Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of the characters mentioned in the cannon.

A/N: Yay, this chapter is finally completed! It was a little surprising just how hard it was for me to get this chapter where I wanted it. But as always thank you to all of you reviewed the last chapter and please know that I am endeavouring to get out review replies as I appreciate every single one.

THERE IS MOSTLY DEFINITELY A SMUT WARNING IN THIS CHAPTER! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED LOL

CHAPTER 12

A New Man

Buffy stood with her back to Angelus who was laying on his bed watching her as she stood in front of the open drawer that he had cleaned out for her and was now filling with the stuff that she had decided to leave at Angelus' mansion. "So, I agreed to meet Professor Walsh. I can't believe that one of my Professor's is a part of this military get up as a commander no less. But I suppose that explains why she's all dragon lady scary." Buffy said as she finished putting the last of her belongings from her overnight bag in the drawer, and she heard Angelus give an annoyed growl and she let out a little sigh. She'd known that he wouldn't be all that happy about it. Closing the drawer she turned around a sheepish expression on her face as she met Angelus' unhappy gaze. "Don't be angry, Angelus." Buffy pleaded, she didn't want to get into a fight with him today of all days. "I need to find out more about this military group and what better way to do that, than to infiltrate them." She murmured her hazel gaze hopeful as she continued to stare at Angelus; her teeth sinking into her lower lip.

Angelus stared at her in silence for a long moment, before he sighed. "I'm not angry." He muttered as he ran a hand through his spiked up hair. "I'm worried about you." He admitted, the words almost sticking in his throat.

Buffy's expression relaxed completely and she gave him a small smile. "Hey," She murmured as she slowly stepped towards him. "These military vigilantes really have you tied up in anxious knots, don't they?" She murmured as she sat down on the bed beside Angelus, one of her hands coming up to rest on one of his knees.

"I'm not tied up in knots." Angelus disagreed, his hand coming to rest of over Buffy's; curling his fingers around hers. "I just don't trust them at all."

"You've said that before," Buffy murmured a small frown darkening her brow. "You've run into these guys before, haven't you?" She muttered, her frown deepening, feeling a little peeved that he had held that back.

Angelus sighed; his hand tightening ever so slightly around Buffy's to ensure that she couldn't pull her hand away from him. "I don't know." He grumbled. "I might have… years ago… when I was still locked under the soul. They forced me to help them out on a mission."

Buffy frowned again. "What kind of mission?"

Angelus smirked, recalling the only part of the entire experience that amused him. "Saving American soldiers in a submarine from Nazi's… one of which was Spike… it's how he decided he liked his hair that peroxide blond." He muttered.

"And you really think that it's the same group?" Buffy asked.

"That's just it I can't be sure. These guys are so damned secretive that I can't find out a blasted thing about them; except that they like to snatch demons off the street and preform experiments on them. And I only know that much because Spike managed to use what little brains he has to orchestrate an escape. If he hadn't of managed that, all I'd have is that demons are being snatched off the street and not seen again." He grumbled frustrated. "And I don't like the idea of you going in there alone. They are a fully form military unit and you're just one girl."

Buffy couldn't stop the slightly sardonic smile that curled up her lips as she squeezed his hand. "It's funny, normally that's my line."

"This isn't a joke, Buffy. You're a hell of a girl… you're my girl… but you're going to be alone outnumbered and outgunned…" Angelus said seriously.

"Hey, I'm not going in there stake drawn and fists flying. I'm just getting in, getting information on their military asses and getting out. I'm not signing on for a membership or nothing."

"I don't trust them." Angelus grumbled.

Buffy brought their joined hands up from Angelus' lap and pressed a kiss into the back of his hand. "Then trust me." She urged quietly.

"I do." Angelus sighed, still not liking this one little bit, his bad feeling still curling around in his stomach. 'They preform experiments on demons… torture?' Angelus couldn't stop his mind from thinking; the thought making him swallow thickly.

"Good!" Buffy exclaimed happily as she lowered their hands from her face. "Now, let's change the subject. I'm not meeting Walsh about this whole military thing until tomorrow, and today I don't want to talk about it." She murmured. "I want today to be a Slayer-free zone. Today I just wanna be Buffy a college student who's spending her birthday,"

"With her vampire boyfriend?" Angelus finished for her, with a slightly raised eyebrow, his expression amused.

Buffy shrugged. "Well, maybe it isn't completely free of Slayer weirdness, but having a demon boyfriend is, I think, a valid life choice."

"Well, I'm glad you think so." Angelus murmured just as Buffy jumped up from his bed, releasing the hand that she had so comfortably been holding. Angelus followed her with his gaze. "So, what did you want to do for your 19th birthday?" He asked.

Buffy shrugged. "I don't know." She murmured with a little pout on her lips, it had been so long since she'd had a normal birthday celebration that she had no idea what she actually wanted, except… "All I know is that I want it to be a no slaying kind of deal. I want to break the Buffy birthday pattern of bloodshed and death."

"Well, I promise that'll control myself… no matter the provocation." Angelus murmured, his voice teasing.

"That should be easy for you, as this year there is not going to be a Buffy birthday bash. They all seem to end badly, before they can even really begin. So, I figure a quiet one." She explained.

"Well, I don't have any objections." He assured her with one of his most charming smiles curling up his lips. "Come back over here." He demanded softly. Buffy smiled and moved back towards the bed. Angelus shifted as she got closer, and Buffy took the hint and carefully arranged herself on his lap, her arms coming up to wrap around his neck, her hands burying themselves in his thick short hair. The familiar heat that Angelus could so easily arouse in her with a mere look or a touch settling in her core, before her lips even touched his and her hips rocked into his in an instinctual need that was as old as time.

She moaned as she felt his hands settle firmly on her hips, guiding their movements to come up against his already hard cock more firmly. Buffy moaned again, her eyes falling closed as she allowed him to control the rhythm of her hips; inhaling sharply as one of his hands moved up under her shirt, to caress the smooth toned skin of her stomach. Leaning down, she pressed her lips to Angelus'; their lips moving together, the contact muffling the next moan that rose up in Buffy's throat as the friction they were creating together built up between them. Their hands beginning to grope at their clothes; wanting the barrier preventing them from having skin to skin contact removed.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

"So, is everything in order for tonight?" Willow asked as she looked from Xander to Anya, to Giles as they sat around Giles' living room.

"Uh," Xander reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small list. "I've got the party replies." He answered whilst handing over the small page to Willow; who nodded in delight.

"And I've made sure that it's alright that we use the rec room." Willow told them.

"What about, Angelus?" Xander asked, whilst Giles fiddled with his glasses, pretending the need to clean the lenses as. Whilst Anya stifled a yawn the proceedings of party planning that wasn't for her boring her. Willow cleared her throat a little uncomfortably, the memory of her awkward… rather scary meeting with Angelus in his mansion, which held such bad memories. "Did he agree to help?" He asked again when Willow remained silent for a little too long.

"Uh, yeah, I managed to get him to agree to keep Buffy occupied today, whilst Anya and I go get the party supplies and set up the rec room for tonight."

"I will?" Anya asked, surprised at suddenly being included in the preparations. Xander gave her a look. "Oh, I will. Yay," She mumbled trying to sound cheerful and happy about helping out when she really didn't feel like it.

Xander gave his girlfriend an encouraging look, before turning his attention back to Willow. "And what about, that other thing?" He asked.

"I, uh, got him to agree to help out with that too." Willow informed, rather pleased with her success in that regard having believed that she had been going on a fools' errand.

"Wow, Will. I'm impressed." Xander murmured, his expression mirroring his words.

Willow blushed slightly at the praise. "I'm not sure if it had much to do with me really, I think… that perhaps, he wanted to give her a good birthday… after so many bad ones in a row."

"Well, considering recent events, I believe that that is possible." Giles murmured, the words a little difficult to get out past the hatred he still bore towards the vampire; a hatred that had only just begun to lessen in its temper at seeing just how happy Buffy was with him… and how he treated her. He placed his glasses back on his nose. "And uh, here is my shared of the money for party supplies."

Anya licked her lips in sudden interest as the money passed from Giles to Willow. "Great, thanks, Giles. Now it's just the supplies we need and enough time to set up the rec room." She exclaimed happily.

"Speaking of which, I still don't think that a surprise party is the best of ideas." Giles uttered once again.

"Oh, come on Giles," Willow urged. "It'll be fun, and Buffy will be all happy and surprised when she's sees what we've done for her." She stood up. "Come on, Anya. We've still got a lot to do, before tonight." Anya sighed reluctantly even as she stood up to accompany Willow about the town for party supplies, urged on by Xander's encouraging smile.

"Girl's and their surprise parties, huh." Xander said with an affectionate shake of his head as he watched Anya and Willow head for the door, it making his heart swell to see his girlfriend getting along with his closest and best friend.

"Well, I dare say that it'll all turn out for the best. I just hope that Buffy takes the surprise well." Giles murmured.

"Come on, G-Man, it's a surprise party. What's not to like about that?" Xander asked as he got up to make himself a coffee.

Giles rubbed at his eyes behind his glasses. "Yes, I suppose you're right. And how many times do have to tell you not to call me that, awful name." Giles grumbled as he glared after Xander as the boy walked into his kitchen.

"Oh, come on, Giles. It's cool and hip with the times." Xander called from the kitchen.

"I'll give you cool and hip with the times." Giles muttered under his breath as he removed his hands from his suddenly tired eyes; a headache beginning to thrum between his temples in annoyance at the boy.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy let out a keening cry as she moved up and down on Angelus' cock; her thighs cradling Angelus' hips as she straddled him. His hands roaming over her body as he lifted his hips to meet her every thrust; the fact that he was allowing her to set the pace, to be in control as they moved together passion driving their every movement. Their eyes meeting for a long moment, before Buffy's eyes fluttered closed and her head arched back as she arched her chest forward one of her hands coming up to clutch heatedly at one of her breasts, her fingers finding the aching puckered nipple and rolled it between her splayed fingers. Her hand was not left to play with her nipple by itself for long as Angelus' hand covered her own and quickly had hers dropping from the needy flesh of her breast as his talented hand closed completely about her breast, his fingers tweaking and plucking at the hard nipple.

Buffy gasped out a moan her sheath clenching in desire around hi cock as she quickened her pace, her free breast moving freely with each vigorous movement of her body. His mouth closed over her breast, his tongue flicking over the nipple that was still caught between his clever fingers. Buffy cried out at the touch of his cool tongue against the hot sensitive flesh of her nipple, her body arching into him as her hands delved into his thick hair; her nails scrapping over his scalp. She felt a hand cup her other breast, his fingers plucking at her nipple as his other braced her back, holding her against him as they continued to move together in a more urgent need as their passion swiftly grew with each movement.

Buffy's eyes fluttered open to stare down at Angelus' dark head, her eyes taking in the mussed points of his previously immaculately styled hair. Her sheath clenching about him with every upward thrust of his cock; seeking to draw him deeper inside of her… to keep him inside of her longer. Angelus groaned as he once again felt Buffy's tight warm sheath clench around his driving cock. "Oh, fuck, Buff!" He moaned under his breath, his mouth releasing her breast, his hands tightening about her, before he flipped them on the bed; removing his cock from Buffy's sheath, causing a moan of denial to fall from Buffy's parted lips, her eyes gazing up at Angelus lustily. Her body writhing with the aching desire to feel him upon her; inside of her once again.

She wasn't left aching long as Angelus settled himself on top of her; her legs wrapping around his hips immediately locking him in place. "Hold on, Buff." Angelus chuckled huskily as Buffy rubbed herself wantonly against his hard cock, in her desire to have him inside her once again; accidentally hindering him in her impatience. Grasping her hips with one hand; pinning them to the mattress and grasping his cock in the other, he heard Buffy cry out in ecstasy as he thrust himself back inside of her with a swift smooth motion; seating himself inside of her to the hilt easily with the aid of her wetness. Buffy raised her hips off the soft mattress to meet his next thrust, not being able to lie idle underneath him with the amount of passion that was heating up her body; driving her on towards the climax her body was aching for… that Angelus had promised her with just a mere look of his eyes from across his room.

Angelus growled lustily as he felt Buffy's nails dig sharply into his back, before they racked downwards, breaking the skin for a short moment, before it healed with the preternatural speed of the vampiric. His mouth falling on her flesh, tasting its natural saltiness and the sweat that was building on her skin as he worked her body up to the heights of pleasure; a skill he had mastered centuries before he had met Buffy. Skills he was now using to pleasure his mate-to-be eager to make up for every slight he had grieved her with during the first two years he'd been a part of her life with every opportunity she gave him.

Buffy thrust her hips up against Angelus' harder than before as she felt his blunt human teeth scrape of the skin of her breast, before his mouth closed about a small spot of sensitive flesh and sucked harshly and Buffy cried out her body arching in a confused response as pain shot sharply from the spot where his mouth was latched onto her breast. Angelus groaned against her skin, Buffy's cry still ringing in his ears delightfully spurring him on as her sheath clenched about him strongly as her body tried to work out what was going on with the conflicting sensations he was giving her as he continued to thrust into her welcoming sheath. Angelus lifted his head from her breath giving the bruised skin a soothing lick, before coming up to catch her lips in a heated kiss, his tongue mimicking the thrusts of his lower body.

Buffy pulled her mouth from Angelus' after a long moment as she felt the beginnings of her orgasm consuming her body in that all-consuming heat that was rising inside of her; burning hotter with each thrust of his cock. "Ange-lus!" Buffy cried out breathlessly as her orgasm crashed over her, sending spiralling in a wave of hot pleasure that had her seeing white flashing spot behind her closed eyelids as she clung to Angelus desperately, feeling his cool seed filling her burning womb as he joined her in the throughs of passion.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Angelus gazed down at Buffy, his dark brown eyes affectionate matching the smile that curled up his lips as he watched Buffy sleep. Her face still flushed from their earlier passion, the fine cotton of his red sheets haphazardly covering her sated body. Angelus reached out, carefully moving some of her golden blond hair from her forehead; not wanting to wake her just yet, but he wasn't careful enough as at the soft touch Buffy shifted a little restlessly in her sleep and one of her arms came up to wipe over her forehead, where the slight tickle of her hair being moved disturbing her. Its job done, her arm fell back towards the mattress only to land against Angelus's chest. Angelus stared down at her hand for a moment, her fingers curled laxly in her sleep.

Reaching for her hand, he gently caressed her fingers, watching as they twitched slightly under his soft touch, Buffy groaned in her sleep tiredly, shifting once again on the mattress; her hand sliding off his chest. Her body arching slightly, stretching her muscles before she settled back down into sleep. Angelus' smiled brightened somewhat as he saw her settle back down into sleep; when not so long ago his slightest touch would have had her awake in a split second, her entire body on alert for an attack, but now… she trusted him enough to fall asleep beside him after an energetic round of sex; sex that left her looking well fucked and exhausted enough to have a midday nap. Angelus watched her for a moment longer, before he rolled over on the mattress facing away from his girl as he shimmied across the mattress towards the nightstand. Opening the top drawer he looking inside, his eyes immediately landing on the jewellery box that he had hidden in there, reaching in he picked it up, but hesitated as he did so, his eyes landing on Buffy's Claddagh ring.

He really wanted to see her ring back where it belonged on her left ring finger, with the heart pointing inwards, but he wasn't ready to attempt to give it to her. Fearing that she wouldn't want it. It hadn't been all the long since she had started to really put her faith in him again… to allow her heart to open up and let him in once again. It was still far too soon, to try and give her that ring again, it could wait, there was no rush for her to wear it again, and with the way things were going at the moment, it wouldn't be long, before it was time for him to give it back to her. Shutting the drawer without touching the ring, Angelus turned back towards Buffy's sleeping form, the necklace sized jewellery box clutched in his hand. Opening the jewellery box he stared down at the beautifully crafted, but simple necklace he had purchased for her not that long ago for her birthday.

The necklace was silver; the pendant was made of white gold formed in the shape in the Celtic symbol of eternity, diamonds encrusting the many curves of the design. Lifting the necklace out of the box, he set it aside on the nightstand. Moving back across his large bed to where Buffy lay still peacefully sleeping. Settling himself back down beside her, propping himself up on his elbow once again as he stared down at her sleeping form the affectionate smile once again curling up his lips. Angelus lifted the necklace he was holding delicately between his fingers, not wanting to accidentally break the fragile material with his preternatural strength. Hovering the necklace above Buffy's sleeping form; he moved his arm down her body, not letting the necklace touch her warm skin just yet.

Lowering his arm down so that the smooth rounded tip caressed over the toned skin of her lower abdomen and began tracing the cool surface of the pendant up her body. Buffy mumbled in her sleep, the sudden coolness running along her skin in lazy patterns disturbing her peaceful slumber, brushing at it, knocking the culprit off her. Angelus chuckled in amusement as he slide the necklace up over her stomach once again, slowly moving it up over her body, his gaze focused on the pendants path as he travelled it up over the swell of her chest, going up her right breast, circling it carefully around her nipple, making the sensitive bud pucker at the coolness of the metal as it touched her skin, the warmth of it slowly warming the metal but not fast enough to keep the metal from continuing to be noticed by her as Angelus trailed the necklace between the valley of her breasts and up the curve of her left breast, giving it the same attention with the necklace as the right.

Buffy's face screwed up for a moment as she tried to stay in the pleasant drifting state of sleep she'd been floating happily in. The coolness that was slowly beginning to heat up against her skin as it moved slowly around her left nipple. Letting out a soft sigh as she gave up on trying to go back to sleep and slowly opened her eyes. The first thing she saw was Angelus looming over her and she smiled, a little sleepily up at him, but his gaze wasn't on her face, but rather focused on her chest where she could feel the coolness circling her nipple. Looking down she caught sight of a delicate looking silver chain dangling from between two of Angelus' pinched together fingers. Following the chain, she saw an intricately designed pendant that was hanging attached to the chain. Reaching up for it, she held the pendant in the palm of her hand as she slowly sat herself up so that she could look at the pendant more comfortably. Angelus released the chain as he watched Buffy's reaction to his gift. "Oh, wow…" She murmured softly; her voice slightly awed as she looked down at the beautiful necklace. "It's gorgeous, Angelus!" She murmured as she continued to stare down at the pendant transfixed, her other hand coming up to trace over the lines feeling the slight bumps of the diamonds over the surface, on the pad of her finger.

"Happy birthday," Angelus murmured as he took in her reaction, feeling elated that she liked his gift and feeling bad at the same time that he hadn't bought her anything like this before. He hadn't really thought about buying her gifts, knowing that Buffy wasn't all that materialistic unlike the other women he had dated over the centuries, but seeing her reaction to the necklace; the joy on her face as she stared down at the beautiful piece he had selected for her, he wished he had. He'd just been so focused on winning her back with his words and actions… that he hadn't really even thought about giving her gifts… not wanting her to think that he was trying to buy her or anything…

Buffy managed to tear her gaze away from the first birthday present she had been given that day to look up at him. "Thank you." She murmured, before leaning in to give him a kiss, her lips touching his in an affectionate/grateful kiss. She hadn't expected to get anything from him, except his company… and she'd been happy with that… Angelus' gifts hadn't been all the pleasant in the past… but this one was gorgeous! She hadn't had a chance to wear it yet and try it out with different outfits, but she already knew that she loved it!

"Here, let me put it on you." Angelus murmured and Buffy nodded excitedly, sitting up completely and turning her back to Angelus as she lifted her hair out of the way. Angelus hooked the necklace around Buffy's neck, before releasing the chain completely to allow it to settle completely around Buffy's neck. Buffy touched the necklace, feeling the pendant resting against her skin coolly. Turning back around to face Angelus as she released her hair completely. "Thank you, I love it." She murmured, before she gave him another kiss.

Angelus groaned as Buffy slid her tongue past his lips to delve into his mouth, massaging his tongue and in that moment he regretted completely the fact that he had agreed to Willow's nervous pleading the other day, wanting nothing more than to lay back and go another round with his girl; as far as he was concerned there was no better way to spend a birthday… but he really didn't want to have to put up with his girls friends whining at him when the birthday girl didn't show up… Forcing himself to pull back, he delivered a playful swat to her ass. "Get up and jump under the shower." He told her, causing Buffy to give him a surprised look. "There's somewhere I want to take you tonight."

Buffy's expression cleared and she smiled up at him from the bed; spreading her still naked form out over the sheets. "So, where's this place you wanna show me?" She asked.

Angelus swallowed hard as he fought the urge to just lie back down with her, as she splayed her body out over the mattress, a seductive and yet nervous look on her face as she stared up at him hopefully.

