the door.

"Liam? Are you in there?" Liam's eyes snapped open as he nearly fell out of his chair.

"Yeah! I'm here." The door opened and his secretary walked in.

"We're all done. You ready to get out of here for the night?" She asked. It was an open invitation for him to join her at her place. Liam shook his head and tried to get the image of the blonde woman out of his head, but all he could see was her demonic looking face. He must be tired.

"Yeah, I guess I'm more tired than I thought. I should be getting home." She pouted at him and shrugged.

"Okay, but if you're up for it…"

"No. Thank you, but no. I think I'm just going to crash at home." She smiled at him then closed the door behind her; unfortunately, she was on the wrong side of the door. Liam watched as she locked the door and stood with her back pressed up against it. She moved towards him and smiled.

"This is over isn't it?" She asked. Liam swallowed and watched her.

"It was never something." He said.

"Never something," She echoed as she moved towards his desk, "I don't know, felt like something to me." Tiffany stood opposite him as he stared at her. Figures sleep with someone a few times and they think you're going to get married.

"Tiffany, I apologize if I led you on and made you think this was more than what it was, but there is nothing between us but sex, which hasn't happened for quite some time now." Liam knew it was harsh but in order to make it sink into her head, he was going to have to be harsh. In one quick movement, Tiffany flipped the table sending it crashing against the side of the small office. The desk shattered into pieces as Tiffany grabbed hold of Liam and hauled him out of his chair. Her hand closed around his throat cutting off all air supply, Liam's hand shot up as he tried to move her hand. What seemed like seconds, Liam watched as Tiffany's face twisted and shifted into the same thing he'd seen before with the blonde woman in his office. Her grip tightened and Liam coughed.

"Just sex? Come now, Angelus, we had something much more meaningful than that." Liam tried to say something but he couldn't get anything out, "What no heartless comeback?" With a flick on her wrist, Tiffany tossed Liam towards the rubble that was his desk. Liam coughed and gasped for air. Tiffany watched as Liam sat up and dragged in huge gulps of breath.

"This is amusing. I thought it was all an act, but you really don't know who you are, do you?"

"What are you talking about?" Liam rasped. Tiffany laughed showing her glinting white fangs. Fangs? Liam thought. It's not possible. Liam's hand moved and without hesitation he grasped the large piece of splintered wood that lay next to him. Tiffany laughed again.

"Do you even know what you're doing? God, you're pathetic. You used to be the most powerful creature in the world and now you are nothing but a pathetic shell of a human. You disgust me. I can't believe I even wanted to be with you, again." Liam knew this girl was crazy, but this took the cake. His hand tightened on the wood as she advanced on him. He brought the weapon up and held it before him.

"What are you going to do? Kill me?" She sneered. She lunged forward and Liam closed his eyes. What happened next Liam couldn't explain, but the woman that stood before him burst into what he could only assume was ash. Liam coughed as he breathed in the dust. Slowly, Liam stood. He dusted himself off and winced in pain as he tried to stretch. He had no idea what just happened but before he knew it, Daniel was at the door. Daniel surveyed the room and his mouth fell.

"Didn't like the desk, then?" He asked. Liam didn't know what to say. Slowly he nodded.

"Yeah, it just didn't fit anymore." He said hoarsely.

"Well, you could have just bought a new one instead of destroying the one you had," Daniel laughed and then looked at his boss seriously, "Have you seen Tiffany?"

"What? Oh, I um, I had to let her go. She was getting a little too…"

"Obsessed?" Daniel offered.

"Uh, yeah. You could say that."

"Damn, you couldn't just leave her as a left over to me?" Daniel asked.

"You wouldn't have liked her." Liam said with a smile.

"That bad huh?" Daniel questioned.

"No, I mean, yeah. Something like that."

"Damn. Anyway, it's time to close up shop. See you tomorrow." Liam nodded and watched his friend leave. Liam surveyed the room again and dropped the piece of wood in his hand. What had she called him? Angelus? Wasn't that a city in the United States? All he wanted to do was go home to a hot shower and erase what he'd just seen. Grabbing his coat, Liam left his office and locked the gallery. He walked quickly towards his car but decided there was only one way to erase the night's events.

