Return to Sunnydale

A fic by: Jen

Rating: First part…eh…a minor M. But…part 2 will be pure PWP… :) :) :)

Disclaimer: I own none of these characters…they are all Joss', oh how I hate that bitter little man for not giving me the big happy with B&A, but that's why I write fanfic, right?

**Okay: Now, a lot of you are going to say..WTF! She's writing another fic when she has SO many unfinished and…*sighs* I agree and apologize in advance for that. I DO have a lot of unfinished fics and I really want to finish ALL of them, but sadly, I had lost my drive and enthusiasm for Buffy and Angel—it was depressing and I didn't think I'd be inspired again. BUT then I had a chat with Vixangel and Roxi and they literally lit a fire in me again, reminding me WHY I love these two and how magnificently HOT DB is too! Lol! :P

Okay so after they inspired me…this little fic is what was born of that chat…

NOW—before you lynch me—this is already complete! *gasp* Yes, it's done so I will post the first part tonight and the second part either tomorrow or the next day…so please just be happy, (as I am) that musie is FINALLY lovin' up on some B& A again and don't hate me for needing to write this before I get back to my other fics…okay?

Anyhow, I love all you who support me and my fics…you are all so awesome! :) I hope you like this…

Hugs&kisses,

Jenna :) :) :)

Part One:

Hello Again.

Speeding along the highway, Angel restrained himself from flooring the pedal—he was in a hurry and even the sun shining brightly upon him didn't distract or deter him in his need to get to Sunnydale. Doyle had a vision of Buffy that sent Angel into a tailspin. The Irish half demon had seen Buffy in pain. Doyle said it felt like she was dying. Angel had come unglued at that point, demanding to know what else Doyle had seen. Unfortunately, Doyle had no idea whether her dying was metaphorically or physically speaking. It didn't matter either way. It was Buffy and the thought of her dying had driven Angel to put the 'Gem of Amarra' on and hightail it to Sunnydale. He was too worried to enjoy the sun shining down on him though. The only thing going through his mind was getting to Buffy and helping her.

Now as he drove, the wind whipping his hair, he barely noticed the changing of the sun as it began to go down, he briefly gazed at the ring on his finger. Why had she given him such a powerful gift? It boggled the mind, especially if what Spike said was true and she'd already moved on. If that was the case and she really didn't love him anymore—why would she want him to be virtually un-killable?

These were questions he needed answering. Unable to get control of his worry for her, Angel put the pedal to the metal, gunning the big engine on the Plymouth, speeding down the road to HER even as he was telling himself that Doyle's vision was the only reason he was going back. Just to check on her. Make sure she was safe. It had nothing to with the fact that she'd slept with someone already or because he wanted to know if she still loved him. No. He wasn't jealous—he'd never even experienced the emotion before Buffy. And he refused to admit it was eating him up inside now. He would not ask her if she was in love this 'new guy'. He was not jealous. He repeated that mantra over and over in his head, but it didn't help. Every time he imagined Buffy in the arms of another man, he wanted to rip and tear something or someone apart.

'Fuck-I am jealous…'

He growled at that admission and pressed the gas pedal again sending the convertible up to over ninety mph. Angel barely noticed, nor did he care. It's not like he'd die in a car accident. His stomach tightened and he ached. He could almost feel her and as much as he'd tried to tell himself he was getting over her. It was a lie. He loved her now as much as he had the first day he'd laid eyes on her. More even, because now he knew what it was like to kiss her-touch her. He'd witnessed how brave and courageous she was.

The 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign came into view just as the sun was setting and for the first time since leaving L.A., Angel felt a nervous rush. If he had a heart beat it'd be pounding. He got off the highway and made a right, heading towards Sunnydale and Buffy…hoping she wouldn't just slam the door in his face and tell him to get lost.

*B/A*B/A*B/A**B/A*B/A*B/A*

Xander, Buffy, Willow and Oz were in Xander's basement room carving pumpkins for Halloween. Xander gazed at the huge pumpkin he'd carved and frowned, waving the knife he held at the jack-o-lantern. "I don't know," he said. "I was going for ferocious and scary, but it's coming out more dryly sardonic."

Willow gave him a sympathetic nod. "It does appear to be mocking you with its eye holes."

"The nose hole seems sad and full of self-loathing though," Oz quipped.

Xander turned the pumpkin around to show Buffy who was lying on his bed, looking glumly down at a bowl full of pumpkin insides. "What do you think, Buff?"

Buffy didn't look up. "I was just thinking about the life of a pumpkin," she said with a little pout, playing with the orange gooey pumpkin matter. "You grow up in the sun—happily entwined with others, then someone comes along, cuts you open and rips your guts out."

"Okay, and on that happy note, I've got a treat for tomorrow nights' second annual Halloween screening," Xander said, leaping to his feet. "Prepare to have your spines tingled, your gooses bumped by the terrifying—" He pulled out a video from his bag and his words ground to a halt as he read the title. "Fantasia." He made a face. "Fantasia! How did I get this?"

In his usual laid back style, Oz said, "Maybe it's because of all the crazy, horrific things we've seen, but hippos wearing tutus just doesn't seem to unnerve me the way they used to."

Xander shot him a glare. "Phantasm…It was supposed to be 'Phantasm. Stupid video store!" he exclaimed.

"I thought we were doing the alpha-delta thing tomorrow night," Willow said, ignoring Xander's tantrum.

That got Xander's attention. "What thing?"

Buffy stood up to leave. "Sorry, guys, but I'm gonna get going…"

"Now?" Xander interjected. "But the night's still..." He looked down at his watch, "okay, so it's a little mature, but still…"

"I'm sleepy," Buffy said with a small sigh. "You guys have fun."

