."Immortal Beloved XXXII..."

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 this week...Flee at once!...



Summary: Ok, another one...Can't resist it...

***



The ruins of Wolfram-Hart, LA, two weeks after the events of "Girl in Question" on Angel...A battered Illyria is seen stumbling through the debris...

Carrying an even more battered, and though somewhat embarrassed, rather pleased William and Angel under each arm...And dragging Charlie Gunn behind as he lays flat on a pallet she pulls via a rope between her teeth...

She halts, exhausted...Gasping from the pain of her multiple injuries...But pausing to gently set the boys...Her boys...Down...She beams at them...A very Winifred beam...

"Well, fellas...We've won..." she smiles... A wave of Illyria comes over her and she is a bit more stern... "You managed to perform within barely mediocre standards...Victory is mine..."

Ours, sorry guys...she corrected, a Fred tone coming back...Hmmn...she sighs...

"That energy pulse the Partners tried on me seems to have kinda pulled up more of Fred from within...I'm not hurting you guys with this?..."

No, not at all...William assures her...

"You prefer her to me, I see..." Illyria frowns but waves it off... "I understand...I wanted to be her...For Wes...Wesley...I wished..." she sobs a little...Surprising them, although her behavior has been more variable than ever since Wes' death...

Gunn's groans force them to take action, Angel calling for medical help...He and William managing to find some supplies...

Much to their surprise again, Illyria displays Fredian knowledge of the supplies and with kind murmurs and gentle pats gets Gunn settled as well as possible until the ambulance arrives...

Angel placing calls to determine the situation of his staff...Quite a few declare their continuing loyalty...Though Will is quick to point out they're mostly interested in that steady paycheck and will vamoose as soon as they learn the W-H well is now dry...

Illyria turns back to the boys as the ambulance leaves...

"But maybe...You think guys?...Maybe he is with me...Ummn, her...In Heaven..."

"They said no soul is ever destroyed in Eternity..." Angel smiles... "Whatever may be its fate here on Earth..."



"Fred's with him..." William nods...

Illyria...he eyes her... She looking back calmly...

"Thanks...You saved us all..."

"Of course..." a curt reply...but...then a questioning look... "Would...He be pleased?..."

Yes...The boys nod in unison...Wes would be very pleased...

"And...It is something I...Ummn..." she waves a hand... "She would have done?..."

"Without doubt..." William nods... "And did...Though usually with a lot of blinking gadgets and dodads..."

Tell me...he looks at her carefully... "You're more Fred than ever now...?"

"I...Feel...More of her fragments within me..." she sighs... "Guys...I hope this isn't too painful for you..."

"So that's why?...You were able to win..." Will continues, clearly anxious to get a point right in his mind... "Love and Good triumphed for us..."

"I dunno..." Illyria murmurs, looking back at the battle scene... "If they'd used a multi-phasic shock wave in their last attack...And retained energy for defense, instead of..." she sees Will's clouded face...Angel eyeing her...

Our romantic...His slight smile saying...

"Yes, Will..." she corrects... "You're right...Love and Good did win out...As it always will..." she nods brightly...

But I'm causing you pain...I should...she begins...

"It's joy to have any of you back, Winifred..." Angel smiles...

Seconded...William nods...

"Well..." Angel surveys the rubble of his destroyed HQ... "So much for my wheeler-dealer days...Well, you must be tickled pink, Spike..."

Absolutely...Will grins...

"Looks like a lot of the fellas want to stay on your team, Angel..." Illyria notes encouragingly...

Your leadership was nearly adequate...she finishes...

"But now...I gotta say...Goodbye..." she eyes them...

They look at each other...No...She puts up a hand...I'm not heading off to conquer the world...

"Too much of Fred back..." she smiles... But that's the problem...

"I'd hoped to find a place here...With you...With Wesley...Find my place in this confusing, strange world...And for a while, I did...I did..." she nods to William...He looking anxiously at her...Then at Angel...Not really letting her go, are you?...his face clearly saying...

"But now...With so much of Winifred back in me...I see I have to find out who I am...And where Fred really is...Go back to my...er her...Roots...Cause if she is with Wes...Out there somewhere...I don't want to be the cause of pulling her away from him..."



And if she is gone...Forever...Except for what lives on in me...I want to bring more of her out...And see if maybe...In the final analysis...she looked at them...

"And my parents will need me...Til they pass on..." she noted...There's a lot of good I can do back ...Home..." she gave a wan smile...

"If you guys don't mind my playing Fred a bit more...I might, someday...Maybe...Become the role...."

"We need you here, girl...Angel, you bloody poof!...Tell her..." Will fumed...

A sound from up the street...Hey, guys!...

Buffy?...The boys stare at her...

"I was on my way to meet His Benevolence in Japan and had a few days...Thought I'd look up the old haunts and see how..."

Whoa...She looked round...

"Guess Giles was right about that apocalypse thingy...Well, I tole him you two could handle it..."

Who's the blue fairy...she eyes Illyria...Who glares at her...

"You caused William pain..." she notes quietly...

Gee...Will beams...At last...Someone who gives a damn...And only natural it would be at least in part dear ole Fred...

Though...He sighs...She's leaving and loves someone else...Why does that sound familiar?...

Ummn...Buffy stares, frowning a bit at her accuser... "I only hit him a few...(Dozen, Will thinks) times..."

"I mean emotional pain, Buffy..." Illyria gives a very Fredish sigh...

"Where've you been, Slayer?...His sufferings have been intense and terrible..."

"Where's he been?...And who the hell are you, anyway?..." Buffy glares...Angel making hasty explanation...

