Buffy the Vampire Slayer Post S7 "Chosen," Angel during S5 "Not Fade Away"
Angel ran down the alley behind the Hyperion, carrying his sword, running through the pouring rain. When he got to the chain-link fence at the end of the alley, he looked around for the others, but didn't see anyone. The sky thundered above him as the heavy rain continued.
"Boo," Spike came out from the shadows.
"Anyone else?" Angel asked.
"Not so far," Spike said. He looked out in the open end of the alley, "You feel the heat?"
"It's coming," Angel said, looking out too.
"Finally got ourselves a decent brawl," Spike smirked.
"Damn!" Gunn ran down the alley toward them, carrying his favorite axe, "How did I know the fang boys would pull through?" As he ran, he got slower. "You're lucky we're on the same side, dogs, 'cause I was on fire tonight. My game was tight." He collapsed, but Angel and Spike caught him, leading him to a box so he could sit down.
Spike noticed the wound in Gunn's gut, bleeding pretty badly, "You're supposed to wear the red stuff on the inside, Charlie boy."
Gunn looked down at his wound, ignoring the comment, "Any word on Wes?"
Illyria jumped down from the fence and stood behind Angel, looking at the ground. "Wesley's dead." Angel looked down too, and Gunn shook his head and cried. Spike hung his head down. "I'm feeling grief for him." In the alley in front of them, noise could be heard from something. "I can't seem to control it. I wish to do more violence."
The noises got louder, nearer, "Well, wishes just happen to be horses today." Spike said.
"Among other things," Angel said. He looked out at the source of the noise. It was demons; more than he was able to count. It was like the crowd at a huge concert, only larger. Except these were demons, in all sorts, shapes and sizes. Even a huge, winged-dragon flew over them in the sky.
"Okay," Gunn said, "You take the thirty-thousand on the left . . ."
"You're fading," Illyria shook her head, "You'll last ten minutes at best."
Gunn winced as he stood up and ignored the pain, "Then let's make 'em memorable."
Angel stepped forward and the other three followed. Spike stood Angel's right. Gunn stood behind Angel on his left, and Illyria was on the other side of Gunn. They stared at the demons that came toward them.
"In terms of a plan?" Spike asked.
"We fight," Angel said simply.
"Bit more specific," Spike said.
Angel stepped forward, "Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon." Spike rolled his eyes. The demons were close now, and it was time to fight.
"Let's go to work!" Angel shouted, swinging his sword. All four of them raised their hands.
"Need some help?" All four of Angel and his people turned to look at the owner of the voice. Two of the four knew that voice. Both of them fell in love with the person who belonged to the voice.
Buffy Summers stood in all her glory, her friends behind her. Angel recognized the others as Willow, Xander, Dawn, Giles, Faith, and Andrew.
"Well, well. Guess who decided to get off her lofty perch and get her hands dirty," Spike snickered.
"Sorry to ruin the moment, but there are some demons who are about to come after us," Gunn said.
"Right," Angel said.
"'Let's go to work'," Buffy said, smiling. She had the Slayer's scythe in her hands. The demons and the demon-fighters collided and the battle begun. Angel swung his sword again and cut the head off of a demon. He fought at least four dozen more demons before remembering there were other people around him. He looked around for Buffy and found her killing a demon that was reminiscent of that big purple dinosaur Fred had told him about once, Barney. She killed it easily, slicing it in half with her scythe. He saw Willow casting a spell and setting six demons on fire. Xander, too, was holding his own, amazingly enough. Dawn was even pulling her weight. Faith and Spike, of course, were fine. Illyria was . . . Illyria. She was obviously upset about Wesley's death, and she was venting her sadness and confusion on the demons. Giles was fine too, and Gunn sure was making it memorable. Andrew was . . . not doing so good. Angel made his way over to the boy and got rid of the demon that was giving him problems.
