"Lets Misbehave..."



PG-13



Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's...



Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...



Summary: An Immortal Beloved idea took off a little...I hope to keep it short...

Dawn and Connor get to play detective when Angel's celebratory party is marred by a minor incident...



Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html (scroll on down to the IB series)...



***

Part I...

"You could have a great career...And you should...Yes, you should...

Only one thing stops you dear...You're too good...

Way too good..." ("Let's Misbehave"...Cole Porter...)



The singer...A certain famed modern musician/singer decked out in Jazz Era white tuxedo, backed by a terrific 20's style band, his equally famed singer wife beaming at him, swinging a bent leg in time with the music as she sat watching while the huge crowd danced with abandon...nodded to the host as he sang...

Said host turning to smile at yet another guest who'd paused to congratulate him on the "...Terrific party, Liam..."

"If you want a future, baby...Why don't you get a past...?

'Cause that fateful moment's comin' at last..."

Six weeks after the defeat of the Senior Partners at LA...

Angel's magnificent, palatial new estate on the Pacific Coast...Rather like that of Jay Gatsby, though as Nina in breathtaking evening gown is again insisting to a somewhat sheepish Angel (Liam Angel, legally now, attorney-at-law, and somewhat less legally, CEO of the new firm raised on the ashes of Wolfram-Hart, International...Angel, Gunn, Burkle-Wyndham-Price, and Walthrop, Inc...)...Utterly befitting both the head of the hottest new legal/investigative firm in the world and the hero who'd freed the Earth from the deadly grip of the Partners' and their Circle...



"Angel!..." one young lady breaks off from the dancing crowd...

Dawn, in evening gown...She hurries over, Nina smiling to her...Angel turning now...

"We're all alone, no chaperone...Can't get our number...

The world's in slumber, lets' misbehave..."

The initial frostiness one who loved Angel felt necessary to display towards the people who had chosen not to believe in her guy having been dissipated, fairly quickly at least in Dawn's case, by the young woman's earnest apologies on their first meeting, back in London several weeks ago... Both to Liam and his partner...

Not to mention she and Angel knew a good potential mate for their Connor when they saw her...

"My boy treating you right, Miss Summers...?" Angel smiled at her...Looking over to Connor now following his dance partner over from the floor...

"Just great..." Dawn grinned at her somewhat embarrassed escort... "This is a fantastic party, Angel..."

"We were all long overdue..." he noted...Nina nodding, her left arm in his right...

Just wish a few more of us could be here...he sighed... "Yeah..." Dawn nodded, a bit downed...

"Enough of that, Dad..." Connor poked him as he reached the group... "They're happy and safe in Heaven...We're the ones who still have some troubles to face...They won't begrudge us a few hours' fun..."

"Absolutely..." Nina agreed... "And we agreed to leave the Brood in the office tonight, right?..." she eyed Liam with a firm stare...He sighed and nodded...

"Your step-mom's got the glare down...With her superpower thrown in she outta join up with the Slayer Corps..." Dawn grinned to her date...Then looked around...

"Where'd sis and...It..." she gave a slight frowning grimace... "Get off to...?"

"A great party, Liam..." a slightly Germanic accent...

Governor Schickelgruber, Maria...Angel nodded to the large, finely built man and his wife...Nina moving to do the proper hostess thing for their distinguished guests...

"They were doing the grand tour, last I saw them..." Connor noted to Dawn's question...As they moved off to let Angel and Nina do their necessary schmoozing...Seeking a relatively quiet place in the grand ballroom/parlor...Halting by the curtains of the huge glass doors of the enormous porch balcony...

Meaning they could be lost for days in this pile...he continued, grinning...

"They say the spring...Means just one thing...To little lovebirds...

We're not above birds-lets misbehave..."

"Off to find a place to fight again, alone, I'd guess..." Dawn sighed after carefully noting no one in easy eavesdropping distance...

"Is it really that bad?...They've only been married three months..."

That bad...Dawn nodded to Connor's shaking head...She looked round the room...Angel and Nina engaged in conversation with the Governor, his wife, and various distinguished guests, all eager to collect round each other and be seen...Then scanned the dancing crowd...Smiling a moment at Watcher Council Chairman Rupert Giles as his date, Olivia, attempted to teach him the necessary dance steps...At a very content Willow and Kennedy too locked in their own world to let their horrendous stumbling around the floor worry them much...Then Xander, flailing round with a rather patient and lovely Slayer dance partner...Then...



"Hey...William!..." she waved in the direction of the slight young-looking blonde man, at surprising ease in tuxedo, dancing rather well, though carefully, with the female partner of his firm, the lovely if clearly somewhat plastered Dr. Winifred Illyria Burkle-Wyndham-Price...

Near the couple a nervous-looking, lovely if wan and ill-at-ease, brunette being squired with equal care by young Mr. Gunn...His companion pausing in her efforts to follow his steps to clearly request a break as she caught sight of Dawn and Connor...

William waving back to Dawn, took note of Gunn and his partner beginning to leave the floor, turned to Illyria... "There's Dawn and Connor...Why don't we go say hello and take five?...Dru and Charlie there are joinin' them..."

"Lets not stop now...Will..." Illyria shook her head... "I's just gettin' the hang of this..." she hiccupped... 'Cuse me...Turning to grab a glass of champagne from a passing waiter...

"Girl...I think you've had enough for one evening..." Will eyed her...

"Wha'?..." she tried to draw herself up...Fortunately locked into Fred form as she stumbled a bit...Hmphf... "Mortal...Ummn...I mean...Vampire...I's Illyria...Demon Queena demmens..."

And a auten...hic...er authentic Ph.D in my human...she noted...

"I knows when I's had...hic...Enough..." a solemn pronouncement...

He frowned at her... "Awwww...C'mon, Willy...Freddie-Lyria wanta dance..." she smiled at him a bit wanly...

Be nice to me...You know I wanna be nice to you...she whispered to somewhere near his ear, pulling him close... "We're all we got now...ya know?..." Getting a bit teary at the end...

"Illyria..."

"There's something wild...About you, child...That's so contagious..."

"Winny..." she corrected... "You know I wanna be Winny-fried...Hee...Fred-Lyria...Now..."

