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<><><><><> ~i was there when you shone as bright as bethlehem from afar i was there~ Shadows from the streetlights cast eerie patterns all over Buffy's ceiling. She was stretched out on her back, trying desperately to stop her mind from spinning out of control. Tired of watching the phantom tree limbs dance merrily against the white ceiling tiles, blown by a wind that carried in cool salty air, she squeezed her eyes closed. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The coffin selection had been somber. Everyone had wanted to accompany her and as much as Buffy thought it should just be her and Dawn, she was also grateful. Because when it came down to the final selection, both the Summers daughters had been mute. Both thinking the same thing, but neither saying a word. // Buffy, how do we choose what she'll be in forever? // // Dawn, this is so hard. Please, please say something. Decide. I can't. // It had been Tara who had finally stepped forward, running her hand inside a solid white coffin that was lined with yellow satin. "Joyce was fond of yellow. Sh-she always said she wanted to p-paint your house yellow." "I like that one, too," Anya supplied agreeably. "The doves are a nice touch. But really, what do birds have to do with death? Unless you count-" And then Xander had clamped his hand over her mouth. Giles had nodded at the funeral home director and they all followed mechanically into the next room, where the pungent odor of flowers made Buffy gag, and her legs soon ached from the stiff cushions of the chair, and there, they had finalized it all. Music. Flowers. Where they wanted the service. What they wanted the obituary to say. How they'd be paying. Insurance forms were signed. Sums were tallied. Hands were shaken. Condolences were offered. Solemn utterances of gratitude passed through lips that were pursed to prevent spontaneous trembling. And then they were home. Where Buffy paused in the doorway, staring at the empty couch. Images flashed in her head, illuminated by a strobe light and underscored by a cacophony of sounds. Joyce on the couch. Her skirt too high. Her eyes too wide. Her flesh too cold. Her oldest daughter reduced to nothing more than a spectator in a sport she had played for years. She had seen death, but never had it hit so close to home. // 911, what's your emergency. // // Do you know CPR? // // The body is cold? // // Mommommommommom. // // Your mother is dead. // // She's cold, man. Call it. // Joyce on the couch. Joyce spinning in her dress. // You're messing with me! // // I left my bra in his car. // Joyce with the ax in her hand. // Nobody lays a hand on my little girl. // "Buffy!" "Mom?" Buffy had whispered. Then focused on Willow, who was standing in front of her. "Will?" "You better sit down, Buffy. You're pale and sweaty." Anya pushed her into the nearest chair and studied her closely. "Are you going to faint? In some films, people faint from grief. Though I don't recall them ever looking so gaunt." She hadn't fainted. As much as she wanted to. As much as she needed to. She hadn't done anything except sit and agreeably sip the water that she had been given. Neighbors had filtered in and out the open door, quietly setting plates of food on the tables. Tara had taken down names for thank you cards, and Buffy had almost commented that it was stupid to thank people for casseroles and meat platters when no one ever thanked her for saving the world. Not even the powers that be, who had snatched her lifeline right out from under her like it was work as usual. Just another day in the Buffy office. Buffy's personal Hell. <><><><><> Turning away from the window, she stared at the clock, absently running her fingers along the seam of the mattress. Her door opening caused her to prop herself on her elbow, and she saw Dawn silhouetted against the dim light from the bathroom. Her sister’s gown hung loosely around her ankles, dwarfing her, making her look even more like a little girl. Fluffy. Broken. Devastated. Little Dawn. "Dawnie?" There was a pause, and Dawn, poking at the throw rug with her toe, softly cleared her throat. "I told her she wasn't my mother," she said through clenched teeth. Buffy flipped on her lamp and sat up, beckoning her little sister to come sit on the bed. When the younger girl had perched on the edge, Buffy noted the red rings around her eyes, the pale color her skin had become, and the way her breathing hitched every so often. "Dawn-" "I told her she wasn't my mother and I never apologized. I never said anything. I never even thanked her for just accepting me and taking care of me ... even when she knew I wasn't hers. I didn't tell her I loved her enough." "She knew." Buffy took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. "She knew, Dawn." "I should have said it. I should have done something. Cooked her breakfast or cleaned up without being told. Or something. Anything." Taking the box of tissue that Willow had put beside her bed, Buffy handed