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Forever

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Dawn's Quickening". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Dawn's suspicions are aroused when she notices an Immortal taking a close interest in one of Angel's former clients. BtVS / Angel / Highlander (and many others) crossover, sequel to Bring Me the Head of Harry Potter. COA Nominee.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Dawn-Centered
Multiple Crossings > Dawn-Centered
MarcusRowlandFR1315,492292,98828 Jan 1028 Jan 10Yes
This is a sequel to Bring Me The Head of Harry Potter and its prequel Grounds for Divorce, set a couple of years after the end of the main story.

The setting is a VERY AU version of Angel in which Cordelia Chase is alive and well and star of The Cordy Show, the Angel Investigations crew own evil law firm Wolfram and Hart (but have no real control over the company), and Dawn Summers is an Immortal, part-time Watcher, and part-time employee of Angel Investigations, with a sideline as double for rock star Celeste (Six Feet Under). Spoilers for the Angel S1 episode Eternity and the Highlander episode Timeless.

Crossover with Highlander, with cameos from a LOT of other shows. All characters belong to their respective creators / soulless megacorporations / whatever, there is no intent to infringe on copyright. This story may not be distributed on a profit-making basis.

Forever

By Marcus L. Rowland


"You should have got a building permit before you fitted necro-tempered glass," said Dawn Summers, scowling at the injunction she was reading. "There wasn't really anything wrong with most of the Hyperion's old windows, apart from your flammability problem, and you can't really tell them about that. Now the city wants you to restore them. You've got to remember this is a historic building."

"Pass it on to Wolfram and Hart," said Angel. "I'm stuck with owning the company, might as well get some benefit out of it."

"Slippery slope," said Dawn, "one day you're getting them to fix a planning violation, the next you're selling them your soul to drive off the IRS."

"Do you think that would work?"

"Don't be a dick."

"What about Harry? Couldn't he magic the new windows to look like the old ones?"

"Harry's got finals, I'm not going to ask him to portkey across the Atlantic just to save you a few thousand dollars."

"Willow then?"

"You know she's on her second honeymoon with Kennedy."

"All right... any suggestions?"

"Gunn's friend the lawyer, what's his name, the one who doesn't work for Wolfram and Hart. He can figure something out "

"Right, good plan... okay, anything else I should be worrying about in the mail?"

"A few bills, but none of them are urgent. Now, I've got to go get dressed, I'm doubling for Celeste tonight."

"Going somewhere nice?"

"The Bartlet biopic premiere."

"Anyone I know in it?"

Dawn opened the entertainments section of the LA Tribune and leafed through a few pages. "Dorothy Michaels as Bartlet's mom, Hannah Montana as Zoey Bartlet, Martin Weir as Toby Zeigler, Anna Scott as the First Lady, Rebecca Lowell..."

"There's a name I haven't heard in a while," said Angel.

"Rebecca Lowell? Old flame?"

"Old client, I was her bodyguard for a few days, around the time Wesley started working for me, and she’s been on Cordy’s show. She knows I'm a vampire. Who's she playing?"

"CJ Cregg. I guess that'd be the female lead, after the First Lady."

"She's a brunette. Isn't CJ Cregg tall and blonde?"

Cordelia came in on his last words, followed by her favourite chauffeur, who was carrying several dress bags, and said "You really don't get how casting works, do you? Got your tux yet?"

"No, and ... tux?" said Angel, turning to kiss her.

"Don't muss the hair," said Cordelia. "I want to look good at the premiere. And you need to take a bath and get out your tux, you're coming too. I told you last week."

"Me? I thought I was your mystery boyfriend. Not much of a mystery if there are photos of us together."

"Nobody ever recognizes your photos. Now bath, tux, move it, buster."

"You know there's no arguing with her," said Dawn.

"I guess," mumbled Angel. "We've still got a couple of hours, I'm sure there are other things we could be..."

"Bath, tux, and move it," Cordelia said flatly.

Angel shrugged and went upstairs towards his apartment. Cordelia took the bags from the driver and told him to come back in three hours, then turned to Dawn and said "Twenty dollars. I said he'd forget if you didn't remind him every day."

