Hey you all! Just had this epiphany myself… ehehehehehehe!

This takes place near the end of IWRY. I know… one more fanfiction on this damn wonderful Bangelverse episode!

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Angel was leaning against his desk blinking, looking around while Buffy was standing next to the door.

"So, then let's just stick to the plan. Keep our distance until a lot of time has passed, and given enough time, we should be able to…"

Angel stared at Buffy and swallowed hard. His chest was constricting as if he had a beating heart and an enormous lump formed in his throat. He had to force that horrible word out of it when everything he wanted was to scream his pain, to curl up in a dark place and die of it. The woman he loved was going away… without the memories of everything they shared that day.

"Forget."

"Yeah... So… I'm gonna go… start forgetting."

The Mohra crashed through the window behind Angel with a scream. Angel just turned, grabbed the clock from his desk, and coolly smashed the Mohra's jewel with it. The Mohra went up in a flash of light. Buffy looked at him completely stunned

"That was unreal. How did you know how to kill it?"

"It's a Mohra demon. I… I had a lot of time to catch up on my reading."

"Yeah. Okay. So I guess we've covered it, right?"

"I guess we did."

"And that's all there really is to say."

Angel breathed deeply and looked down on the smashed clock. It was stopped at 9:02. When he turned back Buffy was already leaving the outer office.

"Yeah. That's it."

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Buffy leaned against the wall just outside of Angel's building. She didn't have the strength to walk any further. She was not furious with Angel, she understood why he left her, albeit she didn't agree with it. Then, today he made another decision without talking to her, without hearing her reasons, the good reasons why they should be together. After all, the Mohra said they were stronger together… as if she didn't know it. Who did Angel thought he was?

Then, it started. She felt rage growing in the pit of her stomach. Who did he thought he was?

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Buffy stormed inside of Angel's Investigation office. Cordelia was just coming of Angel's office and put herself in Buffy's way. She tried to talk to him, but he didn't even acknowledge her presence. He just sat in his desk holding a clock and crying silent tears.

"Hey! What do you want, Buffy? Was it enough your first visit?"

"Get out of the way!"

"No, I won't!"

"Cordelia, I will talk one more time… Get. Out. Of. My. Way."

"Or what?"

"Do you know that I am the slayer, don't you?"

"So?"

Buffy grabbed Cordelia's arms and just pushed her aside. She stormed into Angel's office to find him holding the clock and crying.

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"You are a damn coward!"

Angel lifted his head to look at Buffy. She was furious with him. He didn't try to clean his face, he wanted her to see the pain she caused him, the pain they both caused to each other. So, maybe she would move on. What was she doing here anyway?

"What did you say?"

"I didn't."

"You didn't what?"

"Forget!"

Angel looked at her and opened his mouth, but no word came out. He closed it, then opened it again, then closed it, then finally forced his throat to produce words.

"What are you talking about?"

"A kiss in the sun, a talk in the kitchen, some crap about being a grown up, the best sex I've ever had… not that I have much to compare…"

And just to test his patience.

"Yet."

Angel growled under her implication. He didn't want to think of her with anyone, certainly not the blonde he saw her talking when he had gone to help against the native Americans. He had smelled another scent when she came in. It was faint, which indicated her and however she was with were not a couple, but still strong enough for him to know it came from intimacy. However, he didn't say anything. He didn't have the right, did he?

"Then… there was normalcy, finally the normalcy that I always wanted. Me and my creature of the night boyfriend together without fear of releasing his demon. Then, more best sex, peanut butter, ice cream with a really long name… then he goes behind my back talk to some mojo people and then… he is a vampire again. I guess Angelus and Parker were right, I must be awful for men not want to be with me."

"Buffy…"

Buffy started to pass in front of Angel.

"NO! I don't want to hear what you have to say! I know what it is. And I hate you for what you tried to do. Erase the best memories I have. You may not love me anymore, but I… I love you and I want these memories because they are of something I was able to have even if for a while. It was my decision. Who do you think you are, huh? YOU ARE NOT MY OWNER!'"

Then, she punched Angel hard. He went flying behind his desk near the sun-illuminated window. He got up pretty fast to get away from the sunrays.

"You know what? I realize now why you left. It was not about all that crap you fed me. It was about freedom… your freedom."

She gave him a pained look, but no trace of tears was seen in her eyes.

"You didn't have to do that. Why not just talk to me? Why didn't you just tell me you didn't… love me… anymore?"

