TITLE: Changing Faces
AUTHOR: Kelly Rowe

RATING: PG
DISCLAIMER: Buffy, Angel and all other characters (except those I make up) are the absolute property of Joss Whedon, Fox, Mutant Enemy and Warner Bros (If I owned them, the events of Buffy season 4 or most of season 3 wouldn't have occurred).
SUMMARY: Buffy's been dead for 20 years, but a dream Angel has tells him something different. Has Buffy been reborn?
SPOILERS: All B/A up to and including IWRY. Some BTVS season 4 and ATS season 1 and 2.
TIMELINE: Approx. 20 years after Buffy's death (season 4 BTVS).
DISTRIBUTION: You want you can have it; just tell me where you put it.
PAIRING: Buffy/Angel (later Emma/Angel)
CATEGORY: AU, Action, Romance. Buffy/Angel/Charmed crossover.
NOTE: Emma is Buffy's name in her new life.
NOTE 2: The songs used are:
* I can still feel you - Collin Raye
* The Dance - Garth Brooks
* I would've loved you anyway - Trisha Yearwood
NOTE 3: EVENTS:
* Dawn was really Buffy's sister.
* Joyce didn't die.
* Parker never happened.
* Cole is a good guy (somewhat).
* Buffy and Riley were friends.
NOTE 4: This fic is loosely based on a challenge I sent out earlier in the year. I altered a lot, so that my version would be totally different from all the others.


PART 1
2000:
Buffy Summers looked around the graveyard and checked her watch for the thousandth time. Spike was late again, she was still actually having trouble believing that Giles was making her patrol with the big loser, especially after Willow's little foray into magick and it's results. She really didn't care that Spike was supposedly on the side of good (at least temporarily) everytime she looked at him, she thought about Dru - the nutball, which naturally led to thoughts of Angel. And these days when she thought about Angel (which since thanksgiving had been more and more often) the hurt, pain and love was more intense and this time the feelings just wouldn't go away, almost as though she was missing part of her. Buffy was so obsessed with her own thoughts about Angel, that she never heard the demon approach. Since she was surprised and distracted, she just couldn't seem to get her equilibrium back and the demon quickly dispatched her. By the time her body hit the ground she was already dead, her neck snapped into like it had been some sort of twig and that's how Spike found her when he showed up ten minutes later. He knelt down next to Buffy's lifeless body and felt an irrational surge of anger and helplessness. He carefully picked up Buffy's broken body and headed to Giles' place, hoping that he'd know what to do.
When Giles opened the door and saw Spike standing there carrying the dead body of his slayer, he felt his heartbreak in two at his worst nightmare come true. He let Spike inside and called the others, as he watched Spike carefully laid Buffy's body out on the couch. She looks just like she's sleeping Giles thought and wished with all his might that, that was true... that she'd just wake up and tell them that it was her idea of a horrible joke. It wasn't more than ten minutes later when the others arrived, all in shock, unable to believe that Buffy was dead. They collectively moved over to her broken body and stared at her lifeless form.
Willow was the first one to snap out of it and she asked Giles, "Did anyone call Joyce and Dawn?"
Giles just shook his head, "I didn't even think of it."
"It's okay G-man, you're not supposed to think of everything at a time like this" Xander told him as he stared at Buffy.
The phone suddenly rang and Willow answered it. "Hello?" she said sadly.
"She's dead isn't she?"
"Cordy?" Willow asked. "How did you know?"
"Angel... he's crying and he keeps muttering 'not her' and 'they promised this wouldn't happen'" Cordy told her. When there wasn't an answer, Cordy continued, "Call us and let us know about the funeral."
"Sure" Willow said hanging up the phone.
"What did the queen of bitca's want?" Xander asked finally turning his head away from his fallen hero.
Willow told him, "She wanted to know if it was true... about Buffy."
"How..." Giles began.
"Angel" Willow simply said with no emotion in her voice.
Xander walked over to his best friend and hugged her.
"It's not fair" Willow cried into Xander's shirt. "How is the world gonna survive without her? How are we?"
They all stood around and thought about what Willow had just said, because if Buffy... the strongest slayer ever couldn't survive, then what hope did anyone have?


THREE DAYS LATER:
Buffy's funeral was arranged by Joyce, she deliberately held it during the day, so that even in death she had separated Buffy and Angel, not even Dawn's pleadings of how Buffy wouldn't have wanted that went unheard. Cordelia and Wesley did attend however and got to say their good-byes to the girl who had not only saved their lives countless times, but also inadvertently influenced their paths in life. After the funeral was over, all of the mourners headed to Joyce's for the wake. Willow and Xander were the last to leave Buffy's grave, it was as though they felt that if they left it then she'd never be coming back, that this whole nightmare would in fact be true. Finally Giles had to come back from Joyce's and physically lead them away from the tangible reminder of their loss.
As soon as darkness fell Angel headed for his beloved's grave. He stood there staring at the marker, still unable to believe that she was gone, even though he knew that it was true because a giant piece of his heart was gone too. He decided that it was time to tell her everything... no she deserved to hear it... he wished she was alive to hear it all. "Buffy... my love. I am so sorry for so many things. For leaving you, for everything Angelus did to you and most of all... for taking our day back." He paused for a moment trying not to completely breakdown; in this last year he'd lost the two most important people in the world to him, Buffy and Doyle. "I miss you so much... Good-bye my love."
Spike watched Angel from his hiding place and realised that compared to all the others, even Joyce and the niblett, Angel was the one who was truly suffering. The 250+ vampire with a soul just lost his soulmate, his reason for being. He could somewhat sympathise with Angel because of his feelings for the ever absent Dru, but at least she was still out there somewhere and not buried six-feet under, never to return. Spike walked away, deciding that he was gonna go to Buffy's wake and for once celebrate the life of a slayer.


EIGHT WEEKS LATER:
Piper Halliwell and Leo Wyatt arrived back at the manor after Piper's doctor's appointment with smiles on both of their faces.
Phoebe spotted them and said, "Well, well... I guess your not deathly ill."
"No... Where's Prue?" Piper asked.
"Right here" Prue said coming out of the kitchen. "So, what's wrong?" she asked as she sat down next to Phoebe.
Piper smiled again, "Nothing is wrong, I'm perfectly healthy."
"Then why have you been sick?" Phoebe questioned.
"Well... Leo and I are... well, we're pregnant" Piper announced.
Prue and Phoebe practically flew out of their seats and engulfed their sister and Leo in a hug. "This is fantastic" Prue said.
"That's not all the good news," Leo added.
Prue and Phoebe stood there expectantly.
"Leo asked me to marry him... and I said yes!" Piper told them.
"Wow" was all Phoebe could say.
"I agree with that. Congratulations" Prue told them.
Then she and Phoebe dragged poor Piper and Leo into the living room and started to pump them for information.


SEVEN MONTHS LATER:
Prue and Phoebe were pacing the waiting room, desperate to know what was going on. It had been about an hour since Piper and Leo had gone into the delivery room. "What's taking them so long?" Phoebe grumbled ten minutes later.
Prue looked at her and said, "How am I supposed to know?"
They were just about to kidnap the next doctor or nurse that passed when Leo appeared. They ran up to him and Prue demanded, "Well?"
"It's a girl. 6 pounds, 5 ounces" Leo told them happily. He was ecstatic over becoming a father and now he had another little charmed one to watch over, this one even more precious than the others... his little girl.
"Cool" Phoebe said bouncing up and down in excitement.
At the same moment Prue asked, "When can we see them?"
"You can see Piper in a little while, but we can go to the nursery and see my daughter now" Leo told them.
"Lead us to our niece" Phoebe ordered as they followed Leo down the corridor.


About an hour later they went in to see Piper. She was still resting, but opened her eyes when she heard them all come in. "Hi" she said sleepily, "Did you see her? What do you think?"
"She's beautiful Piper" Phoebe told her sister.
"Agreed. Have you decided on a name?" Prue said.
"Yeah" Piper told them, "Emma Victoria."
"Emma was my mother's name" Leo explained when he saw the confusion on Prue and Phoebe's faces. They'd apparently expected them to name her Patricia or Melinda.
"It's a nice name," Prue said.
"It's pretty" Phoebe added, "Plus it's harder to find a rude word that rhymes with Emma to tease her with."
They talked for a while, until Piper fell asleep. Prue and Phoebe headed back to the manor, but Leo headed back to the nursery to take another look at his daughter. As he did this he wondered if he should tell Piper about their daughter's past life and her destiny. Finally he decided against it and headed back to the manor.


PART 2
2020:
Angel flopped down on his bed, exhausted from all the work he'd put into this last case and all he could think about was going to sleep. But in sleep he didn't find peace, he had a dream:
//Angel found himself standing in a field full of wildflowers in the middle of the day and he took a moment to smell them and to wonder at the feeling of the sun on his skin. He was suddenly interrupted by a familiar voice calling his name, a voice he hadn't heard in an extremely long time. "Buffy?" he whispered as he looked and was rewarded with her standing nearby.
"Angel" she said walking slowly towards him, so slowly he thought he might go mad from it. "I've got so much I need to say to you and so little time to make you understand them."
"Tell me what?" Angel asked confused.
Buffy took Angel's hand in hers and looked into his eyes, "You need to come find me."
"I can't... can't do... you're dead..."
"It's okay" Buffy comforted, "I'm still here. Call Giles ask about the prophecy of the return and he'll explain it."
Angel couldn't resist it anymore; he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. "I'll love you forever" he swore almost in tears.
Buffy looked at him and said, "I'll always love you too... in this life... and the next." Suddenly Buffy morphed from a short, blonde with hazel eyes to a tall, brunette with deep brown eyes. //
Angel awoke with a small yelp, the dream had been so vivid and it had upset him... reminded him of all he'd lost. Angel shook off the feelings it had invoked and tried to fall back to sleep, telling himself that it wasn't real... it was only a dream.


Meanwhile in San Francisco, 19-year-old Emma Wyatt was having a disturbing dream of her own.
//She found herself suddenly no longer staring at a youthful, naked Brendan Fraser and instead was in a large room in front of two strange entities and she wondered what in the heck was going on. She didn't have to wait long for an answer...
"Greetings warrior" the female said, "We have heard much about you from your father."
"Are you daddy's bosses? The PTB?"
"Not quite... we also work for them" the female answered her question.
"It is time you learn of your past and your destiny," the male said.
Before she could ask them what they meant, a bright light permeated the room and she was knocked to her knees. Suddenly her mind was filled with an influx of unfamiliar, yet familiar memories. "What?" she mumbled confused. All she could hear was a distant voice say, "Good luck warrior."//
Emma awoke panicked, but soon calmed herself. When she was sure that the flashes had stopped, she climbed out of her bed and went off in search of her father... she had a strong feeling he could explain this mess to her.


Leo Wyatt was relaxing in the living room after spending a harrowing night dealing with one of his charges, when Emma barged in. "Morning cutie-pie" Leo said getting up and hugging her.
She pulled out of his hug and asked him, "Who am I?"
"You're my little girl..." he answered not sure about what was going on.
"And?" she pushed.
"A slayer and a witch..."
"And?" she pushed again.
Leo suddenly realised that she knew and wondered why no one warned him. "You're also her... Buffy Anne Summers."
"Yeah, well that's what these memories tell me."
"Emma... what memories?" Leo asked.
Emma looked at him and realised that this time her father was as much in the dark about this whole memory thing as she was. "I had a dream... big room, two gold people, blinding light and presto... instant memories of another life."
"The oracles... even death can't shut them up" Leo mumbled. "How much of her memory did they give you?" he asked worried.
"All" Emma answered. "Her birth, her parents divorce, Angel, her seventeenth birthday and the events after and her death. And as an added bonus they gave me some memories of a day that never really happened... these ones are good memories though... real good ones."
"What are they thinking... memories? You're supposed to know your destiny, but Buffy's memories..." Leo was ranting. "I'm gonna go talk to them."
Emma watched her father orb away and wondered why she got caught with another sucky destiny and how she was gonna tell her boyfriend they had to break up because she was destined to spend eternity with a ensouled vampire, better yet that she actually wanted to spend the rest of her life with the vampire.


In LA, Angel woke up and came downstairs to find the hotel empty. Since he needed to speak with Wes about his dream, he couldn't do anything about it, so he picked up his sketchpad and drew the girl from his dream. An hour later he was so caught up with it that he didn't hear his friends arrive. "Hey" Cordy said scaring him.
"Jeez Cor" Angel said picking up the sketchpad he dropped. He stood up and grabbed Wes, "I need to talk to you."
"Certainly" Wes replied wondering why Angel was acting so skittish.
They went into Angel's office and he said, "I had a Buffy dream."
"So?" Wes asked confused.
"I haven't had one in five years... and this one was different."
"How?" Wes questioned.
Angel looked at him, "I could feel her presence... she was there and then... she changed into a totally different girl... but it was still Buffy."
"Are you on something?" Wesley asked cautiously.
"No... And I'm not nuts" Angel replied insulted.
"Angel" Wes started, "Buffy died twenty years ago and it's inconceivable that she has been hanging around for that long so she could visit your dreams."
"I guess. It just felt so real... like those dreams we used to share."
"Angel... I'm your friend and I'm telling you, Buffy is gone and it's time to move on. Buffy is not back!" Wes told him.


