Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters except for the ones that I created.
Author's Note: This takes place after the series finale of Angel and is my idea about possibly what happened next to everyone.
Let's face it, LA looked like shit when all was said and done. At least a dozen city blocks were laid to waste. Dad said that he had been totally surprised that anything other than he and uncle Angel had survived the destruction. In reality dad and uncle Angel only survived by the skin of their teeth, and only because of Aunt Nina and her stubbornly refusing to follow Uncle Angel's instructions, a habit that thankfully continues to this very day…
-Memoirs of William "Spike" Summers Jr.
Each small, minute act that he dared, from blinking his eyelids to trying to inhale brought on jagged knives of pain through his chest and spine. Even though he truly did not require to breathe it came to him more as a reflex than a necessity. Blood soaked his vision and trickled down into his mouth, making him nauseous. Through the fuzzy haze that enveloped his memory he remembered Angel's declaration that he wanted to be the one to kill the dragon, but after that the onslaught had all run together into an amalgamated nightmare of biblical proportions. He had fractured recollections of Illyria casting herself at the portal, shrugging off blow after blow before she had reached her destination. The explosion that started the chain reaction had been Illyria sacrificing her own life to close Wolfram and Hart's portal, thus ceasing the tide of demons.
His most immediate concern was escaping the fast approaching sunrise by whatever means necessary. He didn't know where Angel was or even if his grandsire had survived the angry mob of demons. Guided by scent and sound more than sight Spike shuddered in pain as he hauled himself back up to his feet using a half shattered wall for support. He stumbled awkwardly along the wall for a few wobbly steps, the cracked edges of the bricks slicing open his already bloody fingers and palms, before we was halted by a surprising voice.
"S…Spike," Nina called out fearfully, her eyes wide as she took in the scene of absolute horror in front of her. Rather than the brash, confident, and strangely endearing bleached blond vampire that she had come to know Nina saw before her his opposite. Instead she beheld a sickening sight, as Spike looked worse than she had ever seen him. His beloved duster hung off of his seemingly skeletal frame in tatters, large gaping holes burnt out of it with the pale white skin beneath horribly charred. She was amazed that he was even walking. But if he had made it then there was still hope to be had. "Angel…Spike where's Angel," Nina exclaimed frantically as she forget her bout of shock and rushed forward, seizing Spike by the shoulders before he let out a very pained howl. "Sorry…," Nina chided herself as her cheeks went crimson with embarrassment and regret and were washed in a torrent of terrified tears.
"Forget about it pet," Spike answered softly with a faint hint of his old bravado and smile before he turned back to look out over the desolation.
"Angel…," Nina asked again, this time with a nervous tone to her voice and a slight sniffle, as she slowly made her way past Spike and down into the crater.
"No clue…we got separated, bloody fool couldn't let the fight end without slaying that damn dragon, tried to tell him that this wasn't a bloody fair tale but…," Spike answered with an almost haughty grin on his face that tried to conceal the look of concern and worry in his gaze.
"Spike," Nina exclaimed with an exasperated and shocked look of anger on her face as she had to fight hard to keep from slapping him upside the head for the remark.
"Oh come off it…I'm sure that Peaches is here somewhere, he's to damn stubborn to die," Spike groaned with a pained grimace on his face as he started to follow Nina down into the crater.
"At least until I'm one hundred percent sure that you're already dead," Angel declared with a voice dripping with relieved sarcasm as he tried to mask his joy at finding Spike still alive amidst the destruction.
"Angel," Nina shouted at the top of her lungs, her eyes glistening with tears of joy, before she scrambled back up out of the crater past an astonished and smirking Spike and flung herself at Angel.
"N…Nina, what are you," Angel started to ask with a very surprised look on his face, as Nina tightened her hug and wept into his shoulder, while asking Spike with his eyes what his girlfriend was doing there. Spike's only answer was a half smirk coupled with a painful shrugging of his shoulders before he leaned his back up against the remaining wall and allowed his knees to bend while sliding down the wall into a crouched position. "Spike," Angel shouted in alarm as he disentangled himself from Nina and rushed to his grandchilde's side amidst the rubble.
"I'm okay Peaches…just got a little winded, nothing to worry about," Spike mumbled back as he weakly tried to wave Angel off.
