"Immortal Beloved..." CXVIII...



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...

***

Rome…Night…

An alleyway…Pitch black…

Following, found, a scent…Racing on with stake out…

They have to pay…

They're gonna pay…

Got one, cornered…She threw aside the trash, boxes…

"No!!..." Andrew screamed, blinking at her…



She found herself in red t-shirt and black leather jacket...Facing what seemed to be a jury of masked people, seated in a jury box...One happily smashing open peanut shells on the railing of the box and dropping shells and all into his large mouth, chewing delightedly...

"The accused has sworn to tell all..." a grim, yet...voice called out...

"What?..." She called back, looking first at the jury box, then round...No one in what she took to be the judge's box...

"How do you plead?..." a voice...Woman...Young...Familiar...

"Dawn?..." she called...

Dawn's face briefly appeared under a British judge's wig in the judge's box...As if she'd jumped up to be seen...Sound of feet hitting something hard...

"Pray address this court as Your Nibsness, prisoner..." Dawn's voice...Her head again briefly seen as she hopped up again... "How do you plead?..."

"Plead...?" Buffy stared...



"C'mon sis...Don't keep me here all night..." Dawn's voice, irritated...Then sly...

"You liked it, didn't you?...I know you did..."

"Your Nibsness?!...My apologies for being late..." another voice, the doors at the back of the court opening...

"Angel?..." Buffy stared at Angel in robes, a small grayish wig somewhat less than securely on his head...

"You're late!...Ow!!" Dawn's voice, a crash midway...As if a heavy object had missed its intended target chair and crashed to the floor in the box...

"LA traffic's a bitch at this time of day, ma'am...But I am here, fresh from the battle for my city, fully prepared to defend my former lover-client..." Angel smiled over to Buffy who nervously stared back...

"Angel?...What the hell's up here?...Is this a dream?...Am I drugged...?"

"Swallow it down...What a jagged little..." Willow, Kennedy, Alanis appear, singing, and vanish...

Angel came over to the witness box...Putting a hand on Buffy's shoulder...She gasped, shrieked, and threw it off...

"Hey...That was all that was left of him, Buf..." Angel frowned at her...Then shrugged... "You could've cloned him or done magic for him from that but no matter...Your Honorable Nibsness..." he turned back to the judge's box...

"Owww..." the reply... "Who moved my chair?..."

"Your Nibsness...I will endeavor to prove by Algebra that my client, Ms. Anne Hathawaytoreturn is her own great-grandmother and loved her neighbor in a selflessly chaste yet excessively Freudian manner...Might I have your Nibsness' kind indulgence to prevent a travesty of justice?"

"The State's...Ow!!!...Desire is always to arrive..." Crash… "Ow!!!...Aw, just go ahead!!!...And somebody get me another chair!..." Dawn called from within her box...

"Angel, what's..." Buffy began...

"Gentlemen and ladies of the jury..." Angel began, waving to cut her off...Holding his now-wriggling wig down on his head with one hand... "I plead for mercy on my client's behalf...She is given to monomania it is true...And abnormal in her desires, all...But what is past, should be past and she bears within an unspotted sweetness of..."

"God..." Drusilla spoke up suddenly from the jury box, pulling off her mask... "Listen to 'im...Tongue like an angel, 'e's got...Silver as the moon...Put 'im up for Parliament and be done with it..."

"Where is he?...Where is my son?..." she looked at Buffy, her voice now richly British, even regal... "What have you done to my only child?..."

"Mrs. Walthrop?..." she stared at the now white-haired, frail lady pointing a stick at her…

"Say nothing…"Angel hissed, a dramatic stage whisper…

"Remove this person…" he called to the empty benches behind them… "She is not wanted here…"

"My son!!..." Mrs. Walthrop screamed, demanded… "You whore!!...Liar!!...I smell him on you!!...Thief, murderess!!!..." Guards materialize and starting dragging her off…

"Yes!..." Drusilla, now beside her in nun's garment… "I can testify…She, the Unclean one!!...Pagan harlot!..."

