A few of my "Immortal Beloved" bits-fragments, shorties, complete tales...But unless indicated for a particular tale, they are not a connected series...

Warning...I have fun in many, so expect Buffy and co to take a few pratfalls...And some very surreal (ok, flaky) ones...

"Immortal Beloved..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down! It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: A brainstorming set of quickies, fragments, and a few full tales, exploit of upcoming rumors before Joss does something stupid like pair Buf off with some jerk we've never heard of...(ie, begun during the last season of Angel).

Rome, May 2004...The underground catacomb lair of 'the Immortal'...A sort of vamp Jude Law clone...Very much full of himself...Perhaps with reason as he appears to have the Slayer in his grasp...

"And tell your dear old loves, my Buffy..." the Immortal sneered at the thrall-bound Slayer... "Who I have to thank for my triumph..."

"William and Angel..." she murmured, blank-eyed...

"And why?..."

"I loved them...But I failed them...I didn't help them..."

"That's not true, love..." William called to her...Struggling against the grip of the enslaved bondsmen holding him and Angel...

"And, so...When I appeared...The First of All Human Vampires...Showing myself a noble creature, able to fight-off my blood lust...Pleading for help with my dreadful curse..."

"I wanted to help you..." Buffy finished... "And I didn't want to care about the consequences..."

"Such compassion...Pity it was so misplaced...William..." The Immortal turned back to him... "It is you I have most to thank...I took my cue from your pathetic romantic sniveling...And her guilt over you did the rest..."

Not to slight you, Angelus...he smiled...

"It was so easy...A few heroics to convince her I was sincere in my desire for redemption...A few romantic gestures...Rescuing her sister from my own agents...Ha!..."

Hard to believe this simpleton defeated the First...he gave Buffy a contemptuous look...But then, the First always had a built-in sense of defeat...

"And now, a final taste...And she will join me as my Consort...And we will rule all...Including your Wolfram-Hart, Angel..."

I'm sure they will much prefer us as their masters...Eh, Buffy...He turned...

"Nah..." she shook her head...The blank-eyed stare gone...He stared at her...Angel and William exchanging wry grins... "I don't like the idea of being cooped behind a desk all day...Or night...Lets leave W-H to Angel..." She staked the Immortal before he could make a move...

Angel threw back his shaken guards, Will joining in in a moment...Within five minutes it was over, Buffy having taken down several herself, the others not done in by the boys fleeing down the cavern...

"Thanks for coming guys...Knew ya would..." she grinned... "What a loser..." she stared at the ashes... "Dracula had more appeal...and lots more class..."

"Hey, Angel...Sorry Giles handled that thing with Winifred so badly...Though Willow did say nothing could be done except maybe time-travel...She'll look into it..."

"I want you to know I gave him a piece of my mind over it...He's still skittish around you, I'm afraid..."

And as for you...she frowned at Will...Then a beaming smile...

"The things a girl has to do to get her own true to finally show..."

Immortal Beloved II..."

A shortie

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's...

Summary: Another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Buffy's room in her and Dawn's apartment, Rome...

Standing over the ashes of the famed-but-rather-easily-taken-down Immortal, Angel and William glanced round the place...

A man's suit hanging...About my height Angel noted...

"She always prefers height..." he eyed William who frowned...Only two out of four, mate...If ole Red was right in tellling me about that Ford fellow...

"Snappy dresser..." Will looked over the suit and pair of Italian mens' shoes beneath it... "My Buf always did go for a sharp-dressed fella..." he grinned at Angel... "Guess she was feelin' charitable in your case, Boss..."

Glare from the Brooding One...Who reminded his new junior associate partner that he was indeed the paycheck-signing Boss...

Italian bloke, you think?...William turned serious...Probably...Angel sighed...

"Well, then...Guess that's that..." William was curt...Angel gave a rather sympathetic look...Gotta get used to this with the Buffed One, Spike...he noted...

"She keeps her eye on the future...Doesn't like to focus on the past..."

"Sure...Heck...I never expected she'd be waiting in mourning for me...Would've been nice to see her again, though..." Will sighed... "Not that I'd've held her to what she said, of course..."

Would've been...Angel nodded...Eyeing the downcast William...

"You know...She is gonna be dust while you're still footloose and fancy-free..."

Yeah...

But...

"I would've gladly dusted or flamed out with her the day she went...But like I say, I never expected..."

Sure...Angel nodded..."Well, I guess we'd better call our host...And tell him 'Mission Accomplished'..." he pulled out a cell phone and punched...

The door to the hotel hallway opened immediately...Andrew and three Slayers...

"Gentlemen, I have returned with reinforcements as promised...Help is..."

Got 'im, Andrew...William noted...

Oh...Well...

"Nice job, boys...Angel...I shall inform Mr. Giles you performed as according to our organization's high standards and recommend we review the possibility of renewed contact..."

Thanks...Angel noted drily... "Just tell Giles I haven't joined Evil's ranks...And to be a little more polite next time I ask for help for an innocent friend..."

Yeah...Sorry about Ms. Burkle...Andrew nodded...

"So...Shall I escort you to your rooms?...Buffy and Dawn should be back tomorrow..."

They'll want to thank you in person, I'm sure...he beamed...

Angel looked at Will...William at Angel...

Nah...They answered... "I guess we'll be headed back..." Angel replied...Andrew staring...But...

"Tell Buf I wish her and whoever the best..." Will called as they headed out...

"But fellas..." Andrew called after them...But they were gone in an instant...

"Of course..." Angel noted as they sat on the plane for LA... "I was her first..."

A girl always remembers her first...

"Too bad you don't..." William smirked... "...'Less of course you retain more of Angelus than you generally care to admit..."

"Besides..." he grinned... "I was the one in her knickers the longest...Even outdid ole Finn...Endurance, young Christ...That's the ticket...Why we must've rocked the universe, oh...About a hundred times..."

"With a lil' squirt like you, it would take a hundred times for her to remember you..."

"Need I remind you...I died for her...Voluntarily...She did not have to shove me into Hell..."

"She dreamed of marrying me..."

"Loved her soullessly...And regained my soul for her...Again, voluntarily...Top that, mate..."

"I was her first..." Angel, with an air of settling the matter...

"She saved the best for last..." Will replied...

Well...he sighed...Guess not the last...

Hmmn...Angel eyed him...Down in the dumps again...

"You know, Will...She is not the brightest girl in the world...Not exactly a culture fan...And rather high maintenance...Not to mention...A bit on the short side..."

And frankly...She's never exactly tried to help either of us overcome our darker natures...Beyond when she needs us to fight...

Will stared at him...

"I'm just sayin'...She's not the only girl in the world..."

"Sure...Thanks..." Will smiled...

"But she is the only Buffy..."

Yeah...Angel sighed...She is that...

"I don't understand..." Buffy stared at Andrew... "They killed the Immortal and then just left...William didn't even leave a message?...Why?..." Andrew shrugged...

She turned to the man beside her... "Dad, I hafta to make a trip to LA...Pronto..."

Hank Summers frowned a bit...

The guy I tole you about...she grinned sheepishly...Say...

"Here's your suit...Came back while we were away..."

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"Immortal Beloved...III..."

A bit longer this time...

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's

Summary: Yet another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Obviously, I'm havin' fun with this...

Rome...May 5th, 2004...

Non dimenticar...

Play

Non dimenticar means don`t forget you are my darling

Don`t forget to be

All you mean to me

Non dimenticar my love is like a star, my darling

Shining bright and clear

Just because you`re here

Please do not forget that our lips have met

And I`ve held you tight, dear

Was it dreams ago my heart felt this glow?

Or only just tonight, dear?

Non dimenticar although you travel far, my darling

It`s my heart you own, so I`ll wait alone

Non dimenticar

Se ci separ, se ci allontan

L`ala del destino

Non ne ho colpa, no, e mi sentiro sempre a te vicino

Non dimenticar although you travel far, my darling

It`s my heart you own, so I`ll wait alone

Non dimenticar

"Angel?...William?..." Buffy stared at the boys standing in the doorway of her apartment...

"Buffy..." Will stared at her... "Hello, Buffy..." Angel nodded...

"What the hell?..." Surprise in her voice, but somewhat to William's repressed dismay, not the shock he'd half-expected...

Nor the joy...Somewhere inside he'd hoped for...

"Buffy...Andrew called us...Said you'd been targeted by..." William began...

"Buffy?..." a distinguished, accented voice...Of a tall, handsome, young-but-immensely-experienced man who now entered the room from an adjoining one...

"Angelus..." the man gasped...

"Henri..." Buffy turned to him... "This is..."

"Buffy...That is your assassin..." Angel glared at the man... "Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy...Otherwise known as..."

"The Immortal...Yeah, yeah..." she waved a hand... "I know all about it...But Andrew's got it wrong...Henri hasn't been stalking me..."

Well...She grinned...Not stalking me to kill me anyway...

"William?...Please stop choking my fiancee..." she glared at the William now bent over the thrown-to-the-ground Henri...Gasping under his grip...

Fiancee...? William blinked...

Fiancee...? Angel sighed...Not quite so surprised...

Fiancee...Buffy nodded...

"Human-souled fiancee I should add...Which I'm sure you can confirm if you look him over..."

For love of me...she beamed...As Will glared at the worthless little copycat of a French fop vamp beneath him...

"Fellas...May I present...Let him up, William!...Count Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy, last surviving member of the d'Vestigy family...The oldest living human hybrid vampire...Formerly known as 'the Immortal'...Newly human souled..."

And newly restored to his ancestral estates...With the help of phony documents provided by my Council...she smiled at the slowly recovering...If you would please, Monsieur Walthrop?...He took Will's remaining hand off his throat...Henri...

"And my latest..." Buffy beamed...

What?...She stared at the boys' somewhat clouded faces...

"Oh, right...I was supposed to wait and hope you'd transcend the grave again, William?...I thought we'd settled that we didn't really have a future...Nice as all you did for me was...And grateful as I am..." she nodded...

And as for you...She eyed Angel...

Darla...Sex...Connor...No helping Dawn when I croaked?...

"I think that about says it all..."

"Buffy...You can't trust this one..." William tried...

"William...He loves me...And I helped him win his soul back in Africa..."

By the way thanks for confirming the existence of that demon god...she nodded...

Helped him?...William stared...

"You helped him get his soul back?..."

"Well..." she shrugged... "It was really kinda for you...And you, Angel..."

I felt kinda bad after Will fried...And when Henri showed up...And was so remorseful after his long existence...After I whipped his Immortal butt of course...she noted...And begged me for help...

And told you about his potential inheritance...Angel thought...The last possible claimant to the d'Vestigy estates...

"I thought of you, Will...And what could I do?...I just couldn't say no...I had to take an active role..." she gave a firm, dutiful look...

But...He stared at her...

"You mean if I had called you..."

"Well...No...Not really...Like I said, Will...We'd agreed you and I weren't going places...And actually Willow'd kinda learned you might be in LA as a ghost or somethin'..."

Dawn had her try to reach you by seance...That romantic lil' sis of mine...

"Course I hoped she would too...And was I disappointed when it didn't reach you...Yeah..." she nodded...

But life goes on, ya know?...

"Indeed..." Henri smiled...

Shut up...The boys glared at him...Ummn...He sat down...

"Willow did trace your mystic aura to LA...Told me you must be incorporeal...So I figured that was that..."

"I was nearly dragged to Hell, Buffy..." Will stared at her... "Why didn't you ask Willow to do something to help me?..."

Figured you were just gonna stay a ghost...she shrugged...Willow and Giles said there wasn't anything to do for ya...

Pretty much their usual answer...Angel thought coldly...

To me, to William, to that poor Amy...Our poor Fred...

"Then Henri came...To kill me at first, sure...But then...To bring joy back to my life..." she beamed at him...He smiling back...

"Since when did you suddenly decide to turn to the Light, d'Vestigy?..." William coldly turned to him... "Last I heard your favorite past-time was eating young children..."

"For centuries, young Walthrop...Mon coeur has been...How do you say?...Troubled..." Henri began, eagerly taking the opening... "When I met dear Buffy, I was at a cross (heh-ha...he chuckled at his bon mot)-roads...Her compassion and self-sacrifice won me back to the Light as it did you..."

As for the rest, what can I say?...Right time, right place...he grinned...

Grrr...Will moved on the perfumed little French sack of...

"William..." Buffy took defensive posture... "Enough...I appreciate all you did for me...I hope you're grateful for what I did for you..."

Beat me senseless when I tried to help you without a soul...Left me to die with a soul...Well, you did save me that other time...And it is true about what we agreed...

"Great..." he sighed... "Congrats and all that...Angel?...Lets be on our merry..."

"Can't you stay to dinner?..." she asked... "Wait a minute..." she moved to him as he headed to the door...

"What?...And disturb you and 'Henri' in your billing and cooing?...Wouldn't think of it, lass...Lets call it a day as you suggested, shall we?..."

But...she paused...A pleading look...

Yeah?...

"There's some trouble brewing I wanted to talk to you and Angel about...You two really did come at just the right time..."

Trouble, huh?...He frowned at her...She nodded...Biting a lip...

"Why don't you and your new beau deal with that?...Angel and I have a demonic law firm to reform..."

"C'mon Will...For ole times sake..." she smiled...Then turned serious... "And to save the world..."

Oh, please...he sighed...

"Buffy...If there's one thing I've become convinced of over the past few with you...It's that the world is never going to end until God or Whoever runs things decides its time...Til then...Some idiot will come along and sacrifice him- or herself every time...Don't fret about it..."

C'mon Angel...He called...

"Aw...Wait...Henri..." she turned to him... "Would you give us five?...Alone...?"

But, of course...He rose...

Angel?...she turned to him...

Why not?...he shrugged...Following Henri to his door...

"So tell me, d'Vestigy...How did you get away from the Master and his boys?...That last time I saw you in Austria?..."

Wasn't easy...Henri grinned as they left...

"Will..." Buffy eyed him... "Now, you know I love..."

"Don't..." he put up a hand... "Leave it be, girl...Let me keep that one intact and go on pretending it meant something..."

Hey...she glared... "It did mean something..."

At the time...

Christ...He groaned...

"It...Does mean something..." she eyed him again...

He blinked as she came to him...Kissed him, hard...On the lips, embracing him...

God...William...I missed you...she breathed...

"Buffy..."

"I love you, Will..." she pulled him close, then down...

Ten minutes later...

Henri and Angel apparently happily engaged in the other room telling old 'war' stories...

Buffy, back on her feet, eyed Will with a Mona Lisa smile...She'd been to the Louvre just the previous month...He rose now...Adjusting...Things...

"Does this...?...Are you saying?..." he stared at her...What?...She stared...

"Oh...No, I'm still marrying Henri...He's nice and I need the security..."

For Dawn and all...she explained...

"But...No reason we can't see each other once in a while..." she smiled...Unless...

Say...Will?...

"Just how well are you and Angel doing at W-H?..."

"Angel!..." he called...Angel came out, Henri following...

Time to go...He eyed Buffy coldly...She a bit nonplused...

Gee...Spike would've seen the practical benefits of such an arrangement...Her look saying...

"Fine, then...Go..." she fumed... "I'm the Greatest Slayer of all Time and I certainly damned well don't need your help...Go on back to LA..."

"Well..." Henri dodged the obviously unpleasantly developing scene...So unFrench... "I shall leave you to say goodbye to your friends, my darling...Please meet me downstairs to greet our dinner guests in ten minutes, would you?..."

Sure...she nodded...

By the apartment elevator...

"So I guess this is good-bye..." she put out a hand... "Geesh...I don't see why you gotta act this way, William?..." Buffy stared at him...

Really?...he nodded coolly...Then I guess that about says it all...

Damn Italian elevators...she glared at the indicator light...They've been screwing up like this since we got here...Ah...The light flashed repeatedly...The doors whooshing open as she turned back to her ex-s...

"Now look guys...I expect you'll try to be a little more big about this..." she paused...

Wait, stop, come back...William muttered incoherently... "Buffy...?" Angel pleasantly called... "You really should..."

"What?..." she frowned... "Look, guys...Move on...I did...And now I have my own life to..." she stepped into the elevator...

Ahhhhahhhh!...A scream, fading rapidly as if someone had just fallen down a non-functional elevator shaft...

Hmmn...Angel looked at the open, empty shaft where Buffy had just plunged...Presumably in the absence of her life-saving gang...To her third death...

William looking as well...Perhaps with less shock than might have been expected...Though to his credit he had made a reasonably quick attempt at a last grab...A tad too slow perhaps...

But as with Buffy's love declaration...It's the thought that counts...Which Angel noted as he pulled a tottering Will back...

In any case a bit more determined an effort than Angel's faint sweep...

Though in fairness, Angel had been far away...Perhaps spiritually as well as physically...

The boys stood looking down... "Buffy?..." Angel called, punching the Italian version of 911 on his cell phone...

"There has been a tragic accident..." he informed the operator in Italian...

"I suppose..." Will sighed... "I should have stopped her..." Nah...Angel shook his head... "You heard her, she'd moved on...Didn't need us anymore..."

"Always a straight-ahead, forward-looking girl, that Buffy..." he noted...Pity she never learned to read Italian in high school...He indicated a sign on the elevator...

Say?...Will eyed him... "You speak and read Italian...Why didn't you say something?..."

She seemed to know the elevators were out-of-order...Angel shrugged... "I just assumed she knew the elevator had been returned to the shaft..."

A cold rush of wind...Buffy's glowing...And glowering...Spirit...Faced them...

Jerks...she frowned...What was the big idea?...

"Do you feel something, Will?...As if a powerful, angry spirit were opposed to us?..."

"Now that you mention it..."

You two bastards let me fall?...William, how could you?...she fumed...

"Could it be Buffy?...So soon?..." Will asked Angel...Hmmn...

C'mon you clowns, you can hear me...I know you can...she glared...This was really childish, guys...

"Judging by the cold and wind...I'd say it was a very angry spirit...I can't see that Buffy would have call to be angry...With us..." Angel noted...

Especially after you tried to catch her...he patted William...

He did?...Oh, Will...she beamed a mo...Then back to rage...Well, ya coulda tried harder...Geesh...

"Anyway our Buf would surely have gone on to Heaven...It can't be her...Unless..." Angel paused...

Maybe she shot her bolt on the last death...

"Or..." he pondered... "Maybe there was some unresolved guilt...Something to be expunged..."

Guilt?...What guilt?...Buffy's ghost stared...She looked for the white light...Ok, Heaven, ope those pearlys...

Nothing...

Hey!...Lemme back in, you sobs...I'm the world-saving Slayer!...

"Like maybe her telling you she loved you...and running off with ole Henri left a lil' nagging bit..."

What?...she stared...Ridiculous...

"Well, whatever it is...We oughta be on our way..." Will noted... "I'll drop a line to Willow to go check it out sometime..."

Hey!...Goddamnit!...I know you can hear me!...she screamed...You jerks can't just leave me here...

They headed to the stairs and went down, Buffy's spirit dogging them to the front lobby door...

William!...Don't leave me!...she cried...

"I think I still feel it..." Angel noted...That cold chill...

"Like Buffy saying "It's over, William..." Will noted...

Jesus!...When I reach Willow by seance!...You two are gonna fry!...Fry!...

"It could be the First...We should warn Willow the First might be trying to take Buf's form again and persuade her to do mayhem..." William pondered... "I concur..." Angel nodded...

"Well..." he eyed the door... "If it is a spirit...It shouldn't be able to move past the door here...Lets head on and see if it follows..."

Aw, shit...Ow!...Damn barrier...She fumed...William!...Don't leave me!...

"Gentlemen..." Henri called them back into the lobby... "Have you seen my fiancee?..."

"Ah...Henri, ole man..." Angel patted him sympathetically... "I'm afraid I have some bad news..."

Several TV news trucks pulled up, reporters emerging seeking news of the recent tragic accident...

Henri, help!...Hey!...she called to him as he stood, listening to Angel...

Don't you hear me?...You overdressed, prissy little French...!...

Will!...Please!...she turned to him...Ummn...He wavered...

Buffy...

"Well, Will..." Angel had returned...The grieving Henri returning to his chambers...

"We'd best be..."

"I'll stay Angel..." Will sighed... "Call Willow and tell her what's happened..."

"You best get to LA...See if you can get Lindsey to talk about what he used with me..."

Oh, Will...A beaming Buffy spirit...

"You sure?..." Angel eyed him...

Of course he's sure, you bloody stupid jackass...she hissed...Get moving!...

Yeah..Will smiled sheepishly...

"I am..." His face hardening slightly... "And she better damned well be..."

Well, yeah...her spirit nodded vigorously...

After a promise to return asap with the necessary info, Angel strolled round the corner...Henri waiting for him in a dark doorway... "Angel?..."

Henri?..."

"Is everything?..." Sure...Angel nodded...Will's got her in hand...

Phew...Henri mopped his brow... "I was beginning to think you two would never appear...And that I might actually have to go through with this wedding..."

She being the Greatest Slayer, after all...

"It's bad enough having to suffer the torment of recovering my soul and experiencing the guilt of my crimes...To have had to marry that girl..." he shook his head...

