Author's Note: Okay, here we go! I'm sort of basing this on the new comic book "Angel: After the Fall" coming out in November (I believe). However, the only relation between my fanfic and the comicbook, is the fact that it occurs after Angel: Season 5, and Buffy: Season 7.
After all, Angel doesn't make friends with the dragon in my "tale". :P
And I know that there are probably a bajillion "aftermath" stories concering the dark avenger, but I tried to make this one just as original as possible. Worked my butt off, honest. I took many callbacks from all seasons of Angel and Buffy, to tie things together nicely.
Characters: This is an Angel/Buffy crossover. Expect to see anyone who lived through the season finales. I took artistic liberty with the final battle in the final ep. of Angel. I won't tell you who survived. Let it be a surprise.
Pairings: Again, I don't really want to give anything away, but I'll tell more in the following chapters.
Writers Vow: I've done oneshots in the past, but this will be my first story on And, I promise it will get finished. I'm already past chapter ten on this puppy, so don't worry about the waiting for updates thing. lol
I really hope you enjoy this because I'm really proud of it and I've been working like a dog on it. I'm a professional author, and I've been taking time away from my actual writing for this, because the plot bunny would NOT leave me alone, and I decided loose ends had to be tied. And, well... gosh darnit, I want the slayer and the vampire to have a happy ending!
O.O -- oh dear. I've said too much.
Outskirts of Sunnydale
"What do you think we should do, Buffy?" Willow Rosenberg asked quietly, but eagerly.
"Yeah," Faith seconded. "You're not the one and only Chosen anymore. Can live just like a person. How's that feel?"
"Yeah, Buffy…" Dawn began, looking to her sister. "What are we gonna do now?"
Buffy Summers, former vampire slayer extraordinaire—now able to live in peace with whomever she chose, stared ahead, eyes glistening with hope and wonder.
Then, staring out unto the vast crater, her heart fluttered, and a smile like the sun spread across her lips.
Only until after everyone else had begun their trek back to the bus did his name pass through her lips in a whispered promise.
Her heart felt as if it would rip itself from her chest. The world was silent, though it spun out of control around her. She remained utterly still, her jaw unhinged in a mask of heartache.
Her eyes stared at Giles unwaveringly, wide and in shock. Already, they were moist.
Within the distance, she heard his voice. She was no longer looking at him. Her gaze was set against nothing. She had to be empty; surely, her spirit had left her. For she could not comprehend a single thought. Yet there was a rushing in her ears, and she felt she would vomit.
"Buffy…" the former Watcher began; heartsick with the news he'd had to deliver to her.
Two simple rivers kissed their way down her cheeks.
She couldn't breathe. Her lungs refused to cooperate with her body's needs.
Willow stood nearby along with Xander, looking on pityingly. Willow's eyes welled for her friend before her and for the one who had perished.
She reached out to touch a hand to the slayer's shoulder in comfort, but hesitated when Buffy finally came back to earth and reality struck her.
She slowly sank to the floor, choking on a sob. She hugged herself tightly and began to weep.
Willow was about to go to her friend when Dawn knelt beside her. Without a word, she enveloped the slayer in her arms and held her.
Buffy clung to the younger girl, sobbing without restraint.
Faith looked on, unable to force back the burning behind her own brown gaze. Angel had meant the world to her, and she appreciated him for everything he had done for her, and what he'd sacrificed. But she also knew what he meant to Buffy, and the capacity of her devotion to him. More to the point: their devotion to each other.
Faith recalled when she'd fallen into her darkest hour—lost in madness and pain. Angel had been there for her. Getting through those times had stung without release.
So, she had found comfort in allies and friends, to help her through the pain. She had even found solace in Robin.
But now the first slayer's comforter was gone.
Faith couldn't begin to imagine the agony of such a thing.
Soon, the Chosen One's cries were swallowed again by the silence that followed.
The air reeked of death.
Steam rose off the collection of rotting bodies that were littered throughout the alley, its mouth, and into the world around it.
The downpour had ceased, but there remained a light mist of rain as the heavens wept upon the City of Angels.
Ogres, demons, and all manner of mystical and feared creatures lay strewn. There had been a massacre, a complete bloodbath, there in the alley.
What remained was jaw-dropping.
