Disclaimer: I in no way own Angel or Buffy or any characters mentioned in the cannon I do however own this plotline.

Edit: This prelude has now been fixed to match the new plotline and this story will very soon be coming off of its extended hiatus.

A/N: well this is the start of yet another story that was floating around in my brain just begging for me to write it down so please enjoy and as always please let me know what you think!

Summary: B/Aus pairing. Angelus sends Buffy back in time after he escapes his cage in season 4 of Angel his desire for the petite blonde having grown but is that all there is to it or could there be something more in his decision that would change their lives forever.

PRELUDE

Angelus sat at the back of his barred prison his arm resting nonchalantly on his upraised knee as he sang. "If you're going to go out into the woods today you'll never know what you'll find…" Angelus was loving the chaos and discord his words had caused within the group, it had taken much less doing then he originally thought it would when he had woken up on that table.

He was waiting to hear the door open signally Cordy's, Connor's and Wes's return from finding the priestess's. Why? Not because of Cordy's ridiculous offer no he wasn't interested in 'riding' that piece of ass, no he'd pass, the bod' was good to look at but the personality just grated on his nerves, sure she had gotten better over the years but still he couldn't stand her constant talking it had always surprised him that Soul-boy hadn't gotten some earplugs to at least muffle the sound of her voice.

Besides he had a good feeling that they would get there too late after all the beast as they put it was a demon after his own heart and if the priestess's were all that stood in his way from roaming free they'd be dead; the first to die by his hands.

No he was looking forward to the groups reaction when they looked in the vault to find his soul missing. He had felt it the moment it had left the building and if they were playing right into his hands now, he could only imagine how easy it would be to get to them once they realized their precious Angel was missing.

'Ah there back, let the fun begin.' Angelus thought a crooked smile playing on his lips as he heard Cordilia confirm what he already thought to have happened.

Angelus stood up as he heard Cordy coming down the stairs. "So rescue the priestess's and be with the saving of the world?"

"No we found them murdered all of them the children, the grandparents everyone." Cordilia said a slight catch to her voice as the words brought up the images.

Angelus smirked catching the quaver in Cordy's tone and couldn't help but push her buttons. "Damn I'm always missing all the fun…you didn't happen to bring me back a souvenir did you; a child's toe perhaps? But anyway I've showed you mine, now it's your turn."

"No I don't think so, you see the deal was you tell us all you know about the beast and we save the world and then you'd get me, well the world isn't saved." Cordilia said seriously.

Angelus inwardly smirked 'well she's definitely gotten smarter over the years I'll give her that.' Angelus snapped out his hand in an attempt to grab at her neck in a show of disappointment and anger at being denied. His hand just out of reach of her neck 'Ah if only she was a little closer I could pull her closer and snap her neck and wait for the others to come charging down here then after they were all dead search them for the key to this damned cage.'

"Not even close." Cordy said before stepping away and heading for the stairs.

"The more mad you make me the longer I'll keep you alive." He yelled after her.

"You're in a cage."

"Won't be in here forever."

"No only for about another hour." Cordy said having turning around to face him again as she got involved in the conversation mockingly checking her watch. "Were bringing Angel back and he'll make sure you never come back again." When Cordy had finished her little monologue she remembered what a bad idea it was to get into a conversation with Angelus and so headed for the stairs again.

"I bet she's a screamer." Angelus said just as she reached the top of the stairs making her pause for a second before continuing on not seeing therefore not wondering why Angelus had a huge grin on his face. Angelus leaned his head back against the wall, his eyes closing; the smile still curling up his face knowing that very soon a very real panic would take over the already rattled white-hats. Which meant that very soon they would make a mistake; one that would see him free of this blasted cage allowing him to reap his vengeance on Soul-boy's annoying little friends. He would love to be able to take his time with the whole lot of them, but common sense told him that it would be best to kill the whole lot of them as quickly as he possibly could; there was no way that he would want to give them the time to work a little magic and shove that pesky depressing soul back inside of him! He wouldn't allow it, this body was his and he damn well planned to keep it! His thoughts shifted to his petite blond Slayer; something they did often since the blasted soul had turned away from her. Leaving her free to turn her affections on others; and she'd turned them on a stupid, boring little army boy with a complex. That was something he would never forgive the soul for ever. If he had never left, Buffy would have never sought comfort in the embrace of others. No other would know what it felt like to slip between her thighs, know what she looked like in the deepest throughs of passion, or no what her luscious little body looked like beneath the cloak of her clothes.

