Still My Girl by Joy
***** In Sunnydale *****
The rain poured and thunder rolled as Buffy laid in the comfortable embrace of her lover. After all the pain and all the emptiness, she finally felt again. Lying there with his arms around her waist, she once remembered what happiness was like. Her lover slowly stroked the arch of her back with his fingertips, as she drifted in and out of conscious.
“Buffy are you trying to sleep,” her lover asked.
“No, I’m just laying her with my eyes shut,” she replied.
“Oh I’m sorry…..I just wanted to…well I mean I wanted to say,” he stuttered.
“What is it?” Buffy asked.
“Well I guess the best way to say it is just to blurt it out, so here goes. Buffy, you make me feel like a man and I can’t believe how I let myself become so vulnerable. I just love you so much that words can’t even describe,” he said.
Buffy yawned and said, “I love you too……Angel.”
***** In L.A. ******
Fred and Cordelia sat around the table sorting through the new case files that had just come in this morning.
“Did something happen to Angel and you’re too scared to tell me because of how I might react,” Fred asked.
“What do you mean,” Cordelia said.
“I haven’t seen him all day today and he’s usually the first the person I see,” Fred implied.
“Oh Fred…nothing happened to Angel, he just went to Sunnydale to tell Buffy about the baby,” Cordelia replied. “He should be back tomorrow.” Gunn and Wesley walk through the doors with a crib and stroller in hand.
“Oh gracious, I’m getting old,” Wesley whimpered as he placed the stroller down on the floor.
“No, it’s not that Wesley, it’s just that you are a weakling,” Cordelia smirked. Wesley glared at her with a displeasing look.
“Gosh Cor, you just get more and more wittier every time you speak,” Wesley remarked. Cordelia threw a pillow over in his direction but missed him entirely.
“I just don’t get. If Angel and that girl with the weird name aren’t together then why does he feel that he needs to go and see her. I know that they’re suppose to be this whole soul mates and true love thing, but didn’t they move on from that,” Fred committed.
“Well from what Wesley and Cordelia tell me, Angel and Buffy will never be over each other no matter how much they say they are,” Gunn replied. “They will always, in some way, be a part of each other’s lives. No matter what happens, Angel will never love another girl the way he loves Buffy. At least that’s what they say. So anyways I guess he just feels obligated to tell her about the baby.”
***** In Sunnydale *****
Her lover got up off the bed and Buffy sat up to lean against the head board.
“Damn it, Buffy! You called me Angel again,” he said and threw the covers to the floor.
“Oh! God! I thought I was with….well that me and….” Buffy said.
“Yeah! Yeah! That you were with Angel, your one true love. You know I am so sick and tired of living in his shadows. For 200 years I have always heard about how great he was and why couldn’t I be more like Angel. First, he was the most vicious vampire ever…. then he gets a soul and he still gets praised. Who would want to be a vampire with a soul anyways? For once Buffy, I wish you would think of me instead of Angel,” he said throwing a glass that was on the nightstand up against the wall.
Buffy got up and grabbed a shirt to put on, “Don’t you think that you are blowing this all out of proportion, Spike?”
“No, I don’t! Don’t you think I know that every time you are with me, you are really thinking of him. I’m not bloody stupid you know. I can feel it when you touch me. I bet that when we make love, that you imagine the bloat’s bloody face,” Spike proclaimed.
“You are being ridiculous. I just wish you would stop ranting on about this all the time. Oh ‘poor little’ Spikey. P-lease!! All you do is whine, whine, whine. Angel left me,” Buffy said looking down at the floor. “Can’t we just leave the past alone.”
“No we can’t ‘cause every time we’re together your not really here. Your body’s here but your heart is with him. I know that one time you and him were together couldn’t have been that great,” Spike said as he walked across the room to the chair where his clothes were.
“Okay, you can just stop right there,” Buffy remarked while pulling up her pants.
“Well how the bloody hell do you think that makes me feel,” Spike replied as he buttoned his pants. “I’ll tell you how…..it makes me feel less than a man.”
“You are less than a man, you’re a vampire…you’re missing the soul that a man has,” Buffy smirked. “You see people as little happy meals with legs!”
“The point I’m trying to make is that ever since you started this thing with me, you seem to always be with him….mentally and…….” Spike began.
Spike was interrupted by a dark figure standing in the doorway. “Him who?” the dark figure said as he entered the room. “I went by your place and they said you were out patrolling. I walked by here, heard the yelling and welldoor was unlocked so I just let myself in. I hope that I’m not interrupting anything.”
“Oh bloody hell,” Spike yelled out.
“Angel……” Buffy whispered.
***** In Sunnydale *****
The rain had stopped. There was silence in the room. For a moment, they all stood there and stared at each other. Spike finally grabbed his jacket from the chair.
“Well Angel, what brings to my humble abode?” Spike asked.
“Um, well I really came to…..” Angel replied while taking off his wet jacket.
“No, let me guess,” Spike interrupted. “You came to talk to ‘Buffy’ right. Of course…..well ‘friend’, she’s all yours. I’m not staying around for this bloody reunion.” He put on his jacket and stormed out of the door.
Buffy and Angel walked towards each other until they were right in front of one another. Buffy smiled up at him until she noticed that he had a cut above his right eye. Slowly Buffy takes her hand and gently caresses the cut.
“You’re hurt….What happen?” she said.
“Oh… it’s nothing really,” Angel said.
“Yeah well you’ve got something face,” Buffy implied.
“ I just got in a little confrontation on my way over here,” he replied, taking her hand off his face.
“Here, sit down and let me clean it for you,” Buffy said, pulling a chair out for Angel. She walked over to the dresser and got some bandages and peroxide. “I didn’t know you were coming to town.”
“Yeah…..I could tell when I walked in,” Angel said sarcastically. Then his face became very serious and he said, “Look Buffy, something’s happen, and I just needed to talk to you.”
Buffy made her way back over to Angel and opened the bottle of peroxide.
“It sounds important,” she said.
“Yeah, it kinda is,” he replied.
“This is going to burn a little bit,” she said softly. Angel jerked back just as the peroxide hit his cut. “Stop being a baby, Angel.” Buffy couldn’t help but to have a little smile on her face. “Okay so what is so important that you came all the way back to Sunnydale. Let me guess, Cordelia had a vision that some ‘big bad’ demon was coming to kill me and you came back to save the day.”
Just as she was placing the bandage over his cut, Spike walked back in.
“Well it’s just like old times, isn’t it. ‘Poor little’ wounded Angel gets pampered by ‘big bad’ slayer,” Spike committed.
“Was there something you wanted, Spike,” Buffy said harshly.
“Well I got half way down the road and noticed that I forgot my shoes….so I came back to get them,” Spike said. He leaned down and got his shoes, then looked at both of them and rolled his eyes. “Okay I’m leaving now, but don’t think….” Spike was then interrupted by the door slinging opened.
***** In L.A. *****
Gunn was setting up the crib while the rest of the gang was cleaning the weaponry.
“Okay Cordelia, I just about got this finished. Go get the kid,” Gunn said, taking the last few screws and putting them in place.
“Maybe we should try something in it like a doll, to make sure that it doesn’t fall apart when the baby is placed in it,” Fred remarked.
“Hey, I think I know how to put a crib together. See it’s nice and sturdy,” Gunn replied while shaking the crib.
“Yeah nice and sturdy,” Wesley remarked after noticing that a few screws had fallen from the crib. Then Cordelia came running back into the room.
“Guys, Where’s the baby!” she asked.
**** In Sunnydale *****
Everyone stood there in silence, staring at the door. It was Spike that finally spoke.
“Doesn’t anyone believe in knocking now days, or just does everyone find the need to barge in,” Spike proclaimed.
Angel was the first to notice who it was. “Whistler is that you? What is it?” he said slowly backing away from Buffy.
“It wasn’t suppose to be like this, Angel. There was a prophecy of a child to be born to rid the world of all evil. He would be the savior. The kid was to be born of a
ex-slayer and a ex-vampire. It was suppose to be you and Buffy that brought this savior into the world. The baby wasn’t suppose to be born until after your redemption. But now everything has change….there’s a new prophecy,” Whistler said.
Angel glanced over at Buffy and noticed her confused expression. Then he looked down at the floor. “Whistler get to the point,” he ordered.
“Angel, man there’s trouble. You have to get back to L.A. It’s a terrible catastrophe. If you don’t go now then it’s going to be too late,” Whistler replied.
“What are you talking about?” Angel asked.
“Holtz……he’s got your kid. Your kid…..he is the key. Your kid is the key to your redemption,” Whistler said.
“Um….excuse me, needing a little back story here. Now what the hell are you talking about,” Buffy said, looking at Whistler. She put her hands over her face and walked over to the dresser. Then she turned back around and looked at the three men that stood before her. Her gaze stopped when she reached Angel. They looked at each other for a moment and she noticed the pain that was in his eyes.
“I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Is it true?” she asked, without taking her eyes off of Angel. Angel immediately looked down at the floor.
“Angel! Look at me,” she demanded. Angel rose his head back up and looked at Buffy. “You have a child.”
**** In Sunnydale *****
A million things began to run threw Buffy’s mind all at once. The past, the present, the future…..none of made sense anymore. A vampire with a baby, how is that possible.
“No! No, uh-huh,” Buffy said, shaking her head. “ Vampires can’t have babies….Angel you told me that vampires couldn’t have babies.”
“Somebody’s keepin’ a se-cret,” Spike sang with a smile on his face.
“Look Buffy, I told you that I had to tell you something and well….this was it,” Angel said.
“So it is true, oh well then congratulations old man,” Spike said jokingly, offering his hand to Angel. Angel rejected the handshake and walked over to were Buffy was. “Okay then,” Spike remarked, taking his hand back.
“Buffy, I’m sorry but it happen. I don’t know how….” Angel said softly.
“You don’t know how? How about this…you had sex Angel,” Buffy interrupted.
“Look Buffy, I regret that you found out like this but I will never regret that night ‘cause that gave me a son,” Angel said, rubbing Buffy’s arms to try and calm her down.
Buffy threw her arms up to keep Angel from touching her. She walked over in Spike’s direction but didn’t stand beside him.
“I don’t know how you expect me to accept this. I mean out of nowhere you come to Sunnydale and before I know it, Whistler comes in a tells me that I was suppose to have your child, only I was too late ‘cause you already hopped in the sack with…. with….with…. who the hell was it?” she proclaimed.
“Darla,” Angel replied.
“Darla! OH GO, Angel!” Spike said, still laughing about the whole situation. Then he stopped in the middle of laughing and said, “Wait……I thought she was dead.”
“Yeah, well see came back,” Angel said.
“Wait a minute. Darla! You had a baby with Darla! You had sex with Darla,” Buffy yelled.
“Damn it, Buffy! Don’t be like that. It’s not like you have a lot of room to talk. As I recall, I walked in on you and Spike getting dressed. Hmmm….let me guess what you were doing,” Angel said sarcastically, while putting his hand up to his chin. Then he placed his hands on his hips. “You know from where I’m standing, it doesn’t look like you can talk about my sex life. I mean Riley was bad enough but come on Buffy, ‘Spike’, you could have done better than that.”
“Uh! Hello! I am standing right here,” Spike said, waving his hands to get their attention.
***** In L.A. ******
The whole gang just looked at Cordelia, as if she had crazy. Then all of a sudden, they all jumped up as if their brains had just comprehended the words that were coming out of her mouth.
“What! What do you mean ‘where’s the baby’. Isn’t he in there,” Wesley said in his normal panicking voice.
“Well gee, Wesley. Don’t you think that if the baby was in there, then I wouldn’t come out here yelling ‘where’s the baby’!” Cordelia remarked.
“Well he couldn’t have gone far. I mean he’s too young to walk anywhere, right. It just isn’t normal for a baby to get up and walk anyway. On the other hand, this is Angel’s baby so who’s to say what is normal….” Fred commented.
“ Fred don’t, babies can’t walk,” Gunn implied.
“Oh my God! This can’t be happening. Oh my, I have a chest pain,” Cordelia said, patting her chest. “Is it possible to have a heart attack at such a young age, ‘cause I think that I about to have one.”
“Okay everyone……let’s just calm down,” Wesley said, pacing back and forth. “Now the baby has to be here somewhere, so let’s start searching. He couldn’t have gone far. He’s a baby for heaven’s sake.”
Then everyone started searching the place from top to bottom……
**** In Sunnydale ******
Buffy stared at Angel with a confused looked on her face. Physically she was there but it was like her mind had shut down and she couldn’t understand anything.
“You know, love, him and Darla did always make a cute match,” Spike said humorously.
“Spike, please,” Buffy said softly. “I just need to think. I am so confused. I just don’t know what to believe anymore……You know, Angel…….I think that……..well maybe you should leave.”
“Buffy, I……” Angel said.
Then he was interrupted by Buffy. “I said get the hell out!” she yelled while rubbing her hands over her face, her whole body was trembling. “I just can’t deal with this right now.”
“Fine. If you want to act childish then go ahead. I don’t have time for this. My son is out there and it’s no telling what Holtz is going to do with him,” Angel said in an extremely frustrated voice.
Spike walked up to Buffy and put his arms around her. She accepted his embrace and fell into his arms, crying. Angel began to walk out the door, when Whistler grabbed his arm and stopped him.
“Actually I do know what Holtz is going to do with your son,” Whistler said.
“What?” Angel asked with a vengeful look on his face.
“Show no mercy,” Whistler replied and then stepped back in the shadows and walked away.
****** Angel Investigations ******
The place was wrecked; furniture was turned upside down, clothes thrown everywhere. The gang all stood around the crib; all except Cordelia. She was sitting in a little corner of the room, rocking back and forth. The baby was gone. There was no sign, what so ever, where the baby could be.
Then all of a sudden, the doors busted opened and Angel came rushing in. Cordelia popped up from the floor and ran over to Angel. She put her arms around him and busted out crying.
“Oh my God, Angel…. I am so sorry… I don’t know what happened… I mean one minute, you know and then the next… I am so sorry,” Cordelia said still crying. “It’s terrible, Angel…. It’s, It’s.. your son….I am so sorry…. But your son….”
“I know,” Angel said interrupting her. “When I was with Buffy… well let’s just say that we received a surprise visit from Whistler.”
“Whistler? You mean that good demon guy. How did he know?” Cordelia asked, finally pulling away from Angel.
“I don’t know how he knows half the stuff that he knows,” Angel replied. He noticed the crib and walked over to it. He placed his hand on the rail of the crib and ran his finger from one end to the next. “I think I know where they might be.”
***** The Warehouse *****
Holtz laid the baby in a basinet that was lying on a long wooden table. He stood above the child, just glaring at him. Then he grabbed a cloth bag that was lying beside the basinet. He pulled out a bottle and an old, ragged black book. Holtz opened the bottle and placed the red liquid on the tip of his forefinger. He smeared the substance across the baby’s forehead, in a mystical circle shape. The baby started to cry.
“Now, now,” Holtz said. “It’s just a little blood.” He opened the book and started chanting an ancient spell. The room started filling up with this blue mist and lightening bolts were coming down from the ceiling. A whirlwind rose in the room and lifted the baby from the table. Then a smoky black face appeared from the ceiling and circled the basinet. Holtz chanted repeatedly, getting louder with every verse he said. The lightening bolts were striking in a circle formation, surrounding them. The black face slowly began to seep into the baby through his mouth. Then all at once everything stopped. There was silence…the basinet fell from the ceiling. Holtz walked over to the baby and smiled. The baby looked up at him with a blank expression. Holtz picked up the baby and started rocking him back and forth.
“I know, I know…..stop crying now…daddy will be here soon,” Holtz said with a devilish smile across his face.
***** Angel Investigations ******
Angel walked into his office and opened the closet door. He grabbed a bag and started stuffing items into it. Cordelia walked in, wiping the last remaining tears from her eyes.
“What are you doing,” Cordelia said, still sniffling. She walked over beside him and stood there looking at him. “Angel?”
“Huh….oh, I’m just getting some supplies,” he replied softly.
“So how was things with Buffy,” she asked.
Angel let out a little chuckle and said, “oh you know, same old same old.”
“Do you want to talk about it? You know sometimes it good to just let it out,” Cordelia implied.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Angel replied.
“Come on, tell me,” Cordelia insisted.
“No. All I want to do is get my son back,” he said while continuing to put things into his bag.
“So then, where did he take your son?” Cordelia asked.
“Holtz wants me to find him. He won’t make it too hard. There’s an old abandon warehouse a few blocks from here; it’s just his style. Round up the troops, we’re going hunting,” he replied, glaring at a knife that he was holding in his hand.
***** The Warehouse *****
Holtz stood, with the baby in his arms, staring out the window. The anticipation was overwhelming. Every second of every minute, Holtz could feel Angel getting closer…coming for his ‘child’.
“You know little one, your daddy stole my family away from me. He killed my loved ones and turned my precise little daughter into a monster….a vampire. He made me do something that no father should have to do,” Holtz proclaimed. “He made me kill my little girl.” The baby just gazed at Holtz…his face was innocent but his eyes were dark and mysterious.
Holtz caressed the baby’s head and smiled. “I just want to repay the favor. Just repay the favor,” he exclaimed.
***** Outside Angel Investigations ******
The gang stood on the sidewalk, outside the building waiting for Angel. Fred and Wesley were beside each other whispering something in one another’s ear. Cordelia leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. After all that has happened tonight, she was so stressed out. Then she felt something grab her arm and cover her mouth. When she opened her eyes she saw Wesley and Gunn lying on the sidewalk knocked out and Fred was being held by a gruesome looking vampire. Cordelia tried to get his hand off her mouth so that she could scream but nothing was working. They heard Angel coming and moved into the shadows of the building.
“Don’t make a sound and maybe I’ll consider not killing you,” the vampire whispered in Cordelia’s ear. There were at least five other vampires besides the ones that held Cordelia and Fred. Cordelia knew that there was no way Angel could take them all on but there was no way to warn him.
“Okay guys, let’s…” Angel said but stopped in mid sentence when he noticed who was waiting for him. “What is this?”
“We’ve been waiting for you, Angel. We were sent to kill you by an old ‘friend’,” the vampire holding Cordelia said.
“Oh somebody always wants to kill me. Don’t you people have anything better to do than come after me,” Angel declared and threw the bag at one vampire and punched another. All the five vampires came at him all at once. For a few minutes, he was holding them off but then one grabbed him from behind. Angel struggled to get loose of the vampire’s grip but was unsuccessful. The vampires circle around Angel, and then the leader, the one holding Cordelia, spoke.
“No! Let me…..here take her,” he said, pushing Cordelia over to another vampire. The leader walked over to Angel, with a stake in hand. “Really I would prefer to torture you, but the boss wants it fast.”
Cordelia turned her head away; she couldn’t bare to see what was about to happen.
“No. No. Now,” the leader said to Cordelia. “You’ll want to see this.” The vampire lifted the stake up and Angel closed his eyes. Then Angel felt the other vampire’s grip was gone. He opened his eyes and noticed that all the vampire’s were gone.
“I thought that you might need some help,” Buffy said, still holding the stake that she used to kill the leader vampire.
Angel looked around and noticed Cordelia and Fred helping Wesley and Gunn up off the ground. Then to his left was Xander and Spike, also holding stakes. He looked back at Buffy but didn’t say a word.
“I’m sorry for how I acted in Sunnydale,” Buffy said, looking down at the ground.
“No don’t… It’s okay, I know it hurt you to find out what happened. I know what it feels like to find out that someone you love was with another person. I know it all too well,” Angel remarked.
She raised her head and looked at Angel. “I left Anya and Willow at home to watch Dawn. I didn’t want to bring her into any of this. But well, I brought the guys to you know……help.”
There was an awkward moment of silence. Everyone just watched Buffy and Angel, waiting to see the explosion. However, the explosion never came. Instead they smiled at each other.
“Thanks, Buffy. For that just now,” Angel said, referring to saving his life.
Buffy walked up to Angel and met his eyes. They looked at each other for just a moment. Then she bent down and grabbed the bag at his feet. “Let’s go get your son,” Buffy said.
***** Outside the Warehouse *****
The gang stood outside the entrance to the warehouse. Angel was passing out weapons that he had in his bag. They all had knifes, axes, or stakes; except for Cordelia. He gave her a bottle.
“What am I going to do with this? Squirt milk in his eyes,” Cordelia said sarcastically.
“No. That’s to feed the baby,” Angel replied. “Okay, it’ll just be Holtz in there. I know him and he’s a loner. He won’t have any body else in there with him. I want all you guys to stay out here. Cordelia, when I distract Holtz, I want you to get my son. Then I want all of you to go home and wait for me. If there is any trouble on the way back, then use the weapons.”
