Coming To America by Ligeia

February 14th, 1902 – Beside the Golden Door.

Angelus spent the final day of his voyage among the tattered but none the less precious belongings of two thousand potential 'New Americans'. Even these meagre possessions had not escaped Robin's attentions; several trunks, baskets and cloth bundles had been rifled, with various items - shoes, crockery, quilts, even an accordion – spilled out onto the floor of the hold.

Thinking he could do no further harm, Angelus changed his own expensive apparel, now inappropriate as the other First Class passengers had already left the ship, for rougher garments from a leather suitcase that lay open at the rear of the hold. He hoped the owner would not be too dissatisfied with the exchange. His own fine clothes if pawned, notwithstanding the torn lining, would probably pay for the other man's entire passage.

Eventually the door to the hold was opened and people began to file in by the dozens, then the hundreds, to find their belongings. It was an easy matter to step into the crowd and pretend to be looking for his own. At least until the sun went down.

The he saw Maggie.

Her happy surprise turned to concern once she got a good look at him.

'But why are you dressed like that? What's happened to you? Is everything all right?'

Her sweet, freckled face was tight with concern. Angelus forestalled further questions by asking one of his own.

'Maggie girl, do you trust me?'

The little redhead hesitated a moment then nodded. Half an hour later they left the ship together, the necessary tags fixed to their clothing, and boarded a barge, Angelus carrying Maggie's single piece of luggage.

After waiting almost two hours in the dark on a flat open-air barge, standing in the freezing cold with Angelus's arm protectively around her, they were finally allowed to cross the gangplank and set foot on Ellis. Hundreds of immigrants from the Celtic and several other ships in the harbour that night, gathered in the forecourt – a jostling, noisy, odorous throng in a motley of vivid costumes or dull workman's garb – milling about in front of the arched windows of the huge red and white brick building, waiting their turn to enter the Registry Room for inspection. At intervals the mass of bodies pushed forward as a few hundred more migrants were ushered into the great hall. There was a constant excited babble among those still waiting outside – questions were being asked of the immigrants before they were allowed through; some people were being rejected on the grounds of illness, illiteracy, even for having too little money in their possession.

Abruptly, Angelus turned to Maggie, handed her back her baggage and asked, 'Do you have enough cash?' Without waiting for an answer, he reached into his coat pocket and withdrew a handful of high denomination French currency notes which he pressed into Maggie's hand. 'Take this to the Money Exchange.' Then added, 'A wedding gift from me.'

'Anything can be had for money – except the things that really matter.' With tears in her eyes, she stood up on tiptoe to place a kiss on his cool cheek, and added, 'I hope you find those other things.'

Moments later, as the mob surged forward again, Maggie felt him let his hand slip from hers. She glanced around wildly, trying to pick out his tall figure from amongst the moving horde, but he was already gone, swallowed up by the multitude and the night.

From beside the piles of crates, steamer trunks and other baggage, Angelus watched the stream of humanity flow around Maggie as she stood, scanning the crowd for him, then, after a little while, went on alone.

Several Days Later.

On the train out of New York Angelus opened, for possibly the hundredth time since leaving France, a card which the De Beauvais' had given him at Ghislaine's christening. Inside were two black and white photographs, copies of which were fixed inside the front and back cases of the stolen gold watch. The first showed the family posed together at the photographer's studio dressed in their Sunday best; the second was a picture of the baby alone, seated happily among painted wooden blocks, a porcelain baby doll and a leaping hobby horse mounted on bicycle wheels. A note, in Adele's hand, had been slipped between the pages.

'For if Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, how then shall you not be redeemed.'

- Finis -

Author Note 1: Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I really loved hearing what you all had to say! I've realised that I have several fics not yet posted to and thought I'd give you all a choice of which one you'd like to read next. Use the feedback function to tell me your preference. Here's what I have ready to go:

La Belle et Le Bete - re-souled Angelus and Red Robin meet a beautiful but child-like young woman in Paris the in 1890s.
The Vampire Hunters of Prague - my first Spike/Dru fic. What really happened when Drusilla was badly injured by the mob.
Fragile - thoughts about Buffy by the ones who love her - various POVs.
Save Me - Angel and Xander race to save Buffy as she lies dying in the Master's lair.

Author Note 2: Coming to America was written for the Buffyverse Lyric Wheel. The song provided and the lyrics used in the story are shown below.

Gold Dust Woman

Rock on gold dust woman
Take your silver spoon
And dig your grave
Heartless challenge
Pick your path and I'll pray

Wake up in the morning
See your sunrise - loves - to go down
Lousy lovers pick their prey
But they never cry out loud
Did she make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of love
Is it over now
- do you know how
Pick up the pieces and go home
Rock on ancient woman
Follow those who pale
In your shadow
Rulers make bad lovers
You better put your kingdom up for sale
Did she make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of love
Is it over now -- do you know how
Pickup the pieces and go home