You know the night time, oh, is the right time To be with the one you love. Baby, I said a baby, baby, come on and drive me crazy, Lord, You know I love you; always thinkin' of you. Hey, baby; oh, I said a baby. You know the night time is the right time
Buffy fought to maintain her grasp on the last remnants of a really good dream, but it was useless. Her bed was being shaken so hard that the box spring mattress was continually being smacked against the fake headboard.
“Stop. I’m awake,” Buffy said.
It wasn’t always Faith’s kicking the bed that dragged Buffy from her dream-induced slumber. Sometimes it was Faith cursing her blankets and sheets because she had a way of wrapping herself in them like a burrito and then had to fight to break loose so she could kick Buffy’s bed.
“God, B, could you maybe learn how to moan a little quieter?”
Buffy, more than a little uncomfortable rolled over to face Faith who was barely discernable in the darkness of the hotel room. “I woke you up again?” Buffy asked, pushing back the covers and sitting up.
Buffy and Faith had been traveling cross-country looking for more slayers. There had been a few stragglers here and there, but that was about it. Buffy equated their search to going on an egg hunt the Monday after Easter, or better yet, being the last one in the line at a bargain day shoe sale.
“Sorry,” Buffy said. “I guess it was another dream of the intense variety.”
“Do you remember anything this time?”
Buffy shook her head wildly from side-to-side. “Not anything that’ll help.”
“Then talk to G about it.”
“No, I don’t want to worry him. He’s got enough to worry about without my sporadic dreams of the Angel variety.”
Subconscious images about Angel, sex, and then sex with Angel weren’t exactly the type of dreams a girl shared with her Watcher or sister slayer, no matter how close they were. Embarrassing wouldn’t even begin to describe how she would feel if she shared even the smallest detail.
“By the sounds of it, you and the big guy are having some wild times. If you can’t have the real thing, there’s nothing wrong with dreamin’ about it,” Faith said as she yanked her covers back over herself. “My dreams lately have been for shit.”
Buffy was starting to wonder exactly how much Faith had heard. “Look, Faith, Angel is gone. There’s no bringing him back. How many years has it been now?”
“That doesn’t mean anything.” Faith snuggled deeper under her covers to the point that all Buffy could see was the top of her head. “What makes you so sure he’s really gone?”
The truth of the matter was that Buffy wasn’t sure. Especially not once the dreams started coming more regularly. “I’m not.”
“Exactly my point. I think it’s time we found out.”
Faith turned toward her, her smile immediately brightening the dimness of the room. “Yeah.”
“I don’t see why we couldn’t have flown,” Buffy said, looking out the passenger side window. “We’d be there by now.”
“It’s not that long of a drive,” Faith insisted.
“I don’t call over four-hundred miles ‘not that long’,” Buffy said.
“No way in hell I’m going to put my life in the hands of some guy I’ve never seen. He could be getting swallowed whole by some slut of a flight attendant while drinking a fifth of Jack behind that cockpit door and we’d know nothing about it. No thanks. I’ll drive.” Faith smiled. “Now, sit back and enjoy it, B.”
Once they made it to L.A. they grabbed something to eat and then called it a day. Buffy was glad to get out of the car. Sitting still for hours on end didn’t really come naturally for Slayers, whose impatience ranked right up there with a two year old who’d just killed off a box of Fruit Loops, and so with Faith asleep in the bed beside her, Buffy dreamed, but this time it wasn’t of Angel.
“How’s it hanging, Slayer?”
“Why are you here?” she asked.
“There’s not much time,” he said, moving toward her.
Moving? Maybe floating would be a better way to describe it. Memories of nights spent in the cemetery assaulted her brain. Spike hovering over her as she was splayed out across a stone sarcophagus. How he’d push her skirt up over her hips and then pull her panties down exposing her backside to the coolness of the bier. Feeling the anticipation of what was about to happen, as the black duster he wore draped over her, as he began to— Buffy stopped the visual before it went any further.
“And a bit horny I see.” He smiled with a glint in his blue eyes. “Good times.”
Shocked wouldn’t begin to describe what she was feeling. Where did dirty-Spike thoughts come from? Better yet, how did Spike even know she was having them?
“Are you reading my mind?” she asked tentatively.
“Maybe just a bit. And yeah, cemetery was one of my favorites. The duster helps my image.”
In the next instant the duster and a mischievous smiling were all that he was wearing.
“Put some clothes on, Spike!”
