DISCLAIMER: Oh, come on. If I owned them, the dream sequence in The Prom wouldn’t have been a dream and the only flames engulfing Buffy would have been of the kind I write smut about. I still stand behind Joss Whedon's statement that BtVS was meant to be the kind of show which inspired fanfic, and intend no infringement on the copyrights owned by Mr. Whedon, the WB, Fox, Mutant Enemy, Sand Dollar Productions et al much less on the rights of any of the brilliant writers associated with BtVS and Ats.

RATING: NC-17 Surprise, huh?

NOTE: I was supposed to spend this time working on my novel. But. I am a challenge fic slut. Sigh. This story was written in answer to a list challenge from Carrie, in which it is Angelus, not Angel, who is cursed by the Talking Stick in the Ats ep, Sense and Sensitivity. Other required elements included some groveling on his part for telling her she was lousy in bed, going to find her on patrol, Buffy knowing it was Angelus, not Angel, she was dealing with and, oh yeah, smut. Read on if you want to see how I did.

FURTHER NOTE: I didn't send this to Cate for editing, so blame the typos and any grammatical/syntactical errors on me.


Sensual Sensitivity


Margot Le Faye

It happened while he was confronting Lloyd, the workshop leader. He should have gotten a clue when he found himself talking about the way his parent's had tasted…because that was a memory Angelus relished, but which Angel so abhorred, even his guilt-laden psyche couldn't cope with it, and had buried it deep. That should have been all the clue Angel needed that the little shit was not only relying on his cursed Talking Stick to save him, but was invoking every demonic power to which he had access to loosen the moorings on Angel's soul…because he thought that Angelus would be the perfect ally.

The more fool he.

But Angel didn't realize what was happening until it was too late. Angelus broke free just before the Talking Stick crushed Lloyd's windpipe. The newly released demon dropped it, furious, as he was swamped by icky, gooey, human feelings that made his inner demon cringe. Realizing what had happened, he went to break the neck of the idiot who had dared to inflict such noxious, maudlin, saccharine emotions on him, the Scourge of Europe…and found, when the whimpering twit cringed away from him, that he couldn’t. In fact, Lloyd's terrified gaze and mewling whimpers were calling up things inside Angelus that the vampire couldn't really explain. Angelus found himself helping the smarmy bastard up, getting him settled on a chair, and offering to get him a glass of water. Which he did before, remembering the danger Kate was in, the vampire hared off with the barest apology.

There was no question of telling Cordy and Doyle who he really was. If they drew away from Angel when he was in gameface, they would certainly recoil from Angelus. Which was just too painful a rejection for him to face right then. Buffy had already rejected him for not being Angel, had gotten her friends to bring soulboy back, then had sent him and Angel to hell. His inner demon was feeling insecure enough without inviting further criticism. So, he simply rescued Kate, said goodnight to Cordy and Doyle, and found his way back to his apartment.

But not to sleep.

He had a lot of things to feel truly awful about. Now, most of them couldn’t be helped. He had to feed, after all, and consuming human blood was simply part of his intrinsic nature, just as it was the intrinsic nature of earthworms to feed on the dead. Did people go around staking earthworms and throwing holy water on them? No, they did not! (Although they weren't above using them as live bait on occasion, dissecting them in biology classes…perhaps the earthworm comparison wasn't really to the point…) Still, it was painful to acknowledge that people weren't comfortable with his need to murder them and drink their blood. However, Angel felt guilty enough for both of them on that score.

Angelus had more important things to regret than his wholly defensible need to slaughter, maim and torture. He was haunted by one particular vision, one scene of pain and betrayal, one memory of a time when his penchant for inflicting torture had culminated in the most exquisite moment of anguish he had ever visited upon another being. Her eyes luminous with tears, her gorgeous face eloquent of sorrow, the catch in her voice enough to break a heart even harder than his (if there were any, which there weren't), he remembered the way Buffy had said, "Angel! I love you," pouring into those few words all the love and trust and need her young heart held just before he replied with a cocky, "Love you, too. I'll call you," and shattered her heart forever.

Well, if not forever, at least until the next time he shattered her heart forever. Which was about an hour later, when he went after Willow. And then he shattered it forever, again, when he killed Jenny Calendar, and again when he threw her away after the ghosts had possessed them and later….

Remembering time after time he had hurt the Slayer, who had continued to forgive him, and even more miraculously, to love him (well, to forgive and love Angel, but, since they shared the same body and the same memories, that was a technicality he could overlook) Angelus fell to the floor groaning. He felt utterly wretched, even more upset than by the thought of Cordy and Doyle drawing away from him when he went into gameface. And Buffy, poor, brave, beautiful Buffy! The things she had gone through because of him. But the worst had to have been the first thing he had done, throwing the precious gift of her virginity back in her face, as if her unbridled passion and uninhibited sensuality in his arms (well, Angel's arms, but he was there, too!) had been anything less than one of the most spectacular carnal experiences of his unlife. He knew that she still doubted herself because of his words. Her continued insecurity around Angel had proved that to him. It was a subject so delicate, that neither Buffy nor Angel had ever brought it up. Angelus sobbed like a baby as he realized the pain he had caused her.

