Disclaimer: let me check ... nope, still don't own them. Sigh! Parts of this is
taken from the Buffy-season-5 episode "Into The Woods" and from the
Angel-season-2-episode "Reunion". The song "Let Me Let Go" used for this fic is
by Faith Hill.
Pairing: B/A, B/R (well actually not anymore - yay!) and the usual pairings from
Distribution: my site ( ), Land of Denial, if you
have any of my stories, take it; anybody else tell me where it goes
Summary: Set after "Into The Woods" and "Reunion". Angel has two unexpected
encounters. This is set into canon, in an attempt to make the whole series more
B/A-friendly. But don't expect too many smootchies!
Spoilers: the whole B/A-cannon to be sure, follows loosely "Midnight Angel",
"Midnight Whispers", "Midnight Rainbow", "Midnight Hour", "Midnight Memory",
"Midnight Protector", and "Midnight Letter". You should probably read it to
understand this. And you should have seen season 5/2 or you won't know what
they're talking about.
Feedback: oh yes, please
Dedication: To Joss Whedon, the genius from hell. May he reunite Buffy and Angel
in the end.
Author's Note: You might notice that I've left out several episodes and made a
jump from "Midnight Letter" to this. That's because I think the story has to move a little bit faster. Hope you agree. Enjoy!
Angel had been in hell for quite some time. It had been an extremely unpleasant
experience, Angel didn't particularly care to repeat any time soon, or ever. Yet, right now, as he was sitting in some low life bar in Los Angeles, sipping at the same beer for the last hour, he wasn't sure if he'd ever felt worse than he did today.
His friends were right. He'd gone too far. Watching Darla and Dru killing those
people, turning around as if he didn't care at all, as if he didn't even have a
((God doesn't want you. But I still do.))
But the problem was, he still had a soul. The question was, was it still the
soul that was worth saving? Worth redeeming?
He had drunken blood. Blood. From a living, breathing human being. Kate's blood.
It had been intoxicating. It had been warm. It hadn't been Buffy's blood. Nothing was like Buffy's blood. Still, his demon had been rejoicing the moment his fangs had pierced Kate's skin.
Her blood was warm. And he was so tired of the cold.
((You're so warm. You just fed.))
He remembered those words, spoken a hundred years ago to Darla. Spoken when his
mind hadn't been able to process what had been happening to him. His thoughts
wandered to Buffy again. Today he knew all about warmth. It had nothing to do
with blood. And he knew all about how it felt to be deprived of it. God, he was
so tired of feeling cold and lonely.
Rubbing a weary hand over his face, he became aware of laughter coming from the
other side of the bar where two men were sitting at a table, nursing drinks. They were obviously drunk, because he could see their hands moving clumsily. Angel slightly shook his head over them, was about to pick up his beer again, when his hand froze in mid-air.
Putting the glass down, Angel narrowed his eyes, tried to look more closely in
the dim light, but there was no doubt. It was Riley. Sitting in this bar, getting heavily drunk, not looking particularly happy, although he was laughing a lot. Tossing a dollar on the counter, Angel stood and slowly walked over to the table where the commando was sitting, wearing all black.
"It was a good idea, coming here for a stop," Riley was saying to the other man,
who was dressed the same.
"Yeah. Thought you'd need some forgetting done, before we head off hunting
vampires. And that's just the place to do it," the other man replied, sipping
from his drink again.
"Hi, Riley," Angel said casually, leaning against a pillar near Riley's table. He saw the commando freeze for a moment, then, probably due to his drunken state of mind, he relaxed again, turned to look at the vampire and raised his glass as a matter of greeting.
"Angel," he said, nodding at him. "See, Graham. This has to be the lowest day of
my life," he chuckled. "Ex meeting the former ex."
The vampire raised a brow, studying the other man's face, "Ex?"
Graham nodded, "Yeah. He and his girlfriend just split," he told Angel. "It was
long overdue if you ask me."
"But nobody is asking you," Riley hissed from across the table, downing the rest
of his whiskey in one gulp. Raising the glass he looked at the bar, "Bring me
another one," he ordered.
"Don't you think you've got enough?," Angel asked.