“This is your dream. You put my clothes on.”
After quite a few variations of cowboy boots, cowboy hats, black spandexy body suits, Speedos, one nipple ring and a very embarrassing pink tutu, Spike was fully clothed once again.
“Are you quite finished?” he asked.
“Yes, sorry,” she said, still surprised at how much control she wielded in her current dream state. “Why are you here again?”
“Why do you think?” He sighed loudly as he waved his hands about. “That’s neither here nor there. You’re going in the wrong direction, using that slayer logic of yours. That won’t help you find him.”
“How do you… How do I find Angel?”
He waggled his eyebrows. “Where would the fun be if I just told you?”
“Fine.” He cleared his throat and then said, “Angel isn’t lost, per se. He’s just misplaced.”
“Is there a difference?”
“Are you two…?” She was having a hard time saying the word. “And don’t start with the ‘undead’ speech. You know what I mean.”
“Are you in L.A.?”
He shook his head ‘No’, but said, “Yes.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“You’re a smart slayer. Figure it out.” Before she could object further he added, “Angel and I are in the same place, technically, but I can’t tell you where, Buffy. Now I need to go back before he knows I’m gone.”
Before she could ask who “he” was, the dream ended and she was awake.
Buffy and Faith had been in L.A. for days. They couldn’t find Spike or Angel for that matter. It didn’t help that her dreams had all but stopped. How were she and Faith supposed to find vampires that couldn’t be found? Vampires who had stopped showing up in her dreams to give her hints as to where they were hiding?
“It’s just around the next corner,” Faith said.
Their next stop was the Hyperion, Faith leading the way because Buffy had never been there before. Buffy wasn’t sure what she had expected, but a big crumbling building hadn’t been at the top of her list.
“I say we start at the top and work our way down.” Faith said. “It’ll take a while.”
“Sounds like a good plan,” Buffy said, yanking open the front door with its shaky handle, which she half-expected to fall off in her hand.
As they searched they found a bunch of cobwebs, spiders, and some four-legged furry creatures that caused Buffy to jump on a few occasions. Vampires she could handle, but a mouse running over her foot gave her the heebie-jeebies.
“What’s left?” Buffy asked as they met in the lobby.
Faith was brushing some dust off her black jeans. “Just the basement.”
“I think I hate basements,” Buffy said.
“Right there with ya.”
The basement wasn’t as big as Buffy thought it would be, and it didn’t take long to search it, but then something caught her attention in the furthest corner away from the stairs.
“What’s over there?” Buffy asked.
“Only one way to find out,” Faith said.
“Is that--?” Buffy began as she made note of what looked like ash in the middle of the circle.
“No,” Faith said. “It looks like charred wood. Like someone had a fire or something.
Following a huge sigh, Buffy said, “Okay, there was some major freakage.”
“It’s fine. It’s not them,” Faith said, and Buffy realized that was the first time worry had seeped into Faith’s voice since their recon had begun. “Someone made a fire. That’s it. Nothing more.”
“There’s only one place left for us to check,” Faith said.
Buffy had been putting off the trip because she was afraid what she’d do once she got there.
“Don’t worry, B. I’ll keep you in line.”
The irony of Faith’s offer wasn’t lost on Buffy.
“This is a new building. It doesn’t look like it did before,” Faith said.
“You’ve been here before,” Buffy said. She didn’t ask because she knew better.
“Long time ago.”
“Want to talk about it?” When Faith shook her head, Buffy continued, “I still don’t think it’s going to do any good.”
“Do you have any other ideas?” Faith asked, pushing on the handle to the revolving glass door and disappearing into the building,”
“No,” Buffy said and sighed as she joined her. “Even if they do know, they won’t tell us. Why would they want to help? ‘Hello, and welcome to the evil law firm from hell.’”
“Let’s see what happens.”
There was Faith’s voice of reason again. It still caught Buffy off guard when Faith sounded so self-assured. The other slayer had come a long way and Buffy was proud of her… not like she’d ever tell her that though. Faith would probably try to kick her ass. ‘Try’ being the keyword in that sentence.
As soon as they stepped into the main lobby, a piercing alarm blasted. A group of armed security guards emerged from various doors and enclosed the slayers in a in no time flat.
“Can we help you?” the largest, most imposing one of the group asked, the palm of his hand resting on the gun holstered at his hip.
“Yeah, by maybe backing off,” Faith said, taking a step toward him. No sooner had she moved than she was restrained.
