I hope the battle was to everyone's liking, I tried my best, action sequences are not my bag!
And now, I almost can't believe it, but it's done. It's been a journey, and I'd like to thank all of you that took it with me, especially those of you who took the time to review:
ashes at midnight (who introduced me to the world of fb fanfic forums :\), SMGbest (who I think literally reviewed every single chapter), Angelluffy, LoupGarouAngel (my first reviewer!), pinkyblue-ice, a2zmom, ILoveSarahSophia, babysayitisn'tso, calilily, LoreoftheFay, philly cheese dude, ESsmich, SunnyKitten, Angel N Darkness, PrincessAlica, ba2006, suzzywuz, and the few random anonymous reviewers! I was hesitant about coming back to the world of fanfic, but you all made it worthwhile.
And now, hopefully, I'll have tied this up with a nice pretty bow for you lovely folks.
Disclaimer: Nothing but the original characters belong to me. All songs quoted through-out the story are owned by their respective artists.
Rating: M-ish, overall (for violence, mild language, maybe some sexual innuendo in later chapters, but there will be absolutely NO smut!)
"Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying 'Lord I just don't care'
But you've got the love I need to see me through"
- "You've Got The Love" by Florence and the Machine
Chapter 62: Full Circle
Four Months Later: Edinburgh, Scotland
An orb of energy rocketed past Buffy's head, close enough that she swore she could smell her hair singeing, before it slammed into the stone wall behind her with an electrical crackle, leaving behind a large, black scorch mark.
"Careful where you point that thing, Lily!" She shouted, before swinging her axe into the reptile-esque demon that was charging towards her.
Lily clenched her fist as she stared at it, wide eyed and shocked. "I'm so sorry!" she wailed over the noise of the battle, before swinging her arm behind her back, hiding the offending appendage.
"Less talking, more conjuring!" Willow winced. Sweat poured down her brow, as she stood with her arms outstretched in front of her, her hands open wide and some sort of energy shooting out of her palms. No more than ten feet in front of her, an older, grey haired man stood in the same position, with energy pouring out of his palms as well, clashing against Willow's. The man, by all means, looked ordinary, save for his snake-like slit pupils, and the fact that he had a veritable hoard of reptile looking demons worshipping him in the underground tunnels of Edinburgh.
"Sorry!" Lily squealed again, before turning away from Buffy, and attempting to throw another orb of energy at a charging demon. This time, she didn't miss, and the demon exploded into flames.
"Nice shot Lil!" Olly shouted over his shoulder, as he hacked at a demon with a large broadsword. Unfortunately, the distraction gave the demon the upper hand, and it knocked Olly to the ground. His sword flew from his grip, "Uh oh..." he muttered. When suddenly, another blade sliced through the demons throat with a swish, and the body fell, revealing Angel as Olly's rescuer.
"What's the first rule of battle?" Angel grunted, before turning to attack another demon.
"Never take your eyes off your opponent..." Olly grumbled, as he scrambled to his feet and retrieved his weapon.
"Right. Now don't forget, cause I'm not saving you next time!" Angel called.
"Buffy!" Olly whined.
"Guys! Fight demons now, argue later!" Buffy barked, as she continued to fight back the demons.
Suddenly, a flash of light illuminated the tunnel, and the old man was thrown backwards through the air. He landed flat on his back, the wind knocked out of him, and Willow's arms fell to her sides.
Buffy immediately somersaulted past the demon she was fighting, then lunging through the air, brought her axe down on the old man's throat. There was a moment of complete silence, before the man's mouth opened, and with a shriek, a green mist began to emit from his mouth and eyes until the body Buffy had decapitated looked like nothing more than a greying husk. The reptile demons, it seemed, suffered the same fate, and the others dropped their guard to survey the surroundings.
"Did we just win?" Willow panted, shaking the tension out of her arms. A tiny bolt of electricity crackled between her fingers as she did so.
"I think so..." Buffy answered, nudging the husk with her toe.
"Great! And with time to spare to go for a pint!" Olly cheered.
"I don't think so buddy, we have our first day of class tomorrow." Lily answered, grabbing his hand, and pulling him toward the tunnel exit. The others followed slowly.
"A whiskey then?" Olly asked.
"Maybe you can convince Giles." Willow drawled.
"Oh, come on you guys! We're in the U.K. It's acceptable to drink anytime!"
Lily rolled her eyes, "You're perpetuating negative stereotypes."
