Pairings: Willow/Xander, Angel/Cordelia, Duncan/Kate(from Endgame not ATVS), Spike/Amanda, Wes/Fred/Gunn, Nick/Buffy
Rating: Eventually NC-17
Spoilers: Highlander: Everything through Endgame/ Buffy: Everything through the episode where they found out Dawn was stealing from the Magic Box/ Angel: Everything up through the opera episode.
Disclaimer: Not mine Buffy and Angel people all belong to Joss; I can’t for the life of me remember who The Highlander folks belong to I think the guy with the typewriter. But alas they do not belong to me.
“Look Duncan, I really need you to do me this favor.” A voice asked as soon as Duncan MacCleod answered his phone.
“Dawson?” Duncan asked his Scottish accent heavy in his half wake state.
“Yes. I need you to go to a small town about an hour away from you. You are still in LA right. Yes that’s where I called. Anyway I’m stuck in Paris With Amanda and I need to check and see it the reports I’m getting of two pre-immies there are correct.”
“Wait, you mean two pre-immortals in the same small town. That’s unlikely.” Duncan was now much more alert and sitting on the edge of his bed.
“I know that’s why I need this report checked out. The source is pretty reliable but he claims that these kids are about the same age and are friends. That’s almost statistically impossible.” Dawson rejoined.
“Where did you say this place was?” Duncan Asked. He was intrigued.
“Sunnydale, California. A hour-hour and a half drive north of LA. The kids are Willow Anne Rosenberg, and Alexander Lavelle Harris. Both 20 years old. Rosenberg attends UC-Sunnydale and Harris works for the town construction outfit. According to the information I’ve been able to get my hands on where you find one you should fine the other. The boy is engaged and the girl is scheduled to be his best man.”
“Okay, Dawson, I’ll go up there later today. Why are you in Paris with Amanda? What did she do now?” Duncan and Dawson talked for another while then the Dark haired immortal dressed for the day and after completing his errands headed towards the hellmouth.
A small group of teens were gathered at the entrance to Sunnydale’s largest Graveyard. “Okay tonight’s baddie is called a Divensineger Demon. It can only be killed by decapitation. Spike and Buffy will handle that. He travels with his own cadre of vamps. That’s what we’ll take. Xander, Anya, you guys with me?” Willow had been fighting much more during her attempts to kick magic. The action helped to keep her mind off the ‘addiction’ she was fighting.
“As always Wills.” Xander replied jovially.
Buffy and Spike looked around. Both sensed a presence watching them but neither could identify it. Each assumed it was simply one of the Vamp lookouts and dismissed the perplexing sensation. “So this demon should be at the big family crypt in the center?” Buffy asked Spike as the group moved forward.
“Yep the blokes at Willie’s said that they were doing the ceremony at the crypt three down from mine.” The vampire answered cockily.
Sure enough at the center of the graveyard at a huge crypt seven vampires were standing outside looking around worriedly. Buffy, Spike and Willow all moved forward and staked three whose backs were towards the approaching slayerettes. The Slayer and Vampire moved on into the crypt as Willow, Xander and Anya fought the four remaining vamps on the outside. Several other vampires joined the piles of dust littering the ground as more of the demon’s hench-vamps joined the fray.
Finally no more arrived to fight the teens standing in the night air. So they looked at each other shrugged and entered the crypt to help Buffy and Spike. “Willow you didn’t say this thing spat razor thingies.” Buffy panted she and Spike were having trouble staying out of the way of the foot long silver razors the creature kept spitting at them.
“The book didn’t say anything about razor thingies. I didn’t know about any razor thingies.” Willow shouted back.
Unfortunately Willow drew the demon’s attention onto herself. The demon roared at the arrival of the newcomers. It saw the power in the witch and aimed her. It spat several of his weapons at her. Willow was still shouting to Buffy and did not see the flashes of silver head for her. Xander did and without hesitation ran to Willow. He hoped to push her out of the way as well as him self. Unfortunately the razors sliced cleanly through the torsos of both best friends.
