Title: When the Sun Falls
Disclaimer:I own nothing. Everything belongs to the wonderful man known as Joss Whedon.
Summary:When Buffy gets mortally wounded and sick, it's up to the AI team and the Scoobies to save her. This is the second book in my Gealach Gorm series! BA, WO, XA
Note:Well, here it is! The second book of my Gealach Gorm series. I want to thank all my fabulous reviewers (Especially MacKenzie Creations, who reviewed all my chapters). Hopefully, this book will be as good (if not better) than the first. I don't want to be stuck in that 'First Book/Movie/Whatever is Good, but Sequel Sucks' thing. Please review. I want to know what you think!
***IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Buffy's hallucinations are in italics.***
Geeze. Updating is so not my thing for this story. Anyway, this is the end for When the Sun Falls, shorter than Gealach Gorm, I know. But please understand why. I got extremely bored with this, seeing as how my favorite character was in a coma, and wanted to move on to where she was alive and kickin' (third book). I had a huge inspiration last night, and wrote until my mother yelled for me to get off. :) I finished it finally today, and will be soon starting the third book. PLEASE REVIEW! Cross your fingers. ON WITH THE THIRD CHAPTER!
* * * * * *
After Latuvious had agreed to help them, they had gathered around the kitchen table. The sorcerer paced in front of them, his robe billowed out behind him and he gave of a magnificent air of power. His slender fingers played with the grey hairs of his short beard.
"Blane has resurfaced? And has put the Slayer in a coma, yes?" he asked, trying to get his story straight.
"Yes," Giles said. "And we have thirty hours to find him and stop him."
"And what help of mine are you seeking?"
"How to find him and kill him," Willow said. "And any other information you might have."
"Blane is a shade, nothing more. He is incorporeal, such as a ghost. There isn't a way to touch him, unless he allows it."
"Then how do we kill him?" Angel persisted. He was getting edgier and edgier by the minute.
"You must turn him corporeal," Latuvious instructed.
Angel's hands clenched into fists and his nails bit into his palm. "How do we do that?"
"Bring me the white rocks washed clean."
"What's that mean?" Xander asked.
"Boy," Latuvious said gruffly. "Do you honestly think I shall tell you that? I said I shall help, but not give you everything. I have told you I gave him a fair chance at humanity, but in turn, I have given you a fair chance to halt him, and execute him. But you must do the work yourselves."
Xander flopped back in his chair. "Where the white rocks wash clean? A stream?"
"Do we have any streams with white rocks around here?" asked Willow. "And how would we know?"
She pulled out her laptop and began searching.
"What about...beaches? White rocks on beaches?" Giles suggested and reached for a book.
Angel stood. "I-I'm going to check on her. I'll be back in a minute."
Buffy laid in the same position as the last time he saw her. It broke Angel's heart to think he may have to live without her. If they didn't find these 'white rocks' and defeat Blane in a day and a half, Buffy would be history. But he had to believe, keep faith that somehow this was going to work. He bent and pressed his lips tenderly to hers, though he knew she wouldn't respond. One silent tear slid down his face and landed on her cheek. He brushed it away with the pad of his thumb and murmured, "We're getting close. We've got a sorcerer helping us and everything. You'd be proud. We're going to save you, Buffy. We are. I love you."
He kissed her forehead one last time before turning and going back into the kitchen.
"Nada. It seems like the Sunnydale website committee doesn't like to put what color stones wash up in their rivers," Willow said, looking up from her computer.
"A-and I can't find anything about white rocks on any of the local beaches. Any of the beaches across America, actually," said Giles.
Xander dropped his head into his hands and rubbed his temples before he spoke, "This isn't getting us anywhere. At all." He looked up at Latuvious from under his lashes. "You tell us we need white rocks washed clean, but you don't give us a hint, or clue, or anything! You're supposed to help us, Lat, not destroy us. You say you're a good guy? Prove it. Because the only good guys I know of are the ones in this room...and the one in the coma... If you truly are on the home team, step up to bat. We've got a Slayer, best there ever was, dying in there, and a psychotic demon bent on humanity just waiting for her last breath. And you know what's going to happen to you if he does reach humanity? Willow, here, is going to cast your sorry butt all the way back to wherever it was you came from. But after, and only after, you banish this Blane fellow to the darkest, grungiest part of hell. You hear me?"
Everyone sat back, shocked by Xander's sudden outburst. Latuvious's face seemed to soften, if only for a minute.
