One Door Closes

Part 1 of The Air We Breathe Series

Spoilers: Anything for either the Buffy or Angel show is fair game. Though really people, the shows ended years ago. Let's get caught up shall we?

Timeline: Takes place a few months after Not Fade Away. The comics are being disregarded.

Rating: I'm gonna go with R though there will be a NC-17 part a bit later.

Pairing: Well… it's complicated. It's B/A but.. not in a good way. If you want a happily ever after for B/A, I respect you enough to tell you to run away while you still can. This is NOT Angel friendly. There will be multiple pairings later on the in Series but you're not gonna see Angel again for a little while after this.

Summary: Buffy sees Angel again but things don't go quite how she expected, and nothing is how it seems.

Disclaimer: I don't own any characters from Btvs or Ats.

Warning: This is pretty dark towards the end.

Buffy looked down at the piece of paper in her hand then back up at the building before her. The 3 story grey stone building looked like all the other buildings around it, but to the original Slayer it was far more intimidating.

After the destruction of Wolfram & Hart and the horrific battle that followed, Angel and those who survived set up shop in a building in downtown LA and reopened Angel Investigations. Though these days they did far less investigating and far more hunting since the demon population had grown in leaps and bounds during Angel's time stuck behind a desk.

Buffy sighed. She wished she could have been in LA for the battle but she'd had an apocalypse of her own to take care of at the time. Being undercover as the girlfriend of the Immortal to stop his plan to unleash the Undead army of the Roman God Pluto didn't exactly grant her the privilege of running off to help her ex-boyfriend at the drop of a hat.

Buffy reached down and smoothed out the nonexistent wrinkles in her light blue blouse. She took a deep breath and walked inside.

….

Connor sat on the edge of a desk sharpening what was quickly becoming his favorite broad sword.

After W&H was destroyed so was the fake life they had created for him. It had been a challenge readjusting to his old life at first, but he wasn't going to hold it against anyone. The fake life had been great while it lasted and it had certainly helped him get his head on straight, but it wasn't really his life. He'd never felt like he truly belonged. Now he knew why.

He glared over at Jennifer's back as she popped her gum again, questioning for what had to be the thousandth time if saving her from a demon during the battle with W&H had been a good idea. Jennifer was a nice looking girl with shoulder length auburn hair and sea green eyes.

Connor rolled his eyes. Yeah, she was nice to look at, but ultimately a royal pain is his ass. She had her uses though. She was a way better filer than Cordelia had been and didn't complain about dealing with musty old books.

He looked up as the front door opened, doing nothing to hide his shock as the petite blond slayer stepped in.

Jennifer was across the room in an instant. "Hi! Welcome to Angel Investigations. I'm Jennifer. What can I do for you?" She asked brightly, shaking Buffy's hand.

Buffy studied the cheery girl in front of her, briefly wondering what this girl was to Angel, before pushing the thought away.

"Um hi. I'm looking for Angel." Buffy replied, looking around the room. She knew he was in the building. She could feel his presence as strongly as she could feel her own heartbeat pounding in her chest.

Connor put down the sword and walked toward the two women.

"Oh Angel -"

"Is in his office." Connor cut off whatever Jennifer had been about to say. He extended his hand. "Connor."

"Buffy." She replied shaking the offered hand.

"I know." He said simply. "I'm um.. I'm Angel's son."

"I know. " She smiled at the teen. He couldn't be any older than Dawn… Buffy's face fell at the thought of her sister. "Anyway, can you point me in the direction of his office?"

"How about I just walk you there?" Connor offered, wondering at her sudden change in mood.

"That works too." Buffy said, following as Connor lead her to the other side of the room and down a small hallway.

He knocked twice on a door before opening it, clearly unconcerned for the privacy of the room's occupant.

"Hey dad, someone's here to see you." Connor said, stepping further inside to reveal Buffy standing in the doorway.

"Angel." Buffy said in their traditional greeting.

"Buffy."

