Disclaimer: As usual, only the story is my own. All characters belong to the amazing Joss.
What if Angel did get redemption?
Slightly AU as I have decided certain characters didn't die.
'This is real?' Angel eyed the two beings before him warily. They'd tricked him before. Well, not tricked him, but he was still hesitant to take what they said at face value. He knew better.
The male being sighed impatiently. 'As we have told you, indeed, this is very real. '
'Okay,' Angel nodded; the reality of it all beginning to sink in slowly. 'Why? Why now?'
'You have averted the End of Days, as it was foretold you would,' the female spoke with patience and for that, Angel was grateful. The male's attitude was grating on his nerves. 'This is your reward.'
'As for what now,' the male waved a hand dismissively in front of himself. 'Do what you will, lower being, for you are no longer our concern.'
With that, he turned and wandered around the room, seeming unfazed with the goings on. Guess he got bored. Asshole. Angel glared at his back. It was as if he didn't care how life changing this was for Angel. Or he just doesn't care. Asshole, he repeated.
'So there is no more for me. I have found redemption? I am to live out the rest of my life?'
'Correct,' the male replied. Guess he is paying attention after all. Now be gone from this place. You no longer belong in these hallowed halls.'
With a nod to the door, he left the room through the archway, disappearing into the light. Angel barely noticed. He was free. His service to the Powers That Be was over. He was done and best of all… he had his reward.
He glanced up as he realised he was being watched. The female remained, studying him curiously. ' I was right, you know,' she said softly. 'You are not a lower being. You died for love and have done so much more in the name of love, including letting go over everything you ever wanted, and now that you have what you want, your mind is still filled only with thoughts of her.'
Angel was taken aback by the warmth in the Oracle's voice. How did she know what was going on in his mind? How did she know that as soon as he returned to his realm that he was going to track down the love of his life? 'She was, and always will be the reason I do what I do. Did,' he amended with pride. 'She is the light.'
The female nodded with a small smile. 'Your destiny here is over, human,; she gestured to the arch leading back to his world. 'Go make a new one.'
With a last, thankful look, he turned his back on the Oracle and headed to the door. 'Or course, he heard the female whisper behind him. 'Sometimes our destinies find us, whether or not we are ready for them.'
He stopped and began to turn back, but was propelled forward and thrown from the realm of the Oracles.
He landed hard on the concrete floor, wincing as his hands took the brunt of the impact. Pain strung his palms and he turned them over to see they were grazed and bleeding in a couple of places. He smiled happily. Picking himself up off the ground, he immediately pulled his cell phone out and began to dial Wesley, ignoring the pain reminding him of his new status. He started for his car. He'd drive to the airport straight away and board whatever flight would take him to Buffy. This was his second chance and he wasn't going to waste any time. With any luck, he'd be by her side within twenty-four hours.
He stopped dead in his tracks as the first rays of the sun hit his face. The light spread warmth all over, chasing away the chill he didn't realise he'd been feeling since returning from the Oracle's realm. For one panicked moment, his heart thudding in his chest, the thought was there that he'd burst into flames; that the Oracles had lied. A few moments passed and he sighed with no small amount of relief. He really was human. He was standing in the sunlight. He was alive.
He smiled, standing there in the sunshine. Only one thing could make this more perfect, and he'd be with her soon. That thought spurring him on, he pulled out his keys and all but sprinted to the car. Remembering his phone, he finished dialling Wes and pressed the send button. Wes answered in seconds. 'Is everything okay, Angel?' he concerned English voice sounded tinny over the line.
'Fine, Wes,' he grinned. 'In fact, better than they have ever been! Listen, Wes, are you still keeping in contact with Giles?'
'Of course,' the ex-Watcher confirmed a bit more tersely than Angel thought the question warranted. 'I spoke to him barely 10 minutes ago.'
Angel stopped and listened careful. 'What's happened, Wes?'
Wesley hesitated and Angel's beating heart sank like a stone, growing cold in his chest. 'What happened, Wes?' he ground out.
'It seems that Buffy, is, uh… missing,' the watcher sounded like he was pacing. Angel could hear the worry in the man's voice. 'Seems she disappeared from her bed last night and no one has seen her or heard from her since. There is no trace of her. Giles tells me that even Willow cannot track her down.'
Angel closed his eyes, fear clawing its way up his throat, strangling his vocal cords. 'Wha-,' he coughed and tried again. 'What does Giles think?'
'I fear even Giles is confounded by this,' Wesley voice shook a little. 'It is just mystifying. How does one take a Slayer from her bed with no trace? It defies reason!'
'Okay, I'm on my way to you now. Keep in contact with Giles. I want to know what he knows as he knows it,' Angel hung up and raced for his car.
As he rounded the corner he came to an abrupt halt, almost falling flat on his face. Human reactions were slower than he remembered. Must remember that. Dressed in a pale pink sundress, and leaning against his car as though she had not a care in the world, was his Slayer. She saw him stop and her eyes flew to his. His heart leaped into action and raced so fast, he thought a heart attack might stop him before he even got to her, but it continued along healthily as he took in every detail of her.
The white heels she wore made her look taller and with the dress, her tan and her new haircut that made her look older, she seemed to glow. Angel was mesmerized His Slayer had come for him.
She watched him with a cautious smile and he wondered what she was seeing. Did she see a human? Did she know? Could she tell? Just from looking? Could be the fact that you're not burned to a crisp that's giving it away, he laughed inwardly.
He took a step forward then froze as she uncrossed her legs and stood up straight. 'Hi.'