"You okay?" Angel asked. Andrew nodded fearfully. Angel moved onto the next demon. The demons were almost gone. Time for that dragon . . . He looked up, searching for the flying fiend. It was coming straight at him. When it was just about to collide with him, Angel jumped on its back. He brought his sword up and stuck it into the dragon's neck. Green blood squirted out, spraying Angel and everyone and thing below him. The dragon whipped its tail and wacked Angel in the head. He stabbed it again, this time in its thigh. The dragon bucked, sending Angel flying. The dragon caught him with its tail, sort of. The dragon's sharp tail went right through Angel's shoulder making a huge whole. Angel gasped, his eyes went wide and heard a woman scream below. He tried to pull the tail out, but the dragon was swinging him back and forth. The pain was unbearable, and Angel was getting dizzy. The world began to fade, and the last thing he heard before the dragon dropped him to the ground was Buffy screaming his name . . .
"Angel? Honey, please wake up!"
The voice stirred Angel back into consciousness. He groaned, trying to figure out where he was. His eyes were still closed, and he figured he'd keep them closed for a while. Wherever he was, it seemed awfully bright.
"Angel? Are you okay? Please . . ."
This time, Angel heard anxiousness in the voice. He couldn't tell who it was. Was it Cordelia? Was he dead and finally with her again?
"Oh god, Angel," they were crying now, whoever had said it, "I can't lose you again . . ."
This couldn't be heaven. Why would the person be crying? He used all his strength and opened his eyes. A shape became clearer. A woman, with blonde hair. She was crying, and there was a huge healing gash on her forehead.
"You're alive!" she sobbed, bringing him into a hug. She was extremely strong . . . why did it seem like he was choking? There was an enormous pressure on his chest. She was so strong . . .
"Buffy . . ." he managed. It actually came out more like 'u . . . y'. The b and the f's didn't make it out of his mouth.
"Oh, sorry," she said. The pressure disappeared, and he found he had to breathe. If he didn't . . . This wasn't right. He was a vampire, he didn't need to breathe. But the feeling . . .
"Angel, darling, you need to breathe now," Buffy said. She came into focus now, and he could see her beautiful green eyes. He suddenly became aware of his surroundings too. He was at the Hyperion Hotel, in his old room. How did I get here? He thought. He hadn't been paying attention to what Buffy said, and didn't breathe. Next thing he knew, Buffy was pushing on his chest. "Angel, breathe!" He did, and she stopped.
He felt better now, though he didn't understand how. He hadn't needed to breathe since that day he had been human from the Mohra demon. Buffy was staring at him, her green eyes filled with worry. He tried to sit up, but found that Buffy would not let him. "Just stay still," she was saying, running her hand up and down his arm.
"Buffy . . ." he tried again, and this time it actually came out as he had wanted it too.
"Sshh . . . Everything's going to be all right," she cooed.
"Am I . . . Am I in . . . heaven?" he asked.
Buffy giggled, "You wish."
"Then where, where am I?" he asked.
"Home," Buffy said, a happy tear running down her cheek, "You're home."
Angel pondered her words for a moment. Buffy kissed him on the forehead. That's when he felt it . . . his heart was beating! "M-my heart . . ."
Buffy smiled, putting her hand over his heart, "Yes, baby. It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it?"
"B-but how?" he said.
Buffy shook her head, "Later. Right now you need to rest. There'll be plenty of time for explanations later."
"Buffy?" Angel said.
"What?" Buffy said.
"I . . . I love you," Angel said. She kissed him, not on the forehead this time, but the lips. Angel hadn't kissed her since he'd brought the stuff from Wolfram & Hart to her. It was a good feeling, and he missed it.
The kissed ended, and Buffy held him in her arms. He fell asleep against her warm body, dreaming of that day when he'd been human . . .
When Angel awoke again, he was still in Buffy's arms. She was awake, watching him. She smiled and kissed him. "You're still here," Angel said.
"Of course," Buffy said, "How could I ever pass up lying in bed with such a handsome man?"
"Ow . . ." Angel said, wincing. "Did I get run over or something?"
"No," Buffy said, "But you did get run through with a dragon's tail."
"I don't remember that," Angel said.