Dawn shrugged, and dug into her purse. "You did. Though he might have remembered if you'd told him it was Rebecca Lowell. Now I've got to go get dressed and age myself up a little, Celeste really doesn't want anyone to know she's in the clinic again."

"Plastic surgery's nothing to be ashamed of," said Cordy, "if you really need it. Fortunately some of us can manage without," she added smugly. “Who’s escorting you?"

"Wallace Fennel, the basketball player, his agent fixed it up. He's a little young for Celeste, but that's all to the good, she's trying to look young. He's thinking about getting into politics, and there are gonna be some former White House staffers at the premiere; might help him make a few contacts."

"I'd better tell Angel," said Cordelia, "he'll want to get an autograph."

"From the White House people?"

"No, from Fennel, of course."

"Stupid of me."

* * * * *

"Okay," said Dawn, smiling at Wallace Fennell as the limo drove through Hollywood towards the premiere. "Don't forget, I'm supposed to be Celeste tonight." She put on a pair of tinted wire-framed glasses, looked into her compact’s mirror, adjusted her hair slightly, and dabbed on a little extra blusher. "There'll be a couple of people there who know who I really am, Cordelia Chase and her boyfriend, maybe a couple of others. Cordy will play it perfectly, but her boyfriend can be a klutz sometimes, if he calls me Dawn where someone else can hear just ignore it or pretend to look puzzled. Cordy'll cover for us."

"Okay," said Wallace Fennell. "Gotta say, I'm kinda nervous about this whole thing. If there are White House people there won't there be Secret Service? Don't want to be arrested if they find out you're an impostor."

"No problem - they already know. I'm carrying, if I tried to go through security without clearance they'd lock me up and throw away the key."

"Carrying?" Wallace looked alarmed. "A gun?"

"Just your basic defensive weapons," said Dawn, closing her bag and pulling on satin gloves. "Nothing to do with the premiere, it's my other job."

"You're a cop?"

"Private investigator."

"Cool. I had a friend in that line of work; she's an FBI trainee now."

"Private is easier," said Dawn, "mostly you can make your own hours and there's no dress code."

"So what are you carrying? A taser? Mace spray?"

"You don't want to know."

Wallace's eyes flickered up and down her clinging blue dress. "Must be hard to hide anything in that outfit."

"It's a kind of magic. One last thing; I'm on call for a... a crisis centre, there's someone else covering for me tonight but if she gets overloaded I might have to cut the evening short. If that happens I'll need you to cover for me - Celeste isn't exactly the type that would run out to help a girl in trouble. I'll pretend to have a headache, you take me back to the car, and I'll head off to handle things. You stay here and mingle. Someone will give you a ride back to your hotel at the end of the evening."

"Okay, I guess. Remember, I need to finish by twelve, I'm training tomorrow."

"Not a problem. And we're here." The limo stopped at the tail end of a queue of vehicles, stopping one by one to unload their passengers at the red carpet. The waiting crowd cheered with each new arrival. "Okay, there's Cordy and Angel, they're the ones who know who I am. Not sure who that guy is, some sort of politician?"

"Congressman Seaborn and his wife."

"Right! Okay, and we're next."

The car stopped, and Dawn adjusted her glasses again, waited for Wallace to assist her out then smiled Celeste's smile at her waiting fans. She could feel an odd tingle, and knew that another immortal was somewhere nearby.

* * * * *

"Miss Celeste?" A dark-haired man with a neatly trimmed beard approached Dawn in the lobby, holding both hands open so that she could see that they were empty. "Walter Graham, at your service."

"Really? And what sort of service would that be, Mister Graham?"

"I'm unarmed, and here on business that has nothing to do with you."

Dawn turned to Wallace, and said "Would you excuse us a moment?" Wallace looked confused, but stepped back.

"I'm not Celeste," murmured Dawn, "I'm her double, so if you're looking to take a head don't go after her, come after me."

"And you would be?"

"Dawn Summers, daughter of Joyce and sister of the Slayer."

"The rock band?"

"Not exactly. What can I do for you?"

"I'm not a head-hunter. Walter Graham, actor and producer." He handed Dawn a card. "You play Celeste very well; if you ever wish to pursue your own career please call me. Now, I'm hoping to meet another lady here tonight..."

