So, here it is. Last chapter.
"Are you sure?"
"Well… I was fighting them, Giles!"
Giles pointed to a figure in one of his books.
"Here. Is this it?"
Buffy looked at the picture.
"Yep. That is it. Ugly fella. He smelled funny too."
Giles took his classes and cleaned it frantically.
"Giles… Giles… Oh dear what? Giles!"
"Huh? Oh… Sorry."
"So, what do you know?"
"Buffy. The demon you fought is a Vahrall. They are worshippers of caos. I don't like this. I…"
Giles and Buffy turned to the door when an insistent knock was heard. Both Slayer and Watcher exchanged a look and Buffy mentioned for Giles to stay while she was going to open it. She had a big surprise.
"YOU! WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
Buffy heard Giles gasp behind her when she took two steps from the door and he could see who was at it.
"Giles… give me a sword."
Buffy crossed her arms and looked at the being in front of her.
"You can't kill it, Buffy."
"I don't care! I want it gone."
Giles was looking petrified to his door. He wouldn't be able to move to save his life.
"Buffy… Giles… what is…"
"Shut up! Why don't you go play your games away! I don't have time for you right now. You told me I can't fight you, but right now I don't care. You hunted my lo… you will not get to him"
"Giles…? I don't… understand…"
Giles's knees finally gave up and he fell. Both women turned to him.
They ran to help an almost passed out Giles. Buffy looked at the woman hovering frantically over Giles, while he touched her.
"Jenny. You… you are alive."
He fainted. Buffy held his head and looked straight at the very much alive gypsy.
"Oh my God! You… you are… how?"
"I did it!"
Both women turned around to see one dark vampire standing at the door.
Two hours later
Angel had come back from the pier with a decision made.
When he entered his apartment, he went straight to the bed he had shared with Buffy. After he laid down, he wrapped himself in the bedsheets closing his eyes for a moment. He could remember the taste of her lips. He signed when he remembered how one touch made them jump from the mature talk to each other on the kitchen table. He remembered how they had ripped apart each other clothes so they could get the contact they wanted. He shuddered when he remembered how they had moaned when he first thrust home, both of them feeling complete. He smiled when he remembered the moment the kitchen table gave up and they had ended on the floor laughing their breath out. How Buffy had then sized his head for a heated kiss.
He recalled how Buffy's hair was sprawled on his bed while they made love just hours before. He could still feel her warm body cradling him inside. He could still feel her walls pulsing around him while they climaxed.
For a moment he questioned his choice, but he knew that Buffy would be happy in the end. He knew he couldn't be happy with her over what he had done to her all those months ago when he was soulless. Short of hurting Buffy herself, his demon had chosen the second best thing. He had killed the woman who was trying to curse him again. For his delight, the said woman was also one member of the slayer's gang. His demon knew he would hurt her deeply by hurting her Watcher.
Angel had killed with his soul, but Jenny's death had been the one he regretted the most. He would use his wish to bring her back, if he could bring her back the way she was. The problem was how to call the Oracle again.
He had just finished his thoughts when the Female Oracle appeared before him.
"I see you have reached a decision."
"We know everything. Are you sure of what you decided?"
"Yes. I am. Can it be done?"
"Will she be the same?"
A moment in time
Jenny ran right into a waiting Angelus. She screamed when he grabbed hold of her. He chuckled and looked into her face. He put one hand behind her head and touched her lips with the fingers of the other hand.
"Sorry, Jenny, this is where you get off."
He got head to twist her head and snap her neck when she disappeared.
"Angel… I… what are you doing…? You said we should… should forget. What is… what is going on?"
Buffy sat on the floor holding Giles's head. She looked confused from Angel to the resurrect Jenny and to Giles.
Giles whispered reverently.
Giles was waking up, but when he heard her voice, he avoided opening his eyes. It was a dream. It had to be. She couldn't be alive. It was The First again. It had to be. The thing could assume any deceased form he wanted. He knew it.
Then, he had felt her. She was solid. Warm. Alive. She had knocked at the door. The First should not be able to do that. Was he dead? Maybe The First had done something and killed them. If so, he didn't want to wake up.
But he was wake. He heard the other voice in the room. Angel. What was Angel doing here?