“Everyone relax,” Buffy said. “We’re not here to cause any problems.” The alarm was still going off and it felt like it was going to split her brain in two. “And could someone turn that thing off?” The ear-splitting sound stopped and they were blanketed in blessed silence. “Thank you.”
“One more time,” the security guard, whose nametag read ‘Sergeant Woodrow’, said. “Why are you here?”
Sgt. Woodrow towered over both slayers. As Buffy looked around she realized that all of the guards loomed over them. Fighting wasn’t an option, but neither was leaving.
“We want to talk to someone in charge,” Buffy said.
“Yeah, someone who’s not hired muscle,” Faith added. “The whole ‘brain’ not ‘brawn’ thing. Ever heard of it?”
Buffy was about ready to elbow her in the side. Apparently Faith wasn’t acquainted with the expression of getting more bees with flowers. Or was it more bees with honey? Yeah, it was honey.
“Faith? Honey,” she said.
Faith turned toward her, and arched a brow. “Okay… Sweetie?”
“No. Not that!” Buffy shook her head, and then turned her attention back to Sgt. Biceps. “We want to talk to someone who knows what happened to the previous CEO.”
“The previous CEO?”
“We want to know what happened to Angel,” she said.
The guard laughed. “You have the nerve to come here and ask about that vampire?”
The other guards tittered as well. Maybe shedding a little blood would be of the good. Worry was starting to melt into annoyance. No one laughed at Angel. No one.
“We can do this the nice way--” she began.
“Or the not so nice way,” Faith said.
“Slayers. You should have balls,” Sgt. Woodrow said.
“They don’t fit in mini-skirts very well,” Buffy shot back.
“What she said. And how’d you know we are slayers?” Faith asked and then the look of realization washed over her face. “That was a slayer alarm!”
“Nifty,” Buffy said. “Now, if you would go and get your boss we’d appreciate it.”
“At least they said we had pretty asses,” Buffy said weakly as she and Faith walked down the street.
“Nice ‘the glass is half-full’ response, B, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they meant.”
The security guards from hell had thrown the slayers out on their ‘pretty little asses’, but not literally. Buffy and Faith had been asked to leave in such a way that the slayers agreed it was probably the only thing to do at that point. Buffy and Faith hadn’t said it aloud. The look they shared said it for them.
Buffy and Faith were halfway down the street when someone shouted Buffy’s name. It only took a second for the voice to register: Harmony Kendall.
She was running down the street, sticking to the shadows, with a dark purple parasol propped over her head.
“Stop!” she yelled. “Come on, Buffy. I can help you.”
Once the slayers stopped walking and she caught up, Harmony started talking, talking, talking, and then talking some more. Somewhere in her ramblings Buffy picked up on the fact that Harmony had been Angel’s secretary at some point.
Buffy started laughing. Harmony was Angel’s secretary? In what dimension?
“Chill, B,” Faith said, and that only made Buffy laugh harder, which in turn prompted Faith to mumble something about Buffy getting hysterical.
Buffy wasn’t hysterical, not yet anyway. Besides, Faith didn’t know Harmony as well as Buffy did, or thought she did. Harmony being Angel’s secretary was just icing on a really strange cake.
“Anyway, now that Angel’s gone,” Harmony said, “I got demoted. I’m working for some weirdo and someone else is working for the CEO. It’s supposed to be my job. Totally not fair.”
“To the point, Harmony,” Buffy said, regaining her composure.
“Fine, if you want to find Angel you need to look somewhere that isn’t quite in L.A., but is in L.A,” she said.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Buffy asked as she waved the thickening smoke from her eyes.
“I gotta go,” Harmony said, coughing. “I can’t stay out here anymore.”
“Nice purple umbrella,” Faith yelled out to her departing form.
“Not like it was our fault her skin started smoking,” Buffy said. “And what’s with all the cryptic? Here, but not here. Bleh.”
“What is she doing now?” Faith asked. “She’s an actual honest-to-god bimbo, isn’t she?
Harmony was running back toward them. Once she got within arm’s reach of Buffy, she shoved a business card into her hand. “Go see her,” Harmony told Buffy.
Faith voiced what Buffy was thinking. “Why should we trust you?”
“You know what they say about paybacks, and because Angel was my boss and he trusted me,” she said, and then took off again, running this time.
“Do you buy that?” Buffy asked.
“Yeah, me neither.”
“But we’ll go.”
“Yes,” Buffy said, nodding her head. “We’ll go.”
