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Just Wanted To Say Thanks

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Summary: The survivors of the Hellmouth appear to confront the group now running Wolfram & Hart. Warning: Non-canon character deaths.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > Action/Adventure > Cast: Just about EveryoneGreywizardFR1811,8181192,94129 Aug 1229 Aug 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Post 'Chosen' for the Scoobies and follows season five, episode seven, 'Lineage,' for the Fang Gang.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None, in my opinion. Although I should warn you that the normal interaction between some of the characters is going to be a bit nasty.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, "word" indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This was inspired by a random plot bunyip which bit me, when I thought about what might have ensued if the amulet Angel gave Buffy didn't work quite as expected.

Author's Note 4: This is story #29 for the 2012 August Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~~~

Angel's office
Wolfram & Hart building
Los Angels, CA

November 12, 2003
Late evening



For the first time in several weeks, everyone who had previously worked at Angel Investigations had gathered together to discuss the possible ramifications of the events which had occurred earlier that evening.

Angel, Spike, Wesley and Gunn were all congregated around the conference table located in front of the floor to ceiling windows of necro-tempered glass, and were listening to Fred report her findings regarding the cyborg assassins which had assaulted the building several hours previously.

All, apparently, in an effort to capture and enslave Angel; for reasons that weren’t exactly clear, as yet.

Outside Angel's office, unseen by anyone inside, a wavering, shimmering green portal began forming in the center of the room, only a few feet from the desk of Angel's secretary, the undead version of Harmony Kendall.

Once the shimmering had steadied into what looked like a solid green disc which floated roughly a foot above the plush carpet covering the floor, four individuals stepped out of the portal, their footsteps quiet and stealthy as they carefully surveyed their surroundings.

Each of the invaders were dressed in mottled grey and black BDUs, and carried an assortment of weapons or strange-looking devices.

The taller, dark-haired male leading the way out of the portal was holding an Atchison assault shotgun with a massive drum magazine, while the auburn-haired woman by his side had an expert grip on the H&K MP5 with a sound suppressor and a 100 round C-Mag drum magazine, which was hanging from her right shoulder.

The smaller blond-haired man who followed on the lead pair's heels was carrying an intricate looking apparatus in his arms which immediately brought to mind images from 1940's popular entertainment of futuristic Rube Goldberg-type weapons, as much as anything else. The blond also carried a large rucksack on his back, unlike the smaller brunette woman who was alongside him; she held an M4 carbine, also equipped with 100 round C-Mag drum magazine.

An instant after the quartet had appeared, the door to the hallway swung open and a game-faced Harmony Kendall entered, a handful of papers in her hand. As a shocked expression crossed her face at the sight of the four intruders, Harmony’s mouth dropped open and she had only just begun an irate harangue of "Har-!" before a three-round burst from the redhead's MP5 instantly turned her to dust.

As the leader – the taller, dark-haired male – gestured with his left hand, the brunette quickly darted over to the hall door and locked it, then shoved a wedge under the base to further impede any effort to enter the room, before rejoining the group.

Moving with well-trained precision, the quartet smoothly advanced towards Angel's office and the brunet targeted the door handle with a single shot, blowing the lock assembly and the area around it to splinters. He then quickly kicked open the door and stepped to the side of the doorway.

As the bigger man moved aside, the smaller blond man stepped up and leveled his weapon at the group seated around the conference table. A single trigger pull unleashed a widespread beam of energy, which targeted the entire group and made everyone spasm uncontrollably for a moment. Wesley, Fred and Gunn all slumped limply back in their chairs, unconscious, and as far as the two undead members were concerned, Angel and Spike seemed to be having difficulty moving as they tried to jump up out of their own chairs.

As the blond guy stepped back and away from the door, the two women smoothly moved forward and opened fire on the immobile group, spraying the room’s occupants with carefully-controlled bursts of gunfire.

Wesley's, Fred's and Gunn's bodies all spasmed and flailed wildly as the merciless salvos tore them apart, and Angel's and Spike's bodies shuddered under the attack, too. But their undead constitution allowed them to survive, as apparently none of the rounds ripping through them were formed from wood.

"What-? Who are-? XANDER?" Angel gasped in disbelief when he saw who it was, the man’s shotgun's muzzle moving in an intricate pattern which allowed it to cover the entire room.

"You've got a lot of balls, asking that, Deadboy," Harris told the undead former detective, a look of hatred on his face. "Did you really think that you could get away with *betraying* us the way you did?"

Behind Harris, Angel could see Anya Jenkins, Buffy’s little sister and the fourth member of their team, someone he vaguely recognized as having seen hanging around group during high school – well, back before they'd blown it up to destroy the Mayor, and the pair were busy removing various pieces of equipment from the guy's rucksack and setting them out on the floor of his office.

