Chapter 14 – The Clean-Up
The plan was simple.
Step one: Seal off this dimension to prevent the influx of demons that used portals to teleport in and out whenever they chose and were therefore impossible to find because they had no lair or central location here. Those trapped here would be destroyed and no others would be allowed access.
Step two: Take out the hottest spots first. How did Buffy and Angel know where the hottest spots were?
- One, there were slayers-in-training and their watchers stationed all around the world who were confronted with evil every day; these watchers reported in to Giles on a regular basis.
- Two, once she arrived at a city or general locale that had been identified, Buffy could sense a concentration of evil just by walking around the city; it felt like prickly heat on her skin. The feeling was stronger than the tingle that she got when a vampire was near.
- Three, Angel could also sense when vampires and other demons were near.
Step three: Identify and release any non-evil humans trapped unwillingly within hybrids, such as werewolves like Oz and half Brachens like Doyle had been.
The first hot spot that they found was in the Republic of Kenya in East Africa where dozens of huge V'Ntouse demons, who had recently opened portals into the middle of a highly populated area, were in the process of collecting as many people as possible with plans to leave very quickly.
Buffy closed the portal leaving the demons no escape, then after attacking and destroying all except one of the intruders, she and Angel captured that one and forced him to talk. They wanted to know what would happen to the humans that had already been taken.
They learned that the captives would be immediately drained of their life force then returned and dumped at some isolated place in the country. The captured demon said that the human life force kept a V'Ntouse young and virile and after they were done with the humans they did not want the useless human husks left in their beautiful city.
Enraged by his words Buffy killed the V'Ntouse, then she and Angel teleported over to his 'beautiful city', which turned out to be nothing more than a garbage dump, and for three days killed every demon they could find.
The second hot spot was in Kazakhstan in Asia south of Russia. Vampires had a stronghold in the eastern portion of the country where they would capture teenagers and young adults, keep them prisoners and use them for food.
Angel infiltrated their headquarters with Buffy as a 'hostage' and when the group's leader recognized him, he thought that Angelus had decided to join them with a slayer as an offering. He was the last of his group to be dusted. His last words were "We had a good thing going here, Angelus, why did you have to ruin it?"
To which Angel replied, "Didn't I tell you, I'm not Angelus."
And so it went, one hot spot after another was removed and life was allowed to return to normal for the locals, most of the time without their knowing what had happened.
For the first five and a half years that Buffy and Angel traveled the world destroying evil no one seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary. Then a small article in an Irish newspaper reported that there seemed to be a decline in that country in the number of unusually disturbing, gruesome and ritualistic human deaths due to unknown circumstances.
A few weeks later newspapers from all over the world started reporting similar facts. Then someone started reporting statistics and one by one countries around the world did the same.
In addition to its statistics a London newspaper reported, "Along with the decrease in exceptional deaths, it is now obvious that when a death is not due to accident, sickness, disease or natural causes there is evidence that a human being is responsible, leaving us with far fewer unsolved crimes. We also note that in some cases humans are actually being nicer to each other. This is not to say that human crimes have decreased, oh no, it is just that the severity of human crimes seems to have decreased; it is a trend that we can only hope will continue."
Buffy and Angel ran into Oz in Istanbul where he and his mate were living in a camp with other peaceful weres. When the offer was made, to a person each one willingly gave up the were status in order to be returned to a normal human being.
The same thing happened over and over again as they encountered weres around the world. Only once did a were turn down the offer, demanding that the weres in his camp do the same. When they refused his demand and accepted Buffy's offer, he immediately changed to the wolf and tried to attack them. They had to retaliate and defend themselves.
Some encounters with evil did not go as well as others and the two traveling warriors were often left sickened at heart and with much regret over not having been able to save more human lives.
Near the end of their journey Angel began to notice changes in himself. For one thing he did not need blood as often as normal and he could stand low-level sunlight without bursting into flame.
Then one night as he served Buffy the take-out dinner that he had ordered for her, it smelled so delicious that he took one of the shrimp off her plate and popped it into his mouth without thinking. Buffy hid her smile from him and did not say anything; she knew what was happening, Angel was becoming human.
After dinner Buffy asked, "So how was the shrimp?"