The distraction Willow provided allowed Spike to destroy the demon. As it disintegrated he ran over to where the slayer and Anya huddled over Willow and Xander. The two friends held hands as they breathed their last breaths. They left the world as they had spent most of their time in it…together.
Duncan was wondering what the children were doing hanging out in a graveyard for so long on a Tuesday night of all things, when he felt a strange sensation. ~Damn I wonder which one it was.~ He thought as he placed it as the first death of a pre-immortal. When he say the three blond heads exit the crypt. He cursed aloud.
He saw the three remaining friends call for help and then was surprised when they left the cemetery. He watched as the dark haired boy and girl were wheeled out to the ambulance. He followed the transport to the hospital. He had the devils own time getting both teens out of there before their friends showed up as it was when he was driving out of the parking lot he saw them walking up to the hospital. A younger brown haired child who was crying so hard she had to be supported by the smaller blonde girl and another blond girl taller than the other three girls had joined them.
Duncan hated driving with dead immortals in his car. He was never sure what to do with them. These two sat in the back seat and looked for all the world like they were sleeping peacefully. If one didn’t notice their blood soaked clothes and lack of breathing. He smiled when he heard them both gasp in their first breath in over two hours.
“God Wills I just had the worst dream. A demon was about to kill you and I couldn’t get there fast enough.” The boy said without really opening his eyes.
“Xand- that wasn’t a dream. You just got your fool self killed too. So question is why are we alive now. And who has a car. And why does this look like LA? And who is that driving?” Willow’s voice got more and more frantic with each question. “And why is my head buzzing?”
“MY name is Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod. This is my car and I’ll answer the rest of your questions when we get back to my apartment.” Duncan said calmly.
“Look mister if you think you are taking us to some miscellaneous LA apartment to do whatever you want. You’ve got another thing coming.” Xander said tersely.
“Fine where do you want to go for me to explain this all. It will take quite some time.” Duncan replies in a similar tone of voice.
Willow looks at the street signs and says quickly. “Turn left here.” She directs Duncan to the Hyperion, praying that Angel and the others will be there.
She directs Duncan to the Hyperion, praying that Angel and the others will be there.
The trio entered the Hyperion and heard crying. Willow grabbed Xander’s hand. “Duncan could you wait right here for a second. Don’t worry we’ll be back you have answers that we need. But something’s wrong.” With that the two teens ran into the office where they found Cordelia and Angel locked in each other’s embrace. Cordelia was sobbing heavily, Angel tried to console her even as blood tears poured freely from his eyes.
“Geez guys who died?” Xander asks before he can stop him self. Willow punches him in the shoulder.
As Cordelia screeched and came over to hug them, Duncan appeared behind them and answered for the shocked seer. “the two of you did.” At Xander’s And Willow’s disbelieving gasps Duncan finally takes note of the other two people in the room. He moves between his new charges and Angel as he acknowledges the dark vampire. Duncan’s voice is filled with both recognition and disdain. “MacEwen.”
Angel’s voice held only disbelief. “McLeod.”
To any passersby the two tall darkly handsome men looked more like brothers than enemies. But unfortunately the second was the correct relationship. You see just the night before the taller of the two had killed the other and was currently perturbed to see his victim walking and talking.
The shorter of the two was understandably upset at his adversary for having killed him. This was the reason for this second meeting.
“I am Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod. You should make sure that your victims are dead before you leave ‘em. A living victim will wan vengeance for your attack.” McLeod’s Scottish accent was thick and distinct.
Angelus’s answer was relayed in a thick Irish brogue. “Well Mister McLeod, I am Liam Angelus McEwen, formerly of the Clan McEwen of the land of Ire. Now Angelus, son of Darla, of the Order of Aurelus. A vampire and what manner of demon are you. You smell very human, yet you live though your heart had stopped. Even if I had left you alive there is no way you’d be recovered enough to be back on yer feet so soon.” Angelus eyes were filled with curiosity.
“I’m no a demon. I’m an Immortal. I am simply a human who will heal after I die and reawaken. I was told that our presence was painful to your kind.” Duncan said quizzically.
