Thank you all so much for your amazing reviews. You guys are awesome. I'm really unsure about this chapter, so please let me know what you think.**crosses fingers**
Special Thanks to Spikelissa for her amazing beta job. She is totally the best.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Buffy's eyes shot open and a loud gasp tore from her lips. Tom was looking at her in stunned shock, as if he had not meant to say the words aloud. They stayed like that for several long moments and Buffy wanted to smack herself for not being able to speak. Especially when she saw Tom's shock melt into apprehension. She opened her mouth, yet still her voice wouldn't work, so she did the next best thing.
Buffy brought her hand up placing it on his cheek, so she could softly kiss him. Her tongue peeked out begging for entrance as it ran across his lower lip. Tom's lips parted as if by their own volition and Buffy deepened the kiss, pouring everything she couldn't say into it.
When she pulled away her eyes were brimming with tears, and she was breathless. He still had that look in his eyes, and it took everything she had to utter the one thing she had wanted to ask since his declaration. "Do…" She croaked swallowing the lump in her throat and trying again.
She whispered. "Do you really mean that?"
Tom looked at her with his heart in his eyes and his own lump growing in his throat. "Yes," he whispered as tears clouded his vision. He immediately turned his head away, not wanting her to see them. "I-I didn't…I never wanted." Tom swallowed, trying to get his jumbled thoughts in order. He had not wanted to tell Buffy like this.
Tom looked back at her when he had more control finally saying, "I always thought love was a pathetic useless feeling, you know, and that…that it made people weak." He shook his head as he was bombarded with regret, and he began trembling with the effort not to cry. He swallowed hard, his voice shaky as he continued. "I didn't want to feel that, ever. The only thing I'd ever wanted was p-power, and…and not in a good way." He paused trying again to stop his emotional outburst.
He wondered if she thought less of him for his tears, but quickly squashed that when he saw a lone crystal tear gently slid down her cheek. "I wanted to be feared." He said with clenched teeth, as he forced his voice to work, "And I wanted to make them all suffer the way I had. I thought that if I had all the power, I could never be duped into falling in love the way my mother had." He paused. "That's why she died, you know? She loved that retched man, my father, so much. She refused to go on any longer, n-not even for her son." The last was said on a whisper, and Tom choked on a sob.
"As far as I was concerned everyone lied and love simply made you incapable of seeing a person for what they really were." Tom touched his forehead to hers closing his eyes and taking a deep breath.
"I was a fool." He opened his dark green eyes, meeting hers, so she could see the truth in his next words. "And I have never been more honored to be proven wrong. Even," he paused, "If you don't feel the same."
Buffy's eyes flooded with fresh tears, and she threw her arms around his neck, hugging him close. "Oh god!" Her voice hitched and then broke on a sob. "God…I…I love you too, s-so much."
Tom lay there in wonder, completely amazed. Buffy, loved him. Buffy Summers Vampire Slayer Extraordinaire actually loved him. His arms banded around her, and he had to choke back the emotion once more. He thanked the Powers for this chance at redemption and for this chance at something, he never knew he needed. He thanked them for giving him love.
Willow was having a terrific time. Oz was turning out to be a really great guy and she couldn't help the girlish flutter of her heart at the attention he was giving her. She smiled brightly as he handed her a Coke. "Thanks."
She looked around searching for her friends and blushed when she spotted Buffy and Tom descending the stairs. She had been having such a good time with Oz, she hadn't noticed them leave. They're clothes were rumpled and Buffy's hair was a bit messy. Buffy must have finally gotten up the courage to take charge of the situation.
Willow had listened to Buffy complain for a week about how she was afraid Tom had been purposely avoiding her. Willow had consoled her friend as best she could and came to Tom's defense on several occasions. There had even been a moment where Willow had thought Buffy sounded jealous of Spike, and she had to stop herself from laughing at her best friend.
Buffy and Tom spotted Willow and quickly walked over to her.
"Hey guys. What's up?" Willow asked smiling.
