My version of the unset end, post NFA. I felt compelled. Also posted in the Angel fandom. Tissue

Buffy ran. She ran as fast as she could. She'd sent the lightning and fire from her plane.

Buffy turned a corner, still running.

Xander and Willow called from behind her. The other Slayers were even farther behind them. They wanted her to slow down. There was no way she would let herself do that.

She finally arrived at a small dingy alleyway littered with bodies of demon and human alike. It was damp and mucky. Silent.

She had never in her life heard such silence. So silent it was deafening, like very hot water.

She stopped running and fell to her knees at a sight of a pile of muddy dust. "I'm too late." She whispered. It was so quiet, her comment had echoed and resounded off the wet walls.

She swirled her finger slowly in the muck and sighed. Again she whispered "…too late."

She could hear Xander and Willow calling from around the corner. Her eyes clenched with burning tears. He was gone.

"Buffy!" Xander exclaimed as he found her.

Willow stopped and told him to "shh". She could see how upset her friend was.

"But-" He entreated.

"Xander, shut up." She hissed, her eyes narrowed.

"He's gone, Will." Buffy looked up, her face gleaming with tears. Her voice was like a small child's.

"We should go, Buffy." Willow suggested "There's nothing left." Her voice was hollow.

Buffy nodded and held her hand up. Willow helped her to get her bearings.

Buffy turned, the stomp of her boots was soft. She hated the sound.

"Wait!" A voice croaked from behind them.

Buffy turned, her eyes widened and she clasped her hands to her sides. "Angel." She whispered.

Within the past few seconds, Angel had limped from the shadows of the night, behind a wrecked and rusty dumpster into view.

"Wait." He repeated. "I'm coming with you." His jaw was clenched, his clothes battered and ripped.

Buffy ran over to him. "I thought you were dead." She cried softly.

"No. Not yet." He cringed. He paused and looked at the pile of muddy dust on the concrete and pointed. "That was Spike."

She looked to her feet and said a sensitive reflective "oh." She then tried to support him with her arm. "We need to fix you up." She whispered.

"I know." He replied.

"It's almost day." She commented, looking east.

"I know." He said with a small smile.

"I can't go any longer without doing this." She stopped in her tracks and let go of him. Buffy hugged him.

"Ow." He countered.

"Sorry." Her eyes widened and she made a small gasp. "Angel…your heart, it's beating!" She exclaimed, but in a voice that only he could hear.

A voice resounded in his head. Wesley's. "Shanshu has roots in so many different languages…It's- it's saying - that you get to live until you diesurvive the coming darkness, the apocalyptic battles, a few plagues, and some - uh, several, - not that many - fiends that will be unleashed."

Angel smiled. "I know." He had signed that fate away, it shouldn't have been possible. But, the Powers That Be had obviously intervened and tweaked a few things. His smile grew into a huge grin.

They loosened their hug and took hands and walked slowly back to where Willow and Xander were.

"The sun's coming out. We need to get you inside." Willow exclaimed, worriedly, oblivious.

"Don't worry about it, Will." Buffy smiled as Angel squinted at the light. She and Angel walked past them and into and across the dirty street. She looked over to him. "So what do want to do?"

The sun hit his face. He smiled. "I promised you forever, didn't I?"