"Immortal Beloved..." CVIII...





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: The standard IB format, one of (108) different versions of events following the end of Angel S5 episodes from "Girl in Question" through to "Not Fade Away" and beyond...

Archived (soon) at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse at -https://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html , scroll down to "Immortal Beloved" series

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Looking round the room of exhausted but triumphant fri...Well, ok with Charlie Gunn in the hospital and it being a weary Illyria staring back at him, despite the Winifred look she'd donned...And not being quite ready to accept the word with William...Acquaintances and colleagues...Thank God at least Connor and Nina are here...A beaming Angel offered a toast in the last unbroken bottle of champagne Connor had flitched from the crumbling Wolfram-Hart building as the fight was winding down...

Ah, what the hell...After all we've been through?...

"To my friends...The greatest set of evil fighters this world at least has ever seen!...And our helpers from so far away..." he turned to the figures, rather pale and white...Ghostly, one might say...Who were rather filling the reception room he'd rented with the remains of his Wolfram-Hart expense account...

"Could you move, mate?...Hafta see our fearless leader pontificate..." William politely asked of a tall, vaporous fellow...Who kindly stepped aside...

Ghost Anya, Ghost Joyce, Ghosts of countless victims of Evil...Who'd been released and enabled to assist in fighting their past tormentors when the Partners had opened their other-world portal...

Who'd delighted in helping to make possible Good's greatest victory...The Partners' army retreating in panic at their entrance...

And now, before returning to their various Heaven abodes, were rather pleased to be attending what promised to be a truly great bash...

"...who made victory possible!...To all of us!..." he tossed off his share of the bottle, passing it on to Illyria...All...Ghosts bearing other world glasses of their own...Doing likewise...Illyria coughing a bit at the taste...Hmmn...Rather like mead only less sweet she noted to Connor... "Now, lets..."

A flash of light in the center of the room...Willow and a Buffy in Italian fashion dress, rather heavily...Somewhat over-heavily...Made up...Materializing...

They looked round at the startled crowd...Hey, Willow sighed to Angel...Smiling a bit at William...

"Oh...Geesh..." Buffy looked round... "Are we too late?..."

Willow rolling her eyes...

"We're fine...What do you want, Slayer?..." William asked, stepping forward from the crowd...

Is that?...Illyria hissed to Connor...



"Buffy Summers?...I think so..." he nodded...

Angel coming over now...Eyeing Buffy...

Geesh, he looked at Willow...What's with the makeup?...Who shrugged...

"William...Oh, Will...I'm so sorry we took so long..." Buffy took his hand...

Uh-huh...he nodded...

Mom?...She looked over to ghostly Joyce who was frowning at her...

"Nice of you to come to our party, Buffy...Willow..." Angel gave a cool smile...Nina now at his side, having rushed...Girl's faster than teleportation, Willow noted to herself...From where she'd caught sight of the infamous Ms. S...

"Hope we're back in your good graces now that I've proven I'm not the stooge of Evil..."

"William?...What's the matter?..." Buffy was a bit put out by his lack of response...

Where the guy who'd die for me in a hot minute...?

Especially when I need him...Like now...

"Angel, Giles made that decision...You know how he feels about you..." Willow sighed... "And we were a little thrown by your taking that spot with W-H...Especially after I did a spell check and found it was voluntary but had to do with your boy...Hey, Connor..." she beamed at him as he came up...

"Yeah, Angel...I just followed my Chairman's lead..." Buffy waved at him... "And we came, right?..."

Soon as we heard...she turned, a bit anxiously back to Will...

"Is she turned, possessed...?" Angel hissed to Willow... "What is with that outfit and makeup?..."

"The Immortal got her into Italian fashion...We did what we could to save her..." Willow hissed back...

At least she hasn't had the boobs job he wanted her to get...Yet...she noted...

Angel having a memory flash of the Italian director of Wolfram-Hart...

"What do I say, Will?...It's so great to see you..." Buffy tried again...

"Yeah, lovely...What do you want, girl?..." he frowned...