“Angel, no. I want to help you,” Buffy said.
“Go with them okay. I can handle Holtz myself,” Angel proclaimed.
***** In the Warehouse *****
Angel walked into a huge, empty space. The moonlight coming in through the windows was the only light in the room. The only thing that was in the room was a long wooden table with a basinet lying on it. He turned back and motioned for Cordelia to come in. She stepped in and he pointed over the table.
“I knew you’d come,” Holtz said, stepping out of the shadows.
“Yeah well you have something that I want,” Angel said. Cordelia kept herself against the wall, making her way to the table.
“Well if you give me what I want, then I might give you what you want,” Holtz committed.
“Yeah, what’s that?” Angel asked.
“Justice, maybe a little revenge,” Holtz replied.
Angel walked around Holtz, causing Holtz to turn his back to the table. Cordelia made it to the table and grabbed the baby, leaving the basinet on the table. She quietly made her way back to the door.
“I wish I could turn back the hands of time and undo the past, but I can’t change what has happened. The person that did that to you wasn’t me, I’ve changed,” Angel said.
“Yeah, I heard about the curse, restoring your soul, blah, blah, blah,” Holtz proclaimed. “But you know, vengeance is a pesky little thing cause I still want payback.”
Angel walked up to Holtz and grabbed him by the neck. The he pushed Holtz up against the wall and said, “I suggest you let this go, unless you want to join your wife.”
“You want kill me,” Holtz said with a smile on his face.
“Yeah, what makes you say that?” Angel asked.
“I am a human, not a demon or vampire. Are you ready to take a human life,” Holtz replied.
“I’ll do anything for my family,” Angel said. He loosened his grip and then backed away from Holtz.
“Anything, huh. You do know that for this to end, that one of us will have to die. Personally, I am counting on it to be you,” Holtz implied.
“Well then, let’s get it started,” Angel said walking over to Angel.
Holtz pulled out a crossbow and shot at Angel.
“Not exactly the heart,” Angel committed. Angel pulled out the arrow and then swung at Holtz, but he blocked it. Holtz took the crossbow and hit Angel in the face with it. Then Holtz kicked him in the stomach causing Angel to hit the table hard. Holtz pulled out a stake from his jacket and walked over to Angel.
“Revenge is so sweet,” Holtz said, holding up the stake.
Then Buffy jumped through the skylight and fell on top of Holtz. “Surprise, surprise,” she said as she got up and left Holtz on the floor, unconscious. She ran over to Angel and helped him up.
“Are you hurt,” Buffy said.
“I’ll be okay,” he replied, grabbing his side. “I just fell on the table wrong.”
“But you’re bleeding. We need to get that bandage,” Buffy said, touching his chest where he was hurt.
“It’s fine, really,” he said taking her hand off him. “What about you? That was a pretty big jump.”
“Nah. I’m fine,” she replied.
“Is he knocked out,” Angel asked.
“Yeah. Let’s get out of here. Cordelia and the gang should be back at your house by now,” Buffy said, putting Angel’s arm around her shoulders so that she could help him walk.
“No. He has to die,” Angel said pulling away from her.
“He’s a human being, Angel. You can’t kill him. We’ll find another way, a spell or something to send him back to where he came from,” Buffy implied.
“Your right. I can’t kill a human. The smart thing to do would be just to get out of here and get back to my son,” Angel said. Buffy and Angel walked out and headed down the street.
***** On the Street ******
Buffy and Angel walked down the street. Then Angel stopped and grabbed Buffy’s arm. She stopped and looked at him.
“That’s the second time tonight, Buffy, that you have saved me. Thank you,” Angel said.
“Hey, it’s no big. It goes with the job. Save people that need to be saved,” Buffy replied with a smile on her face…. “Angel?”
“Yeah,” he replied.
“I have to know. How did you end up sleeping with Darla,” Buffy asked.
Angel looked down at the ground. “It all happen so fast, Buffy,” he said, raising his head to look at her. “I didn’t plan on it…I didn’t even want it to happen. One minute we were fighting and then the next we were…you know.”
Buffy didn’t say anything just looked down at the ground as they continued down the street.
“Well how did it happen with Spike,” Angel asked.
“Pretty much the same way. We were fighting, then we were kissing, and then…well you don’t need to hear the details,” Buffy said.
They didn’t say anything else the rest of the way; just walked in silence.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Cordelia laid the baby in the crib. The rest of the gang sat around, waiting for Buffy and Angel to return.
“What is taking so bloody long,” Spike asked, still irritated that Buffy stayed back to wait for Angel.
“I’m sure that they’ll be here in any minute. Oh, see what I mean,” Fred said, just as Buffy and Angel came walking through the doors.
“Where’s my boy,” Angel said happily, walking over to the crib.
“He wouldn’t eat anything, Angel. I don’t know why he didn’t like the milk,” Cordelia said, walking to the kitchen to put the bottle up.
Angel lifted the baby into his arms and smiled. He walked over to the chair and sat down. “How’s my little boy doing,” Angel said making baby faces at him.
Buffy couldn’t help but to laugh at Angel. She walked over to the couch and sat beside Spike. “So nothing happened on the way back?” she asked.
“No, everything was fine,” Gunn replied.
“What about you?” Spike asked.
“There was a little fight but nothing major. Oh Angel you do need to get that spot on your chest bandaged,” Buffy said.
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” Angel yelled.
Everybody stood up and said, “What is it?”
“His eyes. What is with his eyes? Come over here and look at this,” Angel replied. Everybody got up and walked over to Angel. “Just look at his eyes. There is a red flash in them. It comes and goes. Just watch it.” They all stood there and stared at the baby but nothing happened.
“Angel, are you okay,” Wesley asked.
“I’m telling you I saw it,” Angel said, holding the baby close to his face.
Cordelia walked out of the kitchen and then stopped when she saw that everyone was huddled around the baby. “What are you doing?” Cordelia asked.
“Angel thinks that there is something weird with the baby’s eyes but I just think that he hit his head on the table a little too hard when he fell,” Buffy replied, walking back to the couch.
“Yeah, maybe I am seeing things,” Angel said trying to shake off the whole ordeal but still looking confused at the baby’s eyes.
***** The Warehouse *****
Holtz was still lying on the floor. Then he raised his hand and put it on his head, He slowly lifted himself from the floor, still holding his head with his hand. He walked over to the window and put his hands on the wall to hold him steady. He glared out the window and then smiled.
“You’re smart, Angel. You have all your little friends to help you. But I’m smarter…and your little friends can’t help you with what you have to do next,” Holtz said.
The Next Day
***** Angel Investigations ******
It was almost nightfall; everyone was awake by now; all except for Buffy and Angel. After all the excitement from last night, every one went to bed as soon as the baby was asleep, but Angel and Buffy were up all night crucial talking about their situations. There were moments of silence, moments of sarcasm, and many moments of intense pain.
“Are they ever coming down,” Fred asked.
“What! You’re telling me that they are sleeping together, in the same bloody bed. In hell will I put up with that,” Spike said heading for the bedroom in a rage.
“Spike, stop!” Cordelia yelled. “They aren’t together. I woke up early this morning, found Angel on the couch, he told me that he gave his bed to Buffy, so I told him he could go to my room.”
“Oh…well…well…it’s not like I really cared if they were together… just, oh forget it,” Spike said and noticed everyone looking at him strangely. “Oh forget it.”
“Forget what Spike,” Angel said coming out of Cordelia’s room.
“None of your business,” Spike remarked sarcastically.
“Ow! Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Angel committed.
“Sod off, why don’t ya,” Spike replied.
Angel looked up and noticed Willow, Anya, and Dawn were now there.
“Willow? What are you guys doing here?” Angel asked.
“Oh. Well, Cordelia called this morning and said everything was good, so we came here to see when Buffy was coming back. And plus Anya was moping around without Xander there,” Willow replied.
“Well I missed my little Xander-poo,” Anya said, pinching Xander’s cheeks and smiling.
“Ouch, Anya okay. I missed you too,” Xander replied smacking her hands away from his face.
“I still can’t believe that you closed the shop early,” Dawn said.
“Hey, money isn’t everything. Ain’t that right honey,” Xander replied smiling.
Anya looked at him like he was stupid and said, “Have you gone mad? Money is everything. I just stayed opened late last night and made enough profit to make up for today.”
“So Angel, long night,” Spike asked.
“Well like you said,” Angel replied. “That’s none of your business.” Angel walked into the kitchen, fixed him a cup of blood, and returned to the rest of the gang that was now sitting around talking.
“You know, I can’t believe that she is still sleeping,” Cordelia said.
“She had a rough night,” Angel said, walking over to the others.
“Yeah you probably put her through hell,” Spike committed giving Angel an evil look.
“Spike if you have something to say to me then say it,” Angel remarked sitting his cup down on the table.
Spike stood up and walked over to Angel. “Okay. Buffy isn’t yours anymore so why don’t you just leave her alone,” Spike said harshly.
“I didn’t make Buffy come here and from what she says, she isn’t yours either. Now get out of my face or….” Angel scolded
“Or you’ll what,” Spike interrupted.
“Or I’ll make you,” Angel replied and pushed Spike back.
“Okay! Hey guys. I don’t really think this is the time to have a fight,” Willow said trying to calm the boys down. Spike walked back over to the couch and reluctantly sat down.
“Do you think she’ll wake up anytime soon? I can’t wait to see her,” Dawn said all perky.
“I think I’ll go check on her, make sure she’s alright,” Angel said.
“Uh, I can do that,” Spike said as he was just about to get up but Angel had already jumped up and headed towards his room.
***** The Bedroom *****
Angel peeked in the door and saw that Buffy was still sleeping. Quietly he stepped in and walked over to the bed. Buffy was tossing and turning in the bed, squirming around as if she was having a bad dream. Angel gently started shaking her, trying to wake her up. Buffy popped up and hit Angel, making him fly back and hit the crib. The sudden crash made the start baby to cry.
“What was that,” Willow asked running through the door followed by the rest of the gang.
“Buffy, why the hell did you do that,” Angel yelled, rubbing his face where she hit him as he got back up.
“Huh, what?” Buffy said, sounding confused.
“Buffy why the hell did you hit me,” Angel said, still upset.
“You hit Angel…well that’s my girl,” Spike committed happily.
“I what,” Buffy replied, looking around the room. “Willow? Dawn? Anya? What are you guys doing here? I thought…. I am still in L.A. right,”
“Um, yeah you are in L.A. We just wanted to surprise you,” Dawn replied.
The gang had a very concerned look on their faces.
“Slayer. Hey are you alright?” Spike asked worriedly.
“Yeah, yeah. Um, I’m fine. Can you guys just give me a minute? I’ll be out soon,” Buffy said forcing a smile on her face. Angel picked up the baby and started to head out the door with the rest of the gang.
“Angel, wait. I want to talk to you,” Buffy said, pushing the hair out of her face as she leaned back against the headboard.
“Yeah sure. Cordelia, take him,” Angel said, handing Cordelia the baby.
“Hold on now. How come Angel gets to stay?” Spike asked in protest. “Look if he stays then I’m staying.” Spike crossed his arms and had a very stern look on his face.
“Spike, please. Just a minute,” Buffy pleaded.
“Oh bloody hell,” Spike said and slammed the door as he left.
“Buffy are you okay,” Angel asked as he sat down on the bed next to Buffy.
“Oh, oh, oh… I remember, I was dreaming about…well and then…You scared me!” she said pointing at Angel.
“I was trying to wake you up. You looked like you were having an awful dream,” Angel said in defense.
“Oh Angel, my dream was so terrible…it, it…was just horrible.” Buffy said as she put her arms around Angel, closed her eyes, and held him so tightly.
“What was your dream about,” Angel asked, running his fingers through her hair.
“Oh Angel, it was so terrible. There was death and pain and you. You were in my dream. You and the rest of the gang, we were all in a cemetery,” Buffy said, pulling back from Angel. “The strange thing was, is that it was daytime. You were out in the daytime, Angel…like a human…….Oh, Oh… Giles was there. Why was Giles there?……I just felt so much pain…….for you.”
****** The Office *****
“Do you think she’s okay?” Wesley asked. “Maybe we should see if they need anything.”
“Nah. She’ll be fine. You know Buffy, she wigs out all the time. Besides, she’s with Angel, he’ll make sure she’s okay,” Cordelia replied while feeding the baby.
“Hey she doesn’t need any bloody Angel, she has me. I mean why does every think that Angel is always the answer to Buffy’s problems. You know for the past two years I have been the one that has been there to help her and give her a shoulder to cry on and to, to…..love her. I just don’t…..” Spike ranted on but then stopped when he noticed how everyone was looking at him.
“Spike chill,” Xander said.
“All I am saying is that…..well he probably didn’t even care when he found out that Buffy died,” Spike said.
“Hey. You can just stop. Angel was plenty heart broken when he found out about Buffy. You weren’t here, you don’t know,” Gunn remarked.
“Alright, what I mean is that Buffy doesn’t need him,” Spike replied.
“O-kay…can we say jealous,” Cordelia committed sarcastically.
***** The Bedroom *****
Angel and Buffy were still sitting on the bed. He put his arms back around her and just gently rubbed her back. Buffy was still trembling from her dream.
“Buffy, it’s okay. It was just a dream. It means nothing,” Angel said trying to calm her down.
“No Angel!” Buffy said pulling away from Angel and getting out of the bed. “You know my dreams come true sometimes.”
“But not always,” Angel said, turning to face Buffy. She walked over to the dresser and started to brush her hair.
“My dream about the master rising..” Buffy said.
“Didn’t happen because you stopped it,” Angel implied interrupting her. Buffy sat the brush down and walked over to the door.
“Okay. My seventeenth birthday. I had a dream that….”
“Drusilla killed me. Didn’t happen,” Angel said interrupting her again. Buffy opened the door and walked out followed by Angel.
“No she didn’t kill you but we had sex and you lost your soul, which is kinda like you dying. You weren’t my boyfriend that loved me anymore, you were a vicious killing machine leaving me dead little presents, so that’s would be like you being taken away from me,” Buffy said. Then she looked around once she noticed how loud she talking and saw everyone looking at her. Angel looked down at the ground and thinking about all that he put her through. All the pain and suffering but how she still loved him afterwards. Angel walked over to her and pushed the hair out of her face.
“Buffy, don’t read more into a dream than what is really there. After what we did last night, saving my son and everything….right now I am the happiest that I’ve ever been in a long time,” Angel whispered.
“Hey love, everything ‘hunky dory’ now,” Spike remarked sarcastically.
She stared at Angel for a moment and then said, “Yeah.” Finally giving up her fight with Angel and walked over to sit with the others. She looked over at Dawn and smiled. “Everything’s fine.”
The gang looked up when they heard someone come through the front door. Shock went across everybody’s face and Buffy’s mouth dropped.
“Giles? What are you doing here?” Angel said.
An Old Friend
****** Angel Investigations ******
The gang stared in amazement at Giles as he walked over to them. No words were said, just silence. Giles sat his bags at his feet and then cleaned his glasses. He smiled at Buffy and then gave her a long hug.
“Hello all,” Giles said pulling away from Buffy. “I hear that you are having quiet a bit of trouble.”
“Well you heard right. First, we find out that Buffy is sleeping with Spike and then Angel walked in on them. Oh let me tell it was a mess from what Willow told Xander,” Anya said but then stopped when she saw Xander shaking his head.
“Willow you told them what happen with Angel. That was personal,” Buffy said with an astonished look on her face.
“Well I, I, I…” Willow stuttered.
“Spike and Buffy? What?” Giles asked with a confused expression.
“It’s nothing really,” Buffy replied smiling at Giles. “I am so glad to see you. I have missed you so much. Things have been just a mess since you left…. Did you have a nice trip?”
“Yes, It was very nice…. I’ve missed you too…” Giles said with a smile across his face. Then his face became very stern. “…and I wish I could be here on a more pleasant visit but unfortunately I received an unsettling phone call from someone named Whistler. Wait, Whistler. Isn’t that the virtuous demon that you told me about when Angel was Angelus?”
Buffy looked over at Angel and he was looking down at the ground. “Yeah, that’s him,” Buffy replied.
“Oh he certainly came in handy then didn’t he… without him who knows what catastrophe we might be upon right now…” Giles yammered.
“Giles, get to the point,” Buffy interrupted.
“Oh yes well he said that the prophecy has changed because of Angel’s actions. The new shall rise and bring forth the destruction of the planet. Within a matter of days grave danger will be heading this way and…”
“I thought we got this whole ‘too many word thing’ under control. Couldn’t you have just said that we’re in trouble,” Xander interrupted.
“Don’t start that again,” Giles replied.
“Whistler, sent you here?” Angel asked.
“Yes. He said I was needed. Then right before he hung the phone up he said something that I don’t quiet understand. I believe his exact words were ‘Angel’s girl has to know what to see.’ I wonder what that means,” Giles said as his took his glasses off and cleaned them again.
“Oh would you look at the time. As much as I would love to stay to get reacquainted with you Rupert; I have something to do,” Spike said walking towards the door.
“Where are you going?” Buffy asked.
“I’ll be back soon,” Spike said and closed the door behind him.
“So Buffy, why don’t you tell me what happen yesterday,” Giles said.
****** In an Alley *****
The alley was slightly dark. It only had the dim streetlight that was on the sidewalk to shine into the alley. Spike sat on a crate smoking a cigarette. He starting laughing aloud, then stood up, and slung the crate up against the wall.
“I have always been the Angel substitute,” Spike said to himself. “First with Dru and now with Buffy.”
He walked down to this pile of bottles and one by one, he threw at the wall. “Why is this happening to me!” Spike yelled. “If I would have never got this pesky chip in my head, none of this would be happening to me. I wouldn’t have fell for the bloody slayer for one. I am suppose to despise her, not love her.”
“Having a little women troubles, Spike,” a voice said from the far end of the alley.
“Where the hell have you been? I have been waiting for an hour,” Spike replied.
“What can I say, I got backed up. So let’s get down to business,” the man said walking towards him.
“You know I wouldn’t have to worry about this if you had done your job,” Spike committed.
“It’s not my fought. It’s yours,” he replied.
****** Angel Investigations *****
Everyone was sitting around a table that was piled full of books. Buffy had just finished telling Giles the story from the night before. Giles was simply amazed by the story.
“Oh dear lord. So you were attacked by this group of vampires. Were they connected with Holtz,” Giles asked.
“Actually, they just said an old friend sent them. But somebody’s always coming after Angel,” Cordelia said.
“Holtz wouldn’t have sent vampires after me. He kills vampires, he doesn’t work with them,” Angel committed.
“Great, so now we have Holtz and this other person to worry about,” Buffy said.
“No. I have Holtz and this other person to worry about. I want all of you to go back to Sunnydale. I am not taking any chances with you guys getting hurt,” Angel replied. “This is my problem Buffy, not yours.”
“Have you lost your mind, Angel? I am not leaving and nothing you say will change my mind. I refuse to let anything happen to you or your son,” Buffy replied.
“Oh that reminds me, we need to get an explanation on how Darla and Angel had a child Wesley,” Giles said.
“Yes I have been reading these books and nothing seems to have any answers,” Wesley remarked while flipping through a book. “But I’m sure we’ll find something.”
Angel walks over to Buffy and pulls her to the side. “Buffy, please. Don’t get in this,” Angel whispered.
“It’s too late. I’m already in it,” Buffy replied. “Besides Angel, after my dream last night… there’s no way you are getting rid of me. Especially now that Giles is here…. It’s coming true Angel. I can feel it.”
“Dream? What dream? No one told me about a dream?” Giles said lifting his head from his book.
“It’s personal,” Buffy said walking back to the table where the rest of the gang was.
“Well Buffy, I need to know everything,” Giles implied. “and don’t think you are going to get out of telling me what is going on with you and Spike,”
“I’ll explain later,” Buffy replied.
“Now why is Holtz after tormenting you Angel,” Giles asked.
“Huh, oh well Darla and I kinda killed his family and he has a slight grudge,” Angel remarked.
“Yes, well I see. Do I know everything now,” Giles said looking at the group.
No one answered just looked around at each other waiting to see if anyone was going to mention anything about Holtz kidnapping the baby.
“Well, well. Is this a private party or can I join,” Spike said coming through the door.
“Where have you been for three hours,” Xander asked.
“None of your business,” Spike remarked.
“Gee. I just love how you’re so forth coming,” Xander said sarcastically.
“Okay guys no time for bickering. Will, don’t let Dawn go out by herself while I’m gone,” Buffy said grabbing her jacket. Willow nodded her head in response.