Angelus kneeled back down on to the bed, looming over her, teasing her lips with his for a moment. "You'll find out when we get there." He breathed against her lips, before jumping back up off the bed, glad that he had tight control over his baser urges in that moment. Buffy pouted up at him from the bed for a moment, before her desire to see what Angelus' next surprise for her was, she jumped up off the bed and headed into Angelus' private bathroom, muttering 'tease' as she past him on her way in.

"Right back at ya." Angelus muttered under his breath as he watched Buffy disappear inside of it. restraining his desire to go in and join her, knowing that his self-control could only take so much, before it snapped and he ravished her for the rest of the night instead of following through with his promise to the annoying little red head that Buffy called friend.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy turned to face Angelus, raising an eyebrow at him. "My dorm room, really?" She asked, not having expected this to be the destination when she had left the mansion with Angelus. "This is what you wanted to show me? 'Cause I'm pretty sure that I've seen this place every day since I moved on campus." She stepped towards him a considering look in her hazel eyes. "Something that you know, so what are you up to, Angelus?" She asked.

Angelus shrugged having already thought up an excuse for when she asked this question. "I just thought that you might like to have the chance to change into fresh clothes." He replied simply.

Buffy gave him a searching look, something tell her that something was up, before she shrugged it off. "Who said that guys don't know what a girl wants?" She murmured.

"Some woman who didn't have as clever a guy as you do," Angelus murmured smugly, his gaze going to the alarm clock that was set up between the two beds, checking the time. 'Any time now.' He thought resignedly, knowing that his alone time with his girl was quickly coming to an end.

Buffy quickly sorted through her wardrobe, not wanting to keep Angelus waiting for too long. Throwing her shirt over her head as she came across a shirt that she wanted to wear; she'd just pulled it over her head when she heard the door to her dorm slam open and Willow's frantic voice. "We got trouble."

Buffy hurried out of her wardrobe, her elation over Angelus' surprise for her disappearing at Willow's words, as she straightened her fresh shirt. "What is it?" She asked seriously, hiding her disappointment at having her birthday gate-crashed by a demon once again.

"I was in the rec room. It came through the window." Willow explained, making herself sound a little puffed like she had run here.

"Vampire?" Buffy questioned wanting to know what she was dealing with.

"Vampire's don't breathe fire." Willow said, doing her best to keep her face straight and serious, as a smile itched to stretch up the corners of her lips.

Buffy looked at Willow slightly surprised, not having expected to hear something like that, something telling her that this wasn't going to be handled as quickly as she wanted it to be. "Oh, great, happy birthday to me," She muttered under her breath, her hand going to the pendant Angelus got her for a moment, before she quickly moved into action.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy moved stealthily down the hall with Willow and Angelus beside her, all three of them rounding a corner as they headed for the Stevenson Hall rec room. They walked a little further down the hall and Buffy handed him the large rifle sized crossbow that she had been carrying as she motioned with her other hand that he should go down the adjacent hall, which lead to another door to the rec room. Angelus took it and gave Willow an annoyed look as Buffy immediately began heading down her choice way to the rec room. Willow clasped her hands together in a pleading gesture, before she hurried after Buffy. Angelus weighed the crossbow in his hand for a moment, before he headed off down the hall Buffy had gestured towards. 'How'd I let that little Wiccan talk me into this?' He thought in irritation as he moved quietly down the hall… knowing full well that there wasn't any demon waiting for them in the rec room.

Buffy pulled a stake from the book bag she had packed full of weapons she had thought just might be helpful in taking down the fire breathing demon. "We have to make this fast." Buffy grumbled, definitely not happy about the demon appearance in her own dormitory hall. "I have better things to do tonight than kill." Willow smiled as she followed Buffy excitement filling her as they got closer to the door of the rec room. Buffy shoved open the door and strode in with a purpose, finding herself surprised at the complete darkness of the room and the complete lack of fire… or smell of chard wood and smoke. Willow had said that the demon breathed fire… the darkness didn't last long and Buffy had to blink as the lights suddenly came up as Willow flicked them on, her expression surprised as she took in the room. "SURPRISE!" Being shouted at her from the guests.

Quickly gathering her wits Buffy, hid the stake back into the book bag she had brought with her, recognising a few people from the dorm that both she and Willow where friendly with in the dorm, co-eds that didn't know her secret. "Guess you won't be killing anyone tonight, after all." Willow beamed proudly as she stepped up to Buffy, just as Angelus calmly walked in through the other door, the crossbow Buffy had pressed upon him nowhere in sight, having hidden it down the hall on his way to the door.

Buffy gave Willow a slightly annoyed look, having expressly said that she didn't want a party to celebrate her birthday, a wish her friends had obviously ignored, but still she smiled, touched at the effort her friends had put into setting up the party for her. "Don't be so sure." Buffy teased, as she looked up at the banner that had been hung up and the decorations that had been put up about the room. Her hand coming up to touch her brand new necklace once again, her quick mind putting the pieces together and she looked over at Angelus who was looking at her, but standing apart from everyone else close to the door he had entered through. She went to move towards him only to be ambushed by a few of her co-eds wanting to wish her happy birthday.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

"Yeah, this is a lively space." Giles commented around a mouthful of cake, continuing his conversation with Xander and Anya who had come to the soccer table laden down with the variety of different party foods. "It's like the activity room we had at public school." He said just as two male students that had been invited to the party moved in around the soccer table looking to grab some food. "Sorry," Giles apologised with a small chuckle as he picked up his cup from the table, being sure to balance his paper plate that had a generous slice of cake on it as he stepped back from the table to give them room to move about the table. "I, uh," Giles continued to chuckle as he continued on with what he had been going to say to Xander and Anya before he'd been distracted by the two young men. "One time I, uh, I was up to a little bit of a prank with the dart board…"

"I'm bored." Anya interrupted, her attention focused on Xander, Giles story meaning nothing to her. "Let's eat." She murmured hopefully, wanting to be doing something she enjoyed.

Xander felt heat flood his cheeks at his girlfriend's rude remark. "Anya," He muttered sternly. "We've talked about this."

Anya gave him a put out look before focusing her gaze back on Giles. "I'm sorry, that was rude." She apologised, her words as awkward as her body language as she tried to remember what Xander had taught her about human interaction. "Please continue your story." She finished getting a nod of approval from Xander, making her expression turn proud as she allowed her hands to fall away from each other, having been squeezing them together in her awkwardness. "Hopefully it involves treacle and a headmaster." She told Xander in what she thought was a quiet whisper, but was still heard by Giles.

Who looked up from his plate, his expression annoyed as he avoided eye contact with the two, wanting to get the image Anya had put in his minds-eye out. "Go eat." He said firmly and immediately Anya hurried away, glad to be free of the older man's company. Xander shot Giles an apologetic look, before he hurried after his girlfriend who had made a bee line for the food table that she had become interested in.

Far across the room, Buffy finally managed to pull away from her guests to wander over to Angelus who'd managed to keep everyone at bay with a glare… "Hey," She greeted as she came to stand in front of him. "So, this is what you were scheming. I have to say, I'm surprised that you went along with it. You and my friends working together to organise this party, now that I would have paid to see," She murmured with an amused smile as she stepped even closer to him.

A tick went off in Angelus' jaw her insinuation that he had spent any kind of quality time with her lame brained friends. "No such thing happened!" Angelus grumbled, his arms crossing over his chest defensively.

"Oh, really? So we ended up in my dorm room just in time for Willow to come barging in crying demon, just by coincidence?" She said disbelievingly.

Angelus sighed and uncrossed his arms from over his chest as he reached for her, lifting a lock of hair from her shoulder. "You can blame your whiny little red headed friend. She picked up the courage to come whine at me about wanting to surprise you with a surprise party for your birthday and wanting help in keeping you distracted all day so that they could set it up… honestly you'd think they'd know better than to want to throw you a surprise party." He muttered still feeling uncomfortable about the fact that he had been talked into doing something to help Buffy's annoying friends.

"Oh, I don't know…" Buffy murmured. "A surprise party isn't so bad… I mean it's much nicer than facing a fire breathing demon on my birthday." She said brightly, leaning up onto her toes she placed a hand on his chest as she leaned into him. "So, whatever it is you did, thanks." She murmured, before she went to press a kiss to his cheek only for Angelus to realize what she was about to do and shifted his head at the last minute so that her lips met his lips instead of his cheek.

Buffy felt his hands come to rest on her sides and just remained there; not at all surprised that he had wanted lip to lip contact. But after a moment she settled back down on to the flats of her feet. Angelus shrugged as he released her sides. "Well, as long as you're happy, then at least it was worth the effort."

Buffy smiled a little smugly. "Ah huh! So you did help out even just a little."

Angelus shrugged again, a small smile curling up his own lips; for now unaware of the small audience of Xander, Willow and Giles who were watching the interaction out of curiosity from under their lashes, not wanting to be caught by the temperamental vampire. "Maybe just a smidgin,"

"So, do you wanna come and get some food and mingle a little?" Buffy asked a little hopefully.

Angelus looked over Buffy's head at the rest of the party-goers who were spread around the different tables that were set up with food, none of them appealing to him in anyway whatsoever, especially not her needy annoying little friends. "No, I don't think so."

Buffy's face fell a little. "So, you're just gonna lurk here at the edge of the party? Isn't that kinda boring?"

Angelus shrugged. "This isn't really my kind of party, Buff." He replied simply, nothing about it enticing him at all.

Buffy looked over the party and found that she had to agree at least in part, it wasn't really a pumping party. "I suppose, it is kinda flat, but then you can't expect from a party that was practically thrown together at the last minute." She murmured.

Angelus placed his hands on her shoulders as he moved away from the wall. "The only good thing about it is you, Buff." He murmured; whispering the words in her ear.

Buffy tilted her head up so that she could look up at him, a smile curling up her lips. "Then, spend it with me." She exclaimed, a cheek light in her hazel eyes. "That'll make it more enjoyable for you."

Buffy grasped one of his hands in hers lightly, not grasping anywhere near tight enough to for him to come with her if he didn't want to as she began leading him towards the centre of the rec room. Angelus chuckled, realizing that he had walked right into that one as he allowed Buffy to lead him towards the food table.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

A fair bit later Giles sat in a chair by himself watching the party continue on around him, feeling really rather like an outcast as he watched Buffy, Willow, Xander and Anya socialise with other young men and women he didn't know. Even Angelus was managing to integrate himself in goings on as he stood by Buffy's side talking with her friends. He'd never felt as old as he did in this moment, he felt like the parent that was only there to chaperon them as they had fun whilst doing their best to pretend he wasn't there. He'd begun to think that perhaps it would be best if he just slipped away, it wasn't like anyone would even notice his absence… and that way he'd be able to get some important things done like… the cleaning… but just as the thought crossed his mind, he noticed Willow breaking away from the crowd and coming towards him with a fresh paper plate balanced on her hand along with another slice of cake.

Willow smiled at Giles as she made it over to him, feeling bad that she had left him alone for so long as she had mingled with all her new friends. "Hi." She greeted as she handed him the plate; which Giles accepted a little reluctantly, not sure he could handle any more of the rich birthday cake. "Are you having a good time?" She asked brightly.

Giles stood up, glad for the company and the lessening of the awkward outcast feeling he'd been having. "Yes, yes," He lied. "There's uh, a lot of new faces here, aren't there?" He questioned, not having realized that the young adults he knew so well had expanded their world so much without him even realizing it.

Willow looked around and nodded her agreement. "Yeah. Mostly kids from the dorm. A couple from our classes. It's a good showing considering how last minute it was." She murmured proudly as she turned her gaze back up to Giles.

"Hi, Giles." Buffy greeted, having spotted Willow talking with Giles and having realized with some guilt that she had forgotten to spend any time with her father figure since arriving at her surprise party and had so had immediately came over to rectify the oversight.

"Buffy," Giles greeted with a happy smile, his gaze flicking past her for a moment to land on Angelus who had also joined her on the trip over; finding himself slightly surprised that he got a very slight nod from the soulless vampire; so surprised that he returned it before he could think about it. He cleared his throat a little uncomfortably as he returned his gaze to Buffy. "Happy birthday," He wished her.

Buffy smiled and moved in for a hug, seeing it coming, Giles balanced his drink and plate, lifting his arms so that she could and so that he could return it with one of his arms. "Thank you." Buffy murmured against his chest, before she stepped back from him.

"19, it's hard to believe, isn't it?" Giles murmured once again feeling old, it only seemed like the other day that he had only just been meeting and getting to know a young high school girl… and now she was a young woman going to college.

"So, where you in on the whole surprise party too?" Buffy asked.

"Uh, well yes in a small capacity. It was actually Willow and Xander who did all the planning… she… Willow that is, was quiet determined to have a surprise party. I personally don't think I would have thrown you a surprise party. You know, you have enough things jumping out at you in the dark."

"Well, as far as things jumping out at me in the dark, this is by far the nicest thing that's jumped out at me in a while." Buffy murmured.

"Oh, yes… I'm sure." Giles agreed with his somewhat awkward smile.

"Buffy!" Willow called, drawing her gaze. Seeing Willow; who had wandered off a short time after Buffy and Angelus had made their way over, beckoning her over, Buffy turned her attention briefly back to Giles. "Uh, looks like I'm needed. I hope that you're enjoying the party, Giles. I really appreciate it." She beamed before hurrying over to her best friend; leaving Giles alone with Angelus who had hung back.

Angelus leaned against the wall, his eyes focused on Buffy as Giles stood a little awkwardly. Highly aware that he was alone with the vampire that had once taken great delight in torturing him for information. "So, you were against a surprise party too, huh." Angelus murmured quietly, not bothering to grace Giles with his gaze, keeping it focused on Buffy.

Giles fidgeted with his glasses, pushing his spectacles further up the bridge of his nose. "Uh, yes, I guess you could say that." He replied, feeling awkward as he stood, but as of yet unwilling to sit.

"And how do you feel about this meeting she's having with this Military commander?" Angelus asked a frown darkening his brow as he practically jumped straight to the point of his hanging around when the object of his affection was across the room.

Giles glanced over at Angelus. "I have mixed feelings about that actually." He admitted. "We need to know more about them, but at the same time… we don't know enough about them for me to be completely comfortable with the fact that she'll be completely alone with them, but it's only a one on one meeting…" Giles turned a firmer gaze on Angelus. "Why do you know something?" He asked turning fully to face Angelus.

Angelus gave a shrug that looked nonchalant, but was anything but. "I don't know, but I have a bad feeling… a very bad feeling. They may be anti-demon, but that doesn't make them pro-human." Angelus frown deepened his gaze still on Buffy, his dead heart seizing slightly in his chest at the thought of something happening to her. "I do know is that they preform experiments… and experiments can be awfully close to other things…" He murmured darkly.

Giles gaze narrowed on Angelus. "What type of other things?" He asked. Angelus turned his gaze from Buffy to meet Giles blue gaze.

And it was that gaze that told Giles all he needed to know, and it was a knowledge that had Giles worry seizing in his chest. "Well, we must remember that these are actual humans, not sadistic vampires… that take pleasure in that kind of thing." He murmured with a small uncomfortable cough.

Angelus' gaze darkened on Giles for a moment, before he turned it back on Buffy, who was still talking with Willow and Xander… poising for a picture for a brief moment. "You seem to forget that not all humans are well adjusted. Something I find surprising… Ripper." Angelus murmured softly, his words still managing to send a shiver down Giles spine, as his old nickname filled his ears… reminding him of all the terrible things he had done in his youth. The memories making him swallow convulsively as he watched Angelus walk away from him; heading back over to Buffy, who as if sensing that Angelus was coming turned to face him and offered him a beaming smile. Giles sighed as he sat down on the chair he had abandoned when Willow had joined him briefly. He hoped that Angelus' feeling was wrong, and that this military group would turn out to be friend rather than foe as Angelus seemed to believe…

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

"I'm not really sure that this is a good idea?" Buffy mumbled against Angelus' lips as he greedily attacked her lips with affectionate kisses that had heat pooling in her core; a heat that grew with each kiss he placed against them.

"What's not good about it?" Angelus murmured huskily against her lips, the moonlight that was pooling into the dorm room that his girl shared with Willow, to his eyes, giving Buffy an ethereal glow as the silverly light bouncing off her golden blond hair; highlighting it.

Buffy moaned against his lips, struggling to keep her thoughts flowing logically against the affectionate assault of Angelus' lips against hers; the feeling befuddling her senses, making her want to just forget about the niggling reservations she had and just melt into him. "Mm, what about the party? We just left without saying goodbye… or anything… they could come looking for us?" She managed to get out past her lips in between the almost fevered kisses that Angelus was giving her.

Angelus chuckled as he manoeuvred them over to Buffy's desk, swiping his arm across the surface knocking books and pens alike to the ground with a thud, before swing Buffy around, his hands settling on her hips for a moment to lift her effortlessly up onto it. Buffy bit her lip with her front teeth as she stared up at Angelus from under her lashes. She felt his hands come to rest on her thighs, before he pressed them further apart with a gentle pressure so that he could step between them. "So?" Angelus murmured as he laid siege to her lips again.

"Mm, what… what if Will-Will, walks in on us?" Buffy gasped out, her hands coming up to grasp at Angelus chest through the fine silk of his shirt.

"Doubtful." Angelus assured her as he grasped the hem of her shirt and began pulling it up her body, glad when Buffy raised her arms to allow him to pull it up over her head. "I'm sure that they'll all be at the party for a while yet." Buffy tried to murmur something; something that was unintelligible to even his keen ears when her words turned into a low moan as his fingers teased the nipple of her left breast, sending a hot bolt of pleasure shooting from her breast down into her already hot core. Angelus sighed as he pulled back a little, his fingers still curled around her pebbled nipple through the soft material of her bra. "Do you want me to stop?" He asked reluctantly.

"No!" Buffy replied immediately, the slightest hint of panic in her voice at the idea of being left with the pleasant aching that he had so effortlessly aroused in her body without chance of the relief of an orgasm.

"Good," Angelus murmured in relief. "'Cause, I really didn't want to." He informed her as he swooped down on her again. His lips taking hers again in a heated kiss, his hands falling to the clasps of Buffy's jeans, easily manoeuvring them open with flicks of his fingers, before he began tugging them down over her hips, until they dangled over her ankles, the runners she was wearing preventing the material from falling to the dorm room floor.

Buffy let out a moan of regret and loss as Angelus pulled away from her mouth, her eyes opening for a moment to see the top of his head for a moment before her eyes fluttered closed once again as she leaned back on her hands; arching her chest up so that he could have better access to the suddenly needy flesh there.

Angelus nipped and licked at the exposed flesh cupping the swelling mounds in his hands for a moment as he lavished attention on her heaving breasts as Buffy began to fight for air as the pleasurable sensations rose up inside of her with his every ministration. To her disappointment he didn't pay attention to the aching buds of her breasts for long, his skilful mouth moving down her belly and Buffy couldn't help the giggle that erupted from all of a sudden as his lips found a ticklish spot. She tried to jerk back for a moment as she felt him smile against her skin, before he teased the spot mercilessly, his hands keeping her in place with an effort as she writhed to get a way; tears of laughter eventually coming to pool under the closed lids of her eyes before he moved on. Continuing his downward journey, quickly reaching his destination; which had Buffy jerking for a whole other reason as she felt his mouth settle on her pussy through the material of her panties.

"Angelus!" Buffy cried out, her hips jerking up off the desk for a moment, at the feel of his cool tongue pressing against the heated flesh of her pussy through the cotton of her panties. The cloth irritatingly dulling the sensation of his tongue against her needy flesh; one of her hands coming up to place itself on top of his head, feeling the gelled hair underneath her fingers as she held him against her trying to press him closer; eager to feel the sensations his tongue could invoke more fully.

Angelus chuckled against her flesh, feeling her impatience in the quiver in her hand and arch of her hips as she pressed herself against him wantonly. "A little impatient tonight, Buff?" He teased.

The flush to Buffy's cheeks got brighter in slight embarrassment at his teasing comment. "Stop teasing, Angelus." She grumbled a little sharper than she had meant to, in her embarrassment.

Angelus leaned back up, his brown eyes searching; his hand coming up to touch her cheek. "Hey, that wasn't supposed to be a bad thing."

Buffy bit her lower lip for a moment a she stared up at him, embarrassed for a moment that she had taken his words the wrong way. "Just shut up and kiss me!"

