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

A/N: Yes, I know I can't believe it either! I've actually got another update for this story up already! Lol. Thank you to those who took the time to review. I hope you all enjoy this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'm super excited about as I've finally been able to add a new character.

CHAPTER 12

Cordelia giggled happily to herself as she sat in front of her mirror in her very own dressing room on the set she was working on. A place she had been filming for the past three hours for her very first commercial. Her first step into showbiz! She carefully looked at her face in the mirror, the makeup was a little too heavy for her normal tastes, but apparently it needed to look as it did to not make her look ghastly under the strong hot lights that were set up around the room they had set up in the studio for her to be filmed in. Her makeup definitely needed touching up after the long hours under the hot lights. She could hardly wait for the makeup artist to arrive! There was nothing she loved more than being pampered! Especially when it was her getting paid, instead of having to do the paying herself; she hated parting with money especially when she'd had to start parting with her own money instead of her daddy's.

Though once the makeup artist was finished with her once again, she'd have to get back out there under the hot lights and in front of the camera; she had enjoyed being in front of the camera… what she hadn't liked was just how critical the director had been! Nothing she had done had been good enough for him… there was always something that she needed to fix! Cordelia looked down at herself, the thin robe that had been provided for her not doing much to hide her charms, that were propped up on display by the tiny bikini she had been told to wear for the shoot. She didn't mind wearing it in fact she quite liked the way it looked on her and was considering asking the costume designer to make her one, or tell her where she had procured it. Still looking as good as she did, didn't do much for the sting of all the criticism she had gotten earlier. She had always considered herself a great actress, despite not having much experience in the acting field before moving to Los Angeles from the nowhere little town she had been so unfortunate to be born in.

She looked back up at her reflection, her hand going to her hair, patting at the strands that had been primped and curled until it hung in thick ringlets down her back, the shorter locks that framed her face hanging down past her shoulders in the same thick ringlets. She doubted very much that her hair had been so close to being singed by hair appliances before, but it had never looked as good as it did at the moment, what with all the care that had gone into it. Cordelia was distracted from her thoughts by a knock on her dressing room door. "Come in." She called, a flush of girlish pleasure colouring her cheeks as it hit her all over again that she was allowing someone into her dressing room on the set of her commercial shoot; even if it was only a small one. She angled herself towards the door as it opened and she smiled brightly as the director walked into her room. She had been expecting the makeup artist, but it was no bad thing to get personally visited by the director. "Oh, hi Kale. Is it time to start shooting again?" Cordelia asked her hands coming up to touch at her hair. "'Cause the makeup artist hasn't come to see me yet." She murmured apologetically.

Kale waved a dismissive hand as he shut the door behind him with a solid click. "I'm sure Jean will be along soon enough." He murmured as he stepped further into the room, his eyes on the brunette, his gaze raking impudently over her scantily clad body. Her bountiful breasts almost spilling out of the bikini top she was wearing. "How are you holding up?" He asked. "I know the first time in front of the camera can be a bit overwhelming."

"Oh, I'm doing fine… better than fine." Cordelia exclaimed happily. "And I'm more determined than ever to get the shot right this time." She assured the director. She had worked hard to get this part and there was no way that she wanted it to be given to somebody else, just over something like the way she sat as she rubbed the smelly sunscreen over that guys tanned broad back. He was hot and rubbing the cream on his back wasn't that much of a hardship, but after having done it going on what felt like the thousandth time, it got old, especially after he had started sighing in annoyance after a while of the shoot getting cut and done over, because the director wasn't happy with the take.

"That's good to hear. We can't take too much longer on shooting this commercial. We're already starting to run behind time. I've got another commercial to shoot after this one." Kale informed her, his eyes slowly rising back up her body to meet her brown eyes that were looking at him with determination.

"You won't have to worry about that, Kale. I'll definitely nail it next time. You won't have anything to complain about." Cordelia assured him as she jumped up from her seat. "As soon as Jean gets my makeup redone, I'll be ready."

Kale nodded a smile curling up his lips. "You know it's just that kind of determined fire that'll help you get to the top, but it's going to take more than determination to get you there." He murmured as he moved confidently towards her. "You'll need contacts. That's the real power in this town. If you want to get to the top, you need to know the right people."

