Immortal Beloved..." LIV...



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..."



***

London, Heathrow Airport...Six months after the defeat of the Senior Partners at LA...

Angel and William strode out of their gate, luggage in hand...

"If it's all the same to you, poof-boy...I'll be heading on out..." Will eyed Angel as they paused, looking about the airport hallway...

"Spike?...Whadaya mean?...You said you were ok with this?..."

"I..." he waved a hand... "Don't need this...I think I'd like to just go, find a room in town...On my expense card, of course...And get started seeking my roots and any surviving family..."

"Spike..." Angel sighed... "You said you could handle this...I'm no more anxious to..."

"William!!...Angel!!!...Hey, guys!!!!..." a loud bellow from down the hall...Buffy, with Dawn...And a rather handsome thirtiesish-looking, very well-dressed and groomed man...in tow...

"So!..." she whacked William in the side as she came up to them... "Long time no tell Buffy you're up and kickin'..."

Hello...

"What, no hug for your old Slayer general?...And your...Ummn...Old girl?..." she raised arms eagerly...He eyeing her coolly...Then let himself be embraced...Spike...she hugged him tightly...He stiff in her arms...

"Spike's a demon in hell...Please, call me William, Buffy..."

"Sorry...William..." she smiled, pulling back...The smile fading fast as he eyed her quietly...Ummn...

"Hey...William..." Dawn reached out to pat him... "Nibs..." he nodded to her... "Sorry bout...Things..." she eyed him...Buffy watching him questioningly...

"I came through fine..." he shook his head...

"I mean...Last year and all...I know I wasn't exactly...Supportive...Post-soul and all..." Dawn explained...



"Will?...Are you angry at me?..." Buffy asked suddenly... "I mean, you took your sweet time about..."

"Angel, this is Buffy..." William turned to Angel... "Very funny..." she frowned... "Hi, Angel..." she patted his arm... "Look, I'm sorry about Giles and everything...The Wolfram-Hart stuff threw us for a loop...I had faith in you, though..."

"So Andrew told me..." Angel smiled faintly, but accepted an embrace in his turn...

Don't be too...On her, I mean...Dawn hissed to Will as he stood by her... "She really was kinda broken up about you for a long time..."

"Oh...Henri, sorry..." Buffy turned to the good-looking fellow just behind her... About what I expected, William sighing... "Guys, meet Henri...Faucomb...Count d'Vestigy...Better known as 'The Immortal'..."

"Henri...Angel...It's Liam Angel, now, right?..." she smiled at Angel... "And...William...Soames Walthrop..." she grinned at William who blinked at her... "Didn't think I'd bother to look your name up, eh?..." "Thanks..." he replied coolly... "That was nice of you...Was it for my tombstone?..."

Actually...Dawn thought...As Buffy stared back at him...Some anger in her eyes now...

"D'Vestigy..." Angel nodded, moving to smooth things... "Thanks for the capo..." "Don't mention it, mon ami...My dear Buffy was most anxious it reach you in time..." The Immortal beamed...

Yeah...Will nodded, frowning...

"You're angry..." a somewhat cooled Buffy gave a shrewd look... "I'm the one who should be angry, you know...You resurrect and never call..."

"So when's the happy day for you two?..." he ignored her, smiling coldly at the Immortal...

"Well, my friend...We hope to conclude things shortly...Naturally there are many details to consider before we move on to embrace our happiness..." Henri smiled...

Yeah...Buffy nodded briefly... "So, why are you angry?..." she frowned at William... "I thought Angel said you doin' fine since the big battle...You sure weren't so desperate to see me you hopped on the first plane to Rome...If Giles hadn't arranged this conference with Angel over disposing of the remains of Wolfram-Hart, Inc I bet you never woulda..."

"Buffy?..." Henri tapped his right forefinger with the other... "That's 'would have'...I do not mean to correct you like this but you did ask me to let you know..."

Our social responsibilities require we discipline ourselves as role models for Society, not only in our heroic endeavours, but even to the lesser details...he smiled at the boys who eyed each other, then Buffy...

Right...she nodded at Henri... "I'm watchin' it...No sweat..."

Dawn rolled eyes...Yeah, he is like this all the time...Her expression said...

"So...? You never would...Have...Come?" "Buffy...Look...You're happy, I'm ok...It's nice to see you again..."

"All you had to do was pick up a phone..." she told him...

Uh, Buf...Dawn eyed her...Devoted buffoon of a sorta fiancee at two o'clock...Eliciting even my very hard won sympathy by his patience...Her expression said...

"But anyway, it's nice to see you again, too...Henri and I are thinkin' about gettin' married...Did you hear?..."

Thinking?...Henri stared slightly... Mama is getting ready to have herself souled for the occassion...Not to mention planning the invitations...

"Saw a sidebar in 'People'...Congrats..."

"Just rumors...Nothin' definite....Though we're definitely considerin'..."



Buf?...You said we'd go dress shopping this weekend?...Dawn blinked up at her...

"Nice...Guess you've expanded your definition of a suitable partner since I fried..."

"You never gave me!..." she calmed hastily as the others stared... Uh...

"Henri, honey?...Could we go to the clubroom?...It's noisy out here..."

"Certainly, dearest...Gentlemen...And Ladies..." he waved them along... "The clubroom is much better for such a joyous reunion...Let me phone ahead and see that some refreshments have been brought up..." he left the room...

