Lie to Me Ch. 3

A/N: Just a warning to those who have already read part one of "Lie to Me"—I'm breaking this up into smaller parts so my head doesn't spin every time I try and edit… Sorry. I'm trying to get things done ASAP!

. . .

Once inside the safety of her house, Buffy finally lets herself go. Tears free fall from the corners of her eyes and her breathing hiccups in breaking sobs as she comes to a conclusion that Angel no longer loves her. Finally she appreciates the fact that her mom will not be home until later that night. It is only ten and Joyce would not be home for at least another hour. Hastily wiping her eyes, Buffy takes off up the stairs and bolts into her bedroom. After the door slams, she slumps to the floor with her back against the wall. Kicking off her shoes with her built up frustration; Buffy manages to put a small dent into the wall across from her. After taking a few deep shaky breaths she wills herself back up to her feet and drags them to her made-up bed. She then proceeds to collapse onto the blue covers. The tears are now dry and crusting against her olive skin and Buffy finally calms out of her funk.

Though settled down, images of Angel and the mysterious brunette still haunt her mind. A tear tries to escape, but she blinks hard to get rid of the drop. She still cannot believe it, but what makes her feel even worse is when she remembers the look on Spike's face when she asked him to leave her be. His face was so raw and she can still feel the pulse of regret that passed through her body looking at it. After much thought, Buffy decides to abstain herself from boys—vampires specifically. She fell into a deep slumber void of dreams or eerie visions. Slayer visions always equal no good in her book. Too bad that once she swore off vampires, her crush of many years back in Los Angeles comes out of nowhere. And guess what? He wants to be a vampire.

. . .

The next morning, Buffy wanders in the hall before her class aimlessly. She's ultimately still pissed about what had happened the previous night. As she walks the hall, her emotions take a downfall as she realizes for the second time that morning that she might have to break-up with her one true love. This thought alone brought on the waterworks. Moments later, she bumps into the happily chattering Jenny Calendar and Giles. They were talking about surprise dates and their happiness is welcomed to Buffy's current state of being. Just when it looks like they are about to kiss, though, Buffy intervenes to prevent too much cheerfulness can ensue. "Hey, guys," she says with a hint of depression dripping from her voice.

Her sadness goes unnoticed between the happy couple and the break apart reluctantly. Ignoring the blonde for the most part, Ms. Calendar looks into Giles's eyes, "I gotta go, but I'll pick you up tomorrow, seven thirty okay?"

Giles clears his throat and looks at Buffy nervously, wondering what in the world she thinks of the two of them. In all reality, Buffy thinks it's unbelievably sweet, but because she has just declared that day 'National Be a Bitch Day,' she rolls her eyes at the encounter between the two nerds. Giles looks back to the brunette, embarrassed, "Y-Yes, that sounds gr—good." Ms. Calendar smiles and leaves the Librarian and the Slayer alone in the semi-crowded hallway. He turns back to Buffy, "Anything on patrol last night?"

"Nope, nothing vampiry at least," she says, glancing to the left. "Nothing particularly exciting," she lies. She thinks she can hide the whole Angel thing from her Watcher, for he would just tell her to leave him. And all though she's thinking the same exact thing, she just can't. She still feels he love, even if he doesn't. Her mind flashes to the almost antique girl from last night.

"That's good, I think," Giles nods, with satisfaction. A moment of awkward silence passes, "Oh!" he exclaims. "I've been researching on our new friend, uh, Spike. He's not a nice fellow, but I haven't the slightest clue on to why he's here." His eyebrows knit together as he continues thinking about reasons the vampire would end up in Sunnydale.

Buffy's cheeks flush at the mention of the bleached vampire, but she quickly regains her composure. "Eh, you'll figure it out," she says, her voice shaking a bit. She takes a deep breath to say something about how Spike might just enjoy torturing slayers, but after some thought, she keeps her mouth shut.

Giles spies the inner confliction going on inside of the girl's head, and he grows worried. Something must have happened last night for her to be so… gloomy. "You okay?" All he gets is a nod. "You seem a little bit... glum. Do you want to take that day off?" Giles asks, his stomach sinking. Buffy should be happy. She said she had an easy night the night before, but her behavior shows anything but easiness occurred the previous night.

