Parts 27 - Epilogue
Willow watched at the arrows said over the enemy's heads in what looked like slow motion. She smiled wickedly as they hit their targets, whether it be the ground or the enemy, and exploded.
The enemy screamed as members of their army were blown up, for no apparent reason. Something was wrong. But they didn't have much time to think about it, as there was another round of explosions.
The Naz-gul saw the explosions and realized that they were originating from the back of their army. They headed toward the small company positioned there.
"Xander! Get ready. Here they come." Willow yelled.
"You weren't kidding about them being nasty." Buffy said to her friend.
"Fire at will, Corporal." Willow semi-jokingly told Xander.
Xander aimed the launcher and fired the first rocket. Anya quickly loaded more ammo into the launcher. Willow and Buffy watched as the Black Rider exploded into a thousand pieces.
"Looks like it works." Éowyn said.
The explosion of one of their own, sent more Naz-gul toward the rear company. Xander fired again, hitting his target with the same result. But they were coming toward them faster than Xander and Anya could load and fire the weapon.
"Gonna need some help here." Xander yelled while Anya was still reloading.
Cordelia pulled out her glock and unloaded her entire clip into the nearest Naz-gul and it's beast. Both came crashing down not a hundred yards in front of them. Éowyn and Buffy did the same with the next Ring Wraith that came at them. Xander fired the launcher again, nailing the fifth as it came toward them.
The remaining four Naz-gul turned to fly away, only to have two more of their numbers fall.
"Nice shot Wills." Buffy told Willow as her eyes returned to their normal green. Willow took a steadying breath since that bolt of magical lighting was draining, considering that it wad to be so powerful and travel so far.
"Thanks." She replied. She turned towards the watcher and the hobbits. "How's it coming back there?"
"I. . .we. . .uh . . .I think they are inside Mt. Doom. But, there's a small problem." Giles sheepishly admitted.
"What this time?" Cordelia asked.
"Sauron is in there too."
"Oh." All four women said.
"Can we call him here so that Sam and Frodo can destroy the Ring?" Buffy questioned.
"Of course we can." Anya informed them. "You just need a circle for him to be called to, then enough magic to perform the ritual."
"Any objections?" Willow asked around. All shook their heads, understanding that this way the only way to help Frodo and Sam. And also realizing what bringing him to them meant - their possible death.
Willow and Anya went about setting up the circle. While the others fought off the few members of the enemy's army that were stupid enough to attack such powerful opponents. They were quickly disposed of, and the rest of the enemy were scared enough to stay away from the new comers. They brought powerful weapons the likes of which had never been seen in Middle Earth.
Once Anya and Willow informed everyone that they were ready, the instructions were given out. Soon, all had joined hands and were chanting the spell that would call the Dark Lord to them. The wind began to swirl around them. Willow's eyes went black. Thunder clapped over head. Lightning struck the center of the circle, and Sauron the Dark Lord stood before them.
Standing in front of this small contingency of warriors was one pissed off Dark Lord.
Buffy and Willow launched into full slayer mode. Basically taking him on two on one. But their elves weren't going to let their women have all the fun. They fired arrows into a distracted Sauron. Angel launched his own round of attacks on Sauron from another direction, as did Aragorn and Cordelia. The elves kept firing round after round.
"Xander, shoot him with your weapon." Éowyn suggested.
Anya loaded and Xander aimed. He fired right at the Dark Lord's head. Impact. The Dark Lord stumbled back several feet from the force of the rocket, but he was still standing.
"That's a bad sign, I'm just sure of it." Xander muttered.
"I quite agree." Giles noted. The others just mutely nodded.
The assault on Sauron continued. It seemed to go on forever. Sauron got a few good hits in on his attackers. They were now wounded and bleeding, but they continued on. They had too, they had to keep Sauron distracted and here. They couldn't allow him to go back to Mt. Doom.