PART 3
Leo returned from his bosses and found Emma standing at the living room window staring out at the neighbourhood. "Sweetie... I'm back," Leo said.
Emma turned around and faced her father, then asked "Well... what did they say?"
"You were meant to get all of Buffy's memories and there is apparently a prophecy in the Book of Shadows we are supposed to read" Leo told her.
Leo had barely finished speaking before Emma orbed her way up to the attic. Leo followed quickly and then chastised her. "You know that you're not supposed to use your power to orb unless it's an emergency or they want to see you" Leo reminded her.
"They never want to see me face to face and it is an emergency... sort of" Emma replied standing in front of the Book of Shadows. She went to reach for it and the pages started flicking of their own accord, it opened to the page she wanted. "Thanks Grams" she said as she started to read out loud.
During the night that signals her nine and ten birth
Her memories shall be returned
She will see herself as a new part
Waiting for the fallen Angel to be whole
With the return of old loved ones
And joined with the new
He and she shall fight side by side
For together they are strong, apart they shall fall
"Well..." Leo was shocked into silence. It seemed to be a straight forward prophesy, that gave absolutely no useful information and confused the hell out of him.
"It refers to an upcoming battle that I'll fight with Angel, with help from the family and the Scooby gang" Emma told him, seeing the confusion etched on his face.
"Angel? Scooby gang?" Leo was still confused, "Who are these people?"
"The scooby gang consists of friends of mine who helped me last time I was slayer, plus Giles, Dawn and mo... Joyce" Emma replied.
"And Angel?" Leo pushed.
Emma took a deep breath, she knew this wasn't going to go well... her dad had problems with her dating Andy and he was at least normal. "Angel... he is an ensouled vampire that Buffy... had a relationship with."
"VAMPIRE!" Leo screamed. "They want you to join with some vampire. How do they mean join?"
"Maybe they mean fight side by side" Emma said, "That's the only way anyway... Angel has a clause in his curse, one moment true happiness and poof... then the return of Angelus - the Scourge of Europe."
"True happiness? How do you even know that to be true?" Leo asked.
Emma took another deep breath, "Buffy's seventeenth birthday."
Leo paled; his daughter in a past life not only fell in love with this vampire, but apparently also gave him true happiness. No way was that ever going to happen again, this time his little girl was staying away from that vampire except during the battles... she isn't going to join with anyone until she was at least forty. Besides she is a slayer, they're supposed to slay vampires' right? Leo ignored the niggling little voice that reminded him that she'd been a slayer last time and that hadn't stopped it.
"Daddy, don't worry... he's one of us, a good guy. He has a soul and he wouldn't hurt me or anyone else" Emma replied, trying to settle her father's fears.
Leo decided to let the Angel subject drop for now, they could talk about it later when he was calm. He hugged Emma and asked her, "So how are we going to tell your mom about this? I mean she didn't take you inheriting my powers as well as hers so well and when she found out about the slaying..."
"Yikes! I'd been repressing those memories. She's just gonna have to deal... like we are" Emma said.
"How come you're so wise?" Leo asked.
"I'm a lot older than I look" Emma teased as they left the attic.


That night Angel went to Caritas, talking to the host and listening to a Kalazy demon butcher the song 'I Will Always Love You'. "So what are you planning to sing tonight?" the host suddenly asked him suspiciously.
"Why do you want to know?" Angel countered.
The host looked at him and said, "Because I cannot take you singing one more Mannilow song."
Angel tried not to laugh, he usually sung them to annoy the host... however tonight he just want information and decided to sing something else. "Don't worry... tonight I'm not singing anything by Barry Mannilow" Angel assured him.
"So?" the host pushed. Angel caved in whispered the song title in the hosts ear. The host murmured something that sounded like 'Thank the Gods' and went up to the stage to introduce Angel. "Folks... do I have a treat for you tonight. Angel is going to sing something that didn't come off a Barry Mannilow album." The host waited until the applause died down, "So here he is with 'I Can Still Feel You'... our very own souled vamp, Angel."
Angel took the stage and grabbed the mike:
//It's that feeling that someone
Is standing behind me
And I turn around and there's no one there
And it's the sensation
That someone just whispered
Yeah and I still hear your voice, but you're not really there
Your memory is like a ghost
And my heart is its host//

//I can still feel you just as close as skin
Every now and then
All by myself in a crowded room, or my empty bed
There's a place you touched with your love no one gets close too
I can still feel you I can still feel you
I can still feel you I can still feel you//


When Angel finished he came down from the stage and before he could even ask his question, the host said, "You want to know about Buffy?"
"Yeah."
"She's dead" the host replied, but when he saw Angel's expression he added, "But isn't reincarnation a wonderful thing."
"Then she's really back?" Angel asked hopefully.
"For the last nineteen years... just as a different girl" the host told him.
"She's okay?"
"Yeah and don't worry, you'll see her again" the host told him.
"That's it?"
"What do you want? Her address? Her number? Forget it, I can't give it too you" the host said, "Come back soon."
Angel watched the host walk over to some new customers and left Caritas feeling extremely unsatisfied.


PART 4
When Angel returned to the Hyperion, he found Cordy doubled over in pain from a vision. "Cordy... are you okay? What do you see?"
"It was weird... Buffy, but not Buffy" Cordy told him.
"What do you mean?" Wesley asked his wife as he came back into the room with Cordy's aspirin.
"Cordy took it from Wes and sat down. "I saw Buffy... looking exactly like she did last time I saw her and then all of a sudden she was different... she looked totally different."
Angel pulled a sketch out of a draw, "Did she look like this?"
Cordy looked at the sketch. "She looked exactly like that," she said.
Angel quickly picked up the phone and Wes asked, "What are you doing?"
"I'm calling Giles."


Giles was awoken by the telephone and upset about being pulled away from his dream of Jenny, he answered it gruffly. "What?"
"Giles... it's Angel. Cordy just had a vision and it effects us all" Angel said.
Giles' anger faded as concern took over, "What's going to happen?"
"Buffy's back" Angel told him.
Giles sighed, "Angel... she died almost twenty years ago and I think that it's time that you moved on."
"No Giles... I mean that she's been reincarnated."
When Giles heard Angel say that, something in his memory clicked and he gasped. "Oh my... the prophecy."
"The prophecy? What about it?" Angel asked remembering that Buffy had said something about a prophecy in his dream.
"It'll be easier to explain in person. I'll call the gang and we'll come to you" Giles said.
"Sure... bye Giles" Angel said hanging up.
Giles hung up his end and began to wonder what Buffy would be like now. She was most likely a teenager and could be anywhere. What Giles really wanted to know was... did she remember them and if so, did she still want them in her life. Giles sighed and picked up the phone again, this time to summon the scooby gang.


The next day Angel was hiding in his room brooding when the gang arrived. Instead of going down to greet them he stayed put, needing time alone before he had to face them. He knew that everyone with the exceptions of Willow and Dawn blamed in some degree for Buffy's death. In their eyes by leaving her alone in Sunnydale he signed her death certificate, all conveniently forgetting that they'd wanted him to leave... hell, even he felt guilty over that and mad as hell at the oracles for promising Buffy wouldn't die if he turned back that day... the way things worked out, he may as well have stayed Human. Angel sighed and got up and headed slowly downstairs, he could hear them all talking about him. The most vocal of the group was of course Joyce, she was raving about how Buffy would have come to her first if she were truly back. Angel entered the lobby and everyone fell silent, except for Willow and Dawn who hugged him and said hello. He sat down next to Cordy and Wes, and then Giles began his interrogation of Cordy.
"What did you see in your vision?" he asked her.
Cordy just looked at him, "Buffy."
"And?" Joyce pushed.
"She changed from old Buffy into new Buffy" Cordy said. "If you want more info than that ask Angel, he's the one that had the Buffy dream."
All eyes turned to Angel. "She said to call Giles and something about a prophecy and then she morphed."
They all fell into an uncomfortable silence and Cordy could see they were bothering Angel and she did something nice by showing them to their rooms far away from her friend. Angel was grateful to Cordy for saving his sanity and he went into his office to do some work. He couldn't concentrate, all he could do was stare at the wall and wonder where she was and if she ever thought about him.


Emma was sitting on her bed staring out of the window, thinking about Angel. Leo walked in and sat down next to her. "Hi Emmie" he said smiling at her.
At her father's use of her childhood nickname, one that hadn't been used in ten years, she knew something was up, all that remained was to find out how bad it was or was gonna get. "What now?" she asked sarcastically, "Did they decide that I need to be a blonde again or something?"
"Nice sarcasm. Haven't you heard of not shooting the messenger?" Leo asked.
"When it comes to news from them... I not only shoot the messenger, but I stuff him and place him proudly above the mantle" she replied.
"Actually they just told me that the battle is to be fought here in San Francisco" Leo told her, "That means your friends will arrive soon."
Emma hugged her father. "Daddy, don't worry, it'll all work out... it always does somehow" she told him.
"I really hope so, Baby-girl."

PART 5
Joyce Summers was slowly going crazy, she'd been locked up in the stupid hotel with that darn vampire's company for two whole days and still none of them had managed to gather any new information on Buffy. She finally snapped and lashed out at the closest person to her, unfortunately that was Angel, who wasn't exactly pleased when she told him to go back to hell where he belonged. After that incident Angel longed to escape, but when he headed out to Caritas they all followed him.
"Angel" the host called out as he spotted him, "Two visits in one week. To what exactly do I owe this honour?"
"Nothing much... just thought maybe you had some new information... Or something?"

The host nodded in understanding, "The visitors are driving you nuts... especially the mother."

"How did you? Forget it" Angel muttered.

The host laughed, "Sing a song. It'll make you feel better."

"No it won't" Angel replied.

"Then you won't find out if I know anything new" the host teased.

"Fine" Angel muttered in defeat.

The host went up to the stage and before Angel knew it, he was once again singing.

//Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared 'neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye//

//And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could've missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance//


"Wow" Willow said to Cordy, "Angel's really, really bad at this."

"Yep. You'd think that after twenty years at this he'd improve, at least a little" Cordy replied.

"But you have to admit he's innovative" the host said coming up behind them. "He puts his own uniqueness into each song."

Cordy turned to him, "You're just glad he's not singing 'Mandy' again."

"Eternally grateful" the host agreed.


//Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say
You know I might have changed it all//

//And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance//

//Yes, my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance//


When he'd finished, Angel came down from the stage, he looked at the host expectantly. "Okay, big guy" he said handing him a slip of paper. "Go to this address... the battle is almost upon us." Angel stared at the paper and then gave the host a dubious look. "Okay... I know I've sent you on a few missions that were..."

"Deadly."

"Hey, you're still here" the host defended his decisions. "Anyway this one's correct and... there is a certain girl living there."

"I thought that you couldn't give me her address?"

"Hey, I'm fickle and a sucker for true love."

Angel took the paper, mumbled thanks and returned to the gang, where he was immediately questioned by Cordy.

"What did he say?" she asked.

"We have to go to San Francisco" Angel informed them.

"Why?"

"It's where the battle is to be fought" Angel said, "Also it's where she is."

There was a collective gasp from the group, followed by a moment of silence. Then Joyce said, "Let's go."

"We should consider the fact that she may not know who we are," Giles said trying to be the voice of reason.

This sobered Joyce and Dawn and Willow was then next to speak. "Whatever the outcome... we'll deal" she said softly.

"If we leave tonight... we could stay in a hotel, rest tomorrow and then head over to see her as soon as it's dark tomorrow" Dawn said.

"Hey... you know some of us have responsibilities. Wes and I can't leave Gina and Tamara alone" Cordy replied.

"Yeah" Xander agreed. "Anya and I'll have to arrange for the sitter to stay with LeAnn and Travis longer."

"Well... mom, Giles, Angel and I could head up tonight and tomorrow you guys could join us," Dawn suggested.

They all agreed and with that plan in mind they left Caritas to go meet their futures.


PART 6

SAN FRANCISCO - THE NEXT EVENING:

"Where do you think that you are going?" Piper said as she spotted Emma and her seventeen-year-old niece, Trisha trying to leave the manor.

"We're going to the movies, it's a retrospective. We told you and aunt Phoebe this morning," Emma told her mother calmly.

Piper vaguely recalled the conversation and she knew that she didn't have any right to keep them from going, "Okay... but don't do anything stupid."

"Aunt Piper, we're teenagers... we're supposed to do stupid things," Trisha said as Emma pushed out of the door.

Emma turned back to her mother and said, "Don't worry, we'll be fine and back early since I have patrol. Besides we're meeting Andy and he'll protect us since he's such a guy and all... at least until I dump him, and then he'll run away screaming."

"No need to be sarcastic," Piper told her as the door closed.

Leo orbed in behind his wife and put his arms around her. "It'll be okay... she'll be okay, she's the slayer," he said, "And she's not a baby anymore."

"I know... but I feel like I'm losing her. She just doesn't talk to me anymore and she used to tell me everything" Piper told him relaxing in his arms.

Leo kissed her and said, "Uh... Piper... I really need to tell you something to tell you about Emma."

"What now?" she asked suspiciously.

"Something that you're not going to like."


Angel, Dawn, Giles and Joyce met up with the others in front of the Nelson Arms hotel just after dark. "So are we ready?" Dawn asked anxious to see Buffy. Even if she was a totally different person, Dawn still felt as though she was her sister.

"No... but then again, I don't think I'll ever be" Joyce replied nervously.

The others all agreed with Joyce, but went along with Dawn's idea and piled into their respective vehicles, heading to the address that the host had given Angel. Fifteen minutes later they pulled up in front, got out and stood there staring at the manor. "It looks so normal" Joyce whispered.

"So did ours mom" Dawn reminded her.

Xander looked around uncomfortably, "So do we knock..."

"Are we ready to knock?" Willow suddenly said, "I don't feel ready."

"No... I'm not ready either" Joyce added.

Giles sighed, "What if she doesn't want to know us or doesn't remember?"

"Of course she'll want to know us... we're her family" Dawn said.

"Not anymore kiddo" Xander told her. "She'll have a whole new family... friends... boyfriend," Xander said aiming his last point at Angel.

Angel was staring at the manor and chose to let Xander's comment pass by, it's not like that idea hadn't already occurred to him, he knew that after all he'd done that he didn't deserve another chance with her. Suddenly he said, "She's not here."

"Huh?" Cordy questioned. "Did he give us the wrong address again?"

"I didn't say that she didn't live here... just that she's not at home now" Angel told her.

"Oh" Cordy replied embarrassed.

They all stood out the front of the manor trying to decide whether they should run away or embrace the lost part of their past, that was now an important part of their futures.


MEANWHILE INSIDE THE MANOR:

"Our daughter is a reincarnated soul," Piper repeated slowly. "Big deal. Pheebs already proved that it does happen."

Leo sighed, "This is different, Piper. Emma has the full memories of her life as Buffy - birth, death and everything in-between."

Oh My God, my poor baby Piper thought. "So what exactly does this mean for her?" Piper asked Leo horrified at the thought of her daughter having to deal with another life's memories on top of the one she already had.

"She has to complete the destiny that was set out for her last lifetime" Leo told Piper what he knew for sure, leaving out the bits about scooby gangs and vampires wanting to join with Emma.

"So..." Piper was confused. First Leo tells her this and then leaves her hanging for information.

"I don't know anything more than that... this time they are even more closed mouthed than usual" Leo replied upset, but not for the usual reasons. This time it was personal, the witch in trouble was his daughter and for once he didn't want to stumble through it blindly. He wasn't even supposed to really be involved since he wasn't Emma's white lighter.

"We'll get through this" Piper told him, suddenly going from comforted to comforter. "We always do... we're the charmed ones."

"Emma's not just a charmed one" Leo said, "She's a slayer also... it's different. Demons attack her for different reasons than they attack you for, plus she has to deal with the responsibilities of her witch and white lighter powers."

Phoebe rushed into the room, cutting off anything that Piper was about to say. "Guys" she said anxiously, "You need to see this."

"What Pheebs?" Piper asked wondering what else could possibly go wrong tonight.