At the mention of a night off, Buffy brightens. "I forgot about that, it sounds really nice." She recalls the day off she was promised the day before for good behavior and the whole Halloween fiasco. She thinks about the shared kiss between herself and Spike and she forgets, once again, that she's sworn off of vampires. Her guard is down, and that's never a good thing.

"That's good. That's good. You can get ahead of your studies, so you don't have to worry about them later an-" Giles starts with a smile, thinking about how she won't have to worry about school after tonight. All she would have to worry about is keeping the town safe. It is a good plan in his head, but Buffy begs to differ.

"Is there such thing as fun in England?" she asks, the bitch inside of her coming out again to visit. Her eyebrows raise and her eyes question the librarian in front of her. A day off should be devoted to fun and other things, not studying so she wound drop out of school. Without her, there wouldn't even be a school. This tirade of hers even allows herself to momentarily forget about the whole Angel fiasco.

A moment passes as he thinks of a reasonable answer, "Yes, but's considered very poor taste to have any. Very well. Do whatever it is you like. You could spend some time with Angel." Giles reluctantly offers her time with the vampire she calls a boyfriend, he doesn't want to, but it seems like that's the only thing that will make her happy.

At the mention of Angel, Buffy is brought back into the land of despair. "No, I think he has other plans," she mumbles. Before Giles can ask what the problem is, the bell rings and Buffy quickly evades the question by turning and escaping to her classroom. There is no way in hell Buffy is going to explain to Giles Angel found another girl.

. . .

Settled in History class, Buffy stares out the window. Willow sits next to her, confused to why the blonde is acting so strange. An idea sparks in Willow's head that Angel is the problem. 'Everything okay with you and Angel?' she writes out. She tosses it to Buffy's desk as their teacher turns to the blackboard, talking about Marie Antoinette. She drones off a few more syllables before Buffy realizes the note on her desk. She bites her lip before responding. 'No,' she scribbles. She pokes the redhead and passes the paper along. Willow purses her lips before thinking about a response. The note flies beneath the teacher's radar, again. 'What's up?'

Buffy sighs and writes out how she found him with another girl last night. She tells her best friend that Angel doesn't know Buffy knows. She closes her eyes briefly to remember the heart-shattering moment before passing it on. Willow stares at the note in horror. She tries to comprehend the whole note while Cordelia rambles on about how Marie Antoinette was just misunderstood. "Marie Antoinette cared about them. She was gonna let them have cake!" The teacher rolls her eyes and begins to talk about the trial against Marie, not caring about her self-spoken student. 'Do you know who she was? A vampire, maybe?' There are a few angry underlines under 'vampire,' but Willow is nonchalant as she pokes Buffy with the note. The bell rings just as Buffy reads the note. She thinks about the possibility as she and Willow leave the eagle-eye of their teacher.

"I don't think so," Buffy sighs as she walks with her friend in sync. "She was just really pretty. She had dark hair and an old dress. It's like she's opposite me," she says lightly, hurt emitting from her voice. Angel promised that he would love her, that he didn't like the girls from way back when. Well, this girl wasn't dressed like girls from his time, but she wasn't dressed from this time period. "They were also pretty friendly, you know he doesn't play well with the bumpy forehead-ed."

Xander choses this moment to join his friends, oblivious to their note-passing in the previous class. "Why the long faces?" he questions to the girls.

"Angel was with another girl," Willow peeps, only to get an elbow to the side. She looks at Buffy, rubbing her side, "What was that for?"

Buffy looks at the red-head in disbelief, "Do we have to go into share mode with this?" She knows Xander will love this news. He hates Angel even more than Giles does, then again Xander also has a massive crush on the Slayer.

Xander puts his hands up, "Hey, it's me. If Angel's doing something wrong I need to know. 'Cause it gives me a happy." He stares at Buffy's still glum face, "And speaking of a happy, you need some cheering up… how 'bout a crazy dance party at the Bronze?" With no response, even his face grows mopey. "A mope party at the Bronze?" Still no response.

