Chapter 4: Lie to Me

A/N: So here it is, folks. Hope you enjoy how this ends.

Warning: Character death! C'mon, after the way the last chapter ended, is this really a surprise?

Challenge: personal request by gopher101 for a Buffy/Oz fic. As well as a b-day gift to zigpal.

Thanks to my betas: AerynSpeedleCaine, AshDawnSoulmates and zigpal.

Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission. Some dialogue used/paraphrased from .


The following Monday…

Sitting at the table with her friends, Buffy decided to bite the proverbial bullet and ask, "Umm, has anyone seen Cordelia since Halloween?"

Willow's face scrunched up – adorable, in Xander's opinion – as she thought about the weekend. Well, the part that she didn't spend smooching with her new sweetie. "Now that you mention it, I don't think so."

"Why? Is there a problem?" Giles inquired somewhat distractedly. He was busy alphabetizing his latest shipment from the Council.

"I'm not sure," Buffy admitted hesitantly. "I saw her doing something Friday night, and she looked happy about it, but if she hasn't been seen for a few days…"

Xander smirked at the strange blush on the Slayer's face. "Sorry, Buff, as good as my best friend babble-decoder skills are, that didn't make any sense to me."

She sighed, resigned to the fact that she might actually have to say the words. "It's kind of embarrassing, and I need you to promise not to say anything to anyone else, 'k?" When everybody nodded, Buffy continued, "When I was doing a short patrol after walking Oz home, I passed by Cordelia's place. As I did, there was a scream so I ran to check it out."

"Go on," Giles prompted. Honestly, it was like trying to pull teeth with her to get her to spit it out.

"Turns out it wasn't a scared kind of scream," Buffy said, emphasizing the word 'scared', praying somebody would figure it out.

In her perpetual innocence, Willow shot that hope to hell by asking, "What do you mean?"

Inwardly howling with laughter, Oz managed to answer for his girlfriend, and keep a straight face, too, "I think she means Cordelia was having sex with somebody and was loud about it."

"Exactly," Buffy agreed with a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Oz. I wasn't sure I could say it."

Furiously polishing his glasses, Giles replied, "Alright, but I fail to see why you're concerned about this."

"Because her partner was Angel," Buffy said, glad that it was all out now. Course now she felt kinda like the sex police.

"Queen C and Deadboy?" Xander asked with an arch of his eyebrow. "Huh, wish I could say that surprised me, but…nope, can't do it," he shook his head. "Saw this coming from a mile away – especially after you kicked him to the curb."

Willow was biting her lip nervously. "You don't think he'd hurt her, do you?"

Shrugging helplessly, Buffy confessed, "Like I said, I don't know. I mean, are there certain things vampires do during sex that people don't?"

Off came the glasses again for another cleaning, and Giles began a hyper stutter, "Uh, I-I, that is to say…"

Thankfully, Jenny burst into the room just then; the bad news was that she had bad news. "Angelus is free!"

"Oh dear lord!" Giles declared for everyone.

Buffy stood up in shock, demanding to know, "What? How did that happen?"

"There was a clause in his curse that if he ever experienced even a moment of true happiness, the curse would be lifted and he would return to being a soulless monster," Jenny explained, waiting for the evitable explosion.

"That sounds like a stupid clause," Xander scoffed. "Why couldn't it have been that he'd be dusted or something like that?"

"How do you know so much about his curse?" Willow inquired, narrowing her eyes slightly at her second favorite faculty member; 'cause of course Giles was the favorite.

Steeling herself for their anger, Jenny admitted, "Because I was sent here by my clan to keep an eye on him; make sure he was still suffering for all the pain and torment he caused."

"So you're a spy," Oz paraphrased bluntly. He wasn't sure how he felt about this; he decided to let Buffy or Giles be the ones to set the mood for the group.

Buffy, seeing the pain in her Watcher's eyes, brushed aside the observation and said, "We'll deal with that after we take care of Angelus. Can your clan re-cast the curse?"

Jenny shook her head sadly, "It's been too long, and nobody is sure where the original transcript for the curse is. Even if we had it, we don't have any magick practioners strong enough to pull it off."

"So we need to slay him before he kills – or probably before he kills too many more people," Buffy corrected herself, remembering her earlier concern.

Which Willow immediately picked up on. "You're thinking he killed Cordelia?"

