"Immortal Beloved..." LXXXIV...



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..."

(Think the last scenes of Coppola's adaptation of "Dracula" for this one...)

***

Transylvania...February 2005...

The grim and forbidding ancestral castle of the legendary Dracule, guardians of Romania and protectors of the Church during the early years of the Turkish conquest...

Not so well liked afterward...

Home of the famed Prince Vlad of the Dracule...

No, not that twit from S5...He was only the Immortal One's worthless grandnephew...

Vlad Dracula...First vampire to achieve a kind of redemption...And in our modern world better known as that captain of Eastern European industrial/scientific revival...And bestseller author...

The Immortal...

Unfortunately...Despite the sincerity of his efforts at a sort of redemption...And his recovery of a certain ability to judge right and wrong, making him, unlike your typical Evil-driven vamp, responsible for his actions...

Love...In the form of what he at least believes to be his reincarnated Princess Elisabeta, the wife whose loss drove him to his dark fate...Has led him a bit off the path of true redemption...

Having, in order to gain the strength to woo his beloved in daylight during his weakest moments, a little escape clause granted to the strongest of vampires, found it necessary to again turn to human blood...Well, a kind of human blood...Rather, a certain, amazingly powerful source of energy in the form of a very unique individual's human blood...

Namely, the not-exactly strictly human sister of his beloved...A young woman created out of pure energy by some panicky monks to keep her energy from a certain megalomanic goddess...

With the unfortunate, lamentable result of the young girl's transformation...And her subsequent destruction by the band long gathered round his beloved...Aided by a fairly hefty number of young women gifted with the same super power granted to the object of his affections...

One Buffy Summers, once greatest of the Slayers...Who, her friends would say, sadly and self-delusionally, has accepted Vlad's claims of her being his lost love...Hey, it somehow sounds right...And worse, has been, under his influence, displaying an astounding tolerance for veering from the straight and narrow...



Not only accepting, albeit reluctantly, Dawn's murder and transformation, but embracing his offer of Immortal life with him...Only her devoted friends standing in the way of her final transformation, backed by her equally devoted former lover...Who knows something about sacrificing oneself's for one's love, believe you me...William...

In their company, she has traveled to this bleak fastness...They and William hoping to destroy Dracula and free her from what most of them try to view as his thrall...She, leading them on in order to join he whom she believes as he does, is her lost beloved...

While she and her once most trusted friend and instructor, now most feared enemy, Chairman Dr. Rupert Giles of the Royal Council of Librarians and Antiquarians, wait within the castle...Giles having disposed of various members of the Dracule clan dormant in their coffin...The others...The noble Xander, near-brother to the Slayer...The courageous Andrew...The still and ever loving William...And their Slayer comrades...Race against the setting sun after the transport bearing the battle-weakened Dracula, buried in a box of his native soil...(Bloody stupid superstitions, doesn't do a damn bit of good...Will notes to his friends)...Guarded by his faithful servants...(Even better paid than Wolfram-Hart's boys)...

Willow being again away on an astral plane tour...And that tall, brooding guy with the hair having been disposed of back during an earlier fight with Dracula and his new girl in London...

Told him not to tell her about The Immortal's romp with Darla and Dru...Will reflected as they closed in on the transport...

Trapped in his weakened state, The Immortal cries out to Buffy who summons up her growing near-but-not-quite-undead powers over nature to hinder her friends' efforts...

To little avail, there being after all twenty Slayers and a group of folks very well experienced in this sort of thing...

And fortunately her own Slayer power trumped a bit by her near-Undead curse which allows Giles some power over her through religious artifacts...

He not able to quite repress the thought that he should have tainted her long ago...As controlling her via religious implements would have spared a lot of past arguments between them...

Despite her fanatical insistence on the veracity of 'her' Immortal's story... I feel it's true, Giles...she continually babbles... He can't give up trying to reach her nobler self...

