Disclaimer: Don’t own or claim rights to Buffy
A/N: Concerns a death. Not gory, or anything like that, but someone does die.~~~~~
When I first made that promise, I was adamant that it was going to happen. Of course, I burned with fury, and held the certainty of my intentions, but then, not even five minutes later, reality dumped on me, and I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I was mortal, and he wasn’t; I was weak where he was strong. Him being at my death? Not such a fanciful idea. Me being at his? Well… So many things would have to change for that to happen, and I really couldn’t see it.
A few months later, I thought it had happened after all, after a fashion. I was there … ish. In the same zipcode, and all. On the same street, even, if not in the same building. Of course, I should have known better. Some people seem to treat death as more of a suggestion, like those pretty pictures on food packets that you know aren’t going to happen unless you have some fancy certificate from some up-scale food school place.
It took probably ten years for me to realise that it might just be a possibility after all. Not that I really wanted it to happen quite this way. It’s just that I began to notice that Buffy’s roots were getting lighter of their own accord, and Giles just wasn’t moving quite the way he used to, and even Willow was starting to get lines, even with her possible-Goddess-ness. And here I was, still looking morning fresh. Another ten years, and the difference was noticeable. Ten years after that, and people were starting to ask if my Mom was free. Dawn hated that.
Things happened, as they do. People died. Nearly everyone I’d loved died. Willow had long since deduced that when she’d hit me with the magics at Kingsman’s Bluff, she’d fundamentally changed me. When she’d fixed my eye after the First, she’d activated the change, and I haven’t aged a day since. There’s other things, but that’s always been the really noticeable one. Willow’s still around, but she’s more often than not off with the other deities. She says I’m technically one after all that she did to me, but I’m not really in a ‘god of all I survey’ mood most of the time, so I stay down with the mortals.
It finally happened, though. He found me. He said that it was finally time to keep my promise to him. He was going up against an enemy, and it was prophesied that he would die in this final battle. Just like Buffy all those many years ago. But he didn’t want me to bring him back. No mystical CPR for Deadboy. He wanted me at his back, and, if necessary, to complete his mission. I felt honoured by his request, and, after all, I couldn’t exactly say no, could I?
We went in, and, just as prophesied, Angel fell in battle. And I picked up his sword, and, in his enemy’s moment of fatal distraction, finished his job. Thing was, though he was dying, Angel wasn’t dead. We could both see it – it was a relatively quick acting poison, quicker than the stuff Faith had used, but not so quick as to prevent his suffering. Or our conversation.
“So this is it?” I murmured.
“This is it,” Angel grunted. “You kept your promise.”
“That I did. You ever think it might actually happen?” I asked, curious.
“Once you stopped aging,” Angel mused, “yeah. Pretty much counted on it.” He coughed, and we could both tell his final death was only moments away. “Think I’ll see them again?” he whispered.
What could I say to that? “Pretty sure,” I assured him. “If nothing else, you have two supposed gods on your side,” I smirked. “Don’t know what I’m supposed to be god of, but Will says I am, and who am I to argue?”
Angel coughed. “God without a portfolio?”
I chuckled. “Yeah. I’ll take that, then.” I brushed his hair back from his face. This was it, I could tell. I leaned forward, and dropped a kiss on his forehead. “’Good-night, sweet prince,” I murmured, “and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.’” His lips twitched into a final smile, and then he dissolved into dust, and then, to my surprise, his dust rose into the air and dissipated into sparks.
“You kept your promise,” Willow murmured from behind me.
“Least I could do,” I offered, turning to smile at her.
“Somehow I don’t think he’s going to need our help,” Willow mused.
I smiled. “No, I don’t think he will.” I got up and stretched my muscles out. “The gang will all be back together again.”
“Except for us,” Willow sighed. Then she smiled brightly. “But we can go visit.”
I laughed. “Yeah. We can go visit.” I thought back to that time in the hospital. ‘You’re going to die,’ I had said, ‘and I’m going to be there.’ Back then, it had been a threat, but all these years, Angel had kept it in his heart as a promise. I’m glad I kept my promise.