Angelus lips curved up in a smile again as he thought back to before the idiotic soul had left her for a life that she would never have. 'Ah Buff now there was a woman to write home about, never in a million years had he thought that he would find a woman like her.' He had wanted one like her but had thought that he never would considering how the woman in the earlier centuries of his life had behaved. 'What really annoyed him was that Soul-boy had seen her for what she was and he hadn't had a clue because in all honesty he wasn't that interested in the life Soul-boy had lead sure he shared the souls memories and felt the emotions but that didn't mean that he cared beyond wanting to kill all those who made Angelus feel connected to a world that looked down on what he was.' So it had come as a surprise for him when Buffy; The Slayer or not hadn't cracked and broken under his mental torture and exploitations of the weaknesses he knew existed, that would have broken a lesser woman.

Instead the more he pushed to break her the more determined she was not to be beaten down and so in an all in effort to bring the woman to her knees Angelus had decided to make hell on earth believing that once he had done that Buffy would break, because she had failed to protect her friends and family from a world ruled by demons. But she had surprised him again by crashing his party and even teaming up with Spike of all vampire's in an obvious last ditch effort to bring him down…and he could see it in her eyes as he clashed swords with her, she was ready to kill him and so he had been forced to change tactics, there was no way he was going to pull blows just so that he could have the pleasure of seeing her broken and defeated. Not this slayer, not when she had a killer look in her eyes. He had almost had her to, had the sword pointed at her throat and everything but he couldn't resist taunting her, his one weakness if he really did have one, which he believed in all arrogance that he didn't.

And she had managed in one move to flip the situation around on him and then the unbelievable happened he felt his soul return and he was no longer the one in control instead he was back on his leash, back watching from Angel's eyes he had watched in stunned silence as Buffy told him she loved him and to close his eyes and felt as the blade he had been going to kill her with slice through his belly. And he had watched in stunned silence as she stood there watching him get sucked into the hell dimension.

He had spent a long time in that hell dimension feeling as Angel was beaten and tortured, he wouldn't have minded at all if his alter-ego was tortured but the problem was that he felt every blow delivered to the body he resided in, but then blessedly they had been released from the hell dimension and Angel's first conscious action had been to save his slayer.

It had been a fun year a good year, as Angelus watched and paid attention to Angel's life for the first time in little over a century and the more he watched the more he recognised her for who she was and the more he realised that he wanted her.

So when Soul-boy had been poisoned by an arrow to the chest by Faith. And Buffy had come back from knocking Faith into a seven month coma. Angelus hadn't needed much persuading to come out, after the first few hits Angel's weakened condition made him vulnerable to his demon and Angelus had risen from Angel's mind to take temporary control of his body.

He had needed no further prompting after Buffy had pulled his head to her neck the force of the motion had sent them careening backwards and onto the floor.

His mouth had already found the pulsing pulse point at her neck and his teeth had sunk into it, the strength and sweet taste of the slayers blood as it first hit his tongue had distracted him from his purpose.

But he had soon pushed that aside as he knew that he only had a limited time being in control, he had pushed his teeth in deeper, deep enough so that it would leave an everlasting scar marking her as his and he would have taken enough blood to have her turned, therefore forcing either Angel or himself to sire her but the bastard had figured out what he was doing and had gained enough strength to take back control and force himself away from her before he could get that far.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy trudged along the familiar paths of the now deserted Sunnydale her heart burdened with what she was determined would be counted as the finally betrayal that the Scooby gang would ever get on her.

She could understand the potentials doing something like that to her after all they didn't know her hadn't fought alongside her for years and after seeing their fellow potentials killed with the merciless hand of Caleb and the Bringers it made sense that they would feel insecure in her role as their leader.

But that fact that Giles, Willow, Xander, Dawn and Anya had all stood against her, had doubted her after she had sacrificed so much to keep them all safe from harm, after she had pulled them all through apocalypse after apocalypse and yet just like every other time as soon as the going got tough or she made a slight error in judgment they turned on her. It was almost like they didn't consider her as a human being but had begun to like the former watchers of the watchers council saw her as a tool and as soon as she started to break away from being a controllable piece on their playing field they used whatever means necessary to bring her back into line.

Well this time she had refused to tow the line, she had refused to betray Spike, just as she had refused to betray Angel even when he had been Angelus.

Well it was time to let them deal with an apocalypse without her and see just how well they fared without her, because this time round she was feeling worn and tired, upset and not to mention more than a little bit annoyed.

Buffy's feet took her to what looked like an abandoned house but after she had broken down the door she had run into a middle aged man, she couldn't remember what had passed between them if anything had at all, she was so emotionally out of it by the time she reached the house.

