"Giles, we have a problem," Xander said without preamble, as he, Willow and Oz burst through the library doors. "And her name is Buffy."
"Buffy?" Giles asked.
"Something's wrong with her," Willow said. "Really wrong. And she won't tell me what it is. In fact, she's hardly said two words to me all day."
"Well, the strain over what happened with Faith could be what is troubling her," Giles said.
"I would have agreed," Oz replied. "If she didn't try to do a really interesting maneuver with her tongue down my throat." Giles' eyes widened.
"And although it's my fantasy to do the pelvic lambada with the Buffster," Xander added. "Having it happen in the middle of the school cafeteria at lunchtime was not what I hoped for."
"Oh dear," Giles said, removing his glasses. He glanced at the calendar on his office wall through the open door. Still March. Not anywhere near Beltane.
"Do you think maybe she's under a spell?" Willow asked, holding on to Oz's arm protectively. "Or possessed?"
Buffy entered the library before Giles could answer. The librarian swallowed heavily when he saw the way she walked over towards him, as if he were the last piece of chocolate and she was going to enjoy every single bite. "Hello, Giles," she purred, running her hands under his suspenders. "I was wondering if you'd like to train me today. We haven't had any fun together in a long time."
"Buf-" Giles choked on the word. He cleared his throat, pushing her hands away at the same time. "Buffy, a word, if you please."
"There are much more interesting things to do with your mouth than talking, Giles," Buffy replied. She looked over her shoulder at the others. "Isn't that right, Oz?"
"Um, yeah," Oz replied. Willow stepped even closer to him.
Giles put his glasses back on and led the Slayer into his office, pointing to a chair. "Buffy, is there something wrong?"
"Wrong?" Buffy asked, licking her lips. "What could possibly be wrong?"
"You seem to-to be acting rather...forward," Giles replied. He gave her a cautious glance. "This isn't because of what happened with Faith, is it?"
He couldn't have been more surprised at the growl that came from the tiny Slayer. "Bitch," she spat, rising to her feet. "He's mine. You're mine. Not hers. MINE!"
With the last word, she hauled Giles up against her using her superior strength and planted a hard kiss on his mouth. He must have made a panicked noise because Oz and Xander rushed into the office and pulled Buffy off of him. She immediately turned and grabbed the werewolf, intent on repeating her actions from earlier that day when she suddenly collapsed onto the floor.
All three men looked up to see Willow with the tranquilizer gun in the doorway. She gave them a sheepish grin. "I'm getting pretty handy with this thing."
After making sure the window was securely closed and blocked by boxes stacked on the filing cabinet near it, Giles closed the door to the cage, the unconscious Slayer laying on the floor inside.
"Didn't we just do this?" Xander said, looking down at Buffy.
"I do have a strange sense of deja vu, yes," Giles replied, deadpan. Willow giggled.
"Now what?" Oz asked.
"I s-suppose we ought to find out what is causing this behavior," the librarian answered. He frowned in thought as Buffy's words came back to him. "‘He's mine. You're mine. Not hers.' Oh, good lord."
"I don't think I like the sound of that," Xander said.
"What is it, Giles?" Willow asked.
"It would seem that Buffy is-is-is finally reacting to what happened with Faith a-and Angel," Giles replied.
"PTSS," Oz said. The other three looked at him. "Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome."
"She did repress," Willow said. "She said it didn't bother her, only that she needed to have a break from Angel. I guess it bothered her more than she thought."
"And now she wants to mate with all the guys?" Xander asked. "How come that doesn't seem right?"
"Is she?" Giles said. "Trying to ‘mate,' as you say, with everyone?"
"Actually, I've only seen her do this to us three," Oz replied. "Devon offered to scratch her itch, but she shot him down."
"Buffy doesn't like Faith sharing her people, either," Willow said.
"Has she spoken to Angel since the-the incident with Faith?" Giles inquired.
"No," Willow replied. "She's been avoiding him."
"I think perhaps we should bring him here to speak with Buffy," Giles said.
"Kinda hard to do, Giles, seeing as how we don't have Coppertone 1000," Xander replied, gesturing to the window.
