"Immortal Beloved..." CXXVII...

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 (127) 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 ...

***

The offices of Angel, Burkle-Wyndham-Price, Gunn, and Walthrop...The firm reconstructed by the intrepid former CEO from the old Wolfram-Hart, following its sudden collapse after the violent 'terrorist' attack on LA had been defeated...

Most of the damage...Thankfully confined to a few blocks...By now, one year later, repaired...

"You must be kidding..." a firm refusal on the part of the last named partner, William Soames Walthrop, currently seated in his senior partner's office...The remaining partners, Charles Gunn and Dr. Winifred "Illyria (nickname the boys gave me, Mom)" Burkle-Wyndham-Price ("Dad, we were gonna call right after he asked but then that attack, you know..."), watching from their chairs with considerable interest...As was Angel's beloved spouse, Nina Angel...

"You were thinking of going to England for a while..." Angel pointed out... "And we need a partner to handle these negotiations with the Council if our rescue operations are gonna succeed..."

Save 'em, not kill 'em...I still don't think I've quite wrapped my mind around this one...Charlie noted quietly to Illyria...Who shrugged...Not the warrior queen to ask, kiddo...

Still, if Angel and Will want to try...

"So you go...Or just pick up the phone...You've got me loaded down with the European reorganization and that branch of our little rescue project...I'll be tied up for months...Then I'm going for a well-deserved vacation...Look up my roots...See if any family's left...Or any victims of Spike from our little effort who need help...And I have my boy and...Look, I'll have no time..."

"Will...She's with the Immortal in Rome...She probably won't even be there...You just need to settle things with Giles and the Council...It's important to get them to agree to let us have our chance...Restrain their Slayers till we can get things ready to use the modified spell...Lives and souls depend on this...A phone call won't do and I'm tied down here...Besides, you know Giles and I have a history...A bad one..."

"And we don't?...He tried to kill me, you know...And he..." a hesitant tone...

"...I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to help Winifred by then, Will..." Illyria, quietly...

"No offense or blame intended, love..."

"It's ok..." she smiled, a little wanly... "You guys are always much too nice about...Things..."

"Not at all...Well..." he returned to Angel... "The bottom line is..."

"He owes you...You didn't kill his girlfriend, you saved his little Slayer girl...And you were an innocent soul when he tried to kill you...He owes you and he knows it...That'll help...Plus, if necessary..."

Nina looking rather carefully at both Angel and William...

"Oh, no...No..."

"I'm not saying you'd have to ask her to help...Just remind him she'd probably back you if you did...C'mon Will...This is important and you're headed that way anyway...So you start the vacation first, right after this..."

"Look..."

He caught Nina's nervous glance...Please...?

Oh, Lord...Mum, this is your fault...Pounding it into my head from birth...A gentleman never refuses a lady...Till even Spike was polite with Joyce and such...

Poor kid...He sighed within...I think I see now who decided Angel was too busy to go to this thing...

"Another month's vacation...And no questions about how I operate in Europe...Just clean up any demonic messes I have to leave in settling things...I'm not pussy-footing around with any troublemakers with my boy in harm's way..."

"I said I'd leave that up to you...Just don't get into the papers too much..."

"When's and where's the damned thing...?"

"Next week...London...Giles is holding a full session including Slayer representatives from around the world..."

"What?!...She'll be there!..."

"She and the Immortal are on their honeymoon...They're going to his estates in Greece next week...She won't be there..."

Will frowned... So you say...

"You'd be less likely to see her in England than in Italy next week..." Angel pointed out...

"""

London, one week later...New Antiquarian Hall of the Royal Council of Antiquarians and Library Scientists...

A dignified Andrew Wells in suit, dignified as befitting the Vice-Chairman of European Field Operations...Ignoring the slightly mocking looks of several young Observer candidates he passed...

Kids...

...Strode toward the tables now set up for the reception of various international dignitaries and Watcher/Council groups from around the world for the first full session of the Council since the destruction of the old Hall by the First Evil's minion, Caleb...

Hmmn...He caught a brief glimpse of a slight fellow, brown-blonde in suit...But it was the nervous-looking, shy brunette on the man's arm who seemed to be drawing stares...

Holy...! He looked round for the nearest Slayer...Gretchen...

One of the small but growing crowd now talking to the increasing nervous girl excitedly...

What the...? No, wait...My gosh...She's got a pass...

So it's true?...Angel really did?...

