Never Let Me Go

Chapter 6

Hell, Year One Hundred

The years had passed in a blur. Deep in the dungeons under the city the two vampires huddled, naked and shivering. Eyes locked onto each other from either side of the bars of their cell.

They had been here for the past hundred years, fighting for their lives side by side in the fighting arena above, fighting demons for the chance to live another day. They had lasted a century already, the record.

After being knocked out by the huge demon; who they later found out was called Ralph; they were put in chains and taken to another city. They weren't the only prisoners, but they were the only vampires. The other prisoners were demons, and in much worse shape.

They were chained to the back of a cart, and pulled along behind it. The journey took a few weeks, with both vampires starting to lose control by the time they entered the city.

Like the little town they had lived in they were the odd ones out, looking up in awe as the old buildings towered above them.

They were locked in a dungeon, in a cell barely big enough for them to fit. They curled up against one another, their backs against one row of bars, Angel's legs resting against the other. The dungeon door creaked open and they looked up, peering through the bars to the demon that was walking towards them.

He stopped when he was in front of their cell and looked down at them, its red eyes amused. Buffy sat up straighter and looked the demon in the eye. "What are we doing here?" she asked.

"You're here to fight," it growled around a mouth full of sharp teeth. "We haven't had a pair of vampires in the arena for a long time, the crowd will be pleased."

Buffy frowned but Angel was beginning to understand. "An arena?" he stated. "Like a Gladiator." Buffy's eyes widened in sudden understanding.

The demon shrugged. "I don't know what a Gladiator is."

"What if we lose?" Buffy asked.

"You die."

"What if we win?" Angel countered.

The demon snorted. "A vampire hasn't won for ten centuries," it said in amusement.

Angel raised his chin. "Well, looks like we'll be the first won't we?"

That first battle had been brutal, they had been pitted together against two other demons, also lovers. Afterwards, when the ground had been soaked with blood, and the demons were lying dead on the ground Angel and Buffy stood silently, all around them the crowd cheering in excitement, the bloodlust making the air heavy with animosity. Yellow eyes glinting in the moonlight Buffy and Angel had stared at each other, hating it.

Each fight passed in a blur, and soon months turned into years, years into decades. Still they remained unbeaten. The demons pitting them against harder and harder foes.

Each time the betting went up, the demons expecting the vampires to finally fall. But they underestimated how much Buffy and Angel meant to one another, how much they would actually do for one another. Buffy had followed him to hell, had let him turn her into a vampire, a little demon wasn't going to get in her way from being with him, not now, not ever.

Eventually it took its toll. Madness was slow, worming its way into their minds one little strand at a time until eventually they lost their minds completely.

They no longer cared about getting out of hell, or seeing their friends again. The world shrunk until all they saw was each other, and the threat each new demon was to their mate. All they cared about was each other, the only words they knew were each other's name.

But a deal was a deal, and as long as they were winning they wouldn't be killed. Not that it stopped the demons from doing other things. They tortured them, both physically and mentally until they were both broken shells of what they once were. They were tortured in front of each other, the other one helpless to stop it.

The demons also took great pleasure in humiliating Buffy in any way they could. Making her painfully aware that in this world, she was the weak one. She hated how it made her feel.

Each time they would make Angel watch, chains around his arms and legs, a collar around his neck. One time they only had a guard to watch him and Angel had broken free, killing the demon that was hurting her. Now they made sure he couldn't do anything but growl angrily.

Afterwards they were thrown back into the dungeon and Buffy would curl up in his lap, her head on his chest. In the relative isolation of their cell she would give in and cry, Angel keeping his arms protectively around her and giving her any support he could.


The latest battle was over, Buffy and Angel stood victorious as they always did. They were both covered in blood. As the spectators watched the two vampire's moved toward each other, embracing before they started to lick the blood off each other's skin. Watching from the stands high above two demons looked down at them, faced with a dilemma they had never encountered before.

"A contradiction, if ever I saw one," the older demon hissed around pointed teeth, rubbing at the horn that jutted out from the tip of its nose.

The other grumbled under his breath. "Are we going to just let this continue? They've slaughtered countless of our kind. When are we going to put an end to this nonsense? Just kill them where they lie."

The other demon turned its head and eyed the other with disdain. "Have you no honour? We may be demons but we take our vows seriously. They are in the arena to fight, it is dishonourable to kill them outside of it."

"Fine. What else can we do? It is humiliating to us and the crowd to see a pair of vampires win against our kind."

"Then we must get them out of the arena, but we can't kill them."

The two demons fell silent as they contemplated the possibilities. Musing over the options they could take and quickly dismissing them. Finally after a few minutes the younger one huffed and shrugged its shoulders. "I still think we should kill them, save on the tax."

The older one shook its head slowly, lost in thought. "No," it said, "We need to get them out, and I think I have the perfect solution."

