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Author's Note: Some dialogue borrowed from Dad. Enjoy.



The slayer opened her eyes at the sound of her name, only to discover that it had been muttered unconsciously, while asleep, by her boyfriend. Currently he rested behind her, an arm wrapped securely round her, under her breasts, his head next to hers on the edge of his pillow. She smiled in contentment.

Feeling awake, she glanced at the time, and then slipped out of his arms, out of their bed, into his shirt, and downstairs to the entrance lobby of the Hyperion. Finding it deserted, as would be usual at this time of the morning, she made her way to the phone on the reception desk.

Ever since he had learned of her return from the dead, Giles had set up a system for their weekly conversations concerning events on the hellmouth. In the morning of the day assigned for a call, she would dial the number of his second line, and, speaking into a voice disguiser, say the time for him to phone, along with a password. It sounded like somewhat of a elaborate set-up just for a simple phone call, but history had long since taught both of them to be careful when it came to keeping a secret from the rest of the world.

When she had finished, Buffy returned to her lover. She slipped quietly back into the room, but even so, he opened his eyes as she sat down upon their bed.


"Hey," she returned. "I just set up the call to Giles," she added in explanation for her absence. Angel nodded, his eyes still on her. "What?"

"Nothing. I'm just suddenly realising the whole thing about women wearing their men's shirts."

Buffy leaned over him. "What about it?"

"Its a complete turn on." He pulled her down for a kiss. A long, luxurious, passionate, satisfying kiss.

When they parted, she sat up and slowly began undoing the buttons. The long strip of skin revealed, he pulled her down once more, rolling her on to the bed before kissing her again.

Buffy loved this. Not just the act, or Angel, but the mere fact that they could, after so many years apart, and so many trials. Their bond with each other had stood the test of time, and improved with age.

Angel's lips slipped from hers to her neck, letting them breathe, and she marvelled at the novelty of his warm breath upon her skin. He had been human for two months, but it still felt fresh to the both of them.

He moved to her breasts, and Buffy stopped thinking, letting herself slide into the moment, to enjoy it to the full. She arched her back as he licked her nipples, before taking them in his mouth one by one, then sliding his lips under them to continue his journey to her toned stomach and beyond.

When he rose back up to her lips, she grabbed him by the arms and rolled them over, to return the favour.

As her lips kissed his chest, Angel recalled the memory of the day three years ago, when she had licked ice cream off him. What was nicer about this moment, was that both of them would remember it, instead of one waiting until she was dead to have it as a recollection.

Then she rose up to meet his lips, and both of them stopped thinking altogether.


Office hours arrived, and the team of Angel Investigations gathered in the entrance lobby, occupying themselves with files of current cases.

The phone rang, causing the slayer to put down her file and pick up the receiver. "Hey Giles. How was England?"

"I wouldn't know, " the watcher replied, "I didn't see it anything of it but Heathrow, and the inside of a conference room."

"Took awhile to get through the Council that I'm alive?" Buffy guessed.

"You could say that. I had to show them the spell, describe the ritual, even phone the Charmed Ones to confirm everything. Then I had to convince them that it was all right you being two hours away from the hellmouth." He paused to take breath. "Then I got back here."

"That doesn't sound good," Buffy said, concerned.

"Don't worry, they haven't tried anything. Infact, Willow is on the wagon as it were. She got addicted to magic, and almost killed Dawn in a car crash. Tara and her have split up. So, raising you from the dead is on hold for now."

"Good to know." Buffy paused. "How is Tara taking it?"

"She's not hiding it well, but I think she's coping better than Willow." He paused. "How are things your end?"

"We had a small run in with a former nemesis of Angelus by the name of Holtz. A demon brought him from the past to try and kill Angel, but of course without letting him know it was Angel. Fortunately there was enough time to explain everything before anyone was hurt."

"Good God," Giles exclaimed. "I read about Holtz in the diaries. Is he still a threat?"

"No, we managed to explain everything. The last we heard he was going to a monastery. We've heard nothing from the demon who raised him, so that's still a concern to keep us on alert at the moment."

As though her words had tempted fate, the office fell silent as the sound of someone stepping up to their front door became audible. The slayer paused, Gunn hefted an axe and Wesley and Angel aimed crossbows at the entrance.