Phoebe went over to the front window and checked on something. "There is a bunch of strange people on our lawn having a debate."

"WHAT?" Piper and Leo chorused getting up and going over to the living room window where Phoebe was standing. They looked out and Leo said, "I know two of them."

"How?" Phoebe asked Leo, since the group were strangers to her and Piper.

"Business" Leo said as he went outside.



Willow looked up at the sound of a door opening and saw a familiar face standing on the steps above them. "Leo?" she asked confused. What were she and Tara's white lighter doing here?

The others stopped arguing and looked at Willow and then at the stranger standing there, looking at them.

"Willow... Tara? What are you doing here?" Leo asked them.

"Umm... we're kind of looking for someone" Willow mumbled shyly, she always got nervous around Leo because of his whole orbing thing.

Leo looked at them and realised who this rag-tag bunch were, "You're the scooby gang?"

A look of shock appeared on most of their faces and Giles whispered to the stranger, "How did you know?"

"Come inside and I'll try to explain" Leo told them.


PART 7

Emma and Trisha were on their way back to the manor after the movie, escorted by Andy. Trisha was having a great time watching her cousin squirm as she tried to break off her and Andy's relationship, it was like he something was wrong and was hence forth avoiding having much of a conversation with her. They were just one block away from the manor, when they were jumped by an ugly demon.

The demon looked at Emma and somehow it recognised her. "It's you" it hissed, "I'm going to enjoy killing you again."

Emma momentarily froze as she was confronted by the memories of her... of Buffy's death... at the hands of this very demon. The demon used her distraction to swipe at her with its razor-like claws and slashed her side. The pain snapped her away from the bad memories and back to the present situation, she knew that she had to protect her cousin and Andy from this creature. She fought past the intense physical pain that she was in and used all the energy that she had remaining to orb them all to the manor and safety.



Leo had just gotten everyone settled when his daughter, niece and his daughter's boyfriend suddenly appeared in the middle of the room. He was about to yell at Emma for orbing, when she passed out at his feet. "What in the hell is going on?" he demanded.

"We were like a block away, when some skanky-thing..." Trisha started.

"It was a demon" Andy translated, knowing that some people had trouble speaking Trisha's language.

"Yeah, it like jumped us. Then it said something... umm... Andy?"

"That he'd enjoy killing Emma again and then it attacked her" Andy finished.

"That is so totally what happened" Trisha agreed.

Leo looked down at his daughter and saw her injury; he lay his hand down over the wound and healed her. Unfortunately she was unconscious from the energy she'd expanded to save the others and herself, but she'd wake up when she was ready too.


Angel couldn't take his eyes off the unconscious girl in the centre of the room; there was just something about her that drew him. Suddenly he realised why that was... she was Buffy. He didn't know what to do should he tell the others, they all seemed to be uncomfortable at the thought of Buffy in another body... all except Dawn. Angel knew that she would want to know, so he tried to subtly get her attention.

"What?" Dawn hissed at Angel after her jabbed her in the ribs with his elbow, "That hurt."

Angel paused for a moment trying to figure out how to put it delicately. When he couldn't he just whispered, "That's her."

Dawn took her attention away from the ensouled vampire and looked at the unconscious girl. As hard as she tried she just couldn't picture this girl being her sister, they were opposites physically, where Buffy had been blonde and petite, this girl was athletic and a brunette. "She looks different... shouldn't she look the same or at least similar?" Dawn whispered to Angel.

"Dawn... she's a different person" Angel tried to explain. "You can't expect a carbon copy of Buffy... I mean you look more like your dad, while Buffy took after Joyce. Why shouldn't this girl look like her parents?"

Dawn hated it when Angel was reasonable. "Fine" she grumbled at him.

The others noticed Dawn and Angel having a private conversation and Joyce still being mad at being forced to spend time with Angel went to break it up. "Dawn... stop talking to him" she hissed at her daughter.

"Mom, back off" Dawn hissed back. She was just so sick of Joyce and the other scoobies, except for Willow and Tara, treating Angel like some sort of leper, it wasn't his fault that Buffy died... she was the slayer; it was bound to happen sooner or later. "Angel doesn't deserve this treatment."

"But..." Joyce started to say.

Dawn cut her off, "Besides if you had been nicer to Angel for the last twenty or so years he might've told you instead of me that, that unconscious girl is Buffy."

They all took in Dawn's words; a mixture of emotions ran through the scoobies anger, guilt and excitement. None of them apologised to Angel, they just stared at the girl in wonder. Dawn squeezed Angel's hand as a sign that she thought everything was going to be all right, Angel squeezed back allaying Dawn's fears that he'd do something stupid because of them and Wesley stood there whispering something inaudible to Cordy. All of them keeping busy waiting for the time the girl would awaken and they'd get some answers.


Andy stared at the strange group in the living room; he didn't like them around because they were kind of weird. Especially the broody guy, he seemed to have this unnatural fascination with Emma and Andy didn't like that, Emma was his girlfriend, they'd been together for almost four years. He'd helped her get through all sorts of crap... dealing with her powers as they increased in intensity and gained new ones, he'd even helped her through her anger at being called as the watcher's council's active slayer. He knew that Emma loved him as much as he loved her and that no broody, mysterious guy was going to come between them. Wondering who those weirdoes' were, Andy went over to Prue and asked her.

"Sorry kid... I just got here before you arrived" Prue told him.

"They have something to do with a prophecy in the book of shadows," Phoebe told them as she came up to them.

"Okay" Andy mumbled, staring at the guy again. He had a bad feeling that the guy was going to cause him trouble.

Phoebe looked at Andy, "You okay?"

"Sure Mrs Turner... Halliwell" Andy babbled, never sure what to call Phoebe or Piper.

"Either one is fine Andy" Phoebe told him. She turned to Prue and asked, "Have you seen Cole?"

"Nope... it's been a good night," Prue answered.

Phoebe ignored her sister, "Maybe I should look for him?"

Prue was about to say something sarcastic, when they heard a noise from the couch where they'd laid Emma. All of them rushed over to her, except Angel who hung back unsure whether this girl would want to see him. According to Willow before Buffy died she'd been having some major dreams about him, but what exactly about him he wasn't sure because Willow never even knew... what if she'd decided she hated him or something.

"Sweetie?" Leo said gently shaking her.

"Just five more minutes, daddy" Emma mumbled.

With that comment everyone relaxed, she was going to be all right. Now all that remained was for them to wait for her to wake up and then discuss the battle... not to mention how much she wanted to do with her past life and the appearance of the people from it.


PART 8

Emma started to come to full consciousness about twenty minutes later and tried to sit up, but felt dizzy and nauseous. She lay back down and settled for slowly opening her eyes and scanning the room, at first she didn't see anyone and then she saw Angel standing in the corner. Emma quickly closed her eyes again, figuring that she was hallucinating Angel's presence... there was no possible way that Angel was standing in her living room, was there? But then again hadn't her father told her that her friends were coming for the battle? It was entirely possible that this really was Angel. She opened her eyes again and saw he was still there and he was staring at her. "Hi" she said.

"Hello" Angel replied. From her vague greeting he had no idea whether she remembered him or not, for all he knew she could think he was some strange guy who broke into her house.

Emma slowly and carefully raised herself into a sitting position and stared at Angel. He still looked perfect, just like he had all those years ago... just like he had that thanksgiving, but something was different about him. It wasn't just the clothes, even though he had apparently discovered that there are more colours available in clothing than black or grey... there was something else, she couldn't figure it out. "Where is everyone?" she asked him.

Angel was still standing there nervous. "They're upstairs" he replied figuring that she was referring to her family and not the others. He kept waiting for her to offer some sort of evidence that she recognised him or something, but she just sat there passively.

Silence descended upon them. Emma sat there desperately wanting to say something to him about this situation, but couldn't... after all he'd given no indication that he knew she had once been Buffy Summers, his lover and soul mate. What if he didn't know and she somehow upset him by saying it, she didn't want to cause him any pain.

Angel finally decided to take a chance. "They should be back soon... Leo and Giles are comparing prophecies" he told her, willing her to answer with something that would give him hope.

"Nice to know he hasn't changed... What's with him and prophecies anyway?" Emma answered.

"Who?" Angel asked needing just a bit more.

Emma realised he knew and decided to throw him a bone. "Giles" Emma replied, "The guy who lives to decipher cryptic prophecies of the slayer's life."

"Buffy" Angel said happily.

"Not at the moment... but I used to be" she answered him. Then she asked, "So what's new? Since I... you know... died." Angel seemed to be a little uncomfortable around her, but she was too. She realised things weren't just going to fall back into place... even if they did, twenty years ago she and he weren't even on speaking terms.

"What do you want to know?" he asked her hoping that this unsettling feeling would go away. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do... even if what he was feeling was normal? All he knew was that although this girl before him was Buffy... part of her was a totally new person and maybe this lifetime she wanted something other than him, maybe she wanted that guy she'd appeared with he had looked nice and normal. So what if his very presence made Angel want to rip him into tiny pieces for Spike to consume... as long as she was happy.

Emma saw how uncomfortable Angel looked (almost as much as she felt) and decided that she'd settle for the basics, "Anything you want to tell me" she said.

"Well... Cordy married Wesley" he said nervously. There was something's he didn't want her to know about just yet, like the Darla episode... especially the Darla episode.

Emma stared at him like he'd grown another head. "Wait... the May queen married the bookworm."

Angel relaxed; talking to her was just like talking to the original version of Buffy. "If you think that's weird... wait until I tell you the rest."



At that moment Giles was saying how the prophecies were identical. "This battle is going to happen and I believe soon" Giles finished off. He was nervous about being here, what if the information that the host had given them was wrong? Or Angel's Buffy sense was way off and that poor girl down there was about to be put through an emotional roller coaster for nothing.

Leo was trying to listen to what Giles was saying, but they suddenly called him, with new information. He turned to the group and said, "Excuse me... business." Before anyone could say anything Leo orbed away in the same manner as the girl had arrived.

"What the..." Xander started to say.

"Oh... how did he?" Giles asked in a strangled voice. He didn't know what was going on and Giles just didn't like that sensation.

"He's a white lighter" Piper told them, all the time wishing that Leo wouldn't orb in front of strangers leaving her to deal with their questions.

"A what?" Xander asked. He was also confused, but mostly by the fact that only the disappearing guy freaked him, Giles, Cordy and Wes.

"Honey" Anya said, "White lighters guide witches."

"How do you know?" Xander asked suspiciously.

"Well, once I took vengeance on one who had dallied with his witch and then dumped her... yep, the boils on his genitals were a nice touch" Anya told them.

"Great" Phoebe whispered, "We now have a vengeance demon as well."

"Ex. I lost my power centre because of Cordy and her stupid wish... Buffy free Sunnydale, huh" Anya informed the charmed ones.

Andy watched the goings on and asked that Xander guy, who was the most normal looking to him, whom that guy downstairs was. "Oh, that's Angel... vampire with a soul" Xander replied.

"Vampire?" Piper asked. She hoped that was some sort of sick twisted joke and that her only child was not downstairs with some bloodsucker.

"Don't worry" Giles said. "He does have a soul. In fact he is..." He stopped unsure about how to inform this woman that her daughter's intended was a demon.

"What Giles is trying to say is that Angel is Buffy soulmate" Dawn said, "And now that Buffy is Emma..."

"He's her soulmate too," Piper said sinking to the floor in shock. Her baby was destined for a vampire; just what this family needed... it already has witches, slayers, white lighters and demons... Well what's one more in the mix? Piper thought, Oh, boy... Leo's going to freak.

"What do you mean his soulmate... she's my girlfriend" Andy grumbled. There was no way that guy was having Emma, she was his no matter what these weirdos say.

All the scoobies looked at each other, none of them wanted to break this young man's heart with the news that there wasn't any choice in this, sooner or later Angel and Buffy (in whatever form she may be) will be together.



When the others came downstairs, they were all shocked to see that Angel was talking to the girl. The scooby and A.I gangs exchanged looks; from their point of view it was total déjà vu... Buffy and Angel were back together, although not as they would normally be. The charmed ones and assorted others were shocked. There was Emma, an extremely shy individual and the current slayer, conversing with the vampire that was her apparent soulmate and intended according to those strangers.

"Are we interrupting anything?" Piper called out. She was disturbed that her daughter was so comfortable around this man... she wondered why that was so and vowed to find out the reason as soon as possible.

"Angel was just filling me in" Emma told her mother. "Where's daddy?"

"They called" Piper replied coming the rest of the way down the stairs. "What was he filling you in on?"

"Stuff."

"Oh... what kind of stuff?" Piper asked in her sickly sweet 'I don't believe you' voice.

"You know... who got married, who shacked up with who... the usual" Emma said.

Piper eyed Angel suspiciously; she had a feeling that he had an interest in her daughter. "Okay."

By this time everyone else had come down the stairs also and they seemed to have formed sides. All of Emma's family and friends were standing behind her and all of the scooby gang; Cordy and Wes were in front. Another noticeable fact was all of the people in front were staring at her... waiting for her to say something to prove that she had indeed once been their Buffy.

"Hi Guys" Emma said nervously. "So where's chip-head?"



Meanwhile Leo was standing before his bosses and trying to convince himself that what he was hearing was a giant mistake on the PTB's part. "But he's a VAMPIRE!!" Leo finally exploded, "My baby girl is not in love or going to fall in love with that thing."

"It is already written... the star-crossed lovers shall be one, once more," a voice told him.

"But..." he started to object.

"Be still white lighter. If the ensouled one survives the battle, he will no longer be the undead" another voice replied trying to calm Leo down.

Leo sighed in relief over that. It seemed that the monster would at least be human before he laid a hand on his daughter. If he was honest with himself that is what bothered him and not the fact that Angel was a vampire... just that Angel was a vampire with a very personal interest in his daughter.

"However with the clause gone, the warriors will most likely consummate their relationship before the battle," the first voice added.

Leo paled with shock; he couldn't believe that they were discussing his daughter sleeping with that darn vampire in front of him like it was no big deal. "Are you sure that they are... soulmates?" Leo asked praying that there was a mistake.

"Fear not white lighter" the second voice said, "They belong together, as do you and the witch."

"Be gone," the first voice said.

Leo nodded and orbed back to the manor to tell everyone some of the information he had just found out. When he returned he found everyone waiting for him in the living room, minus Emma. "Where is she?" he asked his wife concerned.

"She's changing her clothes... something about blood sticking to her and half her body being exposed" Piper replied.

"I have some information and she needs to be here," Leo said.

"I'll get her," Willow volunteered. She was desperate to get the girl alone and talk to her.

"It's upstairs... third door on the left" Piper told her.