Buffy blushed and moved a wayward strand of hair behind her ear. She cleared her throat leaning into Tom and snuggling up with him and sounding a little dreamy when she replied, "Nothing much."
Willow chuckled at the couple scooting over to make room for them. This just happened to make her move closer to Oz. She turned tomato red when she brushed up against his leg. Looking at him apologetically she moved a little bit away.
Oz could do nothing but grin. He was finding that he liked Willow a lot. She was so smart, and funny. He loved her long red hair and her cute button nose. Her beautiful green eyes sparkled in the light, and that blush of hers was driving him crazy. She smelled earthy and natural, sweet like honeysuckle, and he found himself leaning closer to get a better whiff.
Tom smiled at Oz clearing his throat as he sat down and pulled Buffy into his lap. Oz eyes snapped to Tom's amused ones, and he quickly pulled back, blushing slightly. Tom's grin widened, and he shook his head. "Where are Jimmy and Micah? Tom asked.
Oz rolled his eyes, "In the kitchen making a beer bong."
Tom raised an eyebrow inquisitively. "What the bloody hell is a beer bong?"
Buffy giggled looking at Tom adoringly. "It's a homemade contraption for drinking like a ton of beer at once."
Oz chuckled. "Man, they really kept you sheltered at that boarding school, didn't they? That totally sucks."
All three of the scoobies froze in that moment and Oz, not for the first time, found himself wondering what they were hiding. Sometimes Tom would sound like he was from another time altogether and whenever Oz tried to ask about Tom's past, he would get this look like a deer caught in headlights.
He seemed to know nothing of modern music, but he seemed smart enough to catch on quickly. He had even caught the boy looking at a Ferrari one day like he had never seen one before. His curiosity was piqued by the oddness of it. Though, Oz was never one to push for information. No matter how curious he was. He figured whatever it was. Tom would fill him in when he was ready.
Buffy quickly changed the subject, plastering on a big fake smile and looking at Willow. "So, are we still on for movie night tomorrow?"
"Totally!" Willow said excitedly, "And I know just the movie."
Buffy looked at her friend horrified for a moment before her eyes narrowed. "You're not bringing Schindler's List again are you? I know you're trying to get Tom caught up on his history Will's, and that's great, but we need at least one night off."
Willow glared and crossed her arms. "It's not Schindler's List. It's JFK."
Buffy rolled her eyes and giggling. "Fine, but I'm only allowing it because it's Kevin Costner. As least he has something to offer."
Tom snickered at the girls and rolled his eyes. Little did he know Buffy's slip had caught Oz's attention, again.
'Caught up on history?' Tom was a complete mystery to Oz now. Why would he need to be caught up on history? Unless he had been part of a cult that was like Waco or something, it would explain a lot actually.
Tom had a very dark and depressing way of writing lyrics. If he had been forced into one of those weird religious groups by his parents, he might have been lied to all his life. That would explain his darkness and pain, he so clearly poured into his words. His parents could have told him all kinds of crazy stories about the devil and how he has corrupted the hearts of man throughout the ages. If that were the case, Oz felt really sorry for Tom. It would have been terrible finding out that your parents had lied to you.
Oz made a decision then. He was going to show him everything he had missed out on, even if it hadn't been something as extreme as a Cult. The kid obviously had missed out on stuff, and something terrible must have happened to him to make him so dark. Oz felt he needed to rectify that. He liked Tom. He thought of him as a friend, and he loved how Tom was quiet and level headed. He never seemed to fill the quiet with endless talking and annoying comments. Which was kind of a surprise considering he was a lead singer?
"Hey man," Oz said leaning around Willow. "Wanna go check out Dante's music room? He'll probably even play a few tracks for us."
"Sure!" Tom said, his eyes lighting up. "All I've heard about is this infamous room and how sweet his set up is."
Oz grinned. "Well, come on! Plus we can check on Beavis and Butthead, and see how their beer bong is coming along."