The door opened. A black umbrella emerged. Whatever was behind it lowered it slowly, then looked in surprise at the amount of weaponry aimed at him.

"Now is that anyway to welcome a houseguest?" Lorne asked.

Everyone lowered their weapons, and the slayer resumed her phone conversation.

"Houseguest?" Gunn queried.

"Well, I figured since you all managed to destroy my club, that I wouldn't be imposing if I hit you up for a place to stay. Although I do have a standing offer from a marginally attractive Mulix demon."

"Well, if he/she/it has more suitable accommodations..." Wes remarked.

"Is that any way to return the debt of wrecking the nightbar whenever I let you in?"

"He's right, we owe him," Angel pointed out to Wes.

"Its all right, Angelcakes, I sensed the sarcasm," Lorne put his bags down. "Hey, are there any fluorescent lights in here? I keep hearing this hum. Plus, fluorescent - green light, green skin - it's all bad." He paused to look at his audience, then, "I'll take the blank stares as a big fat no." He picked up his bags. "I'm just gonna find myself a room."

Buffy finished her phone call to Giles, then announced to the team at large, "you'll be pleased to know a certain witch is banned from using magic, so no spells around my gravestone for a while."

"Good to know," Cordelia remarked as she put down a file, "'cause I just saw some vamps which need dusting."

Buffy put on her leather jacket and started grabbing stakes. "Where?"

"Deserted warehouse on Bishop and Union." Cordelia closed her eyes, returning to the vision for a moment, then added, "they had some hostages."

The slayer tossed her soulmate a stake, as he replied, "we're on it."


In the end, the whole team save went out, which was just as well, for when they got to the warehouse, there were a dozen hostages and about twice as many vampires surrounding them. Gunn, Fred and Cordelia burst through the front doors, while Buffy and Angel dropped through from the floor above.

Rapidly they set to work, the former taking on three to four, while the chosen warriors took on six each, stakes operating on overtime as they tried to dust as many as they could, until enough were gone to get the hostages out.

When that was done, the Gunn shielded Fred and Cordelia as they freed the hostages, leaving Buffy and Angel to take care of the other vampires.

This was the first large nest of vamps since she had come to Los Angeles. Buffy had been concerned that she would not be able to take them on; it had been so long since she had to fight so many vamps.

But she need not have worried. Her natural slayer instincts, strength, and everything else that came with the package of being a chosen one, were still alive, and active. The strains of all which came from the primitive, were still within her, and running through her veins.

Infact, she was so on top of her game, that when there were only five left, and the hostages were out safe in the sunshine, the rest of the team present stood back and watched her, as she dealt with the remaining vamps.

"Amazing," Gunn uttered. "I mean, I've seen you take on vamps, but her...." he trailed off, content to just watch.

"That's the power of a slayer," Angel replied to Gunn, his eyes also on his beloved.

Oblivious, Buffy continued to fight the vamps surrounding her, dusting them off one by one until there none left.

She turned to find them still staring at her. "What?"

"You were tight," Gunn remarked in explanation.

"Oh, that was nothing," Buffy said. "You should see me taking on ten. Now that's something."

"Ten? At once?" Gunn glanced at Cordelia and Angel. "Is she serious?"

"That's what it was like when our high school blew up," Cordy replied. "We had an entire army, then."

"I think that's one story I haven't been told."

"We tell you it on the way home," Buffy assured him.


They arrived back at the Hyperion to find Lorne manning the desk. He walked out from behind it when they entered. "Welcome back. All was quiet while you gone, except the humming that is."

He walked over to Angel and put an arm on his shoulder. "You got to figure a guy like you, a place like this, the only truly safe room would be the janitor's closet."

"Thanks for the tip," Angel remarked before walking away from him.


That was the moment, as they were to realise later. The moment that Angel Investigations realised that someone had been watching them for months. The moment when they would meet in the janitor's closet and arrange a time to disable all the surveillance devices. But the people who had put them in, the lawyers of Wolfram and Hart, would only discover this later.

At present, Lilah was watching the monitors alone. Parks' people had set up recording devices for the transcripts, so they could get some rest, and she was grateful for this development, as it enabled her to learn an important revelation.