Willow watched her friend with a sad look. It was obvious Buffy was still feeling blue. "You want me to come with?" she offered.

Buffy shook her head. "No, I'm fine," she said and left.

"Sad Buffy," Xander said, watching her go with a frown.

Willow's brows drew down too. "And she didn't even touch her pumpkin," she said, her eyes going to the un-carved pumpkin. "Look at it—it's a freak with no face."

"She's still suffering from her post-Parker depression," Oz said softly.

Xander made a face. "Bailing on the Buff. What a jerk. Does anyone else wanna smack that guy?"

All three of them raised their hands. All of them in agreement that Parker needed to get the crap beat out of him for what he did to Buffy.

*B/A*B/A*B/A**B/A*B/A*B/A*

Angel had parked the Plymouth on the street, deciding to walk-it just felt right. He turned a corner; saw the movie theatre where he and Buffy had seen that risqué movie. He swallowed hard. He had been so sure they'd make it then. As he stood there lost in old memories, Buffy came down the street. Angel noticed she looked sad, dejected and he stood there a bit too long. She glanced up and he barely avoiding her seeing him as he ducked around the corner. It was obvious her mind was elsewhere as a demon jumped out at her. Angel almost left his hiding spot, but Buffy recovered quickly. Lightning fast, she punched the demon, knocking it on its ass. He was glad he hadn't rushed out to help her when the 'demon' pulled his mask off. It was just a kid.

"Jeez lady-that hurt!" the guy exclaimed, glaring at Buffy. "What the hells' wrong with you?" he snapped before storming off.

Buffy watched him go with a sad little frown marring her beautiful face. "That's what I want to know," she sighed. Angel's un-dead heart ached at those words.

Buffy turned towards Sunny-Rest cemetery to finish up her patrol when a tingle in her belly made her stop. Goosebumps broke out on her skin and she felt a zap of awareness that only came when Angel was around. She turned in a circle, looking for a dark shape or shadow lurking somewhere. "Angel…?" she called out, waiting, unable to breathe, but he didn't appear. Her breath came out in a *whoosh* and she shook her head at her own foolishness. 'Of course he's not here, Buffy. He's in L.A., remember? He left you so you could have a better life…' Buffy gave a small bitter laugh and started walking again. "Some life, Angel. Thanks for nothing," she muttered out loud, kicking a small rock across the street.

Behind a tree, skulking in the shadows, Angel flinched at her words and the brittle sound of that laugh. Buffy sounded so…angry, defeated even. He peeked around the large trunk of the tree again and winced at her expression. She looked as lost as she sounded.

As she meandered down the street Buffy felt that tingle again. It raced up her spine like tiny electric shocks. She paused at the street that led to the park and Sunny-Rest. She froze as every hair on the back of her neck prickled. Only Angel had ever made her feel like this. He was here, she was sure of it. "Angel," she called again, looking around for his broad shouldered form. "I know you're here…"

He stepped out of the shadows and into the faint light from a street lamp. The yellowish-orange light gave him an ethereal appearance

Gaping at him, Buffy's whole body trembled in awareness. "Angel…"

"Buffy," he returned, carrying on their habit of simply saying each others' name—strange how a world of emotions came through loud and clear in that moment.

Hearing that voice, so close-right here, her knees wobbled and she grabbed hold of the rough brick of the building next to her for support. "Oh-my-God," she whispered, surprised she could speak considering her heart felt like it was lodged in her throat, choking her.

Angel raced over to her; ready to take hold of her should she fall. Buffy batted his hands away. "No!" she fairly shouted. "Don't touch me!" She held up a hand, warding him off as she backed away from him, her face pale and her breathing erratic. "What are you doing here?"

He ran a hand through his spiky, messy hair. "I—" He paused and frowned. "I wanted to ask you why you gave me this," he said, holding up his right hand, flashing the 'Gem of Amara'.

Buffy's shoulders slumped a little. "Oh," she said. 'He wasn't there for her. How stupid to think he might have changed his mind.' Hiding her disappointment, she sighed and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, attempting to downplay how much he flustered her. "Because I knew you'd keep it safe," she replied evenly.

"How do you have so much faith in me, when I don't?"

"I know the kind of man you are. You would rather be staked than abuse the ring."

"I'm not a man…" he whispered, stepping closer to her.

Buffy's heart thundered in her ears becoming a loud thump-thump-thump that echoed in her head the closer he came. "Yes, you are and a good one too. You just won't let yourself believe it, but I've seen the good in you. I always have."

Angel reached out and cupped her cheek. "Why, after everything I've put you through?"

Buffy knew she should push him away, but it felt so good to have him touch her again. She closed her eyes, sighing in pleasure as she rubbed her cheek against his calloused palm. Realizing what she was doing, Buffy reluctantly moved away from him, breaking the contact between them. "I don't know," she answered, her voice barely above a whisper. "I just do."

The conversation was getting too intense and the wall she'd built around her heart was crumbling fast. She couldn't let him break through her defenses-he'd only hurt her again. In a heartbeat an invisible barrier came up as she retreated from him both physically and mentally. She kept her voice neutral and calm as she asked, "So how long are you staying?"

He hesitated. "I'm not sure," he finally answered.

Buffy gave another short laugh that held absolutely no humor whatsoever. "You don't know," she echoed. "So what is this, a wham-bam-break-Buffy's-heart again-kind-a visit?"

Angel visibly flinched at the bitterness in her voice. "No," he assured her. "I didn't come here to hurt you…I'm here to protect you."

"That's great," she said sarcastically. She crossed her arms. "Care to share what you're protecting me from because the way I se it the only thing hurting me right now is you!"