Cordelia nodded, already knowing the truth of that. "Uh-huh, I've already begun working on that. Getting invited to the parties it the hard part, but once you're in. You can only go up from there." She said confidently.

"True, but everyone can use a leg up in this business." Kale said lowly as he came to stand in front of her. "Especially one that could go as far as you," Cordelia swallowed, a small frown marring her brow, a bad feeling about this whole conversation making the pit of her stomach sink as she fought the urge to step away from Kale. She had to just be imaging where this conversation was going! He was a professional Director! "I'd be more than happy to give you the leg up you need, if you're willing to play ball." He murmured suggestively. Before she could even think to stop herself, Cordelia's arm whipped out in a fast swing, her hand slapping harshly against Kale's right cheek.

Kale's hand came up to touch his stinging cheek, surprised beyond measure at the violent reaction he had received, with his blond hair and baby blue eyes in combination with his handsome features he had never been turned down by an actress yet!

"Are you crazy?!" He growled as he fought the urge to strike back at her, bruising her pretty face. "Do you really think that you'll be able to get anywhere in this business without shaking your shapely ass at agents, directors and casting managers alike." Cordelia frowned at him darkly a sharp cutting remark rising on her tongue, only for Kale to speak over her. "Because you will need to. With talent like yours, there's no way you'd be able to land a part otherwise." Cordelia gasped in outrage her hand once again flying through the air to slap him, only for Kale to be more prepared this time and catch her wrist, before the palm of her hand could touch his still stinging cheek a second time. "And seeing as you will have to fuck your way to the top, why not start with me?" He demanded to know, before lunging forward without waiting for an answer, his lips parting in anticipation of taking hers.

Cordelia let out a screeching sound of outrage, her free hand whacking at him, her nails racking at his flesh as she felt his hand squeeze around her breast in a far too familiar fashion. Bringing up one of her legs she used as much might as she could muster to force him away from her. Her hand coming up to wipe disgustedly at her mouth, her chest heaving as she glared at Kale who had just lost all the respect and admiration she'd had for him. Kale openly glared at her in return, a hand coming up at the feel of something wet sliding down his cheek. Bringing his fingers back from his cheek he stared down at his fingers, the tips covered in wet red blood; his wet red blood. "You're a stupid, whore!" Kale growled as he lowered his fingers his angry glare returning to Cordelia who was leaning against the bench of the vanity she had been sitting at when he had entered, looking at him with defiant outraged eyes. "You'll never work in this town again. I promise you that!"

Turning on his heel he yanked open the door, revealing a wide eyed Jean who'd been about to knock. "Stupid bitch." Kale muttered as he stalked past Jean. "That bitch will no longer need your services, Jean!" He called over his shoulder. "And where the bloody hell is that assistance of mine. I need him to call the girl who just missed out!" Cordelia heard him yell, his voice drifting away despite how loud he was yelling.

Jean gave Cordelia a look, which Cordelia scowled at before she turned her gaze away as she scrabbled to don her clothes over the bikini, not feeling the need to leave it for the 'next girl' after the way she had just been treated. Jean watched her for a moment, silently impressed that the girl she had thought for sure was the type to allow herself to be used to get to where she wanted to be, before she began walking away. She'd need to get ready to start afresh… something she wasn't all that impressed with! She'd gone to a lot of trouble to do up the fussy brunette that was more bitch than anything else.

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

Buffy picked up an avocado from amongst the others in the sectioned off box they had been allocated to. She gave it a gentle squeeze and a sniff trying to tell if the vegetable was ripe or not. "What do you think?" She asked Angel who was standing beside her; holding a half full basket of the produce that she had already selected. She held the avocado up for Angel's inspection, not being able to decide herself if it was ripe or not, not having been a fan of the taste of it the vegetable and so hadn't really bought it before, but now that she had turned vegetarian she needed to broaden her vegetable horizons if she wanted to stay healthy as well as have some variety in her meals.