“And I was told that your kind was a myth, a fairy tale. It would seem that we’ve both been misinformed.” Angelus retorted. The two men began to fight. Both were very good swordsmen, and the battle was well matched. Unfortunately the night watch approached. The fight was ended for good with neither man winning. Both had travel plans for the next day. Their paths did not cross again.
Until this day. Duncan shook his head to clear it of the memory. He looked up to find all three of the teens standing in front of the vampire in a protective stance. “Sorry Duncan but um, Angel is on the no kill list.” Xander told the other man. “And if ever that changes I’m the one who gets first dibs.
Before Duncan could respond Angel broke in, “So Willow and Xander they are like you? They are of your kind… the immortals?”
“Yes tonight they had their first death in a cemetery of all places. Care to explain that?” Duncan asked. His dislike of the vampire was slowly dwindling as he remembered the sorrow he saw in his face at the death of these children. “And perhaps while you are at it you can tell me how it is you have changed from what you were?”
“Then this will take a while.” Xander muttered.
The sat down in the office, Cordelia and Angel pulled in chairs. The something amazing happened. Angel looked towards the stairs and excused himself. When he returned he was feeding a baby. “Connor has decided to join us.” He saw the wonder in Willow’s eyes as she looked from the baby to him and back.
“Angel how it this possible. Vampires can’t have babies and that little boy is you all over. But…whoa Darla? Wasn’t she dusted like sophomore year?” Willow asked confused.
“Wills. How the hell did you just know all that?” Xander asked.
“I don’t know its like Conner told me who his mom and dad were. Way weird. Especially since I didn’t do a spell or anything.” Willow answered perplexed herself. The witch’s thoughts were interrupted as a loud growl ripped though the room. She turned to her best friend. “Xander we just ate before we went to the cemetery.”
“Yeah Wills but that was hours ago. Plus we did well die and come back I think I’m justifiably hungry.” Xander pouted. “Hey Deadboy, is there anyplace that will deliver here? Can I call you Deadboy anymore? I mean I’ve died too humm gonna have to think about that one.”
“Look Harris, Mr. McLeod and I need to talk why don’t you and Cordy go pick up some Chinese, Willow and Conner don’t seem to notice the rest of us anyway and when you get back we’ll all sit down and talk while you guys eat.” When the Cordelia and Xander had taken the orders and left, and Connor and Willow went for a walk around the hotel, Angel turned back to Duncan. “Willow and Xander have been fighting evil and saving the world since they were fifteen. Do not underextimate them. Willow is an accomplished witch and Xander… Well he’ll make you want to kill him at least eight times a day, but he has a good heart and there is nothing he won’t do for a friend. Especially Willow. That is what they were doing when they..” Angel’s voice caught on the next word though he knew his friends were okay, “died. They were fighting a demon. Sunnydale is situated on a hellmouth and they tend to have to save the world a lot.” Angel’s mouth quirked up as he remembered the gang’s decision to put that same statement on Buffy’s headstone.
“There was another vampire with them. A blond male is he like you? And what has happened to change you. Do your kind just mature to this point?” Duncan was used to his kind growing out of their more antisocial behaviors, but he had not believed that was possible for vampires.
“No, don’t get me wrong some of our oldest get to a point where they are more mellow. But very few reach that point. No I was given a soul by a band of Gypsies about 85 years ago. Unfortunately it was not a permanent soul. I lost it and reverted back to the bastard you met all those years ago, actually I was worse. But Willow was able to give me my soul back. Her gift was given for love of me and our friend Buffy. Therefore the soul is mine. It cannot be taken.” Angel though for a moment unsure how much he should say about Spike. “The blond vamp with them in Sunnydale is Spike, one of my childer. He helps them now that I’m here.”
“You know Willow and Xander far better than I, will they take to what I have to tell them. You’d be amazed how many new immortals are quickened simply because they refuse to believe what they are.” Duncan asked concerned.
