**Part Eight**

Halloween, 1997


"Yes, Buffy."

"You won't believe what Principal Snyder just did."

"Mm, assigned you a group of young trick-or-treaters?"


"And you have a problem with this?"

"Well, no, wait, yes! It's the one night you said things are quiet. It's Friday night. Lindsey is coming down."

She didn't add that her mom was out of town for the night, up in LA actually. And she had really been looking forward to some alone time with Lindsey. She hadn't seen him since Labor Day weekend.

"So, take him with you. It will give you a chance to bond."

"We don't need to bond, Giles. Certainly not with a bunch of kids watching anyway."

"Well, it's been a few weeks since you've seen him last perhaps children along is best."

"Which is why I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of ghouls and goblins when I see him."

"Yes, I see. Well, there is a curfew, so you won't be stuck taking them around all night. He might admire your willingness to take the children around."

"Just the type of impression I want to give him. He's going to think I want to stay home and bake cookies while he's at work and the kids are at school. Giles, I don't want to scare him off!"

Giles removed his glasses and regarded her. She wondered sometimes what he saw when he looked at her that way.

"You're serious about him."

"Well, duh."

"Pardon me, Buffy, I just assumed as time passed and you no longer saw him regularly your feelings would fade."

"Mm, not so much."

"Well, there's nothing you can do about it now. I'd suggest getting a costume of some sort and just doing it."

"You can't do anything to get me out of it?"

"Absolutely not, Buffy. I can't interfere with your schoolwork."

"Okay. I'll go find Willow and Xander, maybe they'll go costume hunting with me. I can't believe you knew about this and didn't do something!"

"And just what was I supposed to do?"

"I don't know. Use your powers of persuasion to get me out of it!"

"I can hardly get you to focus on your tasks let alone influence the principal."

"There you are."

Buffy barely paid the library doors opening any attention until she heard Lindsey's voice. She spun around, wondering just how much of the conversation he'd heard. Not that they'd said anything newsworthy. Was he a sight for sore eyes, even still dressed in his work suit.

"Hi. You're early." She glanced at the clock behind him. No, she hadn't lost track of time. "Way early."

"Surprise. I saw Willow in the hall, she said I could probably find you here."

"Here I am."

She went to him then and gave him a brief kiss. She felt somewhat weird kissing him in front of Giles.

"Well, you could help me then I guess."

"Help you with what?"

"Well, I've been assigned a group of kids to bring around trick-or-treating."


"We need costumes. So, we need to go get one. You could take us."


"Me, Xander, Willow, you, though I suppose you don't need a costume. You can just be a lawyer."

Giles cleared his throat and Buffy turned to look at him.


He just looked at her thoughtfully and then glanced at the floor with a nod of his head in Lindsey's direction. It dawned on her. He hadn't met Lindsey before. He'd heard about him and everything.

"Sorry. Lindsey, this is Mr. Giles. Giles, Lindsey."

"I was beginning to think you'd forgotten your manners entirely, Buffy."

"Nope. Just surprised and thrown off guard."

"It's nice to meet you, Lindsey, Buffy's told me a lot about you."

The two men shook hands. She could tell they were sizing one another up, but they weren't being too obvious about it.

"Same to you, Mr. Giles. She's always spoken very highly of you when you've come up in conversations."

"I imagine that's not often."

"You'd be surprised. So, you need a ride, is that what you were getting at?"

"Sure, we could make with the ride instead of walking. I'm sure Willow and Xander wouldn't complain. You can help pick out my costume."


"Be careful, Buffy."

"Always, Giles, thanks. Happy Halloween."

"Same to you."

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Giles."

"You as well, Lindsey. Enjoy your weekend."


"He seems like a nice guy," Lindsey said once they were out of the library.

"He is."

"I can see why you're fond of him."

Buffy smiled slightly. She hadn't always been fond of Giles. She imagined if he had heard her talking about him last spring he would have thought Giles was a monster.

"Yeah, he's not too bad. It's nice to have someone on the faculty sort of on my side. Even if he can't get me out of this trick-or-treating gig."

"It'll be fun. We don't get too many in our neighborhood, not many of the homeowners have kids."

"I sensed that. I don't know why."

"Maybe someday that will change."


She let him take her hand as they walked to Willow's locker.

"You found her."

"I did, thanks for the directions."

"No problem."

"Lindsey's offered to drive us if we want to get costumes."

"Great. Let's find Xander and we can go. There's a new place I thought we could try. I've heard Partytown is pretty picked over already."

"I imagine the other place will be, too, Wil, it's Halloween. Really last minute."

"No, the place just opened. I saw a flyer somewhere, I can't remember where now. Anyway, let's check it out."

"Okay, I'm in."

"Me, too," Xander said from behind them. "I already have a costume, but I'm on the lookout for accessories. What's he going to go as? A lawyer?" Xander laughed.

Buffy rolled her eyes. "I already made that joke, Xander."

"When? I wasn't there, so it's not stealing."