them to Dawn, who was softly sobbing. "Shhh." "I can't!" Dawn yelled, standing up angrily. "Don't tell me to 'shh' like I can just stop. Let me cry, Buffy! Let me scream and let me hit something! Let me fall apart and stay there! God knows you haven't! What's wrong with you!? You just sit here like you're dead, too!" Buffy leapt from the bed, wrapping her arms around Dawn. They both sank to the floor, with Dawn's back to Buffy's chest and Buffy held her as the youngster sobbed. Buffy stroked her hair, whispered that it would be okay, promised her that they'd always be together, and finally, Dawn stopped cryin g, and whispered that she was tired now. She stood and crawled into Buffy's bed, curling into a little ball. Buffy lay next to her, staring at the ceiling again. She wondered who would hold her when the pain finally got through her resolve. Who would be strong enough to break through the wall she’d so carefully erected around her heart. Unable to contemplate sleep, she carefully slipped from the bed and dressed in the shadows. The entire gang had slept over. Buffy didn't know if it was for her benefit or theirs, but she was grateful. They would tend to Dawn if she woke up again. Pausing at the window, she gave her sister a final glance before she slipped out onto the roof and jumped into the yard. /// There had been no rain all day. The day they buried her mother. The day that Buffy wanted to forget. It had been overcast, like the Heavens had a heavy heart, but it had not wept. Neither had Buffy. Not when the pallbearers, led by Xander, had lifted the shining white coffin from the black hearse. Not when the wind had knocked over a flower arrangement and Willow had scrambled to get it. Not when the priest began to pray. Not when Giles led her forward, and she had grabbed a handful of dirt to toss onto the coffin, marring its simple beauty as it was slowly lowered into the ground. Staining it with brown specks of ritual. Six feet. Taller than Buffy. Taller than her mother had been. Too deep to dig out with a shovel and too shallow to not be tempted to try. As Dawn tossed a single rose into the hole, Buffy had clenched her fists against the rage that welled inside her broken heart. In a moment of blind fury, laced with panic and pain, she contemplated jumping down on top of the coffin and begging them to let her stay. Her mother had taught her to stay close, to never talk to strangers, and half the people gathered around to watch the coffin disappear were strangers. What would she do without her mother? ~i was there and i swear to god and on my mother's grave on everything i have or ever will embrace i was there and i saw it with my own two eyes~ // She asked the question again when she found herself standing at the foot of Joyce's grave. A light drizzle had finally begun to fall, wetting her cheeks with ice cold moisture. It was the first time her face had been wet since her shower that morning. Had it really just been that morning? Had it really been less than twenty-four hours since she'd thrown dirt into the grave? Were the Heavens finally satisfied that she was destroyed and had decided to weep in her place? The wind whipped again, sending her hair blowing away from her face and lightning illuminated the headstones. She lifted her gaze and watched as darkness blanketed the solitary landscape once again. There was a vampire nearby. Her Slayer senses, which had been muted for days by so many human emotions, alerted her, tensing her muscles, keening her hearing, and she moved instinctively for a stake that didn't exist. She had left home with no weapons. No weapons and no coat and still, there was no fear, no chill. There was a hollow ache, a deadening in her soul, and if death was to come, she would meet it head on. // I'm sure it was painless. // Thunder clapped, vibrating the earth beneath her feet, but she didn't flinch. It rained harder, stinging her cheeks, but she didn't try to shield her eyes. No, they needed the wetness. They needed to burn with tears, even if they were rainwater tears, so she would know that she was still there inside. She felt lost, and there was no one to find her anymore. No one to wrap her in a warm blanket and smooth her hair away from her face and tell her that it would be okay. "Buffy?" A twig snapped, accentuating her name, which had been spoken just loud enough for her to hear. She would know his voice anyplace. // Is there a problem, ma'am? // ~and now it's all around me it's all around me i'm surrounded now it's all around me it's all around me you surround me like a circle~ And when she felt his hands on her shoulders, turning her, she knew his touch. His long leather coat was silently wrapped around her and he pulled her against him. "We have to get out of this rain." // Come on. We need to get inside. // // You're shaking like a leaf. // // I love you. I try not to but I can't stop. // She followed him. Wordlessly ... in no great hurry, she let him lead her to his black convertible and help her inside. It smelled like him, like leather and soap and goodness. He climbed in beside her and turned on the ignition, making sure the heater vents blew toward her. "Are you okay?" he asked her and she could feel him staring at her intently. Piercing eyes, never judgmental, only intense and deep. She focused on a crack in his dashboard and shook her head. "My mother-" "I know." Angel laid his hand on top of hers and she knew he was thinking about how cold her flesh was. "I came the second I heard. I am so sorry." "Thank you," she replied automatically and without inflection. "I appreciate it." She could tell that his face was lined with worry. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him frown, glance out at the rainy night, and then look back at her. She was focusing on the crack again when he said, "Could you use some coffee?" // I hear this place, uh, serves coffee. I thought maybe you and I should get some. Sometime. If you want. // "Yeah, sometime." Buffy's voice sounded small, too small inside the big coat and big car. It sounded lost. She was lost. Angel's frown deepened and she looked up at him. She could tell that her comment had sent him walking down memory lane right alongside her. Clearing her throat, she said, "I mean, yeah, that would be nice." Wordlessly, he took his hand away from hers and she felt the loss immediately. She quickly moved both of her hands in her lap and clasped them tightly, wringing them as she stared out the window. The storm had moved closer now and every few minutes, thunder exploded, lightning streaked, and rain pounded the canvas top of Angel's car. She glanced upward, expecting it to rip away. "Buffy-" he began, then stopped as they pulled into the parking space at the Espresso Pump. Killing the engine, he turned to look at her. "Do you want me to go inside and get it or do you want to go in?" "I'll go in," Buffy replied and opened the door. She stepped into a puddle of murky water and it filled her tennis shoe, drenching her foot and sock. She would have made a sound of disgust any other time, but this time, she shut the door and walked ahead like nothing had happened. A sodden article of clothing paled in comparison to fighting death and losing when you least expected it. **She** was the one marked for an early grave, not her mother. Buffy ordered a large cappuccino and dug through her pocket for some money, but Angel beat her to it. She rambled off another thank you, born out of habit instead of real gratitude, and moved to a booth in the corner. Angel followed her, carrying his small cup of black coffee, and slid in across from her. In the fluorescent lighting, Buffy was pale. Ghostly pale with black rings under her eyes. She sat with a curved spine, shoulders hunched, chapped lips slightly parted, and lifted her cup with a shaking hand. Angel was sure she had not taken a sip when she set it back down on the table and stared at the napkin dispenser through bleary eyes. "Have you been sleeping?" Angel took a drink of his coffee and grimaced. He was already nervous enough. "Not since she - you know." "Three days ago?" Buffy looked up at him in confusion. "Three days?" "She died on Tuesday, right?" he asked her gently. For a split second, she was tempted to tell him that this was her nightmare and she'd be damned if he was allowed to say such things, that her mother wasn't dead, but the part of her that was slowly accepting reality nodded at him. "Right. Tuesday." "Are you hungry? Do you want a bagel? A donut?" Angel lifted a small menu and held it out to her. Humoring him, she took it, but didn't glance at it. "I'm not hungry." "They have jelly rolls. You like those, right?" "I liked my mother." Angel swallowed hard and moved his cup to one side. How was one supposed to reply to that? "I liked your mother, too." "We used to come here." Buffy gently tapped the menu. "And we'd always get really fattening stuff because food wasn't fattening when we ate it together." She saw the confused look on his face and added, "Her rule, not mine." Smiling gently at her, Angel waited for her to continue. He knew that she would need to talk about it. According to Giles, she simply wasn't dealing at all. When she lifted her cup and sat it down again, still not drinking from it, he said, "Do you want something different?" "I can't drink anything here," she told him simply, as if it made sense. "It feels wrong. Like, I don't have a right to do it without her. This was **our** thing and it can't just be **my** thing." "I'm here." "It's not the same." "She would want you to keep enjoying it, Buffy." "I don't enjoy it." Standing, Buffy tossed her cup in the trash and shook her head. The walls were closing in on her, pushing slowly toward her, threatening to suffocate her. "I can't be here." "Okay," Angel quickly followed her out onto the sidewalk and took her elbow. "I'll take you home." Buffy skidded to a halt and looked up at him. "I can't be there, either." Angel glanced at the rain that was now cascading in torrents. She walked ahead of him and stepped into the