Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of the characters mentioned in the cannon.

A/N: Thank you to everyone who reviewed last chapter you guys are amazing, and because of you finished this chapter in two days :D Another big thank you goes to Ashes at Midnight (Lia) for looking over one of the scenes for me and getting it back to me so quick. Your suggestions were definitely heeded :D

Anyway I hope you all enjoy the finale for season 3 :D


Graduation Day Part 2

Buffy pulled herself together, her eyes narrowing on the blood on the blade. "Not enough." She muttered as she set the knife down on the wall, before turning and walking towards the ladder that led down from the terrace. Her mind was a jumbled mess as she started to make her way to the mansion.

Minutes later Mayor Wilkens peered out the broken window out into the terrace. He turned around as he heard a vampire move up behind. "There's no one here, sir." The vamp informed his boss.

Wilkens shook his head. "No, no. She took the fight outside. My Faith doesn't like to be cooped up." Wilkens walked over the vampire. "We have to find them. Put everyone on it. Do it now." He added when the vamp didn't move. He turned away, fully expecting to be obeyed without question.

"But sir, the Ascension…"

Wilkens whirled around his expression furious. "Find them!" He yelled, making the vampire hurry away to gather his comrades for a search part for the two Slayers.

The Mayor turned away, and began pacing his furious expression changing to one of worry, as he turned back and forth on his short path adjacent the broken window. "Faith's a good girl." He murmured to himself, trying to put himself at ease. "She can take anything they throw at her. She's going to be alright. She'll be alright. She'll be alright." He repeated over and over as he paced the words becoming a sort of mantra for him as the other occupants of the apartment departed to begin their search for The Slayers, none of them brave enough to tell The Mayor that Faith's blood was fresh on the air.

Giles walked out of his office massaging one of his sore shoulders, the muscles protesting the continuous slumped over position he was forcing on them lately. The price one paid for hours upon hours of bad posture. Xander walked into the library carrying a Styrofoam cup, as he intercepted Giles on the way to the library table. "Any word from Buffy?" Xander asked worriedly as they walked towards the table together.

"Not yet." Giles replied somewhat worried himself about the long silence from the blond Slayer.

Xander sighed, and held out the Styrofoam cup. "Here is your cup of coffee. Brewed from the finest Colombian lighter fluid." Xander sat down across from Giles as the older man took the cup.

"Thank you." Giles took a sip and shuddered, making a face. "Horrible." He muttered, before taking another sip of the bitter liquid.

"Aren't you supposed to be drinking tea anyway?" Xander asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." Giles replied not looking up from the book he was once again looking through.

"Ok." Xander muttered holding up his hands mockingly. "But you are destroying a perfectly good cultural stereotype here." He grinned.

Giles ignored him as he looked up and pointed to a pile of books at the end of the table. "Look through the ah… Kepler volumes." Xander obediently reached over and grabbed one of the books on the pointed out pile. "Any reference to the demon Olvikan." Xander opened the book nodding as he began pursuing the pages. "Powers, weaknesses, hat size, anything." Giles muttered his voice slightly aggravated.

Xander looked up from his book. "Still batting zero?" Xander asked earning a glaring look from the older man. "But, I mean uh, in cricket?" Xander covered realizing that now probably wasn't the time to goad the former Watcher with his witticisms. Xander went back to looking at the book open in front of him as the library door opened and Cordelia marched in heading towards the table, her expression upset. Xander looked up. "Cordy! What's up?" Xander asked surprised to see her here.

"I demand an explanation." Cordelia demanded of the two men.

"For what?" Xander asked confused.

"Wesley." Cordelia cried angrily.

"Uh, inbreeding?" Xander suggested, still having no clue what the brunette was talking about.

"So very funny. Any minute I am sure to laugh." Cordelia quipped sarcastically. "I just got off the phone with him. He could hardly speak he was so upset. He said there was something about a fight? And he is leaving the country." Cordelia informed accusingly looking from Xander to the uninterested Giles.

"Should I assay remorse?" Giles questioned not looking up from his book.

"Just tell me what's going on." Cordelia demanded, having not been able to get much out of the chocked up Wesley.

"Buffy has quit The Council. She'll not be working with Wesley from now on." Giles informed her stoically.

Cordelia looked at him puzzled. "But he's her Watcher."

"Buffy no longer needs a Watcher." Giles stated as he turned the page.

"Well, does he have to leave the country? I mean, you got fired, and you still hang around like a big loser. Why can't he?" Cordelia demanded to know. She felt for sure her heart was breaking over her loss.

Before Giles could make a reply, Xander cut in. "Cordelia. We are trying to stop a massacre here. Want to give us a hand?" He said pointedly gesturing to the pile of books.

Cordelia hesitated a moment, before walking over to a chair, shrugging off her jacket she hung it over the back of the chair she had decided to sit at. "Sure." She agreed, as she sat down. "This is such a Buffy thing to do." Cordelia muttered. "She is always thinking of herself." Xander rolled his eyes to himself, but couldn't help agreeing just a little in a couple of areas. He rubbed under his chin again, the scab was gone, but a tiny rounded indented scar still remained.

Willow stood in the doorway nervously, watching Angelus pant and toss his head on his pillow in obvious pain. She winced as he called for Buffy in a piteous voice, it almost made her feel sorry for him, but she couldn't bring herself to allow herself to feel the emotion for him. He killed people tortured them, took pleasure in it. He'd tortured Giles for hours and probably delighted in every moment of it. No there was no pity in her for her to give the heartless murderer, he'd done too much evil to deserve nothing less than to die as painfully as possible. And as much as she knew that it would hurt Buffy greatly she hoped he died, before the blond Slayer got here.

It would put an end to so much, it would allow Buffy to move on from Angel. To find someone that could love her and be good for her. "I hope Buffy fails to bring back Faith for you. You don't deserve to live." Willow muttered angrily as she watched she face screw up in pain, and a sense of satisfaction swelled in her, before the guilt hit and she lowered her head in shame. Buffy's words to her in her bedroom, when she had admitted to her that Angelus had stolen the disk from her and destroyed it, surfacing to the forefront of her mind.

How could she think like that when it would so clearly kill something in Buffy to see the body of Angel die so horribly, so painfully. Angelus may deserve all the pain that poison was putting him through, but Buffy didn't deserve the pain of seeing Angel suffer so. Willow frowned to herself, Buffy always seemed to have such trouble distinguishing Angelus from Angel, the blond had even admitted as much to her once. Why did Buffy have to save him, she knew deep in her heart that he wasn't Angel, so why couldn't she just stake him, put him out of his misery? Willow sighed and her frown deepened, because according to Giles Buffy felt strongly that they'd need Angelus' strength before the end.

Willow bit her lower lip, it was still hard for her to believe that Angelus was helping them, it seemed so farfetched. The Scourge of Europe helping to put a stop to an apocalypse, it just seemed that there was something more, something that was right in front of her, but she just could clamp her eyes on it. With a sigh Willow turned and left the room sick of seeing his face, sick of seeing him and knowing that they were saving him instead of rejoicing in his impending painful death.

Oz turned towards her when she came into the main room. "Any change?" He asked, as Willow walked towards him.

Willow shrugged tiredly. "He's delirious. He-he keeps calling for Buffy."

"Yeah. It makes me feel a little bad for him, you know." Oz admitted softly looking up the stairs towards the room Angelus was lying in.

Willow looked up at him shocked, and Oz looked down at her confused by her shock, until Willow shook herself, and gave him a small smile, deciding to love him all the more for his compassion. Something that also made her feel bad that she had denied Angelus the same, maybe-maybe it Oz could find it in himself to find the forgiveness needed to feel even a little bad for him. Maybe she could too. "I hope she gets here soon." Willow looked down. "She better if…"

"Yeah." Oz cut her off, knowing what she was saying, and he looked towards the entrance concernedly.

"I feel so… I feel so guilty." Willow admitted looking up at Oz from under her lashes.

"Guilty?" Oz asked looking back at her.

"Well, things are so terrible, and things are coming apart, but in some ways, this is the best night of my life." Willow told him with a small smile.

Oz smiled and reached for her hand stepping closer. "Us." He stated.

Willow smiled and nodded. "Us." She whispered, leaning closer until their lips touched. They jumped quickly apart as they heard the front door open and Buffy walked in with a busted lip, her expression quietly sombre, not seeing them as she stared at the ground. "I just checked on him." Willow said guilty, making Buffy look up at them, pausing in her stride slightly surprised to see them there.

"Did you find Faith?" Oz asked turning towards Buffy. Buffy looked at them silently not knowing how to voice what was going on in her head, not even sure that she should given the decision she had made on the walk over.

Willow looked behind her and around the room looking for any signs of the brunette Slayer. "You didn't… she's not here?" Willow said questioningly, not able to feel completely bad at Buffy's lack of success.

Buffy frowned slightly at the two. "Would you guys…" Buffy paused and looked away from them. "I'd like to be alone with him."

Willow and Oz looked at each other. Oz nodded looking back at Buffy. "Of course." He murmured putting his arm behind Willow and together they began walking out.

When they were standing beside Buffy, Willow paused and turned to her the sad expression on her friends face forcing her to offer Buffy a last sliver of hope. "We'll try to find another cure." Willow promised.

"Thanks." Buffy said quietly as Willow and Oz continued on their way out of the house.

Buffy waited until the sound of the front door clicked shut behind her two friends, before she made any movements. She sighed as she looked up the stairs, her hand going to her neck. Her heart was beating a nervous, but determined rhythm. It was the only choice she had left to her to save Angelus. She felt her heart constrict and tears filled her eyes, he'd slept with Faith she didn't know when and she didn't really care. She could go the rest of her life not knowing the details. It hurt her deeply, but she was still going to do this, she was going to save his life, because seeing him die would hurt worse than knowing that he had fucked Faith.

Buffy wiped angrily at a couple of stray tears that had fallen down her cheeks, before she mounted the stairs with a determined stride, a niggling of fear tugged at her gut, as she walked closer and to Angelus' room. What if he turned her? He did say that he planned to do that when he got bored with tormenting her as a human, but then they were working together, he wouldn't turn her! Not when she was needed to help stop the apocalypse, right? Plus there were the conditions...

Buffy walked into his room through the open door, her heart constricting painfully to see him lying on the bed sweat still drenching him, his expression troubled. She made her way over to his bed, sitting down in the spot she had vacated hours ago. The dipping of the bed made him open his eyes to look at her. Buffy smiled softly at him as she brushed at the hair that was sticking to his forehead. "Buffy? Is that you?" Angelus asked as he squinted up at her, wanting to make sure, his dreams having been plagued by the images of the petite blond.

"It's me." Buffy assured him with a weak smile.

Angelus did his best to smile in return, but only managing a small almost indiscernible curl of his lips. "I didn't want to go, without seeing you." Angelus admitted taking her small hand in his large one with a pained movement that took more effort than it should have, every muscle in his body screaming with the movement.