"Because I would be lying to you… and myself. That was not something I would do."

"Ha ha ha! It is funny that you love me so much and yet you asked to be a vampire again."

"Buffy, I had to. I didn't want to be, I don't want to be, I won't be a liability to you."

Buffy looked at Angel and then burst into a hysterical laugh. She was so tired of all of his crap. He really believed in it. She looked at him again and he could finally see tears that she was fighting valiantly to hold back.

"You know. I have a friend called Xander. The best power he has is to tell jokes… not that all of them are funny… oh! And he is able to attract demon lovers better than me. There is also a certain Watcher you know… oh, you should know, the demon who wears your face killed his girlfriend."

Angel winced with her reminder.

"They are human. They fight with me."

"Buffy, this is different."

"Yeah. I know it is. You just don't want to be around me?"

"Buffy, don't be childish. What do you want? My confession of undying love over and over and over. I am a person too. I have a life here. This is not about you and me anymore. People need help. I help."

Buffy looked at him and he realized he had hurt her. He wondered why they were doing this to each other.

"Now I realize that you never did anything to try to solve the curse. Willow is more and more powerful, she is skilled with spells, she cursed you again, but I am waaaay sure you never asked her to look into the curse she brought upon you. Was it the same?"

Buffy turned to leave. She stopped by the door and spoke again for the last time.

"Why didn't you ask for your strength back?"

She left.

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Angel looked startled to the door. She was right. Why did he ever think that he should be a vampire to help her? Why didn't he ask only for his strength back? What a stupid thing he did.

He wanted to die. He was having a strong urge to stay just in the sunrays coming through his window. Every time he tried to help her, to think of her in the first place, he always hurt her and himself.

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Buffy was almost outside of his building when someone grabbed her with such a force she was forced to turn around. She saw Angel in vamp face just standing in front of her. He didn't say anything, just pushed her against him, and kissed her. Buffy responded with enthusiasm despite the fact they were fighting sixty seconds before. When breathe became a problem for her, they separated, but kept with their forehead touching. Angel turned back to his human face and kissed Buffy softly.

"I love you, Buffy. I did, I do and I always will, no matter what happens? I am sorry. I am sorry that I didn't speak with you. If I had I'd probably be human and we could be together."

Angel was sobbing now because he truly realized he had lost them their chance. Buffy caressed his face and south him until he calmed down a little. Both of them were oblivious to the fact that Cordelia and Doyle were eagerly watching them.

"Shshshshs… it is ok. We can.. we can study the curse and found a way to fix it, Angel. I am not asking you to move back to Sunnydale. I am proud of what you are doing here. You have friends, you have a mission, and I wouldn't want you far from what is important to you."

"You are the most important thing to me."

"Then, let's make it work. Let's found a way for us to be. I don't want to lose you ever again."

Buffy kissed Angel softly and they embraced. He whispered in her hair.

"Buffy Summers, you are my salvation you know."

He smiled. Angel was feeling happy for the first since… and then, the pain started. He gasped and looked at Buffy with horror.

"Angel, what is it?"

"Him…. he is coming."

Cordelia jumped from her desk and grabbed Doyle's hand the moment she heard the awful words.

"No. no. no! You see, Buffy, what you did!"

Angel gasped and fell to the floor.

"Go… away… from here. You have… some minutes. Please!"

"No! I am not going anywhere. If that bastard appears here I'll kick his ass good, tie him, and ask for a certain Witch we know."

"Buffy… GO!"

Angel curled up in the floor. Everyone was looking panicked when bright lights illuminated the room and two people in togas appeared. Angel looked up to see the Oracles standing above him.

"You have found and accepted your salvation, warrior. You are not a lower being, but rather a great champion for good, able to refuse his own happiness to protect, help, and save others. The powers do not wish to see their warriors in pain. They need you to fight against evil. For that, they will give you your soul… permanently."

The female Oracle touched Angel's chest and he screamed in more pain, while a white light emanated from her hand to his chest. Buffy screamed his name and tried to go help him, but some force just held her back. She looked around to see the male Oracle was maintaining some sort of field around the female and Angel. There was not she could do to help.

Suddenly, the light disappeared together with both entities. Angel was curled up in the floor unconscious.

"Angel! Angel! ANGEL!"

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Angel woke up in his bed. Buffy hovering above him. He could see she was holding some cloth in his forehead.