"Buffy…" he said, reaching out to touch her.

"Save it! Just go home, Angel. I don't want or need your help!" She spun on her heel and left him standing there as she headed off towards Sunny-Rest.

Using his vampire speed, Angel bolted after her. Buffy gasped when he was suddenly right in front of her, blocking her path. "Buffy wait—please listen to me."

"So," she said, raising a brow and glaring up at him as all the pain and anger he'd put her through seemed to grow and fester inside her until Buffy felt like she was going to choke on her rage. "Are we using our super-powers now? Well, I have a few of my own!" she spat before shoving him—hard. Angel flew backwards and smashed into a metal post-office box, bending it and nearly uprooting it from its cemented position.

He leaped to his feet, brushing himself off. He scowled at her. "Okay, that hurt." When she took a menacing step forward, Angel held up his hands in a placating manner. "I didn't come here to fight. I just want to talk with you."

Buffy put her hands on her hips. "Well maybe I want a fight! Maybe I want to hurt you like you hurt me! Did you stop to think about that-Mr. love-em and leave-em!"

He growled as he stalked back to where she stood. He towered over her. "It wasn't like that and you know it," he bit out.

Her chin raised a notch and she craned her neck so she met his angry eyes with a glare of her own. "Do I?" she asked, raising a brow. "According to you, I wasn't worth sticking around for, so excuse me if I took that literally!"

His shoulders slumped as her pain radiated off her, hitting him from all sides. "Fine, if breaking my face will make you feel better…" He let his hands hang loosely at his sides. "Go ahead."

Surprising both of them, Buffy hauled off and slugged him right in the jaw. Angel's face whipped to the side and his hand automatically went to his chin, working it to see if she'd broken it.

"Feel better?" he asked softly.

"Not yet…" Buffy snapped and kicked him in the stomach, sending him sailing across the street.

Getting to his feet, Angel backed away from her, shaking his head. She was far too angry for him to have a rational conversation with her. He shouldn't have come, he saw that now. "This was a bad idea. I didn't want to hurt you. I'm sorry…"

Before Buffy could even reply he was gone. She stomped her foot and let out a little scream. "I hate it when he does that. Goes all disappearance-guy!" She took two steps before his reappearance hit her. Her legs buckled and she fell against a bus stop. She crawled up on the bench and tucked her legs to her chest and let the tears come. Her small frame was wracked with sobs for several minutes before she drew a deep, shuddering breath and wiped her tears away. She forced herself to become calm. He wasn't going to break her-not this time. "I've cried enough for you, Angel," she said out loud, picking herself up and getting to her feet. "No more."

A little while later she entered the cemetery. She wasn't so sad anymore—she was more along the lines of spitting mad. How dare he come back into my town after he abandoned me! She stomped across the grass, looking for anything to take this rage out on. What makes him think I'd even want his help? Did he believe I'd just fall into his arms and forgive and forget? Sooo not gonna happen! She really needed to blow off some steam and her eyes eagerly scanned the cemetery looking for something to hit. Within a few minutes two newbie vampires jumped out at her from behind a large headstone. They circled her, trying to get behind her.

Buffy gave them both a feral smile and waved them on. "Come and get it, boys," she quipped. "I've had a really bad night. We can do this the hard way, or…well, there's really only the hard way." The vamps growled at her baring their fangs. "You know, maybe some good old' fashioned violence is just what I need." She smirked. "Right now, it's even better than comfort food."

The vamps lunged at her simultaneously. Buffy was ready though. She met their charge, dodging the first vamps' fist before she planted her stake in his chest, dusting him in seconds. The other vampire paused, a shadow of fear crossed his face, but Buffy waved him on. "Oh c'mon, you're not gonna cry are you? I thought you vamps were bad-evil. If this is the best you got, then evil isn't even trying anymore." Enraged, the vampire rushed her. Buffy spun, landing a spinning hell kick that staggered him. She turned, backhanded him and then followed that up with a kick to the chest sending him sailing back several feet. Buffy leaped after him and landed on top, her knee in his stomach. In the blink of an eye, her stake was buried in his heart. She gave a satisfied smirk as he went *poof*.

Getting to her feet, she dusted off her jeans and spun in a slow circle, scanning the surrounding area for more vamps or a demon or two to fight. "Well, that wasn't very satisfying." Her blood was still boiling and a part of her wished Angel was there so she could take all this aggression and aim it at her real target. She turned round and called out, "Any other takers?" She waited, tense and anxious, "Fresh Slayer blood here…" she sing-songed. "Come and get it…"

She sighed. There wasn't a peep to be heard, the only sound in the cemetery was the chirping of crickets. She put her stake in her pocket and headed for home not at all surprised that she didn't see another vamp for the rest of the evening. Word must have gotten out that the Slayer was out for blood and anything that crossed her path was as good as dead.

*B/A*B/A*B/A**B/A*B/A*B/A*

The next day, Willow and Buffy were walking into the cafeteria, chatting as usual.

"I've got the basics down—levitation, charms, glamour's, but I just feel like I've hit a plateau Wicca-wise."

"What's the next level?" Buffy asked, grabbing a tray and putting a yogurt on it as they moved down the line.

Willow grinned, adding some fruit to her tray. "Transmutation, conjuring—bringing forth something from nothing." She frowned. "Actually it gets a little scary being that close to the primal forces."

"Well, no one's pushing." Buffy replied. "You know, if it's too much-don't do it."

"Don't do it? What kind of encouragement is that?"

Buffy made a face. "Oh, this is an 'encouragement' talk? I thought it was 'share my pain'."