"You don't breathe Spike, so tell me another one," Angel shot back with a serious and sad look of disapproval on his face before he looped an arm around Spike's shoulders and tried to help him stand back up.
"Let go of me," Spike growled angrily as he momentarily half slipped his game face on before because of his severely weakened state his human visage slipped back into place.
"I will…when I'm sure that you're not going to pass out on me, come on we need to find some cover, the sun's almost up," Angel snapped back with a frustrated and impatient scowl on his face as he scanned their surroundings for cover.
"Wait…where's Gunn…Wesley…Illyria, Angel…," Nina asked slowly with a steadily decreasing look of hope on her face until her knees began to shake slightly. "Oh God…," Nina gasped softly, with tears forming in her eyes, as she clapped a hand over her mouth and sank to the ground, feverishly attempting to refrain from bursting into tears. The end result was to release a couple of garbled moans of horror and sadness.
"Nina…," Angel groaned softly with a worried look on his face before he left Spike's side and rushed over to keep Nina moving as he began to hear the sirens of the police and paramedics coming ever closer.
"What…Angel what, how," Nina stammered out with a shell-shocked look on her face as she slowly rose back up to her feet and allowed Angel to lead her over towards where Spike was busy trying to stay on his feet.
"Later Nina," Angel answered with a grim frown on his face as Spike snickered a couple of times at them jokingly before looking sadly back at the devastation.
"What now…," Spike asked with a weary expression on his face as he started to limp badly away from the epicenter and towards the nearest usable sewer entrance.
"We find some cover before I pass out…," Angel replied with a pained grimace on his face before he knelt down and got a good grip on the manhole cover.
"Hail the conquering heroes…," Nina mumbled dryly as she wrapped her arms tightly around her midsection and stared out as the first few rays of the morning sun washed over her, illuminating a solitary tear sliding down her cheek.
Buffy awoke to the sounds and smells that she had become accustomed to in Italy every since leaving the ruins of Sunnydale far behind. She could smell Andrew in the kitchen, mostly because for every day since an odd night when she had come back after a less than enthusiastic date with the Immortal Andrew had cooked every single dish that he could think of. He did this without fault or detour. Buffy had tried everything that she could think of, including threats, to get him to divulge the reasons for his culinary feats. Dawn had come the closest to uncovering his reasons but she had become stymied like the rest of them when Giles had mentioned Angel's name. After that they had all given up hope of ever figuring it out.
"Morning Buffy," Xander shouted with a warm smile on his face before he pulled Buffy into a warm hug.
"I…it's morning, man…how long was I out," Buffy quipped with a confused smile on her face before Xander pulled away and allowed her to take a seat on the couch.
"Xander's exaggerating Buffy; it's really like three in the afternoon," Willow chimed in with a slightly scolding frown on her face before she couldn't help it and her frown broke into a smile.
"Really…guess I must have been really tired," Buffy mumbled through a deep yawn as she began a carefree search for the remote.
"A little worn out from the big date…," Dawn joked from the doorway before she walked into the living room, looking ready to go out with friends.
"Uh…something like that," Buffy replied with a nervous and slightly embarrassed smile on her face before Xander reached over the back of the chair and handed her a steaming hot cup of tea.
"Oh Buffy, I almost forgot, Giles called about an hour ago, he wanted you to go and see him after you woke up," Andrew interjected with a happy smile on his face as he momentarily stepped out of the kitchen before having to rush back to tend to something on the stove.
"Great, he probably found another new slayer that he wants me to help him track down…isn't this one like the fourth this week," Buffy groaned with a tired and frustrated pout on her face as she took a sip of her tea and then leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
"Fifth…if my numbers are right…but look at it this way…," Willow began to say with a chipper smile on her face before the front door swung up and a hurried looking Kennedy rushed in, followed behind by a very concerned looking Giles, and turned the television on.
"Why hello Kennedy…nice to see you to, how are you this…," Xander joked with a content smile on his face as he took a cup of tea for himself that Willow handed him before he walked over and handed the one that he had picked up earlier to Giles.
"Have you guys seen the news…," Kennedy called out to no one in particular as she frantically flipped through the channels until she found one that she liked.
"Not really big on the news here Kennedy, it's always the same ole thing…even in Italy," Buffy mumbled with a slightly drowsy smile on her face as she pulled her feet up off of the floor and laid them on the next cushion over.
