"Immortal Beloved...XXII..."



A shortie...



PG-13

Disclaimer: It's all yours and ME's, Joss...Except the 'Soames Walthrop'...



Spoilers for Angel to this week...Flee at once!...

Summary: Hmmn?...Where do I get my ideas?...Well, I was plating this pneumonia culture deadly enough to wipe out Cleveland and...(Remember they're not parts of one story, but a series of retellings during and after the Rome rendezvous of "Girl In Question")

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Play theme


Castle Immortale

The Austrian Alps...The well-appointed castle-chateau of The Immortal...Three months after that fateful May 5th...

A battle is in progress...The massed but outnumbered and outstaked minions of the Immortal fall back under heavy odds...Besieged by an army of Slayers, their cyborg allies, and the forces of Wolfram-Hart, Inc (newly purged of its former board of directors and senior partners and under the heroic and firm control of Liam Angel and William S. Walthrop, esquires and attorneys-at-law (faked documents pending actual law school))...Despite efforts at explanation and negotiation over his role in assisting the ex-senior Wolfram-Hart partners to reach Earth, there seems little hope of stopping the brutal assault...

But fortunately, although our aristocratic Immortal disdains violence, he has an ally and partner well-tempered in such things...

"Why don't they listen?..." Buffy fumes to her latest... "I told them you weren't really helping the senior partners, just luring them to destruction like you told me...If it hadn't been for you, Angel and William couldn't have had a chance to defeat them...After they'd slaughtered so many friends...Do they think I wouldn't have come in answer to their and Giles' pleas for help if I hadn't been sure you were telling the..." A horde of flaming arrows through the nearest window answers her question eloquently...

"Apparently they feel you have been misled, my dear..." the Immortal sighs...Shrugging a bit... "Perhaps...They've learned a few details about my actions via the one surviving senior partner in their custody...Lies of course, darling..." he reassured her...

"But, possibly...Convincing ones..."

"I'll go talk to Will...He still loves me, I know it...Keeps sending me poetry..." she beams... Ummn, of course, as you say Henri...It's very bad poetry, worthy only of chucking into the flames and snickering at...she notes dutifully, eyeing his stern gaze... However loving and devoted beyond death it may be...

"Yes...I think the situation is past that, Buffy..." the Immortal notes as several screaming minions display a lack of tact, discipline, and that certain proper regard for the things that matter by running in flames down the main hall and past them...

Well, in wartime, one must let standards slip sometimes...Count Henri Faucomb d'Vestigy, the celebrated Immortal sighs to himself...Yes...He eyes his companion...Perhaps the Greatest Slayer of all time but not quite the woman of culture and breeding he could have wished for...Yes, one must sometimes let standards slip...

"Well, I guess we'll have to fight it out then..." she notes... "At least we know we're on the right side, right?..."

Certainly...Henri smiles a winning smile... Or would have been if those damned senior partners had won out and killed those two idiot human-souled vampires...At last I would have been granted my proper place in the world...

"Slayers have penetrated the grounds!...The castle wall and magics shield are breeched!!..." the cries fly round...

"Well...There's only one thing to do..." Henri shakes his head... "Set the self-destruction mechanism and have a force hold the enemy off while I make my withdrawal..."

Ummn...We...Make our withdrawal...Henri...?...Buffy suggested...My dear...He eyes her kindly...As a devoted father would an idiot child...

"I must survive to continue writing my life-affirming books...My latest nearly ready to go to the printers, and coming soon to a bookstore near you...The world must not be denied my wisdom..."

Ummn...?

"But as a hero as of old...My devoted champion..." he pats her... "I know you will fight to the last to make good my escape..."

As your William did...he slyly notes...For love...

"And I am sure your love at least equals his..." Uh...she blinks...

Sir...A distinguished butler enters the room, bearing heavy weapons and a box... "We must hurry..."

"Here, my dear..." Henri hands her the box... "A mystic self-destruct...Press it only after I am safely away..."

Henri?...she stares... "You're not staying to fight and die with..."

"Buffy...?" he stares, genuinely shocked... "Such ridiculous romantic heroics are for simpletons like your William...Men and demons of true character and value know their worth and laugh at such things...After all, I am... 'The Immortal...'...And the world needs me..."

Whereas you...Are a slayer...Though the greatest of the horde...he smiles fondly...

"Anyway..." he pulls on a parachute proffered by the butler who frowns at the foolish young girl wasting the Immortal's valuable escape time...

"A long-term future between us is of course impossible..."

What?...But...I thought...I gave up any chance of William for...

"Buffy...Your William might have been willing to terminate his immortal existence at your death, but as for 'The Immortal' (the butler straightening and giving a proud look at the name)...He must refuse to spurn his great gift so cavalierly..."

And of course, for a sensitive creature of the night like me, a permanent association with the foul she-beasts who prey on my people...Former humans, I should note...Without compassion even for poor human-souled fools like your Angel and William...Is unthinkable...Degrading...

"Beneath me..."

Buffy stands, jaw-dropped...Guards summoned by the butler, experienced in dealing with the sometimes troublesome break-ups of his master and his women, separating her from her beau...Who donned more protective gear, flak jacket, then high-tech sunglasses and hat...

"You see Buffy..." Henri pauses at the door, the guards taking positions all along his route...Heavy explosions now shaking the whole building...Ceiling tiles and plaster falling... "I feel I am still, despite my centuries of existence...The finest pastry dough...Still forming...And being formed..."

Perhaps someday, the right woman...Or female of some kind...May be found worthy and allowed to partake of my baked pastry...But, til then...

"You will always have a place in my heart, dearest...Oh, and I recommend using the self-destruct...Far less painful than burning to death in the ruins...Ciao mi caro..."



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Caro?...Buffy thinks... "Hey, isn't it...?"

"I was talking to Hudson here, dear..." Henri explains...The butler giving an arch look...

"But Henri...You said you still needed for me to be here..."

I should think that 'need' would be obvious...he noted, looking round at the shaking walls...



"Farewell...My dear slayer...I...Am very fond of you..."

Hey, at least I didn't lie...Henri smiles to us...

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Two days later...

In the office of the former Italian CEO of Wolfram-Hart, Europe...Now working independently...Henri shakes his nobly aristocratic and divinely handsome head...

"It cannot be...My slayer opted not to take the noble way out as her love for me should have indicated...?...Survived?... Though at least with gruesome, potentially permanent injuries...And is even now being tended faithfully in hospital by her loving William?..."

How could she betray my fondness for her?...Overcoming my natural repugnance...Like this...?

"Slayers...A fickle, untrustworthy, filthy people..." his new lawyer notes, shaking her head...And various other exposed areas...Vigorously...

"Let us hear no more of them!..." Hack!...Pitooe!!...

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