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Dreams and Desotos by bloodshedbaby
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I based Angel's primitiveness on how he was when he came back in season 3. He didn't hurt Buffy, which really was at odds with the whole demon/soul thing.
This is unbeta'd right now (kat don't kill me!) and for Rae.
It's now beta'd with much thanks to Spikeskat! *hugs kat*

"You pound me into the ground every night... and I thank you for it?" Buffy asked derisively from the doorway, arms crossed as she waited for them both to notice her presence.

Chapter 17

Eyes wide with surprise, Spike's head jerked around at the sound of her voice, grimacing when the movement was accompanied with the pain of his skin tearing beneath Angel's fangs.

Buffy's eyebrow arched expectantly, and it was only the amused smile playing around her mouth that clued Spike in that she didn't begrudge him the crude words he'd used to get Angel enraged enough to attack.

"Yeah, you so wish," Buffy snickered, rolling her eyes at the lingering look of panic on Spike's face before he'd realized she wasn't damage-bound. He was so whipped, it was kind of cute, she thought fondly.

Spike read the expression on her face and opened his mouth to refute his whipped status when his attention was drawn back to the matter at hand - or rather, the vampire holding him down.

The sound of Buffy's voice had finally penetrated the rage-filled focus of what was currently functioning as Angel's brain, and with an anguished cry, the vampire in question tore his teeth from Spike's neck and frantically searched the room until his amber eyes fell on the girl whose virtue he now seemed determined to protect rather than destroy.

Time seemed to stand still as the thing that used to be her boyfriend devoured her with a yearning, savage look. Buffy searched the emaciated face with the overly-pronounced, ridged forehead for any hint of lucidity, watching as his body practically restored itself right before her eyes - thanks to the blood he had been duped into taking.

With a hard shove, Spike pushed Angel off of him and jumped to his feet; brushing off his leather duster in an unsuccessful effort to remove the filth that was sure to be ground in. "Disgusting," he muttered heatedly, swiping at one arm. He turned to glower at the vampire responsible when he caught sight of the guilt that burned in his transfixed stare. "Guess that answers the soul-having question," Spike remarked unnecessarily.

At the sound of Spike's voice, Angel growled a low warning and made a clumsy attempt to get to his feet. He made it no farther than his knees before the iron manacles around his wrists halted his progress. They watched warily as Angel's shoulders slumped dejectedly, the restrained limbs now hanging limply at his sides as he continued to regard Buffy with an almost disturbing reverence.

Spike and Buffy exchanged a brief look, wondering how this was going to play out. From across the room, it took her a moment to notice the rivulets of blood sliding down from the gaping holes that Angel had left in her husband's neck. But once she did, her entire focus shifted, immediately becoming one of concern.

"You're bleeding," she announced with a frown. Buffy stepped inside the doorway, intent on inspecting the damage up close.

Her concern toward Spike's well-being proved to be the catalyst that served to give Angel back his clarity.

Snarling fiercely, Angel moved with speed that neither thought possible, lurching against the chains that held him until they snapped, a loud clank echoing loudly throughout the room as they fell uselessly to the floor. Freed from his restraints, Angel lunged to intercept Buffy, determined to put himself between the slayer that he had wronged and the vampire who had used and abused her.

"No," he snarled, the word foreign and harsh from vocal cords that were rusty with disuse.

Buffy's forward motion ground to an immediate halt, and she looked over Angel's shoulder with a questioning look on her face. Spike merely shrugged, alerting her that it was going to be up to her. His part was done.

She rolled her eyes which prompted another growl from Angel. "It's ok, Angel," she attempted to explain, seeing the slight tinge of awareness return to his ridged features as her blood continued to heal his body.

But Angel ignored her attempts at placating him, shaking his head violently. "No," he repeated, his voice sounding stronger and more sure, his posture straightening as the primitive edge that had been dominating his brain began fading away. Buffy didn't know why "primitive" Angel was protective of her when "soulless" Angel had just wanted her dead, and realized she didn't particularly care.

Because right now, he was just in her way.

"Angel, Spike was just messing with you. He didn't mean what he said," Buffy tried to clarify, taking a careful step forward. "He didn't break me."

Spike snorted at that and Buffy pinned a determined look on him. "So not with the helping here, Spike."

Angel watched her face with a befuddled look. When his features smoothed out, Buffy was given the reassurance that they had accomplished the task that had sent Giles in a tizzy to find her. They had gotten through to him.

"B-Buffy?" Angel managed to get out, confusion furrowing his brow as his brain struggled to catch up.

Buffy sighed. "Yeah. Look, Spike didn't mean those... things... he said to you, ok?"

Angel took his eyes off her long enough to whip around in time and see Spike holding something to the angry holes in his neck, the large amount of blood Angel had taken from him creating his own healing deficit.

Buffy's eyes followed, needing to reassure herself that Spike was ok - but they quickly grew wide with outrage. "Is that my underwear you're using?" she gasped. "It is, isn't it?"

Spike had the good sense to look chagrined. "Well, yeah. It's all I have."

"And why do you have my underwear in your pocket?" she accused without thinking, mourning the loss of the pricey pair of silk panties that had a matching bra...

Her face flooded with color at the exact moment Spike tipped his eyebrow at her in lewd reminder of just when she had last worn that particular lingerie set.

And more importantly, when it had been bitten off her body in the back office at the bowling alley.

Angel turned back to her, his face bearing an even greater mask of befuddled misery. Buffy hurried to change the subject. "Anyway, as I was saying, Spike didn't mean those things he said about me. About us."

Angel's lip curled slightly, a growl rumbling from his throat. "Can... smell you."

The bright color returned to Buffy's cheeks. "Stupid vampires and their sense of smell," she muttered, not wanting to meet his gaze. Or that of the smug vamp behind him, for that matter.

"Don't know how you can smell anything over the stench in here," Spike commented, his own lip curling distastefully, but found himself enjoying Buffy's comely blushes - and the reasons behind them.

"Spike!" Buffy admonished, her head shooting up to send another glare in his direction.

"Wot? Just saying."

Footsteps in the hall outside created the very welcomed diversion, and Buffy actually was relieved at hearing Giles hesitantly approach the opened doorway.

"We're in here," Buffy alerted the watcher unnecessarily, thankful for the interruption. She wasn't trying to avoid talking about her relationship with Spike, she just didn't want to be with the explainy when Angel hadn't quite returned from his long-term residence on the wild side.

As Giles stepped into the room, his eyes widened appreciatively when he noted Angel's upright posture and the lack of demonic attributes. He still found the vampire on the skeletal side, but there was now a considerable change in the quality of skin that was stretched tautly over what used to be an adequate frame, the color no longer the mottled shade of true death.

"Angel," he greeted in a wary voice, making it sound more like a question than a welcome.

It didn't take Giles long to realize that he had interrupted something, the barely contained fury that surrounded the restored vampire almost a living and tangible thing. He was suddenly thankful that he'd had the foresight to have Joyce wait outside.

When his greeting went unanswered, Giles turned his attention to the other vampire present in the room, starting slightly when he took in his appearance. It was evident that the feeding had taken a toll on Spike as he beheld the way blood dripped from skin that was paler than it should have been - undead status aside.

Clearing his throat uncomfortably as the seconds ticked by, Giles inquired, "So, it was... er, successful?"
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