All of a sudden, a handsome teenager comes up behind the gang, "I'd suggest a box of Oreos dunked in apple juice…but maybe she's over that phase." He smiles while Xander gives the newcomer a pissed off look. Buffy on the other hand, recognizes the voice and turns with a major smile.

"Ford!" She practically squeals and gives the teenager a bear hug. Ford gladly welcomes this and hugs her back. Xander squints at the interaction before coughing. Buffy remembers that there are introductions to be made and she turns to face her current friends. "You guys, this is Billy Fordham, otherwise dubbed as Ford. Ford, this is Willow and Xander." She points as she speaks. Ford nods to each of Buffy's friends before turning back to the blonde.

"So what's there for fun around here?" He asks innocently. He knows nothing more about the town except that there's a club where the people who want to be vampires reside. This club was famous in Southern California and the main reason Ford had moved to Sunny Hell. But he would never tell the slayer this, no she is his ticket to vampirism.

Buffy rolls her eyes, "Nothing, really. We do have this club, The Bronze. It's a nightclub, but the let all the high school kids inside, as long as they don't drink." She's acting like a typical teen, a terrifying scene for her Sunnydale friends. "Willow, Xander and I are actually planning on going tonight, ya wanna come?" She drops her eyes in a puppy dog plea.

He laughs and ignores Xander's pissed off look, "Anything for the girl who had a crush on me in the fifth grade," he bows, causing Buffy to gape at him and slap his arm. Willow and Xander give each other nervous glances about Buffy's behavior.

"Don't bring that up again! I was so devastated when you rejected me! I listened to 'I Touch Myself' by the Divinyls for months as I moped!" She looks at her old beau with wide-eyes, "Of course I had no idea what it meant, at the time." She looks off into the distance as she thinks about all the fun the two of them would have later the night, maybe she really can get over Angel. And Spike. She shudders in remembrance that she still has another vampire interest to worry about. But it doesn't matter, she admitted her feelings and he denied her and walked away from a good opportunity. Or so she thought.

Ford only chuckles at Buffy's growing immaturity and looks briefly at his watch, "Well, I'll see you guys later, I've got to hit the admissions office." He salutes the trio and turns. But not before Buffy reacts.

"I'll walk you!" she declares. Buffy glances at her other friends, "I'll you guys in French!" she waves and hooks arms with Ford. She talks wildly, asking him questions about how life in Los Angeles was without her. He keeps his cover and mutters an abundance of lies. He will never tell her about his cancer nor his wants to live forever.

Xander mocks Buffy's, pretending to twirl his hair as he watches the duo leave eyesight. ""This is Ford, my bestest friend of all my friends," he pauses, breaking his character, "Jeez. Didn't she know any fat guys?" He really doesn't understand why falls for all these guys that just come from nowhere when he's is standing right there. Her logic irks him very much so and he sometimes feels as if he's just going to explode or fall off the face of the planet.

Willow turns to her friends, about to comfort him when a light bulb goes off in her head. "OH! That's what that song's about!" She's talking about 'I Tough Myself,' the topic of a few moments ago.

"Oh, honey," Xander smiles at Willow's innocence and pats her head. "That's why I love you." Willow's face brightens at the mention of love, only to fall when she realizes he's talking figuratively.

. . .

About six hours later, the Bronze is hopping. The usual crowd is there, including Cordelia, rocking the night away. Ford already sits with Willow and Xander, obviously telling a story. Willow laughs happily and Xander smile politely. Buffy comes into the club, dressed to impress, surprised to see Ford already seated with her other friends. She bounces over to the beat of the music, "Ford! You found it!" She's a little bit hyper, maybe due to the fact that she's giddy her seemingly normal friend is here.

Ford looks at her strangely, "It wasn't that hard to find," he states. He looks back at a still giggling Willow, "I was just telling your friends about some of the wild times back at Hemrey," he explains. "I like the redhead, Willow, she's cute." Xander's ears perk up at the mention of Willow and his previously friendly face hardens. He was planning on playing nice for the sake of Buffy, but seducing another one of his friends is crossing the line.