"My pleasure," Angelus almost purred huskily, before he dipped back down and pressed his lips back to the hot needy flesh of her pussy.

Buffy gasped, her hands clenching around the desk tightly, almost breaking the edge of her wooden desk. "I-I meant my lips!" She exclaimed.

Angelus chuckled against her femininity, causing Buffy to gasp again at the pleasurable shocks it sent up into her core, causing her juices to gush from her in a heated rush, wetting thoroughly wetting her panties. "I am." He informed.

"Ah-ha…" Buffy cried out as Angelus shifted her panties out of the way and she felt his cool tongue directly against her heated sensitive needy flesh. "Not the lips I meant!" She gasped out breathily, her mouth.

Angelus smirked against the vulnerable flesh of her pussy. "But, these lips have been woefully neglected." He murmured just loud enough for her to hear, he didn't wait for her to reply as he flicked his tongue and over her quivering clit making the next sound out of her mouth to be a moan. As he lapped at her hot vulnerable flesh using all the skills he'd learned in all his years of debauchery to keep her brain from thinking of anything, but the pleasure that he could give her causing nothing, but keening moans to pass through her parted lips as she arched into his touch; her eyes screwed shut as she clutched helplessly at the desk as she rolled her hips up against his mouth wanting to get as close to him as she possibly could… to the sensations his lips were building up inside of her.

Buffy let out an endless stream of keening cries as she felt herself getting closer and closer to her crisis. Buffy's legs came up to rest over his shoulders, pressing her thighs against Angelus' back. trying to press him closer to her, not wanting him to be able to pull him away, but her efforts were wasted as just as she was felt like she was going to fall over the edge into bliss, Angelus pulled away from her needy flesh; leaving her wanting. "No! No, Angelus!" Buffy whined as he came back up, sliding her legs from his shoulders as he did so. "You're such a tease!" She pouted up at him as he caught her hands as she moved to finish herself off.

"Just be a little more patient." He murmured.

Buffy frowned up at him, in no mood to be told to be patient, when her entire body was screaming for a release… a release that she had been so cruelly denied! Shoving him in the chest, forcing him to take a step back from her allowing her the room to slide down onto her feet in front of him. Shoving him again, this time much harder she propelled him back onto her bed, before she quickly followed him. Straddling him with her thighs whilst using her hands to pin him to the mattress. "I'm not really feeling all that patient right now." She grumbled as Angelus looked up at her a little surprised at the sudden turn about.

"I can see that." Angelus managed to get out just before Buffy kissed him passionately; her hands moving from pinning his wrists to work on unbuttoning his shirt.

Angelus didn't remain still for long as immediately his hands went to work to remove her bra. Buffy paused in removing Angelus' shirt so that she could toss her bra away, before tugging his shirt out from his leather pants Angelus sat up off the mattress, his mouth taking hers in a heated kiss as he pulled his shirt down and off his arms before tossing it aside. His hands sliding up her sides, before he turned them over settling himself on top of Buffy as he once again took control as he settled himself down on top of her. Buffy wasn't fussed at all at the change of control as his mouth and hands moved over her body, working her up once again as her hands worked on his leather pants; managing to get the snaps undone with relative ease. With an ease born of experience Angelus helped her with one hand to remove his leather pants as his free one pulled her panties down her thighs.

Disregarding the last of their clothes, their thoughts solely on each other as they lost themselves in the moment. Buffy moaned loudly as she felt Angelus finally fill her; the turgid length of him stretching her, giving her a satisfyingly full feeling. Buffy wrapped her legs around his hips as she arched her back off the bed, pressing herself against him as they began moving together with an urgent need. Buffy gazed up at the ceiling, not really seeing it as she luxuriated in the sensations that were surging through her blood; setting all her senses on fire!

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Willow stood on her toes as she surveyed the rec room for Buffy's familiar blond head wondering if her friend was hiding in amongst the other party-goers. "Where'd Buffy go?" She asked Xander a small frown darkening her brow.

Xander didn't even bother glancing about the room, having caught sight of Buffy as she left with Angelus. "She wanted some alone time." He muttered under his breath.

"Oh, did she speak to you before she left? Did she need someone to talk to?" Willow asked curiously, wondering when Buffy had come upon Xander alone without her noticing.

Xander gave Willow a look; a look that had her looking confused causing Xander to sigh in frustration. "Think about it Will, Tall, dark and soulless is notably absent as well." Willow's mouth opened in an 'o' as she suddenly realized what Xander was getting out; her eyes scanning the rec room for the dark vampire, only to realize that he had also disappeared.

Anya touched Xander's arm drawing her boyfriend's attention to her. "If the birthday girls left that means we can to right?"

"Uh An, we're still mingling here… with friends. This is fun remember." Xander said a little awkwardly, giving his best friend an apologetic look, before turning his attention back to Anya as she began to speak again.

"But I'm bored!" Anya pouted. "And these aren't our friends. I don't know half of them."

"Uh…" Xander muttered, wondering what he could say to placate her; not quite ready to leave himself just yet. He found that he enjoyed being able to hang out on campus whilst not putting in the work of a college student. "How about we get something else to eat?" He suggested.

"Fine," Anya pouted as she allowed Xander to lead her away towards one of the food tables.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

With a sudden twist of her hips, Buffy rolled them over, her hands coming to rest on his chest as she loomed over him as she began bobbing up and down on him as she set the pace that she wanted. Angelus groaned deep in his throat as he lifted his hips up off the mattress to meet Buffy's every desperate thrust, the lusty cries coming from her lips spurring him on almost as much as the hot tight wetness of her femininity clutching around his driving cock. Buffy's body tensed and she moved quicker as she felt herself getting closer and closer, a drop of sweat running coolly down her spine making her shiver just before her orgasm crashed over her senses making her lose complete control of her body and she slumped forward against Angelus' chest with a breathless cry of release as her core spasmed heavily around his cock.

Angelus wrapped his arms around Buffy's small body as he continued to thrust up into her quivering body; the power behind them enough to break bones in a normal human. Buffy gasped against his neck as she felt herself building up a second time as her sheath began spasming softly again at the feel of his almost desperate thrusts. A sense of feminine power filling her at the idea that she could make him feel desperate for anything. Buffy sank her teeth into Angelus' neck just as she felt herself about to fall over the edge, a muffled moan escaping her as she did; Angelus joining her as her bite sent him flying over the edge.

Together they lay like that, breathing hard as they drifted in their shared afterglow. After a long moment, Buffy shifted slightly, her eyes focused on his neck, where she had bitten him in a moment of passion. "Oops, I didn't think I bit you so hard." She murmured apologetically as she touched the bite mark.

Angelus gave a small chuckle. "I'm sure I'll live."

"Yeah, but I didn't mean to leave a mark." She muttered as she slowly rolled off him and onto her side beside him, her head coming to rest high up on his upper arm; close to his shoulder. "Hmmm, perhaps you should leave some pyjama pants here." She murmured, before she yawned, feeling contentedly tired as she rested against him, one of her arms coming up to rest on his chest as she snuggled in against him.

"I don't do pyjamas, Buff." Angelus said with another chuckle.

"Yeah, but what if Willow walks in here, you're gonna be butt naked." Buffy muttered, not liking the idea of her best friend walking in to their dorm to see Angelus butt naked.

"Are you saying that you want me to stay tonight?" Angelus asked as he shifted his arm down to wrap around her back; holding her against his side.

Buffy shrugged as she rested against him. "Well, it would be a nice way to wrap up the best Buffy birthday in a long while."

Angelus shifted onto his side, his arm still pillowing Buffy's head. "The best one, huh?" He murmured with a cocky smile curling up his lips.

"Of course, no demon gate-crashers at my surprise party, I haven't had to slay anything all day and… my boyfriend has been very good to me all day." Buffy said with a warm smile as her body still felt warm and somewhat sluggish in the aftermath of her orgasm. Her hand that was resting on his chest sliding down to hers as she touched the Celtic pendant he had gifted her with.

"Then I'll stay." He murmured, before he sat up disturbing Buffy's comfortable position. Together they pulled the covers out from underneath them, before they settled underneath them in the small bed.

Silence prevailed in the room for the moment, before Buffy sat up silently looking down at Angelus curiously. "Hey, when's your birthday… or do vampire's not have any?"

"Of course we do." Angelus replied as he stared up at Buffy as she loomed over him, her expression expectant as she waited for an answer.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

A few hours later Willow opened the door to her dorm expecting to find it empty, but as she stood in the door way her hand reaching for the light, she paused as her eyes took in the clothes strewn about the room from the light coming in from the hallway. Her gaze immediately went to Buffy's bed to see the large lump of two people lying in the one small bed the campus provided for them. Her eyes taking in the expanse of Angelus naked pale back, the griffin tattoo on his back shadowy in the light that was pooling in from the hallway and the moon. "Oh," She muttered her gaze going about the room again, her eyes widening further as her gaze landed on a pair of black masculine leather pants. "Oh!" She gasped again. 'He's naked! Naked under the sheets with Buffy… meaning Buffy's naked to! Naked people!'

Willow backed out of the room as she held her breath, not wanting to wake either of them. Closing the door carefully she leaned against it for a moment as her brain process what she had just seen… before she gave her head a shake and began moving down the hall, wondering if Tara would still be awake and would mind keeping her company. The idea of having to return to her parents place rather unappealing to her.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Xander stood with his arms crossed over his chest, his entire body radiating with irritation as he watched the peroxide blond nuisance he'd been forced to babysit for the past few days walk back and forth around his basement. Whilst Anya lounged comfortably in the recliner, half-heartedly browsing through a comic book, not in the least concerned with how long Spike was taking in gathering his belongings. "You own nothing. This shouldn't be taking so long." Xander grumbled as he followed Spike's progress across his basement apartment.

"Hang on. Let a fella get organized." Spike muttered nonchalantly, the boys irritation not fazing him in the slightest. His gaze fell on a radio and picks it up to put in the box that was supposedly filled with his belongings.

"That's my radio!" Xander exclaimed as he saw Spike put it in his box.

Spike gave Xander a look. "And you're what? Shocked and disappointed? I'm evil!" He explained as he tucked the radio in the box.

Anya completely bored with the comic closed it and tossed it back onto the table she had found it. "So, what kind of place are you looking for?" She asked, drawing Spike's attention.

"I don't know." He shrugged as he continued to putter around, looking for anything else he might like to take with him to his new home. "Maybe a crypt. Some place, you know, dark and dank. But not as dark and dank as this."

"Heh," Anya muttered as she looked around the basement that Xander called home. "It's pretty depressing, isn't it?"

Spike smirked at her. "I've known corpses with a fresher smell. In fact, I've been one." He taunted the irritated boy as he flicked his almost burnt out cigarette away.

"That's it!" Xander growled, not appreciating the deprecating comments about the place that he was calling home. "Let's go." He demanded as he stalked towards the peroxide blond, grasping him by his leather jacket and began marching him towards the stairs, forcing Spike to have to quickly grasp the box that he had filled with things that were his and things that weren't.

"Wait." Anya called causing Xander to hold up as the two of them looked at her curiously as she jumped up from the recliner and moved past them towards the fold out couch that Xander was using as a bed. Quickly unplugging the tall lamp and carried it over to Spike in an attempt to give him a parting gift. "I want to give you something for your new place." She explained.

"That's my lamp." Xander grumbled, snatching it back from his girlfriend before Spike could grasp his greedy hands on it. Releasing Spike so that he could return it to its original position.

"A gift is traditional. I've read about it." Anya explained with a confused frown wondering why Xander was so annoyed.

"That's among friends. With bitter enemies we don't give them my lamp." Xander muttered, sarcasm lacing his voice.

Spike shrugged nonchalantly. "It's not gonna have electricity anyway. It's a crypt, remember?"

"What about running water?" Anya asked curiously. "A fridge to keep your blood fresh?"

Spike was silent for a moment, not having thought of that. "No." He murmured.

"Well, that's gotta suck." Anya replied with a shrug. "You should just get a hotel room or something."

Spike was once again silent for a moment as he considered Anya's words, before turning his full attention to Xander. "Demon girl's got a point. I need fresh blood. If I had a few bob for a room with a honor bar…"

"Out!" Xander cut him off, his arm pointed towards the stairs. "Before I get The Slayer over here to kick your ass out!"

Spike sighed, the crypt that he had wanted before seeming dull in comparison to an apartment with electricity and an bar. "Don't know why she didn't come. Say good-bye, shed a few tears."

"Well, she has an appointment with somebody who's actually still scary!" Xander growled, wanting this whole ordeal over with so that he could relax with Anya.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy sat awkwardly in Professor Walsh's office with Riley standing behind her; his arms folded over his chest as he observed everything that had been said between the two so far. "So, The Slayer." Walsh commented after a moment of silence, not quite sure that she believed her luck.

"Yeah, that's me." Buffy confirmed uncomfortably. Her entire being feeling out of place in this office discussing her mission… and the job that the military group, she know knew was called The Initiative, did. The small hairs on the back of her neck standing on end; something about this whole situation seeming somewhat off to her… but that didn't make sense, everything about this meeting had been friendly so far; there was absolutely no reason for the hairs on the back of her neck to be standing on end… it was probably just her own reservations about talking about her secret with someone until not that long ago was just an ordinary Professor at the University. And was now some kind of Commander of The Initiative.

"We thought you were a myth." Walsh said as she sat forward in her chair, her gaze intense as she stared at her student.

"Well… you were myth-taken." Buffy said with a brave smile, trying to lighten the mood in the office, only for the air to seem to thicken about her and her smile quickly slid off her face.

"And to think all that time you were sitting in my class. Well, most of those times." Walsh corrected herself.

"Well, I did try to make it to all my classes, but… demons aren't all that considerate of schedules and all."

"Oh, of that I'm sure." Walsh interlaced her fingers as she continued to stare at Buffy intensely. "I'm eager to learn more about what is it you do as The Slayer. Your technic… I understand that you poke them with a sharp stick."

Buffy nodded. "Well, it's more effective than it sounds."

"This is really all very fascinating. I never thought that The Slayer was real, let alone get to meet one. One that is in my very class. I'm sure that we'll be able to learn a lot from each other, Buffy. I'm working on getting you clearance to come into The Initiative. I think you'll find the results of our operation quite impressive." Walsh glanced over at Riley, her gaze softening slightly as she looked over at him. "Agent Finn here, alone, has killed or captured… how many is it?" She asked him.

"Seventeen." Riley said with pride in his voice. "Eleven vampires, six demons."

"Oh…" Buffy murmured softly as she tried to sound at least a little impressed… "I mean that's seventeen…" She tried again, her discomfiture growing as she struggled to think of something to say.

"What about you?" Walsh asked.

Buffy blinked the question seeming sudden to Buffy's ears. "Me?" She asked awkwardly hoping that her Professor wasn't asking what she thought she was.

"How many hostiles would you say you've slain?" Walsh clarified, and Buffy swallowed thickly, not wanting to step on anyone's toes or make Riley feel obsolete with the answer… besides she wasn't even sure she could say with absolute certainty that she knew exactly how many demons and vampire's she had slain over the years… there was just too many!

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles stood dusting one of his many bookcases, having nothing else better to do to ease the tedious boredom that had seemed to weigh him down the moment he had opened his eyes that morning. His feather duster paused in its motion as he froze all of a sudden as his gaze landed on a book title; the name jogging a memory. Stuffing the handle of the feather duster between his teeth, he picked up the old tome that had caught her attention. Opening the old book, he flicked through the old pages until he got to the one that he wanted. He frowned as he read as swiftly as he could; his heart beating uncomfortably in his chest as he read the Latin words. Lifting a hand away from the book as he sat down as he did a quick calculation with his fingers, his face paling as he did so; removing the feather duster from his mouth. "Third new moon after the… nine hundredth feast of Delthrox." He muttered before looking up from the book. "Oh," He stood up from the uncomfortable seat he had taken. "Crap." He cursed under his breath.

After a few short moments Giles stood in front of his work desk, gathering up the supplies he had hurriedly compiled, an old phone pressed between his ear and shoulder; needing both his hands free as he hurriedly packed a bag, doing his best to think about what he was packing whilst talking on the phone to Willow. "No, we can't wait for her, Willow. The demon Prince Barvain is going to rise tonight." He listened for a moment as he stuffed another of his gathered supplies into the bag he had unearthed in his condo. "Well… where is she, exactly?" He asked with a small amount of impatience.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Riley and Professor Walsh watched the door to Walsh's office close behind Buffy as she exited the office. Silence remained between them as one stood shocked and the other sat in excited silence, not able to believe their luck. After a moment Riley turned his gaze from the door to look at his superior. "Are you sure?" He asked drawing Walsh's gaze. "I mean there has to be a better way…"

"There is no other way, Agent Finn. We need all the information that we can get off her. I never thought that we would have an opportunity like this. You heard what she just said, we would be foolish to let an opportunity like this slide, over a bleeding heart. She is just one girl… just think how much more we could do if we found out more about her."

Walsh stood from her office chair and gave Riley a commanding look. "You know what needs to be done, Agent Finn." Riley hesitated for the briefest of moments, before he nodded his acceptance of the orders he had been given after explaining to Walsh what he had found; he had hoped that the order would be rescinded after this meeting had taken place. The two walked towards the office door, Walsh was about to open the door for Riley when she placed a hand on his arm. "Riley, I know that she is a sweet girl, but we can let something like that get in the way of our operation. You do understand, don't you, Riley?"

Riley nodded again, as he swallowed thickly. "I do. I just wish that there was another way to get the information we need."

"So, do I," Walsh informed him, before opening the door. "Now, I have a lot of work to do." Riley nodded and stepped out of the office. Walsh watched him go for a short moment, before closing the door behind him and moving back towards her desk; her mind still whirling with excitement over her astonishing find.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy turned a corner into another hall a small frown on her face; a frown that disappeared as she saw the familiar dark figure coming down the hall towards her. "Hey, I didn't realize that you were going to be here." She greeted as they came to a stop in the hall.

"Like I could stay away, when you were meeting with a Commander of that military group that's infiltrating Sunnydale." Angelus said a little grumpily, still not happy that she had gone ahead a meet with them despite all his warnings and misgivings. Buffy's expression turned a little guilty, not liking that she had made Angelus worry about her. "So, how did the meeting go?" He asked as they began moving back down the hall; going back the way he had come.

Buffy shrugged. "To be honest it was kinda awkward." She admitted. "For a few moments there I saw Professor Walsh wanted to devour me whole she was staring at me that intently." She attempted a soft chuckle in an attempt to brush it off.

Angelus frowned not liking the sound of that. "Oh, really." He muttered under his breath.

"But, I'm sure it's nothing serious. Probably just a reaction from all my nerves." Buffy excused with what she hoped was a dismissive wave of her hand. "Oh, but I did learn that they this particular branch of the military is called The Initiative." She added brightly.

Angelus tensed slightly as they continued to walk side by side. "Is that all?"

Buffy shrugged. "Well, there were other things, but it was just confirmation of what we already knew. I'm sure we'll learn more once I get inside."

Angelus froze in his tracks his hand coming up to grip her arm; perhaps a bit harder than necessary, stopping Buffy in her tracks to. "What do you mean, 'once you get inside'?" Angelus asked demandingly.

"Professor Walsh. She's getting me clearance to go into The Initiative." Buffy explained nonchalantly. "Uh, Angelus… you're hurting my arm." She told him as his grip hardened further around her slim arm. Immediately Angelus released her arm not having meant to hurt her. "Relax, I'm not planning to join. Just poke around a little. Learn more about them."

Angelus followed Buffy as she began moving down the hall once again; easily catching her up with his longer stride. "I know that you're not planning to join, but Buff I don't trust them."

Buffy glanced up at him, her smaller hand touching his, before sliding into it. Her fingers curling about his. "So, I take it that this is the military group that you've come across before."

Angelus nodded, before glancing down at her; meeting her gaze. "It is, but even if it wasn't. I'd still have a bad feeling… I'd much prefer to be able to go with you."

