Title: A New Life
Disclaimer: I still don't own Buffy or Stargate. I also don't own Angel. All characters will be returned their proper owners when I finish playing with them.
Spoilers/Timeline: Buffy, post series; Angel, post series; Stargate, through season 7 and selected bits of season 8
A/N: This takes place immediately after Rebuilding
Rating: ages 13 and up for a few bad words and just in case marital bliss gives you the willies
Xander collapsed on the hotel bed, arms over his head. A whiff of something unpleasant wafted upwards from his armpits. He groaned and rolled off the bed. Maybe he should have take them up on their offer to shower at Peterson AFB when Riley and Sam dropped him off. He opened his suitcase and grabbed a fresh set of clothes. With luck, he'd have time to shower and change before Buffy and JT returned from where ever they had disappeared to.
Once in the bathroom he stripped off his clothes, giving them a critical look. Definitely destined for the trash, including the boots. From previous experience he know that they just weren't cleanable. Good thing the Council gave him a clothing allowance. He turned on the shower, setting the temperature to hot. He removed his eye patch and stepped into the shower as the room began to fill with steam.
He contemplated what he was going to tell Buffy while he lathered up his hair. LA had been what Riley had called a cluster fuck. From what Willow had been able to piece together, Dead Boy and his team had moved up the timetable for the apocalypse. Not an inexcusable thing in and of itself, they had done it in Sunnydale the year before, but the execution of the plan had sucked big time. The smell of demon guts was slowly replaced by a floral scent. Crap, you think he would have learned his lesson in Sunnydale. He was using the wrong shampoo. He rinsed his hair and reached for his shampoo only to discover it was just about empty. Great, now he'd smell like a girl. Turning off the water, he grabbed a towel, giving his hair a quick rub before wrapping it around his waist.
He heard the door to the room open.
“I'll be right out. Just cleaning up.”
JT looked at the coverlet on the bed closest to the bathroom. “You know, you could have done that before killing the bedspread.”
“Yeah, I could have. But I've just had a really bad couple of days.”
Xander quickly dressed and left the bathroom. He walked over to Buffy and gave her a quick hug before sitting on a clean spot on the bed. Buffy and JT sat down on the other bed.
“So, how much made the news?”
“Not much. Just a mysterious gas leak and an unrelated riot.”
“Almost as bad as Sunnydale. You'd think that they'd at least try for another explanation.”
“Ignorance is bliss, and in this case, an art form.”
“Willow and the others?”
“Willow's fine. Faith, Riley and Sam are slightly dented but they'll be fine.”
“I'm sorry Buffy. We're pretty sure they are dead. We think they all are except for Lorne and Ilyria.”
JT wrapped an arm around Buffy. “Ilyria?”
“One of the old ones, she possessed Fred's body a couple of months ago. What the hell happened in LA?”
Damn, he hated to do this. “According to Lorne, Angel accepted ownership of Wolfram and Hart and tried to bring it down from the inside. The senior partners hoped that ownership would corrupt him and his team. It looks like both sides got what they wanted. After Cordy died and Fred was possessed by Ilyria, Angel kind of lost it. He became obsessed with bringing the firm down sooner rather than later. He even gave up his chance to become a real boy again.”
“Something about 'shansu' where a vamp with a soul could become human again. He gave up his chance in order bring down Wolfram and Hart. Wesley and Gunn had pretty much lost it by then as well. It seems that they were both in love with Fred. I guess they felt that they no longer had anything to lose. I don't know why Spike went along with it.”
“As much as he sometimes hated Angel, I think he always looked up to him. Even though Drusilla actually sired him, Angel was his mentor. He always followed in his footsteps, even if it was unwillingly at times.” Buffy leaned against JT. “How did it happen?”
“They all went out on suicide missions. The survivors were to meet back at the hotel. The plan didn't work as well as they thought. They took out all of their targets but it was too late. The senior partners had already unleashed their army. We got there just after the battle started. Gunn was dead before we arrived. Riley thinks that he saw Spike and Angel get dusted. It was too chaotic to be sure but Willow hasn't been able locate either of them. It was only a fluke that she found Lorne. He left town as soon as his job was finished.”
“He didn't make it back to the Hyperion. Ilyria eliminated his target.”
A slight shudder ran through her body as she remembered her third watcher. She couldn't imagine the bookish young man taking on a suicide mission.
“So, what happens now?”
“Willow and Lorne are heading to Cleveland for now. He's not in good shape emotionally. Faith and Ilyria are doing a final sweep in LA. Riley and Sam are on their way back to DC for the rest of their rest and relaxation.”
“I'm getting another room. I need a long, quiet night. But first, anyone up for dinner?”
“Sure. JT knows this really great restaurant. It's called O'Malleys.”