“I don’t need a babysitter,” Dawn remarked.
Willow and Buffy both looked at Dawn and said, “Yes you do.”
“Angel come with me,” Buffy said walking towards the door. “We’ll be back in an hour or so.” Angel didn’t see the point in asking questions, just followed her to the door.
“And just where do you two think you are going,” Spike asked.
“To get some answers,” Buffy replied and then closed the door behind them.
***** On the Street *****
Buffy and Angel walked down the street heading to an underground bar. They walked in silence, side by side. Buffy started to smile and then she started giggling.
“What is it,” Angel asked cracking a smile.
“Nothing, it’s just, it…well this is kinda like old times. You know me, you hunting for answers. It just brought back a lot of memories,” Buffy replied.
“Good ones I hope,” Angel committed.
“Mostly……..oh we’re here,” Buffy said stopping in front of a building that had a ‘Charlie’s’ sign above the door.
***** Charlie’s Bar ******
Buffy and Angel stepped through the door. It was slightly occupied by vampires and one bartender behind the bar, passing out glasses of fleshly drain pig’s blood.
“Who’s this,” Angel said stepping into the opened room.
“A friend of Willy’s. He told me to come see him if I had any questions,” she said walking towards the bartender.
“Ah. This must be the slayer Willy talks about so much. He told me I should except a killer not a cute little thing like you,” Charlie said with a smirk on his face.
“Don’t underestimate her,” Angel said.
“And you would be her vampire boyfriend…oh I’ve heard some stories.,” Charlie said in awe.
“Nice to know Willy talks about us,” Buffy replied. “now why do I have the feeling that you know why I’m here.”
“Well I know that you want to know why seven vampires attacked your boyfriend and the answer is that you already know who sent them,” Charlie said drying off some glasses that he just pulled from the dishwasher.
“All I know is that five are still on the loose,” Buffy said. “I need to know who sent them so that we can stop it from happening again.”
“You know the answer to that. Your just not looking at it right. Recall the actions of that night. I can’t tell you…I run an establishment here and unlike Willy, I don’t squeal. All I can tell you is that you have to know what to see,” Charlie implied.
“You are the second person to tell me that. What the hell do I have to see! Oh forget this, Angel we’re out of here,” Buffy said and stormed out the door. Angel started to follow her out the door.
“Hey ‘boyfriend’,” Charlie said. Angel turned back around to face him. “I heard that you’ve got Holtz after you. Believe me he’s the least of your problems.”
Angel turned back and started out the door. “Believe me, I know,” Angel said aloud to himself.
****** On the Street ******
Buffy was sitting on the curb in front of Charlie’s bar thinking about the events of last night. Angel walked over to Buffy and sat down beside her. He placed his arm around her side and she leaned into him.
“Angel, what am I suppose to know,” Buffy said totally frustrated about the situation.
“Buffy, just rethink about what happen when you showed up,” Angel said softly.
“Okay, me, Xander, and Spike showed up, noticed that you were in trouble and I staked the vamp that had you. Xander said that he got the vamp that had Cordy and five got away. I guess they were scared and split,” Buffy said.
“What about Spike. I saw that he had a stake in his hand,” Angel committed.
“No, he didn’t kill any. Two were killed and five got away. Oh but come on Angel. What? You think that Spike set you up,” Buffy said humorously.
“Why not? He’s always hated me and it’s not like he hasn’t tried to kill me before. After that thing with Dru and now that he thinks that he loves you,” Angel said. “Buffy that night that I visited you in Sunnydale, Spike stormed out and he was furious when he saw you bandaging me….” Angel let out a chuckle. “No. You know what, you’re right. Why would he have come to help? I guess I’m just trying to find answers where there isn’t any.”
Then Buffy stood up with an astonished look on her face. “No. You’re right. After you left Sunnydale, Spike left me at his place and was gone for hours. He came to L.A. with me and Xander to keep an eye on me. He didn’t help because he organized the trap,” Buffy said and then hit her forehead. “Duh Buffy, you have to know what to see….”
“He’s not the only problem through. We still have to worry about Holtz,” Angel implied getting up off the sidewalk.
“I know, but for now I only have one problem on my mind…… and it’s Spike,” Buffy replied and headed back to the Hotel.
***** Angel Investigations *****
The gang was sitting around the hotel, still looking through books. Spike was pacing back and forth and muttering to himself. Cordelia sat in a chair trying to feed Conner but he was still resisting the milk.
“I just don’t get it,” Cordelia said sitting the bottle down on the table. “He used to like the milk and now ever since we got him back from Holtz, he want drink it.”
“Got him back from Hotlz,” Giles said taking off his glasses. “Cordelia what are you talking about.”
“You can always count on Cordelia to let the cat out of the bag,” Xander said sarcastically.
“Did I not say that I needed to know everything. Do you people not understand the concept of everything. Cordelia, Tell me what happen,” Giles demanded.
“Well last night while Angel was in Sunnydale, Holtz kidnapped Conner. It was just a trap to lure Angel to him. I snuck in when Angel was distracting Holtz and got Conner out of there,” Cordelia replied.
“How long was Connor with Holtz,” Giles said looking through his book.
“I don’t know…a few hours, I guess,” Cordelia said. “Why?”
“And ever since then he won’t take the milk,” Giles said.
“Yeah, so what’s your point,” Cordelia remarked. “He just doesn’t like the formula anymore, that’s all.”
“I wish it was that simple,” Giles implied and shut his book.
“Giles what are thinking,” Wesley asked.
“Whistler said the new shall rise and bring forth the destruction of the planet. What if Conner is the new, Holtz could have easily did an incantation in the time that he had Connor. Didn’t Angel say that Holtz was out for revenge,” Giles said, looking at the baby. “What if this is it.”
“Hey guys,” Gunn said standing up. “Angel did say that he seen a flicker of red in Connor’s eyes remember.”
“Come on. This is ridiculous,” Cordelia said with an astonished look on her face. “This is Angel’s son.”
“And that’s why we should break it to him easily,” Giles committed. Then the doors flew opened and Buffy stormed through the doors, followed by Angel. She walked over to Spike and through him across the room.
“You son of a bitch,” Buffy said walking over to Spike. The gang just stood there and stared. She picked Spike up off the floor and then punched him in the face.
“What the hell, Buffy. What is the matter with you,” Spike asked wiping the blood from his lip.
“You sent those vampires after Angel!” Buffy said and hit Spike again. “How could you do that? Why would you do that?”
“Oh. You found out about that. Well… well I did it for you, love. For us,” Spike replied.
“That is such, such….well I can’t think of a word right now but it isn’t good,” Buffy said.
“If Angel was out of the picture then we could be together. There would be nothing keeping you from me,” Spike said.
“How about the fact that you repulse me,” Buffy remarked.
“I wasn’t too repulsive the other night when ripped my clothes off,” Spike said with a little smirk on his face. Buffy looked away from him and then jacked him up against the wall. “Oh. Wait more, slayer.”
“Give me one reason not to kill you,” Buffy committed.
“You’ll never kill me because you know that I’m all you got. Once you go back to Sunnydale, you’ll need me. Angel can’t give you what I can,” Spike implied
“If you want to stay alive, Spike then I suggest that you stay the hell away from me,” Buffy said and then loosened her grip and walked away from Spike.
“Okay, I probably didn’t need to hear all of that,” Dawn remarked.
“Angel, I need to talk to you,” Wesley said.
“Sure,” Angel said and started walking over to them. “Oh yeah. Spike, get the hell out of my hotel.” Spike looked around at everybody and then started for the door.
He stopped at the door and said, “Once you’re back in Sunnydale and ‘soul boy’ isn’t there for you anymore Buffy, you’ll come begging me back. No one has loved you the way I do.”
“If this is your way to show love, then I don’t want any part of it,” Buffy replied. Spike walked out and slammed the door behind him.
***** In the Office *****
Angel sat in silence as he listened to Wesley and Giles explain their theory. He looked out the door and saw Buffy and Cordelia talking. Then Buffy looked over at Angel with sadness on her face. He knew that Cordelia must have just filled her in with what Giles and Wesley were telling.
“Angel. Angel. Angel,” Wesley said.
“Huh, yeah what.” Angel said turning his attention back to them.
“Do you understand,” Giles asked.
“Yeah, I see but just because Conner doesn’t like the milk doesn’t mean that he is going to destroy the Earth,” Angel replied.
“I know that’s why we are going to run some tests,” Wesley said.
“Tests? What kind of tests. This is my son, not some kind of lab animal,” Angel remarked.
“You have to let them check Conner out, Angel. It the only option we have,” Gunn said stepping into the office.
“We want hurt him, Angel. I promise you that,” Giles committed.
“Fine but if anything….I mean anything happens to him then I’ll hold you two responsible. Besides I’m sure you’re theory is wrong,” Angel said.
***** Outside the Office *****
Angel walked out the office and joined the rest of the gang that was sitting around the baby. He walked over to Cordelia, took his son out her arms, and placed him in Wesley’s. Wesley and Giles went up back into the office and shut the door behind them.
“Are you okay Angel,” Fred asked. Angel didn’t answer her, just looked over at her.
“How do you think he is. His son is a demon,” Anya said.
“Anya, shut up,” Xander committed.
“What? I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I mean I was demon for a long time and I enjoyed it very much,” Anya remarked.
“Anya!” Xander yelled.
“Sorry,” Anya said.
Angel walked over to the window and stared out at the moon. Buffy walked over to him and put her hand on his shoulder.
“It’s gonna be okay, Angel. I’m sure it’s nothing. You know Giles, always extra cautious,” Buffy said trying to comfort him. Then there was an explosion and the front door blew opened. The gang stood up and Buffy and Angel walked over to them. After all the dust and smoke had settled, they saw that it was Holtz standing in the doorway.
“Let the games begin,” Holtz said.
***** Angel Investigation ******
Holtz stood in the doorway with his black book in hand. He opened it and started chanting that same spell he used at the warehouse. The lightening started again and mists began to rise. Angel ran up to Holtz and knocked him down to the ground. Then lifted him up and jacked him up against the wall.
“I warned you! Leave my family alone!” Angel yelled.
“You fool. It’s too late,” Holtz replied while laughing. Angel threw him across the room and he hit the wall hard, leaving a hole.
“Oh God!” Cordelia yelled and dropped to the floor grabbing her head. She started shaking and her eyes rolled back in her head.
“What’s wrong with her,” Dawn asked.
“Wesley, we have a problem. Cordelia is having a vision…” Gunn said running towards the office. “…and Holtz is here.
“Cordy, can have visions,” Xander asked.
“Yeah, it was a gift from the powers that be,” Gunn replied.
“That’s not fair. They give her vision and wouldn’t give me my powers back,” Anya said.
Giles and Wesley came running out of the office. Giles’ ear was bleeding and Wesley had deep claw marks across his face.
“Giles what happened,” Buffy said running over to them.
“It’s Conner,” Giles replied.
Angel let go of Holtz and ran over to Giles. “What about him. Where is he? Where the hell is he,” Angel said.
“Angel, he transformed into some sort of demon. I’ve never really seen anything like that in my life. He attacked us and it was all we could do just to get out of there with our lives,” Wesley replied.
“Where is he,” Angel said harshly.
“I don’t know. He jumped out the window. Angel, I so sorry,” Giles said.
“Holtz!” Angel said turning around to him but then he noticed that Holtz was no longer there. “Where did he go?”
“I don’t know,” Buffy said.
Xander walked over to Cordelia who was still lying on the floor. He helped her up and guided her over to Giles. Cordelia couldn’t hold herself up so she had to lean up against Xander.
“Um. Hello. Xander, my boyfriend, not yours. Mine,” Anya said watching Xander hold Cordelia. Xander just waved her off and continued walking.
“Cordy, what did you see,” Gunn asked.
“Angel’s son or what used to be his son…he’s a, a monster. I, um saw what happened in the office,” Cordelia replied grabbing her head. “He’s hungry, so hungry. He wants blood, fresh blood.”
Angel walked up to Giles and grabbed him by the throat. “I warned you, I told you not to let anything happened to him. What the hell did you do to my son,” Angel said on the verge of crying.
“We did nothing Angel. We were about to do a revealing spell to remove the mask if the baby had one and show his true self. Then we heard all the ruckus outside and when we looked back at Conner, he attacked us,” Wesley said coming to Giles defense. Angel let go of Giles and backed away from him.
“I knew that Holtz did an incantation on Conner. I knew this was going to happen,” Buffy confessed staring at the floor. “I knew all of this…”
“How? How did you know,” Willow asked.
“My dream. This was my dream,” Buffy replied.
“Why didn’t you tell me,” Angel said fiercely.
“Um. I tried to tell you, remember. I do recall someone telling me that it wasn’t important and that my dreams don’t always come true,” Buffy said.
“Damn it!” Angel yelled and punched the wall.
“Angel please,” Cordelia said. “You’re scaring me.”
“So sorry. It’s just, well my life sort of sucks right now,” Angel said sarcastically.
“I’m sure that there is something that we can do. A spell or something to turn him to the way he was,” Buffy said.
“Oh yes. I was reading something before all this happened and I came across this interesting reversal spell and it’s suppose to overthrow the original spell and turn the creature back to it’s previous state,” Fred replied.
“Okay then, let’s do it,” Angel said.
“Let me see that Fred,” Wesley said grabbing the book from her hand. “Oh dear. There seems to be a problem.”
“What is it,” Giles asked leaning forward to read the text. “Oh dear.” They both looked up at Buffy.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Stop it, you’re starting to freak me out,” Buffy said backing away from Giles and Wesley.
“What does it say,” Cordelia asked.
“Well indeed I do think this will work,” Giles implied. “It is a semi simple spell and I sure that Willow could do it….”
“Um I kinda sworn off magic, for well forever,” Willow interrupted. Everyone looked at her. “But in matters like this I’m sure it will be okay for me to do this.”
“Okay now, where was I? Oh yes, it seems that we have to have him present. So somehow, we will have to capture him unharmed. Now the part that I am afraid of is that a slayer must be sacrificed,” Giles said looking over at Buffy.
***** Sunnydale *****
Spike sat alone in his crypt thinking of what Buffy said to him right before he left L.A. He knew she would never forgive him for what he did but once she was away from Angel and his influence, he knew that she would come back to him. Spike turned around suddenly when he heard the door opened.
“Buffy?” he said enthusiastically.
“So sorry to disappoint you Spike but no,” a man said standing in the doorway.
“What are you doing here,” Spike asked.
“We never did finish our little talk in L.A. You just left so abruptly, and without even saying goodbye. I have to say that I am extremely disappointed,” he replied.
“You know just as well as I do that it’s over. Buffy knows about the set up and wants nothing more to do with me,” Spike implied.
“Oh Spiky, Spiky, Spiky. It isn’t over until I get what I want. This was never about you. Why the hell would I help you? I hate you and if it weren’t for you, Buffy wouldn’t have found out about my extracurricular activities,” the man said stepping in the room. “I have my own agenda.”
“I thought it was rather strange of you to approach me the other night. So what are you doing here,” Spike asked curiously.
“It’s simple really. You see Spike I have to make sure that Buffy never finds out that I helped with the set up. Now I know that you would never tell right,” the man said playing with a stake in his hand. “Cause you know if you would…..well like I said before, Buffy may have a problem killing you because you are helpless but I don’t.”
“Don’t worry. Buffy won’t let me close enough to her to say anything. She’ll never talk to me again because of this,” Spike replied backing away from him.
“Good. Glad to hear it,” the man said sitting the stake on the table and the sitting down in the chair. “You know, it’s kinda funny.”
“What is mate,” Spike asked.
“How you had one simple little job, that could have satisfied us all. To kill Angel and you couldn’t even get that right,” he replied.
“How was I suppose to know that she would make a surprise visit to him. I couldn’t kill him with her right there,” Spike said defensively.
“Oh well. It doesn’t matter. Angel will die but if you want something done right then you have to do it yourself,” the man said standing up and walking to the door.
“Where are going,” Spike said watching him leave.
“Back to L.A.” he said and closed the door behind.
“OH hell I’m not going to miss this,” Spike said and ran out the door.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Giles laid the book down and looked over at Buffy. Her face expression was sheer horror. Angel walked over and grabbed the book, then started to flip through the pages.
“Why does it have to be a slayer?” Angel asked.
“Well it seems that this God Thessues, the one who we will have to summon in the spell in order to do the reversal, requires a sacrifice of only greatest significance. He prefers mortals that are not like any other and well basically,” Giles explained grabbing the book from Angel and then reading some of the passage. “it says here that the past sacrifice was a slayer. She sacrificed herself in order to save her brother. She was much like you Buffy. She had friends and everything. Anyways I guess Thessues got a taste for a slayer. Ever since the slayer, he has rejected every sacrifice that was bought forth to him.”
“So then we get Faith,” Xander said.
“No, it would be impossible for us to get to her. Buffy is the only other choice,” Wesley said.
“Wesley, I’m sure that there is some way to get to Faith,” Cordelia said.
“Well we could try but don’t get your hopes up,” Wesley implied.
“Well looks like its time for me to die again,” Buffy said jokingly. Though it was clear that she was upset. “Hey it’s no big. I’m actually getting used to the whole death thing. You know, third times a charm.”
“Buffy…” Angel said.
“Don’t,” Buffy interrupted.
“Hello. Is this Angel Investigations,” a man said standing in the doorway.
“Oz,” Willow said and ran over to him. She wrapped her arms around him and he gladly accepted the warm embrace.
“Am I interrupting something heavy,” Oz said letting go of Willow and walking towards the others.
“I have to get out of here,” Buffy said walking to the door. “Oz, it’s nice to see you again.”
“Buffy wait,” Angel said running after her.
“Was it something I said,” Oz asked curiously.
***** On the Street *****
Buffy and Angel walked down the street, neither knowing what to say. Either way Angel knew that he would lose someone that he loved and Buffy knew that she couldn’t let Angel’s only chance to have a son be destroyed by Holtz.
“Holtz knew what he was doing. He knew the spell that could save my son had a price and that I care about the slayer. He is going to make me choose, like I made him,” Angel said. “How can this be the only alternative.”
“Angel, there’s something I have to tell you. I’m not m…” Buffy said.
Angel grabbed Buffy’s arm and turned her to face him. “Buffy let me finish,” he interrupted. “I have lived for a long time and have had to face a lot of things, but never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen. When I found out that you died, it was like my body went num and all this pain just filled me up inside. It was unbearable to know that I lost you but I had to face facts and move past it. Then I find out you were alive and it was like I could feel life running through me….you are the only one that has always made me feel like a man and not a monster.”
Buffy started to shed a few tears. “Angel,” she said staring at him.
“Buffy please this isn’t easy for me,” he interrupted. “Then when I first held my son in my arms, it was the first time that I actually felt like a man since we broke up. I love you him so much,….I, I don’t know what to do.”
“Awww. That was touching,” a man said that was standing behind Angel. Angel spun around to face him. “Really, got me all choked up.”
“Riley Finn,” Angel said unpleasantly.
“The one and only,” Riley replied holding his arms opened.
Return of the Ex
***** Angel Investigations *****
Oz sat his bag down on the floor and walked over to the gang. He greeted Xander, Wesley, and Giles with a handshake, hugged Anya and Cordelia, and patted Dawn are her head.
“How ya doing shorty,” Oz asked Dawn. Apparently he, just like the rest of the gang, had memories of Dawn.
“I know you aren’t talking about my height. I’m as tall as you,” Dawn said jokingly and then gave Oz a big hug.
“Hi. I’m Oz,” he said introducing himself to Fred and Gunn.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Fred. I love meeting new people,” Fred said in a schoolgirl voice.
“Hey. What’s up? I’m Gunn. Are you a vampire,” Gunn said all macho.
“Um no,” Oz replied.
“Good,” Gunn said.
“I’m a werewolf,” Oz added. “A very under control werewolf.”
“You’re a what,” Gunn said in an unbelievable tone.
“It’s okay Gunn. You can let your guard down. Oz is a good guy,” Cordelia said, turning to Oz and smiling. “So how did you know how to find us.”
“Tara. She told me that you all come here and gave the address and stuff,” Oz said. “Do you think Angel would mind if I crashed here for a while.”
“I’m sure he won’t mind. What’s up? Are you in some kind of trouble,” Cordelia asked.
“Yeah something like that,” Oz said.
“Oh, What is it? Is there something we can do,” Willow said concerned.
“If it’s okay, I rather not talk about it just yet. Where can I put my bag,” Oz said, picking his bag back up.
“Right this way,” Cordelia said walking towards the stairs. Oz smiled over at Willow and followed behind Cordelia.