--

There was a loading banging on the door the next morning. Liam raised his head and blinked. The pounding at the side of his head was something he hadn't felt in a long time. The banging continued. Liam lay sprawled on his bed wearing the same cloths from the night before. Shit. Liam held his head for a second then slowly pushed himself off his bed. All he wanted to do was throw up, but the banging at the front door wouldn't stop. Liam staggered into his bathroom and turned the water on. He pulled his shirt over his head and splashed his face with water. His eyes were red as he looked at himself in the mirror. Man I sure jumped off the bandwagon this time. He thought as he looked at himself. Liam ran his hands through his hair and listened as the banging continued. He growled low in his throat and headed towards the door. A couple bottles of beer sat on the kitchen table; before answering the door he dumped them in the garbage. Satisfied with the way the room looked he walked towards the door.

"I'm coming!" He yelled. Liam unchained the door and turned the lock. He opened the door to find his daughter on the other side.

"What took you so long?" She asked pushing past her dad. Liam held the door open then shut it slowly.

"Where is your key?" He asked her.

"I forgot it at moms." She looked like she'd been out all night. Dropping her purse she moved towards the coffee pot. She picked up the empty container and frowned.

"Dad, it's like noon, why have you not put coffee on yet?"

"I…late night. Just got up, I guess." Liam said. She put the pot back and began to put on a pot, "I'm going to have a shower." Liam left his daughter and went to the washroom. Twenty minutes later, he came back into the kitchen, head pounding, to find his daughter sitting in the living room watching TV. Liam poured himself a cup of coffee and moved towards his daughter on the coach. He sat down next to her and pounded back four extra strength Advil. Cassidy turned her attention to her father and frowned.

"The last time I saw you pounding back that many pain killers was the last time you got so drunk you fell down the stairs." She said. Liam frowned and sucked back some coffee.

"Cute." He said to her.

"What, it's true."

"Do you think you could cut your father a break? My head feels like it's about to explode off my shoulders." He said.

"Dad, you promised."

"It's a work in progress, all right." He said to her, "Besides, you shouldn't be giving me the third degree; I should be giving you the third degree. Where were you all night to have forgotten your key at your mother's?" He asked her.

"I was out with friends." She said simply.

"Oh, really? So which friends?" He asked.

"None of your business." She said.

"I'm your father; everything you do is my business."

"Dad, I'm not a little girl anymore. You don't have to worry about me, you can trust me." She said turning her attention back to the TV.

"I trust you; I just don't trust your senior boyfriend." Cassidy was silent, "What did I say?"

"I don't want to talk about him." She said. Liam didn't say anything as they sat in silence. He finished his coffee as his cell phone rang next to Cassidy. He tried to reach for it first, but she was faster. Not recognizing the number, Cassidy answered the phone brightly.

"Hello?" She listened for a second and then looked at her dad, "Yep, he's here. But he's busy. Can I take a message?" Liam scowled at her and reached for the phone, "Buffy? Oh yeah, you're the girl from the other week right? The one from the gallery opening?" Liam reached again and managed to get hold of her elbow, "I can get him to call…." Liam got hold of the phone and cut her off. He held his hand over the mouth piece and glared at her.

"Don't do that again." Cassidy stuck out her tongue as Liam stood and walked away from her.

"Hello?" He said.

"Hi. You're daughter sure is charming." Buffy said. Liam's head still hurt as he listened to the woman on the other end.

"Yeah, sorry about that. She just showed up this morning, afternoon, and has serious issues when it comes to me and other women."

"Women?" Buffy asked. Liam let it slide and smiled. He poured another cup of coffee and leaned against the counter.

"What do I owe the pleasure of your voice on the other end of my phone?" He asked.

"Just making sure you're still on for tonight?" The showcase. Liam slapped his forehead and then regretted it within in instant. He'd had such a rough night last night that he'd completely forgotten.

"Of course. Yeah, I'll be there to get you at 8?"

"7."

"Right, 7, I'll be at your hotel at 7."

"Actually, I have a better idea." As she said it a knock came at the door. Cassidy jumped from the coach and tore towards the door. Liam snapped his phone shut and moved to cut his daughter off. Too late. Cassidy opened the door to see Buffy holding coffee and donuts.

"Thanks." Cassidy said as she took the bag from Buffy. Liam raised his hands in defeat and dropped them to his sides. Cassidy smiled slyly and walked away from the petite blonde. Buffy shrugged and smiled.

"Sorry, I was already on my way, figured I'd still stop by anyway."