"As long as it wasn't," she looks nervously at her friends on the couch, "you know what, I'm fine. I won't have to kill you," Buffy smiles. Deciding she nee hydration to dance that night she announces she's going to get a soda. As she turns toward the bar, she calls out to Ford, "Don't talk about me while I'm gone!" With that, she hops toward the bar where Angel stands, hidden.

"I know all of your darkest secrets, Summers! I'm your worst enemy!" He chuckles as he sits back down with Willow and Xander. Xander mumbles a threat under his breath, but Willow coughs to cover it up, giving her dark-haired crush a stern look.

At the bar, Buffy comes up to the wooden furniture piece and proceeds to order a diet soda. Angel comes up behind her and places an icy hand on her shoulder. She shudders, prepared to face Spike, only to realize it's her other vampire. The one who decided the previous night to lie to her. "Angel," she greets with lips tight. She cannot believe he would be here of all places. She quickly scans the room for the beautiful girl, but doesn't find her. "What do you want?" She demands, her eyes narrowing on his drink. "Wait? You drink? Like real drinks? The non-blood variety?" She mind's in shambles at the thought vampires eat and drink. It just isn't normal.

Angel shrugs, "To pass the time. There's a lot you don't know about me," he puts simply. He doesn't mean anything hash about it, just doesn't know much about vampires. The books and facts Giles feeds her aren't exactly true. People wrote them, and people lie.

His response angers the hell out of the blonde and she huffs in displeasure, "You're right, I don't." She storms off, without her soda, back to Ford and the others. Angel looks at her oddly and follows her to the couches. He watches as she greets her friends, and a new boy. To him at least, the others already know about him.

The new one, Ford, looks at Buffy, from a game of pool he and Xander started a moment ago, "Didn't want that soda anymore?" he spies the older man, Angel, behind Bufy but ignores him. Buffy shakes her head and Ford laughs. "You really are a strange one, Summers."

Displeased with Buffy's interaction with the new member of the group, Angel steps in. Willow is the only one to notice him and gives him a nervous wave. She didn't think Angel will like Ford much, him being mortal and attached to Buffy so soon. "Hi, Angel," she squeaks. She also likes Angel, but she refuse to let it show. If Xander is unhappy with Buffy falling for a vampire, things will only get worse when he finds out when he finds out she too fell victim to his charm.

Buffy looks up to see her beau and rolls her eyes, "Don't you have anywhere else you'd like to be right now?" She asks bitterly. She shoots him a look filled with daggers, but the vampire doesn't even waiver. Willow gives her friend a look, as if asking what the heck she is doing, and Buffy takes a deep breath. "Angel, this is Ford. Ford, this is… my friend, Angel."

Angel sticks out his hand and Ford shakes it, surprised on the cold body temperature. He gives Angel a look, but resumes his game with Xander. The encounter causes Xander to smile, neither of Buffy's boyfriends like each other, and things are definitely about to get interesting. But they don't, not yet. Buffy furrows her eyebrows at the exchange and turns to Ford, "I'm a little warm, you want to take a walk?" she asks, keeping her eyes at Angel. He hides his emotions, looking nonchalant. Ford happily accepts and leads Buffy out of the Bronze.

Xander watches them go and tsks. "Once more, with tension, please," he says sarcastically. He gazes at Angel's look and laughs bitterly, "You no likey the new guy?" When Angel shakes his head sharply, he laughs, then gets serious, "Neither do I, buddy."

Cordelia comes up behind the trio, "Hey, Angel! Who's that guy Buffy just left with?" She smiles as the vampire's face hardens. She can tell he wasn't happy with the couple and she figures she can now sweep him off his feet in a matter of minutes.

The group turns to face the pretty brunette, surprised that she came to join them. "Not a good topic, Cordelia," Willow says softly, eyeing the men in front of her. "That's Ford, Buffy's old friend from Hemery," she explains. Cordelia sighs that once again, Buffy steals a guy away from her grasp.