"You might tell me how good it is to see me..." she blinked at him with dark circled, heavily mascara'd eyes...

"Difficult with all that crap on your face...Have you been turned or something?..." he asked...

"Hey...This is a high quality Italian makeover..." she glared... "And do you know what it cost?..."

"Our lives possibly, and that of Charlie Gunn very likely, if that's what delayed you..." he eyed her...

Hey, Mom...she turned to beam at Joyce who gave her a stiff hug which passed through her...Still frowning, then a smile to William...

"I have to go...Buffy..." she motioned her over...Buffy blinking but following...To the nearest ladies room...

"You didn't come because of the battle, did you?..." Angel whispered to Willow whom he'd pulled over to the side...



No..Willow looked down... "If Giles or Buffy or that idiot Andrew had told me anything in time I woulda...You know that, Angel..." she sighed...

Real glad you guys came through intact, though...

"First, will you wipe that gunk off your face?...You look like a prostitute..." in the restroom Joyce hissed to Buffy...She staring at the white, ghostly figure...

"Mom...This is what they wear in..."

"I hope you haven't been letting Dawn dress like this..."

William and Connor watching the restroom doom from where they stood...

"So...That's Buffy Summers..." Connor nodded... "Interesting lady..."

"So...?" Angel eyed Willow...

"His Benevolence...Her new cutie..." she began, frowning over at the restroom...

I mighta guessed, Angel thought...

"A little better..." Joyce sighed at a Buffy who'd reluctantly wiped off a five hundred dollar makeup job...

"Now I've got to get back to Heaven soon...Tell me you're here to get William and that you and that gigilo from Italy are history...Make your dead mom happy..."

"Mom...His Benevolence is a wonderful guy..." Buffy frowned...

"He's not a gigilo...I can spot bad guys a mile..."

"Oh, please..." Joyce sighed... "So what are you really here for?...Buffy?..." she glared... "Don't treat your ex- like that..."

"I just wanted to make sure he was ok, Mom...And..." she hesitated...

"Don't make him die for you again, Buffy...He's a nice man and a fine soul...Besides...He's your...Shoot, out of time..." Joyce sighed...

My?...

"Mom?...What?...He's my what...?"

"Didn't you even look him up in the Council records...?" Joyce sighed... "Well, I've no time...Try and be nice to William, God knows he deserves it...Tell him I'm very fond of him...And will you change that dress?..." she frowned, fading out...

Mom?...

"Are you telling me that she actually has the nerve...When she knew he was alive since Andrew returned to England?...To come now and ask him to..." Angel fumed at Willow...

"I told her you'd be upset..." Willow sighed... "I didn't want to do this, Angel..."

"Will?...Mom had to go..." Buffy came to him... "But she wanted you to know she was very fond of you..."

"A good egg, your mom..." Will nodded... "I see she got you to get some of that crap off...You look almost alive..."

"Thanks..." she glared...

"But I'd get larger ones if you're going to continue wearing that dress..." he noted...



"You think so?...His Benevolence wants me to..." she asked hastily...

"I hope all four of you will be very happy..." he turned slightly...

"Will?..."

"Not that I'm interested, but what do you want, Ms. Summers?..." he turned back...

"I came to see you...Save you if you needed help..."

"Buffy...Two of your local Slayers are over there..." he pointed... "They came on their own to help and told me what I already knew...That you've known about me for months and Giles has been keeping steady tabs on Angel and his activities..."

"You're not here to save me...You frankly don't give a damn..." he eyed her...

"So...What...Do...You...Want...Miss..?"

"That's not true...You didn't come to Rome..." she tried...

"Would His Benevolence have welcomed me, too?...How is he by the way?..."

"Oh, great...Lotta cares, you know?...Been weighing him down, especially recently..."

"Sad...But I hear he's never put his ass on the line for Humanity or the world..."

"Well...Some of us have to keep intact to keep things running for all of us..." she noted...

"A philosophy I should try embracing..." he nodded...

