Title: Worth It

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Joss owns it. Sigh. I'd credit the WB here as well, but THEY CANCELLED ANGEL! Just a little bitter 'bout that. Sorry.

Timeline/Spoilers: During and directly after "Not Fade Away", the series finale…obvious spoilers for that episode.

Summary: As Angel and the gang prepare for what looks to be their last moments on Earth, they get a little surprise…  (Takes place during and after "Not Fade Away", the series finale.)

Author's Notes: This is my first fic in the Angel category. It's not the first I've written, just the first one that I've written and posted. Go me!

For those of you that don't know me, I write Buffy fanfic for ff.net as well, so I'm not new to the writing, just to this category. Okay, I've rambled long enough.

            I was just sitting today, reading "The Wisdom of War" (a Buffy novel by Christopher Golden) and making my To-Do lists for the day when this story just hit me. I had to post it. Please review! (No flames, but I like constructive criticism.)

            Angel looked at the army moving menacingly toward him and then glanced back at his team. The final four. He swallowed hard, blinking rain out of his eyes. Or tears? He couldn't tell.

            "I don't know about you," he said, trying to be brave for his friends, "but I wanna slay the dragon."

            "Awww," a voice behind him said. "How come you always get the fun ones?"

            Angel whirled around and found himself staring at a rain-drenched Buffy. She grinned. "Seriously," she continued. "Trips to Hell, CEO of that Wolf-y place—"

            She was cut off by a tight hug from Angel. "I missed you, too," she said, her voice muffled against his coat. Spike, seeing this, gave a short, grim smile and headed for the fight, drawing strength from her very presence.

            Gunn called to Buffy and Angel over the pouring rain, "This is great and all, but we've still only got five versus hundreds, thousands, maybe millions. And we're wasting time."

            Buffy looked at him and grinned again. "You think I came without reinforcements?" she asked. "You don't know me at all, do you?" As if on cue, Willow, Xander, Giles, Dawn, Kennedy, Andrew, and an army of Slayers appeared on the other side of the chain link fence that formed the end of the alley.

            "Hey, guys!" Willow chirped, helping Xander boost a Slayer over the fence. "Long time, no see." She acted as if they were having a family reunion rather than fighting an apocalyptic battle.

            Buffy frowned. "Less talk, more fight, Will," she admonished, catching the axe Giles tossed her over the fence. "Thanks," she said, nodding to Giles. He nodded back.

            A figure burst out of one of the abandoned buildings that bordered the alley. "Man!" it said. "Traffic's brutal. Demons here, demons there…"

            "Hey, Faith," Angel said.

            "Hey Big Guy," Faith returned. "Got any weapons I could borrow?"

            Giles heaved a crossbow over the fence and Faith caught it effortlessly. "Gonna have me some fun!" she announced, running off toward the battle.

            Buffy yelled after her, "The dragon's mine!"

            "Not anymore," one of the Slayers said, pointing. Illyria sat on the dragon's back, holding on for dear life with one hand as she stabbed the dragon repeatedly with the other, using a sword she must have stolen from one of the Slayers.

            Willow appeared next to them, landing with a faint "ow" as she absorbed the pressure from her jump over the fence. "What is Fred doing?" she asked, obviously unable to tell in the rain and from the distance she was at that it was Illyria, not Fred.

            Buffy's vision was better and she said, "Fred's a blue chick?" just as Angel said, "Fred's dead."

            Buffy paused. "I'm sorry."

            Angel gave her a ghost of a smile. "Less talk, more fight."

            Buffy grinned. "Ooh, fighting? I'm the girl for the job."

            Illyria returned with blue dragon blood all over her, matching her hair and outfit. "You," she addressed Buffy. "I have taken this from one of your soldiers." She handed Buffy the blood-covered sword. "See that it's returned."

            "And who are you?" Buffy asked, tapping the sword on the ground, trying to knock some of the demon blood off it.

            "I am Illyria," Illyria replied, flicking some blood off her arm. "A resurrected Old One in this shell, the shell of this scrawny mortal. Protector of the late Wesley Wyndham-Price."

            "Late?" Buffy asked, turning to Angel. "Wesley's dead?"

            "He died tonight," Angel replied, "saving us."

            "His death has been avenged," Illyria said expressionlessly, "and yet, grief overwhelms me. I must kill again." She snatched the sword back from Buffy and walked purposefully to the fight.

            "Aside form the fact that she's evil," Buffy said, "I kinda like her."

            "Yeah," Angel said absentmindedly, his thoughts on the battle. "We're not too sure about the evil part anymore, though."

            Buffy lifted the axe she was holding and tensed up, ready to fight. "Sorry if I'm barging in on 'your fight'," she apologized, "but this would be suicide otherwise."

            "I know," Angel said quietly.

            "And you're not scared?"

            He looked at her, his eyes full of fear. "I'm terrified."

            She gave a short, sharp laugh tinged with bitterness. "Yeah, me too, but that's life, right? Well, our lives anyway. Terror, pain, death."

            "It's definitely worth living."

            She grinned and headed for the fight. He followed.

            "Yes," she said, taking one last look at him before she went into the battle, knowing, as always, that this battle could be the one to kill her. Permanently. "It most definitely is."

Well, that was it. Probably not that great, but I had to post it, or it would never leave me alone!