"It's not a problem." Buffy walked into the room and closed the door behind her. Cassidy was already on the couch digging through the bag that Buffy had brought. She pulled out the jelly filled donut and took a bite. Buffy frowned. Jelly were her favourite. She handed Liam the two cups of coffee and he put them on the counter. Lowering her voice, Buffy said, "I'd kiss you but I think that your daughter might hurt me." Liam's pulse jumped.

"I might not object."

"It wouldn't be appropriate." Buffy said. For the first time in his life, Liam wished that his daughter was gone. Buffy sipped her coffee and eyed him over the rim.

"So, Buffy," Cassidy said with her mouth full of donut, "What brings you here?"

"Well, I was in the neighbourhood and thought I'd bring your dad some coffee."

"Really?" She questioned. Liam interrupted.

"Cassidy, not that I don't love seeing you, but I think you're mother will be worried and I have to get ready for this evening." He said. Cassidy eyed up her father and glared at Buffy.

"Fine. Whatever. I'll see you tonight dad." She said dropping the donut on the counter, "FYI, these are kind of stale." With a sneer, Cassidy left the apartment slamming the door behind her. Buffy looked at Liam and Liam rolled his eyes. Shrugging his shoulders, Liam smiled and took Buffy by the hand. Slowly, he dragged her towards his bedroom smiling like the devil. Buffy held up a finger then moved towards the front door. She locked the door and then followed him giggling as he tickled the back of her arms.

--

Several hours later, Willow was magically unlocking the apartment door. Buffy and Angel had left twenty minutes earlier and Willow was on a mission. With the door unlocked, Willow and Connor stepped over the threshold. Without touching any switches, Willow turned on the small light in the living room and bedroom. Connor walked away from Willow and headed towards the bathroom. Willow slowly controlled the door as it closed behind her with a click. She followed Connor and stopped in the doorframe. Connor was rifling through the drawers in the bathroom. Leaving him, Willow began to go through the dresser and night tables. Connor came out of the bathroom and dropped two prescription bottles on the bed.

"What do you think?" He said.

"Won't know until we get them tested." Willow replied.

"Okay. What else do you want me to look for?" He asked her.

"Anything mystical or magical, we want to find out any way that the First, Wolfram & Hart, could be making Angel appear human." Connor nodded and continued on his search of his father's apartment. Leaving Willow in the bedroom, Connor proceeded to look through the living room. There were several photos on the bookshelves. Pictures of a life Connor knew nothing about. It was his dad, smiling in photos with a young girl about 16 years old and a family that Connor didn't even know existed. Anger flared within him as he stared at the smiling face of his father. Willow entered the room and was silent.

"We're going to fix this." She said simply.

"I know. It's just..." Connor picked up the photo and stared into the face of what must be his grandfather, "He never even told me about them. Ever. He was never really one to share."

"He didn't share with anyone." Willow offered.

"I'm his son. You'd think he'd tell me about his family." Connor put the picture back as Willow approached him. Willow put a hand on his shoulder and turned him to face her.

"I promise that I will get your dad back. I don't know how they are doing it, but I'll figure it out and we'll make sure we take the bastards out." Connor nodded and focused on his search. It only took them half an hour to sift through Angel's apartment; then it took Willow a second to make sure that everything was the way they had left it.

--

Liam was incredibly bored as he stood in the middle of his gallery for the second big event in the last two weeks. It was horrible that he was bored, but there really wasn't much for him to do other than shake hands and smiled. He hadn't bothered to pick up Buffy because she'd simply stayed at his place all afternoon. He smiled as he thought about what an amazing afternoon it had been. He watched the room looking for her. He found her at the other end of the room laughing at one of Daniel's ridiculous jokes he was sure. He took a sip of his water and smiled. At least he could look at her from afar. This was going to be a long night.

--

Willow sat in silence as she waited for her friend to finish looking at the drugs they had pulled from Angel's apartment. The young medical student simply frowned.

"I don't know what to tell you, Willow." Mike said, "They are your average run of the mill prescription allergy medication. Nothing mystical about them."

"Are you sure? Could you just look again?" She asked. Mike shrugged and agreed to check one more time. It couldn't be nothing. There had to be something. Mike sat back and put his hands behind his head.

"Willow, I don't know what to say. One of them is an allergy medication to cats and the other is a sleep aid."

"A sleep aid? What kind?"