"I did something and The Powers…"
Everyone looked at Giles who was wake and staring at the vampire.
"Yes. It is a long story, Giles… but I work for them…"
"Good God! I've heard of them. They are ones of the beings responsible for keeping the light side strong on the battle of Good x Evil. They recruit only beings they found worth… You work…"
"They gave me one wish, Giles."
Buffy's eyes went wide when her mind grasped what he had done.
"And… and… you decided to…"
Giles stood up with Jenny help and embraced her.
"What do you remember?"
"I was… Angelus was going to kill me. He was… held my head and was going to twist it. I was sure that I'd die… and then… then… nothing. I was alone in the same spot. I got the scare of my life when I realized that I was in the school's ruins. I just came straight here."
Angel realized what she had said. Then, a new set of memories crept inside his mind. His demon had been furious when Jenny had disappeared. Maybe, their past was being altered because she didn't die.
"So, they brought you from there. I thought… I thought they would revive you or something."
Buffy got up and walked towards him. She stood in front of Angel with eyes full of unshed tears.
"You could have fixed…"
"I know. I could… I'm sorry."
"There is… there is nothing to be sorry… sorry about. What you did…"
Buffy didn't finish what she was going to say because she couldn't hold her sobs anymore. Then, she felt that protective circle again. She was in her Angel's arms again.
She knew a part of her should be angry with him, but a bigger one was relieved that Jenny was alive again. Jenny's death had been a constant reminder of how bad of a Slayer she was. How her lack of strength to finish Angelus off and her need to try to bring Angel back had cost the Gypsy's life and her Watcher's unhappiness. She knew that Giles had never blamed her, but she did.
It was her death that had finally made her realized that Angelus was wearing the face of the man she loved forever. Not knowing there were the disks, she felt her Angel couldn't be brought back. Sometimes, she wished Jenny hadn't translated the curse. She would be alive and she would not have been forced to send her Angel to hell. Angelus would have been the one rotten there.
Giles had stood up and held a confused Jenny, while seeing the suffering of his charge and the man she loved. He realized why so long ago he had never really made any effort into separating them. His rational side had despise the notion that a vampire could be good and even love someone, but after knowing the tale of Angelus and Angel, a part of him knew he was a good man. He finally understood what she had seen in him.
He had sacrificed his happiness to do what he did. Giles suspected that whatever he had done to please The Powers, it had to be something huge for them to grant him a wish like this.
Buffy felt her heart torn into pieces again. How much could she take of this? Say good-bye to Angel twice in the curse of 24h. That was a nightmare. These Powers, however they were, were trying to play with them for their amusement. Then, to her horror, Angel suddenly gasped.
"Angel, what is it?"
"I don't… no, no… not now…"
"I think I… Buffy… get… away…"
Angel fell to the floor and writhed in pain. Jenny immediately hid behind Giles, while Buffy looked to her Watcher with horror written over her face. Angelus. Angel was losing his soul.
"Giles. Take Jenny and go to Willow. She has everything with her. NOW!"
"Buffy… I can't leave you alone…"
Buffy was trembling and Angel was still convulsing on the floor. Giles was just at the door when a bright light appear in his room. Everyone covered their eyes and when the light faded, the Female Oracle was standing in the room.
"My God! You are… you are an Oracle."
Buffy crushed and held Angel, who was still in pain.
"Buf.. Buffy… away. You have to go. I feel my soul…"
The pain was unbearable. Angel remembered how it was the first time and now was a lot more painful. It was like someone was twisting a knife in his chest. His body felt like fire.
"Don't worry, Warrior."
Buffy turned around. She had the distinct impression the toga woman had something to do with it.
"What did you to him? WHAT DID THEY DO TO HIM?"
"Don't affront me, insolent being."
"I am going to kick your ass back to Powerland if you didn't tell me what is happening."
The Female Oracle regarded Buffy with a mixture of annoyance and admiration. She could feel the worry coming from the greatest female warrior of all times for her mate. Humans.
"His soul is being granted to him."
Buffy turned to Angel in time to see that same yellowish light she had seen in the mansion go through them. Then, he went limp in her arms for a moment. He was a little feverish, which was odd for a vampire, and was taking shallow unneeded breaths, with great puffs of air coming in and out.
