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Till the End

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Title: Till the End
Author: Brendan/brencon
Spoilers: Post NFA…like, immediately afterwards.
Summary: But a brightness of fire reminded of his own personal goal…
Word Count: 1,899
Disclaimer: Just an avid Jossverse fan with some free time.
Author's Notes: So, I just had to get this out of me before working on a BtVS fic. And believe me; this has been rocking around in my head since Not Fade Away aired. Thanks to Nikita for the beta.
Characters: Gunn, Illyria, Spike and Angel and a vast demon army.

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Angel felt the sword pierce his lower back twice before he could swing his own weapon around and decapitate the demon who had stabbed him. He growled in pain before being distracted by a loud swishing noise from above.

The dragon above had taken off from the roof of the Hyperion again. It had aimed a number of large fireballs in the fang gang's direction, but the three remaining fighters had dodged it easily. Hordes of demons fell as the flames burned them, their shouts and roars getting quieter and quieter as the flames grew larger.

Gunn had lasted longer than Angel had expected. He had slain a dozen or so of Wolfram and Hart's army before one final blow sent him to the ground. Angel hadn't seen if the raging fire had reached his body or not. Something to check if he survived, he thought.

Illyria had risen to the task of causing more violence. She had cut a swath of through the demonic forces and had sought more ground to work in than the alley that they had started the battle in.

That had been over an hour ago. Angel had lost sight of the God-King within minutes of her repositioning. She had been swallowed up in war.

Spike, brazen and bloody, had burned brightly in the fight. For all their arguing and Angel's hatred of him, Angel had to admit that he had a great gift in causing mayhem and destruction, something that was sorely needed in the fight. He had climbed to the roof top of the building beside the hotel, a fellowship of demons and giants following his path.

Angel heard the witty remarks and snark-filled quips that his grand childe made and smirked. Even in battle, Spike had to be the smartass.

But then, as soon as Angel had returned his own thoughts of battle and demon-warriors, Spike had vanished from the rooftop.

Angel surveyed the damage caused. Not even a quarter of the demons had been killed, yet their red blood ran fast with the heavy rain. The Hyperion was a shell of its former self, and that had just been in the first fifteen minutes of fighting. Mostly thanks to the dragon and its ability to spout fire, but always due to the taller of the giants, one that had fallen through the wall after Angel and Spike sliced at its lower legs.

They had hoped for it to fall backwards onto its allies, but it couldn't follow their simple plan and cascaded sideway's instead.

Angel stood at the entrance to the alley way. His sword held high, protectively. He could hear the echoes of the sounds of fighting. One of his companions was still alive. He knew he had to find them, where ever they may be.

But a brightness of fire reminded of his own personal goal.

"Time to slay the dragon."

He climbed the fire escape to the adjacent building (the same one that Spike had used) and tried to keep out of the dragon's attention.

Somehow, he had not been followed upwards. He watched as the dragon fired round after round of fire blasts down onto street, following its flailing tail. It had three spikes running from across the tip.

He needed to find away of dodging the spikes, but still be able to get a firm grip to pull himself on top of the dragon. As luck would have it, the dragon took to landing on the roof top beside the one he was standing on.

This meant he wouldn't need to avoid any barbs and could quickly get to the slaying part of his objective.

Taking a running jump, Angel soared through the air. Landing not so gracefully on the dragon's back, just above the wing-joints, Angel quickly raced up to the beast's head and, raising his sword above his head, swung hard and deep.

He lodged his sword in its neck for a couple of seconds before pulling it out and hacking at its neck again.

On the fourth strike, the blade cut a vein or something, as a deep green coloured liquid began to pour from the wounded animal's neck.

Attempting to get to its feet, the dragon swayed dangerously as its blood loss level rose substantially. It moved to the edge of its perch and fell forwards, showering the demons below with its blood before falling on them, smashing everything within its body length.

Angel looked up to the night sky and let the fresh rain wash his face clean of blood and guts. Now weaponless, he jumped to the alleyway and, grabbing a discarded battle axe, went in search of the remaining members of his team.

He entered the battlefield that was formerly the street outside the hotel in search of Illyria.

"Illyria!" he called out, slashing and killing anything neither bleached nor blue that came in his way.

Looking ahead, he witnessed three scavenger demons ripping at a carcass. Believing it to be a former enemy, he didn't give it a second look. But as the moon light shone down and enhanced his sight at the gathering, he noticed the ice blue eyes that were held in the larger of the demons hands.

"My God," he barely whispered, before running towards his friend's remains. He dealt with the enemy quickly and felt his stomach lurch.