Oh...Right...The Burky... (Burkle...Illyria coldly corrects) thing...

"Real sorry Giles gave you a hard time then, Angel...But hey, she looks...Ok..." Buffy nods brightly...

"Ms. Burkle's body was absorbed and her soul consumed in Illyria's rebirth, Buffy..." Angel frowns a bit...

Oh...Well hey, has she been resurrected twice?...

"This is my fifth regeneration cycle..." Illyria frowns... "But I'm sure Winifred would listen patiently to your boastful tales of your struggles, Slayer..."

And William must be so happy to have you here...she beams at him, then her...Buffy blinking...Huh?...

"Bipolar personality shift and some other things..." Angel explains... "I'll tell you about it in detail later..."

Great...Buffy nods... "So, William...You free this evening?...I got a couple days before hooking up with the Immortal..."



Theme from the movie... "Shane" plays as Illyria gently nods to the boys and heads off...Walking away from the sunset...(Hey, she's not a swimmer)...

"Well, that's that...Come on William...You can take me somewhere nice...The Immortal won't mind..." Buffy notes, contentedly watching Illyria head off...William ignoring her, and running after Illyria, as the Slayer stares after..

William?...

"Come back Illyria!!...Illyria, come back!!..."

Hey...Buffy grouses to Angel, likewise sighing after their vanishing heroine...

"Is there something between them?...Have they been, you know?...My observer agents said Will only did it the one time with Harmony for test purposes..."

Which I could let pass...Given that the Immortal and I...

Nah...Angel shook his head... "It's just that Winifred was the woman William's been looking for all his existence...Utter compassion, stout-heart, courage to move mountains despite her lack of superstrength...And Illyria still has lots of Fred in her..."

Geesh...Buffy frowned, looking where Will was sadly watching Illyria disappear down the road...

"I got loads of compassion...When things aren't too busy...Hey, Will!!..."

***

P>"How's about dinner, William?..." Buffy pulled at his arm as he sighed after Illyria's wake...Hmmn?...He eyed her...

"Some other time, Miss Summers...I have some writing to do tonight...A poetic tribute to the courageous woman who, ever since I met her, was always there for me..."

Aw, Will...she beamed...

"I said... 'Always there' Buffy..."

"I was there...Some of the time..." she stared at him...William?...

"How's the Immortal?..."

"Eh...Sexually Godlike to start...Then he kinda runs out of tricks...But a nice guy for a soulless type..."

"Great, then you're happy as Andy said...See ya at the next Apocalypse...Well, maybe the one after that..." he turned back...

Angel coming up to them...

Aw, Will...she frowned, pulling again...C'mon...You never called...And...

"My cookies weren't baked yet..."

"Think Illyria would mind if I commissioned a Fred-bot to be my loving companion throughout my lonely Eternity?..." Will turned to his partner...

"Nah...She left design plans in my pocket PC for both of us..." Angel smiled...Pulling out his computer... "Though if she still has Immortality left to her, I claim first dibs on dating the real thing if she ever starts looking round..."

"No way!..." Will frowned...

Hey?!...Buffy stared...Guys?...Will?...

"Well...The note she attached to the bot design files said she wouldn't consider anyone else til giving us each a chance...If Wes' spirit ever persuades her to forget him and seek out love again..."

"Which you know as I do..." Angel sighed... "Is unlikely...Given Fred's propensity for undying love..."

"What a woman..." the boys sighed, nodding to each other...

William?!...Buffy fumed...

***

William and Angel, arms spread:

"Il...Ly...Ria...We...Love you..."

Will:

"You're the one...The one for me..."

(Guys?...Buffy stares as the boys continue their musical tribute to the woman of their dreams...)

Angel:

"I'm in love ...and I won't lie

She's my girl and always on my mind.

She gives me her love and a feeling that's right...

Never let me down

'specially at night..."

(Why am I not surprised?...Buffy grouses darkly, sitting in sulk mode)

Will:

"So I'm gonna do the best I can

To please that girl and be her only man.

(Hey!?...Buffy glares)

She picks me up when I'm feeling low

(I could do that...easy...Buffy notes)

And that's why baby

I've got to let you know..."

The boys in chorus:

"Il...Ly...Ria...

We... love you

You're the one...the one for me

ah

baby.

She's the one...the one for me..."



William:

"She's the kind of girl who makes you feel nice.

(But I made you feel like a man...? Buffy stares sadly...)

So

I try my best to do what's right..."

(He used to that for me...the crestfallen Slayer sighs)



The boys together:

"And take her for a ride - ev'rything's fine.

Illyria

We love you

you're the one for me

ah

baby..."

William:

"Search so far

search so long

To find someone

someone to count on.

(Ummn...Well...Buffy blinks...I could do better next time, Will...She calls)

Now I feel I got it right here

Found it in you

baby, you my dear.

(Dear?...Buffy stares...She's Dear?...)

We can do all life so nice

We'll have it all

and ev'rything will be alright!

(The picket fence thing really didn't sound so bad, Will...Buffy tries...)

I'm promising you

take it from me

take it on

baby..."



The boys together again:

"Take it on

baby. - Oh

she's the one

the one for me.

She's the kind of girl who makes you feel nice.

(Guys...? Buffy weakly)

So I try my best

to do what's right

Take her for a ride

ev'rything's fine.

Ooh

Illyria

ooh

Illyria -

Illyria

I love you

you're the one

the one for me.

Illyria..."

(I don't have to be in Japan all that soon, Will...Buffy notes hopefully as he and Angel turn to her...

And I look good in blue, ya know...)

***


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