"This sounds bad to me, sis…" Dawn's voice…

"I didn't…" Buffy, still in red and black, but now brunette, pleads… "Dawn, why are you still up?..."



"Such a fine one you are now…" Dru, beside Angel now, dressed in shabby garb of a streetwalker of the 1880's… "Too good for the likes, eh?..."

"What a bloody pair you are…" she grinned to him and cocked a thumb at Buffy…

"I cannot conduct my case like this, Your Nibsness!…" Angel cried… "I must brood upon my existence…"

Broods…Darkness about him like a black halo…

"Oh, God…" a collective sigh through the court…

"Save him from me…" Dru, again in nun's habit, pleads to Buffy, standing before her… "Why didn't you?..."

"I plead the fourth…" Buffy tried, feebly…

"That's for the Yanks…" Dru shook her head… "We're all British here…"

"No longer!…" Angel shouts, fist clenched in the air… "Me native land is free, free!..."

"A bloody foreigner?..." Dawn's voice… "Throw him out of the bleeding court!..."

"I may plead in any court…" Angel insists…Guards in bailiff outfits materializing to seize him… "This toilet tissue, imported from my executive washroom, confirms my status!..." he removes the roll from his briefcase and waves it, as he's dragged to the courtroom door…

"Good enough…Let him be…" Dawn's voice… "But I'll tolerate no bloody talk of Home Rule…And proper respect for our Queen-Empress…Ah, my chair…"

Her head now appears just barely peeping over the rail of the judge's box…Periwigged…Red robe on her shoulders…

"Cicely…Oops…" she paused… "Does the accused accept her counsel?...Another can be appointed..."

"I…" Buffy begins…

Jonathan Levinson in wig rises, materializes at Angel's table… "I am happy to be of service in the matter…" Opens umbrella in left hand, waving it to the jury… "I have known the accused in two lifetimes and…"

"This is my case!..." Angel cries…

"Jonathan?..." Buffy eyes him…

"Miss Addams?...Are you well?..." he politely bows…"My apologies, Mrs. Walthrop, I should say…Hey, I got dumped, forgotten, in a hole so forgive my failure to…"

"I plead for mercy on the grounds of my client's condition!!…" Angel hollers…

"She bears the pregnant memory of my old comrade-in-arms…" he explained to Dawn's and Buffy's puzzled looks…

"I thought Giles…" Dawn began…

"Spawn of evil must be purged!..." Giles in Puritan witchcraft trial prosecutor's garb with hat, materializes…Shaking a severed arm at Buffy sternly…

"Don't…" she pleaded… "I mustn't…"

"You can't let this come to light…Trust me, girl…" Giles, in confidential tone…

"A little water clears us of the deed…" he pours water from a pitcher into her lap…

"I should have killed you sooner…" she replies… "Why did I listen to you?..."



"It may start out normal…" he replied, now holding a cooing infant in his arms…

"Then the evil will surface…Put out the light and then put out the light…" he strangles the baby in his arms…

"I couldn't face him…" Buffy turns to Jonathan… "How could I tell him?..."

"Can we have that last testimony repeated?..." Dawn asked…

The First, blonde Buffy looking severe in court recorder's outfit, eyes Dawn…

"From that insult to my sister…" Dawn notes…

"With pleas..." The First repeats the testimony…Taking the form of each person…

"Giles: 'Spawn of evil must be purged!'…"

"Buffy: 'Don't…I mustn't…'"

"Giles: 'You can't let this come to light…'" "Stop there…" Dawn cut her off…

"I charge by the character, remember that..." the First vanishes...

"This sounds like a conspiracy…" Solemn Justice Summers notes solemnly…

"Were you both in on it?..." she asked Buffy, then Giles…

Neither responds…Giles looking everywhere but at Dawn, Buffy confused, trying to think… "I…"

"In short, who…killed…my…sister?..." Dawn in Wicked Witch of the West costume from her box…

"Sister?...No...I…I didn't want to…" Buffy stared at the jury box… "Giles said..."

"The guy was just too overpowering for you, eh?..." Dawn, back to judge's outfit…

Giles, looking full of Ripper menace... "Do it, you stupid blonde bitch's dam..."