“Oh, he’s cute,” Fred said smiling as she watched him go up the stairs. Xander, Anya, and Cordelia all looked over at Willow.
***** In Between Sunnydale and L.A. *****
Spike was alone driving down the highway, heading towards L.A. He was infuriated with all of his stupidity. How could he not have realize that he was being used until now.
“Smug little bastard. I’ll show him who he can use. Thinks that just because he threatens me that I was stay out his way. Well he has another bloody thing coming to him,” Spike said aloud, swerving from lane to lane. “I am gonna go to Buffy and tell her just what is going on here.”
Spike looked to his left and saw a sign for an all night meat market. He turned off on the exit and pulled up in the parking lot.
“No sense in going on an empty stomach though,” Spike said and then got out the car and walked to the building.
***** On the Street *****
Buffy, Riley, and Angel stood on the street, each with distance between them.
“Hey Buffy,” Riley said smiling. “What? No hug.”
“Oh um of course,” Buffy said and walked over to Riley. She gave him a short hug and leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, though not taking his eyes off of Angel.
“Well that was pathetic,” Angel said and rolled his eyes at the sight of them hugging.
“You got something you want to say to me,” Riley said stepping up to Angel.
“No there’s nothing I want to say, but my fist might like to talk to your face,” Angel replied.
“Well what are we waiting for,” Riley said accepting Angel proposal for a fight.
“Look soldier boy, I kicked your ass once do you really want go at again,” Angel said smugly.
“Guys, I told you once before about this fighting,” Buffy said stepping in between Riley and Angel.
“He started it,” Angel said pointing to Riley. Buffy just gave him a look and he closed his mouth.
“So what are you doing back in town?” Buffy said trying to ease the all tension.
“It’s confidential. You know military stuff,” Riley said.
“Oh yeah, of course… confidential,” Buffy said backing away from him. “Just like old times huh.”
“Well I see that you went back to your old ways,” Riley said referring to Angel.
“Buffy, I thought that was you,” a young man said stepping out of a coffee shop.
“Scott? Hey. Wow, it’s been a long time,” Buffy said walking over to him. She was gladly trying to start a conversation to get out of the awkward position of being with both Riley and Angel.
“Yeah, it has. Hey that was some graduation huh,” Scott said.
“Tell me about,” Buffy replied. Riley and Angel both walked up beside her and looked over at Scott. “Um Scott this is Riley and this is Angel. Guys this is Scott.”
“So how do you know each other,” Riley asked.
“We dated a little while in high school,” Scott replied.
“Yeah I remember you,” Angel said haughtily.
“I’m sorry. Have we met before?” Scott asked.
“No but Buffy has mentioned you before,” Angel replied. Then another young man walked up to the group.
“Buffy, I thought that was,” he said.
“Parker? This is strange,” Buffy said suspiciously. “Okay I swear that if….”
“Buffy! Hey!” another young man said running up happily to the guys.
“Owen. Okay everyone stop right there. What the hell is this, return of the ex’s? All that’s left now is for Spike to come up,” Buffy said sarcastically. And soon enough Spike slammed on brakes once he saw that Buffy was standing on the street. Buffy turned her head at the sound of the screeching brakes and recognized the car.
“Okay now this is way too freaky. I’m getting out of here, all of you stay away from me,” Buffy said apprehensively and then ran down the alley beside the building.
“Buffy, I just wanted to talk,” Owen yelled looking down the alley.
“Is it just me or does she seem a little paranoid,” Scott asked.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Oz came back down the stairs and joined the rest of the gang that was sitting around talking. Then Angel furiously came through the doors and slammed them behind him.
“Hey mate, did you have to slam the door in my face,” Spike said opening the door and coming into the room.
“Spike? What are you doing back here,” Willow asked.
“I need to talk to Buffy,” Spike replied.
“Oh but Buffy doesn’t want to talk to you. She said so herself,” Anya committed bluntly.
“Gee thanks….but she’ll want to hear what I have to say,” Spike remarked.
“Angel? What’s wrong? Where’s Buffy?” Giles asked curiously.
“I don’t know. She ran off somewhere after all these boyfriends of hers ganged up on us. You will never guess who’s back,” Angel replied harshly.
“Riley,” everyone said all at once.
“What the…How did you know?” Angel said surprisingly.
“Tara, called and said that Riley had been around asking about Buffy and where she was at,” Xander replied.
“What’s so bad about Riley being back. He’s a great guy and so what if they had a rough break up. If you ask me….” Dawn remarked.
“No one asked you little bit,” Spike interrupted.
“Hey you can’t talk to her like that,” Xander said.
“Yeah and what are you going to do about besides run to Buffy,” Spike said stepping up Xander.
“Guys this isn’t the time, we do kinda have a crisis on our hands. I mean we a demon on the loose, a maniac out for revenge, and a slayer having a nervous break down. If you asked me we have hit rock bottom, considering that I don’t know what the hell to do,” Wesley said in his panicking voice.
“Okay looks like the slayer isn’t the only one having a nervous break down,” Cordelia said sarcastically.
***** Outside Angel Investigations *****
Buffy sat on the steps to the building sniffling softly, not wanting to go in a deal with what awaited her. Buffy was trying to think of a way to tell the gang the truth. How do you tell someone that you are not a mortal? Then Riley walked over to her and sat down beside her.
“What’s wrong,” he asked.
“What isn’t,” Buffy replied looking up at the stars.
“That was some reunion earlier huh,” Riley asked.
“Yeah, you all just gang up on me all at once,” Buffy said forcing a smile on her face. “So tell me…how have you been.”
“I’ve been better,” Riley said.
“Yeah, I hear that,” Buffy stated.
“I’ve missed you….I thought about you everyday that I was away from you,” Riley remarked.
“You know the day that you left, I was there. The helicopter was just pulling off when I got there. I yelled your name over and over but you didn’t hear me. You can ask Willow, for weeks I moped over you,” Buffy said.
“Really. Weeks huh. Well looks like everything is good with you now. I mean I always knew that you would get back with Angel. It was one reason why I left. Cause I knew you would never love me like you love him,” Riley implied.
“I’m not with Angel. I was with Spike for a while and before you even say anything I regret every minute that I was him. I was in a really dark state and I was so lonely. I mean when I go back and think about it, it makes me nauseas. Just the thought that I actually let my body be consorted with his makes my skin crawl,” Buffy explained. “I think I was going through a time of temporary insanity.” They both started laughing.
“I have to admit that I thought it would be a lot harder for me to see you again but it’s actually pretty nice, just to sit and talk,” Riley said.
“Did you know that my mom died Riley,” Buffy asked.
“No I’m sorry to hear that. I should have been there,” Riley replied.
“Angel was there for me,” Buffy implied. “Then a little while after that, I died.”
“What?” Riley said surprisingly.
“I jump into this portal thing in order to close it. It was all for the best. Oh Riley I was so happy, I think I was in heaven. Then ‘my friends’ brought me back to this hell,” Buffy said.
“I’m so sorry Buffy. If I was there for you,” Riley said trying to comfort her.
“No, I wouldn’t have let you been,” Buffy interrupted. “Besides I’m over it now. But it seems that in order to save Angel’s son a mortal slayer has to step up to the plate.”
“Angel’s son?” Riley asked intrigued.
“Long story. Anyways, I want to help them but I can’t because I’m not mortal. I don’t know what I am and I don’t know how to tell them. You are the first person I told and I didn’t know until Spike was able to hit me,” Buffy said and Riley looked over at her as if he wanted to know the rest. “It’s another long story.”
“Well one thing that I have learned while I was away is that actions speaks louder than words. Now by the way that you have been acting in just the little time that I’ve seen you, I’m guessing that the guys know that there is something up with you,” Riley said as he stood up in front of Buffy. “Shall we go in, you have to face your problems sometime.” Riley offered his hand to Buffy and she accepted.
***** Outside Angel Investigations *****
Riley was just about to open the door and go inside when Buffy grabbed his hand. She took it off the doorknob and pushed him back from the door.
“You know, this probably isn’t a good idea. I mean Angel’s most likely back and I don’t think he would like to see you right now….or anytime for that matter,” Buffy explained. “Besides I should do this on my own. Thanks for the Buffy help talk though.”
“Oh okay, sure….. I uh understand. This is a no need Riley type situation. I’ll just see ya around sometime,” Riley said backing away from the building. Then there was a rustling sound coming from around the corner. They both immediately turned their heads in the direction of the noise.
“Did you hear that,” Buffy whispered softly. They quietly crept around the corner but saw nothing. “It must have been a cat or something.”
“Well I guarantee that it was something but I don’t think that’s a cat,” Riley said and pointed above their heads.
There on the fire escape was a demon like creature. It roared and then leaped down and attacked Buffy. The demon slashed Buffy across the face and then bit her in the neck. Riley ran up and tried to pull the demon off of her but during the struggle he too was injured. Buffy finally ran up against the wall repeatedly until the creature was finally lying on the ground. Riley stood back up and pulled out his gun. He was about to shoot the demon when Buffy tackled him, making him hit the ground.
“Why did you do that. I was trying to save you,” Riley said defensively.
“I’m sorry about that but we can’t hurt it. I think that made be Angel’s son,” Buffy replied as they both got up off the ground.
“Well like father like son, I see,” Riley stated.
“This is no time for jokes,” Buffy said looking at the demon. “I think he’s out cold. You better get out of here before anyone sees you. I’m gonna take Connor inside.” Buffy walked over at picked the demon up and headed towards the front of the hotel.
“Sure you don’t need my help,” Riley asked. Buffy didn’t answer just kept walking. “No of course you don’t. You have never needed me but soon I will be all that is left.”
***** Inside Angel Investigations *****
Angel continuously paced back and forth across the room. He was still pumped from the Riley encounter. Cordelia walked over and tried to pursued him to join the others that were informing Oz of what he’s missed but Angel refused.
“I hate when he’s all pig headed,” Cordelia said returning to the group.
“So then things have been pretty tense these past few months,” Oz remarked.
“Intense isn’t the exactly the word to describe what this is, more like mind-boggling,” Gunn commented.
There was a noise outside the door. The door knob was moving but it never opened.
“A little help would be nice,” Buffy yelled from the other side of the door.
“Sure Buff,” Xander said walking over to open the door. Then the glass shattered and Buffy stepped through.
“Never mind, I got it,” Buffy said. “I’ll pay for that as soon as I get a job that pays money instead of vampires.”
“What is that,” Xander said looking at the creature disgustingly.
“Well I think it’s Connor,” she replied and she laid him down on the floor.
“Is he alive,” Angel asked as he rushed over to see him.
“Yeah, just unconscious,” Buffy replied.
“How did you find him,” Giles asked.
“Actually he found me. He made a sneak attack on me and Ri…..right before I was coming in,” Buffy said avoiding telling that Riley was there.
“You’re hurt,” Xander said looking the scratches and the bite mark on Buffy’s neck.
“What this little old thing,” Buffy said trying to brush it off. “It’s nothing….not like I’ve never been bit before.” Angel looked down at the ground after that remark.
“It’s amazing, you’re not even bleeding,” Xander said putting his finger over the bite mark.
“It just didn’t go deep enough,” Buffy said awkwardly.
“Well guys, it is official. There is no possible way to get to Faith. I just got off the phone with the warden and there was a fight, she was injured. She was placed in another coma and is under 24 hour watch. I’m sorry but Buffy is the only other mortal slayer we have,” Wesley said stepping out the office.
“What are you bloody bloats talking about. Buffy isn’t mortal. She came back wrong,” Spike blurted out. Everyone looked over at Buffy. “What? You didn’t tell them, pet.”
“No….It’s not exactly the conversation starter,” Buffy said sarcastically. “And what are you even doing here Spike.”
“Why didn’t you tell us Buffy,” Willow asked.
“Well I mean you already felt so terrible after you found out that I was in heaven during our singing-escapades. Plus I didn’t know until me and Spike were fighting and he didn’t go ouchy after he hit me,” Buffy said.
“I suppose that is possible. After my extensive reading, I have learned that when anyone is brought back from the other side there are repercussions. Didn’t you say that Angel came back in an animal state. In this one book about resurrections, there was this whole chapter about how the aftermath is unpredictable. When mortals are being resurrected a part of them is lost,” Fred explained. “Since Angel wasn’t a mortal, I’m guessing that’s way he was able to return to his how he was before.”
“So then what am I,” Buffy said emotionally.
“Well I suppose that is still in question,” Giles said.
“Oh great. So I’m an it,” Buffy implied sarcastically.
“Now, Buffy…..” Giles said.
“Giles, don’t try to sugar coat this. It’s time for me to face reality. Isn’t that why you left, so I could grow up,” Buffy interrupted. “So what are we going to do?”
Everyone looked over at Angel who was kneeled down beside Connor.
***** The Warehouse *****
Holtz stood at the window looking outside. He smiled proudly remembering the look on Angel’s face when his son turned into a demon. Then he spun around when he heard someone walk into the room.
“Riley, what are you doing back here. Our business was done when I left the jungle,” Holtz said walking over towards him.
“You’ve been a busy little man but I thought you were suppose to kill Angel, not turn a kid into a demon. Do you not understand that I need Angel out of the picture,” Riley said.
“I did what I said I would do. Angel will suffer, I made no promises to you. I was brought here to seek my revenge on the fiend that stole my family from me. Now I am going to steal his. If you want Angel dead, then you kill him yourself,” Holtz commented.
“I would kill him myself but then it would give me away. I don’t want them to learn the truth about me just yet, but you’re right about one thing. You made no promises to me but God…. I just hate when things don’t go my way,” Riley replied. He then took a knife out of back pocket and then gutted Holtz with it. Holtz gasped and dropped to his knees. Within seconds his shirt was a deep red, blood poured everywhere. Holtz stared up at Riley with blood coming from his mouth.
“Sorry Holtzy but you’re no longer an asset to me. Oh here, you’re drooling a little bit,” Riley said and wiped the blood from Holtz mouth.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Angel stood up and looked over at the group. Everyone was still staring at him, waiting to see what he wanted to do.
“What? Why are you all looking at me,” Angel asked.
“Well what do you want us,” Gunn replied.
“Gee….do I have to make all the decisions around here,” Angel remarked harshly.
“Well it is your son Angel,” Cordelia stated.
“Yes it is my son Cordelia and if you don’t mind I would like everyone to get off my back,” Angel scolded.
“Hey look, don’t you take this out on me,” Cordelia remarked angered by the way Angel was acting.
“Okay…Okay…Okay. I’m sorry……I’m just a little on the edge right now,” Angel confessed. “Believe me you would to if you had my life……Okay this is what we are going to do. I want you to go ahead and call upon that God Thases.”
“That’s Theusses and we don’t have a sacrifice,” Wesley said.
“Yes we do,” Angel implied.
***** Angel Investigation *****
Spike walked over to Buffy and grabbed her by the arm. She looked at him as if she were about to hit him and then he immediately let her go. Then he pointed towards the door and she reluctantly followed him out. (Outside)
“You just never give up, do ya Spike,” Buffy said sarcastically.
“I didn’t come to fight pet, there is something very important that I have to tell you about the vamps that attacked Angel,” Spike said.
“Look I don’t want to hear anymore of your lame excuses,” Buffy commented.
“I know that you are still mad at me…..” Spike began.
“That’s an understatement,” Buffy interrupted.
“But believe me you want to hear this,” Spike added.
“Why would I want to hear anything that you say, I don’t even want us breathing the same air, oh wait you don’t breathe,” Buffy said mockingly.
“Alright pet, you’re walking a thin line here. I’m trying to tell you something important,” Spike said trying to control his anger.
“Spike! I want you to listen to me very closely,” Buffy stated. “Now I know that you have helped me out many times in the past and I don’t want you to think that I don’t appreciate it. Plus I have come to realize that we have a really ‘unique’ relationship but it’s over. All of that is in the past and that’s were it is going to stay. After that stunt that you pulled, trying to kill Angel….”
“You still love him, don’t you pet,” Spike interrupted.
“What? Who? Angel?” Buffy stuttered awkwardly.
“No, Giles……Yes Angel,” Spike answered sarcastically.
“Um wh….,” Buffy stammered.
“ I don’t believe this! After all that Angel has done to you, all the pain that the has caused you…..you’re still in love with him,” Spike protested.
“That is none of your concern. I don’t know if you noticed or not but we have a crisis on our hands and this is no time for childish little love quarrels,” Buffy said harshly and then walked back inside the building. Spike followed behind her. (Inside)
“That’s right. Angel’s in trouble and Buffy comes running,” Spike yelled as they walked through the door. Everyone turned around and stared at them. “When will you learn that he doesn’t want you in his bloody life. God Buffy, he is willing to sacrifice you in order to save his own….I would never give you up.”
“I am not about to sacrifice Buffy. I would never put her in that position,” Angel remarked. “And what are you even doing here, didn’t I kick you out.”
“I just wanted to tell Buffy something,” Spike replied.
“Yeah, well you said enough,” Buffy said. “Now don’t we have some God to summon? What’s the plan?”
“Oh yes well it seems that we will need to concoct the appropriate setting. We will have to form an octagon with each person at each of the points and one candle between each person. Willow, since you’re the only one with Wicca power, you will perform the spell. Theusses will rise within the octagon and then Angel can make his request,” Giles explained. “Though we have no offering.”
“I am going to try and reason with him. See if he will settle for something else,” Angel said.
“Yea…what’s that,” Cordelia asked.
“Me,” Angel replied.
***** The Warehouse *****
Riley stood in the warehouse surrounded by at least a dozen vampires. He was informing the minions of the plan for later tonight.
“Does everyone understand their positions?” Riley asked.
“Sir yes Sir,” they all replied.
“Good. Now in less than an hour the plan will come in to affect. This is a suicide mission and most of will die. Some will die by my hand. No one harms Buffy…..well you know the strategy. Everyone understand,” Riley stated.
“Sir yes Sir,” they all replied.
“Alright then, lets go, lets go, lets go,” Riley commanded.
***** Angel Investigations *****
The gang had formed the octagon, with Angel, Buffy, Xander, Willow, Wesley, Giles, Cordelia, and Oz at the points. Dawn, Anya, and Fred stood aside to be out of harms way, just in case anything went wrong and Gunn was to keep guard over Connor. Spike just sat to the side to watch the fun.
“Angel, you can’t offer yourself to him….for one you’re not mortal,” Cordelia implied.
“Don’t try to talk me out of this. I am not leaving my son as some demon creature,” Angel said.
“Angel, please…don’t be stupid,” Buffy pleaded. Angel gave her a stern look and she stopped.
“Be careful Xander,” Anya yelled. “I love you.”
“Anya, you don’t have to yell,” Xander whispered. “Love you too.”
“Oh my God! Please,” Cordelia said sarcastically.
“Jealous much,” Xander implied.
“Oh yea right Xander. Jealous over your little demon girlfriend,” Cordelia replied.
“The correct term is Fiancée,” Anya remarked.
“Oh excuse me, ‘Fiancée’,” Cordelia said mockingly.
“Alright now, stop it with these foolish antics,” Giles scolded. “This is a matter of utmost importance.”
“Just like a watcher to stop it right when it was getting fun. I was beginning to enjoy it,” Xander smirked.
“Shut up Xander,” Cordelia and Anya said.
“Willow, you may begin,” Wesley directed her.
Willow started to speak the words of the invocation. Each person a point of the octagon raised their arms to where their fingertips almost touched. The candles started to flicker as a slight breeze went through the room. A yellow and red smoke started to circle within the core of the octagon. Then the door busted opened and the windows shattered causing Willow to lose her concentration thus preventing the spell from continuing.
A dozen vampires jumped through the windows and came through the door. They then attacked the group.
“Anya! Get Dawn upstairs now,” Buffy yelled while fighting with one vampire.
“We can go to my room,” Fred said.
“Gotcha,” Anya replied and her, Dawn, and Anya ran upstairs.
By now only two vampires were dusted and Angel was being double teamed. Gunn, Wesley, Cordelia, Giles, and Xander were fighting a number of the vamps that were trying to get over to Connor. A vamp came after Willow and Oz went over to her rescue. Spike was trying to fin off a vamp that was trying to stake him, while Buffy was fighting two vampires and was so far winning. By the time she dusted one, the other had snuck up on her from behind and grabbed her by the throat. The vamp pushed her to the wall. Angel dusted one vamp and noticed that Buffy was in trouble but there was no way for him to get to her. He was trying to get over to her but was unable. The vamp was leaning down to bite her when all of sudden he turned to dust.
“Riley? What…How….” Buffy said looking up at him.
“There’s no time for questions. Come on we have to help Giles and Xander,” Riley said grabbing her hand and pulling her along.