“Willow is smart she’ll listen to you ask you tons of questions. Some you’ve never even thought of. But if this is all on the up and up she will believe you. Xander will crack wise all night listen to everything you tell Willow and then just do what she does. If Willow excepts this Xander will. However you will find it impossible to separate them. They have been walking this earth side by side since they were four, according to Cordy, and with little exception will continue to do so. In all my years I have never seen friendship like they are capable of. Devastated though I was at the thought of Willow’s light being extinguished, part of me knew it was okay cause Xander was with her. That made no sense but you will understand what I mean soon enough.” Angel smirked at Duncan. The immortal intrigued him. He reminded him of someone but Angle couldn’t think of whom.
“They will need to learn to fight with swords. Our race can never go anywhere without one.” Duncan began.
“That won’t be a problem. Xander has experience with them and Willow can learn anything.” Angel assured. “I’d like to offer you a room here. I’m sure that it will make Willow and Xander more comfortable to be here amongst friends and I can help to train them and protect them until they have learned to fight more.”
Angel was polite yet Duncan understood that his new protégé had a fierce protector. Duncan was saved from response by the ringing of his cell phone.
“Mac have you seen the kids? Which one is the pre-immie?” Dawson as usual just began talking without waiting for Duncan’s greeting.
“Yeah, I’ve seen both kids. And your source was right they are both immortals. And Lucky me got there just in time for their first death. Am I mistaken I thinking you were hoping I’d take them under my wing?” Duncan’s voice rang with amusement and sarcasm.
“Well Mac. The more immortals like you in the game the better for humanity. Look I’m coming to LA. I’ll have Amanda and her boy toy with me. You got a place they can crash?” Dawson brazenly asked.
“What did Amanda do now? Never mind I’m quite sure that I’m better off not knowing. There is one place she can stay but she’ll have to help me train. I’m sure we can find some use for her boy toy… maybe a tackling dummy.” Duncan looked up at the noise in the lobby. Xander and Cordelia had returned as had a slime covered Wesley and Gunn. Fred and Lorne were walking behind them laughing. “Call me when you get to LAX and I’ll let you know.” Duncan hung up without saying good-bye as Dawson had started speaking with out saying hello.
Wes and Gunn headed of to get cleaned up while Xander and Cordelia set up the food. Fred and Lorne introduced themselves around then settled down to play with the baby. Everyone gathered to eat. Fortunately for the new arrivals Xander had gotten tons of Chinese and also had grabbed a pizza.
Duncan sat in amazement watching Xander as he ate. He simply sat the pizza box in front of himself as everyone divided the Chinese onto plates. Angel reappeared with a mug, and sat down as well.
“Okay Mac-man why don’t you start explaining why wills and I are here and not in the Sunnydale morgue where we belong.” Xander asked in his usual brash manner.
Duncan began to explain to the Willow and Xander about their new life. He told them of the game and the need to learn to fight. Willow asked insightful questions most of which he didn’t have the answers to. And he told her so. “I have a friend, he should be here tomorrow or the next day who may be better able to explain this. He is a watcher and had more information on immortals than I know. Immortals tend to just live our lives, I’ve never really questioned how it is we’ve become this way.”
“Wow you have a watcher? Does he know Giles? I’m not sure I want to have anything to do with watchers after everything they put Buffy through.” Willow thought aloud.
Angel answered for a confused Duncan. “Little one I don’t think these watchers have anything to do with Giles set. I’ve never come across any reference to immortals in the watcher annals in the Giles or Wes collection.” The dark vampire turned to his ex-watcher. “Wesley, have you ever heard of anything like this before?”
The British man looked up from watching Xander devour his dinner. “No-I. Does he even breathe? And Mr. Harris why did you not get your own Chinese food rather than steal it off Miss Rosenberg’s plate? Oh sorry. What was I saying oh yes. No I’ve never dealt with any references of immortals in our books, or the watchers diaries.”
“It’s like looking at the sun Wesley. Never look directly at Xander when he’s eating.” Cordelia quipped.
