Angelus was bored. Fighting with Buffy, flirting with Dru, mocking Spike, eating people – none of it could keep his attention anymore. Books were ok, but only the ones containing information on how to destroy the world. That was the only thing that captivated him lately.

He wanted to die, and take everyone else with him.

He hadn't told anyone but Dru, who seemed to understand. Spike was far too invested in the world to want to destroy it, but Drusilla was totally insane, and thought destroying the world and dying would be a new adventure.

Angelus knew better. But he was so, so very sick of living. No pun intended.

What he hadn't told Dru was that he was in pain. Being without a soul had not restored him, truly, to the destructive beast he'd been before the curse. Back then he'd been so creatively reckless, with or without Darla.

The lines of love were still etched in his mind, and they were slowly driving him mad.

He'd overheard Willow say, one night, "You're still the only thing he thinks of." Regarding Buffy.

It was true.

Fucking true. And the demon within couldn't fucking stand it, at all. He stalked her more than Angel had, attacked her as often as he dared, anything to drive the pain of missing her away. It worked, sometimes. But when he wasn't with her, she really was all he thought of.

Bleeding unnatural, was what it was. Love was all right for some, Dru and Spike were ok for it, but Angelus had never been that sort. Oh, he'd had Darla for ages, they were good together sometimes, but that didn't really affect him the same way. It was born of blood and hatred, nothing human about it. Not like Angel and Buffy, soft whispers and kisses in the night. Repulsive.

And yet. And yet.

What could he possibly do? He hated that part of himself so very much, even more than Angel had hated Angelus. He sometimes contemplated turning Buffy into a vampire herself, but as Drusilla would definitely not go for it, that would be pretty much impossible. Spike would probably help, if he hadn't still been confined to that wheelchair. But really, there was no guarantee she'd be … interested … after turning. And, again, it wasn't possible without help.

So he kept turning, again and again, to annihilation. And on the day when he connected the excavation to Acathla, he never looked back. Soon, he thought, it will be over. I'll never think of her again.

(Of course, fate had other plans for him...)