“Oh I have to help Angel,” she said looking around for him.
“He’s fine. I saw him when I came in, he has everything under control. Come on, they need our help over here,” Riley said.
From the far corner where Angel was fighting the other vamp, he could see Riley holding Buffy’s hand and he was distracted from the fight causing him to get knocked out of the window.
The vamp that was fighting Spike was giving him one hell of time; they were now fighting in Wesley’s office. With Buffy and Riley helping Xander, Cordelia, Giles, Wesley, and Gunn; they had those six vampires dusted in no time.
“Oh my God. Did that just happen,” Buffy said as she sat down on a step at the stairs.
“Whoa! That was wild,” Gunn commented.
“Is everyone okay,” Giles asked looking around.
“Everything seems to be good…well as good as things can get now,” Wesley replied out of breath.
“Anya! You guys can come down now,” Xander yelled.
“They’re gone?” Dawn said running out the room.
“Are you okay,” Oz asked Willow, putting his arms around her.
“Yeah, I think so. A little shuckin’ up but no bite marks,” Willow replied.
“Xander…I don’t like it here. I can almost get killed in Sunnydale. I want to go back to my store and my money and all those many customers that give me their money,” Anya whined as she hugged Xander tightly.
“Oh p-lease. Pathetic much,” Cordelia scoffed.
“Angel? Where’s Angel? Guys… Do you see Angel,” Buffy said. Then they heard a banging noise coming from the office. Buffy ran in there and saw Spike being choked on the desk by a vampire.
“Oh it’s you,” she said leaning against the doorframe.
“Help. Help would be nice,” Spike muttered barely able to speak. Buffy walked over and staked the vampire in the back.
“Better?” Buffy asked as the vamp turned to dust.
“Much,” Spike replied rubbing his throat.
Buffy rolled her eyes and turned to go back where the others were.
“Riley again, thanks so much for bailing me out back there,” Buffy said walking over to him and then leaned in to hug him but Cordelia pushed through and hugged him instead. “Some things never change.”
“Yes, thank you so much. Although I have no idea who you are,” Cordelia said pulling away from him.
“He’s Riley Finn. Someone….. that I do not like,” Angel commented stammering into the room, holding his side.
“What the hell! You’re still alive…..You were fighting my strongest va….” Riley said enraged that Angel was not dead but then he cut it short once he realized what he had said.
“What?” Buffy said in disbelief.
“This was what I was trying to tell you pet. Soldier boy was the one behind the vampire surprise. I was just another one of his pawns,” Spike said lighting up a cigarette.
“Oops. Guess the cat’s out of the bag a little earlier than I wanted,” Riley remarked.
“I knew there was a good reason that I never liked you,” Angel implied in agonizing pain from his side.
“Nah. That’s was just because I was having sex with Buffy and you couldn’t,” Riley smirked.
“Can I kill him,” Angel said harshly looking over at Buffy, who was speechless by the latest circumstances.
“Guess there’s no time for small talk,” Riley said.
Then Riley elbowed Buffy in the face and then uppercutted her causing her to fall to the floor and hit her head. Riley picked her up and put her over his shoulder. Giles, Xander, Wesley, and Gunn tried to stop then but he pulled his gun. They took a step back and Riley jumped out the window. Angel went out the door and started to run after Riley but the pain in his side became so excruciating that he couldn’t catch up to them.
“Buffy,” Angel whispered as he watched Riley disappear into the shadows.
***** The Warehouse *****
It was now morning. Buffy was lying on a bed in the corner of the warehouse. Her arms were chained above her head to the iron pipe at the front of the bed. She started to come to but she still felt woozy.
“Angel,” she muttered faintly, trying to lift her head to look around. She tugged at her arms and noticed that they were chained. She felt so weak, as if she had been drugged.
“Ah. Good morning sweetheart,” Riley said bringing her some juice. “Thirsty?”
Buffy turned her head away from the juice.
“No? Come on. It’s your favorite,” Riley said bringing the glass closer to her.
Buffy stared at him with content in her eyes. Then she took a sip of the juice and spit it in his face.
“Delicious,” Buffy said sarcastically. “What the hell did you do to me?”
“Now play nice Buffy,” Riley said wiping the juice from his face.
“Why? You didn’t,” Buffy remarked.
“It’s just a little tranquilizer. It’s used in horses when they get a little rowdy. Don’t worry it’s harmless, wear right off in a few weeks; then you’ll have your full slayer strength back but by then it will all be over,” Riley stated.
“What will be over,” Buffy asked.
“Now I don’t want to ruin the surprise,” Riley replied.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Angel came down from his room and sat on the couch. Soon after Cordy, Xander, Gunn, Wesley, Giles, Willow, and Oz came through the front door.
“Where’s Fred, Anya, and Dawn” Wesley asked.
“Upstairs. They’ve bonded,” Angel replied. “No luck?”
“Sorry…jungle boy has vanished,” Gunn said laying down his weapons.
“Damn it!!!” Xander yelled throwing the books off the table. “I actually liked that no good commando. I thought he was so much better for Buffy than Angel.”
“Oh gee thanks,” Angel said sarcastically.
“I’m sure Xander didn’t mean anything by it, Angel,” Cordelia said, elbowing Xander in the stomach.
“Xander! You’re back,” Anya said running down the stairs. “Did you have fun?”
“Oh yeah Anya. Who wouldn’t have fun with Cordelia,” Xander replied. Cordelia looked over at him with a ‘kiss my butt’ look.
“Good. Can we can home now,” Anya said tugging on his arm.
“No. We have to get Buffy back,” Xander said surprised that she would even propose such an idea.
“Buffy can take care of herself. She has slayer power. I want to go back to my loyal customers,” Anya whined.
“Anya if you want to go home then leave. The people that really care about Buffy are going to stay and help,” Xander said harshly, irritated by the way Anya was acting.
“Xander,” Anya said softly. “I care about Buffy… it’s just I don’t like to be sad. And this situation makes me sad.”
“Actually that’s a good idea. You should go home Anya,” Cordelia remarked
“Ah. Excuse me. I believe me and Xander were talking here. Besides you just want me to leave so that you can dig your claws back into Xander,” Anya commented.
“Don’t be ridiculous. I was just thinking that you and Dawn should go back to Sunnydale and take Fred with you cause the less people that we have to worry about the faster we can get Buffy back,” Cordelia exclaimed.
“Okay let’s save the cat fight for a later time,” Wesley said. “You should take Fred and go back to Sunnydale. You’ll be safe there.”
“Why is everyone trying to get rid of me?” Anya asked.
“They have a point. It’s important that we put all our attention on getting Buffy back safely and we can’t do that if we have to watch out for you three,” Xander commented.
“I can take care of myself. You act like I haven’t been in Sunnydale helping you people every time some big bad monster comes to town,” Anya exclaimed.
“This isn’t Sunnydale and we don’t have a slayer,” Willow implied.
“Yeah and Dawn needs someone to watch after her,” Oz said stepping into the conversation.
“I don’t need for someone to watch after me,” Dawn said walking down the stairs. “Still haven’t got Buffy back, huh?”
“Don’t worry Dawnie. We’ll find her,” Willow assured her.
“It’s just hard to believe that Riley’s doing this. I mean he was always so nice to me….it’s like when Angel turned evil all over again,” Dawn commented.
“Can we please stop bringing up that one little time that I lost my soul,” Angel exclaimed irritably.
“Guys, that’s enough. Let’s get back to matters at hand. We need to find Buffy and Anya needs to take Dawn and Fred to Sunnydale,” Cordelia interrupted.
“Sunnydale, Wow, I’ve never been there,” Fred said from the top of the stairs. “I would love to go.”
“Fine! Fine, I’ll leave. If it’s that important to get rid of me then I’ll go,” Anya said harshly.
“That’s not it Anya. I just want to make sure that you’ll be safe. I couldn’t stand it if something happened to you,” Xander said.
“Aww, Xander. I love you,” Anya said and then they kissed. “So it’s settled, you’ll come back with me,”
“What? Anya no. I can’t,” Xander said.
“But you said you loved me. Don’t you want to be with me,” Anya implied.
“Of course I love you but Anya….” Xander exclaimed.
“Well for once Xander, choose me over all the vampires and demons and saving the world ,” Anya pleaded. “Please just come with me. Let them handle this.”
“Anya, If you could just see that getting you out of harms way is choosing you. Besides I can’t leave Buffy, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t at least try to help,” Xander replied.
“I’ll go pack. Dawn, Fred you coming,” Anya said walking towards the stairs. Dawn and Fred followed her back to the room.
“Don’t you just love sunset,” Spike said coming from the kitchen. “Did you get Buffy from the warehouse yet?”
“What are you doing in my kitchen,” Angel asked offensively.
“What does it look like? Getting something to eat,” Spike replied holding a cup of warm blood in his hand.
“Did you say warehouse,” Oz questioned.
“Yeah. I met Riley at some old warehouse a few blocks from here when I came to L.A. He was with some old guy,” Spike said walking over to them.
“Holtz,” Angel said.
“Dear lord and you haven’t told us this earlier because,” Giles said putting down his book.
“Look the way all you stormed out of here, I figured you know where to go,” Spike said.
“For someone who’s so obsessed over Buffy, you sure aren’t trying very hard to get her back,” Willow proclaimed.
“Hey! I love her! There seems to be a little problem with sunlight if you don’t remember. You should have come to me and said ‘Spike do you have any ideas’ but did you. No! So don’t gang up on me,” Spike yelled.
“Well now we know where she is. Let’s go get her,” Angel implied. “Oh yeah…No one touch Riley. That son of bitch is mine.”
***** Upstairs *****
Anya was packing up her suitcase and so were Fred and Dawn. Xander walked in through the door and went towards them.
“Angel said that he’ll call you when it’s safe for you to come back,” Xander said talking to Fred.
“Isn’t Angel great. Always thinking of others before himself,” Fred implied.
“Let me help you,” Xander offered picking up her suitcase.
“I’ve got it,” Anya snapped, snatching it out of his hand.
“Anya, I know that you still can’t be mad. This is important,” Xander said.
“I know Xander but I should be important too. And if I’m going to be your wife, then I should be the first priority in your life. You have to choose Xander. I can’t play second fiddle to the Scooby gang anymore,” Anya proclaimed on the verge of crying.
“This is just because I have been spending time with Cordy, isn’t it. You’re jealous,” Xander said turning Anya around to face him. “Listen whatever me and Cordy had was in high school. That time in my life is long gone. I don’t want her. As crazy as it may sound I am in love with you.”
“Oh Xander. I love you too, so much,” Anya said crying. Fred and Dawn quietly slipped out the room. “But I know what I feel and my instincts are never wrong. It’s not over with you two Xander. There is a lot of unresolved feelings still in mix.”
“Anya, this time trust me. You’re instincts are wrong,” Xander said and pulled her into a long kiss. Then Cordelia peeked her head in the door.
“Xander, we’re leaving. It’s sunset, so come on. We don’t want to waste any time,” Cordelia said.
“Yeah I’m coming,” Xander replied.
“I just wish I could make you understand,” Anya whispered as they walked out the door.
***** Downstairs *****
Everyone else was already outside waiting and Dawn and Fred were already in the car.
“Xander, I meant what I said. I can’t be second in your life,” Anya said stopping him by the car door.
“This is Buffy’s life Anya. For once stop being so damn selfish,” Xander exclaimed.
“If you don’t leave with me right now Xander…….once I drive away, I am not just driving out of L.A. but out of this relationship and your life. It’s your choice,” Anya said with a few tears coming down her face.
Xander leaned in and kissed her on her cheek. “Goodbye Anya,” Xander said.
“So that’s it,” Anya said crying more. “Here.” She handed him the engagement ring and closed his hand around it. Then she leaned up to his ear. “I’ll have my things out of your place before you get back.”
“Bye Anya. Dawn you buckle up,” Willow said.
“Drive safely,” Oz remarked.
“And don’t pick up any hitchhikers,” Spike proclaimed. “Take care, little bit.”
“Bye everyone,” Anya said. “Good luck getting Buffy and be careful.” Then they slowly drove away. Xander stood there with the ring clutched in his hand and watch the car drive away until it was no longer visible.
“Goodbye Anya,” Xander whispered. Cordelia walked up and put her arm around his shoulder.
“You okay,” Cordy asked.
“No. Not really but I’ll live,” Xander replied.
“Guys were leaving,” Angel remarked. “Are you sure Conner’ll be okay. Maybe somebody should stay with him.”
“He’ll be fine Angel. I gave him a sedative, he’ll be out for hours,” Wesley implied.
***** The Warehouse *****
Buffy tugged on the chains but she was still too weak to break free. Riley walked over to Buffy carrying her some food.
“Are you hungry honey,” Riley said sitting the tray down next to her.
“Like I would eat anything that you give me,” Buffy remarked. “I trusted you. How could you do this to me?”
“I doing this for you Buffy. I had a lot of time to think while I was away in the jungle and I realized that the solution to our love insecurities was to get rid of Angel. If he was gone then I would no longer have to stand in his shadow and you could give me your entire heart. It was going to be perfect. I had a full proof plan, at least I thought it was full proof. I didn’t count on Angel beating my warriors,” Riley stated.
“So the talk we had outside the hotel and you helping me, that’s was all part of your plan,” Buffy said
“Well yeah.………….Now, come on Buffy, take a bite…I know you’re hungry. Please,” Riley insisted waving a piece of bacon in front of her face. “It can be just like old times. Me, you in the bed sharing a meal. Maybe it will bring back all those happy memories we made together. Make you remember how much I love you.”
“Love? Love?! Is this how they show love in the jungle?! You destroyed those memories when you plotted and schemed and kidnapped me you son of bitch! Now let me the hell out of here,” Buffy yelled.
“Shut up!” Riley exclaimed and slapped Buffy across the face. Buffy looked back up at him with a ‘oh hell no you didn’t look’. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you. I just lose control sometimes. No it’s okay…just shake it off.” Riley began shaking his head as if he were really trying to shake it off.
“You’re a raving loony! What happen to you? How could I have ever care for you? I can’t believe I slept with someone as sick as you,” Buffy said.
“Sick? I’m sick? I am not the one that enjoys sleeping with vampires. Angel? Spike? Who knows how many others since I’ve been gone,” Riley remarked.
“I hate you,” Buffy said harshly.
“Awww, Buffy does it have to end on such bad terms,” Riley said stroking the side of her face. “I will get my revenge, my love.”
“Angel is going to kill you,” Buffy replied.
Angel to the Rescue
Buffy sat up on the bed, as she watched the sun slowly go past the horizon. Riley sat in a chair across from her, just staring at her.
"You look uncomfortable," Riley stated as he stood up and walked over to her.
"Well let's see how comfortable you are with your hands chained behind your head," Buffy replied turning her attention to Riley.
"Well if you promise to behave then I'll un-cuff you," Riley proposed.
"Well it's not like I can out power you since I don't have my slayer ability,"
Buffy implied. Riley looked at her for a moment, trying to decide whether or not he should take the chance. Finally, he leaned down and took the chains from around her wrists.
"Thank you," Buffy said rubbing her wrists. Riley turned and started to walk away from her. "Oh Riley." He turned back to her and Buffy slammed a trey against his face. Riley fell to the floor in agony.
"Big mistake. I may not be able to over power you right now but I sure as hell can out smart you," Buffy said and took off for the door. She fiddled with the lock on the door, it was jammed. Riley got up off the floor and ran over to her. He grabbed her for behind and started to drag her back to the bed.
"Having a little trouble with the lock sweetheart," Riley smirked. Buffy kicked and squirmed, trying to get out of Riley's firm grip. As a last result, she bit his hand hard and he immediately let her go.
"Oh my god," Riley screamed in pain, putting pressure over the bite mark, at which Buffy had drawn blood. She took a chair and smashed it against Riley causing him to fall to the floor a little dazed.
Buffy made a dash to the door and finally got it unlocked. Just as she was about to out the door Riley, once again, grabbed her behind and dragged her back in.
"Now you don't want to leave so soon Buffy," Riley said carrying her back towards the bed.
"The thought never even crossed my mind," Buffy said sarcastically still squirming in his arms.
"Now you know that biting me wasn't very nice," Riley stated.
"Well you can't blame me for at least trying," Buffy replied.
"No just as you can't blame me for what I'm about to do," a voice said coming from behind them. Riley dropped Buffy and turned around to find Angel and the gang standing in the room.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here," Riley said. Buffy got up off the floor and tried to go over to Angel but Riley pulled a knife out and held it to her throat. "Where ya going sweetheart? We were having so muck fun."
"This might be your definition of fun but mine is a little different," Buffy said as she slowly backed away from Riley.
"Buffy are you okay," Spike yelled across the room.
"Yeah but he drugged me. I am totally slayer powerless," Buffy replied.
"Now I know you don't expect this to be easy," Riley implied and then he whistled loudly. Within seconds, a bunch of Riley's vampire minions came down from the rafters.
"I never do," Angel replied.
"Damn, I gotta get me some minions," Xander said as he watched them down.
"Xander," Cordelia said. "Just be careful okay."
"No need to worry about me. Just as long as you got my back," Xander stated.
"I've always got your back," Cordelia said smiling over to him.
"Okay let's do this," Riley said waving for the vamps to attack.
"If I don't get out of here, tell Buffy I'm sorry for not telling her earlier about Riley," Spike said to Angel, both already in their game faces.
"How about this.....you tell her yourself," Angel implied and patted Spike on the back. "Let's go."
The gang ran into the crowd and each sectioned off into groups. Angel and Riley each threw punches and Buffy took the trey and hit Riley again over the head.
"Damn it, if you hit me in my head one more time," Riley yelled as he turned to look at Buffy.
Then when he looked back at Angel, Angel hit him dead in the face causing him to fall back. Angel grabbed Buffy by the hand and they started making their way outside.
"I want you to stay out here," Angel said pulling her outside. "I gonna go help the others.
"Angel I can help," Buffy remarked.
"No you can't. You'll get yourself hurt without your slayer power, I couldn't stand if anything happen to you," Angel proclaimed caressing the side of her face with his hand. Angel turned around and started walking back in.
"Angel," Buffy said almost in tears. Angel turned around and Buffy grabbed him by the neck and kissed him. The kiss became more passionate and intense until Buffy finally pulled back. "Be careful."
Within a few minutes of Buffy pacing outside the warehouse, she was finally joined by Willow and Cordelia.
"Xander isn't out here yet. Oh God I hope he's okay," Cordelia said warily looking back at the entrance to the warehouse.
"Oz...Oz, he's still in there," Willow said panicky.
"I'm sure he's okay Will," Cordelia said reassuringly. "But Xander, he's such a adorablely clumsy dope. He's gonna get himself hurt."
"Nice to know you think so highly of me," Xander remarked walking out with Gunn, Giles, Wesley, and Oz.
"Xander you had me so worried," Cordelia said and hugged him.
"Oz are you okay," Willow asked.
"Yea, one kinda sucker punch me but Spike helped me out," Oz replied. "But what about you. They didn't hurt you, did they?"
"I'm fine. Me and Cordelia actually make a pretty good team," Willow said as Oz rubbed her back and grabbed her hand. She leaned in to him and laid her head on his shoulder.
"Gee Willow, it's not like you have to tell the world," Cordelia smirked.
"Where's Angel....why isn't her out here....I mean, he's, he's, he's not," Buffy stuttered warily.
"No. No. We got most the vamps. We offered to help but he said to come out and make sure you were good. Him and Riley were wrestling around but it looked like Angel had the upper hand," Gunn stated.
"So what, I'm just suppose to stay out here and do nothing," Buffy proclaimed.
“Buffy trust me, Angel can take care of himself," Cordelia remarked.
"I'm sure he's fine Buffy," Giles said trying to comfort Buffy.
"Yeah you're probably right but you know it's Angel which equals maxi wig," Buffy implied.
"Yes you told me that once before," Giles said.
"With good reason too, if my memory serves me right," Buffy said.
"So what made Riley go all wacky on us," Xander asked.
"Someone once told me that love makes you do the wacky," Angel replied staggering out the warehouse. "Clearly it made him wacky."
"Angel! Oh my God, are you alright," Buffy said and hugged him tightly.
"Yeah. What about you, he didn't hurt you did he," Angel asked pulling her back to look at her.
"For the millionth time, I'm fine. What happened in there," Buffy replied. "You didn't....."
"Kill him. No. As much as I wanted to, I was able to restrain myself," Angel interrupted. "I did chain him up though. See how much he likes it. I figured that we could decided what to do with him later."
