Drink Me


by John Cope





"You guys I'd like to be alone with him."

"Course."

"We'll try to find him a new cure."

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"Drink........drink me."

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Angel slipped out of his game face and weak though he was his first thoughts were for Buffy who had just forced him to do, what he had sworn to never do again, drink human blood.

"Buffy."

There was no answer.

"BUFFY!"

He turned on his side and began to crawl towards her. She lay there so still, face up, blood was trickling across the floor from her torn neck.

"Oh god Buffy." Angel gently took the girl in his arms. "Why did you do it!"

Frantic now he felt for a pulse point, there was nothing. Buffy, his light, his soul, his one true love was gone.

"Why Buffy, why couldn't you have let me go, now I've killed you." He stroked her face then pulled her nearer to him holding onto her tightly as tears began to roll down his face. "Noooooo, Buffy I loved you so much, why did you have to go."

He threw back his head and his game face returning as Buffy's rich blood rapidly restored his strength he opened his fanged mouth and howled like a beast in mortal torment.

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"What the hell was that." Oz asked, knowing only to well the potential answers, after all this was the Hellmouth.

Willow had wanted to be near her friends, Buffy especially, she knew that if, or as seemed likely, when Angel died the blond would need her, so she and Oz were sat in his van on the Mansions drive. Without even replying the hacker threw open the door and ran back towards the building.

"Hold on Will." Oz ran after his girlfriend, this did not sound like the kind of situation she should be going into alone.

Willow ran into the bedroom where Angel's sickbed had been, the bed was empty. She bolted back into the hall almost running smack into Oz. "Where are they?"

Putting a hand on her arm Oz held her steady. "We need to listen Willow."

Much as she wanted to dash round just looking Willow took Oz's advice and heard it, a harsh sobbing.

"The living room," she made to run again but Oz didn't let her go.

"We don't know what happened." Oz set of walked towards the door gently leading Willow behind him he went through first.

A half naked Angel knelt there, bent forward holding something too him. Oz took in the blond hair which showed just past his left shoulder and the leather trousers and boots and knew who it was. "Angel, man what happened!"

"Buffy!" Willow shouted it as caution thrown to the wind she ran forward. "Buffy are you okay."

She threw herself to her knees in front of Angel, Buffy's face was pressed against Angel's chest the vampire seemingly didn't even know Willow was there, tear's of blood ran from his yellow eyes and down his cheeks to drip off into Buffy's hair.

Grabbing one of her friend's hands Willow gripped it frantically then realized how limp it was, she let it go and it just hung there. "Oh goddess, what have you done." She grabbed the vampire under the chin and pulled his face up to look into hers. "Angel what have you done."

He starred at her blankly, the crimson tears still running down his face, but he slacked his grip a little and Buffy's head lolled to one side, her face was pale and bloodless, her neck was torn. "Oh no."

"Will what's happened." Oz stood in the doorway a look of dread on his face. "Tell me that she isn't...."

"Angel," Willow ignored her boyfriend for now. "Angel, let go of her please, let me have her."

The vampire continued to stare at her and then slowly he let the girl's body gently slid down to the floor, he shuffled back covering his eyes from the sight of her lying there so still.

Quickly the witch confirmed what she had feared. The Slayer was dead.

Oz joined her. "If we drive her to the hospital for you know....a....a transfusion."

"No," Willow shook her head staring at Buffy's face. "What Angel didn't drink ran out on the floor, she'd be to far gone by the time we got her there." She looked up at Oz then back to the vampire. "Your right about a transfusion though."

"Willow!, you can't mean?"

"What other choice do we have." Willow gently took a few drops of the blood Angel had cried into Buffy's hair onto her finger tips and gently smeared it on the open wound. "I hope that's enough, Angel's in no fit state to help with more."

"This is so heavy." Oz stared in horror at Willow. "How do we know that she'd want this, she's spent the last three years fighting vampires, to have to become one."

"She let Angel drink her blood," the red head wasn't sure either but it was to late now. "She wanted him to live, I don't think it's fair that she should die." She looked at him again. "Help me."