You liked Winny...I know you did...she continued in a whisper, again holding him close...

"Lets be outrageous...Lets misbehave..."

"Lemme be Winny for ya...Willy...Please..."

You need someone too...she released him, swaying a bit, but stared at him carefully...

"Hey, Dru..." Over by the balcony doors, Dawn greeted Drusilla kindly...Dru smiling at her, still a little uncertain as to identities...Oh...

"Hello, Miss Summers...Dawn..." she nodded...

"Having a good time, Miss Waverly?..." "Yes, thank you..." Dru beamed a moment at her last name's use...

Just...A bit too many people at once...she looked over at the crowd a little anxiously...

"Do they all know about...My other?..." she turned back to Gunn...

"Some...But the ones who knew demonic Dru understand the sit..." Charlie noted kindly...

"Absolutely..." Dawn nodded, patting her...Connor agreeing quietly...Dru looking back to where William was guiding Illyria away from the next tray of champagne passing through the crowd...

"William...Mr. Walthrop...Has been very kind..." she said quietly...As have you all here...she hastily added, smiling gently at Gunn...



"You lucked into a noble bunch out here..." Dawn grinned at Charlie... "Even if it did take some time before they could get to you..."

"It's not easy to try and help a monster as I was..." Dru looked solemn... "And I am forever grateful for all you and your friends' kindnesses, Mr. Gunn...Connor..."

"You were never the monster, Dru..." Connor told her firmly...

"I doubt my victims would say that..." she shook her head...

"Will wouldn't..." he eyed her... "And the ones who can't understand are probably the ones who are least ready to examine their own careers as vamps..."

Maybe...Dru looked away again...

"Well.." Charlie tried pulling the conversation out of the glooms... "I think we've all suffered our fair share...And now it's time to look ahead...Have you told these guys your news yet, Dru?..."

"Not as yet..." she paused...Dawn and Connor looking at each other...

"The Vatican has offered me the chance to take my vows..." she explained... "Mr. Walthrop's and..." another brief pause... "Mr. Angel's...Testimony as to my past and my soul's recovery seems to have swayed them in my favor..."

"That's great, Dru..." Dawn beamed... "Terrific, Dru...But they would've been idiots to pass you up if they had..." Connor nodded...

"Congrats again..." Gunn sighed with a grin... "Even if it means I lose a crack at making the loveliest lady in town my permanent dance partner..." Dru blushing a bit...Dawn mock-frowning...Hey...

"Got call em as I see em..." Charlie noted solemnly... "And once again, I'm the one who's losing out here..." a real sigh under the smile this time...

"Is it really what you want, Dru?..." Dawn eyed her...She nodded... "I do...I wanted to serve Christ when...What happened, happened..."

I suppose it's hard for a modern young lady to understand...she looked at Dawn...Who shook head...

"I think I do understand...Hey, I know 10,000 plus ladies who've dedicated themselves to service of Humankind..."

Though maybe not under some of the tougher personal restrictions of your organization...

"I think Ms. Waverly will make an A-1 nun..." Connor smiled... "Though I would think the Church would vote you in as Pope in a flash when the time comes..."

And poor Charles here will forever be badgering you in the convent with bad poetry from our in-house laureate...

"I can write my own awful stuff, thanks..." Charlie noted... "If Miss Waverly would accept being part of a modern-day Abelard/Heloise thing..." Dru blushing deeper now...

"What?...I can read you know...I passed my law school exam without the brain-boost..."...Gunn frowned at the staring Dawn and Connor...

"I would love getting letters from you, Mr. Gunn..." Dru nodded shyly... "If my superiors will allow it..."

"Sounds clandestine and rather illicit..." William broke in, Illyria more or less firmly hanging to his arm...Giving Dru, then Dawn, rather possessively hard, if blinking, stares...

Just kidding...he hastily added...Seeing Dru's now very embarrassed look...

"No, my fault..." Charlie patted Dru's hand... "But I would very much like to stay in touch, Miss Waverly or Sister Drusilla...If you'll let me..."

"They say that spring means just one thing to little lovebirds...

We're not above birds...

Let's Misbehave..."

"How's about something to drink ladies...?" Connor suggested...Oh, yeah!...Illyria happily waved vaguely in the direction of the large bar table...

"Oh, no, girl..." William shook his head... "Diet Coke for us two, thanks, lad..."

A frown followed by a quick beam... "Willy is lookin' out for Winni-Lyria..." she proudly noted to Dawn...

Hic...Cuse...

"Riiiight..." Dawn nodded... "And good job, William...", smiling to Will as Connor headed off with Gunn to assist..

"Now..." Illyria moved closer to Dawn... "Your sistah's married ri'?...The Slaya Willy died for?...She's all set, ri'?" she tapped a finger on Dawn's arm for emphasis...

I wish...Dawn thought, nodding...

"Illyria...Lets not discuss Miss Summers...Er, Countess d'Vestigy...Just right now, please..." William tried...Eliciting a renewed frown...

"I's just wanna get ma facs strai'..." the ex-blue one noted...

Ya don' mind if I get ma facs strai', ri' Dawnie?...she turned to Dawn, who shrugged...No problem...

"Ri'...No prob, she says...So Buffie da Slaya's all set and Willy's all alone...And don' have nobody...Like me...Ri'?..."

Dru gave a quick, rather sad look at Will...She hadn't quite gotten all the bits of the various pasts down yet...

And this particular past mattered to her...

"It's getting late and while I wait...

My poor heart aches on..."

"My sis is married to the Immortal, Count d'Vestigy, Illyria, yes..." Dawn noted quietly... "But as to Will, he has all of us now...As do you..."

"Ri'..." Illyria nodded... "But she's not gonna come and take carea him at ni'?...Way we humans supposed to?...Ri'...?"

I doubt it...Dawn replied coolly...

"Ri'..Cause I wanna stake ma claim...Lika gud human girlie...Hey, everybody!!..." she suddenly yelled...A few folks nearby who could hear her over the music and conversation, staring...

"Dawnie Summers says her sis don' wan' Will here...So he's up for da grabs and I's stakin' ma claim!..."

Several Slayers in the crowd hearing and eyeing each other...William up for grabs, eh?...

