AUTHOR'S NOTE The Angel/Cordelia relationship always bothered me and I always figured that it would especially bother Buffy.
DISCLAIMER I own nothing canon from Buffy or Twilight.
Buffy stalked angrily down the empty road. Behind her, Angel said, "Buffy, wait."
She did not turn around. "I'm not talking to you," she replied.
He must have sped up, since seconds later she felt his cool hand catch her wrist. She rolled her eyes and turned to face him. "What?"
"Are you going to let me explain?" he asked.
She shrugged. "Wasn't planning on it."
He glared at her. "Don't be like this."
"Like what?" she shot back. "We came here to slay vampires, Angel. That's my job, in case you forgot." Her voice got louder as her anger grew. "And where do you get off telling me anything? I haven't heard anything from you in four years! I had no idea if you were even still alive!"
She turned away so that he couldn't see that she was holding back tears. "You have no right to tell me what to do."
"I tried to help you," he said. "I thought you needed me, but you were fine without me!"
She set her jaw firmly, but she said quietly, "I'm never fine without you." Then her voice got hard again. "Besides, you had Cordelia to run home to." Spinning around to glare at him, she added, "Cordelia of all people? Angel, how could you do that to me?"
He looked upset. "You weren't exactly alone, you know. Or did you forget that you threw me over for Spike?" He looked her in the eye. "Anyway, Cordelia's dead."
Buffy was surprised and saddened at that, but she was determined not to let it show. "Yeah, well, Spike's dead too."
"I wish," he muttered.
"Nothing." He dropped her arm. The two of them stood still in the cold January air in silence for a minute. Then Angel said quietly, "They're good."
She eyed him suspiciously. "What do you mean, good?"
"I mean that they don't kill humans," he said patiently.
That was unexpected. What the hell were they doing there if the vampires she had come to kill weren't dangerous?
Over her long years as the Slayer, she had seen enough weird things that it took a lot to chock her. Good vampires, especially for her, were no stretch of the imagination.
She was still mad at Angel, though, and not quite ready to concede. "How do you know?"
"I've been watching them for awhile," he admitted. "They only eat animals."
Crossing her arms over her chest, she asked, "They have souls, then?"
He shook his head. Then he paused and thought about it. "Maybe. I'm not sure. They're different than us."
That was concerning. "Different how?"
"They can go out in sunlight, for one thing. They don't, because it makes their skin look strange, but it doesn't hurt them at all. And they're fully involved in the community. Carlisle's even a doctor."
Buffy looked at him sharply. "Who?"
"Carlisle – the one I stopped you from attacking. He's a doctor – a surgeon." Angel shuddered. "I've never met a vampire with that much self-control."
She was no longer listening. Slightly dazed, she started walking again.
"Buffy?" he asked. "Are you okay?"
"I have to get back," she said vaguely. Then she came to her sense and said, "You can come back to the hotel if you want. Then you can explain all this to the others in the morning."
There was no argument. They were silent on the long walk back to Forks. When they got back to the room, Buffy collapsed on her couch while Angel hovered in the doorway.
He glanced at where Willow and Faith were sound asleep. "You don't think they'll mind?"
She shook her head. "It's not like you're a stranger."
After that, they didn't talk. She tried to sleep, but it seemed like every time she got close, an icy hand grabbed her arm and jolted her awake again. A couple of times, she opened her eyes to see if Angel was responsible, but he was asleep sitting in the room's single armchair.
Dawn finally broke and gray light leaked in around the sides of the window blinds. Buffy closed herself in the bathroom to brush her teeth without disturbing the others, emerging a minute later to find Willow awake, watching Angel suspiciously. "Morning," she said.
Willow glanced at her. "Hey." Then to Angel she said, "What are you doing here?"
Before he could answer, Buffy said, "It's a long story."
Faith sat up and blearily rubbed her eyes. She looked at the other three and grinned. "Hey big guy! When'd you crash the party?"
"I ran into him last night." Buffy frowned. "Do you think the others are awake? We really need to talk to you."
Faith must have noticed the Serious Slayer tone in her voice, for she immediately stood up and opened the door. "I'll go see."
"Tell them to come here," Buffy said. "Angel knows more about this than I do and it's daylight."
She nodded and left. "It doesn't matter," Angel said. "It's cloudy. The sun almost never comes out here."
Willow frowned. "Never?"