Small prices to pay for getting your estates back...Angel noted...And the Council would never have helped a soulless beast like the Immortal...

"Buffy's human-souled fiancee on the other hand..."

Hmmn...Well...It will be nice to have the ole chateau and vineyards back...Henri nodded...Then eyed Angel...

"You aren't really going to leave the poor child like that?..."

"Willow will probably come up with something...And it was an accident...Not our original plan at all..."

I just planned to have you catch him and her at it...

No...Henri shook his head...Not her...

"I mean the boy...You can't leave him like that, with her..."

"He's happy...William's always been a romantic glutton for punishment..."

Poor fool...Henri sighed...

"Well, you know...She's not fundamentally a bad kid...Just not really grown-up yet...See..." Angel smiled a bit...

"She's cookie dough..." Henri waved a hand hastily...

"Yes, yes...Mon Dieu, I have heard that putrid speech from her a thousand times in the past month..." he sighed...

They looked back at the hotel, careful to maintain concealment from prying eyes...William barely visible by the lobby door...Talking rather animatedly to what appeared to be thin air...

Well, the boy does seem content...Henri noted...

"In any case, mon bon ami...Many thanks for your help..." he nodded to Angel...

"Wolfram-Hart, Inc is always ready to go the distance for a client, Henri...Especially when it involves his or her restoration to the Light..."

Angel gave a solemn look... "And making a relative...Of sorts..." he looked over to William... "More or less happy..."

Just remember we get ten percent of whatever your final vast inheritance turns out to be...he eyed his client firmly...

"But of course..." Henri sighed...

Damn bastard didn't even stop to check if my spirit stayed behind...incorporeal Buffy fumed to William...

"Well, Buf...You know only a French vampire would choose to call himself "THE Immortal"..." William noted...

Shhh...People are staring, honey...Incorporeal, remember?...she eyed him...Why don't we take this inside?...You can take a room and tell Dawn when she gets back that you felt ya oughta stay...

Which I know you would, Will...she beamed...Trying to take an arm...Hmmn...

Ok if I?...She put an arm through his...Literally...

Sure...He did his best to approximate a pat as they headed for the lobby desk...

Anyway...So tell me...Without attracting too much attention...How you guys are making out running LA's number one law firm?...

"Immortal Beloved...IV..."

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's

Summary: Yet another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Obviously, I'm havin' fun with this...

Rome...Buffy and Dawn's apartment...

Hmmn...A Dawn now recovered from the initial shock of seeing William in the undead flesh again, nodded as Angel continued his explanation for their sudden appearance on her doorstep...

"I was hopin' this was the real thing...Buf and this one...But it did seem kinda sudden, head-over-heels...Love-spellish...Yeah...You're right, guys..." she sighed...

"Better go after her before things get serious...I'll see if I can get Giles to contact Willow..."

Here...She handed them the address and phone number of the local hot spot Buf's latest was supposedly taking her to...

Go, fellas...She waved...Save my sis...Kill, kill, kill...Or dust trying...

"Oh, William?..." she called...

"You will have the decency not to show yourself to sis?...It really bothered her when you fried...I'd prefer not to see her go through all that again..."

Yeah, yeah...Sure...

Immortal Beloved V..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's

Summary: Yet another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Obviously, I'm havin' fun with this...

Non dimenticar...

Play

Non dimenticar means don`t forget you are my darling

Don`t forget to be

All you mean to me

Non dimenticar my love is like a star, my darling

Shining bright and clear

Just because you`re here

Please do not forget that our lips have met

And I`ve held you tight, dear

Was it dreams ago my heart felt this glow?

Or only just tonight, dear?

Non dimenticar although you travel far, my darling

It`s my heart you own, so I`ll wait alone

Non dimenticar

Se ci separ, se ci allontan

L`ala del destino

Non ne ho colpa, no, e mi sentiro sempre a te vicino

Non dimenticar although you travel far, my darling

It`s my heart you own, so I`ll wait alone

Non dimenticar

Rome...A fashionable hot spot, Eurorock blaring...Early morning...

"Ok, nix one love spell..." Angel nodded to William... "How's she doin'?..."

Just went from adoring beam to full Buf glare...William noted... "Lets move...No, wait..."

She got him...he smiled...

"That's my girl..."

A frown from Angel... "Ok, our girl, poof...Anyway, 'mission accomplished'...And His Benevolence, The Immortal is ready for burial at sea..." Will eyed a confused waiter, now trying to sweep up the sudden mess in the midst of dancers...

"Lets go after her..." Angel looked after the clearly pissed, fast-moving Buffy...

What?...He looked at a hesitating William...

Ummn... "You go, Angel...I'll wait..."

"She'd be glad to see you, Will...Much as I hate to admit it, probably happier to see you than me..."

Sure, sure...But some other time...

"What the hell's wrong with you?..." Angel stared...William sighed...

"Angel...We finished on an 'I love you'...From her...I waited a long time to hear that, even if she didn't really mean it...And kind thought to a dying soldier or no, I can't quite give it up..."

I go say hi...She's pleased to see me...We talk...And within an hour, she's explaining that she'll always care for me...In a way...

Hell, I settled for that...Angel thought, frowning...Still...I can see the point...

"Let me hang on to one lil' romantic fantasy...That Buffy loved me for a moment..." Will smiled sadly...

Well...Angel sighed... "If that's how you feel...Lets head home..."

Dawn and Buffy's apartment...

Angel's reassuring call having brought an end to her anxious wait, a relieved Dawn picked up a buzzing cell phone...

"Buffy?...How'd your date...?"

Oh...

"Well, sis...He did seem a lil' too good to be true..."

No...Ummn...Nothing special goin' on here...Dawn lied...Rather equally relieved if slightly miffed that William had chosen not to return and present himself...

Ummn...What?...

"Buffy, I thought we agreed...No, I didn't throw it out...But...C'mon Buf, it's way past time you...Ok, ok..."

Buffy?...

"Sis, don't cry...Of course he understands...William knows...Wherever he is...That you love him...This was just a spell..." A spell I wish to God had worked...If the damned bastard hadn't been a vamp...Dawn sighed to herself...

"Yeah, yeah...Ok, ok...I'll put it in the wash...You can have it back when you get home...Buf...Try and have a good time for the rest of the evening, ok?...Oh, Buf...C'mon...He'd want you to..."

Stop crying, sis... She hesitated...Pondering...

Well, what the hell...

"All right, listen Buf...Stop crying and come home, cause I got something to tell you...Somethin' important...Yes, it'll be in the wash when you get here..." she closed the phone...

Then sighed and went to the laundry hamper, pulling out a black bra which she threw in the wash...

God, Xander's just as bad with that black underwear...she thought...But at least sis washes her mourning clothes...

Immortal Beloved VI..."

A shortie

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's

Summary: Yet another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Oh, I be havin' fun with this...

Rome...Buffy's and Dawn's apartment bedroom...

Angel and William faced the object of their pursuit...The one they'd crossed the Atlantic to rescue their dear Buffy from...The One and Only...The Immortal...

The original Count Dracula...

What, you thought that Europunk grandnephew was the real McCoy?...C'mon...

Old Dracula, iron-gray haired, his past leadership of thousands clear in his every step, his harsh face forged in ten thousand battles, faced them...With a surprisingly benign expression which Will assumed stemmed from ...Hopefully...Overconfidence...

Fortunately, or so he hoped, Buffy was nowhere to be seen in the room...Although he sensed her presence near...

"All right, Angel...Lets rock..." he called...Trying to show no fear...I mean the Original Old One...

"Wait Will..." Angel hastily called...As William took a fighting stance...

Hmmn...He stared as Angel stepped between him and Old Dracula...Who gave a wry smile...

"You haven't explained things to him yet, eh Angelus...?"

"Wait a mo..." William blinked...

"You...You have a soul..."

"Indeed, my boy...For about a century now...It was the only way your old friend the Master...With the help of my treacherous grand-nephew...Could drive me from my position as King of the Underworld...Not being able to physically defeat me..."

Little did they...Or I, at the time...Dream what a blessing they'd bestowed on me...he beamed...

"I now act as an advisor to the Council of Watchers...Ms. Summers however made a special request for my assistance...Knowing you did not know my status...She felt my presence might possibly be the one thing to draw you here..."

"Buffy?...Wait...Angel?...You knew all along, didn't you?..." Will turned to Angel who shrugged...Yeah...

"And there's no danger to Buffy...From him anyway, right?..."

Yeah... "But William, listen..." The door to the adjourning room opened...Buffy...Followed by a group which included Dawn, Willow, Hank Summers (if Will remembered his photos correctly), Giles, Xander, Andrew, several new Slayers, and to his especial surprise-Wesley and Harmony...

Hi, Spike...Harmony waved...

"What the hell?..." he stared...

"So..." he eyed Buffy who'd come to him...Just looking at him quietly... "There really is no danger to you..."

"None except I might hurt my hand socking you, you son of a..." she burst into tears...Hugging him...

"Why the hell did you take so long?..." she sobbed... "What?...Did you think I was lying?...God!..." she pulled away...Glaring...

I really oughta whale you one...she fumed, then grabbed him again...William, William...Oh...God...

My love...she kissed him...

Buffy dragging a still-shocked Will from guest to guest...Dawn serving as hostess, clearly in her element...Sighing a bit as she watched Buffy with William...

Still, what the hell, a good fighter, human-souled, and a fine man...Who'd come to save them expecting nothing...

"Funny..." Harmony noted to Wes, indicating Buffy... "You know this is beginning to seem just like some kind of ..."

"Indeed...And it is..." Wes nodded...And about time a couple of us found a little happiness...He smiled at Angel who gave a grin back...Nice going, boss...

"Dad...Meet my fiancee, William..." Buffy pulled him over...Arm firmly round...

"Immortal Beloved..."...VII...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Yet another quickie exploit of upcoming rumors before Joss does (he did, the sob) something stupid like pair Buf off with some jerk we've never heard of...And again, to be clear(er)...these are not meant as connected story chapters but retellings...Or off the wall brainstorms...

A bit longer this time...(Hey, the way I figure it after ten or eleven times I'm sure to get part of it right...)

Play theme...

Rome...The most fashionable hotspot of both the young and alive...And the immortal and undead...Near midnight...

William and Angel keep hidden as they watch Buffy on the dance floor with their latest nemesis... "The Immortal" (Blowhard, Buffoon, Asswipe...William keeps trying nouns to match as they watch)...Buffy seeming both oblivious to any danger from her charming partner and rather fascinated by him...

"A love spell...Some kind of spell...It's gotta be..." Will mutters...Angel eyeing his new junior associate partner kindly...

Sure...A love spell...He nods...William frowning at the note of sympathy...

"Well...Heck...We came because a spell was involved, right?..."

"It may have only been to raise our Jude Law clone over there..." Angel indicated the now smirking Immortal...Whispering something to Buffy and smiling as she laughed...William staring now as well...

Miserable asswiping sot...The boys agreed...Quietly...

"You mean to say you think she might actually like him?..." William fumed...

"Well...Tall, dark...Charming but with that air of reserve, even brooding...And if Andy was right about his little stunts in saving those Slayers and Dawn the other night...At least fake heroic..."

Sounds like my Buffy's type to me...he grinned...

"Especially the 'tall, dark...'..."

Shut up...Will glared... "But if we must go this route, my girl prefers guys who stick around...And fit her like a glove...If you get my meaning..."

Angel darkened a bit...Spike...You little...

"Hold that thought, boss...They're moving away..." Will raised a hand...Angel turning...

"We'd best move along...Carefully..." Angel nodding, they felt their way along the back wall, keeping an eye on the moving couple...

"Get ready...We can't let him get her out of here and alone..." Will hissed...

"I'm aware of that, William...Just keep yours up..."Angel frowned...

Say...He stared at what seemed a familiar face...

Do I know him?...Hmmn...He looked again as he and William slipped toward Buffy and her latest...

"William...?" the brown-hair girl seated with the young man Angel could not place looked up... "William Walthrop?..."

Will blinked at her...Helen?...One of our little Slayer army from the Sunnydale days?...Oops...

"Will?...What the heck are you doing here?..."

What are you doing alive?...

Parker, well-decked out in his latest Italian togs, seated next to Helen the Vampire Slayer frowned...Just when things were starting so well with this one...And, oh no...He looked at Angel and William...Who stared back briefly, then glanced to where Buffy had briefly halted...

Are they those two ole boyfriends of...God, please no...Buffy Summers?...

Angel tapped Will...She's off again...

"Hafta go, girl...Buf's in potential danger...Explanations later..." Will gave a quick nod...

Buffy?...Helen stared...

"But Will..." she tried...Too late...

"They're almost to the rear door...He's leading her out..." Will hissed...

"We've gotta get the lead out, poof..."

"We could be right by her now, moron...If you'd stop tryin' to hide from her..." Angel snapped back...

Ok, ok...Just lets hurry...William's voice was anxious...

"She's at the door...We've got to run for it..." Angel insisted, moving to force a way through...Will hesitating, but seeing no choice, followed, picking up speed...

The door closed as they reached it...Two burly ...Yep, vamps...Moved to block...One grabbed at William, throwing him to the side as Angel crashed through...

"You!..." the Immortal hissed at Angel, staggering before him...

"Angel...?" Buffy behind her evening's date, stared at him...Something a bit peeved in her expression, he noted...As the Immortal charged him and they went through the door and back into the club...

"Now, Angelus...You worthless lump of dust...I will finish..." the Immortal felt a hand jerk him back... "You, too?..." he stared at William as a fist smashed into his face...

Oh, not the face...Several worshipful minions of His Benevolence, male as well as female, sighed...

"Nice to see you again too, mate..." Will grinned...The Immortal struggling to his feet and falling back into the club where no doubt he could count on minion support...Angel and William in pursuit...

Buffy threw the rear door open and entered... "Angel?" she called...

"Wait!..." She blinked, seeing...

Parker?...she stared at him, then glared...Then moved off...Buffy?...Helen, next to him called...Too late...

"Parker?...Is that your name?..." Helen turned back to her new acquaintance...Who'd seemed...Courtesy of her Slayer's memories...A rather reassuringly familiar presence in a place so far from home...

Parker...She glared...Buffy's passed on memories bubbling up...

What?...He stared...

"I do something wrong?...And how did you know my name?..."

"UCal-Sunnydale..." Helen said, coldly...

"You were at UCal-Sunnydale...?" Parker tried a smile...

"UCal-Sunnydale...You said I...er Buffy...Was..."

Special...

Ummn?...Parker stared...Buffy?...

"Buffy...Who?..."

"Then you..." Helen got up...

"I...I what?...What are you talking about?..."

"I...er she...Dreamed about getting you back, you worm...I...er she dreamed you got transformed...And I...er she...Came after you..."

"Transwhat...?"

"Slowly I turned...er, she turned..."

"You mean, like those vamp things back in Sunnydale?..."

"Step by step...Inch by inch..." she moved on him...He backing into his chair in the corner into which he was boxed...

She put a hand to her pocketed stake...

Helen...?...Parker stared...

In the center of the club, Angel and Will closed in on the Big Bad...Who called on his support to no avail...Apparently off on break, pity...Will joked to him as the handsome leader's face distorted in rage...Worthless clods...Not worth the time I took to sire them...he noted...

Strange...He eyed the ring closing in around him and the other two vampires...

Those women all seem very...Unafraid...

Strong...

Angel cut short his ruminations by slamming into him...As he staggered, William caught him and whirled him back...

"Thanks for the dance, mate..." he grinned... "But I prefer to trip it with the ladies...Sorry to cut your performance short..." he tossed him onto Angel's stake...

And moved back toward the ring...Hmmn...Some of those girls look...He eyed them, trying to keep out of the view of the girl now parting her way and moving towards Angel...

"Angel!..." Buffy glared... "What the hell did you think you were doing?...We've been trying to scoop up this clown and his whole band in one shot for a month..."

Now most of the minions and the clues to the art and magic treasures he had hidden...Remain hidden...

"Thanks a lot..." she fumed... "Ladies...Stand down..." The ring of Slayers relaxed a bit...

"Geesh, Angel...What were you thinking...?"

I...Angel fumbled... "We...Thought you were in danger...Some kind of spell..."

Andrew said...

"Andrew?...Oh, for God's sake...Did Giles have Andy keepin' watch over me and Dawn?...Well, he got it dead wr..." she froze...

Oh...My...A hand to her mouth...

Shit...Will sighed...As the ring of Slayers pulled back to reveal his hiding place...

Oh, God...she gasped...And fainted...

Buffy?...Angel stared at the Slayer on the floor...Looking over to William...Who hurried over...

"Buffy?...Buffy..."

The ring of Slayers looked at each other...Then the two...

"Vamps!..." a voice from the rear called...The ring began closing, several pulling stakes, eyeing Angel and William carefully... "Get away from our Slayer Councilor General!..." one called...

Uh-oh...Angel nudged Will...Who remained patting Buffy's hand...As she began blinking...And looked up...Will?...

Yeah...he smiled...

"Will?..." the other Slayers eyed each other...Pondering as Buffy's memories surfaced...Oh...

William...They beamed as a group...

Oh!...They looked at each other as Buffy sat up...Still shaken...

"It's him!...It's William!..." several cried...

"Oh..." a collective sigh...Sounds of mass sobbing...William and Angel staring at the mass of weeping Slayers...Oh, William...Then at each other...Then at Buffy, now rising...

"Can it, ladies..." Buffy called... "He's taken..."

Slayers clustered round as Buffy quizzed William for details...He giving a quick review of the past year...

"Well...Buf..." William paused... "Sorry to spoil your fun, but you'll round the rest of the bunch up...I guess we should be going, unless Angel...You..."

"What?..." she grabbed at him... "William Soames Walthrop, you ain't going anywhere...Girls..." she waved...They again surrounded the two...Firm stares...Hands on stakes...

He blinked at her beaming face...Ummn...

"Say...How the hell did you get my name?..."

"Three weeks of searching the Council records left, then at Cambridge, and your hometown...For your memorial plaque..." she explained...

Her face fell a little at his look...What?...You didn't think I was gonna get you one?...Geesh...

"You don't let me know you're alive...You take forever to come to me..." she glared...

And as always it's to try and show me up, saving me...she frowned, then grinned...

"Anyway, you came..." she pulled him close... "Hey, Angel..." she waved...

Angel...The other Slayers surrounding them beamed...Then frowned a little...

"How come you didn't watch out for Dawn?..."one called... "Yeah...And what was that with having sex with Darla?..." one fumed...

Ummn...He looked at thirty advancing Slayers...Clearly bearing somewhat less than entirely happy recent Buffy memories of him...

"Ladies...It's ok...Water under the bridge..." Buffy waved them back..

"Remember the happy stuff..."

"Bartender...Garcon...Whatever they call you here..." she called to the server, a Italian version of Willie the Snitch...(His cousin in fact)...Now emerging from a hiding place... "Break out your best...Or whatever you got..."

Three hours later...

"Farewell...And adieu to ya, fair Spaniel (Spanish, Buf...Will corrected)...Ri'..." she nodded... "Laddies..."

"Farewell and adieu to ya, laddies of...Englan'..." she gave Will a drunken grin...Kissing him...

"Les dance some mor' Will..." she pulled him to the floor...Slayers scattered across the room, a few staggering across the dance floor with the few remaining, rather-anxious-but-afraid-to-leave regular patrons, human as well as demon...Most sleeping...Wherever they'd fallen...

Play Will and Buffy dance theme

Oh, Buf...he sighed...

"Hey, now..." he suddenly pulled back... "You ain' the First...Messin' wid' ma hed again?..."

No...She smiled at him...I'm noda Furst...

"An' this ain' a dream...?" he whispered in wonder...No...She patted him...Oh...

"Don' cry honey..." she hugged him... "I don' ever wan' see ya sad again...Over me leastways...From now on, you and me and all our guys are gonna be happy...For wha'ever time we get..."

Ri' Angel?...she called...

Ri'...he nodded, lifting his head from the table where he'd fallen several minutes before...

Ever' bod' hap...he agreed...Oh...he sighed...Looking down...

"Darl's waitin' for ya in Heav'n, Angel..." Buffy called, seeing his downcast face...She's Connar's mum and she's alri'...Soulwise...Sure..."

Yeah...Thanka...he waved...

Twelve hours later...

Buffy's apartment...Sounds of banging from the adjacent room as Buffy and Will wake...Both a bit under the weather...

They stared at each other a moment...Rather familiar, actually...

"I...Ummn...Buffy...I hate to say this..."

Hmmn?...Get me a towel, please...she groaned...Cold...Wet...

Oh, sure...

"Ummn...Buffy..." he passed the towel...

"Yeah?...What?..."

"I'm not absolutely sure...But I think we got married last night..."

Oh?...She looked at him...

"By...The Pope, I think..."

"A cardinal...The Pope wasn't feeling well..." she smiled...

"I wasn't that drunk, Will..." she grinned...Wiggling a fourth finger on which a piece of twisted metal gleamed...He eyed it...Isn't it great?...You made it for me last night, babe...she smiled and kissed him...

The banging from the adjacent room intensified...

"Hey!..." Dawn called... "You jerks...Lemme out of here!...You locked the door!..."