William sighing... "Girl, enough...I think it's time we..."

Oh, yeah...Definataly...Illyria beamed... "Les' go bak ta your place, Willy..."

I never said Buffy didn't want him...Or had given him up for grabs...Dawn eyed the two...William gently working, now with Dru's kind assist, to settle his date down...

Or that I was entirely sure about the ni'...er, night thing...



"Why put the brakes on?...

Lets misbehave..."

***



"Lets Misbehave..."



PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's...

Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...

Summary: An Immortal Beloved idea took off a little...I hope to keep it short...

Dawn and Connor get to play detective when Angel's celebratory party is marred by a minor incident...

Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html... or direct to story at http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/lb1.html...

***

Part II...



"When Adam won Eve's hand he wouldn't stand for teasin'...

He didn't care about those apples out of season..."

On the second floor of Angel's mansion, in one of the long hallways filled with various exquisite pieces of art, paintings and various sculptures in forms running from the antique to the post-moderne...A beautifully coiffed and begowned Buffy, glittering with jewelry, eyed her companion...And husband...With a rather cold and bitter look...

Said companion-husband, the dazzingly handsome Count Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy, known to the world at large via his best-selling books...The latest coming soon to a bookstore near you...As the famed "Immortal"...Known to his sis-in-law and his wife's devoted 'brother'/former aide and helper, Xander Harris, as "It"...Returning the gaze with a coolly sardonic air...

"Not enjoying yourself, my dear?..." he smiled at her...

"I've come...I've pranced around with you...Lets go...Home...Such as it is..." she frowned...

"Darling...The party's barely begun...We haven't even met with the host and his wife...Or our other hosts...It would be rude to leave so soon..."

And these are your friends...Or were...he noted...Still the cool smile...

"I know which of our hosts you want me to meet...And I don't intend to meet with him...That's why I'm up here..." she turned away from him to look at a magnificent ancient statue of the goddess Aphrodite...Carved by the Greek master Phileas...



"But I would like to meet him...And I am puzzled..." a thin smile... "As to why you should be so reluctant to greet the man...Unman...Who saved your life...And the world?..."

We had a bargain, Henri...she hissed through clenched teeth... "It doesn't include this...I don't have to put up with this..."

***

A little quiet pressing by Dawn in a moment aside had led a kind Connor to give Will a little respite from his somewhat fried admirer...Illyria reluctantly consenting to a dance with, as Connor'd jokingly noted, the boss' son ...Dru, shyly sipping at her drink as she sat now on a small settee by the standing Gunn, watching Dawn as the girl pulled Will off to a corner...Several of the more distinguished guests, along with Watcher Council Chairman Giles and his date, now coming over to greet the famed, if no longer infamous, Drusilla...

"I guess we all felt guilty about how we'd treated you, Will...When things had settled down and we'd had a chance to think things over..." Dawn began...She smilingly pointing out poor Dru looking a tad overwhelmed as a group coalesced round her seat...

Gunn, however, moving gallantly to provide support... "Poor kid...Bit much for her..." Will noted...

"Charlie's got things in hand...She'll be ok..." Dawn winked at the stalwart Mr. Gunn who now held off more foes than he'd fought at the great battle with the Partners...Dru clearly grateful for his presence...

"Will..." Dawn resumed... "I really feel bad that of all people it was me who didn't try...Post-soul, anyhow..."

"If you had you've likely ended up vamp fodder for the First and a major guilt trip for me..." he smiled... "And I'm hardly one in a position to cast a stone, Nibs...Especially considering poor Harmony..."

"Not feeling too good about that one myself..." Dawn sighed... "But none of us knew till you came back from Africa...Not even Willow and Giles...That there was something beyond the curse to try..."

But...I guess...Maybe...We should've known...she looked down... "And I guess we shoulda tried at least to stake her when we had the chance..."

Don't think I'll ever forget what she said to us before she killed herself in front of us in Rome...she shook her head..."Never thought Harmony was capable of speaking so eloquently..."

"I'm sorry you had to go through that, Nibs...But it was not your fault or Buffy's...Harmony simply couldn't deal with what she'd done..."

"She said we laughed at her demon...Abandoned her when she couldn't help herself...Like we abandoned you..." she eyed William...

Not so...Will shook his head...

On the dance floor, Illyria frowned, watching her Willy with that Slaya's sis...

"She's up to someing...Ya think, Conna...?"...Ah, sor'...she apologized as she tripped him in a step... "It's ok..."...he shook his head as she helped him recover his balance...

"Dawn?..." he eyed her... "Up to what?..."

"Tellin' Willy somin' from dat sis a' hers..."

"Illyria...Buffy is married...And hasn't tried to contact Will in all this time..."

"Wouldn' stop me ..." she sighed... "Well mebbe Winny wouldn'...But she'd wanna...Less it wuz Wes' she wuz marr'd ta..."

She liked Willy...Not lik' Wesley...But...a smile over to William...

"She did lik' him...A lot..."



"Nothing wrong with that..." Connor smiled... "William's a fine man...I'm glad Dad's got him on the team and as a friend..."

No...ooo... not dat...Illyria frowned... "Well, I mean ya...He is real fine...But I mean she liked him...Dat way...Ya know..."

"Now...Lyri...What would Wes say?..." Connor eyed her...

"I said 'not lik' Wesley...Just...She lik' him...And I lik' him..."

And I's alone...she paused...

"Not while we're all around..." Connor patted her... "But don't go fretting about Dawn...Buffy wouldn't be sending messages that way...From what Dad's told me of her...She's not that kind of person..."

Illyria halted in mid-dance step to grin at her partner now... "You don't know a lotta girls, do ya, Connor?..."

And you do?...he smiled back...

Eh...A brief hand wave... "Demmen...Human...Souper-hic...Cuse...-human...We's da same..." she nodded...

"Only human, ya know...?" she grinned...

***

Buffy and her mate had moved on through several rooms of the upper floor to an empty sitting room of sorts...

"We should go back downstairs...Countess..." His Benevolence eyed her...

"I just want to go...Now..." she said quietly, not looking at him... "I've no desire to be forced to see Spike, let alone make nice talk with him..."

"Spike...William...I'm a trifle tired of hearing those names my dear..." Henri frowned..."The boy is, after all, right downstairs on that dance floor...If you need him so badly..." A cool smile...

