Messages From An Angel
Rating: PG for off-color words
Pairings: B/A hinted at
Feedback: Please. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with BtVS and AtS. (Characters, plots, and dialogue from the shows are borrowed with no infringement intent whatsoever.)
Distribution: Please ask and let me know where it's going.
Summary: Buffy is still trying to help her friends.
Warning: Major character deaths.
A/N1: All events of BtVS happened through Bargaining 1 at the beginning of season 6. This story goes off on its own after that.
A/N 2: Thoughts are in single quotes ('').
The First Evil and two of its servants, Caleb and Katanya, were watching the dead slayer's friends as they approached the slayer's grave. "How foolish," it said as the group of four set up for the spell. "I can't believe they are going through with it; they are actually trying to resurrect the slayer. They will never succeed; don't they realize that they cannot penetrate the higher realms like that?"
"Master, I just had a really wicked idea," Katanya said with an evil gleam in her eyes. "I could pose as the resurrected slayer with a spell from you that would deceive even a vampire's senses and would not allow any magic to be used against me. That way I can thwart any of their plans against you before they come to fruition and eliminate as many of them as I can along the way."
The First Evil was very impressed. "Katanya, I am so proud of you. You and Caleb are the best servants I have ever had. You two will be greatly rewarded when I come into power." Katanya beamed at the praise. She would not let her master down.
"We need Buffy," Anya said desperately as they heard the motor cycle riding demons getting closer and closer to them.
"Buffy is not coming back," Willow said painfully, "we failed. We are on our own."
"Then we'd better get out of here before those demons find us," Tara told them as she helped Willow up.
Meanwhile, back at Buffy's grave site Katanya (in her Buffy disguise) had just clawed her way out of Buffy's grave. 'What a mess,' she complained to herself as she tried to get the mud off her dress. 'What was I thinking when I came up with this hare-brained idea? Let the slayer's friends think that I am the slayer that the witch actually resurrected, then live in the slayer's house so I can keep the master updated on their activities. For grief's sake, the things I get myself into, now I have to save their asses already.'
Katanya walked aimlessly through the streets of Sunnydale as she expected a resurrected Buffy would. She came across the Scoobies, pretended to be dazed and confused, and then ran away. They ran after her. When they found her she made sure that they saw her bleeding hands and fingers. Xander realized how they got that way and said, "Our resurrection spell worked like a charm. We brought you back to life, Buffy," he glanced at Willow, "and that's right where we left her, in her coffin." Katanya still pretended to be dazed and confused as the Scoobies tried to talk to her.
"You aren't reaching her, she's too traumatized," Tara told them as they turned to see the biker demons behind them.
'Time to go to work,' Katanya thought with a silent chuckle to herself. With a little help from the Scoobies she defeated the demons and took off running again. This time she ended up at what was left of the Glori's tower from which Buffy had jumped. Dawn convinced Buffy (Katanya) not to jump again and took her home.
Spike was upset because they did the resurrection spell without letting him know about it. He told Xander, "Willow knew there was a chance that she'd come back wrong, so wrong that she would have to get rid of what came back. And I wouldn't let her. If any part of that was Buffy, I wouldn't let her and that's why she shut me out. That's the thing about magic, there are always consequences."
Katanya overheard this and thought, 'Dissention among friends. I think I can use that.' The Scoobies were unaware that Buffy (Katanya) could hear everything that was said in the house. She heard Willow complain to Tara that she thought that Buffy would've been grateful that she brought her back from hell, that she would at least have said thanks or something. Katanya got angry. 'What? Is she nuts? The slayer may have thanked her for pulling her out of heaven just to make her feel better, but I'm not thanking her for a damn thing.'
When Angel found out that Buffy was alive (supposedly), he called and asked her to meet him at their special place. Since Katanya had no idea where that was, she had to make an emergency contact with the First Evil to find out. To prevent any further contact with Angel she was very cold to him during the meeting. She told him that the only reason she had come to meet him was to let him know that now that she had a second chance at life, she wanted to live her life free of him. She was very pleased with her performance and so was her boss.
As time passed Katanya got more and more comfortable with living Buffy's life and when a demon from hell showed up in Sunnydale causing people to burst into song, she used the occasion as an excuse to let the Scoobies think that their resurrection spell ripped her (Buffy) out of heaven.
The First Evil stepped up its assault on the slayer line by eliminating as many of the watchers and potential slayers as possible and destroying the Watchers' Council in London. Giles managed to escape with a few of the potential slayers and brought them to Sunnydale so that Buffy could protect them. Buffy (Katanya) did everything she could to distance herself from the Scoobies, Giles and the potentials all of whom were living in Buffy's house.