"That's probably a good thing," Buffy said, "It was horrible. You were in so much pain . . ."
"I had a dream, or at least I think it was a dream. I woke up, and you were crying. And . . . my heart was beating." Angel said.
"That wasn't a dream," Buffy said, smiling.
"I'm alive?" Angel said. Buffy nodded, "How is that possible?"
"You've been shanshu-ed. The prophecy came true, you played a pivotal role in the apocalypse . . . you killed more demons than any of us before the dragon got you. You fulfilled your redemption. You're human," Buffy smiled.
"But . . . the Circle of the Black Thorn . . . I signed my humanity away," Angel said.
Buffy shook her head, "They were bluffing. They just wanted you to think that so you would fight on their side, evil."
"So . . . I'm human?" Angel said. Buffy nodded, "No more curse?" Again, Buffy nodded. "I can be as happy as I want?"
"No. But you can be as happy as I make you," Buffy said, giggling. She kissed him again and sat on top of him. He tickled her and she giggled even harder. He laughed right along with her, happier than he'd ever been in almost three hundred years of existence.
Angel and Buffy later walked down the stairs of the Hyperion to the lobby, hand in hand. "Well, look who finally decided to wake up and stop playing possum?" Wait, Angel knew that voice . . . he looked at Buffy. She shrugged, smiling and kissing him again, nodding. How was this possible? Angel looked up . . . Fred was sitting at the counter, smiling. Next to her, holding her hand, was Wesl. . . no. It wasn't possible.
"What's going on?" Angel said.
"What's the matter, not-so-dead boy? You look like you just saw a ghost," Xander said from his seat between Willow and Dawn on the couch, who were laughing. Angel looked around the room some more. Faith was cleaning Gunn's stomach wound. Giles was sitting at a chair, an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. Andrew was in the corner, reading a comic book. And Spike was patching Illyria up at the counter, next to . . . no, he must still be dreaming.
He looked at Buffy again, his eyes wide. His legs went wobbly and he felt himself fall. Buffy caught him, her face pale, "Angel!" She picked him up and brought him over to the empty couch. "Do you remember that thing I said about breathing?" Angel nodded weakly. "I'm going to need you to do that now, okay?" Angel nodded and breathed in and out.
"Is he going to be okay?" Angel heard Willow said.
Buffy locked eyes with Angel and smiled, "Yeah. He'll be okay. He just doesn't know what's going on."
"Then I guess he really did think he saw a ghost," Xander muttered.
Buffy gave him a sharp look, "Xander!"
"Sorry, sorry," Xander said, waving his hands in surrender.
"We should probably explain what happened," Dawn said. Faith nodded.
"That would be . . . good," Angel said.
"I'll tell him," Buffy said, nothing in her eyes but love and concern. Everyone nodded in agreement. "Do you remember the fight in the alley?" Angel shook his head. "You, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria were just about to fight the demons. Then we all came," she gestured toward everyone. "We fought the demons, killed them all. While you were fighting that dragon, it stuck you right through with its tail. Then it dropped you, and you passed out. I wanted to go to your side, right away, but I knew we had to kill the rest of the demons. When we were done, I went right to you. As I held you in my arms, a light came from your heart. Then Cordelia appeared, out of nowhere, dressed in white and glowing. She told us not to be afraid, that she wasn't a ghost. She was really there." A tear fell down Buffy's cheek and landed on Angel's arm. "She said that you were human, you fulfilled your destiny, earned your redemption. And she told us . . . she told you and me to be happy together, we deserved it." By now, Buffy was sobbing into Angel's shoulder.
Willow picked up the rest of the story for her best friend, "Cordelia went away and we just appeared at the sorcerer's house where Illyria said Wesley died. He wasn't really dead, just unconscious. I did a spell and healed him. I also did a spell that split Fred and Illyria up. Fred's soul wasn't lost, just stuck inside Illyria. They were sharing the same body."
"And we can finally be together now," Fred said, looking dreamily into Wesley's eyes.
"Of course, you were alive through all this but unconscious," Faith said.