Angel was human. She had known this piece of information for several days now and it was still as much of a shock as it had been the first time she had heard it.

Lilah had told no one yet about she had learned. This piece of news was just as much a death warrant to the messenger as it was to the pet project of Special Projects at Wolfram and Hart. None of them had prepared for this. Oh, they knew about the Shanshu, but that had been decades in the future, and if their plans worked, it would never become a problem.

Yet shanshued he had now, sabotaging all their plans to turn him to their side in the upcoming apocalypse.

The fact that only she knew about it should give her some advantage, if only she could see one that would persuade the Senior Partners not to kill her.

"Liking the show?" A voice asked her suddenly, disturbing her thoughts and her privacy.

Lilah did not need to turn around to know that Gavin Parks had entered the room. She kept herself facing the monitors as he walked to stand beside her and added, "I've gotta ask, is this becoming a hobby for you?" He levelled with her. "You should check out the footage we get of Angel's suite."

Lilah turned to him, realising that if they had footage of the slayer and Angel together, Gavin would learn the same discovery she had. "What?"

"Don't look so outraged, I was just joking. I didn't have enough bugs, unfortunately."

"You sound really disappointed," Lilah remarked, "like that sort of stuff do you? Get your ya-yas from it?"

"I'll take that comment as part of your jealousy that you didn't come up with this."

"Surveillance?" Lilah scoffed. "Its hardly rocket science. Suppose they find out about it? What are you gonna do then?"

"They haven't yet," Gavin pointed out.

As if Lilah had tempted fate, it was at that moment that the monitors cut out.


"Urrgh!" The slayer shivered as they assembled in the lobby after cutting the surveillance. "I'm so glad nothing was in our bedroom."

"I know the feeling," Angel agreed.

"The question is; how much did they learn?" Fred asked.

"Well, they probably know I'm human now," Angel answered, "so I guess that loses whatever advantage we had from that. Who do you think set it up? Lilah?"

The slayer shook her head. "From what you've told me of her, and my impression of her when I put an arrow through Billy, I don't think its her style. I'd say it was Gavin Parks."

"Makes sense," Wesley agreed, nodding. "I bet he had them installed when Fred and Gunn returned here and found some guys allegedly being pest controllers."

Gunn nodded. "The guys certainly scarper'd quickly enough the minute we confronted them. At the time I figured they hadn't had time to do anything."

"Don't blame yourself," Wes remarked, "you couldn't have foreseen it. None of us could." He turned to Lorne. "Thanks."

Lorne shrugged. "Least I could do, for my sake as much as yours. Wouldn't have been able to sleep with all that humming going on."

"The stakes are evened again," Wesley decided.

"As much as they can be against an army of demon lawyers," Cordelia added.


"Welcome back. All was quiet while you gone, except the humming that is. You got to figure a guy like you, a place like this, the only truly safe....."

"Back it up," Linwood commanded.

The video tech complied.

"except the humming that is. You got to figure, a guy like you..."

"Stop it right there! Magnify one hundred times. Again."

The screen filled with an enlarged image of Lorne slipping a folded piece of paper in Angel's pocket.

"There," Linwood remarked. "That is when he gives Angel the note."

The monitor continued to play the rest of the conversation. "The only truly safe room would be the janitor's closet."

"Thanks for the tip."

"And tells him where to read it," Linwood continued. "The janitor's closet, where we don't have surveillance."

Lilah was appropriately smug. "That green houseguest could hear the hum of your transmit frequency. What are the odds?"

"All that Sturm and Drang was just a performance," Linwood concluded.

"He did a good job," Lilah remarked. "Who knew Angel had the acting chops?"

"Are you kidding?" Gavin scoffed. "It was one note. Felt forced."

"Funny. You bought it at the time."

Linwood switched the monitor off, then dismissed the video tech. "Well, this surveillance was handy, but now its a serious mistake. And someone has to take the blame."

Lilah nodded. She had just realised her advantage. "You're right, sir. Particularly when he neglects to tell you about Angel's Shanshu."

Linwood looked at her. "What?"

Lilah glanced at a shocked and for once uncertain Gavin, then launched into her own performance.

The End
To Be Continued In