Her voice floated over him, soothing his nerves as it went. Her voice was like honey; warm, inviting, sweet. She looked so beautiful standing there in the sunlight. Her sunglasses hid her eyes from him but he remembered how her eyes looked. They were burned into his brain. He dreamed of them almost nightly while he'd been away from her, but he needed to see them now.
He strode over and removed her sunglasses, startled a little at the emotions that she'd been hiding. Fear, hope and love warred within her and his heart felt as light as a feather. She was hear for him, but wasn't sure of her welcome. Didn't she know? Even after all this time, she was it for him. In two hundred and eighty years, she was still the only person he'd ever loved.
He pulled her to him and captured her lips in a soul searing kiss. Immediately, she responded, wrapping her arms around his neck and climbing into his arms. He was struck dumb in awe as he rediscovered how well she still fit there. Like she belonged and always had. He backed her towards the car and clutched her tightly, crushing her against his chest as he ravished her mouth, needing a breath, but refusing to tear himself from her lips to take one. Dizziness assailed him as he tore his lips from hers, not even really sure it was from lack of breath, as her life force seemed to surround him.
Passion controlled him and he kissed down the side of her neck, bringing on hand up to tangle in her hair, the other continued to hold her against him. She shuddered and he smiled against the skin of her neck. He knew it'd be like this. It always had been. Even when he'd been Angelus, the demon had wanted her. It was like fireworks the moment they touched. Spontaneous combustion. Fire meeting dry wood. Instantaneous.
He removed his hand from her hair and ran it down the length of her, closing his eyes as sensation rolled over him. She was smooth, soft and he could feel power radiating from her. Her confidence astounded Angel. She'd finally found a way to fit into her own skin, and he was proud to be with her, by her side. She was different to the teenage Buffy he'd left in Sunnydale. This Buffy was one hell of a woman.
She bit his lip playfully and he groaned. She was torturing him and he loved it. With a growl he bit her neck over the mark she still carried. He'd given her that mark in another moment of passion, and though he regretted his actions, he couldn't deny the male satisfaction that ran through him as he looked at it. He didn't know how long they stood there, kissing hungrily in the sunlight against his car, but they were brought back to reality abruptly as a passer-by honked their horn.
She trembled in his arms and he reluctantly released her. 'As much as I'm enjoying this,' he breathed heard against her neck, holding her loosely in his arms. 'I'd rather have you all to myself in private, where I can do whatever I want to you, and no one can hear you scream,' he whispered the last part in her ear and caught her as her knees weakened. He smiled and kissed her lightly.
He smiled softly; sure he was mirroring her look of amazement. Feelings like this happened only once in a lifetime and his heart ached just from looking at her. She was his. She was here. Forever, because isn't that the whole point? He had no intention of ever letting her go. He didn't fully understand what he'd done to deserve this vision in pink in front of him, but whatever it was, he was glad he'd done it. 'Not that I'm not happy to see you,' he smirked, 'but what are you doing here, love?'
She grinned and his heart skipped a beat. He hoped that never changed. 'You don't think I'm going to let you turn all human without me, do you?' she battered her lashes at him and he laughed. 'Someone had to come and lead you around in the real world.'
He pressed another kiss on her willing lips and hugged her tightly, sighing in happiness as she immediately curled herself around him. Meant to be. Angel pulled away. 'I guess there are some limitations I'll have to get used to,' he said as he stepped back and stretched. His back and neck felt strained and a little sore.
Buffy laughed, and turned to his car, pulling something from the back seat. She turned and thrust it at him. 'Limitations such as needing to eat real food?' she teased and reached back in for the drink, which he took eagerly.
'Food,' he opened the bag greedily. 'Almost forgot about that.' He pulled out a burger and fries. 'McDonald's?'
'Hey,' Buffy frowned playfully. 'Now that you're human you have to eat what we do, and millions of people eat McDonald's every day. Eat up, lover boy, it's time to go.'
'Go?' Angel took a bite of the burger and sighed. Food. 'Go where?'
'A place,' Buffy shrugged and began to steer him to the passenger's side. Angel felt the need to point out the obvious.
'Buffy, you can't drive.'
She looked insulted. 'I can too!'
He grimaced and went for broke. He was human now… he was a lot more fragile than he used to be. 'I mean, you shouldn't drive. You've never been particularly… talented on the roads.'
He regretted his words instantly as she scowled. Almost instantly her face cleared and she smiled brightly at him. 'I'll have you know, Mr. Doubty, but I am an awesome driver.' Angel stared at her and she elaborated. 'Xander taught me.'
'Oh, great. The one eyed wonder taught you how to drive,' he rolled his eyes. 'Ouch!' he rubbed his chest where Buffy had hit him. 'Sorry.'
'Now be quiet and eat,' she took his keys and they were on their way. He grinned. This day was turning out to be a lot better than he'd first expected. The rest of the world could wait for one day, he thought as his cell rang. He glanced at it briefly and rejected Wes' call. He already knew where Buffy was. Right where she should be.
He yawned and felt the allure of sleep pulling at him. Shaking his head, he refused to give in and forced his attention to the road. Buffy had taken them to the highway and was driving steadily along. She was right, he driving was much better.
She patted her lap. 'Lay down.'
'No, I'm okay,' he sat up straighter.
'No, you're tired,' she laughed. 'It's been a long day for you, and you need to rest. You may as well get some sleep. We've a long way to go.'
Angel nodded and gave in. He laid his head on Buffy's lap and closed his eyes. He felt Buffy's hand caress his face softly, soothingly and he felt sleep begin to claim him. The last thing he remembered of that day was the sun beating down on his pale face, warming his cold skin, his head resting on the softness of his beloved, and her voice as she hummed softly as she drove, taking them away from the rest of the world.
What do you think?
Just a thought I had and had to get down on paper. :)