"Zolpidem."

"Are you sure there is nothing else? Nothing laced in it?"

"Yep, I'm sure."

"Damn, so they must be doing it another way." Mike smiled at her.

"Look, are you sure you didn't miss something? I mean, guys can hide medication anywhere, you're sure you searched the entire apartment from top to bottom?"

"Yeah, we did. Connor, did you find anything else?" Connor shook his head.

"Sorry."

"Maybe he carries it on him?" Mike offered. Willow whipped out her phone and quickly dialled Buffy's number. She answered on the fourth ring.

"Hello?" Buffy answered as she laughed at whoever she was speaking with.

"It's me." Willow said

"Yeah?" Buffy answered keeping it light.

"Look, nothing was in his place except vitamins and legitimate prescription drugs."

"You're sure?" Buffy asked. Willow could tell she was trying to keep things natural to whoever she was with so she kept the conversation short.

"Yep. Look, we need to know if he carries anything on him and if he does, we need you to get it to us. Connor's on his way."

"Sure. No problem." Buffy hung up. Connor nodded at Willow and headed towards the exit. He was pulling on his suit jacket as the door shut behind him.

--

Buffy moved through the crowds. Her jacket, along with Angel's, was at the far end of the room. Angel's place had been a bust, but maybe this would prove useful. When Buffy made it to the coats, she made it look like she needed something from her own but sifted through Angel's coat pockets. It took her seconds to find a small bottle of pills in his left coat pocket. She looked at the prescription name Diabeta Oral. She was about to slip them into her purse when a hand came out of nowhere and took hold of her wrist.

"Curiosity killed the cat you know." Liam smiled at her as he slipped the bottle out of her hand. Buffy smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

"Sorry, I was looking for Advil. I have a headache." She replied sweetly.

"Well, this won't do you any good." He slipped it into his pant pocket and reached into his jacket and pulled out the extra strength Advil he'd brought along to kill his headache, hangover. Buffy accepted the bottle and smiled again.

"Thank you. So, what was that for?" She asked about the bottle he'd so expertly taken from her.

"I have Type 2 diabetes. It's for my blood sugar."

"Oh. Do you have to take it every day?" She asked.

"Yep." Buffy arched her eyebrow and took two Advil, even though she didn't need it. Buffy eyed the entrance to the gallery and saw Connor walk in. She had to get that bottle from him. Buffy slipped closer and planted a feather kiss on his neck. At this point, she didn't care who was looking, she just wanted answers and the only way to do that, was to distract him. Slowly, she ran a hand down his back and motioned with her finger to have Connor come closer. Connor laughed slightly but pushed his way through the large crowd. Liam laughed.

"What are you doing?"

"What does it feel like?" Buffy countered.

"It feels like you are trying to get me into some serious trouble from my family." He said. Buffy laughed and ran a hand down his side towards his pocket where he'd stashed the Diabeta Oral. She could feel him shift beside her as she made him even more uncomfortable.

"You're a grown, divorced man. You're allowed to be with other women." She said to him as she continued to distract him.

"That is true, but right now is probably not the most appropriate time for...this." Buffy slid her hand into his pocket and popped the top off the bottle. She kissed him on the lips and held his attention while she dipped her finger into the bottle and took out one of the tiny pills. She broke the kiss and pulled her hand out of his pocket bringing it behind his back. Liam noticed his father staring at them. Clearing his throat Liam looked down at Buffy.

"Not that I don't want this to continue, but I think my father is about two steps away from having a heart attack." Buffy turned her head to see Liam's father glaring at them.

"Sorry. You're right. Not the best first impression is it?" She said.

"Ah, no. I should probably play damage control."

"Why do you do that?" Buffy asked.

"Do what?"

"Justify everything you do?" Liam frowned. She wasn't wrong; but she wasn't right either.

"I don't," He said as he kissed the top of her head, "I just have to play nice." He moved away from her and headed towards his father. Buffy waited where she was until Connor stood behind her with his back to her. He put his hand behind his back and held it open for Buffy to drop it in his hand.

"Nice work." Connor commented with a laugh.

"Shut up." Buffy countered as she walked away from him. Connor left the gallery with the little pill in his hand and Buffy moved throughout the room never letting her eyes leave Angel for a second.

--

"Aha!" Mike cried out, "We've got something!"

"What?" Willow and Connor said in unison.