"What do you need," that was all Oz could say, if Willow thought that she had done right that was all he needed to know.

"Go to the library and without letting the others know what's happened fetch me the spare orb of Thessula."

Willow was going to cast a spell, but not a curse no this would be a blessing.

Oz booked moving as fast as he could, *Willow's got to be right, I hope to god she's right."

Kneeling behind the vampire avoiding the blood that marred his face and chest Willow whispered to him as she clutched his shoulder's. "It's ok Angel, I'll bring her back."

Part Two

Buffy awoke slowly wondering where the hell she was and how she had got there. Her eye's felt heavy as if they we're weighted down by the need for sleep, and her whole body seemed to ache.

Then slowly she realized that she was in her own bed in her own familiar room. The blinds were firmly drawn though she suspected that it was daytime outside. Staring up at the ceiling she tried to gather together the threads of her memory.

*How did I get here, have I been sick or something.* She tried to sit up then slumped back again not only had the room spun but she had a sudden jolt of pain through her head at the attempted movement. *Yep, sick I would seem to have been.*

She lay there then looking at the darkened ceiling trying to remember what had happened to her. *How long have I been out for.*

Faith!, she had fought with Faith, the girl's death came back to her vividly, the truck slamming into her and casting her broken to one side. Then something else all together leaped into her mind, her lover shot, poisoned, dying.

"Angel!"

She had said the name aloud unthinking, she did not for one second expect the reply that came from the shadows in her room. "I'm here."

It sounded tentative, scared even but there was no weakness in the voice no delirium. Buffy tried to sit up again and groaning gave up, but she felt stronger and a little strange her hearing seemed acute, her senses more powerful, but she cast that aside Angel was alive.

"Are you better Angel, how can that be, Faith died didn't she?"

"I'm better, Faith isn't dead, she's in a coma at the hospital. I'm better thanks to what you did for me Buffy."

*What did I do?* Buffy tried hard to remember, but then other more alarming thoughts crashed over her. "The Mayor, the ascension, Angel what happened!"

"It's real surprising what a lot of high school students can do if they pull together."

"You mean they slayed without me?" Buffy felt a feeling of, *What?* annoyance, but then remembered something else. "Hey that's ok, I quit as a Slayer anyway, but you say that Faith's in a coma which means she isn't technically dead and won't therefore get replaced hence I cannot quit and am in fact stuck with the same old same old for the rest of my natural life......how that sucks!"

"Damn I'm cursed, this whole Slayer thing has blighted my life for just..." Buffy suddenly realized how hurtful her words might be to the one other person in the room. "Except for the part where I got to meet you that is."

Another appalling thought crossed her mind. "How long have I been out for Angel?"

"Two days."

"Two days!" Buffy felt close to tears at that piece of news. "You mean that I missed graduation after all, I had the robe and the funny hat and everything."

"Actually with what happened their going to hold the ceremony again in a few days on the sports field, the school's in to big of a mess to hold it there again."

*When is she gonna ask me what happened to her?* Angel sat on the floor by the closet, scared to go and look at his girl, to see her game faced. He was the one who was going to have to try to explain to her what had happened, it was why he had brought her here after Willow had finally brought him out of the hell his actions had plunged his mind into. Let her come round in her own room, with her own things around her.

"The schools in a mess," Buffy wondered how but then smiled as Angel stood and came and set at the edge of her bed. "You look all well again."

The vampire didn't look at her but nodded. "Yes, thanks to you."

Shaking her head at this Buffy struggled to get an arm out from under her bedclothes. "What's the matter Angel why won't you look at me, are you still leaving town even after all this?"

Angel looked at her and saw, his Buffy. Hope rose in him maybe the research Willow had done was right, maybe a turned Slayer had the powers she had read about. Certainly a normal Fledgling wouldn't have been able to control her features and regain her human face for at least three months, but here Buffy was with hers. He took hold of the hand that had emerged from the sheets and held it gently, trying not to cry at the coldness of the flesh. "No Buffy, I'm never going to leave you, not ever."

