Angel blinked, feigning innocence. "Was what real?" he asked.
Buffy frowned slightly and looked away. "I don't know," she replied, feeling puzzled. "Did I say something?"
Angel fought the urge to heave a sigh of relief. "You must have been dreaming," he told her as he reached out softly to catch a tear.
Wanting to feel his touch, Buffy reached up and caught Angel's hand before he could remove it, holding it against her face. Their eyes met and electricity passed between them. She relaxed her hold on his hand enough so that he could put his palm against her cheek and stroke it gently with his tumb.
"Probably," Buffy mumbled absently.
"A really intense dream…" Angel added.
"Mm, hmm," Buffy murmured.
Their eyes were still holding each other, and as Angel's head came closer to hers, Buffy snapped out of it with a blink and pulled back. She quickly made her way to her feet and wiped her face of the tears. Angel glanced up at her, feeling a little confused, before realizing that he had been out of line and looked away. Boy, was it hard to stay away from her.
"I should tell Giles to change the floor," she quipped. "Really uncomfortable. You know, with all the guests he gets that sleep on the floor and all…"
Angel cracked a small smile as he, too, stood up. He opened his mouth to reply, but a voice from the kitchen doorway interrupted him.
"Oh, good, you're up."
They both whipped around to face Giles. His hair was tousled, his eyes were puffy from sleep, and he wore a robe, but he offered them a good-morning smile, anyway.
"I trust you slept well?" he asked them.
Buffy raised a delicate eyebrow. "Giles, we slept on the floor. The cold, hard floor."
Giles' smile turned into a sheepish grin. "Yes, I apologize for the crude conditions, but you both looked so tired, that…"
Buffy dismissed him with a shrug. "No biggie."
In truth, while she minded the soreness, she didn't exactly mind where she slept as long as she had Angel by her side.
Where did that come from? she wondered. And it was then that she knew. Maybe the spell had made her act like a complete moron, exposing everything she had fought to keep deep down within, but it was still what she had been feeling. Whether she liked it or not, and as much as she liked Riley, Angel was still a big part of her, and she was still madly in love with him. As if she ever wouldn't be anyway…
"Yes, well, would you like some breakfast?" Giles asked. Then he turned and gave Angel an apologetic look. "I'm afraid I don't have anything for you at the moment, but I did send Wesley and Cordelia for some… food. They'll be here shortly."
Angel nodded, gave Buffy one last glance, and turned to where the books they had been researching last night were. Giles then turned to give Buffy an inquisitive glance.
Buffy smiled. "I'm starved."
That night, the gang assembled once again in Giles' house, each filling a spot on all of the chairs in his living room. There were no open books. The research had been done and now it was time to fight. Buffy and Angel were both free from the spell, though slightly uncomfortable around each other.
A fact not lost on any of their friends.
"Okay, what do we got?" Buffy asked from her spot on the armchair.
"Magical demons," said Willow.
"Whole army of 'em," Xander added.
"And they want to take Buffy and Angel out of the game," Cordelia stated. "With the spell and all."
Giles' brow scrunched up thoughtfully. "They must have a leader," he said. "Obviously someone who knows you and know what he or she is doing."
"But we took out the part of the plan, right?" Buffy replied. "I mean, the spell's gone, I'm fine, I can go kick their ass."
Wesley shook his head. "I suggest you slow down and think about this first, Buffy. If you go charging into a situation you have no knowledge of, you could very well get hurt or even worst."
Buffy rolled her eyes and stood up. "Witness my knowledge," she countered. "Some person who is trying to mess with my head conjured up an army of demons to take me out. I kill the person, the army has no leader, End of Days is no longer a problem." With that, she went made her way over to the weapons and started gathering what she thought she would need.
The concerned protests of her friends filled the room.
"Buffy, think about this," Riley protested.
Taking her eyes away from her weapons for a moment, Buffy turned to glare at her boyfriend. "Are you gonna start telling me what to do, too?" she challenged.
Angel walked over to her and gently took the battle axe she was holding from her. "How are you gonna kill this person?" he asked her softly. "If it's even a person. Is it a sorcerer? A vampire? A demon?"
Not looking him the eye, Buffy licked her lips and snatched the axe from his hands. "I can kill whatever it is," she answered, looking at Giles for support.
"Not if it's a sorcerer," Giles told her.
Buffy sighed and glanced up at Angel briefly. "Fine," she conceded. "Here's the plan. Angel and I go back the cemetery where we were attacked. Maybe we can find some clues as to where this new bad guy's hiding at and what it is. We'll come back, we can work out a plan, defeat them, and get some rest." She stopped and look around at the people in the room. "All in favor?"
Several hands rose halfway, as the occupants looked at each other for confirmation of their choice. Soon, everyone's hands were raised.
Everyone's except Riley's.
"I don't like the idea of you headed out there alone," Riley said.
Buffy's eyes softened slightly at Riley's pathetic expression. "I won't be alone. Angel's with me, remember?"
Riley turned his narrowed eyes to Angel. "How could I forget?" he replied bitterly. "Look, you guys do whatever you want. I'm out of here."
With that, he grabbed his coat and started for the door.
"Riley!" Buffy called after him. "You're acting like a…" The door slammed and Buffy winced. "…like a jealous idiot." She sighed and shook her head. "I don't have time for this." She motioned with her head for Angel to join her and together they finished gathering their weapons.
"Nice weather out," Buffy commented. Instinctively, they both glanced up at the cloudy night. "You know, nice and rainy… It's perfect for spring, y'know?"
Angel raised an eyebrow at her attempt at small talk. "Yeah," he agreed.
"I hate the sun, anyway," Buffy continued. "Though I guess I don't have to tell you that, right?"
Angel just smiled at her and glanced around. Deciding to give up her attempts at conversation, Buffy looked around as well. It had been raining again and the cemetery was still damp. The large, full moon cast an eerie glow over the wet grass, which was not helping them to move around subtly.
As Buffy opened her mouth to speak again, a rasping voice made her close it and flinch.
"Waiting for someone?"
Buffy and Angel both whirled around to face the three feet, winged demon that had attacked them the night before.
"So it talks," Buffy commented. "Hey, has anyone ever told you that you are the most incredibly gross thing that exists?"
The little demon ignored the comment, instead flapping its wings and rising into the air. It crocked something in a high-pitched voice and just as suddenly, a flock of Klaraph's appeared behind it. Buffy and Angel both turned to run, only to find a group of Mohra demons behind them.
Angel grabbed Buffy's hand protectively and started to pull her sideways. Almost immediately, an invisible force threw them both back. They landed on the cold grass with a thud.
"Good evening, Angelus."
From his place on the grass, Angel forced his eyes open and looked up at the new visitor.
"Christian," he growled.
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