"And who might that be?"

"Is that your concern?"

"It depends what you want with her."

"Oh, simply to meet her and discuss her future career."

"And the lady in question is..?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"I'm very nosy," said Dawn, "in fact it's my main line of work. If someone here turns up without a head I'd become very interested in your business. I think you might want to avoid that."

"What an interesting threat. Should I be frightened?"

"Not if you're telling the truth."

"I am."

"Well then..." Dawn slipped Graham's card into her purse, and offered him a gloved hand. He kissed it, bowing slightly, and turned away towards the lobby of the theatre. Dawn watched him leave, frowning slightly, and reached into her purse as Wallace returned to her side.

"Problems?" asked Wallace.

"Hope not. Just a second." She speed-dialled a Seacouver number, waited for an answer, then said "Duncan? Pick up, damn it… Okay, you’re not there. This is Dawn Summers, in LA. Do you know anything about a guy called Walter Graham? He's just showed up at a premiere and I got a weird vibe from him, think he might be someone you’d know...” She waited, didn’t get an answer, and added “Call me,” and switched off the cell. “Crap."

"That doesn't sound good," said Wallace. "Need help?"

"It's not something I can really discuss, but I'd like to keep that guy in sight, see who he talks to, and if he leaves the premiere with anyone, or follows anyone out."

"Are you expecting trouble?"

"It's complicated."

"They always are. Okay, I've got your back."

"Thanks. We'd better head inside, must be getting towards time."

Wallace offered her his arm, and they walked in together.

* * * * *

"What do you know about Rebecca Lowell?" Dawn asked Angel two hours later, as they waited for their cars to be brought round to the front of the theatre. Cordelia was talking to Wallace, making sure that he didn't overhear Dawn's conversation.

"Why?"

"Humour me."

"Beautiful. Pretty talented. Back when I worked for her she was desperately afraid of getting old."

"Desperate?"

"She drugged me to reduce my inhibitions, wanted me to turn her into a vampire."

"What the hell would she do that for?"

"She was getting too old for the sort of roles she was chasing."

"That's ironic, I guess… she's pre-immortal."

"You're sure?"

"I got close enough to feel the buzz. It's her, all right. The trouble is, someone else has noticed her."

"A head-hunter?"

"An immortal called Walter Graham." She showed Angel the screen of her cell, a picture of Graham that Wallace had taken earlier. "He says he isn’t a head-hunter, but he’s sure as hell interested in her, I just don’t know why.”

“Do your friends in Seacouver know anything?”

“Duncan isn’t picking up.” She noticed a photographer angling for a shot, and moved forward a little, blocking his line of sight and making sure he didn't get a good picture of Angel. In the background she could see Graham walking towards the parked cars.

"It's too public for him to try anything here," said Angel, "but if he is after her, her house is isolated, near the beach."

"If I go there Graham will sense me. Can you and Cordy handle it? I'll hit the cast party and keep an eye on Rebecca there."

"Better take Cordy with you; she wanted to go to the party, and she'll just get cold if we both stake out the house. She can say I have an early morning appointment and had to leave early or something."

"That works for me. I'm pretty sure Wallace won't mind escorting both of us."

"Now you're just trying to make me jealous..."

* * * * *

"There's something odd about that woman," said Cordelia.

"Which one?" asked Dawn

"What's-her-name... Catherine... thing... from ZeiraTech. They sponsor my show, I have to be nice to her but it's like she doesn't understand the whole concept of humour. No, it’s like she knows about humour in theory but has no idea how it works in practice."

"Oh yeah, I spoke to her earlier. I think she might be one of those autistic geniuses, she mentioned a daughter but apart from that she seemed completely focused on her company. Can you see Rebecca?"

"Don't sweat it; she's talking to that cute mathematician guy, the one who works with the FBI. Okay, I guess we'd better separate for a while, or someone will tell the tabloids Celeste and I are a couple."

"And that might be kinda awkward. Okay, I need to retrieve Wallace, he has to head off before he turns into a pumpkin. Maybe you could go over and make nice to Rebecca if she shows any signs of leaving before I get back?"