Damned right I did...Buffy chuckled...

Back at the hotspot...

Whew...Parker rose carefully...And painfully...

"Well...That was one hell of a party..." he noted to several of the awakening girls...

Who eyed him coldly...Clustering round him...

"Girls...I'm all in...Can we do this tonight, maybe?..." More of the Slayers moved in...

"UCal-Sunnydale..." Thirty Slayers intoned...

Ummn...Girls?...

Ladies...?

"Slowly we...er she...Turned..."

Immortal Beloved VIII..."

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Not mine, but thine O Joss!...And ME's...

Summary: Yet another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Naturally the last one has to be tragic...

(Ok, so it wasn't the last one...)

Rome's most fashionable hotspot for both the quick and the dead...Midnight...

Angel, and a fervently-hugged-by-Buffy William stand over the remains of the Immortal...Destroyed by a lucky stake shot of Angel's just as he was about to use his spell hold over the Slayer to make her his own...

Which leaves the boys a chance to put the magic artifact they've brought to another use...

"It's a head?...Eehew..." Buffy stares, releasing her beloved...

"So...Now what?..." she eyes them... "I mean apart from you and me running off to the nearest chapel, Will..." she beamed...Then glared... "Took your time about it, you know..."

But God, all I care about is...You made it...she hugged him again...Buffy...he whispered in her hair...Oh, my Buffy...

A deep sigh...She pulled away and stared at him...What?...

"Now..." Will looked at Angel... "We have a chance to use this to save another person...But..."

"But what?...Who?..."

"Winifred Burkle...Our friend...Sorta a Willow Jr..." he smiled at her... "Oh...Right, geesh Angel I'm sorry Giles was so rude..." she looked at him... "I didn't know you'd called to ask for help...And you know how Giles feels about you..."

Sure...Angel nodded...No problem...

Especially if he or his Olivia ever needs a legal matter handled...I will personally take him or her for every goddamn penny...

"Well..." Buffy smiled, arm round Will again... "So that's great, lets get to it and save this Winifred..."

What?...Is there a problem...?

"Buffy..." Will sighed... "To save Fred...We have to alter the past..."

O...K...

"We have to prevent Angel from accepting the Wolfram-Hart deal..."

Good, good...Giles and the Council were worried about that...

"Hey, wait...Does that mean we meet again sooner?..." she stared at him...

Buffy...My love...Try to understand...

No...She stared at him...No, not now...Not you...

"When we alter time...My amulet won't wind up with Angel...God knows where it and I may end up..."

With Wolfram-Hart...she said, coldly..."With those bastards..."

"Who'll take great pleasure in destroying you..." she shook her head... "NO!...No, I won't allow it!...I won't lose you again!..." she grabbed for the head, shoving Angel back...

"Not a step Angel, or I destroy this...Eehew..." she looked at the head... "Thing...I mean it!..."

"No one is taking William away from me!...Not now...No..."

"Buffy..." Will eyed her... "Besides you, there was only one other person who ever tried to help me in my miserable existence since I died back in 1880..." "Winifred..."

"She believed in me and kept me sane and in hope...Just like you did...Until I was saved..."

I hafta return the favor, love...If I am the man you love...I have to...

"If only to prove..." "Shut up!..." she raged... "I don't wanna hear this...I...You...Belong together...To each other...Forever...I've known that since the day you died at Sunnydale...Oh, Will...You can't leave me...Not for her..."

I don't know her...she looked at Angel coldly... And I think I...And Will...Have saved enough strangers...

"I hafta to do this, Buffy..." Will took her hand...Gently taking the head in its bag from her as she struggled briefly, sobbing...Finally in his arms as he handed the head to Angel...

"If we really are meant to be together...We will find each other...My soul won't be destroyed, I will find a way back...Poor Fred has no other chance..."

You know I have to do this...he whispered in her hair, hugging her...

"All right..." she let go... "But I won't lose you...Never...If I have to kill myself and follow you, I will..."

"Buffy..." I know, she waved a hand...I know, Duty and the Powers that be won't allow it...We'll be separated...

"I was going to say... 'Thanks'..." he grinned...She chuckled through tears...William...

"I won't lose you..." she nodded firmly...Never again...

And to prove it...She glared at him...Before I let you do this...

"Marry me..."

Buffy...he stared...

"I can smash that thing before you two together can stop me...Consider this a shotgun wedding, Mr. Walthrop..."

Yeah...she smiled at his startled face...I looked up your name, William Soames...

"Well?..." she stared...Deal?...My love?...

"Deal...my love..." he smiled...

"C'mon, Angel...You're the witness/best man..." she called to him...

October, 2003...

Buffy's and Dawn's apartment in Rome...

"Anything in the mail?..." Buffy's voice in the hall...

"Letter from Angel...His team's trying to get new digs..." Dawn scanned the letter...

"Save it for me to send to the Council...Giles may be able to help them out..."

"Hey...?" Dawn looked at the box, at the bottom of the mail...

"What's up..." Buffy came slowly into the front hallway...Not quite up to her usual pep just yet...

"Any idea who might've sent this?..." Dawn waved the box...Then setting it down, hastily opened it...Buffy frowning...

"You ought to have waited and let me check it out a litt...My God..." The amulet fell out...

And a glow filled the room...

Play Will and Buffy theme

Search: The Web Angelfire

Immortal Beloved IX..."

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Not mine, but thine O Joss!...And ME's...

Summary: Yet another view of the upcoming Wednesday rendezvous...

Ok, so I'm trying one last one...

(Ok, again, it wasn't quite the last...)

London, Office of the Chairman of the New Watchers'/Slayers' Council...Tomorrow...Giles at his desk...Sighing as he listens to the various taped phone messages of what had happened the night before in Rome...

Dawn-

"Giles!...You're not gonna believe this!...Spike's alive!...He came with Angel to our apartment last night after Buffy left with that Jude Lawish new guy of hers...You know, d'Vest-whatever...The hot guy...Anyway..."

Somethin' about some Immortal guy...Oh, and they thought Buf's date was him...

"Just like sis to pick another vampire, huh?..." a sigh...So anyway...

"They knew cause Andy called 'em...Is he in town?...How come he doesn't come by?...Oh, and cause of some gross thing they brought with em...A head in a bag, I think...Disgusting..."

"So then I sent them out after Buf...Had the address and phone number of the place right by the phone..." a proud note...

"Don't know what we're gonna do now, Giles...Buffy called to say she was fine...They got what-his-name but she didn't come home...Though Angel stopped by and said everything was ok regards the jerk...William dusted him..."

Shame, really...she noted...He really was a cutie...Did I mention he was the spittin' image of Jude Law?...

"I mean...It's not that I don't think Spike did great last year...The soul and world-savin' and all...And he is kinda fun in a weird way to have round...But it'd be nice if Buf tried someone livin' again, you know?...Though he is a hero, now I guess...But...I dunno..."

Course...she noted...It is true that I kinda brought them together...When Spike and me used to pal around...And he confided in me...

"I really was the first to see his potential for good, you know..."

Whoa!...Wait, Giles...Hey...

"Maybe it was me all along...My bein' created that did it...You oughta have Willow look into that..."

Call you when I hear anything...Bye...

Andrew-

"Mr. Chairman, this is Provisional Councilor Wells reporting in...To report, forthwith... 'Mission Accomplished'...The Immortal is no longer such...He has been extremely prejudicially terminated by my chosen operatives..."

I should note that Mr. Angel performed well for the duration of this temporarily necessary alliance and I wish to recommend that we consider the possibility of reviewing the matter of establishing contacts with his group...Despite the sinister nature of his villainous Senior Partners...(see notes and reference on 'Senior Partners, Wolfram-Hart')...He seems to continue on the true path...

"However...There is an important matter which I must confess I had previously concealed from you and our August body, on my return from my successful mission to the City of Angel(s)...Concealed only as it had seemed to be a personal affair..."

William the Bloody lives...He has, like our own Buffy, transcended the grave...And emerged, like a Phoenix from the ashes of the pit of destruction in our beloved and lamented old Sunnydale...It was he in fact who was the primary instrument of success last night in our battle with the heralded and fiendishly handsome, Immortal...

"The scene was one fraught with peril...Though to one uninformed as to our activities against the Forces of Evil and their Dark World, it might have been a pleasant evening out, at Rome's trendiest nightclub...The glitteratzi bending and swaying to the pumping rhythm of Italy's finest rock musicians..."

But to one like me, who watched...As a Watcher does...From the shadowy corners...Menace hung heavy on the air...

"Our Buffy, Slayer extraordinaire, was clearly, as we feared, under the influence of magics, in the grip of the devastingly handsome yet rugged Immortal..." (Note for the Council...I recommend all Slayers be equipped with anti-magics protection, particularly focusing on love spells, and bestial transformations...)

"Lovely as ever, but drained of will, she swayed to the music, all but seduced by the fiend's power...Being slowly guided to her destruction by the strong and capable hands of the Immortal one..."

I naturally alerted my own Slayers to the danger...But as you had warned me, sir, used caution in exposing them to the Evil One's influence...Yet we prepared to make a gallant, self-sacrificing charge...

"Then, out of the darkness, like a knight of old...The strobe lights causing a halo to form about his blonde head...Yet bearing himself modestly, manly courage radiating from every pore...Emerged a champion...Our Champion...William...Crying out to the fiend to desist..."

Suitably attired in his trademark black and red...And seconded closely by his nearly equally gallant companion...Likewise quite suitably dressed in his own favorite black...

"Buffy's shock overpowering her a moment...The fiend, his dark heart trembling at the sight of such noble foes...Moved to make a desperate effort on the enthralled heroine...It looked hopeless as she was swept into his clutch...!"

But no!...Our heroes, ignoring the fiend's assorted minions, charged the foe...Knocking him back...

"And our heroine, the shock of seeing her beloved William, risen up to join her once more, broke out of the dastardly spell...And gave the monster a stout thwack!...Knocking him back..."

To where our William waited...And seizing the foul minion of Hell, destroyed him by throwing him on to a stake held by the Angelic One...

"With disaster averted...And Buffy engaged in a deep embrace of our noble William...I chose to remain...With my agents...In the shadows, Watching..."

At present they remain in the club...Still engaged in deep embrace...

"A written report shall follow forthwith...My Chairman..."

Xander-

"Giles...The shit has hit the fan...Dawn called me at nine last night to say that Angel and Spike had shown up at her place...I was already to head for the airport myself...Did you call Angel?...Tell me you didn't...Giles?...What were you thinking?...Or was it Andy?..Hell, Buffy could've handed this Immortal guy once Willow and me got there with a few anti-magics...C'mon..."

I guess he did take out the Immortal creep though...You know I didn't like that guy just from Buffy and Dawn's description...

"But look Giles...Dawn says Buffy never came home after they nailed the bastard...She's gotta be with Spike, cause Angel stopped by...What are we gonna do?...Geesh I thought we'd finally gotten that guy out of her hair at last for good and he climbs right back up out of..."

Well...I guess he did try hard for her...But Giles...

Willow-

"Giles...Just got off my astral plane...Dawn says Buffy's ok and William's back...That's so neat...I mean, if he's still got the soul and all..."

Does Angel still need some help with his friend?...Your old message didn't say when you called...

"I'll be in London by 11...I can head out to Rome if you think I should as soon as you can book me a plane...Unless it's a teleport crisis..."

And Buffy-

"Giles...I'm ok...I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for the way I acted the last few days...He was a baddie...It was a spell...He's dust..."

You know me and love spells...Just a sucker for em...I guess we really should listen to Andrew's recommendations about carrying protection...

"Giles...Something wonderful happened last night...I really need you to come to Rome...Bring Willow...Please come..."

He's alive, Giles...He's come back to me...Oh, God...

"I mean William...He lived through the Big One in that damned, blessed amulet...He's been with Angel all this time..."

Damn him...Yeah, you...(her voice fades)...Keepin' me in the dark all this time, not comin' to me...(sounds finally like William's voice in the background)...Giggling sounds a moment later...

"And as for you, Giles..." she returned to the phone... "I better not find out that Andrew'd told you...Cause you may lose one reasonably well-trained Slayer if it turns out you kept this from me..."

Anyway...I hope you wouldn't do that...

"It was like a scene out of a fairy tale, Giles..." (No, idiot...she moved from the phone, obvious addressing someone again...Not a Grimm Fairy Tale...At least not a grim Grimm...).. "He came in, with the strobe lights gleaming on his head...Like a knight in a story, back from the grave to save me...God, he was so beautiful..."

Sorry...she sighed... "I know, a little much...But oh God, Giles...He's back... 'Quick and in mine arms'...

"I have been reading that Shakespeare you gave me, see..." a chuckle...

Ummn...We're married...Which is why I want you all here...We're gonna have the party of all our lives and Unlives...

"Angel's got W-H covering it as Will's a new associate partner..."

Ya will not believe how much my new hubby makes, Giles...And he's going for his law degree, so it'll be legit...I'm so proud of him...

"Had to get him drunk first of course, but he finally went along...Haven't told Dawn yet..." Ummn...

Any chance you could speak to her?...Will wants to, but I'm afraid she'll stake him...

"Immortal Beloved X..."

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..."

Disclaimer: Not mine, but thine O Joss!...And ME's...

Summary: Ok, so I had to do one last one after the fact...

LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...CEO Angel's office...

The day after...

William and Angel still sitting in their chairs, contemplating "moving on"...

"I still..." William begins...

Yeah...Angel sighs, resigned...

"I mean...She didn't even call or send a card to welcome me back to the land of the more or less living...A 'Thanks for the great memories...' would've be nice..." Will looks down at the floor...Say...A happy thought dawns...

"Maybe she didn't know...Maybe Andrew never told her..."

"He said 'she loves us both, but'...Sounds like she knew to me..." Angel notes...

Yeah...Will sighs... "But I can't believe she wouldn't at least...I mean, I never expected anything..."

Hell, why'd she have to say 'I love you'?...he put his head in his hands... "I mean...I knew she didn't...Not really, but..."

She said 'I love you'?...To you?...Angel stared at him...Frowning...

"Just 'fore I fried...Sympathy I know...Still..."

I been living on it for months...he buried his head in his hands again...

Ummn...Will?...Angel looked at his sobbing...Whatever he was to him...

Ummn... "You know, maybe Andy didn't tell her...Heck, you're right...Buf would never not try to reach you if she knew..."

William raised his head...You think so?...A slight beam...

Absolutely...In fact...

"The Immortal's just a rebound...She's looking for you in him, no doubt about it..."

Bollocks...Will frowned... "God, this is the worst...You feelin' sorry for me..."

You really think?...he hesitated... "Oh, come on...Andrew couldn't keep a secret like that for five minutes...She knows..."

And could care less...

"Just wish she'd written...Called...Just to say hi...See if maybe I was sufferin' from post-res depression...Heck, I was there for her...Soullessly...Took care of lil' Nibs...Soullessly..."

Hmmn...Angel sat up..."You think the Immortal copied us and pulled up a soul?..."

"Probably had one all along...Kept it hidden just to show us up when the time was right..." Will paused... "I should've written her...Called myself, when I got my form back...Maybe she was hurt..."

Did think it was stupid of you not to...Angel noted...

"Hey!...Was tryin' to keep my sacrifice pure and all..."

"Well, it sure sounded idiotic to me..."

"Well, what about you, you poof?...How come you left her sis all alone, with homicidal maniac Spike as her caregiver?...And what did you say to her when she went to see you that time, after...You know she came back pretty shaken up, ole Red told me..."

Mmmn...Angel shrugged... "I'd moved on..." William blinked...

"You said that to her?...She'd just resurrected and you said to her?...You..."

Not in so many words...Angel looked away...

"I said... 'We've taken different paths...'..."

"And you didn't even offer her some cash to get back on her feet?...What a piece of work you were..."

Hey...Angel frowned... "She shoved me into Hell and never bothered to even try and get me out...Never did a thing to get Willow to help lift my curse with the soul intact..."

"You were angry at her?...All this time?..."

No, certainly not...Well...Maybe just a bit...Resentful...

"She did jump into bed with that Riley pretty quick, after all..."

And frankly, I can't stand that whining brat sister of hers...

"You jackass!...This is all your fault!..." Will glared... "She's moved on 'cause you did, you bloody stupid pointy-haired poor imitation of Christ!..."

Eh...Angel shrugged again...Maybe you're right...

"All right, then..." Will moved to the desk and pressed a button...Yes?...Harmony's voice floated over the intercom...

"Harmony, take a letter...No, wait...Better yet...Put me through to Buffy's place in Rome...Now..."

Angel came over...Taking a seat on the edge of his desk...

Ummn...Will put a hand over the phone...

"Angel?...What do I say?..."

"You're asking me?...Just tell her you're alive and see what she says...Ummn..." he paused...

Yeah?...What?...

Ummn... "Maybe you should wait..."

Wait?...I've already bloody damned waited too long...

"I mean...Telling Buf you're alive is kinda our...er your...Last bolt in the crossbow, if you know what I mean..."

So...

"So...Assuming she doesn't know...Maybe we...er you...Should wait and see if the Immortal screws it up...Andy did say he had his flaws..."

Hmmn...

"Then you appear out of the ashes...And..."

Has its appeal...Will thought...

"Maybe...Say, maybe ole Immortal guy doesn't have a soul...Maybe he is pure evil...You know, he used to be very interested in acquiring sources of power and energy...Maybe he's stringing Buffy along to get his hands on Dawn and her key power...Ole Red always said she was loaded with juice..."

Maybe...Angel nodded...Or he might be out to transform Buf...

Using my patented Angelic phony redemption-seeking style...he fumed inwardly...

"And if we wait a bit...Let him show himself up..."

Maybe...

"Maybe Buf'll even call us...Or you, at least...Lookin' for help to get poor Nibs back from her vile ex-...Yeah...Ok...We wait..."

Harmony...William turned to the phone... "Cancel that..."

"Hello?..." Buffy's voice came over the speaker...

"William?...Is that you?..."

"Immortal Beloved XI..."

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..."

Disclaimer: Not mine, but thine O Joss!...And ME's...

Summary: Ok, one last one...

(Ok, not the last one...But almost)

Play theme

LA...Next August, following the near-apocalypse...The new offices of investigative 'lawyers' (pending mutual law degrees) Liam Angel and William Soames Walthrop...

Everyone else being dead...Including a treacherous vamp Harmony...Who, as William frequently, kindly notes, couldn't help being true to what she was in the end...Her soul at least at peace...

The one phone rings...Angel presses the speaker...

Buffy's voice... "Hey guys..." Brightly...

"William?...Sorry I didn't get in touch sooner to see how you were doing..." William looks at Angel...

And really sorry I never returned your calls last May, Angel...I was really busy...Suppose you heard bout my new boyfriend...The creep...A grim tone...

"Hope that thing with the apocalypse went ok...Sorry about Wesley and all...I promise I'm there next time..."

Anyway...I guess you guys heard the Immortal went sour on me...

"He was just after Dawn all the time...Her Key energy, ya know?...Guess I shoulda been more careful..."

Will eyed Angel...A tight smile...Hah...

"Anyway he's got her...And a lot of my Slayers are under his thrall now..."

He hates magic but he's big on thrall, ya know...

"Guys...I really could use some help on th..." Angel cut off the speaker and took the phone...

"Buffy...Nice to hear from you...Yes, William's doing fine...Still souled and everything..."

"Yeah...Well, we're a little busy these days...I suggest you bake some cookies and have Willow turn them into Slayer's soldiers...Good luck..." He hung up...

Ok...He eyed Will... "So lets review the Correlli case..."

Hmmn...William tapped fingers...Yeah...Ummn...

"What?..." Angel stared at him...

You're not thinking of...?

"Well..." Will shrugged... "If she needs help...And I liked the Nibs...Even if she did kinda dump me that last year..."

And it would be a chance to help her kick the Immortal's butt...

Hmmn...Angel nodded thoughtfully...Well, if you put it that way...

"But we are on company time on this one..." "Angel?..." "Ok, ok, just our support and research guys...Hell, we're running a business here, Will...Besides she can write it off to her Council, they're still loaded from what I hear..."

"Immortal Beloved XIII..."

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Not mine, but thine O Joss!...And ME's...

Summary: Yet another view of the (aftermath) of the May 5th Rome rendezvous...

(Yes, I know what I promised with #12 being the last, but the Missus wants a 13th based on her idea and she gets what she wants...)

LA...The Wolfram-Hart tower...CEO Angel's office...

An incredulous and rather pissed Buffy stands in front of the desk behind which a stern-faced Angel looks up at her...

"Whatadaya mean...You don't want me seeing William?...After I came all the way from..."

"I said...I don't think you should see him..."

Oh...I get it...She frowned... "Angel, you've gotta get over..." He waved...

"I'm past that, Buffy...I have a girlfriend...We're very...Well, within safe limits...Happy..."

This isn't jealousy...He eyed her firmly...

"Oh, really..." she crossed arms, glaring... "Angel, this is just so child..." Girlfriend?...she thought as he cut her off...

"How's the Immortal?..." She reddened...

"Fine...We called it a day...After Andy broke down and told me about William and you coming to Rome..."