Angel put his arm around Buffy waist and everyone started walking down the street. Then Buffy suddenly stopped dead in her tracks and looked back at the warehouse.
"Where's Spike?" Buffy asked.
***** The Warehouse *****
Buffy, Angel, and the gang walked back into the warehouse slowly. It was pitch black and silent. All that was visible were the shadows and outlines of objects. In a far corner of the warehouse, Buffy saw something sprawled out on the floor, a body.
“Guys this is getting a little too much on the creepy side for me,” Cordelia said as she dug her nails into Xander’s arm.
“Ow! Ow! And did I say Ow. Cordelia can you loosen up on the Vulcan death grip please,” Xander said trying to pry her hand off his arm.
“No. I think Cordy may be on to something. I don’t remember it being so….” Angel implied walking to the center of the room.
“Morbid,” Buffy interrupted. “There’s something on the floor.” They walked over to the figure on the floor. The moonlight shined onto it’s back. Buffy turned the body over so that they could see the face.
“Oh my God! It’s Spike,” Willow exclaimed. Buffy kneeled down and lifted his head to lay her lap.
“Spike. Spike, open your eyes…. Come on you’re starting to scare me….. Spike wake up please,” Buffy said with tears in her eyes as she shook Spike to try to get him conscious.
“Love if you shake me any harder then I’m gonna get brain damage,” Spike said opening his eyes.
“God!” Buffy yelled as she got up off the floor and helped Spike up. “Don’t you ever, ever scare me like that again Spike.” Buffy slapped Spike in the chest repeatedly in the girly way not the slayer way.
“Geez Pet. I was just knocked out here. Did I miss the bulletin that said ‘beat up the helpless vampire day,” Spike said sarcastically backing away from Buffy.
“Okay now that we have retrieved the missing link, can we go?” Gunn said looking around the room.
“I don’t see why not,” Giles replied.
“Uh guys. I hate to be the burier of bad news but Riley is gone,” Oz said looking over towards the bed.
“What?! That’s impossible. I chained him up before I left,” Angel implied.
“You should know by now that anything’s possible,” Riley said stepping from behind a pillar.
“How?” Buffy asked in complete and utter shock.
“I told you that I had a surprise for ya Buff….Well while I was in the jungle, I happened to dabble a little in the black arts. It’s amazing….you think you’re worthless and never realize how much power you truly contain until one day you meet this all powerful shaman and he teaches you abilities that have been hidden within yourself. It’s amazing really. All the power, all the energy, total control….right at your fingertips. It’s such a rush,” Riley ranted. “I loved you so much that being in that jungle without you just drove me insane. I wanted you to love me more than anything in the world, so I figured a love spell. However, let’s face it we all know those don’t really work so then, I met this strange man named Holtz. As it seems he is also out for revenge on Angel. So, we decided to join forces and figured that we would try this little scheme. To get rid of Angel but then that failed. So I killed Holtz….. Now I’m pretty much leaning to my last alternative. If I can’t have you, then no one will.”
“God you’re pathetic,” Buffy said.
“Buffy I don’t think it’s such a good idea to make him mad. I mean if he has as much power as he claims,” Cordelia remarked.
“Power. Please, the only the power he has is ability to piss me off,” Buffy implied.
Riley raised his arms high above his head and started moving his hands in a circular motion as if he were rolling a ball. He chanted to himself softly and leaned his head back with his eyes closed. Then a big ball of fire was in between his hands and when he raised his head, his eyes were pitch black. Then he threw the ball over at the pillar that was next to Buffy.
“Or I could be wrong,” Buffy said looking at the concrete crumble before her eyes.
Once again, Riley began to concoct the same spell that he was doing before when Angel ran over and bulldozered him. Then Xander, Spike, Gunn, Giles, Oz, and Wesley ran over to try to hold Riley back but one by one Riley threw them across the room. Riley threw Spike so hard that he was knocked through the wall. Cordelia and Willow ran over to Xander and Oz to see if they were all right.
“Oh Xander are you okay,” Cordelia asked.
“No. I think my arm’s broken,” Xander replied.
“He’s too powerful. How are we gonna stop him,” Oz said. He looked around the room and noticed Giles, Wesley, and Gunn were all unconscious.
“You know Buff, I starting to realize why you like having these superhuman abilities,” Riley smirked as he was punching Angel repeatedly. Finally, Angel dropped to his knees with blood all over his face.
“Why don’t you just leave everybody out of this? This is between you and me,” Buffy said.
“You know Buffy, if I were you I would be a little bit more worried about my own life rather than everyone else’s,” Riley implied.
Riley formed another fireball and this time he was aiming at Buffy. She stood there frozen in place, petrified with fear. Riley released the fireball but just then Angel jumped up off the floor and dashed out to Buffy. Angel knocked her out the way and intercepted the flaming ball, knocking him into a pillar.
“Oh God! Angel!” Buffy yelled hysterically.
“Okay now I know that I swore off magic after we tried to help Connor but I think this is a special circumstance,” Willow said walking forward.
“Ah. Willow, I was wondering when I would face you,” Riley said gleefully.
“Kick his ass Will,” Xander said routing her on.
Willow turned her back to Riley and put her arms down to her side with her palms spread. “Goddess Hecate, work thy will……..” Willow turned around and faced Riley. Her eyes were pitch black as his were but she was more intense.
“What the hell,” Riley said realizing that Willow has become an extremely powerful Wicca.
Willow rose her hands and pointed straight out at Riley. “Before thee let the unclean thing crawl,” Willow yelled and then a orange light come from her fingertips. The light hit Riley in the chest and he shrunk down into a itty bitty little rat.
Willow walked over to Riley and picked him up. “I’ve learned a few things since you’ve left Riley,” she said smiling down at the rat form of Riley.
“Thank you so much Willow,” Buffy said.
“Yeah Willow you really saved the day,” Cordelia said walking over to them.
“Is it over?” Giles asked getting up off the floor.
“Yep, thanks to my good buddy the witchy Willow,” Xander said picking her up in a bear hug.
“That’s ex witch to you,” Willow said smiling. Xander put her down and then she ran over to Oz and hugged.
“Well it’s a good thing it’s over cause I would have hate to have kicked his ass,” Wesley said holding his side.
“Yeah Wesley, I sure he was terrified of you. The way you just fell to floor and were knock out…had him shaking in his pants,” Cordelia said sarcastically.
“That was wild man,” Gunn said. “The way that guy just went psychopathic and then…. oh man Willow you are one bad ass chick.”
“Can someone help me here,” Buffy said trying to get a groggy Angel to his feet.
“Yeah, I will,” Spike said climbing back through the hole in the wall. He walked over to them and put Angel’s arm around his neck. “Let’s get him back to the hotel and in bed.” Then the gang walked back onto the streets and headed back to the hotel.
*****Angel Investigations *****
Arriving back at the hotel, Spike and Buffy helped Angel back to his bed so that he could recuperate. Gunn, Wesley, Giles, Xander, and Cordelia sat down on the couch and talked about Connor. Willow placed ratty Riley in a little cage they picked up, on their way from the warehouse.
“Hey Willow, can I talk to you,” Oz asked grabbing her arm.
“Sure……is there something wrong,” Willow replied walking into the kitchen with him.
“No not really, it’s just well…..” Oz stuttered.
“Oz what’s the matter,” Willow said concerned, stepping towards him.
“Okay…you know how I told you that the reason I needed to stay with Angel was because I was in trouble and I didn’t want to talk about why at the time….” Oz stated.
“Yeah, I just figured you would tell me when you were ready. It seemed really serious and I didn’t want to push,” Willow said.
“Okay well you see that whole in trouble thing….it was kinda a lie,” Oz implied. Willow looked up at him with shock in her eyes from the fact that he had lied to her. “I’m not in trouble.”
“You lied to me,” Willow said hurtfully.
“Just let me explain okay. See I arrived in Sunnydale the day before I came here and the whole reason that I went back there was because of you. I knew that you were with Tara but I missed you so much…I just wanted to see your face, hear your voice, look into your pouty eyes… Anyways I told you that I saw Tara but what I didn’t tell you was that she told me what had happen with you two…with the whole break up,” Oz explained. “Okay so I was like wow. Maybe now I can get another chance….you know maybe now we could give us another try. But I knew that it wasn’t the right time; I knew that your heart would be hurting and I didn’t want to push all these feelings on you until I knew that you were ready…capable to handle the emotions. So my plan was to just see how things would go and decide if I wanted to pursue you.”
“You were going to pursue me,” Willow said cracking a smile. “I never thought I was the pursuey type.”
“Believe me Will. You are so the type…. Okay so I arrive in L.A, see you, and it’s like boom. Instant love, once I your sweet Willow face…I knew that I couldn’t leave you again without at least trying….. I love you Willow Rosenberg and all that stuff that happen in the past, I just want to leave it there. I want to focus on the future, I want to be complete again, and most of all…I want you,” Oz proclaimed. “The question is what do you want.”
Buffy tucked Angel in the bed and kissed him on his forehead. Spike was standing at the door, staring in disgust. Quickly he walked over to her and grabbed her by the arm.
“I need to talk to you love,” Spike whispered in Buffy’s ear. Buffy looked up at him trying to decide if she wanted to leave Angel’s side. Finally she started to follow Spike out when Angel tried to lean up.
“Buffy, w-w-where are y-you going,” Angel said hoarsely. His voice was very weak and extremely faint.
“Shh. Don’t try to talk. I’m just going downstairs for a minute to talk to Spike. I want you to rest…I’ll be right back, I promise,” Buffy said walking back over to him and putting her hand on his chest to get him to lay back down.
Angel looked over at Spike grimly and said, “don’t be long.”
Buffy smiled and said, “I want.” She leaned down and kissed him on his forehead again. Then she followed Spike out the room and shut the door behind her.
(Outside Angel’s room)
Spike was about to speak when Buffy waved her hand and pointed down to where Giles and the gang was. He looked back up at her and she mouthed ‘talk softly’.
“Okay Buffy, I came to a new conclusion tonight,” Spike whispered.
“Oh yeah, what’s that,” Buffy murmured, intrigued about what Spike was about to say.
“You love me,” Spike said abruptly.
“Excuse me,” Buffy said quietly, trying to contain her laughter.
“Oh come on Buffy, there is no possible way that you can deny your feelings towards me. I saw how upset you became when you saw me on the ground at that warehouse,” Spike proclaimed.
“Feelings? Okay these are the feeling I feel for you…disgust, shame, dreadful…did I say disgust,” Buffy ranted.
“Okay love, let’s not get cruel,” Spike began. Buffy was about to protest but Spike cut her off. “Here me out. I know that I have made some huge mistakes recently but I did those things because I thought that it would give me you. I am so sorry for consorting with Riley, believe me I know I messed up and that it will take time for you to forgive me. I am willing to wait but I need you to face up. We have shared too much, done too much….we mean too much to each other. Tell me I haven’t lost you to him.”
Buffy sighed, sat down on the floor, and leaned back against the wall. Spike sat down next to her.
“Say something Buffy,” Spike said.
Buffy looked up at him and caressed the side of his face with her hand. “Spike you haven’t lost me,” Buffy implied. Spike looked up hopefully but the expression on her face told the truth. “You haven’t lost me because you never had me. Not fully anyway… It’s just that I needed comfort and needed affection, I was lonely and you were there for me. I really appreciate that. I’m not gonna lie and say that there isn’t something between us because there is. I care deeply about you…. you have strangely become a very important person in my life. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you and I never want to find out….. You have to understand something…I need you as a friend, I need you to watch my back. I don’t want anything more from you….the sexual advances stop. It’s over.”
Willow was looking down at the ground, not knowing what to say. So many feelings were running through her body and everything has been so muddled since Tara broke up with her. Oz walked over to her and lifted her chin with his hand so that she would look into his eyes. Willow was crying and then she leaned in and kissed Oz. The kiss become more passionate and intense. Then Willow finally pulled away and smiled at Oz.
“I didn’t know what to say,” Willow said.
“So does this mean what I hope it means,” Oz asked smiling.
“Well I’m willing to give it another try if you are,” Willow replied.
“Oh I’m so willing but are you sure you’re ready,” Oz said. “I don’t want to rush anything…if you need time.”
“I’m so ready. All those sweet things you said that you wanted, I want them too. I want them with you….I want you,” Willow stated and they leaned in for another kiss.
“A werewolf in love,” Oz said softly to himself as him and Willow walked out the kitchen to join the others.
(Upstairs…Outside Angel’s room)
Spike looked over at Buffy. His eyes were watery and his hands were trembling. He hasn’t felt so much pain since Drusilla first left him.
“Do you honestly believe that you have a future with Angel,” Spike asked with hurt in his voice.
“No. But I don’t want that kind of future from you either. I am ashamed that I let things go that far and these past months have been filled with regrets. Like I said I need you in my life and I understand why you did the things you did but you have to understand something. As much as I’ve tried to fight it, to deny it, and to get over it….I’m in love with Angel,” Buffy explained. “I don’t want to be with you in that way and it would be unfair to you if we didn’t get this out in the open. Try not to take it too personal….”
“Don’t take it too personal,” Spike interrupted. “Wait let me guess, next you were gonna say ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ right. Honey I have heard the song and dance before. How can I not take this personal…you’re rejecting me for a forbidden love.”
“Spike please calm down, you starting to yell. I tried to explain how I feel as clearly as I can. Now I guess you have to make a choice. You can either have me as a friend and nothing more or you can have me as nothing at all,” Buffy said firmly.
“So we’re giving ultimatums now. God Buffy you put me right on the spot,” Spike said sarcastically. “You know I don’t take ultimatums all that well.” Spike stood up and started down the stairs. By now Giles and the gang were looking at them to see what all the commotion was.
“Spike please don’t be angry with me. I thought you understood,” Buffy yelled from the top of the stairs.
“Yeah I understand…..I need a drink,” Spike replied and slammed the door behind him. Buffy rushed down the stairs and went out the door.
The gang watched Buffy leave and then everyone relaxed as if all the tension had left the room.
“What did we miss,” Oz asked sitting down in a chair. Willow sat down in his lap and leaned into him.
“I don’t know but my guess is that it was a fight about Angel,” Cordelia replied.
Cordelia started to explain to Willow and Oz what they had overheard between Spike and Buffy when Angel came stumbling down the stairs.
“Angel…what on earth are you doing? You should be in bed, you are still very weak,” Cordelia implied.
“Yeah I know but I heard Buffy yelling and I wanted to see what was going on,” Angel said.
“Man don’t you know curiosity killed the cat,” Gunn remarked.
“Well then I guess it’s a good thing I’m a vampire and not a cat,” Angel replied. “How’s Connor?”
“So where’s Buffy,” Angel asked.
“Well her and Spike got into it…he stormed out, she stormed out after him…you know same old same old,” Xander said.
Buffy sat on the steps staring up at the clear sky. Angel opened the door, walked out, and sat down beside her.
“What are you doing out of bed,” Buffy asked smiling at him.
“Looking for you,” Angel replied. “Are you okay?”
“Fine..why do you ask,” Buffy said.
“I heard you and Spike fighting… and it seemed not to be going so well,” Angel said.
There was a moment of pure silence and then Angel spoke. “You care for him don’t you? I could tell at the warehouse,” Angel said looking away from her.
“Yes, I do care for Spike. I tried to explain to him that he was important to me,” Buffy proclaimed. Angel looked down at the ground sadly and Buffy noticed his face expression. She grabbed his hand and he looked back up at her. “But that there was, is, and never will be a loving relationship. I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life by sleeping with him and I told him that it was over and it would never, ever happen again. I tried to let him know that he was a friend and that I didn’t want anything more than a friendship from him.”
“But you were about to cry when you seen him on the floor at the warehouse,” Angel said.
“Angel,…. Spike has helped me out a lot and has done a lot for me. We have shared many experiences and he has been there when you weren’t. Tell me this, if Cordelia was down on that floor, wouldn’t you be upset,” Buffy said.
“I see what you’re saying,” Angel remarked.
“You’re close with her and I have become close to him. I mean I told him things that I haven’t even told Willow,” Buffy stated. “Anyways the point to the whole story is that Spike got mad when he learned the truth.”
“And the truth is..” Angel said.
“That I am still in love with you,” Buffy replied. Angel leaned in and they began to kiss. They moved closer to each other as the kissing became more intense. Then a bright blue light flashed before them and they pulled away from one another to see what it was. Buffy’s eyes began to water as she saw the figure that stood before them. Speechless, Angel just stared at the saintly visionary.
“Mommy…” Buffy stammered with tears rolling down her cheeks.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Buffy and Angel stared in amazement on the steps of the building. How was this possible, how could this angelic woman be in their presence. Joyce Summers had died a year and half ago but she now was there, standing before them with a loving smile on her glowing face.
“Mommy…. is, is it really you,” Buffy asked with tears rolling down her face.
“Yes my darling, it’s really me,” Joyce replied walking towards her daughter and opening her arms to her. Buffy fell into her mother’s warm embrace.
‘This, this right here….the motherly comfort, this was what I missed the most,’ Buffy thought. ‘The scent of your perfume, the look you would get when you knew something was up, the way you made blueberry pancakes…the little things that I always took for granted. I could stay like this for an eternity, please never let go.’
Just then, her mother pulled back and caressed the side of her daughters cheek, wiping away the tears. “Oh Buffy, you have become exactly what I hoped you would. I am so proud of you,” Joyce said smiling. “And look at you…so beautiful, but you have always beautiful.”
“I’ve missed you so much….there’s so much that I want to tell you,” Buffy said softly.
“I already know…I’ve been watching. You are doing a wonderful job, although you have had a few bumps in the road,” Joyce remarked.
“Mom, what’s going on… is this for real, are you really here,” Buffy said still not being able to believe her eyes.
“Ah, my sweet little girl…..I’m here for now but just to bring you a very special gift,” Joyce implied.
“What is it,” Buffy asked.
“You two….I never knew have truly special the two of you were until I watched you day in and day out from up there. You have sacrificed so much…your life, your freedom, your dreams, and even your love. A love that is so special that not even death can tear you apart. You two are connected for an eternity, you do know that. Angel is your destiny just as you are his. It was a love written in the stars. There has always been one obstacle standing in the way and that’s just bad timing,” Joyce explained looking at both Buffy and Angel. “But now to get back to the matters at hand. It’s time that you something in return for all your selfless acts. Angel, you are the champion among champions. No one has ever given so much of themselves and overcome so much as you. I know that you have been working for your redemption and as much as I would like to say that this is your time, I afraid that’s not true. There is still so much that must be done and you have been chosen to do it. Believe me though….your time for true happiness will come, you just have to be patient.”
“Well if it’s not my redemption, then what else could you possibly give me,” Angel asked.
“A second chance to have a family….a son,” Joyce replied.
“What?” Angel said.
“Yes. I am going to give you your son back. You deserve it. And to my precious daughter, I am going to give you an ease of mind,” Joyce stated.
“What are you talking,” Buffy asked still crying. Joyce walked up to her and leaned in to her ear.
“You didn’t come back wrong Buffy, just a change in molecular structure has enable Spike’s chip to detect you and you are a great sister. Never forget, timing is everything,” Joyce whispered. Then she stepped back and smiled at them both. “Now Angel, go to your son…he needs you and Buffy I am always with you.” Then just as quickly as she appeared, she was gone again.
“No mommy, please….don’t,” Buffy said dropping to her knees. Angel kneeled down beside her and placed his arms around her.
Then Cordelia stepped outside with Connor in her arms. “Angel…look. It’s a miracle. He’s okay… it just happened all of sudden he started crying and then…. I don’t know how it happened,” Cordelia said, shedding tears of happiness. Angel hopped up off the payment and took Connor in his arms, staring with utter joy.
“I know how,” Angel replied.
“How?” Cordelia asked.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Angel implied smiling down at Connor.
THE NEXT DAY
Xander sat on the couch as Cordelia walked down the stairs. Wesley, Giles, and Gunn stepped out the kitchen and joined them.
“So he’s still up there,” Xander asked.
“Yep. Angel refuses to leave from Connor’s crib,” Cordelia replied. “What about Buffy?”
“She won’t come inside. She hasn’t moved from that spot since the whole Joyce encounter,” Xander said placing his arm around Cordelia as she sat beside him.
“Well it’s understandable…this has to be traumatic on her,” Giles said.
“But she’s been out there all night and all day,” Xander said.
“So is anyone going to try to talk to her,” Gunn asked.
“When Buffy wants to talk, I’m sure she’ll let us know but until then I think we should give her some space,” Wesley replied. “So Giles what are your plans?”
“You know you always welcome back at la casa Buffy,” Xander commented
“Well since all seems to be good, I don’t see why I can’t return to England. I have a flight in a hour,” Giles said. “I am coming back in a month or so to visit.”