Angel took the vegetable from her hand, being careful not to squeeze the pudding out of the fragile thing. He'd already embarrassed himself doing that once since he'd met Buffy. He looked at the odd looking thing, not really having much clue as to how to tell if the thing was ready for eating either. Bringing it up to his nose, he sniffed at it knowing that his nose was hardly ever wrong. "It smells alright." He offered as he handed the green skinned vegetable back to Buffy.

Buffy shrugged. "Good enough for me." She said agreeably as she placed the avocado in the basket; knowing that she wouldn't get a better answer than that.

Grabbing a couple more avocado's that looked a felt roughly the same as the first one she had picked, placing them in the basket beside the first, before she began moving on her eyes scanning for what she needed and things that caught her eye. This was their second night in Los Angeles California and so far… she didn't have a complaint about the country, it was warm, vibrant and full of life, she doubted that she had ever seen a place that was so lively at night… not that it was all that late yet, but the supermarket was as full as she would expect to see during the day light hours. A warm smile curled up her lips as she paused by the bright red tomatoes, reaching down she picked up one that looked good, but as soon as she felt how soft it was she put it back and picked up another. The warm smile curling up Buffy's lips didn't go unnoticed by Angel, warmth that tomatoes didn't seem to deserve… they didn't look that good… at least not to his eyes. "What are you thinking?" He asked as Buffy bagged up a few of the tomatoes.

Buffy turned to him, the warmth in her smile growing as she looked up at him whilst placing the bag in the basket. "I was thinking about last night." She admitted, before moving past him, a box of strawberries catching her eye. Angel's lips curled up warmly as his own thoughts turned to the night before. His gaze following after Buffy; her gaze going back to him as she lowered the box of strawberries from her nose, when her gaze met his she stuck her tongue out at him for the briefest of moments and he chuckled deeply as he began walking after her. The night before was definitely worthy of the warm smile she was sporting as she moved leisurely around the produce section of the supermarket. It had been a night full of warmth and love. A relaxing night as they both stayed indoors settling into the apartment that they had managed to find. They didn't have much in the ways to unpack, but somehow… Buffy had managed to make it feel almost homey in the small one bedroom apartment they had managed to procure.

He probably should have gotten her to go to bed instead of staying up all night with him, it wasn't good for humans to stay up the entire night, but… they'd just been having too much fun and it had all felt so good, to be in the place where he would start the fight to redeem himself and earn the right to be happy with the woman that he had given his heart to. And later they had sat in front of a small TV and what some silent black and white movie that had been airing. Buffy had been safely snuggled in his arms and before long she had fallen asleep her head resting against his chest. And he'd sat with her sleeping in his arms whilst he'd watched the movie all the way through. He'd forgotten over the years as the world changed just how much he'd enjoyed silent movies when they had first come out when TV was still just a new and exciting thing to the world.

Angel caught up to Buffy, allowing her to place the items she had picked up into the basket. "So, are you almost done here?" He asked.

Buffy bit her lower lip to quiet the giggle that wanted to bubble forth, having been wondering when he might ask. "Almost. Just have to get some bread and then I'm sure that I'll be set for a while." She assured him as she began walking to the bread aisle of the supermarket. "So, do you really have to start tonight?" She asked, trying her best to sound completely casual.

"Well, I would like to. It would be better to start sooner rather than later." Angel murmured. "Not that I don't want to spend another night just with you." He hurriedly tacked on.

Buffy sighed softly, before tacking the smile back on her face, not wanting to stand in the way of what he wanted to do. She just wished that he wanted to do something that wasn't so dangerous. "Why couldn't you just be one of those procrastinator types?" She asked, attempting to be teasing.

Angel reached out and gently grasped her arm as she was reaching for a loaf of bread drawing her full attention to him. "I can't…" Angel swallowed and tried again, hoping that his voice wouldn't catch in his throat this time. "I won't be that type of man again."

Buffy looked up at him surprise at his words colouring her face. "You mean you used to be a procrastinator type?"