If Angel needed to breathe at that moment, he would have been in serious trouble. It had been more than a year since he'd seen Buffy and she hadn't changed much at all. Her hair was longer now, flowing in golden waves down her back. Her light blue sleeveless blouse clung tastefully to her curves and her light beige skirt showed off her toned legs, finished off with her light beige peak-toed sling backs. In short, she was beautiful.

Angel shook himself from his admiration for the only woman who truly held his heart, and his eyes hardened, his look instantly turning cold.

This woman had betrayed him. The one person who he always believed he could depend on had denied him the help he so desperately needed when he needed her the most. She had not only not trusted him once he went with W&H, but when his friend was dying, she and her allies had refused him help. They let Fred die. And for that.. Buffy would never be forgiven in Angel's eyes.

"What are you doing here Buffy?" Angel asked after a moment, watching as Connor left the room.

"I just… I wanted to see you. I heard about what happened here a few months ago.. I wanted to see for myself.. If you were ok." Buffy said, looking at the ground, hurt by the cold look in Angel's eyes. She already felt guilty for not being there. Did he have to make it worse?

"That was five months ago Buffy. At this point even if I wasn't ok, there's nothing you could have done about it." Angel said shortly, turning back to the file on his desk.

"You're right. I'm sorry I wasn't here to help-"

"What else is new?" Angel muttered, rolling his eyes.

At the shocked and hurt look on Buffy's face Angel continued. "Well it's not like you've been any help to me at all in the past year. Honestly Buffy I didn't expect you to be there for the battle. I don't even know why you're here now."

Buffy fought back the tears threatening to spill from her eyes and fixed Angel with a glare. "I don't know where you get off talking to me like that. I was apologizing. The only reason I wasn't here was because I was busy stopping an apocalypse of my own! LA isn't the only place that gets targeted you know! I came here because I wanted to see you. It's been a long time and I needed to see for myself that you didn't get dusted. I guess that's what I get for caring."

"Caring? Are you kidding me? If you-" Angel stopped and took an unneeded deep breath. "Forget it Buffy. Thanks for stopping by. As you can see, I'm not dust and I kind of have a lot of work to do."

"Yeah I heard LA has a demon population that could give even Sunnydale a run for it's money." Buffy said, glancing at Angel who shot her an annoyed look.

"Well if you want to help cut down the numbers while you're in town, be my guest." Angel said, looking back down at the file.

Buffy shrugged. "I'm in LA for another week or two. I might as well."

At that, Angel looked up at her. "Why the extended stay?"

"Needed to get out of Rome." She answered simply.

"I see."

"Mhm. So I'm gonna to my hotel now. Long day and all that…" Buffy trailed off placing a small card on his desk. "That's where I'm staying if you need me for anything." Buffy looked into Angel's eyes desperately hoping to see something, anything; any sign of the man er- vampire that once loved her.

Not finding what she had been searching for, Buffy signed and turned and walked from the room.

As soon as the door shut behind her, Angel slumped forward, resting his head on the cool wood of the desk. Angel's feeling for Buffy were confusing to say the least, but he wasn't about to dwell on them. Not this time. Not after what she did.

….

It took every ounce of will power Buffy had not to break down as soon as she left his office. He'd been so cold… Buffy ran a hand through her hair, choking back a sob. She took a deep breath. Crying would come later.

Buffy walked down the hall and back into the Lobby area. The red-headed woman was no longer there. Buffy guessed she had gone home since it was around 7pm now. The only person there was Connor who…. Was spinning around in an office chair. Buffy tried to stifle a giggle. Apparently she failed since Connor slammed his feet to the ground stopping himself mid spin and shot to his feet, a surprised look on his face.

"Um… hi…uh.. I was just.." He stammered.

"It's ok Connor. It's good some people can still have a little fun." Buffy said with a smile that didn't reach her eyes.

Connor cocked his head to the side, studying her for a moment. There was something about this woman. She seemed so much older than she was. She couldn't be a day over 23 and yet she held herself in such a way that made her seem so much older.

"Maybe you should try it sometime." Connor said after a minute. "The having fun, not necessarily the chair spinning." He added with a slight blush.

"Yeah… the most fun I seem to get these days is wailing on some vamps, if I'm not getting my heart broken by one." Buffy said bitterly.

