They walked through town slowly; Angelus had to shorten his stride in order to not leave behind his wounded Slayer. Buffy had been in a daze for most of the walk. She had failed, as far as she was concerned. She had let an insane vampire couple nearly beat her. Had it not been for Angelus, a new Slayer would have already have been called. Buffy would have been dead, again.

The Slayer turned to look up at the tall vampire walking beside her. He looked menacing under the streetlights, his face halfway hidden in the shadows. His powerful strides and his confident stance had slowed to meet her own. He looked down at her, his head cocked slightly. One eyebrow turned up as he noticed she was staring at him.

Buffy looked away quickly, her gaze refocused on the ground in front of her. She was doing everything she could to continue walking forward despite the pain that pounded through her with each step. The scratches on her arms had stopped stinging a while ago. Most of the blood had dried and she found that the pain had ceased to a pleasant numb feeling. Her damaged arm was pressed tight against her body in order to keep it from moving as she walked. She wasn't exactly sure how that would heal, but for the moment, it too was numb, and all she could focus on was getting somewhere and sleeping. The rest of her body was still screaming at her as she walked. Buffy's abdomen felt like it was on fire. There was a stabbing pain pulsing from the left side of her chest. Slayer strength or not, Spike and Drusilla had pounded on her for a while before Angelus had stepped in, and she was fairly certain that quite a few of her ribs may have been broken. A small gasp escaped her lips as she took another step forward.

Angelus put a hand on Buffy's slender waist signaling her to stop. Buffy looked up past the vampire and to the house they were standing in front of. It was a beautiful old Victorian home, positioned on its own large plot of land on one of Sunnydale's older subdivision streets. When they reached the door, Angelus pulled out a key and opened the door for the injured Slayer. She walked in silently, stopping a few feet inside the home to wait for Angelus. After he had closed the door, he turned to Buffy, who had positioned herself so that she was leaning against the old home's marble entryway.

Angelus put a hand against Buffy's twisted shoulder, noting the wince that came from the action. He cocked his head toward a small hallway that led off the entryway. Once again, Buffy followed him without question into a large master bedroom. Angelus crossed the bedroom and opened another door that led to the master bath.

After the Slayer had followed him in, Angelus turned to her. Putting his hand beneath her chin, he tilted her head up gently to meet his eyes.

"You in there lover?" he asked her quietly.

Buffy nodded in reply, her eyes immediately falling to the floor as soon as he released her chin.

"We've gotta take care of that now before it heals wrong," Angelus said calmly, nodding toward her injured shoulder.

Buffy raised her eyes to meet his in reply. She wasn't sure what 'taking care' of her injured arm meant. She was the Slayer. She had always assumed it would just heal naturally. Her tired eyes narrowed in confusion.

"Your bone's going to heal with your shoulder twisted back like that. Trust me, it'll be more painful to fix it later than to fix it now." Buffy's face was blank as he explained it to her. When she didn't reply, Angelus took a step back toward the door. "Whatever." He held his hands up in defeat. "Do what you want."

Buffy was silent for another minute, until Angelus heard two quiet words come out, her voice fragile. "Trust you?" she asked. She looked up to meet his eyes.

A cocky half-grin graced Angelus' face. "Yeah, lover. Trust," he said simply. His eyes narrowed as Buffy seemed to consider her options. Finally, she closed the remaining distance between them and turned so he could have access to her injured shoulder. He reached out and grabbed it gently, far more gently than Buffy would have ever expected from him.

"Lean against the wall," he ordered. Buffy backed up until her back was pressed against the wall firmly. Angelus closed the distance between them and pressed his body up against the Slayers. He put one of his large hands around her small arm and he placed the other one gently against the front of her shoulder.

"You ready for this?" he asked, leaning down to catch her eye. Buffy simply nodded in reply.