But not for long. He was, after all, nothing if not determined, resourceful, and inventive. He very quickly realized what he had to do: go back to Sunnydale and make it up to Buffy, showing her by word and by deed, that she was the most desirable woman on the face of the earth. Angelus changed quickly into fresh clothing, a wine-red silk shirt over a pair of black leather pants, then grabbed his leather duster and headed out to his car.

He made the drive in record time. The whole scene at the police station had gone down in the early evening, so it wasn't much past 10:00 p.m. when he got into town. Buffy would still be on patrol. Angelus registered for the penthouse suite at Sunnydale's best hotel --Buffy deserved the best, after all-- then went looking for her. He knew from Cordy that she had added the campus of Sunnydale U to her usual beat, and he scouted that area first. Coming up empty, he headed for the nearest of the Sunnydale's twelve cemeteries, determined to go through them all if that was what it would take to find Buffy and make things right between them.

Buffy Summers figured it for a slow night. Her sweep of the campus had turned up nothing, so by 7:00 p.m. she had decided to patrol the cemeteries, starting with the farthest from the campus and working her way back in. Three hours later, she had only come up with two fledglings, each so dull-witted they hadn't quite shaken the grave dust off their clothing before they were rendered into dust themselves.

Buffy hated slow nights. They gave her entirely too much time to think.

He was never very far from her thoughts. Even when she was actively dating other guys, she couldn't forget her One True Love. She had been in Parker's bed, and she had not been able to keep from wishing it were Angel's mouth on hers, Angel's arms holding her, Angel's body about to join with her own.

Not that there had been any actual joining.

The whole Parker thing had ended disastrously. He had suffered a dose of performance anxiety, and hadn't been able to actually consummate what he'd started, although he was gentleman enough to use his mouth to see that she reached physical satisfaction. He had not been gentleman enough to refrain from lying about things afterward, making it seem to the guys he hung with that he and Buffy had done more than they actually had. And he had not been brave enough to face her after their one attempt at intimacy.

All of which struck her on a wound she had not realized was still raw. She had told herself that Angelus' words when she saw him the morning after she and Angel had made love were untruths meant to hurt her, to attack her at her weakest point: her need for Angel to return her love.

But part of her was uncertain. Part of her knew that Angel had been no saint in life, and anything but celibate in unlife. She couldn't help feeling that, whatever Angel might say to the contrary, by Angelus' standards --standards Angel himself must share-- her virginal inexperience had been less than inspiring. Even when he got his soul back Angel had never adequately reassured her on this point. She had never brought it up, thinking the whole intimacy thing too touchy a subject, given that they could never be intimate again.

So, when Parker had been unable to really make love to her, and had unceremoniously dumped her immediately thereafter, she had not been able to escape the conclusion that the fault was hers. There was something so unappealing about her, that any man who got close to her inevitably regretted it, and couldn't get out of things fast enough. Maybe even Angel was okay with the Gypsy curse because she was so bad he didn't really want to make love to her again…

Buffy tried to pull her thoughts away from this entirely fruitless speculation, as she finished her sweep of the last cemetery. What did it matter what Angel wanted, or didn't want? He had left her, claiming it was because he couldn't give her what she deserved. Even if that was a lie, and he just wanted an excuse not to be with her, he wasn't around now, and all her pining wouldn't change matters, she thought bitterly.

So, when she rounded the Alston sepulcher and found the tall, dark, broad-shouldered figure coming toward her in the mist, she knew it couldn't be Angel, and took up her fighting posture, stake gripped easily in her right hand.

"Buffy!" He hailed her, and she froze, uncertain. It certainly sounded like Angel…

"I'm so glad I found you," he said, as he drew closer, and she had to acknowledge that it was indeed her ex-boyfriend. And by the expression on his face, something horrible was wrong. Probably another end-of-the-world gig, she thought, sighing and putting up her stake.

"Angel," she said with a calmness belying the rapid beating of her heart. "What's wro--" The words weren't out of her mouth before she found herself swept up into a passionate embrace, lifted right off the ground and pulled into a deep, soul-searing, devouring kiss. Buffy froze for about two seconds. Gypsy curse! her brain tried to remind her. But the way Angel was kissing her, she knew intuitively that the curse was not an issue. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him back.

A moment later, she found herself braced against a mausoleum which was great because that gave her the purchase she needed to hoist herself up further into his arms and wrap her legs around his waist. With a deep groan, he pushed against her, and Buffy moaned back as she felt concrete evidence of his desire for her pressed tight against her heated feminine core.

Damn, she felt good, Angelus thought as he ground against her yielding femininity. Even better than she looked, which was simply edible. The black leather jacket he had given her all those years ago was open over a simple black silk camisole top, which molded nicely to her full breasts and displayed just enough cleavage to whet any red-blooded male's --or cold-blooded demon's-- appetite for more. And if that wasn't enough of a turn-on, she had chosen to wear heeled boots and her red leather pants. Angelus had very fond memories of those pants, from the night the past spring when she had forced him -- well, primarily Angel, but still-- to take her blood. He remembered the feel of the leather against his/Angel's naked back as she hit her climax beneath him/them. He/they had made her come just from drinking her that night, and he wondered if he'd get a chance to do that again, without having to experience it through the distortion of the soul's perceptions. But now, he had other things to make up for.

