"Immortal Beloved..." XLVI...

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 the bitter end...Flee at once!...

Summary: Various outcomes following "Girl In Question" and /or "Not Fade Away" on Angel...Hmmn...Think I will try for 50...I mean the numbers are easier to write after 40 anyway...

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LA...Night...

Near their Hell portal, the forces of the Senior Partners pause to group themselves for what, given the overwhelming numbers, ought to be a rather brief charge...Their only concern to be sure of quick withdrawal after victory before human authorities can detect them...

Down the alley from the portal, the pathetic forces of Light under Angel...A battered, stumbling Gunn, a tense, determined-to-avenge-Wesley-in-blood, Illyria, and a grinning, Helluva-way-to-go-out, count-me-in William brace themselves...While Angel eyes his dragon target...

"What the hell?..." Will looks round...As do his comrades...And their adversaries...Hearing...

Uh-oh...The dragon, hovering, eyes his demonic humanoid trainer below...His distant cousin, actually...

Play theme

"Is that Barry White's "Love's Theme"?..." William eyes Angel...Illyria quickly reviewing her Fred memories...Hmmn...Barry...? The music, indeed the opening cascade of "Love's Theme" pouring apparently out of thin air...

Lights from on high...Accompanied by the whir of large chopper blades...The Demonic Forces and those of Angel stare up to see a vast force of men and women in black, heavily armed, descending on ropes...Firing weapons into the now milling and wavering demonic horde...

Trucks pull up at the far, open end of the alley, from which a horde of women, some barely out of their teens, some past forty, pile out on the double...Along with some rather overdressed for the occasion, young men and women, bearing the unmistakably tweedy look of...Watchers...A number of the women bearing stakes, crossbows...Or the occasional bazooka...

Even as the trucks unload and the men-and-women-in-black descend their ropes to William, Angel, Gunn, and Illyria's blinking astonishment and the rhythmic beat of Barry's music...A car pulls up at the far end of the alley...

William looking in wonder at about as an exact a replica of the old Spikemobile as might be imagined...The driver's door, facing them, opens...The same music playing all around them, blaring from within...

A short, lithe young woman with tightly bunned blonde hair...Blonder than he remembered, Will notes to himself...Wearing dark glasses...Dressed to his rather pleased surprise, if the likewise staring Angel's slight annoyance...In a long black duster...Emerges...Scanning the situation with a quick, hard look round...

A look that stops and centers...On him...A smile, gently at odds with her brusque, business-like moves, breaking out slowly...The music behind her reaching just the right framing point as she does...She gives a brief wave...And turns to pull something out of the car...

Buffy...he murmurs...

Before he can call to her, those among the enemy either too determined or not yet panicked enough to join the growing rout of demonic troops racing for their one escape via Hell portal, make a desperate attempt to charge...

The dragon, however, taking the better part of valor to his disgusted cousin's chagrin...And Angel's disappointment, descends in gesture of surrender, denying air support...

And before they can cover the short distance to him, William finds Buffy and three other rather fleet Slayers by his side...She unlimbering her favorite rocket launcher, pulled from her version of the Spikemobile a moment before...

"Hey..." she smiles at him...Sighting the charging front ranks with her launcher as the chopper-flown troops and her own Slayer-Watcher force begin laying down a heavy fire of various weapons...

A well-aimed rocket tearing apart the small group of the enemy front line charging towards them...

"Girl?..." Yeah?...She gives a quick, mock annoyed frown... "Thought I wouldn't come, you little cowardly..." Hey?!... "Emotional..." she fires off another... "...cowardice I mean...You know..."

"Nice coat..."

Yeah...she beams... "Hey, Angel..." a quick wave... "Sorry we had to lay it on so thick with the 'not trusting ya'...Knew you'd bring 'em out in the open for us..." returning to Will...

"Howdya like the car?...That was the damnest hardest thing to find..."

Just great...Beautiful...he beams... "Off...!..." she screams at a large green demon, well-fanged, who'd broken through to them and was seeking to stomp William...A crossbolt from a Slayer behind them taking him out quite effectively...

Music ok?...she smiled... "I figured I'd go with something a bit older yet still super cool...Like my honey..."

"So...You believe now...?" she eyed him... "No more doubts?...I love you?..."

