The group knew there was nothing else they could do then; they were all tired after their eventful battle. Thinking of a plan was counter productive, and tomorrow was another day, that is, if the rules of the cosmos were still functioning after L.A's ascension to hell. There was room for everyone to rest in the Wolfram and Hart building, chambers with adequate beds were available for some visitors and there was also Angel's penthouse.

Angel showed them around where they can rest, and they agreed to meet after some hours to set a plan of action. Illyria took a dark corner and sat like a statue, staring at something on the wall. She did not need sleep when she was a god king, but now, her frail husk needed some respite, even if it was not sleep in the classical sense. The remainder of the group all found places to rest their tired bodies.

Angel felt like he needed a shower to wash away the grime and blood that covered him. The green blood of the dragon smelled unpleasant, he took off his clothes and threw them on the floor and stepped into the shower. He did not have body temperature, but the hot water soothed him somehow. He hoped the boilers were still working. He turned on the faucet knobs and a cascade of hot water drenched his tired body. He rested his hands on the wall and let the clean water wash away all the dirt that covered him. He closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind of all thoughts. It was not easy, not only because he felt responsible for all what happened since operation 'eliminate the circle of the blackthorn', but also because of the presence of this petite little blonde who never left his thoughts after all these years. She was older now, the innocence in her eyes gone forever, partially because of him. Her coming of age was not easy, her slayer duties, and then her boyfriend turning evil after one night of passion, was not every girl's dream of first love, but this was all in the past, and she seemed to have moved on well. He knew about her "thing" with Spike. At first he was of a mind to just go and kill the other souled vampire, but somehow, he managed to control himself and let her make her choice. Deep inside, he knew that this toss in the hay with Spike bothered him more than anything else he heard about her, and he also knew that part of the animosity he felt towards the blond vampire, was because of her. If he thought about it objectively, Spike was a good guy, he just couldn't stand that he was ever with Buffy, and this usually clouded his judgment, and if it wasn't for the soul, he didn't know how he would have acted.

Angel turned off the faucet knobs and stepped out of the shower, covering his body with a large soft white towel. He made his way out of the bathroom, and a familiar scent engulfed him. She was here, probably standing at the door. He made his way to the door and opened it wide, and there she was with an expression of surprise on her face.

"Buffy…what's going on? Is everyone all right? "He asked quickly.

"Yes…everyone is alright…I just…" she said as she looked down not able to face him.

She looked up only to realize that Angel was just dressed in a towel; once her eyes fell on his superb physique, her face turned red just like a coy adolescent. He still had this effect on her, her heart was beating fast and she knew he could hear it "Damn those vampires," she thought to herself before she broke the uncomfortable silence. "I just wanted to talk to you. Is this a good time? " She asked as she summoned her courage and her green eyes locked with his deep brown eyes.

He did not say much, he just motioned for her to come in, making his way to the center of the room. She followed him, making sure her wobbly knees carried her. She had this feeling in her tummy that only comes when she sees him. Nothing changed; it was always him. It was difficult to read his face. She was feeling anxious, was she welcome here? Or did he not want her around? She watched him as he opened his closet to search for clean clothes. He smelled just like she remembered, the sweet smell that was only his. He kept the towel around his waist as he turned around carrying his clothes.

" Angel…I…" Her lips quivered in a plea, she hoped that he would understand what she wanted. She wanted just to be close to him, that is why she left everything behind and came when she heard the news.

Angel could not resist either, her vulnerable face told him everything he needed to know, and all the resentment that he felt about her relationship with Spike was all gone, and replaced by deep desire to be close to the woman before him. He threw his clothes on the floor as he covered the space between them, and took her in his arms gently. She did not resist as their faces came closer and their lips locked in a kiss. His lips tested her response, touching hers with his lightly at first, when she did not resist, he deepened the kiss devouring the sweetness that was only Buffy. He did not need to breathe, he knew he could do that forever, but she gasped for air after a while, and he relaxed his grip, but this is not what she wanted, because she tightened her embrace around him, drawing him to her again and covering his mouth with hers. She whispered his name as tears began to roll down her face, he could feel them on his face too. They kissed for minutes, or maybe hours, because time ceased to exist, it was always like that between them. Locked in his embrace, he moved swiftly, carrying her small form in his arms as he made his way to the bed. He laid her softly on the bed, their hands touching, not wanting to let go for even a second as he joined her. He dreamed about this moment since he last saw her. She moved to snuggle to him, and he held her in his arms, she sniffed the crook of his neck and smiled before biting it softly. She looked up at him, her eyes full of love , passion…He did not need another invitation. He rolled her on her back delicately as his fingers fiddled with the buttons of her shirt. She helped him take off the offensive piece of clothing. With expert fingers, he unbuckled her lace bra and threw it away freeing her beautiful breasts. He gasped at the sight before him and started kissing her, soft little kisses, commencing with her little nose and going down her neck, downward to her breasts, worshiping her with his lips. She moaned softly calling his name. Encouraging him to continue, she felt that she was going to die if he stopped now.