He shook his head. "Why do you think the Cullens live here?"
The Cullens. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place. Buffy vaguely heard Willow asking Angel who he was talking about, but she was suddenly immersed once again in her dream. Carlisle Cullen, the vampire hunter immortalized in the statue not far from the Council's house in London, was the head of the vampire clan she had come to destroy.
The door opened again and in walked Faith with three sleepy men behind her. Giles was still in his bathrobe. He caught sight of Angel and frowned. "What are you doing here?"
"What's going on?" Xander asked.
They all looked to Buffy, but she was too wrapped up in her own thoughts to explain anything. Luckily, Angel stepped in. "There's no danger here," he said.
Oz angrily started arguing and soon there was yelling coming from all around her. She could have stopped it at any time – she should have stopped it – but she didn't. Instead, amidst the chaos, she slipped out the door and ran for the road.
It was cold and the vampire house was far, but she was the Slayer. She was built for this sort of thing. Faith and Angel were the only two who could possibly catch up with her, but she was pretty sure neither of them would try. They probably hadn't even noticed she was gone.
When she reached the long, winding driveway, she slowed to a walk. She took long, deep breaths of the cold air and noticed for the first time that Angel was right – the sun was nowhere to be found. The sky was a sheet of uniform gray.
She decided that this time, she would knock on the door instead of barging in. After a minute, the blond vampire opened the door. "You again?" he asked. It did not come out rude; rather he sounded surprised.
Nervously, she nodded. "Me again. Can I come in?"
Another vampire had appeared behind him. He looked young, with bronze-colored hair. A low growl escaped his throat and he curled his lips back in a snarl. "What do you want?"
"Edward, please." The blond one – Buffy was more sure than ever that it was Carlisle Cullen – turned back to her. "We were not expecting a visit like this. Your motives are very difficult for us to discern." He stepped aside. "Please come in."
Edward glared at him. "What?"
The two stared at each other for a minute, then finally Edward backed down. She could tell that there was something going on, but for the moment she ignored it. Cautiously she followed Carlisle and Edward into the house.
They led her to the living room. Carlisle sat calmly in one of the chairs while Edward stood glowering against the window.
She sat gingerly on the couch. "I'm sorry about last night. Angel told me – " She stopped. How much did they already know about Angel? "I didn't know that you didn't…" How was the best way to phrase it?
Carlisle nodded. "I understand. Most people who are aware of vampires assume the worse. More often than not, they are right." He furrowed his brow thoughtfully. "Forgive me for being blunt, but who are you?"
Her face burned. "I'm Buffy Summers."
"Ah." He smiled politely. "I'm – "
"Carlisle Cullen," she said. She turned to the younger one. "And you're Edward Anthony Masen."
"I'm Edward Cullen," he replied. "Edward Anthony Masen died of Spanish Flu."
Carlisle no longer sounded as thoughtful. "You seem to know an awful lot about us, Buffy Summers."
"Two nights ago, I had a dream. I saw five different graves, a Civil War memorial, and a churchyard. I woke up and saw that same churchyard out my window in London, so I went to check it out." She looked closer at him. "Now I can't believe I didn't recognize you last night – you look just like your statue."
Edward smirked. "Statue?"
"My father was quite devastated by my death," Carlisle said evenly.
It was a strange relief that he did not deny it. "So you're, like, three hundred and forty years old."
"Three hundred and forty-four," he replied, a small smile on his lips.
He was older than Angel, she thought. "You were a vampire hunter," she continued. She looked at Edward. "And you were dying with your family in the flu epidemic."
Carlisle nodded. "Very observant. What else was in this dream of yours?"
She tried to remember all of the names. "The Civil War soldier was named Whitlock. He was listed as missing. The three women were all buried in cemeteries and the other one, Emmett, was just a marker in the woods."
Edward seemed slightly less hostile. "Are you a seer?" he asked.
"Only when it comes to Slayer stuff."
He frowned. "When it comes to what?"
She looked between the two blank faces. "I'm the Slayer," she said. "I figured you'd have guessed that by now."
Edward suddenly turned toward the door. "They're coming back," he said. Then he turned back to Buffy. "You should go."
Carlisle stood up. "I agree. But we do appreciate your visit and the apology. I think we all have quite a lot to think about."
They ushered her quickly and firmly out of the house. She walked slowly back toward town, not wanting to see her friends in the face of endlessly more questions.