Angel nodded a frown darkening his brow as he remembered all too clearly just what he used to be like when he'd been a human man. "I used to be one of the worst types, Buffy. You couldn't get me to lift a finger to help out or even contemplate doing a hard day's work. I brought such shame down on my father…" Angel gave his head a shake trying to remove the memories that shamed him so now from the forefront of his mind. The image of his fathers' disappointed face haunting him more than he ever thought it would at the time he'd said fair-well to him. "I don't want to be that man again, Buffy. I want to be the type of man that works hard for those he loves; for you, Buffy. I don't ever want to disappoint you, like I have everyone else I've ever cared about."

Buffy was speechless for a long moment, her eyes wide as she stared up at him, before she smiled again, her hand coming up to rest over his. "I don't think you could ever disappoint me." She assured him, her hand squeezing over his reassuringly.

Angel released her arm and watched as Buffy selected a loaf of bread, before moving further down the aisle heading towards the rolls. "I hope not." He murmured doubtfully, his voice soft as he watched the woman he loved. He wanted nothing more than to believe that, but it was a difficult thing. He'd never, not disappointed someone before. He cleared his expression as Buffy turned back around to face him. "So are you ready?"

"Uh-huh." Buffy agreed as she made her way back towards him down the aisle. Angel couldn't help, but let out a breath of relief. He wasn't sure just how much more food shopping he could take. "Come on. The sooner we check out the sooner we can get you on your way to your first night on the job." She murmured jovially as she did her utmost to squash the part of her that wanted to try and change his mind so that she wouldn't worry.

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

Cordelia sighed irritated as she waited across the street from a supermarket having finally decided to call at taxi. She now thoroughly regretted deciding to walk off some of her irritation after she had scrambled out of the studio. She wasn't used to hoofing it! If she hadn't completely totalled her car the other week she wouldn't even be reduced to calling a filthy cab! But in a way she supposed that it was fitting to end the day as crappily as it had become! Today really hadn't turned out the way she'd thought it would. It had become such a disappointing mess, she never would have expected that her first opportunity to get into the biz would end with the director trying to get into her pants! Cordelia sighed again this time impatiently. It was bad enough that she had to call a taxi, let alone be made to wait like she was just some common nobody. "How long do those damn taxi people expect me to wait?" She grumped in annoyance her foot tapping against the concrete sidewalk she was standing on.

Cordelia was distracted from her irritation as she caught sight of a tall handsome brunette man coming out of the supermarket. Her foot stopped tapping against the pavement as she stared at him, her tongue flicking out to lick wetly over her lips. "Well, hello salty goodness." She murmured, her irritation over the lateness of her taxi forgotten as she studied the guy that had caught her eye. "Maybe tonight won't have such a crummy end after all." She hoped. She stepped towards the road, quiet willing to forget all about the stupid taxi and her aching feet if it meant she could walk home with the salty goodness that was standing across the street, just waiting for her to join him; she was sure… why else would he stand out there all alone. She stopped dead in her tracks just as her toes reached the end of the pavement as an annoyingly pretty petite blond came out of the supermarket a couple of bags in her arms. As scowl darkened Cordelia's face as she watched the blond come up beside the guy, a scowl that deepened as she realized that two knew each other as he took the bags from her arms and they began walking away from the supermarket together. And with the way her luck was today they weren't likely to just be brother and sister either.

Cordelia sighed once again, her shoulders slumping, her night really was going to be a complete bust! She looked up as headlights stopped in front of her, her eyes landing on the faded yellow cab that had finally arrived to pick her up. She looked at the faded yellow paint job with distaste and the sleazy looking driver made her crinkle her nose in distaste, but her feet were aching and she really didn't feel like walking or waiting for another cab if she sent this one off. "Tonight really is a disaster." Cordelia moaned, before she opened the back seat door of the taxi and clambered in; doing her best to make as little contact with the inside of the cab as possible, already feeling the need for a long hot shower after only a second of sitting in the back seat that she was quite certain was filthy!

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

Buffy watched Angel from underneath her lashes as she made a pretence of putting away the food stuffs they had brought home not too long ago. She was too busy watching Angel getting ready to go out on his first night of patrol in Los Angeles. When he turned around to face her, Buffy quickly busied herself with reaching into one of the bags of groceries, trying to seem like that was what she had been doing all along. "Are you sure you don't want me to stay and help you put away the groceries?" Angel asked.