Angel wanted her so much, he wanted to taste every part of her, and he wished he had forever with the woman lying under him. His lips found a soft velvety nipple, and he sucked on it, at first they were soft little caresses, but Buffy wanted more, she urged him onward by lacing her fingers into his hair and pulling him to her, her cries breaking the silence that surrounded them. Angel did not need any encouragement; he bit her soft nipple lightly drawing blood. He hissed as the sweet taste of her blood filled his mouth. He could not wait anymore, and she could not wait either. She pulled the towel that covered him and he fumbled with the zipper of her pants, their frantic hands pushing her jeans off until she was naked in his arms, flesh on flesh. Buffy did not need an invitation she spread her legs and raised her arms inviting him to take what is rightfully his. He pressed into her, joining with her, feeling complete for the first time since they were last together, their eyes locked as he penetrated her, he could see how much she wanted him. She felt the same way, all what she wanted was for this moment to last forever, with her lover sheathed inside her. He started moving, taking her with him to unbelievable heights of passion, they have both forgotten the chemistry they had together, it was unsurpassable, nothing could ever compare to being locked in each other's embrace. His gentle moves became fast, urgent, Buffy urged him on, wanting more of him, their passion consumed them, as he thrusts became, deeper, aggressive, until he could not hold his release anymore. Buffy wrapped her legs around him, as she climaxed seconds before his release came. He did not want to let go of her, he rolled over, still joined with her, letting her lie on top of him as she breathed heavily and buried her face in his neck.

"cookies…" she said breathless.

Angel frowned not understanding what she wanted, at first he thought she remembered the day that never was, and he almost looked away, but she raised her head and looked into his eyes.

"I'm baked."

He smiled back at her and took her lips in a deep kiss. She was referring to their last conversation, cookie dough, and now she is baked.

"So you are baked cookies, no more cookie dough? " He said softly between kisses.

"Yes, I am ready; I have never loved anyone else. I have tried to move on, tried to copy what we had, but no one was ever enough. .. I should have stopped lying to myself you know, but …"

"But what? " Angel wanted to know, he was not going to let this opportunity go. He felt like a million bucks, sometimes he questioned if she was still in love with him, as he was in love with her. To him, there was never any doubt that he would never love anyone else.

"Spike.." he whispered.

"No no…it was never like that." Her eyes started tearing. She knew that she would have to talk about it. She dreaded this moment forever, she knew how much she hurt him because of her fling with Spike.

"I needed you, you were not there, and he was the closest thing to you that I could get. He felt like you…but not quite. I felt dirty…I thought I came back wrong…he had a chip and he could hurt me, he could hit me as if I was not human." she blabbered as tears rolled down her face.

He caressed her back and kissed her tearful face as his arms wrapped around her.

"I understand, you were cold…cold on the inside, you wanted to feel something. I know…" He thought about his time with Darla, this is exactly how he felt.

"Yes, but I never loved him, not like you. I feel grateful to him, I feel many things, but not love, I only loved you, I only love you, Angel."

"And I love you, only you." He smiled softly.

"Darla, Cordelia….Nina.." her voice trailed off as he interrupted her with a kiss.

"No, Darla was my spike. Cordy was my best friend, things might have been confused, but it was never like this. And Nina was to try to move on. She was a freak like me, it made things easier." He whispered.

"I don't want this to end, I don't want to leave you again, promise me that you will not leave me. Promise me that you won't pull one of your Houdini acts. "she said with hopeful eyes.

" I can't Buffy, nothing changed, I'm a vampire, you're a slayer, you deserve better…"

She put her hand on his mouth silencing him.

"No, don't say that, at least let's try, there must be a way, I know there is a way. I remember Angel…I do. "

It was his turn to tear up, "what do you remember?" he said in a deep voice.

"Everything … cookie-dough-fudge-mint-chip.. I'm not mad at you, I know why you did it. "she smiled sadly.

Angel did not have words, he enfolded her in his arms, their tears mixed on their wet faces as they kissed as if there is no tomorrow.

A blond man was standing in the dark watching through the ajar door as slayer and vampire kissed. He was glad he did not come earlier to see them enthralled in the act of love, but he heard enough to know that the woman he loved belonged to another. He turned around not wanting to torture himself further, when he was far enough his hands turned into fists then he punched the wall as hard as he could.