Willow stood outside Emma's door nervously for a few seconds, not entirely sure how to react to this young woman. Even though they had all told her she was Buffy, she wasn't sure she quite believed it. She knew that Spike hadn't believed it and had volunteered to patrol the Hellmouth while they were away, instead of heading off on a fools errand... apparently it might not quite be what Spike, or anyone else had expected. Willow could sense that although he and this new girl weren't together... in any way, that her having a guy in her life had wounded him deeply. She took a deep breath, gathered her courage and knocked.

"Come in" a muffled voice came through.

Willow entered the room and found a room that was tastefully decorated, a lot of it antiques. Emma came out from behind her wardrobe door and saw Willow staring, "It was grams room before she died... she had great taste."

"Yeah, it's beautiful. Did she give it to you before she died?" Willow asked curiously.

"No after."

"She left it to you?" Willow questioned.

"No... mom told her that she was pregnant and grams said that I, the first great-grandchild, simply must have her old room" Emma replied.

"Grams is a ghost?"

"I prefer to think of her as a free spirit" Emma answered, "She shows up occasionally to help us out."

"Whoa" Willow said sitting down on the bed, freaked out by the whole ghost thing, she didn't like ghosts. "So how are you?" Willow said changing the subject.

"Fine... Are you okay, Wils? You seem kind of nervous" Emma said sitting down next to her.

"Its not every day you meet the best friend you ever had reincarnated" Willow replied.

"That's true," she said trying to understand. "So tell me what's happened to you...start with college."

"It's a long boring story," Willow warned her.

"I'm not going anywhere... this time."

"Okay..." Willow said beginning to tell her story.


PART 9

It was almost half an hour later that a sheepish Emma and Willow made their way downstairs to where everyone was still waiting for them. "Sorry... it was my fault" Emma said.

"No, it was mine" Willow said.

Leo sighed, "It doesn't matter. Let's just get started." He had the nasty feeling that his daughter had been pumping his charge for information on that vampire and wanted to get Emma's mind away from him as quickly as possible. "I've talked with the powers and they insist that we know as much as we need to know... however some of the other white lighters have heard some rumours about what is to take place. They said that the demon that killed Buffy and attacked Emma will be leading the charge and something called the scourge... is involved too."

"What's the scourge?" Willow asked confused, she'd never heard of it.

"They're a demon army that want to purge the Earth of all human life and half-breed demons," Cordy answered before Wes could. "Even vampires... they don't consider them real demons." Everyone sat there and stared at Cordy in shock. "What? Did you all think I was some sort of brainless bimbo, who answered phones and got visions?" Cordy asked.

Everyone was silent for a moment and then Wesley spoke, "Of course not dear."

"Don't lie" Anya suddenly said, "Xander said she's a brain-dead bitca."

"Xander's the one who's brain-dead" Wesley replied.

Before a fight could break out, Angel turned the topic back to the battle. "We've fought the scourge before... they won't be easy to get rid of."

"No demon is ever easy to get rid of," Prue said.

Cole chose that moment to enter the manor, "Hi everyone. Sorry I'm late."

"See what I mean," Prue added wryly.

After much debate and a fist fight between Anya and Wesley, the scooby gang and Angel, Cordy and Wes headed back to their hotel, promising to return the next night. When they'd gone all of them looked at Emma curiously. "What did I do now?" she asked.

"Nothing" Phoebe said, "I'm just trying to picture you being friends with them."

"She was a different person then" Andy argued. He'd been silent all since they'd come downstairs and seen Emma and Angel's little chat.

"I don't quite know what to make of all this" Prue said. "They're here to help and that's all that matters to me. Come on Andy, I'll drop you home" Prue added seeing that he was spoiling for a fight, not that she blamed him, who would want to find out that your girlfriend's soulmate was a vampire and not you.

As Prue and Andy left, Cole who had sat there utterly confused since he'd walked in asked, "Who were those people?"

They all looked at each other and broke out into laughter, which bewildered Cole even more. Phoebe, Cole and Trisha left and Piper, Leo and Emma went to bed. Each hoping that tomorrow they'd find something new to help them in this battle, which was sure to be the worst thing that any of them had ever lived through.



A couple hours later Emma was still awake, no matter how hard she tried to fall asleep she just couldn't. Her mind was still reeling over everything and she decided that a quick patrol might help tire her out so she could finally get some sleep. She left the manor and had only taken a few steps when she bumped into someone. "Sorry" she mumbled trying to move past, but they grabbed her arm.

She was about to attack when the person said, "It's okay... it's just me."

"Angel?"

"Yeah" he answered nervously, "Why are you out so late?"

Emma smiled at him, "I couldn't sleep. What about you?"

"I... uh... didn't want to leave you," he mumbled softly. He was freaked to be near her, but even more freaked to be without her... she was after all his destiny. They just needed some time to get to know each other again.

Emma heard what he said and suddenly, without knowing what came over her, she was in his arms kissing him. A little voice in her head started screaming 'you don't know him anymore, twenty years can change a person', but that voice was nearly drowned out by the one from her heart that kept telling her 'this is right, you belong here'.

Angel could hardly believe that he was holding her in his arms again; it had just been so long. "Oh Buffy" he murmured.

Emma tried not to laugh, but couldn't hold it in. Angel broke away from her and looked at her like she was nuts. "Sorry" she told him, "It's just... well... that's not my name."

"What?" Angel asked feeling confused and deprived.

"You called me, Buffy. That's not my name."

"What is your name?" Angel asked her somewhat embarrassed. He'd practically attacked the girl and he hadn't even asked her name... he hadn't done that since before he was a vampire.

"Emma" she told him, she thought his embarrassment was cute.

"Emma... I like it" he told her still embarrassed.

"I like you" Emma teased. She regretted it the moment it popped out of her mouth, she was afraid that it would give him the wrong idea about their relationship... if they had one.

"Just like?" Angel asked. He really wanted to know the answer... he knew that he was still in love with her, the Buffy part and he liked what he saw of the new parts, but what did she feel for him?

Emma's smile faded and she swallowed nervously. "Angel... I don't know. I mean I have all these feelings and I don't know if they are mine, hers... or ours..." she told him unable to meet his eyes.

Angel looked at her and gently lifted her face up to meet his, "I understand."

Emma kissed him on the cheek and said, "I'd better get back in... I'll see you later."

"Night" Angel told her. He watched her go inside and waited until her light went out, then he slowly walked away, already anticipating their next meeting.



When Emma came downstairs the next morning she was in a fantastic mood, she was smiling and dancing around singing some old song. Leo saw this and was suddenly suspicious as to why she was in that great of a mood. "Good morning. Why are you so cheerful?"

"I'm young, healthy, having a great hair day... and in serious like" Emma replied, "Isn't that reason enough?"

Leo took a deep breath, it seemed that his baby liked that vampire. Suspiciously he asked, "How much in like?"

Emma stopped bouncing around and the smile fell from her face when she realised what her father was asking. "Don't you trust me? I told you we couldn't do anything because of the clause... Anyway we so do not know each other well enough to do that."

"Well you did go out last night?"

"I went patrolling" Emma said.

Leo looked at her, "What did you slay?"

"Nothing, Angel was outside. We talked and then I came right back in" Emma defended herself. She knew that her father was worried about her, but history just seemed to be repeating itself. Last time around she'd had to defend herself to the scoobies over her seeing Angel and now this time it was her dad. "Daddy... I'm not promising that I'll never see him, but I promise nothing is going to happen."

"I know and I'm sorry baby," Leo said hugging her. "It's just you're my little girl and the thought of anyone doing anything with you... well it makes me crazy."

"It's okay daddy," Emma said. She did understand she was his only daughter and child... he didn't want to lose her. "I'm going to go get Trisha and then we're going jogging in the park, okay?"

"Okay" Leo replied. He watched her leave and let out a deep breath, he'd almost driven her away with his suspicions about Angel and he realised that his little girl was growing up. Unfortunately he didn't want her too, but he'd eventually learn to deal with it and he also knew one day, sooner than he even probably realised, he'd have to let her go.



Later on that afternoon, the scoobies and A.I gang were holding a meeting to discuss the night before in Angel's room. "She's so young!" Xander exclaimed, "Can you believe how young she is? We were never that young."

"We were even younger" Willow reminded him.

"I didn't know Buffy" Tara said, "But this girl seems nice."

"I don't even know what to say to her" Giles added, "I know she was our Buffy, but..."

"You didn't ask her name" Anya interrupted them.

"Excuse me" Giles said, "What are you talking about?"

"You didn't ask her name. I seriously doubt her new parents were stupid enough to call her Buffy" Anya said.

"Anya's right" Willow agreed. She suddenly felt guilty; she'd had a long talk with the girl and not even asked her name.

"Buffy isn't a stupid name" Joyce muttered under her breath, "And Hank named her not me."

Angel suddenly spoke up from his brooding corner, "Her name is Emma."

Cordy looked at her friend and asked him, "Did the host tell you that?"

"Uh... no."

"Ooh, she told you while we were looking at their Book of Shadows" Willow suggested.

"Not exactly."

"Well then?" Wesley asked him.

"I... kind of went back there," Angel said quietly.

They all stared at him in shock, and then Xander began yelling. "What were you thinking? What about the clause? You'd endanger us all, so you could get there first?"

"Shut up Xander, you stupid moron" Cordy told her ex. "You have no idea what you're talking about. Angel's soul is bound... it was a reward from the PTB for... service." Since everyone seemed to buy that, she didn't have to tell everyone that he'd received it for not to giving into any sort of happiness when he slept with Darla.

Suddenly Dawn flew across the room and into Angel's arms. Hugging him she said, "That's so great." She meant it too, unlike her mother she'd always believed that Buffy and Angel had meant to be. Now with Buffy reborn as Emma and Angel's soul being bound... they could finally be happy together.

"Congratulations Angel" Willow told him, her thoughts mirroring Dawn's.

"Well... it's good to know that we're not going to die" Xander said.

"At least by my hands" Angel told him, thinking about the upcoming battle with the scourge.


PART 10

That night when the gang arrived at the manor, they found the witches in a foul mood. "What's going on here?" Giles asked. He was confused as to what was going on, they all seemed fine yesterday and now...

"When we checked the Book of Shadows this morning, we found a new part to the prophecy" Piper said. "It gives a time frame for the battle."

"Show us" Giles simply said. Leo led Giles up to the attic, where he read:


The battle will occur one and seven

After the memories regain

The killer of her former self

Shall try to bring hell to Earth

Only the joining of the warriors

And the greatest sacrifice

Can defeat this


"Emma? Angel?" Giles asked Leo.

"Yeah" Leo responded. "Emma thinks it means something will happen to Angel."

"It's possible" Giles conceded. "Of course Angel will jump to the conclusion that it has to do with Emma. Maybe it has to do with us. With them losing a friend or family member."

Leo didn't want either of Giles' suggestions to come true, he wanted everyone to survive... even Angel. "We should get back downstairs, Piper's libel to convince them all that they face impending doom," Leo told Giles.

"Why would she do that?" Giles asked confused, Piper seemed like such a sensible woman.

"Phoebe had a vision this morning, it was Emma leaning over someone's body" Leo said, "And Phoebe won't say whose body it was."

"And Piper is convinced it's one of us?"

"Why else would Emma lean over the body" was all Leo said as he headed out of the attic, leaving Giles to follow.



When they came downstairs they saw everyone standing around uncomfortably, it seemed that no one had moved from their places since their arrival. Giles moved over to his group and began to fill them in on the rest of the prophecy, after many startled gasps and major cases of denial Angel spoke. "It has to do with Emma... something's going to happen to her."

Giles sighed, "Well she's convinced it's you who will sacrifice something."

"That's rid..." Angel started to say something and then he remembered thanksgiving, when he sacrificed his humanity to save her.

Giles continued, this time addressing all of them. "I actually believe this refers to the death or deaths of some of us... a sacrifice on our part." He noticed Piper give Phoebe a dirty look as he was saying this and the actual look on Phoebe's face seemed to confirm his theory. Emma looked pale and withdrawn, he felt sorry for her... it seemed as though she couldn't win with this, it was either her or Angel that would most likely die or one of her friends or family. He went over to her and said, "Maybe you should call your watcher and fill them in on this."

"I can't... She's at the watcher's retreat in London" Emma replied her voice devoid of emotion, "I don't know how to get in touch with her."

"Then call your white lighter" Leo told his daughter. He was concerned why she hadn't turned up already; she always seemed to be there the second she found out anything.

"I don't think that's a good idea, dad" Emma replied. She really didn't need to deal with this... when they saw who her white lighter was...

"Call her" Leo insisted, "She should be here."

"Okay" Emma said, "But you're responsible for any trouble this causes." Emma took a deep breath, as the others looked at her curiously, "JENNY!!!!!"



PART 11


Suddenly a bright blue, shimmery light appeared in front of Emma and when it dissipated there stood Jenny Calender. A startled gasp ran through the scooby gang and Angel went about four shades paler than usual, suddenly Giles stepped away from the group and towards her. "Jenny?" he asked softly not daring to believe his eyes.

She had, had her back to all of them, facing her charge, but when she heard Giles' voice she took a deep breath and turned around. "Hello Rupert" she replied cautiously. Jenny may have appeared calm on the surface, but inside she was reeling... she really hadn't expected to see any of them again... especially not here. The only logical explanation for their appearance was that they'd somehow found out about Emma.

Giles took another step towards her. "It's you, but you're... you're dead" Giles said totally confused.

Jenny looked at him and replied, "Yes, I am Rupert." She felt acute sadness at the look on his face; he looked as though his heart had been shattered into a million pieces after being handed a shot at a dream.

"But... how is this even possible?" Willow asked. She knew that Jenny was Emma's white lighter... did that mean white lighters were dead people? And if so that meant Leo was dead too... she was really confused and decided it was better to not understand it.

"I'm a white lighter" was all Jenny could say. They were forbidden from discussing anything to do with how they become white lighters with mortals, demons and witches.

Xander walked slowly around the room and over to near Jenny and when he was in position, he reached over and poked her with his finger hard.

"Hey" Jenny yelled rubbing her arm. "Xander Harris, why did you feel the need to poke me?"

"I was... umm... checking if you were real" Xander mumbled embarrassed. He actually couldn't believe he'd done that; he'd poked his ex-teacher to see if he could stick his hand through her or something, what was he thinking.

Restraining the overwhelming urge to hit Xander across the head, Jenny turned back to Emma and asked, "So what is going on? They won't tell me anything... something about it being your decision if I am to know."

"Well don't look at me... I'm totally clueless about this. In fact I didn't want to call you, dad made me" Emma said grumpily, she could already see the affect of Jenny's presence on the others.