Connor didn't understand it. He didn't deal well with girls and emotions and stuff like that, but he couldn't stand seeing Buffy like this and he didn't even know her.

"Well, there's plenty of vamps around here. I'm they'd love to meet the ass kicker end of your stake." He said with a grin. "Though," he continued, giving Buffy a once over. "You're outfit's not exactly Slay ready."

Buffy scoffed. "I've slayed in a Prom dress. This is nothing."

Connor raised an eyebrow. "Oook then." He tossed her a stake and they walked out the door.

…..

"He's just been so cold. I don't know why… Maybe he just doesn't love me anymore." Buffy wiped angrily at the tears streaming down her cheeks. She glanced down and her bottom lip jutted out in a pout as she realized she was out of cheesecake brownie ice cream.

Connor sighed, reaching back into the mini freezer and pulling out another carton of Ben & Jerry's and setting it in front of his pouting friend. He bit back a laugh as she ripped the lid off and clutched the carton like a life line.

Over the past week and a half the Buffy had been in LA, she and Connor had become fast friends. Buffy was grateful. She hadn't really had anyone to talk to or hang out with since she left Rome, and even before then she didn't have anyone she was close to anymore. She and her once best friends weren't on speaking terms. They had demanded she not come to LA. Not see Angel. Apparently they thought her seeing him would be a bad thing and told her in no uncertain terms that if she went, she wouldn't be welcome around them anymore. That was more than fine with Buffy. She was done letting people run her life for her. She was a grown woman and could do as she pleased. And Dawn… it wasn't bad enough that she had kicked her out of her own house in Sunnydale, but Dawn once again sided with the other scoobies and was more than willing to turn her back on Buffy once again. The girl Buffy had once given her life for had turned her back on her. That was unforgivable. To hell with them all.

Yes. Buffy was more than grateful for Connor's presence. He was the friend she had been longing for. The one she desperately needed now.

"Buffy, I don't know a lot about the relationship you and Angel had, but I know that you're very important to him. He used to tell me stories about the two of you. He would get this look in his eye, this look of longing.. Like he wanted everything he was telling me about all over again. Then he'd close himself off again. But I know it was there. He loves you Buffy. Even if he won't let himself acknowledge it."

Buffy buried her head in her hands for a moment before looking back up at Connor. The look in her eyes broke his heart. Those vibrant green eyes were so full of sorrow, he didn't know how she wasn't drowning in it.

"I'm not here to try to restart my relationship with Angel. I mean, it'd be nice. But I wasn't expecting that to happen. But I wasn't expecting him to be completely cold either."

Buffy had seen Angel earlier that day, and just like every other time she had seen him while she'd been in LA, he'd given her the cold shoulder. This time, however, she asked him why he felt she deserved to be treated this way. The look he gave her in response would haunt her forever. It was so cold, so cruel, not even Angelus could have mustered such a hateful look. Connor had found Buffy hours later standing on a bridge overlooking the Pacific ocean. He'd been terrified she would jump. Her eyes had such a haunted look in them. He'd wrapped his arms around her and she collapsed instantly, her legs giving out as she sobbed openly.

Connor hadn't hated his father in more than a year, but as he held the woman who had quickly become his best friend, he felt stirrings of resentment for in the pit of his stomach. Connor didn't know what his father's issues were where Buffy was concerned. But she didn't deserve this. No one did.

"Buffy," Connor placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "You need to talk to him. Really talk to him. Make him tell you what's really going on. You can't keep going like this. You don't deserve that. If he has a problem with you, you at least deserve to know why. If you did something, you can't make amends if you don't know what you did."

"You're right. I just… I don't know if I can face him again." She sighed. "But I have to don't I?"

Connor nodded sadly. "It'll be alright Buffy."

Buffy wasn't so sure.

"Angel."

"What is it Buffy? I have a lot of work to do." Angel growled.

"Somehow I doubt that considering Connor and I have taken out a large chunk of the LA demon populous and I have yet to see you get out from behind that desk. Guess W&H really did make you soft." Buffy regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth as she found herself once again on the receiving end of the hateful glare that had reduced her to a sobbing mess the day before. Buffy swallowed the lump in her throat and forced herself not to run from the room.