I would certainly never interfere with your pleasures...So long as you remain discreet...

A cold return look..."Hard as it may be for you to understand...What's between William and me is something I wouldn't spit on that way..."

And I don't think he'd ever settle for it...she noted... "Hell, even Spike reached his limit and threw me out when I tried to keep it from everyone..."

"A pity for you he's kept his good sense...And I trust...You haven't lost yours...After all..."

I've kept my part of our little bargain...I expect you, Slayer, to keep yours...

"I'm not with him, I'm here..." she glared... "That good enough for you?...If not, tough..." she walked away towards the door...Pausing just at the door as he watched her...

"If he had come to me...I would've thrown our 'little bargain' in the sewer like that..."

"That would've been unfortunate for him...And so for you..." Henri noted quietly...

***

"I think about you...Angel...Dru...And I feel ashamed for despising such fine people..." Dawn continued as she stood with William in their corner near the grand porch balcony curtains... "For not wanting, trying to help..."

"Stopping their demons and their masters like the First was helping, Nibs...Don't ever think different...And you were dissin' the demons, not the souls..."



But if we'd cared enough...Dawn began...And stopped to remember those souls...

"Hiya..." Illyria cut in, Connor following hurriedly in her wake... "Cuse...We's done dancin'...Whacha guys talkin' about?...Huh?..." she tried a vague attempt at casual behavior...

"The Nibs here is explaining to me why we vamps deserve everything we get, weak humans that we once were..." Will noted solemnly...Hey!...Dawn frowned...

"Exactly what I say to Dad every morning..." Connor nodded...

"Jerks..." Dawn glared...

"Time for our nex' dan'..." Illyria grabbed at William...

They haven't finished this one...he noted, staring at her...Den, it'll be a shortie one...she grinned...Pulling him out on the floor...

Connor eyed Dawn... "I think I see complications at work ahead for our second human-souled vamp hero..."

Yeah...she watched the two moving off...Dru watching them from her seat as well when the crowd of well-meaning guests about her parted a bit...Nina and Angel now moving in to her rescue...

"I wish he'd talk to Buf...He doesn't have to be so stubborn...Guys..." a frown...Dawn brushing her dress a bit...

"Wish your sis would talk to him..." Connor grinned... "Especially since she seems to need to..."

I never said that...a hasty reply...

"Did I?..."

"Willy..." Illyria took his arm as they moved across the floor... "I's tired a dancin'...Lets go see the upstairs..." she smiled at him...

"She's up there..." she shrugged at him, eyeing him carefully even as she wobbled a little...

"I feel quite sure affaire d'amour

Would be attractive

While we're still active, let's misbehave!..."

***



"Lets Misbehave..."



PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's...

Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...



Summary: An Immortal Beloved idea took off a little...I hope to keep it short...

Dawn and Connor get to play detective when Angel's celebratory party is marred by a minor incident...



Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html... or direct to story at http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/lb1.html...

***

Part III...



"You know my heart is true

And you say you for me care...

Somebody's sure to tell,

But what the heck do we care?"



The second floor of Angel's fabulous mansion on the Pacific coast...

"Illyria!..." William called after his partner who'd run up the stairs ahead of him and off into the maze of rooms...Opening doors...Hmmn...Pardon...He informed a couple in intimate embrace on the bed...Frowning a bit as he noted the bars on the windows...More intended to keep something in rather than prevent entry from outside...

They might have found another bedroom besides Nina and Angel's...

"Illyria?!!...Girl, where the hell...?!" he called...

"Buffy?..." he stared at the somewhat disheveled but beautiful and beautifully dressed Slayer who stared rather blankly at him, halting as she rushed out of the room in front of him...

"William?..." she stood, trembling...

"Nice to..." he began, aiming for just that right bit of casual but a touch of formality...Mmmphf!...As she grabbed and kissed him...Then broke off...And with a hasty "Sorry, sorry..." ran off towards the stairs...And down...

"Buffy!?..." he turned and raced after her...Reaching the stairs to see her fleeing past a startled group including Angel...whose "Buffy?...What's the..."... Went unheeded...

"Buffy!!!!..." he cried as she crashed through the milling crowd to the front doors and hurried out...

He turned and raced for the room across the way...With window facing the grounds across which the Slayer was fast vanishing...

On the balcony he caught sight of her just reaching a handsome, beautifully maintained Stutz-Bearcat...Which she climbed into and started...Waving her startled driver, standing by, off...

"Willy?..." he turned from anxiously peering after the car racing into the night to look at an Illyria whom even in his currently agitated state he could see was trying herself to conceal considerable agitation...



"Find her?..." she tried to look unconcerned...Staring into the room...

"She just left..." he told her... "I think, maybe...I'd best be off after her..."

"No!..." Illyria said firmly, startling him and apparently herself as well...

I mean...Ya can't leave Angel's par'y now, Willy...Ma Freddie side says it wouldn' be ri'...

"I think she's in trouble..."

"She gotta husband...Let him help...You got other things ta do..."

"Illyria..."

"Fine...Go..." she waved angrily at him... "Ya stupid moron...Eat ya heart out furever...I don' care..."

You and Wesley...she glared... "Ya both morons...Don't knowa gud thing when she wanna bite ya..."

"I mean I think she's after something...Or something's after her...A crisis..." he tried to explain...

"Sure..." she frowned...Waving again... "Alwaysa big deal...Gotta saveda wurld...Makes ya feel big, bein' wid her...Well ya ain't nutting to her...Justa sidekick..."

"Probably not even that..." he smiled... "Just a soldier in the ranks...But I've gotta find out what's up, girl...She ran out of the room there..." he pointed... "Like all the hellmouths were opening at once..."

Oh?... "Well, les go see what's such a big deal in dere..." Illyria staggered towards the door...

"I have to..."

"Jes' a lil' while, Willy...Les' hafva peek round..." Illyria pulled a reluctant William along into the large, empty room...She paused and looked at him, her body a tad unsteady but her eyes steady on him..."Den ya can go find her..." she nodded at him, her face rather sad...and resigned... But brightening as she spied a door half open...To the same sitting room of sorts Buffy and Henri had occupied a short time ago... "You jes' comes along wid Winny-Lyria in here...For one lil' minute..."

