Disclaimer: I don't own any of characters, I'm just borrowing them for a while.
WARNING: Spoilers for season 5 of Angel particularly the final episode "Never Fade Away".
AN:This story is a follow up to characters an events introduced in my other stories:
"The Slayer and the Smurf "
"Sans Shoes In LA"
The Lawyer, The Slayers, The Smurf, The Key, The Witch, and Neon Green Canvas Sneakers.
First there was nothing then there was darkness then there was noise then there was sound, then there were voices then there were words.
"I don't know." An unfamiliar male voice stated. "Like I've say everyday, a day, a week, never."
"Come on, can't you give us a little more then that?" An unfamiliar female voice asked.
"You're not even family." The male voice defended. "You're not even supposed to be here."
"We're as close to family as he's got." A second female voice interjected. Did he recognize that voice? Maybe.
"Oh come on, what would it hurt telling us a little itty bit of information." A very familiar voice chimed in with its touch of a Texas twang. What the HELL was she doing where ever he was? Gunn forced his eyes opened and the flood of light made him groan.
Four attractive women and a middle aged male doctor turned to look at him. "Faith," the youngest of the group nearly shouted. "He's awake."
The doctor tried to hold the women back but was pushed a side like he wasn't even there. A sturdy looking brunette with long wavy brown hair pushed to the front. "Hey, looks like you finally bit off more then you could chew."
"Faith?" Gunn whispered. "Where am I? What are you doing here?
"You're in the hospital. We were so worried." 'Fred' said as she sat on the edge of his bed and ran her fingers down the side of his face.
Fred's tone deepened a bit. "I've grown accustomed to you."
Gunn almost smiled. Now he knew he wasn't dead.
The blond and young brunette stepped forward. "Hi." The blond said. "I'm Buffy, and this is my sister Dawn."
"You're Buffy?" Gunn looked at the petite woman. "I thought you'd be bigger."
"Oriens is my new guide." 'Fred' said cheerily to Gunn.
"Don't call me that." Dawn said a hint of exasperation in her voice.
Gunn closed his eyes dear God, he was in the twilight zone. Some teenage kid had the job of controlling an ancient demon who wanted to rule the world. "How long was I out?"
"A week." Faith said.
Then Buffy asked "What's the last thing you remember?"
"The last thing I remember is me, Angel, Spike and" he looked at 'Fred' "and Illyria where rushing forward to meet the mob. I remember swinging at a couple of demons then falling. Then I remember flying toward a window in one of the buildings."
"You could no longer fight so I removed you from the battle." 'Fred' said in the deeper voice of Illyria.
"What about Angel and Spike? What happened to them?" He asked Illyria.
"I do not know the fate of the half..."
Dawn cleared her throat loudly.
Illyria glanced at Dawn and changed back to her Fred voice. "I didn't see what happened to... Angel or Spike."
"We assume they didn't make it." Faith added.
"Of course I've seen both of them die before." Buffy forced a grin.
Gunn looked past the women wondering what happened to the doctor. The doctor was now being distracted by two teenage girls in private school uniforms. He squinted, these two, the blonde and red head, looked familiar; he'd seen these slayers in action before.
"So now what?" Gunn asked. "Are the Senior Partners after me?"
"We haven't seen anybody skulking around." Buffy said. "Perhaps they'll forget about you since it looks like they got Angel and Spike."
"Besides, I put a protection spell on you." Willow suddenly said from the back of the room.
Gunn looked up at the red head who now had a very distinct stripe of white hair highlighting her right temple. "Hey Willow," he greeted her. "I like the new look."
The young woman smiled. "Just a side effect of using some pretty strong magic," She pushed her way to the bed and sat on the edge and stared at Illyria for a second. "Searching for Fred's soul."
Gunn glared at Illyria then looked back at Willow. "Go on."