"No, but it's already old."

"Fine. So, let's go get the costumes so we can get to the trick-or-treating goodness."

"You're entirely too into this, Xander."

"I've got a great costume, and what's more it didn't cost me much."

"I can't wait to see it."

Xander gave Lindsey's shoulder a playful punch. "So, seriously, man, what are you going as?"

"I'm not."

"You've got to dress up."

"Not this time."

"Buffy, you can't take him with you if he's not dressed as something. Think of the kids. The bad influence!"

"He can wait at my house if he wants."

"Well," Lindsey cleared his throat. "I'd rather be with you."

"Aww, that's so sweet," she said and kissed him. "I'd rather be with you, too."

"My eyes. You two. Stop with the saccharin-like stuff. Let's put the pedal to the metal."

"You know where this store is, Wil?"

"Yup. Downtown."

"Okay. Let's go."


Just like that she was back. She was Buffy not that whining, sniveling girl who was scared of her own shadow. She smiled at Spike who seemed aware that the tides had turned. It was the most bizarre thing, but she'd think on it later. Right now she had a vampire with a hard-on for killing her to take care of.

"Hi honey. I'm home," she said and attacked him. "You know what? It's good to be me."

It didn't take long for him to run away. He had been ready for an easy kill not a fight. She tried to collect her thoughts, pushing to the back of her mind how close she'd come to dying a second time. One more second and she would have been a vampire's tasty Halloween treat. The trick would have been on her since Giles said this was a non-day as far as hellmouthy stuff went.

"Buffy," she turned toward Angel's voice. He had helped. That was twice now he'd come to her rescue since she'd told him they were through as a couple. The frat house party she probably would have gotten out of on her own. Maybe. Tonight, defenseless as she was with Xander not knowing who he was, she'd needed help.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I, we should get them home."

"We'll take care of them, Buffy," Cordelia chimed in, sliding her hand into the crook of Angel's arm. Buffy arched an eyebrow at Angel who merely shrugged with a grimace. "You look like you could use a few minutes."

"I need to get home, Lindsey's waiting for me."

She took in the chaos and destruction around her, reality settling in as each minute passed.

"Oh, God, he was at the house when all of that happened. Where did he go?"

"I told him to stay put."

"You did?"

"Yeah, I figured it'd be my head if something happened to him or he discovered your secret."


"You're welcome. I think he knows something, though, Buffy. He saw too much."

"How much?"

"He saw me stake the one in the kitchen after you ran out."

"Oh," Buffy said, nibbling on her lower lip. "Maybe he won't remember?"

"You can try that. Otherwise, you may want to try the truth."

"Yeah, sure fire way to kill a relationship."

"Don't be so sure. He likes you."

"How can you tell?"

"Because I know the feeling well and I recognize it in him."

"Oh," she said. She walked right into that one. Cordelia seemed oblivious to what they were talking about. Not unusual for her.

"All right, everyone has their kids to take home?"

Once that was settled and she saw that they were filing out, all children accounted for she headed for Revello Drive. Her mind was a whirl of thoughts as she made her way. How had Angel convinced Lindsey to stay at the house? Just how much had Lindsey seen? She'd find out soon enough.

"Hi honey. I'm home." That was the second time she'd said that tonight. This time had a better ring to it. Certainly a better feel to it then saying it to Spike as he was about to sink his fangs in her.


"Yeah, I'm here. Are you all right?" She glanced to the top of the stairs. He'd changed out of his suit. He looked a little confused, but otherwise not bad. Unhurt anyway, that was the important thing.

"I'm all right. Are you? You left here. You really didn't remember who you were, did you?"

"No. I did, I mean, I was in there. I just couldn't be Buffy. It was the strangest, most frightening thing."

They met halfway on the stairs. He took her into his arms, she went willingly. He smoothed down her hair, kissing the top of her head.

"I'm so glad you're okay. And your friends? Xander and Willow? There was another one, too. Not your ex, the girl we saw at the mall."


"That's right. They're all okay?"

"Yup. All okay. They're taking their kids home as we speak."




"You're probably wondering about some of the things you saw tonight. Let me change real quick and then we can talk."

"All right."

She returned a few minutes later to find him sitting on the same stair she'd left him on to go change.

"Would you rather ask questions or hear the story?"

They started down the stairs together, arms around one another's waist. She led him to the living room. He must have cleaned up some, because it didn't look that bad in here. She remembered it looking more chaotic. Maybe that had been part of the costume's persona.

"Well, I'd like to hear the story, but first let me ask. Is your ex really a vampire?"

She looked at him sharply. "You? What? Huh?"

"Well, I've seen him before the last weekend I was here. He looked the same tonight as he did then. And he knew what was going on, but so did Cordelia. But she was in a costume. So, I'm just trying to figure out."

"Okay. You know about vampires?"

"Yes. Don't most people?"

"You'd be surprised." She stood from the couch and backed away from him. "Can you give me a minute? I need to make a phone call."