Her lover's kisses were uncharacteristically desperate, rough, punishing, and Buffy was enjoying them thoroughly. But although she could go for long periods without breathing, she couldn't go forever. She pulled away to gasp in some desperately needed oxygen. Denied her lips, he pressed fervid kisses along her temple and jaw, then down to the smooth column of her neck. Buffy closed her eyes. This is heaven, she thought. Her eyes snapped open. This is too good to be true, she amended.

"Angel?" she said softly. Angelus was too busy savoring the taste of her flesh against his tongue to pay immediate attention. "Angel?" she repeated a bit more forcefully. He heard her this time, and pulled away from her neck, shifting her in his arms and readjusting her weight the better to grind into her.

"What is it, Buff?" he said, before dipping his head to steal another quick kiss.

"Your soul?" she managed between kisses. "The Gypsy curse? Isn't this dangerous?" The supposed danger did not, however, inhibit her from grinding right back.

"Nope. Gone." He pressed his mouth to hers again. She tasted so damned delicious, he couldn't believe he had let himself go all those months without taking her and turning her, last time he'd been free. Of course, she probably didn't want to be turned, so he wouldn't broach the subject until he felt she was ready to listen to him without prejudice, and give him a fair hearing. But judging by the heat radiating from the juncture between her thighs and her enthusiastic cooperation in their mutual molestation, there were lots of other things he could make her want to do, right away.

Buffy was losing herself in another of his hungry kisses. His blatantly carnal actions had made her forget any fears she had ever harbored about being unappealing to him. But she couldn't really believe that her wildest dreams had finally come true, and that the curse keeping her from her beloved Angel was truly gone. So, she broke the kiss and demanded reassurance.

"There isn't any danger?" she gasped out between kisses, her hips rolling unceasingly in an effort to maintain the deliciously nasty friction he had started between them. "The Gypsy curse is gone?" Angelus didn't really want to waste time with explanations when there were more important things to do, so he simply kept kissing her, then shifted her in his arms again. Turning around, he carried her out of the cemetery to where his car waited to take them back to the hotel.

Buffy was vaguely conscious that her lover was walking someplace while she remained wrapped around him. And that he hadn't answered her last questions. She tried to get the details. "Was…[kiss]…it the…[kiss]…Powers…[moan]…That Be?"

"Mmm? No. [Kiss] No danger. [Kiss] Soul gone. [Kiss]."

"Oh. [Kiss]" During which kiss several images hit Buffy at once: the sight of Angel approaching her moments before…wearing leather pants. The sound of his voice a moment earlier calling her "Buff." The feel of rough, passionate kisses when Angel, even at his most passionate, had always been unfailingly tender to her, and finally, the import of his last words.

She broke the kiss. "Soul gone? Soul gone!?!?!?" Panicking, she tried to pull her legs from around his waist and free herself from his grip, but he held her tight.

"Now Buff, I know what you're thinking, but it's all right, I swear."

"It's all right? Your soul is gone but it's okay? You aren't a soulless murdering demon who has turned the inflicting of mental torture into an art form?"

"Actually, I'm considered an artist of physical torture, too," he reminded her, hurt that she had overlooked one of his most renowned accomplishments. At her shriek and frantically renewed struggles to free herself, Angelus sighed and tightened his grip, effectively immobilizing her arms. He realized that she was not in a receptive space right now. She was too defensive, too caught up in his past misdeeds to be open to the possibility he wanted to share with her. "Can we try to get past that and look at what's important?" he said in his most soothing, reasonable tones. His car was just a few yards away, and he wanted to get her calmed down before he settled her into her seat.

"What could possibly be more important than you're wanting to murder everyone I know and suck the whole world into Hell?" she demanded in disbelief, trying desperately to wriggle out of his grasp. Unfortunately, he was holding her too tightly, and all she was doing was adding more stimulus to her already tantalized nerve endings. Her body, aroused to fever pitch after years of enforced chastity, was not convinced that the difference between Angel and Angelus was all that big a deal.

Buffy was truly frightened. She had dropped her stake in the cemetery, when Angel -- Angelus, she corrected herself-- had pulled her into his arms. She couldn't get to her spares in her current position, and Angelus wasn't about to set her free. She wasn't sure what his game was, but given the way he was holding her, she understood one thing; however bad he'd thought her in bed nearly two years ago, Angelus wasn't averse to a second round. And neither, it seemed, was her too-long celibate body. Buffy shivered, and began crying. It was what he had planned after he ended her celibacy that had her frightened. Because she was pretty sure that Angelus would want to take her life along with what remained of her virtue.

Which meant she was going to have to fight him, and probably stake him, her One True Love, the one vampire in all of creation that she would rather die than kill.

Unless, not killing him freed one of the most vicious murderers in history to roam the earth unopposed…

By the time they reached the car, her struggles had grown feebler, but her sobs had grown stronger. Angelus set her down on the hood of the car, careful to keep her restrained in his grip.