Buffy caressed her thumb over his knuckles. "Now why would you want the face of a person you loath, be the last thing you see?" Buffy asked quietly leaning over him slightly.

"I-I don't loath you." Angelus mumbled as he grimaced in pain.

Buffy placed a finger over his lips when he opened his mouth to speak again. "Shh, don't speak conserve your strength." Buffy intoned brushing her fingers lightly over his bottom lip. Buffy looked away from him for a moment, before turning her gaze back to him. "I know that it's stupid, a-and I know you don't care… at least not in the way I wish you would care," Angelus gave her a confused look and opened his mouth, but Buffy put her fingers to his lips again. "Shh." She murmured. She smiled weakly. 'I can't deny that you have the knack to drive me insane, and to hurt me above all others, and it makes it hurt worst to know that you take so much pleasure in causing me pain." Buffy felt tears begin to roll down her cheeks. "But I-I can't let you die, I just can't. You mean so much to me, you always have. It never mattered whether or not you had a soul I loved you just the same. I love you."

Angelus opened his mouth again his eyes meeting hers, but Buffy shook her head and continued. "I'm only saying this, because I know that once the delirium has passed you won't be able to remember much of anything of what happened here, and I needed to say it, just in case…" Buffy cut herself off, not wanting to voice the fact that there was good chance that Angelus would take too much and kill her in his delirium, but if he did take too much… she hoped it was enough to make it impossible to turn her. Buffy moved her hand from his lips and smoothed the back of her hand down his cheek caressingly. "Sit up." She ordered. Angelus scooted up in his bed a little to be able to push himself up, but he fell back to the bed in pain when he was only an inch or so off the mattress.

"It's alright." Buffy soothed calmingly as Angelus made pained gasping sounds. "I'll come to you." Buffy gently untangled her hand from his, making Angelus open his eyes questioningly. Buffy took off her jacket leaving her in a black sleeveless shirt. She pulled her hair out of the way revealing her neck to him, and instinctively his gaze dropped to the pulse he could see hammering in her neck. Once she was sure all her hair was on the other side of her neck, she leaned over him her hands coming to rest on the bed on either side of him. "Drink." Buffy demanded softly.

Angelus looked up at her startled. "Wha…"

"It'll cure you. Drink." Buffy demanded again, lowering herself down exposing her throat to him, as she pulled down the strap of her shirt so that it rested over her shoulder.

Angelus looked at the beating pulse, the fingers pulling away the strap of her shirt going unnoticed. His face shifted uncontrollably as she demanded he drink again. With an effort Angelus lifted his hand to cup the back of her neck, her soft hair brushing silkily against his bare arm. He pressed her down towards him, and she didn't struggle like most victims did. Buffy closed her eyes preparing for the pain that was about to shoot hotly through her neck and shoulder. Angelus growled lowly as he opened his mouth, the sound of Buffy's heartbeat loud in his ears, as he brought her neck to his mouth, his fangs effortlessly piercing her soft flesh for the first time.

Buffy gasped as the pain seared through her, and she could hear Angelus begin to suckle at her neck, as surely as she felt the strong pulls of his mouth. In a sudden unexpected move, Angelus' hand tightened around her neck, as he rolled them over pressing his weight into Buffy keeping his prey pinned, as he began grinding himself against her in helpless urgent need as her strong powerful blood awoke his senses like never before, and his eyes opened wide as he growled, before he closed them again and sucked harder, drawing deeper mouthfuls of her thick blood into his mouth.

Buffy opened her mouth miming the words 'Oh God.' Her voice escaping her as the pain was replaced with a deep pulling pleasure, and she arched her neck into his mouth urging him on silently, not sure what was happening she had never been told that the bite of a vampire could be pleasurable! She rocked her hips up against his in time with his own thrusts as she rested her hands against his sides squeezing slightly as she felt her fingers begin to tingle and go numb. She couldn't bring herself to be worried about it though as the sensations inside her rose, building up to what promised to be a blinding climax. Buffy kicked out with her left leg, her body arching up against his as she fell over the edge into a powerful orgasm that blinded her with fiery white lights, her toes curling inside her shoes, before her head fell to the side weakly as she slipped into unconsciousness.

Angelus continued to drink for a couple moments more as he came down from his own orgasm, retracting his fangs from Buffy neck he fell off her lying on his back with a silly half drugged expression on his face as he slipped back into his human face. The powerful thrum of Slayer blood pumping through him, the pain of the poison all but nonexistent in his body. The redness around his wound was gone, and slowly the wound was beginning to close the muscles and tendons slowly knitting together as the poison preventing his natural healing abilities was gone.

Angelus looked over at Buffy to see her eyes closed against the world unmoving, her skin unnaturally pale. "Buff?" Angelus asked, leaning up on his side worry hitting him solidly in his heart, spreading until it reached his gut to make large worms wriggle wildly around in his gut making the worry spread to encompass his whole body. When she didn't answer him or show any signs of movement he moved closer leaning over her prone from. "Buff!" When again she didn't move, or show any sign of hearing him, Angelus jumped off the bed looking at her with wide dark eyes.

He couldn't remember much, except flashes of images and Buffy ordering him to drink as she leaned over him. Angelus looked from Buffy down at his cured body, before looking back up at the pale Slayer lying on his bed, some of her blood staining his sheets. She'd risked her life to save his, she had to have known that there was a chance that he'd be to out of it to stop in time, and even if he hadn't been he might have drained her anyway just because he had wanted too… Angelus felt his softer side raging, something that was growing louder with each second he stood still just looking at her motionless form. No one had ever done anything like that for him before.

He could feel the raging of his softer side bubbling up inside him growing louder, using a voice that was garbled, not allowing him to understand what it was saying, not that he ever really cared. In the next second a word resonated in a loud panicked scream around his head rocking the foundations of what he thought he knew right off its pretty pedestal. 'MATE!'The word rocked around his head making his eyes widen more until they were practically gaping out of his head in surprise as an understanding took him something that he had refused to allow himself to see over the past two years.

From the moment he'd seen her that first time on the steps to Hermery High, he had felt something different about her. He'd thought it was all the soul at first, but the more Angel followed her around, the more he noticed that, his own feelings towards the petite blond where different to what he'd ever felt before. There was more than just the urge to take her innocence and mould her into the darkness that he had thrived in. It had angered him, believing himself corrupted. Something that only got worse when the two had set him free by accident.

He'd thought for sure that all the ridiculous caring emotions would leave with the soul, but to his horror they hadn't, and no matter how hard he tried he couldn't get rid of them. Not even bathing his skin in Holy water got the emotions to dissipate in anyway. He'd believed himself infected, corrupted because of the soul and the petite blond Slayer that had changed everything for the soul. And seeing as the soul was untouchable all his rage was directed at Buffy, but every time he'd hurt her, he'd felt the 'corrupted' side of himself protest… Angelus ran his hands through his hair as his eyes focused back on Buffy, as he pulled himself out of his thoughts of the past.

There wasn't a part of himself that was corrupted or soft. It was his demon! Rebelling against his treatment of his mate, the woman that was supposed to be his in every way. Why hadn't he seen it before! Why hadn't he understood? He'd known that there was chance that he'd run across his mate someday, but he hadn't expected her to be human, or The Slayer. Angelus frowned as he once again blamed the soul for his idiocy. If it hadn't been for the soul, he never would have thought that a part of himself had been corrupted by it, and he would have realized who she was the moment he laid eyes on her. Instead he'd…

Angelus growled at himself as he rushed back over to the bed coming to rest on his knees as he leaned over his slayer, his future mate. He reached out a hand so that it was hovering under her nose, as he focused his senses. He felt the soft woosh of air against his fingers, before he picked up her weak fluttering heartbeat. Angelus moved his hand, caressing it softly over her pale cheek. Her skin feeling unnaturally cool with her loss of blood. "Stay with me lover." Angelus demand as he raised his arm to his mouth. "I'm gonna make everything alright." He promised as he let his face shift into the hard ridges of the demon.

Angelus opened his mouth moving to bite down on his wrist, but before his fangs punctured his flesh, he hesitated, his amber eyes on Buffy's pale face, as his ears listened to the sound of her heartbeat, making sure that it was still beating no matter how weakly. He didn't move his arm as he hovered over her still poised to bite into his flesh to give her blood that would in a sense save her, and make sure beyond a doubt that she would wake to look at him again. Plus it would give her the longevity she would need to stay with him for eternity when they were mates in the truest sense of the term, and she was young… nowhere near the age when she would really come into her beauty.

But that wasn't why he hesitated, words were ringing through his brain, words that he hadn't understood at the time he was told them, words he had once mocked and made fun of, as Darla did her best to explain the idea of mates to him. He hadn't understood, and in away, he realized now looking back, he really hadn't wanted to. The idea of love, soulmates, mates was ridiculous to him. He had never known that kind of bond in his life, and as far as he was concerned at the time he hadn't wanted to. The idea that he would find someone that would draw him in, and become his other half was ludicrous in his mind.

But then he'd met Drusilla, and he began to understand, she was his first real obsession, the willowy brunette hadn't been his mate, he'd known. But her innocence and her gift from God intrigued him, and made him want to take it as his own, to twist it, and mould it for his own purposes, an offense against God if there ever was one. He'd driven her crazy, something he was to this day proud of. But it had made him understand somewhat what his Sire had tried to explain to him. The pull he had felt to play with Drusilla to mould her away from God's path had been all consuming, but she hadn't been his mate. Darla had told him, as she explained as best she could to her young vampire childe that didn't want to believe a word she was saying. That he'd know her, the moment he set eyes on her, he'd feel it deep in his being. Darla hadn't been able to explain the feeling any better, probably because she had never found her own mate in all the long years she had walked the earth.

It had made him all the more sceptical at the time, but now he understood. The feel wasn't really describable now that he knew just what Buffy was to him. He could feel the knowledge pulling deeply at his centre, filling him with it. It made it all the more difficult to believe that he had missed it before, and once again he cursed the soul as he hovered over his petite mate. Darla had explained to him in no uncertain terms that mates were supposed to be nurtured into making the change if they were human when you met them. They were supposed to nurtured and respected, and loved period. Mates were important, they were companions that walked through the centuries with you, keeping the loneliness that crept in at bay.

Darla's words that day filled his brain mocking him with all the things he had done wrong concerning his petite blond on the bed. He hadn't nurtured, hell he hadn't even treated her with the respect Darla had told him a mate deserved. He'd given her the respect of an enemy, but never-never had he given her the respect of a mate. Nor the care that was supposed to be given, a safe place from the world… his devoted affection. As Darla put it, the centuries old blond, knowing her childes thoughts on love, used the word as little as possible around him.

Instead he'd made her life hell, did everything in his power to make her miserable, and had threatened to turn her knowing that she wouldn't want it, and as The Slayer it was something she feared. A fear that she had confided in Angel out of trust. She didn't trust him he'd be surprised if she even remotely liked him. If he wanted to start gaining her trust, and her affections, he'd have to start treating her differently, and what better way to prove that he could be trusted, then not turning her, whilst she was helpless.

