by Mutabilis

DISCLAIMER: All the usual
SUMMARY: Whistler tells Buffy about Angel's impending humanity and what she needs to do to make it reality.
DISTRIBUTION: I'll be honored. Just please ask first.
FEEDBACK: Will be greatly appreciated.
SPOILERS: Up to mid Season 6 BtVS (Hell's Bells') and Season 3 AtS (Sleep Tight')
PAIRING: B/A with some A/C and B/S
TIMELINE: Let's just say this is my personal version of season 7/4 with the following assumptions:
1) When Buffy broke up with Spike in As You Were,' they stayed broken up.
2) Connor died when Holtz took him over six months ago in Sleep Tight.' A/C happened not long after that.

1) I had to do a bit of research for this part. You have to forgive if I used bad Latin for the name of the life potion. I also thought it'd be cool to use the Ancient Roman system of liquid measure. I hope I did the math correctly. So, if Willow and Wesley's calculations are wrong later on, it's my fault, not the characters', kay?
2) As far as I understand it, the word shanshu is a verb as in To Shanshu in LA and the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will Shanshu. I've tried my best to use it in this context.

SPECIAL NOTE AND THANKS: Due to an attack of extreme stupidity and carelessness, I accidentally deleted the whole story while I was updating the parts with titles. I reposted the story but of course I lost the reviews that I so loved getting. I would just like to say that I did not remove the reviews on purpose and that I would like to thank all of those who wrote reviews for the first two parts before they got zapped. So, THANKS ALL!


Buffy gladly noticed as she entered the house that Willow and Dawn had both gone to bed. She needs to think about how to tell Angel and she didn't have time to deal with Dawn's unending quest for attention. She went into the kitchen for a glass of juice before going upstairs.

When she reached the top of the stairs she headed into Dawn's bedroom to check up on her little sister. She smiled a little as she spied on her sleeping form when she entered the bedroom. She bent down and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

Sleep tight, Dawnie, she whispered. Dawn shifted a bit and opened her eyes halfway.

'Night, Buffy, Dawn mumbled without really waking up.

Buffy softly closed the door to her sister's bedroom and went to her own. She pulled out the scroll and bottle from her coat pocket and placed them on her nightstand. She then took off her coat and sat down on her bed to stare at the objects she had just placed on her nightstand. She picked up the scroll and unrolled it. She took the first sheet and read it again:

The vampire with a soul has been proven worthy.
He shall be granted his reward, he will shanshu.
He shall retain his status as warrior
and shall fight on the right side of the greatest of the Chosen Ones.
She shall share with him her strength and breathe life into him.
Only she can do this, no one else.

Tears threatened to fall from here eyes as she read the words one more time, visions of Angel and her fighting together once more filling her mind. She felt an old already unfamiliar feeling swell up lightly inside her. Hope? She hasn't hoped for anything in so long that did she dare do it again? No, it would be foolish to expect anything from Angel right now. She didn't want to go there for now. She pushed back the tears. She better concentrate on the more important task at hand, the ritual to make Angel human. She rolled up the sheet she was reading into a separate scroll then she took the second one and read it:

The time for the vampire with a soul to shanshu is at hand.
For twelve days he is to drink a cyathus of his slayer's life essence,
no less than this, to be drunk on the day it was shed.
Her sextarius of blood shall imbibe him with her warrior's strength.
On the thirteenth day he should drink of the vevenum anima.
This potion shall drive away his demon and give life to his flesh.
Then shall she breathe into his mouth his life's first breath.

Wow,' she thought. She was still having a hard time believing any of this. But she knew Whistler was trustworthy, no matter how annoying he can be. She rolled the two sheets separately. She stood up and kept the first scroll in the drawer where she kept all things she considered valuable. The second she left on the nightstand. Then she sat on her bed again and held the bottle that contained the vevenum anima, the potion that will rid Angel's body of his demon. Then she carefully replaced it on her nightstand. Then she stared at the phone.

Well,' she thought, no use wasting more time. Angel has waited long enough for this. I wonder how he is? Guess I'll find out soon enough, won't I?'

She thought of foregoing the telephone and just going straight to LA tomorrow. But then, unannounced visits might not be the best way to go especially since they haven't seen each other for almost a year. No, she had to call first. That way, they both have some time to prepare themselves for the meeting. Then, of course, there was the thing about her jeep being in the shop

Oh dammit, I promised Dawn I'll be training with her tomorrow. She had been teaching her sister how to fight and Buffy had to admit that for a teenager without superhuman strength she is not half bad. Buffy still doesn't let her patrol or fight demons with her but just in case she gets herself in a fix some fighting skills might just save her sister's life. Not to mention being able to kick the butt of boys who may want to take advantage of her. Well, she'll just have to talk to Dawn depending on what she and Angel come up with regarding how they're going to do this.