Uh huh... "A little bird told me...The Immortal turned out to be a rather naughty boy...Tried to kidnap Dawn and use her energy to conquer the world..."

"To make himself human..." she corrected... "Not all that evil a goal, really...But naturally I couldn't let him have Dawn...Say, what 'little bird'?...Are you still having me followed?...Who's following me?...Better say 'cause otherwise he or she might wind up with a permanent case of death..."

"A little bird...One of our demon agents, actually...Loves to play pigeons when on surveillance...No one notices him, plus every now and then he gets to to get away with, you know...Target practice...For the sake of realism..."

She stared...Whatever...She waved a hand... "Now about William...Where is he?..."

On assignment...An important mission...Angel solemnly noted...

"And just when did you send him 'on assignment' and what's the 'important mission'..."

Last week...He's undercover...I can't reveal...

"Damnit Angel!..." she banged his desk...Which split in two... "I called to say I was coming last week...You deliberately sent him away!..."

"Someone had to look out for him..." Angel replied coldly... "God knows you sure didn't care...God, Buffy...The man cared for Dawn and carried you through your post-resurrection depression without even a cursed soul...Was there to patch your hands when you clawed your way out of your grave..."

All before he got a soul...

"Yeah...And God knows you weren't there...And you forgot to mention..."

Gave me fantastic sex...she smiled...On a regular basis...He frowned...

"And when he got to Rome...Coming to help you again...What do we...er does he...Find?..."

She gave a slightly sheepish look...

Well?...He frowned...

"I didn't know you guys were coming..." she dodged, looking at the floor... "If I had..." She suddenly blinked at him...

"What the hell are you doing?...You're acting like..."

"Well, I am his only human-souled relative of sorts...His grandsire..."

What?...she blinked... "Are you telling me...As his 'grandsire'..."

"I don't say you're not worthy of him, Buffy..." Angel leaned back in his chair...She stared at him in shock... "But Will has been through a lot lately...And he's at a critical time in the development of a human-souled vampire..."

"I just don't think this is the time to complicate his life..."

But...I...

He looked at her coolly...

"Angel...I love him...You gotta tell me where he is..."

"It has taken you some time to get here, Buf...And I know from Andy that you knew he was alive..."

And you never had Willow even try a seance when you thought he was dead...

"Mystically dead, I might add...And therefore, not all that hard to resurrect..."

I...Willow said it was too dangerous...And he didn't call me after he came back...Buffy tried...Not a call or a letter...

"He was trapped as a ghost for a good part of the year...And he thought you might have moved on...Didn't want to spoil what you told him..."

Told him?...

"In the cavern..."

Oh, yeah...she brightened... "And I meant it...I'm here now...Thought it all through and here I am..."

I love him...Oh, please Angel...

"You love him...Buffy...I don't wanna hurt you but you do bandy that word about a lot..."

Hey!...

"Are you offering him something he can build on?...A future?..."

Ummn...She blinked...

"Yeah, sure...I love him..."

"Do you want to marry him?...He's the sort who craves affection, you know...He needs stability in his life..."

Ummn...Marry?...Well...Ummn...

"Well..." he eyed her... "I'm not saying I'm going to tell you where he is...But...Why don't you have a seat?..."

She sat...Suddenly feeling nervous as he stared at her...An appraising look in his eyes...

"Well, Buffy...You want to marry my grandson of sorts...So...Tell me..."

Just what are you doing to earn a living these days?

"Immortal Beloved XIV..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, another one...Can't resist it...

LA...Hallway outside Angel's office at the Wolfram-Hart tower...

The day after the Rome debacle...

"Spike!..." Harmony calls to him as he passes... "There's an express mail letter for you...From Ro..." he grabs it from her...

Angel nonchalantly rushing over, casually knocking three staffers into the wall as he hurries past...

"Is it...From?..."

Yeah...William nods, engaged in reading a letter...A smile breaking out...

"Well?...Spike?..." Angel moves to read...

Hey...Will grabs the letter and steps back... "Some things are personal, you know..."

Grr...Angel frowns a moment, briefly assuming killer pose...Then sighs...

Well...It is personal...

"Well...Does she say anything about The Immortal?...What's up with him?..."

Another smile...Will turns the envelope upside down and a pile of dust spills out...

Our Girl...the boys beam...

"Immortal Beloved...XV..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down! It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to "Girl In Question"...Flee at once!...

Summary: My various versions of the Rome rendezvous and its aftermath...Each is a different retelling, not part of a sequential story...

LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...Several days after the boys' return from their Roman holiday of pain...Spike sitting at a desk in a newly-bestowed office (naturally the Brooding One felt he had to do something to pick up the poor guy's spirits...hey, he's been there, Buffywise...), "William S. Walthrop, Junior Associate..." emblazoned on the door...

With absolutely nothing to do regarding the daily business of the firm allowed him, doodling on a pad...Various snatches of poetry featuring Buffy as principal character... "Oh, Buffy's scent...So effulgent..." one begins...

Angel enters through the open door... "Spike..." he pauses...

"Harmony gave me this from the office mail...Just came in..." Will glances up at his new chief... "Well, the fans are writing in already..."

It's from Rome...Angel pauses...Spike leaps from his chair grabbing the letter, tearing it open... "Is it from...?" Angel shrugs...

Didn't get a chance to steam it open, Harmony insisted I bring it to you...he glared over at a carefully watching Illyria in the hall...( "Has the pointy-haired one followed proper procedure...?" she turned to Harmony who nodded...)...She got Illyria to follow me, saying it was a violation of our most sacred gods' laws to open mail not addressed to one...

Will looks at the letter...

"Dear Spike...Or William...Whatever we should call you now,

I'm in Rome for a few days, Giles having asked me to look in on Buffy...She's been going gaga over this new vamp, the 'Immortal' he calls himself...(Aren't all you guys immortal?)...Do you or Angel know him?...

Anyway...I heard from Andy that you and Angel came to Rome to see how Buffy was...That was decent of you...So I figured it was time someone should drop you a line and see how you're doing, given the soul and world-saving champion and all...

Buffy would've written I'm sure...But she's been busy with the new Slayers and now this Immortal (creep...Spike if you don't know him, see if Angel can have him checked head to toe...I do not like this guy...)...Well, you know Buffy...

Look, William I'm not gonna start saying I've forgotten Spike and what he did...But...You did help Buf out when she needed it, when we couldn't, even without the soul and you did win a soul on your own...Plus you saved the world, which maybe cancels out a few of Spike's badder days...In any case...I did feel, after the other night, that maybe somebody over here in the old gang oughta write..."

Lovely...Spike frowned...

"...Believe me, I would've preferred it should be Buffy too...Or that Dawn or maybe Willow ...But I guess they feel a little skittish, at least Willow and Dawn, about encouraging you to contact Buffy...I just felt a little bad, hearing them tell Buf not to call...She was thinking about it, if that's any comfort...Maybe she will when she's really ready...I won't say I hope she'll get entangled with you again, but I do hope she'll be in touch..."

"As for me..." Like I'd be interested...Spike sneered... "Like you'd be interested, but it's my letter...Though I've grown fond of Africa and the people here, I'm getting a little tired of the Slayer-Watcher Council and their lack of interest in the well-being of their own ...The girls down here are willing enough as far as training and fighting goes, but it's clean water, decent housing, and medical services they and the rest of the population need...Vampires and demons count for very little against AIDS and malaria in this part of the world...So as I've come to feel my other skills as a builder and carpenter may actually be of more use than any pearls of Slayer wisdom I might be able to dredge up...I think I may be resigning shortly and signing on with one of the ngos doing work in the area..."

"If you ever get the chance, drop by our Nairobi center here...I mean it, we have about a dozen vamps hanging round, all claiming to want to find that demon god of yours and get their souls back at any price for the sake of their human loves...Well, eleven since that girl ate her human husband the other night..."

"I think you've started a trend..." Damn bleedin' copy-cats...Now it's been done, the damned thing's a piece of cake...William glared at the line...

"William, in closing...A word of advice...I love Buffy, I would die for her, I would be...Was...On a plane for her in a mo...But, to be honest...I keep my distance...She's just not a girl you can build a future on...At least not yet...Maybe someday..."

Always bloody someday...Spike fumed...

"Your...Aw, what the hell...Friend,

Alexander L. Harris..."

Will?...Angel stared at him...

"Are you...?" NO!...he shouted, wiping hastily... "I must have allergies...We should have this building's air checked..."

"It was Buffy, wasn't it?...What did she say?..." a note of concern...William stared at him...

Damn she didn't have to be so hard on the poor guy...After all he did for her...Soulless even...Angel thought...Regarding William with a sympathetic expression...

What does a guy hafta do?...Could my grand-whatever have behaved more nobly post-soul?...Hell, no...Geesh...These American girls...

"Immortal Beloved XVI..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, another one...Can't resist it...Aftermath of "Girl In Question..."

Play theme

Dear Buffy,

I'd guess it's safe to say that by now Andrew has told you of our little jaunt over to Rome the other day...I'm also assuming he must long ago have told you of my reappearance on the mortal stage...

Fraid my exit last year has been followed on the stage by a rather lame return...However, as I'm able to write this, I at least no longer a ghost...Which I was by the by for several weeks...Not a pleasant experience if you've never tried it...Fortunately, some one decided to use me for his purposes and deliberately corporealized me...I'd hoped rather it was Willow, but of course you'd had no idea...

By the way, that was Angel's fault, not letting you know...At least til I went solid again...Though in fairness, him not knowing what a sterling character I'd become...Or some who knew me way back when might say, resumed...Post soul, natch...

(Not post soul...A reading Dawn thought...Long pre-soul...)

...His suspicions could be rated, justified...

And since the grand solidification, he has been tolerably helpful...Poof as he is, he is the only humanish, at least as to soul, family I got left, besides you...That's not to say I hold you to what you said in the cavern...Just that to me, you always will be family...

Speaking of what you said in the cavern, though...I guess you're wondering why I haven't dropped a dime or a line previous...And believe me, given what brought me to Rome tonight, I sure as hell now wish I had...Girl, another vampire?...And you know the Immortal has no soul...But, ok...You gotta lead your life, as Andrew said...Anyway, as to why I didn't come...I said I wouldn't hold you to what you said that day...I said then...And I say now...I understand you didn't mean for it to mean you want that picket fence and to have Willow find a way to let us make a few tots...But you can't blame me for wanting it to have been true, at the time...For the moment...And for me to want to hold that moment forever...I can't face you, have a pleasant conversation, and hear you assure me you'll always care, but...Maybe someday when I've got on with my life, but not now...

This isn't to say I'm not available if things ever open up...I'd come in a second if you ever want me, you know that...Buffy...Oh...

Anyway...You were the one who gave me the kick, along with the help of the US boys in black, to go and recover that damned soul...Which I think is a keeper...Because of you, I may one day win the right to see my sainted mother's face again and hear her words of forgiveness for her weak son...

For that alone, I owe you a debt I can never repay...My friend, my love...The Slayer who saved me at last...

One last thing and I close...Tell Giles to go a little easier on the Brooding One...He's not gone the evil way, he's trying his best to make a difficult sit work...In case you don't know and if you don't it's because Willow's slipped up and missed a Wolfram-Hart spell, it was all for his son...Yes, he had a son by Darla, a human boy...Before you forgot, if you haven't recovered the memory, you were bloody pissed at him, I could tell, though you'd moved on...It was all for him, Connor...But Angel is not working for them, he's making them work for him...And if the deal goes south, I'll be there to help him deal with the senior partners...

I mean the poof's the only family I have left, as I said... Except for you...

Greeting to the little bit...And why the hell didn't she show me a little consideration last year...(And tell you what?...That I was glad you'd driven sis off...Because I...) Geesh, Nibs, if you see this...You do remember who it was who protected you the year previous?...Well...I know I let you down that time with Buffy...Hopefully, frying to a crisp to save you and yours put me back up a few notches in your book...

Hafta to go...The Brooding One needs comfort over the Immortal thing...Girl, you'd think he'd never left you alone in Sunnydale...

Love beyond the world,

William...

...Soames Walthrop, by the way...If you'd care to know...

(The sound of a key in the apartment door, which opened...Buffy turning to give His Benevolence a last peck on the cheek...

Dawn stared at them, note in her hand...A slightly cold look on her features...

"Dawn?...What's that?...Mail from Xander?..."

She paused a moment, considering...Eyeing her sis' face...

You told me you did love him...But when he came back, you never even called him...And you went on with His Blowhardyness, as Xander calls him...And if I put this in my pocket...In a couple of years when I can get to LA...

But he loves you...Still, I am you, in part...

Oh, Mom...Tell me what to do?...

"Dawn?...")

"Immortal Beloved XVII..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, another one...Swear it's the last in the series...Can't resist it...Aftermath of "Girl In Question..."

(All right, I lied...)

LA...The universe of the IB where Buf had the big party when Will showed and married him...Twenty years later...

A frowning forty-something Buffy eyes her unconscious identical twin...Fresh from an alternate universe...

"Will..." she turns to her husband now entering the house from the front door...With a small copy of Buffy riding on top of his head...Mooma!...Lil' Buf screams...She quickly locks eyes with the hubs, indicating the unconscious woman...

Oh, Lord...Not another one...he sighs within...Hmmn...He nods to his wife, quickly rushing their little one to the playroom, explaining that the latest 'visiting Aunt Buffy' is just resting a bit after her long voyage to see them...

Hmmn...He thinks as he finishes settling Buffy Jr. with her older siblings-Will Jr, Philip (after Will Sr's brother, Amelia, (after his dear sister)) and heads back...Best to do Willow's quick dimensional scan on the Missus before sending this one back...One never knows when one of these ladies might catch her guard down...Hate to find I've sent my own wife off to another world...

"So...Another one?..." he eyes his beloved wife...Yeah, she nods...

"Nearly caught me going out the door...Then pretended she just wanted to meet me...Usual story...Some phony crisis in her world...But she just wanted to take my place...Bitch..."

Buf?...A little compassion...he chides her...Poor thing must have been desperately unhappy in her world to try this...

"So...Why didn't she take you when she had the chance?...I did...And she came to steal my happiness...Can I help it if some of my interdimensional sisters have shit for brains when it comes to romance?..."

Well...he eyes the unconscious Buf...A tad more worn about the eyes, maybe a hair heavier but nearly impossible...For anyone but him...To tell...

"Of course none of them has been as bad as that one who'd married Angel..." she noted... "God, what a frustrated psycho...I tell you, honey, we've got to get Willow to get our world blocked off..."

"Difficult, sweet...She told you...And we might need the help of some of your copies one day...Most of them are nice, after all..."

"Well the human-souled robot sis was nice...But say..." she paused... "You aren't really gonna go to Hell to help her find her William...She was an idiot to let him go like that, whether or not he wanted to confirm his soul's return..."

"Buf...A brother in distress...And he must love you...Her...Very much to do it..."

"Eh...God...He must have the soul to love like that...She ought to have known that and kept him safe at home..." Like I'm gonna do you, believe me darling...she did not say...

He shrugged...We'll see... "Anyway, we'd better get our guest to Willow and have her reopen the return portal..."

And dump the pathetic bitch back in her own bed...To lie in it...Buffy thought...Glaring at the twin who would have stolen her joy...

"Ok, then...But first...Sweet...If you wouldn't mind..."

What?...she blinked...As he raised Willow's scanning orb...Just hafta be certain...he sheepishly explained...

Aw, c'mon...she frowned... "Ya know it's me..."

Buffy...

"Oh, all right..."

for further adventures of the married Walthrops, try "Life With Mother and Father"

in the Cicelyverse...

"Immortal Beloved XIX..."

A shortie...

PG-13...This one's a nice finale...

(Oh, right I skipped over 18 in this string of IBs...the ummn...One I hang my head for...)

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, one more...Can't resist it...Aftermath of "Girl In Question..."

LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...Angel's office...May 2004...Two weeks after the boys' return from Rome...

Angel giving final instructions to the few still loyal as he and Spike prepare for the final battle with Wolfram-Hart's senior partners...Wesley dead, a vengeance-seeking Illyria has vowed to join the boys in their descent to Hell to prevent the partners' rising...

They await the opening of the Hell's portal in Fred's old lab...A lab door opens...Andrew...

"Gentlemen..." Their guest of the past four days...He having come at once, though alone...In response to their pleas for assistance...

"Don't worry, never fear...Buffy Summers will soon be here..." he intones his mantra of the past four days...

"Andrew!..." William glares... "You been sayin' that for the past four...We've now got ten..." Angel shakes his head...Points to a timer... "Six...Minutes...Left...If she's comin' where the bleedin' hell?..." The door opens...

Buffy. looking flustered but lovely in a bridal gown...A bouquet by her side...And the end of a rope harness in one hand...Guys...she catches a breath... Sorry...I took...

What?...she glares at them... "Did you think I wasn't coming?...God, you two jerks!..."

And hello, Mr. Walthrop...she frowns...Long time no tell me you're back, asshole!...she hits him...OW!...Hey!...

"Watch it!..." he backs off... "William...!" she grabs at him, pulling him close... "Why the hell didn't you call?...I didn't know what to think until Andy said you'd come to Rome...And even then you left without a word?...You sob!...I love you and you act...God!..." she pulls on the rope harness...

Illyria staring, nudges Angel... "This insane creature is the famed Drusilla?...Come to aid her former..." No, no...Angel shakes his head...The famed Buffy Summers...

Ah...

"So..." Will eyes the gown... "Sorry to pull you out of your nuppies and all..." What?...she stares...Looking down...Oh...

"How's the happy Immortal groom?..."

"Are you kidding?..." she fumes... "You think I was after that...God, William...Geesh...You think I'd fall for some phony aristocrat jackass...I am really..." He stares at her...

Ok, I was attracted...But it was just work...I had to get info from him...And he had to believe I was falling under his influence...

"Andy had orders to confirm that..."

"Which were carried out, mon Slayer Councilor General..." Andrew nods...

"Three minutes, people!..." Angel calls...

"So what's with the..." Will eyes her...She pulls on the harness...A bedraggled, elderly man is pulled into the room...Clerical garb badly torn... "Had to keep the padre here on a line...Having to move so fast to get here in time..." she noted... "Barely had time to get the dress on..." William blinking...

Ok...She pulls a ring from her pocket and tosses it to Angel...

"Shoot Father...And make it quick...Cuse, we be pressa for time..." She grabs William close...One minute, Angel notes...Just don't lose the ring...she nods to him...

"ummn..." the priest mumbled in Italian... "Dearly beloved..."

Say yes, damn you...she glares at Will... "Cause I went to a hell of a lot of trouble on this...And I will sock you unconscious and say it for you otherwise..."

"Immortal Beloved...XX..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down! It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, so no one asked and the Missus begged me not to...Some things just will out...And like my devil in "The Devil and Dr. Walthrop" I am reputed to play with the truth sometimes...However if I am lying about lying...

Wolfram-Hart tower...Screening auditorium...One week after the Rome rendezvous...

A video is projected on wide-screen...

A heavily made-up Harmony strolls down an office corridor...Another female secretary/vamp, tall, brunette, by her side...Hungry look in her eye...

(Wait a bit...William eyes the brunette...Is that?...Nah, Angel shakes his head...An actress...Martin Landau's daughter Juliet...Human playing vamp?...Will looks again...Or is she?...Nah...Angel shakes again...Human...But I couldn't resist casting her...I'm hoping Dru will see and try something so we can capture her...Seeing a copy take our offer might even persuade her in some bizarre way to accept...

Uncanny resemblance, though, huh?...he noted...)

"How is it going, Cordelia?..." the brunette asks her companion... "Did you get that big promotion?..."

(Cordelia?...Wesley stared...Harmony would only do it if I let her...Angel sighed...And human Harm was her friend...I don't think she'd mind...)

"Oh, Esmerelda..." on-screen Harmony sighed... "I got turned down again..."

"What?...But you are such an efficient administrative assistant...And have such a sterling no-kill record..."

"But I lack the one thing required to move up at the new Wolfram-Hart, Inc..."

A soul...

Oh... "Esmerelda" nods...A soul...

"It's Mr. Angel's new policy...To win promotion past the D-9 level, every employee must have a soul, cursed or otherwise..."

Cut to various beaming employees... "I've got a soul..." a dark, Dracula-like type smiles... "So do I..." a rather hideous-looking demon grins...With several thumbs raised... "I just won mine...And is what I hadn't killed of my human family proud..." an attractive young vampiress beams... "I've got my soul back and I'm on the fast track to career advancement..." a tall, handsome brown-haired vamp gives an eager, but dignified nod...

"What I am gonna do...?" "Cordelia" sighs... "Sweetie, the solution is obvious...You have to get your soul back..." "Esmerelda" pats her... "Like I did..."

You?... "Cordelia" stares...But how?...And isn't it painful?...

"Extremely painful...And the pain is nothing compared to the arduous journey required...But think how you'll feel when it's done...After you get over the horrible remorse and insanity..."

Hmmn... "Cordelia" ponders...

Cut to shot of William in spiffy suit...Looking a tad ill at ease...