"There is a little something extra in this medication."

"What?" They asked again.

"It's a mystical compound. One used to mask play tricks on modern technology and people. You'd be surprised at how many vampires and demons work for the government." Mike said. Willow arched an eyebrow.

"We would?" Mike laughed at Willow's jib.

"Okay, I realize I'm a huge conspiracy theorist when it comes to the government, but I'm telling you," Mike moved the chair to the other side of the lab where he placed the small slide under yet another telescopic lens, "The government is out to get us."

"Okay, fine, we have a mystical compound that is making it appear that Angel is human. Question is, how? I mean, how have we not heard about this before?"

"That's easy, the best medications are always found on the black market or developed, generated, and tested by...yet again, our loving government. I mean you remember the secret government group known as the Initiative that is supposed to not be real? Well, we all know better now don't we."

"They are claiming it doesn't exist?"

"Why would they admit to it? A secret group of elite members of the armed forces doing experiment's and tests on the evil and undead? Come one, they would never actually say they were in charge of an organization like that. So it's not farfetched to assume that they had the ability to develop a compound that could get their undead operatives into sticky situations." Mike looked up and smiled at his Wiccan friend. Connor remained silent as he watched the two friends.

"Where did it come from?"

"Well, I'm not entirely sure, I will have to do a few more tests but I'm positive that the serum I gave you will counteract the effects of Wolfram & Hart's dream drug."

"Do you think Wolfram & Hart were the ones who developed it?" Willow asked.

"I wouldn't be surprised. I got a look at the facilities when dad was in control, the labs they had were pretty high tech. Fred sure did come up with a lot of interesting things." Connor offered.

"Remind me when this is all over to find out where they make such drugs. God knows how many vampires are walking around in the real world thanks to Wolfram & Hart."

"Note taken." Connor said. Willow focused back on Mike and crossed her arms.

"Okay, so we stop the drug ingestion, what does that do?"

"Well, it should revert him back to his vampiric form."

"Isn't that dangerous? I mean, he's been like a human for three years. Wouldn't it be dangerous to simply stop the drug intake now? Shouldn't we like, capture him, and then force him to revert to form?" Connor asked.

"The boy brings up a good point. We can't just stop it; we need to make sure it's in a controlled environment, just in case. It would be a really bad idea to have Angelus unleashed on the world because we are trying to screw Wolfram & Hart, or the Firsts, big plans." Willow said.

"So bring him here. I'll do it myself. Besides, I'd like to get my hands on the real deal to see what this drug can really do." Connor put a hand on Mike's shoulder and squeezed.

"You want to experiment on my dad?" He asked, nicely.

"Not experiment, just observe." Mike said unfazed by Connor's threatening attempt at violence.

"Not likely." Connor said releasing the man's body. Willow smiled.

"Calm down. No one is going to observe your dad. But Mike has a point. So is there any way to accelerate the process and get him to crack a little before we abduct him?"

"Nope. That serum is hardcore. I like to toy with people's brain so trust me when I say, as soon as that is injected into him, his world is going to come crashing down around all of us."

"Okay, so kidnap it is." Connor said.

"Well, thanks Mike. We'll be back with our package." Willow said turning away. Mike stood quickly.

"Sure thing, but please remember, the keep up with the spell I gave you and the herbs. The more you can make him remember before we give him that drug, the better."

"Why's that?" Connor asked.

"That way we don't overload his brain and it doesn't kill him."

"Good call." Connor turned and followed Willow out the door.

--

Buffy awoke and looked at the clock that glowed 2:30 a.m. She rolled over on her side and looked into the face of the love of her life. Angel, Liam, slept soundly beside her as she gently traced the side of his face. He stirred slightly but continued to slumber on. She had spoken to Willow three hours before and got the rundown of everything they had learned. When she found out what they were doing to him, her first instinct was to dump the entire bottle down the sink. Willow had managed to convince her to allow him to continue to take the medication. Willow had asked her to look through his cupboards to find out how much garlic was there. Buffy nearly laughed at her but as Willow explained, the garlic would allow them to know how extensive the damage was to Angel's system. As it turned out, there was no garlic in the house and the last time they had made dinner, he'd avoided the garlic all together. When she told Willow this, Willow was unsure of what it really meant but she took it as a sign that the medication didn't work on covering up everything. Buffy continued to watch Angel sleep as she slowly slipped out of bed and headed back to the kitchen. The one thing Willow had said was to keep trying to stimulate his memories. Buffy pulled Angel's shirt over her head and headed out of the bedroom to the kitchen where she mixed up the same awkward concoction that would cause Angel to remember something. She said a few words and lit the powder. Moving back to the room, Buffy slipped into bed and wrapped her arms around his large frame. She nuzzled her head into his shoulder and closed her eyes breathing deeply. The nice thing about being the Slayer was that she knew how to control her mind and her thoughts. Moving through her most cherished memories with Angel, Buffy choose a night that she would never forget...