She sighed and picked up the phone. She dialed the number that she had committed to memory. She had never actually used it before though she couldn't count the times that she wanted to call Angel the past year. If only he had shown any sign that he wanted to stay in touch the way he promised her during the post-resurrection meeting they had then maybe this wouldn't be the first time she'd dial this number. But he never called after the meeting, not once. He had sounded so sincere and looked so relieved to see her alive. Maybe it was her fault, maybe he didn't want to be dragged down by an emotionally unstable ex-lover. Maybe she should have forced him to keep his promise and called him first. But instead, she turned to Spike.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard the ringing sound start.


On the other side of the line, the members of Angel Investigations were all gathered at the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel. The past month had been relatively quiet. Aside from the usual flow of clients there had been no disasters of any notable proportions. Wolfram and Hart seem to have forgotten them for the moment. And even Cordelia hasn't had a vision for a month now. Not that they didn't need a break. After the death of Connor six months earlier and its repercussions, they all needed to recover, to forgive and to heal.

Upon returning from her vacation, Cordelia came home to find a grieving and inconsolable Angel while Gunn and Fred attended to an almost fatally injured Wesley. Cordy had quietly explained the situation to the Groosalugg and the Pylean had decided to return to his dimension for the time being.

Cordelia was livid at the ex-Watcher though Angel never once blamed Wesley for his actions. After the shock had worn off Cordy had finally softened and forgiven Wes for what he had done. She also realized that had she been in the same situation, she wasn't sure that she might not have done the same thing. Gunn and Fred didn't blame Wesley either. None of these facts helped ease Wesley's guilt though. Not even the King of Guilt, Angel, can help him through this, not his time around. Angel might not have blamed him for his action but he was wrapped up in his own grief. Cordy and Angel had gotten much closer in the aftermath of Connor's death. She had turned to Angel not only to console the vampire but just as much to sooth her own grief at the loss of a baby that she had grown to love so much in the small amount of time that he was allowed to live. The loss of a loved one had pushed their friendship into something more. And Cordy had forgotten about her Pylean lover in lieu of Angel.

And now six months after that heartbreaking event they were all still together, all part of a team. It was Friday night. They were making invoices, filing and talking about nothing and everything and almost ready to call it a night when the phone rang.

Ooh, maybe it's a paying client! Cordelia exclaimed excitedly.

Gunn, who was nearest the phone, answered, Angel Investigations. How may we help you?

I'm looking for Angel. Is he there? May I speak with him? replied the female voice on the other side.

May I ask who's calling? asked Gunn.

It's Buffy.

Just a minute. I'll call him. Gunn replied. Somehow he knew that this was no ordinary phone call. He knew who Buffy was, of course. He also guessed that one Cordelia Chase will not be happy with this. Angel! It's for you, man. It's Buffy.

Angel stiffened a little as a range of emotions suddenly passed through his eyes before they were instantly gone again to be replaced with the impassive fa├žade that graced his handsome features invariably in the months after his son's death. He moved quickly to take the phone from Gunn.

Gunn handed him the receiver and took a glance at Cordy. The seer's eyebrows were furrowed in a frown and she was mumbling something that Gunn couldn't quite hear.

Angel spoke into the mouthpiece.

said the voice on the phone.

Angel's numb soul stirred ever so slightly at the mere sound of her voice. He had been so numb the past six months that he was taken aback at the sudden stirring of emotion inside him, however slight it may be. He had forgotten how much she can affect him. He gathered his composure and spoke.

B-Buffy, is Is something wrong? he asked hoping his voice sounded steady enough.

No, Angel, nothing's wrong. I don't quite know how to explain this to you but I need to tell you something and it's not the sort of news that you break to someone over the phone. Buffy paused.

Yes, Buffy, go on. Angel said, encouraging her to continue upon hearing the slight nervousness in her voice. He knew it couldn't have been easy for her to call him, not after his broken promise to keep in touch with her.

Whistler was here tonight and he had some very important news for me and more importantly, for you. It's not bad news so please don't worry but but it's really not something for the phone. Angel noticed that the nervousness in her voice was more apparent.

Buffy was trying not to sound like she was making excuses to see him though she shouldn't have worried. Angel knew Buffy and he knew that Buffy was not one to make lame excuses, she usually just said her mind. Buffy continued what she was saying.

I could go there tomorrow. I'd come now except that the jeep is in the shop so I'd have to wait for tomorrow to take the bus or the train to get there or ask Xander to drive me which I'd really rather not she rambled before Angel cut her off.

Buffy, if it's really important, why don't I go there tonight. There is enough time for me to be there and back here before dawn. If Whistler came around this must be a pretty big thing.

Pretty much. Yeah.

Door or window? Angel asked and he could almost hear her smile when he said that. And even his eyes gave an ever so slight flicker of amusement at the idea.

Ahm, window, if you don't mind. I don't wanna wake Dawn or Willow. Buffy said losing the nervousness in her voice that was there earlier.

I'll be there in a couple of hours. I'm leaving now, okay?

Okay, Angel. Thank you. I'll see you.

Angel waited for the click on the other side before he put down the phone. Then turned around to face the curious looks around him. He could just imagine what Cordelia has to say about it. She has never liked the blonde slayer and never pretended to. Now that she and Angel are a couple, he couldn't imagine how she would react to his announcement that he was going to Sunnydale although he was pretty sure they've all heard his side of the conversation. He didn't have to wait long.