“I don’t mind Wes. I always put extra food on my plate for him to steal. He says it tastes better this way. And I think you can call us Willow and Xander now. You know you really are nothing like the stuffy watcher-head you were when we first met. I actually like you now. Oh that came out wrong. I mean you were okay then you just seem less…” Willow tapered off as she searched for the right word.
Xander looked up and simply said it. “You seem like somebody finally pulled that redwood out your as---butt.” The dark haired youth amended for the benefit of Connor’s sensitive ears.
“Yes…well I suppose I have Faith to thank for that. I believe that I learned that rigidity can hamper interpersonal relations.” Wes blushed when he realized that he was once again speaking in watcher speak. “Mr. McLeod, immortals are born waiting for their first death to activate their regenerative aspects, so what happens if they die as an infant?”
“I’ve never known that to happen. Most infants die of natural causes, only a violent death can activate immortality.” Duncan smiled wryly. “Be glad that you to came across together. It is hell to have to try to decide if you will cause your lover’s first death so that they will be with you forever. In fact you can loose them completely…well for a century of two.”
“Not those two,” Cordelia teased. “Xander’s killed her before and she forgave him.”
“But I always figured that I was vamped first and turned Xander.” Willow told the seer.
“Nope according to Vamp Xander he was turned first and as soon as he rose he went and turned you. Why do you think I was so mad when I came back from alterna-land. Xander choose you to be with him for eternity and it wasn’t even like he wanted his friends with him cause he didn’t change Jessie just killed him. You know that raises the point I’ve been wondering about. What the hell happened? How come the two of you never got together. It was destined to happen. I lost my spleen to fate to get you two together and now moronaboy is marrying demon chick.” Cordelia smacked Xander across the back of the head.
“Probably not Cord. You know how Anya is. The whole my dying for Wills…oh and lest not forget that I pushed her hand away to hold Willow’s when we died thing is probably the end of our relationship.” Xander stated.
“Man it’s a good thing I did that protection spell on you before I swore off magic. Anya is gonna be out for blood once she finds out your alive.” Willow said. But her actions belied her teasing words as she reached out and squeezed Xander’s hand.
“Umm, Little one how did you swear off magic? Why did you swear off magic?” Angel asked perplexed. After Willow explained everything to them he and Wesley exchanged guarded glances. “Willow, it’s probably a good thing that this happened when it did then. Natural witches cannot just stop doing magic. It will build up inside you and starts to cause health problems. You’ve probably already noticed the migraines.” Angel said gently.
“Yeah but I just thought it was part of the withdrawal and get better.” Willow told her worried friends. “Besides I’m not a natural witch, like Amy, I’m a practicing Wicca.”
“No, Miss---Willow you are a natural witch you would not have been able to restore Angel’s soul otherwise. In fact all the power for that spell came from you. Cordelia has no magic, and neither did Mr. Osborne.” Wesley told Willow. “That could be the cause of so many of your spells going awry, you were using the wrong implements. A natural witch must use a balance of white and dark magic in every spell. That is the way of nature. She must also cast from her heart and not just be saying the words. I assumed that you knew how powerful you were.”
“So then why was Rack ab-“ Xander’s question was cut off by Angel’s roar.
“Rack!?! That bastard didna touch you did he Willow. I swear I should have killed him the first time Dru mentioned the good for nothing, sorry son of a bitch.” Angel ranted. When he realized his game face had slipped out he calmed down and began again. “I don’t know if he’s an immortal or just that powerful a witch. He likes to prey on young girls new to their powers. He taints their power, and ties them to demons. The witch then can’t cast so much as a glamour with out bringing forth a demon. If the witch figured out what’s happening and stop casting, he’ll send thugs to attack them so they have no choice, its either cast of get hurt. The ones that still won’t cast he’s been known to rape and torture in an effort to make them cast.” Angel was seething and everyone at the table could see it. “Wesley do you think you will be able to find a way to make sure his connection to Willow ahs been broken before she starts casting again. You’ll have to work fast cause she can still be caused serious pain by not casting. She’ll just heal. I’ll call Spike and have him take care of Rack. He should be able to hurt him…I just hope he doesn’t torture him too badly. When I give him the old man’s history. I won’t mention you, if you don’t want them to know Willow.”