"Boy, does that boy move fast," Xander mumbles, only heard by Angel. This isn't exactly what Angel wants to hear, and he stalks off, unnoticed to the group. Cordelia makes a comment about how Buffy should really stick to one guy, but at this point, Willow and Xander are pretty intent on ignoring her. The brunette shrugs and bounces back to the dance floor.

Willow sighs and turns to the spot where Angel had just stood, "You could stay, An—," she looks at the empty space. "Or not." She bites her lip, sad that Angel left, but still happy, because otherwise she would be with two guys who don't share her feelings with her.

. . .

Finally gone from her seemingly embarrassing friends, Buffy sighs happily. She glances at Ford, "Sorry for the awkwardness earlier." She walks close to her friend, their elbows bumping occasionally. She can't explain it, but she feels like Ford's different from her other relationships. She shudders slightly as she remembers she still has to break it off with Spike, or life is going to become hell. Even though, she thinks she definitely has. She rebuffed him, so he should leave her alone and both of their feelings should dissipate, right? Wrong. Even thinking of it, Buffy knows she still feels the same tug as she did the night before. And a mile or so away, Spike can feel it too.

"Not a problem, that Angel guy's a little off to me though," he pauses for a second and glances at the blonde, "Is he your boyfriend?"

Buffy tenses and tries to think of an excuse. Moments pass. Nothing. She looks back at Ford, helplessly, "Um, no?" Her words come out like a question, puzzling the brunette. She couldn't really explain that he is a vampire she happened to fall in love with. He isn't supposed to know she's the slayer and that conversation would blow the whole thing wide open.

"Is that girl talk for 'yes?'" Ford asks, raising his eyebrows. It seems pretty obvious she has some sort of relationship with Angel, but she wouldn't admit it.

Buffy thinks, "I don't know, but can we lay off the tough questions for the night?" She knows as long as she doesn't have to talk about Angel, the topic of vampires wouldn't pop up. Boy is she wrong. Up ahead, a scuffling begins—a vampire attacking. She looks nervously at her friend, scanning her brain for ways to get him out and safe. A light bulb goes off. "M-My Purse!" She exclaims, turning them away from the fight around the corner. "I left it at the Bronze! Can you go get it?" He nods at her hurriedness and begins to stroll toward the club, again. "Hurry!" She waits until Ford's out of sight before turning back to the scene.

Ford, being the investigative spirit he is, stop halfway. He can't remember Buffy even bringing a purse. He hears some hisses and turns back to where he left the blonde. She's nowhere to be seen. Tip toeing toward the corner, a trash can flies in front of his face. He peeks his head over the corner to see the vampire turn to dust. He comes out of the shadows and Buffy's light bulb shatters.

"You're back?" she asks, her voice a bit shaky. "Did you get my jack—purse?" She looks at him, trying to determine if he just saw her slay the vampire. He doesn't look very surprised, so she shakes it off. Bad timing is all it is.

"You didn't bring a purse," he states. He knew she was trying to get him away from the slay, and he thought it is quite funny. "What were you doing?" he asks, thinking of the random excuses she may come up with. He has to enjoy what little time he has left with her before he sends her off to be killed.

Buffy panics. "There was a cat. A cat here and then there was, another cat. And they fought, the cats, and then they left." She says, biting her lip because she knows she sounds stupid. She looks around the alley, looking for obvious signs that vampires exist. Nothing. She smiles and straightens up, proud of herself.

Ford nods at her excuse and looks to make sure there is nobody surrounding the two of them. "I'm sorry, it just looked like you were slaying a vampire." His words are nonchalant and casual. Well, to him at least, to buffy, they were some of the most terrifying words on the face of the planet.

"W-Whating a what?" she screeches, worried that Giles might kill her when he finds out her identity is crushed.

Ford smiles, I know, Buffy. You don't have to lie. I've been trying to figure out the right time to tell you. I know you're the Slayer."

. . .