Buffy gave him a small smile. "I'd like that. I'd like that a lot, but I don't think it would be a good idea for them to spend too much time around you. I mean look what they did to Spike. I don't think they'd have any compunction about doing the same thing to you if they found out what you are… even if you are close to me." Angelus nodded his agreement of her assessment, The Initiative's agenda sure had seemed to change since the time they'd sort of ambushed Angel and coerced him into helping them…

"But don't worry too much. I swear I'll be careful. And that I won't be there any longer than necessary. It's not like I'm all that fond of the way they go about their operation either." Buffy smiled up at Angelus brightly eager to change the topic. "Well, seeing as you're here, how about we go get a coffee… and maybe a slice of strawberry cake from that little cute little cake shop across the road from Starbucks." She suggested brightly. Angelus sighed not appeased at all by her change of subject but allowed her to lead him along as they walked together. He just couldn't shake the feeling that no matter how careful she was, that once they had her… The Initiative wouldn't let her go all that easily… 'Experiments are awfully close to torture.' Ran through his brain once again and his hand tightened about Buffy's. Images of her bleeding and broken form causing bile to rise up in his throat and his dead heart restrict when once the idea had brought him great joy.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles breathed a sigh of relief as he finally made it up to the door of Professor Walsh's office. He still couldn't believe that in the 'excitement' of finding out that another apocalyptic event was on the horizon that he'd forgotten that Buffy had said that she would be here… but then… he hadn't thought that it would take it all that long. 'Experiments are awfully close to torture.' He could hear Angelus' voice whisper in his mind and he shuddered at the idea. He forced himself to pause to regain his composer, he sure that everything would be alright. Of course Angelus would jump straight to that conclusion, it was in his own nature to want to torture and bring an ugly death to those around him. Something that courting Buffy seemed to have put a stopper on for the time being. So it made sense that he would expect the same from others…

Raising his arm he knocked smartly on the door and after a short moment he heard a female voice reply to it. "Yeah?"

Immediately Giles opened the door and stepped inside the office, his eyes immediately going to the woman who was standing behind her desk her eyes some papers. "Professor Walsh, I presume." Giles greeted causing Walsh to look up a little surprised at the unfamiliar voice. Having expected one of her students or a T.A. "You're hard to find, these-these halls are quite the labyrinth. I felt like Theseus and the Minotaur in the… labyrinth." Giles murmured, adjusting his glasses. His comment which he had meant to be witty ending flatly under her unimpressed cool gaze.

"Can I help you with something Mr…" Walsh said after a beat, trailing off as she realized that she had no idea who the gentleman was.

"Giles." He responded immediately. "Rupert." He added with a small wince realizing that he had used his last name. A habit he had picked up from the young adults he worked so closely with. Walking over to Walsh, he offered his hand to the her; Walsh accepting it out of habit. "I'm looking for Buffy Summers. I'm uh, a friend of hers. And I was her high school librarian." He added at the look she gave him.

Walsh returned her attention to the papers she had been looking at before his interruption. "I'm sorry, Buffy's not here. But if I see her…" She trailed off not seeing the need to finish the obvious end to the sentence.

Giles gaze had turned to the wall, where Walsh's credentials hung for all to see. "Buffy's been very influenced by your course. She quotes you quite often." He smiled affectionately as he returned his gaze to Walsh who was once again looking at him. "Sometimes she sounds like and introductory text book herself." He commented, meaning it to be a compliment.

Walsh walked past him, opening the filing cabinet she filed the documents she had been looking at swiftly. Effortlessly popping them back into place without having to search for the file. "I don't lecture from the text book." Walsh informed him, her voice slightly cool. "But I'm glad she's inspired by the material. She's bright. All she's really been lacking is encouragement in the academic sect." She continued on.

Giles swallowed, feeling her words hit him sharply, almost like a slap to the face. "Oh, uh," He stuttered as he tried to gather his thoughts through his shock. "I think it's best if-if… if we let a young person find their own strengths. If you lead a child by the hand then they'll never find their own footing."

"And if it's true about hiking, ergo, it must be true about life." Walsh came back at him without even pausing a beat.

In a habitual movement Giles removed his glasses, as his other hand slipped into his pocket to pull out a handkerchief to clean the lenses. "That's not uh…" He stuttered as he tried to control his anger and gather his thoughts. "I'm just saying, Buffy is, uh… well she's not the typical student." His words made Walsh look at him a little differently for a moment; even considering, before she shook the idea away. There was no way that this gentleman could know about Buffy's secret; she hadn't mentioned him after all. "Once you get to know her, she's a very unique girl. I hope you're not going to push her."

"I think I do know her." Walsh said confidently. "And I have found her to be a unique woman." She said pointedly as she came around her desk to sit in the chair, Buffy had been sitting in earlier that afternoon.

"Woman. Of course." Giles murmured as he replaced his glasses. "How wrong of me to choose my own words."

"She's very self-reliant, very independent…" Walsh continued.

Giles stepped towards her, feeling like the conversation was finally going to turn in his favour. "Exactly." He exclaimed happily.

"Which is not always a good thing." Causing Giles expression to freeze, not having expected to hear that from the woman; a woman he was swiftly beginning to dislike. "I think it can be unhealthy to take on adult roles too early. What I suspect I'm seeing is a reaction to the absence of a male role model." Walsh informed him with confidence. Unwittingly showing just how little she knew about Buffy and what being The Slayer entailed.

Giles narrowed his eyes on the woman who was staring up at him with a cool confident gaze. "Absence?" He questioned, continuing to try and keep his rising temper under control.

"Buffy clearly lacks a strong father figure." Walsh replied calmly, her gaze locking with the man who was staring at her speechless, before she got up from the seat she had taken. "I'm sorry, I have things to do. I'll tell, Buffy her 'friend' was looking for her."

Walsh turned her attention away from the gentleman fully expecting him to leave as she moved back around her desk. Giles stared at Walsh for a moment wanting nothing more than to vent at least some of the anger he was feeling out on the infuriating woman, before he turned to leave. Now wasn't the time to get into a battle of wits with the woman, not when he had other much more important things to do!

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy glared up at Angelus as he stood before her, her arms chained behind her on the plush chair he had locked her into. "Aren't you taking this a little too far?" Buffy asked, her annoyance clear in her tone.

Angelus sighed as he stared down at her, meeting her angry gaze unflinchingly. Despite how much he hated that she was looking at him like that. "I don't want you getting any closer to The Initiative and if this is the only way to keep you away from them for the moment… then no I don't believe I am taking it too far." He said firmly.

Buffy's glare was coupled with a deep frown as she continued to look up at him angrily. "So, you think that I can't handle myself. Way to give me a complex, Angelus." She grumbled moodily as she jerked at the manacles that were chaffing at her wrists slightly; something that was made worse by her squirming.

Angelus sighed again, this time scrubbing his hand through his spiked up hair. "Buffy, you aren't going to break those. I had them made… a long while ago… you won't be able to get through them."

"I wouldn't have to if you hadn't chained me up to begin with." She sighed irritated as she took a break. "I thought that we were past the whole chair and chains bit. I mean I thought we were having a good time. What with the coffee and the cake…"

"We were." Angelus assured her, before kneeling down in front of her, his hands coming to rest on her knees. Feeling the irritation radiating from the muscles as they trembled beneath the palms of his hands, and he was suddenly glad that he had thought to chain her feet together to, otherwise he was sure he would be on the floor right now clutching his family jewels and gasping for his unneeded breaths. "It's not that I don't think you can't handle yourself, because I know you can." He told her firmly, causing Buffy to raise a slightly sceptical eyebrow at him as she jerked at her chains again. "But you'd be one against an army, Buff. And I don't trust them to not turn against you the moment they realize that they can't control you… that you won't conform."

Buffy's expression softened as she felt her annoyance begin to disappear in light of the obvious worry that he was struggling with. Something she was sure he wasn't used to feeling. "You really, really have a problem with these guys don't you. It's not just a nagging feeling… it's deep rooted, huh." She murmured softly, wishing that she could touch him and convey just how much it meant to her that he cared so much… despite his method of dealing with it.

Angelus looked up at her, his dark eyes serious in his worry. "You have no idea." He muttered. "I just think… I know that if they get you alone that something horrible is going to happen to you… and no matter how many times I tell myself that you can handle yourself and can fight or quip your way out of any situation… I can't shake it."

"Wow," Buffy murmured under her breath. She hadn't thought that the feeling had run so deep inside of him. Her shoulders sank slightly as the last of her irritation left her, leaving her feeling slightly empty for a moment, before it was replaced with a much softer emotion.

"So, please, just bear with me." Angelus said, before he stood back up, placing a kiss to Buffy's forehead, before he turned and began walking out of the entrance hall they were in.

Buffy stared after him, straightening up as she realized he was about to leave her alone. "Hang on, Angelus! Where are you going… don't…" Buffy sighed as she saw him exit the room and soon felt his presence fade completely as he left the mansion completely. "I was going to say 'alright, I won't do it. We'll think of some other way to get information.'" Leaning her head back against the soft cushion on the back of the chair. "This is going to be a long night." She muttered, but hopefully she wouldn't spend all of it chains…

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Xander and Willow followed Giles a little glumly through the cemetery; neither of them really wanting to be there. Their steps quick as they hurried to keep up with Giles almost frantic pace. "This prince/demon guy was supposed to rise at sunset so aren't we, like… late?" She asked, a little hopeful that they would be able to go home.

"Of course," Giles grumbled irritated. "If I hadn't had to search the globe for our Ms Summers and do battle with that harridan…"

"And if you hadn't gotten lost on campus afterwards…" Xander interrupted, only to trail off at the look Giles shot him.

"Did you think to check Angelus' mansion?" Willow asked, a little breathless as she practically hoped a step to keep pace.

"Never mind." Giles said quickly, a slight flush heating his cheeks. Willow and Xander looked at each other and rolled their eyes, the both of them knowing that that answer meant one of two things.

1. He hadn't thought of it or 2. He'd thought of it and hadn't wanted to go in on his own in case he accidentally saw something he didn't want to… Willow felt a flush heat her own cheeks as she remembered walking into her dorm the other night and finding Angelus and Buffy both naked; under the sheets but naked none the less. "I'll just have to take care of it myself." Giles continued completely unaware of the thoughts of his companions. "I've vanquished a few demons in my day without her. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if we're entirely too late. Demon on the loose, carnage everywhere," He said decisively as they reached a mausoleum. Giles pushed open the wrought iron gate and the three of them stepped inside of the old stone building. Opening the interior door that was still closed, much to Giles surprise; a surprise that he kept to himself, knowing that they would find evidence of the princes rising inside the old mausoleum.

As they stepped down into the stone structure, dust gathered on everything and a musty old smell in the air, but apart from that everything was peaceful and undisturbed nothing like the carnage and devastation Giles had spent the entire trip over telling them about. "Your better demons will clean up after themselves." Xander quipped as he took in the large completely undisturbed cobwebs that practically covered every inch of the old walls.

Giles frowned as he looked around confused. "I don't understand…" He muttered as he moved to the centre of the mausoleum floor. Turning on his flash light as if hoping that the light would reveal some kind of devastation that they had missed before. "Umm, there should be ruptured earth and-and broken stone." Shrugging it off. "Oh, well, apparently it hasn't happened yet. A bit of luck." He said calmly as he set down his bag of supplies and squatted down over it, beginning to unpack the supplies he brought.

"Or, you know what, I bet?" Willow spoke up causing Giles to look up from unpacking his bag. "I-I bet the military group took care of it."

Giles gave her a confused look. "What?" He asked not sure what the military group had to do with. Sure he knew that Buffy had found a way to get more information about the group, but there was nothing about them that suggested that they dealt with this kind of thing…

"Oh, Riley and his team, probably all over it." Xander said with a nod as he looked around the mausoleum again with a new appreciation.

"Yeah. It has that 'too neat' look. They must have cleaned up the place." Willow said agreeably completely unaware of the ticking bomb that was Giles temper they had created.

"What?" Giles questioned again, looking really rather lost. Wondering how they suddenly knew some much more information about the group he had desperately been researching and coming up almost completely empty.

"Oh, they read hot spots. Areas of otherworldly energy." Willow explained, using the deductions she had made with Buffy days ago when she'd talked to them about how she'd seen Riley with a game console looking thing in his hand; looking at it with intensity, that coupled with the fact that he had managed to find his way to the ruins of the old high school. All the while wondering why she had to seeing as Giles had to know all this already. "They must have picked this place up days ago."

Giles stood a frown on his face as once again he felt quiet out of place, and that coupled with the way his meeting had gone with that… that fishwife of a commander made the feeling all the stronger and made his already peaked temper rise just a little further. "Stop, both of you!" He demanded, his brain whirling as he looked at the both of them. Who were looking at him with surprised expressions on their young faces. "Uh, what… uh… what are you talking about? And what does it have to do with the military group?" He asked as he raised the flashlight up so that it was aimed at their faces, that had turned nervous as they glanced at each other.

"You know. I-I'm sure you know." Willow murmured, a guilty hint to her voice, knowing that she hadn't told Giles about it, but she was sure that Buffy had told him. She would have had to! "Riley, the commando that set up the meeting between Buffy and Walsh was at the apocalypse thing at the high school… helped us stop it… or rather saved Buffy when she uh… I mean it's mostly conjecture on our part… I'm sure you know." Willow stuttered nervously.

"What?!" He exclaimed in annoyance. "Well, that's marvellous, isn't it?" He grumbled, before he turned away from them as he fought the urge to stomp his foot in frustration. "Here I am, spent weeks trying, uh, to get a single scrap of information about our mysterious demon collectors and no one bothers to tell me that you were sitting on a nice little pile of new information that could come in handy!" Giles grumbled, before whirling around to face them, his expression accusing and the two could almost see the finger that he wasn't physically pointing at them. "Who else knows?" He demanded to know.

"No one. No one else knows this." Xander hurried to assure Giles before pausing as he realized that he was wrong. "Anya, and that's it!" He corrected, feeling rather nervous under the hard stare Giles was levelling on him.

"A-And Spike." Willow admitted sheepishly. The undead peroxide vampire having been present when they'd met up in Xander's basement. "Oh… and Angelus… of course." She added wincing at the way Giles expression fell.

"Ssspike?! Spike knew?" Giles asked devastated that the annoying vampire was privy to information that they hadn't even bothered to share with him… and they didn't even like the peroxide blond!

"O-Only, because he was bunking down in my place…" Xander tried to assure the ex-Watcher and failed miserably.

"So, th-the demon is probably a little late." Willow said trying to change the subject from their unintended betrayal, and make him feel better. "W-we'll just, you know…"

"Oh forget it." Giles cut her off, in no mood to be placated. "Go on. You two clear off. I'll just stay a little longer just in case." He muttered.

"You sure?" Willow forced herself to ask, wanting to make it up to Giles, despite the fact that his anger made her want to go hide under a rock rather than face it. "'Cause we can stay."

"No. Go." Giles ordered stiffly.

With the both of them eager to escape the brunt of Giles justifiable wrath, Willow and Xander made a hasty retreat back up the stairs and out of the mausoleum. Giles meanwhile sat heavily down on a dusty stone bench, the silence of the mausoleum eating at him like it normally wouldn't. Still he managed to remain seated for a few seconds. "Who am I kidding?" He muttered under his breath; feeling really rather useless in that moment. He got up off the stone bench and hurriedly stuffed his supplies back into his bag; using the exercise to vent some of his anger and frustration. "Nothing is gonna happen." He muttered, finishing his task he got up and stalked out of the mausoleum.

Closing the door behind him, completely unaware that he had been watched the entire time. Ethan stepped out of the shadows he had hidden in the moment he had heard Giles approach, his grey trench coat keeping him warm in the cool mausoleum. His gaze focused on the closed door Giles had just walked through. "I wouldn't say that." He murmured with a smug smile. "I wouldn't say that at all. In fact, Ripper, old mate, I'd say something rather interesting was about to hap…" The door Ethan was staring at suddenly opened again causing him to trail off in surprise.

Giles shone his flashlight into the mausoleum having been lingering outside of the door for a few moments as he tried to gather himself. "Did someone…" He began only to trail off as his flashlight lighted on Ethan Rayne.

"Oh bugger! I thought you'd gone!" Ethan exclaimed wondering just how much his old pal had heard… if anything at all through the thick mausoleum door.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy yawned stretching her still cuffed hands over her head, she was still sitting in the chair Angelus had bound her to earlier that evening; mostly because her feet were still shackled together so that she couldn't go do anything stupid, an empty pizza box on the ground in front of her. "So, are you going to unchain me anytime soon?" Buffy asked casually, as she looked over at Angelus who had lit a fire to warm up the mansion for her as the Californian sun gave way to a cooler night than usual, giving testament to the changing of the seasons. "I mean, I've already promised you that I'm not going to do it. That we'll find another way to get information about The Initiative, what more do you want… a written contract?" She quipped.

Angelus turned his gaze away from the crackling warmth of the fire. "Did you want to be closer to the fire? I can get you a blanket if you're cold." He offered.

Buffy let out a slightly exasperated sigh. "I'll take that as a 'not anytime soon'." She muttered under her breath. She understood why he was doing it, but her wrists were getting sore, not to mention her ankles. Angelus walked over to her and picked up the chair carefully moving both her and the chair closer to the roaring fire. "I wasn't actually cold." Buffy muttered, her arms now resting in her lap. Grateful that Angelus had at least allowed her to keep her arms in front of her now; something he'd done so that she could feed herself the pizza he'd gone out to get her. "You know, most people deal with worry and concern by talking about it. So we could try that… not that bondage isn't fun and all." She quipped.

Angelus sighed again. "I know you, Buff. You may mean what you're saying right now, but if something happened, you'd change your mind and go with the original plan just to get in."

Buffy opened her mouth to refute his statement, only to shut it again, when she realized that he was more than likely right. "Well, there is nothing else I can do, Angelus. So… unless you're going to keep me chained up for the rest of my life…" She paused for a small moment. "Not a course I'd recommend by the way." She said conversationally, a small hint of a warning in her voice.

"It's not going to be for long." Angelus assured her. "Just until there is no chance that The Initiative is going to take you in amongst their midst."

"Ya know, this doesn't bode well for the trust dynamic here." Buffy quipped, beginning to feel tired… and a little drained.

Angelus muttered unintelligibly under his breath, this wasn't working out the way he had wanted it to. "I'm just trying to protect you from yourself, Buff."

Buffy sighed. "I know," She admitted. "And in a way it's very sweet, but seriously… we are both adults here. So… the chains really aren't necessary… I get it, Angelus. I didn't before, but I do now." She murmured. "And I believe you. So, I'm going to do my best to keep my distance from them." Buffy assured him and smiled as Angelus sighed, before pulling the key out of his pocket and bending to unshackle her feet. When he looked up at her she moved her hands so that she could touch his chin and urge him up and towards her so that she could press an affectionate grateful kiss to his lips.

She only found it a little odd that she felt grateful and happy in this moment, instead of the usual annoyance that would normally follow after being chained up for so long. It just touched her so much that he cared enough to want to do it. It may not be the usual way one expressed care and worry, but when one decided to date a vampire; especially one that was fairly new to experience the more tender and affectionate emotions in life… one had to expect large differences in the way it was expressed. "Hey," She murmured as she pulled back from his lips; feeling his hand touch hers as he began to unlock the cuffs. "I love you." She murmured.

Angelus touched his lips to hers again at her words, his tongue flicking out over her lips, causing them to part to accept his tongue and her arms came up to caress his shoulders. "How about we get more comfortable?" Angelus murmured as he slowly pulled back from her.

Buffy sank her pearly white teeth into her lower lip as she smiled up at him in anticipation, before nodding eagerly. Enjoying the fact that she could now feel some confidence in her sexual prowess and more importantly feel beautiful and attractive in Angelus' eyes; she found that her unease with him was swiftly beginning to disappear completely now that she had opened herself up to him and had found her heart handled with care and her trust remained unbroken. It was an empowering feeling… one that she planned to enjoy to the fullest whilst she had the chance. The Slayer's lifespan was far too short to be wasted… and she didn't plan to waste any more of it, now that things were finally falling into place for her; what with her confidence returning.

Angelus stepped back slightly, his hands pulling her up from the chair as their hands began groping at each other; pulling at each other's clothes with a desperation born of passion that was always simmering beneath the surface between them…

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles moved quickly down the steps so that he was standing in front of Ethan, his piercing blue eyes glaring at the man he had once called friend. "Ethan Rayne. You have no idea how much thrashing you is going to improve my day." His blue eyes flashing angrily at him. In a quick move Ethan tried his best to bolt past Giles, only for Giles to move just as swiftly as he raised his arm, angling the torch he was holding in his hand so that the butt of it slammed into Ethan's gut, forcing Ethan to slump forward, his knees weak from the pain causing him to crumple to the dusty mausoleum floor. Without hesitation Giles grasped him by his jacket and jerked him back up, his hand that was still clutching the torch raised in the air ready to swing down through the air to begin to seriously pummel his old friend.