The battle with the Dark Lord continued, but around them the war around them ceased. All eyes were on the battle on the south end of the Pelennor fields.
Suddenly Sauron screamed. It was THE most bone chilling sound Willow had ever heard and she couldn't help but shudder. She watched in awe as he sank to his knees.
Willow looked over to Aragorn who was drawing his sword. The world around them suddenly seemed to slow as she, and the rest of Middle Earth, witnessed the death of Sauron at the hands of the Númenorean heir, Aragorn. Aragorn swung his sword and took the head of the Dark Lord. Sauron's body slumped to the ground and seemed to be withering before their eyes.
All was silent and still.
The thirteen looked around at each other, smiled, then cheered. They turned around to face what remained of Sauron's army. The remaining twelve drew their swords and slowly stalked toward their enemy. The army, scared and leaderless, scattered.
They had won. The Ring was destroyed. The Dark Lord was, and could be, no more. The enemy scattered. And the war was over.
The five couples ran into their lover's arms, overjoyed that they had made it through this debacle alive, and relatively unscathed. All were definitely looking forward to some privacy so that they could properly celebrate their victory.
The company packed up their post, mounted their horses, and rode toward Minas Tirith to meet up with some old friends.
As the small company made their way to Minas Tirith, Willow looked up and noticed that the sky was clearing up. The stars were shining brightly above them. Willow squeezed Legolas' hand, since they weren't riding together, they wanted to still be touching. When she got his attention, she motioned for him to look up. He too saw the heavens smiling down upon them.
As the company rode closer to the White City, Willow saw something.
"Legolas, what's that flying away?" She asked her elf.
"It looks like two eagles leaving the city. They're headed east. I wonder if Gandalf sent them to look for Frodo and Sam. I hope so." He answered.
As the last of the black clouds rolled away, the full moon shone down, proud and bright, lighting up the White City. It was gorgeous.
As they approached the gate, they noticed that they were expected. Gandalf and several regal looking men sat on horseback to greet them and escort them into the city. Willow couldn't help but notice that one of the men bore a striking resemblance to their fallen comrade, Boromir. The look on the other original Fellowship's faces revealed that they had noticed the same thing.
The entourage rode higher and higher into the mountain-side city. They passed through seven gates before coming to a halt. They all quickly dismounted. Willow rushed to hug Gandalf. He warmly returned it. They were all ushered into a great hall. They sat at a long table where food and drink was brought to them.
"That was quite the show you thirteen put on." Gandalf broke the silence.
"Thanks to some of Willow's friends from back home." Aragorn gestured to the Scoobies.
Gandalf, and the other man, looked over the new comers. Gandalf stopped when his eyes landed on Anya. "I know you, don't I?" He asked.
"We met a long time ago. We used to run into each other in Bree." She replied.
"But how are you still alive?" He knew she wasn't Istari, nor was she an Elf, so her immortality had him baffled.
"I'm a vengeance demon." She stated matter-of-factly. Seeing the shocked looks on Gandalf's face she continued. "But I was human for long enough, that I'm a good demon now." Gandalf looked skeptical. "Have I ever done anything in Middle Earth? Before tonight, that is."
"No, I can't say that you have."
"See, even when I was evil, I still had my limits. I used to come here to relax and unwind. There was never any call for vengeance here. But I'm working for the side of good now."
"In that case, it's good to see you again Anyanka."
"It's just Anya now. It's good to see you again too Gandalf." She smiled at the wizard.
"I guess introductions are in order." Willow spoke up. Pointing to each as she introduced them, mainly for the man that sat next to Gandalf. "This is Legolas from Mirkwood, Haldir from Rivendell, Merry and Pippin from the Shire, Aragorn son of Arathorn, and Éowyn from Rohan. Now, from Earth we have Buffy, Angel, Xander, Anya, Cordelia, Giles, and I'm Willow." She turned to the other man. "And you are?"
"My name is Faramir. I think some of you knew my brother, Boromir." He told them.