"Nibblet?" Spike gasped from his position lying on the floor, a shocked and disbelieving expression on his face when he recognized the brunette who'd followed Droopy Boy Harris inside the poof's office.

"Wh- why are you doing this?" Spike heard his grandsire ask, a dumbfounded expression on the other ensouled vampire's face as he looked up at their attackers. "What's going on?"

"I can't believe you betrayed us, too, Spike," Dawn Summers addressed William the Bloody, looking as if she was going to spit on him as she looked down the peroxide-blond vampire lying sprawled on the floor.

"But since you're obviously alive, after Buffy and everyone else died down there, and you're here with *him*," – the furious brunette indicated Angel with a contemptuous nod of her head – "I really don’t see what other explanation there can be."

"No, wait, 'Bit, it’s not like that!" Spike protested, shaking his head as he tried to lift his shattered arms up towards her. "I mean, I did everything just like your sister said to do! It just took the bloody amulet a while to work – that's what happened!

"By the time the bloody amulet activated and the sunlight finally showed up, those bleedin' Turok-Han had overrun everyone down there," Spike told the sole surviving Summers sister, a sorrowful expression on his face. "Buffy and the others killed a whole bloody mess of them, 'Bit, but there were just too many of them ta handle, and they all died."

"And yet *you* didn't!" Dawn snarled, the rage and anguish and hatred in her voice obvious to everyone listening.

A single squeeze on the trigger of her carbine caused Spike's head to explode into a stomach-turning mess of blood and grey matter, and his body turned to dust an instant later.

"Xander, please, listen to me! I didn't betray Buffy or anyone else," Angel declared earnestly, gulping nervously as he turned away from his grandchild's ashes and looked up at the former carpenter. "When I gave Buffy that amulet, I really believed it would help keep her and everyone else safe, and help her stop the First Evil!"

"Well, yeah, it did stop the First – technically speaking," Harris agreed with a nod, a cold expression on his face as he looked down at the vampire he'd despised for nearly seven years now.

"But, seeing as how that particular Big Bad could just as easily be seen as a major competitor of yours, given that you and your crew are now running Evil, Incorporated, here," Xander went on, "it looks to me more like you were helping Buffy just in order to get rid of a personal rival. Oh, and that you saw a chance to get rid of the only people who would be around, afterwards, and have a chance to stop you from doing whatever it is you're planning here."

"NO!" Angel shouted as he shook his head furiously. "That's not how it was! We came here to work from the inside, and get rid of the evil parts of the company! We realized how much good we could do, if we were in charge, and that's why we accepted Wolfram & Hart’s offer! I swear!"

"And yet, somehow, I don't believe a single word you said," Harris said quietly as he looked down at Angel expressionlessly. "Especially since I learned all about what happened to – Cordelia."

A loud 'BLAM!' signaled the ensouled vampire's demise, and the former carpenter, turned full-time demon hunter, turned back to his teammates.

"How we doing, guys?" Xander asked as he and Dawn rejoined Anya and Andrew Wells in the anteroom to Angel's office.

"We're just finishing up, boss," Andrew answered as he gave the hastily cobbled-together assembly on the floor one final inspection.

"Anya helped me tap into the building's security wards," he elaborated, "so we can use them to help contain the blast, and they'll actually intensify the force of the explosion, on everything from the top floor to the bottom of the thirteenth basement.

"The only thing that'll be left, afterwards, is a big pile of rubble," Andrew announced as he gave his companions a smile that would have liquefied nitrogen.

"That's great news, honey," Dawn beamed as she leaned in and gave him a quick peck on the lips.

"Okay, then, let's get moving," Xander said, as he smiled over at his once-again fiancée.

A moment later, the quartet stepped through a portal identical to the one that they had used to gain access to Wolfram & Hart's headquarters and disappeared.

The security forces which *finally* responded to the reports of gunshots in the CEO's office, and who had managed to break through the hallway door after a moment's delay, discovered what almost certainly appeared to be a bomb of some sort, set out on the floor in front of them, with a digital display readout currently counting down from two hundred.

As his fellow security agents checked the bodies of the various department heads for any indications of life – not that they truly expected to find any – the team's explosive expert began examining the device in front of him.

Exhaling a sigh of relief as he realized the proper sequence of steps he needed to take, in order to deactivate the device, said agent didn't give any thought whatsoever to the possibility that the device's creators might have been geeks and nerds of the highest order – two people who had memorized the list of rules that Evil Overlords should never follow.

And so it was, as the digital readout ticked down to one hundred seventeen, the entire Wolfram & Hart building, and every pocket dimension attached to it, momentarily resembled a Fourth of July fireworks exhibition.


FIN

The End

You have reached the end of "Just Wanted To Say Thanks". This story is complete.

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