Reunions, Part II
A/N: This chapter deals a lot in between the ‘Angel’ episodes “Damaged” and “The Girl In Question”. I also may have [hehe] chopped up the end of “The Girl In Question” so it would mold better around my story. If you're reading it and thinking "Hmm, I'm pretty sure that's not what happened..." then that would be it. I borrowed an Angel/Spike quote from “The Girl In Question”, as well. I’ve noted it with an asterisk. I don’t own any of it, Joss does. =]
With the legal stuff out of the way, I’m sad to say that this is, infact, the last chapter in this story. :’( But no fear! There’s a sequel in the works! I wouldn’t leave it with that many un-answered questions. =] Part two will be up and going ASAP! I've already started to think it out and I'm planning to start writing it either today or tomorrow. So keep an eye out! =] Thank you to everyone who has tracked, recommended, reviewed…everything! You guys are awesome and you keep me going! Thank you so so sooo much! =] And now, without further hesitation…
Chapter Twenty-Four: Reunions, Pt. II
I felt like vomiting, but I knew I wouldn’t--couldn’t, actually.
Instead, I turned and ran past Edward, out of the club. I needed fresh air in my lungs.
I needed to breathe.
I slowed my running to a brisk walk. I didn’t need anymore attention drawn to me. I walked down a small cobblestone side alley and sat on a dilapidated bench. I rested my elbows on my knees and put my head in my hands.
I felt the pain start to rise through my system. It was just small tears at first. The more I felt the pain rise though, the more vicious my tears became.
It wasn’t long before I moved on up to outright sobs.
I was merrily on my way to hysterics when he found me.
He picked me up in his strong arms and ran all the way back to our hotel, not caring who saw what. He set me down once we reached the front doors. I managed to stop sobbing long enough for us to walk into the lobby. I was immediately ambushed by Alice.
“I’m so sorry, Buffy! I tried to warn you, but by the time I got to your room, you were gone and---”
Edward grabbed his sister by the arm.
“Alice! Stop. You’re making a scene. This conversation can wait.” he said sharply.
He put his arms around my shoulders and my waist and started to walk me away. He stopped, suddenly, just before we got to our room. He sighed deeply.
“What?” I managed to stutter.
“Faith is in there, waiting to talk to you.”
Great. All I wanted to do was lay on my bed and cry. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I wasn’t really in the best mood for intellectual discussions.
“Whatever.” I muttered.
We walked through the door and of course, Edward was right. Faith was standing next to the window. She turned when she heard us enter.
“Faith, please…whatever you’re here for, just make it quick. I’ve had a terrible night and I just want to sleep.” I said, desperately.
She looked at Edward then back at me.
“Okay. Deal. Number one--Is it true that you’re engaged to him?”
“How--?” I questioned.
“I was talking with Alice.”
“Gotta say B, I’m a little hurt you didn’t call or mention it or anything.”
“Sorry--had some stuff going on.”
“Like, being, you know, immortal?”
“Uh, well, yeah. And some other stuff.”
“Like these Volturi guys?”
“Um, yeah. Them.” I said, uncomfortably.
Alice was going to get an earful.
There was a moment of awkward silence.
“Why didn’t you say anything, B? I could’ve helped. Rounded up the posse, old style.”
“A)--I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to get you involved with these guys. They are dangerous. Beyond dangerous. I was treading the waters, feeling them out. I don’t like what I felt. B)-- You’re a runaway convict--that almost had the world in the hands of a giant-snake-lizard-mayor thing. I’d much prefer the ‘Faith’ that helped me battle down the First.”
She smiled. “You would bring that up. Just not in front of Robin. He’s okay believing that I’m not ready to step foot back in sunny ol’ Cali because of what happened. He doesn’t need to know I’m a criminal on the run.”
I rolled my eyes.
“So, I hear Angel’s in town.” she said a few minutes later.
“And apparently Spike’s making a comeback from the undead.” I said, somberly.
“Yeah…I heard that one too.”
“How did you know?” I asked.
“Andrew said they came by our apartment earlier, looking for you.”
“Wait---why do you have an apartment with Andrew? And why would they be looking for me there?”
“Andrew, the little worm, asked Robin and I if he could crash with us for a few days. That was almost a year ago.”
“Why were they looking for me there?” I noticed that she conviently didn’t answer that question.
Edward spoke up for the first time. “Because that’s where they were told you would be.”
“Huh?” I wasn’t in the mood for this.
“Someone better explain, quick.” I added, semi-angrily.
Edward glared at Faith. “Are you going to tell her? Or am I going to have to?”
Faith stared back at him, confused. I answered her unspoken question.
“Edward can read minds. Hey------wait a second…”
“I’m not reading Faith.” He opened the door to reveal Andrew standing in the hallway. “I was reading his.”
I walked over and pulled Andrew in the room, slamming the door behind us. I was fed up with secrets and lies. I glared in Andrew’s direction.
“Sit.” I seethed.
I turned towards Faith and threw out a menacing glare. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Andrew walking back towards the door. I turned my attentions away from Faith and grabbed Andrew’s arm.
“I thought I told you to sit?” I breathed, furiously.