With Buffy gone, Willow and Xander head home with nothing better to do. Xander, still obsessing with Ford, falls asleep almost immediately after he arrives at his home. Willow, on the other hand, is restless. She paces her room thinking about how Angel is after a new girl, and just letting Buffy go. With Ford. She groans at the thought, something is iffy about the old friend of Buffy's. Something ultimately off. As she turns to face her open door, she spots a very broody Angel at her French doors. "Angel?" she calls. She doesn't know why she questioned herself, when the vampire was obviously right there. The redhead looks toward her door. No parents. She opens the door slightly and peeks her head out. "What are you doing here?" She asks softly to avoid her parents from coming down the hall into her room.

"I wanted to talk to you," he says, equal in volume. Willow's head spins as she thinks of the reasons he would want to talk to her, a lowly mortal. She takes a deep breath and motions for him to come in. He stands still. She tilts her head in questioning, forgetting a key fact of vampires. "I can't… unless you invite me. I can't come in," He explains sheepishly.

A light goes off and Willow smacks her head, "Right. Forgot about that one. I…invite you. To come in." She opens the door wider and heads back to her room. She spots some lacy panties on her bed and panics. She rushes to them and throws them behind a bookshelf. Her face is almost completely red when she turns back to the vampire.

Angel looks at her, worried, "If this is a bad time," he trails off nervously. She seems like she should be doing something else, and she doesn't really want the company.

"Not at all!" she says, a little too loud. She looks at her carpet bashfully, "It's just, I'm not supposed to have boys in my room." She looks up to an almost laughing Angel. She likes to see the emotion in his face and she smiles in spite of herself.

Angel does a sort of bow, "No worries, I'll be the perfect gentleman." Willow laughs and covers her mouth with her hand. She can really feel her little crush develop even more and she scolds herself. "I'm actually here about Buffy. And her friend, Form," Angel pipes up, breaking the girl out of her giddy daydream.

Willow's face falls and she looks at him quizzically, "Ford. About What?" She glances at Angel's annoyed look. It is pretty obvious that he doesn't like the guy and doesn't think he's right for Buffy. But then again, with Angel around, even Willow agrees there's nobody better for her friend. Most guys nowadays are insufferable and annoying as hell.

"Just things on the internet. Records, affiliates, or anything else you can get your hands on," Angel states, unsure how Willow will react.

Willow complies and heads toward the computer in her room. She begins typing, thinking about what she'll find about the boy. She looks up nervously, "If I say something you don't wanna hear, do you promise not to bite me?" He gives the words a brief moment of thought and gives the redhead a sharp nod. "You're jealous, aren't you?"

He gives her a nod, "When I was human, I never got this way. But I meet her, and it's jealously following me every time she's with another guy. But most of the time it's just petty. Not this time. Something in my gut tells me this guy is a bit off." He glances off, thinking there will be a time when he won't have to worry about Buffy worrying about other guys. He blinks slowly when he can't think of a time like that ever occurring.

A gasp comes from Willow, "He's not in the school records." An eyebrow raise from the vampire. "When you move, your school records transfer. He's currently not enrolled in any school right now!" Her voice raises slightly as she scans the screen. "It says he dropped out of school two months ago. Curiouser and curiouser!" Angel doesn't know this, but one Willow begins to drop classical novel quotes, things are about to get pretty interesting. He dropped out because—" she starts before her mother calls from the other room.

"Willow? Are you still up? You better not be on that damned computer!" Willow hears footsteps and she freaks.

"Come by at sunset tomorrow," she rushes in a hushed tone. She pushes him toward the doors, not even relishing the muscled body underneath. "I'm going to bed right now, Mother! I'm very sleepy!" she calls to her mother. Turning back to Angel, "Go!"

Angel looks at her frantic movements, a bit bemused. "Don't tell buffy what we're doing, all right?" Willows eyes widen slightly, but she nods besides the fact. Before she shuts the door, Angel slips his head in one last time. He places a gentle kiss on her cheek, "Thanks for helping me, I really appreciate it." With that, he's gone, leaving an awestruck Willow behind with a hand on her cheek. She squeals softly and shuts the door and proceeds to fall into a blissful sleep.

. . .