Angel stared at her for a moment then broke into a big smile that lit up his whole face. "Love, is it really true? Am I becoming human?"
"Yes, Angel, it's true."
He picked her up and spun around, both laughing and crying at the same time.
"We have one stop in LA and a couple of stops in Sunnydale to make and then you should be one hundred percent human."
"Why do we have to go to LA?"
"Remember your friend Lorne," Buffy asked.
"What about him?" Angel asked hesitantly.
"I wonder if he would like to look more human, you know get rid of the green skin, the red eyes and the horns."
"Buffy, I think he would love it." He thought for a moment. "Does this mean that Spike is becoming human too?"
"I'm sure that he will sooner or later. The Powers will probably decide to free the remaining trapped human hybrids. I don't have the authority to make the decision regarding peaceful vampires. If I did, I would have made you human a long time ago."
He kissed her. "I know. I don't feel any different. I mean, I feel as strong as ever."
Buffy had an idea about that, but she couldn't say for sure, so she didn't say anything. Her thoughts were that the Powers had plans for Angel that required him to maintain his strength. Only time would tell.
"We'll just have to wait and see what the Powers have in store for us next."
Just as in other locations around the world whenever demonic evil had been eliminated on a continent and the slayers-in-training on that continent were released as well, the same thing happened in America. This meant that the American slayers-in-training along with Faith were released and Faith was no longer a slayer.
In Sunnydale Buffy visited Spike's friend, Clem, and gave him a makeover so that he could blend into human society and she visited Oz's cousin, Jordy, whose family had been given a heads up by Oz and was anxiously awaiting her. The young boy gave her a big hug when she removed the wolf from him.
Now her work was almost done.
"It's finally coming to an end," Angel told her. "No more evil demons in the world."
"Yes. It's been a long journey, but after eleven and a half years it is finally coming to an end," Buffy replied.
"Faith's release makes you the last living slayer."
"I know. I don't know what the Powers' plans are for me now. I'll just have to wait and see."
"Whatever their plans are, I hope they include me, because I'm going wherever you go. I asked you this question a long time ago, before we started this journey and I need to ask you again. 'What will you do now?'"
"And I told you this an even longer time ago and I will tell you again, 'I want my life to be with you.'"
Before Angel could take more than two steps toward her, a bright light appeared in the room and two Oracles stepped out. The female Oracle spoke. "As promised, slayer, the Powers are ready to grant you immortality or a return to your reward in heaven. What is your choice?"
Before she gave them her decision, Buffy wanted to know why Angel had retained his strength, heightened senses and healing abilities.
The Oracles did not have the details but they told her that there were parallel dimensions to their own that had lost their traveling warriors and that there might be times when she and Angel would be called upon to travel to other dimensions to finish the work started by other warriors.
Buffy remembered what Grand M had told her about the women in their family, that they tended to age well, but what about Angel?
"But what about aging? Aren't we going to get older?"
"Eventually, yes," the female Oracle told her, "but not until all of the human dimensions have been rid of evil demons and made safe for humans to live in peace. This is not to say that you will be asked to travel often, after all, you have earned your reward and it has been promised to you."
Buffy looked at Angel who nodded briefly.
"If that's the case then, we wouldn't have any objections to helping out in other dimensions so that they can live without demon influence."
Both Oracles smiled. The Powers knew their champions well. "Your choice then?"
Buffy's choice was neither; she would answer the Powers' requests to help out in other dimensions, but now that Angel was human, she wanted to live as normally as possible, to live with her angel.
And live they did. They married and had seven beautiful children, four boys and, just when they thought they would not have a daughter, Buffy gave birth to triplet girls who, to Angel's great delight, all looked like mini Buffys.
All of the children got to meet and adore Joyce, Aunt Janice, Grand M and the rest of the family. They looked forward to each family reunion because they took place in the family's 'home dimension' where Grand M regaled them with stories of their ancestors.
The warriors were called on only once to travel to another dimension and that was before Buffy's first pregnancy. Thereafter their lives were their own.
And Buffy, Angel and their children, and their children, and well you get the idea, lived very long and very happy lives.
A/N: Okay I added that bit at the end because I just love happy B/A endings.
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I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.