Immortal Beloved..." LIII...



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...Ok, just had to do one more...but I absolutely, positively...On my mother's soul...

Ok, I lied...But me poor ole mum would just say, "so long as I like it, it's ok..."

Sides, after the last one, I had to do another nice one to balance things out...And there was that mistake with the numbers earlier...I mean there's no choice but to press on (over your pleading screams to desist, no doubt...)

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The Austrian-Italian border...Castle Immortale...

One month after the defeat of the Senior Partners at LA...

A tall and aristocratic-looking, apparently youthful, but with cold eyes at variance with such youth, Immortal greets his...Barely tolerated, let alone welcome, guests...

"Gentlemen..." a phony congeniality

"Welcome..."

"There is she is, guys!..." Dawn pointed at Buffy standing by His Benevolence...A rather vague and blankly wan expression on her face... "Look at her...She's in thrall...William, you gotta get her out..."

"Gentlemen...Lady..." The Immortal eyed Dawn coldly... "Please...I believe there has been a misunderstanding...The younger Ms. Summers is mistaken and has dragged you here under a serious misconception...Dear Buffy is here of her own free will..."

Yeah, right...Dawn glared... "Just look at her, guys!...Come on, you know thrall when you see it...!!"

"I'm fine, Dawn...Hello..." Buffy murmured... "I know you...You're William...And Angel..."

Hi...she waved vaguely...The boys staring at her, then each other...Dawn fuming, arms firmly folded across chest...

"Buffy...?" Angel eyed her... "Are you ok?...Dawn told us the Immortal had taken you away...And that you were acting...Well...Pretty much like you are right now..."

"I'm fine...His Benevolence would never let me come to harm..." she gave the Immortal a beaming, if still vague smile...

Hiya William...Nice to see you alive...she nodded to him...

"Yeah...Thanks..." he sighed...



"William?..." she looked at him...A slight cloudiness in her face when he turned away...

"You ok, Slayer?...Dawn's been worried...Called us in..."

"Fine...Nice of you to come...But His Benevolence's love shields me from all harm...Thanks for coming..." she turned to the Immortal... "Henri...?...Uh, Your Benevolence?..."

Is she waiting for...Orders...? Angel hissed to Will...Who shrugged...

"This is Buffy, mate...I told you it wasn't likely..."

Magics?...Dawn suggested, eyeing Will...C'mon Will...Do somethin'...her expression saying...

"He don't use em..." Will shook his head... "Quite right..." the Immortal nodded...

"You're a liar...What did you do to my sis?...We know you're evil...Angel found out about your deal with the Partners...Buffy, you gotta come with us!...William, grab her!..."

"I'm fine Dawnie...The Immortal loves me...He needs me the way William did, even more so...And when I prove my love by helping him win back his soul....Instead of failing to help him like I failed William...I'll be worthy of such love at last...

Or if that doesn't work, He's promised to transform me with my soul intact so that I can be with Him...long adoring glance...Forever..." Buffy beamed...Eyeing Will a bit carefully as he continued to avoid her stare...

"You never failed me, girl..." he shook his head briefly... "Oh, but I must've..." she wanly insisted... "Or you would have believed me and come to Rome..."

Though thank goodness His Benevolence was sent to try and keep me busy there...While the Partners dealt with you two...

"Course Henri was far too wonderful...And had too much good sense...To carry through with their plan..."

Hmmn...Angel stared, turning to his junior partner... "Will?..."

"Great, lovely..." William sighed... "Much happiness and all that..." "William?!..." Dawn fumed... "He's got her and he's gonna kill her!..."

"Please...My dear little child..." the Immortal smiled, glaring slightly at Dawn at the end... "While it is true I did briefly treat with your enemies, Angel...Against my better judgement but for the sake of protecting Humanity...And my own interests, I admit...In the likely event of your failure...I quickly abandoned their schemes for Ms. Summers on meeting her..."

And she...As so many other females have been...Was swayed to forebear her initial impulse to destroy me on learning of my initial plot by love of me...

Oh, yeah...Buffy nodded wanly...Eyeing Angel, then William...

"I just adored him from the start...Andy musta told you that night in Rome, right?...When we were being seen together in every possible public place?..."

Whatdaya think?...Angel hissed to William...She does seem kinda...?

"You detected no magics with that thing from the office, right?..." Will eyed him...

"I never use magics!..." the hearing Immortal frowned... "They are...Dirty...I, the Immortal, have no need of such toys..."

"Having graciously allowed you and the...Dear child..." he frowned at Dawn... " To enter my home, I have also kindly given you, gentlemen...An explanation of the situation...Buffy is here of her own free will and quite content to remain with me...I believe she will consent to any examination which you care to make..."



Before...Leaving...he glared...

"Buffy, please summon Robbins...I shall retire to my study while your friends complete their interview...Gentlemen, Buffy and my butler will be happy to provide you with anything you require...I will say...Good evening..." he turned...

"Oh, and Buffy...Please bring my evening's brandy to my study later?...Thank you, dear..." he exited through the nearest door... "Yes, Henri...Your Benevolence..." Buffy called after him...Moving to a panel on the wall by his exit door and pressing a button...

