Angel's Return

AUTHOR: Sarah A. David


DISCLAIMER: „Buffy the Vampire Slayer", „Angel" and associated characters are copyright by Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, Mutant Enemy Inc., Greenwolf Corp., Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, Twentieth Century Fox, WB and UPN.

No infringement is intended.

TIMELINE: The story begins after the season finales of BTVS S5 and AtS S2 and goes many years into the future.

SPOILERS: Everything up to BTVS S6 and AtS S3 happened. Events of BTVS S6 and AtS S3 can be part of the story but don't have to.

SUMMARY: Angel can't deal with Buffy's death. So he doesn't return after a few months but years later - not knowing what happened during his absence.

DISTRIBUTION: FFnet. My site. You want it? Ask me!

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I want you to know that English is NOT my mother language, so please ignore my mistakes.

FEEDBACK: Yes please.

RATING: I'm not so sure about the rating system but I guess everyone who watches the shows can read this fic

Part 1

L.A. 2001

Cordelia Chase was filing the cases of Angel Investigations. There had been a few visions over the summer. Things were going really low in L.A. and here was only so much the human associates of A.I. could do. Reintegrating Fred into the human society had been the most exiting activity for so long.

Cordelia sighed and turned to Wesley, "When do you think he's coming back, Wes?"

"I don't know!"

"I mean how long can it take? He's been gone for three months now. He should be over it by now!"

"I don't think so, Cordelia. I believe he will never be over..."

"Never? Are you crazy or what?"

"Cordelia!" Wesley shouted "I don't think you really understand what Buffy meant to Angel!"

"Of course I do. She was his girlfriend. He loved her. He left her. She was his ex, for God's sake!"

"And that's where you are wrong, Cordy. I don't think she ever really was an "ex" for Angel. It's true that he left her but I know that he never stopped to love her - no matter what happened between them when she was here last time. She was his first love, the only love, the love of his life. We talked..."

"Oh, please, I get what you mean. But are you sure?"

"Yes, I am. As I just wanted to explain to you, Angel I talked before he left for the monastery and he told me about his time with Buffy. Did you know that he gave her a Claddagh ring for her 17th birthday?"

"She mentioned a ring. What's a Claddagh?"

"A Claddagh is a very special ring. Two hands.."

"Oh yes, now I know which one you mean. Two hands are holding a heart with a crown on top, right? Angel wore one of these himself."

"Yes, that's the one. But do you know it's meaning?"

"As far as I know it's a friendship ring."

"Well, that's kind of right. Today it's often used as a simple friendship ring. But I mean it's original meaning. It's part of an old Irish custom: The hands represent friendship, the crown stands for devotion and the heart..."

"That's easy: for love. So it's a token of love. But I know he loved and so he gave her a ring. No big! I mean it's not that special to give your girlfriend a ring. What's so special about this one?"

"Like I said today the Claddagh is often used as a symbol for friendship. Rarely people know it's true meaning. But back at the time when Angel was turned it was used differently. Most of the Irish people were very poor so when a couple who fell in love and couldn't afford a proper wedding they exchanged Claddagh rings."

"Now, I see what you mean. So they where kind of engaged?"

"No, that's not what I mean. Angel knew that as a vampire he would never be able to marry Buffy in a proper way. So he used this old Irish custom and gave her the Claddagh. It's a wedding ring!"

"Wait! We're talking about marriage?"

"Not in any legal way. But according to old Irish custom they would have been married. They both wore their rings with the heart pointing inwards. That means you belong to someone."

"Wow! So Angel considered Buffy his wife?"

"Yes, I believe so."

"That's so sad. I mean I know he loved her and that he missed. I've seen his Buffy-face often enough. But this.. I guess it will take a while until he recovers enough to come back to us."

"You're right. So all we can do is wait."