"Oh, that's rich," Riley slightly shook his head, "Are you going to tell me
you're concerned about me?"
"No, I'm not going to tell you," the vampire said, crossing his arms in front of
his chest. "What happened. She dumped you?"
"You could say that, although not exactly. It was more like she didn't care
Feeling a bit uncomfortable with the conversation he was watching, Graham cleared his throat, "I ... uh ... need...," he looked at the bathroom, then got up and disappeared into the direction.
Riley looked after him, "Coward," he commented, chuckled, then raised his glass
again, "What kind of service is this," he shouted, "I want another drink."
"Coming, pal," the bartender shouted back. "But I'm kind of busy tonight. You're
not the only one in here."
The commando stared at him across the room, then shrugged, "Not the only one,
huh?," he gazed back at Angel. "That's all I wanted, you know. To be the only
one. I ... loved her so much. And I thought we were close. I mean, we were
sleeping together, like three times a day," he laughed, a harsh, unhappy sound,
reached over the table for Graham's half-filled glass of beer, and took a sip,
while Angel had a hard time not to slip into game face and suck him dry. Watching Darla and Dru attacking the lawyers had brought the demon dangerously close to the surface tonight. "But you know what. We weren't close. Yeah, we were sleeping together, I was inside of her, skin to skin, but that was," he shrugged, "nothing. Just sex. Great, meaningless, sex."
He frowned, looked into his glass. "Did you ever have meaningless sex with a
woman you loved?" He laughed again, "No, I doubt it, thinking about the clause in your curse. And then with Buffy, it broke, so I suppose you felt great that
night. Am I right?"
"That's none of your damned business," Angel snarled.
"Ow, touchy, huh?," Riley grinned drunkenly. "Well, maybe you're entitled to be.
I fucked her more times I can count. But you know what. It meant nothing to her."
"You already said that," the vampire replied, and although he hated thinking
about Buffy naked with Riley, it made him feel good, to hear it had been nothing
to her. Yet, he knew, from what Buffy had told him that Riley was wrong. God,
how stupid could a guy be? "But you're wrong. You meant something to her. You
"Really?," the commando chuckled more to himself. "Sure. I meant something to
her," he mimicked the other man's voice. "Important, my ass. Did she tell you
that?," he asked. "Did she tell you how *important* I was when she kissed you
after Dracula left?"
Angel drew a sharp breath and his eyes narrowed. So Buffy had been right, Riley
had been watching them. "No," he said slowly, watching the commando, who was
sipping again from Graham's glass. "But we ... talk."
"You ... talk?" Riley laughed out loud. "Oh, that's just great. You talk. I
wonder what else you're doing. I wonder if she ever closed her eyes when I was
deep inside of her, thinking it might be you. Wishing-"
"You're pathetic," Angel interrupted him. "You had her. And you let her go. Let
her slip away from you. There was nothing that held you back, nothing-"
"God, you're such a self-righteous bastard," the commando cut in. "And stupid.
She. Didn't. Want. Me," he told him, "She. Didn't. Love. Me. I didn't let her go. She never let me in." He nodded at the bartender, who brought the whiskey to the table, then shoved the beer back in front of Graham's chair, to pick up his own glass.
Angel studied his face for a moment, then shook his head in disbelief. "If you're expecting me to cry for you ... It's not going to happen. Maybe you're just not up to a woman like her. She's strong. Independent. She's the Slayer. She's used to be in charge. It takes a strong man to accept that. Someone who isn't afraid to lay low, while she's the strong in the relationship. At least physically."
Angel could see Riley considering his words for a moment, then the commando shook his head, "No, I don't want you to cry for me. But by God I wish you never
"Sorry, pal. *So* not going to happen," Angel shot back.
"Yeah. I know," he laughed for a moment. "God, I want to hit you," he said
suddenly, standing up, swaying slightly.
"I'm not fighting you," Angel said slowly. "You're in no shape tonight."
"Aren't you the honorable one," Riley taunted. "Think you can take me."
"Without a sweat," the vampire said, making the commando raise a brow.
"Not really convincing," he replied, "Regarding the fact that you're lacking
"Hey, guys," the bartender shouted from across the room. "No fighting in here.
The interior is new. It was just redecorated."
