A/N – First, I'm soooooooooo sorry it's taken me so long to update! I truly didn't mean to go this long without posting something. Life (two research papers, three jobs, and a car wreck in which my beloved Taurus was totaled) just got in the way. Please, please, please forgive me? Second, I can't believe this is the epilogue! I'm really, really, really going to miss this story but I'm relieved that it's over at the same time. I haven't decided if I'm going to write a sequel to this – an AU Season 6 – or if I'm going to let this story end here. I've been extremely busy (case in point, it took me FOREVER to post this chappie) and I will remain so for the foreseeable future. I do know that I will be writing one-shots that correspond with "The Visitor." Okay, that's enough junk for now. Please read and review!!!
DISCLAIMER: The BTVS verse has never been nor will it ever be mine. I've just been playing with Joss' toys. Don't Sue!!!
The Visitor – Epilogue
L.A., The Hyperion Hotel
The ticking of the clock as time moved slowly towards midnight was the only sound that sliced through the thick tension of the Hyperion's lobby. At a quarter 'til, Buffy leapt from her spot on the arm of Spike's chair and began pacing around the lobby's edge. She lasted a full five more minutes before she exploded.
"It can't be this easy, can it? I mean, it's never been this easy before." She babbled, making a continuous rushed circuit of the room. "Remember Adam? That wasn't easy at all! I had to become Super-Slayer-Buffy, borrowing strength from everyone. And what did we get for our troubles? The first Slayer decides to go all crazy and brutalize us in our sleep. And I'm just saying that…"
"Slayer!" Spike grabbed Buffy's arm as she passed by him, preventing her from completing another round in her restless pacing. "I love you, pet, but I'm going to risk the headache and kill you if you don't quit tryin' to wear a hole through Peaches' floor."
"Well, I'm sorry!" She cried, throwing her hands in the air before allowing herself to be pulled down unto Spike's lap. "Isn't anybody else wigged about how un-apocalypsy this apocalypse is?"
Xander's hand shot up in a good imitation of an over-eager student. "I'm definitely with the wiggens."
"Thank you, Xand." Buffy nodded at her long-time friend. "Glad to know I'm not alone."
"I have to confess," Giles began, compulsively swiping at his glasses, "that I, too, am…uh…a little wigged. I thought surely Glory would have made some attempt to find us. It is not as if we went all that far away."
Willow fidgeted nervously, muttering something unintelligible to the humans in the room. The vampires, however, heard her loud and clear.
"You what?" Angel questioned incredulously. "The entire hotel? Without any help?"
"Didn't know you had that kind of power, Red" Spike added, narrowing his eyes ever so slightly at that blushing witch.
"It really wasn't that difficult. And hey, no spell-go-wrong badness happened, right? No explosions, city wide power outages, or enchanted engagements." She chattered quickly.
"Yeah, but…" Spike's blue eyes narrowed further, "how'd you manage the whole hotel? And why didn't you ask Glinda or Rupert to help?"
"I told you, it wasn't exactly hard to do." Willow said, an edge of defensiveness creeping into her voice. "And I didn't need any help. I did fine by myself."
Buffy – when she finally tired of waiting for someone to explain what was going on – stood, arms akimbo and hazel eyes jumping from vampire to vampire to witch. "Hey, you three have something you'd like to share with the rest of the class? 'Cause I gotta say, I'm not liking being out of the loop here."
Spike locked gazes with Willow, refusing to look away until she once again began to fidget and dropped her head. "Red?"
"I did a little spell to make sure no one cold find us so long as we stayed in the hotel."
"You cloaked the hotel? The entire hotel?" Tara repeated Angel's earlier question, gaping disbelievingly at her girlfriend.
"What's the big deal? Glory not being able to find us is a good thing, right?" Xander asked with an uneasy grin, clearly uncomfortable with the way the magically experienced occupants of the room were looking at his oldest friend. "It's definitely not of the bad."
"No, it is not a bad thing, so to say," Giles spoke, "but the way in which Willow went about it was dangerous. A spell of such magnitude could easily have gone wrong and should not have been performed alone, especially considering Willow's past history of back firing spells. One misstep could have put a proverbial target over our heads instead of covering them. I had no idea you even had that sort of power, Willow."
The room was quiet for a moment, everyone lost in their own thoughts until once again Giles made his voice heard. "I owe you an apology Willow. I fear I've neglected your magical training. It is clear that you have great potential to become a very powerful witch. I have a few…erm, contacts…"
"More like 'shag-buddies'." Spike snorted under his unneeded breath, earning a smack upside the head from a glaring Slayer.
"…who I believe would be of great assistance to you in learning to hone your abilities." Giles continued, expertly ignoring Spike.
"Contacts?" Tara questioned.