"Angel," Suddenly the weariness left Buffy and she struggled to sit up putting her arms round the vampire she hugged him fiercely to her, pressing her face to his shoulder. "We'll find a way to make it work."

She glanced across the room at the full length mirror, then she looked again harder, she could see her bed, she could see the shape of her legs beneath the covers and the depression in the mattress where Angel was sat and nothing else.

"Why don't I have a reflection?" Angel seemed to crumple in her grip, she realized as her breath caught that she wasn't actually breathing at all only when she spoke had she drawn in air. "Angel, what happened to me, how did I wind up as a vampire?"

Then the full panic set in. "ANGEL please tell me, how could you let this happen to me?"

Part Three

Angel now put his arms round Buffy and held her to his chest, he knew the kind of damage she was capable of inflicting if she became hysterical or angry but that didn't seem to be the way that things were going to go. Her fingers hooked into his shoulders but he could feel a wetness against his skin. He could smell no blood, Buffy was crying real tears.

"I was dying Buffy, don't you remember? I needed a Slayer's blood to live."

A little more of it came back to Buffy, that was why she had gone after Faith, and failed.

"Oh, so to live you had to...had to..."

"You came to me Buffy and you made me...you made me drink your...you made me drink you."

"I don't remember." Buffy's memory was blank from the time she had seen Faith struck down. "How did I die...?" She felt the Vampire stiffen, "Angel I know you can't have meant to do it but please tell me."

Angel's own tears began to flow now and he sobbed as he gasped out to her. "You hit me again and again...trying to get me mad...to make my demon rise. When it did, when I went game faced you...you pressed your neck against my fangs. I was weak my demon was stronger than me...when I tasted your blood I began to feed and I just wasn't able to stop myself in time."

His voice tailed off and there was silence in the room, no sound of breathing, not even a heart beat to break it.

Then Buffy spoke two words. "I'm Sorry."

"Your sorry!" Angel could scarcely believe his ears. "But I.."

"You must have been frantic over what you'd done, I should have been more careful, found some other way." Buffy held onto Angel like she didn't ever want to let him go. "Not put you into that position."

"You should have let me go." Angel pulled away from Buffy a little and looked into her eyes. "I'd rather be dust than have had things come to this."

Buffy looked hurt and very sad, her cheeks wet with her tears. "So if you feel like that why did you turn me?" More angrily she went on. "If you feel that way why are you here?"

Angel tried to look away but she brought a hand up and dragged his face back into sight of hers. "Tell me the rest."

"Buffy I'm here because I love you, I love you despite what's happened, I always will. The shock of it though, the shock of having killed you, it drove me over the edge into darkness, I can't remember anything for a whole day afterwards. Willow heard me scream as the realization hit me she came in and found me kneeling holding you."

"I hope you never have to find this out first hand Buffy, when a game faced vampire cry's the tears are of blood. Willow told me she took a little of the blood that had dripped on you from my tears and placed it in your wound."

*HUH!*, Buffy was speechless then burst out. "Willow Rosenberg turned me! Will is my Sire! this is just so...I don't know what it is..but hey and what the..."

"Willow did what she thought was best for us." Angel said it defensively, he had been shocked when he found out, he still was. "And no she used my blood which means, I guess that I'm your Sire."

"Oh right, so now I'm your fledgling," she screwed her face up. "Your Minion!"

"You could never be that to me Buffy." Angel knew that soon he was going to have to get to the part where he would have to tell her how strong she now was, he hoped she'd take it well.

Still out of it Buffy none the less couldn't help but give a faint smile. "Sometimes when Giles isn't looking I sneak a glance at some of the more....interesting books on vampires...'Aspects of their social groups and family structures', that's how Giles would put it, but my question is doesn't the Sire/Minion relationship involve a lot of violent sex and.....submission."

"Yes," Angel would have blushed if he'd been able, Buffy's raised eyebrow at his one word reply led to a stirring in his pants that he fondly hoped would go away.

"But I'm not your minion." Buffy drew him nearer and gently kissed his lips, it was brief contact, just meant as a reassurance. "Spoil sport."