“I want to tell them but it’s not just my decision. Xander?” Willow looked askance to her right at Xander.
“I don’t suppose we could just tell Buffy, Spike and Dawn?” He asked guiltily.
“Why just them?” Lorne asked?
“Well my parents are probably throwing a party as we speak. I’d like to think Ira and Sheila will come home for the service. And well---“ Xander hemmed and hawwed for several moments before Fred stated to laugh.
“You think if Anya and the other person know they will want you and the Willow apart.” She giggled, when the others didn’t get her train of though she explained, much to the dismay of the two bright red new immortals. “Well despite their obvious feelings for each other they haven’t been single at the same time since they started the whole dating thing. They have been trapped into their other relationships to the point that it hurt their friendship. And Cordy and Angel have told us how you two used to be. So I figure that this had to be killing them. Xander especially who had to hear it from the jealous girlfriend all the time as well as suffer the separation. Add in the fact that he is obviously in love with the Willow…which I don’t understand why you asked the other girl to marry you…but you must have had your reasons. And you have Xander very happy to have HIS Willow back to himself. Thus the not wanting to tell the others.” Fred finished and took a deep breath.
“Man, Wills its you with a physics degree.” Xander quipped trying to cover his embarrassment.
Willow just buried her head in his shoulder. “I hate you guys. I’m going home.” She muttered just loud enough to be heard. Xander chuckled and drew her into a hug.
“That’s it the world is coming to an end. Willow just made the Xanderriffic quote of the night.” Cordelia said to the delight of all present.
Wesley looked at Duncan, “Is it usual for to immortals to be so closely connected?”
Duncan shook his head. “This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it. In fact when I went to Sunnydale tonight I was sure that Dawson’s contact had been mistaken. Its rare enough for two immortals to be born in the same year let alone that close in birth date and proximity.” Duncan watched his new charges. He hadn’t attempted to train anyone since Richie. A he thought of his fallen young friend, Duncan shivered in self-disgust. He sighed as he felt Richie’s essence attempt to sooth him from within. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen two closer people in all my life. It is strange but to watch them they seem the embodiment of that old soulmate story.” Duncan told the young ex-watcher.
“Yes. I have often thought that myself. I still find it hard to believe that Xander actually proposed to a person other than Willow.” Wesley gossiped.
“How did that come about?” Duncan asked. He hoped to gain some understanding of his male student.
“Well after a very bad end to her relationship with her first boyfriend, Miss---ah Willow began a relationship with another girl, a fellow witch named Tara. Xander seeing this deepened his shallow relationship with Anyanka, a former vengeance demon,” Wesley went on to relay every sordid details of the Willow/Xander relationship he knew. When he finished he and Duncan both got swallowed up in their thoughts.
“I think Xander has spent his whole life never feeling good enough for Willow. He actually self-perpetuated that by hurting her in his efforts to save her from his feelings for her.” Wesley said contemplatively.
Duncan looked over at the group again. “So how long have MacEwen and Cordelia-is it- been a couple?” Duncan prodded. He was going to have to spend a lot of time with these people and he wanted to know all he could about them.
Duncan and Wesley exchanged tons of information. Both men became more comfortable with the circumstances they were facing. When Duncan’s Cell phone rang they were both shocked to realize that they had been talking for over and hour and everyone else was sitting around listening intently.
“Mac, we’re in LA now where are you and the newbies?” Dawson asked through the phone.
“I thought you were in Paris.” Duncan chided.
“That was this morning. We landed about fifteen minutes ago. I’ve got Amanda with me…and her boy toy. Where should we meet you.” The mortal man asked.
“Ask Amanda if she remembers that weird old hotel we stayed in, in ’34, the Hyperion.” Duncan paused, at the affirmative answer, he continued. “Okay rent a car and get over here. These kids have a lot of questions and I could only answer half of them…so that tells you something. Yeah I’ll still be here. Hey do you know where Kate is? Damn I was hoping she was stateside. I could use her help training the girl. I guess I’ll have to let Amanda do it and just pray she won’t corrupt the poor girl.” Duncan chuckled into the phone. And hung up again with out saying goodbye.