"No Cordelia?" Angel said.
"I'm sorry, Angel," Dawn said, "She said she had to stay up . . . wherever she was."
"How do you feel?" Faith asked.
"Like I did mushrooms and got eaten by bears," Angel said. The brunette Slayer and the former vampire shared a smile.
"That about sums it up," Faith said, nodding.
"Is there anything else I should know about?" Angel said.
"Well, now that you men-" Dawn was interrupted by a child's laughter.
"Daddy!" a little boy ran into the room and hugged Angel. "You're awake!"
The little boy looked just like . . . "Connor?" Angel looked up at Buffy, who nodded.
"How did he get so young?"
Willow raised her hand, "That would be my fine handiwork."
"How do you even know about him?" Angel asked.
"I can answer that," Wesley said. It was the first time he spoke in all of this, "When we went against Wolfram & Hart, they reversed the contract you made with them. We all have our memories back, we know about everything that happened with Connor."
"That still doesn't explain how he's so young," Angel said.
"When he got his memories back, his full memories, he tried to kill you and Buffy. The memories he got back when that box was smashed didn't give him his feelings back, anger, jealousy, rage. I had to do something," Willow said, "So I made him the age he's supposed to be and made false memories to account for the last three years." She elbowed Dawn lightly in the ribs. "I got the ideo from the monks who make Dawn."
"He's three years old?" Angel said. Willow nodded. "I have my little boy back?" He hugged Connor back and kissed the back of his forehead.
"He doesn't remember anything about being the Destroyer," Dawn said, "Which is probably a good thing. Considering he was about two seconds away from 'destroying' you and my sister."
"And Spike is . . . okay with me and Buffy?" Angel said.
The bleach-blonde vampire nodded, "I think I've found myself another obsession," he said, winking at Illyria.
"Why did you move your eye at me?" the blue-god said. Everyone laughed, except Illyria and Andrew.
"What are we, exactly?" Angel asked the blonde Slayer.
"Normal, for once," Buffy said. Angel laughed, then winced at the pain from the wound in his stomach. "Sorry, baby." She kissed him and everyone gagged.
"Get a room!" Dawn teased.
"We will," Angel said, "Trust me. Once I feel better, will we ever . . ."
"Eww!" Dawn said, "You're worse than Xander and-" Xander cut her off, glaring at her. "Oops! I'm so sorry guys."
"Xander and who?" Buffy said, eyeing her best friend.
"Nobody. She was just talking about the way Anya and I used to be," Xander said nervously.
"No, she said sorry 'guys'," Buffy said, "You're gettin' lucky with someone in this room."
Everyone looked at Faith, "Hey, don't look at me! I've sworn off nerds for life."
"We know it's not Buffy, she's too hung up on the Poof," Spike said.
"It's not me either," Fred said, still sighing dreamily at Wesley, "I only have eyes for my guy."
"Dawn . . ." Buffy said, then shook her head, "You're way too young for him. Right?"
Dawn nodded, giggling, "Trust me, it wasn't me."
"Illyria?" Spike spoke worriedly, "It's not you, pet, is it?"
"I am not having intercourse with the boy," Illyria said. Spike sighed in relief. Everyone else did too.
"That just leaves one person, someone who's been quiet the entire time," Buffy said, smiling at Willow. "I thought you were, as quoted by you, 'gay now'?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Willow said, her cheeks turning red.
"Okay, Red, spill," Faith said.
Dawn giggled, "Should I tell them or are you two going to?"
"Tell us what?" Buffy said.
Xander and Willow were silent. Dawn giggled again, "They're married!"
"What!" everyone shouted. Xander and Willow didn't say a thing.
Dawn nodded evilly, "I heard them talking in Willow's room about two months ago and made them talk. They've been married since about a month after we destroyed Sunnydale."
Willow and Xander glared at Dawn, "You promised you wouldn't tell!" Willow squealed.
"Sorry, it slipped," Dawn giggled.
"So the whelp's been gettin' some," Spike snickered, "Well, it's about time one of us did."