"I'm glad you're letting it out," he said sincerely. "You shouldn't stuff the pain down and repress it, because that will only make you lash out later, and hurt the ones you love."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Buffy wailed.

Angelus tensed. This was going to be tough. But a vamp had to do what a vamp had to do.

"Buff. I was a jerk. I admit it. Can you forgive me?"

"What?!" Buffy hadn't a clue what he was doing, but supposed it to be a refinement of the mental torture he had put her thorough nearly two years ago.

Angelus took a deep, unneeded breath. "Because, if you can't forgive me, I'll probably have to use chains and ravish you until I prove my point. But I know that human women aren't always as receptive to that kind of demonstration of affection and I don't really want to have to apologize for my apology."

"Are you out of your mind?!" Buffy screeched, tears drying at the utterly preposterous images his words conjured. Well, the ravishing part wasn't preposterous, but calling the chains a demonstration of affection was pretty far out there… What was she thinking! Everything he had said so far tonight had been pretty far out there.

Seeing her confusion, Angelus shook his head and tried again. "I know I implied that you weren't anything special in bed. But that was just because you had made me feel human. And, well, I'm a demon! Your making me feel human made me feel, um, inadequate as a demon. But I should have realized that you were only doing it because it's your nature as a human to want to feel all these insufferable, sickening, mawkish emotions. I should have respected that and just told you the truth: you're the best thing to happen to the bed since the invention of the mattress."

"What!" Buffy said again. She was more confused than ever. Until she looked deeply into Angelus' eyes.

The difference between Angel and Angelus had always been there. Even in the rare quiet times Buffy and Angel had shared, before they knew about the curse and had frequently laughed together, his eyes had held something indefinable that she had come to realize was caused by soul-deep sorrow and regret. Even when he had pretended to be Angel, Angelus' eyes had never held that quality.

But they did now…or something so similar to it, that she could barely distinguish the difference. Buffy forced herself to calm down. And to think over what he had just said.

"You lost your soul, and you're not my Angel, but Angelus the Scourge of Europe…and you want me to forgive you," she began calmly, "not for murdering Jenny, not for stalking me and trying to kill my friends, not for trying to open the gate to Hell and cause every living creature on earth to endure an eternity of torment…but for implying I wasn't good in bed?"

"Yes!" Angelus beamed, delighted that she had finally grasped the situation...and stopped struggling.

"Umm. And, this sudden need to beg my forgiveness dragged you here from LA because...?"

"The curse," he admitted with a sigh, wishing he could tell her that he had achieved his enlightenment without such artificial inducements.

"The curse?" Buffy said, puzzled. "The Gypsy curse on your soul?"

"Oh, no. That wasn't involved this time, and it's totally irrelevant now that Lloyd ripped the moorings away and Angel's back in the aether. I meant the curse on Lloyd's Talking Stick, the one that forces anyone who touches it, demon or human --except Lloyd, of course-- to get in touch with their inner feelings, their true sensitivity." He leaned forward, and began pressing kisses on her neck again. Buffy did not feel disposed to fight him off.

"Uh-huh." Buffy surmised that the curse was probably a little more detailed than that. Vampires like Angelus didn't have inner feelings or true sensitivity to get in touch with. Whatever, it had kept Angelus from killing her so far, so she wasn't going to complain. At least not about that. Banishing Angel's soul to the aether again was an entirely different matter, and Lloyd was going to wish he had never heard of Angel or Angelus when Buffy got ahold of him. But that could wait. Right now she had to deal with Angelus…who had worked his way down her neck and was kissing a line of fire over the tops of her breasts.

"Umm Angelus?" Otherwise preoccupied, he didn't hear her softly voiced question, and his head dipped lower. His lips closed over a silk-covered nipple and Buffy gasped, arching into his mouth. "Angelus!" she said again, in a very different voice. He chuckled, lifted his head and met her eyes with a wicked grin.

"Yes?" he said, teasingly.

"What?" Buffy inquired dazedly, shivering as the cold air hit her breast where his mouth should still have been. Then she remembered what. "Oh! I need to ask you. Um. When did you touch the Talking Stick?"

"Tonight. A couple of hours ago. I was trying to rescue Kate, and Lloyd had already cursed the entire police precinct. They had let all the prisoners out of their cells and since the prisoners hadn't touched the Talking Stick, they were getting ready to shoot everyone. It was really touch and go there until I got back from Lloyd's and stopped Tony from leading the spree. You know, that guy must really be in a serious amount of pain to have wanted to just shoot up the entire department. I mean, it's not like he needs to feed from them."

"Uh-huh." Buffy said again. "So, you, the Scourge of Europe, rescued Kate…and everyone else…and then you came to see me?"

"Exactly!" Angelus said happily. Then his smile faded and he sighed. "But I'm sensing that you're resistant, here. You aren't totally sharing, are you? You called me the Scourge of Europe. You're…still judging me."

Buffy thought quickly. Whatever the hell was going on, an Angelus intent on seducing her was going to be much easier to deal with than an Angelus who wanted to argue with her.

"Oh, no, Angelus! I thought you were proud of that title. I'm just trying to make sure I understand everything."

"You're sure that's all it is?" he asked doubtfully.

