"Immortal Beloved..." CXVII...



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: Though the standard IB format, one of (117) versions of events following the end of Angel S5 episodes from "Girl in Question" through to "Not Fade Away" and beyond...

This one's a single...IB99 and 100 and others are multipart...(parts alphabetically listed)...

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...



***

The battle at LA has ground down to its inevitable conclusion... Though Illyria has managed to spirit the badly wounded Gunn away, after heroic and satisfyingly gory resistance, Angel and William have been captured by the massive army of the Partners and brought to the ruins of the plaza in front of the battered Wolfram Hart Tower to await execution by sunrise under the gloating, drooling (pardon me, one slobbering, seven foot, bony-plate-covered demon guard politely notes to Angel) horde commanded now by the surviving local Partner, one Mr. Joseph, in appearance a bald, lizard-eyed, bespectacled little death's-head of a man in remarkably gore-and-debris-free business suit.

"Ha, ha, hah!! At last, the two traitors are at bay!" Joseph sneers at the badly wounded pair bound before him.

"How long till we get outta here? The human armed forces will wipe us out if they learn we've crossed over. I hear the new Initiative has permission to use tactical nukes if necessary..." one nervous bird-faced demon hisses to his companion.

"Like they'll need 'em considering how many we lost just taking down these two..." the other, a white furred beast hissed back. "But we go when they fry at dawn."

A jab from their commander, a hog-like fellow in heavy armor silences the two...

"How does it feel to face your fate at last, soul-boys?" Joseph continues. "In fifteen minutes you both roast...And I'm sorry to say your dear girlfriend is busy giving her heart and selling her soul to our dear comrade the Immortal."

"Hah! I knew it!" Will raises a bloodied head to stare at Joseph.

"Oh, please. You were the one who threw in the towel the moment Andrew said he thought she actually liked him. By the way, pal..." Angel calls to Joseph. "She's not my girlfriend. Mine is still trying to fight her way to me."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Will frowned. "Buffy doesn't know we're dying here."

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!" Joseph cackled... "Go on, Angelus. Tell the poor romantic dolt how deeply his beloved Slayer treasures his memory."



A few of the demon horde sentient enough to follow the conversation eyed William...A good number rather sympathetically...

No bigger suckers for a star-crossed romance than the (sentient) Undead condemned...

"Angel?"

"Uh. Will...The thing is...I did send a message out to Giles outlying my plans with the Black Thorn and requesting help. I figured it was the least I could do for you guys to try and get a little assist, much as I hated going to him a second time. His answer was that Buffy didn't think it was a good idea to risk trusting us."

"You mean you...Trusting you."

"Bwa-ha-hah!!" Joseph and a few standing near him howled.

"Ummmn. I'm afraid he mentioned both of us. Apparently Andrew didn't hold out on you more than a day after he took Dana back."

Oh...Will stared a moment.

"Well...No problem...I never expected..." he tried looking off to where the first streaks of dawn were showing...

She knew about the hands and didn't come?...the white furred creature blinked. That's awful...

"Isn't Love grand?" Joseph sneered again... "Now, you die alone, Walthrop!"

"Who's Walthrop?" Angel stared.

"Me. William Soames. Pleased to meet you." William sighed. "Look, baldy...Gloat all you want. I've known since the soul Buffy's not obligated to care for me. I'm sorry to hear she's made another bad dating choice but as far as we're concerned she helped me recover my human soul and we're square."

"Besides." Angel chimed in. "He's not dying alone. Neither of us are. We've friends who'll remember us fondly as good men who did their best in a noble cause. Something none of you can say."

"Bah!" Joseph glared. "Your time is over. That of Evil is nigh. And soon the Immortal will bring the Slayer and many of her sisters to our side...Voluntarily. Your sacrifice is for nothing!"

"Don't be silly, mate. Buffy might fall for a pretty face, a smooth patter, and a powerful love drug...But she'll pull out of it shortly and he'll be another...Mortal...notch on her belt." Will shook his head.

"Too bad you won't be around to eat those words, boy!" the bald death's head replied, shaking fist, then calming.

Can we cross back to Hell now, please...? the bird demon sighed to itself, perking its head up at the faint sounds of human activity...Ambulance, police, and fire sirens faintly wailing in the distance.

"Any last words before we greet the new day?" Joseph faced the two bound vampires.

"Actually...Yes." Will nodded.

Key of E, please...He turned to a hulking demon guard who'd been fingering a harmonica in lieu of the victory celebration. The demon nodded...Harmonica to lips...

"Spike?..." Angel stared...

"People or whatever...As I was rolling in the gore of your comrades, I suddenly realized...After years of baiting this pointy-haired, poor imitation of Christ..."

"Spike!!"

"Well...I suddenly realized that ... this... this man...I choose to call him...Well...

Play

No one ever made me feel like someone

'Til him..."

Joseph and demon horde staring...

Hey, he's as good as Matthew Broderick...

