Chapter 19: The Aftermath
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an intense hatred for this episode. BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. Charmed characters belong to WB, I think. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
A/N: Thanks to my betas for their help...BkwrmDancer, DawnDreamer, AshDawnSoulmates, ktweaver, and Chrislover.
They looked at each other in silence. Well, that was certainly anti-climatic. All they felt was a moderate pressure wave from the spell activating, not even knocking them off their feet. You would've thought taking out the First and the Source would be more spectacular.
What they didn't know was in the Underworld and elsewhere, the fallout was much greater. All the Turok-Han turned to dust instantly. Above them, streaks of lightning spread from Bringer to Bringer, reducing them to ash as well. Since they were tied together by a common goal, it spread from the First into the Source. The damage to the Source's minions wasn't as great because the spell had come through a Hellmouth, not a Nexus. But still, several of the upper level demons and even greater number of lower level ones were destroyed by an unseen force.
As they turned to walk out of the room, the Angel of Destiny appeared. He looked at them each in turn, saving Spike for last. But he spoke to him first, "William, it is time for you to receive your reward. The amulet drew the demonic aspects of the vampire out of you to create the lock. This means that you no longer have the blood lust; you will have to get your nourishment just as a human would. You also won't have trouble with holy objects or the sun. Now, do you wish to remain like that or do you desire to become human again?"
"Is that why I could touch the scythe earlier without pain?" Spike questioned, his mind reeling from the possibilities of what he was offered. Maybe he and Buffy could start over again. If he were to become human again--
He was so caught up in his daydreams, that he didn't hear her at first.
"Spike!" she yelled as she shook him. Finally he cleared his head and looked at her. "Spike, whatever you chose, has to be what's best for you. We will only ever be able to be friends… someday. I know that I had a lot to do with what happened and you didn't have your soul then, but right now I can't get past that night. So please accept that and choose what will make you happy."
He gave her a rueful chuckle. "Not possible, pet. But of the two choices that I do have, I'd prefer to remain strong. I haven't been a human for a long time and I don't bloody well want to go back to it now." He looked at the robed man with a determined expression. "That's my answer, mate. I'll stay like this, thank you very much."
Then the Angel turned to the sisters and said, "And as it was your destiny to defeat the Source, you are now free. Do you choose to remain witches or do you want to be done with your powers?"
They looked at each other. Though they had had some really tough times over the years, they just wouldn't feel like them without their powers. Plus, some wonderful things came out of their destiny as well; Leo and Paige to name just two. They spoke quietly with one another, then turned back to him. "We choose to be witches," they declared in unison.
Finally he walked over to stand in front of Buffy. Placing his hands on her shoulders, he said with obvious pride, "And you have done exceptionally well. Any expectation anyone might have had of you has been surpassed many times over. Are you ready and willing to receive your reward?"
"You mean I have a choice about this?" She looked shocked at that.
"Certainly, if you want your Slayer powers stripped, I can do that as well. It that what you want?" he asked, looking into her eyes for the truth.
She took a minute to look around and consider the idea of a normal life. But she didn't really need to think about it. "Nah, having them gives me an edge. I know Angel became human and is still fighting, and I'm happy for him, but I don't think I'd be able to fight without my powers. And I couldn't stop fighting, not with what's out there."
He smiled at her knowingly. "Good. Now in receiving these powers, three things will happen. One: you will gain your full Slayer abilities. A guideline for what those are is what you were able to do during the enjoining spell, but under your control. Two: you will gain your whitelighter abilities. Meaning orbing and healing. Three: the blending of the two will result in some new abilities. They will take a while to develop, but I have no doubt that you'll be able to handle it."
He took a deep breath and asked, "So, ready to begin?"
At her nod, he moved his hands until one rested on her head and the other over her heart. Blue and gold lights swirled around them, some mixing to create a beautiful emerald. The others guessed that if the blue stood for whitelighter and gold for Slayer, then emerald was the combined powers. The lights settled into her skin and for a flash, she was bathed in a brilliant mist.
The Angel stepped back and gazed at her, as she was still glowing slightly. He leaned in and gave her a kiss on the forehead. "Congratulations, young lady. May you treat these abilities with the respect and responsibility that they require."
She ducked her head, caught off-guard at his fatherly attitude. Then she couldn't help herself and threw her arms around the surprised Angel and gave him a joy-filled hug.
He uttered his goodbyes to the group and left them to their new destinies.
After months of training with Leo, Paige and her whitelighter, Tara, Buffy finally felt like she was getting the hang of her new powers. The combined ones had yet to develop, but she was okay with that because the ones she had now were pretty handy.
She promised to check in with them frequently and made them promise to call her if they ever needed her help with anything. Now she just had to settle on what to do with her life. But first she'd check in with Faith, who was guarding the Hellmouth with the help of her new Watcher, who surprisingly was Spike. Then she'd see how Giles was doing with re-establishing the Council – with the help of a certain coven leader.
When that was done, she'd spend some quality time with her sister and cousins, getting to know her family again. Dawn mentioned how she was enjoying herself, much to her shock. She never thought she'd like living on a farm in Kansas.
A/N: That's all folks! (Sorry, little Porky Pig making himself known) The sequel is only in the planning stages right now and I have a Gilmore Girl fic I want to finish before starting a new story. But this was a rush to do this.
A/N2: Special thanks to zigpal for giving me the pairing of Giles/Katherine. That poor Watcher needs some loving. If anyone can give me a physical description of her to use in the sequel, I'd much appreciate it!
A/N3: There is a short oneshot side story for this called 'I'll See You in My Dreams'.