"That would explain why you look so much like him." Willow said. She reached her hand across the table. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Any relative of Boromir's is a friend of mine." She smiled at the man who half-heartedly returned her smile.
"I have sent Thorondir and one of his companions into Mordor to look for Frodo and Sam. Hopefully they will be found and brought back here to us." Gandalf informed the gathering. "I should like to hear all the details of your adventures, but the hour is late and all are tired." He motioned to where Merry and Pippin were asleep with their heads on the table. "I think we should meet again for breakfast and talk then." All nodded.
"The Royal Guards will show you to your rooms. Please feel free to enjoy the hospitality that Gondor has to offer." Faramir stood, bowed slightly to the group, then quietly exited the room.
Buffy watched Faramir leave then she turned to Gandalf. "He's not a happy man, is he?"
"His father died earlier today. And with Boromir dead, Faramir is now the Steward of Gondor." Turning to Aragorn, "Unless the King returns to claim his crown."
"Ah," Cordelia's tact was shining through. "So, that's why he's got a bug up his ass. He's about to lose all his power." She looked around the room at the shocked faces. "What?"
"Cordy," Xander shook his head, "Sometimes your lack of tact still amazes me."
"What? Like your not sleeping with Miss Blunt over there." She retorted.
"Children! That's enough." Giles told them firmly. "There is to be no more bickering while we're guests in this dimension. Is that understood?" They all nodded and mumbled their apologies.
"Sleep." Buffy reminded them. "I need sleep." Haldir smiled then helped her up. They walked out the door with his arm around her waist and her head on his shoulder.
"I second that." Willow and Legolas stood and followed their friends out the door.
"Me too." Angel helped Éowyn stand. He couldn't get over how hot she looked in leather. They walked out not far behind the others.
"Don't expect me to be subtle." She turned to Aragorn. "Will you please take me to bed now?" She smiled as he just leaned in and kissed her passionately.
"I thought you'd never ask." He offered her his hand and they stood, walking out of the hall hand in hand.
"Do I have to ask you too," Anya asked Xander, "or do you know me well enough by now to know that I want to have"
"Don't finish that sentence. Let's go." A blushing Xander and smiling Anya walked out too.
Two of the guards came and carried the two dozing hobbits to their own room. Gandalf and Giles just looked at each other. They shared a look that only the two fathers of this rag-tag group could share. Amusement, empathy, and adoration for their charges. The two men stood and made their way to their respective rooms, for a much overdue night of rest.
Willow was awakened early the next morning by Legolas shaking her gently. "Five more minutes." She whined. He laughed then began to tickle her. "Okay, okay. I'm awake." She pushed his hands ways. "What's so urgent that it couldn't have waited for another five minutes?"
"They're back." He told her excitedly.
"Who's back?" Her brain was still half asleep.
"Frodo and Sam." Willow's eyes shot open.
"They're back? And they're alive? Are they okay? Can I" Legolas cut off Willow's barrage of questions with a kiss.
"Get dressed and we'll go see them." He said gently.
Willow jumped out of bed, and quickly dressed. She was lead by the hand out the door, and ran, literally, into Cordelia as Aragorn drug her along behind him too. The women just laughed. The guys rolled their eyes and kept walking. Haldir and Buffy were behind them and had watched the whole thing and just laughed at their friends' antics. It didn't take long until they were all in Frodo and Sam's room. Introductions were made and hugs given.
"I'm so happy to see you two." Willow told them. "We were all so worried about you."
"Well, other than being exhausted and Mr. Frodo missing a finger, we're both just fine." Sam informed them.
"What happened to your finger, Frodo?" Legolas asked.
"Gollum bit it off." He relayed to them.
"I'd ask how and why, but I don't think I want to know right now." Haldir admitted. "We're all just happy that you're safe."
