The One Girl In All The World
Author's Note: One of my more recent Buffy non-crossover stories. Definitely an AU. Kind of dark, too.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon created the Buffy and Angel characters.
X X X X X
Angel looked around the Hyperion lobby. Some of their files had been packed up, but for a few more days, at least, it was still their headquarters.
The "Fang Gang" hadn't yet completed the transition from the Hyperion to Wolfram & Hart. Some of their things would stay here . . . hidden behind the best spells they could buy. Just because they'd agreed to take over Wolfram & Hart didn't mean they'd gone completely off the deep end.
Angel was packing up some of the weapons when the phone rang.
"Angel Investigations," he said automatically.
"Angel? It's Giles."
"Giles. How'd it go?"
"The Hellmouth is closed," Giles said. "The First Evil's plans have been defeated. And we have someone needing medical attention and a place to recuperate. Could I have directions?"
"Why don't you ask Willow or Faith?"
"Willow is recovering from the effects of a spell she cast," Giles said. "And Faith is . . . unavailable."
"Unavailable?" Angel didn't like the way Giles had said that.
"I'll explain everything when we get there. I promise."
Angel gave him the directions and then Giles hung up.
He flexed a few of his new Wolfram & Hart muscles and hustled over a top-flight medical team and a group of people to clean out some of the rooms. He also got Wesley there as well. Under the circumstances, he guessed they wouldn't be wanting to introduce themselves around to anyone else. Besides, Fred, Gunn, and Lorne were all busy.
An hour later, seven people -- the first wave, Angel guessed -- struggled through the front doors of the hotel. Giles was supporting a tall, shaven-headed black man who seemed to be the person in need of medical attention. He was followed by Xander -- who was half-carrying Willow, Dawn, a short, spiky-haired kid Angel didn't know -- he was carrying the Scythe, that weapon Buffy had used to disembowel Caleb -- and a young woman he didn't know. The medical team came and took the black man, promising to notify Angel and Giles about his condition as soon as possible. When someone else went over towards Willow, Giles held out a hand. "No. She's suffering from exhaustion more than anything else."
Xander went over and laid Willow on one of the couches in the Hyperion Lobby. She said, "What?" before falling back asleep.
Angel kept looking towards the door. When no one else entered, he looked at Giles.
Then he got a closer look at the people who'd walked in. With the exception of Giles and Willow, they all had the blank look of zombies --
Or of people who had just seen something happen, something absolutely horrible. No; something beyond horrible.
"Sit down, everyone, please," Wesley said. Angel looked at Wesley; he'd noticed the same thing. Everyone moved over and took a seat, taking care not to disturb Willow. The spiky-haired boy put the Scythe down on the floor on front of him.
"Where's everyone else?" Angel finally asked.
"There is no everyone else, deadboy," Xander said bitterly. "This is it. The Survivors of Sunnydale. Pretty fucking exclusive club."
"What happened?" Wesley asked.
"We're not entirely certain," Giles said. "Willow was casting a spell through the Scythe to grant all of the potential Slayers Slayer abilities. Spike was wearing that amulet you gave Buffy."
"Spike was a champion," Angel said. "I never would have imagined it."
Giles glared at him. "Let me finish," he said firmly. "Buffy had taken Faith, Spike and the Potentials down beneath the Hellmouth so that they could confront the Turok-Han -- take the battle to them. But something must have gone wrong."
"After a handful of the Turok-Hans broke through, the stairway was blocked by tons of rubble," Xander said. "No one could have gotten out."
"But the Turok-Han eventually could have dug their way out. The only reason we know Spike succeeded -- and that Buffy, Faith, Spike and the Potentials, who, for one brief moment, were not Potentials, but actual Slayers, succeeded in protecting him -- is because where Sunnydale was there is now a large crater."
"I heard that on the news on the way over," Wesley said. "They're calling it an earthquake."
"I expected they would," Giles said.
"Buffy? Faith? Even Spike? They're all dead?" Angel asked in disbelief.
"And Anya. And thirty other people," the spiked-haired young man said. "It should have been me. I wish it had been me."
"We all wish it had been you, Andrew," Dawn said. "So shut up and quit whining." Hurt, the boy retreated to silence.
"So there are no trained Slayers," Wesley said. "For the first time in recorded history."
The young woman Angel didn’t know said, “Wrong.”
“While Willow was performing her spell,” Giles said. “This young woman stayed with her so she could get the Scythe to Buffy.”
“I couldn’t get down there,” the woman said, beginning to cry. “I tried and I tried but I couldn’t get down there . . .” She broke down and started sobbing. “I wasn’t fast enough,” she said.
“Wesley, Angel,” Giles said. “Meet the one girl in all the world.” He practically spat out the phrase. Then, a bit more softly, he said, “Kennedy. The Vampire Slayer.”