“I am Madame Belfry.”
The psychic was dressed for the part: lacy black, low-cut dress, matching scarf tied around her head, dark eyeliner and even darker lipstick. There were large, gaudy rings on nearly every finger, and her nails were painted black. Buffy wasn’t sure if she’d expected her to be young or old, but she seemed to be somewhere in between.
“I’m Buffy, but I guess you already knew that,” Buffy said.
The medium pushed her blonde curls out of her eyes and said, “Yes, I did. Slayer Buffy Anne Summers, but I didn’t want to be presumptuous. And that psychic joke never gets old.”
“Damn,” Faith said.
Madame Belfry turned to Faith. “You have an interesting past, Slayer Faith Lehane, but your future will be very… light.”
“Stop right there,” Faith said, putting up her hand. “So not here for me. Talk to B.”
“What did Harmony tell you?” Buffy asked. She figured Harmony had given Madame Belfry the heads-up. So, Harmony didn’t know a lot about Faith personally, but she had access to all kinds of information working for Wolfram and Hart. Of that, Buffy had no doubt.
“Vampire Harmony did not inform me of your arrival. She didn’t need to tell me--”
“That whole psychic thing,” Buffy said.
“You don’t believe?” Madame Belfry challenged.
“Let’s just say…” Buffy thought for a moment. “No, I don’t.”
“As you wish.”
“There will be no wishing!” Buffy said, shaking her head. “Wishing. Bad. Very, very bad.”
Madame Belfry held out her hands. “Take my hands.”
“Who?” Faith asked.
“Both of you. You’re connected on many levels,” she said.
A quick glance at Faith and Buffy took her hand and then Madame Belfry’s. After letting out a huge sigh, Faith reached for the psychic’s.
“Now,” Madame Belfry began as she closed her eyes, “let’s see what we have.”
There was no humming. The table didn’t jump around. No strong breezes swept through the room. The lights didn’t even dim. It wasn’t anything like Buffy had seen on television or in the movies. Madame Belfry started to hum, and Buffy could see her eyes darting rapidly beneath closed lids, but that was it. A few minutes later the medium opened her eyes and dropped their hands.
“Souled Vampire Angel is waiting for you, Slayer Buffy Anne Summers. He will wait for you forever even if he doesn’t realize that’s what’s he’s doing,” she said, and then turned to Faith. “You and Souled Vampire Spike have a … Ah, I see the light’s origination point.” Madame Belfry smiled, displaying a dazzling set of perfectly straight teeth. “Souled Vampire Spike wants to put your champagne bottle theory to the test, Slayer Faith Lehane. I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what that means.”
“No need to figure it out,” Faith said quickly. “I got it.”
“You do?” Buffy asked.
“Let’s move on.” Faith shifted the subject by asking about Angel. Not really smooth in Buffy’s opinion, but it served its purpose. That’s why they were here, after all.
“Slayer Buffy Anne Summers, Souled Vampire Angel’s soul is no longer in jeopardy. It has been permanently anchored.”
“How?” Buffy asked. “Why?”
“The dark soul…” she paused, “Dark Soul #182’s - let’s say - ‘techniques’ are better adapted for vampires with souls and consciousness intact.”
“I don’t want to know, do I?” Buffy asked, and Madame Belfry quickly shook her head from side to side.
“Who in the hell is Dark Soul #182?” Faith asked.
“I’m sorry, but I cannot tell you that,” Madame Belfry said, the light of fear flickering across her blue eyes. “All I can say is that it’s connected to the fall of the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart, and the dark soul’s prison.”
“What?” Buffy asked.
Madame Belfry then proceeded to tell them about her friend Wilhelmina, who had been killed at Wolfram and Hart when she’d tried to help the souled vampires.
“Now, you must go,” she said.
“What if we don’t?” Faith asked.
“Then I will,” she said as she brushed her hand under her table and a secret door sprang open in the dark-paneled wall behind her.
Before Faith and Buffy could get to her, the door closed and they couldn’t budge it – slayer strength notwithstanding. Their friendly neighborhood psychic must’ve locked it somehow from the other side.
“I didn’t see that coming,” Faith said.
“Me neither,” Buffy agreed.
“She’s psychic,” Faith said. “Maybe she knew she was going to do that all along?”
“You didn’t just say that did you?” Buffy asked and Faith shook her head. “Let’s get out of here and call Giles. Maybe she gave us enough for now.”
“You think?” Faith asked.