"And somehow I don't think talking is going to do it," Oz said. They all looked at him again. "By her actions and words, I'm thinking she's trying to make a statement."
"But it's really Angel who she can't make a statement with," Willow finished, catching on to what her boyfriend was conveying. "‘Cuz then he'd get a happy and go bad again for real, instead of for fake."
Giles looked thoughtfully down at the Slayer in the cage, turning over the Slayerettes' words in his mind. "Oz, would you be willing to go to the mansion and see how far things went between Faith and Angel?"
"Sure," Oz said.
"Do you have a theory, Giles?" Willow asked.
"I do," Giles replied.
"Here we go, fresh from the glass-blowers," Xander said, as he returned. He handed the paper bag to Giles.
"Thank you, Xander," Giles replied, not looking up from the text in his hands. "Willow, are you certain you will be able to do this again?"
"Yeah," Willow said. "I'm stronger in my magicks than I was when I first did it. Plus, not having to do it right after waking up from a concussion will help."
"Stinky herbs, runes and the other things you asked for have arrived," Oz said, as he entered the library. He looked over at the still unconscious Slayer. "How long is she going to be out?"
"We doped her up again," Willow replied, taking her backpack form him. "She should be out until Angel gets here."
"I hate to be the party-pooper, but do we really want to do this?" Xander asked.
"I see no other alternative," Giles answered. "At least, this way, we are prepared. If Buffy would have met up with Angel in the state she is in now..."
"We would be shaking hands with Angelus again," Xander finished. "Got it. Anything else I can do?"
"We need to-to somehow block the window from the outside," Giles told him.
"I'm on it," he replied, leaving the library again.
"Too bad we can't make this permanent," Willow mused, as she reread the spell for the tenth time.
Giles looked up from his book and blinked at her. "I hadn't thought of that," he said. He thought for a moment about the young woman he loved like a daughter, of Jenny and her last wish, of the man Angel was with his soul, and came to a decision. "Why don't we?"
"Really?" Willow said excitedly. Then she frowned. "How?"
"I s-suppose we would just add the word ‘permanent' in the incantation," Giles replied. He took the English translation of the spell from Willow and read it over. "We are not under any terrible hurry to complete the ritual this time around."
"Buffy's not going anywhere," Oz added from his perch on a chair, as he tacked up blankets over the cage.
"She would be able to be happy," Willow said. "Really happy. And a happy Slayer is a better Slayer."
"Let us get to work, then," Giles replied, smiling at Willow.
"Are you sure, Rupert?" Angel asked nervously, darting a glance at the blanket covered cage. He could hear the steady breathing of his love, who lay unconscious behind the door.
"You will be locked in there, so there is no worry of you h-hurting anyone," Giles told him. "Plus, you said yourself, there is time between the-the-when you achieve happiness a-a-and..."
"When I lose my soul," the vampire completed. "That's when I send Buffy out of the cage with the key and wait." He took a deep, unneeded breath and let it out slowly. "Promise me that you'll keep her out of here."
"I will," Giles replied. He gave Angel a small Ripperish smile. "Have fun."
Angel watched as the former Watcher walked out of the library. He glanced over at the magickal props set up on the table, waiting to be used, then back at the cage. "Talk about performing under pressure," he mumbled as he went over and unlocked the door.
Stepping inside, he firmly shut the cage behind him and set the key on the weapons cabinet before crouching down beside Buffy. "I love you," he said softly, brushing her hair off of her face.
Buffy stirred and with a small groan, opened her eyes. "Angel?" she said when her gaze focused.
"Hi," Angel said. "How are yo-mmph!" His question was cut off by the petite blond grabbing his shirt and pulling him down on her, her mouth crushing his. Somehow, she managed to roll them so she was on top, her tongue plunging between his teeth.
He wrapped his arms around her back, holding her to him as his tongue met hers in an erotic duel. The scent of her arousal was heavy in the small cage, making him rock hard. She rubbed her breasts against him, the nipples tight, hard buds beneath her shirt. With a rip, the shirt was rendered from her body by his strong hands, her bra right behind it.