Tom snorted, having watched the ridiculous show a few times with the Scoobies. He at least knew what Oz was referring to. He looked up at Buffy smiling. "You don't mind, do you?"
Buffy grinned kissing his cheek and standing up. "Not at all, Wills and I will just do the girl talking thing."
Tom smiled standing as well and kissed the tip of her nose. "I won't be long."
Buffy looked at him cheekily through her lashes, a saucy smile spreading across her face, "Promise?"
Tom growled wrapping an arm around her waist and kissing her thoroughly. "I promise, love."
Both Willow and Oz blushed at the display, looking anywhere but at the couple. Their eyes met, and both blushed further.
Buffy and Tom pulled away breathless and panting their eyes strayed to the red heads, and both mumbled an apology to their audience. Tom turned to Oz. "Ready?"
Oz smiled. "Yeah, let's go."
As they walked away Buffy looked at Willow, who grinned at her. "I see you two made up."
Buffy blushed and sat down, "Maybe."
Willow's grin widened. "So, did you guys have the traditional make-up smoochies?"
Buffy's smile spread and her blush must have matched Willow's hair at this point. "And then some."
Willow's eyes widened, and she stammered. "You two didn't… you know…yet, did you?"
Buffy shook her head sighing happily. "No, not yet, but something did happen though."
"Oh god, what?" Willow squeaked.
Buffy smiled at her friend her eyes filling with happy tears. "He loves me."
Drusilla had spent the past two weeks ranting incoherently. Her minion Dalton, the one that she had made because he had reminded her of Spike when he was human, had to bring her food, but she was barely eating.
He had escaped the raid and rescue at the warehouse a few weeks prior because of his sire's wishes for him to leave. She had told him the children couldn't play with the adults and to hide for the night. Being the obedient minion he was he had heeded her advice and was grateful. He heard her wail loudly in the other room and cringed. He just wished she would stop.
That Slayer was ruining everything. She had Drusilla's daddy's love, and the Darkness had her Spike. She groaned miserably turning over in her bed. The stars had turned against her. They were laughing in her face and telling her what a naughty girl she'd been. She keened miserably tearing the head off of Miss Evan's. She was the loudest of them all. Not like her Miss Edith. So helpful and dark, she was, always whispering naughty truths and possible futures.
Drusilla cocked her head as a familiar voice reached her ears. She studied her beloved doll intently, listening as she spilled her delicious secrets.
"Yes dearie?" Drusilla murmured as her eyes widened with malicious delight, and she clapped her hands as she listened intently to the words only she could hear. She squealed like a little girl dancing to nonexistent music and humming to herself. She stepped out of her room running over to Dalton.
He eyed her strangely, wondering what had put his mistress in such a wonderful mood in mere seconds from having listened to her miserable wailing. She had been close to intolerable the past two weeks, and he began to wonder if she would ever snap out of it. Right now though, she seemed normal, or at least as normal as she could be.
"Hello Mistress. You seem to be feeling better." He said smiling as she danced around the table he was sitting at.
"Oh yes, my pet! Miss Edith has told me a wonderfully terrible secret." She giggled evilly swaying to the song in her head. "Shall I tell you what it is?" She sing-songed, running a sharp nail down his cheekbone, and watching delighted as the blood welled up. She bent over licking it off his face, making Dalton hiss in pleasured pain.
"Whatever you wish my Mistress." Dalton panted for unneeded breath as Drusilla ran her hands down his chest and grabbed the growing bulge in his pants. She moved quickly straddling his lap and began grinding herself against him.
Drusilla gasped and started laughing when she felt her pet's arm band around her waist. "We're going to be one big happy family again." She whispered. "All it takes is perfect happiness."
Angel opened his door and sighed at the sight that greeted him. He growled in annoyance. "What do you want Drusilla?"
She smiled evilly. "I want my daddy. I have missed him so very much."
Angel eyed Dru suspiciously. "You know he hasn't been here for a long time."