“Man do either of you use proper phone etiquette? And I wouldn’t worry about corrupting Wills. I’ve been trying for twenty years and have yet to manage it. OW! I was just joking.” Xander’s mouthing off earned him a punch in the arm from the slight redhead at his right.
“I’m a rebel dammit. I can be bad… I dated a girl for over a year remember.” Willow declared haughtily.
“Yeah but Little one I thing you’d date a Morath demon if they had the right personality and wanted to help people.” Angel teased.
“Whoa, the angelic one with a Joke. LA has been good for you man.” Xander quipped.
“Xander have I ever told you that you make my fangs itch?” Angel asked seriously.
“Naw, I think that was Spike.” Xander throws back
“Yeah he does it too.” Angel half smiled.
The gang threw teasing insults around and not even Duncan went unscathed. Especially once Xander found out how old the immortal really was. Before they realized it there were three new people walking in the door. Willow and Xander grabbed their heads.
“Dude what the hell is that buzzing?” Xander asked shaking his head to clear it.
“That is your early warning system. It tells you when another immortal comes into your presence. In some cases when you have and immortal who likes to start fighting without warning that can save your neck. You’ll get used to it soon.” Duncan counseled.
“OOH Shit.” Angel exclaimed. “Willow, Xander if you don’t want the others to know you are here, you’d better hide. Buffy and Spike are outside.”
Willow and Xander were in Angel’s office like a shot. Amanda pulled Nick forward and threw him into the seat the boy had just vacated and she slid into Willow’s chair. Angel ran to the door and held it open as Spike ran in, not quite beating dawn’s early light. This left both vampires smoking as Buffy and Dawn entered the hotel. Fred tossed them each a bag one of the bags of blood she had retrieved from the kitchen.
“Thanks Luv.” Spike said automatically. Then his head came up and he looked searchingly around the lobby. Before he could say anything, however Amanda stole the spotlight.
The thief took one look at the emotionally crushed visage of the despondent teen and went into full mother mode. “Lets get you some water.” She looked at the crying girl, and then turned to Buffy. “You too. Holding back those tears is going to wreak havoc on your throat. Come on.” Cordelia stood and lead Buffy, Dawn and Amanda to the kitchens.
Willow and Xander had tried to decide whether to let the Sunnydale Gang know they were alive but the choice was taken from them as soon as they heard Dawn’s sobs. It was even more of a moot point when Spike walked over to Duncan and through a haze of chip induced pain lifted the immortal out of his chair and high off the floor.
“Who the bloody hell are you and why do you smell like Red and Chubs?” Spike growled through the pain.
Willow and Xander came running out of the office. Willow pushed Xander towards the kitchen, telling him to go talk to Buffy and Dawn and let her handle Spike. “Spike it’s okay. He had to take us away from the morgue. We didn’t stay dead. Let him go I know your head’s gotta hurt, your neck is spasming.” The red head placed a calming hand on Spike’s arm. He dropped Duncan to the floor and pulled Willow into a strong hug. “Spike I’m not dead but I still need to breath.” The laughing blond vamp released her and sat down hard. He actually would have ended up on the floor if his grandsire hadn’t anticipated his reaction, and slid a chair under him as he was crashing from the shock and pain.
Angel sighed. He couldn’t stand to see the boy in so much pain, so he walked over and forced the younger vamp to take some of his own blood. Spike shook his head as the pain cleared. “Thanks old man. That worked better than Whiskey. Would some one care to explain to me what the bloody everlasting hell is going on?”
Willow opened her mouth to speak when a fifteen-year-old tornado came rushing out of the kitchen to envelop her in a hug. She wrapped her arms around Dawn. “Its okay Dawnie. We are alive and okay and Duncan and his friends are gonna help us stay that way. Okay. Shhh.” Willow comforted the other girl. Soon Xander and Buffy had joined them.