"He…Please…" Buffy looked round... "Tell me what this is all about?...I don't understand…"

"God…" Dru guffaws…In streetwalker outfit in her seat in the jury box… "What a bloody liar…"

"Guilty as the day is long…" Dawn frowns, banging gavel, with a nod to Angel… "If I may borrow one of your land's many quaint sayings…"

"With stereotypically jovial Gaelic pleasure, Your Nibsness…" gallant bow from Angel…

"Mr. Levinson?..." Dawn addresses the seated Jonathan who is reading a comic book stuffed in a large folder of papers...

"I must apologize your Honorable Nibsness...I need to finish acquainting myself with the facts of the case..." he waves the folder...Several colorful comics falling out to the floor...

"What say you, jury…?"

"Crucify her!!...Crucify her!!!..."

"I know I wash my hands of her..." Dawn sighs from her box...

"Dawn?!..." Buffy...



"Yeah, Ma?..." Dawn eyes a desperate-looking Buffy...

"Crucifixion?...But..." Angel frowns... "Everybody knows...I...Prophecy...And my opening..."

Cut to shot of "Angel" opening...Faces uplifted as if beseeching Heaven...Saintly Angel face appears, brooding solemnly...Courtroom reappears...

"See...All point... "

Disembodied voice... "Bloody weak imitation of Christ..."

Buffy, the reappeared First, Mrs. Walthrop, Drusilla in nun's habit...Together:

"William!..."

Angel dons crown of thorns in hand...Guards in Roman centurion's uniforms appear, bearing large cross...

"My ma is so looking forward to this..." he notes proudly...The soldiers lay cross down and he lies upon it...They nail his hands and feet...

The disembodied voice:

"Nothing you can't see every Easter in the Phillippines..."

"William?...Avant, come forth!!!..." Buffy tries, desperately... "What the hell am I supposed to say?...God, why did I..." whisper, inaudible... "that moron Andrew..."

"...Kill..." the First repeats, loudly, from the middle of the courtroom...A sweet smile to Buffy, she vanishes...

"Inadmissible...If I may continue my defense..." Angel speaks from the cross...Now stood erect by the soldiers...

"Blasphemy!..." Giles waves arms at Angel on his cross... "Add it to the charges!...He can't be trusted anymore, Buffy...He's gone over...Ask my girlfriend over there..."

"Which of us?..." Jenny and Olivia, Siamese twins rise from the courtroom benches and stare at him...

"Buffy?..." Cicely in dock where Buffy had stood, but dressed in same red T-shirt and leather jacket blinks at him...

"A clever dodge...But the State will prove..." Giles began...

"The Council is not yet running the world, sir!..." Cicely yells...Now in antique dress... "You can't force me to stay!!...We'll run, if we have to...!!"

"Liar!...You agreed!..." Giles frowns...

"I thought he was gone..." Buffy, back to blonde and again in Spikean dress... "If I'd known..."

Her face hardens...

"If this is for...What I did..." she pauses, eyeing Dawn in her robes...

"What did you do, sis?..." Dawn asks, not unkindly...

"This answer your question?..." Andrew appears...A large tag marked 'Exhibit A' stapled to his chest...A large, blood-soaked wound in his chest...

"I don't think you can call that one an accident, Miss. Summers..." Dawn notes... "But frankly, Andy...We don't give a damn..."

"Murder most..." Giles begins, pauses...Looking apprehensive...



"You oughta know..." Ben appears and disappears...

"It's the other that concerns us...Family affairs..." Dawn continues...

"A minor case of strangulation..." Giles waves a hand... "Not that I took offense on a personal level..." He sticks out a black tongue, rolls eyes...The courtroom bursts into applause at his splendid rendering...

"...But Justice must be served..."

"...With tea and lemon..." disembodied voice...

"Like we care, Watcher..." Dawn frowns... "I woulda helped her if I were there..."

Buffy...Evasive... "There's nothing else...I..."

"Whatda pal..." Willow reappears...Head flopping to indicate broken neck...Kennedy beside her with bleeding head...