"Maybe. When did you learn that the curse was lifted?" Buffy asked Jenny, who was fighting the tears from the glares being sent her way by most of the people in the room.

Shaking herself out of her self-pity, Jenny replied, "I got a call from my uncle Saturday morning." She would beg for their forgiveness later…after Angelus was killed.

Buffy came to the unhappy conclusion, "Given that the last time anyone saw Cordelia alive was Friday night, I'd say the chances are good that she's dead or turned now."

"Will you be able to slay him?" Giles inquired gently. "I know that you were beginning to have feelings for him."

She just smiled sadly back at him, thankful for his kindness – even if it was misplaced in this case. "Maybe if I were in love with him we'd have a problem, but right now all I feel is sorrow that this had to happen to him and Cordelia. I mean, did he even know he could lose his soul?" Buffy asked rhetorically. "And if we don't have a way to change him back, then there really isn't any point in worrying about it. He's like any other friend who's been vamped. Granted, he was actually already a vamp before, but you know what I mean; the person we knew isn't there anymore and it's just a demon wearing his face."

"What about Cordelia?" Willow asked.

Buffy moved to the weapons cage to arm herself. "I'll swing by her place and see if I can find out what happened after I left Friday night."

Standing up to join her, Giles remarked, "I'll go with you. Angelus is too dangerous for you to handle on your own." He wasn't ready to stay around Jenny at the moment; the feeling of betrayal was still too great right now.

Willow moved to the stack of Watchers' Diaries and pulled out a bunch from the 1700s, offering, "We'll stay here see what we can about Angelus. Maybe come up with an idea of what he's gonna do."

"Thanks. Be careful guys, and make sure you get out of here before dark." When they looked at her blankly, Buffy reminded them, "Vamps don't need invites to get in public schools, remember?"

"Yeah, parents' night kinda drove that point home for us," Xander snarked.

Oz pulled Buffy in for a tight hug and whispered in her ear, "Please be careful. I don't want to lose you."

"And I don't want to be lost. The smoochies are too good to give up," Buffy said with a teasing smile, then leaned in to give him a kiss.

While they were saying goodbye, Jenny moved over to Giles. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry for lying about why I was here. I just want you to know that that's all I lied about. My feelings for…everyone are genuine," she declared passionately.

Ignoring the happy flutter in his heart at her words, Giles just nodded back. "Like Buffy said earlier, we'll deal with that later."

Cordelia's house

"If it isn't the Slayer and her pet Watcher," Cordelia snarled as the pair strode into her home. It was Buffy's fault she was a vamp now, and even though she enjoyed the freedom, she wanted to make the blonde pay.

Buffy just arched an eyebrow at the demonic expression on her school rival. "Guess that answers the question of what happened to you. So where is Angelus now?" she asked blandly, hoping to throw the other girl off-guard.

"He's out looking for a present for me; hopefully a yummy morsel to wash the taste of my family out of my mouth. For being blue-bloods, they were rather tart to drink," Cordelia snarled – seemed that's all she could do right now. She anticipated upsetting the pair standing before her with her bloodthirsty attitude.

But she didn't count on them being used to such comments from vampires. "As I imagine you were for Angelus," Buffy retorted easily.

"Is that the best insult you can come up with? Maybe your jealousy about us being together has made your quips lame – or lamer than they were before. Do you know how he lost that wretched soul? He lost it because we had wild, passionate sex." Cordelia announced, running her hands over her body – much to Giles' dismay and Buffy's disgust. "Afterward, he told me that he was glad he didn't waste his time with piece of garbage like you. He needed somebody more sensual."

Buffy chuckled at the obvious ploy to anger or hurt her; she remembered what she learned about Darla and threw it back in Cordelia's face, "Well, given that his sire was a prostitute before she became a vampire, that isn't a huge surprise. Just didn't think you were a slut, too. Huh, guess that shows how wrong we can be about others."

Uncomfortable with where this conversation was headed, Giles interrupted, "Buffy, if you wouldn't mind just staking her so we can get out of here."

"Oh right, sorry 'bout that. Don't suppose you're going to make this easy are you?" the Slayer inquired rhetorically.

Cordelia scoffed, "As if! I'm not your average new vamp; I've got the skills of a cheerleader to back me up," she boasted.