"Why not? I am your white lighter... you're supposed to come to me for help" Jenny objected.

Emma pointed at the scoobies, "Look at them... they are all freaked out. Especially Angel."

Jenny looked at the scoobies, she hadn't even noticed they were there; she saw that they all looked shocked, except for Angel who was practically catatonic. "I see your point... but it's my duty to be here" Jenny replied feeling guilty over the trouble she seemed to be causing. "So what's going on?"

Leo pulled Jenny aside and tried to explain what he knew about the upcoming battle and their part in it, including the fact that Emma now remembered her life as Buffy, the prophecy, the scoobies part in it and how he knew Willow and Tara.



Over the next few hours the scooby gang recovered enough to help in a battle strategy session (including Angel who could now mutter some words and not just stare at Jenny with glazed eyes), everyone was decidedly uncomfortable... except for Giles and Jenny. They were staring at each other with puppy dog eyes and grossing everyone out, finally Joyce spoke up, "For God's sake, get a room and get it out of your systems. We're trying to save the world here."

Before anyone could respond there was a knock at the front door. After a few moments Emma got up and said in her most sarcastic voice, "No... don't anyone rush... I'll get it." She walked to the door, leaving the stunned group behind her and she slowly opened it. "Andy? What are you doing here?" she asked all of the sarcasm draining from her voice.

"Em... I think we should talk" Andy said trying to restrain his anger and frustration. He'd gone over and over the night before's events in his head and he realised that Emma had been pretty well cosy with that vampire. It had taken him months to get that close to her and he walks in off the street and she falls at his feet, even if she had known him before it just wasn't right... especially since he'd been in the room with them and had seen it. He'd decided that he was entitled to some answers and he wanted them now.

"Sure" Emma replied nervously. She knew that she'd have to explain this sooner or later to Andy... she'd hoped for later when she'd worked out her feelings for them both, but Andy hadn't given her that time.

They sat on the front steps of the manor in silence, both knowing they had to talk but neither knowing exactly how to begin. Andy finally broke the silence, "That vampire... do you love him?"

Emma noticed the pain in Andy's voice, but answered truthfully. "I don't know" Emma said, "I don't know what I'm feeling anymore... for either of you."

Andy looked at her, the woman he loved, "Then there's still a chance for me?"

"I guess" Emma replied. "There are some things you should know about Angel..."

"Okay... tell me," Andy said, trying to come off as the better man.

Emma said, "I just thought I should set your mind at ease... he can't... do anything..."

Andy stared at her in disbelief and relief, "He's impotent?"

"No!" Emma yelled. "He has a clause in the curse on his soul... he can't do... without going evil."

Andy finally understood what she was saying; she was telling him that nothing of that sort would be going on between her and the vampire. "And there shall be no evil vampires here" Andy said.

"Yeah."

"So do you need some help in there?" Andy asked hoping she'd say yes so he could keep an eye on them together.

"The more people there are, the easier the research" she replied as they went inside.



"Well as interesting as this is... not. I have to patrol" Emma said a couple of hours later. She was going nuts, Angel and Andy were sniping at each other, and Giles and Jenny were playing footsie and her dad kept looking at her as if she'd grown a second head and she had no idea why.

"Need some help?" Angel asked. His goal was to spend more time with Emma, get to know her and he couldn't do that with her family or that pipsqueak hanging around. Patrolling on the other hand sounded ideal; he could get in his demon pounding for the day and spend time alone with her.

"Sure" Emma replied. This was good she'd finally get some time alone with Angel... to see if he'd changed, talk and basically just stare at his gorgeousness.

"Me too" Andy piped up. There was no way in hell that he was letting that guy be anywhere alone with his girlfriend, especially patrolling where it's all dark and sexy with that whole danger factor.

"You want to patrol?" Emma asked carefully, "Remember last time you tried that and you almost got us killed?"

"I said I was sorry... Please Em" Andy begged putting on his pouty face. He was hoping that it would work with her just like it worked on his parents and every other girl around... unfortunately Emma was not an ordinary girl.

Emma sighed, "Okay, but at the first sign of real danger, you're gone."

"Fine" Andy said happy to get his way and over the expression on the vampires face.

"Sorry" she whispered to Angel as they left the manor.

"I understand" Angel replied. The truth is he did, Andy was a part of her life and she had to give him a fair chance... luckily Cordy had said that both parts of the prophecy had said that he and Emma had to join, so he had no doubt that he would be the victor... well little doubt.




They'd been hanging out in the graveyard for twenty minutes and no vampires or demons had shown, of course why would they when Angel and Andy's constant bickering was loud enough to wake the dead. "Would you two shut up? No demon is going to come anywhere near here with you two yelling at each other" Emma said for the fiftieth time.

"He started it" Andy hissed at her. He wished Angel would go back to the manor, everytime he turned around they were comparing stakes or joking about some old memory.

"No, you did" Emma replied. She was starting to wonder what the hell was wrong with him; she and Angel weren't doing anything so why was he acting like a stupid jerk. She felt Angel stiffen beside her, "What?"

"Vamp... it's coming" Angel whispered.

"WHAT?" Andy yelled.

"On second thoughts it's not coming" Angel said, "You're little boy here scared it off." Angel was so mad, that moron had ruined everything, first his chance to have Emma to himself and now his chance to take out his built up rage on a vampire.

"Calm down, he didn't mean too" Emma said holding Angel back from tearing Andy apart, even though she wanted to do the exact same thing. She wanted a good slay as much as he did, but she wasn't about to kill someone because of it.

"No..." Angel was being stubborn.

"Hey, maybe if you weren't into killing your own kind, we wouldn't have to worry" Andy said.

Emma simply walked away from them; she didn't want to have to deal with their bickering as well as her own problems. She left them there in the cemetery to fend for themselves, long past the part where she cared if something attacked them.



Into the early hours of the morning the meeting dragged on and after the emotionally charged patrol, she'd turned in. She was woken a little while later by the door to her room opening and she sat up, "Hello?"

"Hi" Dawn said coming fully into the room. She hadn't meant to startle Emma, she was just still so curious about the person her one time sister had become.

"It's okay" Emma replied, grateful that it had been Dawn and not Angel or Andy. She'd had enough of those two to last her a lifetime. "Did you want something?"

"Not really, they're taking a break and..." Dawn wasn't sure what to say.

"You were curious" Emma finished. It was totally understandable, at one time this girl had been her sister and she wanted to know about her. "Wanna sit down?"

Dawn sat on the edge of her bed and stared at her. "I kind of expected you to look like her... or at least blonde. I wanted so much to see something of her in you physically, but you're so different." Dawn sighed, "I miss her... you."

"I miss you too, Dawnie. You know this time around I don't have a sister... just Trisha and she's my cousin. It's not the same thing" Emma replied. "At least now you're the eldest... you always wanted to be."

"Yeah, but I kind of could of done without the death bit to get it" Dawn said. "So you and Angel... What's going on?" Dawn asked hoping Emma was nuts about him, they deserved another chance.

"I don't know... when he's around things get confusing" Emma told her. "When Andy's around it's comfortable... Angel equals much confusion and butterflies in the tummy. I'm not sure what that's all about."

"It means you like him more than you like Andy" Dawn told her. "Just like Gunn and me."

"Gunn?" Emma asked, she didn't know who he was.

"He works for Angel... in fact he's minding the agency while we do this" Dawn said. They fell into silence for a few minutes and then Dawn asked, "Where did you meet that Andy-guy anyway? He's dopey."

"He's not... much. Anyway his dad is a family friend, so I kind of grew up with him" Emma answered.

Before Dawn could say anything a voice yelled, "Dawn... it's starting again." Dawn smiled at her and said, "I'd better go. Good night."

As Dawn was about to leave the room Emma said, "Dawn?"

"Yeah."

"If you want an honorary, slightly freaky younger sister..."

"I'd like that. See you later" Dawn said leaving the room and closing the door.

Emma laid back and decided that this time Dawn didn't seem like such a spoiled brat... maybe it was life with Joyce, or maybe she'd just grown up. That was something Emma hoped she'd get to do and not die again anytime soon... especially not in some great sacrifice.



PART 12

When Emma came downstairs the next morning she found the whole house in darkness and realised that the scoobies must all still be here. She walked into the kitchen and through bleary eyes noticed two figures at the table. "Morning" she mumbled to them, sitting down next to them and laying her head down on the table to go back to sleep.

One of the people got up and left the table, leaving Emma alone with the other. "Good morning... uh... Emma" Giles said unsure about how to talk to this young girl.

Emma looked up and squinted at him, "Hey Giles... Sorry, I'm still kind of tired."

"From leaving Angel and that boy in the graveyard last night?" Giles asked her. He was confused as to why she would do that, she seemed like such a responsible young girl and when he'd asked Jenny she'd just laughed at him.

"They totally deserved it... they were fighting and scaring away all the bad guys" Emma defended her decision. "Besides I bet they didn't even notice I was gone until they wanted some comment refereed."

Giles was shocked to realise that this girl had hardly any resemblance to Buffy and yet seemed to contain some of the more vocal aspects of her personality, her parents had said she was once a shy girl who could barely speak in public and now since the return of the memories, they couldn't shut her up. "Most likely, however..."

"It was shirking my sacred duty... blah, blah, blah" she mocked what he was about to say. She didn't want to hurt Giles' feelings, but she wasn't stupid she knew that leaving them alone like that was a bad choice she hadn't seen any other option though.

"Yes, well... I think they need me back in there" Giles said standing up and quickly leaving.

"Giles?" she said, but it was too late he'd already gone.



Emma was still sitting there when her Uncle Cole walked in a few minutes later. "Hey kid... what did you do to the old British guy? He's more anally retentive than before."

"I mocked his watcherness" Emma answered depressed, "Nothing new... I've pretty much always done that." Emma felt guilty; she knew Giles hadn't deserved to take the brunt of her hurt pride. "So what's going on in there?" she asked changing the subject.

"Nothing... every plan we come up with..." Cole trailed off. "Phoebe had another vision, this one was about the battle and not anyone of us dead... that's a good thing...right?"

"Yeah" Emma said trying to reassure her uncle. Cole had just as much to fear from the scourge as Angel had, his half demon status would make him a target immediately and she had a bad feeling that Phoebe knew about it and had chosen to keep quiet. "I'm sure we'll all be okay," Emma added.

Cole noted her uncertainty, "Kid... you know you're my favourite niece..."

"I'm your only niece."

"Love ya Emma" Cole told her giving her a hug.

"I love you too, Uncle Cole" Emma replied hugging him back. As she watched him go she realised how serious he thought this was... he'd called her Emma and not kid, with that she realised that he didn't expect to survive the battle.



Emma joined the group a little while later and smiled at Willow and Dawn who'd saved a chair for her between them. She listened to battle strategies and assorted other plans and realised that they were grossly unprepared for what lay ahead... in fact with things the way they were, the chances of actually surviving this were dwindling. "So, the battle begins tomorrow night and all we've got is 'fight 'til we die'" Emma said.

"Pretty much" Xander replied. He looked at the girl sitting across from him and it suddenly struck him, how much at this moment she reminded him of Buffy. She was looking over their plan and would go along with what they said and at the last second do something so harebrained that it would work and save them all... at least he hoped that was what she was doing.

"So... that's it," Emma asked incredulously, "Just fight and hope we live. You've got to be kidding me." She couldn't believe that this was their master plan; the one they'd been working on all night. She turned to Angel and Cordy, "How did you defeat this army last time?"

Angel looked uncomfortable and Cordy started to cry. Finally Angel managed, "Doyle... he stopped them from using their machine."

"Who's Doyle?" Prue asked. She'd felt left out of the conversation for days and now they were talking about some guy she'd never heard of.

"He was Angel's best friend and my bo... mine too," Cordy said tearfully. "He was also part Bracken demon... he gave up his life to save everyone else."

Prue knew she shouldn't say it, it would upset a whole bunch of people, but she couldn't help herself. "So this time it's Cole's turn to save everyone's lives."

Phoebe ran from the room and Cole said to his sister-in-law, "Don't count on you being one of them", before following her out.

Everyone else fell silent and Prue looked embarrassed. Finally Xander said, "Cole's a demon... whoa!"



That night everyone was spending time with his or her loved ones. Willow and Tara had gone back to the hotel, as had Cordy and Wes, Xander and Anya went out on the town, Giles and Jenny had disappeared, Phoebe, Cole and Trisha stayed at the manor along with Leo, Piper, Emma and Prue and Angel, Dawn and Joyce went back to the hotel... Joyce and Dawn to bond and Angel to brood.

The charmed ones were spending some quality family time when the doorbell rang. Emma in a generous mood said, "I'll get it." She bounced to the door and was shocked when she saw who was standing there.

"Fluffy... you've changed" Spike declared, "Aren't ya gonna invite me in?"

Emma managed to find her voice, "Spike?"



PART 13

"Emma... who's there?" Prue asked coming into the hallway. She saw a peroxide blonde guy talking to her niece and was curious as to who he was... after all he was kind of cute.

"Emma... that's not as bad as Fluffy" Spike commented. "Hello beautiful" he said to Prue, "Wanna invite me in?"

Before Prue could do it, Emma replied, "I am so not inviting you in... we don't need another vampire on our team."

"And after we were engaged" Spike put on a hurt puppy dogface. "I hope you treat Peaches better than this... although if I remember correctly, he likes being whipped."

"Eww" Emma said. Seeing that he wasn't going to go away she asked, "Why are you even here?"

"The battle... I figured that Peaches could use some help" as he spoke, Spike leered at Emma, "With everything."

Emma wished that she could stake Spike, but she also had a feeling that this time they might actually need his help. "Okay... come in, but no funny stuff" Emma told him.

Spike strolled past Emma with a smile on his face and said, "Jeez, were you this big of a bitch when we were engaged?"

Emma slapped Spike across the back of the head and told him, "One that was Buffy... not me and two it was totally only because of Willow's stupid spell. If you even think for one minute that I ever found you attractive, you're as nuts as Dru."

"Testy aren't we?" Spike muttered strolling into the manor's living room.

Prue came up to her niece and asked, "Engaged to him?"

"Hey... it was totally Willow's fault" Emma told her aunt. Then she added, "I can't believe that he showed up... eww."

"Actually, he's kind of cute" Prue said, "... for an evil bloodsucking vampire."

Emma watched her aunt head off in Spike's direction and made a quick decision. "I'm going to patrol" she yelled and left the manor before anyone could object. She just didn't want to spend the whole night listening to Spike tell the 'I was once engaged to Fluffy' story.