"We're not going to fight," Angel shouted back.
"Oh, yes, we are. I'm just in the mood," Riley shot at him, his fist shooting
The vampire caught it easily in mid-air. "I said. Not. Tonight," he warned,
getting into Riley's face. "You're drunk."
"Oh, yeah, I am," the commando grinned, "And it feels good. Great, in fact. Buffy is nothing but a cheap whore," he hissed.
"It's not working, Riley," Angel told him, barely managing to keep his voice
casual, but his demon was roaring and it was as if blood was pumping through his
veins. "You can't make me hit you, just to make you feel better."
"Really," Riley grinned again, evilly, "How about she can hardly wait to fuck
your buddy Spike?," he asked.
With a roar, his eyes flashing amber, Angel hauled the commando out of the bar
and pushed him into the dark back alley against a wall. "You bastard," he
shouted. "You filthy, pathetic bastard."
Riley just laughed, "I got you with that, huh?," he said, barely able to stand
upright, he was laughing so hard. "What is it about you vampires. She can sleep
with another man, but another vampire is off limits?"
"You have no idea what you're talking about," the vampire snarled, looking at the commando in disgust.
"Spike gets off at sniffling at her underwear," Riley said suddenly, sobering a
little bit, "Did you know that?"
Narrowing his eyes, Angel just gazed at him, "And?"
"And nothing. But he's there all the time. She doesn't know he's going through
her clothes. He's besotted with her. But she isn't interested." He shrugged,
stepped closer to Angel, "So far," he added, wiggling his brows.
Not able to stop himself, the vampire's fist shot out, connecting with Riley's
face with a loud 'thud.' The commando's head snapped back and he staggered
against the wall. "You know what, Riley," Angel said, his eyes cold, "I thought
you were at least a good guy. But tonight I realise you're nothing but a bug."
"Because I'm saying this?," he shook his head, "You're an idiot, Angel. Buffy
isn't worth it. None of it. She isn't capable of love. She's the slayer. A man, a lover, it's nothing but a diversion. In the end it means nothing to her."
"That's bullshit," Angel replied, "Just because she didn't love you-"
Riley laughed, wiped the blood from his nose and mouth. "Just keep on believing
that she loved you. You poor fool. But you'll see. You'll all see."
Again Angel's control snapped, and his foot connected with Riley's ribs before he could stop himself. The commando slammed against the wall behind him. "She
should've gotten rid of you a long time ago." He shook his head, talking to
himself now. "To think I even told her to-" he stopped himself, looked at Riley
"Don't hold back," the commando said, trying to draw even breaths, his ribs
hurting like hell. God, this vampire was strong. He was even stronger than the
last time. But then, Riley reminded himself, the last time they'd met, he'd still had his super-powers. Now he was nothing but a normal GI Joe. "I know all about the e-mails she wrote to you. I found them. It helps a lot to read that you're just convenient for your girlfriend. Really good for the ego. But you know what, I'm over it. I found people who appreciate what I've got to offer."
"Another vampire hunting organization, Riley?," Angel asked, not even slightly
interested in the answer.
"No, this time it's the government. And I'm determined to make it work."
"Good riddance, then," the vampire shot at him, already turning away, when a
sudden movement from Riley made him look at the commando again.
Coughing, and holding his battered ribs, Riley reached into his pocket and
produced a crumbled piece of paper. With a snort at it, he threw it into Angel's
Eying the paper on the ground cautiously, the vampire asked, "What's this?"
"Read it," Riley said, his voice controlled, "Read it. And then you might
understand why I didn't particularly care to stay with her. Personally I think
parts of it are just the delusions of someone who borders on mental problems, but it's interesting nevertheless. Read it," he repeated, struggling to stand
straight. "I thought about destroying it, but," he shrugged, laughed slightly,
"I'm obviously insane. Or too good to be true." He laughed again, "No, I'm not.
But...," he shrugged again, his voice trailing off, then he turned away, staggering from the alley.
Angel watched him moving away, swaying slightly. At the corner Riley stopped and
turned back. "I wanted her, but she couldn't love me back. Because she still
wants you. Yet, she can't have you." He chuckled, "Isn't life a bitch."