“I hope,” Buffy said.
“Matthias Pavayne,” Giles said.
“Didn’t he train dogs or something?” Buffy asked.
“No, that would be Pavlov.”
“Oh,” Buffy said. “How do you know this?”
“Toward the end Wesley sent me files. Incidents they had encountered while working at Wolfram and Hart. There was a reference to a dark soul they had fought: Matthias Pavayne.” Buffy heard papers rustling. “Ah, here it is. His nickname was ‘The Reaper’ and it was derived from his practice of torturing people to death during unnecessary surgeries.”
“Oh, and ew,” Buffy said. “Really bad things?”
“Exceptionally bad,” Giles said.
“Put him on speaker,” Faith said as she leaned away from the cell phone Buffy was holding to her ear.
After a push of a button, Giles continued, “Word spread of his unorthodox practices and he fled to the states, California to be exact, which was still under Spanish rule at the time. His arrival coincided with a rash of brutal, ritualistic murders. Pieces of the victims placed in a manner suggesting an intimate knowledge of the dark arts. Wesley scribbled a note at the end of the file that they had imprisoned Pavayne.”
“Did they say where?” Buffy asked.
“No, it wasn’t noted.”
“Why did I know he was going to say that?” Faith asked.
“Pretty much a gimme,” Buffy told her.
After saying goodbye to Giles, Buffy and Faith decided that the next morning would be a great time to go and talk to that spooky old dame again, and this time they’d be prepared.
“Look,” Buffy said to Madame Belfry. She kept her hands on her hips to stop herself from pointing her finger at the woman. “We know that you know more and you need to tell us what it is.” She sighed. “I understand your friend died, but two very important people are missing and you’re the only one that can help.”
“She’ll kick your ass,” Faith said. “I’ve seen her do it. She doesn’t like it when people mess with her boyfriend.”
“Okay,” Madame Belfry said, motioning for Buffy and Faith to go to her parlor that was in the back of the house.
Buffy sat across from the psychic and Faith positioned herself in front of the secret door.
Madame Belfry took the scarf from her head and began kneading it with her fingers. “Do you know who has them?” she asked with a sigh.
“Matthias Pavayne,” Buffy said. “We don’t know where he has them trapped, though.”
“I made some additional inquires after our meeting,” Madame Belfry said. “Pavayne is corporeal and the rumor is that Angel and Spike and others…who are no longer on this plane, are to thank for that; therefore, he seeks revenge.”
“Corporeal?” Faith asked, leaning against the wall. No way was the medium sneaking out again – not when the information they needed was so close. “What exactly was he before that?”
“Something a lot more dangerous with unimaginable power,” Madame Belfry said.
“Why does that not surprise me?” Faith asked.
“Where are they?” Buffy asked.
“Souled Vampires Angel and Spike intruded upon his home, and now he’s intruding upon theirs.”
“Their home?” Buffy asked, looking at Faith. “Not Sunnydale, it’s not there anymore. Between the two of them they’re like five hundred years old. ‘Home’ could be anywhere to them.”
“We know they never thought as Wolfram and Hart as their home.” Faith waited a beat. “The hotel maybe? It could work for Angel, but I have no clue about Spike. Then we have what Spike said in your dream, and that bimbo vamp? Giles said the dark soul guy is all about L.A. Add ‘em all together and what do you have?”
“The hotel. On some weird level I think Spike feels the most at home when he’s with Angel,” Buffy said. “That could work.” The more Buffy thought about it, the more she liked the idea. “It’s gotta be the place.”
“The ash--" Faith said.
“The red circle,” Buffy added.
“Most definitely the place,” Faith finished.
Madame Belfry smiled. “Slayer Buffy Anne Summers and Slayer Faith Lehane are very clever ladies.”
“If that’s the case, why do I feel so stupid?” Buffy asked.
After a couple of clicks with the camera phone, a few phone calls to Giles, and then a visit to the nearest magic shop to get supplies, Buffy and Faith headed back to the Hyperion.
“We should’ve asked Giles about the circle in the first place,” Buffy said. She was still beating herself up for forgetting about what they had found in the basement of the hotel.
“Enough, B,” Faith said. “We’re here now and that’s what’s important.”
It was Faith and her voice of reason again. “Thanks,” Buffy said.
“Just thanks.” Buffy figured it wasn’t the time or the place to get into an ‘Ooh, how you’ve grown,’ conversation with Faith.