"You are right, young one. I am helping you, and should act accordingly. White rocks. What do you think of?"
"Um, white...rocks," said Willow.
"Think deeper, spell caster. You, of all people, should know this. White rocks. Think of gemstones."
"Diamonds?" suggested Giles.
An odd look passed over the sorcerer's face. "Wishing stones? I do not think so."
The old man's face lit up. "Closer."
"Moonstones!" Willow burst.
"Ah, young one. I knew you were smart."
The rest of the group looked at Willow, and she carefully explained. "Moonstones. They're said to have healing powers, to help the sick. Also something about love and a full moon...but I don't really think that's important right now."
Giles shook his head. "Most likely not."
"Okay," Angel said. "We know the 'what', we just need the 'where'."
"Wash clean..." Willow trailed off. "Washed clean. Huh. Do moonstones wash up in any of the rivers around here?"
"I-I don't think so," The former Watcher said. "But I could be wrong."
"The G-Man? Wrong? Naw," Xander said, reverting back to his sarcastic, wisecracking self.
"What about in a...water bottle factory?" Willow asked in a small voice.
"Water bottle factory?" Angel questioned. "I highly doubt it, Willow."
"You never know," she defended.
Giles took his glasses off and cleaned them before pushing them back up onto the bridge of his nose. "Maybe a dam?"
"Not one of those, no big ones anyway, around here for miles," Xander said.
"Are there any natural springs close by?" the redhead asked.
"No," said Giles. "Not unless you want to go to Washington."
Willow made a small 'humph' noise and sat back in her chair.
"A church. What about a church?" Angel proposed.
Xander turned to him, confused. "A church?"
"Yeah. Washed clean could be a term for forgetting past sins. Couldn't that mean the rocks are in a church?"
Everyone looked at him, stunned. Who would have thought a vampire would have made a religious reference?
There was a long silence, and it was Giles who broke it. "Wise, Angel, very wise. I-I don't believe I would have ever thought of that. Willow, look up the churches in the area, and see if any of them talk about moonstones in their ceremonies."
"On it!" she chirped.
Latuvious stood erect with a slight smirk. These humans, and vampire, were smarter than he had given them credit for. Maybe they had a chance, after all, to defeat Blane and save their Slayer.
"Xander," the British man spoke. "Research these moonstones, see if you can find any clues on where they might be."
"Got it, general!" He drew his hand up in a mock salute and grabbed a book.
Hours passed, and the group made little progress. Small tidbits of information were dug up every hour or so, but nothing monumental was found. It wasn't until Willow was about to click the red 'X' at the top of her screen, that a link caught her eye. St. John's Church Of Sunnydale. There wasn't anything special about it, just a link to a website, but she had a feeling. She clicked the blue link and another window popped up. The church's name was in bold letters at the top, with its picture below that. Willow scrolled down and clicked on 'Ceremonies'.
Unlike any other church, it read, St. John's Church of Sunnydale uses unique healing methods to calm the ill. Moonstones, a type of rock known to have healing powers, is used to soothe burns, heal sickness, and even mend injuries such as broken bones. We accept everyone, so come down this Sunday and take part at St. John's Church of Sunnydale!
"I've got it!" She burst. "I've got it! Guys!"
Everyone came rushing to her side and she read them the page.
"Outstanding, Willow. Do you have an address?" Giles asked.
"Yup," she said and scribbled something down on an orange post-it note. "Here."
Angel read over Giles's shoulder.
"I know that place. I'll go," he said.
"Are you sure?" Questioned Xander. "I mean, churches and vamps don't really go together, unless I missed something."
"It's Buffy," was all Angel said.
"A-are you sure you don't want backup?" Asked Giles. "Just in case you get yourself into a, er, tight spot?"
"The less people there are, the quicker I'll be able to get over there."
"Okay," Willow said. "But be careful. Sunrise's in three hours."
"I'll be back before then. Promise," the vampire said, and then walked out the door.
Latuvious stood silently, mentally congratulating the team on their efforts.
* * * * * *
St. John's was deserted when Angel reached it. He stood on the street and looked up into the darkened windows, contemplating ways to break in. Breaking into a church. If the list of his sins wasn't already long enough, it was now. He walked up to the main doors and gave a light tug. Solid. They most likely had an expensive burglar alarm installed, which meant he'd have to be creative in getting in. He walked around to the side of the building and into an alley, surveying the landscape. Most of the basement windows were barred, and the main floor windows were stained glass. Not that the pretty glass was the problem, but it meant that there was no way to open the window without busting the glass beyond repair. The only available entrance seemed to be the higher windows on the second floor.