(Only did this to impress my girl you know...Helping my fellow suffering lost ones...Will notes firmly...And I am not wearing a monkey suit every day in the office...)

"Hello...I'm William Soames Walthrop...aka William the Bloody...aka Spike...Heroic fighter against evil, law partner, poet...Vampire..."

('My heart expands...Tis grown...A budge in it...' Illyria sighs dreamily...Wesley staring at her...Perhaps the human world was worth sparing for the sake of talent such as his...she notes...

'Inspired by...' Harmony continues, likewise sighing...

'Your beauty...' another takes it up...Nina?...Angel stares...)

"Like some of you lot...Including our boss...I was once an unsouled, heartless killer...Then good fortune and the love of a good woman...A glorious, wonderful woman...A woman such as..." Spike!...A voice hissed off-camera... "Right...A terrific woman...Led me...Unlike certain other souled vampires I could mention...To voluntarily seek out my soul's restoration...I won't say it was easy...Hell, it was the hardest damned near impossible thing I've done in a career of doing the impossible...And painful, God...Buffy if you only knew, my darling..." Spike!... "Right...As I say, it was tough...But here I am...A souled, world-saving champion with a chance for full Humanity and a ticket to Heaven practically in my pocket...Not to mention a reasonably nice corner office...Though, it could be better!..." Spike!...

"Right...So, if you've the balls and the guts, why not join the growing ranks of the few, the proud, the heroic, the romantic, the everloving beyond eternity, Buf...In case you're ever free for a date at least in Heaven?...Oh, darling...!" Spike!...

(I thought the PR boys were cutting all that out...Angel groused to Wesley...Well, Angel...Actually they thought it was an inducement...Polls indicated most vampires found his yearning romantic bit appealing...)

"Right...The courageous, the noble...The...Voluntarily...Unlike certain fellows I could mention...Human-souled vampires...Wolfram-Hart, Inc...Thanks to bloody me...Can show you how...Call now...And get started on the path to success by way of Africa...And to avoiding bloody Eternity in Hell, which our boss lad for one can tell you is not the vacation playground the demon brochures crack it up to be..."

"Bet the goddamn Immortal superpoof never had the balls to try it...Ask him, Buf...!...And I'm sorry for not calling you sooner...I had this bloody stupid idea about keeping my sacrifice pure!...Just say the word and I'm on a..."

Cut back to "Cordelia" and "Esmerelda..."

Well?... "Esmerelda" eyes her friend...

"Wow...Sounds like I'm headed for Africa today!..." "Cordelia" notes brightly...

"How's about you?..." she stares out from the screen...

(The blonde vampiress of low intellect is not preparing to leave for Africa today...Illyria notes to Wesley... She's still mulling it over...he replies...Big step for her...)

"Immortal Beloved..." XXI...

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down! It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Hey, I was asked to do another...(And of course these are not parts of a story but different retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of 'Girl In Question'..."

LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...Angel's office...

"So...The capo's here?...Been here all this time?...Courtesy the Immortal..." Spike sighs, rereading the Immortal's card... 'Gentlemen...with my compliments...Regards, the Immortal...' he reads as Angel grabs the bag...Looking inside...

Holy!...He blinks...Ummn...Will?... "What?..." William stares at him...

"Do you remember the capo having blonde hair...?"

Rome...Early morning, hours earlier...

Andrew regards Dawn, now transfixed in permanent shriek...And the huddled bundle left on their doorstep...With card...

"Regardsless...The Immortal..."

"Well..." he sighs... "I did tell Spike and Angel he had his flaws..."

LA...Wolfram-Hart conference room...Later the next day...

Angel faces the angry leaders of the potentially warring factions, William by his side, other surviving members of his team temporarily secure in the basement bunker...

"So!..." one leader glares... "You have failed to bring us the capo, eh?..."

Well...Yes...Angel nods...All the leaders rise...

"However..." he pushes the bag forward on the table... "Courtesy of the Immortal, we offer this instead...A honored trophy to be passed from clan to clan for whatever period yourselves determine..."

Whoa...The first leader opens the bag...And with a smile, passes it round...

"This is even better than the capo we expected...I rule for peace..."

Angel...William hisses...We can't do this...

"Did her people even call us to let us know?...And Buffy would be happy to end one more potential disaster..."

"Yeah, but...I was gonna..."

"I don't wanna hear..."

No...You bloody perv, I wasn't gonna keep it!...he whacks Angel, as the demon leaders continue to happily pass their prize around... "I was gonna hold a memorial service..."

"She hold a service for you?..."

Well...Will reflects...

(Now be fair I did warn you...)

"Immortal Beloved...XXII..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Hmmn?...Where do I get my ideas?...Well, I was plating this pneumonia culture deadly enough to wipe out Cleveland and...(Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question")

Castle Immortale

The Austrian Alps...The well-appointed castle-chateau of The Immortal...Three months after that fateful May 5th...

A battle is in progress...The massed but outnumbered and outstaked minions of the Immortal fall back under heavy odds...Besieged by an army of Slayers, their cyborg allies, and the forces of Wolfram-Hart, Inc (newly purged of its former board of directors and senior partners and under the heroic and firm control of Liam Angel and William S. Walthrop, esquires and attorneys-at-law (faked documents pending actual law school))...Despite efforts at explanation and negotiation over his role in assisting the ex-senior Wolfram-Hart partners to reach Earth, there seems little hope of stopping the brutal assault...

But fortunately, although our aristocratic Immortal disdains violence, he has an ally and partner well-tempered in such things...

"Why don't they listen?..." Buffy fumes to her latest... "I told them you weren't really helping the senior partners, just luring them to destruction like you told me...If it hadn't been for you, Angel and William couldn't have had a chance to defeat them...After they'd slaughtered so many friends...Do they think I wouldn't have come in answer to their and Giles' pleas for help if I hadn't been sure you were telling the..." A horde of flaming arrows through the nearest window answers her question eloquently...

"Apparently they feel you have been misled, my dear..." the Immortal sighs...Shrugging a bit... "Perhaps...They've learned a few details about my actions via the one surviving senior partner in their custody...Lies of course, darling..." he reassured her...

"But, possibly...Convincing ones..."

"I'll go talk to Will...He still loves me, I know it...Keeps sending me poetry..." she beams... Ummn, of course, as you say Henri...It's very bad poetry, worthy only of chucking into the flames and snickering at...she notes dutifully, eyeing his stern gaze... However loving and devoted beyond death it may be...

"Yes...I think the situation is past that, Buffy..." the Immortal notes as several screaming minions display a lack of tact, discipline, and that certain proper regard for the things that matter by running in flames down the main hall and past them...

Well, in wartime, one must let standards slip sometimes...Count Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy, the celebrated Immortal sighs to himself...Yes...He eyes his companion...Perhaps the Greatest Slayer of all time but not quite the woman of culture and breeding he could have wished for...Yes, one must sometimes let standards slip...

"Well, I guess we'll have to fight it out then..." she notes... "At least we know we're on the right side, right?..."

Certainly...Henri smiles a winning smile... Or would have been if those damned senior partners had won out and killed those two idiot human-souled vampires...At last I would have been granted my proper place in the world...

"Slayers have penetrated the grounds!...The castle wall and magics shield are breeched!..." the cries fly round...

"Well...There's only one thing to do..." Henri shakes his head... "Set the self-destruction mechanism and have a force hold the enemy off while I make my withdrawal..."

Ummn...We...Make our withdrawal...Henri...?...Buffy suggested...My dear...He eyes her kindly...As a devoted father would an idiot child...

"I must survive to continue writing my life-affirming books...My latest nearly ready to go to the printers, and coming soon to a bookstore near you...The world must not be denied my wisdom..."

Ummn...?

"But as a hero as of old...My devoted champion..." he pats her... "I know you will fight to the last to make good my escape..."

As your William did...he slyly notes...For love...

"And I am sure your love at least equals his..." Uh...she blinks...

Sir...A distinguished butler enters the room, bearing heavy weapons and a box... "We must hurry..."

"Here, my dear..." Henri hands her the box... "A mystic self-destruct...Press it only after I am safely away..."

Henri?...she stares... "You're not staying to fight and die with..."

"Buffy...?" he stares, genuinely shocked... "Such ridiculous romantic heroics are for simpletons like your William...Men and demons of true character and value know their worth and laugh at such things...After all, I am... 'The Immortal...'...And the world needs me..."

Whereas you...Are a slayer...Though the greatest of the horde...he smiles fondly...

"Anyway..." he pulls on a parachute proffered by the butler who frowns at the foolish young girl wasting the Immortal's valuable escape time...

"A long-term future between us is of course impossible..."

What?...But...I thought...I gave up any chance of William for...

"Buffy...Your William might have been willing to terminate his immortal existence at your death, but as for 'The Immortal' (the butler straightening and giving a proud look at the name)...He must refuse to spurn his great gift so cavalierly..."

And of course, for a sensitive creature of the night like me, a permanent association with the foul she-beasts who prey on my people...Former humans, I should note...Without compassion even for poor human-souled fools like your Angel and William...Is unthinkable...Degrading...

"Beneath me..."

Buffy stands, jaw-dropped...Guards summoned by the butler, experienced in dealing with the sometimes troublesome break-ups of his master and his women, separating her from her beau...Who donned more protective gear, flak jacket, then high-tech sunglasses and hat...

"You see Buffy..." Henri pauses at the door, the guards taking positions all along his route...Heavy explosions now shaking the whole building...Ceiling tiles and plaster falling... "I feel I am still, despite my centuries of existence...The finest pastry dough...Still forming...And being formed..."

Perhaps someday, the right woman...Or female of some kind...May be found worthy and allowed to partake of my baked pastry...But, til then...

"You will always have a place in my heart, dearest...Oh, and I recommend using the self-destruct...Far less painful than burning to death in the ruins...Ciao mi caro..."

Caro?...Buffy thinks... "Hey, isn't it...?"

"I was talking to Hudson here, dear..." Henri explains...The butler giving an arch look...

"But Henri...You said you still needed for me to be here..."

I should think that 'need' would be obvious...he noted, looking round at the shaking walls...

"Farewell...My dear slayer...I...Am very fond of you..."

Hey, at least I didn't lie...Henri smiles to us...

Two days later...

In the office of the former Italian CEO of Wolfram-Hart, Europe...Now working independently...Henri shakes his nobly aristocratic and divinely handsome head...

"It cannot be...My slayer opted not to take the noble way out as her love for me should have indicated...?...Survived?... Though at least with gruesome, potentially permanent injuries...And is even now being tended faithfully in hospital by her loving William?..."

How could she betray my fondness for her?...Overcoming my natural repugnance...Like this...?

"Slayers...A fickle, untrustworthy, filthy people..." his new lawyer notes, shaking her head...And various other exposed areas...Vigorously...

"Let us hear no more of them!..." Hack!...Pitooe!...

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"Immortal Beloved...XXIV..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, now I've gone entirely too far...(Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question")

LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...May7th...Late afternoon...

"Spike!...Express Mail's here for you..." Harmony hollered to him as he passed...

"Who the bloody..." he began...Stopping as he saw her face...

From Rome...she nodded with a slight grin...

He grabbed the package from the hapless driver and hurried to his new office...Angel emerging from his as he heard the noise in the hall...

"Spike?..." he whirled round as the office door closed...And burst open... "Tape player?...Stereo?...Anything?..." William hollered to Harmony, waving a cassette tape...Here, she offered a small player...

(Walking on Broken Glass...Annie Lennox...)

"Walking on Walking on broken glass" plays...

He looked at the note tucked in...

"Ok, clown...You're the one working for the wealthy evil corporation...You buy the ticket ...I'll be the other lovestruck short blonde with the equally lovestruck taller brunette waiting all day at the terminal in Rome...

Yeah...His Benevolence has taken a hike...At my gentle urgin'..."

P.S. "You is movin' for that door right now, right? Cause if I gotta hit Giles for the fare, it ain't gonna be pretty when I get to you...

My love..."

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"Immortal Beloved...XXV..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!... Summary: This one was kindly suggested by Ms. Pamela Rimshaw...(Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question")

LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...May 6th...

William and Angel emerge from his office with the bagged capo...Each looking rather...

"Spike!..." Harmony calls from her desk... "There was something else...For you..."

From Rome, Special Del...He tears the package out of her hands...Tearing it open as Angel hurries over...

"Well?..." Angel stares... A frowning Harmony glaring at Will...Het-hum...

"It's...A tape..." William holds the cassette tape out, staring...HET-HUM!...Harmony yells... "What?...Oh, sorry...Thanks..." he absently waves at her... "Find a tape player, would you?..."

"Hey, fetching for you is not my..." "Harmony, get a tape player...And where's my coffee?..." Angel turns away to follow William back to his own new office...

I think a certain underappreciated somebody might just take that offer the Senior Partners made her last night...she thinks grimly...

William's office...Ten minutes later...Angel hovering rather anxiously as Will sits at his desk, fumbling with the tape player...

"Well?..." "Hold your panties, poof...And just be glad I'm willin' to let you hear this...It is addressed to me, you know...Personal..."

"Like you really want to hear it alone..." Angel eyes him... "If it's a kindly brush-off, it's fine...I've moved on, I can deal...You're the one pacing like an over-eager 16 year old on poof's prom night...Sit down..."

Was that the way you looked when you met her at that prom, by the way?...Angel glared, taking a seat...Then sighs, remembering...

"Yeah...Kinda..."

"Well...All set..."Will sets the player down...Looking at Angel...Yeah...He nods...

"She'd never be mean about it, Will... " he kindly notes, seeing William's nervous look... "And who knows..."

Right...Will sighs...Pressing the button...

(Love Song for a Vampire...Annie Lennox...)

"Come into these arms again

and lay your body down

the rhythm of this trembling heart

is beating like a drum

it beats for you, it bleeds for you

come into these arms again...

and set this spirit free..."

The boys blinked at each other a long moment...

"Whatdaya think?..." Will nervously asked... "She's probably just tryin' to be nice, right...?"

Angel stared at him...What the hell?...

"I mean...Maybe she's saying... 'I might consider you if you made Humanity and all...But as for now'..."

"Will, are you insane...Still?..."

"Well, maybe this was meant for the Immortal poof...She just got the packages mixed..."

"You idiot!...You and your goddamn 'pure sacrifice'...She's been waiting for you to...Hey, wait..." Angel looked in the package... "There's a note..."

"Where have you been?...Why don't you come?...And why the hell didn't you stay last night?...

The Immortal jackass is just work...We needed to get close to him...Though, hell...The way you've been treating me...

You think I was lying, don't you?...You stupid...If you make me force poor Giles to cough up a plane ticket, I will beat the unliving crap out of you when I get there...

You get on a plane...Today...Now...Or so help me...

And if dear Dru has miraculously been re-human-souled, courtesy you and Angel...And you've taken up with her...Out of kindness, I know...

Tell the psycho to sleep lightly...

Love (That means what it says, jerk!),

Buffy..."

"Well..." Will eyed the note carefully... "It could be a hint that she's interested...But it could have a hidden..."

Grrr...Angel fumed...Well, only one thing to do...Pow!...He socked him unconscious with one blow...Dragging him to the hall... "Harmony, have the company jet prepared for another flight to Rome..." he called...Pulling Will down to the elevator...

"Sometimes a grandparent just has to intervene..." he noted to Wesley as he passed...

"Immortal Beloved...XXVI..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question"

And of course, this one is also linked to the Cicelyverse

LA...William's apartment...May 8th...About 2 am...

A crashing sound causes the rather preoccupied Mr. William Soames Walthrop to look up...

The doorbell rings...With a sigh, William puts down his law books...Actually earning his degree as a new-minted associate partner seeming like a good start to 'getting on with his life'...Lovely...Some challenger looking to test his prowess...or Angel and co with some 'major crisis'...

Well, one must earn one's six figure salary...

Vague sounds of someone singing...

Play "Non Dementicar"

'Non Dimenticar'?...he blinks a little...And that awful screech of a singing voice...No...It couldn't be...

A rather bedraggled, wobbily...Buffy...Standing on his doorstep, champagne bottle in hand...

"Hiya!..." she waved... "Took me a lil' trip ta LA and thought I'd drop by and say...Hiya!..." she waved again vaguely...Swaying a bit...

"Non dimentalbar means don't you damned well forget you...!" she began singing again...

Buffy?...he stared at her...

"Are you soused, girl?..."

"No..." she frowned...He grabbing at her as she nearly fell...Pulling her in... "Don' mind if I do..." she giggled, and pulling back, looked round...Nice place ya got here...Ya...she nodded...

"Buffy?...What the hell are you doing here?...Why didn't you call?...And what have you been drinkin'?..."

"Champagne..." waves the bottle...Wan' some?...Later, maybe...He shook his head... "Plus some stuff I had at the airport bar in Rome...We calls it 'Roma', did ya know?..." she notes... "An' I had a coupla lil' ones on the plane...And just a few more at da airport here...An' then I hadda have a lil' champagne ta celebrate seein' ma hon'..."

And why didn't you call?...she glared... "Miser'ble sob...Cum ta Rome and don' stay...Don' tell your lovin' hon' you're unlive and unlivin' in LA...Basta..."

"Nice place ya got...Ang'l treatin' ya ri'?..." she looks round again...Swaying again...Could I?...

"Have a seat, please...And let me get you some coffee..." he waves her to a chair...She staggering over, refusing his aid...Is'fine...A-ok... "I'll get the coffee going..." he turns for the kitchette...

Coffee?...she frowns...Waving the champagne... "I wanna have champagne...Party Buf gotta cel'brate..."

Her hon' cum ta Rome...We calls it 'Roma'...And don' even leave a note...

"Cause he don' wan' her...Thinks she's a hearty...h'artless bitch..." He moved back into the living room, staring at her...Buffy?...

And mebbe...he's...she sighs...Tears beginning to flow...

"No, Buffy...You're right, I should have called you...See..."

No...She waved a hand...Par' Buf ain't down...Nuthin' ever gets Par' Buffy down...

"She shoves her first lover inta Hell...Hey, no sweat...Den...She lets the guy who loves her like nobody ever will again fry...And never tries to get him back...Lik Willa did her..." she shook her head... Nope...Nuthin' gets her down...

"The guy who no soul gets his soul for her...And she tells 'im... 'I gotta have Spike the crazy killer demmen bac', who gives a damn bout you, soully-boy...I gotta mission...'..."

I gotta mission...she stares into the room at nothing, tears running...

"Buffy...You saved me from the First...We had a fight to win..."

"Tol' him 'I wanna ya ta stay round...I ain't reddy for ya not to be here...'...But never tol him...Til it wus too late...Left him there to fry...All alone..."

But he got smar'...she gave a wan smile... "Showed a lil' good sen' and didn't even try to call..."

Smar'...she nodded..."Bitch'd prob' get 'im killed and nefer give him a kind..." she sobbed, then looked up...Wan' a lil' drink?...she raised the bottle...No?...She took a swig...

"Buffy...That's not why..."

"And before dat...When she cums back from the ded...Who's dere?...Patchin' her hands...Trying to help...Dere for her...Soulless Willy...Da poor sap...And does she thank 'im?...Hold a stak' ta Willow's throat to get her to get 'im a soul back...Lik' he needs one, poor soulless, lovin' sap...Oh, no...She'll have sex wid him...Let him help her...But will she help him?...You kiddin?...Beat him up wha' she does...Ever'time he tries ta help her...Hey, Par' Buf got things ta do..."

"Buffy...You couldn't trust me and you had no way to know that..."

"He took car'a Dawnie for months...No soul, but he loved me dat much...Just hopin' I'd be nice ta his soul in Heaven...But Par' Buf can't let a lil' thing like that slow her down...No way..."

"I wanted to do it, Buf...You didn't owe me..."

"No soul...But he found dat love...And no one else...Will ever love me lik..." she buried her face in her hands...

"Buffy..." he came over...Pulling the hands gently away...She stared at his face, then his hands on hers...

"She cut dem off, ri'...?" she pulled the sleeves back and felt the scars... "I shoulda killed her for dat...Psycho or no..."

But hey...Another feeble grin...Par' Buf can' be bothered by lil' things like dat...She gotta live for the day...The next fight...The new mission...

"Buffy...The only thing that matters to me is...You're here..." he smiled...

She stared at him...Yeah...Here...Eight months too late...she sighed...

"But dats not all...Not da best part..." she shook her head... "Da best par' dat Par' Buf just found out the other day...Tryin' to fin' out about her hon'...Where he came from...Who loved him...Tryin' to show she cared enough ta..."

"She put him here..." Buffy stared at him...Buffy?...

"I killed ya, Will...Well...Dru did it but I sent ya...Well, ok...My twin did it..."

F-ing...Halfreck...

"Buffy, you're not making..."

"My name was Cicely then..." she looked at him... "I wuz a grat Slayer...In 18 an' 80...An' one day...I met dis beautiful lil' poet...Whose po'try wasn't da best but it wuz good...Really, Will..." she nodded eagerly...As he stood, shocked...Staring...

Cicely?...

"I loved him...But I knew he'd die...I'd never be able to keep him safe...Dey'd get him...The monstas...So...When my Watcher tol me about Halfreck...And she looked just like me...Cause vengeance demmen relatives can do dat, ya know?...I let her tell him..." she burst into tears again as he stood, watching her...