"Totally," she said in her most reassuring voice. He smiled at her in a way that reminded her of a puppy who had just learned a new trick and was pathetically eager to show off for his master. She couldn't help smiling back. His smile changed subtly, becoming less pathetic and more predatory, just as his mouth closed over hers again.

Angel or Angelus, the man kissing her knew how to make her blood sing. And under the current circumstances, there was absolutely no reason not to let him. Buffy returned the kiss with enthusiasm. Reassured, he no longer sought to restrain her, but shifted his grip, his arms going around her back to pull her in tighter to his embrace. If she had wanted to escape, Buffy now had the perfect opportunity to do so. Escape wasn't remotely on her mind. She wound her arms around his neck, and pressed herself more fully against him.

It wasn't close enough. They were both fully clothed, and the car wasn't the most comfortable of beds. But then, who needs comfort? Buffy thought as, her lips still glued to Angelus', she felt herself being gently lowered to the hood of the car. Gentle, she thought again. How weird is that, for Angelus? How long can it last? And shouldn't I be trying to figure that out? Reluctantly, she pulled out of the kiss. Angelus didn't miss a beat, moving his lips down her throat and back to her breasts.

"An…gelus, honey," Buffy gasped. "Ah. How long does the curse last?"

"A week?" he mused, before turning his attention to the nipple he had previously tasted through her camisole. "I think a week."

"Really?" Buffy hadn't intended to purr, but the vision of having Angelus, in his current, non-murderous mood, intent on "apologizing" to her for a week was damned irresistible. And surely in a week, Willow and Giles could locate another Orb of Thesullah and reinstate the Gypsy curse? Not immediately, of course… "How nice," she purred again. Buffy relaxed back against the hood of the car, and let his lips roam wherever he decided to move them…which seemed to be heading south from her breasts down her torso and toward her navel. Angelus' large, strong hands caressed her curves, moving over her body until they reached the bottom of her camisole which they pulled up and out of his way, so that Angelus could taste the bare warm flesh of her belly. She groaned appreciatively. A moment later, she giggled as his tongue dipped into her navel…and a moment after that, she gasped as he made short work of undoing her pants and slipping his fingers into forbidden territory.

Her heated wetness, thick and aromatic as honey, coated his fingers instantly. The scent and feel of her arousal made his already achingly hard cock want to burst through the confines of his leather pants. Angelus looked at the flushed, disheveled beauty sprawled wantonly over the hood of his car, and had a momentary pang. He was supposed to be making up to Buffy for the pain he'd caused her. Shouldn't they be in a bed? Didn't she deserve more comfortable surroundings, and the time and leisure for him to worship her like the goddess she was?

Buffy looked at her lover, wondering why in the world he suddenly looked so uncertain and lost.

"Angelus?" she said softly, almost fearfully.

Her eyes were heavy lidded with desire, her skin rosy with passion. Angelus decided the damned bed could wait.

"I'm right here, baby," he growled softly, making quick work of his own zipper, freeing his cock, and then pulling her forward until her delectable rear end was balanced on the edge of the car. He lifted her hips, and pulled her pants and panties down and out of his way. She was open, wet and vulnerable to him, although this was going to be a bit awkward with their clothing getting in the way.

But not that awkward.

With another growl, he leaned over her, between her luscious thighs and drove himself home.

Buffy arched off the hood with a rapturous scream as she felt her lover fill her. No matter how many times she had relived in her mind their one night of passion, the reality of how perfectly he fit her, of how exquisite their physical joining made her feel, had faded. She sobbed as it came back to her in a rush of sensual pleasure.

His responsive darling had closed so tightly around him, he wasn't sure where he ended and she began. But Angelus was certain of one thing: the wet, hot glory engulfing him was the sweetest haven he had ever known. What the hell had he been thinking when he had tried to destroy her? He shouldn't have bothered trying to repeat his triumph with Dru. He should have turned her the minute she showed up in his apartment, taken her back to bed, and kept her there for the rest of the millenium.

Oh, well. Water over the bridge. He was inside her now and there would be plenty of time to set matters right between them.

Right now, the only thing to be set right was the passion they had always shared, and which they had, for too long, been unable to fulfil. Angelus pulled out of her in a slow, tantalizing stroke, angling himself to hit her most sensitive spots, until he was barely inside her and she was whimpering in need. He thrust back with equal deliberation, calling on all his control to keep from just jackhammering into her until he spilled his seed, regardless of her pleasure. Because, at least at the moment, her pleasure was paramount.

Buffy was swamped with pleasure, the nerve-endings Angelus was striking in her womanly core somehow transmitting messages of rapture to every cell and fiber of her being. Buffy moaned and bucked her hips up to him, needing him to move more quickly, to assuage the fires he had ignited in her flesh. But Angelus was too experienced for that.

"Easy, baby," he purred in her ear. His hands moved to her hips, forcing her to slow her impatient rhythm. With a sob, Buffy tried to pull free, but the Scourge of Europe was in control and intended to stay there. "It's all right, Buff," he crooned to her, taking her mouth in another devouring kiss. She opened her lips beneath his, hungry for him, relishing his passion and hunger and need for her, so eloquently revealed by his nearly brutal kisses and almost violent tenderness. A tiny part of her realized that, much as he loved her, Angel would never allow himself to be this unrestrained with her…and that she craved the very lack of restraint Angelus showed her. She let her tongue battle with his, in a fray from which both must emerge victorious.