"'Please Willow...You can't tell Giles...I'll deal...'..." Willow mimics...

"If you'd helped..." Buffy glares...

"Some times the best thing a friend can do is say, no..." Willow says, solemnly...

"...'No'...And 'Giles, guess what Buffy's planning...?'..." Buffy says, with scorn...

"How was your astral plane tour, Willow?..." Giles asks, pleasantly...

"Involuntary...But ok..." she nods...

"Yes...So I gathered..." he replies... "Naturally I had to believe her...Did she really send you off on her lonesome?..."

"Only to Stasis...After we had ourselves a little spat..."

"She was fine...Still breathing..." Buffy insists... "I've seen worse...I've been worse...Soon as

I took care of everything, I'd''ve brought her home and gotten the best physical therapy money and/or magics could..."

"Like she helped Amy...Soon as she could...When she had free time..."

Willow glares, disappears...

"This is all circumstantial testimony..." Jonathan rises...

"That always sounds good on TV..." Angel nods from his cross...

"My client..." Jonathan sticks thumbs in his robe under armpits... "Has an impeccable record of service..."

"Yadda, yadda, yadda..." Dawn makes rolling gesture with hands... "Lets get on with the execution...She's obviously guilty..."

"Yeah, but..." Jonathan pauses...

"Hah! Britain takes the Cup!!..Right!!!...." Giles pounds one hand into the other...

Ow!...Angel glares at the prosecutor pounding his nailed hand...

"But...You said..." Buffy eyes Dawn...



"I'd hardly have Giles prosecute his own murder, Miss Summers..." Justice Dawn formally notes...

"About time someone gave..." Andrew reappears...All frown at his bloodied corpse...

"Yeah, right..." Dawn sneers...

"I care, Andy..." the First, biting lip nervously, insists...Beaming cow's eyes...

"But Willow...Call her...I didn't ..." Buffy tries...Eyes avoiding...

"Not Willow either, Mom..." Dawn frowns...Then softens..."Mommy...Why did you do it?..."

"I...I thought he was gone..." Buffy, sobbing...Shakes head... "I was afraid...And Giles said..."

"Right..." Giles, rolling eyes... "Always the surrogate parent's fault...Now suppose we move along and let Justice take its course...I have a Chairman/CEO's golf tournament with Bill Gates and Dick Cheney...Oops...er, former CEO, Cheney...At four..."

"Ok...For the high crime of which the accused is charged...Off with her whatever..." Dawn nods... "Monkey-men...?"

Xander as flying monkey-man a'la Wizard of Oz appears leading a group of the same...

"Chop-chop...Literally..." she waves to Buffy...

William appears...Decked in 14th century Italian outfit as Dante Alighieri...Reads as the shocked courtroom group stares at him:

"Ahem...'...Such had this man become in his new life

Potentially, that every righteous habit

Would have made admirable proof in him;

But so much more malignant and more savage

Becomes the land untilled and with bad seed,

The more good earthly vigour it possesses.



Some time did I sustain him with my look;

Revealing unto him my youthful eyes,

I led him with me turned in the right way.

As soon as ever of my second age

I was upon the threshold and changed life,

Himself from me he took and gave to others.



When from the flesh to spirit I ascended,

And beauty and virtue were in me increased,

I was to him less dear and less delightful;



And into ways untrue he turned his steps,

Pursuing the false images of good,

That never any promises fulfil;



Nor prayer for inspiration me availed,

By means of which in dreams and otherwise

I called him back, so little did he heed them.



So low he fell, that all appliances

For his salvation were already short,

Save showing him the people of perdition.



For this I visited the gates of death,

And unto him, who so far up has led him,

My intercessions were with weeping borne'..."

(Purgatorio, The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri...)



"And I am grateful, Beatrice, my love..." he smiles...Buffy gazing at him...

"William..." she whispers...As he vanishes...

Dawn, whispering... "Daddy..." She blinks and sits upright in her robes...Head still barely peeping...

"Did I say we were in recess?...Move it, Xander...Or, rather...Remove it..."