"Do I have a soul?" It was a dumb question Buffy realized straight away, a more important one followed. "Is it permanent?"

"Willow thinks it is." Angel had been a crying heap of vampire when the spell had been cast and by the time Willow had got him out of it her emotional state hadn't been much better. Oz however had been...Oz. "There's only one sure way to find out though."

"Oh."

"She says she can try the same spell on me anytime you like."

"Oh really." Buffy was beginning to get her head round what had happened there seemed there might be plus's as well as minuses. "So smoochage is a possibility....oh no."

"Buffy what is it?" Angel saw fresh tears start to flow. "What's the matter?"

"Children." Buffy pressed her face back against the vampires chest. "I'm never going to be able to have any, Mom won't ever be able to be a grandmother.....does Mom know?"

"Yes." Angel stroked Buffy's hair. "And you don't have to ask how badly she's taken it."

"Very I expect." Buffy shut her eyes almost praying it was all a dream, but if it was then Angel would still be leaving her something he had just promised not to do. "Was she harsh, no she was way harsh I can guess."

"Actually she was way, way, way harsh." Angel had many frightening experiences since his arrival at the Hellmouth but Joyce Summers enraged was right up near the top of the list. "She swore at Willow and she nearly staked me, if Oz hadn't have been there..."

"I'm sorry, but I don't blame her for being mad." Buffy realized that she was going to have to face her Mom's anger up close and personal, being dead when it happened wasn't going to be an acceptable excuse.

"I take it the fact I'm only a little dead didn't impress her."

"No, it wasn't exactly an argument winner." Only the fact that Angel had promised never to abandon her daughter had stopped things from getting completely out of hand. It was weird how times changed.

"She's told all her friends how I've finally agreed to go to College with my SAT's being so good. Now I won't be able to." Buffy tried to figure out how to explain to the people she knew how she'd never be able to see them in daylight again, she couldn't figure out how she could tell someone that and not sound insane.

"Willow's been doing some research, Buffy, you may still be able to go."

"How?" She pushed herself away from Angel and he almost fell back off the bed, the former Slayer suddenly realized how strong she felt. "Yikes and also sorry."

"No problem," Angel began to have serious hope that Willow was right. "Turned Slayers are very rare, have you ever wondered why baring in mind how much time they spend fighting vampires, and how short their careers usually are."

"Not really I just concentrated on not getting killed, I didn't ask questions like that." Buffy reached up her hands to her face, it felt *Normal, huh.* "I'm not game faced, I've never seen a vampire rise without its game face being on. Not like I rose as such, I guess I probably had it easier than you."

"Yeah, I woke up in a coffin and then had digging to do, it's not a nice experience and I was disorientated as hell, which is why your here in your room." Angel gently took the hands that Buffy was running over her face into his. "Vampires don't turn Slayers because to them turned Slayers are even more dangerous than live ones. They have their old strength and the strength their demon gives them. They can walk in sunlight and enter buildings uninvited, your thinking well wouldn't that make them a powerful weapon for the vampires."

"Yeah," Buffy said it from far away her mind racing with the thought that if Willow was right she could still have a reasonably normal life.

"Vampires are a true feudal society, the most powerful vampire rules." Angel looked at the girl before him, his people had legends of what had happened in the old days centuries before, of how vampires had to unite with the Watcher's Council to destroy one such vampiress. "Buffy right now your the most powerful vampire in the world."

*Reasonably normal life!* Buffy smiled and kissed her vamp again. "I'm totally that Angel, but because I have my soul and you."

Part Four

Buffy just held on to Angel for awhile, not really believing all that he had said but not really caring either, she wasn't going to lose her Angel, she could be with him forever. Ok they wouldn't exactly grow old together but that didn't matter right now.

"I feel a lot better now," Buffy felt stronger, her head felt more together and the all over body ache was gone. "Do you think I could get up?"

Angel realized what she meant, he was virtually on top of her. He stood and offered her his hand. "Let me help you."

Still feeling a little queasy Buffy gratefully took hold of him and slipped out of the covers and to her bare feet. She looked down to see she was in shorts and a vest. "Who undressed me and put me to bed?"

