Chapter 30 – Epilogue

It's been four months since I told Angel to go home (in a note), and ten since I left Los Angeles. In the six months we'd been gone, I'd managed to harness what I could learn from the demon, and the changes to my brain. The benefit to having a metaphysical memory dump from all the Aurelians was that I had knowledge to call upon at will, if I could take that leap of faith and access it. So, I did, and I've taken care of myself.

And found the one person in the entire world that could help me. Well, demon. The semantics don't matter. He knew that I was coming, which was weird, since I didn't exactly ask around. I suppose you know lots of things when you have that much power.

I trekked to the caves under the cover of darkness – sunlight still hurt my eyes – and the big lug with his glowing eyes was waiting for me.

"I know what you seek, little one."

"Really? Saves me time asking, then. What do I have to do?" I asked.

"You've already faced your trials. I am prepared to give you your reward, if you still want it."

"Of course, I do. I never wanted the crazy bitch in my head in the first place."

"Follow."

Lurky led me deeper into the cave system. He judged me worthy, obviously, since I didn't go up in flames. Still, I knew to be wary of how he would interpret my desires. He stopped and pointed to a stone table.

"Lie down."

"You really like to chatter on and on…" I responded. I get snarky when I'm nervous. The look he gave me said he wasn't amused.

So, I complied and lay down. He touched that gigantic paw to my forehead, and OW! Searing pain, then unconsciousness. When I awoke, I was back at the nearest village, and it was day.

At first, I thought he gypped me, for I still had the extra perceptive senses.

Son of a bitch!

Our agent acted as was meant for you.

"Who said that?" I said aloud, though I knew my ears hadn't heard the voice.

You know in your heart. You are our emissary.

"Couldn't I just have my life back? It's what I wanted!"

And you can still go home, Charlotte.

I could. I was free. Different. New.

"So where does the newborn go from here?" I asked.

Follow your heart. You will know when you are needed.

Bloody Powers That Be. Hey, the quote fits. I could go anywhere in the world, but Los Angeles is tugging at me. We have unfinished business.

---------

Spike sat in his leather recliner watching "It's A Wonderful Life" on TV. It was two days before Christmas, his shopping was taken care of, demon activity was quiet, and he had a fresh six-pack of cold beer.

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings."

His doorbell rang suddenly, the old push-button type with an actual bell inside that came with the old building. He grumbled, set his beer on top the television, and opened the door, thinking it was probably Buffy. You could have knocked him over with a feather.

"Hi, Spike," Charlotte said softly.

The End.

-------

Well, that's it, folks. Thanks to all the reviewers and supporters. I finished the story in under a year! Let me know what you think now that it's over, 'kay? 'Til next time.

Caro Mio