"Witches. From a coven in England. I was planning on spending a few weeks overseas this summer and I'd be glad to have Willow along if she'd care to join me."
"Go to England?" Willow squeaked in excitement. "Of course I'd care to join you."
"Tara," Giles turned to the witch at Willow's side, "you are more than welcome to accompany us if you'd like. I'm sure time at the Coven would be beneficial to the both of you."
"Oh, I don't know. I wouldn't want to impose…"
"Nonsense. It would be no imposition at all."
"I-If you're sure," Tara smiled brightly when Giles positive nod, "then how can I say no?"
"We're going to England!" Willow nearly screeched, eliciting a glare from the two vampires.
"Yes, that's wonderful but could you possibly keep it down for those of us with supernatural hearing, Red?" Spike asked through clenched teeth.
"Sorry." The redhead muttered sheepishly. "Guess I got a little excited."
"Hey," Dawn suddenly called, drawing everyone's attention, "its 12:15. The apocalypse is over!"
Dawn's announcement preceded a moment of stunned silence before everyone began speaking at once. It was Buffy's voice that finally rose clearly above the melee. "That was the most anti-climatic apocalypse ever!"
"At least now it's over." The Watcher soothed his Slayer. "Glory's window of opportunity has passed."
"Does that mean we can go home?" Joyce, who – still tired from her stay in the hospital – had remained relatively quiet for most of the day, asked hopefully.
"Although Glory can no longer use Dawn to open a portal between dimensions, the threat that she will come after Buffy in retaliation for thwarting her plans is still present. However, if we are cautious and vigilant, I see no reason for us not to return to Sunnydale tomorrow morning…"
"Tomorrow night." Buffy interrupted.
"We can't leave until tomorrow night. One of our drivers has a bit of a sun allergy, remember?"
"Then tomorrow night it is." Xander asserted. "But for now can we go to bed? I haven't slept good…"
"Well," Willow muttered in an instinctive need to correct improper grammar, "you haven't slept well."
"…since this whole Glory thing started and I'm exhausted." Xander finished as though there had been no interruption.
Several voices sounded agreement and almost as one, the haggard group began to make their way up to their borrowed beds.
"So, this is really it then? The apocalypse has been averted and I didn't even get swallowed by a mama bezoar." Buffy groused as she trudged up the stairs behind Spike.
"Don't worry, pet." He spoke over his shoulder. "There's always next time."
Ben didn't know how they'd managed it, but somehow the Slayer and her little band of do-gooders had gotten far enough away to prevent the god sharing his body from opening the portal to her hell dimension.
"FUCK!" He swore hotly, kicking at the various twigs and rocks littering the darkened streets of Sunnydale as he made his way through town. It wasn't as though he really wanted Glory to succeed. No reasonable, sane person wanted a load of hell beast released on the world…but he was desperate; tired of living only half a life. Even if the world had been destroyed, at least he'd have finally been free. "Fuck…"
"Oh, what's wrong, little boy? Did your mummy go away and leave you all alone?"
"Who's there?" He called, turning in place to try and pinpoint the direction the ethereal voice had come from.
"You shouldn't be out after dark, you know. All sorts of nasties come out at night."
"Yeah, I know all about nighttime nasties here in…" Ben trailed off mid-sentence when a beautiful, willowy woman with long black hair suddenly appeared before him.
"So that's why you're all pouty, is it?" She swayed slightly, but still managed to lock gazes with the transfixed young man before her. "You've got a mean lady in your head, don't you?"
"How'd you know?" He asked softly, trying and failing to look away from the woman's intense stare.
"The stars told me, of course." She chuckled lightly, trailing one thin arm above her head in a vague gesture towards the glittering heavens above them. "My name's Drusilla. What's yours?"
"That's a pretty name. Not as pretty as my William, but Miss Edith tells me he's gone. I came looking for him; wanted to tell him that mummy wasn't cross with him anymore, but the sunshine go there first. Nasty little Slayer, took away daddy first and now she's snatched up my dark prince."
"The Slayer? But…how…" Ben tried desperately to regain his bearings, but he was lost in the inky pools that were Drusilla's eyes.
"Don't worry, my sweet. I won't let her get you, too." The vampiress snaked out one pale hand and wrapped it around the back of the effectively subdued man's neck, pulling him impossibly closer. "Just close your eyes and let mummy make it all better."
Huh, he thought as he felt the sharp sting of fangs piercing the soft skin of his throat, that's weird. He briefly wondered where his survival instinct was; that fierce need human's had to stay alive. The question slipped away to nothing as he felt the blackness of unconsciousness begin to creep upon his senses. Guess I get to be free afterall…
A/N #2 – So, there it is. What do you think? Good? Bad? Worthy of a flogging? I hope you've all enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Please, read and review.