Washing away the past
AUTHOR: Lady Raven
SUMMARY: After their return to Sunnydale, Buffy and Angel give each other the
comfort and absolution they need.
DISCLAIMER: Buffy and Angel belong to Joss Whedon.  This story belongs to me.  This
takes place after Buffy returns to Sunnydale, and she and the Slayerettes get Angel back.
How this happens I'm leaving to Joss, as long as it happens PRONTO!
THANKS TO: Kyra, for beta-ing this and saying 'what's wrong with the ending?'

Washing away the past

Angel screamed, but he didn't make a sound.  The nightmares were like that.  His eyes
snapped open, and he found himself lying in his bed, trembling from what he had just

He didn't know which of the nightmares were worse.  The ones of his time in Hell, or of
the memories before he and Acathla had been sent there.  Of the time his soul had been
lost.  This one had switched between the two, until he didn't know whether he was
sleeping in a nightmare, or waking and insane.  Covered in blood sweat, Angel headed
for the shower, to try and wash it all away.

Buffy walked quietly into Angel's apartment.  She heard the shower running, and sat
down to wait for him.  Taking off her boots, she tucked her legs beneath her on the couch
and closed her eyes, emptying her mind and enjoying the peace of thinking of absolutely
nothing.  Having nothing to worry about, nothing to fear-at least for now.

Angel had come back from Hell a week ago, but she hadn't seen him since he'd staggered
out of the library, unable to face her or any of the Slayerettes.  She would have tried to
stop him, but the energy to open and then close the portal to Hell had come from her.
Once she'd seen that Angel was back in the world, she'd passed out.

So Buffy was bearding the lion in his den-so to speak.  It was early afternoon, so Angel
couldn't run away from her, and she wasn't leaving-not until things were settled between
them.  Not until she knew that he forgave her, and he knew that she still loved him.

Buffy opened her eyes, and realized that the shower was still running.  She checked her
watch, and frowned.  Angel had been in there for at least fifteen minutes already, and he
hardly ever took longer than ten.

Buffy stood and moved to the bathroom, silently opening the door.  Angel was scrubbing
himself ferociously, almost drawing blood.  As Buffy watched, he dropped the soap and
leaned against the wall with his back to her, sobbing helplessly.  Buffy felt her heart twist
as she saw the man she still loved in so much pain-as much as she had been in the past
six months.

Buffy unbuckled her watch and put it on the bathroom sink, then unzipped her dress and
laid it next to her watch, followed by her headband.  She opened the shower door and
stepped in, moving carefully over to where Angel slumped against the far wall.  She
could feel the water soaking her underwear, plastering it against her skin, but she didn't
even notice it because her attention was all on Angel.  He was so lost in his misery he
didn't even hear her, didn't even sense her until she laid her palms on his sides.

Buffy felt him jump and quickly said, "Shush, it's me."

His voice was nearly drowned out by his weeping and the sound of the running water as
he said "Buffy, what are you doing here?"

"I thought we needed to talk.  How often do you do this?"

"Pretty often." Angel replied, his voice hoarse with crying.


"I keep trying to wash everything away.  I keep thinking that if I can get myself clean
enough, you won't look at me like I'm about to hurt you.  That Giles will look at me
without seeing Jenny's murderer.  That Willow won't be afraid to come near me any

Buffy bit her lip, almost crying herself in sympathy.  "It won't be like that forever, Angel,
or even for a really long time.  Do you think I would be here if I were scared of you?  Do
you think that I would be standing like this with you if I didn't trust you?"

Angel gingerly reached back to catch her hands, and pull her arms around his body from
behind.  When she didn't pull away, he confessed  "I keep trying to wash myself clean.
To wash away...I don't know.  The memories, the pain, the evil.  The demon.  But I can't
scrub the demon away, because I can't scrub inside my skin." Angel told her, his sobs
starting to fade.

Buffy gently made him turn around, and held his head in her hands as she made him look
at her.  She blinked away the water dripping into her eyes and told him "The demon is
not you, Angel.  You may share its memories, but it isn't you."

Angel lifted his trembling hands and tenderly ran his hands through her hair so it was
slicked away from her face.  He asked her "Do you really believe that?"