He whispered and Buffy caressed his face. He had sweat all over his face.
"Shsh. I am here. Everything is all right."
"What… what happened?"
Angel looked to the direction Buffy was looking and found The Female Oracle.
"Warrior. You soul was given to you. There is no more curse."
"But I thought…"
"The Powers were yet again impressed with you."
"But they granted me a wish."
"Yes. Instead of fixing what was wrong in your life, you decided to fix what was wrong in someone else's life."
She looked meaningfully to Giles.
"I didn't do it in search of anything."
"The Powers know that. Since it seems you are not going to fix your soul in anyway, they decided to step in. They believe that if your soul is safe you can be a much more useful warrior. A dark time lies ahead for the both of you."
"Together we are stronger."
He and the Oracle exchanged a meaningful stare before she disappeared.
Angel was laying in Buffy's bed. Her mother was gone to LA to receive some new art shipment. He was thankful for that small favor because he was exhaust and not able at all of face the woman.
"Hey. How are you feeling?"
Buffy came back from the bathroom wearing her pajamas.
"I feel like someone put a knife in my chest and twisted it."
Angel immediately regretted what he said when Buffy paled.
"No. It is ok. I did it."
"You did and I am proud of you."
"No. I realize we never talked about it. It is not your fault. I know why you did. Buffy, I am proud you had the courage. I don't know if I would have the strength…"
"You would. You did."
"What are talking about?"
"The thing you did that impressed these Powers of yours. You gave up your life… you human life… for me and the world. I remember, Angel."
"I... how? You were not supposing to."
"I don't know. Your wish may have messed up with the previous one. Who knows?"
"You are not angry."
"I was, but then it seemed you were changing into Angelus again. Then, your soul was fixed and I realized that everything worked for the best."
Buffy laid down in the other side of her bed, but she made no try to come close to Angel.
"When are you going back?"
"I don't know. That depends…"
"On how much time I will need to get this girl I love to have me back into her life."
Buffy swallowed, but didn't say anything at first.
"What do you think she will do?"
"I don't want to know what she will do. In the end, I'll be back in her life."
"She may not want to have her heart broke again."
"I am not planning on doing it again."
"She may not want you anymore."
"Oh… I know for a fact she wants me as much as I want her."
"Buffy, I know that I broke your heart. I thought I was doing the best for you. The things I told you were important to me. You should have a normal life, Buffy. I can't offer you a lot of things, but my real reason was that I was always afraid I'd lose my soul again because everything moment I had with you was pure happiness. I didn't know how much happiness was needed to break the curse. For all I know, a simple smile could do it. I couldn't become that monster again. I couldn't expose you and your friends to that monster again. If I had to do it again I'd do it."
"I know. I mean… I understand."
"I want a chance for us. I want to make it work this time. I can't come back because I have my obligations in LA. I'll travel as much as I can. I hope you think you can do it too. I just don't want to be without you again. It hurts too much."
When Angel finally looked at Buffy's eyes, they were full of unshed tears.
"I'm sorry. I always make you cry. Do you want me to go?"
"No. I want you to stay. Forever. I want to make it work too."
"Buffy, I love you."
"I love you too."
Angel pulled Buffy into his arms. Angel had tried to negate the obvious. The Mohra, The Powers, The Oracles, but mainly his Buffy, they all knew they were supposed to be together. That day he finally understood that.
Angel knew that they were mean to be. They would be unstoppable. They would deal with this dark time that was coming.
They were finally together.
That was the whole point.
AN: That it, folks! I hope you liked the ride.
Just so you know. Jenny's removal of the canon timeline at that moment didn't change the outcome that much. The Oracle took Jenny from her death moment, but in my season 2, everything would go exactly as it went on the show. Jenny disappeared. Due to the destruction in her lab, everyone will think she left or that Angelus killed her. Angelus would brag he had killed her anyway when he realized the teacher was not around. That would still convince Buffy her Angel was gone forever. Angelus would play with Acathla. Willow would find the disk, curse Angel and Buffy would have to kill him.
From the moment in this fic, the Scoobies will have two sets of memory.