Pulling her up his body, he latched onto her breast, making her moan in pleasure. He suckled the nipple, tugging it with his teeth and rolling it with his tongue. Buffy started to rub her hips against his stomach as she straddled him and he growled low in his throat. Flipping them over, he moved onto her other breast, her hands tearing his shirt in her excitement. He felt her nails dig into his bare back and he surged up to capture her mouth, pressing his erection against her sex.
Angel found himself on his back again, being divested of his pants. Buffy's hot mouth descended on his cock and he threw his head back, hissing in pleasure, his face reverting to its true form. Suddenly, she was on top of him, her small hand encircling him as she stared down into his face. "Mine," she growled, then plunged down onto his shaft.
He felt as though he was on fire, as she rode him hard and fast. Their mouths met again, teeth and tongues clashing in primal savagery and possession. He shoved one hand between them, twisting and rubbing her clit, knowing he was going to come at any moment. Her mouth ripped from his and she let out a loud cry of his name as she climaxed, sending him over the edge. He thrust up into her as far as he could, his fangs sinking into her neck, as he shot his cold, dead seed deep within her womb.
Buffy fell limply on top of him, spent, and he carefully removed his canines. He did not bite her the last time they were together and the intimacy of the act made him shiver in excitement and pleasure. He felt her nip his neck, then giggle. "Buffy?"
"I love you."
"Me, too," she replied, giggling again. She pushed up on her forearms and looked down at his vampiric features. "You're my vampire."
"Always," Angel said, pulling her down for another kiss. Already hard, he rolled with her so he was on top and began to move in and out of her. Their second coupling was tender, loving, as they slowly climbed towards orgasm, falling together with bursts of color and bolts of electricity. Afterward, he held her close, stroking her back with his hand until he knew she had to leave. Happiness was easily obtainable with Buffy, and it wasn't from climaxing, it was from the love that radiated from her body. Love for him and only him. And that made him the happiest and luckiest person on the face of the earth.
"Sweetheart, you need to leave," Angel said quietly. "Rupert and the others are waiting in the lounge for you."
"Why?" Buffy asked, not moving. Then it dawned on her. "Oh no, your soul!" He couldn't help but chuckle as she sat up. "It's not funny!"
Angel reached for his pants. "The others will explain. Key is on the cabinet there. Make sure that the cage door is firmly locked." He stood and slid them on.
"Um, I have no shirt," she said, looking at the tattered remains of hers. She picked up his and looked at the long rip in the back. "I guess this will do to run from here to my gym locker."
She slid it backwards over her arms and held it closed as she stood.
"Hey," Angel said, catching her chin in his hand. He placed a soft kiss on her lips. "I love you."
"I love you, too," Buffy replied. She took the keys and opened the door, blushing when she saw the blankets tacked to the cage. Making sure the door was locked, she gave him a sad look. "Am I going to see you again?"
"Yes," he said immediately, giving her a smile. She nodded, then let the blanket fall into place and made her way out of the library.
"Hey Buffy," Willow said with a large grin.
"Hi guys," Buffy greeted, tossing the keys on the table, Angel's shirt clutched around her with one hand. "Anyone care to tell me what's going on? Like, why you let me jump Angel's bones?"
"Well, er," Giles began, clearing his throat at her crude term. "You were experiencing negative aftereffects of-of the incident with Faith..."
"You wanted to hump us like bunnies," Xander interrupted.
"I did?" Buffy said, not believing him.
"Basically, you wanted to show that Angel was your mate and no one else's, but you couldn't, so you turned your attention on us," Oz said. They all gave him the same look as they did earlier and he shrugged. "Wolf mentality."
"But what about his soul?" Buffy said.
"Taken care of," Willow replied. "That's why he's locked in the cage. Everything is set up to go, all we have to do is wait until he loses it. We figured we'd give him two hours after you came out to be on the safe side."
"Buffy, Angel requested that you stay out of the library until the restoration is complete," Giles told the Slayer.
Buffy nodded. "I don't want to be in there when he's...him, anyway."
"Well, we have some time to kill," Xander said. "Anyone up for ice cream?"
"Willooooooow," Angelus sang out from the cage. "I should have snapped your pretty little neck when I had the chance. Of course, not before I had the chance to fuck your tight, virgin cunt."