A clock in the distance chimed eleven as they opened the squeaky front door of the Hyperion.
“Why does this stuff always happen this time of night?” Faith asked. “I mean, come on already.”
“Midnight is the magic hour for bad guys,” Buffy said, feeling Faith’s discomfort. The brightness of day would be good about now, but then again, if they succeeded in getting Angel and Spike back from the hell they were trapped in, nighttime would be the right time to do it.
Once they got to the basement everything looked the same as it had during their last visit, but this time they knew what to do with what they’d found.
As they set the candles and incense around the red circle in the basement, Faith asked, “How do we know for sure this Pavlov won’t come back with them?”
“Pavayne,” Buffy said, smiling. “His soul will be blocked. It’s all part of the reconnecty spell thingy.”
“That still confuses the shit out of me,” Faith said. “They’re not here, but they’re not in the actual heaven or hell either.”
“If you think about what dream-Spike told me and what Harmony hinted at, it makes sense. They’re here, but then they’re not.” She thought about what she just said. “That didn’t make a lot of sense did it?”
“Who cares? We know what we gotta do, let’s just do it and get out of here.” Faith looked around the basement. “Not like I got good memories of this place.”
“Something else you never told me about.”
“One day,” she said, and then changed the subject. “If all that hinty-crap is true with Spike and Harmony, why didn’t Angel give you a heads-up?” She looked at Buffy as she lit the last candle. “No offense, B, but why didn’t he? Your dreams were of the wet panty variety and that was it. I would think that the big guy would’ve given you a fucking map to find him - in my opinion anyway, and yeah I know opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one.”
That was the question Buffy was afraid to ask herself, let alone answer. If anyone could reach out to her, it should have been Angel, and yet he was the one who hadn’t.
“I don’t know. A lot has happened.” Buffy rubbed her hands up and down her arms. “Let’s just do this.”
Faith sprinkled the mixture of herbs and newt parts over the Circle of Banishment. “Guy must’ve been really pissed to banish his own lame ass along with Angel and Spike.”
“Sounds more possessive to me,” Buffy said. “If I can’t have them…”
“Ready?” Faith asked.
“As I’ll ever be.”
Buffy took a deep breath and began to recite the words Giles had given her. She had to be the one to do the spell. Faith arched a brow at her when she told her why, and Buffy was glad when Faith didn’t go into a whole ‘having sex with vampires’ thing. Who would’ve thought that sleeping with Angel and Spike - but not together at the same time because that would just be wrong – would save both vampires’ lives all these years later?
Somewhere in between
Release the ones who do not belong and keep the unclean
Buffy shuddered. Yes, Angel and Spike had souls, but there were points, very long, sharp points in their lives when they hadn’t. What if the Powers lumped them into the unclean category? Giles assured her that wouldn’t be the case because of their souls and what they had done in trying to bring down Wolfram and Hart, so with that thought in mind, she continued the spell. Once the last word was spoken a hush fell over the room and her heart sank to her feet.
Nothing was happening.
“I don’t think it worked,” Buffy said, her voice cracking.
“Try it again,” Faith said.
Buffy was about to answer when the walls began to shake and a sudden wind blew out the candles and incense. The slayers simultaneously turned on their flashlights, but they didn’t need them. A bright glow radiated from the center of the circle and they jumped back.
As Buffy tried to steady herself on her feet, images of Angel and Spike appeared in the circle. Thanks to numerous hours of watching the Sci-Fi Network with Andrew, her brain jumped to comparisons of Star Trek and those weird transporter things.
An inhuman cry echoed throughout the room, and a man Buffy had never seen before joined Angel and Spike in the circle.
“It cannot be. You cannot go!” shouted Pavayne.
Without a further thought, Buffy charged the circle and grabbed for Angel. She felt his hands in hers, and that’s when he looked at her through the luminescent light.
“Buffy?” he said, confusion etched in his face, tentativeness in his voice.
Summing all the slayer strength she had, she yanked, and Angel tumbled out of the circle, flying into her, knocking them both to the floor.
It took only a moment for the shock of what happened to register, when Buffy called out, “Faith! Get Spike.”
“Already got him!” Faith said.
Once Angel and Spike were outside the ring of light, Pavayne’s screeches became louder.
“Enough of the ‘no’s’ and ‘cannot be’s’,” Faith said. “Can you just shut up already? Buffy, make him shut up.”
