Bliss Took Hold 34
by Danielle


Riley stared at the dark-haired vampire, as though trying to decide if this was what Angel would have wanted.


//Yes! It’s what I want!//


It was the only way that Angel could see of getting out of this. He knew what was doing this and why, but somewhere between his brain and his body, the message got scrambled. The overpowering grief and sorrow muffled the words and he couldn’t seem to get out of his own mind.


Buffy sat across from them, looking serious and worried. Riley had just spelled out to her what would have to be done. She paused to put a hand over Riley’s.


“Will it really bring him back, though? What if Xander’s wrong? What if he’s just a little less crazy than Angel is?”


“We’re going to have to trust him. He seems to be the only one who knows anything right now.”


Riley’s voice was tired. Angel wished he could reach out to him, but aside from not being in control of his body, he was also chained to a chair.


“I-I know we never talked about this--I mean, not in words anyway...” Buffy began, her voice wavering but still striving for light, “but I know you love him.”


Their eyes met and Riley leaned forward. “I do, Buffy, and I never meant for it to--”


“…Like I love him.” She tried to cover the fear with that little half smile Angel loved so much. It was settled and after a moment, Riley rose to gather supplies.




“Xander!” Willow’s voice floated from upstairs and the dark-haired human was up in seconds. He gripped the banister on the way up but accidentally cracked it as he stumbled up the steps. //Don’t know my own strength!// he thought.


This was a rare moment of clarity for him.  Since waking that first morning after the fight with the Ghorlocks, he had been drowning in his own emotions, a sea of melancholy and rage. 


The mortal’s body screamed for Spike, but he couldn’t go near the vampire, so he tore through the house like a madman. It didn’t help that his senses were going berserk. A few minutes ago, he could track a fly around the house just by listening.


Now, his hearing was back to normal, but colors and textures were bouncing all over the place as though they were alive. Light hurt his eyes even more, but in a while, his sight would change back.


Tara stopped him from fully entering the room. Her face was drawn from using powerful magicks for too long, and Xander was grateful for all the witches had done. She instructed, “Spike woke up—but something’s wrong with the chip. Go ahead and move him downstairs while Willow and I finish here... Xander, s-something’s wrong with his eyes...”


Xander’s heart sank and his hands started to shake.


“Don’t lose it now, he needs you...I’ll go close the drapes in the living room.” She put on her version of Willow’s resolve face and continued, “We’ll find a way to fix him, I promise.”


Behind her, Willow was chanting something over a book and watching the pages flip wildly. This was a new method she’d found to search texts, but because it nearly drained her, she only did it when the situation was dire.


It was comforting to be able to hold the vampire, and by the time he positioned Spike on the couch, Xander was feeling clingy.  He lay behind the sleeping form on the sofa, sharing his warmth and holding on to the blonde for dear life. For the first time in days, the mortal finally slept soundly.








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