"Immortal Beloved..." CXXX...



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 (130) 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...)



This one plays with events in London before the action of "Heliophobia"…Although I do plan to tweak that story a bit sometime, this doesn't quite fit but I'm intrigued by some notions, so…



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 ...

***

London…An elegant converted townhouse now the site of a law firm...

"It's very kind of you to show me around, Mr. Knowles…I appreciate it..." Buffy in rather chic white overcoat, green suit, a wan smile to the kindly face of the early-sixties?...she judged…lawyer…Brushing a loose strand from the carefully pinned mass of her hair...

"A pleasure to show it to one of our American side, Mrs. Walthrop… There's so few of the family left around here these days…" he returned the smile, moving to the first door in the second floor hallway he'd led her to…

And a pleasure to encounter such a sweetly old-fashioned type...Haven't seen a young woman wearing hair that way in twenty years, outside of television or movies...Nice to know the US branch has kept the standards up...

Sounds from below, where glancing over the elegant restored railing of the balcony hallway she could see several staff scurrying about below…

She instinctively put a hand to touch…No…She looked…

"Gone?..." she half-whispered…

"Mrs. Walthrop?..." Knowles called to her…

"I…" she looked over the carved railing again…The room was not so crowded but there were carpets laid and hangings of fabric on the walls…Gas lights burning brightly, a candle or two in places…James serving…She gripped the railing…Kneeling…

Had to hide…In a moment she'd be going down…Where all of them…Where he… Was awaiting her…

"Mrs. Walthrop?...Is something wrong?..."



"The lion's gone…" she looked up at him...Blinking a bit…

"Lion?..." he eyed her… "Do you mean the brass one?..." He cocked his head a bit… "It's been sold by the firm to Sotheby's…Didn't quite fit the décor up here…How did you know?..."

"Saw it in a photograph…Back home..." she quickly replied, turning away…

So that's where you stayed…Bitch…she thought…Hiding…While…

She came over to Knowles… "Sorry to keep you waiting…Yeah, my mom had one of it in her old photos…"

"It was a shame to lose it…I would have purchased it myself if I could've afforded it…"

"She used to…My namesake…I think she used to play with it a lot…The lion…My mother told me stories about it…"

"It was a noble beast…" he smiled... "Right out of "Narnia"…Hopefully they found it a good home…I think this room is still not in use yet…" he opened the door…

She moved to the door frame and peered in…Brushing hair back…Always coming down when I wear it this way, she noted apologetically to Knowles…

Dawn's puzzled look the day she came out, hair piled…You look like you're trying out for an old movie…

Henri likes it, she'd told her…Not quite ready to discuss it, then…She looked into the room...

Papa moving me round the floor…I must learn to dance like a lady…Like Mother…She eyed the old rug…

"You haven't changed things…?"

"Not much in here…The wallpaper had to be restored but we were fortunate to find it was still available…" Knowles noted…

I have something to tell you, William…She saw his worried face…Have I done wrong?...His eyes staring up at her from the seat he'd taken on her bed…Nervous that Father would come looking for her…Had to be done quickly…

Henry's found a minister…Who'll do it…Tonight…

Don't you believe me?...She stared at his nervous face…Didn't he?...

I meant every word…I…

Betrayer…Liar…Coward…

You lied to him…You left him…Always…

"It's amazing…" she gave Knowles a smile…Moving slowly about…

But not here…They didn't bring us here…After...

"This was the daughter's room, I believe…Cicely's room…"

"Yes…" she nodded…

He couldn't believe his luck…That she really meant it and…Oh, God…

She put hands to her head…Not again…She closed her eyes…

"No, you don't…" his words lingering…



And I left him…Just as she did…

And now…Now…Her dead hand on his heart forever…She won't let him live…

And I...

No, you don't...The whisper...

Please...Please...She closed her eyes...Oh, God...Please...Just one more chance...

"Mrs. Walthrop?..."

"Sorry…A bad headache…" she put her hands down…

But she still saw him…Burning, alone…And all for…

Well, at least not for Dru…Poor kid…

But not for me…Not really…Not for me...

She calmed...Her face setting...

But it will be for me…What ever I have to do…

I'll beat her...And free him...

"There used to be a back stairway…To the roof…In here…?"

"Yes, it's right up there…Pulls down…" Knowles pointed…

Up there on the roof…The first night?...No, later…I…She wanted to prove a point…Some star that wasn't blue?...