Willow smiled, but then her smile faded. They reached the end of the line and Willow turned to Buffy. "Speaking of pain…I don't want to be the rain on your parade, but what are you going to do about Angel? He is still Angel right?"

"Oh yeah," she replied. "He's definitely still Angel, complete with the heart-ache and tears," Buffy replied with a sigh before it dawned on her what Willow was implying. "Wait a minute. Why would you ask that?" Her brow was up to her hairline. "Do you think he's getting the 'big-happy' with someone else?"

Willow fumbled to explain. "No, Buffy, I don't think anyone can make Angel as happy as you do, but that's the problem right? You and Angel—perfect happiness—equals bad."

Buffy was about to answer when she heard laughter coming from across the cafeteria. There sat Parker with a girl next to him and a few other people. They all looked like they were enjoying themselves. Buffy felt sick to her stomach that she'd fallen for his lines. She set her tray down with a thud. "You know…I, umm…I forgot…to be hungry," she said and made a bee-line for the door.

Willow ran after her. "Wait, Buffy…" She caught up with the blonde Slayer in the hallway. "Hey, don't let jerky Parker chase you away."

"He didn't," Buffy said. "It's just everything. I'm all trauma-girl with Angel showing up…" Her eyes watered, but Buffy refused to cry. "It's thrown me, Wills, and I don't want to deal with any of it right now. I can't. I'm taking a holiday from dealing." She waved a hand. "Happily vacationing in the land of not coping."

Willow nodded her head in sympathy. "You know what? I bet you'll feel better at the party tonight. Maybe you'll even meet someone."

"Willow." Buffy gave her friend an exasperated look. "I don't want to meet someone. I've reached my quota on someones', trust me." Buffy gave a shrug of her shoulders. "Besides, I think I'm gonna have to patrol anyway."

"Tonight? But – it's Halloween!" Willow complained.

"I'll double check with Giles, but I'm sure he's going to think I should be on active Slayer duty. He doesn't care about Halloween."

"Well, you need to get out and take your mind off everything." Willow's eyes widened suddenly. "Have you told Giles that Angel is here?"

Buffy scrunched up her nose. "Not yet," she admitted. "Angels' tried to call, but I'm ignoring him. He's here to protect me—I'm thinking he can do that without any meaningful conversation between us."

"But you need to tell Giles," Willow reiterated.

"I was kind-a hoping I wouldn't have to have to have the 'Angel' conversation with Giles."

"But if he's is calling you—he's going to look for you and not to state the obvious, but he's kind of hard to hide."

Buffy gave a breezy roll of her eyes. "I doubt he'll stick around long. You know Angel—he shows up all cryptic-guy then disappears just as fast." She shrugged as if it wasn't a big deal, but there was pain in her eyes that she was unable to hide.

Willow placed a hand on Buffy's arm. "I'm sorry, Buffy."

Buffy blew it off. "Don't be. I'll deal with the pain and misery that comes along with Angel…" She paused and worried her bottom lip. "Eventually," she added softly.

"You will, Buffy," Willow chirped, eager to make her friend feel better.

She straightened her shoulders, lifting her chin, she nodded with determination. "Right, I will. I've survived it once. I can do it again."

"But that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Come to the party tonight, it'll be good for you to get out."

"I do get out," Buffy said. "I um…get out every night…" She fidgeted. "You know patrolling and all that."

"Hunting vampires is not a social event, Buffy. You need to take some time and let your hair down. Have some fun and not worry about—you know who."

Giving in, Buffy rolled her eyes. "Fine, if I'm not patrolling…I'll be there, but there will no hair letting. If I come I'll probably be the party pooper, you know that, right?"

"Poop the party all you want, just be there."

Buffy grinned. "Fine, I will. Happy?"

"Def…okay I'll talk to you later," Willow replied with a wide grin and the two girls went there separate ways at that point.

*B/A*B/A*B/A**B/A*B/A*B/A*

Angel knocked on Giles' door. He really hadn't wanted the ex-watcher to know he was here, but since Buffy wouldn't answer his calls or talk to him, he really had no choice.

Giles answered the door. "Happy Hallow…" his voice trailed off when he saw Angel standing there. "Angel! Well, this is a surprise. What are you doing here?"

Angel's eyes widened at Giles' outfit and he couldn't help but stare at the British man. After a few seconds of silence, Angel scratched his head and asked, "Why do you have a lamp shade on your head?"

"It's a sombrero-not a lamp shade!"

"It has tassels…it looks like a lamp shade."

Giles scowled. "Let's get back to why you're here, shall we?"

Angel fidgeted when Giles didn't invite him in. "I'm here to help Buffy. My friend had a vision of her—"

"A vision?" Giles interrupted. "That's rather vague. What kind of vision?" Suddenly it dawned on Giles that it was daytime and while his townhouse was located under a patio and shaded, Angel had to have been in direct sunlight to get here, yet he wasn't on fire or smoking at all. He glanced down at the vampires' hand. "You're wearing the ring," he said, his voice clipped.

Angel repressed the urge to hang his head. He wasn't that guy anymore. He had a purpose now. "Not for any harm," he stated firmly. "I just wanted to see her—talk to her, make sure she was safe." Angel met Giles' eyes directly. "Can I come in?"

"Wearing that…" Giles waved a hand at the ring. "I don't think so."

Angel took the ring off and held it out to Giles. "Here take it. I never asked for it and I'm still not sure why she sent it to me." Giles looked at the ring as Angel went on. "She said it was because she knew I wouldn't abuse it, but I guess using it to follow her in the sunlight is abusing it, so you can have it back if it makes you feel more comfortable."

