Author's Notes: The story may seem a little confusing at first, but all will be revealed. I want to you to wonder what's going on at times and how. It will come. The story begins in Sunnydale, California during Season 2. The disk or spell was never found by Willow to curse Angelus with a soul and he never tried to suck the world into Hell.

I REDID THE CHAPTER WITH TIMELINES SO IT WOULD BE LESS CONFUSING!

I'm going to give credit where credit is due. First I want to thank Linara Phillips and frosty600 for helping beta my fiction.

I want to thank RealMe2 for suggesting the writing prompt: "She wants nothing but a second chance, and she knows he won't give it to her." I had to change it up to fit the story, but the general idea is still there.

I want to also thank Azbiel Perez (Fanficboy Onceagain) for suggesting the following writing prompts:

"She wish he just leave and for good but then again she wished he would take her with him."

Setting: Late season 2 - The setting is late season 2, but it's an AU fic so it's altered by Buffy's decisions.

Pairing: B/AUS - I had to throw Angel in there as well for complication.

Length: One shot you go for it! - I'm going to turn this into more than a one shot.

- He has a opportunity not to kill Buffy and does not take it.

- Confusion on love/hate from his point of view.

- I would like a moment where he takes her hand.

And now, we to the story. I hope you enjoy the beginning and will be as intrigued as I am while writing it.


Chapter One

Dublin Ireland – April 2000.

The crisp white sheets fell at the dip of her back, just above her bottom. Her tanned skin stood out amongst the fabric tangled around her and the sleeping vampire beside her. Long golden locks remained disheveled, hiding the naked skin of her back as she remained mostly asleep on her stomach, unaware of anything but the presence of her lover. Pushing her face into her arm, she fought becoming fully conscious, but yet could not fall back to sleep. Stuck in the place between being waking and dreaming, Buffy made no protests when Angelus threw his arm around her possessively before pulling her body flush against his. The change of position fully woke her and so she laid there debating whether to seduce him or sneak out. Stretching like a cat, Buffy laughed quietly when she felt his arms tighten around her. Sneaking out would not be an option. He would make sure of that.

"Definitely not fair, you know, the whole not being able to tell if you're asleep or not thing."

In that moment Angelus chose to push his face into her throat, nuzzling the mark, before going still once more.

"Don't find you to be funny." Buffy poked him as she waited for her body to go numb from the weight of the stubborn vampire.

Pulling his head back from her neck by grabbing a fistful of his hair, she squealed in surprise at the vampire features that greeted her. And yet he didn't move.

"Ha. Ha. Ha. You're a real funny vampire. Bravo." Glaring at him, she impatiently waited for him to open his eyes.

Releasing his hair, she groaned when his head dropped against her neck with a thud. Worry started to creep inside of her then. Was he dead? Of course he was dead. If he was dead, dead, he'd be dust right? The argument went on for a few moments until she had to shake herself – why was it such an argument to begin with? Her thoughts then shifted to Angel. Faith had shot Angel and he started 'dying' without turning to dust.

Swallowing, she felt the pain in her neck from the bite that Angelus had left in the midst of their lovemaking session. There was enough Slayer blood in his system to heal any possible poison in his system. He was messing with her. He had to be.

Angelus chose that moment to smile against the mark, a genuine smile. She could feel it spread fully just as he nudged her thighs apart to slip in between them.

"I hate you." Buffy declared through gritted teeth.

The chuckle was full of mirth, not an ounce of taunting in it.

"'Aw', Buffy. My heart aches." Rising up on his arms, he balanced his weight easily as he stared down at her in his human visage. He had accepted his feelings for the Slayer years prior and it had taken them both a short time after to embrace it. "Really it does."

"Very funny. You're just full of funny aren't you?" Her green eyes found his much darker ones, staring him down until it was painful not to blink.

"I'm a funny guy."

Angelus knew his mistake the moment her eyes glittered over with unshed tears, guilt present in them. Instead of owning up to his own mistake, he blamed her. His eyes looked down accusingly into hers before he rolled off her without another word. Sitting up, he swung his legs off the side of the bed and stared at the wall before him. She loved him. He loved her. Why couldn't she let the past remain in the past? Jealousy rose inside of him as he sat there with his back to her.