"C'mon..." Buffy muttered, grabbing at Will's arm...Dawn giving Angel a sly smile as they headed off...William doing his best to avoid looking at Buffy's half-anxious, half-angry face...

***

"So..." Buffy glared at Will as they awaited Henri's return in the rather elegantly appointed clubroom...

Buffy...he sighed... "Lets just leave it at... 'Spike died at Sunnydale for you and remains a fond memory'...While as for me, the Buffy I loved died likewise of her injuries after telling me she..."

Sounds good to me...Very sensible...Dawn thought...Clearin' away the past and leavin' all kinds of new opps for the future...Way to go...

She colored but said nothing...Glare reaching kill intensity...But calmed as His Benevolence returned, attentive staff in tow...Angel eyeing him as he entered...

Hmmn...Henri quickly sized up the sit...This looks like a job for an aristocrat with exquiste sensibility and taste...

"That's the way you...?" Buffy stared... "It's damned well the way you wanted it, at least regards me, right?..."

"My friends...My dearest girl..." Henri hastily interposed...Receiving a mutual glare for his pain as Angel watched quietly...Dawn rolling eyes...God, will you two ust...

Course, it does seem...From an objective pov...A little hard on our pretentious aristocratic one, here...Henri being of the soulless vamp persuasion and all, it was something for him to...she thought...

"Buffy, my darling...I cannot bear to see you in such pain...I must relinquish my claims..." Huh?...Dawn stared...Angel and William as well...

Huh?...Buffy eyed him... "No, ma petit...It's clear to me your heart is pledged to another...And, being... 'The Immortal' ...there is but one course I can follow...Walthrop..." he turned to William... "I entrust her to your care...Farewell..."

Henri?...Buffy stared... "No, my love..." he raised a hand... "I cannot oppose true love...Your kind heart that would spare my feelings does you credit...But alas, I am not the One..." he hastily turned and exited through the back door, Angel following...As Dawn stared after him...

Did that pompous French jackass just pull an Angelus?...Or, maybe drop the last two to be fair...Angelus at least never jerked her around, claiming he was just waiting and hopin' for...The Day of Final Redemption...While sleepin' round with every girl in LA...

***

Phew...The Immortal mopped his brow... "A close one, eh...?" Angel grinned...

"At least you had Angelus and Duty to get you safely away from her..." Henri shook his head... "Mon Dieu, the girl nearly had me... 'The Immortal'...Bound, gagged, and delivered into the hideous bonds of matrimony..."

"You didn't have to..." "Have you ever tried to tell her the relationship is over?...The look on her face when I even suggested that we might care to see others again...Merde, mon ami...I thought it was going to be fun...The Greatest Slayer and the Immortal...A few pleasant weeks, no doubt a spread in "People" at the very least...Great for my book sales, naturalement....Then we'd go on our merry ways...What was she thinking of?...I'm soulless for crying out loud..."



"She was probably transferring...You're lucky William's back..."

Transferring?...Henri frowned... As in me, 'The Immortal' for that two-bit Billy Idol impersonator?...

The door back opened, both falling hastily silent as Dawn emerged...And eyed Henri coolly...

"Nice dodge, Your Bullshitiness..." she frowned...The mouth on that kid...the Immortal glared a bit... "Just thank whatever equivalent of God you pray to William was available...I think she's actually not that unhappy how things worked out..." Please...For sparing me from a daily dose of you alone, I thank the gods for Walthrop's sudden appearance...he thought, giving her a benevolent smile...

"As I said, true love..." Henri began...

"Bollocks!..." a shout from within... "Andrew told you I was alive!..."

"You coulda stayed in Rome!...Ummn..." an answering shout... "Hah!...So, you knew I came to Rome...You knew I was alive!!..."

"Uh...You coulda come to Rome..." a somewhat feeble retort... "Yeah..." the retort gathering strength... "You left me hangin' all those months...Not knowin' if you didn't believe..." "All...Those...Months, eh?!..."

Uh, I mean since Andy tole me...Willow wasn't sure when... "Willow...Wasn't...Sure..." he repeated...

"I love you...Henri was just filling in..." she played her despairation card...

"Willow?..." Angel eyed Dawn... Filling?...Henri blinked... "Willow did a seance...I asked her to..." Dawn sighed...

"You had Willow check on me?...When?..." a somewhat happier tone... "Oh, yeah...Right back in October..." an eager reply... "She said you were around on Earth somewhere, couldn't pin you down..."

She had Willow checkin'...Dawn rolled eyes...Angel giving her a sympathetic look...Dawn...

"You had Willow looking for him?..." he smiled at her...Filling...In?...Henri mumbled...

"I just wanted to know he was ok...Soul and all safe in Heaven..." Dawn nodded... "I wasn't very nice to him last year...I kinda felt bad after it was all over, him saving us and all...And I, I sorta missed him...He was always so much fun when we hung out after Buffy was gone...." she was silent a moment, then perked a bit "...Buf was glad to hear he was ok after Willow did it and we told her...Ummn..."

"And knowing I was around, you left it at that...?!" a rather more strident tone resumed from behind the door...

"You coulda come to Rome!..."

"Well...Suppose we just let true love take its natural course..." Henri hissed...Angel nodding solemnly...

***