Andrew sat without saying a word.
“So, whatever is going on…someone needs to start talking. Who am I going to hear it from? Faith? Andrew? Or is my fiance going to have to tell me?”
I paced the floor while Faith and Andrew spilled everything.
Faith had come across a potential slayer in Los Angeles. Being that she’s a previously stated felon in California, she sent Andrew to collect her, only to find out that she was locked in a psyche ward. By the time Andrew had gotten there, she had killed and seriously injured a number of people and was on the loose.
He had called in to Faith to report what had happened. She, in turn, told him to go to Angel and follow him around, because chances are, he was already on the case. She had told him to say and do whatever he needed to, as long as the potential made it back to her in Rome.
Andrew, not realizing that Angel had already seen me in Seattle months earlier, fabricated a story to Angel and company, that everybody had moved on to Europe, Rome specifically.
“We never thought in a million years that they would show up here, looking for you. We were totally shocked to see them here, much less Spike. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I believed swimmer’s ear over here when he told me.” Faith said.
“They knocked, I looked through the peephole, saw it was them and I hid in the other room. Andrew opened the door and fabricated another story about you being on a date with some guy--- ‘The Immortal.’ Apparently, he has a history with Angel and Spike. How Andrew knew that, I don’t know. That’s everything up to right now.” Faith added.
“Actually, the reason I came here, your immortal slayerness, is to tell you that they dropped by again. They keep going back to that club you were at, asking everyone if they’ve seen you.” Andrew said.
This was all too much for one night. My head was spinning.
See? This is why Edward and I don’t go out.
All my emotions were mixing together, like dangerous chemicals. Fear and anger and sorrow and heartache and abhorrence. I felt like I was going to explode.
Before I even knew what I was doing, I was out the door and on the elevator. As soon as I walked through the lobby doors, I started to run. I focused in on my Slayer senses. I focused on Angel’s familiar smell and let my instincts take over.
I was flowing on pure anger and pure sadness--never really a safe mixture for anyone, much less a Slayer.
I stopped running and recognized the front of the nightclub. Angel and Spike were in there, I could sense it. I stayed hidden in the shadows, across the street. I knew I had a limited amount of time before Edward found me. I just hoped that they came out before he did.
As if on cue, they walked out. They were bickering foolishly between each other, about me naturally.
“Ours is a forever love.” Angel said to Spike.
“I had a relationship with her, too.” Spike responded.
“Okay, sleeping together is not a relationship.” Angel retorted.
“It is if you do it enough times.”* Spike quipped.
I honestly felt like Princess Jasmine in ‘Aladdin’. You know, the scene where the Sultan, Jafar and Aladdin are sitting around deciding amongst themselves who she
Actually, that’s exactly how I felt, mixed with a lot
more anger and, currently, a lot more sadness.
I watched them walk away from the club, down the deserted street. I figured that this was probably my chance to confront them, both, on everything. I took a deep breath and stepped out from the shadows.
Faith and I dispersed in different directions, desperately looking for Buffy.
I wasn’t exactly sure what she was going to do. Her thoughts were a jumbled mess. I couldn’t make sense of them, one way or another.
When she had first run off, I’d decided to give her a few minutes , thinking maybe she’d come back after getting some air. Faith and I waited for close to twenty minutes before we started searching.
Faith was heading back to her apartment. I had seen bits and pieces of the night club in her head and decided to try my luck.
I picked up her scent, here and there, down different streets. As I was running, I knew I was getting closer to her. I could smell her, hear the jumbled pieces of her thoughts come and go. I could feel that she was running on a dangerous mix of pure anger, sadness and…betrayal. I just hoped I got to her in time…before she did something stupid.
Before she did something she’d regret…
I barely heard the words slip from my lips.
I felt the solid wooden stake in my hand, as I clutched it tightly.
I don't know why I had it or what I intended to do with it.
All I knew was that I was angry. Very very angry.
They both whirled around to see who was calling them.
I had reverted back to the shadows before calling out their names. They walked towards where I was concealing myself.
“Whose there?” Angel yelled into the darkness.
“C’mon, come out and show yourself. No use in hiding like a little ‘fraidy cat.” Spike taunted.
I sucked in another mouthful of air.
They walked closer to my hiding place.
“C’mon now! Come out and fight like a man then!” Spike shouted.
The statement made my anger flare again.
I stepped from the shadows, crossing my arms, stake still in hand.
“Your wish is my command.” I said in an even, low tone, showing little emotion.
Their eyes widened.
“Buffy…” They said my name in unison.
They stepped towards me; I took a step back.
They both seemed to quickly realize three things.Something was wrong, I was far from happy about seeing them and I had a stake in my hand.
We stood silently for a largely immeasurable moment. I decided to break the silence first.
“How. Dare. You. How dare you! How dare the both of you!”
I turned to Spike. “How long have you been…back?”
“Uh…few months.” Spike answered, quietly.
“How long is a ‘few months’?”
“He’s been back for close to a year.” Angel said.
My eyes grew wide. The anger and a new one--betrayal--boiled over the surface.
“A YEAR?!?!” I shouted.
