If only….

Author: Blaze

E-mail: cordy2k@aol.com

Spoilers/Timeline: Season four, but things may not happen in show order. I think this is set after Doomed but that could change. But it is before Riley knew about Angel.

Rating: Probably the same as the show so if you watch that then you should be okay to read this

Summary: Buffy gets hurt.

Author's Note: I know I'm supposed to be writing "Thieves" but I got inspiration for this so had to write it. I normally try to write thing's that haven't been done too much or not at all but this called to me. I was reading "Spinning on the Edge" and the idea just came to me. Don't know how but it did.

Dedication: To Trixie firecracker, because I got this idea from reading your fic.

Distribution: If you want it take it just left me know where it is.

**

Darkness engulfed her as the final blow hit its target, the base of her skull. Riley got up from where the demon had tossed him. He rubbed his head and followed the demon with his eyes until it was out of site. He looked around for Buffy and gasped in shock when he saw her prone form lying on the muddy grass that was unique to the cemetery.

He ran to her side chanting her name. He checked for a pulse, which he found and sighed in relief.

He fought with himself over whether to move her or not. If he did he could hurt her, on the other hand if he didn't she would be easy picking's for the vampire population.

He scooped her into his arms and made his way to Giles' house as fast as he could, being careful not to move her too much.

**

Giles was startled awake from the banging at his door. The only people who knocked this late at night were either Buffy or well Buffy. He pulled on his robe and quickly made his way to the door. He yanked it open with one swift movement. He froze at the site.

At his front door stood Riley with his slayer laying in his arms her head lolling backwards. Her hair was sticky with blood and Riley's arm had turned red.

Shaking himself out of his daze he pulled them into the room and reminded himself how to speak.

"What happened?" he asked sounding panicked and very UN-Giles like.

"We were attacked and she didn't win the fight," Riley answered with a slight crack in his voice revealing the fact that he was desperately trying to keep his emotions in check.

"Why didn't you take her to the hospital?" Giles asked in a frantic manner.

"Here's closer and I needed to get her inside ASAP in case that demon came back," he answered then asked in a low voice "is she going to make it?"

Giles dared not entertain that thought and dismissed it immediately.

"To my car quick we have to get her to the hospital."

They rushed to the car. Giles opened the door to the back seat and Riley placed her inside lying her there slowly. He climbed in and set her head on his lap brushing her hair out of her face. Giles went to the driver's side and started the car.

**

"We've been here an hour I demand someone tell us what is going on!" Giles ordered.

He was standing at the nurse's station his fist's balled and rested on the desk. The nurse stood back and looked frightened for her life.

Willow came up next to him and placed a calming hand on his shoulder.

"We're sorry we're just upset, but could you please tell us about our friend?" Willow asked gently.

The nurse nodded and turned in the direction the doctor had left an hour before. Willow turned Giles around to face her. There was evidence that she had been crying with puffy red eyes bold on her pale face.

"Giles we're all worried about her but scaring the nurse half to death isn't going to help in any way."

"I know but I need to hear something! Anything," he said the last past whispered.

Willow almost started crying again as the pain evident in his voice. He may not be Buffy's father in blood or name but he was in every other aspect there is and could be.

