"Immortal Beloved..." CIII...



A shortie...



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: Various outcomes following "Girl In Question" and /or "Not Fade Away" on Angel...Ok, just had to do one more...but I absolutely, positively...On my mother's soul...

Ok, I'm lying...But me poor ole mum would just say, "so long as I like it, it's ok..."

***



LA...

The roped-off area outside the largest and most luxurious hotel in town...Site of the greatest party of the 21st century to date...The celebration held to inaugurate the new firm established on the ruins of the late Wolfram-Hart, Inc...Wiped out a few short weeks before along with its board of directors by a devastating, if mysteriously localized earthquake, followed by a series of scandals abroad during which US CEO Liam Angel had exposed and turned over to international justice a number of global execs of the firm who'd been committing acts both criminal and so unsavory as not fit to be printed in most family newspapers...

In which area, among a crowd of eager reporters, celebrity hounds, and those irresistibly drawn to such events, a couple waited...The young blonde woman elegant in gown and jewels, the man, dressed in equally stunning attire, so handsome in appearance as to have attracted a large segment of the crowd, sure he must be somebody...A few recognizing the famed Immortal from his book covers...

A large and hulking bouncer emerged from the hotel entrance and came to them...

"I'm sorry...This is a private party, miss...Sir..." the bouncer handed a card back to the Immortal, who gave a sour look... "Invitation only..."

"Just a sec...I'll handle this..." Buffy patted His currently somewhat-less-than-Benevolence's arm...

"Just tell William...Buffy is here..." she beamed at the bouncer...

"William?..." he stared...

"William the Bloody?...Your boss...Well, assistant boss, I suppose...If he's not available, tell Angel...Ummn..." she paused, thinking... "Well, forget Angel...He might be a little pissed yet...Just tell William..."

"Ma'am?..." the bouncer waved a hand... "I need more of a name..."

The Immortal frowned a bit at her...Said she'd get us into this thing, no problem...



Ummn...she blinked... "Never asked him, really..." she hesitated... "But you must know William, Angel's partner...?"

Oh...The thought suddenly struck her...

"Unless...He's dead...er...? Maybe he was killed in the big fight?..." she looked a bit nervously at the guard...

"Wait?...Do you mean Mr. Angel's partner, Mr. Walthrop?..."

"Walthrop?...Ummn...Maybe...Uh..."

"William Soames Walthrop?..."

"Uh, yeah..." she nodded brightly..."Tell him, 'Buffy...His Buffy is here to see him'...That'll do it..." she smiled...

Hmmn...The bouncer sighed, but waved in another guard and went off to a slightly less noisy spot, pulling cell phone...

"Don't worry...We'll be in in a sec..." she hissed to the Immortal...Still clearly put out at his card's rejection...

No one fails to let His Benevolence in...Anywhere...Hell, the Pope comes to the door himself to let him in...

The bouncer spoke a bit on the phone, folded it away, and returned...

"I'm sorry...There's no 'Buffy' on the list...And Mr. Walthrop is not available..."

Uh...?

"He did say however to say the following..." the bouncer continued...

" 'Ms. Summers...The events of our past encounters have not been such that I should wish to renew our acquaintance...Best of luck, William Soames Walthrop'..."

"Wait...That was what he said...?"

Hmmn...His Benevolence coolly eyed the young woman who failed him...After insisting they come and that they'd have no problem gaining admission to the party of the century...

Well, she was only one of 23,889 Slayers...And, when one came right down to it, for all her battle prowess, not exactly the sort of sophisticated female he preferred to have about him...

One can only discuss 80's to 90's TV shows and the trashier films so many times before wishing...Desperately...To move on to more intellectual subjects...

Now that wiccan goddess, Ms. Rosenberg...There was a woman with a trace of education and an intellect...

"Yes, ma'am...Mr. Angel did add something but Mr. Walthrop felt it was not entirely appropriate for me to repeat it...Good night, ma'am...Sir..." He turned on his heel and went back to the entrance...

Uh...

The crowd now losing a good deal of its interest in the couple, much to His Benevolence's chagrin...

Not to mention likely to harm book sales...

"I think...My dear...We should consider returning to our hotel..." he noted coldly...

"It's gotta be Angel...He's all upset over Giles' order not to have contact with him...The not trusting him anymore thing...Will is just goin' along...He'll be out here to see us in just a mo, don't worry..." she insisted...



Yes...Certainly...A cool frown..."But I think we'd do well to await his invitation back at our hotel...Dear..."

"I mean, sure...He might be a little put out that I didn't come to check on him or help him out in the Big One...But I know my Will...He'll be here...Any minute...You go back if you want...I'll call you..."

"No, no...Dear..." His Benevolence smiled thinly... "I will call you..." He turned and headed for his waiting limo...

"Have my flight home prepped for immediate take-off and Ms. Summers' bags moved to the economy suite..." he hissed to his chauffeur...

"Looks like rain, sir..." the chauffeur noted as he pulled out...Buffy standing in the crowd, trying to work her way back to the hotel entrance...

***

Several hours later...

"She still out there?..." William, somewhat uncomfortably decked out in formal suit sighed to Angel...Equally uncomfortable in his getup...As they strolled about the grand reception hall...Nina in gown on Angel's arm frowning a bit... "Will?...Didn't you tell have someone tell her you didn't want to see her?..."

"Hours ago..." he shrugged...

"Well, you better go and see her...Poor thing must be soaked by now..." she looked out at the heavy rain rattling against the large sheets of glass...

"Still..." she frowned at the rain a bit...Memories of the bitter battle crowding in...Particularly Angel's severe wounds...

"She didn't show when you needed her, didn't even come to the hospital after Angel'd put in that call to Giles and to Rome...I guess I'd leave it your call..."

"All I can say is...She'd better have been possessed by the First or under the Immortal's mind control..." Angel glared...

Though of course...He hastily added...As Nina frowned at him... "I'm completely over her myself...I just don't like the way she let Will down..."

"I'll go..." Will sighed...

***

Hmmn...He stared out into the rain, standing near the grand front door of the hotel...Considering...

The faint opening bars of "New York, New York..." came to him...He looked up to see on a TV monitor where Liza Minnelli had just halted on her way to see her errant ex-husband, played so well by Robert DeNiro...

Hmmn...

"Is that blonde young lady still...?"

"Yep..." the same bouncer, on duty at the door nodded...Pointing out to where a bedraggled Buffy stood in the rain...

"Here..." Will handed his overcoat to the same bouncer... "Give this to her and put her in a cab to her hotel...Tell her I'm sorry but I stand by what I said before..."

***