"Soft? Huh. First they made me evil now they made me soft. Nice to know what you really think of me Buffy." Angel was furious. How dare she come in here and criticize him! Why the fuck was she still here! And why the hell was she spending so much time with Connor?

"Look, Angel.." Buffy sighed. "I didn't come here to fight with you. We need to talk. Seriously talk. Not yell, not trade insults. Just talk."

"I don't see what we could possibly have to talk about." Angel grumbled, annoyed, but at the same time more than a bit anxious. He knew what was coming. It had only been a matter of time before she had enough of his behavior and demanded answers.

"What's going on Angel? I mean I know we haven't really kept in contact over the past year, but I thought we parted on ok terms. But ever since I came here you've been nothing but cold to me. Why Angel? What did I do to deserve to be treated like shit?" Buffy's voice cracked a bit towards the end but she forced herself to remain strong, never taking her eyes off Angel.

Angel swallowed hard as he looked into Buffy's pleading eyes. She really had no idea. Was she fucking kidding? Did she really think she could get away with what she and the others did? With what she said? Hearing that Buffy no longer trusted him had hurt him beyond reason. Now it was her turn.

"Where were you this past year Buffy? Every time I needed your help, where the hell were you?" Angel demanded.

That wasn't what Buffy was expecting but she answered none the less. "I was in Europe. I was helping the slayers I now had to be responsible for. But Angel you knew that! I told you what my plans were! I'm so sorry I wasn't here for the battle, I wish I could have been, but I had to save the world in my own little corner of it! The Immortal was trying to raise the Army of the Roman God, Pluto. It would have meant the destruction of humanity. It would have caused hell on Earth!"

"Ah so you're boy toy turned out to be evil huh? Funny." Angel smirked cruelly.

"He wasn't my boyfriend. Not really anyway. I was undercover. Why do you think I couldn't see you while you were in Rome?"

Angel hadn't been expecting that one, but it didn't change what she did, what she said.

"And every other time Buffy? Where were you the other times? What's your excuse for them?"

Buffy frowned in confusion. "What are you talking about Angel?"

Angel had had enough. Now she was going to play innocent? He could play games too.

Angel walked toward Buffy, leaning down looking directly into her eyes. "It doesn't matter Buffy. Don't worry about it. Do you know why?" He leaned in closer and heard Buffy's heart speed up, the sound pounding in his ears.

Buffy shook her head, struggling to breathe with Angel so close, her body hyper aware of his proximity.

"Because." Angel started, then suddenly he grabbed her pressing his lips to hers with punishing force, stifling Buffy's startled gasp. His hand grabbed her ass roughly as he picked her up, slamming her against the wall.

Buffy instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist, returning his kiss with fervor. The sound of rendering fabric filled her ears and Angel tore her shirt open and ripped her bra from her body. His large hands groped her breast and ass and she knew she'd have bruises later but she was beyond caring. She moaned as Angel's lips found her neck and grazed over the scar he left so many years ago. Her moans grew louder as she felt Angel's hand hike up her skirt and tear away her underwear, the lace and elastic snapping against her ass, leaving red welts in their wake. A moment later he was inside her and Buffy's head was spinning.

Angel thrust into Buffy hard and fast, her tight, wet, heat engulfing him. She was heaven. His hands gripped her ass, digging into the supple flesh, as her juices ran down his thighs and the front of his open pants. He pounded into her willing body, her head slamming against the wall behind her with every thrust, as her pert breast rubbed against the fabric of his shirt, her rosy nipples turning bright red from the friction.

"Angel!" Buffy gasped as she neared her climax.

"Buffy." Angel grunted, pinching a chaffed nipple harshly, as he felt his balls tighten. He reached up, grabbing a handful of Buffy's hair as she screamed as her orgasm washed over her. He pulled her head back by her hair and stared into her eyes.

"Do you know why it doesn't matter Buffy?" Angel asked in a low voice. He pulled her hair tighter in his grip and whispered "Because I don't love you."