Xander looked at Willow, "I guess the jig's up, baby." Willow nodded and sighed. She pulled on a chain around her neck and a ring attached to the chain came out of the collar of her shirt. Xander dug in his jeans pocket and he, too, had a ring. Each of them put their ring on the right finger.
"Happy now?" Willow said.
Buffy just stared at her best friends, as she'd been doing since Dawn dropped the bomb, her mouth open, "Slayer, your mouth is open."
Buffy closed her mouth, "You, you . . . you got married and didn't tell me!?"
Xander looked at Willow, "See, this is why I didn't want to tell her in the first place," He leaned over Dawn and kissed his wife.
"You didn't tell me!" Buffy shouted, hurt.
"I'm sorry, Buffy," Willow said, "It all happened so fast, and then we . . . we just didn't. We told you now."
"No, Dawn told me!" Buffy said, pouting. Willow was about to say something, but Buffy cut her off, "No! The only thing either of you is going to say is what the hell happened."
"It was a week after Kennedy left me. I was depressed, and Xander was still dealing with Anya's death. We didn't drink any alcohol at all, I swear. We were just talking about a time when we were six, and the next thing we knew we were kissing. And then-" Giles held up his hand.
He took the mask off his mouth, panting, "I really . . . think we got . . ." He put the mask on for a moment, ". . . the picture."
Buffy's hurt immediately disappeared and changed to fear, "Oh god, Giles are you okay?"
"That fight . . . really took a lot . . . out of me," Giles rasped. The Los Angeles people looked at the Sunnydale people in confusion.
"He, um, Giles is . . . sick," Buffy explained.
"What?" Angel said.
"Yes . . ." Giles said. He broke into a coughing fit and put the mask back on. Dawn went over to the man who was basically her father and rubbed his back.
Tears ran down Dawn's cheeks, "He's dying."
"But how? Why?" Fred said.
"We found out last month," Buffy said, "We were researching a demon and he had a heart attack. We took him to the hospital, and they said his heart was failing and there's nothing they can do for him any more."
"How long does he have?" Wesley asked.
"Not very long. They said . . . they said he'd . . ." Buffy obviously couldn't bring herself to say it.
"My . . . expiration date is . . . it's long passed," Giles rasped.
"Do you need to go to the hospital?" Angel asked.
Giles shook his head, "I have had . . . my fill of . . . of hospitals."
"Yeah, he's been in the hospital since the heart attack," Willow said, squeezing Xander's hand, "We wouldn't be here except for the fact that Buffy and Faith had a Slayer's dream about the alley. We wanted Giles to stay in the hospital, but he's too stubborn to listen to any of us."
"I'm not . . . stubborn," Giles said, "I'm merely ready to . . . to die."
"But Giles," Buffy started to say. Giles's cough cut her off.
"Buffy, we've had this . . . this discussion," Giles took a moment to cough again, "I'm an old man . . . and I've fought more than my fair share of demons."
"I need you," Buffy said, blinking back tears.
"You're two weeks away . . . from being twenty-four years old . . ." Giles stopped to catch his breath, "You don't need an old . . . an old Watcher like me." Everyone looked away, not sure of what to say or do. "Now, if you all . . . don't mind. I need . . . I need to lie down for a spell. Though . . . I may need some . . . some help . . . Buffy?"
She looked at Angel, torn between the man she loved as a boyfriend and the man she loved as a father. "I'm all right, Buffy. Go." Angel said. She nodded and went over to Giles. She helped the old Watcher up, taking the oxygen tank too. When they got to the stairs, she looked back.
"Got an elevator?" she asked.
"The electricity got cut when we moved to Wolfram & Hart," Gunn said.
"This is going to take awhile," Buffy said.
What seemed like decades later, Buffy and Giles finally reached the top of the stairs and went to the first room they came too. The Slayer helped her Watcher lie on the bed and get his oxygen tank set. "How's that?"
"Comfortable, for the . . . moment," Giles smiled weakly.
