Angel laid in bed and pulled a pillow close to his chest. It still smelled like Buffy somehow. Angel wasn't sure if he was imagining it or if this was part of his burden to carry around of the day he was human. Sighing, he looked up at the ceiling and wondered if Cordelia was ever going to go home. She and Doyle were just lurking about too much lately, he knew they were worried but it wasn't like anything they did or said could help this situation.

Closing his eyes, he thought about the road he'd been on the past handful of years. He was supposed to be on some sort of road to redemption but the more time passed the more it felt like he was just settled into some new brand of torture for the things he'd done as Angelus.

The Powers That Be had called his run in with that demon "a gift." He almost let out a harsh bark of laughter at that.

Whistler had gifted him with a chance of a new life. He'd stepped in at one of his lowest points in his long lifetime and gave him a reason to change everything... Buffy. That first sight of her was enough to set a fire under his ass that he'd not had in a good, long while. The PTB sent him to her and it made sense... until it didn't. Until it was ruined by him losing his soul.

They must have known, he wouldn't even pretend like someone out there didn't foresee what was to come. Of course he was going to fall in love with Buffy and it was going to progress into him being happy, into them being intimate with one another, into an utter clusterfuck disaster.

And it pissed him off.

The First had taken credit for bringing him back from Hell but Whistler had straightened that out the last time they'd spoken. He'd even hinted that the "Powers" had a hand in his life from the beginning... driving Darla to him, making small marks along the way so he'd wind up with that damn Clan girl.

They gifted him Doyle. So far that was the only good point with no major downside. Other than it tying him right back to Buffy with that vision, which led him to Sunnydale again, which led her to LA... and this whole mess.

He was sure they had a hand in the whole demon situation, maybe they were testing him, seeing if he could do what needed to be done. If he could turn down exactly what he and Buffy wanted to continue being their champion.

He was beginning to wonder if he could he could start stamping "Return To Sender" on these so-called gifts they kept sending him.