"It's never been like this Buffy," Kennedy stated back with a very grim and serious scowl on her face as she stood up and scrambled back to the couch, pushing Buffy's feet off of the cushion before sitting down.
"Sorry Giles, but I don't see what the big deal is…see there's the aftershock rings, just another earthquake," Xander asked with a slightly confused look on his face as he nodded his head towards a map of Los Angeles with what looked like the usual earthquake coverage on the news.
"There was no earthquake in California last night Xander, this is something else…something I fear far worse," Giles replied with a very serious and almost impatient frown on his face as he politely closed the door.
"You think it's the hellmouth, getting all hell-mouthy again," Buffy wondered, dreading the thought of the hellmouth that had taken so much from her opening up again.
"Let's hope not…," Xander groaned with a look of sad regret on his face as he half turned away from the screen and stared off into the space. He always got this way when any mention of anything connected to Anya was brought up.
"For once I do not think that the hellmouth had anything to do with what happened in Los Angeles last night, but I'm afraid to think of what could have…given the amount of damage," Giles answered with a deep in thought frown on his face before he took a sip of tea and sighed.
"Search and recovery efforts continue here with still no clear cause in sight, to recap…early this morning a very large and powerful blast with origins unknown shook this city to its core, and when the sun came up the horrendous amount of devastation could be truly taken into account…it's still to early to tell but government and city officials do not believe that this was the work of terrorists connected with Osama Bin Laden, but they stress that they are not willing to rule anything out at this moment…," A grim and scared looking newscaster stated as she tried to stay out of the way of a multitude of rescue workers and gawking spectators near a barricade.
"Natural gas explosion…," Dawn started to ask with a bored look on her face before the news station switched to an aerial view of the devastation. The room went instantly silent, with Buffy having to hold firmly onto her cup of tea with both hands to keep from dropping it while nearly everyone else's jaws hit the floor.
"Oh no…," Willow gasped in utter shock as she covered her mouth with her hands and tried to stay calm.
"How…what could have done that much damage," Buffy finally asked with a very serious and upset expression on her face as she reached over and set her cup of tea down on the end table.
"I'm not entirely sure Buffy, but from the few sources in Los Angeles that I have actually been able to get in touch with they strongly believe that the cause of this destruction was supernatural in nature, one of my oldest friends, a retired watcher, phoned me on the way over here, he said that a giant portal appeared in the sky last night, and through the pouring rain what looked like an army of demons and other horrific creatures marching through the streets," Giles replied with a very worried and concerned scowl on his face before he lowered himself into one of the empty chairs and took a sip of his tea.
"Do you think that Angel had anything to do with this…," Buffy asked with a well hidden look of nervousness on her face as she turned her gaze back from Giles' face to the screen.
"It's entirely possible, with all of the resources of Wolfram and Hart at his disposal…and if the reports of his recent actions are true…I wouldn't put it out of the frame of reference to suggest that…Angelus…might have been set upon the world once more," Giles answered slowly, his voice in a low and not very optimistic tone, before he used one hand to pull a handkerchief out of his pocket and began to clean his glasses while handing Xander his cup of tea with the other. That hypothesis got a sharp and scared gasp out of everyone except for Dawn.
"But Giles…you're not sure, not one hundred percent sure…that Angel had anything to do with this right, I mean just because he took over as CEO of Hell Inc. doesn't necessarily mean that he's behind this…I mean we should at least call him or something right," Dawn wondered with a scared look on her face as she turned and looked sadly down at Buffy.
"Dawn…we've been over this, as hard as it is to handle we simply can't trust Angel anymore, we can't be sure of his motives…," Buffy replied softly with a pained look on her face as she tried to stay as calm as possible given the current state of affairs that she found herself in.
"I think Dawn's right…," Andrew jumped in with a timid but daring look on his face as he stepped out of the kitchen and took of the apron.
"Yeah well…no one asked you," Kennedy snapped with an annoyed scowl on her face before she found the remote.
"So what now Giles, what's our next move," Buffy asked with a serious and slightly nervous look on her face as she stood up and picked her cup of tea up off of the end table.
"I've already sent word to my contacts in the area, when they find out anything concrete then they'll report back to me and we'll have a better understanding of the situation before we proceed," Giles answered with a calm but yet serious look on his face as he finished cleaning his glasses and put them back on.