"You've already seen Buffy?" Giles asked instead. He dismissed the idea of taking the ring. Angel obviously didn't plan on taking advantage of it or he wouldn't be so quick to give it up. "Keep it," he said. "Buffy wanted you to have it."

Angel nodded and slipped the ring back on his finger. "I saw her last night."

"And how did she respond to your sudden return?"

"She uh…wasn't too happy to see me. Kicked me around a bit, actually," he admitted, "but after Doyle's vision, I can't leave until I know she's safe."

Giles sighed and stepped aside. "Come in then and tell me about this vision your friend had."

**B/A**B/A**B/A**B/A**B/A**

The Halloween party was in full swing when Buffy, Xander, Willow and Oz arrived.

One of the frat guys dressed as Freddy Krueger looked at Buffy's wicker basket and gave her a drunken leer. "What'sh in the bashket, Red?"

Wrinkling her nose at his beer breath, Buffy backed up a step or two. "Weapons," she deadpanned.

The guy threw back his head and laughed, he had no idea Buffy was telling the absolute truth.

Buffy and gang entered the house. Several guys and girls were doing shots at the counter that doubled as a bar. Buffy grimaced as a big husky blonde guy did a jello shot off some leggy brunette's super tight tummy. One guy in the living room had his lips wrapped around a tube attached to a funnel, chugging the beer that another guy was dumping into the funnel as the crowd surrounding them chanted, "Drink-drink-drink!"

Buffy made a face. "Okay if I ever wanted to do that, you'd stop me, right?" she said to Willow with a smile.

"Oh I'd be a virtual wall of refusal," Willow replied.

Someone put a beer in her hand. Buffy went to hand it back when she heard her name called. She turned to see Parker dressed as a pirate. He was signaling her to come over, but Buffy turned her back on him. The rose colored-Parker glasses had been ripped off last night when she was confronted with Angel. What she'd felt for Parker, the sadness at his rejection seemed trivial next to the very real devastation Angel caused. Buffy rolled her eyes when he called her name again. "He doesn't make a good pirate," she muttered and took a sip of the beer she had in her hand.

Willow whole heartedly agreed. "More like a rat. Want me to turn him into one?"

Buffy giggled, taking another sip of the foamy brew. "Noo…no rats Wills..." She peeked over her shoulder to see Parker chatting up another unwitting girl. Her smile was wry as she said, "but maybe a weasel wouldn't be so bad."

Oz grabbed Willow's hand and explained that the guitarist for the band playing the party hadn't shown up and the frat boys had asked Oz to take his place. His excitement was contagious and the gang moved as a whole towards the room where a small, temporary stage was set up.

Bopping to the music, Buffy smiled as Oz left the stage for a break. While the music wasn't 'Dingoes' Ate My Baby' it was catchy enough to groove to. Willow and Oz rejoined the group just as Buffy was halfway through her beer. The DJ put on some 80's 'Big-Hair-Band' and she winced as the music blared out of the massive speakers on the stage.

"I'm going to the bathroom," she yelled to Willow. The red head pointed to her ears and made a show that she hadn't heard a word that Buffy had said. Buffy pointed to herself and pointed to the bathroom. Willow grinned and nodded.

Buffy turned to go when another drunk frat boy tried propositioning her by telling her how 'good-to-eat she was'. Buffy simply rolled her eyes and manuevered herself around the big lunk-head. She'd already turned down several wolves who wanted to 'eat' her. This one so didn't stand a chance! As if…eewww was the only thing she could think of as a reply.

She was heading for the bathroom when she heard a couple of girls loudly talking about the hot looking guy in the leather pants. That caught her attention and a memory of Angelus crossed her mind. He may have been evil, but lord have mercy, he could pull off leather pants like no one she'd ever seen—well except Angel of course.

The curvy blonde leaned over to her friend, sloshing her drink as she did so. "He's drool-worthy. Looks older too, like maybe twenty seven or twenty eight." Her smile was sexual as she said, "I bet he has tons of experience..."

The shorter, but very busty brunette giggled, sipping some fruity looking cocktail she nodded her head enthusiastically. "I'd let him teach me anything he wanted." She licked her lips exaggeratedly. "Did you see his ass—it's perfect." The blonde nodded and fervently agreed. The brunette gave her friend a wink and giggled, "I'm going to go over and talk to him."

The blonde grabbed her arm. "Wait, I want him too. Let's both go over—every guy wants a threesome, right?"

Totally curious now, Buffy looked around to see who was causing all the fuss. It didn't take her long to find him. Her eyes bugged and her jaw almost hit the floor. There, standing off to the side, looking like sex on legs, was Angel. He had a crowd of giggling, eager sorority girls around him, but his eyes were focused on her. Buffy felt her breath catch as their eyes locked across the room. Heat spread throughout her body as she let her eyes roam over his body. She licked her lips. God the man really was gorgeous! He was dressed in black leather pants that hugged every inch of him, displaying parts of his anatomy Buffy had tried to forget. The deep maroon silk button down shirt he sported was unbuttoned midway down his pale, muscled chest. And to complete the dark, seductive look, he had on a pair of black steel toed boots that made him look just wicked enough to make a good girl go bad.

Buffy's mouth watered and she was excruciatingly aware of the dull, pulsing ache throbbing between her thighs. He wasn't evil, but wow! He was the perfect stereotype of the dark, dangerous and sinfully beautiful vampire. One girl reached out to run her hand down his chest. Buffy saw red, but Angel quickly removed her wandering hand and much to the gaggle of groupies' loud and vocal displeasure, he left them gawking after him as he made a bee-line straight for Buffy.

Her heart began to pound out a wildly fast rhythmic beat the closer he came. The gang came over and Willow, Xander and Oz all noticed Buffy's glazed expression, her accelerated breathing and the nervous anxious look of desire on her face.