"In that coat, with that car...And that musical backup...I guess I have no choice..." he smiled...Then hesitated...Ummn...

Several Slayers and Watchers came up, dragging captured senior members of the enemy forces...He saw Riley and wife now talking to Angel and Illyria back down the alley...

"The Immortal...?" he turned back her

"Right...Andy mentioned him to you that night...?" she frowned...

So, you guys ready to surrender?...she eyed the enemy prisoners... "Never!..." one stout red-faced...red-furred and red-horned fellow cried...

Ummn...Luki?...Several of the others eyed their gallant comrade...Discretion is Wolfram-Hart's middle name, ya know?...

"Andrew may have dropped a name that night, it does sound familiar..."

Oh, really?...she frowned, an annoyed one this time... "Then you mighta stuck round and fought for your girl you know..." Turning to wave on more Slayers towards the Hell portal...

"Andrew said..."

"'Andrew said'..." she mimicked... "Since when do you take love lessons from Andrew?...Damnit, if he hadn't coughed up the beans at last that night..."

"Oh really...?" he eyed her...Several of the captured leaders eyeing the couple now...

They do make a nice pair, one noted to his companions...Though it's probably best that he's wearing the short jacket now...Both in dusters would just be a little too...

C'mon...Angel hissed to the dragon, now patiently awaiting chains and other restraints... You're a dragon, practically the last of your kind...You can't want to go out this way...C'mon, lets fight it out...

Plllease...the dragon shook its massive head...And I expect Geneva POW rules to apply...it noted in dignified, if hoarse tones...

Of course...Riley, beside it, nodded...

Angel frowning slightly...This is my dragon, Finn...his look saying...

"You had no...idea that I'd materialized, let alone corporealized here in LA...?" Will frowned at a slightly sheepish-looking Buffy...Rather incongruously sheepish-looking in her "Modesty Blaze, Ms. Spike..." outfit...

Well...she looked down... "Willow did say your spirit didn't seem to be in Heaven when we checked by seance...Me knowing you weren't in Hell..." she nodded firmly...

"But Giles didn't think...After Andy told us about Dana...And you...See..."

"We needed to have the Partners think I didn't trust Angel at all...If I'd come to LA too soon..."

I did try to call and write...she sighed... "After Dana and the hands, I mean..."

They ok?...Fine, he wiggled them for her... Phew...she nodded...

"But Harmony being Angel's secretary...It was clear they weren't reaching you..."

"Slayer-Counselor General?..." A formal-looking Watcher approached... "The enemy appears ready to surrender..." Yeah, yeah...she waved

They didn't reach ya, did they?...she gave an anxious, sad stare...

"I figured " she beamed, nodding at his confirmation...

"And you coulda called me...Come to us in Rome..."

"Well..." he begin... "I know, you didn't believe me..." she sighed...

"I believed...But..." he paused... "I wasn't sure...if it was just for the moment, you might ask me to let you take it back..."

William...? she stared....

"I mean...As lifetime commit and all...You know... 'No picket fence for us'..."

"Yeah...I prefer iron or at least black aluminum grilling..." she grinned...Turning to the captured enemy leaders...

Ok, guys...Two options...

"One, we fight it out to your deaths..." she eyed them coldly...

Or...

"Two...You guys and your pals stack arms and be my guests at our wedding reception..."

Ummn...Will blinked...As she unbuttoned her duster to reveal a lovely wedding gown...Pulling veil from a duster pocket...

"You clowns are damned lucky not to have mussed my dress..." she glared at the prisoners...

Wedding reception?...Sounds good to me...One valiant but sensible fellow beamed congenially upon the happy...If in the groom's case, a bit bewildered...couple...

"Hey, Your Eminence..." she called...A handsome, young-looking man stepping forward...In cardinal's robes...

"Will, meet His Benevolence..." she eyed a startled William... "Who's kindly agreed to marry us...Right now...Before you run on me..."

The Immortal gave a friendly smile...Offering a hand... "Mr. Walthrop, I presume...I understand you and Angel received the capo without any difficulty?..."

"Cardinal Immortale took holy orders a century ago when he achieved redemption..." she grinned... "But he likes to get out and mingle in his street clothes every now and then..."

Be nice...she hissed... He went outta his way to come along to do the services...And he was the one who told me you were probably just scared too shitless to face me...

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