Angelus lowered his arm and forced his face to change back into the guise of the human he once was. Jumping off the bed he stalked over to his wardrobe, taking out a fine cotton shirt and slipping it over his head, not wanting to have to waste time with the buttons that accompanied his silk shirts. He'd wasted enough time in many respects, he thought dubiously as he turned back to his future mate, a frown on his face. How in the name of the hellmouth was he going to fix all the damage he had made in his idiocy? Not turning her was a small step in the long run, he knew.

Angelus hurried over to the bed scooping up the petite Slayer easily in his arms. "Hang on Buff. We're going to the hospital." He told her as he hurried out of the mansion. He could feel his wound continuing to knit together under the cotton of his shirt as he ran through the night, keeping his senses tuned to Buffy's heartbeat, any sign of it dying and he would turn her, his Sires words of wisdom, or no. He could gain even the stubbornest vampiress affections if he really put his mind to it.

Angelus ran into the hospital. "I need help!" He cried. "She lost a lot of blood." Angelus said as he ran through to the ER as a nurse attracted by his cries rushed over to him. "What happened?" The nurse asked as she walked with Angelus as he carried Buffy to the empty bed in the entrance to another room.

"She needs blood." Angelus told her, as he lay Buffy gently down on the bed, his senses still fixed on Buffy's heartbeat that had remained weakly beating through the entire journey from his mansion to the hospital. It had been the longest trip he had ever taken.

"Try to stay calm. We're going to take care of her."

"Something bit her." Angelus said as a Doctor hurried over to the bed, using his stethoscope to listen to her heartbeat. "She needs a transfusion." Angelus told the Doctor silently wondering what was taking him so long to start helping her.

The Doctor looked up at him. "You found her?"

"Yes." Angelus nodded, it was a good a story as any.

"Was she conscious?" The Doctor asked moving around the bed towards Angelus.


"Are you sure?" The Doctor pressed.

"I'm sure." Angelus growled, watching Buffy anxiously listening to her heart over the Doctors voice.

"Ok." The Doctor relented, turning to the nurse. "I need a type, I need cross-match. Get her two lines of Wringers lactate, and watch for hypovolemic shock." The nurse nodded as she quickly wheeled the bed with Buffy on it away. Angelus moved to follow her, but the Doctor stepped in his way. "Tell me, what happened?"

"Something bit her. I don't know what." Angelus lied.

The Doctor looked over his shoulder at the retreating nurse. "Ok, I need a rabies shot treatment." He turned back to Angelus. "Any allergies?"

"None." Angelus replied immediately looking past the Doctor in the direction Buffy was being wheeled away. Accidently grabbing hold of a door handle and ripping it right off the door in his agitation. The Doctor looked at him surprised, before jumping to the most logical conclusion as a Doctor he could come up with. "Just help her." Angelus rumbled turning impatient eyes to the Doctor as Buffy was wheeled around a corner and out of his sight.

The Doctor looked at him seriously un-cowed by the dark note in Angelus' voice. He had faced many agitated concerned family members before. "You two been doing drugs?" The Doctor asked. Angelus looked at him in disbelief, before realizing that he had the door handle still tightly gripped in his hand. "You want her to live, you have to be straight with me." The Doctor said sternly.

"She's clean." Angelus bit out, not wanting to be bothered trying to explain to the Doctor that neither of them was on drugs.

"All right." The Doctor began moving away. "Wait outside." He told him when Angelus moved to follow him into the room Buffy had been wheeled into. "Let us work." Angelus muttered a curse under his breath, and leaned against the wall of the Buffy's room for a moment looking down at the door handle he still had clasped in his hand.

He dropped it carelessly to the floor, before sinking down to the hospital floor an arm resting on a raised in bouncing impatiently as he waited for the Doctors to finish helping Buffy. His hand clenched and unclenched as he heard the Doctor talking to the nurse as clearly as if he was in the room.

In the same wing of the hospital in a room joined by a small hall to Buffy's another Doctor stood talking to The Mayor as he looked at a bruised and beaten Faith lying broken on the hospital bed. "The bones are set, and the damage to the kidneys is repairable." The Doctor explained sympathetically, the wretched look of despair and grief on his face counselling the Doctor to speak with the utmost care. "But the head trauma, its… well it's simply too severe. You know it's a wonder she's alive at all, with the blood loss. I-I'm sorry sir, there is almost no chance at all that she is ever going to regain consciousness."

Wilkens reached down and brushed some from the unconscious Faith's forehead. "It's your day." He said affectionately, just at the nurse that was helping to treat Buffy walked into the room.

"We have another girl with severe blood loss. Doctor Pal wants you to prep this one on two antihuberal."

"I'll be right there." The Doctor assured the nurse. The Mayor looked up from Faith as a strong suspicion curled up in side him, as the Doctor left the room. Wilkens walked further into the medical wing reserved for severe blood loss patients and peered through a glass window, his eyes landing on the pale form of Buffy, now dressed in a hospital gown.

The Mayor walked through the door his distraught expression turning to one of pure hatred as he silently approached the still unconscious girl in the hospital bed. 'How could she do that to his Faith. She was a good girl. She deserved more than, what this bitch had resigned her too!' Without hesitation Wilkens put his hand over his mouth his fingers plugging her nose preventing her from getting any air. Buffy tossed her head weakly in protest to the lack of oxygen. The nurse that had informed the other Doctor of Doctor Poll's request walked into the room and stood shocked for a moment, before rushing over trying to pull The Mayor off the unconscious girl. "Oh my God. Sir! No!" She cried as she struggled to remove his hand. Failing she hurriedly raced out of the room where Angelus had already jumped to his feet hearing Buffy's heart rate pick up dramatically, and the shouts from inside. "Somebody call security!" She cried as Angelus ran past her and into the room.

He kept moving as he took in The Mayor, and before Wilkens could even realize that a vampire was in the room with him he felt strong angry hands grasp him, before roughly shoving him away. "Don't do that!" Angelus growled as The Mayor stumbled back.

Regaining himself Wilkens advanced on Angelus his body trembling with rage and grief. "I will. I'll do that and worse!" He looked past Angelus to glare at the prone now relaxed form of Buffy on the bed behind Angelus. "Murderous little fiend! Did you see what she did to my Faith?"

Angelus bared his teeth at him. "No, but it should be an amusing story. I'll get Buff to tell me all about it when she wakes up. I'm sure it'll give me a good laugh." Angelus tilted his head his expression hardening into a cruel twist. "Not making any plans to weep over that one."

"Well," Wilkens growled stepping closer to Angelus. "I'd get set for some weeping if I were you. I'd get set for a world of pain! Misery loves company, young man, and I'm looking to share that with you and your little 'whore!" He threatened. Enraged Angelus shoved Wilkens in a quick hard motion that sent him flying back into the window he had looked through before breaking the glass before collapsing to the floor, overturning a small metal hospital table holding various instruments for the practise of healing.

After a moment The Mayor picked himself up, looking past Angelus to see two nervous nurses looking over at him from the door way which Angelus had entered. He brushed his suit jacket free of the small shards of glass. "Looks like somebody has been eating his spinach." He quipped gesturing at Angelus, he looked again at the two nurses. "No, it's ok folks. It's all right. The shows not over, but there will be a short intermission." He turned his gaze back to Angelus who was glaring bloody murder at him as he stood blocking his way to Buffy's bed. "Don't want to miss the second act." Wilkens walked past Angelus, his gaze moving past him for a moment to rest on Buffy his expression hardening once again, before he turned his gaze back to Angelus. "All kinds of excitement!"

Angelus breathed deeply as The Mayor continued his way out. "I'll be there." He growled softly as The Mayor reached the door, making him pause and malicious smile on his face, before he continued on out the door.

Swallowing hard to help ease his fury Angelus walked over to the bed pulling up a chair that was situated in the corner, after a moment's hesitation he took Buffy hand in one of his own, gently kissing the back when he noticed that the nurses were gone leaving him alone with his future mate. He felt his unbeating heart constrict painfully as he pondered what would have happened if he hadn't realized what the demon inside him had been trying to tell him from the moment he had gotten free for the first time in close to 80 years. His petite future mate would have been dead and that would have been it, he probably would never realized what she was to him, and even if he did… it would have been far too late.

Angelus looked up with a scowl as he scented Giles, Willow, Oz and Xander enter the room, quickly dropping Buffy's hand as he stood up. "How is she?" Giles demanded to know walking towards the bed.

"She's fine. She's just sleeping now." Angelus grunted reluctantly as he looked back down at Buffy wishing that she would wake up already.

Giles looked at bandaged wound on Buffy's neck and turned back to Angelus. "You fed off her!" He growled accusingly.

Angelus shrugged. "I only took what she offered freely."

Xander snorted. "I doubt that Buff, would allow you to feed off her."

Angelus shrugged again. "Think what you want. It doesn't bother me, what goes on in that pea sized brain of yours boy."

Willow frowned. "I thought she was going to get Faith to feed you."

"Faith's out of the picture. From what I can tell, Buff here put her in a coma." Angelus said a little proudly as his eyes went back to his blond.

"How much?" Giles asked sternly moving around to the opposite side of the bed to Angelus, where he was shortly joining by Willow, Oz and Xander. "How much blood did you take?"

Angelus tilted his head to the side. "Enough to knock her unconscious."

"She won't be a vampire, will she?" Willow asked nervously of Giles as she shot an accusing glare at Angelus."

"Not unless she's ingested Angelus' blood." Giles looked up at him sharply. "Did you feed her your blood?"

"Would I have brought her hear if I had?" Angelus asked giving Giles a look.

"I think you better leave now, Angelus." Giles said curtly his blue eyes hard.

Angelus looked from them to Buffy, he didn't care what they wanted, but the sun was going to come up soon, and if he wanted to be with Buffy he had to continue un-living to do so. With a long last look at Buffy he made his way towards the door, not bothering to acknowledge any of them as he walked out. They were all unimportant as far as he was concerned, and he more than hoped that they died during the upcoming apocalypse. "Gosh," Xander muttered the moment Angelus cleared the door, forgetting that as a vampire he could hear him anyway. "I really can't wait til this is all over and Buffy can go back to trying to dust him again."

"Let's go find out how Buffy's doing." Giles said giving Buffy a last look, before they all left the room to find Buffy's Doctor.

Buffy looked around the apartment she recognized vaguely as Faith's it was emptier than she remembered, but at the same time it was packed full of boxes. Her gaze was drawn to the bed as a small kitten jumped up on it. "Who's going to look after him?" Buffy asked with a small smile as she gaze at the cute animal.

"It's a she." Faith told her walking up behind Buffy, coming to a stop when she was beside the blond. "And aren't these things supposed to take care of themselves."

"A higher power guiding us?" Buffy asked glancing over at Faith.