Angel was lying on the bed in his hotel room thinking about Emma, wondering what she was doing and also if she was thinking about him. She was consuming his thoughts, he hadn't felt this out of control since Buffy, which mad sense because in a way she was actually part Buffy... all he really knew was that somehow he was in love with her. He felt guilty about that, not only was he sort of betraying Buffy's memory, but also because if Emma chose a life with him she'd get none of the things she deserved... sunlight, children and a man who would grow old with her. Maybe it would be better if she picked that whiny, snot-nosed punk Andy after all... he could give her all those things and he even knew about the whole slaying-witch-white lighter-thing she had going. He could just settle for being her friend... Who was he actually trying to kid, if she picked Andy, he was going to rip the boy to shreds and then make her see sense, that he was the only one for her. He rolled over and reached for the phone debating whether or not he should call her. He was just about to dial when there was a knock on his door, figuring that it was just Dawn or one of the other scoobies he called, "Come in."



Emma didn't know how she'd actually gotten there, before she even realised it she was standing in front of Angel's hotel room door. She knew that she should turn around, visiting him here... with the clause and all... was just asking for trouble. Next thing she knew she was knocking and a voice said, "Come in." Taking up the invitation, she walked inside. She saw Angel lying on his bed, telephone in hand staring at her in shock. "Hi" she whispered nervously.

"Hi" he said back. He put the phone down and explained, "I was just going to call you."

"You should've... you could've talked to Spike. He showed up about an hour ago" Emma told him.

"Spike?" Angel said, "Is he still telling those bogus engagement stories about Buffy and him?"

"Uh, Angel... umm... they're not exactly fake" Emma replied.

"WHAT?"

"Willow cast a spell to have her will done after Oz left. Well she thought it hadn't worked and then suddenly Buff... I was engaged to Spike, Giles was blind and every demon in Sunnydale was after Xander" Emma told him, "So technically the stories aren't fake."

Angel shook his head, "I can't believe that no one told me that."

"Well, it's not like your so forth coming at telling people stuff" Emma said.

"Like what?" Angel asked her.

Emma took a seat on Angel's bed, "Thanksgiving."

Oh God, she knows he thought, Stop being paranoid. She can't know. "What about it?" he asked trying to keep a neutral face.

Emma looked him straight in the eye, "I remember."

Angel started to panic. "Remember what?" he asked playing dumb.

"Morah demon, Santa Monica pier, the kitchen table and you making another Buffy-life-altering decision" Emma told him.

Angel was shocked, he couldn't for the life of him figure out how she knew. "How?" he asked her cautiously.

"They gave me back all of Buffy's memories, Angel. Not a brief overview, all of them... even the ones she didn't remember" Emma explained.

"Why aren't you trying to stake me then?"

"Because you've already had twenty years punishment. You've had to live with the memories of that day all by yourself, not able to share them with anyone, because that day never happened for them" she told him.

"At least hit me or something... this just doesn't feel normal" Angel told her.

"Angel... we're not normal," she whispered back.

While they had been talking they had moved from opposite ends of the bed to the middle, right next to each other. Angel looked into her eyes and then kissed her. She was perfect and with this kiss she seemed to be saying she was his, but he had to be sure. Angel broke the kiss and said, "We can't..."

"The clause. I almost forgot" Emma said starting to get up.

Angel grabbed her arm, "The clause is gone. I was talking about Andy and you..."

"Since I picked you, I really don't see..."

Emma never got to finish; Angel pulled her down to him and kissed her again. "You really picked me... I don't think I believe it," he said finally.

"Well, it felt like you believed it" Emma replied breathless.

Angel looked at the woman in his lap, "Are you sure you want me?"

"I'm into brooders," she said kissing him again.

Angel continued kissing her and as his hand began to creep underneath her top, he stopped. "Em... are you sure?" he asked not wanting to pressure her into anything.

"I've never been surer," she told him.

"More sure" he corrected her.

Emma laughed. "Whatever" she said pulling him to her for another kiss.

For the next few hours the only talking that occurred was a faint whisper between the lovers and they became one once again.



PART 14

Emma was disorientated when she awoke a little while later, she didn't know where she was just that it wasn't her own bedroom and it was when she rolled over and bumped into a solid mass that the nights events came back to her. She looked up and found Angel was already awake and staring at her, "Hi."

"Hi yourself" he replied, "How are you feeling?" He was paranoid that he'd hurt her or something earlier.

"Terrific" she told him. Emma stretched her tired muscles and asked, "What time is it?"

"Four" Angel answered, "Why?"

"Because if I don't come home my dad will come looking for me" Emma said trying to get up.

"And how will he know where you are?" Angel asked pulling her back into the bed. He didn't want her to go, it was probably the last chance they'd have together before the battle.

"I guess I could call and say I'm crashing at Chris'" Emma told him.

"Good idea" Angel said kissing her. A moment later he stopped and asked, "Who's Chris?"

"You can stop panicking, Chris is short for Christine" Emma replied giggling. She thought it was cute how Angel got all jealous and protective.

"I wasn't panicked" Angel denied. He couldn't believe how easily he'd fallen back into the whole 'stay away from my girl' thing.

"Sure you wer..." Emma began, but Angel silenced her with a kiss and silenced reigned once more.



Meanwhile at the manor everyone else had arrived and Leo was having a panic attack over Emma's whereabouts. "I knew we shouldn't have let her patrol last night" Leo kept telling Piper, as he paced the living room.

Piper who had her own suspicions about her daughter's whereabouts, kept quiet. However Spike who wanted to cause some trouble said, "Anyone check with Peaches? She's probably shagging the great poof right now."

Leo stilled at Spike's suggestion... hadn't the powers told him the exact same thing, that the warriors would most probably consummate their relationship before the battle. He hoped that was true compared to the alternative... that his baby girl was lying dead in a graveyard somewhere, possibly killed by that demon again. If he had to choose between his daughter with Angel and his daughter dead, he was going to pick the vampire. "Don't be ridiculous... she's probably with one of her friends" Leo told the meddling vampire. He'd had the urge to stake Spike since he'd arrived and then when he began telling those disgusting engagement stories...

"Hey maybe she's shagging some random guy she picked up in a bar?" Spike suggested. He really hated Leo; he was a bigger poof than Peaches.

Prue looked at Spike, "You are an evil little man." After she'd spent the entire evening with him last night, she was wondering why she'd ever thought he was attractive, he had a big mouth and never shut it.

"Actually I'm an evil vampire... I have a chip, not a poofy soul."

Cole on the other hand liked Spike, he reminded him of the old days when he was evil. "He does have a point... if Em thinks she's going to die... maybe she did something crazy" Cole suggested.

"Like shag Peaches" Spike added.

Willow had, had it with Spike. "Your just jealous because you're in love with her and she wants Angel still" Willow told him.

Andy walked in at that moment, "Who is he and why is in love with my girlfriend? It's bad enough I have to compete with that Angel-thing."

"Since she's missing" Spike added, "I think that means she chose the poof." He was desperate to get the conversation away from his feelings for Buffy/Emma and this boy was the perfect opportunity. He also vowed never again to get drunk in front of the redheaded witch again; she was a giant blabbermouth.

A better one walked through the door a minute later, "Hey guys."

"Emma Victoria Wyatt... where have you been?" Leo demanded.



PART 15

"On patrol... there were a heap of bad guys out there last night" she tried to convince them. She knew it was hopeless that sooner or later (most probably sooner) they were going to know about her and Angel resuming their relationship.

Spike, ever the stirrer said, "Do I smell Peaches?"

Emma glared at the vampire and then turned her attention back to her parents. After seeing the look in her father's eyes, she decided that honesty was probably the best way to go here. "I may have... seen Angel," she added softly.

"I do smell Peaches" Spike muttered loud enough for the scoobies to hear him. Willow, who was offended by Spike's little comments, whacked him across the back of the head.

"Emma?" her dad questioned. In his heart Leo already knew the answer and he knew that it wasn't really any of his business she was an adult and had the right to make her own decisions, but it bothered him. He guessed that it always would... after all she was daddy's little princess.

"I was with Angel," she admitted finally and reluctantly.

"I told you" Spike said, "I smelled Peaches."

Willow whacked him again. "Will you just shut up? No one wants to hear your opinion... if we'd wanted it, we would've brought you and not left you in Sunnydale" Willow told him.

Andy sat there on the couch in shock, he'd just heard his girlfriend admit to spending the night with another guy... the exact same guy that she swore nothing would or could go on with. When he'd recovered he stood up and walked over to her, "How could you?"

"Andy..." she began. She never got to finish as he walked out of the manor. Emma felt so guilty, she hadn't meant to hurt Andy but she knew now that it had been inevitable... although she had been confused she'd finally realised the truth, she belonged with Angel.

To break the tension Jenny (the ever faithful white lighter) turned the conversation back to the up coming battle, while Emma almost sank to the floor. Her aunt Prue grabbed her and walked her out of the room, none of the other's paid it any attention.



Prue sat Emma down at the kitchen table and sat across from her. "Want to talk about it?" Prue asked sympathetically.

"About what?" Emma asked, "The fact I'm a necrophiliac or that I just threw away the best friend I've had?"

"Well, your not a necrophiliac, Angel is as alive to you as he is to the rest of us... none of us see him as a dead guy and you may have lost Andy but you still have all of us" Prue reminded her.

"When did you get so smart?" she joked. She couldn't believe how much better she felt talking about it, she and Prue had never been close... she'd always run to Phoebe when she'd wanted an aunts opinion and she suddenly realised what she may have been missing all these years.

"I've been through a few bad relationships," Prue said like it was some big secret. "You ready to go back in?"

"Nope. I don't think I can deal with the whole Spike-thing. I have to listen to him say anything about peaches or poofs... I'll freak out" Emma replied.

"He is pretty disgusting... he keeps talking about someone named Dru and another named Harmony. There are some pretty out there things that he and they apparently did together" Prue added.

"Eww" Emma said. After a moments thought about how he might start talking about what Angelus used to do, Emma told her aunt, "I think we should go back in."

Prue and Emma headed back into the battle discussion and role assignments, each thinking of someone different. Emma of Angel and Prue of the Andy, she had loved... that had died so many years before.



Meanwhile back at the hotel, Angel was going stir crazy waiting for darkness to fall. All he could think about was that he had to hurry to the manor; not only because of the battle but also to see with his own eyes that Emma was all right. Ever since she'd left there that morning he'd had a feeling that something was going to happen to her... something bad. He knew that he was probably being paranoid, but he wasn't willing to take a chance on Emma's life... he'd rather lose his own (again) than for her to lose hers. He sat down on the bed and tried to think it through logically... Emma was not only a slayer, but also a witch she could do that whole orbing thing, that may even save her life this time. He lay back down and inhaled, he could still smell her unique scent on the sheets and he vowed to himself that this time, redemption waiting for him or not... if she died, he was going too.

PART 16

As soon as darkness fell Angel was on his way to the manor, the streets were unnaturally quiet and the stench of death hung over the air. He quickened his pace, hoping to reach the gang and Emma before the actual battle reached them. When he arrived at the manor, he barged in and said, "It has begun."

"What?" Giles asked.

"The battle... they've already started their campaign" Angel told them.

Everyone exchanged looks and there was a mad rush of everyone hugging their loved ones. Emma rushed over to Angel; she had the exact same feeling he had that something bad was going to happen, only to him. As he held her in his arms, Emma endeavoured to shove all of her feelings away... she knew that they would only do her a disservice in the battle, be used against her to hurt the ones that she loved.

Piper looked over at her daughter and the vampire and tried not to smile, they just looked so right together... like her and Leo. Leo looked over at what his wife was looking at and scowled, just because he knew they were inevitable didn't mean he had to like it. But as he saw his daughter look up at Angel and smile, he saw the love shining in her eyes and softened slightly towards the vampire, after all Piper's father hadn't liked him either and he'd still married Piper anyway.

Everyone let go of each other and moved into the teams they'd devised earlier. Splitting apart the couples, so that no one would be tempted to put their loved ones safety above the safety of the group. A good theory that Giles helped in the actual battle, he had only been apart from Jenny for thirty seconds and all ready she was consuming his every thought. He was surprised to find he was on Emma's team and not Angel's, he'd thought that she'd have wanted her white lighter close at hand, but it seemed she preferred him... it reminded him of something that Buffy would've done. He watched Emma's eyes meet Angel's once and then turn back to her charges, Giles, Cole, Willow, Xander, Dawn, Cordy and her mother. Giles noted that each team had three witches, but Angel had two white lighters on his side and surmised this was Emma's way of giving Angel some extra protection.

They agreed on a meeting place and the teams split off in opposite directions, figuring that they could dispose of more of the threats that way. The meeting place was a park halfway between the two groups for anyone to go whether they were simply lost or they had to retreat. Emma's group had been wandering around since they left the manor and hadn't met any hostile forces; the only sign that anything was wrong was that the streets were quiet. "This sucks" Cordy muttered from the middle of the group, "Where are the damn baddies?"

"Shut up" Piper told the ex-may queen, "Don't jinx us." She had absolutely no desire to fight more demons than she had too.

"Fine" Cordy grumbled. She was worried about Wes. She figured that if their group was not fighting any, then Angel's group must have hit the jackpot.

Emma overheard the conversation and was having similar thoughts. "Let's head towards the rendezvous, maybe we'll get some action for Cordy there" Emma said trying to keep the worry out of her voice not only because of Angel, but also her two aunts and her father.

The group agreed and they headed towards the meeting area, hoping to find out what exactly was going on with this battle.



Angel's group was facing a similar dilemma, they'd only run into one demon and this one had been escaping from the scourge not a member. "What is going on?" Angel muttered. He was worried, something major was up if this group was hiding... maybe it was another of those light things that had killed Doyle.

"Maybe we should head to the rendezvous point... maybe the others are having the same trouble" Leo suggested. He felt something was off, as did Angel, he just didn't know what it was and it was driving him crazy.

"Good idea" Angel said noticing how nervous everyone was getting, "We should regroup."

"Maybe as we approach, we'll run into the demons..." Wes added hoping that his beloved Cordelia was nowhere near any fighting.

"...And maybe we'll find the slaughtered bodies of our spouses and loved ones littering the ground" Anya said totally unaware of how everyone was feeling. All she cared about was she and Xander surviving the battle, not caring if the world went to hell or not. Anya didn't really understand (even after hours of explanations) that if the scourge won all of humanity was doomed.

Angel broke the tension that was between Anya and the others, "Let's go... maybe the others had the same idea."

They all headed off to the rendezvous point praying that they'd meet the others there and that everyone was okay, because the feeling was something big, nasty and deadly was going to occur.