Cause I wanna talk priate to ya...she pushed the door open, pulling him in...

"Illyria...Girl..." he began...Then saw the shocked look in her face, and turning, saw the body stretched out behind him on the floor...

The not quite-up-to-his-name Immortal lay sprawled out on a rug...

"He..." Illyria blinked... "He..." she swallowed...

"Kick 'im, Willy...He's gotta be pulling our leg...He's da Immurtal...He can' be ded..."

"He's deader than usual, no doubt about it..." Will sighed as he felt the body...Not for anything so ridiculous as a pulse but even a vamp maintains a slight energy field another can sense...Plus a body temperature at least slightly above room temp.

Oooh, boy... Illyria flipped the corpse to reveal a massive chest wound...And a large stake buried deep within...

Hmmn...she looked up at William... "Shouldn't he go...Poof...And ashes...?"

"You guys was sayin' he was a vamp...Or is he...Special?..."

And another of the few possibly worthy mates on this damned planet lost to me...Demmit...

Well, he was already taken...



"No, he's just had better luck than most of us..." Will shook his head, examining the wound... "And loads better press..."

Until now...

"He wasn't killed by stake...The stake missed his heart...Rather a feat considering how much it was dug around in there...Deliberately on both counts I'd say..."

She stared at him...Huh?...

"Ya said he was deder..."

"He's gone, yes...But it was some kind of life force draining, not a simple wood ramming...The one or ones who let him have it, wanted the stake and that wound to be found..."

"Ya tink Buffy had hep?..." she wobbled a bit, looking for a place to sit herself and the other three Illyrias she saw in the mirror across from her and William down...

Hey, she blinked at the reflection... "I sees ya...Willy?...Ya ain'ta vamp no more?!..."

The mirror thing's an old wives' tale...William shook his head...It's like with crosses and other religious symbols...It only works if the vamp's former soul believed in the legend...

"Spike used to try to convince Angelus it was nonsense but he always made himself believe...I think Angel still can't see himself or be seen in reflection though Nina's been working on him..."

He paused and stared at Illyria...What did you just...?

"You think Buffy did this?..."

She shrugged...Who else?...she noted... "Ya said she just cum runnin' outta here..."

"Any one of thousands of his enemies...And business partners..."

Not to mention most of those who got to know him personally...he frowned...

"And she could've been racing off after the killer..."

"So...Why didn' she call da cops?...A doctor...?"

"It must have been too late..."

"Well, eve' so...Everybody'll say it's Buf...They's always fightin' and all..."

And she had an excellent reason waiting for her in LA...Illyria did not say...

"Illyria, till we know more you are to keep quiet about this..." he eyed her sternly...

There's no reason to suspect...I mean just because they weren't getting on that well...

"William?..." Buffy poked her head briefly in the room through the door he and Illyria had entered by...The Immortal corpse well-shielded from her view by the door...

He and Illyria starting... "Buffy?..." "You...?" Illyria stared...

"Sorry to leave like that...I...Ummn...Had an emergency call near here...Say, have you seen Henri and Mr. Pointy?...I gave it to him just a few minutes ago and..."



"Cas' closed..." Illyria nodded decisively...Nearly stumbling off her feet...

"What's with..." Buffy eyed Illyria, her eyes involuntarily narrowing... "Your date...?"

"I's his pardner..." Illyria noted solemnly... Then smiling brightly... "Are we ona date, Willy?..." she turned to him...

Ummn...William stared at Buffy...A now quite disheveled Buf...Who still seemed, under that opening banter, rather nervous and agitated...She eyed him a long moment...Seeming about to speak but not quite able to find the proper opening...

He could still feel the kiss on his lips...

A romantic daydream?...

Ummn...she smiled brittlely at Illyria...Then at him..

"Anyhow..." she hastily moved on... "As I say...I was lookin' for Henri and Mr. Pointy..."

"You found 'em!..." Illyria noted, grabbing at the door and pushing it forward...

***



"Lets Misbehave..."

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's...

Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...

Summary: An Immortal Beloved idea took off a little...I hope to keep it short...

Dawn and Connor get to play detective when Angel's celebratory party is marred by a minor incident...



Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html... or direct to story at http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/lb1.html...

***

Part IV...



The ancient and fabled Gothically palatial estate of the Vestigy family in the Austrian Alps...Home of the famed...With looks, wealth, and power...Both supernatural and temporal...To suit..."Immortal", Count Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy...And his new bride...

Three days after the victory over the Senior Partners in LA...

A fierce-looking Buffy glaring at her husband of two months...The couple alone in one of the many bedrooms...One of special significance as having been the nursery of all male members of the Count's line...Even his own, centuries ago...



And had been intended for a renewal of that purpose...Before the tragedy of the past three days...

"I'm saying it's over...If it even matters to you..." she repeated the words she'd just cast out...As her husband continue to stand at his ancient cradle, staring down and stroking the blanket that had once covered him...And would have...

No, he firmly assured himself...Speaking the words aloud quietly...

Will cover my son and heir...

"Do you hear me, Henri?..." she pulled at him... Trying desperately to repress the instinctual pity she couldn't help but feel...

She'd never have believed he could have such emotion within him...Excepting perhaps in the first days after they'd met...When he'd seemed to understand the sorrow within her...And despite his own position, as always, firmly between sides...To empathize and feel what her closest friends and family could not...

Reaching out to her with the one Gift even Willow could not offer...Or would not, at Giles' behest, she suspected...

But, she told herself...I've been blind before...

Or at least, refused to see...If only to protect myself...The year He first called to me...And instead of help, I...

And now I've managed to hurt this one, too...Soulless as he is...

She struggled to harden herself even as Henri slowly, coldly raised his head to look at her...

"What nonsense are you talking, my dear...?"

"I've tried...We've tried...I failed...I can't give you what you asked for...And there's no reason for us to go on with this masquerade...William is alive and I'm..."

"That foolish boy is alive thanks to me...And our agreement...Slayer...You swore to fulfill and I will hold you to it..."

He eyed her with a hooded look...The brief flash of real pain she'd responded to for a moment now buried...