"Life was really nothing but a glum one

'Til him...

My existence bordered on the tragic

Always timid, never took a chance

Then I felt his magic...And my soulless heart began to dance ..."

Ooooh...Ooooh...ooooooh...ooooh....ooo...

Joseph frowned at the demon back-up...

Sorry, boss...

"I was always frightened, fraught with worry...

'Til him...

I was going nowhere in a hurry

'Til him..."

Ahhh...Ahhh...aaahhh...Ahhh...

"He filled up my empty life

Filled it to the brim...

There could never ever be

Another one...like him..."

"Will?...I never realized...You...You're gay, aren't you?" Angel stared...

Joseph and demons nod at each other...Remember that time...

"But that was Angel who enjoyed the hitting..." the bird demon noted...

"No!...I'm telling you we're friends...At least now that we're souled heroes and I trump you by being the one who gained his voluntarily, besides beating you in that chase for the chalice..."

"My Undead existence was incorporeal...Til Him..." Ah ah ah...demon back-up. Joseph again glares at his crew of sentimental fools who clam up.

"Even with the soul I was a no one...Til Him..." Ah ah ah...Argggh... a few valiant wanna be chorus demons are vaporized.

"I filled up his empty life..." Angel joins in... "Filled it to the brim..."



"There's certainly been no greater ego..." Will... "Til Him..."

Frowning Angel relents on Will's grin...

Well... "At least you can sing..."

Sure can...several demons nod...

"Thanks, Angel. I sang it for you. I sang it because much to my horror, on our funeral pyre, I have to admit...I'm your friend."

Angel stared ... "You are? Gee, I've had a lot of relationships, but until Wesley, you couldn't call any of them friend. But come to think of it."

sings (clearly attempting to outdo Will...)

"No one ever ever really knew me. 'Til him.

Everyone was always out to stake or screw me.

'Til him..."

Ahhhh...Aaaah...Ahhh...Aaaahh...Ahhh...

Joseph shrugs...They do back up well...

"Never met an Unman I ever trusted

Always killed them in the past

Now I'm well adjusted

'Cause I've got a friend at last."

Ah...ah...ah...ah...



"Fellas, don't help me."



A demon guard leads William who'd taken advantage of the horde audience's focus on Angel to free himself from his chains and start slipping stage left back to the funeral pyre...

"Always playing singles, never doubles

'Til him

Never had an Undead pal to understand my troubles

'Til him "

William shrugs as Angel sees their little escape attempt has failed.

Oh, well...William resumes:

"He filled up my empty life. (Apart from sex, cause I'm no poof..)"



Angel and Will:

"Filled it to the brim "

Will:

"There could never ever be

Another one ... like him "

Wow...the horde stares, even Joseph momentarily awed...The sun's rays beginning to strike..

Both vampires vanishing in a burst of energy...

Oh...The horde look at each other...

That was...Just...

Hmmn...Joseph stares...That didn't seem like the usual roasting...

"What the heaven happened?! Were they destroyed?!!"

"Our magics people say no, sir." a humanoid demon sighed to him... "We detected a teleportation spell at 0601, destination England, probably London."

"Shit! The Watchers and that still-not-damned Rosenberg!!"

"Sir?! The human forces are closing fast!!! And our scouts report...Argghhh..."

Slayers with them...Joseph filled in for himself, eyeing the reeking corpse with stake in its throat...

"Retreat!!!!"

"Fall back!!!!...Fall...Arrgh..."

***



London...The restored Antiquarian Hall, home of the restored Royal Council of Antiquarians and Library Scientists...For some reason nicknamed the "Watchers' Council" among its members...

"Angel? Will?" Willow stared at the two bloodied figures now materialized before her and Giles...Who stared at her...Before wearily collapsing to their feet. Though William managed a quick glance about the room...

Not that he expected...Anything...

"William? Are you ok?" Dawn had reached him...

"Nibs...?"

"Why the hell didn't you tell us you could sing?" she grinned... "I was one of your back-up demons, with Willow...The blue-furred one..."

"What about..."

"Your team is fine, Angel...Nina reports Mr. Gunn is safe at LA General." Giles said as Angel managed to sit up...



"But I'm afraid we need your help now with Buffy."

"You...You're sayin' what that bloody Joe said was..." Will began...

"Will?...Come on...." Dawn frowned... "They were lyin'...But she did cut a deal behind our backs with the Immortal...How do you think you survived?."

"Deal?...What deal?"

"How should we know, we only found out when the First took her body as part of it...Go along with the Partners' scheme to separate us from Angel's group in exchange for saving your ass, I suppose...With a slight soul-corrupting catch I doubt she fully agreed to..."

"Though for a singing voice like yours in a lover..." Giles smiled...

"You weren't all there?..." Angel sighed...

"Xander had to go and continue monitoring Buffy...The First thinks she's fooled us by submersing herself in her...But he wanted us to tell you he thought it was beautiful." Willow grinned..

***