Buffy looked up from the bag and shook her head at Angel. "Uh, no. I'll be alright. It's probably best I put them all away anyway. I'm the one that's going to need to know where everything is."

Angel gave a short nod. "Well, if you're sure."

"I'm sure." Buffy assured Angel. She watched Angel turn away from her as he headed towards the door. When he got close to the door she couldn't stand still any longer. "Angel." She called making him stop and turn towards her; watching her hurry over to him. "You'll be careful won't you?"

Angel smiled softly at her, touched by her concern. He doubted he'd ever fully get used to the idea of someone caring about him all the time. "Always." He assured her as he ran the backs of his fingers down her cheek, before dipping down and pressing an affectionate kiss to her lips. "I'll be back as soon as I can." He assured her further. "I doubt I'll be doing much more than getting a feel for the streets tonight."

Buffy nodded, a relieved smile curling up her lips as Angel turned away from her once again, this time actually making it out the door. Angel gave her a last look, before he shut the door behind him leaving Buffy alone in the apartment. Buffy looked at the closed door for a moment, before she gave herself a small shake and turned away from the door heading back into the kitchen where the groceries were waiting for her to put them away. "Perhaps I got a little carried away." She murmured as she stood in front of the full bags that Angel had helped her lug to the apartment that she supposed would no doubt be there home for a long while. With a sigh she slipped out of the jacket she had put on to go out into the Californian night. She'd have to get used to just how warm it was here even at night. She very much doubted that she'd need jacket's all that often with the Californian weather.

Throwing her jacket over a bench stool, Buffy turned her full attention to the groceries as she began pulling them out one by one. Her eyes scanning around as she wondered where she could put the fruit she had bought. Not seeing a fruit bowl lying around she shrugged nonchalantly deciding that the fridge was a good place to store them until she did get one.

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

Angel walked quietly down the busy streets of Los Angeles, his shoulders deliberately hunched to discourage people approaching him. His eyes taking note of every club and bar he walked past, of every shadowy place a demon might find homey enough to move into. Clubs were cesspits for vampires, dark, muggy, crowded… so easy to just make off with an easy meal. He moved slowly; taking his time as he strolled down the street wanting to memorise everything he took note of. Glad that he knew what to look for after all his years walking the earth as the un-dead. It would make things so much easier for him to work out where he needed to concentrate his efforts and get on his way to redeeming himself.

The sooner he got himself up off the ground the faster he'd get himself into a working routine that would see him well on his way to feeling like he deserved the happiness he had been given. Angel came to a stop at a red traffic light, his eyes scanning the night, pondering where he should go next. There was so much of the city and only so much night that was afforded to him… perhaps it'd actually take him a couple of nights to find his way around the town. He might even have to patrol it in sections and hope for the best. Quickly crossing the street before another car drove past, he continued on into the night. Intent on doing as much as he possibly could, more than eager to be able to begin a routine… know exactly what he was doing… what time he'd roughly be able to get home to Buffy each night and be able to feel like he was doing something to deserve to be there.

The last thing he wanted was for karma to come back around and judge him unworthy of what he was receiving after all his years of heinous debauchery.

Standing on a street corner, doing his best to stay shrouded in the shadows not wanting to bring any attention from the tall, dark, muscular vampire he'd been sent to follow. His eyes following him as he walked with slumped shoulders through the night. When he was sure that he wouldn't be noticed by the vampire he stepped out of the shadows, making sure that he didn't lose sight of his charge. His bosses would not be happy if he lost him. Following after the soulful vampire the short, thin, dark haired man smirked at Angel's back. "Let's see what you've got what it takes, ey boyo." He murmured softly to himself as he made sure to hang back far enough to keep out of Angel's radar. He wasn't meant to make contact yet… not until he received the word and it would take more than a desire to do right for the path the vampire was attempting to chase. And if it was one thing his bosses hated… it was wasting time on those that didn't really have what it took to be what they needed.