PART 17

When Angel's group arrived at the rendezvous point they found Emma's group waiting for them, it took all of his self control not to just run into her arms and be comforted. This situation was barely tolerable... where were the damn demons? As he surveyed the other group he noticed something was wrong. "Where's Spike?" he asked Emma worried about his grand-childe, Spike might be a total pain in the ass but he was a part of his family.

"I thought he went with you... I haven't seen him," Emma answered truthfully.

"What is he up too? He's probably working for the other side," Angel muttered.

"Nice to know what ya think of me, Peaches" a voice called from behind them. They all turned around and saw Spike casually strolling towards them, like he didn't have a care in the world. When he noticed the staring he smirked and replied, "I never agreed to the poofy team plan... I'm me own demon."

"Only because no wants to claim you with that hair" Emma muttered, knowing that Spike could hear her.

"Very funny, Fluffy" Spike said, "At least I didn't shag the poof."

"Em... evil vampire" Piper called, "Behave." Piper was glad to be doing something as normal as yelling at her daughter, instead of all this demon hunting; she hated demon hunting and vanquishing.

Emma was about to answer her mother when an over whelming feeling washed over her, she looked at Angel and knew that he'd felt the same thing. Looking around she noticed that everyone including Spike and her family were oblivious to it. She moved closer to Angel and whispered; "I think we're meant to do this on our own."

"I know, but how can we get past them?" Angel replied softly. He didn't want anyone else hurt, he and Emma were the warriors and the others weren't. They might know how to fight but they'd never survive whatever he and Emma were to face.

"I'm a champion at sneaking out... it shouldn't be that hard" Emma said. She turned back and looked at the others, "Let's just slowly move away and then run."

"Real clever" Angel muttered sarcastically. Emma shot him a dirty looked as she grabbed his hand and backed away slowly, when they got to the edge of the park they ran towards the area where the strange feeling was coming from.

Spike watched as Emma and Angel left the group, the evil part of himself urged him to follow them just be annoying, but the somewhat non-evil part knew that they were leaving for a reason and whatever it was they had to do it alone. However that didn't mean he couldn't tell everyone else that their champions had abandoned them. He walked over to where Fluffy's new parents were talking to Giles and said, "Any of ya seen Fluffy and the poof?"



Emma and Angel had only made it a few blocks when they saw the first of the scourge's soldiers heading towards them and they ducked into an abandoned building. They watched in silence as the army marched past them, heading straight for the park where the others were still. Emma's first reaction was to run and warn her family, but she knew that she couldn't she just had to hope that everyone would be okay until she and Angel did in the big evil that was calling them. Once the army had past them, they slowly exited the building and continued on towards whatever it was that awaited them. They were almost there when Emma felt the presence of that demon... the one that had attacked her the other night and caused the death of her former self. She turned around and saw it standing about ten meters away with a smug look on its face.

"Slayer... it's time for our rematch and your second death" it shouted to her.

Angel heard it and turned around to help her fight it, but she stopped him. "This is my fight... go on. I'll be there soon," she told him.

"Promise?" he asked.

"I promise" she told him praying that it was the truth. Angel kissed her quickly and moved on without looking back, Emma turned around and faced her one time killer. "Look butt-head, you may have killed me once but I was out of my head and you surprised me. This time I all here and I'm looking for revenge... meaning you are one ugly, dead demon."

"We'll see" the demon said, just before it lunged at her.

PART 18


Leaving Emma was the hardest thing he'd ever done, even though he knew it was something she had to do and she had to do it alone, he wanted to turn back and help her. The truth was he didn't think she'd be able to keep her promise, some morbid part of him was already gearing up for her leaving him all over again and he was disgusted with himself. Still he pressed on, he knew that he had to reach the end of this journey and win or all of humanity was doomed. He blanked his mind of thoughts of his friends and loved ones and concentrated on his mission, walking until the strange feeling was the strongest. Looking around he couldn't see anything extraordinary, and then out of the corner of his eye he saw something move and he slowly moved towards the target. It looked like a typical suburban home, but Angel felt that something other than the typical all-American family dwelled within these walls, he went around the back looking for a way to gain entry. Angel found an open window and stared at it, he was suspicious because no way would this army make a stupid mistake like that, and it had to be some sort of trap. He knew he had to find some other point of entry and when he checked out the other possibilities he found them all block, lending truth to the theory of a trap being set for him and Emma. He stepped back and decided that since there wasn't any movement at the moment, he'd wait a few minutes and see what happened.




Meanwhile Emma was being thrown about by the demon. After the latest bout of rolling around on the ground trying to swipe at her face and she fending it off, it had retreated as if trying to gain time for something. It was then she realised why this demon was here, it was to distract her... split her and Angel apart. Two phrases from the prophecy came to mind, ' Together they are strong, apart they shall fall' and 'Joining of the warriors'. She'd totally misunderstood the prophecy, she had thought it meant the demon would bring hell to earth, but it wasn't the demon itself but rather the motive behind it... EVIL. She knew she had to get rid of this pest quickly and hotfoot it to Angel, because if she was right he was going to be in a whole lot of trouble. The scourge she knew he could handle, but this was something more, something worse... the first evil. The demon didn't seem to be in any hurry, so Emma charged it catching it slightly of guard, but even then it was only a matter of seconds before she was on the ground feeling some sort of sharp pain shudder through her body. She looked up with anger burning in her deep brown eyes and spotted something over the demon's shoulder, she dropped her gaze so the demon didn't see what she'd been looking at and she stood. She was shaky and in pain, but she had to pretend she wasn't, she had to continue no matter what the cost. She did a spinning judo kick and knock the shocked demon into Leo and the sword he was holding, the look on the demon's face as it died was almost comical as if he couldn't quite believe that he'd been bested by a mere girl.

Leo looked up from the demon and saw his daughter falling and rushed over to her. "Em... Em?" he said worriedly.

"Hey dad, think you do the whole healing thing... it's not over yet," Emma told him.

"Sure" Leo replied tending to her wounds. "What do you mean it's not over? Isn't that the demon?"

"Yeah, but not the ultimate baddie" Emma said, "Angel's in big trouble."

"All done" Leo told her a moment later.

Emma got up and was relieved not to be feeling any pain. She turned to her dad and said, "How did you get past that army?"

"We hid. Shouldn't you be rescuing your... boy... Angel" Leo said.

Emma kissed him on the cheek quickly, "Get everyone to safety." And then she was gone, using her power to orb, to reach Angel as quickly as possible.

Leo stared at the place his daughter had just stood and whispered "Good luck."


PART 19


If Angel's heart had been beating it would've stopped when Emma appeared next to him a moment later. "Do you have to do that?" he asked annoyed at being scared by her appearance.

"Look who's talking stealth-guy" Emma replied. She looked at the house that they were standing near and shook her head, "That's the house of the big evil?"

"Yeah" Angel answered, "Evil has bad taste in houses." He relaxed slightly, Emma was here and when they went in to face whatever lay ahead, trap or not they'd do it together. "So ready to go inside?" he asked her.

Emma looked up at her lover, "As ready as I'm ever gonna be." She turned towards the house and grabbed Angel's hand and together they headed towards that open window and their destinies.

Angel climbed in first and then helped Emma through, they then looked around and found that they were in a small room with only one way into the rest of the house. Angel looked at Emma, who nodded signally that she was ready to move farther forward into the house. Angel grabbed her hand, more to keep her close than for any sort of comfort and headed to the door where he laid his head. When he didn't hear anything he used his free hand to turn the knob and open the door, stepping through it and bringing Emma with him. They quickly surveyed the hallway and found that it too was devoid of all life and they stood for a moment unsure of where to go. Suddenly they were assaulted by the feeling of unease again and knew where they were to go... down to the basement.

Emma turned to Angel and whispered, "Why do evil things hang out in basements? Can't they live in some fancy penthouse or something?"

"Basements are dark, damp and underground... evil likes that" Angel replied moving them towards the basement and the final battle.

A few moments later they reached the basement door and a feeling of dread washed over her, Emma looked up at Angel and said, "Be careful okay?"

"You too, my love" he answered kissing her quickly. Then he turned the knob and they descended into the darkness below.



Back at the manor everyone was going stir crazy, they wanted to be out there with Emma and Angel and not trapped in the house worrying. To make matters worse Leo and Jenny had been called away to the powers and that made everyone else jumpy, like something really terrible was going to happen. Piper stood up, "I can't take this. My baby is out there and I'm a freaking charmed one and am of no help whatsoever... why can't I do something."

Phoebe, Prue, Willow and Tara felt the same way. Willow suddenly came up with an idea, "Couldn't we do some sort of protection spell for them... kinda give them the edge over the baddies."

"Yeah, if you give me a second I can write one" Phoebe joined in. She knew that this would provide a distraction; even if it didn't work it would give everyone something else to focus on for a few minutes.

A few minutes later they were completing the spell Phoebe had whipped up, hoping that it would work. They were sitting around staring at the remnants when Leo and Jenny returned, looking glum. "What is it?" Piper demanded, "What did they say?"

Leo took a deep breath, "Only one of them will return."

Piper looked her husband in the eyes and saw something that she didn't want to believe. "Emma? You think its Emma who won't come back," she asked.

"Why else would they call both Jenny and I there. If it were Angel, they wouldn't have needed me," Leo said trying to control his emotions, he didn't want to breakdown in front of everyone.

Piper didn't care about that she threw herself into Leo's arms and cried. Leo held onto his wife and hoped that they were wrong and that they both came waltzing back through that door and that no one would have to suffer, but he knew that wasn't going to happen. He knew that for some of them... maybe all of them were going to have tragedy visit.

PART 20

Emma and Angel descended the staircase into the dark basement. Angel used his vampire vision to look around and was just about to tell Emma there was nothing there when a loud rumbling noise started and the building began to shake. Angel grabbed Emma and held her close until the rumbling and shaking stopped and a light appeared. They both turned towards it and Emma gave a startled gasp at the sight. There was a hidden room, one that had a red light coming out of it making the basement look as though it had been bathed in blood. Also coming from the room was the sound of laughter, the kind that comes from getting exactly what you want so that it's all you can do to express your joy. A feeling of danger and disaster flowed over Emma and Angel as they stepped forward towards the laughter.


As she stepped into the once hidden chamber she didn't see much of anything, shapes seemed to be indistinguishable under the blood red lighting. She strained to see what lay ahead more out of necessity for not tripping over something gross before she died in battle, than for the big nasty evil itself. Emma gripped Angel's hand tighter as she tried to control her fear... she didn't want to deal with it once more, last time it had almost taken Angel from her and this time she feared it would succeed... if not turning him evil then in killing him. They reached the back of the room and found nothing there, but when they turned around they saw something waiting for them... something that shocked them both.



Piper finally let go of Leo and sat down, unable to stand. "Did the spell work?" she asked the others, praying that it had.

"I don't know" Phoebe and Willow chorused.

An uncomfortable silence overtook the room and everyone kept looking at each other not knowing what to say to help the situation. Anya took it upon herself to comfort the room, "Well at least which ever one of them dies... they'll go out happy." Everyone's eyes focused on the ex-vengeance demon that went on un-noticing, "You know since they had sex..."

Xander clamped his hand over his wife's mouth and said, "Sorry... she can't help herself."

Leo looked at Anya and shook his head, wishing that he could laugh at the absurdity of the situation and not be worried that his daughter... his little girl... his and Piper's only child would perish in this battle. He knew all the others in the room felt bad over this turn of events, but only the family and maybe... Angel would and could understand what they'd be going through if anything did happen to her. He felt a reassuring hand on his shoulder and turned to see Cole standing there, throughout the years they had banded together and he was telling Leo that he was not alone in this... Emma belonged to them all.




Emma finally regained her speech, leaning in close to Angel she said, "Why does the first evil look like the freakin' Master?" She tried to make light of the situation, but it was freaking her out. She'd always had issues over the Master and the first evil was trying to use it to its advantage.

Angel remembered how Buffy had been distraught over the whole thing with the master and inside he seethed with anger. Last time it had tried to use his guilt over Jenny to drive him over the edge and back to the arms of evil and now it was trying to remove Emma from the equation by dredging up and painful thing from Buffy's past. "Just remember he can't hurt you if you don't let him" he told her.

Emma nodded, she knew that he was right, she just had to get past her emotional turmoil and that was not an easy thing to do. She tried to push all of the pain aside and forget it was there, when she remembered something her aunt Prue had told her once... 'Pain makes us stronger. If we didn't have to deal with pain, we wouldn't be who we are and we wouldn't be able to fight the good fight', Emma decided to test the theory. "Back off buzzard breath, you don't scare me," she yelled at the master's image.

All she heard in reply was laughter.



Part 21


Angel didn't like the fact that it was laughing at them; to him it meant that it had some trick up his sleeve... something to tear them apart or to wear them down. Since it had almost won last time...he wasn't going to kid himself, if it hadn't been for Buffy (with a little help from the PTB) he'd have been dust long ago, so he figured whatever it was going to do it was going to do to Emma. Angel stepped in front of his beloved putting himself in the firing line, if it was going to try and kill his lover; it wasn't going to have to get rid of him first.

Emma didn't like the fact that Angel felt the need to protect her from this thing, after all she was not only a slayer but a witch... a daughter of one of the charmed ones, she was much more powerful than he. Also her senses were telling her that something was off, the first evil had, had years when she wasn't around to make a play for Angel... so why do it now when she was here to protect him... unless he wasn't what it wanted. What if it wanted to turn a direct descendant of the charmed ones evil? No one had ever managed to do that... her mother and aunts had foiled that plot once themselves, she had to be wrong, but what if she wasn't? Before she could tell Angel what she thought, it spoke.

"Foolish vampire. Do you think that after your failure last time I would through all of this trouble to get to you?"

Angel looked at Emma and grasped her hand even tighter; there was no way he was letting this thing get to her. She was too good and pure of heart to live through this evil's training in the dark arts, even if it cost him his very existence he would make sure she was safe.



"Ooh, I can't stand it. Why do Peaches and Fluffy get all the fun? Why can't I go pound something?" Spike whined. He hated being cooped up in the manor with all of these depressed white hats, he wanted... no he needed to be out there helping or even just out there pounding some demons face in. Spike didn't want to admit it but he was worried about them, after all Angel was his grand-sire and Emma... well, she was the reincarnation of the woman he had been in love with and stood absolutely no chance with.

"Then go" Giles told him, "Maybe we'll get lucky and someone will stake you and we'll finally get some peace and quiet."

Jenny lifted her head from Giles' shoulder and said, "We're worried too, Spike. However bitching about pounding things isn't going to help... all we can do is wait."

Cole looked out of the window and saw a whole bunch of the scourge's army on their lawn. He moved away from the window and said, "I think Spike has a point."

"Why because he's evil?" Prue asked sarcastically.