"So you're gonna pom-pom me to death?" Buffy snarked. "You forget, I have those skills too." As she said that, Buffy threw one of her new wooden throwing knives that Oz gave her as a one-month'versary present. Cordelia was so busy moving to avoid that one that she didn't notice the follow-up throws Buffy made. Without even a single punch, the fight was over and Cordelia's ashes were falling to the floor.

Proud of his Slayer's skill with a new weapon, Giles remarked, "You're quite good with those. I commend young Oz's choice of presents. Now let's see if there are any people alive here."


A short time later…

A dejected Watcher and Slayer slumped into their seats after calling the police with an anonymous tip. "Well, Cordelia was turned and at her house, surrounded by the bodies of her parents and the people who worked for them. Seems she and Angelus had a busy weekend," Buffy told the others.

"Oh!" Willow cried out, clearly distressed at the news. "We never got along, but I wouldn't have wished that kind of thing on my worst enemy – which I guess she kinda was."

Xander pulled her into a comforting embrace, kissing her hair lightly. "Shush, we understand what you mean."

Giles cleared his throat, adding, "The good news – if you can call it that – is Buffy slayed her before any further damage could be done. Unfortunately, the bad news is Angelus wasn't there, so we weren't able to get rid of him."

"Do you think that he could go back to the house? Maybe you could lay a trap for him," Oz suggested.

"It's possible," Giles conceded. "However, Buffy's concern was wondering how long it would be before he came back."

"Plus I was worried that he'd come after you guys while we were sitting there on our thumbs," Buffy said, giving them the real reason for coming back.

Willow pulled out a piece of paper where they were listing the things they found out. "Our news isn't any better. From what we read about Angelus, it doesn't sound like things will be that great around here until he's dead. I mean, dusted-dead, not dead 'cause he's already dead." Xander quieted her by placing a soft kiss on her lips. "Thanks," she whispered.

Remembering some of the things on the list, Oz admitted quietly, "I think you might be in trouble, Buffy."

"Why?" she asked.

Jenny saw that none of the other teens wanted to speak, and since her clan was partially responsible for this mess, she spoke up, "Because in the accounts that we read about his more colorful exploits, Angelus tends to become obsessed with a victim, then does everything he can to break her mentally before he kills or turns them. Given his feelings for you before this happened, it's likely you'd be the target of his fixation this time."

"But I still don't understand why," Buffy persisted, her nose wrinkling in confusion. "He was with Cordelia when he lost his soul; wouldn't that make her his target?"

Oz shook his head, "He wouldn't have killed her so quickly if she was."

"I believe they're correct, Buffy," Giles said. "Remember those things Cordelia told us about what he said after he turned her? I think they were said with the intention of you eventually hearing them. I think he wanted her to tell you so it would hurt you."

Buffy scoffed at the idea, "Oh please! As if hearing that would hurt me?"

"What did she say?" Oz asked.

"Nothing." They just stared at her until she caved. "Just a bunch of crap about how I wasn't woman enough for him – or something along those lines. Like I really care what an evil vampire says about me. Okay, maybe if they said I was a bad fighter, or had no fashion sense-" This time, it was Oz who kissed his girlfriend into silence.

Xander leaned over and slapped Oz on the shoulder. "Works great, doesn't it?"

Happy that the children could still find humor at a time like this, Giles redirected the conversation, "Yes, well…back to the issue at hand. If we are correct about this, then all of us are in danger. Angelus may attack us to hurt Buffy – especially you, Oz. Since most of us aren't fighters, we should look into any spells that could protect us when we aren't at home."

Willow held up her hand shyly, recalling the one time that Angel helped her into her room after she sprained her ankle on the way home from patrol. "What if he's been invited into our homes before? Is the invitation still good or does losing his soul take it away?"

Buffy's eyes widened in horror. "Oh god! Mom would be a sitting duck!"

"I know of a disinvite spell that we could use," Jenny offered. Despite what her uncle told her about keeping separate from these people, she thought the least she could do was help them with this problem – and as long as they let her afterward. "It's fairly simple to perform and you don't need much power to do it."

Giles nodded, smiling slightly at the relieved gypsy. "Then we should take care of that right away."

Leaning back in his chair, Xander commented, "Times like this makes me glad I never liked the guy. I don't have to worry about letting him in."

"We should do all the houses, just in case somebody else in our families let him in before," Willow pointed out.

Buffy looked at the clock and saw there were several hours until sundown. "We have enough time to hit everyone's home before dark if we start now."