And still he kept his pace inside her tantalizingly slow.

She had thought him lost to her forever, and she had indeed lost Angel again. But Angelus was not immune to Angel's love for her, and she was so grateful for whatever time that would buy her. The curse from the Talking Stick wouldn’t last forever, Willow and Giles might not be able to find another Orb, or something else might go wrong. She might yet have to drive a stake through the body of her beloved…and into her own heart. Even if they were successful, she and Angel would not be able to reunite, because of that horrific clause in the Gypsy curse. But right now, he was in her arms, joined with her in a way she had never expected to join with him again. She wouldn't think beyond this moment. She couldn't face that kind of heartache again.

Angelus could taste salt and realized she was crying. Concerned, he pulled away, looking down at her. Realizing her loss Buffy opened her eyes.

"Don't leave me," she whispered, arching up to pull him back into a kiss. Something inside Angelus twisted and changed at her words, something powerful and achingly sweet, something that showed cheap sentiment for exactly that, and beggared the emotions he had felt before. He let her pull him back down, utterly willing to follow where she led, needing to do whatever it took to make her happy, needing to be whatever would provide her with joy. If he had had a soul, he thought, he would have lost it to her.

And then it hit him that he already had.

Her body sheathed his, and somehow that wasn't enough for him. He needed to be yet closer, yet more a part of her, and he needed to bring her the most intense pleasure of her life. Groaning, Angelus slid his arms beneath her, wrapping her in his embrace. He lifted her slightly, crushing her to his chest. She moaned deep in her throat and arched into him.

It wasn't close enough, and her damned pants were in the way, keeping him from lifting her legs and wrapping them around his hips, so he could drive into her yet deeper, and make her scream her fulfillment into his mouth. Later. They would have time for that later. Angelus began to increase his pace. Her hips lifted to meet his. He struggled to keep control, to see to her satisfaction first. But she was so hot, so wet, so tight, and so damned yielding. He groaned, slipping a hand between their bodies so he could tease the slick little bud of flesh that governed her desire. Buffy whimpered as his cool, skilled fingers began an expert caress. Her womanhood fluttered around him and he smiled against her mouth, knowing that she was beginning to approach the peak he wanted for her. He moved slightly, was rewarded by another soft whimper as he angled himself deeper inside her, stretching her tight passage, plundering her with ruthless tenderness. She yielded around him, her body opening itself to him more fully, accepting as much of him as he could give her. Angelus wanted to give it all. He drew back and plunged in again, his fingers keeping up their exquisite pressure, his mouth not releasing her own, his tongue mated to hers, their joining utterly uninhibited.

The silken heat encompassing him tightened and he almost wept at how good it felt. Angelus stood up, lifting her off the hood of the car completely. Her knees gripped his hips as he pulled her against him, slamming into her with two years worth of repressed hunger and need. Buffy screamed into his mouth as her body exploded in hot, delicious rapture, her sugared walls clenching around him, pushing him over the edge with her. With a roar he spilled into her heated depths, unable to restrain the passions which caused him to go into gameface.

Buffy felt his change as his fangs descended, bruising against her lips. But he did not stop kissing her, did not stop driving into her, did not stop giving her the most intense orgasm she had ever had, and she did not stop kissing him back.

Stupid! a tiny part of her brain screamed. He's going to drain you! But just at that moment, he shifted slightly, prolonging her climax, drawing out every nuance of pleasure. Buffy lost the ability to think coherently as she submitted to ecstasy and gave herself over to his embrace.

Angelus couldn't believe how good she tasted, how good she felt, how hard he had come. But he was trembling with the aftershock of the most intense climax he could remember, and he was terrified of dropping his precious burden. He gently set her back down on the hood of the car, reluctantly pulling out of her body, and breaking their kiss. Buffy sighed as he left her, and tried to gather her scattered wits. Her mindless panic of a few moments before had apparently been groundless. Angelus was still in gameface, but he was making no move to do anything other than rest his ridged forehead against the top of her head, his arms loosely embracing her. After a moment, he stood up, kissed her lightly on the lips, and stood just far enough away to tuck himself back in and refasten his pants.

Buffy blushed as she realized her own state of semi-nudity. But before she could do anything, he had pulled her off the car and set her on her feet…at which point he dropped to his knees and began to tug her panties and pants back up her body. He had her own clothing set to rights in a matter of minutes. But he was still in gameface…and still on his knees.

"Do you forgive me?" he asked, his voice uncertain.

"Well, that was quite an apology," Buffy managed with a small smile.

"So you do forgive me?" he said with almost pathetic hopefulness. Buffy couldn’t repress a giggle.

"Pretty much. Although," she added thoughtfully, "you were awfully mean to me. Maybe some further apologizing is in order."

"Anything," he said sincerely, bounding to his feet and scooping her up in his arms again.