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

Cordelia paced around her lavish apartment; an apartment she was struggling to afford on her own but was loath to give up. Her mobile pressed against her ear as she listened to her father on the other end of the line; the frown pulling down her brow only the smallest indication that she wasn't thrilled about what she was hearing. "But Daddy," Cordelia cut in, her tone filled with fake tears and frustration, falling back on the habits that had gotten her exactly what she had wanted in the past. "I have to walk everywhere! Do you have any idea just how frustrating and degrading it is to have to walk or call a taxi just to get to where I want to be. I have to make appearances in important places amongst famous people! Do you think I will be able to get anywhere amongst those kinds of people if I rock up to their parties in nothing less than a Ferrari?" Cordelia pleaded into her daddy's ear.

She bit her lower lip hopefully, crossing the fingers of her free hand behind her back as she listened to her daddy's response, her expression falling as she heard a response that hadn't expected. "Daddy! It's not that big of a deal. All you have to do is buy me another car…" Cordelia trailed off as her daddy spoke over her, flatly refusing her for another time. Not something she was used to hearing from either of her parents. She was her daddy's little girl! He never said no to her! "Daddy!" She cried into the phone frustrated as she stomped her foot angrily, real tears beginning to well in her eyes, shocked and hurt that her father was actually being firm in his denial of her. "Daddy?" She said into the phone once again, her tone questioning this time as the sound of the dull beep of being disconnected echoed into her ear.

Cordelia stomped her foot again a frustrated sound coming from her throat as she hung up her mobile, the tears that were welling in her eyes flowing down her cheeks as the finality of her fathers' rejection hit her. Flouncing through her apartment Cordelia threw herself down on her soft fluffy mattress as she cried against her bedding. Her father's rejection the icing on the cake of her totally shitty day; the day that was supposed to be the start of her new life on the road to stardom and her name in lights and her face on every bulletin and bus in America. Instead it had been an epic fail piled upon epic fail! This totally couldn't be her life! Her life was never supposed to be like this! She was Cordelia Chase! She was meant for more than just obscurity!

Slowly Cordelia sat up, wiping determinedly at her eyes, wanting to stop the tears. She was Cordelia Chase! And she didn't just roll over and die! She didn't care how long it took she would get to where she wanted to be and look out to those who stood in her way! Jumping to her feet, Cordelia stalked purposefully into her private bathroom, immediately turning on the shower, before she began stripping herself down. Something as stupid as a bad day wasn't going to keep her down. She was so far above letting a bad day get her down that she was surprised this one had kept her down for so long. So what if Kale was a jerk! He was just a lowly commercial director there was no way that he could have all that much influence over the big dogs of the media world. She just had to push through until someone of real importance took notice of her; recognising her for the true talent that she was.

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

Angel rounded a corner as he made his way back through the streets of L.A heading back towards the apartment he had left Buffy in. He paused in mid stride as he heard a disturbance down an alleyway that was just up ahead, the terrified cry of a woman reaching his ears. The sound springing Angel back into action as he hurried towards the alley the disturbance was coming from. Quickly reaching the alley he was in time to see a woman being thrown against a group of trash cans, knocking them over with a loud crash before her momentum rolled her off them to land on a quivering heap on the dirty alley ground.

Angel growled loudly, the sound vibrating up from his chest drawing the attention of a spindly legged demon with long fingers tipped with deadly looking claws. As it looked at him, Angel realized that its eyes were completely white as if blind. It cocked its head to the side as if trying to make out what he was. Angel growled again and the demon let out a high pitched screaming sound, its tongue flying out of its mouth, the end of the tongue was shaped almost like a flower small, but jagged teeth lining each point. His keen sight allowing him to see even from this distance that each small tooth was lined with sharp points leading up to the tip of the small tooth. Angel made a face of disgust. "And I thought I'd seen all types of ugly in my life time." He said disgustedly. The demon shrieked at him once again, possibly trying to run him off, Angel growled, baring the whites of his blunt human teeth, before he raced down the alley, moving as swiftly as he could, the strange demon being much closer to the terrified human woman; who was still quivering against the dirty floor of the alley trying to make herself look as small as possible.