Buffy turned toward the door, "Okay, I'm gonna let you-"
Giles cut her off, "Stay, please. I need . . . I need to talk to you."
"Sure," Buffy said. She sat down at the end of the bed, "What about?"
"Buffy, I know . . . I know this must be hard for you after . . . your mother. However, this must be . . . done," Giles said.
"Giles, what are you talking about?" Buffy said.
"Back in . . . in London there is some paperwork I left for you. Financial, personal. Also, a trust-fund your mother . . . set up for you to receive when you turn . . . twenty-five. When she . . . passed she entrusted it to me to . . . to give to you. Now that . . . now that I won't make it . . . I am trusting you to . . . to honor your mother's wishes and not . . . receive it until you're the proper age," Giles said.
"I will, I promise," Buffy said.
"Now, about my . . . my will," Giles said. He broke into a coughing fit and Buffy looked on in concern.
"Giles . . ." he tried to put his mask on, but it slipped out of his hands and fell to the floor. She knelt in front of him and helped him, "There'll be more time for you to tell me about it later. Right now, you need your rest."
Giles chuckled and breathed into the mask for a few minutes. He took it off and looked into Buffy's eyes, "Buffy, the time for . . . for being naive is long passed. We both know that . . . my days are numbered. Well, my minutes are . . . numbered. We need to talk about . . . about this. You are the closest . . . thing I've had to a daughter, Buffy."
"And you're more of a father to me than Hank ever was," Buffy said.
"Right," Giles said, taking Buffy's hand, "This is very important. I need you to . . . listen while I explain some very critical things to you. Can you . . . do that?" Buffy nodded, "Now, listen . . . very carefully . . ."
"Ow!" Angel hissed as Fred applied peroxide to his stomach wound.
"Don't be such a baby!" Fred laughed. She looked back at Wesley, "Do you think he was like this the first time he was human, or is it just a now thing?" Wesley shrugged and Fred laughed again. She put a fresh bandage on the wound and taped it up.
"I'm right here, you know," Angel said, "And, technically I'm still your boss so-" He heard someone crying and sniffling so he stopped. Everyone in the lobby turned to look. Buffy was coming down the stairs, crying, her eyes red.
"Is he?" Willow said.
Buffy sniffled and wiped her eyes, "He's sleeping." She sat down next to Angel and he kissed her, "He's fading so fast. He knows it, too. God, I don't know what to do."
Angel sat up and pulled her into his embrace. The tears came out and Angel let her cry on his chest. Angel gave Fred a look, and she nodded in understanding.
"Ah, I'm hungry," she said, "How about everyone else?" She winked at Wesley and he looked confused. Fred discreetly nodded her head at Buffy and Angel and Wesley got it.
"Right," Wesley said, "There's a twenty-four-hour taco store downtown. Who's with us?" He gave Gunn the same look Fred had given him.
"Yeah, man," Gun said, "I'm starvin'." He gave Faith the look. She nodded, smirking.
"Count me in," the brunette Slayer said. She winked at Spike and Illyria. Spike looked like he was going to fall down laughing and Illyria just looked confused.
"We're in too," Spike said, trying to be serious. Willow, Xander, and Dawn nodded too. Andrew perked up and looked away from his comic-book, excited at the prospect of food. Connor went over by his father and stuck out his tongue like a hungry puppy.
"Buffy and I will stay with Giles," Angel said, thankful for this many friends' ability to take a hint, "Just bring us some food back, and take Connor too." Buffy nodded and proceeded with her crying. Everyone got up and went out the door, leaving Buffy and Angel alone in the lobby. Buffy looked up and kissed Angel.
"I've missed you so much," Buffy said, "Ever since you came to Sunnydale to give me that ugly amulet and the file, I haven't been able to stop thinking about you."
"I've missed you too," Angel said, "More than you can even know. There's, ah, something I need to tell you."
"What?" Buffy asked.
"Do you remember the first time you came to Los Angeles after your graduation? I had been in Sunnydale and didn't tell you. You came here to chew me out?" Angel said.
