Willow looked up at them with heartbroken eyes for what felt
like an eternity. Every second that
passed deepen the feeling of dread that filled Angel and then she said it; "Buffy died."
Before the words could echo in the painfully silent room Angel
knew what he was going to do. Buffy
couldn't be dead, he wouldn't let her be dead.
Angel spun on his heel and raced out of the Hotel and into the night.
When he reached the place he didn't pause as he had
before. No uncertainty, no awkward
jokes to psyche himself up. If the
portal had changed locations it would hurt, not that he'd notice it, not with
the pain that already existed in his heart.
He didn't even slow as he reached the edge of the empty pool, his run
simply flowed into a smooth dive.
When he rolled to his feet in the trial chamber Angel shook
with relief. It was still here, still
open to him.
The being he'd dubbed Jeeves last time approached him and
began his spiel then faltered. "You…
Why are you here again?"
"I'm sorry about how I behaved last time, but I still passed
all of your tests," Angel said firmly.
"You still owe me a life, bring back Buffy."
Jeeves blinked in surprise and silence stretched out between
Angel began unbuttoning his shirt, kicking off his shoes as he
did so. "I'll take the tests again," he
offered. A quaver entered his
voice. "Or other trials if you want."
Angel sank to his knees looking up at Jeeves with dark
pleading eyes that glistened with tears not yet shed. "I'll do whatever you want," he begged. "Just bring her back… Anything at all… Please…"