"Don't touch him!" Angel screamed as Buffy kicked out in front of her. Liam felt like he was floating; like he was watching another world and another life. He watched as Buffy got out of the arms of captors and raced into his. She looked at him and pointed to a hole in the ground. The people surrounding them looked a lot like Tiffany when she'd gone crazy in his office.

"This way." Buffy said as she pulled at his arm and they jumped down. A dark haired woman who looked very familiar looked at her "friends" angrily.

"Go!" She shouted pointing after the couple. Liam felt his body tingle; it was like he couldn't control it. He had jumped down the hole and followed her. Rolling, he stood and followed Buffy behind a door within in the sewer. He stood in close proximity to Buffy and breathed her in deeply. It was strange; her scent seemed more profound than it usually did. The vanilla scent of her skin was so much stronger than what he had smelt before. Not only that, but the blood pounding in her system seemed to peek his interest more than the intoxicating scent of her skin. They listened as the men who were following them moved passed the door and down the sewer. Buffy looked up at him and motioned for him to join her. She opened the door and went for the ladder to their right. They climbed up and came out to a black night and pouring rain. He put the cover back on the man hole and took her hand.

"Come on, we have to get inside." He said to her. Together they ran away from the man hole and the cemetery. His heart should be pounding in his chest, but it wasn't. His breathing should be short, but he laboured on unfazed. Finally, the pair arrived at the entrance to a small apartment building. Angel dug into his pockets and pulled out a key. He trust it into the lock and pushed the door open. With the door closed behind them, he finally knew it was safe. The moved down a small hallway then he opened a second door into what appeared to be his apartment. Liam was amazed at how much he recognized; the art work, the books on the shelf, the furniture, everything was his. His body moved to turn on a light as Buffy closed the door. Her body was shaking; she must be cold. Angel pulled his coat off then turned to face her. She was standing close to him as she attempted to warm herself but her hands. Angel put his hands on her shoulders.

"You're shaking like a leaf." He said.

"I'm cold." Buffy responded with a shutter in her voice. Angel moved away from her and grabbed some close from his closet. He handed them to her.

"Here, put these on and get under the covers, just to warm up." Buffy nodded.

"Okay." She moved away from him and headed towards his small bedroom. Liam willed himself to stay but his body moved and followed her into the poorly lit bedroom. She sat down on the small bed and looked up at him with innocent eyes. She waited until he turned his back.

"Sorry." He said to her as his back faced her. Sure that he wasn't looking, Buffy began to slowly undress herself. The skin on her back pulled and caused her to wince. She knew it wasn't a big deal but she couldn't stop herself from making a sound.

"What?" Angel asked. Buffy silently beat herself up for not saying anything, but her heart began to race. She moved her camisole away from her and tried to make it sound like it was nothing.

"Oh, it's nothing. I just have a cut or something."

"Can I...let me see." Angel said. Angel could feel Buffy's pulse quicken as she moved to cover herself up. Angel could hear the rustling of the bed covers as she repositioned herself. With her cami over her body, Buffy pushed some hair behind her ear and spoke.

"Okay." Angel turned slowly and moved towards her. His heart should be racing, but it wasn't. He felt as calm as a windless day in Ireland. He sat down on the bed next to her; she moved slightly so her back was to him. Slowly, Angel put his right hand on her shoulder and slid his left hand under the strap of her tank. Gently, he moved the material down her shoulder and looked at the tiny cut on her back. Her breath caught in her throat and her pulse raced. Angel swallowed heavily and held onto her arms.

"It's already closed." He commented. He could feel her body vibrate as she tried to fight back tears. Without hesitation, she leaned back into his body and fell hard against his body. He could feel every inch of her; every breath she took, every move she made; it was like he had ESPN when it came to what she wanted and what she was feeling. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around her and held her close. She put her head on his shoulder and finally allowed her tears to overcome her.