Drusilla...With a soul...

Wow...And...

Oh, no...God, no...He looked for an immediate escape route...

"Andrew?..." William called...

His way blocked by the growing crowd moving toward the surprise of the conference...

Poor Dru clearly terrified by the attention...William trying to gently urge folks to back off a bit...

A guard pushed through to Andrew...A little anxious to explain... "They've been cleared, sir..."

"Yeah, yeah..." he waved a hand...

The Chairman didn't say a word...Not a word...

Oh, God...

"Andrew...We're a bit overwhelmed by the kindness here..." Will had managed to push through to him, a rather quaking Dru holding to his arm with a vise grip...

"You know Ms. Waverly..."

"I never..." Dru hesitated... "You're not someone It..."

"No, Dru..." Will patted her arm hastily... "You never harmed Andy here...He works for the Council of Watchers...He used to work with Ms. Summers' people in Sunnydale..."

"Oh?..." she nodded vaguely...

"Andy, can't you get us out of this?..." Will indicated the crowd... "I didn't realize we'd attract so much attention..."

"Everyone is very kind..." Dru noted, nervously...Hastily signing a photograph book thrust at her by an over-eager young Slayer... "Very kind..." she repeated...

"Elise..."Andrew frowned at the girl...

"Sorry, sir..." Elise dutifully nodded, turning to head off in triumph...Got it!...

More Watchers, Slayers, various attendees moving their way...

"This way..." Andrew sighed, pointed...Ordering the guard still by him to clear a path...

"So very kind...Oh..." Dru halted, staring at one Watcher giving her a rather grim stare back...

"Very, very sorry, sir..."

"Come on, Dru..." Will tugged her along...Andrew pulling out handkerchief, mopping sweating brow as they proceeded slowly...

"Wait!..." a Slayer pointed... "It's William...!" she cried...Slayers around the hall, in the crowd all suddenly transfixed...

Oh, Jesus...Andrew groaned...

"William!!..." "Spike, I love you!!..." "William, it's William!!!..." cries from around the room... "Oh, gosh, William's alive!!!..."

Funny, Will thought...Eyeing Andrew who had hand to head...What to do, oh God?...

Surely everyone knew ten seconds after he got back to England that time...Still, I suppose some of the international Slayers never got the word...

"Andy?...Can we go...?"

"God, yes...Lets get out of..." the crowd, a bit thinner in this area, parted a little...

"What were you...?" a slight brunette in suit, talking with an eager Elise...Who turned her slightly to face the group moving their way...

You bitch...the now doomed Andrew fumed in rage...This is just because of that extra training session last week, isn't it?...

The brunette blinking at William, then Dru...Drusilla's face amazingly managing to turn a even paler shade...

"You're...?" the brunette nearly keeling...

I'm dead...Andrew noted, resignedly... "Get the Chairman..." he hissed to the guard... "Get him...Quick..."

No need, sir... the guard pointed to Rupert Giles now moving to them, turning to assist the staggering brunette...

"Buffy...?" William stared at the brunette...

When the devil did she stop?...

Dru looking behind for an exit...Though not releasing her grip on Will's arm... "Is that...?" she whispered...

"Yes...But Buffy won't hurt you, love..." Will, a rather vague pat on arm...

"No..." Dru whispered, eyes bulging now... "It's...Her..."

"Buffy..." Giles was helping Buffy...Startled as she shook him off rather violently...An icy stare at him...

Andrew carefully edging toward the thinner part of the regathering crowd...

There might still be a chance to slip out and head for Mehico on the first plane...

"Andrew..." icy tone...

She has been in England for a bit...Will thought...

"Get over here..."

"Buffy..." Giles began...Halting at her glare...Ummn...

"Just a moment..." she waved him off, turning to William and the quaking Dru...

"You're alive..." she said...In a rather clipped British accent, though unmistakably, if somewhat dazed, Buffy...

"You're brown..." he smiled...

"You..." she stared at Dru now... A cold rage on her face...

The crowd standing round eyeing each other...Uh-oh...

Still nothing like actually getting to see the famed one making her moves...

"No..." Dru gasped a little... "Ma'am...I..."

"Buffy...Dru has a soul, she's fine now...Well, still a vamp like me but..." Will, reassuringly...

What's with her?...Can't believe Kendra meant that much to her all these years...

Buffy calming a bit...Right...Soul...

"Of course..." she nodded...Still white as the frightened Dru... "Hello...You murderous..."