First time he touched me besides taking my hand…Helping her up the stairs…

I stumbled a little…Deliberately, so he'd hold me…

But it wasn't here where they brought us…Her…And…Dawn…

"And there's an old sitting room next door…But that's being replastered…It'll be an office…I'd show you the old master bedroom, Sir Richard's old room but it's in use by one of our seniors…"

"He'd be pleased to know an important man was using it…Sir Richard, I mean…" she replied…

"Yes, I suppose so…" Knowles eyed her… "You've learned a great deal about your husband's family, Mrs. Walthrop. Not that many people know of Sir Richard these days, especially outside of England…"

"My family actually, since I'm an Addams…I mean…" she paused… "I'm a descendant…"

"Yes, I remember now that you'd mentioned it…How did you manage to meet a Walthrop?...Are the families so well known to each other in America?..."

"I guess we kept in touch…Somehow…" she smiled… "I met him at a sort of family get- together one fall years ago…Over time we found out we shared a lot of the family history…" She stared at the closed door to the old master bedroom as they passed…

"That's good to hear…That the family continues to be close in the United States…" Knowles nodded…"I'll have to come over sometime and trace that side…"

"We'd love to have you…Though since my mom died the family hasn't met… But my husband is always ready to tell what he knows of the stories…"



"Indeed…Well, not much more we can see up here…There's an old sitting room that belonged to…"

"Mrs. Addams…" Buffy nodded…Peering into the room…Elegant old wallpaper of green and gold… "You've changed the carpet…" she noted…

"Yes, it was too worn to save…And the pattern couldn't be replicated within our budget…Still, not too off a match, I hope…"

"Very nice…" she stared…

Father kept it so long…Exactly as she'd left it…Wouldn't even let me move a few things…I could see he hated to see me in there…I looked so like…

She blinked hastily…

Fine...Fine, have your fun…But not till we strike a deal, lady…

And Henri agrees…

But we have to be quick…He's human, vulnerable…

And God knows I'm not losing him to some cute girl in LA 'cause he's given up on me…Or Dru changes her mind again…

Dru…

We can agree on that one, can't we…Cicely?...Human or no, Drusilla is not going to win…

Big vows, Summers...But you nearly lost him to her without so much as… Words not deeds…Deeds are what matter…He knew that...

"Deeds…" she whispered…

"Mrs. Walthrop?..."

"Hmmn?...Sorry, I was thinking of Sir Richard…A man of many deeds…"

"Yes, quite…And a tragic figure, at the end, rather…"

"Yes…" Oh, poor papa…So alone…What did you do without even me to ease that loneliness?...

"Wife lost in childbirth…Daughter died as a young woman…"

Like mother, like…

"What, Mrs. Walthrop?..."

She hadn't realized she'd spoken the words…

"I think the daughter…Cicely…Died in childbirth as her mother did…"

"Really?...In childbirth?...I'd known she'd married just before her death but…"

"Her husband…William…Died just before her…"

"Your husband's people…?"

"Yes…His side…I never…" her voice trailed a bit…

"Sorry, Mrs. Walthrop?..."



"I don't know about them…I never asked him about them…My husband…"

"I think one did well in munitions during or before the First World War…A brother of the William who married your ancestor, I believe…"

"I never asked…" Buffy repeated…Nodding vaguely to Knowles' words, brushing hair back lightly…

"It's strange sometimes how little we know about the people we love… Their family histories, their childhood…" Knowles noted kindly…

"The things they had to endure to be with you…" Buffy said quietly, staring at the wallpaper a moment…

"I'm afraid the garden has been built over in front…There once was a fine overlook down that way…" Knowles nodded in the direction of the hallway running toward the front of the house.

"That's too bad…"

"Yes, a pity...But...Too much of an expense for us to maintain, I'm afraid...Would you like to see the lower level?...There's been some work and in fact we just uncovered a little mystery..."

She looked at him...

"Some rooms, sealed off from the current rear of the house...Our architect and I suspect it may have to do with the fact that the Addams' were closet Catholics..."

"The chapel..." she nodded...

"Yes, quite...Even in the nineteenth century it wasn't something every prominent family would advertise..."

I'd've loved to have been married there...But Papa would surely...

So cold there...In the dark...Papa used to tell those stories about the priest they caught in the old manor...

Cold...Dark...But not lonely...

"...but why it would have been sealed up..." Knowles shrugged...

"Lets have a look...If you wouldn't mind...?" she paused, nearly at the stairs...

"Certainly...We will have to be a bit careful...It's still being opened up...But the workmen have put in some lighting... " he waved her on and she continued onto and down the staircase...Passing the busy first floor...Down...

I've felt this before...Once...

But I was digging my way out then, not crawling back in...

Oh, William...Don't abandon me...Not now...

They stood in a large room on the lower floor...Covered gas and plumbing fixtures about...A large old sink to their left...Brick, whitewashed walls...

"Kitchen here..." Knowles waved at the old fixtures... "Just a storage area now...And through here...Laundry room...And..."