Buffy listened to her friends bicker with a smile on her face, as they exited the tunnels into a narrow cobblestone close, and turned the corner onto the Royal Mile. After the Hellmouth in Braebrook had closed, the demon activity had slowed considerably. Almost the entire vampire population had been destroyed thanks to Willow, and those who were left were too afraid, and skipped town. With not much left to slay, and no reason to keep up the facade of living as Meredith Cross, Buffy had contacted Ashcroft and Claymore at the Council and asked if they'd kept the manor they'd bought for her as a training facility in Edinburgh; they had, and she'd decided it would be nice to go back the first place she'd considered a home after Sunnydale had been destroyed. Giles, Willow, Spike, Faith, and of course Angel had all supported her decision wholeheartedly. Giles was more than happy to give up the bookstore, and go back to a quieter life, shuttling between the Council in London, and Buffy's base in Edinburgh as needed, doing research behind the scenes. It was more his speed nowadays; the blow he'd taken during the final battle in Braebrook had left him with the need to (begrudgingly) walk with a cane. Willow's interest in magic had been renewed thanks to Lily, and despite having to leave her job at the University, had jumped at a chance to get back into the game with Buffy. Faith and Spike were always up for a new adventure, and had happily became Buffy's roaming demon-slaying team. They were currently in Russia, investigating some suspicious vampire activity, and though there didn't seem to be any further development in way of their 'relationship', Buffy had her suspicions.
She had been worried about breaking the news of leaving Braebrook to Lily and Olly, however when she did, she was delighted and apprehensive to discover that they were both willing to move to Scotland with her. She hadn't wanted them to leave University, she knew that Slaying wasn't their calling, and therefore wasn't a viable long-term choice for either of them. Luckily for her, Claymore and Ashcroft had pulled some strings, and got them both accepted to the University of Edinburgh, where they started classes the following morning.
The other Slayers had returned to England, and were currently training to become Watchers. There would be new Slayers called eventually, and having someone who had seen the front lines of battle would be a wonderful asset for whoever those young ladies would be.
That of course left Angel, who Buffy strolled beside, hand in hand. She slowed their pace, letting the others edge ahead of them further.
"Don't you want to celebrate with your friends?" he asked her quietly.
"Nope, rather celebrate with you." she answered with a brilliant smile.
He smiled back. He'd instantly agreed to come with her, no questions asked. At first, he'd offered to get his own place, an offer Buffy had balked at. After eighteen years of them avoiding each other, there was no way she was spending unnecessary time away from him. Besides, she'd argued, the manor was far too big, even with Lily, Olly and Willow staying there.
Angel smiled back down at her, before turning to survey the quaint storefronts that lined the street. "Seems like everything has come full-circle for you." he mused.
"Not completely," she answered, leaning into his arm.
"How so? You closed a Hellmouth, moved your team to another continent, continued to fight the Good Fight..."
"Yeah, but this time you're here too."
She peered up at him, and could see his eyes twinkling as he smiled.
"There's nowhere else I'd rather be."
Up ahead, Buffy saw Willow turn back to look for them. Upon seeing the couple enjoying some alone time, she simply waved, and continued along with Lily and Olly.
Buffy and Angel each waved back with their free hand, then continued their slow pace. The sky was completely clear, the stars bright, and a slight breeze blew Buffy's hair away from her face. She grinned, despite the recent underground battle, it was a perfect evening.
"How much longer do you think this lull is going to last?" she asked.
"Lull? We just fought an army of giant lizards."
"I know, but apparently that's the small-time compared to what's coming," she explained, arching an eyebrow towards him. She knew he'd understand that she was referring to the vague prophecy the Romani had told him about.
"You know as well as I do that battling evil is unpredictable." Angel answered.
Buffy pouted, "It's what I hate the most."
Angel grinned, "All I can tell you Buffy, is that Giles is researching, and so are the rest of the Watcher's at the Council, so how about we stop thinking about it and just enjoy the moment."
"Stop thinking about what?" Buffy asked in mock innocence.
Angel chuckled, and dropped her hand in order to snake his arm around her waist, "That's my girl." he sighed, planting a kiss on the crown of her head.
Buffy smiled, and nestled further into Angel's side as they continued down the street. She silently thanked her lucky stars that she'd been given this second chance.
Yes, it really was a perfect evening.
Fin! Thank you all for reading!
Now, before anyone asks, I'm just going to put it out there right away that I don't have plans for a sequel. Just revel in the fact that whatever comes their way, Buffy and Angel have each other, because I don't think I could come up with an epic enough prophecy for a part two!
On that note, I will probably disappear for a little bit now while I finish up my next story. I'm a little over 100 pages in, and unless my muse decides to go crazy, or the plot runs away with itself, I'd estimate I'm maybe 2/3 of the way through. I might post the first chapter as a bit of a teaser, but I'm not going to start updating it regularly until I've finished it completely as I want to make sure that there aren't any plot holes that I'm going to have to go back and fix.
Thanks again everyone! Until my next story!
- Spectral Serenade