Xander nods, two fellow monkey-men grabbing Buffy...He swings a large sword, severing her head...Holds it up...

"Now that's gotta hurt..." Angel notes from his cross...

"Cruel and inhumane punishment...Right...That's my motto..." Giles nods firmly...

"Let me file a protest on behalf of my client..." Jonathan insists...

"Oh, right...Show me up...You damned Brit bastard!..." Angel cries...



"Only in my first life..." Jonathan shakes head...

"Will you please?...My head is splitting..." Buffy's head calls... "Could someone please get these monkey paws off my face..."

"The prisoner is allowed to take her own custody on her own recognizance..." Dawn nods...Xander deposits the severed head into Buffy's hands...

"Stop poking me, idiot..." Buffy's head tells her hands...

"Poor creature..." a voice murmured sympathetically...

The eyes of her severed head looked up to see the slightly puffy, kindly, reasonably handsome if weary face of a dark-haired but slightly graying fortyish man of medium height in rather old-fashioned clothes staring down at her...

"Pardon the intrusion on so solemn...Very distressed to disturb...Only the most serious desire to be of assistance...My card..." he offered a card to her, politely holding it a few inches from her face for some time.

"Leopold Bloom, Pub. Can. Friend of Man At Large..." the card read...

"Don't trust him..." a tall, old fellow in a macintosh from a bench in back hopped up and shook a finger at her... "He's a regular low cad...When in Flower he goes by the name..." the man pinched a portion of his macintosh...

"Only to ease an aching heart..A harmless fancy...." Mr. Bloom, sighing sadly...

"Bloom, is it you, old lad?..." disembodied voice...

"Why, Mr. Walthrop?...Is that you, sir?...I've not had the pleasure since you and Mr. S. Daedalus and I tripped about Nighttown in '04, sir..." Bloom calls to the air...

"Who are you and how did you get..." Dawn begins...

"Oh, rocks..." a female disembodied voice and Drusilla, in streetwalker's outfit, together... "Now you've done it..."

Bloom, beaming... "My card, your Honor..." Hands card to guard by Angel...

Dramatic pause...

"By metempsychosis..."

"Great-grandpapa?..." Willow reappears, blinking at Bloom, head still flopping...

"Millie Jr...?" Bloom stares... "Such flaming hair...Such poor muscle control...Consult Wedicume's Wonder Worker...Strengthens the muscles of the spine, neck, and lower back..."

"Willow..." Willow corrects... "Ira's daughter..."

"Willow...You never told me you were a sister..." Angel stares...

"Great-grandpapli...Look what she did to me?...Don't take her side..." Willow pleads...

"Love and forgiveness, my girl..." Bloom says, kindly... "There's no other life for men and women..."

He turns to Buffy's head in her hands...

"Mrs. Walthrop...Tell us, please, darling girl...In your own words..."

"Giles said..." she begins...



Bloom eyes her...A sad, kind look...

"Always back on me..." Giles frowns... "Well, I'm dead and I've done paid my dues..."

"Yes...What did he say?..."

"Hey, she already has excellent counsel..." Angel calls, fuming a bit...

"It...It might be...It still could turn out..." she tries...

"Did you believe that...?" Leopold eyes her...

"I have to say...I do like how kind he always is to servants and old folks and the like..." Molly Bloom, she of the bounteous bosoms, to Drusilla in the jury box... "I was happy enough to see Leo, Jr. had dark eyes...Things were better after that, you see...And how that Blazes looked when it was sure not his, after he'd gone up and down smirking all over town about it..."

"I didn't know..." Buffy sighs... "I wanted to try...For him...But...I was all alone..."

"Right..." Dawn mutters..."Don't mind me, I don't exist..."

"I ran away to Rome...Just Dawn and me..."

"Always nice to be remembered in your memoirs, Mom..." Dawn flashed a grim little smile...

"I was going to try, I wanted to...But...God, I was so afraid...I missed him so much...I thought...I even thought..."

"Yes..." Bloom nods kindly... "We all have such thoughts from time to time...I suggest a vigorous yet leisurely course of walking...Clears the mind, frees the soul...or perhaps, setting-up exercises..."