It was too high to jump, so Angel carefully moved a large dumpster as quietly as he could to the side of the church. Then he backed up as far as the narrow alley would allow, and took off running as fast as he could. He used the dumpster as a spring, and leaped to the nearest window. His fingers barely managed to grasp the small brick ledge and he held on with all his strength. Using both arms, he pulled himself up and balanced all his weight on his left forearm. With his available right hand, he pried open the lower part of the pane, and it swung inward.
Angel groaned softly as he pulled himself through the small opening and then fell to the floor, landing on something that gave off a sort of squeeky wheezing noise. He immediatly hopped up and looked down at the offending object. A rubber duck. He looked around at the room he was in. There were balloons and clowns painted on the walls. The nursery, he decided. He closed the window behind him before he cautiously, silently, he made his way out the door and down a hallway. He passed the kitchen, and several Sunday school classrooms before he finally found the stair case, which lead down to another hall. Following this one, Angel eventually came to the sanctuary. He could vaguely make out the red velvet of the pew seats and the flowers lining the isle. There must have been a recent wedding, he guessed.
Ever so slowly, Angel walked down each pew row, looking for the precious gems. He reached the alter, and still hadn't found any sign of the stones. Next, he thoroughly searched pulpit, and all it's compartments. Nothing. Onto the seats for the choir, which he searched just as fully as he'd done everywhere else, yet still no rocks. Then he moved on to the priest's office, which was off to the right of the stage and forced the lock. It was a small, dark room, and he quietly raided the desk drawers and every other surface. Still, he came up empty-handed. Not to be discouraged, Angel went back out into the sanctuary and climbed a flight of stairs to the sound booth. He looked through everything, being especially careful not to touch any dials that may mess up the lights or sound come next Sunday.
Still finding nothing, Angel gazed out through the small glass window and looked down upon the sanctuary. Even in the dark, he could see everything. The pews, the stage, the pulpit, the doors, the windows, the baptism tub. Wait, he thought. He peered closer. Baptism tub, the one place he hadn't looked. Hurriedly, he climbed down the stairs and raced down the isle. The water in the tub gleamed softly in the muted moonlight, and sure enough, below its surface, were small white rocks. The vampire grinned triumphantly. He had found them! But his celebration was cut short, due to a horrid thought. The water in the baptism pool must have been holy water, there wasn't any way around it. An entire tub of holy water to a vampire was like a field of fire to a human. He reminded himself of Buffy, lying so still in their bed at home, and how if he didn't do this, she would die. And she couldn't die. He made up his mind and reached a hand out toward the water. Every fiber of him seemed to repel, the demon knew what it was. He paused just above the surface, before grounding his teeth together and plunging his arm to the bottom of the tub.
Pain, intense, searing pain ripped through Angel. He allowed his true face to slip through and he bit down on his tongue to keep from screaming. Tears welled in the corners of his eyes and smoke rose up out of the water. Finally, he felt the smooth surface of the stones and grasped as many as he could in one hand, which was about twenty, considering how small they were. Quickly, he brought his hand up out of the water and flung the stones to the ground. His skin was red and blistered. He swiftly shed his duster and tore his shirt off, using the fabric to dry his hand before wrapping it around the burn. He rolled the stones around on the carpet with his shoe to dry all the holy water off, and then slipped them all into the pocket of his duster. Standing, Angel slid on the jacket and walked to the main doors. He could get out using them, after all, he was coming from the inside, and nobody would know the difference.
* * * * * *
Everyone was waiting for him when Angel arrived home.
"Good grief, Angel! What happened?" Giles asked upon seeing his disheveled appearance.
"Holy water," was all he said.
"Did you get them? Did you get the moonstones?" Asked Willow.
"I got 'em."
Angel took off his duster and tossed it to Giles. Then he walked to his desk and took out the first aid kit.
"Where were they?" Questioned Xander.
"Baptism pool," he said without looking up from the hand he was bandaging.
"Ouch," the witch said.
When he had put the final piece of tape on the gauze, Angel turned to Latuvious. "I got you your stones, now what?"
"Now, we must turn Blane corporeal."
The vampire rolled his eyes. "I gathered that. How?"
"I shall do it. It is much to dangerous for your spell caster."
The sorcerer gathered a handful of the rocks and mumbled something under his breath. The stones emitted a bright white light and turned to powder in his hands.