"I'm not sure she'll want to be interrupted," said Cordelia, "but I guess you could say we're old friends. Sure, I'll talk to her."

* * * * *

“How long is it since you were last on my show?” asked Cordelia, kissing Rebecca.

“Two years?” guessed Rebecca.

“About that. If you need more publicity I can give you the guest star slot again in three weeks.”

“Someone pull out?”

“Joey Tribbiani; they’ve brought his character back to life in that medical show, he can’t make it.”

“Talk to my agent, if I’m free I’ll do it.” Rebecca hesitated for a moment, then added “How’s Angel? Still…”

“…Undead. Oh yeah.”

“But you and he are still a couple, right?”

“Sure. He gets cold feet, but I’m used to that. Just have to make sure he never gets perfectly happy, you wouldn’t believe how many ways I’ve found to torment him.”

“If you come up with anything really good let me know, I might want to try it some time.”

“Sure.” Cordelia’s expression shifted, became a little more serious. “Does the name Walter Graham mean anything to you?”

“I’ve met him… some sort of actor-producer. Wanted to talk to me about theatre work, I brushed him off.”

“Okay… has he ever been inside your home? Does he know where you live?”

“No, we met at my agent’s place... wait a second, yes, he does know, the original letter went to my house. What’s this about?”

“It may be nothing, but one of our people thinks he’s trouble.”

“What sort of trouble?”

“Angel’s sort.”

“We met in the afternoon, the sun was shining into the office. He can’t be a vampire.”

“There are plenty of other scary things out there. Angel’s following him out towards your house. If you want us to help, we’ll follow you out to your house and see if we can find out what Graham is after.”

Rebecca hesitated for a second then said “Works for me.”

* * * * *

“Okay,” said Dawn, “I got that, Duncan. It sounds like he’s up to his old tricks again. Leave it with me, I’ll tell you how it comes out.” She closed her cell and turned to Wallace. “I think this is where you start turning into a pumpkin. Cordy and I have got to go, so unless you want to stay longer you’d better escort us out of here.”

“Okay. The White House people have already left, and frankly most of the film people are a little too weird for my taste. I’ve been propositioned five times, and three were guys.”

“I’d make it six,” said Dawn, “but I’m gonna be a little busy tonight.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. You’re cute, my boyfriend’s the other side of the Atlantic, and we’ve never had what you’d call an exclusive relationship. Give me a call tomorrow evening if you’re interested, you might get lucky.”

“I might take you up on that.”

Twenty minutes later they dropped Wallace off at his hotel, and Dawn and Cordelia switched to Dawn’s inconspicuous Volkswagen and began to follow Rebecca’s car towards her home.

* * * * *

Lights darkened and running on electric power to minimize noise, Walter Graham's Prius coasted to a quiet halt on a sandy track overlooking Rebecca's isolated home. He climbed out, a pair of bulky low-light binoculars in his hand and began to study the house. After several minutes, when he was sure that nobody was there, he opened the trunk of the car and pulled out a heavy carpet bag, then began to pick his way downhill towards the nearest gate in the high wire fence. He groped in the carpet bag and eventually found a pair of bolt cutters. As he got them out there was a polite cough.

"Good evening," said Angel.

Startled, Walter Graham spun around, his hand near the hilt of his sword.

"I don't think there's anyone at home," Angel said helpfully, gesturing towards Rebecca's house, "and I really doubt that Miss Lowell would appreciate your burgling the place."

"Who?"

"The woman you're planning to rob."

"I don't want to rob anyone. I just needed to use a phone, my car's broken down."

"You know, I'll bet that if you try running it on gasoline instead of the batteries you'll be able to get it moving again."

"I think it's out of gas too."

"The fuel gauge doesn't think so."

“It’s broken.”

“How about I tow you out then?”

“There’s no need for that,” said Graham. “If I can get to a phone I’ll call the AAA.”

“Use mine,” said Angel, handing him a cell phone. Before Graham could use it, it began to buzz. Angel added “You can use it when I’ve taken this call.” He listened for about thirty seconds, keeping a wary eye on Graham, said “Got it,” disconnected, and threw the phone to Graham. Without thinking, Graham used both hands to catch it. By the time he looked up again Angel was standing behind him, holding Graham’s own sword to his throat.

