"Immortal Beloved..." CXXVI...



PG 13





Disclaimer: If ya are fan fic writers, where's your disclaimers? Disclaimers? We ain't got no disclaimers...I don' need to show you no stinkin'...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 (126) versions of events following the end of Angel S5 episodes from "Girl in Question" through to "Not Fade Away" and beyond... (Not a continuous story, though some are multipart...)

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 ...

I rather like this one and may expand it to a regular story...

***

1880...Night of William's death and transformation...



Hell, Ministry of Information...

Naturally a morass of bureaucracy and inefficiency...Rife with very literal back-stabbing and betrayal...

"Ma'am...?" tap at the office door of Hell's all-powerful First Evil...

Currently using the form of the greatest Slayer living...Formerly one Cicely Addams...As of the previous night, Cicely Walthrop...

"Well?..." an icy, cruel-looking...Not even Halfreck the vengeance demon using her form this night on Earth in crushing the heart of the Slayer's mate looked so cold, the messenger tapping noted to his floppy-eyed self...

"Clement, ma'am...Message from Lord D'Hoffryn about Operation Walthrop, ma'am..."

"Hand it over..."

"Gouged in blood on my arm, ma'am..."

"Like I said, hand it over...Guard?!..." a guard cut the extended arm off as Clem howled in agony...

Hmmn...The other false 'Cicely' perused the communique...

"So, D'Hoffryn's girl's nailed him using her form...And the Slayer blames herself...A good start..." she nodded...

But frowned after a moment...Representing several days on Earth...Clem nervously awaiting her dismissal...



"So where's her despair?...The summons to anyone or thing that could avenge her William's taking...?"

"Don't know ma'am...Might I have my arm back, ma'am?..."

"Grow another, fur-ball..." she sneered, tossing the arm for disposal...

Another pause...Representing nearly an Earthly month...

"What the hell?...Doesn't she care?...You there, pooch..." she glared at Clem...

"Go find out what's going on...And it'd better be horrendous news...For Humanity...Make sure you make full surveillance yourself...No more of this operating through that pimp and his vengeance demons..."

"Yes, ma'am...Uh, about my arm, ma'am?..."

"Get the here out!..."



"Yes, ma'am..."

***

London...1880...



Surveillance Report #1 Operation "Walthrop"...

Slayer Mrs. Cicely Walthrop was brought to an East End hospital looking mighty bad by her Watcher, Dr. Farris and his crew...Slayer is definitely pregnant and seemed delirious...

(Poor kid...Clem sighed... She did look awful...)

Mr. Farris seen to make contact with operative Halfreck this afternoon in hospital room...He confirmed that Slayer has been poisoned and is near death...

No word on whereabouts of vampire counterpart of Slayer's husband...Believed to be still on pleasure cruise off French coast with siress Drusilla...

Miss Halfreck aware of surveillance and in making contact afterwards, cautioned... (Boy, did she...) This operative to remain in passive mode... (My favorite anyway)...But agreed not to alert her human partner, Dr. Farris, to my presence...

Miss Halfreck in agreement Slayer not likely to accept an offer of help from D'Hoffryn or our own group at this time...She recommends...

(Hmmn...That Slayer isn't gonna cut a deal with us either...Why bother the poor thing on her deathbed?...he pondered...Erasing "She recommends..." after a moment's reflection...)

...at this time...No further recommendations...Will maintain surveillance...

***

Surveillance report #2 Operation "Walthrop"...

Slayer Cicely Walthrop died at 3 pm this afternoon, along with her stillborn daughter...Vengeance demon Halfreck reports there was no success in attempting to contract an arrangement with her departing soul, despite Slayer's avowed promise to return and save husband...

Slayer's father, Sir Richard Addams came to collect body and took it away following argument with Slayer's cousin, a Mr. Foxcroft...



As per orders (Do appreciate getting the arm back, ma'am, Clem eyeing severed arm with gouged instructions...) this operation will shortly resume in more limited fashion as Operation "Spike", focusing on intermittent surveillance of Slayer's husband's counterpart...

***

Romania...1898...

Surveillance Report # 2000 Operation "Spike"...

Break-up of Angelus pride seems imminent owing to previously described soul curse of former leader Angelus... Subject William the Bloody (WTB) increasingly asserting leadership, though as yet still held in check by vampiral pride leader, Darla... In discussion, WTB has recommended leaving pride to siress/mate Drusilla but as yet the decision has not been made... Pride remains vigilant and successful...

Have successfully made contact with WTB as fellow demon...Stood him drinks at local inn...

(Nice fellow, really...When fed...Though not much shakes at darts...)

WTB generally non-aggressive toward human society as whole...Somewhat malicious towards victims...Seems to ape Angelus' style to large extent...

Though drowning that bartender in his own beer keg had a distinctive Shakespearian touch...I mean Clarence in "Richard III", ma'am...

(Ow...He patted flaming fur...

