"Immortal Beloved...XV..."

A shortie...



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 "Girl In Question"...Flee at once!...



Summary: My various versions of the Rome rendezvous and its aftermath...Each is a different retelling, not part of a sequential story...



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LA...Wolfram-Hart tower...Several days after the boys' return from their Roman holiday of pain...Spike sitting at a desk in a newly-bestowed office (naturally the Brooding One felt he had to do something to pick up the poor guy's spirits...hey, he's been there, Buffywise...), "William S. Walthrop, Junior Associate..." emblazoned on the door...

With absolutely nothing to do regarding the daily business of the firm allowed him, doodling on a pad...Various snatches of poetry featuring Buffy as principal character... "Oh, Buffy's scent...So effulgent..." one begins...

Angel enters through the open door... "Spike..." he pauses...

"Harmony gave me this from the office mail...Just came in..." Will glances up at his new chief... "Well, the fans are writing in already..."

It's from Rome...Angel pauses...Spike leaps from his chair grabbing the letter, tearing it open... "Is it from...?" Angel shrugs...

Didn't get a chance to steam it open, Harmony insisted I bring it to you...he glared over at a carefully watching Illyria in the hall...( "Has the pointy-haired one followed proper procedure...?" she turned to Harmony who nodded...)...She got Illyria to follow me, saying it was a violation of our most sacred gods' laws to open mail not addressed to one...

Will looks at the letter...

"Dear Spike...Or William...Whatever we should call you now,

I'm in Rome for a few days, Giles having asked me to look in on Buffy...She's been going gaga over this new vamp, the 'Immortal' he calls himself...(Aren't all you guys immortal?)...Do you or Angel know him?...

Anyway...I heard from Andy that you and Angel came to Rome to see how Buffy was...That was decent of you...So I figured it was time someone should drop you a line and see how you're doing, given the soul and world-saving champion and all...

Buffy would've written I'm sure...But she's been busy with the new Slayers and now this Immortal (creep...Spike if you don't know him, see if Angel can have him checked head to toe...I do not like this guy...)...Well, you know Buffy...

Look, William I'm not gonna start saying I've forgotten Spike and what he did...But...You did help Buf out when she needed it, when we couldn't, even without the soul and you did win a soul on your own...Plus you saved the world, which maybe cancels out a few of Spike's badder days...In any case...I did feel, after the other night, that maybe somebody over here in the old gang oughta write..."



Lovely...Spike frowned...

"...Believe me, I would've preferred it should be Buffy too...Or that Dawn or maybe Willow ...But I guess they feel a little skittish, at least Willow and Dawn, about encouraging you to contact Buffy...I just felt a little bad, hearing them tell Buf not to call...She was thinking about it, if that's any comfort...Maybe she will when she's really ready...I won't say I hope she'll get entangled with you again, but I do hope she'll be in touch..."

"As for me..." Like I'd be interested...Spike sneered... "Like you'd be interested, but it's my letter...Though I've grown fond of Africa and the people here, I'm getting a little tired of the Slayer-Watcher Council and their lack of interest in the well-being of their own ...The girls down here are willing enough as far as training and fighting goes, but it's clean water, decent housing, and medical services they and the rest of the population need...Vampires and demons count for very little against AIDS and malaria in this part of the world...So as I've come to feel my other skills as a builder and carpenter may actually be of more use than any pearls of Slayer wisdom I might be able to dredge up...I think I may be resigning shortly and signing on with one of the ngos doing work in the area..."

"If you ever get the chance, drop by our Nairobi center here...I mean it, we have about a dozen vamps hanging round, all claiming to want to find that demon god of yours and get their souls back at any price for the sake of their human loves...Well, eleven since that girl ate her human husband the other night..."

"I think you've started a trend..." Damn bleedin' copy-cats...Now it's been done, the damned thing's a piece of cake...William glared at the line...

"William, in closing...A word of advice...I love Buffy, I would die for her, I would be...Was...On a plane for her in a mo...But, to be honest...I keep my distance...She's just not a girl you can build a future on...At least not yet...Maybe someday..."

Always bloody someday...Spike fumed...

"Your...Aw, what the hell...Friend,

Alexander L. Harris..."

***

Will?...Angel stared at him...

"Are you...?" NO!!...he shouted, wiping hastily... "I must have allergies...We should have this building's air checked..."

"It was Buffy, wasn't it?...What did she say?..." a note of concern...William stared at him...

Damn she didn't have to be so hard on the poor guy...After all he did for her...Soulless even...Angel thought...Regarding William with a sympathetic expression...

What does a guy hafta do?...Could my grand-whatever have behaved more nobly post-soul?...Hell, no...Geesh...These American girls...

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