"You are merely upset and exhausted after the events of the last few days...Dearest..." The word icy on his lips... "In a few days..."

"I am leaving...Today...This marriage...This relationship is a sham and I am ending it..." she shook her head...

I've kept my word and tried...she reached for support on the back of a chair but remained standing...

"If you'd been here you'd have heard the doctor yourself...We've failed and there's no point..." He cut her off...

"Yes, it is to my shame that I was not here to be with you and..." he closed his eyes a moment... "But Dr. Andres is a fool...We've had one failure...We'll be more careful next time...Have more help at hand..."

No...she began...He continuing without recognizing her attempt to interrupt...

I...Apologize...Again for not being here, Buffy...he made an effort...A faintly warm smile...

"How could I have known your foolish ex-lovers would risk all to take on my former allies this particular week while I had to be away?..."

"It wouldn't have mattered...Even I can't bear your children, Henri...It's not possible...I'm sorry..."

"It is possible...Your other exlover is the proof...Angelus has a son and heir...And if that worthless wastrel of an Irishman can...So can I...I, Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy..."

And you are the one human woman on this world who can bear that child...he stared at her..."The only thing I have ever asked of Humanity since I voluntarily chose to support its cause...A human heir to carry on my family name now that all my descendants are gone..."



The only thing I asked of you when I betrayed my allies and saved your William for you...When even your wiccan goddess refused your pleas...

"I have tried..."

"And we will try again until we succeed...You gave your pledge to me, Slayer...And I will hold you to it..."

"All the doctors say it was a miracle we conceived this time...And Darla wasn't human..."

"We'll find other doctors...Buffy...I do not blame you...The emotional shock was too much for you...Next time I will see no such things come to you..."

"I won't be cut off from the world, my friends...You had no right to keep Dawn and Giles away from me as long as you did..."

"If you like, I will arrange for Dawn to stay...If you insist, I could even see my way to letting your William come for a time before...But you will not leave me unless and until our child is safely delivered..."

You are my only hope...Please...he half-whispered suddenly, twisting his hands a bit, saying no more...His whole body a mute appeal...Startling her in the silent humanity of the unspoken pleading...

She stared at him a long moment, then should her head...

"I can't live like this anymore, Henri...For Will's sake, I tried...But...I couldn't give up my child to you like that even if I could bear it...It was wrong of me to make myself believe I ever could, even for his sake..."

"Then...Stay...If you would let me, I could make you very happy Buffy..." he eyed her...

"No...You couldn't...Either the right way or by your little gift of thrall..." she shook her head... "I might have been willing to let it help me deal before...But that was only because I'd decided to accept the deal and save him...If you're thinking of trying it without my consent..."

"My dear...I respect your strength of will...I always have...I would never try to force you to anything...Through those means..."

But I still have a hold over young William's life...Or Unlife...Dear girl...A cool smile...

"And I can send him off to whatever fate awaits him in the Beyond...Along with many of your Slayers and friends...Without even giving orders...As you know..."

"The other Slayers...And my friends...Can take care of themselves...With a little help from me...As for William...I don't think you have a hold on him since he corporealized..." But her tone was uncertain...

"Dear...I have never underestimated you...Don't underestimate me...What the Lord giveth..." Henri grinned... "The Lord can taketh away..."

The spell that foolish human used to restore William came from me...he noted... "I control it and I can reverse it...And incorporeal, William will be at the mercy of the Dark Powers...Who are really not too keen on him, foolish romantic boy, right now..."

Just imagine what the First would do to him if she got him in her clutches in Hell now...he chuckled... "It would be exquisite, I'm sure...She'd no doubt take your form and try to convince him he was safe with you...To start..."

"As for your Slayers..." he shrugged... "Perhaps you're right...They might survive my operatives' efforts..."

But could they protect their families?...All of them?...And could they endure as Slayers once family members, lovers, husbands, children had been turned?...

"Many might...But I suspect many would be lost...All blaming you...For my people would see that they were fully apprized of your role..."

And then there's your own dear little circle...

She pulled herself erect...Reaching for her pocket...

"My dear...You know that if I were to be destroyed...My operatives around the world already have their orders..." he smiled...



Though it might be interesting to see how we'd do in an all-out match..." a slight chuckle... "Perhaps when you are fully recovered and my son is safely born...I'll let you indulge your anger to the full..."

But just now...It would be foolish for you to throw your life away, Buffy...And to sacrifice all you love...

"I won't try again...If I could have your child, I'd never let you near it..."

"You will and whether you choose to play a role in my son's rearing or no, I will have my heir, by my side..."

"Henri...He won't be Immortal...What's the point?...You'll go on long after him..."

"He will be...Through his children... " a wry smile now... "Oddly enough my 'Immortal' existence has taught me the fragility of life...Even Unlife...And despite my reputation and the confidence my chosen title implies, I know one day Chance and Fate will have their way with me...Only my son can give me true Immortality..."

"I won't be his mother...It's not possible and I wouldn't if I could..."

"Then you repay your beloved rather poorly...I believe you told me once you wished you'd risked everything for him...Even that which you fear most, vampiral turning...Surely what I ask is far less...And even offers you, one day, a chance to be with him..."

"He hates me now..." she shook her head... "I didn't even try to reach him...Not even when Andrew came back with Dana...When his hands..." she looked down...

"He doesn't believe in me...Never did...And why should he?..."

"He came to Rome with Angel to 'save' you from me..." Henri grinned... "He obviously does care...And when this is over...If you chose to join him...I will not stand in your way..." he moved to where she stood...

Buffy...The voice was a tad warm again... "I have given my word and I will explain all to him...One day...Give me what I want and you will have what you want most...He'll know and believe you..." he gently moved her to sit in the chair...Pulling another over and sitting with her...

As for our child...You will still be his mother...I won't keep him from you even if you rejoin William...I want you to have a place in his heart...From him to have human love and affection even if his parents are separated...Why else would I have insisted on our marriage?...

"Slayer...We nearly succeeded...Let us try again, after we've consulted the best minds...If we fail then...I will reconsider..."

"There are other Slayers...Maybe other women who..."