She pulled him to her and embraced the broken man. He clung to her as if life depended on it.

~~~~

Xander sat in the waiting room with Riley, him on one side Riley on the other.

Xander hadn't realized how much Riley cared for his friend but now he did. He knew the signs, well he should he'd shown them when he first met her and for a long time after that. But he realized that friendship was all he wanted.

Riley sat quiet and unmoving in his chair, his shoulders hunched over and his elbows lay relaxed on his knees. All he could think of was the battle. He kept replaying it over and over again in his head and with it the sentence 'why did I have to do something stupid! I should have listened to her'.

Anya entered the waiting room with three plastic cups and placed them on the table. She didn't really know these people well but being the cause of so much pain in her lifetime she could sense it a mile away.

She went to Xanders side and placed a loving arm around him, which he accepted and was grateful for.

Riley watched them with sadness wishing Buffy could be there, but she wasn't and it was his fault. If only he hadn't been so intent on proving himself, if only they hadn't gone out the night, if only he had left well enough alone, if only…

**

Buffy wandered around the darkness trying to find her way out but she couldn't no matter what she tried.

She was so scared it unnerved her and it made her weak. Tears rolled down her face.

Her hands out stretched as far as they would reach and her legs moving as fast as they would move without running she tried to find light or substance.

**

Cordelia kneeled next to Angel as he lay on the floor gripping his head. He had screamed in pain and his arm's reached to his head. Nothing had hit him as far as she could tell but she wouldn't dismiss the fact that Angel's assailant could be invisible, after all she's had a run in with one herself.

He clamed down and sat up slowly. Cordelia let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. He stood up, as did she.

"Angel what happened? If I didn't know any better I'd say you just had a vision."

"I did sort of," he answered vaguely.

"Oh, okay. What of? And don't they hurt."

He took some time before answering as if his brain was a cloud floating in his head and needed some time to steady it's self.

"Buffy," was the only word he spoke before he took off out of the door her hot on his heels.

**

The nurse walked into the waiting room cautiously scared of the reaction she would get.

Willow was the first to notice her presence and got up to stand next to Giles in case he blew up, because if she was right this was going to be bad news.

"Well how is she?" Xander asked.

"I'm afraid your friend slipped into a coma," she replied nervously. "And the doctor doesn't think she will wake up."

"No," came Riley's pained reply.

"But…" was all Giles could say.

Willow couldn't speak her voice had gone on strike the moment the nurse had said the word coma.

Xander turned round to Anya and fell in to her warm embrace.

The nurse slipped out quietly.

**

Angel parked the car outside the hospital and stealthily made his way in.

He asked about Buffy at the desk, he was pointed to her room and he went.

Angel stood outside her room he didn't go in because Giles and the others were already there and he didn't want to impose on their time with her.

His eye's wandered to the girl lying on the bad. She was pale and her hair was a shabby mess spread every where.

He desperately wanted to get in there and touch her, but he couldn't

**

Cordelia stood at the bus stop tapping her foot impatiently. Angel had been to fast for her. By the time she has reached where his car should be he was half way down the road.

She was worried for him, she'd never felt so scared for another person before in her life and she didn't like the feeling at all.

Part Two

Angel slipped inside the room when they had all left, and sat in the chair by her bed were Willow had been previously. He stared intently at her pale face.

He lifted her small hand into his large one, and stroked the back of it with his thumb. While with his other hand he tided her hair taking his mind off the seriousness of the situation if only for but a minute.

He began to get wrestles and knew just sitting there wouldn't help her and he remembered he'd read that sometimes talking to people in coma's sometimes helped them recover.

So that's what he did, He spoke to her for hours about everything that had happened to him in LA, with the demons and his friendship with Cordelia and how a good friend of his had died.



**

Buffy had given up over an hour ago; she was exhausted and needed a rest. She was still surrounded by darkness with no light in sight.

She knew where she was now. She was locked in her own mind. She had heard them all pleading with her to wake up. But she couldn't, she knew she had to but she just couldn't.

It was like they didn't understand how tiring and difficult it is. She needed reassurance and not to be pushed.

He gave her what she needed, he always did. He took her mind off the darkness and she could almost see a pinprick of light start to fight it's way though.

She lay back on the floor and listened to his silky voice as he told her everything that had happened. She felt like she knew him better than she ever had. When he told the part of his friend dying she felt immense sadness well up in her heart for him. She wished she could wrap her arms around him, but she couldn't she was stuck in her mind.

Buffy was still very mad at him but as he talked she understood he had needed the time apart for himself and not just for the reasons he had given her.

She had needed the time as well, sure when he left she felt like she had died inside but she needed to know she could survive without him. When they got back together, she knew they would make it. Buffy realized she had told herself 'when' and not 'if', and smiled as she knew if was true. They would be together again.

**

Angel felt the sun was about to rise, he knew he had to leave and soon. He kissed the back of her hand and lay it gently by her side. He placed a small metal object in her hand then stood up and repeated the act of kissing her on her forehead. He walked to the door and opened it. He stepped out of it and glanced back at her one final time before leaving.

**

Cordelia stepped off the bus fuming; it had been the worst bus ride in her life. She had, had a five-year-old kid sitting next to her all the way there and it would scream all the time. When its mother calmed it down by giving him some food and drink it had spilt it all over her.

She knew where he would be so she went to find him with the intention of giving him a piece of her mind.

**

Giles sat on the couch his head rolled back and rested on the back of it as he slept. Xander sat next to him but he lay on his side and leaning against the arm. Willow lay on the floor a pile of books acting as her pillow, while Riley sat wide-awake in the armchair staring off into space.

Giles was the first to wake, as he did he nudged Xander by mistake waking him up in the process.

The commotion in turn woke up Willow, who stretched and rolled her head, to make the stiffness go away.

"We fell asleep," Stated Giles. "I need to get back to the hospital."

"No, Giles you find the demon and me and Riley will go there. We need to know what did this and you need to find focus and take you mind off her for the moment."

"Yes of course, maybe finding the demon and slaying it will…. I don't know but it's better than doing nothing at all.

Xander agreed then went to the kitchen to make refreshments for every one.

**

Willow and Riley arrived at the hospital about an hour later and went straight to her room.

"I hope she's okay! We shouldn't have left her," Riley said.

"We all needed sleep and I'm sure she's fine."

Riley nodded and sat in the chair next to her bed when they entered her room.

"See all in one piece."

Riley didn't answer.

"Someone's been here!" stated Riley.

"What make's you say that?"

"Her hairs been tidied and someone put this in her hand."

Riley lifted up a small silver ring and gave it to Willow. She gasped with she saw it and immediately sat down at the end of the bed.

"Err I left that here last night. It's her favorite ring I borrowed it," Willow lied.

"Oh, I've never seen it before."

**

Buffy felt the ring slid on her finger, but couldn't see it.

She heard their voices again and the pinprick of light got dim, not that it was very bright in the first place.

She stood up and began her journey again, with their pleas spurring her on.



Cordelia stormed into the mansion and straight for what used to be Angel's room. She forcefully pushed the door open.

What she saw unnerved her.

Angel lay on the bed facing the door one arm laid across the bed the other placed behind him. He was asleep but was fitful, she could tell he was having a nightmare because he would jump every now and then and he had rapid eyes movement. Blood tears streaked his face and stained the sheets.

Cordelia went to his side and gently shook him awake.

He looked dazed for a moment as if he didn't know where he was, when she could see recognition she wished she hadn't. Pain flew to his eyes and sadness overwhelmed him.

"Angel what happened?" she asked softly.

"Buffy's been hurt, she's in a coma," he answered her surprisingly calm.

"You felt it didn't you? Oh Angel," she spoke.

Cordelia pulled him to her and hugged hit tight.

"I don't think she's going to make it," he confessed as he broke down. "If only I'd been here, If only I hadn't left her, If only…." He trailed off.

**

Angel roamed the graveyard aimlessly looking at the stones in turn thinking of how he and Buffy would patrol there together.

He stopped in front of a large one with the name 'Philip Emerson' he traced his fingers over it, this was their particular favorite. Looking at in brought a stabbing pain to his un-beating heart.

He couldn't stop thinking of her of how pale and withdrawn she looked, the normally vibrant slayer was laid in a hospital bed practically on death's door because of her good for nothing boyfriend.

He'd sent Cordelia to Giles' house earlier that day to find out how it had happened. She'd found out Buffy and Riley had been out on a date, she had wanted to go home after but he insisted on a walk. So they had taken a short cut through the cemetery and had been attacked by a demon that they had found out is called 'Salmone'.

Riley had distracted her while she was fighting with it; he had tried to help but had been thrown clear. It had been enough for the demon to take advantage.

Angel smelt it before he saw it; it emerged from the surrounding plant life in all its glory.

He sized it up and knew he could kill it and Buffy would have been able to herself.

The humanoid demon stepped up to Angel stating his wordless wish to fight with him. Angel answered this by smashing his fist into the demons green face. The demon stumbled back from the blow, but came back with a small kick to Angel's midsection. And so the fight began.



Willow was having a problem deciding what to do, she knew Angel was there but didn't know whether to tell the others or not.

Riley walked Willow to her door and bid her goodnight, and set off to leave when she called him back.

"Riley."

"Yeah?"

"You love her don't you?" it was more of a statement that a question.

"Yes, more than I expected to," he replied honestly.

Willow smiled, "Promise me you won't do anything stupid."

"Promise," he assured her.



Riley felt wrestles he needed to do something, he checked he had a stake and headed for the graveyard. Hoping a little slaying would take his mind off Buffy.



Angel jumped in the air and landed behind the demon, he swiped its legs from under it. But the demon counter attacked knocking Angel down next to it. The demon jumped up and attempted to stamp on Angel but the latter rolled out of the way.

**

Riley had heard the sounds of a fight and ran to the site. He saw a demon about to stamp on a male, luckily the man rolled out of the way so Riley threw himself at the demon and they fell to the floor.

Angel growled at the interruption. He recognized the male as Riley.

"Leave," Angel ordered with no mistake he wouldn't take no for an answer.

Riley hadn't expected the man to say that and was startled. Angel took out his hidden axe and swung it at the demon lying on the floor.

The demon hit out with his arm to knock Angel over, he saw this and was about to jump when Riley called out to him.

"Look out," Riley shouted to him.

Angel turned round and then demon rolled on its side and slashed him in the ribs.

**

Buffy lay on the floor of her dark prison; exhaustion had taken her over again. Giles was with her she could tell, he hadn't spoken but he gripped her hand and she could smell the light odor of coffee. He only drank that when he wanted to be tense.

She was feeling freer like if she willed herself to wake up enough she would.

Buffy felt a sudden sharp twinge in her right side and screamed in pain and fear because she knew this wasn't her pain it was Angels. She screamed his name forcing all the air out of her lungs.

**

Giles jumped at the sudden cry and stood up looking at Buffy, he waited for another sound or movement but when none came he went to get help.

**

Angel braced himself for the intense pain he would feel when he pulled out the knife. He let out a roar as he removed the knife from his body.

Riley jumped back at the inhuman sound.

Angel stared at the space the demon had been and he felt anger rise in him.

He whirled around and approached Riley with a menacing stance.

"You," he spoke as he neared him.

"I'm sorry I thought it was going to trip you," Riley protested.

"I saw it, you get her nearly killed and now me. You are a waste of skin and bones. And if you know what's good for you *boy* you wouldn't leave the house. Especially in the dark," Angel told him.

Angel stormed off in a fit of rage before he could do something the boy would regret.

Riley stood and stared after the man his mouth moving but no words coming out.

**

Giles sat back in his seat next to her side. The doctor has examined her and said there were signs of her improvement but she had reverted back to the same condition she had been in.

He wanted to know why she had called Angel's name.

~ May be she was having a prophetic dream ~

Part Three

Angel sat by her side he could feel she was more aware than she had been when he'd been there before.

He had seen Giles leave with that look on his face when he was onto something. He was hoping it had something to do with Buffy waking up. But for some reason he knew he was the key to her living. He didn't know why and he didn't know how.

His wound had healed considerably in the last hour and only a small scar was there to show that anything had happened at all.

Buffy felt trapped again, there was a moment just before the pain she had felt almost free. She knew now that it wasn't up to her to get out but the world to free her.

**

Giles sat on the floor next to his settee, books settled around his feet; in his hand lay an open book with a picture of some demon. He flipped to the next page, then the next, searching for some clue that would put an end to his slayer's suffering.

He jumped at the sound of a sharp knock at the door; he went to see who was there. When he found Riley stood there he let him in and they sat on the couch.

"What's the matter Riley?" Giles asked concerned for the boy sat next to him.

"I did it again!" Riley said with his head lowered and his eyes staring at his hands.

"Did what?" Giles asked confused.

"I almost got someone killed, I went to the graveyard after walking Willow home and there was a man fighting a demon. I thought the demon was about to kill him so I shouted out but that distracted him and he got stabbed by it."

"Is the man alive?"

"Yes."

"Who was he?"

"I didn't get a name, but he is a little bit smaller than me in height but he has this presence that makes him feel taller. Brown eyes and dark spiky hair. Very pale skin, good dresser."

Giles mind flashed with a picture of Angel.

"I see, I think you should go home Riley. Get some rest, you look like you need it."

"Okay, but call me if there is any news about Buffy."

"Will do," Giles promised.

Riley left the elder mans building and headed straight for his dorm.

**

Angel entered the mansion and headed straight for his bed, he threw himself onto it and promptly fell sound asleep.

**

Buffy sat on the floor of her dark prison; she could feel another presence coming to her.

It felt familiar, warm and loving.

She knew that feeling and guided it toward her and embraced the comfort that came with it.

Angel looked at the woman in his arms and pulled her closer knowing it was a dream but to him it felt more real than life.

"Angel, I can't believe you're here. I've been so alone. The only time I've felt at all safe and assured is when you've taken my hand and talked to me but now you're here."

"This isn't a dream?" it was more of a statement that a question.

"Does it matter?" She asked pulling away enough just to look at him but never loosing contact.

"I guess not!" he smiled at her.

She lifted her hand and held his cheek.

"What?" he asked, talking about the expression on her face.

"You're smile, it's so beautiful. You never used to smile enough."

"I've changed quite a bit since I left."

Buffy smiled knowing it was true but no matter how much either of them changed they would always love the other.

"I'm going to get you out of here!" Angel said out of the blue.

"I know you will, I almost felt free earlier. But then I felt your pain and I was trapped again."

"You felt my pain?" Angel asked curious.

"Yes, like you did mine."

"And you felt nearly free just before that?"

"Yeah, where are you going with this?" Buffy asked knowing the look on his face.

"I was fighting the demon that did this too you and was about to kill it when I was distracted and it stabbed me. Maybe killing the demon will break you out of this coma."

Buffy nodded in understanding.

Angel pulled her to him again and kissed her forehead, then he rested her body against his.

"So where were we before the sun interrupted us?" He asked with a smile.

"I believe you were telling me about how you got drunk with Doyle."

Angel would have blushed it he'd been able too.

"Well we were in a bar and we'd had too much to drink…"

**

Riley sat at his girlfriend's bedside looking at her, wondering if she would forgive him.

Giles, Willow and Xander came into the room all looking the worst for wear.

"Any news?" Xander asked the blond boy.

"No but she look's better, her skin has color and she seems to have a content smile on her face."

"Thank god, maybe this is a sign she's gonna wake up soon," said Xander.

Willow smiled as him and squeezed his shoulder.

The each took a seat around the bed all quiet and in there own little world.

They stayed that way until Cordelia entered the room.

"How is she?" She asked with concern.

"There seems to be a small improvement but not much. Can I speak with you outside?" Giles said.

Cordelia nodded then left the room Giles followed behind her.

"So, what?" Cordelia asked.

"Is Angel with you?"

Cordelia looked around guiltily.

"I'll take that as a yes. Why didn't you tell us?"

"He didn't want you to know."

"How is he?"

"Well he's coping sort of, I mean well Buffy's hurt and its Angel," she explained.

"No I mean about his side," he clarified.

"What do you mean?"

"He was injured earlier by the demon that did this to Buffy."

"How do you know?"

"Riley told me he saw a man with Angel's description fighting it and that he got hurt."

"Oh, I didn't know. He was in bed when I left and he seemed fine."

"Oh that's good. Shall we?"

He gestured to the door.

"No I'm gonna go back to the mansion and see how he is."

"Very well!"

Cordelia left and Giles went back into her room.

"Who was that?" Riley asked.

"Her name's Cordelia she went to school with Buffy."

"How come I've never seen her before?"

"She moved to L.A after our graduation," Xander explained.

"Oh," Riley nodded.

**

Cordelia walked into the mansion and went to Angel's room, She was glad to see he was in a better state than the night before in fact he seemed almost happy.

She knelt by his bed and inspected his side.

**

Angel stopped talking and looked around him.

"What's wrong?" Buffy asked with concern.

"I'm being pulled away," He told her.

"No, not enough time." She cried.

"I can't help it," He said.

"You can't leave I don't want to be alone in here please you have to stay," She pleaded.

"I'm sorry, but I will have you out of here or I'll die trying."

"Angel please," she cried.

Angel's body grew transparent then disappeared completely.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO don't leave me, come back," she screamed as loud as her lungs would allow.

**

The people in the room looked at her as she screamed out.

Willow went to get the nurse as the others gathered around her bed calling her name.

**

Angel sat up in his bed; he looked at Cordelia who was sitting on the floor in a heap.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Well I was seeing if your injury was alright before you scared me half to death."

"Sorry, I know how to wake Buffy!" He said getting straight to the point.

"How?"

"Kill the demon who did this to her!"