car. He followed her and slipped next to her again, wiping his hair off his forehead. "Where do you want to go?" "To the mansion," she whispered. Angel started to protest, but one look at her told him not to. If she wanted to go the mansion, that was where she would go. As he maneuvered across town and turned onto Crawford Street, he felt a jolt of nostalgia. He could almost see himself walking hand and hand with Buffy - up the sloping driveway, through the garden, into the Spartan gray living quarters. Into her arms. It was still his. He knew that no one would be there. There was a large 'For Sale' sign that he had strategically placed behind a row of bushes so no one could see it. He liked to tell himself that it wasn't his fault that no one was interested in buying. He cringed when he thought about the things that Angelus had done, and the people who had paid in blood, to pay for the beautiful home, but there was another side to the mansion. One that wasn't tainted with horrible memories. Watching Buffy wake up, sitting with her on the sofa while they laughed at the television. Reading her poetry as they sat next to the fireplace. He parked in the U-shaped driveway and raced around to open her door, but she was already out of the car and was fishing a ring of keys from her pocket. Although he wondered where she had gotten a key to the place, he didn't mention it. It was freezing cold inside the old house and as he shut the door behind them, Buffy disappeared into the next room and he saw a light flicker. When she rejoined him, she was carrying an oil lamp. Wordlessly, he followed her into the living room. He was shocked to see that the couch covers had been removed, several books littered the tables and there was a fresh stack of wood next to the fireplace. Buffy started to remove the screen, but Angel guided her to one side and knelt down, piling fresh wood in the fireplace and igniting it with a long match. As he stood, his cellphone rang and echoed loudly, causing him to fumble in his haste to answer it. Miraculously, it didn't hit the floor and as he brought it to his ear, he noticed that Buffy had slipped down the hallway toward the bedrooms. "Hello?" "Angel, it's Giles." "I found her." "Oh, thank goodness. Dawn woke up and was in quite a state when Buffy wasn't there." "Is she okay now?" "Yes, yes, she's fine. How's Buffy?" Angel glanced down the hallway again. "I'm not sure. She's … different. Withdrawn.” "Was she happy to see you?" Angel could hear the hopefulness in the man's voice and he said, "Yes, I think so. We had coffee together and talked some." "Are you bringing her home now?" "Not just yet," Angel replied. "I think she needs some time to process everything. I'll take care of her." "I've no doubt. Thank you, Angel." Angel shut the phone and laid it on the table, then walked quietly down the hall. Buffy was in what had been his bedroom and she was digging through the bureau he had been forced to leave behind. When he had gone, he had only taken some of his clothing. He watched with wide eyes as she pulled out one of his T-shirts and from another drawer, produced a pair of her shorts. Buffy jumped when she turned and saw him in the doorway. "Sorry, I'm not used to anyone being here." "You come here a lot," he stated, rather than asking. With a nod, she sat down on the bed and sighed. "I come here a lot. And check it out, I have a drawer." "Why?" He walked all the way into the room and leaned against the chest of drawers. "For occasions such as these." "Why do you come here?" Swallowing hard, she looked up at him. "Your things are here. I- I come here when I need … when I need to be surrounded by you." Her words hit him like a blow to the stomach and he crossed the short distance between them. Kneeling in front of her, he pulled her against him and kissed her forehead. "I will always come when you need me." Buffy stiffened. Promises. Broken promises. He'd said those same words before. "I needed you when the Initiative was here and they unleashed a man-made hell. I needed you when Faith took my body. I needed you when Dracula showed up and tried to thrall me. I needed you when I was finding out that my sister isn't even real. I needed you when my mother got sick." Standing, she looked down at him. "It's too late to need you now." Angel said nothing for several seconds and then he whispered, "I'm sorry." Buffy reached past him and lifted the dry clothing she had pulled from the drawers. "I'm cold. Do you mind?" Angel shifted his weight and stood. He suddenly felt heavy inside his own skin. His feet scraped the floor as he walked out the door and into the living room, where he sat on the sofa and buried his face in his hands. Buffy peeled off her wet clothing and pulled the T-shirt over her head. When she had made up her mind to forego going home, the mansion had been the first place she thought of. She hadn't lied to Angel. She did visit frequently to look at his things, to see if his remaining shirts smelled the same, but mostly she came here to