In one quick, hard motion, Angelus pulled Buffy's shoulder up and out of its socket. Buffy gasped in pain. Had Angelus not been pressing against her, she would have doubled over. As it was, her forehead leaned against his shoulder and her good hand clutched his shirt. A second later, Angelus pushed hard against her shoulder and pulled it back down into its proper place. Buffy let out another gasp and then a slight sigh of relief as much of the pain disappeared. She rotated her shoulder gently, cautiously and found that she could move it easily. The pounding pain had decreased to a dull throbbing.

"Thank you," she said, looking up at Angelus.

"Pain's what I do, baby," he answered with a shrug. He looked at her shoulder critically, using years of experience as he eyed it to make certain it was in the right place. He grabbed the opening of her sweater and took it off of her gently in order to gain access to her injured arms. Tossing the sweater to the floor, he grabbed her arm and lifted it up so he could examine it. Drusilla had sliced through Buffy's skin easily, leaving long red streaks against Buffy's smooth skin. A fresh trail of blood had started flowing from one of the scratches again. Angelus met Buffy's eyes and raised his eyebrows. He lifted her arm to his mouth and gently put his lips around the blood. He licked up to the scratch, greedily taking in her rich blood.

Buffy shivered slightly, the action allowing her to feel something for the first time that night.

Angelus smiled at her shiver. He reached the opening of the wound and sucked gently, pulling blood from the wound before he allowed it to finish healing completely.

"Your blood is…amazing," he said, lifting his head up to look her in the eyes. He looked at Buffy's tired eyes. Her gaze was unfocused; she stared at him as if she were looking straight through him.

"You're no fun when you're like this lover," Angelus mused, stepping away from Buffy and opening a bathroom cabinet. He pulled out a roll of gauze and a wash rag. After soaking the rag in warm water, he gently wiped the wounds his childe had left. When all the dried blood had been wiped from both arms, Angelus unrolled the white gauze as he wrapped it around her arm. Finishing one arm and moving to the next, Angelus stared intently at Buffy. She looked so defeated. His brow furrowed as he realized that he had savored every bit of her pain the night that he had murdered Jenny Calendar, and yet this pain affected him differently. It was not that he wasn't enjoying it, but it just didn't seem to satiate his thirst for pain as much as it had before. He shrugged off the worry as he finished wrapping her other arm. He was angry with Spike and Drusilla for disobeying orders; he knew he loved the Slayer in pain, but he also knew that he wanted to be the one who caused it. Spike and Dru had taken that away from him. He let a low growl escape his throat as he thought about their disobedience.

The growl woke Buffy from her daze. She looked down and noted that both of her arms had been wrapped in soft, white gauze. She looked to Angelus who was returning the gauze to its place in the cabinet. She moved to lean against the bathroom wall again. She was just so tired, and her ribs still felt as if they were piercing through her.

"Ah, ah," Angelus chided, reaching out to grab her waist and steady her before she reached the wall. "Come. You need to sleep." With a hand placed delicately on the small of her back, Angelus guided her through the bathroom door and toward the large king sized bed placed in the middle of the magnificent master bedroom. Buffy sat on the edge of the bed and looked up to Angelus.

"Mom," she said quietly, looking up at him.

"Excuse me?" He asked her, his brow furrowed.

Buffy shook her head gently, trying to clear her thoughts. "I need to call my mom and tell her something. She'll be worried."

Angelus chuckled slightly at the Slayer's strange worry about appeasing her mother. He walked silently out of the room and returned a minute later with a phone.

After spending a minute getting her story straight, Buffy called her mom and explained that she was staying at Willow's for the night. After being chided for not calling earlier and after promising to go home early in the morning, Buffy hung up with Joyce. Letting out a long sigh, Buffy set the phone on the large wooden nightstand that was beside the bed. Angelus walked up to her again and looked down at the small Slayer. He noted the blood that coated her top. He reached down to the bottom of her shirt and pulled it up and over her head before she had time to argue.

Buffy looked up and met Angelus' eyes with a frown. What the hell did he think he was doing?

Angelus laughed and tossed the shirt to the floor. "You have blood all over you, lover," he explained, as if to a child. "I don't want blood in my bed."