~~~~~

Part Four

The night air seemed alive with electricity, it felt like anything and everything would happen this night.

Angel swung his axe to get a feel of it, he placed it in the bag that lay on his bed and left the room.

Cordelia walked out of the kitchen and Angel came down the stairs.

"Here," she said handing him a glass.

"I don't want it," he snapped.

"Drink it now," she ordered. "You need your strength, it almost killed you last time," she said more softly.

"I would have killed it then but I was distracted by Riley," Angel explained.

"Riley, you didn't say that before. I am so going to give that guy a talking to."

"Leave it he's not worth it."

"If it wasn't for him she would have been out of her coma by now, not to mention she wouldn't have been in this position to begin with if is wasn't for that good for nothing, greasy haired, too tall…"

"Cordelia," Angel said stopping Cordelia mid sentence.

"Okay, I won't purposely go tell him off, but if he happens to be near me I won't be responsible for my actions."

Angel smiled at her.

"I'm going now, you go to Giles' house and tell him where I've gone and what to do."

"Okay, and Angel be careful."

He nodded at her, then took the glass out of her hand. He gulped down the blood, after that he left swiftly.

**

Cordelia entered the ex-watchers house to see the entire original Scooby gang and Riley sitting around the room.

"We know how to help her," she said wasting no time.

"How," Giles asked impatiently.

"Kill the demon that put her in the coma."

"Well we must get going right away."

The gang got up ready to leave, but were stopped by Cordelia

"No need Angel's on it."

"Oh, very well. But how do we know he will succeed this time?"

"He won't have a distraction," Cordelia said slowly giving Riley the evilest look she could muster.

"What," he asked.

"You got him hurt."

"Who?" Riley asked.

"Angel, just like Buffy. You could have gotten Buffy killed, now Angel. What's the matter, one persons injuries not enough for your conscience?"

"Buffy was an accident," He explained with a crack in his voice. "And I'm guessing this Angel is the man from last night? I thought the demon was going to kill him I was trying to help."

"Well Angel could have had that demon dead and Buffy out of the coma that you put her in by now if it wasn't for you *trying to help *." She said emphasizing her last three words.

Riley looked down in shame and defeat-knowing Cordelia was right.

"Maybe we should go to the hospital and watch over her until Angel returns," Giles offered.

"Good idea."

The gang left hope filling them.

**

Angel's body felt heavy and his clothes were covered in blue demon goo. He walked with trouble up the hospital steps dismissing the curious stares he was receiving from both hospital staff and visitors.

He found her room with little trouble even in his tired state.

Everyone gathered outside her room, Willow pacing, Riley slumped up against the wall, Giles stood straight cleaning his glasses and Xander sat on the floor next to the door. Cordelia was no where to be seen.

Angel approached the gathering of weary look people with hope in his eyes. His hope was dashed however when Giles looked at him. The ex-watcher looked hopeless, and Angel knew it hadn't worked.