"Buff, are you okay?" Xander asked, but then his eyes found Angel making his way over to them and he rolled his eyes. "Of course you're not-tall, dark and too close to evil is here." The leather pants made Xander fidget like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. "Buffy, he looks evil again. Tell me he's not evil and he's not going to torture us all just for giggles," Xander griped.

"Buffy," Willow whispered, "I thought you said he was still Angel…"

"He is," Buffy said huskily, her eyes never leaving her broad shouldered, sexy vampire ex. "I think that's his idea of a costume…"

"What is he going for…psycho vampire?" Xander muttered. Buffy shot him a look and Xander made a face. "You may trust him, Buff, but sorry if I don't find him so amusing since we lived through Angelus and his idea of a good time."

At that moment Angel stopped in front of them. He'd heard Xander's comment, but didn't reply. In fact he ignored the gang all together. There was only one person in the room as far as he was concerned. His eyes focused entirely on Buffy. "Since you wouldn't answer my calls, I decided to come to you…" he said, by way of greeting. His eyes roamed her costume. "Red Riding Hood…hmmm, I wonder how many wolves you've met tonight."

Buffy laughed. "More than a few, but none of them has seen my basket." As soon as the words left her mouth Buffy turned bright red. "I mean…"

Angel's look was devilish as he leaned down to whisper in her ear. "What does it take to get in your basket, Red?"

Buffy gave him a haughty look, lifting her chin. "More than just a pretty face and leather pants."

He chuckled huskily, flashing that devastatingly sensual lop-sided smile that made her think 'all-kinds-of-bad'. "So what's in your basket?" he asked, leaning in as he tried to take a peek. "I bet you don't have fruit in there…"

Buffy slapped his hand. "You'd be right, but I do have a stake," she told him, a smiling a bit too sweetly up at him.

His smile never faltered. "Point taken-no pun intended."

"And," Buffy said, "There's a reason I wasn't answering. Didn't it occur to you that I wasn't interested in anything you have to say. I thought the whole not answering would make that pretty clear."

"I'm kind-a hard headed," he replied, still giving her that sexy half smile. "And I happen to know you are very interested in some of the things I have to say to you, Buffy. Your lips may say one thing, but your heart and body tell another story."

Buffy's knees trembled. She'd never seen Angel so…openly seductive. His smile spread across his face and she nearly swooned. He had an amazing smile, she realized. It literally lit up his entire face. Buffy noticed all the envious glares several girls were giving her while their eyes ate up Angel. Jealousy reared its ugly head again and Buffy gave serious thought to knocking him over the head, dragging him off and having her way with him.

He gave a little growl as if he'd read her lusty thoughts. Buffy blushed, but Angel stepped closer, caressing her cheek with his knuckles. "Don't shut me out," he murmured too low for anyone but Buffy to hear. "We don't have to talk about anything serious. We can just…hang out." He was so close they were literally sharing the same space. "What could it hurt?" he asked, ignoring the horrified looks on the Scooby gangs' faces.

Buffy put some distance between them as she said, "You're just here to try and," She air quoted, "protect me." She poked at his chest with a furious finger. "I told you already, I don't need your help. I'm a big girl now. I can and will take care of myself!" With that she turned and flounced off leaving a stunned Scooby gang and a befuddled Angel behind.

Xander broke the tension filled moment. "Well…I'd say that went-um-not so well." Angel leveled his dark eyes upon the boy in warning and Xander twitched nervously. "Hey, what did you expect, Dead boy? You don't exactly scream trust me."

Angel shot him a glare. "I know I hurt her, but it's none of your business. Stay out of it." As a whole the Scoobies' gaped. This Angel was new. Where was the quiet, guilt ridden vampire they all remembered? Angel went to leave, but stopped and shot Xander a warning look. "Oh, and quit calling me 'Dead-Boy'" he snapped.

Oz stepped forward, stopping Angel before he could leave. "Hey, you gotta understand where she's coming from, man. I'm not saying leave her alone completely, but she was starting to move on and then you show up. Give her some time."

Angel nodded. He liked the quiet musician. "I came here to protect her, but now that I'm here…I think what she needs is hope."

"Hope?" Xander said. "How new-age of you, Dead—" He bit off the rest of that sentence when Angel glowered at him and growled. "Sooo..dare I ask what you mean by hope? Hopefully it's not you and her doing the deed kind of hope, because let me tell you I'm hoping that never happens."

"Xander…" Willow said, giving him the zip it sign.

Xander ignored her. "Hey, I'm sorry and not to be the bearer of bad news, but you do remember what happens when you and Buffy get with the mattress mambo, right? People die, Angel" He was warming up to his argument. He raised a brow at Angel as he said, "You weren't here, but let me tell you I could honestly live out the rest of my life without meeting up with your evil alter ego again and I'm sure the Buffster feels the same!"

"I'm not going evil," Angel muttered.

Oz took that moment to hold out his hand. "Didn't get the chance yet, but it's good to see you, Angel." Angel grabbed his hand and shook it. Oz noticed the ring on Angel's middle finger. "So you did keep it."

Angel looked down at the 'Gem'. "Yeah, it was from her, and…" He smiled wistfully. "It will let me see her in the sunshine…"

Willow smiled. That was so totally sweet, but…she remembered she still had a bone to pick with him about how he bailed on Buffy. She marched up to him and poked him in the chest much like Buffy had done earlier. "You broke her heart—acted like a super-maxi jerk-person and if you think you're gonna come in and do it again. You got another thing comin' mister!"

"Yeah, what she said," Xander chimed in-adding his (unsolicited) two cents again.