"An' Dru did the rest...Though I wuz a big help...Didn't find him in time...Couldn't hunt him down..."

Ma lil' poet wuz a damned fine vamp, though...Da bes'...she eyed him...

"I guess I cutta deal with the PTBs, damn basta'...Made em send me bac'...Here..." she waved a hand... "As good ole Buffy..."

But she screwed it...And now she don' get screwed...Not by her William...Nefer 'gain...

"Cause he growed a brain...Don' wan' her the hell near him again..."

Cicely...he gasped...Kneeling beside her...An expression beyond love...Or hate...On his face...Cicely...

"Gotta go..." she made a faint move to rise... "Par' Buf's done spilled her guts and now she gotta go and saf the world...Mebbe, please God, one of dem'll get her dis time...And in Heaven...Mebbe..." she looked at his drawn face...

Mebbe he'll forgive her...Like Pip...

" 'Member Will?...You used to read 'Great Expectations' ta me...Ta Cicely...'Fore she got scared...I member it now..."

I 'member lotta things now...Now...she put her head in her hands...Then raised it... " 'Member Will?...Crazy Miss Havisham?...She wan' Pip to write 'I forgive her' in her book...An' Pip said... 'I can forgive you now...'...I can forgive you...No waitin'..."

Well...she sighed...Staring at his quiet, cold face... "Par' Buf's gotta go..."

No...He said firmly...Holding her down...No...

She struggled a bit in his grip to rise...No, she sobbed...You don' luv me...You can'...

"I'll hurt ya...I'll kill ya...Again...Oh, William...Let me go...Lemme...Just..."

"I forgive you...I love you, Cicely...You can't leave me again...I couldn't bear it, girl...Please..."

"I'll kill ya...You'll be killed...You'll...Hate me..."

"I'd rather be killed...And have you for ten minutes...Then live forever and never..." he held her firmly...

"If you go, there's nothing here for me..." he told her... "Fun as playing Angelic hero may be...It pales quickly for my sort...I'm afraid I just ain't the type to be satisfied with doin' my noble duty...I need something...Tangible..."

And as I don't care about having the spotlight on me...I can focus on you...he noted...Try to take care of you...

"Beginning with getting some coffee into you..."

"No...You can't...I hurt or kill everyone who loves me...It's ma fate...I shoulda known back den in 1880...The Slayer can' love anyone...She gotta live and die...By herself..."

"That's the way Slayers die...And I oughta know...Buffy...I don't care...I'll take whatever I can get...A year, a month, a moment...And if we live...When you can't go on, I won't let you go alone..."

Don't sentence yourself to this again, Cicely...Don't sentence me...Don't drive me away again...Oh, darling...

"I can forgive you now..." he smiled at her... "And you can love me now...If you'll just..."

Say...He stared at her quiet face...She looking at him, a wan smile...He took the bottle...Hmmn...

"Drunk, are you?...This is seltzer water..."

Real champagne's back at my hotel...she gave a sheepish look...Though I am kinda plastered...And I done drink much as I said...

"I was so scared you'd already found out...I could see ya suspected...And I was so afraid that you hated me..."

You're being angry is ok...It's just hate hate that I was worried about...she explained...Swaying again...

"But...It was either take the gamble and come meself...Or let the first vamp I ran into on my next Patrol turn me..."

Well, then you'd have come to saf me...she explained...And ma demmen loves you, too...I'm sure...She'd've gone along with going to Africa for the soul once you'd caught her and tole her to...

I think I will take that coffee...she grinned a bit... "If you don't plan ta throw it at me..."

Yeah?...he eyed her... "Well, now you mention it...I did note a lot of coincidences in our relationship..."

You're still holding back and dodging and weaving as much as ever...Cicely...he noted coldly...

"Please Will...You're not the only one who's got nothing here for them...I wasn't lying...I can't do it this time round without you...It doesn't work for me anymore...See..." She paused and pulled out a sheet of paper from a blouse pocket...

"'My heart expands...Tis grown a bulge in it...

Inspired by...Your beauty effulgent...'"

He blinked...

"It's on ma...er Cicely's tombstone..." she noted...

"Immortal Beloved...XXVII..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question"

London...New Council of Librarians' and Library Scientists' (Slayer-Watcher Council) Hall...Late night, three days after Angel and William went to battle against the W-H Senior Partners...

"Buffy..." Giles pleads...Attempting to look at her...

A difficult feat as he is bound and hanging by his arms from a large beam in the main hall...Dawn beside him, likewise hanging whimpering in pain...Willow trussed and also hanging, next to her, unconscious...A mystic energy-draining orb beneath her...

Buffy busily prepping a bound, unconscious Xander for a similar fate...Humming contentedly to herself as she does...She pauses to look up at Giles...A serene, content, hideously cold look on her face as she scans his agonized face...

"Yeah, Giles?...What's..." she grins, eyeing his stretched arms... "Up..."

'Sides you, I mean...

"It was my fault, Buffy...You must spare the others...You can't do this...Your..." he groans in pain as the effort to speak causes his ropes to twist..."

"Not...Your own sister...Buffy..."

"Energy ball sis?...She was in on it, wasn't she?...Happy to follow your instructions to the letter and lie to me all this time, right?...Like all of them were..."

Willow with her little drug to ease my grief and encourage me to give that Immortal the time of day...she smiled over at the slowly twisting Willow...Who moaned slightly a moment then was still again... "Just bad luck for her, it was magics-based...And the Immortal didn't like winning me with help..."

"You telling them all to keep me from finding out William was back, in LA, even if it meant a lil' Wiccan mind control...And they all did such a bang-up job, Giles...You should be proud..."

Pity Andy can't be here with us...He was so essential to your little scheme after he met Will in LA...

"But hey, even a minor case of hideous death by insanely angry Slayer can keep you down a while..."

"I made...The decision, Buffy...Punish me, not..."

"Last time I checked my friends and fam had free wills...They wanted William gone as much as you did...Heck, what's a little thing like having a soul and saving their miserable hides and the world..."

Spike was...he began...

"William!..." she screamed up...Xander groaning faintly... "His name was William, Watcher...You outta know...It's been in the archives since your Council arranged his murder a century ago!..."

But...She calmed...You really deserve a major commendation yourself, Mr. Chairman... "For finally finishing the job after all these years...Making sure Cicely the Vampire Slayer and William Soames Walthrop never find each other...That she never hears his words of forgiveness for going along with her Watcher's scheme to drive him away in 1880...That..." she began sobbing...Giles continuing to try to reach her, she ignoring his pleas...

"Course, credit for the final act itself, must go to the Wolfram-Hart senior partners...Thank God, you had an apocalypse handy...And what luck I didn't know William was in the middle of it...Or that Angel hadn't actually joined the ranks of Evil for his son's sake..."

Though I don't think I'd ever have doubted him if it weren't for Willow's help...And the rest of the guys' constant pressure...

"Buffy...Please...I did what I thought was best...I feared...Cicely's presence in your life as much as William's...It would have destroyed you...Put you at Spike's mercy..."

"I think I kinda like Cicely's 'presence', Giles...And I gotta tell ya..." she pouted up at him... "Trying to run my life like this...Lying like this all these years...Tres domineering, even given you were like my second...Heck, lets be honest...My true...Father to me..."

You knew...she sighed...All this time you knew...And I thought you were trying to protect me from letting my heart get the better of me over Spike the mad killer with an insane desire for me, his nemesis...

"But it was your Council you were trying to protect...From me..."

And my poor husband...You son of a bitch...

"I feared for you, Buffy...Cicely is dead...You have your life to..."

"Buffy and Cicely are one...They came back to find their husband's poor lost soul, struggling to hang on to Spike, refusing to let go, trying for a century to find his wife on Earth, sure she hadn't meant to abandon him...They returned to reclaim the life your Council wouldn't let them have, stole from them..."

And you took it all away...Just when...

"Well..." she waved a hand... "I guess I should let bygones be bygones...On the personal level...But...As 'the Law'...I can't help feeling...As I'm sure you must...Responsibly civilized, sober man that you are, Giles...That justice is called for here..."

"This isn't you, Buffy...Listen to me...You can't...You'll cut yourself...Your soul...Off from any hope of finding him in the next world..."

Got that right, Giles...she grinned...

"Buffy couldn't do it...To cut herself as well as her William in Heaven off from any hope, no way...Or even to you guys, no matter how much she wanted to kill you all...Cicely?...Well, maybe...Not knowing you well and hating the Council as she did..."

Still, even she had her moral scruples...Those nice old Victorian ones...

"But, after Buffy learned the truth the other day in the Council archives...About William being alive...And about Cicely...And learned from your rather talkative old boys that William and Angel had been killed stopping the Senior Partners...And that if she had known in time, she might have saved them...Well, they could...Together...Commit suicide...To be with their poor Will's soul..."

Letting a vamp do it...And letting me...Buffy's demon...Out to deal with all of you...Simply appealed to their mutual sense of justice...After all, what's the big deal about dying, right?...A little pain and you clowns go to bliss...

Or punishment...she smiled coldly...

"And if it was good enough for our William...Heck, why shouldn't you guys experience a little justice...You, Andrew, and Willow did kill your fellow man after all...Dawn helped you, very likely caused Mom's death, and isn't real anyway...And Xander?...Well, maybe Anya will forgive him what he did to her...And those lousy jokes at the crater when her corpse was rotting in the rubble..."

Afraid I...And Buffy-Cicely...Can't quite forgive what he did to us...Going along with you as he did...

"Fortunately...Buf left me enough magics to cover my presence till I got you all where I wanted you..."

"Buffy..." Giles stared at the demon face in what horror his battered body could manage...

"Call me Anne, Giles...Nice to finally meet ya in the about-to-rot flesh..."

"Immortal Beloved...XXIX..."

A longer entry but basically a one part shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, now I've gone utterly and entirely too far...(Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question")

Rome...Dawn and Buffy's place...May 18th, 2004...Evening...

Buffy sits, a bit down in the dumps on the sofa, watching television...Andrew beside her, offering what comfort he can...

Pointing out that things seem to be going well with the Immortal and all...Yeah...Buffy answers curtly...

"Why didn't you tell him to stay?..." she glares at her roomie and fellow (probational) New Counselor...

"All these months...All my calls, my letters...He won't answer, sends them back...Finally he comes...And you tell him I've 'moved on'...?"

But...Andy looks at her, blinking...You said...You told us when you started up with His Benev...

Dawn sighs inwardly on hearing as she enters with the unopened mail, dumped by sis on the hall table...Not this again...

C'mon sis...Spike does the right thing for once and leaves you be...And you can't let it go...

Though, damn him...He coulda called and told us he was alright...That thing about the hands really upset her...

"Mail..." she calls cheerily, hoping to break Buf's gloom a bit...God, I wish that pompous Immortal jackass would show tonight...Much as I hate the idea of sis with another vamp, at least he made her smile a little...

But he could see before any of us...Her heart wasn't in it...Good thing, despite the lack of true soul, he's sorta midway twixt good and evil...Although...A little rough and tumble with a fairly competent baddie might be just the thing for her now...

Buffy rose, reaching for the mail with a sigh...Already checked...Not a thing from LA...

Thank God, at least no more returned letters of hers...Dawn thought...Though I know she's tried yet again...Hmmn...

"Hey there's a package from ..." she opened it as Buffy took the others...Bills, fan mail from new and worshipful Slayers...Hmphf...A threatening letter from some guy claiming to be my greatest nemesis...

"Did you order a tape?..." Dawn looked at her sis...Holding the open box out to her...No, Buffy shook her head...

Yikes...Dawn blinked at the card she'd just pulled...Buffy took a look at her face and grabbed it and the tape away...

"Buffy,

Sorry I couldn't hook up in Rome...And sorry I didn't try to call or write sooner...Jitters, I guess...Anyway, I wanted to say that Angel and I seem to be managing to avoid tearing each other's throats out...Luckily for him...And I'm doing my best...As I will always...For your sake...

We seem to be likely to have some trouble with the Senior Partners here, so thought I'd best drop a line in case things don't work out...Believe me, Buffy...Giles has got it wrong...Angel's never been in their corner, just trying to make things work out for his kid's sake...(If you forget Connor, the kid, it's a spell...Have ole Red take a gander, should be easy to clear on your side of the pond...)

The fourth song on the tape is the one...A bit sappy, perhaps, but Ole Kurt Weill, however bad a singer, always had a way of saying things right...Our moment was swift, we were two ships adrift, and swept apart...But, forgive me if I choose to believe that for the moment, it was real...Though no one could be happier for you if you are making out well with that...You know...

If we do meet again, to steal from the best England's ever produced...Why then, we'll smile...

If not, then...Yes, my darling...This parting was well made...

Thank you...For the soul, for your faith in me, for everything...

Love beyond the world,

William...Soames Walthrop (in case you'd ever like to know)..."

Now he sends a note like that?...Dawn frowns, looking over Buffy's trembling shoulder...

The Slayer put the tape in their apartment stereo...The trembling, high-pitched accented voice of Kurt Weill filled the room...

(Speak Low...Kurt Weill, Ogden Nash...)

"Speak low when you speak, love

Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon

Speak low when you speak, love

Our moment is swift, like ships adrift, we're swept apart, too soon

Speak low, darling, speak low

Love is a spark, lost in the dark too soon, too soon

I feel...Wherever I go...That tomorrow is near, tomorrow is here and always too soon

Time is so old and love so brief

Love is pure gold and time a thief

We're late, darling, we're late

The curtain descends, ev'rything ends too soon, too soon

I wait, darling, I wait

Will you speak low to me?...Speak love to me?...And soon?..."

"Something's wrong..." Buffy's pale face turned red as she coldly eyed Dawn, then Andrew... "Someone's been screwing with us..."

Dawn looked at Andrew, he at her...Ummn...

Meanwhile...

Deep beneath LA...The vast pit of the Well of Souls beneath the Wolfram-Hart tower...

A battered Angel grimly hanging on at a glowing mass of rock, the portal through which the Partners must come...William and Illyria fighting off a determined horde of demons...

The demons falter, a number falling back, seeing that the portal is being resealed even as Angel feels his last strength ebbing away... "Spike!..." he calls...

"Can't..."

"Take the mat, girl..." Will turns to Illyria as they both charge the demoralized group...The demons retreat, Illyria pursuing..."Wesley!..." her battle cry...William moves to the portal...

"William!..." a voice calls...Buffy...He turns...

"You have to leave with me...It's done...It's ok...They're finished...Come now..." she reaches out...

I'm here...I've come...I love you...Don't die here...

"Will..." Angel calls feebly... "Hurry..."

"So..." William eyes 'Buffy'... "It's you again...Back from Hell already?...I commend your team spirit, girl..." He turns to the wall and sinks his hands in...Screaming momentarily from the pain...

"You fool..." the First sneers... "I give you a chance...Wasting the remnant of power the Senior Partners passed on to me ...And you throw it away..."

"You know..." Will turns to the dying Angel...At the end of his strength...

"Of all the people in this sad ole world, you were the last one...I ever thought I'd be glad to die with...Gramps..."

A wan smile from Angel... "You've been a one hell of a pain in the ass, grandson...but...Nice to have you here..."

Now, go get me a drink of water...he grinned...Collapsing against the wall...

"Stop it, William...You've won, you're done...We're beat..." the First eyed him...

Sure...Just give me a min...he smiled wanly...His life force ebbing away now...The portal visibly losing energy...

"Will, please...Don't do this...I could be Buffy for you...I can be kind...You've seen me kind..." she smiled at him...

"Enough, girl...Take it like a Buffy..."

There's no amulet to save you this time, William...You'll die for real now...Alone...Friendless...

"No..." he smiled up at her... "Not alone anymore...Not friendless anymore...Wherever I wind up...One good man is my friend...One woman..."

"She's betrayed you, Will...She's not coming this time...She's...Busy..." a harsh sneer...

"Don't matter, girl...I have the moment...And that last year...It'll do...It's fine..." he murmured...

Fine...A hard glare...Die...But first...

"You may as well know the truth..."

Harmony!...she called... Get your miserable, cowardly ass over here!...

Harmony emerged from the shadows...Ummn...He dead, yet?...she eyed Will...

"Almost..." the First glared... "But before he goes...Tell him..."

Enjoy yourself...she smiled coldly...

"I stopped her calls...Returned her letters..." Harmony frowned at William as he staggered against the wall... "She was trying to reach you since the day you appeared in Angel's office...I guess Willow was looking for your spirit for her, and figured out what had happened...But I held everything back..."

It was for your own good, of course...she gave a solemn look... She was no good for you...And you weren't a good match for her...Her friends sure didn't think so...

"They were happy to help me..." she grinned... "For their dear Buf's sake..."

"Anyway, why shouldn't I have done it?...After the way you treated me?...I loved you..."

Well, ok...I didn't love love you...she nodded...But I was there for you...While you...And Angel...And Buffy, back in Sunnydale...

"Left me as I was...Content to stick me behind a desk...Harmony the comic relief vampire...Always good for a laugh..."

Even my soul should've hated you both...Abandoning me like that...Hell, if you had once asked...I would've gone to Africa and gotten my soul back...But you...None of you...Gave a damn...she eyed him...Harmony?...he gasped...

"But I wasn't quite the simp you all took me for..." she grinned...The First eyeing her...

I cut my own deal with the Senior Partners...And your friend here...

"And stupid, silly Harmony...Torpedoed the love of Buffy and Spike...Hell, I knew you two would never have the guts to face each other directly...And the only time I had cause to worry...When you went to Rome...You took care of things yourself...You fools...Both of you...Too afraid the other didn't feel what you felt..."

You really should read her love letters if they let you in Heaven...Or Hell, Will...They were great...Very passionate...Pleading...Heck, she was nearly talking suicide by vamp at one point...

"But you...er me...Sent every one back...Unopened...At least after I had our best spy types steam em and reseal em..."

Poor Buffy...What she must've thought...Harmony chuckled...The First now giving her a slight glare...

Buffy...he gasped...No...

"Well...Maybe she'll say hi in Heaven...Or Hell...And you can talk things out then..." Harmony laughed...The First's glare slightly intensifying...

"So..." the vampiress turned to her...Comrade?... "What do we do now...Do I hafta finish him...?"

No...The First sighed... I wasn't lying...

"It's too late...We've lost..." she eyed Will again...A faint smile on his lips... "Thank you..." he whispered... "That was kind...Letting me know..."

You fool...she murmured...You poor, sad fool...

Lost?...Harmony stared...But...

"You bet on the wrong horse, kiddo...That's the way it goes..." the First grinned at her...Then glared...

You know, as Buffy's representative at this tender scene...I feel it's my duty...To do what she'd've done if she'd not been too preoccupied to assist her lovers...

A burst of energy threw Harmony back down the cavern...

"She'll be sorry...I promise you..." the First smiled faintly at William...Kneeling by him...

"She's not to blame...It was her nature...And we should've done for her..." he murmured, groaning...

"Listen, Will...Let go...I can still save you...Please...I'm not lying...You've won...I..."

A glow of light filled the cavern...Buffy and Willow appearing...The First staring at them...Will vaguely looking up as well...

Buffy?...Both gasped...

"Hurry..." The First called to her...She and Willow blinking in turn at her...You again?...

Angel...Willow gasped, looking at the crumpled body...Buffy rushing to William...But staring at Angel as well...Rage in her face as she looked at the First...

Who, oddly enough...Had anything but a triumphant look in her face...

"It's over...He and Angel have done it...You've won...Take him..." With just the faintest touch of pleading...

Hurry...There's still time...

Buffy grabbed at him...He struggling faintly...No...You're not...

He looked at her...Head sagging...Buffy?...

"Yes, Will...I'm here...I'm not her..." she nodded at the First...

"I can't let go...It's too late..." he whispered feebly...

Willow?...Both Buffy and the First turned to her...She staring at each...

"Get him loose..." the First demanded...Ummn...Yeah...Buffy nodded at Willow, glaring back a bit at her twin...

Willow concentrated as Buffy tried to pull him back...No...Will tried to shove her back...Don't touch me, girl...She gave up, backing away, clearly drained by the brief touch...Staring at Willow...

"I can't...I can't...Willow?..." Willow shook her head...It's no use...

It's too late...The First murmured...A strange note in her voice...

"You...Loved him, too?..." Buffy stared...The First giving a hard, grim stare...Shrugging... "How can I not...You're part of me..."she noted... "As all the Slayers became...When the Watchers stole part of my strength thousands of years ago and gave it to you..." She looked back at William...

"Try again..." she demanded... "Willow?...Oh, take him away, Buffy...Don't let him go like this...Again..." Buffy stared at her a long moment...

My God...Willow thought, looking at the two Buffys...Drusilla, Buffy, the First...And if what we found in the Council archives is true...Cicely...

Not too bad, Mr. Walthrop...I gotta check his poetry out some time...

"No...I won't let him go...Not like this...Not alone again..." Willow staring in horror as Buffy took Will's hand at the wrist where it entered the solidifying wall and embraced him...Her life force now flowing out as well...Faster now as the portal sealed completely...

