Author's Note: I meant this to be a stand alone at first, but then all my disagreements concerning the season came back to the fore, as Angel began its first year on Five, whereupon it turned into a new series. So, take yourselves back to the end of Heartthrob, where Angel has just finished talking to Cordelia about how he feels. This continues from there. As for Charmed, its non-cannon orientated, and has Paige in and Prue alive.
I have to say goodbye.
At least, that was what he said to Cordelia
when he left. The closer he got however, Angel doubted he ever really could. James'
words had made him realise how numb he had been feeling, even in the monastery
where he was fighting demons and trying to mourn for her. Truth was, the reality
still had not set in. He had only heard the news, not witnessed it set in concrete.
He never attended the funeral, for reasons he still had yet to explain to his
friends. To this day, he had not even seen her grave.
Now, he was standing
in front of it, stunned at the surroundings. The area itself was deserted, but
Angel could tell that a few minutes ago it had contained people. He could smell
magic in the air. Along with fresh blood. He noted the broken ancient pot, and
the remains of its ingredients scattered in the ground. As he dropped to his knees
to examine the scene more closely, the earth suddenly shook. The grass shifted
apart, as a hand, followed by another, crawled its way out the grave.
was still in shock by the time the person had finished climbing out of the grave.
He stared at her, his lips forming her name aloud. "Buffy?"
seemed lost, as if the scene was unfamiliar to her. Then her eyes locked upon
his form. A cry was wrenched from her mouth. "You? How could you?" She
threw herself forward, pushing him to the floor, her fists pounding against him
in anger. Crying over and over, as she poured out her grief at being brought back.
Angel let her pummel him, her strength preventing him from doing much else. When she paused, he rapidly took control, rolling her on to the ground. He wrapped his arms around hers, stopping the pounding.
he began. "Buffy," he repeated until she looked him in the eye. "I
swear to you I didn't do this." He relaxed his grip a fraction. "I knew
where you ended up. Willow, the others, they all believed you were trapped in
some hell dimension."
"Then, why are you here?"
Angel made to reply, but chuckled, as he realised the irony. "I came
to say goodbye."
She chuckled as well; a soft laugh, signalling
to him her mood. He got up off her and gathered her into his arms as the tears
started to fall. Without a word he let her lean into him, kissing her hair and
softly stroking her skin until she was spent.
When she had been quiet
for a while, he spoke, his voice quiet to the ear. "What do you want to do?"
He hesitated then, reluctant to let her go, but knowing that he had to ask. "Do
you want to see the others?" She shook her head in a resounding negative.
"Do you want them to know that it worked?"
she answered, fear in its tone, as though she thought he would make her. Clinging
to him, she repeated, "No. Please Angel don't. I don't want them to know.
I don't want to go back. Please don't take me back."
He was silent for a minute, which turned out to be his undoing. Her fragile calm shattered. She broke into tears again, begging him over and over to take her away from them, until he was powerless to resist.
"Where did he say he was going?"
Cordelia turned to the speaker,
half irritated by their persistence by now. "I told you, he didn't say. He
just wanted to say goodbye."
"And he didn't say how long
he would be?" Gunn asked.
"No, he didn't," her fuse
shorted out. "What am I, his messenger? He'll be a long time, so just be......."
"Oh my god." That was Wesley.
Cordelia continued, turning to face the Hyperion doors, which he had been watching,
before gasping in shock herself. "Buffy?"
The slayer made
no reply, and neither did her knight in leather, as he quietly carried her to
the circular chair that was in the foyer and laid her down upon it. Brushing her
hair away from her closed eyes, he looked up and started to explain. "When
I arrived, the place was deserted. I think they brought her back. I saw remains
of a ritual, enough to see that it was a dark one."
you sure?" Wesley queried. "Because if it was, it wouldn't have worked.
She would not have come back."
"I know," Angel replied. "And we need to find out why."
"What's going on?"
Gunn looked up to see Fred at the top
of the stairs, gazing down at the scene below. "Hey," he answered in
greeting, "how are you doing?"
"Okay I guess."
She tentatively came down the rest of the way. "What's happening?" She
glanced over to where Angel was. "Who's that?"