"William, I'm sorry I didn't come sooner...Really...I was just so busy...And you didn't come to Rome, what was I supposed to think?..."

"When I materialized in Angel's office...I was sure...I knew...You and Willow had called me back...But...And then, when I sat in that hospital room a week, after Dana the Psychotic Slayer...How is she by the way?...Cut off my hands...I thought, she'll come...Andrew will tell her, no matter what I told him...And she'll come..."

But, you didn't...

"Will, I..."

"Then I was worried...As was Angel...About you and the Immortal..."

Ok, I was jealous too...But I was worried...

"And I went to Rome..."

Oh...she stared...

"Didn't Andrew tell you?...":

"Oh, that time..." she nodded...Beaming... "That was nice of you to check, Will..." A frown... "But why didn't you stay and say hi?..."

"I can't 'say hi' to you, girl..." he sighed... "If you don't understand why...There's no point in trying to explain..."

"You're sure...No spell, no mind control?..." Angel asked Willow...Who shook her head...

"Possession, maybe?...One of the Immortal's many girls?...Or boys?..." he tried...



"Will, I care...And I'm sorry if I hurt you...You know I did love you that year..."

"Please don't say that...Why do you modern people talk like that?...Say you liked me and we'll always be friends or some drivel like that?...Don't say that word unless you mean it..." he frowned...

"I did mean it...At the time..."

"Lady...Whatever you're here for...Whatever ridiculous knight's errand you want to set me on, forget it...Call in the stout...And I hear from Anya over there...Make sure you say hi before she has to go...He's getting quite so...Mr. Harris...Or better yet, your 20,000 Slayers...Or even the Italian police..."

"Will, the world's in danger...Ok, maybe not the whole world..." Buffy began...

"Whatever your friend over there wants, Angel's not going..." Nina told Willow firmly... "He's got a family to think of and plenty of world-saving to do right here...And I hope William remembers he has a son to think of..."

A what?...Willow blinked...

"See His Benevolence's firm in Asia stirred up a little trouble among some demon monks in Tibet...The company was just following Chinese government policy..." Buffy continued...

"I can't help you, Slayer..." he said firmly...

"I'd be going too, of course...Our lives on the line together again..." she smiled..."And nothing's settled between the Immortal and me, you know..."

"What, he has you pimping superheroes for him and hasn't offered a ring yet?...The cad..." William noted quietly...She staring...

"Sorry...Anyway, I have my little boy to think of now...I can't go throwing my existence away for no good reason..."

"But a major world leader...My current guy...Could die horribly...What little boy?!..."

"I've adopted a kid some of the Black Thorn circle boys were going to sacrifice...His mom handed him over for cash and medical benefits and since I rescued him..."

"They're so cute together...You wouldn't believe what a terrific father William is...And a damned good mommie as well..." Nina beamed to a floored Willow...

"You have a kid..." Buffy stared...A vision clicking on...A dying brunette woman, stillborn baby in her lap...Screaming for...

Oh...

So that's why I was always screaming out his name when I woke up with Riley...

"Will, I really hoped we'd be together on this one...I'm honestly not sure about things..." she tried... "But if you've got responsibilities here, hey..."

Brief vision of the Immortal tortured to death by fiendish, pissed-off, demon monks...Enraged by his greedy sellout of democratic principles...

Well, if he really is "the Immortal" how bad could it be?...

"In fact, Will...We can screw it...I don't think we're needed that bad and he's got plenty of help...But look...Can't you get a few days?...Willow's got a daylight protection spell that I was gonna give you and Angel..."

"So we could go to Tibet faster..." he eyed her...

"Will, come on...I'm trying here..." she sighed... "Take a few days vacation...With me...And lets finally see where we stand..."

And bring along your boy...Does he look like you?...she grinned...



"Please...Well, I do think he's gonna be a blond..." Will noted...

"Speak to your boss there and get things settled, while I have Willow get me some Council records that I think I really need to look over..." she patted him...Say...

"You sure you really don't like the dress?..."

"Especially not around my son..."

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