"Buffy..." Giles tried...

Another hard glare...

"Sorry..." she turned to the puzzled Will... "I don't meet my resurrected lover and his murderess...Lover?..." hesitantly... "Every day..."

"Nice to see you too..." he stared... "Didn't Wells tell you?..."

"No..." she said, frostily... "Andrew?...You didn't, did you?..."

"Uh..." the hapless Vice-Chairman croaked out... "Buffy..."

"Very funny...Isn't very funny, William?..." she said, coldly...

"Buffy..." Giles cut in...Earning a look of adoration from Andrew... "I ordered Andrew..."

"I know..." she said, quietly...

"You tried to kill him...You wouldn't let him tell me...You tried to stop me from going through the archives..." she stated, flatly...

Amazing that accent...Will thought...

"You kept him from me, you bastard..." she finished, coldly...

"Buffy..." Giles tried...

"Buffy...I'm sure Rupert thought..."

"I know what he thought..." she replied...Startling him by suddenly shaking, clearly near tears...But she got hold of herself...

"And you two...Back together..." she eyed them...Focusing on Dru...Whose panicked face was quite reminiscent of a deer in headlights now...

"Us?..." Will blinked... "Oh, no..." he shook his head... "Ole Dru just needed an escort round England and Italy while she got her bearings and helped us out with some rescue work I'm hear to discuss with Giles...She's hoping to get the Pope's permission to let her resume her devotions..."

"Oh?..." Buffy blinked...

Dru getting a slight clairvoyant notion that things were not quite so desperate, calmed a little...

"That's wonderful...Maybe I can put in a good word?..."

"Or maybe your new husband?..." Will couldn't resist it...

"My what?..." she stared...

"His Benevolence...Your beau ideal..."

"My....What?..."

Giles now considering joining Andrew in his slow sliding toward the crowd's protection...

"Giles, Andrew...Stay here, please..." a calm, but deadly tone...

"My husband?...The Immortal?..." she eyed Will...

"Isn't he?...You and he were married a couple of weeks ago in Rome..."

Angel's boys were keeping tabs...He explained...

"No offense intended to your guy...We just knew him from the ole days and wanted..." he eyed her quivering face... "I mean, when I saw you with him and spoke to Andrew in Rome...He said you'd moved on and..."

Ah...Cha...Andrew, though fully accepting of his certain fate, could not resist a choked gasp...

"When you saw me in Rome?...And spoke to...Andrew...?" she repeated...

"It was merely for your own protection, Buffy..." Giles began...

"You really should have burned everything Caleb missed, Mr. Giles..." she waved him off, coldly... "But that's right..." she held up her left hand, a gold ring on fourth ring... "You couldn't have burned this...Even if you'd melted it down, I'd've found it..."

So...Is she married or...? Will, bemused...

"Buffy...William...You must understand that the Council honestly feared..."

"For itself...With good reason..." Buffy nodded calmly at Giles...

"What is this all about...?" William stared at them... "It wasn't you in Rome?..."

"We had a wonderful actress..." Andrew noted... "For Buffy's protection, of course...It just worked out well for His B and ..."

He wilted under Buffy's cool stare... "...they just hit it off..."

"Get out of here...Both of you..." Buffy said quietly... "And please see to Drusilla here...My husband and I have to talk...Please go with Mr. Wells, Dru...No one's going to hurt you...I'm sure Chairman Giles can help with the Pope...The Council has great influence in the world...I can testify to that..."

"Oh? When did you and the Slayer...?" Dru, feeling a bit more secure, politely addressing the dazed William...

"1880...March..." Buffy explained... "We met but I looked different then, excepting the hair now..."

"Oh...Of course...Cicely, wasn't it?..." Dru, brightly...

"Cicely..." Buffy nodded...

"I'm very lucky to be alive aren't I...?" Dru eyed her...

"Yes..." Buffy nodded... "But I can't and won't blame an innocent soul...We'll all get together later..."

All of us...She eyed Giles and Andrew narrowly...

"Cicely...?" William gasped...

"Dad?!!..." Dawn, suddenly breaking through the crowd, staring at William and Dru, now moving to take Andrew's arm...

***

LA...

One hour later, London time...

"Angelus...You son of a...!!" Giles' raging voice over the line...

"So it went well, eh?..." Angel grinned over to Nina... "Glad to be of service, Giles...Give our best to Cicely and William..."

***