She giggled, her hips shimming back and forth as she began to sway. "Look at me, Daddy."
Her eyes locked with Angel's, and she swayed faster. "Be in me…be in me"
Suddenly, the image of Drusilla seemed to shift and melt, and then she wasn't there. Buffy was there standing in front of him.
"Oh Angel, this past month has been so awful." She said, flinging herself into his arms. "God, I've missed you!"
She was crying. His Buffy was hurt and in pain. She looked ragged and she was trembling, "Me too." He said hugging her back.
"It's just horrible!" She whispered between her tears. "I don't love him! I don't! I…I try, but all I can think about, is you."
Angel hugged her harder as a lump grew in his throat. This is what he had been wishing for. He knew the Powers had made some kind of mistake. Buffy was his. He could feel it. That boy didn't know what she needed, couldn't even take care of her the way she deserved.
"I love you, Buffy." He whispered, kissing her shoulder. "God, I love you so much!"
She sniffled and rubbed her nose against his shirt. "I love you too, Angel. It's just so awful, all of it. I can't stand him! Make me forget him… please!" She looked up at him through her lashes a small blush spreading across her cheeks. "Make love to me, and make me forget!"
Angel sucked in a breath smelling her glorious scent and a small hint of arousal. "Are you sure this is what you want?"
"God, yes, Angel! Please, I love you." Buffy whispered leaning in to kiss him.
The vision hit Doyle like a freight train right around two in the morning. It came hard and fast. He sucked in a breath trying to keep his balance. He dropped the tumbler of whisky and stumbled, beginning to fall forward.
Right before he impacted with the linoleum someone caught him. He looked around blurry eyed unable to see who had stopped him from smashing into the ground. He tried to fight them as the horrifying images flashed before his eyes. He knew only the icy chill of this one knowledge. Angelus had returned.
Spike had stepped in the room right when the half-demon stumbled. He ran to him, catching him in his arms. Doyle was muttering something as his unseeing eyes snapped open. Spike had to restrain him because he started fighting, and right when Spike finally made out the words the Scotsman was saying a familiar icy chill ran up Spike's spine.
"No!" Spike breathed, shaking his head as he vamped uncontrollably, "Oh god…no!"
Doyle's muttering stopped and finally, his eyes snapped opened meeting Spike's. "We need to warn Buffy and Tom."
Spike nodded helping the half-demon up. "I'll drive."
"Watcher! Watcher, get your arse up!"Spike screamed, pounding on the front door.
A groggy, annoyed Giles answered, glaring at the vampire and half-demon that had interrupted his sleep. "What on earth?"
"Where's Tom?" Spike said wide-eyed and fearful.
Giles rubbed his eyes looking at the vampire, then at Doyle, who looked drained. "What's the matter?" He asked becoming worried.
"It's Angelus." Doyle croaked, grabbing his pounding head.
"He's back." Spike finished.
"What?" Giles shouted. "How?"
"I-I don't know." Spike said, panicked. "But we need to find Tom. He'll go after him first."
"I-it was Drusilla." Doyle whispered. "She hypnotized him into believing it was Buffy."
Both Spike and Giles froze giving Doyle identical horrified looks. "What?" They whispered in unison.
"Perfect happiness was the loop hole. It was the only way for him to lose the soul." Doyle answered.
"Bloody Gypsy's!" Spike growled.
"Are you saying," Giles ground out in disgust. "Had Tom not arrived...Dear Lord!" Giles whipped his glasses off furiously polishing them. "If Buffy and Angel continued on the path they were on…" Giles glared angrily then spat out, "He would have lost his soul because of her?"
Doyle nodded taking a long drink from his flask. "That's what I'm saying."
The old man shot daggers at the half-demon his face becoming red from trying to keep a hold on his temper. "And you didn't think letting us in on this fact could have helped?"
Spike looked at Doyle suspiciously. "You knew this would happen?"