Watching the commando disappear around the corner, Angel slowly bent down to pick up the paper, then carefully stuffed it into his pocket. He would read it later. At home.
Angel had expected the Hyperion hotel to be quiet and deserted at his return.
What he hadn't expected was to find a furious slayer pacing the lobby. "Buffy,"
he acknowledged her presence, shrugging off his leather coat.
She stopped in mid-stride, then slowly turned towards him, her face flushed
slightly, her eyes huge and bright, and for him, she'd never been more beautiful. "Where the hell have you been?," she hissed, stepping closer.
Behaving deliberately casual, Angel walked over to the counter and poured himself a glass of water, then raised a brow, "Why are you here?," he asked, "Last time we met you told me to stay away from you."
She stopped in her advancing, ran a hand through her hair, "I know," she said
finally, taking a deep breath. "That was ... well, I was angry."
"I see," Angel replied slowly, sipping from his glass, his eyes never leaving her form. "Is there something you wanted to talk about?"
She stared at him for a moment, then turned and started pacing again. Stopping in the far away corner, she turned and faced him, "I ...," she paused, frowned
slightly, "Riley left."
"Oh?," Angel made, glad he already knew about it, and was able to keep his cool.
"Yeah. He just gave me an ultimatum. You know, like ... if you really love me,
you're going to find a way to stop me," she laughed, not a happy sound. "And then Xander made me feel like the big bad and I ran after him, but he was gone
already." She put her hands at her hips and came closer, "Tell me, Angel. Why do
all the men in my life leave me?"
"Am I such a bad person?," she asked, cutting him off, not really interested in
his answer. "Am I ugly? Fat? Disgusting? No, I think not. So, what is it? Is it
because I'm the slayer?" She stopped, shook her head, "Do all men have an
inferiority complex these days?"
"No," Angel said softly, his eyes on her, "No," he repeated.
For a moment her features and eyes softened, "No," she agreed. "You never felt
threatened, did you?" Then the cool expression was back, her chin coming up with
an almost audible snap. "But you're a vampire. Why should you feel threatened.
You even got to fuck me. Aren't you feeling special for that?"
"Buffy-," Angel growled.
"Uh-Oh. Now I've insulted you. Bad Buffy. Bad, bad Buffy. Don't you want to
punish her?," she asked, "Spike's dying to fuck me, do you know. He'd give his
soul to fuck me." Suddenly she grinned, and she put a finger at her chin, "Ooops. Silly me. He doesn't even have a soul. Well, never mind. But you know what, maybe I'm taking his offer one of these days. Girls need to have something to compare. So far you've been the only vampire I've had."
Before she could even blink, Angel was across the room and in front of her, his
hands gripping her shoulder like iron claws, "No," he ground out, "I'm not having this. What the hell is the matter with you? Your boyfriend left. Big deal. For weeks you've been telling me that you don't love him. So what's this all about?"
She smiled then, a slow and sensual smile, then stepping on her toes, she
whispered, "It's about this." And with a swift motion of her arms, she pulled his head down, pressing her lips on hers, kissing him hard.
"Buffy we can't," Angel said, trying to evade the kiss.
"I don't care," she replied, kissing him again.
"Buffy, no," Angel stammered, feeling overwhelmed by her come-on.
"Shut up, Angel," the slayer hissed, pulling at his clothes. "I'm not a little
girl anymore." Then she settled her mouth on his.
Reaction was intense and abrupt. Her tongue traced his lips and when he opened
them, she slid it inside. He groaned feeling it dance over his teeth, then
teasing the roof of his mouth, the inside of his upper lip.
Angel almost lost it there and then, but a there was a little part of his mind
that desperately clang to rationality, "Buffy, I don't think-"
In response she only twisted her hands in his hair, pressed against him and
ordered, "Don't think." Then she slid her hand down between their bodies and
tugged at his shirt.
All rational thinking fled, replaced by the uneasy feeling that something about
this was very wrong, that they would only feel regret afterwards. That despair
and not love brought them together like this.
She pushed him back towards the big sofa, until his knees met the seat and he
fell backward on it. In a flash she was on his lap.
