"Immortal Beloved..." LVIII...



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, I lied about stopping at 50...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...)

This one requires a little knowledge of my BR verse (www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/index.html, try one of the Semi-Parallel Lives tales to get a handle on the interdimensional Buffies as well...)

***



Downtown LA, just outside the ruins of the Wolfram-Hart tower...Night...

A badly battered William looked up to see...Hey...Willow waved...Buffy sliding down too fast beside him for him to immediately be sure...

"You're here?..." he whispered... "Yes, Will...I'm right here...It's gonna be fine, my baby..." she stroked his hair...Listen, darling...she breathed to him... "Willow and I are gonna take you to where we can get you some help..." "Angel, the others..." he twisted to look... "No, they're fine...The fight's over, Will...Look over there, there's Angel with..." Is that a dragon's head?...she hissed to Willow... "Not really an expert, Buf...But based on fairy tale and movie experience, I'd said ye-ah..."

Well anyway, she turned back to William... "The other guys are fine...Now just lay quiet a moment here and..."

Buffy...Willow eyed her...Buffy looked at the wiccan coolly...And rose... "Will, we hafta take care of one thing...Just stay quiet here and I'll be right back..."

"Don't..." he whispered... "I'm not going anywheres but with you, baby...Just a minute..."

Moving off with Willow... "Buffy!..." Angel waved... "Yeah, Angel...Nice dragon!..." she waved back... "Is Will ok?..." "Fine, fine...We're gonna move him in just a sec..."

"Buffy..." Willow hissed... "Angel's not surprised you're here...We had a deal...Only a William whose Buffy wasn't..."

"Do you see her here...?" Buffy waved a bit... "But if she..." "If she cared, why isn't she here?...Willow, there isn't much time...Angel is gonna find out who we aren't soon enough...This Buffy's people could check in anytime..."

Willow sighed...Buf...

"Willow, you promised you'd help me...You're the only one who can...And it's not like I won't give him a choice after he's recovered on our world and we explain things to him...If he wants to go back then, it's up to him..."



"Buffy, if we pull William from this world for you...And this Buffy does love him, just needs time or some humongous event, as you did, to realize just what he means to her..."

She could...

"End up like me?..." Buffy eyed her friend coldly... "Capable of doing what I did?..."

"Everything you've learned on our world regarding you and Will says that he's essential to you...When the chains of events leading you back to him was broken on our world, the effect on you..." Willow paused...

"When she came to our world, did she wait to see what it would do to me?..." "Different circumstances, Buffy...We had no idea what a link you and Will had...And she was seeking to fill her own gap herself...You and he weren't..."

"We would've been...If she hadn't come...If Warren hadn't..." Buffy paused... "It was Will's decision, Buffy...He thought there was no chance for him with you, so he did what Spike seemed to think was the next best thing, the only possible one...And you only...Suffered...Like this because of that mental merging with her..."

"Not only with her..." Buffy shook her head...Looking back at Will...We've gotta go back to him, he's looking for me...Needs me...she noted...

"Not only with her...With hundreds of them...My twin sisters across time and the universe...And all, all those who were happy...Were with him...Our soulmate...My other half..."

I'm incomplete without him...I know that now...And you've seen what the consequences of not having him with me were, Willow...

"Yes..." Willow sighed sadly... "We've seen..." They'd reached William, unconscious now...Buffy kneeling, then sitting to gently take up his head into her lap...She looked up at Willow...

"We've checked this world out...This Buffy's made her decision...She's taken this Immortal goonboy...And this William is alone, after winning his soul back...Willow?...His soul, won back?...He deserves the right to happiness with me as much as I do with him..."

And if we learn we've unbalanced the Buffy of this Earth by taking him?...Willow shook her head...

"She's fine...Happy...William...And I...Are the ones in torment...Willow?...Are you here to help me or should I have let them put me in jail?..."

"They wouldn't've...Charge you with what?...There was no way to prove you'd done anything...Only your confession...Our William will never know...And she...And the rest of us...have..."

Forgiven me?...No, Wil...Maybe some of you...Maybe even Dawn...But not her...No...

"What I did...Can't be forgiven...We both know that, my poor sis and me...But...For her Will's sake and you guys...She'll let it be buried...Try to forget..."

"I still can't believe you could have done it, Buffy..." Willow said simply, a terrible sadness in her eyes... "And I do believe you were insane..."

"I don't believe it myself...But whether I was half or fully out of my head...I did it...I..."...Buf...Willow patted her...A groan from William quieting them for a moment...Buffy stroking his head till he was quiet, then standing as Angel came over...

"Girls...How's..." "Fine..." they replied in chorus... "Well..." Buffy paused... "He needs to get to a hospital...Willow's gonna teleport us in just a mo..." He nodded and grinned... "He will be glad you made it, Buf...He's been terrified to face you and, well ...After our trip to Rome..."

"I love him...I'll take care of him, Angel...Don't worry, I promise..." she smiled at him... "I'm glad for you both..." he patted her... "But what about...His Bness?..." "Eh...He'll get over it...Quick...You'll be amazed..."

You really will, tomorrow, if we do get him outta here...Willow thought. glancing at William while maintaining a friendly smile at Angel...

"Well...I'd best go and see how Charlie's doing...I'll send more help back..." he moved off with a wave...

Nice as ours...Willow noted...Yeah, Buffy nodded... "Buf?...There is an Angel on our world...?"



"And a Warren who'd try his damnedest to love me as much as he loved his Katrina in spite of...What's happened...I know the options I have Willow..."

I've tried the options...Tried...And you know the result...she sighed...Well...

"You've seen quite a few of my nastier other selves in the trip's course, Wil...Not to mention some of your own darker selves...You know what I can be capable of...And last year, you all saw the proof..."

Even the Willow of this Earth's committed murder...A Warren, no less... Buffy eyed her companion...

Warren...By me...And him, evil, to boot...Willow shook her head...Such a bizarre universe where such things could be...But bound to occur in an infinite one, I guess...

And if I had lost my Tara...Yes...I think I could kill...she closed her eyes a moment...

"They're all sides of me...The good and bad...As with yours..." Buffy eyed her...

Help me, Willow...Best friend...The last to believe in my sin...The first to forgive me...There's no other option for me...Either I find a William to replace the one taken from me...Or...

"I continue down the path I took last year...I'm not threatening, Wil...Just stating a fact...I don't want it, didn't want it...Would, did fight my own self to avert it...But I know I can't prevent it, no matter how hard I try...Not without William..."

Sorry to disappoint and shatter your vision of my perfect nature...she smiled wanly... "But in the end, I'm only human...Like you..." she noted...A hard stare...

And if I am taking another Buffy's William...To all accounts an unwanted William...I'm only doing what was done to me...

"Just as Buffy Rebecca came to take mine..." she was cold... "I've passed on twenty other available Williams because their Buffies seemed to be about to take the plunge with them...This one's off in Europe with her Immortal boyfriend while Will's been alone here, nearly killed here, calling for her...For me..."

"I'm not about to wait around and see if she decides to reconsider...Please, Wil..."

***