So, what trouble is the mighty slayer in now? asked Cordelia with not the friendliest of tones.

She's not in any trouble, Cordelia. Angel's voice was calm but it contained a warning that no one in the room missed. He was not in the mood to deal with any of them right now. Angel then turned to Wesley and said, I am going to Sunnydale. Whistler had some information for Buffy tonight and it involves me.

Yeah, right, Cordy said bitingly.

I will be back before dawn, Cordelia. Go home and don't wait up. Goodnight. With this Angel grabbed his coat and left the hotel.

Oooh, this ain't gonna be good,' thought Gunn. He hasn't heard Angel use the name Cordelia for a while now. Lately, it has always been Cor or Cordy or Delia. Seeing the look on the brunette seer's face, he decided to do something before they all get the brunt of Cordy's wrath.

So who is this Whistler dude? Gunn asked Wesley before Cordy can say anything.

Whistler is a demon who acts as an emissary for the Powers. If I am not mistaken, he was the one who found Angel in New York City. He was homeless and dirty and he fed of rats. Whistler took him here to Los Angeles to show him Buffy when she was called. He offered Angel a choice, continue his miserable existence as a bum or make something more of himself. Angel chose the latter. That is how we have the Angel that we have today. Wesley explained.

He brought Angel to see Buffy? Why? asked Fred.

Well, you know how stubborn Angel can be. Do you think he would have simply given in to Whistler's suggestion had there not been anything more to convince him? Buffy turned out to be the key. He saw her called and he felt that he couldn't just leave a young girl of 15 to go out fighting demons and monsters alone. So for the next year after he saw Buffy, he turned himself around, cleaned himself up and learned how to live in the modern world. When Buffy moved to Sunnydale, he revealed himself to her. And I think you all know what happened next. Wesley stopped his story at that stage in deference to Cordelia who right now might not be in the mood to discuss the Buffy and Angel love saga.

And this dude hasn't been seen since? Gunn asked curiously wanting to understand the significance of this demon.

No, I mean yes, if I remember correctly, Mr. Giles told me that it was Whistler who informed Buffy on what she needed to do if Angelus managed to awaken Acathla. That was when Buffy was forced to send Angel to hell. Unless, I am mistaken though he hasn't shown himself after that.

So if I am seeing this correctly, this Whistler guy appears pretty much only during life altering moments. Seeing as the first time he showed up he practically called' Angel just as Buffy herself was called. And the next time he shows up was when Buffy had to ultimately send Angel to hell to save the world. So this dude is big guns! Gunn proclaimed.

That's probably how Angel sees it, Wesley agreed with Gunn.

So that's why he can't leave fast enough for Sunnydale. Fred commented understanding the situation.

Cordelia just kept to herself and said nothing as the discussion unfolded in front of her. Whistler or not, Buffy Summers always spelled trouble. She had a bad feeling about this. She agreed with one thing that Gunn observed at least. Whatever Whistler had come for it was probably life altering. And she can't help but wonder if it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that she hasn't had a vision for about a month now. She hadn't made a big deal about it to her colleagues but it doesn't mean she didn't worry about it. With that thought, she stood up and left the hotel without saying goodbye to the rest of the gang. It's time to get home and ask Phantom Dennis to break out the loofah. It's going to be a long night.

The three remaining members of AI watched as Cordy disappeared though the doors of the Hyperion. Then Gunn continued his interrogation of Wesley.

Tell me Wes, when Angel decided to help Buffy it wasn't just because he felt sorry for her, was it?

It was more than that, Gunn, much more. He decided to help her because the moment he laid eyes on Buffy, he fell in love with her.

Whoa. This is heavy stuff! exclaimed Gunn hearing the details of the infamous love affair for the first time.

Before this, he only knew the most basic information about Buffy and Angel's star-crossed romance. Slayer and vampire fall in love, vampire loses soul, slayer kills vampire, vampire returns from hell, slayer and vampire get back together, vampire gets poisoned, vampire bites slayer, vampire leaves slayer. That's about all they've told him and Fred about it. Learning about all the details is fascinating to say the least. He glanced at Fred who was quiet and is seemingly entranced by the tale herself.

That's an understatement. Wesley countered.

I never realized I mean when you and Cordy did that play-acting thing before, I didn't think that Wow.

Don't even remind me that I ever did something like that. Lord, I am so embarrassed. Those two have gone through such pain and heartbreak. What Cordy and I did, to make a mockery of their relationship that way and to poke fun at Buffy offering Angel to bite her, it simply is not right. When Buffy offered Angel to drink from her, you understand, Angel was dying after being shot by a poisoned arrow by Faith. The only known cure was to drain the blood of a slayer. Wesley explained.

Jeez, man. Romeo and Juliet's boring next to these guys. So tell us more.

And so it went until the wee hours of the morning as Fred and Gunn continued to ask more and more question and Wesley did not have the heart to deny them the answers. He told them the tale the way it should be told and not in the careless way that they had done before.


Angel arrives in Sunnydale.