Doyle held up his hands. "I only know what could have happened, and I'm not allowed to reveal anything unless the Powers deem it so. By giving me this vision, they're giving me a heads up. It's their way of telling us what to expect."
"And what should we expect?" Spike growled.
"Yes," Giles agreed, looking at Doyle annoyed. "Please do tell, considering you're the only one here who has seen what could happen."
Doyle looked at the two Englishmen and rolled his eyes, turning and walking towards Spike's car. "Bloody English wankers," He muttered.
Doyle stopped when he noticed they weren't following him and turned looking at the glaring pair with an amused look and a raised eyebrow. "Well, come on then. I'll tell you on the way."
Spike sauntered up to him and lit a fag, blowing the smoke in Doyle's face. He gestured between himself and Giles. "We might be wankers, but you," He pointed, "were colonized by them. So what's that make you exactly?"
Doyle snorted. "You got that from a movie."
"Doesn't make it any less true." Spike growled. "Now get in the bleeding car, both of you."
Giles rolled his eyes at the two of them. At least, he knew they were getting along. He got into the back seat listening to the two of them argue. "Do you think we could possibly discuss politics and history another time, and maybe I don't know, get back to the matter at hand?"
Both demons had the decency to look sheepish and mumbled an apology. Spike sighed looking in the rear-view mirror, even though he knew Giles couldn't see him. "Where to Watcher?"
Tom was just stepping out of Dante's studio when he heard a commotion and the sound of familiar voices. He walked over to where he heard Giles speaking to Buffy and Willow. "What do you mean? He's lost his soul!" Willow squeaked.
Giles pulled off his glasses for a polish as his cheeks heated from having to explain this to his charge. "Well…" Giles paused and cleared his throat. "It was Drusilla. She put him in a trance, making him believe he was…um…was making love to B-Buffy."
"What!" Tom snarled sauntering forth and wrapping a possessive arm around Buffy's waist. She had a look of utter horror on her beautiful features, and he could feel her fear as if it were his own.
She trembled in his arms and swallowed. He was her rock right now, and she thanked the Powers for him. "How...how do you know all this?" Buffy asked as she felt a cold numbness wrap around her. This could have happened because of her, she realized. If she hadn't found Tom it probably would have. Suddenly, she felt sick and leaned back into Tom.
"Doyle had a vision." Giles answered simply. "And Spike can feel him."
Giles's eyes met Tom's then, and he continued. "Spike thinks he will go after you first for taking what Angel had perceived as his property." Giles paused. "Apparently, Angelus is rather good at mental torture and may go after the ones you love. If this is the case—everyone is in danger at the moment, and we all need to be extremely careful, as well as alert."
Tom nodded at Giles squeezing Buffy tighter. "I'm staying with Buffy tonight. I don't want to let her out of my sight with that monster roaming around."
Buffy squeezed back, turning in his arms. "What about my mom? W-what if you're not the target and I am?"
"Then we will go back to your house tonight or…" He looked at the clock in shock at how late it was, "this morning."
Giles nodded. "That's a good idea. I'll have Doyle, and Spike stay with me. Even though Angelus can come in, I doubt he'll be expecting us to already know what has happened."
Willow chimed in then finally coming out of her shock. "I read a-about a disinviting spell awhile back. Maybe Jenny, I, and even Tom can help perform it for all of our homes. The only house I know he's never been inside is Xander, so he should be all right tonight."
"Good thinking Willow, you can stay with us tonight and work on finding the spell. Do you remember where you read it?" Giles asked, pride blooming for the newly developing Wiccan.
She smiled shyly. "Sure do."
"I'll go tell Oz and Dante, we're leaving." Tom said kissing Buffy's cheek and heading back in the direction of the studio Oz, and Dante were still occupying.
Giles looked at Buffy for a long moment before finally saying. "You don't have a choice anymore Buffy you have to tell your mother."
She looked at her Watcher and sighed. "I know, we'll tell her when I get home. Thank god Tom's a wizard. At least, it won't be hard to convince her."