Angel closed the distance between them, his arm raised, his hand curled into a fist. His fist collided with the demons face, the bone crunching easily against his knuckles as if the bones were brittle. The blow easily knocked the demon to the ground a screech of pain wailing from the demon as it wreathed on the ground whilst Angel went flying over the demon the momentum he had gathered not allowing him to come to a complete stop straight away. Spinning back around to face the demon he was surprised to see the demon back on its feet, a fist shaped dint around its jaw where his blow had struck, a bit of dark blue blood dripping slowly from the tips of fractured and splintered bone that had poked through its skin. It swiped its deadly looking claws at his chest area forcing Angel to jump back out of its reach to avoid having his chest sliced open. The demon moved after him its steps swift and sure despite Angel's distinct impression that the demon was blind.

It swiped its claws at him again. Angel prepared for it this time caught its arm by the protruding bones of its wrist, adding more pressure he felt the bones crunch beneath the strength of his hand, causing another high pitched sound of pain to emit from the demon, this time it came from its throat as it could no longer open its mouth without suffering tremendous pain. Angel swiftly moved behind him, pulling the demons arm behind its back, hearing and feeling the demons arm pop out of place. The demon cried out in pain once again this time it swung its free arm back at Angel who tried to jerk his face out of the way of the demons striking arm. He wasn't quiet quick enough as its deadly looking nails raked down his cheek leaving two thin gaping wounds slashing across his cheek from the two claws that made contact with his face.

Angel released the demon and it went tottering away from him, moving as fast as its spindly legs would allow it whilst it was in serious pain. The demon swung itself around to face Angel a cry sounding from its throat, before it charged desperately at Angel. Angel grunted as he shifted away from its extended claws. "Wow, you're damned feisty thing for something so weak." Angel muttered as he raised an arm blocking the demons next attack as it swung the same arm at him a second time, its claws going for the general direction of Angel's face once again. Reaching out with his free arm, in a swift move he locked his hand around the demons throat, his fingers easily tearing through the flesh as he yanked his hand away, tearing the demons throat out.

The demons body dropped to the ground unmoving as Angel dropped the bloody piece of flesh to the ground. A sound coming from behind him made Angel spin around, his body on high alert. He jumped back as a second spindly demon lunged at him, its tongue flying out at him, the sharp teeth at the end of it tongue coming right for his face. Angel did his best to lean back out of the way of the demons flying tongue but the action was swift and precise, one edge of one of the sharp jagged little teeth slicing into the flesh of the opposite cheek to the scratches. The tooth slicing high along his cheek bone, the cut was small something that shouldn't affect him at all, but he felt a strange tingle along the cut for a moment before he felt a numbness spreading out around the area of the cut. Angel growled his face changing into the hard ridges of the demon, his eyes glowing a rich amber in the darkness of the alley. As if sensing the danger to its being the spindly demon turned tail and ran. Angel growled again leaping after the fleeing demon, his progress came to an abrupt halt as the demon flung one of the still standing trash cans in his direction tripping him up when he could spring out of the way fast enough.

Angel looked after the demon from his position prostrate on the ground. "Stay here." He told the still cowering woman who cringed and cried harder at the sight of Angel's demonic visage. Angel swiftly scrambled to his feet and raced after the demon, not wanting to let the demon get away from him. Angel was forced to come to an abrupt halt his face shifting back to the handsome features of the human as he watched the demon race through a more crowded street, racing through groups of people without pausing taking no notice of their screams and angry bellows at being so roughly treated by what they believed to be a man dressed in a crazy assed costume. Angel thumped his fist against the brick wall of a building making some of the moulter and crushed pieces of brick fall away from the wall.

Angel watched the demon until it disappeared from his view as he contemplated going after the demon, mentally calculating his chances of catching the demon. A low growl escaping him as he came to the conclusion that it was a slim chance at best at being able to track let alone catch it after it made a dash through the crowded street, its scent getting to mixed up amongst the humans. Turning around Angel moved back the way he came, crossing back across the streets he had travelled after the demon wanting to check up on the woman he had saved. 'He'd saved a woman.' He thought, the knowledge sending sparks of excitement through him. He'd done it; he'd officially started on his way to redeeming himself, on his first night out on the L.A streets.

He reached the alley that he had left the woman in only to frown to find that she had gone. Leaving the alley empty of everything, but spilled trash that was still floating freely out of the upended trash cans, the gentle Californian breeze coaxing the trash out of the bins.

