I groan softly and slowly open my eyes a crack. I can just make out the blurry outline of the person sitting beside me on the bed. I inhale deeply, vanilla, leather and the tinge of metal and wood invade me senses, it’s her.
“Buffy?” I whisper, my voice a dry croak. “It’s you.”
I can just make out the ghost of a smile as she looks down at me. “Yeah” she answers faintly, her voice is thick with unshed tears.
Concerned I reach up slowly and brush my thumb against her lower lip and across her cheek. “You’re bleeding,” I say, my eyes focusing on the small trickle of blood in the corner of her mouth, swallowing nervously I glance away embarrassed.
She smiles down at me. “It’s nothing,” she tells me with a dismissive wave of her hand and a shake of her head.
I frown again, something about her is not right, she hasn’t looked me in the eye once. “What’s wrong,” I ask quietly, dreading the answer that will come.
She looks down and scrunches her fist into the blankets “We found a cure.”
I blink in surprise and try to sit up. I brace my palms against the mattress and struggle to push myself up. The pain is unbearable, my whole body is aching, I’m shaking and sweating, I gasp in pain and in the end Buffy puts her arm around my shoulders and helps me up. I sit there panting for breath, Buffy wipes my hair from my forehead and I glance up at her. “What’s the cure?” I ask, my voice only a croak.
She hesitates and I feel my heart sinking. “A Slayers blood” she tells me, her voice laced with tears.
I’m stunned, my fever racked brain taking a few seconds to process this shocking news. “Faith?” I whisper, my heart aching at the thought.
She shakes her head. “I tried,” she said to me softly and I see her wipe a tear from her face. “I killed her, I stabbed her in the gut and she fell from the roof,” she sobs. I reach out and slowly run my hand down her arm.
“It’s ok.” I try to sooth her. “This is how it is meant to be…”
“What?” she snaps, looking at me with suddenly angry eyes. “No Angel, you can’t just give up like this. I’m not letting you die!”
“It’s ok Buffy,” I tell her again, “really…”
She shakes her head stubbornly, her mouth set in a determined little scowl and I watch with growing dismay as she unzips her jacket, exposing the black strappy top underneath and sweeps her hair back. “Drink,” she tells me stonily.
I stare, my shock slowly turning too horror as I realized what she was prepared to do. I shake my head, she reaches for me and grabs me around the shoulders. “Drink me!” she yells, her eyes locked with mine.
“No…” I shout, pushing myself away from her. “No…get away!” I scramble out of the bed, falling heavily to the floor. She moves towards me with a concerned look on her face but I scramble away and pushing myself painfully to my feet I run into the hall.
I stumble into the door of the atrium and lean against it for a moment. The arrow wound in my shoulder is burning with pain. I take a few stumbling steps and fall in a heap on the floor. I lay their gasping for a few minutes before Buffy calmly walks into the room and helps me to my feet, this time I don’t even try to push her away, it’s all I can do to stay on my feet. I’m so weak. “Angel… please, I can do this!” she pleads.
I shake my head and look down at her. “I can’t Buffy,” I whisper “I just can’t… please don’t make me.”
She blinks back tears. “I can’t let you die!” she yells. “Not again! I can’t loose you again Angel, I won’t!” She digs her nails into my arms so hard she draws blood; I look at her in confusion.
“Buffy…” I whisper concerned.
Suddenly her arm snaps forward and she punches me squarely in the jaw. My head whips to the side and I gasp in pain, I turn back to face her, but before I can say anything she punches me again. I stumble this time and slump against the coffee table. “Why are you doing this?” I ask as I turn to look at her.
Her fist slams into the corner of my mouth and I feel my flesh tear as the skin scrapes against my teeth. I feel my face change as the blood from my lip touches my tongue. I growl softly, and snarl as I turn to face her. She looks up at me with those large hazel eyes of her and pushes her hair behind her shoulders; tilting her head to the side she takes a step towards me. I can smell and hear the blood that flows through her veins; I grab her around the arms and jerk her towards me. I press my cold body against hers, feeling the warmth radiating from her skin, I growl softly and bend down to sniff her soft neck.
I can feel my will slipping, feel the demonic force inside me waiting to break free. I start to shake. “I can’t… Buffy… please,” I murmur against the skin of her throat. I try to move away, but she grabs my arms and holds me tighter.
“It’s ok Angel…. Just drink,” as she talks the skin across her throat brushes against my fangs. It’s too much; I growl savagely and tighten my hold around her slim frame. I hear her heartbeat speed up as she suddenly realizes that I’m no longer in control. I feel her small body shake slightly as she struggles with her instincts to run.
I don’t give her a chance my movements are so swift. The tender flesh of her neck tears easily as I sink my fangs deep into her flesh. I hear her gasp, a frightened little sound as she clings to me as I quickly gulp down her sweet life’s essence.
I can feel myself becoming more and more aroused with each swallow. Her blood is intoxicating, powerful and full of life. I press myself against her and hear her groan softly as I rub myself against her. She is starting to weaken now, her legs start to buckle and because I’m leaning heavily against her, we fall to the floor in a tangled heap.
I’m lying on top of her, my fangs buried in her neck, my body pressed close to hers when suddenly, surprisingly I feel her small hands grip my hips tightly, she groans again and lifts one of her legs to wrap around my waist.
I feel her body shudder violently and the sweet smell of her orgasm hits me a second later, I growl and grip her arms tighter. She gives a contented sigh and lets her leg fall to the floor. I can hear her heartbeat start to slow; its steady rhythm getting fainter and fainter.
The knowledge that I’m slowly, but steadily killing her finally gives me the strength and the will too push through the bloodlust and the fever. I pull my fangs from her flesh and jerk away; rolling onto my back on the floor next to her. I take deep unneeded breaths as I start to feel her blood beginning to heal me. My thoughts become clearer and the knowledge of what I have done hits me like a ton of bricks. I turn to look at her.
She is lying motionless on the cold stone floor. A sudden panic overwhelms me and I lunge towards her. “Buffy,” I yell seizing her shoulders and shaking her. I press my fingers to the side of her neck, searching for a pulse. I silence my impulsive breath and close my eyes in concentration. A small flicker under my fingers, the barest of movement feels like a prayer. I scoop her up into my arms, cradling her head against my shoulder I race out the door.
She has just saved my life, now it is my turn to save hers.