In the stillness, rain continued to cascade gently upon the corpses. A very light fog had gathered, blanketing the area like a veil of death.
And then, a leathered boot stepped forward.
It was followed by another, attached to a pair of slender legs. Through the fog, a lithe form moved amongst the slain.
She was badly beaten, and was disgusted at the very premise. She vowed she would never get used to the fragility of the body she was inhabiting. Nevertheless, she moved among the bodies like a Queen.
Still… her body ached.
Illyria scoffed. Such like a human.
She knew she would need to rest soon, however. But not until she found what she was looking for.
Despite her denial and effort to suppress it, she felt concern creeping into her system. She had been searching for some time now, with no positive results.
Her never-resting mind sifted through information it had obtained in the past several hours, holding out for an indication of some sort.
Suddenly, as if remembering to scratch an itch, her icy gaze donned recognition.
His voice echoed in her thoughts. I'd kind of like to slay the dragon.
She came to a halt, her head tilting to the side in consideration. Her calculating eyes scanned the area around her.
Then she saw it, and without so much as a twitch of emotion, she made her way for it, taking no care in moving around the bodies, but rather over them like stepping stones.
Its massive bat-like wings had been rendered motionless and spread across the area around it, resting atop the solid ground, useless. Its leathery hide was covered thick with blood and injuries that no doubt meant it had come up against its match.
Illyria felt a tugging at her lips birthed from snide satisfaction.
It soon faded though, for she did not see the creature's slaughterer anywhere in sight.
She stood there for a moment, still in her thoughts.
Surely, he cannot be dead.
For the second time that night, she felt a deep pain in her chest. This wouldn't do at all.
For each person she had finally considered worthy of existence was disappearing around her faster than even she could comprehend. She remembered mocking the lower beings for their feelings of grief. Now… all of it didn't seem so funny.
A memory hit her. His voice echoed again. And I'm next?
Her brow knit together as she stared into nothing. She remembered what she'd said to him. No, vampire. You were last.
After him, there was no one left.
No one left to her.
A sudden wave of anger gripped her, and she decided she wished very much to tear the dead beast before her apart.
She would clear this whole area out, she thought. Leave nothing left but innards and bones.
No, that wouldn't do. She mused she would feel much better if she took matters further. She would snap the bones into bits of dust. Yes, that would help. And she would stamp on the guts until there was nothing left but a sticky paste.
Her rage cooled, finally, as she remembered the things Wesley had spoken regarding her temper. For some reason, she found she wished to please him, even in his absence.
Even though he was gone.
Still… she wished very much to wipe out every corpse so one could maybe see the earth beneath it once more.
She paused in thought. Then, without so much as another, she gripped the beast near the base of its skull and began to drag it violently to the side.
Almost agonizingly slowly, though she was quick to rid the beast of its current resting place, the familiar champion was revealed.
His motionless form reflected back in her eyes, which widened slightly in wonder. She felt another tugging at the corner's of her mouth. Satisfied with her epic discovery, she held a moment of self-triumph.
For epic it certainly was.
The vampire had been literally within the beasts jaws. Or at least partly, she could tell.
But then she took in his condition. If she wasn't familiar with how the vampire species met their fate, she would've guessed there was no chance of him being alive, or surviving, for that matter.
He seemed to be wearing the color red.
There was an array of gashes where the winged predator's jaws had taken him over his ribs. His shirt was in threads; his jacket torn and barely on his shoulders. A deep wound caused most likely by a set of claws traveled down his throat and over his chest. Another intense cut had been inflicted across his brow and reached down his cheek partially, and another set of claw marks blemished the skin over the opposite cheekbone. Other than these major eyesores, he was riddled with the marks of several arrows, a broadsword or two, and bruises from a handful of straight out fist matches and bludgeons. Most of these injuries alone would have meant certain death to a mortal being.
She had never seen him look so weak. So vulnerable. Nor anyone, for that matter, who was still alive or undead.
However, an approving grin cracked her mouth.
Despite everything, his right hand still gripped the handle of his sword.
Off in the distance, screams and roars of annihilation echoed. She would need to move him away from the area. Soon.
The City of Angels was getting swallowed into hell. It wouldn't do any good if its only angel went with it.
AN: Tada! Please review! I love to know how I'm doing! I really hope to have three or so reviews before I update, but being the pushover that I am, one should do fine. lol