No...he murmured...No...

"William...Honey...Darling..Let go...Let go...And come...It's time to go home...Time...To go home...Come home with me, my love...Forever..." she whispered in his ear, brushing his hair gently with one hand as they both collapsed against the wall...Willow rushing to them...

Gone...She realized immediately, gently stroking their locked hands...Gone home, together...And looking up saw the First staring down at them...At him...Even as her image began flickering and faded out...

A sorrowful look?...

Love so strong a demon as powerful and vicious as Spike couldn't fight it...Surrendered to it...And even the pure Evil of the First could be moved by it...Willow sighed, putting her head in her hands...

A sobbing sound...she turned...

Harmony...

She glared coldly, moving to a defensive posture...Reaching out...But...Harmony on her knees, hands outstretched, pleading...

"Why?...Why did they do this to me?...Willow?..." she rose, moving slowly towards her...

She stared at the blonde...Oh, my...God...

Human...Harmony...

"Why did they make me live again?...See what I've done?..." a hand waved at the bodies... "My id...Oh, Willow..." Harmony fell to her knees... "God, William...Buffy...Angel...Wesley...forgive me...Forgive me...Cordelia...Forgive me..."

The Prophecy...Willow thought...One would be judged...And chosen...The goal poor Angel had striven for so long...Never realizing...

The Prophecy...Like all the blessings of the Powers That Be, bastards that they are...Both Gift and...

Punishment...

"Immortal Beloved XXX..."

A shortie

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's

Summary: Ok, last one...Thirty being a nice, round number...I swear...Yet another retelling of events during or after the Angel episode "Girl in Question..."

London...A small bookstore...2014...

The thirty-something blonde had been nervously poking through the shelves on History, Religion, the Occult, Cooking (God, how he'd hated having to put that in, but it drew the trade), and Poetry for over an hour before he finally gave up, sighed, rose from his desk, and went to her...

"Hello Buffy..." he eyed her...She smiling at him...William...

"How'd you know it was me?...I figured I'd changed a bit since..."

"You never change, girl..." he said it without a hint of a smile...She stared at him...Her smile freezing a bit...

"But you do..." she nodded, looking away a bit...Then back at him...In his suit, brown-blonde hair, glasses...Spike still in him somewhere, but...

I suppose...he eyed her coolly...

"I wanted to write...Call..." she began...Hmm-hmmn...he nodded, waving her to a small table with chairs on the left side of the store...

"Before or after...?"

She tensed visibly...

"I didn't know about the thing in LA..." she hissed... "Before that I thought you didn't want to..."

"I was afraid...Probably stupid...But you know me, I wanted to hang on to my dreams..." he sighed a bit... "Running over to see you, hearing you make some kind dodge...I couldn't bear it..."

I see...she reddened a bit...

"Well...I was stupid as I said...I should've called...We should've had a nice lil' chat and wished each other well...But you know me..."

Hey!...That's a first-edition, mate!...he called to a customer mishandling an ancient-looking volume...And waving a young clerk over to deal...God, some people...he turned back to her...No consideration...No respect for...

"Why are you angry with me?..." she looked at him directly...Biting a lip...

"Sorry...I can't be polite about it, girl...I lost too much blood over you...And while we're unfortunately stuck on the subject...Why didn't you call or write?...And why are you here?..."

"I told you..." she frowned... "I thought you didn't want me..." she paused... "To try and start things up again, I mean..."

Ah...Well, probably a wise decision on your part...he nodded...But the rest of the question?...

"I wanted to see you...I've wanted to...A long time...But after LA...And poor Angel...I..."

Figured you must hate me...she eyed him...Oh?...he regarded her, arms folded...Pushing up his glasses to see her more clearly...

"Cause I wasn't there..."

"We didn't call you...We didn't expect you...No problem..." he waved a hand...

So...You do hate me...she stared...

"No..." he gave an irritated look... "You've no cause to be hated...But I am angry about a lot of things...Not all to do with you or us directly..."

I'd like to kill your dear ole Giles for example...he smiled...For the way he treated Angel when we needed help for poor ole Winifred...

"But I don't hate you..."

"I'm sorry about Ms. Burkle...And I'm sorry about Angel..."

"He fought the good fight...He's at peace...I like to think he's back with ole Darla's soul and his boy's...Safe in Heaven..."

Course I'd guess he and Darla still do the knock-down, drag-out enough...But he's bout as happy as a Brooding One could ever be...

"I'm glad you became friends..."

"We were...For most of our existences...Just a few rough patches after he got the soul and we met you..." he smiled a bit now...

She returning the smile, clearly relieved, as he thawed a bit...

"So...Why here?...Why now?..." he eyed her...

"I wanted to see you...Isn't that a good enough reason?..."

Not after ten plus years, girl...he shook his brown-haired head...

"I didn't have the nerve before...And I don't think I'd quite..."

Baked?...he grinned...Yeah, Angel used to repeat that speech to me constantly...He thought of it as rather profound...Oh?...she beamed...

"But then he thought 'Star Wars' was profound..."

She stared at him a long moment...He at her...

"I...Am I looking a lot older?..." she asked...

I told you, Buffy...You don't change...At least not for me...

She looked away...Trying to come to a rough spot, he realized...And, as she so often had with emotional situations...Backing away...

The girl who could face down the First and ten thousand demons...And who couldn't face one little emotional scene...Or the little man behind it...

"Humanity suits you, Will..." she tried a new subject...

"I won only by default...And it has its drawbacks...By the way, if you're here looking for Spike the soldier vamp to help out on a big one...Way too late..."

Though as always William would be at your...

"I know..." she nodded... "And I know you never married...Not even a serious relationship?..."

I shag occasionally...he grinned...But no, no one really...How could there be?...

"I never married either...Or stuck with any one..."

Poor Immortal...he grinned... I did enjoy reading about that break-up...

Read?...she blinked...

Sure...There was a side bar in "People"...After all, The Immortal was world-famous...As you would've been if it had been safe for you...he gallantly and hastily added...

"He was a liar and a perv...Not like us in the crypt fun perv, either..." she smiled wanly at him... But as he never killed anyone while I knew him, I let him off easy...A look towards some books on Religion...Her eyes moved to Poetry...Is your stuff here?...she asked...

Please...he smiled again...I have a business to keep afloat...My stuff would sink us in ten minutes...

"Though there was this one time in LA...I read my stuff...And they didn't hoot me out of the place...It was just before..."

Yeah...she nodded...

"I read them...Your poem, Cicely..." he eyed her...She stared at him...

"Willow called..." he nodded... "Told me what you'd found in the Council archives...She was sure you were coming..."

A few years too late but...

"Of course, I think I'd always known it was you...Too many coincidences in our relations..."

"I didn't know til then...I swear William..." she put a hand out to him...Which he stared at coolly a moment...She pulling it back with a sigh...

"You were Slayer then too, right?...And I was right, the memories I mean...You and I did have more going on then than that one bad poetry session..."

"I...I've only started to piece it together...Willow helped me...I think we were lovers then..."

"And then that night you broke me and sent me away...Why?...To save little me from the baddies...?"

I don't know...Something like that I think...she looked at her watch, then a row of books...

But I know...We were in love then...I was in love then...And...

"Star-crossed..." he grinned... "Well, it was a long time ago, Cics..."

"You don't think I meant it...?"

"1880?...Or 2004?...You gotta be more specific, girl..."

"Both..."

"I want to believe you did...For the moment..."

"It was more than a moment...Both times..."

Hmmn...Well...Great...he nodded...Thanks...

"You don't believe..."

"I just said I wanted to...But if you want me to say...I forgive you...Fine..."

It's all past and done...Water under the bridge...Your books are clear...

"Your kick in the ass got me the soul back, you saved me from the First...We're ok..."

No apologies required...

"You said you were angry..."

Yeah...Well...I would've liked to have seen your face staring at me when I reappeared in Angel's office...Big improvement over what I did see...

"And to see you at the last round-up...Probably would've made Angel's day too..."

I wanted to come and see you...she tried...But...

I understand...he nodded...

"Don't say I like it...But I understand...And I didn't take my move..."

And if...she paused... If I had meant it...

Enough...he put a hand... "Don't..."

Will?...she stared at him...

"I can bear many things, even as a weak little human boy again...But not that...Don't Buffy..."

"You don't want to believe me..."

"I don't want to go through this again...I'm a good man, Ms. Summers...I don't have to suffer like this...I don't deserve it..."

It took a long time for me to realize that...I don't deserve to suffer like that...he eyed her coldly...Whatever my demon did...

And I won't...

"Even if..."

"You come here, now...What happened, girl, bad break-up with your latest?...Oh, right...The Cicely thing...Well, can the guilts...I said you were free and clear..."

"I should have come...I know I should have...But Spike, you could have...I..."

"My name is William...Spike is in Hell...Both the place where the demons dwell and within my own subconscious...If you want him...As I said, you're way..." he paused, seeing the tears...

"Don't do this to yourself...and me, Buf...Leave it be, let it rest..."

"I love you..."

"Fine, your usual refusal to listen to a word I say...Ok, you started it...Why?..."

She blinked... "Because I had to come and..." No...he shook his head...

Why do you love me?...If you do...

"I dunno..." she eyed him...He grinning in spite of himself...As she smiled...Well...The right answer, he nodded... "I would say the same thing..."

"If you still loved me..." she finished... "But..."

No...He looked her in the eye... "I will always love you...I can't help that...But..." he paused...

"I can make it better..." she tried... "I can..."

"Really?...Well, Buffy...You were always the tough love type...In 1880, you cut me to pieces to 'save' me...In 2003 and 4 it was... 'show me you have a soul'...And leaving me to find my way alone...Without ..."

I needed your love Buf...I didn't get it...Not that I deserved it...But...Who deserves the love they get?...And then, when I returned...

"I...I had to get through things...I thought you were better off...But later I did...I did, William..."

Yes...he nodded...You did save me from the First and gave me a chance to be a hero...And...

"If you'd only believed me..."

"I said I did...But it didn't bring us together...And you can't deny part of why you kept away, after you knew about me...Was because you weren't anxious to have me remind you of it..."

"It was the other way round..." she looked at him... "I thought, back then and just after, when I said it...That it was a kind lie...Or rather, that I felt it but not what you really wanted..."

It wasn't till later...As time went on...I realized...she rubbed her forehead...

"I wasn't being kind..."

He sighed...Then frowned...

"Well...fine...You say you love me...Prove it..."

She blinked at him...

"You made me prove it...Angel and poor ole Riley too...So now's your turn, girl...I've chased you a century...Now, if you really care, you chase me...You prove it to me..."

Then...We'll talk...He eyed her firmly...

"How..." she stared... "What do I hafta do?..."

You'll find a way...You always do, right?...he noted...

He didn't believe it...At Sunnydale...Or the other day...she noted...The dark, handsome man next to her at the bar listening carefully, scanning her face cautiously...

But then...she nodded... I'd done nothing to prove it...To earn it...As he did...

"Less you count reincarnation...But that could be coincidence...At least to his way of thinkin'..."

But, now...

"If you'll help me..." she eyed the man...

"How do I know this is on the level, Slayer...You want me to transform you?...How will that..."

He'll come after me...Save me...He will, I know him...

"If it takes him all his life, he'll find my demon, and save me..."

"If he's a mere human now...And you're already the greatest Slayer...He might not be up to the job..." the vampire beside her noted...

Clearly too sensible a fellow to jump at the first offer made to him...

"Don't matter...If he fails...If my demon kills him...We'll be together in Heaven...And our demons together on Earth...And he'll know, at last..."

"Well, much as I'd like to help you, of course, Slayer...I find your offer hard to accept...You do know you'd probably kill everyone you cared about..."

If my friends can't defend themselves by now...she noted...Then whenever I do die, they're dead anyhow...And being willing to put them all at risk...For his sake...Is part of how I prove it to him...

"Either help me...And win bragging rights for the rest of your existence as the vamp who took Buffy Summers down...Or dust right now...And let me try the next guy..." she eyed him...

Well, I am a fool for love...the vamp noted...Offering an arm as he rose...

"Immortal Beloved..." XXXI...

Summary: Ok, ok...But this was a special request by a fan of both mine and...(well, read the thing)

Rome...The doorway of Buffy's apartment...Just moments after William and Angel took their farewell of Andrew in the Angel episode "Girl in Question..."

"Andy?..." Dawn stared at Andrew in his tux, the two lovely young Slayers smiling beside him...

Claire, Ramona...she nodded...Hey, Dawn...

"Heading out the garden just now?...Was that who I thought it was?..."

"Angel and Spike...Yeah..." he nodded... "They came to..."

"What the hell did you let them go for?...Buffy's due back in a few..." her eyes narrowed...

Andrew...What did you say to them?...

Ummn...he gulped...Well...

"You guys and Mr. Giles all said..." he tried...She whacked him...You twerp!...

"Ok..." she calmed... "I know what we all said...But you know...Andy!..." she fumed again...

Claire politely interrupting... Ummn... "Guys...We'd really like to finish our training...Tonight...I gotta be on a plane home tomorrow, you know...My husband and little girl are going outta of their skulls over all the time this 'internship' is takin'..." Yeah...Ramona nodded... "My boyfriend's going nuts..."

"Just a min...And Mr. Bond here is all yours..." Dawn sourly frowned...

Andy...Now what did you tell William?...About...You know who?

"Well...Just that...She's been very hap..."

Andrew!...

"But...She has..." A hard glare...

C'mon, Dawn...he sighed... I owed him...Big time...And the man is my friend...

A café two blocks away...

"I still can't get over...How you managed..." Buffy began...Smiling at THE one and only, Immortal...Perhaps not quite the impressive figure his buildup had suggested...

At least, not in his current existence...

"I don't know the details myself, Buffy..." he smiled a wan grin... "I only know somehow I found myself wandering around I-87, covered with dirt and not exactly fully stocked with blood..."

Thank anemia and that ole Vasoconstrictive reaction, he chuckled...

"Not to mention Principle Wood's blanket, keeping me somewhat warm before he dumped me in that hole...Though I did manage to be dead just long enough for the First to use my form...Poor Andy..."

"He needed to face you...And deserved it...But he has done well since...And nobody was happier to see you than him..."

Yeah...he smiled faintly...Thought he was gonna have a heart attack when I knocked on your door that evening...

"We all nearly had a heart attack that night..." Buffy grinned...

Only wish I could've recovered my memory and gotten out of the hospital in time to help you guys out back last May...he sighed...

"We made out ok..." she nodded... Yeah...he eyed her a bit sternly...

"And when are you gonna call him...?"

"You're that anxious for competition?..." she dodged...Looking a bit sheepish... "And he coulda called, written, come here..."

"He's scared Buffy...He's afraid...As I sure would be...That you're gonna take it back..."

"Well..." she sighed... "Maybe you're right...But...He always knew how I felt...I care, but..."

"I think...You care a lot more than you want to know..." he leaned back...

Hey?...She stared, a slight frown... "You're supposed to be fighting for your own here, you know...You tryin' to back off?..."

"I just know what he's probably going through...I've been there...Especially since taking this last form..." Jonathan shook his head... "And you're still not certain one way or the other, admit it..."

"I cared for him...Sure...But we never quite ever got started...Really, I mean..."

Uh-huh...he eyed her...Well...she looked away...

"Call him...Write him...Find out how he's doing, Buf...You'll never be able to forgive yourself in the long run if you don't...And frankly, I wanta know where things are gonna go before we take this further..."

"If I promise to, will you tell me something?..."

Course...he nodded...

"Why...Jonathan?..." she eyed him... "I mean..." she added hastily... "I want you to stay Jonathan, I'm not complaining...Just...?"A wry grin...

"Buf, I'd lived...Or existed is a better way to put it...For hundreds of years...As a paragon...At least of Evil...Till I found a chance for redemption...But even after that, I lived as The Immortal...Humans, demons, vamps looking up to me, always the hero, the strong one, the perfect one..."

Though I'd been anything but perfect in my initial human existence...My current state as Jonathan is actually not all that far off...Though back then I did have a lot of advantages...A dukedom, enormous wealth and temporal power, access to all kinds of magics and forbidden knowledge...

"I had to have a chance to live again as an ordinary human man...Even a somewhat limited man...A bit downtrodden, not exactly a prime physical specimen...A bit of an outcast...And see what real life is like for the average guy...Minus all the pluses I was blessed...Or cursed with, if you consider my origins and what eventual path I trod for a time...By chance and fortune, not by my earning..."

To be reborn as Jonathan Levinson...And try to find my way in the world...Try and see what would become of me without my gifts...Was the ultimate challenge, the ultimate chance for total redemption...And I nearly failed, lets be frank...Even grabbing at something of my old power and status via magics that time back in Sunnydale...And then with Andy and Warren...

"And I might still fail..." he smiled... As my time as Jonathan ain't over yet...Even if my temp death revived my ole memories prematurely...And I've somewhat resumed my ole role...

"But I hope, I've managed it reasonably well in the end...For a little lumpen geek...And if I can see it through, in this state...Ending my current path this time as a good man...Perhaps, I've finally, truly cleansed myself...As William and Angel did..."

Course this could be another spell...he grinned...And shame on you for not having Willow check it out right away...

"Well, she did, in the end...After she found out about you..."

Yeah...And thank goodness she did and cleared me...Else I'm sure Giles and Xander, let alone Spike and Angel, would've croaked me...

"When are you gonna learn to carry a little magics protection on you, Slayer?..."

She shrugged...Guess I should...

"But I knew it wasn't magics...The moment you walked in that door...Umbrella man..." she smiled...

Then stared at him...Jonathan...

"I have been very happy with you these past few..."

Thank you...he smiled...From both my Immortal side and my Jonathan...

"But Buffy...I share one thing with William...I won't settle for being your fill-in guy...I want you to see him, give him his chance, and make a decision...I don't want you simply by default..."

'The Immortal'...he shrugged, grinning again...Can't allow his rep to suffer like that...

"Though, to be honest...If I wasn't afraid William's ghost would dog us forever under those circumstances...Like Joyce's Michael Furey...I might go for it regardless...But I won't wake up one night ten years from now to find you sobbing over the one you truly loved..."

She looked away...

"Of course..." he smiled as she looked back at him... "Once he's had his fair chance, all gloves come off and I will use every benefit of being the Immortal...Including that 3000 acre estate in Gascony you liked so much... To make my case...I just insist on a level playing field..."

She shook her head...Jonathan...Tears welling a bit...

"And if...I...If he's...Really..."

"Then we'll always have Sunnydale High...Miss Class Protector..." She laughed a bit...Pulling out her surprise...

"So you kept it all this time..." he smiled...

"Well...I don't get a reward like this every day..." she grinned...Opening the umbrella...

A cry and sound from down the street...As if someone were being dragged under protest to a meeting he did not wish to attend...

"Buffy!..." Dawn's voice...They looked to see Andrew in the grip of his two Slayer trainees, decked out for their night's Patrol among Rome's glitziest watering holes, Dawn leading them...

Andy?...Jonathan stared...

"I can explain..." Andrew began as he was brought forward...

"So..." Buffy's voice was icy... "The little blonde coward couldn't face me...Wouldn't wait five minutes...Believed right away I'd dumped him for..."

Ummn...She looked at Jonathan...Ummn...

"Jon...I don't mean..." "I understand, Buf...And I'm not leaving the field just yet..." he grinned, nodding...

Oh, well...he sighed inwardly...

"But what do you want to..." he began...

More noise from down the street...The demon butler who'd stolen the capo from Spike and Angel appeared, dragged by several very large, very well-dressed men...

"Sir..." One called to Jonathan as the group stared at the new arrivals... "We have recovered the item..." he presented a bag...

Ummn...The demon butler stared at the famed Immortal...Hmmn...Little shorter and rather less incredibly handsome than his book jacket photo would have suggested...

"Uh...Signore...I wish to apologize...I had no idea that the Immortal was interested in this little matter...Had I but known..."

Right...Jonathan waved... "Just take your money and leave the capo alone...From now on, all right?..."

"Si, si...And may I uh say...Your latest book was...Life-altering..." the butler backed away, bowing...Clutching his sack of cash... "I've read it twice through already...!"

Well...Jonathan turned to the still fuming Buffy... "We got their capo back...We'd best get it to LA asap..."

I guess you'll be wanting to deliver it personally?...he eyed her...

"Oh, no..." she glared at the sack... "I think William should stew in his own juice a bit longer..."

"Buffy..." Dawn shook her head... "He had no way to know..."

"He should have..." she said quietly... "He never calls, never writes...Leaves me to think...God..."

All right, then... "Jonathan...take a note..."

Dawn sighed as Buffy handed the capo to one of the Immortal's minions...All of whom had faithfully waited out the years till their Lord should complete his latest life journey and memory returned, resume his proper place with them...Another step in his final redemption complete...

"This is so ridiculous, Buffy...Just take it to LA..."

A hard look...She rolled her eyes...Geesh...This is gonna go on for...

"I have to go to LA in two weeks anyway, if the Council's psychics are right and the Senior Partners are gonna try their thing then..." Buffy shrugged...