"He killed Dawn, Buffy...Led you to kill Angel...He wants to kill you and make you a fiend...How can you give yourself to him?..."

"I'm his beloved, Giles...His Immortal beloved for all time...I sense it, I feel it...I know I've been with him in the past..."

Well...With somebody in the past...I'm pretty sure it's him...she notes...

Not all that bright Willow called her...he sighs...

***

The transport crashes through the castle gates as the posey reaches it, Xander, William, Andrew, and two Slayers making it through the magics-reinforced gate before it seals again...

The sun has reached the horizon's edge and begins to vanish...

Xander hops onto the transport but is brutally stabbed from behind as he forces the now-stopped vehicle's back door open, killing the guard inside with the coffin and sliding the box back out onto the ground as William runs to it...

Buffy and Giles emerging from the castle as William forces the box open...Buffy screaming at him as the Slayers fight off the last surviving guards about the scene...Xander collapsing into the snow, Andrew desperately trying to tend him...

But the sun has nearly set...

Though Buffy is rather puzzled, eyeing the guy she'd thought was long gone...Another fellow who'd died for her, she remembers...Though perhaps under somewhat, some might say, more noble circumstances...



"William?..." she calls...Forgetting for a moment her beloved struggling within his box of earth...

"What are you doing here?...And in daylight?..."

"Came back a while ago, the October of the year I roasted, Buf...After our fight with the Partners back last May, I woke up to find myself...Human..."

Human?...she blinks...And here to save me, again?...

Whoa...

But hey, my true beloved in the box there...She tenses for battle, though Giles' restraints hold her...Not to mention...

"How come you never came to me in Rome?..." she calls...A bit peeved...

Buffy?...The Immortal, banging away in his box, is somewhat put out, hearing...

UnLife and Death struggle here, dear...

Xander gasping out his last...Comforted in his death throes by a vision of Anya...Who seems in a forgiving vein...

"I did come, once...After you and Vlad here..." Will bangs the coffin, cutting ropes as he pulls a short, mean-looking sword... "Started hangin'...At the time it seemed ok...So I left things as they were..."

Andy never told you I was back?...he stared at her...Both turning to stare at a briefly...Given his tending of poor Xander...Proud Andrew's firm stare...Break a promise to a compadre?...Never...His look says...

"Well, that was dumb..." she calls...Eyeing the sun now all but gone...Vlad now breaking through the box and rising up...As William slices his throat and stabs him in the chest...

Not quite doing the job...As the Immortal demonstrates by tossing human Will back, then falling out of the transport and box and collapsing onto the ground by Buffy...Now partially freed of Giles' restraints by the coming of night...She grabs a rifle dropped by one of Dracula's deceased guards, confronting William and the Slayers about him...William waving the Slayers back, looking at her calmly...

Hmmn...She eyes the two..Vlad groaning on the ground as his Undead life's blood spills out...William eyeing her sadly...

William back...Again...

But William didn't come...And he does seem kinda mad at her...Which might possibly be understandable given her willing to go with the soulless if charming vamp who killed her sister and not the souled and passionate vamp who saved her and the world...

Oooh...She notes Xander, nearly dead on the ground...Looking at Giles' grim face...And the Slayers' now confronting her...

Guess I'm not likely to be too popular with my old gang right now...she notes to herself...

"Well...?" Will gives her a quiet look...

"Will you do the same for me...?" she indicates Dracula...Who'd really like a little medical assist now, please?... "When my time comes...?"

"Loving you as I do...And having been in the grip of a monster like Spike for over a century?..." he pauses...

You bet your booties, I would, girl...

She blinks...

"I've loved you too long, Cicely..." he stares at her... "To lose you to that..." a wave at the now vainly trying to crawl to the castle door...In hopes of finding something, a towel, a rug to staunch the blood...Immortal...



"Or this..." he waves at her nearly-Undead form...

"Cicely?..." she stares...

Hmmn...Uh-oh...

Could I have possibly been mistaken regarding that past life thingy...?

***