In the higher realms
"I'm not getting through to them. They can see me, but they can't hear me. Mom, what should I do? I have to warn them before it is too late."
"You have to keep trying, honey. It is not easy communicating across realms like this. I tried for eons to get messages to you and Dawn and I did not succeed. I wanted you to know that I was okay, that I was happy here. Even since you got here I have tried communicating with Dawn and still I haven't been successful. We simply aren't meant to communicate with our loved ones after we have passed over to here, but because the information that you are trying to send is vital to humanity, to all human life on earth, you have to keep trying."
Joyce knew that her daughter was desperate. Somehow, Buffy had to get through to Angel and her friends before it was too late, but there was nothing that Joyce could do to help. Buffy had already been more successful that her mother had been; Joyce knew that it was draining on Buffy, but she just had to keep trying and all Joyce could do was offer encouragement and moral support.
"They can see me, but they think it is the First playing tricks on them. I tried writing a message on Willow's bedroom wall once I had her attention, but that only succeeded in scaring her more. Since that imposter is there, they have no reason to believe that I am the one trying to reach them."
"Buffy, how do you appear to them?"
"What do you mean? I appear to them as myself, in their dreams."
"That means that they see you as an angel, which is what you are now. That is why they don't believe it is you, because to them you are still living and breathing in Sunnydale."
"You're right, mom, I didn't think about that. Then what do I do? I can't appear to them as someone else; that would make things worse."
"You just have to keep trying to get the message through to them."
Katanya was thoroughly enjoying herself. She and Caleb would stage fake fights in which she would lose, convincing everyone that Buffy could not defeat Caleb. He allowed Katanya to retrieve the scythe and when Angel showed up in Sunnydale with the amulet, the First Evil staged a fight between Katanya and another of its servants, a shape-shifter disguised as Caleb; it could not afford to lose one of its best servants.
There was no way that the First could let Angel stay in Sunnydale to help in the fight against itself, so it had Katanya come up with a phony story about needing Angel to return to Los Angeles to prepare a 'second front'. He bought it. "One down," the fake Buffy said as she headed off to eliminate another threat.
After Angel left instead of returning to Buffy's house, Katanya waited for Spike in the cemetery near his crypt. She told him that she needed to talk to him in private and asked to go to his crypt. Taking no chances, she killed Spike as soon as they entered the crypt. "Two down," she said with a wicked grin as she headed to the vineyard. 'This leaves our two strongest warriors, Caleb and me, along with a whole army of Turok-Han and bringers ready to fight the final battle against the remaining potential slayers and the slayer's little band of misfits with only one real fighter on their side, Faith. We can't lose,' she thought confidently.
Angel was sitting in his office reading when, suddenly and without warning, he felt a severe pain of loss. "Spike," he whispered. He knew that his childe was dust and, even though they were not friends, Spike was still family and he felt the loss deeply. He called Sunnydale to find out what happened. When Dawn answered the phone and heard what had happened she burst into tears. Willow took the phone from her and spoke to Angel.
"I'm sorry, Angel, we didn't know anything had happened to Spike. He left here last night and we haven't heard from him since. Andrew said that Spike had been telling him about how many times the First had appeared to him."
"Why would the First be appearing to Spike? His family and loved ones have been dead for more than a hundred years."
"The First has been appearing to all of us, Angel, and it always takes the form of angel-Buffy."
"It's true, Angel. It appears to us in our dreams as Buffy in a long white gown, with a halo ..."
"And angel wings." Angel completed her sentence for her. "Willow, I have been getting the same visitations in dreams. Last night was the first time she spoke to me. She said my name. If it is appearing to all of us in the same form, then that leads me to think that it isn't the First, it's Buffy herself."
"But it can't be. Buffy isn't dead anymore; she's here with us. At least she was until last night."
By now Giles, Xander, Anya and Faith had gathered around the kitchen phone. "Willow, put the phone on speaker," Giles told her.
"Angel, this is Giles. Do I understand correctly that the First has also been visiting you as angel-Buffy?"
"Yes, and as I just told Willow, I don't believe it is the First. I believe it is Buffy trying to get through to me. I don't know who is there in the house with you, but I am sure that it is not the real Buffy. Willow, can you e-mail to me a copy of the resurrection spell that you used? I want Wesley to take a look at it. Giles did you ever look at the spell that Willow used?"
"No. I was so happy to have Buffy back, I didn't even think about looking at the spell."