He was about
to answer, but the doors opened, and another voice did that for him. "Well,
I'll be blue suede shoed. What's the slayer doing here?"
what we hoped you could find out," Wesley answered, moving from his post
at the other end of the sofa, so the host could do his work.
looked northwards. "Will he move?"
The trio glanced at their
namesake for their firm, who had not moved since he arrived at the place. In response
he removed his eyes from her and looked up at the Host. "Help her,"
he half commanded, half pleaded, before relinquishing his guard.
moved away from the sofa back to the desk. "I thought she was in a hell dimension?"
"She wasn't," Angel replied. "She felt
at peace." He paused, casting a worried glance back to her. "I felt
"How?" Gunn asked.
gestured to Wesley, who took over the explanation. "When vampires fall in
love, they form a bond with their mate, through which they can feel their emotions,
know when they are in trouble, and when they die."
was at peace then, why did Willow bring her back?" Cordelia queried.
"Because they believed she was suffering."
you tell them, Angel?" Fred asked.
"I tried, and Willow assured
me they wouldn't do this," Angel leant against the surface of the reception
desk. "But Giles phoned a few weeks back with the suspicion that they might
be trying something like this." He sighed. "I still don't understand
why it worked."
"Well, she's a champion for the good isn't
she?" Fred offered.
"Yes, but there's one slayer in every
generation," Wesley commented. "When one dies the next is called. And
the way magic works in this world, is due to the balance of good and bad, and
the will of the Powers That Be. The only way for a ritual using dark magic to
work, is if it is the will of the Powers to grant it. Which means that she wasn't
meant to die."
"Wesley's right," Lorne had come back
into the reception area. "She wasn't meant to die, Dawn was. With the right
intent, a key can both open and close a doorway between dimensions. Of course
the PTB forgot to remind the monks of that."
"How is she?"
"Considering she's been down the harsh stairway from
heaven, not bad. Her healing will require more skill than I have though."
"So who can?"
"The Charmed Ones."
was a mixed reaction. Wesley and Angel uttered a quiet gasp of awe. Cordelia,
Fred and Gunn looked mystified. The latter was the first to speak. "Okay
I'll bite. Who are the Charmed Ones?"
"Four extremely powerful
witches," Wesley explained, the wonder still in his voice. "Their coming
from the Warren line has long been prophesied."
"Well they go by the name Halliwell now," Lorne continued. "You'll need to go to San Francisco. Take Cordelia with you, their contact from the Powers will recognise her. The slayer's in no condition to explain anything."
Seven hours and a morning later, a black convertible drew up outside one of the
old style streets that the city was famous for. Darkness had hit some hours ago,
so after a bit of manoeuvring, the doorbell of thirteen twenty-nine Prescott Street
A minute or so passed before the door was opened by a
dark haired woman. She looked at them with the usual expression one deals to a
total stranger calling in the middle of the night. "Yes?"
this the Halliwells?"
Another expression came over her; one that
Cordelia was used to seeing on Angel or Buffy. The kind reserved for suspicious
demons. "Yes, why?"
Cordelia dropped the usual protective
response. Truth was best in this case. "I was told you could help us. And
that your contact with those above would recognise me, and assure you that we
could be trusted."
The woman hesitated, looking her over, then
stepped back. "Leo," she called out, her eyes not moving from their
A fair haired man came out of the room to her right.
He took a look at her and then turned to the woman. "Its all right, Prue,
you can let them in."
"I'm Cordelia," she explained,
stepping inside. "And you have to verbally invite him," she added, gesturing
to the man behind her.
"Why?" Prue asked, her suspicions
"Don't worry, he's one of the good guys," Leo replied.
"Alright. Come in."
"Thank you," Angel said,
gently carrying his mate inside. They followed the two into the lounge, where
three other dark haired women, two of whom made space so he could lay her on a
Prue and Leo followed him, the latter expressing a surprised
breath as he recognised the girl. "Of course, I understand."
what?" One of the women asked.