The street was covered in pieces of the shell formerly known as Winifred Burkle. He knelt and bowed his head at another following warrior as the thunder clapped and the lightning crackled.

Getting to his feet, he sniffed at the air for that last remaining member of his team, the other vampire with a soul. His scents lead Angel around the deceased dragon and into another alley. The clashing and clanging of metal on metal announced the continuing war around him. Raising his new weapon, he followed the grunts from his oldest friend.

Spike was in the throes of war. He was surrounded by demons, none of which were relenting in letting him take out one of them at a time. The crashing sound of the falling dragon and the roars of agony that soon followed made him smirk at his sparring partners.

"Guess gramps killed big bird," he said, relishing in the short interval. The demons around him were enraged and, as soon as he'd raised his sword, they were back at him, swords and axes smashing against his own, teeth and talons tearing at his skin.

The last time he'd been involved in this big a brawl had been in the cavern beneath the high school, the final battle of the love of his life. He had hoped to survive that fight, but once his fashion accessory had awakened, he knew there was no chance.

Just as there was with this one. No matter what any damned prophecy said about him becoming a real boy, which would only happen if he and his tag team killed every last snarling creature that Wolfram and Hart spewed forth.

There was no chance in hell that they could do that. It was as obvious as the rain hitting his body. Yet he kept at it. What else was he going to do - let Captain Forehead take all the glory when…if Buffy rode in to save the day?

So he hacked and slashed at anything that moved, many of his thrusts killing blows.

He had just beheaded a particularly nasty chaos demon when he smelt the arrival of his grand sire. Tripping up a skilosh demon who was in the process of attempting to plant its spawn in the back of his skull, Spike ran to Angel's side and clasped at his shoulder.

"How we doin'?" he asked, eyeing the fallen enemies that covered the street and pavement.

"It's evening out," Angel said, watching the remainder of Spike's foe's glare at the both of them. He then returned his eyes to Spike.

"Illyria is dead."

Even with the thunder and pounding rain, Spike heard Angel's statement. It was as if time stood still before he looked to the ground.

"How?"

"She was…she was torn apart."

Looking to the heavens, Spike didn't know what he was searching for. An answer, maybe. Or something that was coming down to kill him, too.

"We need to finish this. For their sake as well as ours," Angel said, looking around at the surrounding destroyed apartment buildings.

"Bloody right we do."

Spike turned and both vampires raised their weapons.

"I call the skilosh."

Angel nodded. The two shared a final look before charging into the battle.

And the returned to war. It wasn't long before Spike fell to the ground. The remaining skilosh had jammed his spear into the blond's stomach. Puncturing the unused organs, the skilosh pulled the weapon out and aimed for the heart.

The wooden spike pierced leather and cotton, flesh and bone before hitting shrivelled meat. As he turned to dust, Spike's final words were "Bloody hell".

Alone, tired beyond belief, and damaged. Those were Angel's thoughts as he watched the man turn into nothing. Angel grabbed the sword from the ground and shoved it through the skilosh's throat, ending its existence.

Armed with his fighting axe and broad sword, Angel retreated to the empty street. He had never heard this section of Los Angeles so quiet before. It was oddly relaxing, the quiet amongst the horror and bloodshed.

He waited for the remaining demons to come, to end this once and for all.

"Till the end," he said to the quiet street, "I'll see this till the end."

As the first wave ran towards him, he released a steady breath needlessly. Each demon that faced him came to an end, by axe or sword, by gaping chest wound or beheading.

But as easily as he knocked them down, two more groups took their fallen comrades' places.

He fought powerfully, and shone in the night sky until the sky changed to a lighter tint. The sun was rising. He needed to find shelter, but each time he tried to find an exit, a demon started to hiss at him and would draw him back into battle.

Even as the sun rose, he kept fighting. He started to smoke and sizzle, but never stopped waging his war.

When the end came, he was ready for it. He knew it was right, and accepted it. He let it happen. As he burned to ashes, his thoughts flew to two people.

His son. He had gotten the goodbye he had wanted, and even more time fighting side by side with him. He knew that, at that moment, the spell he had allowed to be cast had been the right decision and that his son would live a happy, normal life.

Buffy was the other. She thought he had reverted to his evil ways. She had moved on, with the Immortal no less, and hadn't said a word to him since she arrived in Los Angeles with her busload of Slayers.

This battle, this strike at the machine of Wolfram and Hart would explain it all to her, he hoped.

He vanished. A sharp wind took over the empty road. All evidence of the events of the previous night were gone, as if the battle of all battles had not occurred there for over six or seven hours straight.

Nothing remained.