"I found it." Willow said quietly, a tear formed in Gunn's un-bandaged eye. "It did not burn up when Illyria moved in. She just fought so hard that Illyria thought she burned up."
"You mean you could still get her back?"
"No!" Buffy interjected. "She has moved on, we do not bring people back."
"It's a good place." Willow confirmed.
"Ask him." Dawn said from across the room.
The women looked at each other then finally at Faith who had the most history with Gunn other then 'Fred'.
"We were wondering," Faith finally said. "If you would like to join the Watcher's Council?"
"I don't know if my lawyer upgrades will stick." Gunn whispered.
"Doesn't matter." Buffy said. "You know the subject and are good in the field. I think you would make a great watcher. We have so few experienced people to help with the slayers, we'd love to have you."
"After the price I paid," He looked at 'Fred'. "We paid for the lawyer upgrades you want the old Gunn instead?"
"Oh, don't get me wrong. We can use the lawyer as well; I'm just saying we've got a place for you no matter what."
Trying to be part of the conversation, Dawn opened a dresser drawer. "We got you some clothes." She pulled out some sweat pants, t-shirt and jacket. "We didn't really know your size so we got stuff that would stretch."
"Ah, thanks." Gunn forced a smile. "What about my own stuff? Perhaps you could go to my apartment."
"It was owned by the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart." 'Fred' said. "They decided not to draw attention by going there."
"We went to Wesley's and Spikes apartments though." Dawn volunteered.
Frowning at Dawn Buffy clarified. "We needed to retrieve any important documents, especially about Illyria if she's going to be with us. I also didn't like the thought of some stranger going through our friends' things."
"We just got back from Spike's." Faith said.
"I'm still trying to figure out where he got five identical black leather dusters." Willow added.
"Yea," Faith agreed. "Robin's going to be freaked by that since it was supposed to be the duster Spike took from his mom."
Gunn just grit his teeth. He did not want to get into Angel and Spike's little trip to Italy just now.
"We also retrieved the killing simulation unit." 'Fred' added. "It is useful to teach the young warriors reflexes and desensitize them to violence."
Gunn looked at the others for help.
"X Box." Buffy said.
Just then, the blond slayer from the hallway came in. "Miss Summers," she said quietly to Buffy. "Mary thinks there's a vampire in the building; maybe in the basement."
"It took you long enough." She said in fake criticism. "The morgue is in the basement. Why don't you two head on down. We'll be there in a minute."
The girl immediately lit up with a bright smile and dashed out of the room.
Turning back to Gunn, Buffy said "Mary's a natural. I couldn't sense Vampires like that until after the activation."
"You ladies are going to have to leave now." The doctor said as he came back into the room.
'Fred' patted Gunn's hand. "We'll be back tomorrow." She said with a smile.
"I'll be near by." Faith added as she followed the rest out of the room.
Meanwhile across town the flimsy door to a shabby apartment was forced open revealing a man wearing knee length short pants, a faded Hawaiian shirt and large neon green canvas sneakers. The sneakers were tied extremely tight so he wouldn't step out of the oversized shoes. His curly brown hair was plastered to his sun burned forehead with sweat and he was rubbing his shoulder from the pain of forcing the door open.
Spike, now William, looked around the apartment he had 'lived' in. The damage from the fight between Illyria and Hamilton had been cleaned up but not repaired. He looked around, somebody had been here, and things were missing but not everything. The TV and stereo were there but his X Box was gone. He checked the kitchen it had been cleaned and dishes put away. The sink still had drops of water in it.
William turned on the faucet to get a drink of cold water and looked in the cupboard for his mug. He never would tell anybody why he had insisted on buying the old "Kiss The Librarian" mug he'd found in a thrift store. It was gone.
"What the? The only things missing are mine?"
William immediately rushed to the closet where he had kept his clothes. His spare dusters were gone, the few clothes he had in the dresser were gone and most importantly, his extra pair of boots were gone.
"AH BLOODY HELL!!"