"Good…then when they do…wake me up, I'm going back to bed, maybe I'll be lucky and this will all be some crazy dream…," Buffy joked with a tired yawn as she handed a surprised Andrew her cup of tea before she sauntered off back to her bedroom.
"Angel…quit being such a big baby and let me see," Nina groaned with an annoyed scowl on her face as she tried once again to get Angel to let her clean his injuries. The trio had traveled a short distance before arriving back at the Hyperion and while Spike had crashed on one of the couches Angel had slumped down onto the round sofa in the middle of the dimly lit lobby.
"It's not really that bad…damn," Angel grumbled as he started to protest but the unshakeable scowl on Nina's face made him face facts. With a frustrated and nervous look on his face Angel unbuttoned his shirt and slid it off, revealing a torso full of burned patches, dark purple bruises, and to many small cuts and nicks to count.
"Great…you try to play hero and this is what you get," Nina stated with a less than pleased expression on her face before she stood up to try to get a better look at Angel's injuries.
"I'm not a hero…or a champion, not anymore," Angel mumbled with a very sad and somber frown on his face before the front doors of the Hyperion were flung open and a slightly limping Connor hobbled through, his face brightening up at the sight of Angel still amongst the surviving few.
"Connor…," Nina exclaimed with a shocked and worried look on her face before she rushed to his side and helped him limp towards Angel.
"Dad…," Connor stated with a nervous look on his face at first before he broke into a smile and he and Angel hugged each other.
"Such a touching moment…almost makes me wish that I gave a bloody damn," Spike piped up from the couch before he painfully sat up and shook his head.
"How bad is it," Connor asked after having taken a step back from Angel, allowing the latter to sit back down on the sofa.
"Bad…Connor, Spike and I are all that's left," Angel replied with sullen and grim expression on his face as he dropped his head down a bit and scratched the back of his head.
"Angel please…can't all of this wait until tomorrow, the world won't end between now and then…," Nina added with an impatient and very worried look on her face before she went to the counter and retrieved the first aid kit.
"Yeah…I guess so," Angel answered with a tired and weary look on his face as Connor sat down on the sofa beside him and made a face at the sight of Angel's injuries.
"Good, now sit still and let me work, I'd hate for my boyfriend to bleed to death," Nina commanded with a sincere and serious frown on her face as she hurried back over towards the sofa.
"Well actually Nina…unless we can find a way to keep that portal closed the senior partners are only going to open up another one to finish us all off…and from the rumblings that I've heard it won't take them very long," Connor stated with a less than pleased look on his face before Spike leaned back and stared up at the ceiling.
"Great…Blue sacrifices herself to close the bloody portal and now we find out that even that isn't enough," Spike grumbled with a sarcastic chuckle before he had to stop as the searing pain in his chest became to much.
"So what now," Connor asked with a concerned and unsure scowl on his face as he pushed Angel's bloody shirt off of the sofa and onto the floor.
"We find someone that can figure out a way to keep a portal from ever opening up again," Angel declared with a very serious and concerned look on his face before he hissed in pain as Nina dabbed some peroxide on a cotton ball and dabbed at the biggest of Angel's cuts.
"Care to explain who we're going to get to do that, only one that I knew of could do that was Wesley, but since he's dead we're out of options…," Spike mused with an unhappy and rueful scowl on his face before he grunted in pain as he hauled himself back up to his feet.
"You're right Spike, Wesley was the only one…but now that he's dead…," Angel continued with a sad frown on his face as he hung his head and slumped his shoulders forward a bit.
"It's only a matter of time before they open another portal and finish us off," Nina guessed with an almost sarcastic smile on her face before she dabbed another of Angel's cuts.
"Guess there's only one thing left to do then…," Angel began with a slightly unsure smile on his face as he turned his head and looked over at Spike, who stopped mid step to scowl at Angel.
"Don't even think about it Angel, they wouldn't help us before and they're not going to help us now, Giles wouldn't even take your call when Fred's life was at stake…he won't take it now," Spike grumbled with an angry and spiteful sneer on his face as he made his way over towards the sofa and sat down beside Connor, barely acknowledging his presence.
"Then we have only one course of action, somehow…some way…we have to get Wesley back," Angel stated slowly, in a tone of voice that hinted that even he wasn't liking the plan, before everyone in the lobby fell silent and concerned themselves about making it through the day.
END OF CHAPTER 1