Ethan raised his arms in an attempt to ward off the blows he knew his old friend would rain down on him without hesitation, if he didn't convince him otherwise. "No, no, no! Wait!" Ethan pleaded scared of the pain he knew that old Ripper could dish out when he had the mind; and he seemed to have had the luck to catch him when he was in a particularly foul mood. "Hang on! You-you can beat the crap out of me. Go ahead, I can't stop you!" Giles pulled his fist back further, his lips thinned down as he pursed them. "Or-or you can listen to what I have to say. Find out what's going on." Ethan enticed, hoping that it would be enough to stop the beating that was about to come his way.

Despite himself Giles hesitated. "What are you talking about?" He asked, a dull feeling sinking into his stomach that he was going to regret asking.

"Something bad is happening. Bad for the both of us." Ethan said mysteriously, knowing that he had to keep his old friend interested if he wanted to avoid the beating Giles wanted to deal out to him.

"Bad for you." Giles said lowly as he raised his fist; that he let fall slightly at Ethan's words.

"No, no, no! Listen!" Ethan pleaded again. "You have to listen! You're going to need time to prepare!" Giles grimaced, hating the fact that he was considering listening to Ethan instead of just kicking his ass like he had originally planned the moment he saw his hated face. After a long moment where Ethan waited with baited breath, wondering if he was about to receive the beating his old friends expression said he was about to get, before Giles slowly lowered his fist and reluctantly released his jacket. His fingers still itching to do damage to Ethan's far too smug face.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles sat in a chair in a dimly lit, slightly honky tonky looking bar; one of the less popular ones in the small town of Sunnydale. The very reason why he had chosen it, very little chance that anyone that knew or recognised him would be here to see him with Ethan Rayne of all people. "Brilliant!" Ethan exclaimed as he took off his grey trench coat, slinging it over the back of the chair, before he sat in the seat across the small table they had chosen to sit at. "Now isn't this more fun than kicking my ass?" He asked jovially.

"No." Giles muttered sullenly as his gaze focused on the frothy beer that the waitress had just set down in front of him, before moving away as quietly as she had returned with their order.

"Oh. It's more fun for me." Ethan said with a thin smile, before taking a large drink from his beer.

Giles curled his hand around the beer mug and lifted it up off the table. "Just tell me what you want to tell me." He muttered shortly, before taking a swallow of his own drink.

"Oh, so crass." Ethan said with mock hurt. "We used to be friends, Ripper. When did all that fall apart?" He asked.

"The same time you started worshiping chaos." Giles said matter-o-factly.

"Oh, religious intolerance. Sad, there. I mean look at the Irish troubles." Ethan said conversationally. Giles scowled at him in annoyance before getting up to leave, not wanting to have to listen to Ethan's drivel if he didn't have to. "Oh, hang on, I'll tell ya." Ethan said quickly. Giles hesitated a moment before sitting back down with a sigh, his blue eyes piercing Ethan with badly disguised impatience. "Something's happening in the dark-worlds. There's always been rumours out there but… only one thing's coming through clear." Ethan paused for effect, enjoying the fact that he now had Giles interested. "That's something's harming demons and it's not The Slayer. Know anything about it?"

Giles took another swallow of his beer, his mind immediately jumping to the military group; a frown darkening his brow as he once again felt the sting of being left out of the loop, something that reminded him that Buffy hadn't bothered to check in after her meeting with that fishwife of a Professor. "What are they saying?" He asked hoping that Ethan would actually be at least a little helpful for once during one of his unwelcome visits.

Ethan gave a little shrug. "Heh, you know demons. It's all exaggeration and blank verse. 'Pain as bright as steel' things like that." Ethan leaned forward in his chair. "There's something called '314' that's got them scared most of all. The kind of scared that turns to angry. I know we're not particularly fond of each other," Giles chuckled at the understatement as he took another swig of his beer. "Rupert. But we are a couple of old mystics. This new outfit, it's blundering into new places it doesn't belong. It's throwing the world out of balance. And that's way beyond chaos, mate." Ethan leaned back once again. "We're headed quite literally for one hell of a fight."

Giles took another swig from his beer, his expression somewhat thought as he wondered at Angelus' comments at Buffy's birthday party in a whole new light; as he wondered if the dark vampire knew about it and that were half of his worry was stemming from and for whatever reason wasn't just coming out and saying it.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy breathed evenly as she moved quickly in an unused room empty room. Her every move fluid and graceful, but not less deadly in their accuracy as she trained against thin air; she had no idea where it had come from, but as she lay beside Angelus on top of a rug in front of the blazing fire in a dopey half sleep quite contended after the mind blowing bout of lovemaking she had shared with Angelus, she had suddenly felt a restless energy consume her and before she knew it she couldn't lay still anymore! And so here she was a frown furrowing her brow as she punched and kicked at the air, trying to get rid of the energy that was sitting oddly in her belly, making it squirm… like some was about to go horribly wrong.

And no matter how hard she tried she couldn't shake the feeling! And that more than anything had her worrying even more. Buffy grunted as she put a lot more effort behind the punch she threw wanting to get the niggling feeling to disappear; the weight of it in her belly troubling her. And so she continued to move across the room, slowly beginning to work up a sweat as more time went by, but still the heavy feeling in her belly refused to budge. Buffy was so focused on her movements and the heaviness that had settled down on her; she didn't notice that for a long while she had had an audience.

Angelus leaned his shoulder against the door frame as he stood in the doorway watching his lover and future mate move determinedly about the room. He had felt her get up and leave him, but hadn't been overly concerned at first, thinking that perhaps it was just the call of nature that had her leaving him to 'sleep' by the fire, but as more time had passed and Buffy hadn't returned, he'd left the fire side in search of her. He hadn't intended to spy on her, but there was just something about the way she moved that always managed to captivate him. He watched for a moment longer, before he stepped lightly into the unused room. His footsteps silent even across the stone as he moved towards Buffy's turned back as she continued to punch and kick at the air; every movement precisely executed. As he reached her Buffy turned on the heel of her left foot, her arm raised and hand clenched into a fist, only to be halted in the fluid deadly dance that she had been moving through as Angelus' large hand caught her flying fist, bringing her up short. "Oh," Buffy breathed out after a moment of silence as she simply stared up at him surprised that she hadn't sensed him coming. "I didn't wake you did I?" She asked as she pulled back her fisted hand and let it fall to her side. Her chest heaving more heavily with her breathes than usual.

"I wasn't actually asleep." Angelus replied as he gaze down at her a small smile pulling up his lips. "So, tell me. What is it that has you so restless so soon after being so pleasantly exhausted?" He asked, his smile growing cocky.

Buffy gave a little shrug, not sure what to say at first; it was just a feeling after all. "I just had this sudden restless feeling… like something is about to happen and I have no idea what… but whatever it is… I-I don't thinks it's going to be good, Angelus." She murmured the frown that had been darkening her face before, returning as she focused on the feeling that was still niggling deep in her belly.

Angelus frowned himself the smile that had been curling up his lips, slowly sliding off them as he stared down at her; his expression showing vague hints of worry. And he couldn't help but wonder if she was beginning to sense the danger that was buzzing all about the demon populous… he doubted that he had ever seen the demons on the hellmouth or anywhere for that matter, as scared as these ones where… the kind of scared he had seen turn into outright bloody brawls. Mentally shaking himself out of the serious thoughts, not wanting Buffy to catch on to them, knowing that if she knew what he knew… there would be no power in the whole of the world that would stop her from getting to the bottom of it… which would mean infiltrating The Initiative, something he had only just managed to persuade her out of doing.

Angelus smiled once again, his hands moving across the small space between them to take her hands in his own. "Well, how about I help you to alleviate some of this anxiety?" He murmured as he stepped closer towards her, gently pressing her hands together behind her back, his body pressing up against hers softly.

Buffy looked up at him, her hazel eyes twinkling up to him, believing that she knew what he was hinting at. "What did you have in mind?" She asked as she began to rise up onto her toes; expecting a kiss.

"Well…" Angelus dragged it out as he watched Buffy get closer to him. "We haven't had a good old fashioned sparring match in a long while." He suggested hopefully.

Buffy stopped rising onto her toes and settled back down onto the flats of her feet, slightly surprised for a short moment, before she regained herself and smiled slightly actually liking the idea of a friendly match between them… it had been so long since she had been able to actually enjoy a match between them… the last time had to be when she'd still had Angel with her… Buffy swallowed thickly in momentary sadness at the loss, before she forced herself to turn her mind from it… Angel was happy in his peace… and she deserved the same… "Sounds like fun."

Angelus smirked down at her and released her hands and brought his knee up so that it slammed up into her gut, before kicking her away from him. Buffy tumbled to the floor in a controlled roll, one of her arms coming up to clutch at her gut for a moment as she scrambled back up to her feet. "But if you want to win this friendly little match out ours… you'll have to hit a hell of a lot harder than that." Buffy taunted gently, knowing that Angelus had held back a fair bit in that first kick.

Angelus smirked at her. "Ah, well it wouldn't be fair to send you down and out in the first blow, lover." He teased as he cracked his neck, his juices already flowing in his excitement for the upcoming match.

"Like one blow would ever be enough to take me out." Buffy re-joined, before she took a quick step towards him, closing the distance between them as she swung out at him, with a strong strike aimed for his chest.

Angelus quickly blocked catching her fist in the palm of his hand. "Now, you're going to have to do better than that, Buff."

"Oh, I'm just getting started." Buffy rebutted as she swung up with her free hand, back handing Angelus harshly across the face, getting him to release the hand he had captured, which she quickly used to deliver the punch to his gut that he had blocked the first time round. Angelus didn't take long to recover and this time it was Buffy's turn to go on the defensive as she blocked two punches one after the other, moving backwards as Angelus moved forward with a purposeful stride. With a grunt Buffy blocked a kick that was aimed at her head, a small grunt of effort escaping her at the power behind the kick. The grunt turned to a sound of surprise as she found her footing lost as in a quick move Angelus shifted and kicked one of her legs out from underneath, causing her to topple over with her loss of balance.

Buffy executed a quick roll, evading Angelus next attack that was aimed at her gut. Flipping herself back up to her feet, she ducked in expectation of a hit that was designed to knock her back down, and she felt some of her hair rustle as Angelus' leg swept through the air above her head for a moment. Spinning around her arm outstretched to deliver a blow to Angelus' side, only to have it blocked by his own arm. His hand curled around her arm and pulled her in towards him, Buffy allowed him to knowing that fighting the tug would leave her completely open to the blow he was about to deliver; instead she braced herself for it…

The two moved swiftly, knowing the others moves making it so that more punches and kicks where blocked than landed as they danced around each other… and before Buffy knew it the weight that had been churning uncomfortably around in her stomach lifted in the face of the punches and kicks she was throwing and blocking; the exercise fun and more enjoyable in a sparring match than just punching and kicking at the air. Angelus knocked Buffy off her feet once again. Buffy hit the floor with an 'oof' before she kicked her own leg out catching Angelus' left knee, forcing him to drop down to his knees, giving her the time to get back up to her feet. Moving to kick Angelus before he could get up, she sucked in a sharp breath as he caught her foot and she just knew that she was about to be kissing the stone once again. "Gah, damn it!" Buffy cursed as her back hit the harsh stone floor again.

Angelus smirked down at her, having quickly jumped back up to his feet. "What's a-matter Buff? You're not getting tired already, are ya?" He teased.

Buffy leapt back up to her feet. "You wish, I'm only just getting warmed up." She assured him, a smile curling up her lips as for a short moment she assessed what to do next. Quickly closing the distance, Buffy fisted her hands in his shirt, slamming him up against the wall, before she threw a punch at his face. Angelus took the hit, his face knocking against the wall from the force behind the blow. With a growl, Angelus turned back to look at her, his face having shifted into the hard ridges of the demon. Grasping her by the arms, Angelus spun them about, pressing Buffy up against the wall. Buffy met Angelus' amber gaze and recognised the look in them; appreciating far more than the cold hatred that had used to shine out of them clearer than ever when they were like this… his mouth claimed hers a moment later and Buffy moaned; her knees immediately growing weak. "What happened to sparring?" Buffy asked a little breathlessly when she managed to get her mouth free of his for a short moment.

Angelus chuckled deep in his throat as he claimed her mouth again for a moment before he kissed his way down her neck. "Who says we've stopped?" He murmured as his hands began tugging at her clothes.

Buffy laughed, her hands coming up to begin pulling at his clothes in return, finding herself completely not interested in the sparring as she was in satisfying the sudden ache that was heating her core; making her want to get naked as quickly as possible…to feel him against her… deep inside of her. Angelus growled lustily as Buffy ripped his shirt open, causing the buttons to fly across the room. a groan escaping seconds after as her hot mouth began ravishing the newly exposed skin…

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles hiccupped drunkenly as he stared blearily across the table at Ethan; the table was now cluttered with mostly empty beer and shot glasses. His blue eyes only half open as he tried to focus his drunken gaze on his old friend. "You know what gets me?" He hiccupped. "This is what gets me. Twenty years I've been fighting demons." He pointed a drunken finger across the table for no apparent reason; except perhaps to help make his point. "Maggie Walsh and her Nancy-Ninja boys come in and six months later, demons are pissing themselves with fear. Never even noticed me." He muttered piteously.

"Who's Maggie Walsh?" Ethan asked with a drunken slur almost knocking over a couple of glasses as he shifted haphazardly in his seat.

"Oh, she's awful." Giles explained. "She said I was an absent male role model. Absent my ass. I'm twice the man she is." He grumbled a little loudly, paying no attention to Ethan as he took a large gulp of the last of his beer.

"You know you're really very attractive." Ethan seemingly replied; almost making Giles choke on his beer.

"Huh?!" He exclaimed, turning his gaze back to Ethan only to see that Ethan hadn't been paying attention to what he had been saying as the waitress had come back bearing fresh glasses of beer and rolled his eyes a little.

"Here's my name and number." Ethan slurred as he scrawled the information haphazardly on the paper, before handing it to her. The waitress took it with a look of distaste; something that was completely lost on Ethan. "You give me a call, I'll show you a good time." He promised.

The waitress rolled her eyes as she stuffed the number into her apron with every intention of throwing it out the first chance she got. "Yeah, thanks." She muttered, before she turned and moved away from the table hoping that the two would leave soon; the old guy that had just given her his number was an ass when drunk.

Giles turned his gaze away from the retreating waitress back to Ethan who was still looking after the waitress with drunken appreciative eyes. "We gotta face it, we've changed." Giles muttered, before reconsidered. "Well, not you… you're still sadistic and self-centred.

Ethan smirked and raised the fresh glass of beer in the air. "Here's to me." He cheers'd himself, before taking a large gulp.

"The world has past us by." Giles slurred disheartened. "Someone snuck in and left us a couple of has-beens in our place. "This Military outfit, I mean, their methods may be causing problems, but they're getting the job done." He muttered. "Where am I? I'm an unemployed librarian with a tendency to get knocked on the head." He slurred self-pityingly.

"Well, we won't have to worry about that anymore now, mate." Ethan said cheerfully, before his entire demeanour turned seriously. "When you went to the loo I slipped a small pellet of poison in your drink. You'll be dead in an hour."

Giles froze as he swallowed down the beer he'd just took into his mouth, his glass hovering between his lips and the table, the effects of the alcohol disappearing for a moment, allowing him to feel almost completely sombre as he stared at Ethan trying to figure out if the man was serious or not.

Ethan's face split into a wide grin. "Just kidding!" The moment the words left his lips the two burst into laughter, their small moment of sobering up disappearing; the effects of the alcohol rushing back in as the serious moment passed.

"I'm gonna feel like hell in the morning." Giles said when he began to calm down.

"Relax." Ethan encouraged. "Enjoy the night. We're just a couple of old sorcerers. The night is still our time. Time of magic."

In unison they raised their glasses in a toast. "To magic." Giles toasted and together they drank to it. Giles now too drunk to notice as Ethan's lips curled up into a sly smile as Giles continued to drink, completely unaware that his 'kidding' was actually more of a half-truth.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Willow looked around Tara's dorm room. She loved it in here; it was always so mystical and magical, compared to the room she shared with Buffy. It made her envy the fact that Tara got to live in a dorm by herself. Not that she didn't like living with Buffy… when she wasn't accidentally walking in on naked Angelus and Buffy in her bed… in their dorm. Willow turned her gaze from the white Christmas lights that were hung about Tara's dorm room walls; giving it a dimly lit mystic glow. She smiled affectionately as she watched Tara finished the white sand design of the encircled four-point star, as she twirled the stem of the red only half flowered rose she was gently holding. "I'm glad that you wanted to get together. I know it's late." Willow murmured, knowing that it might be too much to ask two nights in a row.

"Thanks." Tara murmured. "I was happy you called." She admitted after a hesitant beat.

Willow smiled, glad that the timid blond felt that way; as the feeling echoed her own. Placing the rose gently on top of the newly completed encircled four-point star; being careful to not mess up the grains of sand. "We'll start out slow." Willow explained to her new friend as they sat on opposite sides of the star; just the tiniest amount of nervous excitement coursing between them at the idea of attempting to perform an actual spell. Tara shifted from her kneeling position to a cross-legged one as she sat aside the jar full of white sand just as Willow reached across the star and rose. Tara took her hands gently, hoping that her hand weren't too sweaty a thrill of excitement coursing through her at the soft touch of their hands.

"Ok," Tara agreed with a shy smile. Willow closed her eyes and Tara quickly followed suit, her fingers shifted slightly over Willow's for a moment as they sat in silence, before she broke the silence. "Willow?" She asked.

"Yeah?" Willow replied, her eyes still closed as she tried to get the magicks flowing.

Tara opened her eyes. "Starting out slow doing what?" She asked, a little embarrassed that she didn't know.

Willow opened her eyes, embarrassed that she hadn't taken the time to actually explain what they were attempting in her excitement. "Oh." She murmured as she released Tara's hands, her arms starting to get a little sore. "We're gonna float the rose. Then use the magicks to pluck the petals off, one at a time." She explained with a small smile. "It's a test of synchronicity. Our minds have to be perfectly attuned to work as a single delicate implement."

Tara absorbed the information for a moment, before she smiled. "Cool." She murmured.

Willow nodded her agreement. "And it should be very pretty." She murmured with a smile.

Tara nodded her understanding and the two linked hands again as they closed their eyes once again. A smile curled up Willow's lips as after only a short moment she felt the buzz of their magicks comingling, rising slowly… carefully in the air around them. 'Careful.' Willow thought.

Carefully.' The white sand began to glow as the two woman began to concentrate whole heartedly; and the rose began to shudder as the magicks circled about it. The two mostly untrained Wiccan's doing their best to get it to float up into the air. After a moment the rose began to rise up off the glowing sand. And all so slowly the rose floated higher and higher into the air between their extended arms. When it reached shoulder level they opened their eyes delighted smiles lighting up their faces as they saw what they had achieved together. "It worked." Tara murmured softly as they released each-others hands, not wanting to upset the delicate magicks they had invoked.

Willow straightened up as she rested her hands in her lap. "Now for the hard part. The petals." She murmured softly, her expression giving away just how excited she was. The two stared up at the floating rose, concentrating fully on the magicks once again. Willow bit her lower lip as she concentrated really wanting to see petals slowly plucked from the rose that was slowly beginning to turn in the air in response to their concentrated efforts, making both women hopeful that they would succeeded. But suddenly out of nowhere the rose shot across the room as if it had been shot out of a gun. Surprised Willow and Tara jumped to their feet, watching as the rose sped across the room like it had taken a magic induced high as it ricochets off the four walls a few times, having to duck a couple of times to stop being hit by the flying rose missile.

Finally after a few moments the rose fell back down onto the four-pointed star that had now stopped glowing. The two women looked down at the rose that was now just a smoking stem. "What the heck was that?" Willow asked a little concerned as she glanced up from the smoking stem to Tara.

Tara glanced up from the rose to and gave the red head a small smile. "I don't know, but uh, the petals are off." She said with a small chuckle.

Willow tried to chuckle to, but the feeling she had gotten, just as the rose sped out of their control, didn't leave her in a chuckling mood. "Yeah,"

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles groaned tiredly as he walked with painful steps towards the door of his room; each step forward making the pounding in his head that much worse. And there was a foul taste in his mouth, something he had become aware of the moment his confounded alarm had started blaring noisily through his room. He yawned widely, completely missing the fact that the noise of it sounded rather different to his usual one. "I feel like hell in the morning." He muttered as he walked out of his room. Making it to the landing at the top of his staircase, he found he had to stop again as another powerful yawn over took him; stretching his arms over his head as he did so. Turning to face a mirror, Giles eyes opened once again only to freeze at the sight that greeted him. The sight immediately making him forget all about the pain in his head and the foul taste in his mouth as his hands that had been half lowered from his earlier stretched flew to his face as his calm expression turned to one of shock and horror.

