CH 17: Actions and Reactions
Tobias from Animorphs
"Buffy, I'm sorry."
"There has to be someone else! I mean, why would an evil law firm give you an amulet and say only you can use it? They have to be trying to trick you! There has to be someone else!"
"Buffy, the text specifically translates as: Born of human and no longer, Raised in darkness of fang and soul, Taken to the gifted shifting form, and yet still fighting, the Champion will wear this and upon his sacrifice the light of his soul will rise to the skies and the Mouth shall seal."
"You have to be wrong!"
They had finally come to terms with what they both were, and becoming stronger for it. The pair had even made plans to live together after the Apocalypse was stopped.
Angel pulled her close, tucking her head under his chin and held her tight while she cried. Really, was anything fair anymore? He opened his palm to look at the amulet that would seal the hellmouth…
And was startled when it was snatched from his hand by a pair of talons.
-Get her out of here, Dead Boy. I'll take it from here.-
The vampire watched as the owl's form blurred and became a familiar red-tailed hawk, amulet clutched tight in his talons.
-There's a hole through the roof. I can go straight down, no waiting. Get her and the others out of here. And Angel?-
The vampire concentrated, sending a feeling of 'what?' in a way he thought Xander might hear.
-Protect them for me.-
Angel thought about the prophecy, the directions for the amulet and realized what Xander was getting at.
With a nod, and no small amount of respect, he pulled Buffy away from where she'd started screaming at Xander's retreating form, telling him to come back.
They had to get the others off the Hellmouth.
Angel had managed to get all the other girls on to the bus and started Giles driving towards the Hyperion in LA. The girls had already been awakened, but the powers the First was throwing around and his Bringers had everyone worried it wouldn't be enough.
Angel had come through with an 11th hour intervention.
And now they were running.
As the bus hurtled towards LA a lone hawk circled the destroyed high school over an abandoned town.
He loved his girls, but as much as they loved him they needed Angel and Buffy more. He couldn't really fight, despite the morphing powers, too long and he'd be stuck in something else with absolutely no way back.
Besides, that prophesy that Angel spewed out fit him too.
He had been human before Halloween.
He had been raised on the Hellmouth, where vampires abounded.
He had been given the gift of morphing.
He had kept fighting, regardless of losing his human body.
And he'd gladly give his life for his girls.
With a final defiant cry over the hole where the library once was he dove for the hellmouth, the amulet starting to glow and burn in his talons.
The light from the soul of a vampire seeking redemption would have burned the town under, sunk it, and sealed the mouth. The light of a soul that had never stopped fighting, never killed without reason, and protected those he could, shone a hundred times brighter.
Dawn watched the view of Sunnydale from the back of the bus as it slowly faded from view.
She was the only one who saw the glow begin, and then grow, and then envelope the town, making it look for one moment like some sort of shining beacon.
The concussion wave that hit the bus nearly had it falling into the ditch. Giles pulled over, letting the girls swarm out as the glow began to diminish.
Another rumble shook the ground and those looking closely could see dust sprouting from where the town used to be, and the heavy feeling that had clung to them since entering the hellmouth's territory burned for a moment and was gone.
Xander hadn't sealed the hellmouth with his sacrifice.
He had utterly obliterated it.
Dawn sank to the ground and cried. Her best friend was gone. But Xander hadn't left her with nothing.
He had called her extraordinary. She'd live up to that.
But for now, the teen grieved the loss of another member of her family.
~1 year later~
"Thanks for coming down here Dawn."
"No problem Cordy. I needed some downtime anyway."
"Only you would call helping research an evil law firm downtime. Then again with the research department you're developing, the watcher training regimens, and your plans to go to Africa in a few months, I can see how that might work."
Dawn had done a lot of growing in the time since the collapse. Gotten her bachelor's degree in languages, set up watcher training for new recruits to the Reformed Council, and started the search for lost Slayers in Africa. She had taken her work seriously, and become one of, if not the, most valued members of the High Council.
Surprisingly, the former cheerleader and the book geek got along really well. Both had an eye for fashion and a sense for ruthlessness when what was theirs was threatened. They could relax around each other, be blunt, and know that no one was really going to take it personally.
The guys didn't get them.
Cordy had loved that her introduction to Gunn had involved flipping him into a wall. Not that she liked violence that much, but because it helped drive home the 'women are not weak' idea that the big man sometimes had problems with.
Wesley and dawn had been awkward until he asked a question about a particular demonic language.
After that, geek heaven.
"Hey Dawn, I'm going to run upstairs and change to go home. I don't want to have demon guts in my hamper again. Do you need a set of spares?"
"Nah, brought my bag. Thanks though. And tell Dennis I said hello and thank you for the flowers."
"Mom's favorites. Her birthday, you know?"
Cordy couldn't help but smile. That explained the nice little bouquet in the hotel room she'd been given at the Hyperion. At least now they knew Dennis could go anywhere Cordelia went.
"He's a sweetie. Back in a few."
She had showered and changed into loose track clothes when a vision hit. Not like a ton of bricks, but actually painless and with the vaguest sense of 'time to move'.
Gasping she turned to the room's bed, seeing something coalesce on it.
When it was done here eyes were fit to pop out of her head.
"OH. MY. GODDESS. OHMYGODDESS! ANGEL! DAWN!!!"
She couldn't move even hearing the entire Fang Gang plus one come thundering up the stairs and down the hall.
Angel and Dawn could only stare in shock.
"What the hell? Who is he!?"
"Dear lord, is that …!?"
With a cry Dawn rushed forward, pulling the limp form into her arms and shaking. "Xander!"
-He will be fine.-
The group turned to see what looked like an old man with stars for eyes.
-Tell him Toomin says 'enjoy your gift' and 'thank you.'-
The old man faded away, leaving Dawn, Angel, and Cordelia gaping. They knew who that was.
Oblivious to it all, the newly resurrected Xander Harris-Fangor slept on, a small smile on his face.