"Then let's go," Giles commanded, grabbing his keys to lock up the library. They were fortunate that the students only had a half-day of classes that day.

The student lounge

A couple days later…

Sneaking some chips from Willow's bag, Xander asked, "Any news on Deadboy?"

"A big, fat nope on that one," Buffy answered dejectedly. Her patrols with Giles were quiet – at least where Angelus was concerned. "Seems he's laying low for now; probably trying to come up with the best way to cause the greatest pain and suffering for everyone."

"It'll be nice when this is all over. I miss going to the Bronze," Willow said with a pout.

"Hey, at least you didn't have to fake an injury to get out of playing with the band," Oz retorted, holding up his bandaged wrist.

Xander looked at it in confusion. "What?"

"Oz needed an excuse not to play with the Dingoes last night," Buffy explained for her sweetie. "It's not as if he could tell them that his girlfriend's kind of ex might be stalking her and her friends in order to hurt and/or kill them."

Oz smirked. "Well, I could, but I thought the sprained wrist was easier."

Sighing deeply, Xander announced, "We need something to cheer us all up. What about a movie night? Films we can't understand, enough junk food to sicken nutritionists all around the world?"

Willow nodded hopefully, "That sounds nice."

From behind them, a voice only familiar to one of them spoke up, "I'd suggest a box of Oreos dunked in apple juice, but maybe she's over that phase."

Buffy jumped up to hug the new person, practically shouting, "Ford! What are you doing here?"

"Dad got transferred so I'm finishing school here," he said with a shrug. "Surprised you still remember me."

"As if I could forget the guy who I crushed on in 5th grade." She turned around so she could introduce him to the group, "Guys, this is a friend from LA, Billy Fordham. Ford, this is the gang. Willow's the smartest person you'll ever meet; Xander's a genius at making people laugh; and Oz…well, Oz is my sweetie so anything I say about him is bound to be overly-biased," Buffy finished, settling Oz's concerns about her apparent happiness to see this Ford guy.

Inwardly seething that she had a boyfriend, Ford decided to make his escape for the time being. He'd get her alone some other time. "Good to meet you all. Well, I'd better go get registered for class, but maybe I'll see you later?"

"Count on it," Buffy said with a nod as she re-took her seat next to Oz, who was glad to throw his arm around his girl. "We've got a lot of catching up to do."

Once Ford was out of earshot, Oz debated for a moment before choosing to just tell her and let her take it from there. "Buffy? Please don't take this as jealousy, 'cause I trust you completely, but there's something wrong with your friend."

Buffy looked down the hallway where Ford left, wondering what she missed. "What do you mean?"

Glad that she hadn't dismissed him out of hand, Oz explained, "He smells weird…like sickness or something."

"Huh. Willow, would you look up his files and see if there's anything in there about him being sick?" Buffy asked her best friend. "I know I should wait and let him tell me, but right now I don't want anything else distracting me."

"You got it. As soon as I know something, I'll let you know," Willow promised.


After patrol…

"So, you're telling me that your friend from LA knows that you're the Slayer?" Giles summarized what his Slayer just informed him. He was starting to doubt whether or not she really had that blasted button she teased him with last year.

Buffy was perched on the table, swinging her legs. "Uh-huh, but he was almost Owen-like about it. Kinda gives me the wiggins – especially with Angelus lurking around," she said with a shudder. "Not a good time for somebody to be around me if Angelus is obsessed with me."

Catching the doubtful tone in her last statement, Giles inquired, "You don't think he is?"

She just shrugged, "I don't know. I mean, he hasn't even come to visit me yet; or send me any psychotic presents like he has with his past victims."

"Still, I want you to be careful," Giles warned.

"Hey, you know me," Buffy promised without actually saying the words.

The opportunity was too good to pass up, so Giles teased, "Yes, and that's why I'm asking you to be careful."

She glared half-heartedly at him, then helped him finish cleaning up so they could go home. "Very funny, Watcher-mine."

Streets of Sunnydale

Next day…

Buffy thought it was a stroke of luck that she happened to run into her boyfriend right then. "I need you to tell Giles and the gang that Ford wants me at this address. Have them load up on weapons and come ready to fight; something feels off about this. I'm not sure what kind of game Ford is playing, but it can't be good."

"I don't like the idea of you going in by yourself," Oz responded with a frown.

She just pushed him towards his van, replying, "Which is why I'll try to stall as long as I can, and why I need you to hurry."

Oz glared at her before he got into the van. "You're getting too good at that logic thing Giles pulls on you." He paused for a minute, then pleaded, "Be careful; I don't want anything to happen to you."

The Sunset Club

Standing in a quiet corner with Ford, Buffy hissed at him, "What do you want, Ford? What's this all about?"

Ford figured that the charade was over with anyway, so he admitted proudly, "They're gonna make me a vampire."

"No, they're gonna make you – and everyone else here – a snack!" Buffy declared, annoyed that he'd be so stupid.

He just smirked in return. "Not if I give them something they really want."

"What could they possibly want that you have?" Her eyes widened in horror as she put the pieces together. "Oh my god! You're going to give them me? Are you out of your mind? I can't believe you'd be so idiotic!"

"Hey, it's not as if I have a lot of choices," Ford defended himself.

Just then Chanterelle passed by, cooing dreamily, "We're going to ascend to a new level of consciousness! Become like them. Like the Lonely Ones."

Buffy rolled her eyes. Was everyone here a complete loon? How could she possibly save people who didn't even understand they were in danger? "You don't know what vampires are really like if you believe that line of crap."

Ford nodded to somebody behind Buffy. "Doesn't matter what anyone believes anymore." The door slammed shut. "Nobody's leaving here alive now. The door only opens from the outside, and in about 15 minutes they'll be here," he said.

Buffy just looked at her old friend, wondering what happened to make him do this. All Willow had come up with so far was that he wasn't really in school with them, but she promised to keep looking. "I can't believe that you'd condemn all these people to death just because you want to become a vampire – even if they are morons."

"Try puking up your guts because of chemo for a few months, then talk to me about what deal you're willing to make to have something better," Ford snarled back. "I'm not going to die because of a bunch of tumors in my head!"

"But it isn't better!" Buffy screamed. "You still die and a demon takes over your body! That's if they hold up their end of the agreement and don't just drain you."

"Angelus gave me his word; so did Drusilla," Ford shot back, as if that answered everything.

Buffy felt like slapping herself in the forehead. Well, actually she felt like smacking him, but with the tumors, she wasn't sure that was a good idea. "Oh my- And you're trusting them? Drusilla couldn't be trusted to tell you what day it is tomorrow. You wanna know why?" Before he could answer, she continued, "'Cause Angelus tortured her until her mind broke before turning her. Oh yeah, sounds way better to 'live' like that forever – or until a Slayer finds you and stakes you."

Ford simply shrugged his shoulder though. "Still beats just dying."

"Forget it. I obviously can't reason with somebody as far gone as you. I'm gonna try to save those who actually deserve it," she said, pushing past him to try to find a different way out.

Ford's watch beeped. "Too late. They're on their way now." When she had her back to him, Ford swung a crowbar he picked up from its hiding place behind a pillar, knocking her to the ground.

20 minutes later…

The gang found Buffy sitting outside the club on the sidewalk, looking desolate. Giles was the first one to ask, "Where are the vampires?"

She just gestured with thumb over her shoulder. "Inside. They can't get out – at least not right away. Eventually they'll bust out, then we can come back."

"Why?" Oz inquired, concerned about her mood.

"To get Ford's body," Buffy murmured just loud enough for the others to hear.

Giles motioned the others to stay quiet so he could find out the story. "What happened?"

"Ford used a bunch of idiots – who had some crazy ideas about what vampires really were – and me as a bartering tool so Angelus and Drusilla would turn him." Buffy shook her head to clear the images that sprang up of what happened before she grabbed the psychotic vamp and held her hostage. "Luckily, Angelus still has a weird obsession with her and I used her to get the others out safely. Then I pushed her into his arms and got out too, locking them in. Even though he was willing to sacrifice all those people, I still feel bad for not getting Ford out too."

"He made his choice," Giles said, trying to comfort his Slayer with words while Oz did it physically. "You can't force people to see things logically if they don't want to."

Buffy sighed. "I know. I think the tumors in his head were affecting his thinking though."

"Couldn't have been affecting him too much if he was able to come up with all of this," Oz pointed out, completely unsympathetic towards the guy who tried to get his girlfriend killed.

A day later…

Angelus snarled as they finally broke free from the bomb shelter. Now he wished that he hadn't killed the Ford brat so quickly; he deserved to suffer much more than just a simple broken neck for getting them trapped. He smirked evilly; at least he could make the Slayer pay with her tears and pain before he turned her.