And with that, he dropped her unceremoniously onto the floor, her head smacking hard against the wall as she landed in a heap. He stepped back, his cock in his hand and he groaned, releasing his cum onto her now pale face.

Angel looked into her eyes one last time, the look in them making it perfectly clear that it was him and not Angelus that had done this, and without a backwards glance, he left the room, the door slamming behind him.

….

"Buffy? Buffy where are you?" Connor entered Buffy's hotel room, worry evident on his face. He and Buffy were supposed to meet up at the coffee shop down the street more than 3 hours ago. She never showed and Connor was worried. She hadn't answered any of his calls either.

The sight that awaited him in front of her bathroom door made his blood run cold. Buffy was on the floor in the fetal position, her clothes tattered and torn. Connor fought the urge to vomit when he saw the large purple bruises on her legs, thighs, arms, and back, and long red welts across her skin.

Connor was shaking as he knelt on the floor beside her. "Buffy?" He whispered, afraid to touch her, that he might hurt her.

Buffy flinched at the sound of her name. Connor leaned closer to her ear. "Buffy? It's Connor. I'm not going to hurt you, I promise." Connor told her gently.

Buffy shook, her sobs becoming louder. She turned her face away but shifted slightly towards Connor. Connor stood up and walked to the bed, quickly pulling the blanket off of it. He returned to Buffy's side, gently draping the blanket over her, covering her body.

"Buffy? Buffy look at me." Connor said gently. Buffy's shoulders shook and she crouched lower to the floor. Connor gently touched the back of Buffy's head, turning her to face him. He felt a large knot on the back of her head and removed his hand as she flinched. He tilted his head down to see her face. It was pale and blotchy covered with a dry flaking white substance he didn't want to think about.

"Buffy… what happened?" His voice broke as she opened her eyes. Her eyes, usually so full of life, were dead and empty, swollen from her tears. Suddenly she jerked up, the blanket falling from her as she hurried to the toilet, emptying the contents of her stomach. Connor hurried to her side, pulling her hair away from her face.

Buffy gasped for air and collapsed to the floor. Connor got her a cup of water and gave it to her. She took small sips and spat it into the toilet.

"Come on." Connor walked behind her and turned on the water in the tub, making sure the water wasn't too hot. When the tub was filled, Connor gently helped her up, guiding her over to the tub. He glanced at her face, looking for any signs of protest as he reached to remove her ruined clothes. Finding none, he took off the damaged clothes and helped her into the warm bath. He saw scratches and more bruises now that her clothes were removed, but no serious injuries.

He poured soap into her bath poof and gently washed her being mindful of the broken skin. Buffy cupped soapy water in her hands and washed her face. Not being satisfied, she took the bath poof from Connor and began to scrub her face. She scrubbed furiously until her skin began to turn bright red. Connor reached over and took the scrubber from her and rinsed her face. He got up and got a towel and helped her out of the tub, walking her back into her room and sitting her on her bed.

Buffy remained silent as she watch Connor gather clothes for her. She took them from him and he turned around as she got dressed. When she was done, he sat next to her on the bed.

Connor appeared calm on the outside, but inside he was boiling. When he first entered the room and found her, he'd been consumed with worry, and his only concern had been making sure she was ok. Now that he knew her injuries weren't serious, well the physical ones anyway, he was able to pick up on a few things he had missed. One being the scent. He didn't have to ask Buffy who did this to her. He could smell it all over her. Still could despite her bath. Second, he knew it wasn't rape. If it had been a rape situation there would have been a lot more damage done. There would have to be for someone, even Angel, to subdue Buffy. Something horrible had gone down between Angel and the Slayer and he wasn't sure he wanted to know what.

Connor looked at his broken best friend and a tear slid down his cheek. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and held her as she cried.

…..

Connor stormed into Angel's office. "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?"

Angel rubbed his temples, his migraine pain tripling with Connor's shouting. Truth be told, he had no idea what he did. Or rather why he did it. He knew in his heart that Buffy hadn't deserved even half of what he did to her. He had just been so angry… now he felt incredibly stupid… and incredibly guilty.