"Jesus..." Dawn hissed... "Does that look and sound like my sis to you clowns?!...Do something..."

Will, you know she's always been a sucker for love spells...she turned to him...

Buffy returned... "Want anything, guys?...William, it really is nice to see you alive again...Sorry the Immortal's overwhelmed and enraptured me with his...Charms..."

"Charms, get it?..." Dawn hissed...Dawn, Will sighed...

"Dawn, no spells are in play..." Angel noted... "Well, maybe he hexed her earlier...!"

"I just adore the Immortal...He's so...I don't know..." Buffy vaguely told William, staring at him...

"Delightful...Well, Angel..." William turned to him...

"Brainwashed, that's it!..." Dawn tried... "Angel, you gotta take her to your place and deprogram her..."

"Buffy?...Brainwashed?..." Angel shook his head... "Dawn, come on..."

"Drugs!...That's it!!...He don't use magics but he pumps em full of..."

Well...? Angel eyed William...Who was looking anywhere but at the still staring Buffy...Who now put a hand out to him...

"Really glad to see you again..." she murmured... "William, right?...Did I tell you about how I suddenly found myself in love with the Immortal one day?..."

"That's nice..." he sighed...Turning to Angel... "Any way to check for drugs?...I suppose we should..."

Brought a general testing kit...his partner nodded...Dawn eyeing Buffy...

"Buffy, could we have a urine and blood sample...Just to check?" Angel eyed her...

Uh...She eyed Dawn...

"I'll need to check with Henri...His Benevolence...If that's ok..." she turned to the door as a distinguished-looking butler entered...

"This is Robbins...Robbins, His Benevolence wants His guests properly cared for..." Buffy dreamily noted... "I'll be back to help in just a bit..."

She paused and glanced at Dawn...

"You ain't going no wheres without me, Buffy!..." Dawn hurried over and went out with her...

"Nice girl..." Robbins noted to the two guests... "Seems a trifle submissive though..."

***

Well?...Buffy hissed as the sisters paused in the hallway...

Dawn shrugged... "No go, they aren't buying the thrall bit...They think you're voluntary..."

"What the...Whadaya mean they still don't believe it?...I'm acting worse than with RJ!..."



"Buf...You're the greatest Slayer of ever...I told ya they'd never believe His Doofusness could get his hooks in ya..."

"They think...William thinks...?"

"It's love?...'Fraid so..." Dawn sighed...

"But I caved to love spells lotsa times...How can he believe I'd ever voluntarily let that lump of puff pastry push me around like that?...Jerk..." she groused...

If he weren't the lovea my life...

"So...Knock this nonsense off and tell him...He's the Slayer's mate-for-life...A nonvoluntary, nonresignable position...And kill that stupid jackass before word gets out to the underworld how you've been acting..."

"Can't believe he'd think..." Buffy looked down...Damn jerk...All this trouble getting him to come and see me...Putting up with that worthless clown of an Immortal dumbass for all these weeks...

"Damn him!..." she fumed... "Where the hell's the guy who won his soul back for me?...Died for me?!...Geesh..."

"He thinks you'd do it for love...That's not so bad..." Dawn noted... "Least he thinks you're capable of it...That Love could even make you do something like..."

Yeah?...Buffy beamed...Well, if it were Will...

And he didn't act like as big a jerk...

Hmmn...Wait a mo...She waved a hand... "I got an idea...Just gotta get His Schmuckness back and to think Will's challenging him...He'll try to have me deal rather than fight himself of course..." Gutless creep...the sisters glared down the hall...

"Torn by my conflictin' emotions when sent to deal...My love for Will overcomes His Swinishness' sinister influence..."

Not bad...Dawn nodded...But His Dumbassness doesn't use magics...Even before he told them that, the guys knew...Some guy told them in Rome, they said...And Angel's screened for spells...

And you'll fail a drug test...The wrong way...she sighed...

"So?...Maybe it was the First...Yeah, she's in league with him and usin' my despair over Will to gain a hold on me...Enthrall me to him and turn my body over to her in the end..."

Well...Bit hokey, sis...But it is better...And with our dim boys...Might work...Dawn agreed...Hey?...A glare...

"Sorry, sorry..."

"And best of all will be the look on His Dipshitness' face...Just before I let him have it...Well, no..." Buffy sighed...

Best will be my Will's face when he knows at last...What I said was true...she smiled...

"Yeah, but ya are gonna kill that asshole, right?..."

"He was in league with the Senior Partners to distract me while they killed the boys...Of course I'm gonna kill him...Soon as the douche bag's served his purpose..."

"Buffy, my dear..." His Benevolence called sharply from the door of his study...

"Yeah?...Ummn...Yes, Henri?...Your Benevolence...?"

I think the best part is watching him so utterly clueless while she does this act...Dawn gave a slight grin...



"After our guests leave, I'd like that brandy...And my study requires straightening...My shoes a brisk wiping...If you would cease your chatter with the little one a moment and hurry these awful people on their way..." he frowned at her...

"Of course, dear...Your Benevolence..." she nodded...A wan smile...

Oh, I am gonna love the final scene tonight...Gotta get the video camera and see if we can run it in slo mo later...Dawn thought...

***