Buffy nodded, "That demon attacked and you killed it right away."
"Actually, a lot more happened than what you remember," Angel said. "The first time we were attacked by that demon, I didn't kill it right away. We tracked it to a sewer. You went up, to search in the sun. I stayed in the sewer. I found it, and attacked it. It cut my hand, and some of its blood mixed with mine. It made me human."
"You were-" Angel nodded, "What happened next?"
"We got what we always wanted. We got twenty-four-hours of being a normal couple in love," Angel said.
"But . . . why don't I remember it?" Buffy said.
"The Mohra demon, it attacked again. I went after it alone, and it almost killed me. If you hadn't shown up, I would be dead right now. So, I went to the Oracles. I asked them to change me back. They said they couldn't. However, they said they could rewind the day. Twenty-four hours from the moment the demon attacked was swallowed. Only I carried the memory of what happened, so I could stop us from doing the same thing. So, the day got rewound. You didn't remember what happened, and I killed the demon."
Buffy was silent for a while, trying to process this new information. Angel waited silently while she did. He stroked her hair.
"If you'd have stayed human that day, Connor could have been ours," Buffy said quietly.
"Probably," Angel agreed, "If you were his mother, he might not be so screwed up."
Buffy ran her fingers up and down Angel's arm, as if she were in a trance, "I don't think I'd make a good mother. I've barely been able to raise Dawn since . . . since Mom died."
"That's not true," Angel said, "I, for one, think you make a great mother to Dawn. She's fine, she's just being a teenager."
"Xander, I'm worried about Giles," Willow said. She snuggled up against her husband and held his hand. They were in the back of the Watcher's Council van. Everyone else was up front. Willow and Xander were in the back next to a sleeping Connor.
"I know you are, honey," Xander said, "But he's a tough guy. I mean, how many times has he been knocked unconscious? You'd think there's be somethin' wrong with his head, not his heart."
"I just wish there was something we could do. I feel so helpless," Willow said.
"Look at it this way, he'll get to be with Miss Calendar again," Xander said.
"I guess," Willow said, "and be can be with Mrs. Summers. And Anya."
"Yeah, I'm sure he'll love that. He gets to spend an eternity with Anya," Xander smiled.
Willow smiled weakly, "Tara's up there."
"Hey, this way there'll be someone up there besides Jenny and Joyce to keep him company," Xander said, putting his arm across the back of Willow's neck and around here shoulder, "You okay, honey?"
Willow nodded, wiping a tear from her eye, "Yeah."
"We're here!" Wesley yelled from the diver's seat.
"Yes!" Fred said from the passenger seat, "It's been months since I've been able to have a taco!" Everyone laughed as Wesley pulled into the taco restaurant.
The crash had roused Buffy from her sleep. She and Angel had fallen asleep waiting for the others to get back. She heard a different sound this time, a more human sounding one.
"Giles!" she shouted as she jumped to her feet and ran up stairs. Angel was behind her, just slower because of his injuries and new-found mortal-body. When she reached her watcher's room, she let out a gasp. Rupert Giles was half-hanging off the bed and yet still lying where he had been before. His oxygen tank had been the crash that had awaken her. He did not move.
Just then Angel made it into the room and he too let out a gasp. He put his hands on Buffy's shoulders and started shaking her. "Buffy! Snap out of it, we need to help him." The ex-vampire rushed up to the fallen watcher and picked him up off the floor. He started doing CPR, pushing up and down on Giles's chest. Buffy just watched with wide eyes. "Buffy!"
Buffy shook her head and started crying, "No. It's . . . he's gone!" She fell to her knees and put her hands on her mouth.
"Buffy, go downstairs and call 911," Angel said. Buffy opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Angel sighed and put his fingers on Giles's neck. He went over to Buffy and knelt down beside her, bringing her into his embrace, "Buffy, we have to call 911 so they can come pick him up."
Buffy shook her head and held him tight, "Don't leave me . . . please, don't leave . . ." She sobbed into his shoulder and held him as tight as she could, "Don't leave me . . ."