Faith met her gaze for a moment before walking away from her towards the window they had fallen through as they fought. "I'm pretty sure that's not what I meant."

Buffy frowned to herself as she turned her gaze back to the bed where the kitten had settled down to take a cat nap. "There's something I'm supposed to be doing."

Faith turned away from the day lit sky outside the window that was lighting up her apartment to look over at Buffy. "Oh yeah. Miles to go. Little Ms. Muffet counting down from 7-3-0."

Buffy grimaced. "Great." She muttered sarcastically. "Riddles."

Faith looked back out the window. "Sorry, it's my head. A lot of new stuff."

Buffy gave Faith a half smile as the kitten on the bed turned into Faith in her hospital robe beaten and bruised. The image disappeared returning to the image of the kitten, a Faith began speaking again. "They are never gonna fix this, are they?" The brunette asked the blonde as she continued to stare out her window.

"What about you?" Buffy asked concerned.

Faith turned to look at her, making a small gesture at her head. "Scar tissue. It fades. It all fades." Buffy looked down with frown in time to see an image of the bloody knife she had stabbed Faith appear in the palm of her hand for a split second before disappearing and Buffy looked back up slightly confused. "You want to know the deal?" Faith turned back to look at Buffy/ "Human weakness; never goes away. Not even his."

Buffy gave Faith a small smile. "Is this your mind, or mine?"

Faith laughed. "Beats me." Buffy laughed in return glad to feel the sense of camaraderie she had once felt with Faith fill her again. Faith walked away from the window heading towards Buffy, her arms crossed under her chest. "Getting towards that time."

Buffy looked around at all the boxes filling the room of the apartment. "How are you going to fit all this stuff?" Buffy asked, gaze returning to Faith.

"Not gonna. It's yours." Faith told her.

"I can't use all this!" Buffy exclaimed.

Faith smiled gently. "Just take what you need." The brunette reached out her right hand gently touching Buffy's cheek. "You're ready." She told her, and Buffy's world faded to white before Buffy could say another word.

Buffy sat up in her hospital bed with a small gasp as she looked around, taking in her surroundings as she slowly realized that she was at the hospital. Reaching her hand up she felt her neck where Angelus had bitten her, and her fingers came across a white patch that the Doctors had stuck down with medical tape to help stop the bleeding. Lowering her hand she looked around again, before slowly easing herself out of her sick bed. When she pushed herself to her feet, she remained still for a moment gaining her bearings as her world tilted a little.

Slowly walking she let her feet guide her and she found herself walking past a broken window and down a small hall and into another room, where she saw Faith lying on her own hospital unconscious. Buffy sighed as she felt a weight lift off her as she realized she hadn't killed Faith as she thought she had. There was a chance a small chance that Faith could come back from this, and a part of her, having seen that dream hoped that she did. Buffy walked over to her and placed a small sisterly kiss on her forehead. "I'll come visit you sometime when this is all over." Buffy promised, before turning in search of her clothes.

Buffy walked down a corridor where the nurse that had brought her the clothes she had been brought in, in told her that her friends were waiting for her. She saw them up ahead Xander was pacing back and forth whilst Giles, Willow, and Oz sat on a bench in front of the pacing boy. Seeing her they got up as one and Xander stopped pacing, as she slowly walked towards them.

"Buffy!" Willow exclaimed relieved.

"Are you ok" Xander asked.

"How do you feel?" Giles asked the second after, looking at her concernedly.

Buffy looked past them glancing around looking for the familiar tall dark frame of Angelus. "Is Angelus here?"

"He had to go. It kind of got sunny." Oz told her, as Xander looked at her confused.

"Oh." Buffy mumbled. "Get everyone." She said to them.

"Buffy are you sure your alright?" Giles asked.

"I'm ready." Buffy replied seriously.

"Ready for what?" Willow asked with a small concerned frown.

"War." Buffy said seriously before walking past them.

"Buffy, where are you going?" Xander called taking a couple of steps after her.

"To get Angelus. Meet me with everyone at the library." Buffy called over her shoulder.

Xander gapped at her. "You can't be serious, the guy bit you. Almost killed you and you still want his help. Unfricken' believable." He groused.

Buffy paused at the door she had been walking towards, before turning back to face them, her expression sombre. "I told him to." She said simply, before leaving. Leaving the shocked Giles, Willow, Oz and Xander to stare after her as her words soaked into their brains.

Buffy walked into the mansion walking in through the curtain and into the small side room, sensing Angelus the room over. She walked through the room and into the main room to see Angelus standing, staring into the empty fireplace. He turned to look at her though when she came to a stop a few steps in front of the door. All it took was for that one look for him to know by her body posture alone that she knew. She knew about him fucking Faith. At that moment he could have cursed the brunette and himself in every language he knew. "Hey Buff. You're… looking better." Buffy crossed her arms over her chest defensively, now that his life was out of danger, she wasn't sure how to act around him. She'd risked her life to save his, even though she was reeling from the hurt Faith had bestowed on her when she told her that Angelus had fucked her.

Buffy met his gaze for a moment, not having meant to, but doing it anyway, and Angelus took a step forward his mouth opening to say something, and she just knew that he was going to say something about his time with Faith, because somehow in that way… he just knew that she suddenly knew. She held up a warding off hand, and took a step back. "Don't ok."

"Buff," Angelus began anyway, his voice soft cajoling as he took another step towards her. "Faith…"

"It doesn't matter Angelus." Buffy lied through her teeth her hazel gaze hardening as she fought to keep what she felt secret from him. There was no need to give him something else throw in her face when he next felt like switching from the charmer to the tormentor that plagued her waking and dreaming worlds. "It's just sex, right?" Buffy smiled without humour. "It's not like its bells ringing, fireworks, or hey a dulcet choir of pretty little birdies, right."

Angelus grimaced visibly as he recognized the words, the very first wrong he had committed against his future mate. He felt his demon shift inside him grumbling at him in what he recognized to be very colourful cursing in his home tongue. Angelus approached her with the care you'd take with a skittish colt, not wanting to frighten, or startle her into bolting from him out into the sun where he couldn't follow her. "Listen, Bu…"

"Just drop it Angelus." Buffy snapped turning away from him, before looking over shoulder at him, for a moment before wincing as the movement tugged at the still healing wound at her neck painfully, so she turned to face him fully again. "I didn't come here to discuss who you've done the nasty with. I don't have that kind of time. I'm here to tell you that where meeting at the library now to discuss The Mayor." Buffy turned away from him and began walking towards the door. "Be there, or don't… I don't care."

"Fuck." Angelus growled under his breath, that meeting hadn't gone as well as he'd hoped, but then… he'd caused a lot of damage over the years. His mocking of her first time was only one of the first of many. "Fuck." Angelus muttered again, punching one of his stone walls, before he stalked through his mansion grabbing a blanket to wrap himself in when he ran out of sewer to protect himself from the sun on his way to the Sunnydale High library. Angelus walked deeper into his mansion heading for the entrance into the sewer tunnels.

Snyder stood at a table to the side of the podium set up for The Mayor, and other speakers at the graduation. He held a box full of the graduating students diplomas, he held one in his hand tapping it, as he thought about the petite trouble making blond it belonged to. It was so tempting to him to just dispose of the diploma and not let her graduate, but then he'd be stuck with her, wouldn't he as she retook the year to get her diploma, and besides questions would be asked over the diplomas disappearance.

Snyder sighed as he looked around checking to see if anyone had seen him, before placing the diploma in the box along with all the others. The momentary pleasure, wasn't worth all the hassle it would cause him in the end. Plus this way he wouldn't have to deal with Buffy Summers or her irritating mother again. Yes, it was much better to just let the girl graduate.

In the library, Buffy sat curled up in a chair, doing her best to keep from looking at Angelus instead focusing on the other people gathered in the room. "So am I crazy?" Buffy asked looking from Giles, to Willow, to Oz, to Xander, to Cordelia.

"I like it." Angelus said with his trademark cocky smirk.

Willow glared at him, before returning her attention to Buffy. "Well, crazy is such a strong word." She said carefully, her tone suggesting that, that was exactly what she thought.

Giles chewed gently on one of the arms of his glasses. "Let's not rule it out though." He said pensively. Trying to keep his mind on The Mayor and the Ascension, instead of the worrying fact that Buffy had offered her blood to Angelus when she failed to bring him Faith.

"You don't think it can be done?" Buffy asked.

"I didn't say that. I might, but not yet." Giles said pensively.

"I personally don't think it's impossible to come up with a crazier plan." Cordelia muttered crossing her arms under her chest from her position in the sun as she stood in front of the stairs, a little too close to Angelus for her comfort, but it was better than getting to close to the others, at least this way if someone happened to spot her with this crowd she could say she with the older hot looking guy instead of the social catastrophes in front of her.

Oz looked up at her from his chair by the table. "We attack The Mayor with humus." He said stoically, drawing everyone's gaze.

"I stand corrected." Cordelia admitted.

Oz shrugged. "Just trying to keep things in perspective."

Cordelia rolled her eyes and huffed. "Thank you. My point however is, crazy or not, it's pretty much the only plan we got. Besides it's Buffy's, and she's slay gal, you know, Ms Little Likes-To-Fight. So…"

"I think there was a 'yea' vote buried in there somewhere." Xander interrupted the brunettes rambling speech.

"Well, I'm going to need every single one of you on board." Buffy focused her eyes on Xander. "Especially you Xander. You're sort of the key figure here." Buffy told him making Angelus scowl darkly at the boy.

"Key?" Xander gulped. "Me?" He took a deep breath. "Ok, pride, humility, and here is the mind numbing fear." Xander quipped, before turning serious, with a sigh. "What do I have to do?"

"Do you remember any of your military training from when you became solider guy?" Buffy asked hopefully.

Xander perked up. "Uh, rocket launcher?"

Buffy shook her head regretfully. "Rocket launcher not going to get it done." She sighed, she had really liked that rocket launcher, if she thought that she could have gotten away with it, she would have kept it. "I mean it took a volcano to kill one of these things last time."

Giles got up from his perch and walked over to Buffy. "Um, Buffy, all this is rather depended on your being able to control The Mayor."

Buffy frowned slightly. "Faith told me to play on his human weakness." She informed the former Watcher.

Willow looked at her startled. "Faith told you? Was that, before or after you put her into a coma?"

Buffy looked over at her. "After."

"Oh." Willow mumbled sharing a confused look with Oz.

"His weaknesses." Giles muttered.

"Right." Buffy agreed.

"Which is…?" Giles asked trailing off as he looked pointedly at Buffy.

"You know, I do all this planning. I'm in charge here, even though I am really not at my best…" Buffy wheedled, and Giles cut her off getting her meaning.

"Well, let's… let's… ah, let's think." He spluttered.

Oz looked over at Angelus from his chair consideringly. "Well, Angelus, you hung with him the most. Is there something that he's afraid of?" He asked as Buffy looked down uncomfortably, her gut twisting.