Her reasoning warring with her righteous anger. Her anger and resentment told her to let her betrayers take care of the apocalypse but her common sense and duty as a slayer told her to forget them go it alone like the rest of her bloodline follow the battle to the bitter end no matter what the outcome was.

And so the slayer lost herself in her thoughts as she lay in a bed that was not her own or even any ones that she knew even remotely as silent tears run down her face.

"There you are. Do you realise I could just walk in here, no invite needed? This town really is theirs now, isn't it?" Spike said from the doorway as he looked in at the woman that he loved.

Buffy not surprised that Spike had come after her didn't bother to reply not feeling in the mood to encourage a guest of any kind.

Spike undeterred by the slayers silence walked up to the bed. "I heard. I was over there. That bitch." He did not mention any names he didn't feel the need. All fitted the simple description. "She's all about smiles and reformation when you're on your feet, but the moment you're down, she's all about the kicking, isn't that right? Makes me want..."

Buffy continued to face the wall. "It's not like they were wrong. Please leave." She said quietly not wanting to talk about the people who where residing at Revello drive.

"No. This'll change your tune. I came here 'cause I got something to tell you. You were right. Caleb is trying to protect something from you. And I think you were spot on all the way. I think it's at the vineyard. So? You were right. Buffy?" Spike intoned trying to lift Buffy's spirits trying to rouse the woman that never gave up, to reignite the flame that made her the most deadly slayer to have ever walked the mortal plains.

"I don't feel very right," she commented sadly.

Spike sat down on the bed. "You're not fooling me."

Buffy rolled over and looked at him, letting him see her tearstained face. "What do you even mean?"

"Well, you're not a quitter."

"Watch me." Buffy said defiantly her chin locking into that stubborn tilt that Spike knew well almost making him smile at his achievement.

"You were their leader, and you still are. This isn't something you gave up, it's something they took."

"And the difference is?"

"We can take it back."

"No."

"No?"

"No."

"You mean no as in eventually?"

"You really have problems with that word, don't you?"

"You can get them back."

"Can, maybe. Should? I'm just so tired." 'What if I don't want them back? Would that make me a terrible person Spike?' Buffy couldn't help but think.

"They need you. It's bloody chaos over there without you."

Buffy looked up at him hopefully. "It is?"

"Yeah! Yeah, it's, uh... There's junk... You know? Food cartons, sleeping bags not rolled up, everyone's very scared and, uh, unkempt."

"Sounds dire." Buffy said whirly the faint bit of hope that they where a mess without her fading

"I didn't see a lot," Spike confessed. "I came, hit Faith a bunch of times, and left."

"Really? I mean, not that I'm glad, but..."

"Oh, you say the word, and she's a footnote in history. I'll make it look like a painful accident."

Buffy looked away. "That's my problem. I say the word, some girl dies...every time."

"There's always casualties in war."

"Casualties. It just sounds so...casual. These are girls that I got killed. I cut myself off from them...all of them. I knew I was gonna lose some of them and I didn't..." she trailed off and shook her head. "You know what? I'm still making excuses. I've always cut myself off. I've always..." She sighed. "Being the slayer made me different. But it's my fault I stayed that way. People are always trying to connect to me, and I just slip away." She looked back at him. "You should know."

Spike looked back. "I seem to recall a certain amount of connecting." A lecherous grin spread across his face.

"Oh, please! We were never close. You just wanted me because I was...unattainable."

"You think that's all that was?"

Buffy sat up in protest. "Please, let's not go over the past."

Oh, no, no. Let's hold on here. I'm hummed along to your pity-ditty, and I think I should have the mike for a bit."

"Fine. The stage is yours. Cheer me up."

"You're insufferable."

"Thank you. That really helped." Buffy said woefully.

"I'm not trying to cheer you up." Spike said as he paced back and forth in the room trying to get the words he wanted to say in an order that would sound right.

"What are you trying to say?"

"I don't know. I'll know when I'm done saying it. Something pissed me off, and I just...Unattainable. That's it."

"Fine. I'm attainable. I'm an attain-a-thon. May I please just go to sleep?"

"You listen to me." He dropped to his knees in front of her clasping her hands with his in hopes that it would help to get his point to sink in. "I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. So I make a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong bloody calls." He gave her hands a comforting squeeze as he caught her eyes with his. "A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of, you."

Buffy looked away feeling a little uncomfortable about such an admission after the way she had treated him for the last couple of years but he would have none of it and reached up to turn her back. "Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say, 'I love you,' it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy."

