AUTHOR'S NOTE Here, there are SPOILERS for the Series Finale of Angel…sob And yeah, it's short, but it's supposed to be. Short and sweet. And if you notice, the title is actually a line from a episode of Angel from season one (y'all remember that one? With Doyle whom I LOVE?) called "Sanctuary." Wesley says it.
DISCLAIMER I don't own any of these characters…Joss Whedon does but I don't like what he did with them!
Everything was quiet.
"Are you sure this is where we're supposed to be?" asked a bored voice – one that seemed to never have lost its snobbish edge.
"Absolutely. This is where I met you, isn't it, Princess?"
There was a sigh. Another voice spoke up. "And we waited here for her, too."
"Yeah," came a fourth voice, soft and shy. "Thanks for that, guys."
Another sigh. "Fine," the first voice said. "But whoever better get here soon. Who are we meeting, anyway?"
"I don't know." The third voice was pleasant and deep. One that had not been used enough before. "We never know, we just wait."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. You get the feeling, you go to the spot, blah, blah, blah, and everyone lives happily ever after."
A sad laugh. "Not everyone, Princess."
There was quiet again.
Slowly, a great glow shone in the distance.
"Here they come."
A figure took shape on the horizon. He strode toward them hesitantly, as if he wasn't sure that he was in the right place. As he drew closer, he said shakily, "Cordelia?"
Cordelia squinted to see his face and wept. "No," she cried softly. Teardrops appeared on her white gown. "It can't be!" She looked at him again and whispered, "Wesley."
Wesley came closer and took her in his arms. "I'm so sorry, Cordelia. So very sorry."
"Sorry for what?" she asked. "How can you be sorry for being here? I'm so sorry that you…"
"It's okay." Wesley smiled. "I'm okay."
Cordelia sniffed. "Okay." She hated welcoming her loved ones here. "Oh!" she turned. "There are some people you have to see. Wait…" When she turned, one had gone. She shrugged. "This is Doyle," she said, pulling the Irish half-demon toward her. "You two never met."
"Angel spoke very highly of you," Wesley said.
"Good to know," Doyle replied lightly. "We've been keeping tabs on Angel an' his crew through the years, you know. You looked like you filled in fine."
Wesley's face burned with shame. "I never meant to take your place."
"Oh please," Cordelia scoffed. "You didn't take Doyle's place and we never forgot him. Now that that's over, I have someone else who you should meet." She pulled over the other man. "Doyle's been here the longest, but he's been dead the longest," she said, motioning. "Wesley, I'd like you to meet Phantom Dennis."
Dennis shook Wesley's hand firmly. "Hello again," he said kindly.
"Nice to meet you face-to-face, finally," Wesley said. "You've finally been released from Cordelia's apartment?"
Dennis laughed. "I was never trapped there, really. I only stayed behind to watch out for Cordelia." He shot her a gaze that reminded Wesley very much of a protective older brother. "Once she entered here, it seemed only natural for me to leave and follow."
"Wesley," Cordelia began, noting the disappointment that seemed to hover around his eyes. "We're happy here. I know being, well, dead isn't what you wanted, but I promise, things are good here."
Wesley nodded curtly. "I imagine they are."
"Hey!" Cordelia, Wesley, Doyle, and Dennis turned at the sound of a very cheerful voice. "Aren't you that guy who used to hang around our library a lot?"
Wesley blinked. "Harmony?"
"Hey Harm," Cordelia called. Harmony just waved and continued on to wherever she was headed. "Harmony's soul has been here since Graduation Day. Her vampire form has no soul," she explained. "And unfortunately, she only remembers the things that happened before she died. She never took to the role of guardian like we did," she added with a classic Cordelia grin.
"I see." Wesley looked around. "Are there others here that we know?"
"Oh sure." Cordelia listed them on her fingers. "Buffy's mom, that demon girl Anya, Kendra the Vampire Slayer, except you never knew her, Willow's girlfriend Tara, 'cept you never knew her either, uh…that kid Jonathan. You remember, the one who tried to shoot himself in the clock tower?" Wesley nodded. "And…I think that's it. There are others, like the Mayor and Holland Manners and everyone, but they're…somewhere else." Cordelia shuddered.
"I imagine so." Wesley sighed. He had not heard what he wanted.
"Come on," Cordelia said, smiling. "We don't want to just hang out at the gates all day, do we?" She took him by the hand and led him away. Doyle smiled secretively at her.
Wesley dropped Cordelia's hand as tears sprang to his eyes. He couldn't form words.
She spoke again. "I've been waiting for you. I've been watching everything. I'm glad she took care of you for me."
As Fred took him in her arms, Wesley buried his face in her hair and smiled.
AUTHOR'S NOTE 2 I know they said Fred's soul was destroyed when Illyria was born into her body, but I prefer to give Wes and Fred a happy ending. They deserve it.