feel. She had shut down completely when Riley left her. No, that wasn’t really true. After Angel, there hadn’t been much of her **to** shut down. And for a long time now, the only place where she truly felt like herself, the only place where she felt whole, was the mansion, where footsteps still echoed, and voices still rang within its stone walls. The sounds of a past that may not have always been happy, but it had always felt right. She had come here tonight thinking that she would escape the pain again, but now she knew better. Her mother's death reminded her of another time, another place, when she plunged a sword through the belly of the only man she'd ever loved. A moment where everything shhe had ever believed in, ever dream, every fairy tale, every wish had crumpled with her into a wailing heap on the floor. Buffy Summers had grown up in that instant and let go of a happy ending. And without her mother, she had regressed; gone back to a place where she wanted desperately to believe that death was a lie, that mothers didn't go away, that fathers never left their children, that Santa would come and leave her a new bike. That there were no real monsters or vampires or Slayers and her prince on a white horse would come. And that there was a higher power who would listen to her prayers, and never give her more than she could bear. She wanted to believe it, because if she believed it, her mother would come home. For the first time since she had announced out loud that they couldn't move the body, tears welled in her eyes. She cupped a hand over her mouth, like she was afraid to let it out, but she was more afraid to hold it in. Tears were rolling down her face by the time she made it into the hallway, and when she reached the living room, a rough sob ripped from her throat. Through blurred eyes, she saw Angel stand and she stopped walking and looked at him. "Angel-" His reply was to open his arms wide and she rushed forward, gripping two fistfuls of his shirt. "My mom is dead," she cried. "She's not coming back. She's never coming back!" Angel sat down on the couch and pulled her into his lap, cradling her. "Let it out, Buffy, I'm right here." "I want her back!" "I know you do." "I need her. It's not right. It's not fair." Angel tightened his grip on her when her cries intensified. Rubbing her back, his own eyes filled with tears and he let them fall without shame. When she hurt, he hurt. That was what soulmates did and his heart, despite its non-beating status, ached for her. She sobbed until her back ached, until her throat was parched and sore and her eyes were too swollen to produce another tear. Exhausted, she was limp in his arms. She wondered if he was aware that the hand on her leg had been steadily rubbing up and down on her calf. She shivered slightly and he moved that same hand down, cupping her foot. "You're cold," he said, lifting her in his arms like she weighed nothing. He carried her down the hallway and sat her on the bed while he pulled the cover down. The bed had no dust and he wondered how often she slept there because he didn't have floral sheets and the sheets that covered the bed had roses all over them. He didn't ask, though. Instead, he helped her climb under the cover and pulled it around her. She was beautiful. Even with her hair drying in tangles and red eyes, she could have taken his breath away, assuming he had any. "Don't leave me," she softly pleaded. Angel walked around the bed and crawled in next to her, spooning against her. She pulled his arm over her and closed her eyes. "I'm so tired." "You should sleep." "You'll be gone when I wake up, won't you?" Angel leaned his head against hers. He wanted more than anything to tell her that he would stay, that he would never leave her again, but he knew that he could no more do that than bring her mother home to her. His destiny was currently in Los Angeles and he had to bide his time there before his ultimate goal, his Shanshu, would be fulfilled. "Yes," he told her. She surprised herself by accepting it with no tears. Maybe she was so used to people leaving her that she didn't care anymore or maybe a part of her knew that he'd have to go away before he could come back whole. "Angel?" "Hmm?" "You're doing good things in Los Angeles, aren't you?" “It’s not always easy, but I think I am.” He could have told her that for a while he had gone crazy --- and he could have told her about Darla, but his heart denied that it had ever happened, and to keep her heart unscathed, he would keep it that way. “I have to believe that I’m making a difference.” "I miss you." A small, bittersweet smile touched his lips. "I miss you too, baby." "Angel?" “Yes?” "She's not coming back, is she?" "No." Buffy nodded her head. "Are you?" "Always." // Are you still my girl? // // Always. // <><><> Buffy awoke to someone shaking her and she rolled over, reaching for him. "Angel?" "Buffy, it's me." Dawn shook her a little harder and repeated her name. Her sister's eyes were puffy and her nose sounded stuffy. Relief washed