The next morning in the quad, life is practically normal. The birds are chirping and the kids surrounding Buffy and Ford area happy. They sit at the fountain in the quad, talking about when Buffy was chosen as the Slayer. "All of a sudden, my life revolved around Vampires. My grades bombed and I had no social life. I mean, you couldn't have a psycho cheerleader," Buffy says, remembering her life in L.A. It was truly astounding, and like it or not, Sunnydale is so much easier. She isn't popular to begin with, she still has friends, and her grades are still considered passing ones.

Ford chuckles as Buffy tells him the already known story. He'd done some research to ensure he can become a creature of the night, and he needs to be friends with the Slayer for it to work. He's to sacrifice Buffy to a vampire, and he knows just the right one. William the Bloody. He smiles as he reminds himself tonight is the night and he continues with his act. "I wouldn't say your social life was ruined, you made quite a hit at prom." Buffy rolls her eyes and is about to object, but he continues, "That night was amazing, watching the gym all up in flames. One moment, you're in a safe world when reality hit and the truth about vampires and demons comes out. I don't think anybody is ever going to forget you saved their lives."

"It's good to hear that. And it's good to be able to talk… to you. Someone who knew before and someone who knows me… during." She looks at him bashfully, "I'm glad you're here."

The bell rings. "Me too, Summers. Me too," Ford says with a smile. He stands up with Buffy and leads her into the school building. He keeps reminding himself that tonight he will be reborn and Buffy is going to be the one to help. He repeats this over and over in his head until Cordelia comes up to them in the hall.

"Buffy!" She greets with a phony smile. "You haven't introduced me to your new friend!" Cordelia turns to Ford, "Hi, I'm Co—"

The blonde rolls her eyes and drags Ford away from Cordelia's grasp. Ford gives Buffy a confused look and turns back to look at an awe-struck Cordelia. "Who was that?" He asks, checking her out a little bit.

"A bitch who wants to go out with you," Buffy says angrily. Her jealously is showing through and she acts abnormal, as if her feelings are slowly returning for Ford. She could practically see the drool coming from Cordelia. To her, Ford is just another guy to try to get away from Buffy. If only she knew this is the one guy she should let the queen-bee have.

He raises an eyebrow as he catches up with the fast paced blonde. He likes seeing the jealousy on Buffy's face; it just proves she's buying into his lies. He's about to point it out to her when they pass Willow.

Buffy smiles and stops walking abruptly, "Will! What's up?" She's glad to have a distraction from the previous few moments.

Willow jumps and looks at her friend and the not-school-bound Ford nervously. "Nothing," she lies quickly. She is actually looking for Giles to tell him about Ford, but she ran into the enemy. She knows most of his secrets and she doesn't want him to know she knows. She bites her lip and her eyes scan the hallway for the librarian for an escape. No such luck.

"You wanna hang? We're cafeteria bound. Me and Ford," Buffy says, motioning to Ford. The redhead shakes her head and begins to shift her wait, trying to think of an excuse to leave. Buffy's on to something, she gives her twitch friend a hard look. "Okay, Will, fess up. Have you been drinking coffee again?" It's a seemingly simple question because of Willow's low tolerance for caffeine.

The red head lets out an obnoxious laugh and turns to Ford, "It makes me kinda jumpy." She turns back to Buffy and starts bouncing, "I have to go. Away." With that, Willow turns and practically runs toward the library. She doesn't calm down until she's safe inside the safety of the book-filled room. "Giles?" She calls. Nobody's there. "Drat," Willow mumbles to herself as she sits down at one of the tables. "Now I have to wait."

Meanwhile, back with Buffy and Ford, they shake off Willow's crazy behavior, and continue towards the cafeteria. Their plan, though is once again interrupted when Giles comes from the Cafeteria, looking for the blonde slayer. "Ah, Buffy," he greets. "Ms. Calendar and I are going… somewhere… tonight. Here's her beeper number in case you need…" he trails off, remembering Ford is right there.

"Help with vampires?" Buffy offers, laughing at Giles's nervousness about the date. She's glad he found somebody to love.