"Willow and your Mom." Angel said very rapidly. "That was just before the swearing."

"I'm gonna have to get them to make up," Buffy tried a few steps and stumbled on still weak legs, Angel helped her to sit on the end of the bed. "Shouldn't be to difficult, but I need to get my own body back on the team first."

"I think you need to feed before you do anything else Buffy."

"Feed! As in drink blood!" She realized that this was another gross point she hadn't considered. "Well I guess it must be low C, and I can still eat other stuff I like sometimes. Can't I?"

"Yes it wont do you any harm, and you won't gain weight from it either."

"I don't have to go to the bathroom anymore, except to bathe that is," Buffy frowned. "When I go out with girlfriends I won't be able to go to the rest room with them to talk about boys and check my make-up cause I don't reflect which would get me noticed. I have a secret identity on top of my secret identity now."

Buffy realized her mind had wandered again. "You said something about feeding?"

"It's ok Buffy, you're bound to still be a little confused." Angel held up two sealed plastic bags of red fluid. "Feeding will help you."

"Is it....human?" Her mouth was suddenly wet and she could feel a strange stirring inside of her, *My demon?*

"No it's pigs."

"Poor little piggy." Vegetarianism for vampires she knew meant not killing people, she would just have to think positive, she took the bag from Angel. "What do I do?"

"You'll need to be game faced, do you want me to show you how." He opened the fasten at the end of the tube on his bag and effortlessly morphed.

It was a sight she had seen before, indeed at one time she had felt so cool about it she had been able to touch him, kiss him in that state. The eyes turned yellow, the bridge of the nose broadened and ridges formed over his eyes, and the fangs. Angelus had destroyed that along with so much else.

"Just open the tube and smell the blood Buffy." Angel wasn't really sure where he was going here, as Angelus his main preoccupation with Fledglings had been teaching them to regain their human features, to make them more attractive for sex or more useful for hunting. It was seldom that he'd bothered though usually he passed the work to a minion, it was what they were there for. He was having to teach Buffy what should come naturally to a vampire how to feed.

*If this turns out to be the curses way of trying to make me make up for how I treated my Childer I'm really gonna be pissed.*Angel nearly dropped the blood bag as realization dawned finally that. *Buffy's my Childe!*

"Smell it! This way lies a major ick factor." Buffy eased the cap of the end of the tube down which the blood was supposed to run for a transfusion. "Here goes then."

The smell was overwhelming, it went through her like an electric shock and something in her head growled in response. Buffy watched her nails lengthen by a third, become talons. She felt an uncomfortable ache across her face and then pain lanced through her jaw as for the first time her teeth transformed into fangs.

"Ouch," Her head hurt again her free hand went up to her forehead. "Oh my god, or oh my demon, this feels weird."

Angel stared at her, he had always dreaded such a sight seeing his girl so transformed but now here it was and he knew whatever he did he must not look horrified. The hazel eyes were gone turned yellow sunken slightly into their sockets due to the V shaped ridges that came up from her nose. Her beautiful mouth that he had kissed so often was marred now by fangs but she was still Buffy, not some demoness but the woman he loved.

Looking up at him Buffy wondered how awful she looked, then another though crossed her mind of a vamped up blond and the words spilled out. "Do I remind you of Darla?"

The dark haired vamps eyes widened in shock at her words. "Hell no, you're totally different, you have your soul. She was an animal compared to you."

"I'm still a vampiress, Angel." She looked at the blood bag in her hand, her tongue very gently played over the points of her fangs. "With a mouthful of sharp teeth," something growled inside her head again. "And a hunger for blood."

"Ok watch me." Angel held the bag over his open mouth and gave the bag a gentle squeeze, a jet of blood shot out and down his throat, squeezing off the flow he said. "Easy as that, do you want to try?"

"I don't have any choice." Buffy expected the taste to be horrible, it wasn't. She drank the blood down greedily like it was some nectar.

"It's your demon you see, it's changed your perspective, its made sure you enjoy it's food."