This was one of the things Angel didn't miss about Sunnydale. He told Willow, pointedly ignoring Xander, that he wasn't here to hurt Buffy. He leaned down and quietly told the witch he realized he still loved her. Willow beamed and gave him a thumbs up sign. Angel smiled, not that he needed their approval, but having Willow in his corner would make it easier to get Buffy to listen to him. He was about to head after his golden haired Slayer when he saw a somewhat tall, dark haired boy saunter up to her as if he owned her.

"Buffy," Parker said as he sidled up to her. "I'm glad you came…" The double entendre was obvious. To make it even worse, he wriggled his eyebrows at her and lewdly suggested a repeat performance of the other night.

Buffy blushed, glancing across the room to see how Angel was taking Parker talking to her. Her heart sped up when she saw the dangerous look in his eyes. She almost smiled. He was jealous. The thought was exciting.

"Buffy, want to dance or maybe we could blow this place and go somewhere, just me and you?" Parker said, breaking into her thoughts while slithering up next to her.

Buffy grimaced. How could she have ever let this creep touch her? His smarmy smile made her guts churn. She shook her head. "I don't think so—it wasn't exactly a 'knock-my-socks-off performance the first time. Why would I want a repeat?"

Across the room, a low growl rumbled in Angel's chest as he watched the boy grab Buffy's arm.

Willow turned to see what was making Angel all growly and when she saw Parker holding onto Buffy's arm as Buffy attempted to tug it back, her gaze whipped back to Angel, worried about what he'd do. He looked super angry and she held her breath-waiting for the explosion.

"Son of a bitch!" Angel suddenly snarled, causing most of the Scoobies to jump. Oz just raised a brow-if Angel was going to lose it, at least Buffy was here to keep it under control.

Willow swallowed nervously when Angel's eyes went a brilliant shade of gold and he cursed under his breath, obviously jealous and fuming.

Angel stared hard, murdering the boy with his eyes. He barely kept his fangs in check as he stared at them from across the room. This had to be the little fucker she'd slept with. He wanted to rip the boy's arms off and beat him with them.

Angel got even more tense when Buffy made to leave and the little asshole grabbed her arm and said something to her that made her cringe. Anger roiled inside Angel's gut. That was it. He started forward as another, deeper growl than the first erupted from his chest, his eyes were totally a shimmering gold and he looked absolutely murderous.

Panicking at the livid expression on Angel's face, the red head grabbed Xander, pointed at Angel and squeaked, "Um…I think this might be a time to say, uh-oh."

Ignoring the Scoobies, Angel started over to Buffy, jealous rage practically rolling off him in violent waves.

Willow grabbed his arm. "No, Angel-don't!" It was at that moment when Xander grabbed his arm too in a desperate attempt to stop the chaos that was about to ensue if Angel got his hands on Parker.

"Let me go," he snarled, shaking them off like a dog ridding his coat of fleas. He shot across the room, too fast for anyone to stop him.

Buffy was telling Parker to let her go when Angel just appeared by her side. She jumped. She hadn't even seen him coming and his sudden appearance startled her. "Angel!" she gasped; searching his face. His jaw was clenched and the anger radiating off him was palpable...and a little intimidating.

Buffy grabbed his forearm before he got hold of Parker. "You don't have to do this," she said, but the dark vampire wasn't listening.

Angel didn't answer but he pointedly took note of Parker's hand still gripping Buffy's arm. He gave the boy a sinister smile, dark eyes glittering with malice that was reminiscent of Angelus. He stared into the increasingly worried gaze of the boy who dared to touch his Buffy. "I'm only going to say this once…" He leaned close to Parker, his eyes flashing amber. "Take your hand off her or I'll remove it for you." Though softly spoken, there was no mistaking the threat in Angel's words.

Parker let go immediately. He glared at Buffy. "You never told me you had a jealous boyfriend!" he snapped as if this was all her fault.

Buffy's eyes widened. "Like you have room to talk!" she called after him. She turned to Angel. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Angel appeared far too pleased with the turn of events and it irritated her. She wanted to kick him in the shin or knock him across the room, both were inviting, but she didn't want the hassle of explaining how she floored such a large guy with one blow. "You're so not my—"

The rest of her sentence was cut off as Angel put his hand over her mouth. "For this party…I am," he stated. Buffy rounded on him, but he caught her and spun her back around so that her rear end was pressed tight against his groin, she wriggled, fighting to escape. It was Angel's groan that caused her to freeze as she felt the proof of his arousal butting against her from behind.

"Let me go, Angel," Buffy demanded, far too breathlessly for her piece of mind.

Angel gritted his teeth, this was the closest he'd been to her in months and it was like giving a junkie their fix. She was the sweetest of torments and he didn't want to release her. He nuzzled her hair, inhaling her scent. "You deserve far better than that asshole…" he whispered into her ear. "Let that one go. He's nothing but a waste of your time."

Needing some space between her and his too tempting body, Buffy crossed her arms protectively over her chest and kept her distance. "Why are you here, Angel?" she asked. "Seriously, you've been gone all this time and now here you are…what do you want from me?"

Angel was at a loss. He looked stumped and his fidgeting proved the point. "I don't know," he replied honestly. "When I came to Sunnydale…I had a firm plan in mind, but ever since I saw you—touched you, my mission has become blurred. I'm really kind of winging it at this point." His eyes focused on Parker again. "And I really want to beat the shit out of him."

"Nooo…there won't be any beatings—not here and not tonight," Buffy said, pulling him out the back door and away from the party. He followed her as she led him around the house to a small patio. It was pretty much deserted since the party was in the house. Buffy let go of his hand and crossed her arm again. "Okay—talk," she demanded.

