Summary: Resubmitted this first chapter because, duh…it's a prolog, not an epilog. Sorry. It's 1968 and Angel has found a moment of perfect happiness. Just what it means for Buffy remains to be seen. Will take place at the beginning of Buffy/Season 2. Almost totally AU.
Pairing: Buffy/Angelus, more as the story progresses.
Disclaimers: Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon own it all. I'm just doing this for fun, and hopefully entertainment
Angel had first met the girl when she was pregnant and half starved. He wasn't doing much better himself, but he took her in and nursed her back to health. She'd given him a reason to try to live again. Something, someone to care about. And he'd given her something as well, a bit of faith in her fellow man.
He was someone who asked nothing of her, just that she take care of herself. Eat the food he brought to her, take the vitamins he gave her, visit the free clinic. He gave so much and yet asked nothing in return. It was a novelty to a girl who had almost everything taken from her at a very early age and had to pay, in one way or another, for every little bit she had gotten since. He was the first kind man she had ever met. She knew he had secrets, but it just didn't matter. He had become her friend and she trusted him with her life. And naturally, had fallen in love with him.
When Annie was ready to give birth, Angel had taken her to the hospital and stayed with her all through her labor. Encouraging her, never letting her give up. Finally, when she held her son in her hands and knew he was healthy, that her poor condition at the beginning of the pregnancy hadn't hurt the baby, she gave a sigh of relief and handed her son over to Angel, "Please, he owes his life to you, will you name him?"
Angel had been overcome with emotion, but held onto to his dignity a while longer as he took the task very seriously. This was a very significant decision. The wrong name could scar him for life Angel thought. And then it came to him, a good name, a solid name. A name that would take the child far in his life, if Angel had any say in it.
He looked at Annie with just a little bit of wonder in his eyes. "Connor, I really like the name and I don't think it'll get him beat up too much at school."
She smiled up at him. "I think it's a fine name. Connor it is, I'll let the nurse know for his certificate. Thank you again Angel." She paused, "For everything."
Angel held the child in his arms and looked over at the young woman who gazed at him adoringly.
"I know you're not his real daddy but you've meant more to him, to us this past year then anyone in our entire lives." Annie referred to Angel as daddy whenever she spoke to the baby, and he felt a lucky imposter each time. "I don't know how to thank you Angel. You know how I feel about you. I'm hoping you feel just a bit of what I do. And even if you don't, it's okay because I know I feel enough for the both of us." There was such hope, such openness in her voice and in her face.
And Angel thought, maybe, just maybe this could be home. He didn't love her, but he did care for her and the boy was coming to mean the world to him. As he looked down at Connor, the baby laughed and reached for Angel's nose. Then he said the word that would turn Angel's world upside down, once again.
Angel looked at Annie, then at Connor. His heart filled with such joy, such hope and happiness. He had never felt such completeness, even when he had still been human. What he didn't expect was the agonizing pain that followed. Looking over at Annie with absolute fear and anguish, he pushed the baby into her arms.
"Run Annie! Take the baby and run as fast and as far as you can!" Angel fell onto his knees, an agonizing groan escaping from his lips.
He looked up at Annie again, his eyes glowing yellow and yelled. "Now! Leave while you still can!"
"Angel, please. What's wrong?" she pleaded in fear and confusion.
"This is my last warning. Run! Don't look back. Don't ever look for me. He'll kill you and the boy! Run Annie!"
She saw a change in him that made her blood run cold. Fear and the instinct to protect her son took over and she knew that she had to escape. Barely able to see through her tears, she grabbed her son and held him close as she ran for the door, afraid to look back.
Angel doubled over into the fetal position, excruciating pain and fear running through his body as he felt his soul being sucked out into the ether as he experienced his last moments as himself.
He stretched and blinked his eyes a few times, not really sure how much time had passed. Minutes, hours, days. He didn't know and he didn't care. His eyes began to adjust and his confusion began to clear. Standing, he turned several times, taking in his surroundings.
I'm free, he thought. After all those decades stuck with that whiny bastard, I'm finally free! He didn't feel the soul anywhere, no twinges of guilt or anguish – the soul was gone, totally gone. He laughed out loud and silently thanked Annie and Connor. Well, mostly the whiny whelp. For this gift, he thought, you can live.
Angelus looked around the apartment again and laughed. With all of his financial resources at Angel's fingertips the idiot chose to live like a pauper. Even with that vapid girl and her bastard son, he had barely kept them in diapers and formula.
His mind flashed on those years of living on the streets, chasing down rats for sustenance and he cringed. The soul had even refused to eat cats and dogs. The fact that they had survived as long as they did was a testament to Angelus' strength.
Now he would live the life he'd been dreaming of while trapped in his own body. Just hoped his accounts were still in place. But Switzerland being Switzerland, he was sure he was just fine.
He laughed again with the thoughts of having his life back. And with the realization that he could finally seek his revenge on those who had turned against him in his hour of need.
Darla, Dru and William. He would make them all pay for deserting him. No matter how long it took, he would find them and they would pay.