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

Author's Note: Thanks Lady Mac for the beta job. Sorry for the wait!

Chapter Nine

The answer remained a very complicated one. How could Buffy answer that and explain it so he would understand. He would consider her crazy. Then again, he did discover her name on his own. It could not hurt to try at least. Frowning, Buffy stole a look at the man who had led her away from her temporary home.

Buffy chose not to answer him. It was just that simple because it was just that complicated. Leaving the grounds of the Gypsies far behind, Buffy and Liam kept glancing over at each other as they journeyed to his home.

Brow lifting, Buffy looked at Liam, down at her clothing, at his home, and then down at her clothing again. Feeling out of place, Buffy took a step back and found herself thinking of Angel. Colliding with Liam, the memory hit them both hard.

"But I don't want to go with you! I like the man with the musket," Buffy whined.

Angel replied, "Come on."

"Do you have a musket?"

The two shared the memory and before it could be processed completely Buffy found her self lost in the eyes of her Angel as the memory progressed further.

"I don't get it, Buffy. Why'd you think I'd like you better dressed that way?" Angel asked.

Buffy answered,"I just wanted to be a real girl for once. The kind of fancy girl you liked when you were my age."

"Oh, no."

"What?"

"I hated the girls back then. Especially the noble women."

"You did?"

"They were just incredibly dull. Simpering morons, the lot of them. I always wished I could meet someone... exciting. Interesting."

"Really? Interesting how?"

"You know how."

"Still, I had a really hard day. You should probably tell me."

As the memory faded from them Liam found himself voicing the memory in a hoarse whisper. "You're right. I should."

Lost in the moment, Buffy followed suit, "Definitely."

Liam's lips descended onto Buffy's but before it could deepen as it had in her bedroom that Halloween night, Buffy blinked and jerked away.

"Did you just … did we just .. I.. you kissed me."

Instead of facing the fact that the two had shared a memory, Buffy scolded him accusingly.

Staring down at the young blonde, Liam reached out to touch her hair, vividly remembering the long brunette color it had been before it had changed into the much shorter blonde style she had worn at the young age.

"Ye hair …"

The two words alone had Buffy grabbing at her tangled weave of locks.

"What about my hair?"

"It's longer. It suits ye."

Liam found her to be beautiful despite the drastic difference between all three styles. Each time she had kept his attention.

Glad for the topic change, Buffy flipped her hair and then picked at the ends. "If you think I'm going in there, you're crazy."

Focused on the most recent memory, Liam toyed with a better way of making her voice what had happened. Clearly she was the little witch that had put it in his mind. The contact with her had caused it. He was certain…. - until he remembered having gained other memories without her even being near.

"Come on. You'll be fine." Ushering her toward the path leading to the front door, Liam stayed on her heels to keep her from running away. He needed answers.

"Angel, I told you. It's not my kind of place. I am not that fancy kind of …"

Spun around to face Liam, Buffy nearly lost her footing. His mouth was opened to confront her about calling him Angel, but he feared scaring her off.

"A bath, clothes, a meal. That was the plan."

Between the stench and grimy feeling on her skin, the rumbling of her tummy, and the tangles in her hair, Buffy found herself no match for Liam.

"…Great plan," muttering more to herself, Buffy missed Liam's smile as the two entered the home.

Liam's parents and his younger sister Kathy would not be home from their time away visiting family for days. It allowed Liam the time he needed to gain answers from his little Gypsy witch without her running off or having time to do more spells on him.

Scared to touch anything, Buffy stayed close to Liam as they headed for the staircase leading upstairs. "You still stink. You need a bath too."

Buffy refused to be alone in needing a bath. The thought of not bathing alone turned her cheeks pink, a pink that Liam immediately noticed due to his scrutiny of her.

Unable to pass up the opportunity, Liam took Buffy's smaller hand in his much larger one. "Now lass, if ye want me to bathe with ye, all ye need to do is say so."

The pink deepened into a red. Angel never spoke to her like that.

"Where is the tub? I'm covered in ick." Exasperated, Buffy pulled her hand from his and practically darted the rest of the way up the staircase. Chuckling to himself, Liam jogged after her.

"Hey, I'll love you, even if you're covered with slime."

Just a flash of the memory but it was enough to cause Liam to fumble. Nearly tripping up the last step, Liam felt an immediate pull to Buffy but yet at the same time an equal aversion.

"I'll get someone to bring you some clothes and fix you a hot bath"

Unable to look at her, Liam turned away to seek out their one servant, Anna. Buffy was left in the hall confused and slightly offended. Had she done something to turn him away?

Soaking in the hot water, Buffy stared at the steam rising from the water. How had he known what to say? Had she voiced the memory and he just repeated it? No… He had spoken first. Toes resting on the tub, Buffy sank beneath the water in despair.

Liam rested in his bed for a long while nursing the headache consumption of too much whiskey and too many 'memories' had caused. Angel… How could he feel and remember everything Angel did and yet … before he could ask himself, the answer came to him. He knew what Angel looked like. He had been shown and then every memory since had been like living the memories on the inside versus the outside.

Sitting up in the bed, he could not wait any longer. He had to know more.

Buffy had finished with her bath and had dressed in the sleep attire the help had helped her into. Hair braided, Buffy tried to ignore the hunger pains as she snooped through the room that she had been shown to.

Peaking inside the silver jewelry box sitting on top of the vanity, Buffy gasped. Hand flying to her mouth, her eyes filled with unshed tears. Dropping into the seat in front of the vanity, Buffy fingered the velvet surrounding all of the jewelry, but her eyes never left it.

Her ring.

"My ring…"

Buffy did not know for sure, but it felt like hers … it looked like hers.

Liam had entered the room unbeknownst to Buffy. Noticing her distraction, he stared at her reflection in the mirror of the vanity as his feet carried him to her.

Immediately noticing the object of her distraction, Liam went to explain that it belonged to his deceased grandmother, but could not find any other words as he watched her finger the ring.

Tears spilled hotly down Buffy's cheeks as she turned away from her own reflection. Liam sank to the ground in front of her. Taking the ring, Liam's thumbs smoothed over the silver. The second he looked up into those hazel eyes, he knew.

"Put it on."

Having focused on just the ring alone, Buffy's eyes jerked to his.

"Angel?"

The cool silver of the ringer barely registered in Buffy's mind as soulful brown eyes stared into her own as the ring was slipped onto her ring finger.

"Angel!"

Throwing herself at Liam, Buffy knocked him backward as her lips captured his own. So caught up in the memories, Liam returned her kiss. Tugging her hair free of the braid, he rolled them so that his body covered hers. Kisses were trailed down her neck until they reached the raised skin. Guilt clouded his conscience as he kissed the skin there. Memories invaded his system one by one until all he could see, hear, smell, or feel was the blonde clinging to him.

Liam could not make sense of the memories. He just knew he loved her. God he loved her so much. Scooping her into his arms, Liam carried Buffy to the bed, his hands working at the ties of her night-gown. The indescribable and insatiable need Liam felt to be inside of her was just too much. He had to have her. Forever… wasn't that the point?

All of the pain and humiliation his father had caused him and the distress of failure melted away as Liam undressed the young woman that had stolen his heart. He could be her Angel as long as she remained his angel.