“My pleasure,” Buffy said, as she tossed the last of the ingredients into the circle, watching as the glass bottle shattered on the floor, and then she chanted the final words of the banishment spell; the spell Giles had assured her would keep the unclean soul forever out of their dimension and trapped in the one of his own making.
Pavayne screamed once more and then disappeared, taking the light and the inhuman cries with him.
After more than a few awkward moments, Buffy looking at Angel, and Angel looking everywhere except at her, Faith said, “Not that this hasn’t been fun, but let’s get the hell out of here.”
“Couldn’t have said it better, love,” Spike said. “Thanks for that,” he said as he tipped his head toward the circle. “Not that it all hasn’t been in the spirit of good fun.”
“Your idea of fun is a little out there,” Faith said.
“So I’ve been told,” Spike said, glancing at Buffy out of the corner of his eye.
After one quick glare tossed Spike’s way Buffy said, “I’m with Faith. Let’s go.” Buffy turned to Angel. “Does that sound good to you?”
Not sparing even a glance in her direction, he turned and headed toward the stairs.
“Okay, I’ll take that as a yes,” Buffy said as she followed him.
The moon was still high overhead when the four emerged from the hotel. Buffy and Faith took the lead, with Angel and Spike following.
“We’ll go back to our hotel room tonight and then figure out what we’re going to do after that,” Buffy said over her shoulder.
“Is Angel okay?” Faith asked quietly.
That was the million-dollar question. If Spike hadn’t been acting like himself, Buffy would’ve thought that maybe they hadn’t gotten them back entirely. Physically, yeah, they both looked the same, but how could you know for sure?
“I don’t know, Faith.”
They waited for Faith in the lobby of the hotel as she talked to the desk clerk. Another room would probably be for the best, right? Especially since Angel was being major broody-guy. Buffy wasn’t sure she’d trust herself to be alone with him for any length of time. The part of her that was hurt at his indifference wanted to yell and scream at him, but the part of her that was really glad to see him – the part that hadn’t realized how much she missed him until he had appeared out of nowhere – wanted to rush into his arms and tell him to never leave her again.
“Here,” Faith said, tossing Buffy their original set of keys. “You take our room. Me and Spike can take the new one.”
Time froze for a second and then Buffy said, “You and Spike? Why are you and Spike sharing a room?”
Angel grabbed the set of keys from her hand and stormed off, leaving her more than a little confused. “What’s that all about?” she asked.
“Big pouf got a case of the crankies,” Spike said. “Can’t say I blame ‘im. You sounded a bit jealous there, love.”
“Jealous? Why would I be jealous? That’s the dumbest…” her voice trailed off and Buffy felt like an idiot yet again. It had sounded like she was jealous that Faith and Spike were sharing a room. “Can you get your things in the morning, Faith?”
“Not like I wear jammies,” Faith said.
“These are good times,” Spike said, moving a step closer to her.
“Get any ideas and I’ll hurt you,” Faith said, as she spun on her heels and walked away.
Buffy’s feet might as well have been encased in cement. That’s how helpless she felt as she stood on the tacky orange and purple patterned carpeting in the hallway outside the hotel room. Angel was in there. She could sense him to the extent that the door could’ve been a window. Of all the ways she’d envisioned seeing him again after all these years this hadn’t been one of them.
“I know you’re there,” he said.
“That makes two of us” She thought, but she said, “That’d be me. All lurky in the hall. Could you maybe let me in? I think there’s a breeze out here.”
Not her best comeback by any means, but it wasn’t like he was leaving her any choice at this point.
“Are you sure this is the room you want?” he said, opening the door.
When their eyes met all Buffy-banter froze somewhere in between her brain and her mouth.
“Spike’s not in here,” he said, turning away from her. She was now staring at his broad-shouldered back. Angel would rather look out the window than look at her?
“Spike? Who said anything about Spike?” she asked, stomping into the room, slamming the door shut behind her.
“Figured you wanted your champion.”
“That’s what all this is about?” she asked shocked and angry, and then shocked some more. “You’re mad because I gave Spike an ugly piece of jewelry more than a half a decade ago?”
“Apparently you deemed him more worthy than I.” He turned to face her then and the angry look on his face made her wish that he were staring out the window again. “Thanks for the rescue, but Spike’s one floor down.”
Buffy was tired. She was tired of fighting. She was tired of living a life that was constantly in a state of conflict and chaos. Was there anything wrong with just wanting a stupid hug from the man she had loved for more years than she cared to admit? Because if she started counting them it would be a reminder or how many years they had wasted by spending them apart?