"Do I understand correctly that you have not seen your Buffy imposter since last night and you do not know where she is?"
No one answered until Anya spoke up and said, "We chose Faith as our leader last night and kicked Buffy out. We haven't seen her since."
"Give us an hour to look at the spell, then call me back if Buffy has not shown up. I suggest you look at the spell as well, Giles. If I do not hear from you after an hour, then I know that the imposter Buffy has returned and I will head to Sunnydale right away."
In the higher realms
Buffy was excited as she spoke to Joyce. "Mom, I think I can do it now. I was able to speak to Angel the last time he was asleep. I have gotten a lot of practice since then and I am sure that I can speak to all of them now."
"Honey, that's wonderful. Do you know what you want to say to each one?"
"Yes. I have had plenty of time to prepare. I am ready. I just need to wait until I see them asleep."
One hour after Angel received the e-mail from Willow, the phone on Cordelia's desk rang. Seeing that the call was from Buffy's number, he answered right away. Giles was calling. "Angel I looked at the spell and with what research I could do in an hour, it doesn't look like it would have worked."
"We reached the same conclusion. There is no way that the spell that Willow e-mailed to me could have penetrated heaven and retrieved Buffy. This confirms two things, the Buffy that has been living with you is an imposter, probably planted by the First, and the real Buffy is still in heaven trying to reach us in our dreams. There must be something very important that she is trying to tell us.
"I'm sure that time moves differently in the higher realms than here so I don't know how long she has been waiting for us to fall asleep again. I suggest that all of us that have been receiving visits from her should try to get some sleep. The rest of you should stay awake and stand guard, just in case."
As soon as he ended the phone call with the people in Sunnydale, Angel returned to his bedroom and, using the meditation techniques that he knew well, put himself to sleep.
The Sunnydale group agreed with Angel, but they felt that, after what they had just learned, they were too wired to sleep. Giles had Willow put a sleep spell on himself, Xander, Faith and Dawn and then on Willow herself that would allow them to sleep for about an hour.
As soon as Buffy saw Angel asleep she entered his dreams. She spoke softly so as not to startle him. "Angel."
Angel's eyes opened immediately.
She was far more beautiful than he could have ever imagined standing before him in blinding white with a ring of light over her head. Looking at the vision before him he was so awe struck that he could not find words to speak to her.
She smirked as only Buffy could and in her Buffy sense of humor told him, "You already said that."
Angel chuckled and relaxed as he thought to himself, 'Now this is my Buffy.'
She smiled, that sweet smile that he loved so much, that smile that he felt she reserved for him alone. Then she got serious. "Angel I don't have much time to explain, but there are some things that I need to tell you, so please listen. You need to take your AI team to Sunnydale and help them fight the First and its army. They need your help. I am sorry about Spike; I saw Katanya dust him and there was nothing I could do about it.
"I am sending Drusilla to help you. She will fight by your side to avenge Spike's death; let her handle Katanya, that's the name of the First's servant that's living in my house pretending to be me. She still has the amulet from Wolfram and Hart; Faith will take it from her. The last thing that I need to tell you is that Katanya lied to you when she met you at our cabin. No matter where I am, alive or dead, I love you. I will always love you."
"I love you, Buffy. Always."
She smiled gently and faded from his sight.
Angel awoke immediately. He called Gunn and told him to bring his truck and his weapons to the Hyperion right away. They were going to war. As Angel loaded the trunk of his car with weapons, Wesley called the rest of the AI team and told them to get ready; Angel and Gunn would be picking them up within the hour. War with the First was about to begin in Sunnydale and they were needed.
Buffy next appeared to Faith and told her that she must take the scythe and the amulet from Katanya (fake Buffy) because the scythe is the only thing that can kill Katanya and Caleb. "You will find them at the vineyard. The two of them were completely human at one time, but now they are servants of the First Evil and imbued with its power. They are not much faster than an ordinary human being, but they are extraordinarily strong so you cannot fight them both at once.
"Fill Giles' tranquilizer gun with the most powerful tranquilizer you can get and unload it into Katanya and Caleb. This will only keep them out for a few minutes, but it will give you enough time to take the scythe and high-tail it out of there. Katanya wears an amulet around her neck; take that as well. Don't waste time trying to kill them by yourself, just get the scythe and the amulet and get out. Killing them will come later. I am sending you some help; let her handle Katanya once the battle starts."
Buffy appeared to Giles and Willow at the same time and told them to use the scythe which Faith will take from Katanya to temporarily give the power of the slayer to the potentials. "You are going to need their help in the battle with the First."