"That was too dangerous? How?" asked Willow.
"The incantation is centuries old. It is pure and raw, without the usual general safety of spells today. It could have killed one such as you," Latuvious said and let the powder fall through his fingers and into a tiny brown pouch, which he handed to Angel.
"You are a warrior," He said. "A champion of good. You must battle Blane, and you must win."
Angel swallowed hard. "What happens if I don't?"
"The girl? The Slayer? She dies."
"A-and if I do?"
"Well, then. She lives, and I shall forever banish Blane out of this dimension."
"Tonight. This powder, it will turn him corporeal. All you must do is throw it on him and he shall be as real as you or I."
Angel slipped the bag into the pocket of his black pants and looked up. "Where?"
The football field was empty when Angel, Latuvious, and the gang got there. The now-on lights cast an eerie glow across the grass and Willow shivered.
"Where is he?" she asked.
"He will come. Just wait, young one."
"So, uh, I've got a question," said Xander. "What about us non-champions? What are we supposed to do, other than get in the line of fire?"
"You shall watch from the highest point possible," Latuvious said, pointing to the top of the seats.
"Oh, great, we got the nosebleed section," Xander mumbled as they made their way up the steps.
Only Angel and Latuvious remained on the field. The vampire hefted the large spear he was given in one hand and felt the bag in his pocket with the other.
"How do we know he's coming?" he asked.
"Blane can hardly resist a challenge, for he believes he will conquer all."
As if on cue, a black cloaked figure materialized out of the air.
"Xander was right," Angel said. "You are ugly."
"This is my competition?" He bellowed in a deep voice. "Ha! I will kill you, boy, and then I will kill your Slayer."
Latuvious nodded to Angel.
"Be triumphant," he whispered before teleporting to the third row of seats.
Angel eyed Blane as he crept closer, and slipped the bag from his pocket. Blane was advancing quicker now, and Angel took on a warrior's stance, spear held high and his other arm coiled and ready with the tiny bag. The demon raced forward suddenly and passed through Angel, giving him chills.
"Ha!" He boomed. "You cannot even touch me. There is no way you can beat me."
"Think again!" Angel exclaimed and tossed the white powder in his face.
Blane screamed and his eyes were no longer yellow, instead blood red. His taloned hand thrust toward Angel, and he jumped back. The vampire swung the sword over his head and tried to stab Blane, but failed. His red eyes were taunting as he circled Angel. The nail of his finger cut into his shoulder, and Angel let out a growl, slipping into his vampire visage. Again, he thrust the sword out, and this time made contact. He sliced into the demon's arm, leaving a bloody gash. He hissed and advanced closer, his hand becoming more like a claw. He thrashed out and slashed Angel across the face. He swung the spear again, but Blane dodged it as if it were a limbo stick. Angel held the spear low, and ran full force toward Blane. He plunged the tip through his stomach and the demon hissed low. He gripped the spear that was now protruding from his stomach and broke it in two, leaving Angel with nothing but a blunt wooden stick and the spear tip fell to the ground. The vampire discarded the now-useless stick and round-house kicked Blane to the ground. He wheezed low in his throat from the impact, but was back up in less than a minute. In fact, the blow didn't seem to faze him a bit, for the next thing anyone knew, Angel was pinned to the green grass with Blane's bony hand across his throat.
"You will not stand in my way," he shouted. "Humanity will be mine as soon as the Slayer falls."
Slayer falls...the words echoed over and over in Angel's mind. His yellow eyes flashed and a roar ripped through him. Blane, who's eyes were glowing cockily, was thrown across the field by a very miffed vampire.
"She will not fall," he snarled.
In the blink of an eye, Angel was on top of Blane, shoving his head to the ground. He pulled back his arm and his fist snapped into the demon's face. Again and again he punched him. Though he made an effort, Blane could not escape the torture.
"She's going to be fine!" He said just as he dealt the blow that would forever render Blane defeated.
"You have won, vampire. And you," Latuvious said, looking at Blane. "You shall never walk in this dimension. Forever shall you perish in a deminsion unlike this one. One of fire and pain. Be gone!"
With a flick of his wrist, Blane was gone, banished to the darkest pits of Hell. Angel fell to the ground, suddenly exhausted. The gang, which had been watching with rapt attention, now rushed down onto the field.
"You did it!" cried Willow. "You defeated him!"
"Yeah," said Xander. "Looks like Earth is freed of one more ugly, Slayer-killin' demons! Good job, Dead Boy."
