She never dreamt.
The hunger was so, so very strong.
It consumed her.
Wanted nothing else but to give into the demon's base desire for survival.
She was never going to complain about cramps again, but then unless she figured out what was going on she wouldn’t have to worry about them ever again given her current state.
"No," she said, balling her hands into fists.
She wasn't paying attention to how tight she balled her fists and hissed at the feel of her now longer, pointier nails piercing the palms of her hands.
"Good way to distract yourself," she murmured, trying to get her wits about her.
Where was she?
When was she?
She'd risen. She looked at the hole in the ground that had until a few moments ago been her grave.
She sniffled, which caused her to smell … everything.
And that brought the hunger in full force.
Because everything included blood.
While there were no people nearby there were other things and she could smell them.
Rats. She could feel them scurrying around underground nearby.
And that was creepy!
There was something bigger nearby. A dog? A cat? She couldn't tell.
She fled the area quickly not wanting to find out if it was Fido or Morris.
She went to the only place – the only person – she knew could help her right now. Giles' books wouldn't cut it. Willow's computer skills couldn't come up with a cure or an answer. Besides, she was afraid if she got close to anyone she'd give in to the hunger that was beyond overpowering.
The demon wanted his reward. He wanted freedom to roam in her body and be in control.
Buffy wasn't going to give it to him.
She pounded on his door, not knowing if he was even home. If he wasn't home she wasn't sure what she'd do. Where she'd go. She'd managed to remain in control to this point, but she could feel her control giving way.
She wanted it so badly. She licked her lips, pricking her tongue on a fang that had come out to play at the thought of food.
She wrapped her arms around him, pressing against him. She took in his scent, relieved that he smelled the same. That she still wanted him. Loved him. She was afraid that wouldn't be the case.
"Oh God, Angel, help me."
"What's wrong?" he asked. His hands went to her hips, intent on removing her from being so close to him she had no doubt. She wasn't going to go away so easily tonight.
She sniffed, pressing her cheek against the front of his shirt. It was open so she got lots of bare Angel chest instead of shirt.
"Just help," she whispered.
"Buffy, is someone hurt? Giles?"
"Giles is fine," she said, realizing that wasn't completely answering his question. Of course, she wasn't hurt. She'd died, so she was beyond being hurt. Sadly, she couldn't even remember fully what happened. She remembered seeing the cemetery all dark and spooky during the daytime and going to explore.
She probably shouldn't have done that on her own without at least telling anyone where she was going. It'd never really been a problem before. Of course, whatever was going on in Sunnydale of late went beyond normal even for this town.
She kissed his chest and he took an unnecessary breath in response.
"Buffy," he whispered, tugging on her hips again.
She licked his nipple, rubbing her cheek against it and knew somehow she'd get some sustenance from him if she just.
Fangs dropped into place and she turned so her mouth was flush against his skin there. So close. All she'd have to do is pierce his skin and this craving and the pain that went with putting it off would subside.
He made her decision for her, distracting her even if he didn't know what he was doing by drawing her to him instead of pulling her away. Hands still at her hips, he cradled her to him. It grounded her somehow, allowed her to nuzzle against him without giving into the compulsion.
And that was what it was. She wasn't sure how she knew or why she was able to get this far without giving into it.
She reached up then, cradling his face with her hands and brought his mouth to her for a deep kiss. She'd never kissed him before like this, all in. Tongue and teeth.
She knew immediately when he sensed, felt, what was different about her.
"Buffy?" he murmured, trying to pull away.
"Don't," she said, knowing if he said anything, anything at all about it, she'd burst into tears. Why she hadn't before now she didn't understand.
She kissed him again, hungrily, and he knew that's what she was doing. That somehow by kissing him, she was putting off the inevitable. Or giving into it.
She broke the kiss instinctively, thinking she needed to breathe even though she didn't really need to anymore.