In the meantime Drusilla had also felt Spike die and was headed to Sunnydale to kill Buffy because she thought that Buffy was responsible for Spike's death. When she fell asleep, Buffy appeared to her in her dreams. Drusilla was terribly frightened when she saw Buffy.
"Angel-slayer, you killed my Spike? Angel-slayers don't kill, do they?"
"No, Drusilla, angel-slayers don't kill. Do not be afraid of me, Drusilla, I will not harm you. Do you trust the angel-slayer?"
Drusilla answered "Yes," but she was still frightened.
"Will you do as I ask?"
"Good. When you get to Sunnydale, find Angel. He will tell you who killed Spike. In order to avenge Spike's death, you must fight along with Angel and the other slayers. He will show you the being that killed Spike and you can exact your revenge. Faith will give you a weapon when it is time. Agreed?"
"Yes, angel-slayer, I will do as you say."
As Buffy started to disappear Drusilla asked, "Angel-slayer, will I see my Spike again?"
"Yes, Drusilla, I am certain that you will see your Spike again."
"Thank you, angel-slayer."
Drusilla awoke with a smile on her face. She was going to avenge her Spike's death and she was going to see her Spike again. The angel-slayer said so.
Although Buffy told Drusilla that she would see Spike again to give Drusilla a reason to fight, Buffy was sure that Spike and Drusilla would be together again, just as she was sure that she and Angel would be together again.
Angel and his team arrived at the mansion in Sunnydale just before midnight. It was a little dusty, but the once a month cleaning service that he paid for was doing an excellent job. The mansion was completely livable. Angel called Giles to let him know that he and the AI team were at the mansion and they would be joining them at the Summers' house early the next morning. Drusilla arrived at the mansion two hours before sunup. Angel started to explain to her that the First Evil had Spike killed and that she must join him in the fight to avenge Spike's death.
"I know, Angel. The angel-slayer explained it all to me."
Angel just stared at her. She sounded saner at that moment than he had ever heard her sound before, even before Angelus turned her.
The AI team and the Scooby gang along with Drusilla met and mapped out their strategy for the upcoming battle. The first thing that needed to happen was for Faith to retrieve the scythe and the amulet from the First's servants. She would take Kennedy for backup. Using the scythe they would grant the power of the slayer to all of the potentials and they would open the hell mouth and take the battle to the enemy once and for all. Angel would wear the amulet as he had originally planned, Faith would fight Caleb to the death, Drusilla would avenge Spike's death by killing Katanya and the rest would engage the First's army.
The fight between Caleb and Faith was brutal, but in the end she was victorious as she removed his head. Katanya was distracted when she saw Faith kill Caleb with the scythe giving Drusilla the opportunity to hypnotize her. Faith saw this and tossed the scythe to Drusilla and told her to remove Katanya's head with it. She did and afterwards, surprisingly she returned the scythe to Faith and said, "Thank you slayer; the angel-slayer said that I would have my revenge on the one who killed my Spike."
At that moment the amulet that Angel was wearing started to glow; light from it seared all of the bringers, Turok-Han, and other vampires including Angel and Drusilla. With the destruction of its army the First slithered out of sight and returned once again to the depths of hell where it belonged.
Saddened over the loss of Angel and even Drusilla, the Scoobies and the AI team returned to the Summers' house after Willow, Giles and Wesley combined their strength to permanently close and seal the hell mouth. Willow restored the potentials by removing their slayer power from them per Buffy's instructions. Giles and Wesley went about finding homes and watchers for the potentials so they could be properly trained.
Though it hurt them to know that their friends were truly lost to them, they all agreed with Willow and Cordelia: If it was at all possible, the two souled vampires were with their mates, no matter where they were.
When Angel opened his eyes he found himself facing the Oracles. "Why am I here? I thought I was dead."
"You are free from your earth-bound entrapments, warrior, if that is what you mean by dead," the male Oracle told him. Angel smiled inwardly. This was the first time the male Oracle had called him anything other than 'lower being'.
"What my brother is trying to say," the female Oracle interrupted, "is that the Powers are pleased with you and we have chosen to be your guide, to lead you to your reward. Follow us."
Angel did as he was told and followed the Oracles down a long winding seemingly unending hallway that eventually led to a staircase. The Oracles stopped and motioned for him to continue up the stairs. He looked up, but could not see the top, then an all too familiar sound reached his ears, a familiar voice with a teasing smile that he could never forget, "Well, are you coming?"
Angel ran up the stairs into the open arms of his angel, his Buffy.