This was why I was a little late
in getting home," Leo explained as he rested on the arm of the sofa. "The
Elders were telling me about this. She's a chosen warrior for fate. They wanted
her brought back, as her death was not meant to be, but the only way was through
dark magic, so we need to heal her."
there should be something in the Book of Shadows."
go and get it." Prue left the room.
Leo turned to the newcomers.
"I guess I should make the introductions. Piper, Phoebe and Paige, these
are Cordelia Chase; a seer, Angel a vampire and Buffy the vampire slayer."
"You're a vampire?" Paige repeated, staring at Angel.
was cursed with a soul by Gypsies over a hundred years ago," Cordelia answered
for him. "Now he helps the helpless."
"I was sent to
watch over her." Angel gestured to the girl lying in his arms.
they fell in love," Leo added.
"And the rest is a long story,"
Prue returned with the Book. She laid it on the
table. The ancient heirloom opened instantly, its pages flicking in search of
the required spell. "Here it is," she answered.
rose up to stand or sit by her so they could read the incantation. Leo stood over
Buffy's form, his hands raised to heal. "Internal wounds hear our prayer.
We call upon the Powers That Be. Allow us to heal this warrior of her scare. Let
her be forever free, of the dark magic that has surrounded thee. Clothe her in
the power of the light, and put to death the night. By the Power of Four, no evil
is to be within her ever more."
A glowing aura, generated by Leo's hand rose around Buffy, and upon the completion of the spell, went inside her. A small dark cloud came out and rose to the ceiling, where it disappeared.
The slayer opened her eyes. She saw a room she did not recognise, with its curtains
closed against the light of day, and lit lamps. "Where am I?" She asked.
A face came into view; Angel's. "In San Francisco."
do I feel normal?" She asked, sitting up. "Well," she elaborated,
"normal for me, that is."
Slowly, Angel explained. When he
had finished, Buffy turned to the four witches in the room. "Thank you."
She paused. "Do you know what I am meant to do now?"
of light sprinkles appeared as Leo entered the room. He kissed his wife in greeting,
then sat next to her, opposite Angel, Buffy and Cordelia. "The Elders informed
me of their change in your destinies. They were also able to get a few things
fixed at last." He rose up and stood in front of Cordelia, his hands over
her head. They glowed for a few seconds, then he removed them.
did you do?" Angel asked.
"I've given her the ability to
experience the visions without it killing her."
"I didn't want to tell you," Cordelia
replied. "But I'm fine now, so don't brood over the matter."
"And now for you," Leo announced standing over him. His hands came over Angel's head, glowed and then he removed them and went to sit back down. "He's like you now," he remarked to Buffy. "A chosen human warrior."
When darkness came again to San Francisco, the black convertible made its way
back to the City of Angels. Its driver turned his head to face the front passenger.
"What do you want to do now?"
"I don't want to go back
to Sunnydale," Buffy replied, speaking in a low tone for Cordelia who was
sleeping in the back. "That last year there was hell." she sighed. "I
can't forgive them for what they did to me. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to."
She turned to face him properly. "If you'll have me, I'm offering my services
to Angel Investigations."
"I can't speak for Wesley,"
Angel replied, "but....." he drifted off, pulling the car to a halt
for a stop sign. Silently he shook his head. "I can't. I'd be too arrogant
even to ask."
"Angel," Buffy smiled at him. "Ask
"Alright," He turned to face her. "Buffy,
I know we have been apart for two years. I know things have changed for both of
us during that time. But I still love you. And I would be honoured if you stayed.
Not just for the job, but for me. If you'll have me."
answer was decided the moment Leo healed you." She leant forward and kissed
him, claiming an instant and passionate response.
Angel pulled slightly
away after a few moments. "There are some things that have happened to me
that you won't like," he cautioned.
"I know," Buffy
replied with calm surety. "I felt a lot of that through our bond. I would
have come to help, but, after the last, I wasn't sure that I'd be welcome."
"It was better that you didn't. I wasn't in a very good place then.
Things might have got out of hand."
"Well, we have a long
drive ahead of us," Buffy smiled. "Lets exchange details. About everything.
"Agreed." Angel took off the breaks, and the black convertible made its way back to Los Angeles.
To Be Continued In: