By Gypsy Gray
The Scooby-gang and the trio from L.A. sat in silence. They'd been asked to gather in the living room so their four guests could explain some things to them. Cordelia stood alone in a corner, Willow sat beside Doyle and Buffy on the couch, Angel stood behind Doyle, Riley stood beside Buffy, and Giles sat in the armchair. They were all gathered in a semi-circle looking at the man they thought of as Michael Pryce. His friends were standing behind him.
The blonde kept brushing his hand against the sapphire necklace he always wore. The tall thin man was dressed simply today in a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt with Ziggy Stardust written across the back in faded red letters. He seemed to be locked inside his thoughts, standing still except for his hand. After a moment, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, opened his eyes and locked them with Angel's. The he pulled off the necklace.
Wesley Wyndham Pryce watched the expression of shock on his ex-lover's face give way to relief and then shame. The vampire walked to wear the ex-watcher stood on legs that barely seemed able to hold him. He was already crying by the time he stood in front of Wesley. Angel fell to his knees and let the tears roll down his face. His remorse and sorrow were unmistakable. Over and over he repeated the same phrase...
"...sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so..."
"Wesley. Thank God you're alive. I tried to find you. I was afraid...But you just disappeared."
"That was my intention. It was for the best that you didn't find me. In the beginning I'd have done my damnedest to stake you. And later...my family would have had you begging for the stake."
"I'm just glad you're alright. I..."
"Get up Angel. I can't talk to you like this. You're sorry, I forgive you, now get the fuck up!"
Angel rose to his feet quickly. He'd never seen Wesley act this way. He was angry and rude, and not afraid or intimidated at all. The shy uncertain Wesley he'd known was gone. This was a new man. One he really did not want pissed off at him.
The ex-watcher pulled his glasses from his shirt pocket and slipped them on. He studied the vampire for a moment and then began to speak. Advancing across the room as he did, he drove the older man backwards as he said the words he'd been holding behind his teeth for weeks.
"You jumped up nonce. You great prancing piece of shit. After everything that happened, after Faith, and that actress slag, and all the shite you put me through, the best you can come up with is to use me to guilt Doyle into forgiving you. You total bastard. Oh, don't get me wrong. I know you're sorry. Don't doubt it for a minute, but that doesn't change one single bloody thing. You used me!! And you will never never know how close you came to dying that last night. I was in your room Angel I stood over you and watched you and Doyle sleep. I had a stake long enough to do the job."
Angel's back hit the wall. Wes was in his face now. Screaming at the top of his lungs. The vampire pressed into the wall as hard as he could, while everyone else stared in stunned silence. Except the other three from New Orleans. They didn't look surprised at all.
"One shot, through his back and into your heart. And do you know what stopped me? A vision! Can you fucking believe it? The Powers saved you. They sent me to New Orleans. And you know what? It was the best thing that ever happened to me! I found my family and my mate and I realized I don't give a flying fuck about you. So as my soon-to-be Sire would say...SOD OFF!!!"
"Wesley, what are you talking about? Your Sire? A vampire!! No Wes! You can't do that!! You can't!!"
"I can do as I like Angel. And you'd better be grateful for my family, if not for them I wouldn't be able to forgive you. The only reason I can is that I know what it would do to me if anything happened to Oz."
Willow was on her feet and beside the two men in an instant. She pulled Wesley around to face her and used her grip on his arms to shake him. When she spoke her voice was shrill and angry.
"Where's Oz? Where is my Oz? You tell me right now!!"
"I'm not your Oz. I never was and never will be."
Willow turned to face Daniel Pryce. He wore faded camo pants and an old gray t-shirt with the words "Be all that you can be...Fuck a Marine" written on it in black letters. The stocky man prowled forward and pulled her hands off Wesley, then he put himself between the witch and his mate and pulled the wolf's head earring out of his ear.
Willow squealed and rushed forward to hug Oz. He put his hands up and pushed her away. His eyes were cold and indifferent to her pouting face. When she started crying, he crossed his arms and stared at her. Tears gave way quickly to anger, and Oz remembered all the times those sad eyes had convinced him to forgive her, to stay just a little longer. And now he was wondering how many times those tears had just been her getting her way, and now he was getting seriously ticked off.
"Where have you been? I've been worried about you. How dare you leave me here to worry about you?"
"Your concern overwhelms me. How's Tara?"
"You have no right to get mad! You left. You cheated on me with Veruca!"
"You fucked me over six ways to Sunday!! You used me to show everyone how great you were! You made me ashamed of what I am and you never bothered to even try to understand!!"
The witch lurched backward like she'd been hit. Oz knew the wolf had slipped out. He'd felt his eyes change, and his teeth lengthen. Willow looked terrified, but Wesley put his hands on Oz's shoulder. His touch offered love, support, and acceptance. The woman in front of him meant nothing, the man behind him was everything.
"Your a ghost. A memory that's almost faded away completely. The only thing I want to remember about you is that you showed me what love wasn't. That made it easier for me to know what it was when I found it."
He turned his back on her then. Looking into his mate's eyes he smiled softly. Their lips met in a sweet slow kiss, and then they both turned and walked away from their pasts. Rejoining their family, the two men stood in each other's arms and waited for Xander and Spike to make their own piece with the past.