Giles looks at her, surprised she just revealed her secret. Thinking she did it by mistake, he gives a fake laugh, "There's no such thing as vampires! You silly girl…." He trails off uncomfortably, unsure how to go on.

Buffy looks at her Watcher like he's crazy, which he is. "Giles, calm yourself. He knows. That I'm the Slayer," She whispers the last word so the surrounding student body doesn't hear. She gives Ford a small smile, just as Giles pulls Buffy away.

"You aren't giving your identity away to impress boys, now are we?" Giles asks in a hushed voice. It seems everybody around her knows know. Her friends. Angel, though he is a vampire. Cordelia. Now her new friend.

Buffy smiles, "I didn't tell him. He just knew." She didn't think it was obvious in Los Angeles, but apparently it was. But she's glad, she hates to lie to friends. No, that's wrong. Just like she's hiding her semi-relationship with Spike. She blinks, trying to figure out where the bleached vampire came it, but didn't make a peep. Giles shoots her a reminder to beep if she comes into trouble, but Buffy shoos him away. "Go experience your frowned-upon fun. I'll try not to die." She laughs as she pushes her Watcher toward his second home. The library. She turns back to Ford, "Now, where were we?"

. . .

The librarian bursts into the library and Willow jumps up when she sees the tweed suit of the librarian. "Giles! We've got a huge problem," she cries as she rushes over to him. He's about to attempt to calm the girl down when Ms. Calendar comes in, unaware of the red head's panic. Willow motions for her to join the group and she starts to fidget.

"Willow, calm down," Giles says, giving his date for the night an apologetic look. She nods and smiles, waving the situation away. He looks back at Buffy's friend, "Okay, now what's the problem?"

She takes a few shaky breaths before completely bursting. "Buffy'sfriendFordisn'tevenenrolledintheschoolheha scancerandhe'shasafewblogssayionghewantst obecomeanexaltedcreatue!" She screeches, slurring her words together. She nods, expecting the couple in front of her to understand, but they give her blank looks. She sighs and repeats he words at a drastically slower pace, "Buffy's friend ford isn't even enrolled in the school! He has cancer and he has a few blogs saying he wants to become an exalted creature."

Giles's eyebrows shoot up and Ms. Calendar's face pinches. "So you're saying, Ford is the enemy?" Giles asks, taking off his glasses to clean them and the brunette in the room tries to still comprehend the situation. Willow nods, scared for her best friend. "Oh, Lordy."

. . .

The school day continues and at one point, Buffy promises to show Ford around Sunnydale in an attempt to stay out of trouble. They had toured the whole city and arrive back at Sunnydale High a little past the sunset. It is dark, but no dark enough that one cannot see. "And here we end our tour of Sunnydale. You have seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Any comments about your stay?" Buffy inquires.

Ford thinks about everything he saw, which is practically nothing. "Um, is 'dull' allowed?" He asks weakly. Becoming a vampire in such a boring town is probably the worst idea he's had. But then again, he wouldn't be able to make the necessary trade-off. And this story wouldn't be told in the first place. Buffy nods sadly, upset that her town is so damn boring. He smiles and spots some movement across the campus. He lifts his hand and points, "Vampires." His voice is calm and steady, preparing to get questions ready in case he can get some one on one time with a vamp.

Buffy turns and grimaces "Must be the weather." She motions for Ford to follow her as she starts to head in the general direction. She stops, remembering that her friend has no way to defend himself. She turns to face him, and hands him a cross, "Stay close to me." He rebuffs the cross and pulls out a crudely carved stake. Buffy narrows her eyes but begins to walk again. The reach a patio type area and a small vampire comes popping out, jumping at the Slayer. Buffy easily tosses her aside when a larger, burly vampire comes out of nowhere. He tackles her far into the grass, causing a crash when they hit the ground. Buffy grunts and starts to kick the cold body off of hers.

Seizing the opportunity away from the Slayer, Ford pushes the smaller vampire to the ground. He pulls a stake to the center of her chest and she whimpers. "I'll let you go if you tell me what I want to know." She nods eagerly and Ford removes the stake from her chest. "Okay, where can I find William the Bloody? Spike?"

. . .