"What?" The demon grinned, showing its teeth. "Why, we send them home of course."


Buffy and Angel were huddling together when a group of about ten guards walked into the dungeon and over to their cell. They were all various types of demons, scales and skin, big teeth and fangs, some even had horns and one even had a tail that ended in a fork. The later, the captain opened the door, holding it open as a few demons walked into the cage and prodded the vampires with their swords, making them move.

Both vampires snarled and tried to attack, but the guards overpowered them, and dragged them out of the dungeon, up the stairs and dropped them off at the feet of the two demons who were responsible for all the fighters in the arena.

Both vampires looked up at them from their positions on the floor, gazing up at them through hooded, swollen eyes. Slowly Angel got to his feet, licking the blood from the corner of his mouth. He stood with his eyes lowered, hunching over submissively before he pulled Buffy to her feet beside him.

The former Slayer was shaking, she was hungry and weak and the blood she could smell from the cut to Angel's cheek wasn't helping her control at all.

The older demon stroked his chin with a scaled hand, its bright green lizard-like eyes staring at them unblinkingly. "I know neither of you can understand me, I'm afraid we broke you a little too much."

All around him the other demons chuckled.

Buffy hissed, baring her teeth.

The demon bared his own fangs in return. "None of that now," he said to her. He turned to his companion. "Are you ready?"

The other demon nodded and stepped forward.

Sensing something was going to happen both vampires took a step backward. Their attention on the new threat standing in front of them. The demon grinned, liking the reaction.

Slowly he started to chant a spell. A blue light flowed around the vampires. Scared, her eyes wide Buffy wrapped her arms around Angel's waist and pressed herself against him. Looking around frantically. Angel snarled and tried grabbing at the light, thinking it was solid. His hand passed right through as the light continued to enclose them.

The demon continued to chant, the spell coming to a climax with a rush of power and a flare of bright white light. When their eyes cleared the two vampires were gone.

The demon smiled and brushed his hands down his chest in satisfaction. "That worked out better than I expected," he said, impressed with himself. "I've never done that spell before," he admitted as the other demon turned to stare at him. "They could have ended up in heaven."

The other demon shuddered. "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy!" he said.



Three weeks later…

A few weeks had passed since Buffy and Angel had returned from the hell they had been in, and the improvement was insignificant. Neither of them could communicate, and as hard as Giles and Willow tried they couldn't even get Buffy to acknowledge them. She didn't know them, they were strangers to her, a threat, and potential food.

They had lost count of the number of times they had had to tranquilize either one, or the other after they had tried to attack them. Curiously, it was Angel who seemed to have the best control. Buffy was much too quick to anger and attack them, either with fear or anger. Angel only attacked them if he thought they were going to hurt Buffy. Proving to the Scooby's that they still cared about one another, despite the madness.

It wouldn't last forever though, each night the friends grew even more worried, not only for Buffy but also, in association for Angel.

Xander didn't share their concern, until –surprising everyone- Cordelia pointed out that, "If Angel dies how long until you think miss –I'm-a-natural-blonde- follows him? You already saw her follow him to hell, she'll follow him into death as well." After that he was as concerned as the rest, even if it still didn't change his opinion of him.

Finally, after yet another day that ended with both vampires snoozing on the floor, darts in their chests and arms Giles thought it was time to finally take matters into his own hands. "I think it's time we told Joyce," he said, as the teenagers gasped and looked at him in shock.

"But…" Willow started to say.

Giles shook his head. "She needs to know what's become of her only daughter, and maybe it will be the trigger Buffy needs to remember," he tried to explain. "If not, as least she has a chance to say goodbye."

As he closed the door behind him the Scooby's all looked at each other.

"I have another idea," Xander said suddenly before he rushed out the door.

"What the hell is happening?" Willow cried, "this is Buffy we're talking about, we can't kill her."

"She's not really Buffy now though, is she? She's gone, she doesn't even pun anymore. Maybe it's for the best." Cordelia said sadly.

Willow shook her head angrily. "No, it will never be for the best, we can't give up on her."


An hour later there was a knock at the door. With a grumble Willow got up from her seat on the couch and went to open it. The others all stayed where they were.

On the other side of the room, away from the windows that was letting in the warm midday sun. The vampires huddled in their corner, paying little attention to the humans present.

As Willow and Giles led Joyce into the mansion, Buffy's mother gasped in shock. "Buffy," she whispered, her eyes wide as she stared across the room at the two vampires crouched in the shadows.

Buffy and Angel turned their heads around at the sound of the new voice. Angel growled softly but Buffy stared. Very slowly she rocked back on her heels and stood up. Her eyes never leaving her mother's face, an array of emotion coming and going on her face. She took a small step forward.

Giles grabbed Joyce's arm as she made to move towards her daughter. "Don't Joyce," he said quietly. "She isn't Buffy, not the one you knew."