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

Buffy stood out on the small balcony of their apartment. The balcony as small as it was had been really what had made her want the apartment. She'd never had a balcony on any of the places she had lived before and seeing it as pitiful as it no doubt was as far as balconies go, it had made her hope that the apartment would be given to them. Buffy leaned on the railing that had gotten a bit rusty over time, she paid that no mind though as she stared out into the beautiful night, her eyes taking into the bright wonder that was the Los Angeles nightlife from the safety of her balcony. One thing was for certain in the part of L.A they had ended up in it wasn't all the quiet, after all they were in view of at least some of the clubs and hotels that were scattered throughout the city.

She liked it though, there was a lot to look out and completely different from the damp atmosphere of England where at least to her it always seemed so oppressive, but that could just be bias on her life experience. Buffy stretched her arms above her head as she yawned widely, it was getting late and she was growing more and more tired making her want to just fall onto that bed and rest despite having hoped to be able to stay up and wait for Angel to come back. Turning from the balcony she made her way back inside being sure to lock the glass sliding door. Her eyes going to the clock hung up on the wall, her eyes widening in surprise at just how late it had gotten whilst she had been outside enjoying the warm night.

Buffy yawned, her exhaustion seemingly increasing at seeing just how late it was. Walking over to the wardrobe she pulled out her pyjamas. Quickly stripping down, she sighed as her nightie slipped coolly down her body. She was just about to slip up onto the bed when she heard the door open and her head snapped up a smile curling up her lips as her gaze landed on Angel as he stepped through the door. "Hey." She greeted.

"Hey, I thought you'd be asleep already." Angel murmured as he stepped into the apartment closing the door behind him.

Buffy gave a little shrug. "I was busy enjoying the view. But I was just about to go to bed… if you wanna join me?" She murmured a little teasingly.

Angel smiled. "I'd love to." He replied as he began stripping down, starting with his jacket.

Buffy slipped under the covers, her tired body enjoying the feel of the cool clean sheets against her skin. "How'd your first patrol go? As uneventful as you predicted?" She enquired tiredly; finding now that she knew for a fact that Angel was home safe and sound that her tiredness was pressing in upon her with much more vengeance than before.

"For the most part." Angel murmured, excitement colouring his tone. "But I got to save a woman today." He informed her as he slipped into the bed beside her.

Buffy opened her eyes and turned onto her belly, lifting herself up with her arms so that she could easily look at him. "So, also successful." She murmured, trying to discreetly look him over for any injuries, relief filling her at not seeing any.

Angel nodded. "It was strange though. I didn't recognise the demon I saved her from. Sneaky ferrous spindly buggers, weak as hell though."

Buffy wrinkled her nose as she let out a breath at hearing that the demon had been weak. "Sounds like there ugly buggers."

Angel smirked amusedly into the darkness. "Got a flowery bobble at the end of its tongue though."

Buffy wacked his chest playfully. "Gross, that just makes it worse!" She muttered, her minds-eye coming up with a ghastly image of what the demon might have looked like. The image making her shudder. "Gah, how am I supposed to have a good night's sleep, now?" She whined playfully.

Angel smiled rolling onto his side as Buffy rolled back onto her back. "Perhaps this will help." He murmured as his dipped down, his mouth finding hers easily in the dark.

Buffy moaned softly one of her hands coming up to touch his cheek, her thumb stroking over his cheek bone as she basked in the feel of his lips against hers. "Mmm," She moaned as Angel pulled back. "Definitely helping." She said agreeably, before nestling against Angel's chest her eyes closing as she felt Angel's arms slide around her.

"Sleep, Buffy." Angel murmured softly. "I'll be here to chase away any bad dreams." He murmured, his voice gently teasing. Buffy smiled against his chest, fully believing that he would… not that she believed that she'd actually have bad dreams… it was a thing that seemed like an impossibility with Angel pressed up against her.

A/N: Alright and that's chapter 12. Still can't believe that I've got another update for this story up so soon. I hope you like this chapter better than you did the last one. Please let me know what you think :)