Shanshuing

The title says it all, huh?

I was watching The Gift when I had the idea and this huge urge to write it. So, here it is. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

"God speed, princess."

"Bye Groo."

There was wind in a deserted Caritas. Out of nowhere, white spots appeared and after a while Angel's convertible came barreling through. After the car stopped everyone left it.

"You know I've been thinking about remodeling the bar. - Who's up for a nightcap?"

"I am". It was the only sound heard.

Cordelia turned around…

"Angel. I want to thank you… Angel…Angel? Angel!"

He was not with them.

Chapter 2

"Dawn, listen to me. Listen."

"I love you. I will *always* love you, but this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles ... tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world ... is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me."

Suddenly, Dawn eyes grow wide. Angel stood there confused and with the sound of thunder he looked around himself and understood the big picture. He turned around in time for his chest to collide with Buffy… who was running…

"Angel"

"Buffy"

Angel looked into her eyes and he saw so much and he understood what he prevent her to do. He turned around again, but she held his arm and made him look at her.

"No… No… you can't! This is not your responsibility!"

He didn't say anything, but hit her hard in the face. She stumbled back and fell onto Dawn. She saw to her horror the man she loved more than anything jump to his death.

"Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!"

"No! Dawn! No! No!"

"Buffy!"

Buffy tried to leave Dawn's arms, but her legs could not hold her weight. She stayed there while the world seemed to mend again. No more sound was heard, but her scream of agony.

Chapter 3

The tower started to shake hard. Dawn screamed and crouched down. Pieces of the tower fall off.

"Buffy… please, Buffy. Hear me! Please! We have to leave. Buffy, we have to leave it here. It is not safe. This thing can come down any minute. Please."

Buffy was still sobbing hard and crushed in the floor. Dawn was almost hysterical. She took Buffy's face in her hands so they could look at each other.

"Buffy ... please ... listen to me. You told me I had to be strong ... You have to do it now… you have to be strong. I need you. Please!"

Buffy seemed to realize everything and without saying anything she tried to stand. Dawn helped her and they both tried to go for the stairs, but the tower shook again almost throwing them out of it. Her Slayer instinct took over and she looked around. She saw a hope, held Dawn and jumped for it. They plumed downward.

Everyone run for them as they arrived in the ground. Buffy looked around and saw his lifeless body lying over some debris. Her legs gave away again and Xander tried to help her up, but she recoiled and got herself up alone.

"Buffy"

Giles touched her shoulder from behind, but she recoiled again and started to walk for his body.

"We can't leave him here"

Finally she spoke… softly… but her voice was devoid of any emotion.

Chapter 4

Angel felt like he was floating at first. Maybe it was a remaining feeling of his jump to death, but it was not bad. He looked around and he saw a small village. It was his home. So, that was death. You could go to whatever place you wanted to be. If so… this was not the place he would choose… no place was better than the arms of his Slayer. He was dead, but she was alive… and he was glad. He hoped she would not take it hard. He would not allow for her to kill herself. Her life was too precious; she should go on and have a life. Grow old with grey hair and have kids. That was why he left.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he got startled when he heard the voice.

"Warrior"

He spun around to see the Oracles.

"Oh. You two. I thought that you were dead."

"Death means nothing to us. We are eternal, we are immortal. Truly immortal."

"So. Where am I? This didn't seem Hell."

"Well. It is not. You reached Heaven."

"Me. I… I don't deserve it. I… I…"

"Maybe not your demon, but you. He was ripped of your body when the walls between dimensions were mended and is now on Hell. You saved the world. You gave your life… again… for the woman you love. And you did both things without thinking of yourself. Don't you think this is enough?"

"The world is better without one vampire running around."

"Yes. That is true indeed."

"I don't understand. What happened? Why?"

"Her blood. The portal was open by a Hell goddess with Summers's blood. Only Summers's blood could close it."

"But I don't…"

"Yes. You do. You drank from her. You married her, you took her soul and body and you sealed your love when you drank from her. She and you are the same. Are the whole."

Angel looked at the female and saw compassion in her eyes.

"Will she be happy? Will she find someone? Grow old? Have someone to love her?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"I want to know if she will go on. She deserves it. She is special."

"Wouldn't it hurt you to know all of it?"

"Yes! No! I.. I.. Yes. It will, but I want it for her. So, will she?"

"Yes. She will. She will find love and have kids and grow old."

Angel flinched when he heard it, it was painful because it was everything *he* wanted to do… to have… with her, but he smiled.

"He, whoever he is, will be a lucky man."

"Yes. You are indeed."

"Me. What about me? Am I?"

"Yes. Warrior. She and you will have everything you want. You saved the world… you will shanshu."

For the first in two forty plus years, Angel smiled. Really smiled.

"Why are you smiling?"

"I don't know. So, what do I do?"

"You live."

The last thing that Angel saw was a blinding gold light.

Chapter 5

Buffy tried to touch his body but she recoiled her hand… she tried it again and again and again… but she couldn't… her face was soaked with tears… every time she tried to touch him she would brought her hands to her face and sobbed harder. If she touched the body it would mean he was really dead… gone… forever. She looked at his face and she thought he was smiling.

"Oh, Angel".

She finally touched the body and started to hit his chest over and over. It was the most frightening thing to see the Almighty Slayer to succumb to pain like that.

"Please… please… please… come back. Come back to me! I can't… I can't… don't do this to me. Don't…"

Willow made a move to go to her, but Giles held her and shook his head no. Buffy put her head in his chest and she thought it was raising and falling… after a while she realized it really was raising and falling…

"Angel… Angel? Oh, God! He is alive!"

"Buffy. Angel… Angel is death."

She turned around to look at Giles and said frantically…

"No. No. He is alive. He is… I can…"

"Buffy. Angel is…"

And she heard it. The most wonderful sound she could ever hear.

"Cough… cough!!!"

Buffy spun around to see his chocolate eyes staring back at her.

"Angel… Angel?"

"Buffy"

And night heard her scream again.

Epilogue

The slayer jumped into her lover arms and kissed all of his face. Everyone looked at everyone trying to understand what had happened just there. They were sure he was dead.

"Oh, God! Angel! You came back!"

"Buffy. I… I couldn't stay away when you send me to Hell and now even Heaven can't keep us apart"

Buffy looked at his eyes and realized he was warm. Her eyes watered and some tears run her face… to be catch by Angel's finger.

"Oh, Buffy. Shhh… don't cry! I'm here. I… Why are you crying, baby?"

"I… you… Will you go away again? I… I don't want to lose you again. Who or what will take you from me again?"

"Buffy. Nobody will take me from you ever again. The Oracles said it. We are going to grow old and have kids. If I try to leave you… please just… just knock me and use some chains if you want… but I won't go anywhere. I've found my place. I've found my heart here with you. I left it here. I did some horrible things in the past few months because half of my soul was not really with me to guide me, to love me."

"Really?"

"Yes".

And she slapped him. Hard.

"Wow! What was that for?!"

"If you… if you do this to me again…. If you do any of these stunts of yours on me again… I will… I will…"

She never ended her babble because Angel's lips caught her.

The first rays of sun caught the couple. She had her golden hair shinning to the sun, while he looked to his hand… that not caught fire.

They understood it was real. They understood that from now own many more rays of light would finally shower their lives.