"Of course he couldn't kill him that night..." Molly nods to the whispering Dru... "Poldy is the real thing Messiahwise...He just went and got the Second Coming wrong, the way he gets all those thngs he knows mixed-up in that brain of his...Had to reset the clock..." Listens to Dru's whispered comment...

"Well, how do you expect He'd respond to His wife's being an adulteress?..." Molly glares... "He turned the other cheek of course...It was only the one time I went all the way, after all..."

"Did I really kill them?..." Buffy, dodging...

"Maybe you did...Maybe you will...If you don't get things right with yourself..." Bloom pats the head gently...

"I never blamed William..." she tries... "Even after I found out...That he didn't come...But I was so ashamed...How could I face him and tell...And now, cause I couldn't face him..."

"I begged you not to, Mother..." Dawn notes quietly... "Didn't I beg you to wait?...See?..."

"Buffy...Oh, poor child..." Bloom sighs... "Believe me, girl...I know what it is to suffer this way..."

"Yes..." Molly from her seat, tears... "For so long...I thought it would never be the same..."

"You didn't..." Buffy begins...

"Mr. Angel?..." Bloom looks to Angel... "Since you insist on impersonating me...Would you and your associate do the honors...?"

Angel nods, Jonathan nods...Both smile gently at Buffy's head...

"He proves by Algebra that Hamlet's ghost..." Jonathan begins...



William in Hamlet costume appears...Scowling a bit...

"Ruddy poof outfit..." he fumes...

"...Is Shakespeare..." Angel smiles...Ow...

"Those things are a bitch..." Bloom nods sympathetically...

William, bald...In sixteenth century dress...Quill pen in hand...

"Willum..." Anne Hathaway, head reattached, stares at her beloved...

"And...That the Queen is..." Angel continues...

"Born in 1857..." Jonathan grins...

Cicely's head, severed again, stares at them...

"And...1981..." Angel notes...

"...Proving conclusively...If my colleague's existence didn't..." Jonathan...

"...That the soul never dies..." both...

"And just as Amelia Dawn lives and like Perdita was again found by her parents..." Bloom concludes...Smiling over to Dawn...

"And William was saved by his wife's love as Dante dreamed Beatrice would save him..."

"So Joyce Elisabeth waits to be reborn.."

"And said husband..." William chimes in...Taking and setting Buffy's head on her shoulders...

"Never gives up...And neither do you..." he smiles...Bloom nods...

She blinked at Andrew's terrified face...

"I didn't..." he begged... "Buffy, the Immortal has lied to you...We didn't plan this...You're not thinking ration..."

"What time is it?..." she asked him...He stared...

She lowered the stake... "In LA, what time...?"

"Four am, I think...Five, maybe..." he calmed slightly...She seemed a hair...

But then anything was better than when the Immortal had dropped her off, raving lunacy about killing them all...For killing William and her baby...

Though, true...Chairman Giles had pushed for that abortion in September...And Dawn certainly was bitter about it...But the Slayer'd seemed to have accepted it as the right choice...

However...Holding him here at stake point for the night after Dawn managed to slip out, ranting on about...

Well, Giles would be impressed that she'd read Dante...

...Didn't quite seem as though she'd quite gotten over it as well as they'd thought...

God...To think the Immortal was spending all this time not dating her, but getting her all worked up over another guy...

Seems I still lack a little something in my ability to fully perceive character flaws...

Hmmn...Evil, yes...But undoubtedly dedicated to his goal...Must be the immortality develops patience...

Say?...Magics were 'dirty'...But drugs and mental reprogramming ok?...

"Alright..." she sighed...Damn it...I could never get Willow patched up fast enough now even if I could pull her out of stasis in time...

"Have you got your phone?..."

He nervously fumbled...Handed her the phone...

"Giles?...Yeah, I'm better...But I am still gonna kill you and every Watcher and Slayer I meet if you don't get me and every Slayer in the US now to LA...Andy can vouch that I'm not fully outta my head now, right Andy?..."

"She's a little better!..." he hollered...

***