He took in his knew large curled horns light brownish skin and long furry ears and sharp fang like teeth as his mouth dropped open in his horror. "Uh! Wha… Wha…" He stammered as he reached up to touch his newly sprouted horns timidly. "No!" He exclaimed in horror as he leaned closer to the mirror he moved to place a hand against the wall next to his mirror and his newly clawed easily went straight through the wall instead; not being able to control the new found strength he had gained with the transformation. Immediately he pulled his hand back and turned resting it on the banister not quiet believing what had happened to him, only to rip it right up from the railing, surprising Giles further. Giles waved the banister around just a little as he floundered at the sight of his banister was clasped in his now clawed hand. "Damn!" He cursed as he stumbled down the stairs.

Making it down onto the main floor of his condo, he managed to get his claws; that had sunk deeply into the wood of the banister, removed from the wood and he threw it down. Where it hit a chair that was in the way and shattered the chair to bits as Giles had used more strength than he had intended to… more strength than he should have. Giles looked around his condo; his gaze going from the broken chair to the upper staircase where the railing stood in ruins in a state of confusion as he wondered what could have possibly happened, before a thought struck him. "Ethan!" He growled, the new low gravelly tenor to his voice sounding strange in his ears. Looking around his condo again, his gaze landed on his phone and he quickly moved towards. Picking it up from its cradle and moved to bring it up to his ear, only for the strength in his hand alone to break the phone into bits before he could get it even half way up to his ear.

With a confounded and bothered expression Giles dropped the phone, his eyes landed on the shirt he had dropped to the floor in the wee hours of the morning when he'd finally gotten home from the bar he had spent most of the night in with Ethan. Hurrying towards the fallen shirt, he bent to pick it up. He struggled for a moment to get his arms into the sleeves; finding this new body awkward and more clumsy than the one he was used to. Giles shrugged on the shirt, or at least attempted to; only for the more prominent spinal bones to rip through the thin material of the shirt. Ripping it right down the middle, causing it to fall off of him far more easily than it had been for him to get it on. "Oh, and I liked that shirt!" Giles groaned with a grimace as he looked down at the ruins that had been his shirt.

Snatching up a thick flannel blanket to cover his demonic body; wrapping it around his shoulders as he headed swiftly for his front door. He grabbed at the handle intending to only open the door; only to accidentally rip the door off its hinges. Giles hardly even flinched at the extra damage to his condo as he quickly released the door and stepped outside and hurried on his way. His mind in a whirl as he hunkered down into the thick flannel of the blanket as he hurried on down the streets on the sunny Californian morning.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy sat in the Rocket Café across from Willow as she began stacking the pancakes she had ordered for breakfast onto her plate, completely unaware of the look Willow was giving her; her red haired friend not used to seeing her so happy anymore. She almost found it scary to see her looking like she was so happy that she could burst into song. Buffy stacked a couple of more pancakes onto her plate a happy smile curling up her lips, a smile that was so wide that it flashed her white teeth. She couldn't help it though, she'd had such a great couple of days with her friends and Angelus! To her it felt like the Buffy birthday curse was finally lifted after a few years of birthday bashes that could be more accurately described as horror bashes. "I like pancakes 'cause they're stackable." She commented as she looked up from her stacked pancakes to Willow's who'd chosen Waffles over pancakes. "Ooo, and waffles 'cause you can put things in the little holes if you wanted to." She gushed, unable to contain the happiness that was practically radiating from her it was that strong.

Willow couldn't help, but laugh, as much as it surprised her to see her friend so happy, it also lightened a load in her heart at seeing her so bright and bubbly; like the Buffy she'd gotten to know before Angelus. "Perhaps you should always have a sleep over with your boyfriend after a birthday bash. You're so fun right now."

Buffy stilled, her eyes a little wide as she looked over at her friend. "Sleep over?" She questioned a little cautiously.

"Uh, yeah… I kind of walked into the dorm room to find you and Angelus uh, sleeping quiet peacefully…" Willow murmured a flush darkening her cheeks.

A matching blush rising on Buffy's cheeks, but still she couldn't supress the smile that wanted to curl up her lips as she remembered just what had happened in that dorm room the other night. "Uh, yeah… sorry about that, Will. It just sorta happened… I didn't mean to uh… give you a bit of eye scar-rage." She apologised, hoping that it at least sounded sincere as she was sure that the grin on her face detracted from it greatly.

"Oh, don't worry about it… I mean I didn't see much. Just a back and perhaps an arm, before I back tracked." Willow assured her friend.

"Oh, well. I suppose that that isn't so bad. Though I do feel bad that it sorta chased you out of the room…" Buffy murmured as she poured a generous amount of syrup onto her pancakes.

Willow waved a dismissive hand. "It's no big. I spent the night in the chem lab, by myself." She lied, hoping that it sounded convincing, before she swallowed a little thickly as she looked over at Buffy who was beginning to dig into her pancakes; reminding her that she hadn't touched her own. "I-I was trying this new spell; floating a rose, when all of a sudden," Willow motioned with her fork what the rose had done. "Zing, zing, zing! Like all over the room. It was like a rose-based missile." She murmured a little disheartened; she'd really wanted the spell to be a success.

"Yikes." Buffy responded as she tried to imagine it.

"I know." Willow exclaimed, before lowering her voice. "I think there's something out there." She murmured. "I-I felt this presence… this dark magicks energy blocking the spell. It's new."

Buffy frowned slightly, remembering her own sudden feeling of dread the night before… but there was no reason that it was connected. "Someone else doing magicks?" She asked concerned.

Willow shrugged a little. "Maybe, if so, it's someone pretty powerful."

"Hmm. I'll tell Giles about it." She assured Willow, having wanted to inform Giles about the feeling she had gotten last night anyway… and to inform him how the meeting went with Professor Walsh and the fact that she was giving up on her attempt to infiltrate The Initiative. "I need to give him an update on the meeting anyway."

Willow chewed on a bit of her waffle, before swallowing it down. "Speaking of Giles… How come you didn't tell him everything about the military group?"

"I did." Buffy replied immediately, certain that she had, but Willow shook her head. "I didn't?" Buffy asked, her happy expression turning guilty and concerned.

"He says no." Willow informed her. "He's feeling neglected and out-of-the-loopy. I mean when Xander and I told him about our hypotheses about the military group; his reaction was… let's say… it wasn't pretty."

Buffy swallowed down the food in her mouth. "Oh, I didn't even realize that I hadn't… I mean I talked to you guys about it… and I guess… I just forgot that Giles wasn't there to. I mean he always used to be. But I'll make it up to him, when I tell him about the meeting... tomorrow. This afternoon I'm spending with Angelus." Buffy informed Willow, the smile returning to her face.

"Oh, so it's really starting to take off between the two of you now, huh." Willow murmured.

"It's just going so well, right now." Buffy gushed. "I mean I even got to put my stuff in the drawer, Angelus cleared out for me. And look, he got me this for my birthday." Buffy lifted the beautiful necklace from where it rested against her skin, drawing Willow's attention to the beautiful piece of jewellery.

"Oh, so Angelus gave you that." Willow murmured slightly in awe of the gift, that she had noticed before, but had thought that it might have been a gift from her mother. No man… or anyone had ever given her a gift like that.

"Yeah, apparently it's a symbol for eternity for the Celtic." Buffy explained, remembering what Angelus had told her about it when she'd asked.

"It's beautiful, Buffy." Willow complimented her voice a little wistful, for a moment before she changed the subject. "How did the meeting go, by the way? With Prof Walsh."

"Oh, wow… I really haven't been all spacy about keeping people informed." Buffy murmured, she'd completely forgotten that she hadn't even told Willow and Xander about what happened. The only person she really trusted that knew was Angelus.

"You've been busy with the blooming romance." Willow said with a little shrug… finding that for whatever reason the idea was bothering her less and less.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles carefully opened the door to Xander's basement glad that the door wasn't locked and that he managed to not break the door just by touching it. Ideally he wouldn't be coming to Xander first, but it was the one place that he could imagine not causing a lot of attention and panic whilst he was in pickle that he was. He walked quietly, moving through the haphazardly strung up clothes line, that was laden down with drying underwear. Finally getting a clear view, he was surprised to find Xander still lying asleep in his pull out bed. "Still asleep?" He murmured, his gaze going to the clock in the basement. "It's 10:30 in the morning." He muttered as he cautiously moved closer towards the bed, leaning down low so that he could whisper quietly, not wanting to disturb the rest of the house if at all possible. "Xander," He called. "Xander, wake up." He beseeched. Groggily Xander shifted restlessly on the mattress, before turning on to his side, facing a way from Giles wanting to sleep more, before he lifted his head and looked over his shoulder; his eyes still closed.

"Mom?" He asked, his voice slurred with sleep.

"No, it's not mom." Giles replied softly as he hovered awkwardly over Xander's bed, his body still crouched down as he held the blanket about him still. "Now, when you look at me… you may be a little alarmed, but there's no need, it-it's me. Giles. No, Ethan has turned me into a demon and I need your help." He explained, as Xander slowly and reluctantly opened his eyes; curious as to what was making the strange noises above him. "Hello." Giles murmured in response to Xander's opening eyes. "Yes, it's me."

Xander's eyes slowly focused as he blinked up at the person that was looming over his bed, and immediately his eyes widened in fear. "AHHHH!" Xander shouted in fear, before jumping out of his bed as the demon continued to growl and grumbled at him with sounds he couldn't understand.

"Xander, listen!" Giles attempted to plead, having no idea that he wasn't speaking any language that Xander could possibly hope to understand. "Don't you understand me?" He asked as he attempted to move towards the irate boy.

"Demon! Demon!" Xander shouted hysterically as the demon continued to growl and snarl at him.

"Please, don't you understand?" Giles asked as he took another step towards Xander, who grabbed up a pot from one of his shelves and threw it at the demon that was invading his sanctuary. Seeing how the demon flinched away from the missile that hit him solidly, Xander immediately began taking up pots and pans one after the other to throw at the ugly demon. "No, no! Don't! Xander!" Giles pleaded. "Xander, calm down! Ow, you're just a little overwrought! Oww!" A frying pan hit him alongside the head and Giles decided that it was best to retreat as he obviously wasn't going to listen to reason anytime soon.

"That's right!" Xander cried as he saw the vicious looking demon run for the door it had evidentially come through. "Run for your life!"

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles dashed as fast as his legs could carry him away from Xander's family home. Running across a neighbouring lawn; a lawn that had children playing on it. Clumsily Giles ran through their midst breaking the toys that they had been playing with some others he scattered as the children back off in horror. And a mother reached for her child, holding them close to her breast. "Oh, God. I'm sorry!" Giles apologized even though they couldn't understand.

"Call 911!" The mother called as she clutched her child to her, her eyes wide with fear as she watched the strange beast run.

"Bloody humans!" Giles cursed as he ran as fast as could to escape the prying eyes. Eyes that he had managed to avoid until his careless retreat from Xander's basement apartment.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Angelus sighed as he stepped out of the boy's car, falling into step beside Buffy as they headed towards the courtyard, the small group still talking about the demon Xander, Willow and Anya had interrupted his night with Buffy for. He wasn't one hundred precent sure why he had felt such a strong desire to accompany them on this one. It seemed simple from what he had heard; something that Buffy could handle with a blind fold over her eyes, but with The Initiative infiltrating Sunnydale and now taking an interest in his golden Slayer… he wasn't about to start taking any chance. No matter how much it made him feel like he was slipping down the path Angel had taken… he was in no way joining the Scooby Gang! He was only here to look out for Buffy… the rest could all get hung for all he cared. His dark gaze went to Buffy and almost immediately; like she sensed it, she looked up and over at him, meeting his brown gaze with her hazel one as she faltered in the conversation distracted by him and smiled up at him; a smile that Angelus returned with a confident smirk.

Buffy turned her gaze away with a small almost unnoticeable shake of her head as she turned her attention back to the matter at hand. "So, it had pointy things. What kind of pointy things?" Buffy asked as she walked down the steps into Giles courtyard; Angelus beside her and Xander, Willow and Anya coming swiftly behind them.

"The pointy kind." Xander replied, the memory kind of fuzzy now as he'd been rather hysteric with fear at the time. "And tufty ears. Oh, and it might have a saucepan shape bruise." Xander added, hoping that that extra bit of information might help. Angelus rolled his eyes and bit back the scathing comment that wanted to slip past his lips, not feeling like arguing with the boy right now. The sooner they got this research session over with at the ex-Watcher's, the sooner he and Buffy could go back to what they were doing.

"Giles will know what it…" Willow trailed off as they came to a stop for a moment in front of Giles front door. The sight shocking and worrying everyone apart from Angelus who stared at the unhinged door that had clearly been broken away from the doorframe with a fair bit of force and was now leaning against the inside wall of Giles condo. "Was," Willow finished after a moment, her gaze worried.

Willow, Xander and Buffy exchange a worried look, before they hurried towards Giles open front door; Buffy in the lead. Angelus sighed, before he followed at a far more sedated pace, feeling that this was going to turn out to be a long assed night; instead of the quick one that he had been hoping for. "Giles?" Buffy called as she looked around the damaged living room; her eyes going to the broken telephone; whilst Xander quickly moved up the stairs to check the loft for the missing ex-Watcher. Buffy stepped around her gaze taking in all the other damage to Giles belongings, before her gaze lifted and landed on Angelus who was standing just in the broken doorway, a small frown pulling down his brow as he survey the damage to the condo. His gaze met hers for a moment and immediately he moved away from the door.

Closing the space between them, his hand coming to rest on her shoulder's comfortingly. Buffy raised a hand and placed it on top of one of his. "Looks like, Xander wasn't the only one to get a visitor today." She murmured with concern.

Xander came back down the stairs. "He's not upstairs." He informed them as he came back down to the living room.

"Oh, God, Giles." Willow exclaimed worriedly, her teeth worrying her lower lip and the prick of worried tears at the back of her eyes.

"Ok," Buffy murmured, trying to be soothing as she forced herself to step away from Angelus and his comforting hands as she stepped towards Willow, not wanting the red head to cry. "There's a demon and Giles is gone. But it doesn't mean that he's hurt. I mean, there's no blood anywhere so maybe the demon just took him somewhere?" Buffy suggested trying to be reassuring despite her own worry for her father figure.

Anya who had looked down at her feet, bent down and picked up the cloth that had caught her attention. Holding it up between her fingers she realized exactly what it was and she felt herself begin to worry about the old man herself. "I think it ate him up." She murmured mildly drawing everyone else's attention to the torn up ruins of Giles shirt that she was holding up for examination. Buffy swallowed thickly as she stared at Giles ruined shirt, her hands clenching into tights fists at her sides as she had the sudden urge to pummel the demon that was responsible for all the pain Giles had suffered at its hands.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles wandered miserably through one of Sunnydale's many cemeteries; still holding the thick flannel blanket around his upper body, covering it the absence of being able to don a shirt. He trudged past a stone mausoleum not noticing the peroxide blond vampire that was busily measuring the length of one the mausoleums walls with a measuring tape that he had snatched from Xander's basement apartment. Spike let the measuring tape snap closed as he caught sight of the demon that had happened to wander by him and smirked in anticipation as he stepped away from the wall and moved out behind the trudging demon. "Well, what do I spy with my little eye?" Spike said mockingly, causing the demon to stop at the sound of his voice. "A demon. That would be… oh, right… the things I can kill." Spike rumbled, looking forward to a spot of violence especially against a demon as ferrous as a Fyarl.

Giles groaned deep in his throat the sound rumbling demonically from his throat. "Spike," He muttered with a 'why me' tone. "Wonderful, a perfect end to a perfect day." He muttered sarcastically.

Spike frowned his anticipation and excitement falling right down at the very English sounding and familiar voice coming from the Frayl demon. "Giles?" Spike asked surprised, not sure that he could really believe what he was hearing.

Giles turned around reluctantly as he put his fists up; feeling really rather awkward about it. "Go on, then. Let's get on with the fighting…" Giles trailed off for a moment his expression puzzled. "You understand me?" He asked surprised and hopefully.

"Of course I understand you." Spike muttered, feeling really rather disappointed that his fight was a flunkout.

"I'm speaking English?" Giles asked hopefully; hoping that he might be able to ask for help from Buffy now and the others now.

Spike shook his head. "No, you're speaking Fyral. I happen to speak Fyral. And…" Spike gave him a once over. "By the way, why the hell are you suddenly a Fyarl demon? You come over all demony this morning?" He asked sarcastically; in no way expecting that to be the truth as he stepped back towards the mausoleum losing interest in Giles, the fact that the man had helped him in at least a small way discouraging from causing the man any bodily harm in a way of saying thanks. Spike pulled out his pack of smokes as Giles followed him over to the mausoleum he had just walked past.

"As a matter of fact, I did." Giles admitted with a sneer curling up his lips as his mind once again focused on the one responsible for his current predicament. "Thanks to Ethan Rayne. You have to help me find him. he must undo this and then he needs a…" Giles trailed off as he tried to think of something fitting. "Good being killed." He came up with.

Spike snorted a little as he placed the cigarette between his lips. "And I'm just supposed to help you out of the evilness of my heart?" He asked mockingly as he lit the cigarette with his cheap lighter.

Giles swallowed a little nervously. "Y-you help and I-I won't kill you." He threatened a little anxiously.

Spike took the smoke from between his lips. "Oh, tremendously convincing." He snorted sarcastically. "Try it again without the stutter." He suggested, before he took a drag from his cigarette.

"Money." Giles blurted and seeing the look of sudden interest on Spike's face continued. "I could pay you money."

Spike took a step towards Giles, taking a last drag from his newly lit up cigarette, before he flicked the cig away. "Oh, I like money. How much?" He enquired.

"A h-hundred dollars." Giles offered, not wanting to have to give away too much of his money to the vampire.

"A hundred dollars?" Spike scoffed. "You'll have to do a lot better than that." He assured Giles. "Two hundred." He countered.

"Fine." Giles agreed with out preamble.

Spike looked at Giles surprised for a second having expected the man to haggle with him a bit before settling on a price. 'Damn should have asked for three hundred.' He thought. "Right then." He muttered.

"Right, then." Giles echoed, not sure what to say at that moment after striking a bargain with Spike; something he had never thought that he would have to do… ever.

"So, what's first?" Spike asked with a grin. "I run and tell The Slayer what you've gotten yourself into?"

"No." Giles responded immediately, now that he had secured help he didn't want Buffy to know that he had in a moment of self-pitying weakness had fallen prey to Ethan Rayne. "When I find Ethan I can clear all this up without Buffy ever having to find out that anything happened to me at all." He decided, before he began walking towards the exit of the cemetery; Spike following after him for the promise of the two hundred bucks he would get at the end of this little debacle.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Xander sat at Giles desk, several occult books open in front of him as he tried to identify the demon he had seen in his apartment, with the help of the others that were also flipping through books doing their best to go off the description he had given them; well everyone but Angelus who was simply standing off to the side watching the others as they searched frantically through the books. A task that he thought a waste of time what with Xander's vague description of the demon, they could all be looking for hours. His eyes landed on Buffy and all it took was a glance to know that she was more than just a little upset by the whole thing… something that instantly tugged at him and had him sighing as he moved towards her and grabbed up an occult book that hadn't been thumbed through just yet. He was rewarded for his effort by Buffy giving him a small grateful smile, before she returned her attention to the book she was thumbing through.

Xander looked up at the book Willow was showing to him; his eyes taking in the picture that did indeed have pointy horns and furry ears. "Ok, that's a giant vulture. I'd have mentioned it, if it was a giant vulture." He informed her, growing a little impatient with the lack of respect.

Willow sighed in disappointment as she stepped away from Xander who had ducked his head back to the books he was looking at in a vain attempt at identifying the demon he had seen for about two minutes tops. "Buffy," Willow murmured with a down trodden sigh. "Even if we figure out what kind of demon got, Giles… I mean, how are we gonna find it?" She asked, beginning to feel like this was a waste of time… especially now that it was taking so long… it just felt like there was so many other things that they could be doing that would feel like they were doing more to actually find him… like tearing Sunnydale apart piece by piece.