“I don’t deem Spike anything.” She heaved a sigh. “I don’t know what you think you know, but whatever it is I’m pretty sure it’s wrong.”
“Spike hovering over you just before you screw in Sunnydale’s finest mean anything to you? I would’ve skipped the tutu myself. Pink’s not exactly Spike’s color,” he said.
She didn’t have time for the ‘how’ questions, because all she wanted to do was scream very loudly because she’d had just about enough of the Angel and Spike jealousy show.
“Stop right there,” she demanded. “It was a dream, Angel. A stupid, confusing dream that had no sex. None whatsoever. Nothing happened. If you’re basing the way you’re acting on that, you can stop it right now, mister.” She flopped on the bed. “Not like you helped.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“There’s something to be said for you and me in the sex dream department… lots and lots of sex dreams, but why didn’t you try and help me find you? Spike was being all cryptic, but at least he tried to help.”
For the first time, the anger in his eyes flickered and changed to something else. What was that? Fear?
“What?” she said. “Spill it, Angel. I’m tired. I missed you and I want to get past this already.”
“You didn’t dream about me,” he said.
“Trust me. I know when I dream about you. Especially you. Pretty sure Faith can vouch.”
“You dreamt of me,” he said. “But it wasn’t me. I didn’t come to you. Spike figured out the way to do it. For some reason he could do it when Pavayne was asleep because of our connection to you and yours to us, but I didn’t try it.”
Buffy’s hurt was quickly replaced by a pain that smacked her in the center of her chest. “Why?”
“I was afraid you’d come for me,” he said.
“Of course I’d come for you. I--” She left the remainder of her sentence hanging. “I’d come for you,” she repeated. “How could you think I wouldn’t?”
“What if you didn’t?” he said, sitting next to her on the bed. “So much had happened. I wasn’t sure… how did you know I wasn’t evil? And then Spike.” Spike’s name sounded like a hiss to her.
“You’re over three-hundred and sixty years old and you were afraid of rejection?” He shrugged his shoulders. “Last time I saw you in Sunnydale… let’s just forget about that. We know what I said. What was said…”
Angel was part of her. Whenever they were separated if felt as though something were missing. How do you explain that without sounding like one of those sappy romance novels? Her brain went through different scenarios on how she could convince him that she would never abandon him and that she would always be his girl. Buffy decided to take a page out of the Book of Faith.
Slayer speed was a greater advantage, and she landed on his lap and wrapped her legs around him before he could react.
“What are you doing?” he asked, eyes wide. She wondered if he even realized that he had pulled her closer to him.
“Something I don’t want to wait another ten years to do.”
Captured always seemed like a weird word to use when kissing, but that’s exactly what she did: she captured Angel’s mouth with hers and wouldn’t let it go. As she shimmied closer to him, his hands snaked tighter around her waist.
“I love you, you big dope. Spike was and always will be in my heart, I told you that, but I love you,” she said, poking him in the chest. “You were my first love and you’ll be my last love. My only love, Angel. We’ve wasted so much time. I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m not letting you out of my sight again. Ever. End of story.”
For the first time he smiled, and then he matched her speed with his own. Pinning her under him on the bed he said, “Promise?”
“More than you’ll ever know.”
“That’s all I needed to hear.”
“Good, now could you maybe shut up so we could kiss again?”
“I think I can do that and a lot more.”
He kept his word.
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Rating: PG- 13 due to language and sexual innuendo
Summary: As Buffy teams up with Faith to find other slayers, she starts dreaming about Angel. One or two dreams were no big deal in her opinion, but when they start happening more often? And then someone else from her past enters the picture to tell her she’s on the wrong track, what is a slayer to do?
Notes: There’re a few surprises in this fic, so additional notes follow because I didn’t want to spoil anybody. Story takes place post Chosen and NFA. For this fic, there are no such things as Seasons 6 (AtS) or Season 8 (BtVS).
Betas: Where would we be without them? Anyone who writes knows how important they are and how much they can influence a mediocre story. Thanks to
mommanerd and spiralleds. The two of them are the perfect betaing team... and they don't let you get away with anything!
Additional Author’s Notes: Wilhelmina is a name I made up since the psychic featured in S5 of Angel’s – Hellbound didn’t have a name. I also borrowed Wesley description of Pavayne from Hellbound. The title and lyrics quoted as the beginning of this fic is from The Night Time is the Right Time blues song from the 1930’s