Angelus scowled at the boy, noticing Buffy's reaction to the reminder about his short one time meaningless fuck with Faith. "Well," Angelus cocked his head to the side his eyes glancing over at Buffy what had to be the hundredth time to find that she was still looking at the ground. He didn't think that she had looked over at him once, during the whole time he had been standing in this one spot in the shade unless her gaze was sliding over him. "He's not crazy about germs."

Cordelia smacked her fist into her other hand excitedly. "Of course, that's it." She exclaimed drawing everyone's gaze to her. "We attack him with germs."

"Great!" Buffy said sarcastically. "We'll corner him and then you can sneeze on him."

"No!" Cordelia said gesturing excitedly. "No well, get a box with the Ebola virus and… and… or it doesn't even have to be real, we can just get a box that says Ebola on it and… uhm…" Cordelia snapped her fingers as it struck her. "Chase him with the box…"

"If someone doesn't shut her up I will." Angelus grumbled, making Cordelia glance moodily at him as he rubbed his face with an exasperated hand. Of all the stupid, useless ideas! Why was the damned brunette even in here anyway? Didn't she hate them all?

"I'm starting to lean towards the humus offensive." Xander quipped glancing at Oz.

"He'll never see it coming." Oz monotoned, with a small smile.

"Faith." Angelus said suddenly, making Buffy reluctantly look at him for the first time.

"Faith?" She asked dubiously.

"At the hospital he was grieving. Seriously crazed and not just in the I want to be a full demon that kills everyone in sight way." Angelus explained, his gaze locked on Buffy's, glad that she was actually deliberately looking at him, her gaze turning thoughtful.

"Sounds like someone else we know." Xander muttered under his breath, glaring over at Angelus, not liking the way he was gazing so intently at Buffy.

"Faith." Buffy murmured, remembering the knife, she had seen flash in her hand in her shared dream with Faith. She looked over up at Giles. "I can work that."

Before Giles could answer he was distracted by the door opening, not having expected anyone else. "You haven't an enormous amount of time." Wesley said calmly as he walked towards the group a little nervously.

"Hey, it's Mr. States-the-Obvious." Xander quipped as he looked at Wesley with the eyes of a jealous teenager.

"The Council is not welcome here." Buffy said coldly, not turning to look at Wesley. "I have no time for orders. If I need someone to scream like a woman I'll give you a call."

Wesley stopped his slow procession into the room when he stood beside Buffy's chair, highly aware that every eye in the room was on him, except for Buffy's. "I'm not here for The Council." Wesley said shocking everyone. "Just tell me how I can help." Buffy slowly turned her head so that she could look up at him with a piercing gaze, trying to see if he was telling the truth.

"That is so classy." Cordelia said adoringly, before looking around the whole room seeking confirmation from the other occupants. "Isn't he just so classy?"

"It's a start." Buffy muttered carefully.

Wesley beamed at her. "So there is something I can do… beside scream like a woman." Wesley added trying his hand at American humour, making Buffy's mouth twitch just slightly.

"There is plenty. Chores for everyone." Buffy got up out of her chair feeling more energized. "Ok, this is…"

"…How it's going to lay out." The Mayor said as he paced his office in front of his vampire minions that were going to be in charge of keep the other vampires in line. "The transformation should begin at exactly 3:28. I'll just be finishing my speech, you know, it's too bad you fellows have to miss that, because I think it speaks to everyone of us." Wilkens smiled. "I mean, heck, I've been working on it for a hundred years. It better be good." He chuckled. "They'll try to run of course, and this is when I'll need you boys in flanking position."

"But, Sir," One of the vampires protested. "The sun!"

"Not a problem." The Mayor promised, causing confused looks between the vampires.

Wesley sat by the table holding the pages that Willow had ripped from the books of Ascension reading from them. "Darkness will follow and day becomes night."

Buffy standing next to him nodded. "An eclipse."

Wesley nodded. "Standard procedure for an Ascension." He confirmed.

Angelus stepped over to them hovering close to Buffy, making her fight the urge to shift uncomfortably, her neck throbbing slightly in reminder of what happened the night before. "That puts me back into the game." He rumbled, a smirk lighting up his features, as anticipation filled him.

"Yea, it does." Buffy agreed, before looking from him to Xander and back again. "You and Xander are going to have to work together now." Buffy looked at them both with serious eyes. "Can you guys handle that? Cause seriously, I don't have time to babysit you."

Angelus glared at Buffy disapprovingly, ignoring the indignant gaze the boy was directing at them both.

Xander turned his eyes to completely focus on Buffy, nervous about having to be in such close capacity with the dark demon, and he resisted the urge to feel the small indented scar under his jaw. "But, I'm still key-guy, right?" He asked Buffy making Angelus roll his eyes.

Buffy nodded. "Right."

"Then Angelus, in his non-key-guy capacity… can work with me." Xander allowed.

Angelus snorted. "Oh yeah, this is going to work out to be real run, ain't it." He muttered sarcastically.

Xander pointed a finger at him. "Hey! Key-guy is still talking…"

"Of course you were. You never seem to shut up." Angelus tossed a cruel smirk at him. "But you know… I'm sure we could fix that rather easily. I'm sure no one wou…"

"Oh, that's good!" Buffy interrupted accusingly. "Start bickering. That's going to work wonders for us in defeating The Mayor." Buffy marched past the two and up the steps. "You guys are like little old ladies." Buffy threw at them over her shoulder as she headed into the stacks.

Angelus looked after her, and muttered a silent curse at himself, as he watched Buffy disappearing into the stacks, before throwing a glare at the boy, he really, really hated that boy.

The Mayor pointed at a map he had spread out on his desk. "You come up through the sewers here. The important thing is containment. I'll need to feed. It's crucial in the first few minutes to sustain the change." The Mayor looked up at the vampire looking at the map. "What does that mean?" He wagged a finger at them, as they looked up at him. "No snacking. I see blood on your lips, it's a visit to the wood shed for you boys. Kill. Don't feed." The vampires reluctantly nodded.

Buffy walked over to the library table on the main floor coming up behind Willow and Oz, peering over their shoulders at the books they had scattered around them. "So, how are we coming on volcano detail?" She asked.

Oz looked up at her. "I think we can work it out." He told her glancing back down at the books.

"Fun with chemistry." Willow beamed.

"Xander said he should be able to get the materials." Buffy told them as she chewed gently on her lower lip.

"Who's going to stoke it up?" Oz asked curiously.

Buffy turned to look at Giles hearing him walking towards them. "You feel up to it?" She asked as he stopped beside her.

Giles took off his glasses. "Ah, I suppose it should be I. It's strangely fitting in a grotesque fashion." He murmured, putting his glassed back on so that he could look nostalgically around at his library.

"Ok guys, start reaching out." Buffy told Oz and Willow, before turning to the former Watcher. "Giles, weapons, weapons, weapons." Buffy told him, before walking towards the door.

"Ah, what about you?" Giles asked curiously.

Buffy paused. "There is something I have to get." She said simply, before exiting the library completely.

"Remember, fast and brutal." The Mayor told his minions. "It's going to be a whole new world come nightfall, don't want to weaken now." The vampires nodded, before turning and heading towards the office door. "And boys?" Wilkens called after them. "Let's watch the swearing."

Xander saw Harmony in a classroom with two of her girlfriends, and he sighed, as he walked in trying to prepare himself for the shallowness that was Harmony. "Harmony," He called drawing her attention as he walked towards her. "Listen, I need to talk to you for a second."

Harmony looked at him, before looking at her friends. "You mean in front of other people?" She asked aghast by the idea of talking to such a social reject in front of her peers. Xander sighed and took her by the arm leading her out of the classroom to a more private spot, a small frown of frustration on his face.

Percy stood in front of a full length mirror with his friends around him. He frowned at his reflection. "Are they serious?" He asked them in disbelief. "I'm going to look stupid in this!"

Willow walked in glad to have finally found him. "Percy!"

At the sound of his name Percy turned to look at her. "Do I look stupid in this? Be honest."

Willow looked him over and smiled up at him. "You look great. You got a sec?" Percy nodded and stepped over to her.

Wesley and Cordelia stood with their backs to each as they each stood in front of a bookcase, as they put the books into the boxes surrounding them. Both highly aware of the other. Wesley glanced over at Cordelia trying to work up his nerve, before shaking his head and turning back to his books. Cordelia glanced over at him trying to catch him looking at, a pout forming on her lips to see that once again he wasn't. Wesley straightened his spine and turned around. "Cordelia." He said turning to look at her.

Cordelia instantly spun around, an ecstatic smile on her face. "Yes?" She answered hopefully.

"You know that… when this is over." Wesley began nervously.

"Yes." Cordelia breathed.

"Uhm…" Wesley stammered trying to figure out how to word what he wanted to say. "Well, should we prevail… I'll be going back to England."

Cordelia turned back to her bookshelf disappointedly, and took down another book dropping it carelessly into the box she was currently packing. "I know." She muttered dully.

Wesley shifted his feet awkwardly. "With Buffy no longer working for The Council, there really is… no place for me here."

Cordelia turned back around slowly, taking a step towards him. "I guess not." She murmured.

Wesley stepped towards her, clasping his hands in front of him to stop himself from fidgeting nervously. "No… reason to stay." He breathed.

Cordelia inched closer. "No." She agreed softly, her eyes drifting down to land on his lips.

"No. No… cause to hope that," Wesley took off his glasses, as Cordelia glanced towards the ground. "I might be needed?"

"Needed?" Cordelia echoed him, looking up at him from under her lashes.

"Or…" Wesley swallowed. "Or wanted…"

"Wanted…" Cordelia breathed. Wesley took a deep fortifying breath, before leaning down, clasping his hands behind his back. Cordelia leaned up placing a hand on his shoulder. Leaning into him she attempted to kiss him. She bumped his nose with hers, before their lips attempted to meet in an awkward kiss.

Wesley waved his arms in the air around Cordelia not sure what to do with them. Determinedly Cordelia shifted her hold on him, and tried to pull him closer, only for Wesley to resist her attempt. Awkwardly she tried get closer herself, only for them to stumble around the room for a couple of steps. They pulled away from each other, and Cordelia looked away wiping her mouth to remove the saliva she could feel gathered there. Turning to look at him she leaned towards him, Wesley doing the same as they tried again, in what became an awkward meeting of mouths as Wesley refused to be pulled closer to make the kiss more passionate.

Cordelia pulled back with a frustrated sigh of disappointment. She sighed and wiped her mouth again, looking back up at him she attempted to give him a smile. "Good luck in England."

Wesley nodded and put his glasses back on. "Yes uh, I'll drop you a line some time."

Cordelia smiled up at him, hoping it didn't feel as fake as it felt stretching across her lips. "That'll be neat."

Wesley smiled back at her awkwardly. "Yes hmm," He wiped his mouth as he turned back to his bookcase, a move that was mirrored by Cordelia as the two went back to packing the books, intent know on ignoring each other until the awkwardness passed.