"None as strong as you...And we are compatible in blood type, even to our genetics...Not a single potentially harmful allelic combination, you know that...No, Buffy...If I am to succeed...It can only be through you...Give me one last chance, Buffy...As I gave you and William a chance..."

***

"That's what he said...Three days after I'd heard about LA...And lost our child..." Buffy eyed Will, then Illyria, Dawn, and finally Willow and Xander, carefully as she sat beside William and Illyria on a settee in the room of Angel and Nina's mansion just outside the one where the beyond all doubt now, no-longer Immortal's body lay...Decomposing rather rapidly had he been human, though quite slowly for a vampire...

Angel and Giles, quietly summoned by William a few moments before, within with the corpse...Trying to work out what to say to the police...Likewise summoned...By accident, more or less, on Illyria's pronouncement of the Immortal's demise to several guests, including Dawn and Connor...And, less fortunately, Governor Schickelgruber, on her following William downstairs...

"I didn't really have much other choice...I'd nowhere to go, really...I knew you didn't want me..." she eyed him a moment... "And his people would have followed his orders and done what they could to you and the others whether I'd managed to kill him in my weakened state then or no...I agreed to give it a last try..."

And I did feel for him...He'd saved you for me when it was against his interest simply for his child's sake...And even...I really think...Mine...



Dawn leaned from her chair to give a brief hand squeeze...Though frowning to Xander who nodded back to her...

Knew 'It' must've had some hold on her...

"Buffy..." Will began...She raised a hand... "There's nothing to be done about it now...I made my decision and I'm not sorry I did..." she smiled at him wanly... "You're back and I finally put something important on the line for you...My love..." she paused... "...And whatever happens I'm not sorry one bit..." she put her head against William's arm...

"So..." Illyria raised a finger as solemnly as she could... "How'dya do it?..."

"Illyria!..." Dawn glared... "She didn't do anything..."

Ummn...She blinked at Buffy who was now sobbing quietly in William's embrace...

Hopefully...

"Willow?..." Buffy had pulled back suddenly... To ask again for the third time...

"You're absolutely sure about things..."

"Not a single spell string, Buf...If he ever had any hold on Will it's long gone..." Willow nodded...

"So he lied to me all this time..." Buffy sighed... "But he did provide that Lindsay with the amulet and spell...I can't deny him that..."

"What about his people?...The other Slayers..." William eyed her...She grinned a bit...

"I guess I've learned to play the game too...I didn't sit around while we consulted those new docs...I forced him to let me see Giles and Dawn again...I was watched, of course, but I got word out to Giles and he and the Slayers took care of uncovering Henri's little network of support...I think everyone will be ok, though Giles is sending the word to be on guard..."

That's why I was staying on, even after I got word out...He was still powerful enough to do some harm...And I didn't know if he was telling the truth about you, Will...

"And...Thinking about what you'd lost, Will...How you'd been alone and helpless for so long...And knowing he had saved you for me..."

I couldn't refuse him one last chance...Though when that failed and he still wouldn't let me go...

"Ah, ha!...Da motif...I saw sumthing lik' dis on 'Murda She Wro' on cable yestaday..." Illyria nodded...

"Girl.." Will frowned...

"I didn't kill him...Much as I wanted too...After..." Buffy began, glaring at Illyria...Her stare then pleading at Willow and Dawn...

***



Three days before Angel's party...Buffy and Dawn's apartment in Rome...

After a reluctant Dawn had submitted to the Immortal's standard clumsy effort at family bonding...

(God, like having a dead clam rubbed on your skin...Would like to know what he uses to go out in daylight, though...Giles says it's gotta be quite a powerful thing to work so well..)

And headed off to do some shopping with some school chums for the big to-do they'd just been invited to in California...'Bout time we'd got things patched up with Angel...

And William...she'd carefully noted to her sis as she left, affecting nonchalance...Buffy returning the same...Be nice to see how he's gettin' on...she agreed calmly...

Another argument had broken out...A more severe and final one...

"You said you'd reconsider things if we failed again..."

"I have...And I have determined to keep trying..."

"Not with me..." Buffy noted firmly...

"Countess... In the d'Vestigy family, argument with one's husband in another's home is not tolerated...Nor is divorce..."

"Don't be a fool, Henri...This charade's over...We'll all be in LA and I will face Will then..."

"Then you will force me to take steps both of us...And perhaps...Or perhaps not, depending on his feelings for you now...He...will regret..."

She grabbed for her stake, serious about it this time and he caught her wrist, twisting it out of her hand...Throwing it out the window and her against the nearest wall...

"Henri..." she tried...

"I'd thought you worthy of me...Of bearing my heir...You, Greatest of the Slayers..." he sneered again... "But you remain an ignorant, foolishly romantic, child...Moaning forever after your lost poet..."

Did you see him in me, Buffy?...he laughed darkly a bit...She turning cold herself now...

"Yes, you did...As I wished you to...Little fool...As if that pathetic soul-chained Champion of yours...Your own little Michael Furey...Could match to my glory...My unfettered Immoral spirit which required neither curses nor restoration..."

"I did..." she nodded quietly... "I did see William in you...Or I thought I did...I wanted him back so badly...A chance to make amends...To..."

"Well..." he cut her off with a dismissive wave... "So neither of us ever truly loved the other...How fortunate..." a cold smile...

"Henri...There is no point in our staying together...As you say, we don't love each other..."

Nonsense...he waved a hand... "I need you and you need me to keep your William safe, even if my Partners are back in Hell...Only I can protect him...And I can destroy him...Love..." he chuckled... "You talk like an American fool...Will you quote Jerry Falwell on the sanctity of marriage next?..."

"I can't stay with you...And I won't...I'm the Slayer..."

"A Slayer...And if you leave me, you will learn who and what the Immortal is...Painfully..."

"My dear..." a muted sneer, followed by a proud raising of shoulders... "I am the Immortal...I do not crawl along the ground as mere men do, I soar above the cloudtops.... I do not skulk in the night like a rat as your foolish lovers did, I march proud against the light, gazing into infinities of time and space you, mortal...And even those vampiral fools of yours can not comprehend ..And as I do, so shall my..." the proud tone faltered a moment as Buffy stared at him...Then resumed... "So shall my son..."

"If you do this...You won't have whatever degree of redemption you've gained...Let alone a son..."

