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Website: http://www.geocities.com/dragonlover_4ever
Distribution: If you want it, you can have it. Just tell me where to find it.
Disclaimer: These are not my characters. They belong to Joss, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB & Mutant Enemy. This is purely for fun.

Author’s note 1: This was written for the B/G Angstathon.

* * * * * * * * * *
“Surprise” written by Marti Noxon, directed by Michael Lange, transcribed by AleXander Thompson
“Innocence” written and directed by Joss Whedon, transcribed by AleXander Thompson
“Passion” written by Ty King, directed by Michael E. Gershman, transcribed by AleXander Thompson
“Becoming, Part 1" and written and directed by Joss Whedon, transcribed by AleXander Thompson
* * * * * * * * * *

It all started on her seventeenth birthday. We had planned a surprise party for her, but this is Sunnydale, the Hellmouth, where nothing goes as planned.

Where did things go wrong? It must have been the dream. Buffy had a dream about Angel, that Drusilla was alive and had killed him. I should have taken it more seriously. Looking back now, I know the dream was a portent. I should have researched more. I should have known what would happen. That is my job.

I wish I could take back my words. “Dreams aren't prophecies, Buffy,” I told her and assured her that we could protect Angel.

“So much for our surprise party,” Willow said. “I bought little hats and everything. Oh, well. I guess I'll tell Cordelia.”

I surprised myself by stopping her. “No, you won't.” Willow and Xander stopped in their tracks. “We're having a party tonight.”

Xander stared at me. “Looks like Mr. Caution Man, but the sound he makes is funny.”

Willow agreed with him, and I admit that it wasn’t the best course of action. I insisted that the party proceed as planned.

“But Buffy and Angel. . .” Willow interrupted.

“May well be in danger. . . as they have been before, and, I imagine, will be again,” I told them. “One thing I've learned in my tenure here on the Hellmouth is that there is no good time to relax, and Buffy's turning seventeen just this once, and she deserves a party.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Buffy did deserve a party, and for a short time it seemed as though she might actually get it. Then she ran into trouble on the way to the Bronze. She crashed through the window, bringing a vampire with her. She quickly staked it with a drumstick she found near the stage.

Of course, Angel asked her if she was hurt. I could tell that she was unharmed and asked, “What happened?”

Buffy started to explain, “uh, there were these vamps outs. . .” She glanced at the gathered people. “W-what's going on?”

Before Angel could answer, I told her. “Oh, um... A surprise party.”

I barely heard Cordelia wish her a happy birthday as I waited for a response. She was surprised. “You guys did all this for me?” Then she turned to Angel. “That is so sweet.”

I should have known she would think it was his idea. Buffy would never suspect that I would have organized a birthday party for her. She was enjoying herself, and that’s what mattered.

The threat appeared to be over, and the party continued. Then Jenny brought a large box inside. “Hey, can somebody give me a hand here?” she asked. Angel and I took it from her and set it on the table. “Those creeps left this behind.”

“What is it?” Buffy asked.

“I have no idea,” I told her. “Can, can it be opened?”

Buffy examined the box. “Yeah. This looks like a release right here.”

I should have known the box was trouble. She never should have opened it. I shouldn’t have allowed it. Once the box was opened an armored arm reached out and grabbed Buffy by the throat. If Angel hadn’t been there to help, she might have died.

On the other hand, if it wasn’t for Angel, finding out what we had might have taken hours or days to research. He knew what was in the box.

“It-it's a legend, way before my time, of a demon brought forth to rid the Earth of the plague of humanity, separate the righteous from the wicked, and to burn the righteous down,” Angel said. “They call him the Judge.”

I couldn’t believe it. Angel believed that Spike and Drusilla were trying to reassemble the Judge. We had a piece of him and needed to keep it away from the others. Jenny insisted that Angel was the only one that can protect it, and he agreed.

It would take him months to get it far enough away. Buffy was not happy about it, but in the end she saw that it was the only way. She accompanied him to the docks where he could catch a ship. I never should have let her go with him.

* * * * * * * * * *

It was much later that I learned what had happened. Angel and Buffy were distracted and let the box be taken from them. Unfortunately, by the time were knew where to find Drusilla and Spike, the Judge had already been assembled. But that would soon be the least of our worries.

Angel lost his soul that night. One moment of happiness is all it took. I regret now asking Buffy how it had happened. I can’t imagine how much I hurt her by asking. She loved him and that love turned him back into the monster that he once was.

I left her alone while Willow, Xander and I researched the Judge. It surprised me that Xander discovered a plan that would work. Using the knowledge he had gained when he had been turned into a soldier on Halloween, he was able to obtain a rocket launcher for Buffy to use against the Judge.

We found the Judge with Spike, Drusilla, and Angelus at the Sunnydale Mall. It was an easy task for Buffy to defeat The Judge. Angelus was more difficult. She wasn’t able to kill him, but she did face him. She couldn’t have done better under the circumstances.

After I drove her home, we had a chance to talk. “ It's not over,” I told her. “I suppose you know that. He'll come after you, particularly. His profile, uh, well, he... he's likely to strike out at the things that made him the most human.”

“You must be so disappointed in me.” She was almost crying as she said it.

“No.” I waited for her to look at me. “No, no, I'm not.”

“But this is all my fault.”

I looked her in the eye and made sure I had her attention before speaking. “No. I don't believe it is. Do you want me to wag my finger at you and tell you that you acted rashly? You did. And I can. I know that you loved him. And he has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months are gonna. . . are gonna be hard I suspect on all of us, but if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm, I'm not your man. All you will get from me is, is my support. And my respect.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Angelus caused nothing but trouble in the coming months. We were able to uninvite him from our homes, but not quickly enough. I suspect that Jenny would have died anyway. The police said she had been killed somewhere else and brought here. They said there would be an investigation, that they would find out who murdered her. I didn’t need an investigation. I knew who killed her, and I planned to get my revenge.

I don’t know what made me think I could face him alone. The hurt and pain were too much to endure, and I wanted to kill him before he could hurt anyone else. Not thinking of how it would affect anyone else, I gathered my weapons, and drove to the warehouse.

I don’t recall much of what happened that night, but I know I would have died if Buffy hadn’t found us. Initially, Angelus was caught off guard by my attack, but I let my emotions control me. As a result, he gained the upper hand quickly. He held me by the throat when Buffy attacked him.

I must have passed out, because the next thing I remember, Buffy was by my side helping me escape the burning building. I was angry with her. “Why did you come here? This wasn't your fight!” I shouted as I tried to walk back to building. Buffy stopped me with a punch to my jaw, knocking me to the ground.

“Are you trying to get yourself killed?!” she screamed as she crouched down beside me. Then she surprised me by clutching me tightly and crying. “You can't leave me,” she sobbed. “I can't do this alone.”

I never knew she cared. I hadn’t thought she needed me at all. In a moment that all changed.

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Continued in part 2
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