"Okay. I'll be right here."


She bounded up the stairs, taking them two at a time and went to her bedroom. She dialed Giles' phone number.

"Please be home," she murmured.


"Giles, it's Buffy."

"Yes, Buffy. I was about to call you, I assume you're all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine. We're all fine. I'm guessing you and Willow had something to do with that. So, thank you. Now I have a question."

"All right."

"Lindsey knows about vampires."

"He what?"

"Long story short, he saw Angel vamp out, knows it wasn't a costume."

"Oh. Oh dear. But he knows?"

"Yes, he asked me if my ex was a vampire."


"Can I tell him?"

"You know my answer to that, Buffy."

"Okay, think as Giles and not as my watcher with the Council training manual at your fingertips."

"I trust your judgment, Buffy. If you think your secret is safe with him then so be it."

"Okay. I just wanted to check."

"I appreciate that, Buffy. It means a lot to me. Good luck."

"Thanks. Good night, and I'm glad you're all right, Giles."

"Me, too. Good night, Buffy."

She hung up the phone, startled but not altogether surprised to find Lindsey standing in the doorway.

"So, did you get permission to tell me what's going on?"

"How did you?"

"Why else would you need to go make a phone call all of a sudden?"

"Oh, well, um, yes. I'll tell you, but you have to understand, this is personal, secret stuff. I don't just tell anyone. Willow and Xander are the only ones that know."

"And Mr. Giles."

"Well, but he's not a civilian."


"Not a civilian either."


"She kind of knows, but she doesn't know it all."


"So, first let me answer your question about Angel. Yes, he's a vampire. He's a vampire with a soul, though. He helps people, he does good things."

"A vampire with a soul? I've never heard of such a thing."

"Me neither, believe me. He was cursed by a band of gypsies around the turn of the century."

"And you knew he was a vampire when you dated him?"

"Yes. In fact, if you remember when I laughed the first time we kissed and I told you that the last guy I'd kissed had freaked out on me."


"It was Angel, and that's how I found out he was a vampire."

"And you don't believe me when I tell you how well you kiss."

"Well, I didn't think I was the reason he'd vamped out."

"Humble. I like that."

He sat with her on her bed. She was a little nervous having him there. She had planned to let him stay the night. She'd told him not to bother with a hotel room since her mom was out of town. Now that he was here like this, she wasn't so sure.

"Okay. So, we've got that covered."

"Yes. Angel, vampire with a soul, who fights evil."

"Right. Now onto me."

"My favorite topic." He leaned toward her and nuzzled her neck.

"Stop it, Lindsey."

"Okay, sorry. I have to tell you, though, you looked pretty sexy in that getup tonight."

"I did not."

"You did!"

"We're getting off topic here."

"Sorry. Go on, I'm listening."

She'd never told anyone the story before, not from scratch. It was somewhat strange yet it felt like a burden being lifted from her. It was do or die time, though. He'd either believe her or not. That wasn't the most important thing at stake, though. He could stay or go.

He was quiet for a while after she'd stopped, reclining on her bed. His hand never strayed from her leg, though. He ran his finger along her thigh. Occasionally, his finger would drift to her arm. He turned to look at her finally after what seemed like hours.

"You must trust me."

"I do."

"I'll try not to do anything to make you regret that."

"Are you going to tell me how you knew about vampires?"

"Some of our clients are of the non-human variety."



"And you represent them?"



"Yeah, pretty big conflict of interest, huh?"

He gathered her to him then, bringing her up against him on the bed. He nuzzled her neck from behind. His breath warm on her neck sent shivers down her spine.

"Can we not think about demons and vampires tonight? Or which side we're fighting on?"

"I suppose."

"I just want to be Lindsey and Buffy. Leave the lawyer and slayer hats at the door."

"Okay." She turned to face him, her eyes scanning his face. "I can handle that."

"Good," he said and kissed her.

She groaned into his kiss. This was different. It was as if by realizing how much she truly trusted him she had bonded them closer together somehow. There had always been emotions between them, but they'd just dialed things up a notch divulging the secrets they'd been keeping from one another.

Her hand drifted along the length of his body, over his torso, lower to his waist, cupping him through his jeans. She was tentative in her touch. She'd never gone this far with a boy before. She felt him grow harder, longer under her touch. It was his turn to groan and she basked in it, her ability to cause that reaction in him.

"Buffy," he murmured, taking her lower lip between his teeth. "God, Buffy."

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't." She started to pull her hand away, but he stopped her. His hand at her wrist, he encouraged her. "Lindsey."

"I want you to touch me, Buffy. I've wanted you to for so long."

"I know. Me, too. But."

"I know, just for a little while."


She rolled onto her back as he positioned himself on top of her. His arms went under her, his hands clutching her shoulders from behind as he positioned himself between her legs. She gasped, feeling him pressing against her even through their clothes. The pressure was immense. She wrapped her legs around his calves, arching into him.

"I trust you, Lindsey," she whispered as their lips met again.

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