"We'll figure it out." She assured Willow as she stepped towards Xander. "Oh, this one has tufty ears." She told him as she held the book out for Xander to inspect. Xander looked at it for a second before dismissing it as not the one with a small wave of his hand. Before Buffy could step back, all their attention was drawn towards the broken in front door as a suspicious noise came from just outside of it.

"What was that?" Willow whispered nervously to Buffy as Angelus shut the book with a soft snap and set it back down on the table he had picked it up from.

Buffy moved swiftly and quietly towards the door, her hand reaching for her stake; pulling it out of its hiding spot on her person. Angelus scowled darkly know just who was coming, his keen sense of smell picking him up immediately; it was bad enough that he had to endure that twit Xander, but now that damned commando was coming to join the fray. Well… if he was lucky… Buffy would at least punch him… it would be the highlight of his night at this moment. Buffy raised her arm; drawing back her stake for a strike as the door moved from its haphazard position. Buffy froze as she caught sight of the person coming through the door way. "Buffy?" Riley murmured surprised to see her here; a surprise that was echoed in Buffy.

"Riley." Buffy said in equal surprise as she lowered the stake she had been going to attack with. "What are you doing here?" She asked as she stepped back from the door; highly aware of the fact that Angelus had now changed positions in the room, so that he was closer to her… able to intervene if The Initiative flunky tried anything.

Riley shrugged a little awkwardly, still not used to giving out classified information, but Walsh had said to do what he needed to get Buffy where they needed her… and an order was an order. Nothing he could really do about that. "There were 911 calls from a couple of different places. Including here."

"You get 911 calls?" Xander asked before Riley or Buffy could say anything else.

"We have a tap into the system." He admitted. "It flags things with possible nonhuman causes." Xander shook his head in dismay and bent his head back to the books he was flipping through, wanting to find the damned thing so that they could move onto the frying it thing. "We check them out. What are you doing here?" He asked Buffy.

"Buffy's The Slayer. She has more right to be here than you, army boy." Angelus grumbled defensively before Buffy could even open her mouth to say anything. Drawing Riley's gaze to him giving him the impression once again that the man didn't like him at all.

"This is Giles' apartment." Buffy explained, ignoring the look Angelus shot her; despite feeling the intensity of it. "He's missing. The calls, did anyone see what did it?"

"Negative." Riley replied, falling back on his military lingo as Buffy stepped away from him, moving over to Angelus, wrapped his arms about her; in what looked to Riley a strong possess grip.

"Hey, relax." Buffy murmured as she angled herself so that she could whisper up at him, before she pressed a kiss to his jaw. "I promised that I wouldn't get involved with them… and when have I ever broken a promise to you?" She whispered quietly as Riley continued what he'd been saying.

"No," Angelus replied as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "But I don't trust him." He grumbled.

"You don't trust any of the military." Buffy countered, before she returned her attention the conversation at hand. Feeling Angelus squeeze his arms about her gently in response to her statement.

"Poor Giles." Willow murmured, a little guiltily wondering if she and Xander had stayed that this wouldn't have happened to him.

"We'll get him back." Buffy assured her friends as she continued to enjoy Angelus' embrace, finding comfort there… and certain sense of satisfaction that she had also comforted Angelus.

"What are you working on?" Riley asked curiously, wanting to be a part of it in any way he could. Knowing that it would be far easier to guide Buffy into The Initiative if her friends… partially Angelus' trust.

"Uh, we have stuff." Buffy offered cautiously, not sure how much she should tell him about their progress and what they were doing. "Pictures…"

"We have nothing." Anya interrupted, an expression on her face that clearly said that she thought that she was being helpful; and gave the others a 'what' look when they all shot her looks of annoyance.

Riley looked at Buffy and watched as it turned rather crestfallen as Anya's words sunk in. "I'll help." Riley offered, seeing it as a way in… and wanting to help… hoping that it would help Buffy see him in another light… perhaps in the light she saw her overly possessive boyfriend. "The whole Initiative. We'll do whatever you need."

"Thanks." Buffy said cautiously. "But that's really not nec…"

"I insist." Riley urged.

Buffy felt Angelus' chest rumble in a growl that he was struggling to supress and she stroked her hands up and down his arms to help sooth him; seriously not wanting anyone in The Initiative to know that he was a vampire… not after what they did to Spike… who knew what they would do to someone like The Scourge of Europe. "Well, uh, alright." She agreed reluctantly and felt Angelus' chest vibrate again, but was grateful that no sound made it out of him. "I just wish I knew what I needed. I keep thinking, 'let's ask Giles' and then I remember." Buffy murmured softly; sadly.

Xander nodded his agreement. "He'd be great right now. He'd find himself in a second. Nobody cooler in a crisis." He said an affectionate smile curling up his lips as he looked up from the books he was slaving over once again.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles flinched, his new sensitive ears picking up the sound of his cars gears being murdered by Spike's horrible driving skills; wishing that Spike had allowed him to drive… but at the same time… in the state he was in it was probably a bad idea… a very bad idea. "If you can't find third gear, don't try for third gear!" Giles finally snapped in annoyance.

"I'm doing my best." Spike said with a shrug, the old Citroen beginning to annoy him, making him wish that he'd made Giles go with him to get his car. "I don't know if I'm driving this thing or wearing it." He muttered, feeling really rather cramped up in the small car that Giles drove.

"It's perfectly serviceable." Giles retorted stiffly, causing Spike to laugh and Giles to give the peroxide blond vamp an annoyed glare.

"Funny hearing a Faryl demon say 'serviceable'. Had a couple of them working for me once, they're more like 'like to crush. Crush now?' Strong though, you won't meet a jar you can't open for the rest of your life." Giles growled loudly in response. Spike looked over at his companion in surprise. "What was that? Did you growl?" He asked curiously.

"No." Giles denied awkwardly. "Listen, about this Faryl demon. Do-do I have special powers?" He asked a little eagerly; actually beginning to enjoy himself. "Like setting thing on fire with my sizzling eye beams?"

"Well," Spike said considering. "You got that mucous thing?" He informed him.

"What?" Giles exclaimed somewhat crestfallen. "Mucous?" He'd been hoping for something a little more cool and-and intimidating… and not near so gross.

Spike nodded. "Paralysing mucous; shoots out through the nose, sets on fast. Hard as a rock. Pretty good in a fight."

Giles eyed Spike shrewdly. "Are you making this up?" He asked suspiciously.

Spike's lips curled up into a sly grin, unable to help antagonising his fellow Englishman. "Maybe. But hey, you feel a sneeze coming on, you warn me." He told Giles, making sure that he confused the ex-Watcher.

Giles growled again, his new phycology not appreciating the vampire's humour. "Turn here." He demanded, pointing in the direction he wanted Spike to turn, his arm slamming against the passenger side door; having forgotten that his arms were a lot more meaty and bulky than normal. Spike spun the wheel harshly in an attempt to make the left turn that Giles demanded. The old car screeched as the gears grinded together loudly. "Down shift! Down shift!" Giles growled angrily.

"Calm down, will you?" Spike grumbled, eyeing Giles a little concerned, not wanting to get caught in a sudden Faryl outburst of rage.

"I'm not sure I can." Giles admitted, a little anxiously. "I feel like I'm changing."

Spike sighed. "Fine with me, so long as you pay me." He muttered.

"I really like this feeling." Giles admitted, his voice more of a rumbling growl now than anything humanoid. "Sort of mindless need to destroy. This anger and rage."

Spike nodded his understanding. "Good times. Go with it." He advised.

Giles gave his head a small shake, as he began to succeed in calming himself down. "No." He replied almost calmly.

"Oh, it's fun." Spike urged. "I can't do it, do it for me. Now let yourself go."

"I refuse to become a monster because I look like a monster. I have a soul." Giles said with an attempt at dignity as he looked out the window. "I have a conscience. I am a human being." His eyes caught sight of Maggie Walsh. "Oh, stop the car!" He demanded, his voice becoming a growl once again in his unspent rage against the woman. Obediently Spike pulled the car over the curb the screech of gears combining with the screech of the breaks. No sooner had the car stopped at the corner of Main street that Giles jumped out of his car, leaving his blanket in the car as he snuck up behind Walsh as she was in the middle of crossing the street. When he was close enough Giles let out a roar to draw her attention, waving his arms about in what appeared to be a vicious manner. Walsh screamed in fright and immediately began running for her life as Giles chased her across the room and down the street. They passed the Expresso Pump and Giles stopped ignoring the stares he was getting as he thoroughly enjoyed watching that hag of a woman continuing to run for her life. Once she was out of sight Giles hurried back towards the car to a bemused Spike who was waiting with only a slight impatience. Giles got awkwardly back into his car and slammed the door shut behind him with more force than he intended. "Right, let's go, then." He muttered, ignoring Spike's knowing gaze.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Xander, Willow and Anya are sitting on the sofa in Giles' living room. Xander in the middle with an occult book open whilst Buffy sat on Angelus' lap on a couch beside the sofa; Angelus feeling rather possessive and protective with Riley in the room. The man in question standing behind the couch looking down at the book with interest, not having seen books like it before during his time as a professional demon hunter. "That's the thing that attacked me." Xander told them, his voice laced with his triumph.

"It took you long enough." Angelus muttered earning a glare from the boy. Buffy looked behind her at Angelus as she raised an eyebrow at him. Angelus shrugged, feeling too much on edge to not poke at Xander's pride… he had to take his frustrations out on someone and Riley was being too quiet at the moment to be on the receiving end. Leaning in swiftly he gave her a kiss, that lingered as he didn't want to pull back as well as really bring it home to the military boy that Buffy was his, no matter how much he fancied her.

"A Faryl demon." Willow read as she leaned in closer to read the finely printed words on the page. "Sort of a foot solider type, works for other demons lots of the time. Very strong… Ugh!" Willow moaned disgustedly, her nose scrunching up in distaste. "And hey, mucous."

Buffy turned her attention from Angelus and felt his hands squeeze about her waist gently. "Mucous?" She asked her own nose scrunching up in shared disgust.

Before Willow could answer, Riley's phone beeped loudly. Riley immediately pulled it out and answered it. "Agent Finn, go ahead." He spoke into it.

Buffy ignored Riley as she focused her attention back on Willow. "How do I kill it?" She asked.

Willow pursued the book for a moment longer reading on until she found the information that Buffy needed. "Silver, a weapon made of silver." She informed them. And Buffy nodded with determination, her hazel eyes flashing angrily as she couldn't help imagining getting her hands on the demon that had dared to attack someone she considered family.

Angelus leaned up close to her, resting his chin against her shoulder. "Am I feeling some serious murder vibes coming from you, lover?" He whispered quietly, before he pressed a kiss to her shoulder.

"Possibly," Buffy murmured. "No one hurts one of my family and gets away with it." She murmured lowly, her hands clenching and unclenching once again.

"Yes, I understand." Riley said into his phone, before he hung up the device and tucked it away once again. "The demon attacked Professor Walsh. Got out of a small, grey car. A Citroen." He informed them.

Willow frowned in confusion. "It stole Giles' car." She murmured.

"Why would a demon steal a car?" Xander asked.

"It's faster than walking." Angelus said mockingly, earning a small jap to his gut from Buffy's elbow, but there was no real heat in it, barely enough to making give a low 'oof'. "Ow, kitten." He muttered.

"Behave would you." Buffy whispered at him.

Angelus smirked and nibbed at her earlobe. "But you like it when I'm misbehaving." He whispered in her ear huskily, his smirk growing somewhat lewd as he scented Buffy's arousal beginning to perfume the air.

"Why would a demon steal that car?" Anya asked, her nose crinkling in distaste of the demons obvious lack of taste for the finer things in life.

Buffy cleared her throat, trying to clear her head, but it was hard when she could feel Angelus' cock beginning to harden beneath her bottom and she jumped up as she cleared her throat again, a flush darkening her cheeks as she heard Angelus softly chuckle knowingly. "A demon steals a car for a reason." Buffy began as she gathered thoughts, turning them away from the arousal Angelus had so effortless fanned to life inside of her. "A purpose. But it doesn't sound like these Faryl demons are really big independent thinkers. So, Will, the spells that are going wrong… could they be cause by someone using magicks to control a demon? Making this Frayl demon attack Giles?"

"Yes." Willow exclaimed glad to have seemingly found at least half an answer to the reason behind her spells with Tara turning into flying rose missiles. "Yeah, that would draw on a lot of dark energy." She agreed, as Riley listened intently, still finding it hard to believe that such a thing as magic existed and that someone he knew used it.

"Ok," Buffy said with authority as her mind ticked over; formulating a plan. "Willow, Xander, stay here." She ordered. "Who's ever controlling this demon may call and ask for a ransom. Give them anything they want."

Willow and Xander nodded in unison. "You got it." Xander spoke for them.

Buffy turned to face her lover who was still sitting on the couch; leaning back against it once again now that she was no longer sitting on his lap. "Angelus, you and I are going to the magic shop. Maybe they needed supplies." Angelus nodded his agreement and got up from the couch.

"I'll come with you." Riley spoke up when Buffy paused to gather her thoughts once again. Angelus had to fight back a growl of annoyance; his hands clenching into fists, before he relaxed them and took a deep breath. He'd be there every step of the way. There was no need to worry, Riley wouldn't be able to do anything to his girl whilst he was with her.

Buffy nodded her agreement as she looked around Giles condo, moving around the couch Riley was standing behind. "Uh, something silver…" She muttered as she walked towards Giles desk something silver catching her eye. Reaching for it she picked up the letter opener; giving it a small look over, before nodding her acceptance of her choice of weapon.

"A letter opener?" Riley asked surprised having expected her to choose something that looked much more like a weapon. "It's not very sharp." He added a little awkwardly as he felt Buffy and Angelus' eyes on him.

"Then I'll have to put some muscle behind it." Buffy said firmly, before she walked towards the broken in front door, Angelus following close behind her. Riley sighed to himself, running a hand through his hair. As much as he wanted to see Buffy in action once again, he just knew that Angelus was going to detract from his enjoyment of the experience. Taking a deep fortifying breath, Riley followed the two out of what was evidentially once of Buffy's friend's homes.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Spike sat at the bar of seedy bar Ethan and Giles had gotten drunk at the night before. Throwing back the shot that the waitress had set down in front of him. "Two of them." Spike continued with his description as he gave the waitress a small charming smile. "English like me, but older, less attractive. One of them gave you his number." At the end of the bar, sat with his flannel blanket wrapped around him once again; trying to hide as much of his demonic body as possible, as he watched Spike use the information he had given him to hopefully get what he needed from the waitress so that he could get his vengeance on Ethan Rayne and hopefully his body back.

The waitress shrugged. "I threw it out." She informed Spike, remembering the pair that he was talking about. It was too soon to forget the two of them. It wasn't very often that they got two drunk old Englishmen in this bar. "I mean, I took one look and saw that he was staying at the rat trap." She shuddered. "No thanks."

"Which rat trap?" Spike asked.

"The one by the highway. The Sunnydale Motor Inn." The waitress explained.

"Thank you." Spike said with a smile, wishing that the chip wasn't in his brain to make it worth asking the girl out at a later date… and feasting on her in more ways than one.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy kicked in the door to the magic shop; a sense of déjà vu taking over her for a moment as she remembered doing something almost exactly like this with Angelus before… except back then it had been Spike that had been with them and Angelus had still hated her… and had wanted nothing more than to see her suffer. She was glad that things had moved on for the better since then. She stepped briskly into magic shop, Angelus and Riley following after her. "Ok. Credit card slips, sales receipt. Help me look." She told them.

"You shouldn't have done that to the door." Riley muttered disapprovingly as he stared at the now broken door; a sure sign that someone had entered the shop. Something that The Initiative didn't like to do unless they had to… they were all about being unnoticed and unseen by the public as much as humanly possible.

"I don't have time to play by the rules tonight." Buffy said briskly as she walked around the counter, her preternaturally enhanced eyes easily seeing in the darkness.

"I have a master key. It opens every shop on Main Street." Riley explained, giving Buffy paused as she glanced over at Riley for a short moment, not sure that she liked that The Initiative would have the power to have something like that. Government Military outfit or not… they dealt with demons why would they need to have a master key to all the shops on Main Street.

Angelus scowled over at Riley as he leapt over the counter that Buffy had taken the time to walk around as he began searching under it. "Buffy's The Slayer, she doesn't need a master key to do her job." Angelus grumbled loud enough for Riley to hear. "Nor does she need to carry jacked up weapons to feel powerful." He muttered quieter, so that it merely sounded like a indistinguishable murmur to Riley's ears.

Buffy opened a drawer, ignoring the slight male testosterone fuelled pissing contest that was going on between the two men as she continued her search by starting to look through the receipts she found there. "I don't know what I'm looking for." Riley said after a moments silence, still feeling the heat staining his cheeks and he wondered once again what Buffy saw in the arrogant dark haired man that she was dating.

Buffy smiled coldly as she looked down at the receipt that she had discovered. "I do." She murmured drawing the two men's attention from what they were doing. Ripping the receipt from the others she dumped the rest back in the drawer and slammed it shut as a way to vent some of her rage. "Ethan Rayne." She practically snarled as she stared down at the name.

"Who's that?" Riley asked, looking between Buffy and Angelus, both of whom looked rather pissed in that moment.

Buffy slammed the receipt that had given Ethan Rayne away onto the counter table, a scowl still darkening her brow. "Professional bad guy. He's gotta be the guy that made the demon attack Giles." Buffy grumbled her hand going to her neck where a tattoo that bastard had put on her neck in an attempt to have her killed in his place. Buffy attempted a small smile as she placed a hand on Angelus' arm. "At least we know who we're looking for."

"And how we should deal with him." Angelus grumbled lowly,

Buffy squeeze his arm. "Maybe this time I'll get to hit him till he bleeds."

Angelus smirked. "I think you did that already."

Buffy shrugged. "I guess he's one of those guys you just love ta hit." Buffy frowned slightly as Riley picked up the receipt and pulled out his phone.

"Command, are you there?" He spoke into his phone.

"What are you doing?" Buffy asked puzzled and a little apprehensive.

Riley held up a finger, silently asking them to be patient and silent for a moment. "It's Agent Finn. I need a search. Local hotel registrations matching the name Ethan Rayne. R-A-Y-N-E. Call me back." He ordered, before he flipped it closed.

"You can do that?" Buffy asked a little impressed with the pull he had as a commando.

Riley shrugged glad that he'd impressed her. "It'll take a couple of minutes."

Buffy nodded. "Let's get in the car. Be ready to go." She ordered as she walked back around the counter, Angelus at her side as they headed towards the door.

Riley swallowed as he followed, not knowing what kind of reaction he was about to get. "Buffy," He called, causing both of his companions to stop and turn to look at him. "Earlier, when I talked to Professor Walsh, she gave me very specific orders." He said a little nervously.

"Yeah?" Buffy urged wanting to hurry up and get in the car.

"She said when we located the demon… I'm not supposed to bring you along." Riley admitted.

"Oh," Buffy said with a nonchalant shrug, before she turned and began making her way out the door once again.

"Uh, what are you doing?" Riley asked shocked as Buffy and Angelus both seemed to ignore the orders he'd been given.

Buffy turned to face him again, irritation beginning to show on her face. "I'm going to the car." She explained firmly, her expression determined.

"Buffy, I can't take you with me." Riley forced himself to say; orders where orders and as much as Maggie Walsh wanted to get more information about The Slayer; she didn't want to jeopardize their mission on someone they didn't know enough about.

Buffy gave him a look. "You're not taking me with you." She said firmly as she levelled a harsh stare at Riley. "I am going and I am letting you tag along with me." She said.

"Buffy, it really isn't your call. This is a military operation now." Riley tried to explain to her and almost audibly gulped at the cold steely look she gave him.

"Then call out the troops. Because nothing less than that is gonna stop me. This demon did something to Giles and I'm gonna kill it." She said stonily, before turning on her heel and marching out of the magic shop her voice trailing back to them. "Besides it's not your car!" She practically growled. Angelus gave Riley a superior smirk, before he turned and followed Buffy, more than just a little thrilled to have born witness to Buffy cutting Riley down even just a little. Riley sighed and followed, really having no choice in the matter.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Spike glanced from the road to Giles, the newly made demon growling almost constantly now, making him wonder just how much was still Giles and how much was the Faryl demon. "How ya feeling, mate?" He enquired.

"Like snapping necks until everyone is dead."

"Now that sounds like a Faryl demon. Good for you." Spike exclaimed as he turned his gaze back to the road. His gaze went to the rear view mirror as a set of bright headlights suddenly blared across his windshield. "Hey, picked up a tail." Spike muttered.