"Like I said, a hunger for blood." Putting the emptied bag down Buffy stood on legs that weren't weak anymore. "Now how do I get my old face back?"

"Picture how you should look and it will come back."

He watched her face twist as she tried to concentrate, her fingers ran over her face again. "No, I'm still vampy."

"Ok, lets try another way." Angel took her in his arms and bending caught her mouth with his, tongues clashed and her hands gripped the back of his neck as his tongue entered her mouth, neither had to breath but still Buffy was panting when they finally broke contact.

Her human face was back. "Damn you're a useful vamp to have around, now get in the closet."

"Huh!* It wasn't the reaction he'd been hoping for.

"I need to conduct an experiment." She nodded her head towards the thick curtains. "It'll be dangerous for you and maybe for me too."

Reluctantly Angel squeezed himself into the closet. "Be careful, Willow could be wrong."

"I wasn't about to throw myself out the window." Buffy very carefully pulled the curtain back allowing a thin beam of sunlight to enter the room, mentally prepared for extreme pain she moved her left hand towards it.

First thoughts, relief that there was no white smoke, second a weird tingling sensation which she hoped wasn't going to be a constant presence in her life from now on. "I'm sun proof, slight coolness there."

Once her arm didn't combust Buffy threw the curtains open, the tingling seemed to be lessening but the light hurt her eye's she threw her hands up to protect them. "I think shades are gonna be a necessity."

She redrew the curtains. "Ok I guess I'd better dress and go face the music, Mom would be downstairs."

Emerging from the closet Angel grimaced. "She was up here glaring at me most of the night, but she went downstairs to sleep on the couch a few hours ago."

"Help me put my make-up on then and then you can get back in the closet whilst I dress."

"What!" Angel shrugged. "Since when do you need...."

"Since your blood turned me!" Buffy gave him the look and realized that anger equals growly demon. "You're my seeing vamp from now on, get used to it."

As she applied a hint of blusher Buffy mused. "I suppose I could get Cordie to do this, but could I really trust her not to send me out with lipstick smudges right up my nose? I expect she's pissed about Wesley going home."

"Actually Wesley's in the hospital." Buffy looked at him startled. "He fell over in the fight at the high school and people trod on him. Cordie is still pissed though cause when he gets out he's going home."

"Who knows Angel?"

"Willow Oz and your Mom obviously." Angel was glad he hadn't been tasked with breaking it to her. "Willow had to tell Xander why you weren't at the school, you should have seen him there Buffy he was quite the hero."

"Do you suppose he's gonna start calling me Dead Girl?"

"You know he won't."

"Yeah." She twisted her face up. "Giles?"

"No." Angel came over and gave her completed make up the once over. "Willow didn't dare admit what she'd done and after Jenny....I just couldn't do it. Sorry to lay that one on you."

"Ok, so after my Mom shouts at me I have Giles to look forward to, how joyful." Absentmindedly Buffy reached into her jewelry box and then with a shout of, "Shit," snatched her hand back. "Damn crucifixes."

"God that hurts." The contact had been brief but still Buffy had a cross burned onto the tip of one of her fingers. "I need new jewelry stat."

"I'll get Willow to sort your crosses out of there." Angel felt the urge to shop. "And I'll go down to the mall on a night when they open late and buy you some pendants."

"I'm gonna go run this under a tap." Buffy knew she had something else to do to. "In the kitchen were my Mom will be able to do that shouting I mentioned."

"Try not to lose your temper."

"Yeah," having her daughter go game faced on her was liable to give Joyce a wiggins. "I'll see what I can do."

And with that Buffy reluctantly and in pain from her burn set off to face the music.

Part Five

Buffy managed to make it to the kitchen sink undetected and gratefully turned on the faucet. Cold water quickly eased the pain from her burned finger. The mark already looked less red making her ask herself the question, *Have I got vamp healing on top of Slayer healing, if so I'm almost indestructo girl.*

A sharp intake of breath from behind her made Buffy wheel round to see her Mom stood in the kitchen doorway. "Hi Mom, I guess your not to happy with me."