Pausing in his walk across the main library floor, Angelus looked up in the general direction they were in, having heard the exchange. He shook his head in amusement, before continuing on his way to the book cage, and the weapons that were hidden in the metal cabinet.

Buffy climbed up the ladder she had made her escape on. It was quiet, no one had called into say that there had been a ruckus hear just the other night. The Mayor's doing she supposed, not wanting to draw unwanted attention to himself. Buffy wrapped her arms around herself tightly as her mind conjured images of the battle between her and Faith. She looked at the broken glass on the terrace, and she remembered falling through the glass with Faith.

A small broken link of the chain that binded the police issue cuffs together, made her see herself locking the cuff around the brunette's wrist. Reluctantly she turned around to face the wall that Faith and herself had made their final standoff. Immediately she was assaulted with the image of Faith holding the pipe defensively, whilst she wielded the knife. She watched helplessly as she saw them move, and she plunged the knife into Faith's gut, before she fell. Buffy closed her eyes tightly a couple of tears escaping to roll down her cheeks.

Buffy let out a shaky breath, and opened her eyes again, glad that the images were gone. Her eyes landed on the bloody knife she had left on the low wall of the terrace. Slowly she walked towards it. Reaching a hand out she grasped the hilt and lifted it, she looked at the bloodied blade sadly for a long moment. The guilt she felt over almost killing the brunette churning in her belly. Buffy sighed and took out an old white cloth she had brought with her. Wrapping the knife in it to hide it from the curious eyes of the townspeople walking the streets unaware of the impending apocalypse, unaware that the fate of the world rested on her shoulders.

Buffy turned and made her way back down the ladder, she needed to get back to the school.

Larry stood outside Oz's van holding a trolley as Jonathon stood watching nervously for people coming there way, as from inside the van Willow handed heavy large bags to Oz who handed them to Larry, who loaded them into the trolley. "Ok," Oz said when they filled the trolley with as many bags as it would hold. "Put these with the others. Don't touch anything." He warned.

Jonathon looked at him. "Uh, wha-what do we do then?"

"Nothing." Oz informed.

Willow smiled at the small boy. "Just relax. Have a good time." She told him.

"O-ok." Jonathon agreed nervously.

"Ok, it's clear." Larry told Jonathon having been scanning the area. "Let's move." He ordered, as he began pushing the trolley in the direction of the school library. Before he began moving after Larry, Jonathon closed the sliding van door.

Willow looked at Oz nervously. "I guess that's it. Won't be long now." She murmured biting her lower lip.

Oz looked at her concerned. "You nervous?"

Willow swallowed thickly. "Only in a… terrified way." She muttered in an attempt to lighten her mood.

Oz reached over to her and took her hand in his own. "We'll make it through this." He assured her.

"Are you sure?" Willow asked nervously, her hand gently squeezing his.

"I sound pretty sure, don't I?" Oz observed as he squeezed her hand in return.

"Yeah." Willow agreed softly looking down.

Oz half smiled as Willow looked back up again. "Then I must be sure."

Willow frowned at him. "Is that just a comforting way of not answering the question?" Oz blinked and almost made a shrugging motion, as he leaned towards his red head. Willow copied the movement their lips meeting in a gentle kiss. Oz pulled back slightly caressing the side of her face, before leaning in again pressing his lips to hers once more. Willow pulled away a little a dreamy smile on her face, as she slowly opened her eyes. "How long till graduation?"

Oz smiled. "A little while." Willow beamed and leaned forward kissing him again, this time with a lot more passion.

Angelus stood in Giles office the older man nowhere to be seen, as he sorted through weapons for the upcoming battle. His mind however was not on the weapons, but on a certain blond that had yet to return to the library from her outing. His hand tightened on one of the weapons he was holding before he placed it down in its spot. He took hold of the edge of the desk he was using, as he leaned into it, pouring some of his frustration out into his grip, the wood threatening to crack under the pressure of his grip. His task of winning Buffy back over was seemingly like an impossible task right now.

She was so busy saving the world that he hadn't had a chance to talk to her at all since he'd gotten to the library, no chance to clear the air, to try to set her at ease with him again. Now that he knew what she was to him. He wanted to hurry up and get somewhere with her, and The Mayor and his damned Ascension was getting in his way. He had many mistakes to make up for in regard to his treatment of his Slayer; his little mate. His actions had created what felt like a vast, deep bleeding chasm between them. One that he wanted to start working on healing immediately. Angelus closed his eyes a silent tape playing in his head as his mind worked through what he had done. Every little thing. The looks on Buffy's face standing out to him the most. The pain on them, the hurt, the fear… all directed at him!

He'd relished in it, and had made no secret of his taking pleasure in her pain. Angelus's eyes snapped open and he released the edge of the desk with a growl, turning away from it moodily, his hands running aggrevatedly through his hair. Lowering his hands Angelus sighed and rolled his neck and shoulders loosening his tense muscles. He had to maintain patience, he'd get through the deep, vast bleeding chasm that was standing in his way of getting Buffy. He had never failed before, and he wouldn't start now. It wouldn't be easy, but he always did enjoy a good challenge, and if he was lucky it wouldn't take as long as he thought.

Angelus turned back to the desk with a frown, as his mind went to his delirium. He was desperately trying to piece together his memory of that night. More specifically the end just before Buffy told him to drink from her. He could remember her leaning over him, her expression sad, an unknown emotion shining in her eyes as she looked down at him. Her lips had been moving. She'd been speaking to him… but for the life of him… he couldn't remember what! The frown cleared off his face as he sensed Buffy entering the library, coming towards the office. He casually began sorting through the pile of weapons he had taken from the weapons cabinet as he awaited her arrival.

Buffy came to the door of Giles' office about to come in when she saw Angelus standing in the room sorting through weapons, Buffy hesitated on the threshold for a moment, wavering between leaving or entering like she had planned. Slowly with measured steps she entered. Angelus smirked to himself unseen by Buffy as his back was to her. "I take it you got what you needed?"

Buffy came up by the desk Angelus was using and looked down at her hands that were clasping the cloth wrapped knife. "Yea, I did." She muttered glancing at the desk, as Angelus glanced at her hands scenting Faith's blood on whatever was wrapped in the cloth. "This isn't going to be enough." Buffy said with a small frown.

"Giles is on it." Buffy turned to leave, Angelus sensing her intention, spoke again. "How are you?" He asked turning to face her gesturing to his own neck it indicate her still covered wound.

Buffy looked away uncomfortably, one of her hands going up to her neck, before she jerked it down. "It's fine. I heal fast." She mumbled quietly, standing awkwardly as she avoided Angelus' gaze.

Angelus took a step forward his arm reaching out to her. "I could check it if you…"

Buffy took a step back from him. "So, are we sure that everyone knows what their positions are for the battle?" Buffy asked hurriedly cutting him off, scratching at one of her arms awkwardly.

Angelus sighed and leaned back against the desk. "Yeah, everyone knows what their doing." He shot Buffy a look that had her looking away uneasily, not liking the warmth it spread in her heart… which she violently stomped down, she'd allowed herself to feel it once, and that hadn't turned out real well. She'd be damned if she let him manipulate her again. "Xander won't shut up about being dubbed key-guy. I swear that boy could make a Saint kill, just to rest his ears."

Buffy felt her lips twitch, but she managed to suppress the urge to smile even just a little. "Well, we both know that your anything, but a Saint, Angelus. So, just remember the terms of our little temporary alliance, or you'll be getting better acquainted with Mr. Pointy." Buffy said seriously.

Angelus nodded, keeping the scathing comment that wanted to slip off his tongue behind clenched teeth as he slowly made his way from the room. Buffy watched him go, her hands clenched around the weapon wrapped in the cloth. When he had moved out of her sight, she looked down at the cloth, and slowly unwrapped it, her eyes looking at the knife sadly, before she managed to smile at it weakly. "Thank you, Faith." She whispered, before placing the cloth down and slowly sliding it into the back of her jeans. She had to start getting ready for the graduation. Couldn't go without those ridiculous looking maroon robes and caps.

Buffy stood in front of one of the chairs in the done up quad in the student section as the music for the procession played as students around her bustled for their own seats, the one beside her at the end of her row remained a empty a silent reminder to her that Willow had yet to show, something that had her a little worried, as she hadn't seen her whilst she was getting ready. The music stopped and in one movement the students sat down as Snyder stood behind the podium. "Congratulations to the class of 1999. You all proved more or less adequate. This is a time of celebration, so sit still and be quiet." Snyder said eyeing the students , his eyes narrowing on one particular student who was chewing. "Spit out that gum." He snapped, he half turned to gesture to Mayor Wilkens. "Please welcome our distinguished guest speaker. Richard Wilkens the 3rd." Snyder's eyes flared as the same student who had been chewing made a rude gesture at him. "I saw that gesture. You see me after graduation." He glared at the student as he made a pfft gesture, obviously not intimidate by the order. Snyder turned and clapped trying to prompt the students. Who half heartedly took his lead as The Mayor stood from his seat as Snyder walked over to him.

Willow and Oz run down the walk way between the two sections Willow taking the seat by Buffy, who looked over at her and smiled, feeling relieved that the red head was alright. "Am I late? Should we fight?" Willow asked a little flustered as she looked up at the podium to see The Mayor and Snyder shake hands, before Wilkens stepped up to the podium taking out cue cards as he smiled at the mass of students parents and teachers, as if he wasn't planning killing them all. Wilkens cleared his throat. "Well. What a day this is! Special day. Today is our centennial the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Sunnydale, and I know what that means to all you kids." The Mayor's smiled widened. "Not a darn thing, because today something much more important happens. Today you all graduate from high school. Today all the pain, all the work, all the excitement is finally over. And what's a hundred years of history compared to that? You know what kids..."

Buffy and Willow looked up at The Mayor in horror. "Oh my God." Buffy muttered. "He's going to do the entire speech."

"Man. Just ascend already." Willow muttered anxiously, the sooner it got started, the sooner it would be over!

Buffy shook her head slightly. "Evil!' She muttered aghast, at having to listen to the entire speech before the actual important part started!

Behind the podium The Mayor continued his speech. "… For all of you it may be that there is a place in Sunnydale's history, whether you like it or not. It's been a long road getting here. For you… for Sunnydale. There has been achievement, joy, good times… and there has been grief." The Mayor's smile faded and his eyes settled on Buffy for a long moment. Buffy stared back unflinchingly. "There's been loss. Some people who should be here today aren't…" Wilkens glanced at Buffy again silently swearing to eat her slow. "But we are. Journey's end. And what a journey?" He smiled again. "Is it just… distance travelled? Time spent?" Wilkens shook his head. "No. it's what happens on the way, it's the things that happen to you. At the end of the journey you're not the same. Today is about change."