Gandalf entered the room. "I'm glad to see you're all here. I sent Mr. Giles to tell the others what I've come to tell you. Faramir is throwing a celebration in honor of the defeat of the Dark Lord. Come, it is time to have some fun."Gandalf turned and headed back out the door.
The others looked around at each other not sure whether to stay with their weary friends, but Sam jumped up, Frodo not far behind, and ran after the wizard.
"I guess that answers that question." Buffy said.
"Let's party." Cordelia replied. The six hurried down the hall to catch up to Gandalf.
Soon the celebration was in full swing. Everyone was there, even the men of Rohan. Éowyn greeted her brother and her uncle enthusiastically. Aragorn and Faramir had wandered off to discuss some things in private. Willow had a good idea what about, but Cordelia wouldn't give her any information.
"I will neither confirm nor deny anything." She said, barely keeping a straight face.
They had made a happy discovery earlier that day. On Middle Earth, Angel could be in the sun. So, even Angel and Éowyn were enjoying the party.
As the sun was beginning to set Aragorn made his way back to the group. "Sorry about that, there was business that I had to take care of." He kissed Cordy.
"I promise I didn't tell them a thing." She kissed him. "I left that for you."
"Tell us what?" Anya asked.
"I'm planning on staying here and reclaiming the crown." Everyone cheered. "And I've asked Cordelia to stay here and be my queen." Silently, all eyes turned to Cordy.
"What? Like I'd turn him down? No thank you. I've always thought I was born to be a queen anyway." She smiled and kissed her fiancé. Everyone congratulated the couple on their impending nuptials.
Angel leaned over and pulled Éowyn into his lap so that he could whisper into her ear. "I know that we don't know each other all they well yet, and that I can't give you a typical, normal life, but I was wondering if you'd do me the great honor of marrying me." She turned to search his face for his sincerity. His eyes pled for her to say yes. She knew that she could deny him nothing.
"Just one question." She stalled. "Where would we live?"
"I like it here. And I'd love to see Rohan." She lit up. "Besides, I can be in the sun here." She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. "Is that a yes?"
"Yes, of course it's a yes." She told him.
Although it had started out as a quiet exchange, Angel and Éowyn's conversation soon grew loud enough to be heard by the whole group. They were all bursting with joy when she said yes.
"Ooo, Cordy." Willow broke the moment with more good news. "I could teach you the teleportation spell. That way we could go back and forth all we want." Everyone was extremely excited.
Legolas tightened his grip around Willow, who sat in his lap. "So does that mean that we'll get to come back and visit Middle Earth as often as we'd like?" Willow tilted her head to look up at him.
"Visit Middle Earth? You mean you're not planning on staying here?" She asked, her voice filled with hope.
"Not as long as we get to come visit our home." He leaned down and kissed her.
"Wait a minute." Buffy interrupted. "We? Who's we?" Haldir leaned over and kissed her tenderly.
"That would include me, if you wouldn't mind me coming to live on your world." Buffy threw herself into her elf's arms.
"Mind? Of course I don't mind. I want you there. I just didn't want to have to ask you leave your home and family to be with me on a different world. But yes, I want you with me." She hugged him tight.
"Yeah, what she said." Willow smiled at Legolas. "I want you with me, too."
"Good. I was planning on coming whether you wanted me there or not." He smiled.
"Besides," Haldir added. "Like we'd miss a chance to see you two in leather again."
Cordelia and Aragorn's wedding was spectacular. Everyone had been invited. All agreed that Cordelia really was fit to be a queen. Their Coronation was no less of an event than their wedding was. Both had gone off without a hitch. They truly were royalty.
Angel and Éowyn's wedding was much more private. Family only. But it was breathtaking nonetheless. They looked so happy and everyone was so happy for them. Angel was beaming and Éowyn was glowing. For the first time in centuries, Angel was truly at peace.
The weapons were gathered and those returning to Earth were set to go. All said their good-byes. Buffy promised Merry and Pippin that she'd have Anya bring Dawn to the Shire in one month's time. That would give them time to make the trip home from Gondor. All waved as Anya opened the portal home, well, back to Sunnydale anyway. From this point on, home was no longer just one place for this newly formed family. It was two different worlds.