“How are you holding up,” Xander said to Cordelia.
“I’m fine but what about you…you were the one who has been knocked out a lot lately,” Cordelia implied stroking his head when he was recently hit.
“Hey after six years of battling evil, I’m immune to it,” Xander remarked.
“Oh for God’s sake will you two just get on with it,” Wesley said.
“Actually there is something I would like to talk to you about….in private.” Xander said as he stood up and put his hand out for Cordelia.
“Um, okay,” Cordelia said and accepted his hand. He led her into the office and shut the door behind them.
Cordelia sat on the desk waiting for Xander to say something. Xander paced back and forth jittery, with a very ‘deep in thought’ face.
“Xander while we’re young,” Cordelia stated.
“Okay…um Cordelia. I don’t really know how to say this so I’m just gonna spit it out……is it just me or do you feel this incredible connection. I mean it just seems like we have something between us, something that was never completely gone. Just please tell me you feel it,” Xander proclaimed taking Cordelia’s hand.
Cordelia didn’t say a word just stared into Xander’s eyes. “Cordy?….Oh God, I just made a complete fool of myself,” Xander said pulling away from her.
“Xander no. You didn’t make a fool of yourself,” Cordelia said. “I just…you kinda surprised me and yes I do feel something. I have always felt something Xander, even after everything we said to each other. But Xander, don’t you think that maybe you’re rushing this…you just broke up with Anya and I don’t want to be the rebound girl.”
“I don’t think so….in some sense I don’t think I ever got over you. I know that I was in love with Anya but I think to some extent that there was a fraction of my heart that always belong to you and will always belong to you,” Xander explained. “Okay I know this has to sound strange cause even when we were in a relationship, we didn’t talk much about our feeling. But I hope that you know that I loved you and my only problem was, was that I didn’t realize how much until I lost you. Did you love me?”
“Yes,” Cordelia said with her voice shaking. “Xander, everything your saying is very sweet…”
“Why do I feel a ‘but’ coming,” Xander interrupted.
“…but there is still the whole Anya situation. I know that your heart is broken and as much as I would like to be the one to mend it, I don’t think it’s fair…to you or to me,” Cordelia implied.
“How is this not being fair….we are giving us another chance. Come on Cor. What da ya say?” Xander said giving her the puppy dogface.
“Oh Xander…”Cordelia said.
“What?” Xander asked suspiciously.
“You are so cute,” Cordelia replied and then grabbed him and kissed him.
“So that’s a yes, right,” Xander said once they pulled apart from one another.
“Why do I always fall for losers,” Cordelia said and they wrapped their arms around each other.
“Cause…we’re just so darn irresistible,” Xander implied. Then they went out the office hand in hand.
(Outside the Office)
Cordelia and Xander joined Willow and Oz who had finally came down from upstairs.
“Hey guys. Have a productive night and half the day in the bedroom,” Xander smirked, moving his eyebrows up and down in a mischeify way.
“That is none of your business Xander…what about you two? You’re looking awfully chipper,” Willow said.
“What can I say…we’re just jolly people,” Xander implied. “Where are Giles, Wes, and Gunn?”
“I really am starting to worry about Buffy. She has been out there all night and now it’s almost sunset again,” Willow said.
“You think Buffy’s bad, you should see Angel,” Cordelia stated.
“Hasn’t come out of the bedroom huh,” Oz said.
“He hasn’t set 3 feet away from Connor,” Cordelia said. “I swear Angel is..”
“Coming down the stairs,” Angel said walking down to where the others were.
“Oh Angel how are you,” Willow asked.
“I’m fine. Cordy will you go watch Connor while I talk to….” Angel began but then hesitated and started looking around the room. “Buffy?”
“Outside,” Oz said.
“Xander, you want to help me,” Cordelia said heading up the stairs.
Xander looked back and forth between Willow, Oz, and Angel. He then smiled and dashed towards the stairs.
“Are they..” Angel asked.
“I think so,” Willow replied.
“I swear, it’s like talking to a brick wall,” Giles said coming in the door.
“What time is it,” Angel said.
“Um 6:27…” Willow stated looking down at her watch.
“Ah. Sunset. I’ll go talk to her,” Angel said and headed towards the door.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Angel stepped outside and saw Buffy still on her knees, in the very spot that he left her yesterday. He walked over to her and kneeled down beside her.
“Buffy, why don’t you come in with me,” Angel said.
“You know what I’ve been out here doing for the last 20 hours,” Buffy said softly once she looked up at him.
“What?” Angel asked.
“Thinking,” Buffy replied. “Everything would be so different if you never left me. My life would be…not necessarily better but very different.”
“Buffy, I….” Angel began.
“I’m glad you did,” Buffy interrupted. “cause once you left me, your life became better. I mean you made these incredible relationships with amazing people, even Cordelia…and I believe that you helped mold them into who they are today just as they have changed you. You are a wonderful man..”
“Except that I’m not a man,” Angel said.
“Yes you are. In every sense of the word. It doesn’t take a heart beat or being able to breathe or to have a reflection to be a man,” Buffy proclaimed. “A man is someone who takes responsibility, who helps others in need, who can own up to their mistakes…you are a man Angel and a father. Angel I am so happy that you have your son back, you truly deserve.”
“Buffy what is all this praise about? I mean don’t get me wrong I enjoy hearing myself referred to as a man but……does this have something to do with Spike,” Angel said.
“What,” Buffy said almost astonished by the question.
“Well you told me that you were in love with me but yet you seem to have all these feelings for him. And after everything that Spike’s has done lately…,” Angel exclaimed.
“I told Spike that I could never forget how he betrayed my trust but that I would over look it,” Buffy stated.
“But how can you just let him plotting against me roll off your back,” Angel said.
“Well I suppose the same way I let you terrorizing me and my friends for months roll off my back,” Buffy said defensively.
“I don’t want to fight with you,” Angel implied.
“I don’t either but you keep attacking me about this Spike thing,” Buffy said.
“Buffy the way you overcame the horrible things that I did when I turned was because you knew it wasn’t me and you loved me just as much as I loved you…so I’m guessing that the way you can forgive him for this is that you have deep feelings for Spike,” Angel said.
“I thought that you understood when we last talked. I told you where I stood with Spike and why things are so complicated…… In the last two years Spike has really proven himself to be more than just a blood sucking fiend. He has really helped me out, not just with the fighting… but with Dawn. What happened between Spike and me….the sex……it was a mistake but I felt like that’s what I needed in order to feel. Then you came back and I knew that wasn’t true cause every time I’m near you all I do is feel…I feel this incredible flutter in my heart. As much as I hate to admit it, Spike has earned friendship status but I told him that my heart belong to another,” Buffy explained.
Angel leaned in and they kiss. “I love you,” Angel whispered as they pulled apart. “I never stopped and I don’t think I ever will. You know that there was a point in time when I was so lonely that I actually thought I was falling for Cordelia,” Angel confessed.
“Cordelia? Really….do you,” Buffy said confused.
“No. Just as friend nothing more. You are the main person that has changed my life. I want you in my life….” Angel said.
“After my mom left, I was pretty much stunned,” Buffy interrupted. “But I’m really glad that she came because that little motherly speech that she gave us really put things into perspective for me. She was right, you know……about….”
“Angel! Buffy! I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” Wesley yelled running towards them with bags in his hand. Gunn was running behind him picking up the food that Wesley was dropping.
“You got the food,” Angel said sarcastically.
“Well that too but that’s not what I mean. Okay just let me catch my breath,” Wesley said panting. Gunn finally caught up to them.
“Damn Wes, you’ve been dropping food all the way from the market,” Gunn said.
“Sorry but while I was in the market, it just dawned on me…like a light bulb went off in my head,” Wesley stated. “Did you get the animal crackers that fell by the mailbox? I really hate to have lost them…they’re my favorite.” Gunn shook his head yes.
“Wes…is there a point to your light bulb,” Buffy asked.
“Oh yes…” Wesley replied, still a little out of breath. “well remember when you said that Whistler told you that Connor was the key to your redemption.”
“Yeah but Whistler never makes sense…he’s like a riddle you constantly have to figure out,” Angel implied.
“Yeah well I just figured out the riddle,” Wesley stated.
“What? You mean you actually know what he meant,” Angel said.
“Yeah, I was reading one of the books that we just had shipped in last week. There was this passage in this one book that I didn’t think about at the time but when I was in the market that passage just popped in my head and then it all connected,” Wesley explained.
“Well what did it say,” Buffy asked.
“Let’s go in and then I can show it to you and Giles,” Wesley replied.
“What do ya say Buffy, wanna go in,” Angel said.
Buffy hesitated at first but then said, “Sure, let’s go.”
Giles, Willow, and Oz were sitting down on the couch when Angel, Gunn, Buffy, and Wesley rushed in through the doors.
“What’s the big hurry,” Willow asked.
“Wesley solved the riddle,” Buffy replied.
“Riddle? There was a riddle? I didn’t know there was a riddle,” Willow stated.
“What’s this all about,” Giles said getting up off the couch.
“Okay Whistler told Angel that Connor was the key to Angel’s redemption. Naturally no one knew what he meant til Wes remembered this passage that he read in a book,” Gunn explained.
“Really….” Giles said taking his glasses off and cleaning them.
“What did it say,” Oz asked as he and Willow walked over to the table that Wesley was at looking through a stack of books.
“Okay here it is,” Wesley said picking up a book and flipping through the pages. “Bingo…” Wesley passed the book over to Giles pointing to a paragraph in the middle of the page.
“If thy life were drained through thy blood and thy death were artificial, making ye a creature of the night,” Giles said reading the text. “then with the fruit of life shall thy be redeemed…”
“Man that’s some prophecy,” Oz remarked.
“Then it says….a man shall walk among the creatures who has the aspects of both worlds. His heart will not beat and he will yearn for the taste of blood, yet through remorse and compassion he will become a warrior. A child, being too pure for the mortal world, will be born through hatred. When the moon is in complete alignment with the planets, darkness shall fall and the spawn of this man shall mature and die, to return to the heavens and rule as a God. With this death the soul of child shall redeem the father.”
“So Connor’s like this baby God,” Oz said.
“Well in a sense, I suppose he is,” Giles implied.
“Wow…I mean Angel’s son will become this supernatural phenomenon,” Buffy stated.
“Yeah but he has to die,” Angel remarked. “I can’t let him die.”
“Angel you have time to spend with him now. There is no telling when this will happen. It doesn’t say in the book,” Giles said.
“Besides Angel, it’s all for the best. Connor will rule the heavens, he is meant to more than a mortal. This must be the big test that you must complete to get your redemption. When the time comes will you be willing to give up your son and let him become his destiny,” Wesley proclaimed.
Angel walked upstairs and entered his room. Then Cordelia and Xander came out the room, Cordelia fixing her hair and Xander buttoning his shirt.
“Oh hey Buff,” Xander said following Cordelia down the stairs. “You better now?”
“Yeah. I just was sorting things out, that’s all,” Buffy implied.
“We were starting to worry about you,” Xander said.
“No need to, I’m fine. It’s Angel we should worry about,” Buffy said.
“What’s wrong with him,” Cordelia asked. “He literally threw us out the bedroom.”
“He’s going to have to make the hardest decision a father will have to,” Buffy replied.
***** Angel Investigations *****
Cordelia sat on the couch with her head buried in her hands. Xander was trying to comfort her while the rest of the gang stayed separate from them, figuring that she needed her space.
“Giles…what’s up. You have something face,” Buffy said, noticing that he looked uneasy.
“As it seems, my plane will be leaving in twenty minutes and it looks like that’s my cab’s out there, so I think it’s time for my departure,” Giles said to everyone.
“What? You’re not even coming back to Sunnydale to visit for a while,” Buffy said walking up to him.
“I’ll be back,” Giles said leaning in to hug her.
“I’ll miss you,” Buffy said softly. “Call me when you get in.”
“You take care of yourself, you hear,” Giles whispered just before they pulled apart.
“Have a nice flight,” Willow said as Giles grabbed his bag.
“Goodbye all,” Giles said walking to the door.
“Not goodbye, just see ya later,” Xander commented. Giles let a little chuckle and then smiled one last time at everyone.
“Yes, see you later,” Giles said as he opened the door. “Please give Angel my best.” Giles walked out the door and got into the cab. Buffy, Wesley, Willow, and Oz walked over to the door and waved as the cab pulled off.
“You know, as much leaving that goes on in my life, you think it would be easier to let um go,” Buffy remarked as they walked back into the room.
“But it’s not,” Oz said as he placed his arm around Willow’s shoulder.
“No…. it’s not,” Buffy said. “Cordelia are you going to be okay?”
“It’s just not fair,” Cordelia said raising her head, with tears in her eyes and her makeup smeared. “We just got Connor back and now we have to lose him all over again just so he can become some damn god!”
“Cordelia, it is his destiny,” Wesley said.
“Yeah well screw destiny,” Cordelia yelled. “Destiny sure as hell has screwed us over enough. I mean it was Buffy’s destiny to be a slayer and be a freak all her life…”
“Oh thanks Cordelia,” Buffy interrupted.
“…it was Oz’s destiny to be a werewolf, it was Willow’s destiny to be a Wicca addict..,” Cordelia ranted. “..it was Angel’s destiny to never be able to experience true happiness unless he plans to go on a killing spree, and it’s Xander’s destiny to be a….”
“Okay hun, I think we get the point,” Xander said cutting her off.
“Well there has to be a way out of it. I mean a loophole or something. Have you even tried to look for a way?” Cordelia asked.
“I’m sorry but there is nothing,” Wesley replied. “I just hope Angel will be willing to let him go.”
“Why….does Angel have some sort of say in this,” Cordelia said.
“Not really, Connor will become a god, there’s no question in that. Connor is pure, not tainted by hatred or evil. Angel must be completely pure of heart when the time comes but if Angel resents the greater power or even if for a moment he is scornful about what must come, then he could possibly lose his only chance for redemption,” Wesley explained. “See this is the big test. Angel must give up his son for the greater good with no anger inside him. He must be willing to lose Connor and if Angel can do this with no remorse then he has proven himself worthy for redemption. Angel will be human….”
“When? When will this take place,” Gunn asked.
“There is no telling. It could be next week. Next month, next year, or even three years from now….that is why I suggest that Angel spend as much time with Connor as possible. Savor these final moments that he has with him so that he can cherish them forever,” Wesley proclaimed. Buffy walked over to Xander and whispered in his ear. Xander whispered back and then she went up the stairs.
“I know it’s the right thing to do,” Cordelia implied. “but this is an innocent baby…”
“That has a greater plan than being a mortal. Think of all the great things that can come of this, Connor will be a God,” Wesley stated. “Do you know what that means?”
“Why don’t you tell me,” Cordelia said.
“It means that he will have a purpose, a place…. he’s not meant to be here, Angel wasn’t meant to have a child but somewhere there was a slip-up and Connor was sent to this time. He is meant to have power, control, superiority….he is meant to rule the heavens,” Wesley exclaimed.
“Isn’t being the son of a soul tortured vampire enough,” Cordelia said.
“I guess not. Not in this case….we just have to trust in fate’s plan and hope that everything works out for the best,” Wesley stated.
“Yeah, well I’m slowly beginning to lose my trust,” Cordelia implied.
Buffy peeked her head into Angel’s room. He was sitting on the bed with Connor in his arms, just staring at him and smiling.
“How can I let you go…you are my son,” Angel said not taking his eyes off Connor. Connor gazed into his father’s face and started giggling. Angel let out a long sigh. “But I know what I must do…..I’ll miss you so much.” Angel leaned down and kissed Connor on his forehead.
Buffy closed the door, not wanting to intrude on any of his time with his son. She knew that he was going threw something that she could never even contemplate until she had a child. She could see the pain in his face and hear the sadness in his voice. This was the time that he needed to spend with his son. Buffy walked down the hall and into Fred’s room, where she had been staying.
Gunn and Wesley walked into the office, to take care of some new cases that came in earlier. Willow, Oz, and Xander were sitting on couch still trying to comfort
Cordelia when Spike walked in.
“Whoa what’s with all the pain I’m sensing in here,” Spike said slamming the door. Spike stumbled towards the others; he seemed to be a tad bit on the drunken side.
“Have you been drinking,” Willow asked.
“Oh I may of had one or two drinks,” Spike replied, flopping down on the couch.
“Let’s try 13 or 14,” Xander smirked.
“Sod off why don’t you….besides there is no harm in drowning my sorrows with a drink,” Spike stated. “I’ve had my heart broken here people. I think I should receive a little slack, so just drop dead.”
Xander started to speak but then he was jerked down to floor as if someone threw him to the ground. He started gasping for air and his whole body was trembling.
“Xander! What’s wrong,” Cordelia said lifting his head into her lap.
“Don’t take me so literally mate, I didn’t really mean drop dead,” Spike said.
Everyone stood up around Xander. Oz and Spike helped him onto the couch and laid him down. His whole body was ice cold and he turned pale.
“Xander, God what’s the matter,” Cordelia asked, her voice started to shake.
“An…” Xander replied hoarsely.
“What’d he say,” Oz said.
“An--ya…..” Xander repeated.
“It sounded like he said Anya,” Willow remarked. “Xander what’s this have to do with Anya?”
“It’s her…” Xander strained. “Stop her.”
“How do you know,” Cordelia asked.
Xander winced in pain when he suddenly received three deep cuts across his chest. “I just know,” Xander replied. Cordelia ran into the kitchen and got a dishtowel. She ran back to Xander and put it over his wound to stop the bleeding.
“Oh, I get it…ex vengeance demon, ex boyfriend,” Willow stated.
“Well she seems to be active again,” Spike remarked.
“Buffy! Buffy!” Cordelia yelled. “Wesley! Gunn! Buffy!”
All at the same time Buffy ran down the stairs, Wesley and Gunn ran out the office and said, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s Xander,” Cordelia said with tears welding in her eyes. “I think he’s dying.”
“Xander said he thinks it’s Anya,” Willow said with her eyes also watery.
“A woman scorn,” Buffy remarked. “Okay who’s going, who’s staying?”
“Oz and me will go,” Willow stated.
“Okay the rest of you stay here and watch after Xander, make sure he doesn’t get worse,” Buffy said.
“I’m going to,” Cordelia implied. Buffy and Willow both looked at her in disbelief. “Guys, I have to. Maybe I can reason with her.”
“Okay,” Buffy said sincerely. “Spike, Gunn, Wesley...please watch out for Xander and if Angel ever comes down, then tell him were we are and we’ll be back soon. But don’t disturb him while he’s in his room, only tell him if he comes out….he needs all the time he has with Connor,” Buffy exclaimed.
“Okay,” Wesley said earnestly. “Good luck.”
“Bye guys,” Oz said.
“Be careful…watch your back,” Gunn stated.
“You’ll be fine Xander…..I promise,” Buffy reassured him.
Cordelia leaned down to him and kissed his clammy forehead. “When everything is better, make sure we have sex,” she whispered in his ear.
Xander let out a whisky chuckle and grabbed his chest from the pain. Cordelia was about to walk away when Xander grabbed her hand and kissed it. Then laid his head back down and closed his eyes.
Buffy, Willow, and Oz were waiting at the door. Spike walked up to Buffy and handed her the keys to his car.
“Don’t wrecked pet,” Spike said solemnly.
“Spike I’m trusting you to watch after Xander. The key word here being trust,” Buffy said as she took the keys from Spike’s hand.
“Don’t get yourself hurt you hear,” Spike said.
“Please Anya can’t take me, Demon or no demon,” Buffy remarked.
“I didn’t mean Anya…I meant driving,” Spike smirked. They shared a smile and then Willow, Cordelia, Oz, and Buffy started out the door. “Buffy!” Buffy turned back around at looked at Spike. “You can trust me.” Buffy nodded her head and then closed the door.
TWO HOURS LATER
***** In Sunnydale *****
Buffy, Willow, Oz, and Cordelia pulled into the driveway at Buffy’s house. Willow, Oz, and Cordelia all had a face expression of relief on their face. Dawn opened the door and stepped onto the pouch, followed by Fred and Tara.
“Buffy, on the way home I am driving,” Cordelia said getting out of the car.
“Oh come on, it wasn’t that bad,” Buffy said as they all walked towards the house.
“I think I have a neck spasm from all the jerking,” Oz remarked rubbing the back of his neck.
“Buffy, I’m so glad you’re here,” Dawn said and hugged Buffy once she reached her. “I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too. Are you okay…anything strange happen since you came back,” Buffy asked.