"You almost went away today."

"We both did." Angel commented.

"Angel, I feel that if I lost you...but you're right though, we can never be sure of anything." She said through her tears.

"Shhh," Angel said. He moved slightly and cleared his throat again, "I..." He stopped short as Buffy turned to face him and held his eyes. This had been the second time he'd tried to tell her something tonight; she was ready to hear what he wanted to say.

"You what?" Buffy asked. Angel cleared his throat again; this was it.

"I...I love you. I try not to but I can't stop." The words came out of his mouth before he knew what was happening. He'd never felt this way about anyone before; not when he was alive, nor when he was turned. He loved this woman, more than anything. It was dangerous telling her, but there was no way to hold it back anymore. A smile crossed her lips as she pulled his face up with her small hands to look at her.

"Me too, I can't either." Buffy moved towards him and kissed her eagerly. She moved closer to him intensifying her kiss, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. She pulled herself in this lap and kissed him hungrily. Angel pulled away slightly; something in him screamed that they had to stop. His mind told him no, his body screamed yes. It had been hundreds of years since he'd felt this; he wanted her now more than ever. Angel broke the kiss and spoke.

"Buffy, maybe we shouldn't." Buffy grabbed his face and held him. She shook her head.

"Don't. Just kiss me." The phrase stuck out in Liam's mind. Hadn't she said that the first night they met? Buffy kissed him again and this time, Angel didn't stop. They fell towards the bed and Angel held her close...the dream shifted. It was another night; another time. Buffy looked slightly older and she was had concern on her face. Angel approached the bed as she slept on. He sat down and took hold of her hand. Her eyes opened as she sat up slowly and climbed into his lap. Buffy kissed him and held his body to hers. There was something different here; the first part of the dream felt like it had happened. This one felt like it was a dream within a dream. As they made love, Angel felt his body change. He felt a rage appear within him that was just waiting to burst out. The scene seemed to slow as Angel shifted them, rolling so that he rested on top of her small frame. Everything moved into slow motion as he kissed her neck. Then, he saw them. It was impossible to actually see them, but they stood there. Two men with X's where their eyes should be. It was as if they were waiting for something. Angel continued to make love to Buffy reaching up her arms; without reason, Angel clamped down her wrists and Buffy cried out. Angel sat up and his face turned into the most demonic thing he'd ever seen. Angel held her arms tight then bit down on her neck drinking in her blood...Buffy screamed...

Liam woke suddenly, the screaming continued. Underneath him was Buffy; he had hold of her wrists and shock registered in her eyes. Liam let go and sat up. His heart was racing, his pulse pounding. It registered with him that he must have been holding his breath; slowly he allowed himself to breath. He moved off of Buffy and lay against the headboard. He ran his hands through his hair and watched as the petite blonde got up and looked at him. The sheet that had been covering her fell away revealing her body. Liam thought back to his dream, it had all felt so real. Every moment, every word. What was wrong with him? Ever since he'd met this girl something had been off. He looked at her and sighed heavily. She moved towards him and put a hand on his face.

"Are you okay?" She asked. Liam held out his hand and held her face. She leaned into his hand and smiled. Her wrist was red from where he was holding her down.

"I'm sorry."

"No big. I'm okay. Are you okay?" She asked him again.

"It was the dream I had. It was so real, incredibly vivid." He commented. Buffy didn't want to let on that she knew; she'd been there. She straddled him and held his face in her hands. She lifted his lips to meet hers; she kissed him lightly then placed her forehead on his.

"Tell me about it." She said. Liam's breathing levelled as a whole new feeling came over him. He put his hands on her hips and pulled her closer. Liam kissed her again and flipped them. Buffy laughed and wrapped her legs around his hips.

"How about I show you instead?" He said to her. Buffy smiled and kissed him. An hour later, Buffy was, yet again, nestled in his arms trailing a finger up and down his bicep. Liam breathed in her hair and allowed himself to fall asleep. There was something about this girl that he knew was off. What he did know was that he wanted her; more than he'd wanted anything in the world. Buffy nestled back into him and closed her eyes; that was enough dreaming for one night.

"Sleep." Buffy said. Liam smiled beside her and slowly closed his eyes. Luckily, his mind seemed to be empty allowing sleep to overtake him.