Disclaimer: Joss owns it.

A/N: Written for the ba_rosebuds community on LiveJournal using the prompt. "No Place Like Home." Buffy pov. Set around 'Spiral' in BtVS and spanning the three Pylean episodes of Angel.

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow

For the first time in my life I didn't have a hope of winning. I knew it, they knew it. But I didn't want to accept it, I couldn'taccept it.

If I couldn't fight, what hope did I have? How could I protect the ones I loved? How could I protect the world? What kind of Slayer did that make me?

Was I even worthy of such a title any more?

I didn't know. But as much as I hated it, I knew I had no other choice. It took all of my strength to turn my back and run…

And run.

(v)

The old Winnebago was hurtling down the highway. A company of Knights in hot pursuit when a blinding flash of blue light crackled around us. I grabbed Dawn and held her tight as she screamed, afraid that Glory had finally found us.

In the main part of the caravan I heard Tara and Anya scream, and a large crash seconds before Spike started swearing profusely.

Suddenly there was a screech of tyres, and Dawn and I fell to the floor as the van suddenly stopped. I groaned loudly and rolled to my feet; hobbling over to the window, I slowly pulled back the curtain and looked out.

Outside, I saw a large grassy field and beyond that a imposing wooded forest. My eyes opened wide. Dawn came up behind me and looked out as well. I saw movement in the shadow of the trees and swallowed thickly when I saw the spiked, whip-like, red tail.

"Dawnie, I have a feeling we're not in California anymore."

(v)

Except for the two suns that slowly tracked their way across the sky we could have been on earth.

Until a vicious demon cornered us, that is.

I raised my sword and stood in front of the others; Spike was a little behind me, an angry expression on his face and a blanket over his head. As his only protection against the sun, he was all but helpless without it, unable to fight.

The demon in front of me was vivid green, its face covered in small horns along its jaw line and brows.

"Stop!" yelled a man, waved his arms frantically as he ran towards us. "Don't kill him!"

The demon ignored him, snarled angrily and lunged towards me. I raised the sword, but he is quick, dodging my thrust and knocking me quickly to the ground before crouching over me.

"It's Angel!" the man yelled frantically, his eyes wide and scared.

Now that he was closer I realized it was Wesley. I hadn't noticed at first, granted he was a bit shaggier and a lot less refined, but that look on his face was exactly the same one I had seen when he was standing in front of Balthazar, about to get his kneecaps broken.

"Angel?" I whisper softly, looking up into the crazy red eyes of the beast above me. I couldn't think, how could this be Angel? What had happened?

At least I could be sure that it wasn't my fault this time.

Angel snarled angrily, his claws trying to scrape my flesh. I twisted under him, got my arm free and punched him right in the face, sending him sprawling backwards and allowing me to scramble back to my feet.

I didn't want to hurt him. But I didn't know where he was.

I couldn't see my former lover anywhere in the beast that stood before me, and except for that unmistakable tattoo on his shoulder, and the tattered remains of a familiar jacket and pants I wouldn't have even guessed.

Wesley and a tall black man appeared a few feet behind Angel, both of them breathing hard. From the way he held the axe in his hand, relaxed and ready I knew he was a warrior.

(v)

She was all skin and bones, long auburn hair fell around her face in curly waves. Her large eyes staring at Angel intently as she reached inside her fur-covered satchel and raised a bloody fist high into the air.

Angel turned his head swiftly, his nostrils flaring. Before any of us could react he was gone, halfway across the clearing, scrambling over rocks and following the strange girl deep into the woods.

As he faded amongst the trees I finally let out the breath I had been holding and turned, glaring at Wesley. "What did you do?" I practically growled, sounding almost like the vampires I hunted.

Wesley cringed and stepped back, the tall man at his side glared and me and crossed his arms over his chest. "We did nuthin'," he said defensively. "It's this place."

"What do you mean?" Giles asked curiously, taking a step forward.

"It's this world; it affects vampires quite unusually." He stopped, his eyes flicking behind me to look at Spike, at that moment Wesley recognised him, his mouth turning down in a frown and his eyes narrowing angrily, but all he said was. "You can take that blanket away if you wish, you won't burn."

Spike raised an eyebrow before slowly moving the blanket away. When he didn't start to burn, he threw it to the ground, a look of shock and wonder on his face.

"How is this possible?" Giles sputtered, taking off his glasses and polishing them furiously. I rolled my eyes.

"We think it's because of the two suns" Wesley said, pointing upwards. "It's as if the vampire is split in two, the human side and the vampire side." He started to explain. "Angel was in the sun, and he also had a reflection, it's the human side of him resurfacing, but then…" he paused and took a breath. "We were attacked, and he shifted." He waved a hand around his face to indicate he meant his face.

"Bloody hell," Spike snapped.

Wesley nodded absently. "He couldn't control the balance, or he couldn't 'reach' that balance that he can normally find in our world and well….you saw what happened."

"So that's what the demon inside a vampire really looks like?" Anya asked, speaking up for the first time. Her voice was layered with curiosity.

"In its purest form, yes" said Wesley as Spike snorted angrily.

"So what are we gonna do about Angel?" Willow asked. She was standing at the back of the group, her arms around Tara who was whispering quietly to herself.

"I'll go find him," I said, nodding my head.

"Buffy," Giles whispered, a slight warning in his voice.