"Let me see her," Angel demanded.

"Angel we tried to save her, now all we can do it wait. We thought we had the solution but we didn't."

"But it was the way to wake her. I know it was. She told me she felt free before she felt the pain. I had almost killed it before I got stabbed. I know it was the way, it is the way maybe it just takes time."

Giles could tell the man in front of him was desperate. Giles though over what Angel had just said.

~ Did he say Buffy told him? ~

Giles was stopped from asking because Riley had.

"How did you talk to Buffy?"

"We shared a dream type of thing."

"You shared a dream with my girlfriend."

"What's the big deal it's not like we haven't done it before," Angel said knowing it was below the belt but needing to let his anger out on the boy.

"You've what?" Riley asked then turned around to face everyone else. "Who is he?"

"That is none of your business now move out of the way," Angel ordered.

Angel pushed past Riley and into Buffys' room, the nurse looked at him then to the girl on the bed who began to moan and turn slowly.

Giles came into the room closely followed by Xander, Willow Riley then Cordelia who now carried a cup of coffee.

They could see the effect Angel's presence had on the slayer.

They watched from the door as Angel went to her side and sat by her. The closer he got the more conscience she became. Angel reached out to take her hand but pulled it back after realizing it was full of demon goo. He wiped it on a clean part of himself and took her hand in his. With his other he stroked her cheek, and her eye's fluttered open.

The others stood there amazed. It was like a car accident, you couldn't help but look.

"Angel," she whispered with a dry voice.

"Yeah, it's me."

"You're back," she said and a smile grew on her face.

Giles felt like he was intruding on something that belonged only to them so he turned around and ushered every one out of the room.

"Yeah, I couldn't stay away," he confessed.

"Never leave me again!" She demanded but it was a silent question.

"Never!"

Buffy sat up and lunged towards him to engulf him in a bear hug, but Angel stopped her just millimeters away from him.

"What?" She asked.

"I'm covered in demon blood," he protested.

"I'd love you even covered in slime."

They both smiled at the comment; she pulled him close and hugged him tight to her.

When they pulled apart Buffy began pulling all the wires off her person.

"What are you doing?" Angel asked.

"Going home," she answered simply. She saw the concern on his face and tried to reassure him. "I'm fine my head is healed, it has been for awhile. It was like there was nothing wrong with me. Anyway come on help me up."

Angel did as she ordered, and went to her side.

**

"Who is he?" Riley asked for the hundredth time in a row, and still no one answered him.

Cordelia was about to give him a piece of her mind, but stopped to see the door of the injured slayers room open.

"What are you doing out of bed?" Giles asked.

"I'm fine Giles, really. I just want to go home," she said and turned to Angel with a smile on her face."

"Buffy," Riley called.

Buffy's smile faded as she looked at her boyfriend.

"Riley I think we need to talk,"

Part Five

Riley gave her one last lingering glance before he left, he was so torn up inside with the guilt of having put her into the coma as if he had delivered the blow himself, and with her just breaking his heart with four little words. "I love someone else".

He bowed his head and walked out of her life.

~~

Buffy stood in the middle of the waiting room staring at her ex-boyfriends face, she had forgiven him for what he'd done, just as he would forget about her in time.

She nodded at him, and a small smile spread on her face.

He could see she was happy with just the thought of the other man and knew their would never and wasn't ever any room in her heart for him.

~~

Buffy left the waiting room and snuggled into Angel's waiting embrace.

The others had gone home the moment she had said "Riley I think we need to talk," they thought there would be a heated fight between the two. Buffy knew better, she knew Riley loved her and with his guilt over her accident she knew he would understand.

Buffy snuggled closer to him as the cold outside air hit them full force. Angel felt her movement and lifted his coat to cover her tiny frame.

As they left the hospital a sudden calm descended on the unaware population of Sunnydale, as if a weight had been removed from all of their shoulders and they knew all would be fine.

The slayer and her vampire were together once again and all who opposed them would perish because together they are strong.

The End