Joyce stared. "What happened to her?" she glanced at Angel quickly who slowly stood up and watched her silently. "What happened to both of them?"

"Time, and Hell," he admitted.

Joyce looked at him in shock "Hell?"

Giles nodded, "They've been back for a month now, we haven't seen an improvement."

"An improvement?" Joyce asked in concern, she turned back to look at her daughter. "What do you mean, why isn't she saying anything?"

"She can't" Willow said quietly.

"They haven't said anything since they got back," Cordelia added helpfully.

"Their minds are gone, Joyce," Giles said soothingly, his hand still on her arm. "We don't know what to do, they aren't getting better. You were our last hope."

Joyce started to cry, the only time any of them had seen Buffy's unflappable mom cry. "No, there must be something else you can do, you can't give up on her. I thought you were her friends."

"We are!" said Willow, shocked, tears forming in her own eyes.

"There is nothing we can do Joyce, this is something she has to do herself. We can't get through to her, nothing has worked. They are too damaged, to raw."

Joyce buried her face in her hands and turned, putting her forehead against Giles shoulder and started crying in earnest. The Librarian frowned in sympathy and put his arm around her in what he hoped was a soothing manner, patting her back awkwardly.

At that moment the door banged open, and Xander rushed inside. Both vampires jumped and snarled in response, yellow eyes suddenly appearing.

Joyce gasped in horror at the sight as Xander rushed forward. "Sorry, sorry," he muttered, "but I just thought of something."

"What?" asked Giles.

Xander grabbed Joyce's hand and dropped the pair of Claddagh rings into her palm. "Their rings," he explained as Joyce just blinked at him.

On the other side of the room Buffy took another small step forward. There was something happening, someone new was here, someone she ought to know. She frowned as she tried to grasp at the memories that buzzed through her mind faster then she could grasp at them.

She struggled, a small whine escaping her throat. It was right there, just out of her reach. She frowned and narrowed her eyes as a memory formed. Joyce wrapping her arms around her and telling her she loved her as they sat on the couch staring at a burning candle.

She took another step forward. "Mom?" she whispered into the silence. "Mommy?"



Two months later…

Buffy and Angel sat on the couch in the living room of the Summer's home. Their Claddagh rings glinting on their fingers. It had been a few months since Buffy had called out to her mom, a few hard months of pain as she slowly brought herself back from the brink of insanity, dragging Angel along with her.

As Buffy started to heal, and remember, she helped Angel do the same. The tall vampire had a harder time of it, Buffy was his only real connection to the world. The only thing that kept him from reverting to the animal he had become. He struggled, the centuries he spent as an evil demon taking their toll. Every day was a struggle, the hardest was learning to speak again.

The first time he picked up a book and could make out the words he started to cry. With Buffy at his side he found it easier. They got through it together. Eventually becoming the people they were before.

They eventually told the Scooby's, and Joyce what had happened to them. How they had been forced to fight for their lives, and tortured.

"What I don't understand," Giles had said, cleaning his glasses, "is why you turned Buffy, you we're the one to do that weren't you?" He accused, putting his glasses back on.

Angel swallowed the lump in his throat, glanced around at the accusing stares and nodded.

"Why?" Joyce asked, her voice quiet.

"Because I was dying mom," Buffy said, an edge creeping into her voice as she took Angel's hand in hers and stared at her friends defiantly.

"Did you want to be a vampire Buffy? How did you know you would keep your soul?"

"Because if she had died in heaven her soul would have been trapped there for eternity, I…guessed that if she was a vampire her soul would stay with her, it had nowhere else to go," Angel explained.

"That was an incredible risk to take" Giles admitted, not liking it at all.

Angel shrugged and Buffy squeezed his hand again. "I wasn't gonna let him stay their own his own," she said.

"And I wasn't going to leave her their either. She was dying. If I hadn't turned her she would have died within months."

Willow looked at both of them, her eyebrows narrowed. "How long were you there?" she asked, suspiciously. They had been very careful to not mention that little detail yet.

Angel and Buffy looked at each other. "I lost track after about 50 years." He admitted, knowing full well it was a great deal longer than that.

Buffy looked at her mother as Joyce gasped in shock. "See mom, nothing to worry about. I'll be around for a great deal longer yet."

"We're glad you're back." Willow whispered.

"So am I," Buffy admitted. She looked at Angel and smiled. "Oh, and guys," she asked.


"Thanks for not giving up on us."


The End

A/N: Thanks everyone for all the fav's and alerts and for reading and reviewing. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you liked it enough why not leave a review and make my day, I know you want to! If you are interested in reading more of my work i have quiet a collection already, most are Buffy/Angel like this, but i've also written Buffy/Booth, Willow/Oz, Angel/Darla and Spike/Dru.

I also have another WIP i've just started that i will now be focusing on. I've only posted the prologue so far, but i will be posting another chapter shortly.

Until next time,