“No not really. Anya is staying in your room. We didn’t think you would be back so soon and Tara’s not always here so I said Anya could stay until you got back,” Dawn replied.
“Oh…that’s nice. Where is Anya,” Buffy said walking into the house and looking around.
“I don’t know. Since yesterday, I haven’t seen her,” Dawn stated. “Where’s Xander?”
“He stayed in L.A….” Cordelia said.
“Why?” Dawn asked.
“Because he, he…he” Willow stuttered waving her hands for someone to help her out.
“He’s not feeling to good….right guys,” Anya said coming into the house.
***** In L.A. *****
Xander was continuously shivering on the couch. He face was sweaty and his hands were clammy. Every time he coughed, it sounded weak and shallow and he had to grab his chest from the pain.
“Cordelia……Cordelia,” Xander said incoherently, grabbing Gunn’s hand who was sitting next to him.
“No, no man…I’m Gunn,” Gunn said snatching his hand from Xander. “Cordy went to talk to your demon girl.” Xander laid his head back down and closed his eyes.
“How’s he doing,” Wesley asked bringing a wet cloth to wipe Xander’s forehead with.
“Not to good, if he can mistake a black man for a hot-to-trot white woman,” Gunn replied taking the cloth from Wesley and placing it onto Xander’s forehead.
“They had better do something fast,” Spike remarked. “It doesn’t look like he’s gonna make it for much longer.”
Angel was staring into Connor’s face, trying to memorize every detail, every single feature of his son. Angel wanted Connor’s sweet innocent face etched into his mind.
“I love you so much, yes I do,” Angel said talking baby talk. “And Aunty Cordy, she loves you too. We’ll miss you so much, but Uncle Wesley was right. You must fulfill your destiny.”
“And you know that cute little dark blonde you’ve seen around lately. That’s Buffy Summers, the girl of my dreams. We had a rocky relationship but it finally seems like we’re back on track. Don’t worry, I’m sure she already loves you. Who could resist your cute little face,” Angel ranted. “I’m pretty sure that you were routing for me and Aunty Cordy to get together but now that Buffy has come back to my life, I’m sure you see how much we mean to each other. Besides Xander, you know that strange fumbling guy, he and Cordelia have always had this strange relationship. Kinda like kismet. Just like me and Buffy. How about we go downstairs so that you can get better requited with Buffy.”
Angel took Connor into his arms and walked out the door.
Angel walked down the stairs and noticed that Gunn and Wesley were huddled around the couch. He saw that Spike stood to the side, not looking too interested in what was going on.
“Wes, what’s going…” Angel said but then stopped when he noticed Xander on the couch. “..on. Xander, what’s wrong with Xander?”
“Xander says that he believes Anya’s back to her old tricks. Cordelia, Willow, Oz, and Buffy went to try to straighten everything out,” Wesley said.
“Well did Giles go with them too,” Angel asked.
“No. He went back to England. He wished you the best,” Wesley replied.
“I hope they get back soon. I really needed to talk to Buffy,” Angel stated as he sat down in the chair.
“What’s the matter, need some of slayer satisfaction? Oh yeah that’s right, you can’t have any,” Spike smirked. “Unless it’s a stake through the heart that you’re after and if that’s the case then I’ll gladly volunteer my services.”
“Why are you back in my hotel,” Angel asked harshly.
***** In Sunnydale *****
Buffy grabbed Anya by the arm and led her into the kitchen. Cordelia followed them into the kitchen while Willow and Oz remained in the living room with Dawn and Tara.
“Anya, you have to stop this,” Buffy demanded.
“Stop what,” Anya said snatching her arm away from Buffy.
“Anya, you’re killing him,” Cordelia implied.
“Why don’t you just shut the hell up, you Xander stealing vagrant,” Anya yelled. “This is all your fought…. if you just would have stop batting your eyes at him and pushing your way back into his life by finding all this excuses to get me away from him…”
“Anya just stop it,” Buffy interrupted. “Stop attacking Cordelia.” Buffy stops in mid-sentence. “God I never thought I’d say that…..huh anyways back to what I was saying..You’re the one that let Xander go, you broke up with him.”
“Only because I didn’t want to be the one that was broke upie. That’s my worst fear…having a man break up with me, well that and bunnies. Besides, I can read between the lines. I saw the feelings that they still harbored for each other. I can still sense these things, you know, just because I didn’t still have my powers doesn’t mean that I can’t sense when unfaithfulness is brewing,” Anya exclaimed.
“Anya, listen to me…..Yes it is true that Xander and I are back together but Xander did love you and you broke his heart when you left,” Cordelia said.
“Yes and I’m sure you were happy as daisies to be the one to pick up the pieces,” Anya smirked.
“Anya I was uneasy about starting a relationship with Xander so soon because I knew that he still cared so deeply for you. Xander and I had a very long talk before we decided to try it again,” Cordelia explained. “I mean we didn’t even realize that we still had feelings for each other until you pointed it out but we would have never acted upon them. I understand why you are so angry…..believe me I’ve been there. When I walked in on Xander and Willow kissing, I couldn’t breathe. All I wanted was revenge but instead I ran away to L.A. Sure I claimed it was because I wanted to explore my acting career but the real reason was because I couldn’t stand to be in the same town as Xander Harris. He hurt me that much…..but that was the past. We have worked past all that…..”
“You know this is all very touching but if you think that for one second I’m just going to let him get away with hurting me and not pay then you have another thing coming,” Anya interrupted.
“Anya, we didn’t plan for this to happen. It just did okay….No one wanted anybody to get hurt…but this is not the answer,” Cordelia said with tears streaming down her face. “Please Anya, I know you still love Xander…don’t do this to him.”
“Of course I still love Xander. I just want this aching pain inside me to stop. I just don’t understand why any human being would subject themselves to this kind of torture,” Anya proclaimed. “If I just had my powers then I could erase all this…”
“Wait! Anya are you saying that you don’t have your powers back, you’re still just a human,” Buffy exclaimed.
“Yes I am still just a pathetic mortal. And you see, just like a human when something bad happens who do you blame…..the ex demon,” Anya said pointing at herself.
“Well then why were you talking about all this revenge and that Xander needed to pay,” Cordelia asked.
“Well I mean I may not be causing all this pain towards Xander directly but I did kinda make a wish,” Anya muttered softly.
“What? You wished this on Xander. How? Who? Why?” Buffy said incoherently. “Well leave off that last part, I know why but how? Who?”
“Well you remember that vengeance demon friend of mine. The woman that was coming to the wedding….Halfrek. Well she visited me after she heard about the breakup and offered me a chance to let him suffer. I just wanted him to feel as much pain as I felt,” Anya stated.
“Well unwish it,” Cordelia said.
“Why should I. So you and Xander can go on with your marry little lives,” Anya said bluntly.
“Anya listen to me very carefully. You are my friend but I’ve known Xander a hell of lot longer than I’ve known you and I am a slayer…I can make you hurt in ways that you can’t even conceive, now call on your little friend and unwish it before Xander dies,” Buffy ordered.
“You know I do love Xander….he meant a lot to me,” Anya said.
“Yeah and you know what Xander loved you too, but your feeble way of thinking, always assuming the worst possible thing and running your mouth…being so blunt and adjective all the time, that’s what made you lose Xander. Don’t ruin his life just because you can’t keep a grasp on reality,” Buffy proclaimed.
Anya looked away from Buffy and glared at Cordelia. Then she gazed down at the floor and fell to her knees crying. Cordelia kneeled down beside her and handed her a Kleenex.
“Anya please…don’t do this to Xander. You know he doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. He’s not like those other guys that hurt woman on purpose. Please Anya, unwish it,” Cordelia pleaded.
“You’ll take care of him…make sure he goes to work on time and if he starts to do that snoring, wheezing thing when he sleeps just slap him in the face and he’ll stop,” Anya implied.
Cordelia let out a little laugh and said, “I’ll watch out for him.”
“Good now Anya, don’t you have some unwishing to do,” Buffy stated.
“Oh very well,” Anya said as she got up off the floor. “Halfrek!….. Helfrek!…. Helfrek!”
Then there was a big poof of smoke and appeared Halfrek.
“Anyanka, how can I help you now. Thought of another torturous wish you want to bestow upon your cheating heartbreaking mortal,” Halfrek said. She looked to the side and noticed Cordelia standing there. “Hel-lo…you must be that man stealing L.A. tramp that Anyanka has told me so much about. I’ve heard so much about you.”
“I’m sure you have and just to set the record straight one more time….I did not steal Xander,” Cordelia insisted. “Oh and I prefer to be called Cordelia instead of L.A. tramp, if that’s all right with you.”
“Very well,” Halfrek replied and then turned her attention back to Anya. “Okay Anyanka what disease do you want invoked…rabies, hepatitis, or some thing like malaria.”
“No. I want to unwish the agonizing sickness, the slashes on his body, and anything else that you did to him,” Anya stated.
“Are you sure Anyanka,” Halfrek asked. “I just gave him a really bad case of syphilis.”
“Really? And can you still give him a tumor,” Anya said.
“Anya!” Buffy said sharply before Halfrek could answer.
“Oh. Yes, yes, yes….just undo it,” Anya replied.
“Okay but I am not making a habit of granting unwishes,” Halfrek implied. “Don’t ask this of me again.” Halfrek put her hands in the air and then snapped her fingers. “There…it’s done…..goodbye.” Then with another blanket of smoke she was gone.
Cordelia cell phone started to ring and when she answered it, she realized it was Wesley.
“Yes…how is…oh thank goodness,” Cordelia exclaimed. “Let me talk to him….Xander, are you okay….you sure…yes I miss you too….I will…do you remember what I told you to make sure of before I left…..well get ready…..okay see you soon.” Cordelia hung up the phone with a very big smile on her face. “Thank you Anya, thank you so much.”
“Yes well if you will excuse me I am going to drown my sorrows in a big bowl of ice cream…that is what you mortals do when you are sad right,” Anya said.
“Yeah…that’s what we mortals do,” Buffy said.
(In the Living Room)
Willow, Oz, and Tara were still standing in the same spots that Buffy had left them. A very strong sense of awkwardness filled the room. Dawn and Fred had went to watch TV. and as they saw Buffy, Cordelia, and Anya coming into the room, Dawn turned the TV. off and they walked over to the group.
“So what’s going on,” Dawn asked.
“Nothing…everything’s fine,” Buffy replied.
“So everything went as you ‘wished’” Willow stated obviously.
“Even Connor is back to normal,” Buffy told Fred.
“So then I can go home,” Fred asked.
“Yeah we are going to take you back with us…Dawn stay with Tara and I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Buffy said.
“Okay sure…I’ll miss you,” Dawn said and she leaned in to hug Buffy.
“I’ll miss you too,” Buffy said as she tightly embraced her sister. “And remember..no one with a Kool-Aid mustache allowed in the house.
“Okay,” Dawn said giggling.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of her,” Tara implied.
“I know you will and I really appreciate this Tara,” Buffy said pulling away from her sister. “Okay guys everyone pile in the bat mobile.”
Just as Willow and Oz were about to follow Buffy, Cordelia, and Fred out the door, Tara grabbed Willow by the arm.
“I just w-w-wanted to say that I’m h-h-happy for you and Oz. I a-a-always knew that you and him would get back together,” Tara said. “No bad feelings between us.”
“Thank you....that means so much to me,” Willow said and leaned in and hugged Tara.
“Goodbye Willow,” Tara said softly.
“You will always have a piece of me with you,” Willow whispered in her ear and then they pulled apart.
“Bye Oz,” Tara said.
Oz slightly smiled and said, “Take care.” Then he and Willow went out and joined the others in the car.
As they started to pull away, with Buffy driving Spikes car and everyone scrunched into his small car, Oz said, “tell me again why we didn’t just ride in my van.”
TWO HOURS LATER
Buffy, Cordelia, Fred, Willow, and Oz pulled up to the hotel. Cordelia jumped out the car and ran through the front door. Xander stood up when she came through the door and she ran into his arms. They kissed passionately and intensely.
“Where’s Buffy,” Angel asked still holding Connor in his arms.
Cordelia tried to mumble a sentence but Xander just pulled her closer into the kiss, muffling her mouth with his lips.
“Buffy’s right here,” Buffy said smiling, standing in the doorway. Immediately a huge smile came to Angel’s face, he slowly and carefully handed Connor over to Wesley, and rushed to the doorway. He took her into his arms and they kissed, a kiss like never before. A kiss with so much love, so much devotion, so much anxiety.
“Hey guys…can we get by,” Oz said as he, Willow, and Fred tried to get around the lip locked couple in the doorway.
“Come on guys…move the smooching somewhere else,” Willow pleaded from behind.
“Mum, she’s right,” Buffy said stealing one more kiss. “So miss me?”
“I miss you when you’re gone for a second,” Angel said as they walked towards the Wesley and the gang.
“So Fred how was your stay,” Gunn asked.
“Oh, I had so much fun…it was just like a big slumber party…Dawn’s so cool,” Fred replied. Gunn took her bag and carried it to the couch.
Xander walked over to Buffy and pulled her to side. He whispered something in her ear and then pointed over at Cordelia who was standing impatiently at the door. Buffy smiled and nodded her head ‘okay’. Then they hugged and she kissed him on the cheek.
“Well guys as much as I would love to stay around and chit chat…well actually no I wouldn’t cause me and Xander have better things to do right now, like each other…so if you don’t mind,” Cordelia said pulling Xander by the arm to go out the door.
“Ohh.. okay guys see ya later,” Xander said just before Cordelia yanked him out the door.
“Those guys….there gonna…well,” Willow said making a weird face.
“Yeah Will, I think we got that,” Oz said as he grabbed her hand.
“Spike here,” Buffy said as she threw his keys to him. “Don’t go anywhere okay.” Then she started up the stairs.
“Yeah sure,” Spike said watching her go up the stairs.
“Well guys…me and Oz are out of here. He’s taking me around the world….to all those places that he’s been and I haven’t. It will be a good distraction from all the magic. I’m just gonna run upstairs and tell Buffy that I’ll be back in about two months,” Willow stated, then she kissed Oz on the cheek and went up the stairs.
FIVE MINUTES HAVE PASSED
“Willow better get a move on,” Oz said.
“I’ll see what’s keeping her,” Angel said starting towards the stairs.
“Do you want me to take Connor for a while,” Wesley offered.
“No. I got it,” Angel said holding Connor back and then he went up the stairs.
“Angel are you gonna be able to let him go,” Wesley asked.
Angel stopped at the top of the stairs and turned around to look down at Wesley. “I took a lot of time to think about this and I came to realize that you were right. As much as I will hate to lose my son, he must follow through with his destiny and I won’t resent the powers for that. They are giving me this time now to have a son and I will do what I have to do to show my appreciation…even if that means I have to give him up,” Angel proclaimed.
Wesley smiled slightly and nodded his head.
As Angel approached Fred’s room, he noticed that the door was cracked. Inside Willow and Buffy were have a discussion and a couple of words stopped him before he went inside. He stood outside and started to listen to the conversation.
“Are you sure,” Willow asked.
“Yeah…I mean for right now anyways,” Buffy replied.
“Well what’s Xander doing?” Willow said.
“Oh he and Cordelia are going to ravage each other immensely. He said he was gonna stay with her at her place for a while and then they would decide where to go from there,” Buffy stated.
“Where’s that….from the bed to the floor,” Willow smirked.
“Willow…” Buffy said amused.
“Did that come off as a tad bit sarcastic,” Willow asked.
“Yes it did,” Buffy replied.
“Good cause I meant it too,” Willow said. “I know after all this time…I can’t help it, I’m still a little protective over Xander when it comes to Cordelia…I guess it’s because I haven’t had a chance to get to know her since they all say she’s change… she still seems the same to me.”
“I know….I’m a little skeptical about Cordelia’s new self. You know she’s still kinda has her Joan Collins ‘tude but she makes Xander happy…besides you have Oz,” Buffy stated.
“At which I am so lucky…” Willow implied with a big smile on her face.
“Yes you are,” Buffy said. “Oh what are you going to do about Riley.”
“Oh well while you and Cordelia were talking to Anya, Fred mentioned how she always wanted a pet so I told her she could rat sit while I was gone….she got so happy,” Willow replied.
“Okay…now I want you to go out there, get that boy, leave L.A., and drink many mocha cocas for me,” Buffy stated.
“Well do,” Willow said and then she opened the door. Once she did, they saw Angel standing there with Connor and he just smiled awkwardly.
“Hi. I was just looking for Connor’s teething ring…I dropped it out here somewhere,” Angel said clumsily.
“Uh huh,” Buffy said not believing Angel’s story.
“Bye guys,” Willow said as she went out the door.
“Bye! Oh call me as soon as you stop at some exotic place,” Buffy yelled hoping that Willow heard her.
“Okay,” Willow yelled back.
Angel walked into the bedroom and closed the door behind him.
“Teething ring huh,” Buffy smirked.
“Well maybe I was listening just a little,” Angel said and leaned in for a kiss.
“Maybe,” Buffy implied and they kissed again. Angel looked over to the bed and saw that she had her bag out and was packing.
“What’s going on….you leaving,” Angel asked as his smile slowly faded from his face.
“Yes…I have to go,” Buffy replied. Angel looked away from her. “Angel listen to me.” Buffy guided him over to the bed and they set down. “Okay remember when we were outside talking and I told you that I did a lot of thinking about what my mom said.”
“Yeah but what does that have to do with you leaving,” Angel said.
“Angel she said that one thing that has always stood in our way was bad timing,” Buffy stated. Angel looked over at her. “She was right…you know she was right. As much as I would love to live in denial land, we have to face up to this. It’s not our time….I have responsibilities in Sunnydale and you have them here. We live in two totally different worlds and as much as we love each other, right now it just want work.”
“You not going to get back with Spike are you,” Angel asked.
“Angel there is only one vampire that I’m jonesing for. Besides we are not gonna lose touch like last time. I plan on keeping in constant contact with you and I won’t updates on this little guy,” Buffy replied.
“Are you sure you want to end this,” Angel said.
“I’m not ending it, just postponing….Wesley was right. There is no telling when Connor’s prophecy will take place and you should spend as much time with him as you can. I would just be a distraction and I wouldn’t won’t you to lose anytime that you with your son,” Buffy explained.
“So once again we must sacrifice our love for the greater good,” Angel said forcing a smile on his face.
Buffy leaned down and kissed Connor on his forehead and then she kissed Angel. “Our time will come….we just have to be patient,” Buffy said softly. Angel got up and walked to his room to put Connor in his crib. Then he came back in just as Buffy was zipping up her bag.
“Here let me get that,” Angel said picking up her bag.
Spike rose to feet once he noticed Buffy and Angel coming down. Angel signaled for Wesley to go upstairs and watch over Connor. As Wesley approached Buffy they said their goodbyes and he continued up the stairs.
“So love…what’s this all about,” Spike asked.
“We’re going home,” Buffy replied.
“We’re…as in you and me…together,” Spike said.
“What?..you expect me to walk all the way back to Sunnydale,” Buffy smirked.
“No well does this mean that…” Spike began.
“No. Nothing’s change and it’s not gonna change. It’s just me and Angel have decided to postpone our relationship so that he can spend all his time with Connor without having any distractions around,” Buffy explained. She walked over to the door and took her bag from Angel. The stood there for a moment, neither one really ready to let the other go again.
“Hey that’s works for me…ready,” Spike said walking past them as he went out the door and went to his car. “Come on let’s get back to good old Sunny-hell farm.”
“Well I guess this I should just go,” Buffy said reluctantly.
“Yeah….Call me when you get home,” Angel said looking down at the ground.
“Sure….” Buffy replied as turned away and started to walk off.
“I love you,” Angel said with his voice shaking.
Buffy stopped walking and turned around to looked at him. She couldn’t hold the tears back any longer. She walked back over to him and they kissed. They kiss was like no other kiss they have even shared….it was magical. It seemed to have took them to another world, where it was just them and they had no ties to the world. But soon reality hit and they pulled away.
“I love you too,” Buffy said as they looked into each others eyes. Angel slowly caressed the side of her face wiping away her tears. They kissed once more, this one not quite as intense and then Buffy started walking to the car.
“Buffy,” Angel yelled out to her. Buffy stopped at the car door and looked over at him. “You still my girl?”
Buffy smiled remembering the first time he asked her that. “Always,” she replied.
Buffy got into passenger side with Spike in the driver’s side and then they pulled away from the hotel leaving Angel standing on the steps. Wesley walked out holding Connor, who was crying and handed him over to Angel. Angel cradled Connor and watched as the car drove away into the sunset. Then he drew a deep breath and a single tear slowly fell from his eye.