Connor walked to Angel's desk, gripped the end of it, and flipped it over and to the side of the room. "What did you do to Buffy! Huh? Wanna tell me why I found her, scratched up! Bruised up! WITH YOUR CUM ON HER FACE!" At this point Connor had Angel pinned to the wall behind where his desk had been, with a deadly look in his eyes.

"I blamed her." Angel whispered.

"Huh?" Connor frowned, confused.

"I was punishing her. This whole time. I blamed her, for Fred dying. Because they didn't help. I blamed her for hurting me… because she said she didn't trust me… that we weren't on the same side anymore. She was the only reason I kept fighting… and when she said that… But I went too far."

Faster than Angel could blink, Connor slammed his fist into Angel's face, blood pouring from Angel's nose.

"YOU WENT TOO FAR? NO FUCKING SHIT YOU WENT TOO FAR!" Connor roared.

"Why are you protecting her? What is she to you? Are you fucking her too?" Angel asked bitterly.

That earned him another punch in the face.

"Fuck no! Buffy's my best friend! All she's fucking talked about since she got here was you. How much in love you two used to be. How happy she was that you and I finally had a relationship, how lucky I am that I get to see you all the time. She went on and on! And what do you do? You fucking destroy her." Connor said, looking at his father in disgust. "She didn't deserve that. I don't care what the fuck you think she did to you."

"She didn't do anything." said a female voice from behind them.

Connor turned around and saw a small girl, she looked to be about 14, with dark skin and shoulder length wavy dark brown hair.

"What do you mean?" Connor asked. "And who are you?"

"My name's Sarah. I'm one of the slayer's Buffy trained back in England." She looked at Angel then back to Connor. "Buffy wrote to me telling me she was going to be in LA. I moved back LA a few months ago, since I wanted to be close to my family despite my destiny. She wanted to see me but I didn't get a chance to today."

The girl stepped closer to the two men. She stared at Angel. "Buffy didn't do anything wrong. There's a lot you don't know. That Buffy herself doesn't know. I was going to tell her everything when I saw her, but I guess I'll be telling you instead. Giles was the one who didn't trust you. Giles, and Willow, and Xander. Buffy never knew about the Slayer that was here in LA until she got to England. Even then they never told her she was found in LA. They wanted to distance Buffy from you as much as possible. They felt that you would be a danger. When you called for help.. for you friend, no one told Buffy. I only know because I over heard them talking about it. They kept it from her because they didn't want her to leave Rome. They wanted her to go undercover for them. Buffy didn't turn her back on you. She never knew. Giles and the others are the ones to blame. I wanted to tell Buffy… but I was afraid of the consequences. I regret that now. Buffy was always nice to me. I didn't do anything to return that kindness." The girl finished sadly. But she was glad she finally told the truth, however from the look on Angel's face, she was afraid it might be too late.

Angel felt sick. Buffy was innocent. The look in her eyes hadn't been fake. She had trusted him with her heart, wanting nothing more than an explanation…. and he'd… he'd done something unforgivable. "I have to find Buffy.." Angel croaked.

"No you don't." Connor said darkly. "You had a chance to make things right and you blew it. Stay away from her. You ever come near her again and I'll kill you. Not that you'll get a chance." Connor spat.

Angel stared at Connor a look of hurt and confusion on his face.

"Buffy's leaving. She's not telling anyone where she's going. The only person who knows is me. And that's only because I'm going with her." Connor stated. He turned to the slayer. "Thank you for telling the truth. I'm just sorry that it was too late to help Buffy."

Sarah looked down, guiltily before walking out of the room.

Angel stared at Connor, his face guilt ridden.

"Goodbye Angel." And with that, Connor was gone, without a backwards glance, the door slamming behind him. Just like Angel left Buffy.

….

We have come to the end of part one. Sorry if I scarred anyone but I warned you it was dark. I made Angel a bit OOC as far as his cruelty goes, but a lot of it came from pent up frustration on Angel's part as well as my own resentment for Angel. So yeah. But I promise there's nothing else like that in the rest of the series so don't abandon ship just yet. Next part is really good! And Buffy gets some much needed romance. And so does Connor. They find their soul mates in the strangest places. Hehe.