Buffy pulled the sheet around her body as she moved to sit up against the headboard. Wiping at the tears with her free hand, she said nothing. What could she say? She felt like she had betrayed Angel's memory with Angelus, but she felt like she betrayed her relationship with Angelus with the memory of Angel. It was a lose/lose situation. Damning her pride, Buffy moved across the bed on her knees until she sat on them directly behind Angelus.

"I'm sorry."

There was no need to explain. Explaining to him that he reminded her of a very painful, but once happy, memory would only make things worse. He had the memory. Angelus knew of the time Angel explained loving her just as well as she and Angel did. It would definitely only worsen things between them.

Placing her hand on his shoulder, she felt him tense and more guilt built up inside of her. Damn it. Her other hand came to lie on his other shoulder so that both hands rested on his skin. A kiss to the back of his neck followed, before her hands slid down the front of his chest. Her chin came to rest upon his shoulder as she settled behind him.

"I love you, Angelus. You." Buffy paused as she considered her words. "But, I love Angel too." When Angelus moved to get up, she tightened her hold on him and rested her body against his. "Stay. Let me explain."

The threatening growl sent a rush of excitement through her body, but she ignored it, for the time.

"Make it fast."

From the way he hissed out his quick response, she could tell that he had morphed into his vampire visage and that worried her. Would he forgive her? She knew he was capable of it, but would he?

"I love you both. I always have. Just then, I was in love with him, and so it made me love you. But now, now …."

Buffy moved off of the bed, nearly stumbling, but found her footing with the help of Angelus. That was something. Maybe she had a shot.

Sheet cradled against her body as she stood before him, Buffy waited for him to look at her. When he did, she stepped forward and looked down into the golden eyes of her vampire lover.

"Now, I'm in love with you, but I'll always love him. I just, I choose you."

The human visage took the place of the vampire one and she was relieved.

"You choose me." The words were rolled around in his mouth as he tested the taste of them, toyed with the weight of them.

"I do. I choose you, Angelus. I choose you." Her chin was tipped up, the need to hold his gaze more prominent than anything else as he stood up to look down at her.

Finger slipping beneath her chin, Angelus said nothing. He searched for the truth in his mate's eyes, for the affirmation of her oath. "What happens when the memory of me, the presence of me, overtakes the memory of him? Can you forget or let it go? Will you let it all go?"

This was it. This was the time moment she had feared from the beginning. Could she truly give herself to Angelus in the way she had given herself to Angel?

"I want all of you, Buffy. I will have you, all of you. Or none of you."

A tear slipped down her cheek as her eyes lowered to the ground. Angel was gone and the memory of him was embedded in her mind and her heart, but Angelus had already partially succeeded. It was getting harder to separate her memories, to hang onto the memory of Angel as she made many more with Angelus.

"I'm not a patient man, Buff." Her silenced irked him, but he was trying to give her time to decide, to accept things.

Feeling Angel slip further away, Buffy's eyes closed and she felt herself take that leap. It had been years and Angelus had shown more devotion to her than Angel ever had. Angelus wanted her life to be with him and his with her. He wanted her, all of her, and he loved her. Angel was her first love, but Angelus, Angelus was forever.

Lip quivering, she said goodbye to her first love, and then looked into the eyes of the man that now held her heart.

"I'm yours. All yours, forever."

It was the answer Angelus had wanted from Buffy, but not the one he expected. He took a step back and found himself having to take a seat. She had chosen him and had made the decision to give herself to him completely.

Looking up at her, he held out his hand.

Eyes still locked on his, she reached out to take his hand, feeling better about her choice immediately. She didn't have to forget Angel completely. She'd always love him, but she didn't have to always think of him or give him the better part of her heart anymore. No more waiting, no more heartache, just everything she had ever wanted from the one she loved.

Her fingers curled in Angelus's before she beamed at him as he pulled her into his lap causing the sheet to fall onto the floor near their feet from the change of position.

"When you can look at me and see just me, I'll believe you."

Buffy's mouth opened to object, but Angelus placed his index finger against her lips.

"I'll know."

Nodding, Buffy kissed the padding of his finger, before it dropped away from her lips to be replaced with his lips.

The kiss was tender, but without any hesitation. With Angelus here was no fear in taunting her, no guilt about having her, and no reservation about anything. What he felt, what he wanted, and what he needed was gained and given with each kiss, each look, each caress. He loved her whole-heartedly and nothing held him back. With Angel, there was always something preventing him from giving his all. Everything Angelus gave her was what he wanted for her. As Buffy returned the kiss, she finally took a bigger step in giving him back what he had already taken so many steps toward giving her.