"I don't wanna be the one," she uttered quietly, most of her experiences of being the one had made her feel cold, alone and being the one, seemed to mean that you end up alone.

"I don't wanna be this good looking and athletic. We all have crosses to bear." He stood up and backed away. "You get some rest now. I'll check in before first light. You can decide how you want..." he walked away heading for the door.

He got as far as the door before she called him back.

"Spike? Could you...stay here?" Buffy asked suddenly not up to being alone again at least not tonight, not after her friends had left her, betrayed her.

He turned round and smiled. "Sure." He glanced around the room and saw the chair. "That diabolical old torture device, the comfy chair." He took off his coat. "It'll do me fine."

"No, I mean...here." She gestured to the bed. "Will you just hold me?" Buffy knew that she sounded needy and pathetic but she found that she didn't care, just one night of being weak and needy and clingy and then she would go on to fight the apocalypse alone…no Buffy corrected as her eyes connected with Spike's again he wouldn't let her fight alone he'd be there every step of the way.

Spike nodded. Slowly he walked to the bed and lay down beside her. Then he opened his arms and pulled her to him enjoying the feeling of holding her in his arms again the woman who now looked exactly like the woman he had met many years ago.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy walked along the deserted road, she had left Spike asleep in the house, wanting, no needing to do this on her own. She needed to kick Caleb's ass to prove to herself and to those who dared call themselves her friends and allies that she could do what as a group they were scared to do…to prove to herself that she still had what it took to do what she was chosen to do.

Buffy shoved her hands deeper into the pockets of her jacket, it still felt weird to her walking down a street that used to be filled with people, that lived in those houses and to know that they were all empty and those that weren't were getting ready to leave.

She couldn't blame them though it was our nature to protect ourselves and at this moment any place was safe then here…well except maybe L.A but hey what were the chances that they'd go there…Buffy didn't finish that thought as she made it past the street and onto a park that at the far end you could see the trees that opened out into a forest.

Buffy hadn't taken more then to steps across the park when she felt a strong force push against her that wasn't a wind, it only lasted for a few seconds before it stopped like it never was. Buffy stopped and looked around herself searching for anything that would seem odd or out of place and saw nothing, chalking it up to The First trying to scare her off Buffy kept going.

Only to be confronted by the same force moments later. Buffy whirled around looking for anyone that could be muttering a spell. Upon seeing no one she tried to move forward; hoping to be able to out run what magic it was that she had stumbled across. Only to find that that the power of the force that was pressing against her was so strong that she couldn't take even a step against it. The pressure didn't last long though and Buffy let out a breath of relief thinking that perhaps it was over and that whatever magic someone had tried to work hadn't been successful.

She attempted to take a step forward, but that was when the world started to spin suddenly around her and she found it hard to keep her feet as she placed her foot back down to the ground. Nausea churned inside of her threatening to make her loose her dinner. Buffy shook her head trying to stop the spinning; wanting the spinning to stop. "What's happening?" She gasped out, her voice soft and breathy as she tried to find it; her nausea threatening to snatch it away with the growing desire to vomit. It was the last thing she did, before the spinning gave way to the blackness of unconsciousness; unconsciousness didn't keep her from feeling the bottom of her stomach fall out sharply with the sensation of falling.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Spike woke up with a few hours to spare before sunrise and he knew that The Slayer had left the house. Feeling worried for her Spike went after her following her scent that still lingered faintly in the air. She had left hours ago, probably not to long after he had drifted off to sleep. It was no surprise to him to find that the trail seemed to be heading towards the vineyard, but what did surprise him was the fact that Buffy's scent disappeared into nothingness just after he'd hit the park.

Spike frowned and concentrated on the place where he could last scent her and a sense of dread filled him as he could faintly scent her fear and confusion. Spike knelt down to the grass; his fingers touching the disturbed grass where Buffy's sent was and the sharp prick of magic prickled over his skin. Spike ran his fingers over the grass as he wondered just what had befallen Buffy before she could even reach the vineyard; something that had carried off her body… without leaving any scent…

Spike tensed as he felt a crawling prickle move over his skin making him shudder at the familiar feeling; quickly getting to his feet a sense of dread filling him as he turned to face the Turk-Han that had come to meet him. "Well, bugger me." He muttered under his breath, before shifting his face with a loud rumbling growl not intending to go down without a fight. No matter how much the odds were stacked against him. The Turk-Han seemed to sneer at Spike for an extended moment as the two just stared at each other, before it began lumbering forward with its awkward, but surprisingly fast gait.

A/N: Well I hope you enjoyed it and please leave a review on your way out.