The seven stepped through the portal back into the Summers' front room. They were greeted by Dawn sleeping on the couch and Gunn asleep in a chair. A glance at the clock on the wall told them it was only 6:00 a.m. Giles quietly walked over to Gunn and whispered. Gunn sat up with a start.
"What's wrong?" He nearly yelled, thinking that Dawn had woken him up because something was wrong. His yell woke up Dawn.
"Buffy?" She asked.
"Yes, Dawnie. We're back. But we have something to tell you two." Buffy walked over to the couch. Dawn sat up and made room for Willow and Buffy to sit on either side of her.
"What it is?" She was worried. Gunn looked just as nervous. It hadn't escaped his notice that neither Angel nor Cordelia were with the group.
"Angel and Cordelia both decided to stay in Middle Earth." Buffy told her sister and Gunn.
"Why?" Asked Gunn.
"Well, you see, they sort of got married while we were there." Willow told them.
"Angel and Cordelia got married? And here I thought he had a thing for that blonde chick." Gunn muttered to himself, shaking his head.
Willow and Buffy looked at each other trying to figure out what he was talking about. Xander chuckled, then cleared up the confusion.
"No, man. Angel married Éowyn and Cordelia married Aragorn."
"Oh, I get it now. I misunderstood Red. Sorry." Gunn blushed slightly. Willow thought over what she had said, then she blushed.
"I guess I could've worded that a little better."
"Will we ever see them again?" Dawn asked.
"Of course. Whenever you want." Willow answered. "In fact, Buffy told Merry and Pippin that she'd have Anya take you to the Shire in a month." Dawn hugged Buffy, then Willow, then Anya.
"I can't wait. Do I get to wear leather to go there too?" She asked optimistically.
"Not a chance." Buffy and Willow said in unison.
"There's not going to be any fighting. So, no need for it." Buffy informed her sister.
"Oh, alright, fine."
"So, does this mean that I'm out of a job?" Gunn brought the attention back to himself.
"You're more than welcome to stay here. There's a spare bedroom and everything. Although, I think we're going to nee a bigger bathroom." Buffy said.
"Six of us in one house?" Willow asked.
"Looks like it." Dawn said.
"I have an idea." Gunn offered. All eyes turned to him. "Angel still owns the mansion on Crawford street. I'm quite sure that he wouldn't mind if we all crashed there for a while."
"I was just about to suggest that." All turned toward the kitchen door to see Angel and Cordelia standing there, spouses in tow.
"What?" Cordelia asked. Like we wouldn't want to say good-bye to everyone? Not to mention we've still got all our stuff in this world." Dawn stood up and rushed to give Cordy and Angel a hug.
Gunn stood and shook Angel's hand. "Congrats Dawg. You too Barbie."
"We you serious about letting us use your mansion?" Willow asked Angel.
"Of course I was. Just keep two bedrooms vacant for us. That's all I ask" He smiled at the red-head. He soon found himself wrapped in two pairs of arms, Willow's and Buffy's.
Once Angel disentangled himself, Legolas and Haldir shook his hand thanking him.
"Well then, let's get everyone moved, shall we?" Giles offered.
"Um, what about their pointy ears?" Xander pointed to the elves. "Won't that be a little conspicuous?"
"Oh yeah." Buffy sighed.
"Glamour spell will take care of that easy enough." Willow told them. "I'll just need to get all the ingredients. We can do it once we get all settled in." She kissed Legolas. "But just know that I like you just the way you are."
"Ditto for me." Buffy turned to Haldir and kissed him.
"Okay, enough mush people." Gunn broke in before it could turn into an all out make-out session. "It's time to move."
And that's just what they all did. And everyone knew that with each box, they were moving that much further away from their old life, and that much closer to their new one.