"On second thoughts I think we’d better wait. Rebecca’s bringing company, and everyone wants to meet you.”

* * * * *

“Let me get this straight,” said Rebecca, “you’re not Celeste?”

“I double for her sometimes,” said Dawn, “but I work mostly for Angel.”

“Okay, I can live with that. I’d hate to owe my life to Celeste, I can’t stand the bitch.”

“Been there, done that,” said Dawn. “The gig pays well, but the down-side is I have to talk to her occasionally. It’s like working for your evil twin.”

“Now I look closely I can see you’re younger.”

“Actually I’m two years older; I’ve just got good genes.” Dawn deliberately didn’t mention her immortality.

“Moving along,” said Cordelia, “shouldn’t we head inside and find out what’s going on?”

“Actually,” said Angel, coming around the corner of the house, “I’ve got him outside, at the back of the house. If this gets messy we won’t want anything left inside.”

“Messy?” said Rebecca.

“You know,” said Angel. “Blood and gore, that sort of thing.” He smiled, showing teeth and just a hint of fangs.

“I’d better talk to him first,” said Dawn, “I want to ask him a couple of questions before we decide what to do with him. Rebecca, would you mind waiting here?”

“Why?”

“Because depending on what he tells me I may have to kill him, and if I have to do that I don’t want more witnesses.”

“You’re joking… aren’t you?” said Rebecca.

Coredelia took her arm. “I kinda know what this is about. Trust me, if it’s as bad as it might be you really don’t want to know. Stay here with me, let Dawn and Angel get on with it.”

* * * * *

Angel had Graham handcuffed to a heavy wooden bench on the patio, overlooking Rebecca’s private stretch of beach. As he felt Dawn’s Quickening he renewed his struggles, but couldn’t break free.

“Hello again,” said Dawn. “I told you that there would be consequences. Duncan told me all about your little game. Let’s start with something easy… why did you kill Claudia Jardine?”

“Kill Claudia?” Graham said incredulously, “I would never have done that. She wouldn’t carry a sword or learn how to fight, or let me protect her. It didn’t take long for a headhunter to find her. I caught up with the bastard a few days later, but that didn’t bring her back.”

“What do you think?” asked Dawn.

“He’s telling the truth,” said Angel. “He’s angry, but he isn’t lying.”

“So what was your plan? Find another protégé, someone easier to dominate?”

“Rebecca’s perfect,” Graham said enthusiastically, for a moment forgetting his predicament, “she’s already a gifted actress, with more time to perfect her craft and my help in shaping her career she’d go on to great things.”

“He’s joking, isn’t he?” said Angel. “He’s carrying a bag full of weapons and he wants to help her?”

“That’s his idea of helping people,” said Dawn. “Duncan told me. He finds pre-immortals with talent and kills them just as they start to achieve real success, so that they can perfect their art for centuries.”

“I remember doing things like that,” Angel said nostalgically, “Only I was making perfect monsters. Drusilla was my masterwork.” As Angel spoke he morphed to his vampiric form, making sure that Graham could see what was happening. There was a sudden damp patch at his crotch.

“Don’t play with your food. By the way, Walter, if Angel kills you, you won’t be coming back. I’m just not quite sure if I should let him go ahead.”

“You’re joking,” said Angel, genuinely surprised. “He wants to kill Rebecca!”

“That’s one way of looking at it,” said Dawn, “but didn’t you say she wanted to stay young?”

“It’s…”

“It’s pretty much the same thing. I think we need to give Rebecca the facts, all of the facts, and let her make her own mind up.”

* * * * *

“…So you see,” said Walter, “if I kill you now you’ll stay young and beautiful forever. You could stay at the peak of your career for decades!”

“I’ve never heard so much crap in my life,” said Rebecca. “You seriously expect me to buy this?”