"Yeah, because I'm sure it would be the first blood spilt in your bed," Buffy muttered under her breath.

"That may be so," Angelus mused. He gave a small smile as Buffy met his eyes again. Angelus leaned down, his nose against Buffy's neck. "But sleeping beside you is tantalizing enough, lover. I don't think I could be held responsible for my actions if you were also covered in your blood. Besides, you're a guest in my home, and I don't want blood in the bed tonight."

"This home," Buffy said, a hint of disgust in her voice, "probably became yours only after you killed some nice family who lived here. Some home."

Angelus' hand shot out, violently grabbing at Buffy's side where her ribs were slowly knitting themselves back together. She let out a short gasp of pain and moved away from his hand. She turned her head to look at him, her brows furrowed at the pain he had caused her.

"If you have somewhere better to go, then leave," Angelus bit out angrily, removing his hand. Buffy said nothing. She stared at her feet which were still dangling over the side of the bed. Angelus moved her legs so that they were on the bed, and her back was against the headboard. Then, moving with preternatural speed, he was on the other side of the bed, pulling back the covers. In one swift motion, he had pulled his shirt off and was lying back comfortably on the bed.

Buffy turned and looked at him with narrowed eyes and then resigned herself to her situation. Scooting her body down on the bed so that she was lying down, Buffy eventually managed to get herself into an almost comfortable, nearly pain-free position. Angelus watched her as she breathed a sigh of relief and settled into a lying position. He moved so that he was closer to her. Reaching out slowly, he laid his fingers gently on her exposed stomach and traced them up to her ribs. Her eyes closed slightly as he touched the bruised flesh. He traced his fingers over the ridges of her broken ribs, enjoying the way her face scrunched up in pain as he did so. When he reached the bottom of her bra, he moved his fingers to trace them back down her ribs again. Buffy's hand reached out and grabbed his before he had the chance to do so.

Holding his hand away from her, she pleaded quietly, "Please don't. It still hurts."

Angelus let out a frustrated growl and rolled his eyes. It seemed that thanks to his rebellious children, he would barely be able to touch his Slayer tonight. That was alright, he noted calmly to himself. He had all the time in the world, and he still wasn't completely sure what he even wanted from the Slayer.

"Fine, lover." He moved so that his body was cradling hers gently, and he pulled her closer to him, one of his strong arms making itself comfortable wrapped around her small waist.

Slightly confused, Buffy was unsure as to how to react. Slowly, she relaxed into the softness of the bed and found herself moving her body to conform to the vampire beside her. She nodded her head forward until her forehead rested against his hard chest. She breathed in deeply, enjoying the smell of Angelus, and was slightly startled to realize that it was Angel's smell—the smell that she had once loved. She looked upward to meet Angelus' eyes, only to find him staring down at her intently.

"I know who you're looking for, lover," Angelus said quietly, deeply searching Buffy's eyes. "And you know he's no longer here." Angelus was tired of knowing that Buffy was thinking of Angel when it was so clearly Angelus who was lying beside her. "Slayer," Angelus breathed quietly. "Sleep with me tonight." He put an arm around her and pulled her tightly against him.

Instead of resisting, Buffy found herself curling up so that she fit nicely beside him. Breathing in Angel's—no, Angelus'—scent, Buffy found herself oddly relaxed. The pain that had been with her since her attack seemed to drift slowly away as Buffy fell into a deep sleep.

Okay, there it is. Another chapter...only 8 or so months later. Sorry :/ I took a bit of a hiatus from the story but I'm considering getting back into it a bit. Feel free to review and let me know what you thought about the update. We got to see some more just Buffy/Angelus. And for everyone who's anxious to see them together...I'm just trying to keep it real to the show, and I really feel like Buffy would not just let Angelus get in her pants a week or so after he killed Jenny. Or even a month after. She was only ever with one person and it was Angel...same guy plus a soul. So I just feel like she would take it very slow.

Anyways, enjoy. And Happy Christmas/whatever else it is you celebrate :)