A fifth vampire appeared and Buffy let out a sigh of relief that it was Angel because her stake was on the ground at her feet where it was of little use to her. "They're coming because The Master's power is growing even if he isn't above ground yet. It calls them."
"And they just come to Sunnydale without knowing why or what's calling them?"
"The strong ones can do that."
"I'm descendant from The Master's bloodline," he said simply with a slight shrug. Angel did not talk much about his post-human, pre-soul days, not since the night he had staked Darla to save Buffy's life.
"I'll take that as a yes," she said then, regarding him as she always did when they were alone together like this.
"Long night," he said, his voice rose to indicate it was a question not a statement.
"No big, just the usual, but in bigger quantities."
"I heard there was some excitement involving computers."
"And people really wonder why I stay away from them. How did you hear about it?"
"A good sized area got left without power."
"Oh," she said, not having thought of the repercussions of electrocuting Moloch. "At least they still have their bank accounts intact and the little red button wasn't pushed."
"What was it?"
"I don't know, some demon that had been trapped in some book for years and years. We were scanning texts for Giles and when that book was scanned it freed him into the computer system."
"You were hurt," he murmured as he used the back of his hand to brush her hair away from her face exposing the few marks there.
"I'll heal," she said softly. "I'm not so sure about Willow, though."
"Willow? What happened to her?"
"I'm not sure I understand."
"She thought this demon was a guy, she thought that she had a boyfriend."
"Why would she think that?"
"They talked over the computer or something I guess. Obviously, she didn't meet him until at the warehouse. I kept trying to tell her to be careful, but he had her under some kind of spell. Giles says he preyed on the impressionable."
"And Willow wants love," Angel said, again that questioning tone to his voice.
"What high school girl doesn't?"
"But I don't see you talking to guys online."
"No, me and computers don't mix. And this whole thing just proves my point."
"So why are you out here patrolling and not with your friend?"
"Well, I think she's sort of embarrassed and well, it is my job. Four in one night, Angel, they're growing in numbers."
"That's why I'm here."
"Why?" she asked confused.
"To help you."
"Really. I figured you might be able to use a hand, I didn't realize you'd have to deal with so many so early in the evening."
"That's the way it goes sometimes."
"Yeah," he said, glancing at his watch. "You done for the night then?"
"I was thinking about it," she admitted, finally retrieving her stake from the ground and pocketing it. "There's nothing like good old fashioned hand to hand combat to blow off steam."
"Electrocuting him wasn't good enough," Buffy said with a shrug. "I wanted to do more to him for hurting Willow, for invading peoples privacy, for just doing stuff."
"So, in other words, you wouldn't have needed my help anyway."
She tilted her head and looked at him, ready to say she would never need his help. She was the chosen one Angel was not. But he had helped her, even if it had been through cryptic clues. "I'm glad you came," she said finally. "It was nice to talk about it. I mean, I don't think computers are evil like Giles seems to think, but I just don't get the big. Willow really digs the computer stuff, hopefully this whole experience won't wig her out and make her not want to look up stuff anymore. Giles' books are great, but sometimes we need things that aren't in his books."
"Neither did people back when electricity was invented, some thought it was just a fad," Angel shrugged.
"Hmm," she murmured. She still had a hard time picturing him being that much older than she was. She walked in the direction of The Bronze, not wanting to talk anymore about computers or demons or anything else. Angel had to realize where she was headed and he still followed, not that Buffy minded.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com