Los Angeles, California - April 2001.

Jerking awake, Buffy's hand slammed down on the alarm clock so hard that she felt it shatter beneath her hand. It was the third time she had that dream in less than a week. What did it mean? Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, she pulled herself out of the bed. There was no use in glancing at the alarm clock. She'd have to buy another replacement.

Groaning, she shoved her feet into the fuzzy blue house shoes that rested beside their bed. Looking down at her clothes, she noticed she had fallen asleep in her robe so there was no need to spend an hour searching for it. Shoving her hands into her pockets, she didn't bother with checking to see if she had missed any texts or phone calls. She needed coffee and so the short journey was made to the kitchen.

Sliding onto the stool at the island, she hid her face in her hands to keep from staring at him. There he stood, in their kitchen, shirtless ... making coffee. She didn't realize he had finished until the aroma of coffee filled her nose. Dropping her hands, Buffy mumbled a soft thank you.

"You're welcome. Did you sleep well?" Angel slipped on the stool across from her, his eyes studying her to see if she'd lie to him again.

"I slept."

The kiss to her temple almost made her cringe, but she refrained.

"Any dreams? Nightmares? Anything prophetic?" Angel tried to pry as gently as he possibly could. It felt like she had hated him the entire week and it was usually worse in the morning.

"Jesus, Angel. I slept, okay? Just stop… I'm fine." Pushing the coffee away, she didn't apologize for the spill or bother with cleaning it up. The coffee cup, the mess, and Angel were left in the kitchen as she rushed off to the bathroom. She wished he'd just leave and for good, but then again she wished he would take her with him.

Resting against the bathroom door, she stared at the place where the mirror had been. There were no mirrors in the house anymore. Angel didn't need them and Buffy had used her fists to fist to smash every single one of them because she could not handle looking at herself. She had betrayed him. Eyes closing, tears streamed down her cheeks. She could still see the look on his face. It had been one of horror and betrayal. There was a place in hell for people like her. They both knew it and she knew he'd be waiting on her.

Unable to fight the tears, Buffy slid down the door until she was heap on the floor. She had loved him and she had done the right thing in the eyes of everyone except in the eyes the one man she had loved. And now, now she had Angel back, her first love, the one man she had thought she'd be in love with for the rest of her life, but she was wrong.

The soft rapping on the door brought her out of her thoughts. Her head hit the door with a thud. "I'll be out in a minute, Angel."

But they both knew her minute meant she'd take her time. Since coming back, neither she or Angel were the same.

It could be seen in the way they looked at one another. Nothing would ever be the same again. Angel just wanted to move forward and Buffy, Buffy just wanted to go back.

"I'm sorry." The whisper in the dark echoed off the bathroom walls, but did nothing to heal her heart.


Sunnydale, California - January 1998.

Feeling the grip on her forearm, Buffy winced and angrily jerked away from the hold. With the hand gone, the only thing that remained was the bruises already forming on her skin. Angry eyes expected to meet the concerned and confused ones of Angel, but they met the accusing ones of Angelus. "What the fuck?"

Blinking rapidly, Buffy only took her eyes away from Angelus momentarily to take in her surroundings, but it was a moment too long. Even with her Slayer abilities, she wasn't quick enough or aware enough to prevent the backhand to her cheek that sent her to the floor. The stinging of her cheek pained her more than the bruises that had been previously left on her arm. She didn't understand what was happening or how in the hell it was happening.

"Angelus?"

Staring down at her with eyes harder than steel, Angelus sneered at her. "Well I'm sure as hell not you're precious fucking lapdog."

The words made her flinch and found she was willing to take another blow instead of having to listen to him any longer. Eyes tearing because the confusion was so overwhelming, Buffy stayed on the cool marble floor until Angelus walked away. It took only the sound of the door shutting and the lock clicking in place to remember everything.

"Oh my goodness." Her heart constricted in her chest as she scrambled to her feet to take in the room. It was all the same. The first time she had felt sick, terrified, and so angry that she had been too stubborn to enjoy the comfort of her room. It had been her prison and all she had wanted to do was escape. Angelus was a monster and she had been determined on finding a way to get Angel back.

Buffy knew never how it'd all unfold. This time she wouldn't betray him. She wanted nothing but a second chance, and she knew he wouldn't give it to her. This time she'd choose right.