William may as well let his weak-knees tremble a lil' longer...Damn him...She stalked off towards their apartment...Dawn eyeing Andy and Jonathan with a resigned expression...What you gonna do?...And a sympathetic look to Jon...Who nodded back...Thanks...

"Well..." Andrew looked at his old and rather full of surprises, at least recently, friend...

"Andy..." Jonathan the Immortal frowned at him...Then grinned... "Thanks for trying...I know you meant well..."

"No problemo, mio compadre...And thanks again for the papal absolution..." Andy nodded...

Buffy running back, a distressed look... "They left, right?..." Jonathan gave her a kind, rather resigned look...Fraid so...

"They had to get it to LA asap, Buf..." Yeah...she sighed...Well, she shrugged... He deserves it after all he's been puttin' me through...

"I gotta go to India tomorrow anyway..." she sighed... "Slayer training in New Delhi..."

"Your guys do agree with Giles' people about the LA thing, right?..." she looked at Jonathan...

Yeah...Potential apocalypse in two weeks...he nodded...

"He'll really be pleased to see you come riding in..." he smiled at her... "Just in the nick..."

Aw, Jon...she sighed...

"Immortal Beloved XXXII..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, another one...Can't resist it...

The ruins of Wolfram-Hart, LA, two weeks after the events of "Girl in Question" on Angel...A battered Illyria is seen stumbling through the debris...

Carrying an even more battered, and though somewhat embarrassed, rather pleased William and Angel under each arm...And dragging Charlie Gunn behind as he lays flat on a pallet she pulls via a rope between her teeth...

She halts, exhausted...Gasping from the pain of her multiple injuries...But pausing to gently set the boys...Her boys...Down...She beams at them...A very Winifred beam...

"Well, fellas...We've won..." she smiles... A wave of Illyria comes over her and she is a bit more stern... "You managed to perform within barely mediocre standards...Victory is mine..."

Ours, sorry guys...she corrected, a Fred tone coming back...Hmmn...she sighs...

"That energy pulse the Partners tried on me seems to have kinda pulled up more of Fred from within...I'm not hurting you guys with this?..."

No, not at all...William assures her...

"You prefer her to me, I see..." Illyria frowns but waves it off... "I understand...I wanted to be her...For Wes...Wesley...I wished..." she sobs a little...Surprising them, although her behavior has been more variable than ever since Wes' death...

Gunn's groans force them to take action, Angel calling for medical help...He and William managing to find some supplies...

Much to their surprise again, Illyria displays Fredian knowledge of the supplies and with kind murmurs and gentle pats gets Gunn settled as well as possible until the ambulance arrives...

Angel placing calls to determine the situation of his staff...Quite a few declare their continuing loyalty...Though Will is quick to point out they're mostly interested in that steady paycheck and will vamoose as soon as they learn the W-H well is now dry...

Illyria turns back to the boys as the ambulance leaves...

"But maybe...You think guys?...Maybe he is with me...Ummn, her...In Heaven..."

"They said no soul is ever destroyed in Eternity..." Angel smiles... "Whatever may be its fate here on Earth..."

"Fred's with him..." William nods...

Illyria...he eyes her... She looking back calmly...

"Thanks...You saved us all..."

"Of course..." a curt reply...but...then a questioning look... "Would...He be pleased?..."

Yes...The boys nod in unison...Wes would be very pleased...

"And...It is something I...Ummn..." she waves a hand... "She would have done?..."

"Without doubt..." William nods... "And did...Though usually with a lot of blinking gadgets and dodads..."

Tell me...he looks at her carefully... "You're more Fred than ever now...?"

"I...Feel...More of her fragments within me..." she sighs... "Guys...I hope this isn't too painful for you..."

"So that's why?...You were able to win..." Will continues, clearly anxious to get a point right in his mind... "Love and Good triumphed for us..."

"I dunno..." Illyria murmurs, looking back at the battle scene... "If they'd used a multi-phasic shock wave in their last attack...And retained energy for defense, instead of..." she sees Will's clouded face...Angel eyeing her...

Our romantic...His slight smile saying...

"Yes, Will..." she corrects... "You're right...Love and Good did win out...As it always will..." she nods brightly...

But I'm causing you pain...I should...she begins...

"It's joy to have any of you back, Winifred..." Angel smiles...

Seconded...William nods...

"Well..." Angel surveys the rubble of his destroyed HQ... "So much for my wheeler-dealer days...Well, you must be tickled pink, Spike..."

Absolutely...Will grins...

"Looks like a lot of the fellas want to stay on your team, Angel..." Illyria notes encouragingly...

Your leadership was nearly adequate...she finishes...

"But now...I gotta say...Goodbye..." she eyes them...

They look at each other...No...She puts up a hand...I'm not heading off to conquer the world...

"Too much of Fred back..." she smiles... But that's the problem...

"I'd hoped to find a place here...With you...With Wesley...Find my place in this confusing, strange world...And for a while, I did...I did..." she nods to William...He looking anxiously at her...Then at Angel...Not really letting her go, are you?...his face clearly saying...

"But now...With so much of Winifred back in me...I see I have to find out who I am...And where Fred really is...Go back to my...er her...Roots...Cause if she is with Wes...Out there somewhere...I don't want to be the cause of pulling her away from him..."

And if she is gone...Forever...Except for what lives on in me...I want to bring more of her out...And see if maybe...In the final analysis...she looked at them...

"And my parents will need me...Til they pass on..." she noted...There's a lot of good I can do back ...Home..." she gave a wan smile...

"If you guys don't mind my playing Fred a bit more...I might, someday...Maybe...Become the role..."

"We need you here, girl...Angel, you bloody poof!...Tell her..." Will fumed...

A sound from up the street...Hey, guys!...

Buffy?...The boys stare at her...

"I was on my way to meet His Benevolence in Japan and had a few days...Thought I'd look up the old haunts and see how..."

Whoa...She looked round...

"Guess Giles was right about that apocalypse thingy...Well, I tole him you two could handle it..."

Who's the blue fairy...she eyes Illyria...Who glares at her...

"You caused William pain..." she notes quietly...

Gee...Will beams...At last...Someone who gives a damn...And only natural it would be at least in part dear ole Fred...

Though...He sighs...She's leaving and loves someone else...Why does that sound familiar?...

Ummn...Buffy stares, frowning a bit at her accuser... "I only hit him a few...(Dozen, Will thinks) times..."

"I mean emotional pain, Buffy..." Illyria gives a very Fredish sigh...

"Where've you been, Slayer?...His sufferings have been intense and terrible..."

"Where's he been?...And who the hell are you, anyway?..." Buffy glares...Angel making hasty explanation...

Oh...Right...The Burky... (Burkle...Illyria coldly corrects) thing...

"Real sorry Giles gave you a hard time then, Angel...But hey, she looks...Ok..." Buffy nods brightly...

"Ms. Burkle's body was absorbed and her soul consumed in Illyria's rebirth, Buffy..." Angel frowns a bit...

Oh...Well hey, has she been resurrected twice?...

"This is my fifth regeneration cycle..." Illyria frowns... "But I'm sure Winifred would listen patiently to your boastful tales of your struggles, Slayer..."

And William must be so happy to have you here...she beams at him, then her...Buffy blinking...Huh?...

"Bipolar personality shift and some other things..." Angel explains... "I'll tell you about it in detail later..."

Great...Buffy nods... "So, William...You free this evening?...I got a couple days before hooking up with the Immortal..."

Theme from the movie... "Shane" plays as Illyria gently nods to the boys and heads off...Walking away from the sunset...(Hey, she's not a swimmer)...

"Well, that's that...Come on William...You can take me somewhere nice...The Immortal won't mind..." Buffy notes, contentedly watching Illyria head off...William ignoring her, and running after Illyria, as the Slayer stares after..

William?...

"Come back Illyria!...Illyria, come back!..."

Hey...Buffy grouses to Angel, likewise sighing after their vanishing heroine...

"Is there something between them?...Have they been, you know?...My observer agents said Will only did it the one time with Harmony for test purposes..."

Which I could let pass...Given that the Immortal and I...

Nah...Angel shook his head... "It's just that Winifred was the woman William's been looking for all his existence...Utter compassion, stout-heart, courage to move mountains despite her lack of superstrength...And Illyria still has lots of Fred in her..."

Geesh...Buffy frowned, looking where Will was sadly watching Illyria disappear down the road...

"I got loads of compassion...When things aren't too busy...Hey, Will!..."

P"How's about dinner, William?..." Buffy pulled at his arm as he sighed after Illyria's wake...Hmmn?...He eyed her...

"Some other time, Miss Summers...I have some writing to do tonight...A poetic tribute to the courageous woman who, ever since I met her, was always there for me..."

Aw, Will...she beamed...

"I said... 'Always there' Buffy..."

"I was there...Some of the time..." she stared at him...William?...

"How's the Immortal?..."

"Eh...Sexually Godlike to start...Then he kinda runs out of tricks...But a nice guy for a soulless type..."

"Great, then you're happy as Andy said...See ya at the next Apocalypse...Well, maybe the one after that..." he turned back...

Angel coming up to them...

Aw, Will...she frowned, pulling again...C'mon...You never called...And...

"My cookies weren't baked yet..."

"Think Illyria would mind if I commissioned a Fred-bot to be my loving companion throughout my lonely Eternity?..." Will turned to his partner...

"Nah...She left design plans in my pocket PC for both of us..." Angel smiled...Pulling out his computer... "Though if she still has Immortality left to her, I claim first dibs on dating the real thing if she ever starts looking round..."

"No way!..." Will frowned...

Hey?...Buffy stared...Guys?...Will?...

"Well...The note she attached to the bot design files said she wouldn't consider anyone else til giving us each a chance...If Wes' spirit ever persuades her to forget him and seek out love again..."

"Which you know as I do..." Angel sighed... "Is unlikely...Given Fred's propensity for undying love..."

"What a woman..." the boys sighed, nodding to each other...

William?...Buffy fumed...

William and Angel, arms spread:

"Il...Ly...Ria...We...Love you..."

Will:

"You're the one...The one for me..."

(Guys?...Buffy stares as the boys continue their musical tribute to the woman of their dreams...)

Angel:

"I'm in love ...and I won't lie

She's my girl and always on my mind.

She gives me her love and a feeling that's right...

Never let me down

'specially at night..."

(Why am I not surprised?...Buffy grouses darkly, sitting in sulk mode)

Will:

"So I'm gonna do the best I can

To please that girl and be her only man.

(Hey!...Buffy glares)

She picks me up when I'm feeling low

(I could do that...easy...Buffy notes)

And that's why baby

I've got to let you know..."

The boys in chorus:

"Il...Ly...Ria...

We... love you

You're the one...the one for me

ah

baby.

She's the one...the one for me..."

William:

"She's the kind of girl who makes you feel nice.

(But I made you feel like a man...? Buffy stares sadly...)

So

I try my best to do what's right..."

(He used to that for me...the crestfallen Slayer sighs)

The boys together:

"And take her for a ride - ev'rything's fine.

Illyria

We love you

you're the one for me

ah

baby..."

William:

"Search so far

search so long

To find someone

someone to count on.

(Ummn...Well...Buffy blinks...I could do better next time, Will...She calls)

Now I feel I got it right here

Found it in you

baby, you my dear.

(Dear?...Buffy stares...She's Dear?...)

We can do all life so nice

We'll have it all

and ev'rything will be alright!

(The picket fence thing really didn't sound so bad, Will...Buffy tries...)

I'm promising you

take it from me

take it on

baby..."

The boys together again:

"Take it on

baby. - Oh

she's the one

the one for me.

She's the kind of girl who makes you feel nice.

(Guys...? Buffy weakly)

So I try my best

to do what's right

Take her for a ride

ev'rything's fine.

Ooh

Illyria

ooh

Illyria -

Illyria

I love you

you're the one

the one for me.

Illyria..."

(I don't have to be in Japan all that soon, Will...Buffy notes hopefully as he and Angel turn to her...

And I look good in blue, ya know...)

No More Singing!...

"Immortal Beloved XXXIII..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, another one...Swear it's the last in the series...Can't resist it...Aftermath of "Not Fade Away..." (Oh, will the madness never end?)

LA...The ruins of the Wolfram-Hart building...Last Wednesday evening...

"William...You really are determined to make me cry before you forgive me, aren't you...?" Buffy sighed...Kneeling by him...

Angel, standing by...Watching with Illyria...

You're here...Oh...William closed his eyes... I thought...

"I oughta whale you one good...Never coming to me...Even when you finally got to Rome...Though it was Harmony who blocked my calls and letters...So..." she wiped tears back... "You're off the hook for not calling back...My William..."

"I'm here, Will...Here for you...I'd never leave you alone like that...You know I meant what I said that day..."

And I'll be with you always...When I join you in Heaven...

"I would have come sooner...But I was afraid...And after I found out...Who I'd been..."

I thought you'd surely hate me one way or the other...I was so afraid to face you...Till yesterday...When I followed you to that poetry slam...Hid in the crowd...

"And heard you forgive me...Oh, William..."

"It was you, wasn't it?..." he murmured... "Cicely..."

Yes...she nodded... "Cicely was a Slayer...She did love you, Will...Was only trying to save you...And she did return...I'm back as Buffy...To save you...I've dreamed of it for so long, like you dreamed of saving me...It just took so long, it was so hard to remember...It wasn't til I found the records in the old Council archives..."

My love...she whispered...I'm here...

He stared at her a long moment... "Thank you..." he murmured...And dying, crumbled to dust...

She looked up at the others, a strange look on her face...Part sorrow, part malice...But, Angel realized...All grief...

"Looks like I wasted my time...He knew, I think..." the First coldly stated...But with a tone that...Strangely...

Was something like despair...

"He was comforted, regardless..." Illyria noted... "And he will think kindly of you..."

As Wesley will of me...I hope...

"It amused me to think of Buffy learning about this years from now...Though if I retain any of the power my foolish allies, the Partners, lent me, I'll let her know myself, tonight..."

That's the reason I went along, Angelus...she glared at Angel...After all, you can't really harm me, even if you can force me back down into Hell...

Illyria stared at her... "You are lying...You loved him...I feel your essence grieving even now...Part of you was the Buffy Slayer..."

"The Watchers made me a part of their Slayer centuries ago...When they stole part of my strength for her...But I...Am strong...I feel..."

She looked at the ashes...A slight trembling over her features...The others watching, silent...

"He was so loving..." Her form beginning to flicker and fade...Her projective energy now clearly failing...

Odd, isn't it...she gave a last sardonic look to Angel...A wave at Illyria...

"We...The 'monsters'...Were the ones who were there for them..." she faded out...

"Immortal Beloved XXXIV..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Ok, another one...Swear it's the last in the series...Can't resist it...Aftermath of "Not Fade Away..." (Oh, will the madness never end?)

London...Offices of the New Slayer-Watcher Council...Day after the battle at Wolfram-Hart, LA...

A long line stretched down the hall from the door labeled in large letters on the glass..."Office of the Slayer-Councilor General..."

"Buffy Summers..." in smaller print below...

Inside, Buffy sighed at the red-haired woman facing her across her desk...Whose face was set and determined...

"Willow?...You can't do this...Not now..."

"Doin' it, Slayer...It's done..." Willow eyed her friend coolly... "Yesterday was the last straw..."

"Wil...I explained it to you...Giles too...We couldn't risk..."

"Helpin' our friends?...Your ex-lovers?..." Willow stared... "The guy whom you told you loved..."

"Giles and the Council felt..."

Goddamn Giles...And Goddamn his Council... the wiccan replied coldly... "I didn't sign up here...Though in fact I never did sign up here...To turn my back on friends..."

There was a time you wouldn't have done that either, Buffy...she stared at the face across the desk...You'd've killed Giles if he tried to stop you from saving people you loved...

"But now...You've become a model Slayer...Only the mission matters, right?...Well, I got news for you, Buffy the Law...The model Slayer croaks damn fast when she has no friends around to restart her heart or channel energy from the First Slayer or resurrect her...Or wear the amulet she should have worn but let her lover take..."

Buffy blanched a second, then glared, but let it pass...The situation was getting critical...She looked out at the line of rather angry and rebellious Slayers...And dropped her voice as low as possible...

"Willow, fifty Slayers have already quit on us...If you go, hundreds of them might follow..."

"They all have your memories of William, Buf...They don't like the way you treated him and they oughta know...God...Buffy...The man got you through that horrible year, loving you to blazes and fighting with us without a soul...He won that soul back for love of you, died saving us, and after he somehow found his way back...No thanks to us, mind you...Had his hands cut off trying to help our dear psycho Dana...And you couldn't even be bothered to pick up a phone and call him in the hospital?..."

I see what you've become Slayer...And I don't wanna go that way...Not again, thanks...

"I quit..." Willow said solemnly... "If you ever need me for emergency world-saving, call me...I'll be in LA with Angel and Walthrop Associates..."

Willow...Buffy sighed, watching her leave...Hand to her head...

A knock at the door...Yes?...

Dawn entered, looking rather glum...And...Solemn...

Dawn?...Buffy stared...

"Buffy...I'm really sorry to do this to you...But..." she began...

"Immortal Beloved XXXV..."

A shortie...

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's

Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Swear it's the last in the series...Maybe...

LA...Early morning...Shortly after the defeat of the Senior Partners...

"Well...So much for the Senior Partners..." Angel eyed the blasted remains of the Hell portal through which the now-deceased S Ps and their hordes had poured...

"Piece...A...Cake..." William gasped...Staggering...But noting Illyria watching him, struggled to his feet...Looking hopefully down the alley once more as Illyria looked at Angel...Who shrugged and sighed...He's still waiting for her, poor fellow...

"Lets get Gunn to an ambulance...And then..." Angel pulled out a cell phone... "There's just one more enemy to deal with...The biggest of them all..."

Oh, Lord...Will gasped within... "Right..." he confidently noted...Trying to stay on his feet... "Could use a bit more of the rough and tumble...And Buf'll probably be along any mo to help out..." An anxious look to the others...She will, right?...

Ummn...Yeah...Sure...Angel nodded patiently to him...While giving the emergency operator directions...Illyria tending the badly wounded Charlie...Shaking her head at Angel as she stared at the hopefully-looking Will...

"They're on their way..." Angel closed his phone... "Now...As to our final battle...Now that we know who our true foe is..."

"The Great One itself...?" Illyria asked, rising from her spot by Gunn's pallet... "I am ready..."

"I'm in..." Will noted, raising a hand...Though wobbling a bit...

"Always had a hankering for frog legs...Immortal variety..." he grinned...

The lair of the Immortal...WB corporate headquarters...

"Angel, Spike, and Illyria are on their way, sir!..." a trembling staffer anxiously ran into the office of the Immortal...A huge green frog in top hat, reclining in a large chair... "They've defeated our last allies, the Senior Partners!...What should we do?..."

"Honey?..." Buffy, sitting across the desk, stared at the Frog... "You worked with the Senior Partners?...How could you?...And why are the guys mad at you?...Did you go ahead and cancel...?"

Ummn...The Frog looked away from his latest...

"You said you wouldn't...Honey!..." she glared... "No wonder they're furious..."

Say...she eyed him...Does this mean our deal's off?...

"Not at all Buffy...You're back on with us next season...And you get to be your own Fate Writer just as we agreed...Directing and producing your own fate..."

If I survive...the Frog looked up at the ceiling...

"Sir!..." Another flunky entered... "They're penetrated the grounds...We gotta do something!..."

Buffy?...the Immortal Frog eyed her...She shook her head...Sorry...Can't fight my boyfriends, even for a sweet deal like this...

"Especially when William's my romantic lead..." she noted... "We are still ok on my idea for having the First temporarily possess me and turn me evil next season, right?...Then, with Will, my love discovering my dark side and helping me fight it back...?"

Ummn...The Frog eyed a grimacing staff writer who rolled his eyes...

"Certainly, darling...(Gree-deep...he gasped...Sorry, sweetie, my nature...No prob...Buffy shook her head...)...It's...A brilliant concept..."

Great...she beamed... "But then you see that I can't fight the guys..."

"Well, then..." the Immortal One sighed... "Only one thing to do..." the Frog grabbed his cane, lifted his hat...And danced for the emergency exit...Singing as Buffy stared, watching...Honey?...You're leaving me alone to be found here by my ex-s in their enemy's HQ...?

"Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal...Send me a kiss by wire...Baby, my heart's on fire...If you refuse me, baby you lose me...Then you'll be all alone..."

Oh, baby telephone...And tell me I'm...Your...Own...! he hopped through the door...

So...Ummn...Honey?...Buffy eyed William as he and Angel sat facing her...Illyria standing with arms folded, a grim expression...

"You do believe me about my coming here to help, right?...I was only leading the Frog on, you understand?..."

"I know, love..." he nodded...A careful look to Angel and Illyria...Hey, green legs is history, right?...And she wasn't here to fight us...

"Anyway..." the Slayer relaxed as the boys lowered their previous grim expressions... "Now that you and Angel are running WB, I gotta tell ya about this great idea I have for next season..."

(Ok, yes there are moer...Like about 138 and counting...And increasingly weirder but it's midnight and I have to be up at 4am...)