Willow looked up at him with a serious expression his words touching her despite the circumstances. "Graduation doesn't just mean your circumstances change, it means you do. You ascend to a higher level." Xander and Cordelia frowned up at him waiting impatiently for the action to start. "Nothing," The Mayor looked up as a shadow fell over him, the students doing the same as the sun was blotted out. Wilkens flinched as pain hit him, he swallowed thickly before looking down at his cards regaining his spot he continued. "And so we look back on…" Wilkens turned violently as pain rocked through him harder, as the changes taking place inside his body began painfully shifting his body from the inside. "On the events that brought us to this day." He faltered again as another wave of pain hit him, and he slummed over the podium using it to keep him standing.

"Come on." Buffy muttered sitting up straighter in her chair her hat in her hands.

"We," The Mayor continued before stopping as pain forced him to grit his teeth. The students watched him tensely waiting to see if this was really it, if what they had been told was going to happen, was beginning. "We must all…" Wilkens screamed in pain, and everyone in the crowd exchanged uneasy looks with each other as fear began picking up their heartbeats. Wilkens looked at his watch, smiling through the pain that was rocking his body. "It has begun. My destiny." He smiled at the crowd. "It's a little sooner than I expected I had this whole section on civic pride…" Wilkens trailed off as he shuffled through his cue cards to the last one. "But I guess we'll just skip to the big finish." He smiled to himself as he read 'Ascend onto the higher level.'

Buffy and Willow watched in horror as the smile on Wilkens face became a grimace of pain, and his body began to stretch and grow his face contorting as his insides changed and were now trying to push their way out. The Mayor's suit splits around as he shot up. Snyder leaned back in his chair horrified by what he was seeing. The Mayor's human body turned into giant serpent as his change finished with long clawed mandibles surrounding its rounded gaping mouth. It grew larger and larger until it stood taller than the school buildings.

As one the students of the graduating class stood to their feet, as the faculty fled their seats, all except Snyder who sat looking up at the giant snake demon that had once been his esteemed Mayor in shock. The parents that were seated in the back fled down the stairs, never dreaming that their children wouldn't follow. The vampires loyal to The Mayor came up the stairs seconds later closing the students in. Buffy looked up at the large serpent that Wilkens had Ascended into as it roared out its rage and hunger. "Now!" Buffy shouted, and the graduating class threw off their robes to reveal crosses, axes and other assortment of weapons that they deemed useful attached to their clothes under the graduation gowns.

"Flame units." Buffy shouted, and Larry along with the several other students that had been given the flame throwers stepped forward, and pressed the levers that activated them, sending flames licking hotly at The Mayors lower body, making the serpentine beast he had become wail in pain. Buffy looked over her shoulder and nodded at Xander who had stood up on his chair to better be seen by the students and Buffy.

Xander nodded back and raised his arm. "First wave!" He cried and Willow and group of other students aimed bows loaded with lance points at The Mayor. Xander shot his arm out in front of him "Fire!" He ordered.

Some of the arrows hit The Mayor and he wailed in fresh pain, before lunging down and swallowing whole a student in the first row. Buffy looked up at him in shock, never even thinking that, that was what The Mayor had planned, killing yes, eating whole… most definitely not! The students without the flame throwers in the first row scatter in fear, screaming as they ran. Snyder still sitting in his seat came out of his horrified shocked daze. "This… this is simply unacceptable!" He cried up at the serpentine demon, his beady eyes looking at the towering beast angrily.

Three students in the back row overwhelmed by what they were seeing turned and ran right into the group of vampires that were waiting for them. Oz hearing screams behind him looked over in time to see the vampires kill the three students. Turning back he looked at Xander. "Xander?" He yelled over the noise.

Xander looked back to see the vampires. "Arm bow men." He cried and Oz and the small group surrounding him picked up long bows, fitting their arrows. The vampires slowly advanced up the steps now that they had been noticed, as the students lit the ends with a lighter, before taking aim at the advancing demons. "Fire!" Xander shouted when they were all ready. Without hesitation they fired their burning arrows into the group of advancing vampires making several start to burn and scream, before they turned to ash.

Xander looked back at the students facing off against The Mayor just as Jonathon went flying through the air landing on top of some students knocking them all to the ground. Buffy looked around at the beginning to panic makeshift army. "Fall back!" She called to them, standing her ground as the students began to hurry away gratefully.

Xander looked behind him. "Fire." He shouted to the bow men, and another volley was sent into the massing group of vampires.

The vampires not sure what was going on, having expected an easy meal and good chance to kill all those in sight turned to flee, only to find that their escape was blocked by a group of students Wesley and one seriously pissed off Angelus who stood in between Percy and Wesley, the prattle of teenagers ringing in his ears, making him more than grateful for the nervous fear that was engulfing them now, making them quiet as they faced off against the large group of vampires. Angelus smiled maliciously, his eyes glinting amber as he took in those that stood with The Mayor. Angelus growled and stepped forward beginning the attack, snapping the neck of the first vampire he met. The students following after him.

Wesley ran up wielding his weapon, ready to attack, only to run into the outflung arm of a vampire, catching him in the neck sending him harshly to the ground with a startled cry. Angelus growled as he threw one vampire into another, before punching a third easily holding his own in his desire to release his stress , frustration and anger on those vampires closest to him. He couldn't help seeking out Buffy with his eyes, wanting to make sure that she was alright, the serpentine demon The Mayor had become disgusting him. All that fuss about becoming a demon and he chose something so… ugly!

Larry looked down at his flame thrower as it choked and cut off, he pressed the lever a couple of times to see if it would start to work again, when it didn't he threw it to the ground and ran at The Mayor with a war cry a lance in his hand. The Mayor spotting him whipped his tail around curling it around the boys neck. Whipping Larry up in the air and then throwing him harshly to the ground. Larry landed harshly, his eyes staring blankly at nothing, as blood oozed from his mouth, his neck broken.

Angelus shoved a vamp from him before back handing another one, looking around for Buffy again, he was taken to the ground, from behind. Growling angrily Angelus turned and plunged his hand through the tackling vampires chest, pulling out his heart, causing the vamp to turn to dust. Flipping to his feet, his face having shifted into the hard ridges of the demon, forced it back, the last thing he needed was for the students to start attacking him. If he was going to mend things with Buffy, it was probably a good idea to lay off killing people she knew, that included her graduate class… for now.

Buffy stepped up on a chair looking up at The Mayor, her attention diverted to Snyder who had done the same thing and was no yelling up at the giant snake demon and shaking his fist at it. "This is not orderly. This is not discipline!" The Mayor whipped his head around looking for the owner of the voice. "You're on my campus buddy." Wilkens found Snyder and he looked down at him, a high pitched whine coming from him. "And when I say I want quiet I want quiet. I want…" Wilkens lunged towards Snyder cutting him off mid sentence as he swallowed the short man his legs kicking as they hung out of his mouth of a moment, before being swallowed down. Buffy and Xander watched in horror, neither of them having liked Snyder, but neither of them wanting him to die in such a horrible way!

Buffy looked down at the students that were still lingering around her watching The Mayor horrified. "Fall back! Get back!" Buffy shouted stepping down off her chair, and turned to Willow who was still standing beside her. "Go." The petite blond urged.

Willow looked at Buffy uncertainly for a moment, before glancing up at the serpentine beast that had just eaten her old principal, before turning her gaze back to Buffy. "Good luck." She said feelingly before turning and heading towards the other students that were awaiting Xander's command.

Buffy looked over her shoulder at Xander who was still standing on his chair to have a good view of what was going on. "Xander, take 'em down." Buffy ordered.

Xander pulled out his stake out of his back pocket. "Everyone." He shouted. "Hand to hand." Xander jumped down from his chair following his troops down the steps. "Everyone! Let's go! Move! Move!" He shouted as he ran.

Angelus sent a vampire flying into three others knocking them down, before breaking the necks of two others in a row, wishing that he had though to grab a stake, as he was getting bored with just breaking necks. His small troop of students managing to drive the vampires back up the steps. One of them turned on his heel and yelled. "Get the kids!" The other remaining vampires turned to follow his lead. They all paused though as they were met by angry students shouting war cries as they ran down the steps carrying baseball bats, axes, crosses and stakes.

Harmony cried out in pain and fear as a vampire grabbed her from behind biting into her neck, not caring about The Mayors orders about not feeding. A female student, a friend of Harmony's swung her baseball bat at the attacking vampire forcing him to let her go as the two girls began wailing on him. Jonathon jumped into the fray literally, tackling a vampire sending them both rolling down the steps. Xander struggled with a vampire that was trying to bite him. "Right flank close in! Close!" He shouted as he pushed the vampire off him. "Jason and Paul you guys are right flank!" He shouted at the two boys he was talking to. Startled at having missed their cue the two boys led their troops into the fray quickly, sending a fresh wave of attack on the startled vampires.

Angelus punched a vampire charging at him, before dodging a strike coming at him from behind, turning with a snarl he punch that one in the gut, before breaking his neck, sending his opponent into a cloud of dust. His eyes once again sort out Buffy, when he once again couldn't see her he cursed his lower ground position, knowing that whatever Buffy was doing she was just out of his sight, by a few stairs.

Cordelia staked a vampire coming at her, as she continued her way down the stairs, wincing at the dust that was covering her clothes. Wesley raised his arm in an attempt to help get some ones attention as he lay on the ground having not moved an inch after he had been knocked down, quiet certain that he had some kind of serious head injury. "How about some help here…" Wesley groaned as he heard feet running past him, but none stopped and he lowered his arm piteously.

Buffy took out the knife she had hid on her person as she looked up at The Mayor, as she stood alone amongst the tipped over chairs and various weapons that had been left behind. "Hey!" Buffy shouted holding up Faith's knife in the waving it around a little to help get the large serpentine beasts attention. "You remember this don't you?" The Mayor looked down on her, his eyes fixing on the knife he had given Faith, then the girl who held it. "I took it from Faith. Stuck it in her gut." Buffy looked down at the knife, before looking up at The Mayor with a look that she had learned from Angelus could be very hurtful, and goading. "Just slid in her like she was butter." She told him coldly. The Mayor gnashed the long clawed mandibles that surrounded his mouth in anger a growl rumbling from deep inside its belly.

"You want to get it back from me… Dick?" The Mayor made a howling sound and Buffy turned and ran towards the school building, knowing that she well and truly had his attention. The Mayor charged after her, his long serpentine body moving quicker than one would expect from something its size. Buffy opened the doors and ran into the hall making her way to the library. The Mayor smashed through the doors in hot pursuit his body smashing the walls of the hallways around it as he slithered after the petite blond keep her in sight. Buffy turned a corner and barrelled into the library dropping the knife to the ground in front of the explosives that had been set up in the middle of the main floor of the library. Buffy quickly vaulted a banister looking back at Wilkens as he came crashing through the doors, before Buffy took a running jump out of the open window that had been set up earlier whilst The Mayor looked around in surprise at the explosives, fuel barrels, and bags full of easily burning materials that would keep the resulting fire going.

"Well, gosh." The Mayor said.