He didn't let her pull away, though, hands sliding from her hips to her ass. He cupped her there until she realized he was drawing her off of her feet.
Her legs went around him without thought, head falling back as he kissed her throat. She gave a soft growl when he nipped her skin there.
Hands made riddance of his shirt. Somehow he got rid of the barrier between them that was her jeans and panties.
Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she should put a stop to this. Until today he'd been aloof, avoiding her at all costs. Now he was in her pants. Well, technically she wasn't wearing them anymore, but still.
He set her on the bed. His bed. A bed she'd wondered about before now more times than she was willing to admit.
She never pictured him going down on her so thoroughly if she'd needed to breathe she'd be dead from being unable to. He was relentless, tongue and teeth, even a fang a couple of times, bringing her off over and over again. Hands at her breasts kept stroking her nipples so everywhere on her was at a constant frenzy for more of his ministrations.
She cried out, hands going to his head so he wouldn't pull away when she felt him impale her inner thigh with his fangs. A finger inside of her at the same time sent her over the edge again.
He didn't feed, or at least if he did not for very long. He drew away, face and hands, resting hands that a moment ago were doing unbelievable things to her against her knees.
She reached for him, the front of his pants, but he stopped her. She gave a soft growl of frustration, surprised that the sound had come from her.
"You haven't fed yet."
"No," she whispered. Though he hadn't really asked it as a question more making an observation.
"I didn't think so. Good," he murmured in return.
"Because we can still find Giles and get answers to this."
"I'm not sure what answers we need. I got bit. I died. I rose. Buffy's the undead now."
"No, Buffy," he said. "Giles would have told me if you'd died."
"Probably not. He may not even be here anymore. I died, he probably got shipped off to wherever the new Slayer is. Unless she gets a different watcher."
"He still would have told me, Buffy. Something's going on."
"Then what was this," she said, running her finger along the bite mark on her thigh.
"It was giving the demon some satisfaction. It wants blood, and I could have given you some of mine, but lust, sex. Well, that should stave it off until we get answers. I knew when we fix this you'd hate having taken in any blood, even from me."
"So you just decided to."
"Yeah, I did. It was the only thing I could think of to placate it without giving into the bloodlust. I didn't think you'd appreciate my feeding you when we find the answer."
"When," he whispered, hands gripping her calves so tight if she was still alive and human he'd probably cut off circulation there.
"I wanted to."
"I know," he whispered, seeing her eye his chest no doubt and putting two and two together with the need she'd had earlier to bite him. "But you didn't. You stopped yourself. You're strong. You'll get through this."
"How do you get through it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Come on, Angel, I'm not off the charts smart or anything, but I know the blood you drink can't be fulfilling."
"It keeps it at bay."
"Yes," he admitted, and she knew that was a big admission from him.
"So what I've been feeling."
"I feel it every day, but it's not as strong. I've had one hundred years to adjust, to push the demon and his demands down, to get used to drinking whatever I could get my hands on. At least the stuff I drink today comes in bags."
She tried to be grossed out at the image of him feeding off rats.
"Puppies," she whispered.
"What?" he asked, head cocked as he stroked a finger along her calf.
"Nothing," she said, shaking her head to clear her mind of the thoughts. He had to survive. She knew firsthand how strong the demon was. The demon wanted to survive at all costs.
"Why didn't you?"
"What?" he asked.
"Why did you use your mouth?"
"I wasn't going to let your first time be this way, Buffy."
"How do you know it'd?"
He set a hand over her mouth to stop her from saying the rest.
"Don't okay. I know people your age hate admitting stuff like that, but there's nothing wrong with it. I certainly don't mind."
"As if you care."
"You don't think I do?"
"You stay away."
"Because I want. Oh God, Buffy, I just can't be around you. It's too much."
"Too much what?"
"Everything," he said, grazing a hand along her calf again. "Let's get you to Giles before it's too late."
"If it's not already."
"It's not," he said, whether he was really that confident or faking it she couldn't tell. "We'll figure it out."