“I’ll show you,” said Dawn. She got one of the knives from Walter’s bag, weighed it in her hand, and without warning stabbed him in the heart, dodging to one side to avoid the spray of blood. He collapsed as far as the cuffs would let him. Rebecca screamed for a moment then Cordelia slapped her gently and she subsided. “Traditionally immortals use themselves for demonstrations, but I really don’t want to ruin this dress, Celeste would make me pay for it.” Dawn pulled the dagger out, slashing a wide gash so that Rebecca could see it wasn’t faked.

“My god,” said Rebecca, “you’ve killed him.”

“He’ll be fine in a couple of minutes.” As Dawn spoke sparks began to flicker over the wound, and within a minute it was closed, without any sign of scarring. Graham coughed, groaned, and came back to life, glaring at her.

“Of course there are limits,” said Dawn, “if I cut his hand off it wouldn’t grow back. Really bad injuries can leave scars, and if I cut his head off or sever his spine he dies. But anything short of that and he’ll be fine.”

“And I’ll never look a day older,” said Graham. “And neither will you if you let me take care of things.”

“How do I sign up?” asked Rebecca.

“Let me tell you about the down side first,” said Dawn. “You want to be a famous actress, right, with the emphasis on famous? You need the crowds, the applause, all that stuff, am I right?”

“I guess,” said Rebecca. “I’ve been chasing it for years now, and my film career’s finally taking off. If what he says is true I’ll have all the time I need to get to the top.”

“Want to bet? Don’t you think people are going to notice if you never get a day older?”

“Lots of actresses look younger than they are,” said Rebecca. “With the right makeup…”

“You can only push it so far,” said Dawn. “I’ve been doubling for Celeste for about eighteen months now, but it’s getting harder and harder to fake it. She’s two years younger than me, but she looks much older and it’s starting to be a little obvious. Another six months, maybe, then she’ll have to find someone else. It wouldn’t be so obvious with you, but there are only so many good roles for actors in their mid-thirties. How long before people start saying you’re typecast and start to look for new faces for those roles?”

“You can work around that,” said Walter, “pretend to die, give it a few years, then reappear as a fresh new face.”

“Bull,” said Angel. “Do you know how difficult it is to get a good fake ID these days?”

“Big problem,” said Dawn. “I’ve been working on my next identity for the last six months, and I still haven’t got a social security number that’ll stand up to scrutiny. I can’t see it being easy, maybe not even possible, for someone as famous as you. And you can’t really do much to change your appearance once you’re immortal. Plastic surgery doesn’t work, neither does a boob job or Botox. Your body rejects them and reverts to your form at the time you were killed.”

“Tell her about the headhunters,” suggested Cordelia.

“I was coming to it,” said Dawn. “High-profile immortals are easy to spot, and there are people that hunt them. They call it a game, but it’s more like serial killing turned into a sport. Walter here carries a sword, and so do I, and it’s not because we’re playing pirates. There are people out there that want to kill us.”

“It’s not that bad,” said Walter, “I’ve only had to fight four or five times this century.”

“It’s only 2010,” Dawn said dismissively, “and it sounds like you’ve been leading a quiet life. I’ve been immortal a bit over five years, I’m not looking for trouble, and I’ve already had to fight six times. Imagine what it’d be like for someone like you, Rebecca. One immortal can feel the presence of another, you’d be afraid to go out in public in case someone spotted you. You’d have to spend months… years… learning how to fight, and carry a sword for the rest of your life.”

“All right,” said Walter, “maybe there are a few minor disadvantages. But do you really want to get old and grey?”

“Katharine Hepburn,” said Angel, “won Oscars at twenty-six, sixty, sixty-one and seventy-four years old. Now that’s a real film career. Do you think it would have happened if she hadn’t been able to move on to new roles as she got older?”

“If you need another example,” said Cordelia “Bette Davis, won Oscars in 1935 and 38, she was nominated eight more times up to 1963.”

“You’re right, of course,” said Rebecca. “There’s no way to be sure I’ll make it to the top. But who says I have to? I want to be famous, sure, but it isn’t worth dying for, and I really doubt an Oscar is worth dying of old age. Sorry, guys, I think I’m going to go with Walter on this one.”

“Crap,” said Dawn. “I was hoping we’d persuaded you. What about having to fight?”

“I spend at least an hour a day exercising, more between jobs, and I used to do my own stunts. You really think I’m afraid to spend a little time training?”