Angel, for once, didn't comment on the use of his dreaded nickname. Instead, he smiled shakily and allowed Giles to help him up.
"Good work, Angel," Giles said.
"Thanks." The he looked to Latuvious. "So is that it? She's going to be okay?"
"You have made well on your side of the deal in defeating Blane. Your Slayer shall live."
Whoops of joy rang out in the cool fall air.
"Thank you," Angel said to the sorcerer. "From all of us."
"It was an honor to meet you."
Latuvious bowed, and Angel and Giles repeated the gesture before he faded away into the night.
Xander smiled and patted Angel on the back. "Let's get home and check on the Buffster."
* * * * * *
When everyone burst through the door to the tiny apartment, Buffy was sitting up in bed, rubbing her temples. She looked up when the door shut, and smiled.
"Angel," she said softly.
That was all it took to break through the walls of his strong attitude and Angel was on his knees in front of the bed in less than a minute.
"Oh, Buffy!" he gasped and wrapped his arms around her waist, burring his face in her neck.
Buffy felt warm moisture on her skin and realized he was crying. Why? she thought and tried to remember. She remembered Angelus, who obviously was gone, and she remembered falling asleep and not being able to wake up. She also remembered Angel talking to her and saying the sweetest things. But none of these could equal enough to make Angel cry.
"Shhh..." she murmured soothingly over and over again as she ran her fingers through his hair. "Hey, it's okay..."
"Buffy, oh, Buffy! You-you're here!" he said into her shoulder.
"Yeah," she said quietly. "I'm here."
The only thing that made sense to her right now was that Angel, her Angel, needed her. And she'd be there for as long as he wanted her to. Finally, he pulled away and looked up at her, his face tear streaked. Buffy gently tried to wipe a way the wetness with the pads of her thumbs.
"I love you," he said softly.
She smiled. "I love you, too."
Angel rose up a few inches so he was her height and then he captured her lips with his own. Neither one seemed to notice that there were other people in the room, and the others, for once, didn't care. He kissed her with such passion, and yet such tenderness, that she felt she could cry and smile and laugh all at the same time. Eventually, though, he had to pull away, for oxygen was becoming an issue for at least one of them.
Buffy's cheeks were flushed and she was breathless when she looked up and said, "Hey guys. Did I miss something?"
After lots of hugs, tears, (kisses on Angel's part) and reunions, the group sat down and told Buffy everything. The whole shebang. From the moment the demon cut her, up to the moment they came home. After they were done a good hour later, Buffy sat back, eyes wide. Then a small smile tugged at her lips.
"How come I'm always gone when the exciting stuff happens?"
For a moment, nobody realized she was joking. When they did, however, Giles got a stern look. "Not incredibly funny, Buffy."
"Aw, come on, G-Man. She's been outta the game for almost forty-eight hours," Xander said, then turned to Buffy. "Points for effort."
"Buffy," Willow said, "Don't ever go all comatose again. You here me? It's hard to fight demons without our resident Slayer and her punn-y ways!"
"Okay, Will. Next time a demon tries to kill me, I'll politely tell him I can't be murdered because my best friend doesn't allow it." Despite her words, Buffy was smiling mischievously.
* * * * * *
Over the next week, Buffy was constantly bombarded with 'Are you okay?'s and 'How are you?'s, but she didn't really mind, because had it been someone else, she'd be right there asking the questions, too. Eventually at the end of the week, after much internal conflict, Angel had to return to his life in LA. But that didn't mean he didn't call every night...just to check up on her.
It had scared him, the thought of living the rest of his life without Buffy, or at least without getting to say goodbye to Buffy. For he knew one day, her number would be called, and she would be forced to leave him, but he tried to not dwell on that too much. Infact, his dwelling, or brooding as his friends called it, had dwindled down to a minimum. Buffy had a lot to do with that.
Buffy jumped back into her normal life as fast as possible, even making time for homework. A feat that amazed everyone. She had gained a new way of looking at life through being in a coma, as weird as that may sound. It had never occured to her, even when she died, that she, the Slayer, Buffy Summers, could someday pass out of this world. It brought new meaning to her old motto.
Seize the day...because tomorrow you might be dead!
A/N:Thank you all who read and reviewed this. It was much apprieciated. Stay tuned for the third book in my Gealach Gorm series, The Token.
Also, check out my new forum, Gealach Gorm. It's where I'll be posting new bits of information (such as, if I have writers block, I can let you all know) there. So swing by!