"Immortal Beloved LXXIX..."

A shortie

PG-13

Spoilers for Angel to "The Girl in Question..." However everything here except the reference to the episode's enemy is my own playin' round...

Disclaimer: Everything but the 'Soames Walthrop' and I don't use it here is Joss' and ME's

Summary: Yet another retelling of events during or after the Angel episodes "Girl in Question...", "Not Fade Away..." (Different versions, not a continuous story...For the most part)

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Valentine's eve, 2005...



LA...William's new apartment...Befitting a new Associate Partner of LA's hot new legal/investigative firm...Angel, Burkle-Wyndham-Price, Gunn, and Walthrop...

William entertains his more or less permanent live-in...As said roomie watches from his high chair, a dinner of franks, macaroni, and vegetables mostly on face and floor...

"Lets see...Valentine's Day eve...The true time of the poetic romantic ..." he eyed the toddler, wiping the smeared face... "Whatdaya say kid?...Any ideas for this bloody awful poet/foster dad of yours?..."

Hmmn...Well...How's about this...

"Once upon a V-D eve dreary...Whilst I ponder, alone again, naturally...And weary..."

A frowning look...

"Ok, not so good...Like I said, bloody awful...You want Shakespeare?..."

A faint chuckle in the air... "How's about this?... 'My soul is wrapped in harsh repose,

Midnight descends in raven's-colored-clothes...'..." He whirled around... "Buffy...?" he whispered...Staring...

Nothing...

"Or maybe you should try another theme...It is your birthday tomorrow, right?..." the voice giggled a bit from another corner...

"Damnit, Slayer...Why the hell are you here and what the hell are you doing?...Have you been messin' round with that invisibility ray again?..." he called to the room at large, glaring...The toddler eyeing him with a somewhat perturbed air...

No, I ain't gone bonkers, kid...he sighed... "An old acquaintance has decided to mess with my head...Again..."

No doubt the world needs another dim-witted sacrificial lamb...he frowned...

"Hey!..." the voice called, a bit sharp... "I went to alotta of trouble for this...And I damned well better...As I happen to know, I do, lucky for you...Mean a lot more to you than 'an acquaintance'..."

"Summers...Knock it off, shut the blasted thing down, and tell me why you're here..."

"Tell me why you didn't come to Rome right away?..." the voice grumpily replied...



"How's the Immortal..." he replied, coolly...

"I wouldn't know...Ask a Ms. Sarah Gellar, slayer and actress...My current stand-in..." Buffy replied, materializing in front of him... "She's the one makin' time with His Benevolence..." her glowing form grinned at him...Then frowned... Jerk...she hissed...

Buffy...?...he stared at the spirit glowing...And now glowering...In front of him...

"...the Spectral Slayer...You son of a Dru...Never even tried to check things out...Even when you came to Rome..."

"You're?..." "A ghostie, yeah...Oh..." she eyed the now rather alarmed toddler... "Don't be scared, sweetie...Ghost Buffy isn't gonna hurt ya..."

"How?..." he blinked as the specter tried to pat the child... "If I really concentrate..." She looked at him...Ah...She beamed as the child cooed happily... "I managed to kiss Dawn last week when I first manifested with Willow's help...Not easy...But you've been there, I gather..."

"How...When...?" he looked at her as she turned back to face him...Dressed he noted as she had been that day at the Hellmouth...

"First...For God's sakes, Will...After all you went through that year, check me out..." she frowned... "I could be the First, ya know...Call Giles or at least see if Angel has anything to confirm my story...I'm not going anywheres..."

"No chance...The First would never be so annoying..." he replied... Hey...she glared...

"Or carry off those clothes with quite such style..." he gallantly finished... "Now, that's more like it, my Victorian sir..." she nodded...

The phone rang... "Mmmn...There's Dawn...I asked her to call in case you freaked or pulled out some Wolfram-Hart anti-First weapon that might block me out as well..."

He went to the phone... "Dawn?..." he cautiously asked...

Yeah...he replied as the ghostly Buffy beamed...Good ole sis... "She's here...Why the hell?..."

Like you people would've rejoiced at my appearance in Rome...? he frowned at the phone...

"Hey...Dawnie was broken up about you, too..." Buffy frowned...

After she thought things over and realized what you'd overcome for love of me...A wry smile...

"Well, when did she?...Fine..." he looked at the ghost... "She wants to tell me herself...Right...What?...Oh..." he paused...A faint smile breaking...

"It's nice to be back...And thank you...It's my twenty-third, humanwise..." "See, Dawn...I told ya...No big age difference...Humanwise...!" the ghost called...

Ummn... "You lot are sure she's not the First?...Right..."

Hmmn...? he stared at the receiver... "Such a cutie...What's his name, Will?...Hee..." Ghost Buffy returned to the toddler... "Though thank God he's not Harm's...Or..." she gulped a bit... "Dru's..."

"I wish I knew...Something to do with the amulet..."

"Hey?...Name?!" "Philip William...!" "Philip?..." "My brother..." "Oh, right...He was in the archives..."

"Yeah, Nibs..." he told the phone... "I said, brother...I was human, you know...I had a family..."

"And a sister!..." ghost Buffy called...Smiling as he stared at her form..."Wonderful kid, Amelia...She sends her love..."

He blinked...Then slowly smiled back...Thanks, his look said...

"Anyway, then Angel's ole pal Lindsay appears to have gotten involved...Pulled up some kind of corporealization spell...It went with him to the grave, I'm afraid...Though I'll gladly drag him back from the beyond in agony if we must..." he told the phone... "But what about Willow?...Couldn't she?...I see..."

Osiris was still that mad, eh?...

Oh, yeah...Buffy rolled her eyes...

"Well, why didn't you lot contact Angel at Wolfram-Hart right away?...He had access to all sorts of..."

"Right, Wolfram-Hart's resurrected zombie-slave Buffy...That's what I would've wanted..." Buffy glared... "And Angel gave us that damned amulet..."

'Course being a resurrected zombie-slave living with you might not've been so bad...she noted...

You cutie...Oooh...she reached to the kid again...Hmmn... "Will, someone needs a little help...And I'm afraid I can't manage this one..."

"Well, let me see what we still may have on hand with the least strings attached...I'll head over and get back to you lot tomorrow..."

"The hell you will..." Buffy fumed... "I didn't spend all these afterlife points, a year trying to reach Dawnie, two weeks with Willow learning to manifest, and a week hounding Giles to look you up in the archives to get your birthday, to spend my first night back with you...Your birthday's and Valentine's eve...Pokin' round the old Wolfram-Hart vaults..."

"I'll see what we can do..." he told the phone, eyeing the glaring ghost briefly... "Say what's this about a Ms. Gellar?...She's been what?...Well, who's bright idea was that?...Right, naturally Machiavelli Giles couldn't let the underworld know his champion Slayer bit the dust..."

Giles was only tryin' to do the right thing by the new Slayers...the ghost frowned... "Will, the Slayers might've been easy targets before they were gathered and trained if the bad guys knew I'd died of my injuries at the Hellmouth that night..."

"Well, Nibs...Someone shoulda let us...Meanin' me...Know..."

"Well, you shoulda come to Rome and demanded to see me!...Some devoted-beyond-the-world's -end lover you are!..." Buffy called...

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