“How, what, I’ve never been this confused in my life.” Buffy looked around not sure which question to ask first.
“Ahh come on Buffy…we all know that you’ve been way more confused way more that just this once.” Cordelia quipped as she and Amanda entered the lobby.
“I suppose I should explain it for all of you. Willow this is Joe he should be able to answer all those questions you stumped me with earlier. And Amanda will also add some input as well.” Again Duncan explained everything to the assemblage. Willow asked questions and either Joe or Amanda answered them. Buffy’s confusion mounted and Spike just seemed more and more enraptured with the existence Willow and Xander would now lead.
As soon as Duncan’s explanation was finished, Spike spoke up. “So what are you planning on telling the demon and the witch?” He smirked knowing that this question had yet to be resolved but he could see that Willow and Xander were back to how they had been in the Warehouse that fateful night of the unused love spell.
“Umm…well. See we haven’t actually finished thinking on that one yet.” Willow hedged.
“Well I think it may not be a very good idea to let Anya know she’s still a little worked up about how you guys died.” Dawn told the two new immortals. “Now that we know you two are alive and well it’s kind of funny. I mean she’d be sobbing one minute then ranting about you shoving her away to hold Willow.” Dawn’s voice took on a teasing whine as she mocked Anya. “Xander’s mine why would he hold her and not say goodbye to me. He wouldn’t even have had to say good-bye to me if he hadn’t had to save Willow. I was right all along. Yammer, yammer, yammer.” Dawn allowed her exasperation to come through; everyone could tell that the young girl was pissed at the woman she mocked. “Everyone knows that Xander would give his life for any of us but even more so for Willow. I used to think that if something happened to Willow Xander would self-destruct. He’d either hurt himself or do something to get himself hurt.”
“You mean like threaten to kill the slayer. Been there and done that. Xander gets all pissy when vampires threaten his Willow.” Buffy teased.
“Yeah. I’m not even going to mention that Willow got cuddled until she came to, while I woke up on the hard cold floor. That little nightmare cost me a $150 skirt. But I’m over that now, mostly.” Cordelia quipped.
Duncan spoke up “You threatened the slayer for her and still you asked another girl to marry you. I’m not sure that you are smart enough to train Alexander.” Duncan’s voice carried a slight note of teasing.
“Hey I’m plenty smart. I just have better sense than to try to be with Willow when she deserves so much more than me.” Xander took off running as he saw the look in Willow’s eyes.
“You know Chubs, one of these days she’s gonna really hurt you for saying something exactly like that. Red, promise me that I can be there.” Spike chuckled. Suddenly Willow and Xander sat down hard on the floor.
“Whoa.” They both said.
“What? What’s wrong?” Everyone asked worriedly.
“No. Nothing’s wrong it’s just that it kinda just hit me. One day it’s just gonna be me, Wills and the deadboys.” Xander began.
“No more Giles or Cordy or Dawnie. I mean no offense Buffy but I think we’ve all expected to out live you but not really each other. Does that make any sense?” Willow finished.
“Yes, Willow it makes perfect sense.” Duncan sat down next the redhead. “You’ve dealt with the thought of the death of your blond friend. She has dealt with it as well from what I gather. You and Xander and the rest of your gang have always assumed that even after the slayer was gone you’d still have each other for a very long time until only Angel your other vampire friend were left. You were looking at this in a natural mortal way. The person with the dangerous destiny goes first, then the rest of you as time goes by, you probably figured that Dawn would be last because she is so much younger than the rest of you. But you need to remember that mortal is mortal any of them can go at any time in any order. Just because you are immortal doesn’t mean for a fact that you will out live them. You could be decapitated in a car accident, or have your head taken by another immortal before you turn thirty. Mortality or immortality doesn’t make you infallible.”
“Well I feel better. Hey Angel, think you can define a few of those words for me? I’d ask Wesley but getting it down from Greek to Spanish doesn’t help a whole lot.” Xander quipped to lighten the mood. Everyone laughed. They talked some more then retreated to the rooms up stairs or to their hotels, and apartments for to get some sleep.