"Don't start, Giles," I snapped, "we can't leave him like this, what if he actually hurts that girl?" I sigh quietly.

He nodded. "Alright, go."

As I scramble over the rocks, I smile to myself as I hear Dawn timidly ask the name of Wesley's friend and the laughter that followed.

(v)

The woods were dense, and I struggled to make my way through them, picking branches and thorns from my hair and clothes. Eventually I came across a rocky path and followed that, making my way slowly uphill.

I still wasn't sure if I was walking the right way, until I noticed a splattering of blood on the rocks lining the path.

It's the sign I was waiting for and I quickly picked up the pace, racing the rest of the way up hill. The blood splatters were more copious now and I'm worried that something has happened to that girl.

A rocky outcrop appeared above me and as I run closer I notice the shadows at the base are actually a large cave. I crept closer, the sword held at the ready, acutely aware that Angel could still be a danger.

I let my eyes adjust to the low light and walked deep into the cave. After a few meters it opened up into a small cavern.

Angel, as I know him, is curled up on his side amongst a pile of animal furs. His eyes were closed and he is shaking uncontrollably, small whimpers escaped from between his lips.

"Angel?" I whispered taking a step forward. "Are you ok?"

The girl stepped out of the shadows and I jumped, she appeared so suddenly. She looked at me with large brown eyes. "He's sleeping," she said quietly, her voice high, but scratchy, as if she hadn't used it in ages.

"When did he change back?" I asked her quietly, lowering the sword and making sure I didn't scare her as I took a couple of steps forward.

She gathered the hem of her skirt and made her way closer to Angel. "He saw himself," she said pointing at a pool of water in the cave's floor. "He didn't like what he saw."

She sat down next to him and put her hand on his forehead, I didn't bother telling her that vampires didn't run a temperature.

She looked up at me again. "Do you know him?" she asked quietly.

I nodded quickly. "Yes, I've known him for a long time."

"He saved me," she said, "Saved me from the monsters he did, before he became one himself," she finished sadly.

I watched her closely. "You weren't afraid of him though," I said to her softly.

She shook her head. "He's different, I can tell. He wants to be good."

"He does," I said walking closer and sinking to the ground on the other side of the vampire. "He's always wanted to do good."

She watched me closely. "Did you want something to eat?" she asked suddenly. "I've been making enchilada's out of tree bark."

"Um…no thanks," I managed to say before she scrambled off to the far end of the cave.

(v)

Unable to face me, Angel cringed away when he noticed me watching him, wrapping his arms around his knees and ducking his head to hide his face.

I ignored his reaction, knowing it was nothing personal. Instead I concentrated on telling him what had been going on in Sunnydale, about Glory, and Dawn and my decision to leave.

From the amount of time we had already spent in Pylea I imagined that the window for Glory's ritual is long gone. Knowing the god would have been screaming in frustration brought a smile to my face, and caused Angel to lift his head and look at me.

I smile at him. "Hey you," I whispered.

"Hey." He tried to smile, but it came out more of a grimace. "I didn't hurt you did I?" he asked quietly, looking right into my eyes.

I shook my head. "Not even a scratch." I told him, holding out my arms.

"Good," he whispered softly. "I couldn't have lived with myself if I had hurt you again."

"I know," I said.

(v)

The sight of Cordelia in a 'Queen of Sheba' outfit had all of us staring; I think Xander even started drooling.

In true Cordy fashion she didn't even notice the effect she had on everyone, as she sauntered around the throne room.

Angel and Gunn held the struggling High Priest between them, forcing him to sit still and sign all the official documents Cordelia placed in front of him.

Beside her stood the Groosalugg, a human man with amazing deep blue eyes. He was the Pylean champion.

Just a few hours earlier he and Angel had been fighting, the beast visible in Angel's eyes before he managed to push it back and get the upper hand.

I got between them just in time to stop Angel from killing him, Cordelia following me and putting her arm around the Goosalugg's shoulders.

(v)

We all piled into the old Plymouth. Xander making a dig at Angel for having a convertible, which he ignored, too busy looking at me as I stood in the sunlight. I must admit, I was enjoying looking at him standing in the sun as well.

Angel got into the driver's seat and started the engine. From the backseat Wesley opened the book the Priest has given us and started saying the ritual. A large portal opened in front of us, blue fire crackling.

"Hold on!" yelled Angel before he slammed his foot down on the gas and rushed forward. We headed straight through the portal and were suddenly surrounded by swirling blue light.

When the light finally cleared a brightly lit stage and bar became visible. We crashed through a pile of chairs and tables. Angel only just managing to slam on the brakes to avoid crashing into the solid wooden bar.

We all jerked forward against the momentum and I wrapped my arms more tightly around Dawn's waist.

We got out of the car and headed towards the door.

As the first rays of sunlight started breaching the horizon Angel unlocked the courtyard door and walked inside. The water fountain in the middle of the courtyard provided a soothing sound as we all followed him up the stairs and through the double glass doors.

He stopped on the front step and I almost bumped into him.

Angel let out a relieved sigh. "There's no place like home," he said and I heard the smile in his voice.

"Uhhh… Angel?" Cordelia interrupted and we all turned to where she was standing by the door, her hand on the light switch. "I think the electrical circuit's shot again," she said, as she flicked the switch in vain. The lights staying ominously dark.

"Dammit!" Angel snapped loudly.

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