He paused at the rear of the laundry...Nothing but file cabinets in it now...She eyeing the wall...Not quite able to stare at it for more than seconds...

"And down here is where they realized the wall had been blocked off and we got permission to pierce the wall..." he waved at a large opening, torn into the wall...He reached to a jury-rigged fixture and snapped a switch...Lights came on in the room beyond...

"Please be careful..." he told her...



"Yes..." she nodded... "I'd better be..."

Here...I'd better be...

She stepped inside, carefully protecting her coat from catching on the torn bricks...

Another large room, not different from the laundry, though fewer fixtures about...

"Back there..." she moved on...Passing into another room...Where a long wall was heavily paneled in carved wood...

"Magnificent isn't it?..." Knowles stared at the paneling... "This must have been the chapel..."

"Yes..." she nodded... "The altar was there...Nothing very big..." she pointed to where a rectangular black space could be seen on the floor...As if something large had been moved away...

"I think you're right...It must have been removed at some point..."

She stared at the long sweep of carved wood paneling...

"This is different..." she touched a large square...Which appeared no different from the rest...

"You think so?..."

"Listen..." she tapped the wood...He came and put an ear closer, imitating her own move...

"Yes...I hear it...Hollow, you'd say?..."

"I think I can..." she carefully pulled at a piece of molding on the panel...Working it gently to the eye but with concentrated, concealed force...

God, I hope I don't...The panel moved back...

"Well, hollow it is..." Knowles stared... "How did you guess...?"

"Mom must have mentioned it..." she said, hurriedly...Pushing the large panel to the side...A space large enough...

"Do you have a flashlight...Or can that reach...?" she indicated a work light hooked to a chain on the brick wall to their left...

"Just a minute..." he moved over to the work light and carefully lifted it off its hook...

"You'd better let me..." she took the light from him and turning, stepped inside before he could protest...

He followed, frowning slightly... "Mrs. Walthrop, please be careful...I..."

He froze at her sharp scream...Not a frightened cry...More like...

Rage...

"Mrs. Walthrop?...Are you all right?..." he came over to where she stood, the light a bit weak for the room's blackness...

"Murder..." she whispered...Staring...

He peering at the large bronze plaque, set in stone into the wall...

"Cicely Anne Walthrop...1857-...My God..." he backed away...

So...There you are...Bitch...She stared...



Poor bitch...So that's what happened to you...That's why you didn't...

"They did this..." she whispered...

Oh, God...They did this...

Giles...Giles...No...

I didn't want to...Believe her...



Giles... All these years...And when he finally freed himself...And you could have told me...

"Buried...Here...?" Knowles shook his head...

"Why?..."

Giles...You...Bastard...Her hands clenching....

You knew...You knew...

That's why...You didn't need to kill Spike...

But William...She put her hands to her face...

"Murderers....All of you..." she whispered...

"Look..." Knowles, touching a lower plaque...

"What?..." she stared blankly...

"Another one...Amelia..." he began reading...

"...Dawn..." she said, staring at the words..."Amelia Dawn Walthrop... 1880-..."

"No death date..." Knowles pondered...

"Yes, there is..." Buffy said quietly... "It was all the same...The birth and death day..."

It was kind of Father, really...To put a proper plaque up...

"Mr. Knowles?...You've been so kind...Could you just let me have a moment here?..."

"What?..." he looked at her, still stunned...

"Just a moment..." she said, her accent rather clipped...Precise... "I'd like to say a prayer or two..."

"Well...Yes...If you'd like...But please, not too long, Mrs. Walthrop...We should get upstairs...I'll have to let everyone know...This is quite a..."

"Of course..." she nodded...Smiling... "I'll be out in just a minute..."

He left her, cautiously backing out...Wiping his brow as he emerged...

So...She eyed the plaques...



Here you are...But thanks to me...And the Benedictine monks...Dawn's free...And you're alone...

"What a fool you were, Cicely..." she told the plaque... "You couldn't even save Dawn...Didn't even manage to stake him..."

This'll be a piece of cake, sweetie...

Though I am sorry for Henri...I think he really did care for you...And he means well...

"But you'll have your chance...I'll keep my end...And when we get him over here...We'll see..."

Just don't count on my playing fair...Cause you've had your chances before, loser...And Buffy Summers has never lost a battle...

"And this..." she felt the chain on her neck and pulled up an antique pendant... "This is gonna be mine fair and square...William's gift to the woman who loves him...And didn't fail him...In the end..."

Sorry...She looked down to Amelia's plaque... "But you're mine as much as hers now, Dawn...And I swear...I'll give you your father back...Whatever it takes..."

"Loser..." she repeated bitterly, eyeing Cicely's plaque... "You won't keep him in there with you, bitch...Cowardly bitch..."

"Bring it on..."

***