"Yes," Giles said agreeably the growl in his voice toned down again. "Just a little one. It hurts when I sit." Completely mistaking Spike's meaning.

Spike tossed Giles a look. "I mean someone is following us. Humvee, military."

Giles expression turned startled then somewhat angry. "Well speed up. Lose them." Giles commanded.

"I got it floored." Spike grumbled as he pressed his foot a little harder against the already floored gas pedal. "Why'd you buy this car?"

"Well, do something. If they catch us, we'll both end up in a lab!" Giles exclaimed anxiously.

"It's getting closer." Spike grumbled as he tightened his hands around the steering wheel, and hunched over the wheel slightly, trying to urge the small old car to go faster than it wanted to. Spike glanced up at the rear view mirror once again and bit back a curse as he saw another Humvee seemingly out of nowhere swerves in front of the first; much closer to the old car. That Spike had a distinct urge to kick to see if that could make it go any faster. "And it's got a friend!" Spike growled.

"Damn!" Giles growled angrily thrusting his arm towards the door, only to hit the window instead accidentally shattering the fragile glass.

"Oh, sure!" Spike growled exasperated. "Dismantle the getaway car. That'll scare them." He muttered.

"Then slow down and I'll jump out. They'll follow the car." Giles demanded with certainty.

"Hold on! These commandos. They're the same guys that are after me too…" Spike grumbled. "Maybe I want you around to split their attention a bit?" He said bluntly.

"I'll pay you another hundred dollars." Giles bargained a little desperately. Spike gave Giles a look trying to judge how serious the man was.

"Ooh, you better pay up when this is all done and dusted, mate!" Spike growled as he turned the wheel to turn a sharp right, causing the poor old car to screech once again as the gears grinded against each other. Giles opened the passenger door and allowed himself to tumble out of the car growling out a grunt as he hit the ground with a thud and immediately rolled out of the way. Quickly jumping to his feet Giles was up and running by the time the Humvees came driving past following after his little Citroen.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Ethan hurriedly moved about his room; hastily trying to pack his bag so that he could now get out of the town he'd come to wreak havoc on. He'd just stuffed the last of his shirts into his suitcase, when there was a loud crash on his door. Spinning to face just as another loud crash slammed against the door and this time, the door broke open and a seriously pissed demon stalked into his room angry growls rumbling from the demons snarling sneering lips. Ethan stared at the demon wide eyed, before he calmed slightly as he recognised his own handiwork. "Giles?" He asked only to get an angry growl in return. Giles far too angry to form words at this point as he stalked hulk-ishly towards him; his every step radiating violence. Ethan swallowed thickly seeing that Giles was too far gone into his rage to be easily talked down.

Ethan quickly backed up his hands coming up as if to ward his old friend off. "Now… it… it… calm down!" Ethan tried to coax nervously as he jumped up onto the bed in a vain attempt to get away from the demon Giles had become. "It's ok," Ethan tried to sooth. "Good Giles." He said as if speaking to an angry dog. Giles reached for him and Ethan swallowed a scream as he tried to jump off the bed and out of the way. He almost made it past the angry Giles, when he felt Giles strong hand grasp him and effectively halt his escape. "No! No! Don't kill me!" Ethan pleaded nervously.

Giles growled, not heeding a word his old friend said, too lost in the thrill of crushing… killing to want to pay any attention to the mans pleas. Grasping Ethan by the throat, he tightened his hand around the fragile flesh as he lifted his old friend off his feet. "I can't undo you if you kill me!" Ethan gasped out, his hands grasping at the one Giles had so firmly wrapped around his throat.

Giles growled angrily just before he flung Ethan across the room; where he crashed head first into a nightstand, shattering it into small pieces. Giles moved to go after him, full intent on crushing and killing the puny human that he was so vexed with. But at that moment Buffy rushed into the small apartment an angry look on her face as she took in the scene before her. Ethan who was clutching at his throat breathed a sigh of relief at seeing Buffy. "You've got to stop it! It killed Ripper and now it's trying to kill me!" He lied through his teeth, just wanting to save his skin and knowing that if Buffy knew that all this was his doing, she'd end up pummelling him… probably close to death.

Buffy scowled darkly, almost baring her teeth in anger at the demon that had supposedly killed Giles. "Don't let him go." She demanded more of Angelus then Riley as they stood with her just inside the doorway.

Not waiting for a reply as she stepped further into the room, Giles took a step towards her only for Buffy to execute a vicious spinning kick that knocked Giles back against the wall. "What did you do to him? What did you do?" She growled, almost shouted in her anger as she glared at the Faryl demon that had taken her father figure from her.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Spike turned the wheel sharply so as to make the corner, forcing the poor car to fishtail around a corner, hoping to lose the two Humvees if he took unexpected turns. Spike took another sharp turn in the opposite direction to the last the grin on his face giving way to the fact that he had begun to enjoy this car chase since letting Giles out of the car. This time the Humvee that had taken the lead lost control of the powerful vehicle causing the Humvee to spin out, forcing the second Humvee to screech to a halt before it rear ended the vehicle in front. Spike bounced up and down in his seat whilst keeping his foot on the gas pedal. His eyes focusing on the rear view mirror, taking in the fact that there was now no Humvees chasing after them. "You just try and stop me, you stupid jar…" Spike was cut off as whilst not paying attention he crashed into the side of the building.

Spike forced open the driver's side door and staggered out, a little shaken by the crash not having expected it. "I can kill demons. I can crash cars… Things are looking up!" Spike shouted in a way that was almost triumphant in the crashing wave of his excitement in the chase. Hearing shouts coming from behind him, Spike muttered a vulgar curse and hurried on his way abandoning the now unusable car as he moved swiftly into the night, seeking to disappear now far quicker than ever, not fancying a foot chase half so much as he had enjoyed the car chase; the bloody bastard had too long of a range with their weapons.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Giles charged Buffy and shoved her against the wall. Riley moved to step in, only for Angelus to force him back with only a single movement of his arm. "You say you love her, but you will not help her. What kind of boyfriend are you?" Riley demanded to know as he glared at Angelus, rather put out that it had been so easy for the other man to restrain him.

"I'm man enough to know when she needs my help and when she doesn't. See." Angelus practically growled in an annoyance, not at all appreciating his questioning him on his affections for his mate to be. Riley turned his gaze back to the battle to see Buffy retaliate by throwing a hard right, throwing the demon off of her with that single blow.

Angelus and Riley's attention where diverted from Buffy's battle with the rampaging demon by Ethan who came charging at them in a bid to escape repercussions when the battle was over. Riley caught unawares took the full weight of Ethan's blow. Angelus snarled not for the hit delivered to the boy, but at Ethan as he tried to throw a sloppy punch at him. Angelus caught the blow easily and wrapped a hand around Ethan's throat. "Help!" Ethan shrieked, his gaze going to Riley who was straightening up from the unexpected blow. "He's ah, he's a…" Angelus tightened his hand around Ethan's neck his eyes flashing amber in warning at the frightened man who grew terrified at the clear threat in the vampire's eyes if he so much as even tried to finish that sentence.

"He's what?" Riley asked curiously.

Ethan swallowed thickly, the task taking more effort than usual due to Angelus' hand clutching tight in warning around his throat. "N-nothing!" Ethan spluttered out. Angelus sneered at him and threw him away from him so that the man sprawled near his feet.

"Get up again and find me in a fowler mood than before." Angelus warned as Ethan stared up at him from the floor as he rubbed his throat. Feeling thoroughly defeated.

Ethan turned his attention to the fight that Buffy was waging with the demon Giles had become as Buffy landed a high kick to the demons chest, knocking her opponent back once again. "You're only going to make him angry." Ethan cautioned as he heard Giles growl angrily as he shifted on the floor of his apartment, not quite yet willing to give up all possibility of escape. Buffy ignored Ethan as she continued to wage battle with the demon that stood accused of killing her father figure. Not caring that the demon continued to get up to accept its punishment from her as she continued to knock it back down to the floor enjoying every kick and punch she landed against the creature. At that moment Ethan scrambled completely back up to his feet in a second bid for freedom. He'd barely moved a step though when Angelus tripped him up sending him flying onto his back with a painful thud. "I warned you." Angelus murmured threateningly as he placed his foot against his neck, effectively pinning him to the ground as to struggle would be to suffocate himself. "That I don't have the patience for you right now."

"Don't tell me that the mighty Angelus cares for old Ripper." Ethan wheezed and regretted speaking as Angelus placed more pressure against his neck with his the dirty sole of his shoe. Ethan followed the vampire's gaze awkwardly and made a sound of understand. "Ah, of course not, The Slayer."

Angelus barely restrained a growl. "Shut up, Ethan, or I'll put my boot through your neck. Then we'll see just how much you can talk then." He threatened.

"Is that really necessary?" Riley asked a little concerned, the man was human after all; one of them.

Angelus glanced over at the commando, his brown eyes filled with distaste. "You don't know him like I do. He tried to have Buffy killed once." Riley's eyes widened slightly and in that moment Ethan knew that any sympathy he might get from that front was now gone.

"Well, it was only small trifling thing." Ethan tried to explain away, only for Angelus' foot to press down harder against his throat. "Yes. W-well you sa-aved her that's the main thing, old chap."

Buffy grasped a foldable stand that was supplied by the cheap motel; that Faith had once called home, she swung it at Giles as he charged at her, his head lowered so that his horns where aimed at her. Unintentionally Buffy's blow with the foldable stand got the demons head caught in the leather straps; using it to her advantage she swung the demon around she threw him to the other side of the small apartment. Buffy moved to press her attack, when Giles freed himself from the leather, ramming Buffy under the chin with the curve of his horn as he straightened up, sending Buffy to the floor with a painful thump. Giles growled down at her and bent to press his own attack, only for Buffy to lift her legs and catch his legs in a scissor lock that unbalanced Giles and sent him to the ground. Before Giles could reorientate himself, his anger having been knocked out him during that last fall, Buffy left up and straddled him the letter opener clutched firmly in hand as she stared down at him with anger. "This is for Giles!" She growled at him.

"For me?" Giles queried just as Buffy raised the dull blade with both hands; high above her head, before swinging it down with all the force she could muster. Giles eyes opened wide in response to the pain, his gaze meeting Buffy's.

Buffy's own eyes widened in shock her anger disappearing as fast as it had come. "Oh, God! Giles!" She exclaimed in horror, believing that she had killed him as she hurriedly pulled out the knife like that could reverse the effects of having shoved silver into his heart. She frowned down at him as he made odd grunting and growling sounds. "Oh, God! Giles! Giles! I'm so… I'm so sorry! Please don't die!" Buffy pleaded with him.

"Actually I feel quite well. Except for the rage." Giles tried to tell her without success as he was still speaking Frayl.

Buffy breathed a sigh of relief as it seemed that Giles wasn't actually dying like she had feared. "I think he's ok." Buffy told the other occupants in the room. "I," Buffy trailed off as she took the bloodied letter opener in both her hands. "Is this thing real silver?" She asked Giles, even though she knew at this moment she wouldn't get an answer, but seeing as he wasn't dying it couldn't be real silver. Looking up from the knife she turned a glaring gaze to Ethan who gulped and tried to wiggle out from underneath Angelus' foot to no avail. "You-You tried to have me kill Giles!" She exclaimed angrily.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

A fair while later Riley stood guarding the door as he spoke into his cell phone. Whilst inside the small apartment Ethan sat cross-legged on the floor, the remnants of a spell just completed in front of him, doing his best to ignore the glaring look he was receiving from Buffy who was holding him firmly by the back of the collar eager to do him more damage than the rather painful blow that had spilt his lip. His chin rested glumly on his fist as he watched Giles fiddling with one of his shirts in front of a mirror. "I really got to learn to just do the damage and get out of town." He muttered. "It's the stay and gloat that gets me every time."

"Well, you never were the brightest fellow, were you?" Angelus grumbled his arms crossed over his chest as he watched the old sorcerer with hawk eyes. It wasn't just he feared he might say in the presence of the army lacky who had just finished his call, but the fact that he was indeed a wielder of magic… magic had never held much good in store for him before, no reason to think that it would start now; especially not with a sorcerer of chaos and black magicks.

Buffy nudged Ethan none to gently with her knee as she released his cuff and walked over to Giles who was standing in front of the mirror hung on the wall as he continued to fiddle with the horrid cheap silk shirt that Ethan tended to favour. "You ok?" Buffy asked as she came up beside him.

"Oh um, uh, embarrassed, mostly." He admitted. "Ethan's wardrobe's not helping any." He grumbled as he finally dropped his hands from Ethan's shirt considering it a lost caused to try and feel comfortable in the damnable thing. And turned to face her a curious look in his eyes. "Uh, how did you know it was me?"

"Your eyes," Buffy explained, only to elaborate as Giles gave her a confused look. "You're the only person in the world that can look that annoyed with me." She said with an affectionate smile. Giles returned her smile, rather touched that she had managed to figure it out in such a way.

The moment was broken as Ethan lumbered to his feet, taking a small step away from Angelus who had shifted in response to his movement. "Is this gonna go on much longer? I'd rather like to be going." He said.

Buffy turned to face him her arms crossed over her chest as she frowned with intense dislike of the man she was looking at. "Any why would I let you go?" She asked.

Ethan straightened himself up. "Well, maybe because you have no choice." He said pompously. "I'm human, you can't kill me. What's a Slayer going to do to me?" He asked.

"Oh, I'm sure I could think of something." Angelus assured him from where he stood only the slightest hint of malice in his tone, but it was enough to make Ethan shiver and gulp, his pompous air diminishing completely.

Before anyone could say anything else, Riley stepped up behind Ethan with two tough looking MP's alongside him, drawing Ethan's attention and he spluttered wordless as he was cuffed by the two MP's without so much as batting eye from the two that where now gripping him on either arm. "By the authority of the US military, you're being taken into custody pending a determination of your status." Riley turned his gaze from the shocked Ethan to the MP's. "Take it from here." He ordered and the two nodded and began forcing the still shell shocked Ethan from the room.

Buffy exchanged a happy look with Giles, both of them enjoying the sight of Ethan being taken away. "They'll uh, take Mr. Rayne to a secret detention facility in the Nevada desert. I'm sure he'll be rehabilitated in no time." He said with a nod, before looking from Buffy to Angelus for a moment hesitating, before taking his leave of the room.

Giles cleared his throat, unable to keep the smile from curling up his lips. "Uh, if you don't mind, I'm just gonna… go and watch them manhandle him into a vehicle." He murmured and swiftly left the room in order not to miss the sight.

Buffy sighed her shoulders slumping slightly and she leaned back into Angelus' chest as she felt him come up behind her. "I almost killed, Giles tonight… I almost lost him." She murmured.

"But you didn't." Angelus assured her softly, his mouth dropping a kiss into her hair.

"Yeah, but only thanks to the fact that Giles letter opener wasn't actually silver like I thought." Buffy looked down at it again. "Who'd have thought that Giles would buy a knock off?" Buffy looked towards the door. "Well, The Initiative was kind of helpful tonight, weren't they?"

Angelus growled lowly. "You aren't con…"

"No." Buffy assured him. "I was just saying… that they were a little helpful tonight… if not a bit bossy. I didn't like the way he tried to order me off… like the demons were his thing…"

"They'll soon learn that The Slayer isn't someone they can push around." Angelus murmured and Buffy nodded her agreement as she continued to lean against his strong chest.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Buffy gave a little yawn as she walked along the campus ground alone, half wishing now that she had just decided to go back to Angelus' mansion with him… but she had wanted the chance at a goodnights sleep. Something she wouldn't get with Angelus in his bed… Buffy whirled around in at the noise of a stick breaking under the weight of a foot just behind her, her body tensing for an attack, only to relax at seeing Riley standing there. "Sorry," He apologised. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"No, it's alright. I'm still just a little jumpy from the nights events." She assured him as she turned and began to walk again, Riley falling into step behind her.

"So," Riley began breaking the silence once again. "Have you given anymore thought to coming into The Initiative?" He enquired.

Buffy paused in her stride again as she turned to face him; tucking some hair behind her ear. "Uh, yeah… about that." She murmured apologetically. "I've decided that it probably isn't such a good idea. I mean… not to say that it isn't a super good operation… it's just I'm The Slayer… I'm used to you know leading… and so are the people you work for."

Riley swallowed thickly, he'd really been hoping that that wouldn't be her answer… he'd hoped that he could find a way to do this in a much gentler way… perhaps even get her consent to do at least some of what the Professor wanted from her… after all before she had seemed keen to learn from them as they were to learn from her. "Are you sure? It's just I'm certain that we could learn a lot from each other. I mean tonight, you were amazing!" He praised. "You were like a one woman army… you did things tonight that it would take a highly trained assault team to handle."

Buffy looked ahead of her as she bit her lower lip. "It was just another day on the job for me… although working with you was a change."

"Well, I enjoyed working with you tonight." Riley admitted.

"Are you sure? Cause it kind of seemed like I was getting in your way a little there… what with your orders and all."

"Ah, well that… I'm sure it's not that big of a deal… Professor Walsh just has to get to understand you a little better, before she'll fully trust you. We have as much at stake as you do." Buffy looked down at her feet for a moment highly doubting that they had as much to lose as her… they had no idea. "Are you sure I can't change your mind?" Riley asked, hopefully.

"I'm sorry, but no." Buffy said firmly, pausing in her stride when Riley did.

"I'm sorry to hear that." Riley muttered under his breath, his hand delving into his pocket, his hand closing about the machine that he knew that he much now use. Buffy gave him a quizzical look. A look that turned to shock as he took a quick step towards her, and in the next instant all she knew was pain as the electrical current from the stun gun hit her with full force making her crumple to her knees in its wake.

Buffy looked up at him to see his surprised look that she wasn't out for the count. "What the hell?!" She growled as she struggled back up to her feet, haphazardly block Riley's next strike with the stun gun he had used on her. Her body feeling sluggish after the shocking burn… the pain of it pulsing through the spot it had struck on her body. Buffy dodge, before stepping in to land a blow, only for Riley to manage to hit her with the stun gun again this time in her side and she cried out and crumpled again, this time struggling to regain her feet.

Riley swallowed as she looked up at him with betrayed, hurt hazel eyes. "I'm sorry," He apologized to her. "It's nothing personal… just orders." He told her, believing almost whole heartedly that that bit of information would make everything ok between them. Before struck her with the stun gun again, sending her to the ground her eyes closed.

Buffy's last thought before unconsciousness claimed her was that Angelus had been right all along. Riley stared down at her for a moment before he reached for his cell phone. "Alright move in." He commanded, before he hung up the phone. As he bent down to scoop Buffy's deceptively slight frame up off the cold grass, his team closed in about him, ready to walk with him to the base.

"That took longer than expected." Forrest commented, feeling rather glad that it had taken more than one strike of the stun gun to take little Miss Summers down.

"It is rather amazing." Graham agreed. "Anyone else would have been incapacitated by one." Forrest rolled his eyes, but remained silent as did Riley as they walked towards the more secret entrance of the base, not wanting to accidentally be seen by others housed in Lorrell house.

***B/Aus***B/Aus***

Inside his mansion Angelus frowned deeply a hand coming up to rub at his chest, right over his un-beating heart; a sense that something terrible had just happened, but… it had to be his imagination, the danger was over tonight, Buffy had gone to her dorm with Willow… she was no doubt giggling with her right at this moment as the prepared for bed… Angelus' hands clenched into fists… wishing that he could see her right now… and know for certain… Angelus gave his head a shake and lowered his hand from his chest. 'Everything was fine.' He tried to assure himself as he tried to place the feeling from mind. Buffy was more than capable of taking care of herself… so there was no reason for him to feel like something had just happened to her!

Angelus thumped a fist against the mantle of the fireplace that now just held ash from the fire that had warmed its hearth earlier. The frown still darkening his brow, in that particular moment he wished that he was mated to his petite blond Slayer so that he could feel her inside his mind… and know for a fact that she was alright… Angelus growled lowly his eyes flashing amber and he whirled away from the fireplace and began pacing around the large hall that he was in as he tried to assure himself that the feeling was nothing more than his imagination… it had to be… Buffy had gone home to bed… to sleep… she had to be safe!

A/N: Alright, finally I have finished the long… long chapter! I hope that you enjoyed and the changes that I have made. And I apologise for not going into detail with all the smutty scenes, but I figured that it wasn't really necessary after already giving you two in one lol. I hope that you all enjoyed it :)