"No. Because there's a whole bunch of those scourge guys on the lawn" he replied terrified.

Everyone was shocked, but quickly got up and went for the weapons that they had earlier discarded. They stood waiting and after a few minutes Leo asked confused, "Why aren't they attacking?"

Phoebe looked out of the window, "They're just staring at the manor... like they're waiting for something."

"What could they be waiting for?" Piper asked.



Part 22


"Give me the girl and you can reign beside her" the first evil told Angel. It was confident that Angel would rather have her evil, than not at all.

"Over my dead body" Angel replied.

Emma looked at Angel strangely and whispered, "You're already dead."

"It's just an expression," Angel hissed back.

The first evil grew impatient and threw some sort of bolt of electricity at Angel. "Give her up now or die trying to defend her... it's all the same to me, but she will be my tool and she will bring forth hell."

Angel let go of Emma's hand and said, "Not if I have anything to say about it."

"What is a mere vampire going to do? Nothing can kill me... I exist because they exist" it calmly told him.

"Actually I can do this" Angel said.

Without warning he charged the first evil catching off guard for a moment, but only for a moment. All it did was laugh at Angel's infantile attempt to stop it. It simply threw off another bolt of electricity and this time caught Angel directly in the chest, causing him to fall to the floor.

"Now to get to my plan," it told Emma moving towards her.



"Well... what are we gonna do?" Xander asked panicked. He'd thought that all of the danger was over and that they were safe and sound.

"I don't know" Leo replied. He looked out at them and wondered why they were just standing around, they were an army and army's were supposed to attack and not stand around. Not unless they had orders to do just that. But he couldn't just sit and wait for them to come at them either; he stood up and addressed the room. "Look I know at the moment that we're all nice and safe here, but if they decide to attack we won't be and I say we take the fight to them. There's no shame in us fighting and getting our butts kicked, but there is in not fighting at all. I don't know about the rest of you but I'm going out fighting."

The others watched Leo walk out of the living room and head towards the door and surprisingly most followed, and then the rest left did. They had all decided that if they were going to die, they were going to take as many of them with them as possible. The group stood on the manor's front steps and surveyed the enemy, huddled in and listened to Leo and Spike's suggestions and moved into position, ready for the fight of their lives.



"Your plan? Does it involve a facial...because you need one, badly" Emma quipped. She really wanted to tear it limb from limb for what it had done to Angel, but she'd just seen him move and knew that he was okay all she had to do was keep the first evil distracted long enough for Angel to get up and things would be okay. At least that's what she kept telling herself.

"Little girl you have no idea of the power you truly hold. You think that the power of the slayer and the power of manipulation are your greatest assets, but you are so much more and soon you will be my servant," it told her stepping forward.

Emma took a corresponding step backwards, "Great power... you have to be kidding. The ones I've got are all ready pains enough."

"Don't fight it... I always win."



Part 23


"That is so not true" Emma objected, "Angel beat you."

"If I'd wanted him to win he would have... I wanted her to save him" it replied.

"Oh please, cut the crap. You lost and therefore you lied," Emma said. She knew it probably wasn't a good idea to torment the first evil, but it was all she could think of doing. Emma knew that brute force wasn't going to work against this thing, it was ageless and immortal... she needed a plan and she needed one quick before she became evil charmed one-slayer girl.

"It doesn't matter, you will be my servant" it insisted, "No one can save you now."

"Oh I don't know about that" Angel replied standing behind the first's form. "I think I can."



The scoobies, charmed ones and assorted others stood there holding their ground and staring at their opponents, it all would've looked spectacular except for the fact Xander's legs were shaking and he looked like he was about to pass out. "Ready?" Leo asked everyone, but was staring at Xander.

"Yes"-replied most of the voices.

Xander thought about it for an instant, "No, but I deal."

"Then let's do it" Leo said nodding his head, "ATTACK!"



The first evil whirled around in shock; it hadn't expected Angel to recover. "You... haven't you given up enough for this lousy mortal."

"It can never be too much when it comes to her" Angel replied as he moved into a fighting stance.

"Then you are as stupid as I thought and your mortal will become mine," the first evil told Angel confident that this mere vampire could not do anything to it.

With that comment Angel saw red, his anger bubbled within him and all he think about was marching around town with its head stuck on a pole. He dodged its first attack and kicked in the side of its head, where it laughed as though it thought Angel was just one big joke. Angel on the other hand was deadly serious he was going to see that thing dead... or at least this form of its dead before it got anywhere near Emma. He was kicking and pounding on it with all his might and wasn't making a dent, even when Emma joined in the only thing they seemed to accomplish was tiring themselves out.

"Foolish" was all it said looking directly at them. "I must make an example of you... pity." With a flash of light Angel was struck down and this time there would be no return since all that remained was a pile of dust.

Emma couldn't believe her eyes; she didn't want to believe them. She knelt down beside what was once her lover... her soulmate and stared at his ashes. The first evil laughed and Emma's eyes shot up burning with anger and the first evil stopped laughing.




Leo dodged another sword that one of the army had swung at him and had a quick glance at the rest of his 'troops'. Piper, Prue and Phoebe were cornering three of the scourges newest demon recruits, Xander was dodging swords and making sarcastic remarks to them, Anya seemed to be hiding behind a bush waiting to ambush one of them, Cole and Spike were working as a team taking down more than their fair share of the demons, Cordy, Wes, Jenny and Giles were working as a group and taking out a number of them. He turned back in time to see another charge him, to which he simply orbed out of the way confusing the demon and allowing Leo to simply and swiftly dispose of it. As he faced another demon, one of an endlessly seeming supply he wondered how Emma and Angel were holding up.



PART 24


Emma slowly stood up never taking her eyes from it, she started to move towards it determined to exact revenge. The first evil was the one to step back this time, but before it could do anything else Emma froze it. Then she stalked it, making it nervous. Gone was the somewhat timid little witch-slayer it had wanted to turn evil and in it's place was one very cheesed off witch, who wanted revenge and it was nervous, no creature had ever made it nervous before but now this witch had. It became more nervous when she didn't speak; she just kept circling it like a hunter circles its prey. Suddenly she stopped in front of it and stared into its eyes, "You say you can't die, right? Well, can you feel pain?"

The first evil tried to break free but this witches magick was more powerful than it had imagined, she wasn't as skilled with it as she should be but it didn't matter. In less than a second the first evil found itself slammed against a wall, shaking the foundation of the house above but when it tried to move it found that it was still frozen. Emma came towards it, but stopped a few feet away and closed her eyes, when she opened them again she just stood there. "I can't do it... I wanna cause you untold agony, but then I'd be no better than you and I am just so much better than you are" Emma told it. She released the freeze and walked away and the first evil thought it had a chance to destroy her; it raised itself up and shot a bolt at her more powerful than the one that had killed the vampire. Emma shocked it by stopping the bolt mid-air and sending it right back at it striking it directly in the chest, "Okay... now it's self-defence." She closed her eyes and concentrated, suddenly the first evil blew apart into a million pieces and Emma walked away towards home.



Leo was shocked when the remaining army ran away; he stared after their retreating figures and wondered what in the hell had happened. The others weren't so picky, Xander was whirling Anya around the lawn, Tara and Willow were kissing, and Spike and Cole high fiving each other, Prue, Piper and Phoebe were hugging and Dawn and Joyce had come outside from the manor. To Leo the battle seemed to be over and that meant that they had to await the result of Emma and Angel's battle. It was if they all suddenly remembered the high price that the battle was going to cost and they all calmed down and the mood turned mournful. They all just stood there not knowing what to do, when Piper suddenly turned around and moved away from the group, they in turn stared off into the distance to see a lone figure walking slowly towards them... from that distance they couldn't see whether it was Emma or Angel. But somehow Piper knew, "Emma" she whispered.

"I'm sure she's okay" Leo choked out, putting his arm around his wife.

"Of course she's okay, that's her," Piper told him.

"It is?" Prue asked squinting trying to see.

"Yeah...I know what my own daughter looks like" Piper said rudely. Then she took off towards the figure and Leo followed.

A few minutes later they returned with Emma, Leo was carrying her. "Where's Angel?" Willow asked carefully.

"I don't know and I can't ask her she passed out," Leo said carrying his daughter into the manor and up to her room.



Part 25


Three days later


"How is she?" Willow asked when she arrived. Willow had stayed while the others went on home, back to their lives and their responsibilities.

"The same" Prue answered. She was worried, after Emma had regained consciousness she'd simply told them Angel was gone, shooed them from her room and played this one song over and over while she stared out of the window... she wasn't even eating, it was like she was thinking 'now he's gone it's my turn next'. Prue showed Willow into the living room where they were having a family meeting to discuss the Emma situation. Once they were seated the discussion began again.

"I say we get rid of the disc that, that damn song is on" Cole said, "It's in my head. I've been singing it."

"This isn't about you, it's about her and if that stupid song helps let her listen" Prue replied.

"Maybe one of you should talk to her?" Willow suggested.

"We've tried" Leo said.

Piper looked at Willow and said, "Not all of us have. Willow would you please try?"

Willow looked shocked. "Are you sure? I mean you're her family and I..."

"And you are an old friend" Phoebe told her. "Plus you knew Angel and we didn't, maybe she needs that."

"Okay, I'll try" Willow offered carefully. She didn't want to do anything to upset Emma anymore than she was already, but her family had a point.



As Willow climbed the stairs she could hear the music they were talking about, but only faintly until you reached her door. When she went inside she was almost knocked over by the volume of the music and she teared up when she saw the heartbroken young girl sitting in the same position she had the day before and the day before that. She went to turn off the music and Emma spoke for the first time in days, "Don't."

"Why not?" Willow asked her finger hovering over the stop button.

"Wils..."

"Wils is not an answer," Willow told her. She turned off the music and walked over to the bed and sat next to her. "Do you think Angel would want this?"

"Do you think Angel would want to be a pile of ashes?" Emma countered, "We don't always get what we want."

"No we don't. You know I had my life planned out in high school, before I met Buffy. I'd go to college, come home and marry Xander and have four kids. Then I met Buffy... you and my life totally changed..."

"Yeah, you decided to change Xander for Oz" Emma said.

"Okay it didn't change drastically" Willow admitted, "But I still wanted my best friend in my life. Then when we got to college, Oz left and you died, leaving me alone and I had to rebuild. That's what you have to do...not immediately, but someday. It doesn't mean you have to go out and fall in love or anything... it just means that you live the life Angel would've wanted you to have."

"What if I don't want my life without him in it?" Emma asked tearing up.

"Well, you die and possibly get reincarnated again and then it will start all over. Do you really want that?" Willow said.

"No."

"Good. Come downstairs, everyone's worried" Willow told her.

"Give me a few minutes... I wanna clean up."

"Okay" Willow said leaving. "See you in a little while."

"Yeah."



Everyone was anxiously awaiting Willow's return and she was mobbed the second she descended the stairs. "Is she okay?" Piper asked worriedly.

"She'll be down in a few minutes. She wanted to clean up" Willow told them.

"Thank whatever powers are out there" Prue mumbled sitting down.

Then they heard the music start up again. "Oh no" Phoebe cried.

Cole just smiled.

"What?" Prue asked him.

"It's a different song" Cole answered, "I think I like this one better."

Everyone was breathing a sigh of relief when Leo looked funny. "Got to go... they want me" Leo told everyone as he orbed away.

"I'm never going to get used to that," Willow said.

"Try being married to a guy that can do that and having a daughter that inherited it" Piper said leading Willow over to the sofa. "So what was Emma like as Buffy?"

Willow sighed and hoped that she could fudge over some of the rough spots in the history of Buffy.



As soon as Willow was gone, Emma walked over and put on a new disc, pressing play she wandered into her bathroom to shower and change. As she stepped under the warm spray the lyrics floated over to her.

//If I'd've known the way that this would end
If I'd've read the last page first
If I'd've had the strength to walk away
If I'd've known how this would hurt//

//I would've loved you anyway
I'd do it all the same
Not a second I would change
Not a touch that I would trade
Had I known my heart would break
I would've loved you anyway//

Emma stepped out of the shower and dried herself off, thinking about how much this song reminded her of her relationship with Angel... both times and wondering why she had one of her mother's music discs in her room. She walked out of her bathroom and drew in a sharp breath. She could hardly believe her eyes, "Angel?"



Part 26


Leo returned to the living room to find them all listening to Willow talk about Buffy, with commentary from the family when they discovered some similarity. He walked over and sat next to Piper, deciding his news and visitor could wait for a while. A few minutes later they finally noticed his return.

"Hi" Piper said, "What did they want?"

"Just some news and a gift for Emma" Leo told them, "I already dropped the gift off."

"What kind of gift?" Prue asked suspiciously.

"The kind that died a few days ago" Leo said.

Willow jumped up, "Angel?"

Leo nodded and a gasp ran through the room.

"I gotta call everyone," Willow said excusing herself.

"Well, she can't say you never got her anything she wanted" Cole told Leo.

Leo laughed and everyone began to talk excitedly as they awaited the arrival of the happy couple.


"Hi" he said to her.

"You can't be real" Emma whispered. He couldn't be, three days ago she'd watched him turn to ashes before her very eyes, and it was just impossible for him to be standing there in front of her.

"Well it's a shock for me too. I was expecting to go to the next world and I get taken into this big room where I'm forced to watch you fight the first evil. Then when you win, these weird voices tell me that I have to go back... that I earned another chance," Angel told her.

Before he'd even gotten the last word out, Emma was in his arms hugging him like if she let go he'd disappear. She kissed him quickly and said, "I missed you so much."

"I missed you too," Angel said relishing the feeling of holding her close to him once again. He kissed her and said, "Your dad was the one who came and got me."

"My dad? Leo Wyatt? No way, he hates you" Emma said.

"Yeah, but he hates you being sad and lonely more" Angel told her. They held each other for a few minutes and then Angel spoke, "There's still so much between us... my business, your schooling..."

Emma shut him up with a kiss, "You came back from the dead to nag. We'll work it out." She laid her head on his chest and heard a familiar thump, "You're alive!"

"Didn't I mention that?"

"No you didn't," she said punching him in the arm.

"But what about..."

"Angel, I am the queen of orbing, wherever you are then I am too. Besides school isn't an issue," she told him.

"WHAT? You're going to school," he told her.

"Yeah, I just happen to be going to UCLA" she said, "You're never going to get rid of me."

"I don't want to."

He kissed her and started to pull her over towards the bed, when she stopped him. "Honey, my dad is downstairs and if you want to experience humanity and not die sometime today..."

"Got it."

Emma grabbed his hand, "Let's go downstairs." Angel followed her out of the room and towards their future.

THE END.


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