Buffy's gaze was uncompromising as she told him "I know it.  And trying to scrub all
your skin off isn't going to help, either."

"It's just that I feel like it's all my fault-"

"You think you're the only one that feels guilty?" Buffy asked him as she wiped her eyes,
not sure if it was water or tears.  "You think that I don't feel guilty, too?  I sent you to
Hell, Angel, and I broke your curse.  The demon never would have been unleashed if I
hadn't forced you to make love to me-"

"Don't even think that!" Angel told her, gentle and fierce at the same time.  "Don't ever
think that you forced me to do anything.  I dreamed of making love to you for months
before that night-hell, I've wanted you since before we had our first real date."

"Really?" Buffy asked.  She wanted to believe him, but Angelus' comments the night
after the curse had hurt her badly, deepening her own insecurities and inhibitions.

Angel realized that he couldn't convince her with words, and gave way to the need that
had been building deep inside him since he'd felt her skin against his.  "Believe this" he
whispered as he bent his head to kiss her.  Buffy melted against him and Angel gently
nibbled and teased her lips open, trying to convey to her that he wouldn't do anything that
she didn't want him to.

When Buffy parted her lips, Angel waited until her tongue flickered out to touch his,
before he slid his tongue into her mouth. Buffy responded fervently to Angel's kiss and
wrapped her arms around his neck, feeling her heartbeat speed up as desire started to
pulse in her veins.  Angel slid his arms around her and pressed her close against him, so
she couldn't miss his body's response to her.  Buffy gasped when she felt Angel's cock
crawl up against her stomach, as his erection grew and hardened.

Angel whispered "Believe this" as he slid his hands down her back, grasped her hips and
pulled her hard against him, letting her feel the unmistakable proof of his desire.  Buffy
kissed him hungrily, as if she would devour him from the mouth downwards, and Angel
unsnapped her bra, slipping the straps off her shoulders until the only thing that kept it
from sliding to the shower floor was the pressure of their bodies.  Buffy moaned her
disappointment when Angel drew away from her, her body mourning the loss of his no
matter for how short a time.

She felt Angel pull her soaked bra away from her body, then looked down at him as he
tossed it into the corner and knelt in front of her. Buffy could feel the warm water
running down her body, the rivulets feeling like gentle fingers against her skin, as Angel
leaned forward and kissed the tip of one breast, then the other.  Buffy tangled her fingers
in his hair and moaned with delight as he first licked, then sucked on each of her nipples.

Angel could hear Buffy's blood pounding in her veins and it increased his own arousal,
thinking about the elixir that ran just under her smooth creamy skin-more potent than any
liquor, more delicious than any confection-that would soon flow into him.  Angel reined
in his lust with iron control and buried his face in her hard abdomen, feeling the muscles
flex under her skin.

When he was sure that he could keep from shoving Buffy against the shower wall and
taking her right then, Angel kissed Buffy's stomach, licking her belly button and making
her laugh.  Raising his head, Angel looked into Buffy's face, her body bending enough to
protect his face from the full force of the water as she placed her hands on his shoulders.
His eyes held hers as he ever so slowly peeled off her underpants, the material soaked
from her arousal as well as from the shower.

Buffy shivered as the fabric slid over her skin, leaving her completely open to Angel's
gaze.  Then she shivered again with pleasure as she kicked the bundle of cloth away and
saw the appreciation in his eyes, mingled with love and need, barely believing that she
had caused this reaction in him.  The strength of her own desire gave her the nerve to
slide forward and lift one foot, using the instep to gently rub against his balls.

Angel's fingers dug into her flanks as his eyes turned gold in reaction and his growl
echoed in the tiled bathroom.  Buffy smiled, giddy with a sense of her own power over
Angel and he smiled in return, his irises returning fully to brown.  His smile turned
almost savage in anticipation as his left arm slid around her hips and his right hand slid
between her legs.

"What are you doing?" Buffy gasped.

"Three guesses and the first two don't count" Angel chuckled as he bent his head over the
dark curls and kissed her.  Buffy shuddered all over, and Angel used his fingers to part
her so that his tongue could easily reach the nub beneath.

