Summary: Buffy realizes that Xander lied, and it changes everything. Slight angsty BAngel-ness.
Warning: I don't know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Timeline: end of season 2.
Challenge: just because there's too many stories where Buffy acts like a psychotic bitch 'cause she found out Xander lied.
A/N: and I didn't even bash!
Thanks to my betas: zigpal, AshDawnSoulmates, JacobPhoenix and AerynSpeedleCaine.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
As she and Xander walked to the mansion, Buffy replayed the message supposedly from Willow in her mind over and over again. 'Kick his ass'? Unless getting injured somehow damaged Willow's brain, that just didn't sound like her.
That would mean Xander either paraphrased or he lied to her. The way he said it sounded like a direct quote, so that left the lie angle? Why would he do that though? What could Willow have said that he didn't want to tell her? Given the fact he had been against trying the spell the first time, the obvious – at least to her – answer would be that Willow was trying the spell again.
Did it matter, though? After all, by this point he was torturing Giles, and from the accounts they had read about Angelus' exploits, he could be a sadistic bastard. She couldn't picture Giles being able to trust Angel again so soon after what Angelus was doing to him. Plus there were all the other bad things Angelus did, people he killed.
On the other hand, this knowledge could prove useful. Whether it was true or not didn't actually matter. If she could get Angelus to believe that Willow was returning his soul, it might throw him off balance long enough for her to beat him.
With that in mind, she raced into the mansion just as he was about to pull the sword out of Acathla. "Feeling soul-full, yet?" she shouted, hoping to distract him. "Willow should be just about done with the spell by now," the blonde Slayer added, not seeing Xander's look of alarm that she figured it out.
Her plan worked perfectly. Angelus turned to face her as soon as he heard, then screamed something about not letting it happen again before attacking her. Stupid vampire. He had a weapon right next to him, but in his rage, he didn't think about grabbing it.
Buffy waited until Spike took out Drusilla, and Xander pulled Giles out of the mansion before she went in for the kill. Just as she was about to strike the deadly blow, however, a light flashed in Angelus' eyes, and he dropped to his knees. When he looked up at her again, she didn't see the hatred from moments ago; she saw pain, confusion and love in his eyes. Willow actually had done the impossible; Angel was back.
After a few minutes, the memories of the past few months flooded into Angel's mind, and he began to shake, before curling in on himself and muttering nonsense about the things Angelus did.
A bit later…
Once he calmed down a little, they talked for hours about what the past few months had been like for both of them. As the sun started to set, he looked over at Buffy, hoping she could tell him where they'd go from there. The words she said weren't the ones he expected…or wanted to hear, if he was honest with himself – even if they were the right ones.
"I think that as soon as you're able to move, you should get out of town," Buffy suggested tearfully. "Maybe find a way to keep this from happening again," she added with some hope in her voice.
He didn't want to leave her after just getting her back again. "But I'm not him anymore," Angel reminded her.
Thinking back to how her Watcher looked as Xander dragged him out, Buffy retorted, "Yeah, not sure that's gonna make that much of a difference to Giles while he's recovering from whatever Angelus did to him." She was sorry that she had to bring up a touchy subject so soon. She didn't know what Angelus did exactly, but one of the things Angel muttered was something about chainsaws; that didn't sound good to her.
"I guess you're right," he admitted, lightly brushing her hand with his, needing to touch her even a little bit. He guessed that just proved he needed to leave. "I just hate that this had to come between us."
"Well, according to that Whistler guy, we weren't supposed to fall in love. Ruined some big plans somebody had for you or something," Buffy spat, obviously angry that some supposed higher power thought they had the right to meddle in their lives like that.
Angel was surprised by the familiar name. "Whistler? He's the one who told me about you, and that you'd need my help."
She snorted in derision, "He's lucky I couldn't tell you were a vampire when we first met. That was pretty stupid of them to send a vampire to help a Slayer, don't you think?"
He just nodded, before saying, "I suppose I'd better get going then. When you get to the hospital, tell Giles I'm sorry, for what it's worth."
"I can't go to the hospital," Buffy told him, shaking her head. "Actually, I was planning to take off – if I happened to win."
"Oh, a few little things…like getting kicked out by my mom, being expelled from school, having the cops want to arrest me for Kendra's murder. You know, the usual." The pain in her eyes belied the flippant way she spoke.
Angel gave her a comforting hug, but let go before either of them could relax and enjoy it. "Wait until you talk to Giles before leaving. Maybe there's something the Council can do to help you. Besides, he probably would like to know you're still alive."
"I guess you have a point," she sighed. "Plus, I gotta thank Willow for getting you back before Angelus could open the statue."
"That was good thinking, telling him about it," Angel said proudly. She was learning some pretty useful tactics.
"It was a guess on my part, but it made sense that if she was able, she'd want to try again. She really doesn't like failing at something," Buffy said with a grin. "Plus, it seemed kinda poetic to mess with his mind a little after all he did to me since my birthday."
Remembering one thing in particular that his counterpart said to her, Angel felt the need to clear it up – if only for the sake of any future relationships Buffy had, "You know what he told you about our night together was a lie, right? He wouldn't have gotten out if it was true."
She nodded, looking a little relieved, "Yeah, still it's nice to hear that from you. Are you going to keep in touch somehow? Let me know if you're okay?"
"I'm not sure how." He thought for a minute, then suggested, "I could leave a message in the personals to let you know. You could do the same thing in case you ever needed me to come back."
"What would you say? 'Soulguy just wants Cemeterygirl to know he's okay' or something like that?" Buffy asked semi-facetiously.
Angel shrugged, "Sure, why not? We should be able to put it in the LA paper without any trouble. At least until we can talk on the phone or something." He stood up and moved towards the door. As much as he didn't want to, leaving now was better for both of them. The longer he stayed, the harder it was becoming to move. Plus, he could tell that she was barely hanging on to control of her emotions so she wouldn't break down in front of him. "Love you, Buffy," he whispered as he walked away.
A/N: That's it; just a different way to end the season without ripping Buffy completely to shreds.