over the youngest Summers girl as she realized that Buffy had finally succumbed to the pain and grieved. Sitting up, Buffy glanced around the room, blinking her eyes. She was still at the mansion; it hadn't been a dream. "Where's Angel?" "He left." Dawn sat down and gave Buffy a reassuring smile. "But don't worry, his windows are tinted and it's still all cloudy. He won't poof." Buffy returned the smile and brushed Dawn's hair over her shoulder. "How'd you get here?" "Giles. He's in the other room. He saw Angel's old books so he could be here for hours." Dawn studied Buffy closely for several seconds. "Are you okay?" "I will be," the Slayer said. Then she took Dawn's hand. "**We** will be." Dawn leaned forward and wrapped her arms around her, trying to fight back her tears. It proved futile, however, and she lost the battle. "It's so hard, Buffy." Buffy pulled back so she could look at Dawn. In her most reassuring voice, she said, "We have each other. And yeah, it's hard, but you know what?" "What?" "I have to believe that it's always darkest before-" She trailed off and stared at her little sister. "Dawn," Giles said from the doorway. "It's always darkest before dawn." Dawn rolled her eyes and rubbed her sleeve across her cheek. "Yeah, and the sun'll come out tomorrow. And every cloud has a silver lining. And -" "And I've not had my coffee this morning so humor me," Giles told her, then walked further into the room. "Buffy, why don't you get dressed and I'll buy you both one of those – frappuchinos, I believe they’re called - at the coffee house." "What's a frappuchino?" Dawn asked, glancing at Buffy with a knowing grin. "Never heard of it," Buffy said, trying to look flummoxed. "Giles?" "You know, those frothy things that smell like vanilla and taste like watered down, er, froth." "That must be a British thing," Dawn told him. "You really should brush up on your American coffee trends." "Ahh," Giles replied, nodding. "You may be right. At any rate, I shall be stark raving mad if I don't find caffeine soon, so up you get." Dawn watched him leave and leaned over, picking up the bag of clothing she had brought for Buffy. "Ten to one odds say I can get him to order me a Snurfle." "Please!" Buffy dug through the bag. "I bet we could get him to order a Snurfle with extra watered down vanilla froth." Dawn giggled and nodded. "He's too easy," she said. Buffy saw the smile fade from Dawn's face and quickly pulled on her jeans. "What is it?" "Just like Mom. He's easy just like Mom. Remember the way we made her spin around before she caught on?" "Yeah." Buffy plastered a smile on her face and added, "You know what? I think you're old enough to start having coffee with me every day. Mom and I used to stop when she was driving me to school and then when I lived in the dorms, she would come to see me at least once a week to touch base over the best legal drug there is. You're old enough." "If it stunts my growth, you'll pay." Dawn gave her a hug. "I'm gonna go start prying the books out of Giles' hands. He's probably loading them into his car as we speak. Hurry, I'm starving." Buffy nodded and picked up her socks, which were folded in the bag. She held them in her hands for a few minutes and waited patiently to feel the full impact of Angel leaving her again. But it didn't come. Turning, she lifted his pillow and inhaled. It smelled like comfort. Like home. Like ... always. She made a move to put it back when she noticed the envelope that had been lying under it. With trembling hands, she opened it and pulled out two papers. His familiar, slanting handwriting covered half of one and she read that first. Buffy I wish I could tell you that the pain you feel will lessen with time, but I can’t. I can only tell you that I would give anything to be able to take that pain away, that I would bear it for you if I could. And if it gets too great and you need to get away, my home is your home. It always has been, and it always will be. Enclosed is the deed to the mansion. I've taken the liberty of signing it over to you. You need a home that is paid for and you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not you and Dawn can afford a place to live. All I ask is that you listen to this old place. She has many secrets and if you listen carefully, she just might share a few. I will be back one day. It may happen in your lifetime and it may happen after, but either way, when I return I want to live where you lived, walk where you walked, and sleep where you slept. I want to be surrounded by **you**. Always, Angel ~i was there c'mon and tell me i wasn't worth sticking it out for well i was there and i know i was worth it cause if i wasn't worth it that makes me worse off than you are but don't lose sight of me now don't lose sight of me now so don't lose sight of me now you know you're all around me i'm surrounded you surround me like a circle ~ FINIS Back to Buffy/Angel
Chantal Kreviazuk is the outstanding songwriter and singer of the song 'Surrounded'. Check her out. She's amazing!