"Buffy!"

His voice was hoarse.

"Hey, big guy. You woke up."

"What happened?"

"The Oracles, it seems they found everything you did in those 24 hours pretty much everything a selfless warrior should do. They granted your soul permanently."

"Really."

"Yes."

He tried to sit down, but felt dizzy.

"Don't move. You were running a fever for two days. Here take this."

Angel smelled the blood and drank it, but immediately he run to the bathroom to throw up. This pattern repeated itself for all day long. When the night came on, everyone was worried with his state. Buffy in her fury grabbed Doyle by the shirt.

"What did they do to him?"

"I don't know Buffy. He didn't turn into Angelus. So, we can guess the soul is permanent, but maybe it came with some disease attached or the demon is battling the soul. I don't know."

"Some disease? Angel is VAMPIRE! He can't be sick."

At that moment, a spark appeared in Buffy's eyes. She knew what she had to do.

"Get out!"

"What?"

"I know what to do to help him."

Cordelia was the only one to comprehend what she was going to do.

"Buffy, it is risk."

"I won't let him die, Cordelia."

Doyle looked between both women without knowing what they were talking.

"What are you talking about?"

"She is going to feed him, Doyle"

"What? Feed him with what?"

"Herself."

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Doyle and Cordelia decided to stay to help if things got out of hand, but they stayed away from his bedroom. Buffy leaned on the bed and shook Angel who opened his eyes.

"Angel. Doyle think there is some disease or Angelus is rebelling in your body. I think I can cure you."

He had seen that expression before. He had heard that same statement before.

"NO! I won't… won't drink from you again."

"Angel, I won't let you die."

"By killing yourself. I won't die."

"Yes, but you are not feeding from pigs blood or even the human blood we brought from the blood bank. Please, let me help. I can't lose you now that I have you."

Buffy removed her shirt keeping only her bra and lied down in the bed near Angel. She kissed him and cut her own lip in one of his fang to entice the vampire. His game face immediately came forth. When Angel spoke, his voice was hoarse and Buffy could feel his pain.

"Buffy."

"Shshs… Cordelia and Doyle are just outside. They will help."

Angel covered Buffy's body with his and after a moment bite over the mark he had given her six months before. Buffy gasped, but didn't move under him. He took three full gulps of her blood and stopped, laving the punctured wound to heal. Immediately, his fever reduced. He tried to remove himself from over Buffy when the room brightened again and The Oracles appeared.

"It is done."

Angel held Buffy and looked exasperated at the Female Oracle.

"Why did you give my soul if she had to risk her life again? And what hell is done?"

"You sacrificed your humanity for her, she had to do the same to prove you two were worth of the gift the powers gave. They don't grant anything for free. You are stronger together. Never forget it."

They disappeared. Buffy felt sleep claiming her and just gave in.

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"Hey."

"Hey. You are wake."

Angel panicked when she first slept thinking she was dying or having some side effect of the bite, but he realized she was just sleeping. Sometimes, even if low amounts were taken, vampire bites caused the victims to sleep.

"Yeah. Are you ok?"

"Yes. The fever is over and I even drank the pig's blood in my refrigerator."

They looked at each other feeling awkward. Buffy came to sit in the table, when she realized that she just smiled.

"What?"

"Your table is right again?"

"Yeah, it is, isn't?"

"Can we stop with this whole awkwardness and just be us again."

"Buffy. What you did…"

"It is set. If I have to do it again and again and again and again… I will, Angel. No matter what, I will never let you die. Not if I can avoid it. I love you. You know. Human people in love do things like go into a flaming build to save the ones they love, or jump from a bridge in water, or put themselves to take a bullet… I happen to save you with my blood. That is all."

"When did you became a grown up?"

"I had to. Hey… now you are acknowledging that I am not a child anymore.! That is a first! Yay me!"

"You are impossible, Buffy Summers. I love you."

She gave two small kisses into Angel's mouth and smiled.

"I know that. So, now that we are back together… and don't even tell me anything to the contrary because I will kick your ass… I hope you can call me when you have time… and go see me."

"Are you sure you want to be in a relationship with me?"

Buffy rolled her eyes before answering his question.

"Yes. I am waaaaaaaay sure of that. If not, believe me! I would have let you die… very slowly."

Angel laughed and grabbed Buffy to sit her in his lap. After some time, Angel really needed a new table… again!

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That is it, folks! I hope you like it.