"Redemption?...Bah...I admit it once concerned me but what gain has it brought me to struggle and crawl my way for centuries towards the Light?...No...I will not live according to Humanity's printed mottos like the directions on a medicine bottle...I have chosen my own path for centuries, Slayer...Neither what is vulgarly referred to as 'Good' nor 'Evil'...That path I shall continue to follow..."

Perhaps, in time...Even your ridiculous William will see the futility of the new road he has chosen and, like me, choose his own way...



"Never..." she shook her head... "He is as he was...A good man and he'll stay that way as long as he has a soul...If you've been expecting a personal reward from God for your good behavior, I'm hear to tell ya...Ain't gonna happen..."

For your own sake, Henri...she made a last appeal... "Don't throw away what you've won back at such cost...Your road was as different from William's as Angel's but it led to the same hope..."

He turned away from her, his tone icy and firm...

"We shall go to California and you will smile and chat with friends, family, and that fool of a bad poet who fancies himself a hero...They and he will all be convinced of your desire to stay with me..."

Then we will return home and we shall have our son at last...However long it takes...Whatever bargains we must make with the Powers That Be...

"If you willfully choose another course...And survive me..." he smiled... "Your family and lover will not..."

***

"I knew then I had to get you all here and be sure before..." Buffy explained to the group about her...Holding William's hand tightly...

"Like I said..." Illyria nodded... "Case clos'..."

"Like I said..." Buffy frowned... "I didn't do it..."

But...She looked William firmly in the eye... "I could have..."

Though my way would've been just the regular stake in the heart, not this weird stuff...

***



"Lets Misbehave..."

PG-13

Disclaimer: No, Joss, no...I make no claims, put that thing down!

It's all yours and ME's...

Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...

Summary: An Immortal Beloved idea took off a little...I hope to keep it short...

Dawn and Connor get to play detective when Angel's celebratory party is marred by a minor incident...

Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html... or direct to story at http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/lb1.html...

***

Part V...



"They say that bears have love affairs

And even camels

We're merely mammals--let's misbehave!!!"

While the group upstairs attempted to deal with the slight intrusion on the party, Connor had returned downstairs, at Dawn's and then Angel's urging, after initially coming up with the others, to help keep things light and untroubled below...

Not that he found overwhelming curiosity among the guests in whatever had transpired above...Most of the invited knowing Angel and his line of work and not all that shocked or disturbed to hear vague rumors of a corpse above...

Hey, a downer, perhaps...But with the famed Angel, his partner William, and a goodly band of Slayers, including the Greatest of all around to attend to any...'problems'...Hardly cause for upset...Or to put a damper on the best party of the season...

Though a few were interested to know just what had been killed upstairs and came over to him...One mentioning politely she'd heard it was the Immortal...Though that being ridiculous...Not only... 'the Immortal', but Buffy Summers' mate...She was curious to know just who or what...

"Sorry...A confidential matter for the police...Gotta keep my lips sealed till they sort things out..." he smiled at the rather well-endowed young woman...And dodging politely through the crowd, headed in search of Dru and Gunn...

To find Dru, with Charlie faithfully planted in protective mode by her side, engaged in conversation with a young actress who, determined and eager young woman that she was, had taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by her invitation to the party as a rising young film artist...And, though she hated trading on Dad's name, as the daughter of a famed film actor...To make a strong play to land the role of the tragic yet innocently heroic young woman whose soul had survived the most horrible fate and suffering imaginable to triumph in a time and land far beyond her own ...An actress who bore a remarkable resemblance to herself...Indeed, as Connor now noted...

Wow...Connor nodded as Ms. Landau beamed at him beside a rather nervous...Too many people...And a bit too eager, though of course, very nice, young lady... "You two could be twins..."...Dru...

"You see Miss Waverly, everyone thinks we look alike..." Juliet continued her pitch...

Well...Dru paused, clearly trying to be kind as she eyed the earnest young actress...

"I really did always see myself as more the Geraldine Chaplin type..."

"Too old..." Juliet hastily noted...

***

Dawn came down the main staircase, truth to tell, despite her concerns for Buffy, not entirely displeased at the sight of partygoers looking up to watch her entrance...Catching Connor's eye and waving him over as she descended to the ballroom floor...

"How's things?..." he gave a quick roll of eyes to indicate the upstairs...

"Giles and Angel have called the cops...Buffy's with William and Xander and Willow...And your other friend, the lady..."

Who appears to be somewhat sloshed...she frowned... "Or better be, seeing as she's been accusing my sis of murdering her own husband for the past fifteen..."

A little lower, Dawn...And over this way...Connor hissed...Pulling her along towards the back of the ballroom...

"Frankly..." he hesitated as they stopped and entered an empty side room, near the rear porch balcony, used by Angel as a home office..."I'd have to say I'm still puzzled as to why she married that clown in the first place...It's obvious she cares for Will..."

"Yeah?...And what is that supposed to mean?...Do you think she offed His B to get her mitts round ole Spikey again?..."

"I don't think anything...I don't know..." he replied... "Did she?...Does she love him that much?..."



Hey...She slapped at his arm propping him against the wall by her chair...

"My sis is a heroine...World-saving variety...Not a murderess, not even for love..."

"Then maybe someone who loves her decided to help her out?..." he eyed her solemnly...

"Or maybe one of you guys here wanted to make William's day a little brighter..." she shot back....

Both turning with startled looks as two figures, both female and rather close in appearance entered...Followed immediately by a male...

"Oh, dear..." Dru stared... "Please forgive us...Ms. Landau just wanted to talk in private..."

Ms. Landau giving a bright beam...Gunn eyeing them... "Anything settled upstairs?..."

"Not yet..." Connor shrugged... "But we're done here...We'll leave this place to you guys..."

Not likely...She's sweetness itself, post-soul...And Charlie was with her all the time...he noted in a whisper to Dawn as she looked back towards the door which Ms. Landau had just quickly shut behind them...Gunn, as Dru's council, clearly pleased to find himself rather badly needed by her...

Hmmn...Dawn shook her head...The sweeter and more unselfish they are, the more likely they'd kill without compunction to protect the ones they love...And I oughta know...

And you know what they say about a boy's best friend...

***