"Ignore him," Giles instructed. "He's only trying to break your concentration."
"Come on, Rupert. Do you really think that I wouldn't have killed Jenny even though I had my soul? After all, she was part of the gypsy clan who gave it to me to begin with," Angelus taunted.
Giles glared at the blanket covered cage, clenching his teeth. "Ignore him," Willow said quietly. He nodded, opening the Latin text to the correct passage. Willow pointed to Oz, who began waving the herbs as she cast the runes. Xander had stayed out in the hall with Buffy to act as both guard and to keep her company.
"Ready," Willow said.
"Quod perditum est, in venietur," Giles read.
Willow continued the ritual. "Not of the dead, nor not of the living. Spirits of the interregnum, I call. Let him know humanity, gods- reach your wizened hands to me, give me the soul of Angelus, the angelic one. Gods bind his soul permanently to him, cast his heart forever from the demon realm. I call on you, gods, do not ignore this supplication. Let the orb be the vessel to carry his soul to him. It is written, this power is my right to wield. Let it be so. Now!"
The Orb of Thessulah glowed, signaling the transcendence of the soul. They heard Angelus let out a loud gasp, then Willow closed the circle of power, ending the ritual. "Did it work?" she asked after she was done.
"How will we know?" Oz asked Giles.
"I suppose we couldn't just ask him," Giles replied thoughtfully.
"Do you think Buffy could tell?" Willow said.
"Perhaps," he said.
"I'll get her," Oz told them. He left the library and came back shortly with both Xander and Buffy.
"Did it work?" Buffy asked immediately.
"We were hoping you might tell us," Giles replied.
Buffy nodded and went over to the cage, pulling the blanket down. Angel stood leaning heavily against the bookshelf, his back to her. "Angel?"
He turned and gave her a small, sad smile, then looked past her at the others. "I'm sorry, Rupert," he said quietly. Giles nodded, still wary.
The Slayer unlocked the cage and went inside, closing it behind her. She had a stake hidden on her body, just in case. She took a step towards him and he backed away. "Buffy, no. If I touch you, I won't be able to stop this time. Not yet, anyway."
"I surmise now would be a good time to tell you we changed the curse," Giles said. "If it was successful, your soul is now permanent, Angel."
Angel's head shot up and he stared at the librarian, as Buffy spun to do the same. "Are...are you sure?" he asked.
"There is only one way to be certain," Giles replied, picking the blanket up off the ground. "Buffy, we shall await you in the lounge again."
Buffy blushed bright red, as he and Oz tacked up the blanket. She turned back to Angel, not meeting his eyes and she heard the others leave. "This is so embarrassing."
"Buffy," Angel said, taking a step closer to her. He reached forward and tilted her chin up to look at him. "Do you realize what they have done?"
Her eyes widened, then an expression of complete joy crossed her face. "Oh my god!" She launched herself into his arms, holding him tightly. Angel's laugh was full of happiness as he picked her up and spun her in his arms. Setting her down, he captured her mouth in a soul-searing kiss.
Hands stroked and petted, not an inch on either of their bodies was left un-kissed before they joined together again. Their coupling was filled with barely repressed joy, their orgasms powerful and intense leaving them in breathless wonder. They curled together on the floor, holding each other, whispering words of love.
Buffy stood on the other side of the cage door, her hand pressed up against Angel's. "I love you," she said, tears in her eyes.
"I love you," he replied.
"I'll see you in a few hours, ok?" Buffy said.
"I'll be waiting," Angel said.
She stepped back and adjusted the blankets to be sure they covered the cage completely to protect him in the morning. Slowly, she made her way to the lounge where everyone was waiting once again. Giles patted the couch next to him and put his arm around her after she sat in a rare display of emotion. No one spoke as they waited for the coming dawn.
Buffy carefully entered the cage, letting as little sunlight in as possible. She heard him stand from the other side of the bookcase and held her breath, her heart pounding in her chest. Fearfully, she looked up into his eyes as he came into view.
The squeal of delight coming from behind the blankets told the other occupants of the library all they needed to know.