Angelus didn’t lose his gameface until they pulled up to the hotel and he had to turn his car over to the valets. Buffy was impressed with his choice of accommodations, especially when they got to the suite. Forget the fireplace, the huge color TV, the wet bar or the Jacuzzi in the bathroom: the bed was gigantic, and covered with several large, feather pillows and a down-filled comforter. She smiled and began to walk toward it.

"You must be hungry," Angelus said. "It's late, and I know you usually don't eat a lot before patrol. Why don't you take a nice warm bath while I order from room service? Unless you want me to draw you a bath before I call room-service?"

Buffy smiled impishly at him. The cursed Angelus was proving to be a lot of fun. Not that she could let the situation go on indefinitely. If Angelus were still around when the curse wore off…well, no need to think about that now.

"A bath sounds lovely. And so does food. I can draw my own bath, you order from room-service." With that, she took herself off to the bathroom, deciding that maybe she shouldn’t have dismissed the Jacuzzi so quickly.

Room service informed Angelus that the kitchen was about to close for the night. Angelus said that it was very important that they stay open. He said he'd be very grateful. He named an amount of money that expressed his gratitude. Room service said that it was entirely at his disposal.

Golden hair piled atop her head, Buffy was relaxing in a tub filled with scented bubbles while lovely jets of hot water pulsed around her, soothing away muscle aches she hadn't realized she had. She had been soaking for perhaps half an hour when the door opened, and Angelus stood, smirking down at her. It wasn't, for once, a nasty smirk, although it was decidedly full of self-satisfaction.

"Dinner's here," he said, then moved into the room. He grabbed a very thick, luxurious bath sheet from the towel rack behind him, and held it out as Buffy stepped from the tub. She had expected him to hand it to her, but he wrapped her in it, then picked her up once more. Buffy wasn't disposed to complain. A fairly large cart had been drawn up, not to the suite's table, but beside the bed. Buffy wasn't about to complain about that, either.

Angelus settled back against the headboard of the bed, cuddling Buffy in his lap before pulling the cart closer and lifting the dome off the first dish. Buffy's eyes widened. The lobster had been shelled, and was ready to be dipped in the pot of rich, creamery butter that was being kept warm over a small flame. Asparagus and small roasted, russet potatoes completed the entrée.

"I do love your taste in apologies," she admitted as he dipped a bit of succulent lobster into the butter and fed it to her.

They drank champagne garnished with strawberries. Dessert was something sinful and chocolatey in a sauce made from fresh raspberries. Angelus spilled some raspberry sauce on himself in the course of getting it to Buffy's mouth, and she delightedly cleaned him up with her tongue.

After which he offered her another apology.

This one was the best yet. It started with his mouth moving from hers to her throat, and down her torso until he was resting between her spread thighs.

"We never had a chance to do this," he said. "I'm sorry I wasted so much time."

"If you were truly sorry," she teased, "you wouldn’t waste any more time."

He didn't.

Parker had been a gentleman. Angelus was a complete rake. Buffy had to pull a pillow over her face and bite into it to keep from screaming so loudly the management would be called.

With a hundred plus years of carnal rapacity under his belt, there wasn't anything Angelus didn't know about a woman's body, or how to make it sing in pleasure. His cool lips teased her hidden folds, his tongue eventually joining in to taste her more fully. He licked down the sides of her nether lips, pierced her womanly core with his tongue, then kissed upwards until he found her clit, and laved it with cool, skilled kisses that had her whimpering and writhing under him. Buffy's legs wrapped around his neck, her hips bucking up into his mouth, as he played a symphony of erotic delight upon the instrument of her willing body. Licking, kissing and nipping, he brought her very quickly to a fever pitch of desire…

And kept her there for long, torturous minutes while he tasted his fill of her. Buffy was reduced to begging shamelessly for completion, but he ignored her, his tongue laving the sweet bud of flesh that throbbed in her nest of curls with slow deliberation. This was too fine a meal to rush. Eventually, he brought his fingers into play, sliding one into her lush passage and stretching her silken walls, working it in and out in a slow, steady rhythm. She whimpered in appreciation, but it wasn't nearly enough. He was avoiding giving her enough pressure where she really needed it. Buffy almost wept in frustration. She tangled her fingers in his hair, trying to force the matter. He growled warningly against her clit, the vibrations making her shriek in pleasure, but still not quite enough. Buffy fell back against the pillows and gave up trying to coerce him. He rewarded her compliance by adding a second finger to the first, increasing the pace of his rhythm, then fiercely sucking her little bud into his mouth where he ever so gently bit down.

That was when Buffy grabbed the pillow, screaming into it as she exploded into a thousand fragments and the world dissolved into light. She shuddered around him, drenching him in her feminine moisture as she achieved her powerful release. He continued to suckle the tasty bud of flesh until he felt her begin to come down from the peak he had sent her to. When she finally lay quiet beneath him, he gave her clit a final kiss, withdrew his fingers, and got up from the bed.

He stripped out of his clothes as Buffy watched him through slumberous eyes. When he was naked, she held out her arms and he went into them, kissing her soundly. She could taste herself on him, a new and somewhat disconcerting experience for her. But his tongue on hers had its own deliciousness, and she craved the taste.

She had been entirely too long without him.