“No,” said Angel, “but can you kill if you have to?”

Rebecca gave him an odd look, gestured towards Dawn, and said “She’s done it, and she hasn’t spent the last fifteen years fighting her way to the top in Hollywood. I don’t want to, but I will if I have to.”

“Okay,” said Angel. “Do you want me to kill you, or should I leave it to Graham?”

“Or I could do it,” said Dawn. “Of course you have no way to be sure that I won’t let you come back to life then immediately cut off your head. I could do with a little boost.”

“No you won’t,” said Rebecca. “Angel wouldn’t let you.”

“Is there really no way to convince you?” asked Angel.

“I’m sorry. I know you’re trying to do what you think is best for me, but I think eternal youth may be my best bet.”

“Last word?”

“Really. Yes. How many ways do you want to hear me…”

While she was talking to Angel, Cordelia had unlocked Graham's cuffs and handed him a knife with a thin stiletto blade. Graham nodded, tapped Rebecca on the shoulder, and stabbed her in the heart as she turned towards him.

* * * * *

“That was a goddamned Ralph Lauren original,” Rebecca said two hours later, showering off the blood. “You could have let me take it off first.”

“I guess,” said Cordelia. “But I thought that a surprise attack would be the easiest all round.”

“You’re probably right. Hand me a towel, would you?”

Dawn found one, and said “Well, I think our work here is done, pretty much. I hope it all works out for you. Make sure that you get some decent training; don’t just leave it to Graham, when you’re ready talk to me or Angel, we can hook you up with the best.”

“And make sure you clean the blood off your terrace before anyone starts asking awkward questions,” Cordelia added. “Biological detergent ought to fix it. Use plenty on the dress too, and fix it to look like it was torn accidentally. You really don’t want the cops poking around.”

“Okay,” said Rebecca. “And I guess I should say thanks. You were looking out for me, I suppose. Is Angel still around? I should thank him too.”

“He headed home about half an hour before you came out of it,” said Dawn, “it’ll be sunrise in an hour and he doesn’t want to turn into a pumpkin.”

“What about Graham?”

“He’s cooking breakfast. I hope you won’t mind if we don’t stay for it. To be honest, I’m not sure I like the guy, a bit too much of a Svengali for my taste.”

“Let me mould your career,” said Cordelia, putting on a fake European accent.

“I think he might be good for me,” said Rebecca. But there was a thoughtful look in her eyes.

* * * * *

“I give it six months before Rebecca decides she’s had enough of him messing around with her career,” said Cordelia, watching the sun rise as they drove back towards Los Angeles.

“I’d say three,” said Dawn. “The guy worked with Shakespeare, I really doubt his ideas have kept up with Hollywood. I looked up Claudia Jardine’s career on line while we were waiting for Rebecca to come round, it tanked after Graham became her manager. If his advice is bad Rebecca won’t follow him blindly, and I can’t help wondering how he’ll react. I’ve got a feeling he’s the kind that likes to be in the driving seat.”

“My money’s on Rebecca, she’s a lot more resourceful than she looks. And if she thinks she’s threatened I’ve a feeling Graham will end up feeding the fishes.”

“I’m not fool enough to take that bet.”

“Okay then; we’re only arguing about the time-scale,” said Cordelia. “Give Angel a call, see what he thinks, maybe Duncan too. Let’s see if we can get some serious betting going here…”

End

Crossovers: Buffy / Angel (Angel, Dawn, Cordelia, Rebecca Lowell), Six Feet Under (Celeste, originally played by Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn)), Highlander (Duncan MacLeod, Walter Graham, Claudia Jardine), Veronica Mars (Wallace Fennel). Also mentioned Harry Potter (Harry), The West Wing (the Bartlet biopic, Sam Seaborn, etc.), Tootsie (Dorothy Michaels), Get Shorty (Martin Weir), Notting Hill (Anna Scott), Hanna Montana (Hanna), Lou Grant (The LA Tribune), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Catherine Weaver, ZeiraTech), Numb3rs ("cute mathematician guy"), Friends (Joey Tribbiani).

The End

You have reached the end of "Forever". This story is complete.

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