Cut! This is where the sex comes in. Buffy and Angel have sex, they're not making love. And Angel feels it, and isn't happy. Still, he gives in and they have sex.
She found him sitting on the roof, where they sat together only weeks ago,
talking as friends. Tonight there was tension in the air. He was looking out on
the city where the lights were dancing in the darkness. She reached out to touch
his shoulder, but he jerked her hand away, "Don't," he warmed.
"Wha- what?," she asked, stepping back, looking at him in confusion. Then her
eyes suddenly narrowed, "You didn't lose your soul, did you?"
A laugh came from him, harsh, unhappy. "Hardly."
She frowned for a moment, then simply nodded. "That's ... uh ... good."
"Yeah," he laughed again, even harsher this time, "Really good." He didn't bother turning to look at her. He couldn't look at her now. He felt dirty, and used. What he and Buffy had just shared, had nothing to do with love. It had been sex. Hot, lusty, exciting even, but still meaningless. And that hurt. Meaningless sex and Buffy didn't mix in his mind.
He had never answered Riley's question. He'd had meaningless sex in his life,
hell he and Darla had had meaningless sex for over 150 years. But not with Buffy. Never with Buffy. And yet, it had happened. Tonight he'd let her use him.
Although, if he completely honest with himself, he had to admit it wasn't
He'd wanted her. There was no denying of that. He'd be lying if he wouldn't admit it. But he hadn't wanted her like this. Not because she needed someone to restore her ego. Not because she needed to feel good for some hours. He loved her. And he'd been sure that she at least still cared for him, but he wasn't now. Not anymore.
He felt her hand reach out again, and stood up to evade her touch. "Don't," he
"No," he shook his head emphatically, then ran a hand through his hair, "I can't
handle it, Buffy. Not now." Maybe not ever, he added silently.
"Angel, please," she said softly, coming closer.
He evaded her again, by stepping left, shook his head. Sighing he squeezed his
forehead between thumb and index finger, trying to pressure out a sudden
headache. He felt like a bastard. Torn between the feeling of being used and
having lost all reason. If he even forgot the fact that he risked his soul
without even thinking twice, there was still the fact that he should have acted
like an adult.
He was 247 years old, was experienced. And yet, he had let this happen. Sure,
she'd been coming on strong, and sure, he hadn't had sex for a while, not since
that one unforgettable day, Buffy didn't even remember, but he still shouldn't
have let his libido run away with him just because she'd needed a moment of
escape that they would both regret.
That he already regretted.
He tilted his head heavenward, felt drops falling on his face, and wished the
rain could wash away the last hour, cleanse him. But of course it wasn't going to happen. "I think it'll be best if you'd just go," he told her, still not daring to look.
Her heard a little sound of distress, and almost turned to take her in his arms,
but he knew it'd be wrong right now. He felt her hesitating for a moment, then
she said simply "okay", and he heard her footsteps when she retreated from the
roof. Only minutes later he heard the front door shut.
Angel turned his head towards the rain again. It mixed with his tears, made them
invisible. At least on the outside.
The letter in his pocket was forgotten for now.
I thought it was over, baby
We said our goodbyes
But I can't go a day without your face
Goin' through my mind
In fact, not a single minute
Passes without you in it
Your voice, your touch, memories of your love
Are with me all of the time
Let me let go, baby
Let me let go
If this is for the best
why are you still in my heart
Are you still in my soul, let me let go
I talked to you the other day
Looks like you've made your escape
You put us behind, no matter how hard I try
I can't do the same
Let me let go, baby
Let me let go
It just isn't right, I've been two thousand miles
Down a dead-end road, let me let go
The lights of this strange city are shinin'
But they don't hold no fascination for me
I try to find the bright side, baby
But everywhere I look,
everywhere I turn, you're all I see
Let me let go, baby, won't you
Let me let go
It just isn't right, I've been two thousand miles
Down a dead-end road
Oh, let me let go, darlin', won't you
I just gotta know
If this is for the best,
why are you still in my heart
You're still in my soul, let me let go
Why don't you let me let go
Let me let go
Feedback? *Ducks for cover*. Or do you just hate me now for doing this? But hey,
the series isn't finished. Not by a long shot! That is, if you want of course. so