As they walked down the dark hallway, he plotted all the things he was going to do to her – especially the delightful torment he'd put that pet wolf of hers through. Maybe she'd like a nice fur coat in remembrance of him.

His mind barely had enough time to register the smell of sulfur when a match lit up near the front door. The match – which lit as the door opened – set off a chain reaction of events, similar to the movie 'Home Alone'; a movie that only a couple of the vampires had seen in their lives before being turned. The vampire who opened the door pulled his hand back, hissing in pain from the cross that had been superglued to the knob. He knocked into the vampires behind him, who fell against the walls where stakes were glued. Most were just impaled, but one of them dusted.

The big problem came when the fire started by the burning match burned through a sealed container. Inside the container were frag bombs, specially designed for vampires with gasoline and tiny crosses that imbedded themselves into the skin like shrapnel. To make matters worse, the sprinkler system went off, but instead of water, out came Greek Fire – the recipe was courtesy of Jenny Calendar, who got it from her clanspeople. Within seconds, all the vampires were burning up and turning to ashes. By then, the building was on fire.

When the fire department arrived, the building was almost a total loss. All they found was the body of a young man with a broken neck at the foot of the stairs in the bomb shelter. He was later identified as William 'Billy' Fordham, formerly of Los Angeles. The cause of the fire was presumed to be arson for profit, and since he was the owner of record, Fordham was considered to be unfortunate enough to have died accidently after he started the fire, obviously misjudging the ferocity of the inferno created.


Buffy waited near the freshly overturned earth of a complete stranger, on the off chance they had been turned during a random vamp attack the same night as Ford's death. Oz stood nearby, knowing she was hurting from the betrayal of somebody she used to consider a friend. He only hoped that she would let him help her get past it.

As if the gods heard his silent request, she began speaking, "It's funny… The thing that bothers me the most isn't that Ford was willing to feed me to Angelus and Drusilla; that part, I sort of understand. It's that he was okay with letting them slaughter all those people who were too stupid to realize they were in danger – just because he was pissed off that he was dying."

"People do crazy things when they're hurting," Oz replied blandly. It was probably good that Ford didn't survive, because Oz wasn't sure if he could stop himself from hurting the guy for what he did to Buffy.

"Tell me about it." Buffy bit her lower lip, deciding to share the more painful revelation from that night, "You know, Angelus said something to me that makes me feel kind of responsible for Cordelia's death – even though I know realistically that it isn't my fault."

Moving closer to comfort her if necessary, Oz asked, "What?"

Buffy accepted his comfort while still remaining vigilant; it wouldn't do for a vamp to get past her because she was cuddling. "He taunted me with the fact that he knew I saw them having sex; that was what gave him his moment of pure happiness. I just didn't think Angel was like that. Then again, I guess I didn't know him all that well if it was so easy for him to move onto Cordelia after telling me that he wanted a relationship with me," she stated sadly.

Her tone wasn't lost on her boyfriend. Feeling a little defensive, Oz demanded, "Are you sorry that you didn't choose him?"

"Of course not!" she denied vehemently. Once Oz relaxed again, Buffy continued, "Let's say for the sake of argument that I liked him more than you… So he and I get closer and closer over time until finally we take that step and have sex," she stated bluntly– something she could thank her Halloween persona for; she could talk to her boyfriend about sex without blushing…much. "What if that was what gave him his moment? How could I kill somebody I cared enough about to give my virginity to? Hopefully I'd be able to do it, but I shudder to think of what it would do to me afterward."

"Maybe it wouldn't have happened," he offered, feeling magnanimous now that he knew she would have picked him anyway.

Buffy just shook her head, "But the risk would always be there – even if we didn't know about it." She shook her head, "No, I made the smart choice with you. Not only do you treat me like we're equals, I don't have to worry about some stupid curse."

"Just my wolf," he retorted.

"But that isn't the same thing. I'll take furry over fangy any day," she declared.

Oz chuckled at her comment and teased, "You do realize I have fangs when I change, don't you?"

"Shush. You're ruining my tender sentiment," Buffy pouted before leaning in to give him a kiss.

A/N: As much as you might want this to continue, I'm gonna have to stop the story here. There's too many other fics that need attention right now. Maybe Musie will prod me to add more later, but I can't make any promises.