Just tryin' to be clear, ma'am...)

***

Constantinople...1899...

Surveillance Report #2497 Operation "Spike"...

Angelus pride held together for the moment under Darla...Angelus clearly withdrawn from hunting activity with pride...Soul curse?...

Have maintained friendly relations with WTB, though Drusilla seems annoyed when he spends time away from her...Darla doesn't seem to like me much either.. (I'm sure "nice dog you picked up..." was meant as insult, Clem frowned at the paper...) May be necessary to avoid contact with the pride females...

(Of course Darla is having a rough time these days what with Angelus and all...)

Cautiously brought up subject of his transformation and past human existence with WTB as instructed...He deflected all discussion of his human past except to mention he was a famed and promising poet...

(Thank God I took a dart in the paw just then...)

***

China...1900...

Surveillance Report # 3010 Operation "Spike"

WTB defeated and killed the current Slayer tonight...She hesitated in her fight as if... (Clem paused and scratched out everything after "tonight..." Though it was true...As if she'd recognized him in a vague way, poor kid...)

After battle had drinks with him...He a bit curious as to my doings in China...I keeping to "on my way to the famous Hellmouth in the great California land in America..." explanation...He eager to review battle in any case...Though a bit troubled when I translated Slayer's last words for him...Talked about his past a bit for the first time, mentioning his own mother...After multiple rounds, noted Slayer's hesitation and admitted she could have destroyed him...Seemed troubled by that as well...Briefly...When taking him home...



Drusilla quite annoyed with both of us at near dawn arrival...

Angelus was caught by Darla protecting some people tonight...I think it must have been that soul he got in Romania...She's kicked him out once and for all...William and Drusilla however have decided for their part to leave the pride as well...

(Poor ole Darla...he thought...It's tough to be alone for all eternity...)

***

Russian Pacific coast...1900...



Surveillance Report # 3098 Operation "Spike"...

Drusilla has demanded she and WTB return to Europe...As it would look suspicious, I must continue onto America for now...Since there has been no further indication of a possible return of Mrs. Walthrop to date, I feel surveillance can be reduced to limited monitoring on a yearly or at most, monthly basis...If this is denied, I recommend another demon be assigned to watch WTB for a time to minimize suspicion...

(Right..."Go and check out the California Hellmouth, ask about the new American Slayer, then go to Europe, report to vampire Master, Heinrich Nast in France, then find and resume surveillance on William the Bloody...The Hell I'm letting you off this one..." he sighed, reading the reply sent back...Eyeing the sneeringly grinning imp bearer ruefully...)

***

England...1912...



Surveillance Report # 6001, Operation "Spike"...

Flagged as "For immediate attention..."

(It better be something, the First grumbling in her Cicely form...Having interrupted her beauty bath and torture session...)

Found Darla boarding passenger ocean liner bound for America, possibly in service of sire Heinrich Nast...WTB and Drusilla were not traveling with her as rumor indicated...

Correction: Located WTB and Drusilla following evening in Southampton pub celebrating likely demise of Darla...(Passenger liner struck iceberg, sank in North Atlantic with heavy loss of life...) Drusilla quite annoyed at my reappearance, though not very suspicious...Urged WTB to "make a rug of [me] for his Dru girl"...Enraged at WTB refusal...WTB and I spending after evening together in pub, he noting, after multiple rounds, a past infidelity of Drusilla's with Angelus...

(Eehew...Hybrid vampires and their incestuous relations...But that had better not be all...The First frowned...)

WTB continued at some length on general unworthiness of female sex, both human and demonic...However it was clear he was not primarily focusing on Drusilla, he mentioning "that other bitch" multiple times, with appreciative thanks to all Powers That Be that said "other bitch" was long in her grave and would not rise to trouble him again... I refrained from pressing the subject given his occasional snarls at my early attempts but of his own accord at round 19...Whiskey straight... He offered a gold ring for my perusal, noting it was a symbol of fidelity, transmuted into a constant reminder of female fickleness...

(In somewhat less clear terms, involving a chorus of "La Donna E Mobile"...Clem thought...)

There was an inscription of "Eternity is Ours" inside the ring...

I suspect this may be wedding ring from WTB human counterpart's 1880 marriage to Slayer Cicely Addams...



(It's that amazing brain of yours that keeps me assigning you these arduous tasks, moron...the First glared at the report...

Still...It is something...)

WTB made joke about keeping ring for pawning purposes when no well- loaded dinners are at hand...Cautioned me not to mention ring to Drusilla...

No word of Angelus, according to WTB, who seemed glad (and how) to have him gone...

Shame...They were like brothers once...

***

Sunnydale...2001...



"Surveillance Report # 12,071..."Operation Spike..."



Drinks at local bar with WTB...WTB once again denouncing Slayer Buffy Summers as "golden-haired bitch vomited from Heaven..."

It's definitely love...