Buffy squatted down next to Giles who had a plunger in front of him. "Do it." Buffy ordered her eyes fixed on the library window she had jumped through. Without hesitation Giles pushed down the plunger connected to the explosives in the library by the wire. Immediately there was a loud booming bang, and a large thick cloud of smoke and shrapnel erupted from out the roof of the school library the roof having gone up with the explosion.

At the sound of the explosion Angelus looked up to see the cloud of smoke and the scent of burning serpent demon reached his sensitive nose, and he smiled slightly, before he frowned wondering if Buffy had made it out alive.

Percy looked up from his position sitting tiredly on the stairs, as more explosions sounded as other parts of the school blew up as the glass lines blew from the science wing.

Jonathon wrapped his arms around a girl who looked at the explosions frightenedly. The whole night being too much for her to handle.

Buffy watched Wesley as she walked beside Xander just outside the school grounds as the Watcher was wheeled towards an ambulance in a gurney. "If I could-could just get something for the pain. It's rather a lot of pain, actually. Asprin? If you would… uh…ah." Wesley whined as he was pulled up and into the ambulance by the paramedics. "Perhaps if could just be knocked unconscious." Wesley suggested as the doors of the ambulance were shut.

Buffy shook her hand and looked away as Xander continued to watch with amusement quite glad that he got to see the spectacle, and was already planning to throw it in Cordelia's face. Buffy looked around her, not being able to help herself, as she searched for any sign that Angelus had survived the battle. Xander turned to look at her. "We got off pretty cheap… considering." Xander told her.

Buffy continued looking around in the dark wisps of smoke from the explosions going past her. "Seems like we did." She replied distractedly, as she walked a couple of steps more with Xander, before she stopped by a fire engine looking around her again, just hoping for a glimpse to let her know that he was still alive… un-alive.

Xander looked at her with a dark scowl knowing what she was doing, and wondering if she had never met Angel would she have been looking like that for him if she hadn't found him yet. "He made it through the fight." He muttered darkly, and Buffy whipped round to face him. Xander shrugged. "I guess he took off somewhere afterwards, after all the alliance is over now… everything will go back to the way it's supposed to be."

Buffy nodded slowly. "Yea… it is." Buffy agreed with a deep frown, her heart clenching traitorously in her chest.

Xander grimaced, and turned and walked away, deciding not to spill poison that was piling on his tongue, the alliance was over he could be a little generous. Buffy stood still turning her frown to the ground, she had Xander's word that Angelus was alright, but when it came to Angel/us she didn't really trust the boy, not completely anyway. Besides that a large part of her had just really wanted to make sure for herself. Giles spotting her walked over to her. "Are you alright?" Giles asked, placing a hand on her shoulder as he took in her less than cheery countenance.

Buffy looked up at him tilting her head to the side. "I'm tired." She admitted.

Giles nodded understandingly. "I should imagine so. It's been quite a couple of days."

"I haven't processed everything yet." Buffy mumbled giving a tired laugh. "My brain isn't really functioning on the higher levels. It's pretty much: fire bad; tree pretty." She quipped.

"Understandable. Well, when it's working again congratulate it on a good campaign. You did very well." Giles told her sincerely.

Buffy smiled up at him. "Thank you. I will."

Giles slide on his glasses. "I ah, managed to ferret this out of the wreckage. Now it may not interest you, but…" Giles reached into his jacket and pulled out her neatly rolled up and ribbon tied in place diploma. "I'd say you earned it." Giles said as he handed it to her. Buffy looked at for a moment, before taking it. "Yeah, I blew up my second High School." Buffy muttered, at this rate she'd be known as a firebug.

Giles took a deep breath and looked back at the demolished school. "There is a certain…" Giles took off his glasses again, realizing that the blasted things were still dirty from the dirt and smoke the explosions had put in the air. "Dramatic irony that's attached to all this. A Synchronicity that borders on… on predestination, one might say."

Buffy looked up at him with a small amused smile. "Fire bad; tree pretty." She said pointedly.

Giles looked down at her. "Yes, s-sorry." He apologized as he put back on his glasses. "I'm going to see to Wesley, see if he's… is still…" Giles suppressed a laugh as best he could a large grin on his face. "Whimpering." He finished, before walking off.

Buffy looked after him for a moment, before her face froze for a second, before she turned around a slight frown on her face. Her hazel eyes immediately picking Angelus out as he stood a small distance away from her looking at her as wisps of smoke blew around him and a couple of fire men walked in front of him, not paying the talk dark vampire any mind. Her eyes met his and she hugged herself tightly. Something in his eyes had changed the hatred and loathing for her that usually resided in the brown depths of his eyes. It was like he was trying to tell her something as he stared at her unblinkingly, something that pulled at her, made her want to walk towards him for some reason.

Buffy mentally shook herself, and took a small step back, her gaze still locked with his. He couldn't give her what she wanted. He didn't love her, couldn't or rather wouldn't want to be faithful to her. He was no longer her ally, the destruction of The Mayor had seen to that, and they were back to being enemies, back to fighting each other… back to him throwing everything he could at her. She rubbed a hand over her neck, over the patch that still covered the practically healed wound on her neck. Buffy shook her head, whatever change she could see in his eyes had to be a lye another form of manipulation of his part, another thing he was trying to wound her with. She felt tears well in her eyes and she turned away from the dark figure of Angelus and that subtle change in his eyes. There wasn't much of her heart left, and what remained of the small shattered little shards of her heart, she wanted to protect, and Angelus would crush them she was sure.

Angelus watched her walk away from him with a silent sigh. He hadn't expected her to run to him with open arms, but he had held a small hope that she would have at least talked to him. He had seen the uncertainty and wariness in her eyes as she looked at him. He had miles to go it seemed and no ground seemed to have been covered on his part in worming his way back into her affections. So that he could receive the love that she had so willingly bestowed on his soul, but he had the skill and the means to do it. Angelus frowned the first hurdle he'd have to cross he supposed was her belief that he was her enemy now that the truce was over.

Angelus smiled to himself, the alliance was over the restricting conditions they had shackled on him were finally gone, and he was free to kill anyone he pleased again, but of course as much as he wanted to kill Xander he couldn't, not if he wanted Buffy… which now he knew that he most definitely did. She was his mate, and if one good thing had come from all things he had put her through before he finally realized that fact, it was that he knew without a doubt that she was his equal, his perfect match in strength of character, and will. Angelus turned walking through the cloud of smoke that was wisping around him.

He walked slowly towards his mansion a pensive frown on his face as he walked as he considered just how he should manoeuvre his way past the first hurdle in his way to getting closer to Buffy and vast chasm that was stretching between them.

Willow sat on a stone bench in front of the still smoking school, Xander sitting beside her feet as he rested his back against the edge of the seat. Oz standing behind her. Behind them Cordelia walked up to them, coming to a stand beside Oz. "Well, that's the most fun you can have without having any." Cordelia said to them.

Willow smiled up at her. "How about the part where we kicked some demon ass." Oz stroked her hair affectionately. "I didn't hate that."

"Hear, hear!" Xander cried looking over at Willow.

Buffy walked up to them from the foot path. "You guys want to take off? I think we've done pretty much all that we can."

Cordelia raised her eyebrows at her, before nodding. "I'm for it." She said a little tiredly, it had been a long day.

Willow looked up at Buffy concernedly. "Are you ok?"

Buffy forced herself to smile. "Yeah… I'm ok. I could us a little sleep though."

Willow nodded her agreement. "Yeah, I could for a little of that."

Buffy sat down on the bench beside Willow, wanting to rest her legs for a few moments. "If someone could just wake me when it's time to go to college, that'd be great." Willow smiled at her.

Oz tucked his hands in his pockets. "Guys take a moment to deal with this. We survived." Xander nodded his agreement.

"It was a hell of a battle." Buffy agreed.

Oz looked down at them. "Not the battle." Cordelia looked at him in surprise. "High school." The small group looked behind the at the school that stood gloomily in the dark. "We're taking a moment." Oz said, and Buffy and Willow stood from the bench seat. Oz looked over at Cordelia. "And we're done."

Xander stood and started walking with his friends Cordelia beside him. "Well, school's done." Cordelia said softly, not quiet believing that it was just suddenly all over. Oz put his arm around Willow as they walked, Buffy walking a little back from the rest her expression pensive. "It's ssso… cool!" Xander exclaimed, excited about the road trip he would soon be taking. Cordelia nodded her own thoughts drifting to the plans she had made to get out of Sunnydale and head to LA so that she could begin working on her dream of becoming an actress.

"I don't know why demons even come here anymore? I mean don't they know; the future is ours!" Willow exclaimed quoting the words that were written on the cover of their year books. Buffy smiled at the red head from her position tagging behind the group. She looked up at the school one last time, before hurrying to catch up with her friends.

Buffy sat in her room in front of her vanity as she reached up and gently began un-sticking the bandage that the Doctors had placed over her vampire bite. She looked at it in the mirror the light from her lamp illuminating her room making it easier for her to see. She looked at it in surprise as she saw a scar beginning to form over the healing wound, the raised flesh pink with its newness. It wouldn't be long until it looked like a years old wound instead of a fresh one.

She ran her fingers over it, shivering slightly as it made slivers of sensation run through her body and she lowered her hand. She wasn't sure if she was happy about the scar or upset about it. Her wounds rarely ever scared, her healing ability not really allowing it. Vaguely Buffy wondered if it meant anything, it was after all the first scar she had gotten since she had been Called, the small scraps on her knees from when she was younger and tended fall down after tripping over her shoelaces, because she had only just learnt to tie them by herself. Buffy fingered the wound again gently, before sighing, and turning away from her vanity.

Getting up she walked over to her bed, settling herself under the covers she switched off her lamp and closed her eyes almost immediately slipping into a much needed sleep.

A/N: OMG! I can't believe this season is over! Thanks again to Ashes at Midnight (Lia) for looking over one of my scenes for me your dawl hun :D

Ok the information your all wanting to know: I will be continuing on to rewrite season 4 this time. But I am going to be having a short break from writing for a little while whilst I give my fingers a couple of days rest from typing before gathering my and musies thoughts for what we want to happen in season 4. I'm contemplating adding some themes from Angel into it around the Buffy episodes like have Penn appear for an epi of Buffy and yadda.

I'm also toying with the notion of adding in Wolfram and Hart in somehow, so any information you can give me on them such as the main characters and their personalities, or even just a few good websites that I can cruise to get an idea of how to write Lindsay and Lilah, and possibly even Holtz… cause I won't do it if I'm not sure I'm getting their characters right, at least mostly. I always prefer for the characters I write to be in their characters :D

Anyways let me know what you think of the finale of Season 3, and I'll start posting season 4 hopeful by the start of the new year at the latest, possibly earlier if musie is motivated enough and I have all the info I need :D

Thanks for all your support this season rewrite I hope it was good enough to draw you back for season 4 (grins)

frosty600 :P