They were finally alone and all Angel wanted to do was kiss her senseless, but the memory of Parker putting his hands on her made his skin crawl and anger bubble up inside him. He paced, cursing under his breath for a minute before he finally stopped in front of her. Hands on his hips he leaned down into her face. "Okay, you want me to talk? Well how's this for conversation? Is that that guy, Parker, the guy you slept with?" Buffy didn't say a word, but her flush answered the question for her. Angel looked like he was ready to spit nails. "Christ Buffy, he's nothing but a boy, not to mention a total jack-ass!" he raged, grabbing her arms and shaking her.

Buffy yanked herself out of his grip. Spitting mad she hauled off and slapped him with enough force to make his ears ring into next week.

Angel's head whipped to the side with the force behind her blow. He recovered quickly and stepped right up to her, belly to belly, he invaded her space and glared down into her furious face. "Stop hitting me," he gritted out.

Buffy's chin jacked up a notch. "Well, don't you dare sit there and judge me!" she spat. "You left me, remember?" Her breath came in jagged little pants and her eyes watered, furiously she wiped them away. "I thought he cared about me. I just wanted…" Suddenly her shoulders slumped and she looked lost, broken. "I wanted to be loved again…"

Angel's anger died a hasty death. "Buffy…" he reached for her.

She outmaneuvered his hand, sniffling, but maintaining a stoic front. She wrapped her arms around herself and stared out into the night for several seconds before turning back and drilling him with angry green eyes. "I wanted to feel something besides the big fat emptiness that you left me with, Angel." She took a shuddering breath and continued, "If that bothers you…tough, you can just deal like I had to. You made this choice. Not me."

Her words—the anger and sorrow seeping from her very pores were his undoing. He snatched up her hand and jerked her to him. "Buffy…" he rasped, hugging her and rubbing her back. "I'm sorry…so sorry."

She wanted to pull away. Make him let her go, but she couldn't. His solid bulk felt heavenly and Buffy was tired of fighting it, with a sigh she gave in and let him hold her. It was comforting and she snuggled deeper into his embrace. She'd never felt safer than when she was in his arms. They stayed like that for several minutes until the longing that always bubbled between them, just under the surface, came roaring back to life, making them aware of how close they were.

"Buffy…"he said again and the way he said her name made her ache.

Seeing his intent, Buffy tried to hang on to her self control. "Angel…we can't."

"Just a kiss…" he muttered as his head swooped down. His mouth sought hers, but Buffy turned her head, evading his mouth so that his kisses landed on her cheek, and brow, anywhere and everywhere but her lips. Angel kisses were far too devastating and she couldn't let him get to her-not again. She might have succeeded had he not turned his attention to her neck.

Buffy struggled to maintain her distance as he nibbled along her jugular until he came to her scar.

Angel paid special attention to tjhat spot. His mark. He swirled his tongue along it and rationally he understood he probably shouldn't feel so proud that she bore his bite and would forever, but irrationally he wanted to pound his chest and proclaim her as HIS.

Finding a happy medium, Angel licked and nibled at the mark, sucking the rough flesh into his mouth. She froze and trembled. Small sounds of pleasure burst from her lips. She put her hands to his chest, intending to push him away, but when he suckled her neck, Buffy whimpered and dug her fingers in his shirt, bringing him closer instead.

In that instant Angel realized how much she liked being bitten. Interesting. Redoubling his efforts, he made love to that spot with his tongue. Licking, sucking and nipping at it until she was like putty in his hands. He let out a soft purr when she shivered and goose-bumps raised all along her arms and neck.

"Let me in..." he said as he pulled her against him. She didn't fight and he whispered to her how much he'd missed her…how he never stopped loving her, how he dreamed of her.

Buffy's head tipped back allowing him better access. His words were everything she'd wanted from him and it melted her resolve like butter on a hot plate. "Damn you, Angel," But they both knew her defenses were crumbling like a house of cards. Buffy looped her arms around his neck and leaned up on her tip-toes to place a kiss on his jaw. "Just so you know—I'm still really pissed at you and the sucking on my neck thingy—so not fair."

Angel brushed his lips against hers, savoring her unique and delicate taste. "In battle you use every weapon available and when it comes to you, I'll use every dirty little trick I know to get you to listen to me," he told her.

"Um…okay, not sure if that's really hot or kind-a creepy."

"I was aiming for sexy…" Angel replied, looking at her from under impossibly long lashes. He pulled at one of her braids. "These are cute, but I love your hair down," he said as he unraveled first one braid and then the other. Buffy moaned softly as his hands ran through her golden locks, massaging her scalp at the same time. "Beautiful," he whispered. His lip curled and he gave her that lop-sided smile that turned her knees to jelly. "I used to watch you sleep and ache to keep you with me forever. " He ran a hand down her cheek to her full lips. His thumb rubbed her pouty bottom lip gently. "You're still my girl, Buffy. I never stopped loving you," he admitted huskily.

That did it. Hearing him say that was like her fantasies come to life and Buffy embraced the carnal craving she had for this sexy vampire. She cupped his face and brought it down to hers. "Angel…I missed you…so much," she breathed, placing butterfly kisses across his cheeks, lips and along his jaw.

As much as he wanted her, he felt they still had some things to work out. "Buffy, maybe we should talk about—"

"Talk later-kiss now," she demanded, moving her tongue along his lips before kissing him fully on the mouth.

**Okay, guys...this was the plot-next is the porn! Please click that little blue button and tell the musie waht you think...she's such a review *bleep* but she feeds my inspiration so if she's fat and happy...I'm writing. :)

Thanks again...have a great day.

Jen :)