"Hey guys," Gunn said as everyone walked into the Hotel, "We're . . . back." He looked up to find the hotel lobby empty. He looked behind him at everyone else. "Where'd they go?"
"Maybe they went upstairs to . . . you know," Dawn said. They all walked further into the hotel.
"Maybe," Willow said, Buffy and Angel's food in her hand.
Spike tuned his ear toward the stairs and shook his head, "No, someone's crying."
"Think we should go check it out?" Fred said.
"I'll go," Willow volunteered, "I can bring them their food." She went up the stairs. She could hear the crying now and followed it to the room where Giles was. She walked in, "Hey Giles, how are you feeling?" Nobody answered so she looked up. Buffy and Angel were on the floor and Buffy was crying on Angel's shoulder, saying 'Don't leave me' over and over again. "What the . . ." Before she could voice her question the person in the bed answered it. Giles was lying there, not moving. His chest wasn't moving and his eyes were closed. "Giles . . ." She dropped the bag of food. The tears ran down her cheeks.
Someone came in the room and Willow didn't move. They put their arms around her waist kissed her neck, "Hey Wills, what'cha starin'-" Xander looked past her and saw what she had been looking at. "Oh god, Giles . . ." He turned Willow around, "Baby, we gotta go tell everyone and call." He grabbed her by the hand and dragged her downstairs.
Everyone was hanging out in the lobby, chilling after all the tacos they'd eaten. Spike sat on the couch between Illyria and Dawn. Connor sat in the corner playing with a paper airplane. Andrew was looking at his comic again. Faith and Gunn were sitting on the banquette in the middle of the room. Wesley and Fred were cuddling on the recliner. They looked up at Xander and Willow in surprise, "What's up?" Gunn said.
"It's Giles . . . he'd dead," Xander said, going over to the phone.
Dawn let out a choked sob and leaned on Spike's shoulder. He put his arm around her and comforted her.
"Where are B and Angel?" Faith asked.
"Upstairs," Xander said, holding the phone to his ear. "Damn, they put me on hold. How can the coroner's office put me on hold?"
Weeks later a routine had finally been set. Giles' funeral had been a few days after his death. Angel had gotten used to being human and enjoyed being with Buffy and Connor. Andrew went back to London to run the new Watcher's Council in Giles place. Spike and Illyria also went with Andrew to help and, well, keep an eye on him.
They'd all moved into the hotel again, spreading out among the many rooms and floors. They were almost paired up. Buffy was with Angel. Willow was with Xander. Gunn was with Faith, and Wesley was with Fred. In London, Spike was dating Illyria. Dawn transferred to a high school in uptown L.A., Buffy and Willow enrolled in UCLA, and Angel decided to home school Connor because of all his superhuman qualities and personalities. He and Buffy decided that with all the different talents, specialties, and abilities in the hotel they could manage to raise him just fine without the public school district.
Connor and Angel were able to bond as father and son without all the complications of before. Connor didn't remember a life growing up with Holtz so he didn't hate Angel. Connor became especially close to Buffy, too, even beginning to call her 'mommy'. Angel was thrilled about his son accepting the slayer as his mother but never ceased to tell Connor stories of his true biological mother Darla (but of course he made them appropriate stories). Buffy respected Angel's decision and loved him all the more for it. Even though Buffy had not liked Darla at all and even wanted to kill her at one or two points, she knew how much it meant to Angel and had heard from Fred, Gunn, and Wesley what had happened when Connor had been born.
They'd also started up Angel's investigations again, helping the helpless. Of course, Angel had somewhat of a limited role now since he was human again.
The most recent development in Buffy and Angel's relationship is that they are engaged to be married. Also, Xander and Willow were expecting their first child; a son to be named Giles Alexander Harris.
All in all, the self-proclaimed 'Scooby Gang' and the 'Angel Investigations' crew blended quite nicely. Sure there was tension, but nothing that wasn't eventually worked out in the end . . . maybe . . .~fin~
…with a possibility for a sequel!