Joyce saw her daughter standing in a beam of direct sunlight and hope rose in her. "Oh god Buffy they were wrong, you're alive."

Before she could say a word Buffy was being hugged by her mother, a mother who immediately went very still, the Slayer closed her eyes and waited for her Mom to speak.

"You feel like ice." Joyce stepped back a little the figure in front of her was her daughter sure enough. "If you're a vampire Buffy, how can you stand in sunlight, if not why are you so cold?"

Biting her lip the Slayer contemplated crying. "Cause I guess...I guess I'm super vamp or something, I suppose I get to wear a big red cloak and my underwear over by pants but I don't know about the tall buildings..."

"How could you have done this to yourself, to me?" Joyce couldn't stop her anger bursting out. "What hope have you of a normal life?"

"Well, my life hasn't exactly been normal up till now anyway." Buffy felt her demon stirring in her mind and guilt flooded over her. "Please Mom, it isn't like I planned for this to happen."

"Oh really," for a few seconds Joyce really wished she had staked Angel, but along time ago. "I don't suppose that dying to be with the man you love has ever occurred to you for a second. You should have let him go, he's a vampire for heavens sake and aren't you the Slayer."

Buffy could only think of one reply, a harsh one. "You're right I am, and working on that principle, would you like me to go find a stake and throw myself on it?"

"You were going to go to College, you could have made a life." Joyce turned her back on Buffy, unable to look at her. "Now you're tied to Angel, to an undead creature, forever."

"Would you prefer me dead Mom?" Buffy fought against her anger but could do nothing about her shame, she could see how she had destroyed all her mothers hopes for her, for her future. "I'm sorry for what I did, but I wouldn't undo it, not if it meant Angel had to die."

Joyce's shoulders slumped as tears began to flow down her face. "Perhaps you should move your things into the mansion, live with your own kind, I'll just tell people you've run away again."

"Mom please," Buffy felt her own tears start to run, she wiped her eye, just water and mascara not blood. "I can be normal I can walk in daylight. Don't try to send me away, don't hate me. I'm begging you, please."

"Oh really," Joyce not to gently pulled Buffy round by the arm and pointed at the perspex on the oven door. "How many reflections do you see there?"

It wasn't the most reflective of surfaces but Buffy could only reply. "One."

"Every mirror, every polished surface, every sheet of glass your back lit against your reflection wont be on any of them." Joyce let her daughter go. "Do you think it will take long till you get a rep with that problem? How long before people start to look up the reason and decide vampire?"

"If I'm careful." Buffy's tears were flowing freely now as her own hopes were destroyed. "I just need to be sure of what I do. Where I go."

"The girls your in class with decide to go to the mall in a free period, you can't go, or to burger bars for lunch, to the cafeteria anyway cause hey you don't eat normal food. You have a supply of blood in your bag just in case you get peckish, if you have an accident the college nurse finds out you don't have a pulse or breath in your body." Joyce just walked out of the room casting over her shoulder. "How careful can you be!"

Buffy just stood there and cried for a couple of minutes and then ran back upstairs she paused by her door ready to go in throw herself into Angel's arms and cry her heart out but instead she went into the bathroom to wash her face, he had no reason to see her in this state, she didn't want to give him a reason to hate her Mom.

She calmed down during the process even though it involved several hard looks at nothing in the bathroom mirror. Then and only then did she go back into her room.

"How did it go?" Angel asked her looking at her once more make-up free face and guessing the reason. "She's taken it badly."

"It was horrible, worse than anything I've ever had to go through before." Buffy selected some clothes from her closet. "Turn your back, Angel, I need to dress and go see Giles, I need his help."

"Do you think he can, help that is?" Dutifully Angel turned round, he was looking directly at a mirror and couldn't but regret Buffy no longer had a reflection as he heard her step out of her clothes. "What do you want, Buffy? A cure? There isn't one."

"I don't know Angel, but if you don't want a full time house guest pray that there's something he can suggest that will help us or I'm rapidly gonna wind up in a situation where I never talk to Mom again and have to leave town."

Continued

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