Angelus kisses were slow and sweet and soothing. At first. But it had been too long for him, as well. He settled over her, between her parted thighs, and entered her slowly, deliberately. Sobbing, she arched up to him, welcoming him into her heated depths. Growling, Angelus slipped his arms beneath her knees, opening her more fully for his invasion. Buffy moaned as he pushed deeper inside. Their kisses grew more heated and they began to move together more rapidly, more forcefully, gentleness not enough as hunger rose and passion grew. Soon, Angelus was all but pounding her into the mattress, his vampiric strength and punishing rhythm enough to injure a mortal woman. Buffy welcomed it, reveled in it, more than a match for his vampiric stamina. Soon, the fires in her blood came to fever pitch, and she reached once more for the stars.

He felt the delicious contractions of her inner core around his manhood and knew he was close. Once again, passion leapt free and he morphed into gameface. But this time, another hunger fed that need. He broke their kiss.

"Buff," he groaned. "Please…" Buffy looked at him, eyes widening as she realized what he was asking. This was Angelus, not Angel, but there was no question in her mind. She turned her head, baring her throat to him.

When his fangs slid into her jugular and she felt the first cold burst of his seed deep inside, Buffy exploded in the most mind-searing orgasm of her life. Better than his tongue on her clit, or his fingers inside her, better than just his fangs or cock alone. She was utterly impaled by her lover, utterly possessed by him, utterly shaken by his love and need and desire. She sobbed his name, over and over as every nerve ending in her body was subjected to rapture, until rapture overwhelmed her, and she slipped into the arms of velvet darkness.

Angelus smiled contentedly down at the beauty in his arms. He pulled the quilts over them, so that she wouldn't take a chill. She wouldn't be out for long, and he debated whether or not he should turn her right now, while he wouldn't have to listen to her arguments. But no: if he turned her without her permission, it would be a sign that he didn't respect her wishes, and that he wasn't sincerely sorry for the things he had done to her. There really wasn't any rush. The curse was in effect for a week. That was plenty of time to convince her of all the advantages of their being together eternally. He was pretty confident of his ability to get her to see things his way. She loved him, after all, and this was the only way she could really have him. He sighed. He supposed she would try to get her friends to restore his soul. But, a week should be more than sufficient to talk her out of that nonsense as well. Sure that everything would work out for them, he continued to watch her sleep.

She awoke in his arms, the only place in the world she wanted to be. He was looking down at her with a grave tenderness, looking more like Angel than ever. Even though she knew he wasn't.

"Apology accepted," she said gently.

"Good," he said, smiling, and kissed her, pulling her closer and settling down to sleep. He had, after all, had a full night. Buffy snuggled close, watching as his eyes drifted shut and he yielded to unconsciousness. She continued to watch him for several minutes, until she was sure he slept deeply. Then she carefully eased out of his arms, grabbed her discarded towel from the floor, and headed for the bathroom.

The hotel supplied lovely thick terrycloth bathrobes for the use of their guests. Buffy wrapped herself in a royal blue robe and padded softly into the living room area of the suite, gently closing the bedroom door behind her. She saw a phone on an end table beside the couch, and headed for it, quickly dialing the well-remembered number.

Giles picked up on the third ring.

He wasn't thrilled with what she told him, but he agreed with what she had planned. He promised to do the needed research, then hung up so that she could call Willow.

Will was a lot more understanding. She also had an idea or two, based on her studies in magic. Buffy hung up the phone several minutes later feeling better than she had in a long time. She was smiling as she went back into the bedroom to join her lover.

His arms wrapped instinctively around her, even in his sleep. Buffy sighed contentedly as she burrowed closer. When she got Angel back, she was going to have to encourage him to let his demon have a little more free play.

A week wasn't forever, but Willow thought it would be long enough to research the changes for the Gypsy spell to restore Angel's soul. Which was good. Because if they couldn't eliminate that clause, Buffy wasn't sure she could bear one more separation from her beloved, wasn't sure she could restore his soul only to lose him.

And if they failed to find another Orb before the Talking Stick's curse lapsed, Buffy wasn't sure she could bring herself to kill him one more time. Impatiently, she shook off the melancholy thoughts. Giles said it would be difficult to find another Orb, but that with a week to do it in, they should be able to manage.

Willow had also been confident. Last time, they had been racing against the clock, needing to restore it before Angel could wake Acathla. This time, they had a week in which to figure things out. And Willow was a lot more knowledgeable than she had been a year and a half earlier. Refining the curse to exclude the stupid happiness clause shouldn't be too difficult for her, now.

And then, Buffy thought, she could do what she had always wanted to do: fall asleep each night in the arms of her Angel.

The end.


Will Angelus convince Buffy to join him in eternity, or will she and Willow find a way around the stupid clause? Danged if I know. Choose for yourselves. Either way works for me, so long as it means Buffy and Angel stay together forever.

After I wrote the above, one of the ladies on the original list this was sent to came up with a third option: What if Buffy and Angelus could find a way to compromise, so that she could stay the Slayer while he was neither a homicidal maniac nor a total wuss. So, challenge fic slut that I am, I had to go and start a sequel based on that premise. Stay tuned.



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