When he ran his tongue over her, Buffy gasped and put her hands on his shoulders to
steady herself.  Angel used his left arm to hold her steady as he took the nub between his
teeth and very gently sucked.  Buffy made a noise that was a mixture of a moan and a
shriek, her body shaking as he licked her again and again.

Angel reveled in Buffy's response, knowing that the pleasure he was giving her was also
sweeping away any inhibitions, and any doubts she had about her ability to arouse him-at
least temporarily.  If they came back later, he'd be happy to prove her abilities to her

Buffy was already starting to vibrate, and Angel knew it wouldn't take much more to
push her over the edge.  Unable to deny his own need any longer, he lifted his head and
gently pulled Buffy down next to him, until they were both on their knees on the shower
floor, facing each other as the warm water beat down on them.

He gripped her hips and lifted her, his vampiric strength making it easy.  Buffy
understood what he wanted her to do, and wrapped her legs around his waist as he guided
her onto his erection.  They both moaned with pleasure, and stayed motionless for a few
moments, savoring the feeling of being complete at last.  Buffy cradled Angel's face in
her hands, twining her tongue with his as Angel grasped her hips, letting him move her
up and down until she caught the rhythm and they moved together, becoming one in

Buffy felt the pleasure sweep over her in one more mind shattering burst, and she threw
her head back out of the path of the water and screamed as she came.  Panting, she
brought Angel's mouth to her throat, knowing he needed her blood to reach his own
climax.  But Angel just kissed her throat and gently lifted her off his erection, as her legs
slid limply from around his waist, and she slumped on the floor.

Angel slid his arms around his love and cradled her against him.  As incredible as she had
felt when he was inside her, it wasn't enough for him to feel her internal muscles
convulse around him.  It wasn't enough to wash away the memories.  For each memory of
pain, he would give her pleasure to equal it, until the good memories once more
overwhelmed the bad.  He couldn't help thinking that he and Buffy just might have the
time of their lives-if they didn't kill each other first.

Still trembling from the aftershocks of her orgasm, Buffy rested her head on Angel's
shoulder as he reached up and turned off the shower.  Needing to touch him, to feel his
skin, she slid her hand over his taut stomach, realizing as she did so that he was still iron
hard.  "Angel, why didn't you-"

"Sssh" Angel murmured, kissing her deeply.  Saying nothing, he lifted her in his arms.
Buffy opened the shower door and closed it behind them as Angel carried her out of the
bathroom to the bed.  "I want you wet inside and out" he told her, his voice hoarse.  "I
want to feel your body tremble when I touch you."  He laid her down, stretched out on
top of her and slowly, lingeringly, licked her throat along the carotid artery.  "And taste

Buffy felt the same way as when she'd been the victim of a witch's bloodstone vengeance
spell.  Too yielding for shock, too limp for control, as Angel ran his hands and mouth
over her skin she bucked and reached for him, but he slipped away, his hands urgent and
his mouth too fast for her to keep up as he slid down her body.  She climaxed suddenly,
viciously, and didn't hear herself scream.

When his need to be inside Buffy grew unbearable, Angel parted her legs, slid his hands
under her knees and pulled until she locked her legs around his waist and her arms
fastened around his neck.  When she clung to him tightly, even as her body shuddered, he
filled her in a single deep thrust.

Buffy's flesh was wet with sweat now, as well as from the shower, and Angel drove both
their bodies ruthlessly.  He bent his head to place his mouth over her heart, felt the
thundering beat of it beneath her damp flesh.  When she came again, clamping around
him like steel encased in velvet, he held himself back.

Desire built anew as he pushed himself deeper inside her.  Angel stroked his hands over
her body as he kept thrusting with a slow, steady pace.  His control vibrated like a thin,
taut wire that frayed as he watched Buffy writhe in passion.  When he saw her open her
eyes, the glazed, heavy look in them-even as they watched him in return-made him

"Look at me, Buffy" Angel growled as he braced himself over her.  When her eyes locked
on his, he told her "I'm yours only."  He lowered his head to her throat, and murmured in
her ear "I'm yours always."

When he felt Buffy's blood flow into his mouth, he could taste that she believed him, and
that the knowledge made her heart sing.

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