"And then you're going to go back to avoiding me."
"It's for the best, Buffy, and after tonight. What I just did, you may not want me around anyway. I took advantage."
"You did not! You said you were trying to help me."
He ducked his head a little and she realized then there were probably less full-on ways he could have given the demon something than what he'd actually done.
"It's okay, Angel, I'm not going to act all weird. I know why you did it. It felt good and everything, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going to come knocking on your door expecting it every night or a ring or anything because of it."
He shook his head with a soft laugh. Soft enough she imagined he forgot she could hear it.
"What?" she asked.
"Nothing. Let's get you through this and then we'll figure out the next part."
"Yes," he said, but his voice sounded … funny. Was he lying? Or mad at himself for agreeing to the fact there might be a next part.
"If there's nothing Giles can do."
"No, listen to me, if there's nothing Giles can do, you have to help me, Angel."
"I can't kill people, Angel. I can't feed off of them. You've survived one hundred years."
"I'm no saint, Buffy, even with the soul."
"I know that. You don't think I know that? I feel it. The hunger. The demon wanting. God, I know and I'm not judging you. I've never judged you."
"You don't know anything about me. You've been a vampire for a couple of hours. You think you understand."
"Superior much? I know enough. I feel enough to know you could help me get through this without killing anyone. I mean, if I'm a vamp there's nothing stopping us from being together is there."
"All right," he agreed and she knew he didn't like doing it. She sensed, too, that it wasn't the idea of them being together that he was bothered by. He liked her, she knew he did. No one could fake a kiss like the one in the other room. Well, she supposed someone with as much as experience as he probably had could, but she doubted he was for some reason.
"Don't thank me, Buffy. I failed you. I should've been there. You shouldn't be in this position to begin with."
"It's not your fault. How could you have known?"
"I should have. I don't get it. That's the problem. This came out of nowhere."
"Tell me about it."
"Yeah, I suppose it's pretty shocking."
She laughed then. The first time since she'd crawled out of her grave. "To say the least."
He went to the bathroom while she finished getting dressed. She hoped it wasn't going to be weirder between them now. She wasn't sure how she was supposed to forget the things he made her feel.
"Ready?" he asked, looking very much as though he'd just ducked his head under water. Maybe he wasn't as unaffected by this as he let on. Was he upset? Turned on? Both? More? She wished she could ask, but knew it was best if she didn't.
"Yeah," she said, taking his offered hand. "Hand holding?"
"I want to, okay. And, all right, you can't run off on me and prey on someone without my knowing this way."
She smiled a little at that. "Good point."
"It's going to be bad, Buffy. You're going to be passing a lot of food sources. You won't see them all, but you'll sense them. The demon's going to try to gain control full force."
"I know. I'm ready."
"Okay. I'd tell you to let me know if you need me to stop, but that's the last thing we'll want to do. So, just keep going. Grab on tight if you have to."
He was right. It was the hardest few minutes of her life. Everywhere they walked she sensed it. Blood. Heard the heartbeats of people who passed by them in cars. More than once she was jerked back to her place at his side by his strong grip. She wasn't even aware she was doing it, pulling away from him toward the food sources she sensed.
"You ready?" he asked when they were finally outside the library.
"Not really," she said. "Xander's going to."
"Yeah, I thought of that. They'll probably blame me, but I can't leave you alone in there with three living, breathing people."
"I know," she whispered.
She glanced at their hands, knowing if Giles had an answer it would probably be the last time she'd be this close to him. Something told her no matter his promise he'd pull even further away from her after tonight. He'd helped her, though, and promised to help her through this if there was no solution. She believed he would, but they were both banking on the fact there was something going on and she'd no longer be fangy Buffy whenever it was resolved.
"I'll always remember this, Angel," she whispered.
He nodded, seeming to understand she wasn't looking for an answer from him but that he understood what she was talking about.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com