A/N: This is my first story published…um…anywhere, so I'm sort of testing my fanfiction legs. This story I have actually finished, so yay for me. But it's in a notebook and I have to go through and type it up. So boo for me

Also – This is sort of my take on what would happen if Buffy let herself be more of a victim after "Seeing Red." I don't know if I put that right, but... you'll see?It's not really AU per se, but I did sort of tweak a few things - Wes is still with AI, and Angel doesn't loathe him, which I think he did in cannon at this point. Also – Cody and Angel are not romantically interested in each other.

Buffy sat on the floor in the bathroom feeling equal parts pain, betrayal and shame. All she could think was 'I should have seen this coming. He has no soul. Why am I surprised?'

She barely registered Xander's entrance, looking up to see him holding Spike's jacket accusingly. "…Spike anymore?" she heard him say before taking in her appearance. Great, she thought, of course he would be the one to see her like this. She was about to get a big helping of I-told-you-so.

"Did he hurt you?" Her shame doubled as she heard the angry concern behind his words. She thought the worst of her best friend, but was betrayed when a soulless vampire tried to…

"He tried – he didn't," she hastened to assure him.

"Son of a bitch!" he said, turning, presumably to go after Spike. Oh God.

"Don't!" She didn't want a scene. She just wanted to forget this ever happened. "Just…don't."

Willow came in and Buffy hastened to cover herself up and wipe her tears away as Willow talked. She wasn't some victim and she'd be damned if she turned into an object of pity.

Willow finally took in Buffy's appearance on the floor of the bathroom. "What's wrong?"

God no, ignore it and it'll be like it never happened. "Nothing. What's up?"


Angel took his mug of blood out of the microwave and sipped it, pretending not to notice the barely concealed hatred in Connor's face.

He strolled out into the lobby, where the rest of his crew were scattered. "So, what's the-" He broke off as Cordy's head jerked back in one of her visions.

He and Gunn grabbed her as she squeezed their hands, waiting for the vision to be over. She finally stopped moving and turned to look at Angel, her eyes wide.

"What?" he asked, alarmed by her expression.

Cordy stared at him amoment longer before speaking. "what's good, I'll answer the what first."

Angel exchanged glances with the rest of the gang. "Um…okay. What?"

"This wasn't… um…"

"Cordy's at a loss for words. This must be big," said Gunn, earning himself an offhand swat.

"Okay, it's not a… something you're supposed to prevent. By the time you get there, the two big fights will be over. I mean, no one's gonna die. Well, not… I mean… you're not needed to fight."

Angel and Wesley looked at each other, clearly confused. "Then what am I needed for?" asked Angel.

"Since when were your visions so detailed?" asked Wesley.

"This one was different. Angel, you don't have to kill anything. You have to take care of her."

"Take care… How? Who?"

"Kind of… comfort? Um… deal with the fallout?

Comfort? Why would the Powers… wait. "Cody, WHO?!" he asked, desperately.

"Buffy."

A/N: Just getting the intro out of the way here