Follow-up to report 12,067...I am convinced there is a psychic link between Ms. Summers and WTB...WTB has continued to mention past since spending night with Ms. Summers at local bar...Many references to the "other bitch" mentioned in last century's reports... ("Look it up, you moron!!"...Flaming letters searing on to Clem's brow...)

Supplemental report for Report #12,071...

It was noted in report #6001, ma'am...

(I'm beneath her, she said, William told me...

...Jesus...)

***

Surveillance Report # 12, 073..."Operation Spike"...

Apologies for lack of reports in past six months...WTB's been busy...

Slayer engaged with goddess Glorificus...WTB concerned...

Slayer Ms. Summers' mother ill...WTB concerned about that too...

WTB generally pretty much focused on Slayer Ms. Summers these days...Surprised to find Slayer Ms. Summers seems comforted by his presence, though she continues to threaten him with staking should his "chip" (see report #10,902) fail...

(Wish he hadn't told me about lurkin' in her cellar and collectin' her old clothes...Clem thought, wincing slightly...)

***

Surveillance Report # 12, 101..."Operation Spike..."

Interesting development...Spotted WTB in graveyard being straddled by Slayer Buffy Summers...



She seemed quite happy about it...No signs of obvious thrall...Though Slayer's friends on arrival were not so pleased...

WTB rather oddly mum about development later when meeting for drinks and kitten poker...Seemed a little embarrassed when asked what Slayer was doing in his crypt when I arrived...Insisted Slayer "mad gone on him" when pressed after third round...

Correction...

Further surveillance indicates Slayer "mad gone" on WTB not Buffy Summers but robot copy...

Neat job, too...Very lifelike...

(She's so nice...Kissed my cheek and said any friend of Spike's was welcome to access programs 3-12 anytime Spike gave administrative permission and provided the password...)

***

Surveillance Report # 12, 202...

Note: Please delete reports 10,010 through 10,031; 11,063 through 11, 071; 11, 323 through 11, 325; 12,005...Slayer Ms. Summers' sister Dawn was a construct from an energy matrix...All memories associated with her are unreliable...

Slayer Ms. Summers defeated Glorificus tonight...Goddess is dead, killed while trapped in human shell by Slayer's watcher, Mr. Giles...She (Slayer) is dead also...

I'm convinced Slayer Buffy Summers was reincarnation of Slayer Cicely Addams Walthrop...However she failed to fully recognize WTB before her death...

So, I guess we won...

I don't want to do these anymore, ma'am...

I understand the consequences...

(I doubt that...The First, now in Buffy form, muttered grimly to herself...)

***

Rome...Night of the LA battle...

"William, William..."

"No...No, Slayer...Listen to me...I got him hid...He's alive...More or less...You gotta go...Survive...You'll find him later, I swear..."

"Clem?..." Buffy stared at him…"I left him…He was…"

"I know…Cicely…" he nodded, patting her gently, helping her up… She groaning from her wounds…Only a small force of Slayers having defied Giles' orders and backed her up…Now nearly all wounded or dead themselves…

"He's…"

"I'll bring him to you…I swear he's ok…" he nodded…

***

Yesterday…



"Clem...You know your career in Hell was toileted before, given your helping the Slayer against me...It's now completely flushed..." the First grimly frowned...Flickering slightly in her Buffy form…

Poor thing, Clem couldn't help a sympathetic look which earned a glare…

Never quite the same since the amulet blasted her back to Hell…

"Yes, ma'am..." he sighed...Readying himself as best he could...Eye- gouging, flaying...Drawing, quartering...You can never really be ready for them but...

He eyed the pictures on her desk, grabbed from him on his return…

Really shoulda thought before going hiking in the Canadian woods without a human costume…A beaming Buffy holding adopted Will, Jr, and her baby daughter, and a still rather hesitant but tentatively accepting daughter Dawn Amelia beside her eyeing her acknowledged father…A rather in his own right still stunned-looking William… "To Clem…The Walthrops…" the writing in marker across the photo…

"You're out, demon..." the First eyed him... "Hell will freeze over before her tender, warm bosom suckles the likes of you again..."

Ummn...?

"Well...You know what I mean...Guards, deposit this traitor at the gates of Purgatory...Hope you like punishment followed by white blankness, traitor..."

Ummn...Clem blinked...I'm out?...To Purgatory?...Meaning, a shot at...?

That's...It...?

A strange look in her eye... "Begone...Forever..."

Uh..."Yes, ma'am...Uh...Bye..."

Of course it could be a vicious joke...Best to be prepared to join in the laughter...

Still...I wonder what the punishment in Purgatory is for accidentally frightening a child to death...?

Of course I do have a few murders since then, but they were demonically inspired...I hear you get a break...Consideration...

Hmmn...He glanced down from the platform where the guards were chaining him, preparatory to his express elevator ride to another dimension...She staring up at him...A flash of a look coming over her flickering face...

Well, I'll be...No, actually I won't be...He thought, rather happily...

***