“Close to a year. I said close to a year. Seven, maybe eight, months.” Angel said.
A sudden realization sauntered into my mind. I turned to face Angel.
“You…you knew. When you came to Seattle. You knew.” I said, quietly.
Angel just nodded, not really wanting to anger me more, on account of the stake-in-hand.
“You knew and you didn’t say a thing! You knew what he did…what happened…how I felt…and you didn’t say a damn thing to me!” I started off quiet, but I finished yelling.
“Angel, how could you?” Spike chimed in.
I whirled back to face him. “Don’t you even dare to try pinning this all on him! After everything that we’ve been through, you never even once thought ‘Oh maybe I should call Buffy?’ ?!?!”
“Of course I did! Every bloody day! I just didn’t know…what to say. And then Captain Forehead over here comes back from Seattle, saying you’ve got a new, mysterious vamp guy hanging around and then the next thing we hear from Andrew, boy wonder, that you’re out dancing around and snuggling with the Immortal. Who just happens to be an old foe of ours.” Spike retorted.
I didn’t even know where to begin!
“Okay--number one--The whole ‘Buffy dating the Immortal’ thing is part of a seriously elaborate lie that Faith and Andrew concocted to get you to hand over a ‘Potential’. Number two--why in the hell are both of you even in Italy?”
I didn’t mention that the immortal one was actually me. They didn’t need to know.
Neither of them answered.
I already had my answer.
“Did you follow me here?”
“No! I mean…no…” Angel answered.
“You’re so lying! Somehow, you knew I was coming here and you followed me! You both did!”
“Buffy…it’s not like that…” Angel said.
“Well, technically, I followed Angel, who followed you.” Spike said.
“Shut up, Spike!” Angel hissed.
“So, it’s true. You followed me here. You’ve been spying on me! How? Who?” I asked.
I was desperately on the verge of tears again. Angel stayed tight-lipped. Spike, however, not so much.
“He’s had a guy tailing you for months now. Well, until your little junior Slayer Kennedy put him in the hospital a few days ago. He told me so on the plane.”
Angel sent a death glare to Spike.
I walked up to Angel and slugged him in the face, as hard as I could. It sent him flying quite a few feet away, into a wall. I ran over and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.
“How. Could. You. Betray. Me. Like. That?”
I followed each word with a punch, stake still in hand.
Spike ran over and tried to pull me off of Angel. I sent him flying into a different wall.
Suddenly, I felt strong arms lock around me. He grabbed the stake from me and threw it. He picked me up and ran me to the other side of the street, away from Angel and Spike.
They both got up and started to walk towards us.
“Who the bloody hell is this git?” Spike asked.
“Edward, isn’t it?” Angel asked.
"Well, thanks for stopping by then, Eddie. Be seeing you.” Spike sneered.
I turned my head towards him and sent out a callous glare.
“Spike, I’d like you to meet Edward Cullen, my fiance.” I said it with a dark tone to my voice.
Angel and Spike’s faces both dropped.
“Fiance?!?!” Angel asked, incredulous.
Edward set me down but he still kept his tight grip on my arms.
“Yes. My fiance. As in my husband-to-be.”
“Love…love spell! It’s a love spell.”* Spike stammered.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“He put a love spell on you.” Spike repeated.
The anger started to bubble up again.
“Okay. Let me get this straight. Just because I’m engaged to Edward and not you…you’re automatically assuming that I’m under a love spell?”
Angel stayed quiet while Spike nodded.
“Oh please! Give me a break! I love Edward of my own accord. He’s everything to me. I’ve literally changed my whole life around because I wanted him to never leave it. He’s given me the world.”
“I can give---”
“Give me what, Spike? What can you give me? What highlight from our ‘relationship’ made it on the love scale? When you made the disgusting robot of me? Or when you tried to rape me?”
Angel and Edward both turned towards Spike. Edward had a murderous glint in his eye.
“I love you, Buffy. And as I recall, you said it right back to me. Right before I burned to ash and took out Sunnydale with me.” Spike said, angrily.
“I did love you, Spike. I did. Just like I loved
Angel. Just like I loved
Riley. Emphasis on the did. It’s past tense, now. I love Edward. He is my life now and I am his. I’ve moved on in my life and I suggest you both do the same.”
I wriggled my arms free from Edward and walked away. Edward followed me, leaving both Angel and Spike, speechless in the dark Italian street.
As soon as we got back to the hotel, I noticed all my bags were packed.
Thank God. We were finally getting out of this hell-hole.
Edward called Faith while I changed my clothes. We drove our rented Lambo to the airport where Edward sadly returned it. Soon, we boarded our flight. As I sat in the comfy first class seat, I realized that I was actually going home.
A lot had happened in the last few days, heck, the last few hours.
And I’d survived.
Sure, we still had some major problems to solve.
The Volturi, still.
There was clearly a spy among us. Someone feeding information to The Volturi.
And I’m positive I’ve not heard the last from Spike or Angel, considering I never mentioned what Carlisle had told me so so long ago.
But that was all going to have to wait. I was on my way home to my family, new and old.
Most importantly, I had a wedding to plan.
...Not even close =]