"Immortal Beloved..." LXXXVIII...

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..."

Archived at the 'Normal' Buffyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, https://www.angelfire.com/zine2/buffyrebecca/index.html (scroll on down to the IB series)...



***

LA...Aftermath of the (considering the odds,hardly far to call it a) battle with the Senior Partners...

A horde of rather battered demons raising fists in triumph...OOOGHA...HMPF!!...General backslapping where something approaching a hand or a back was available...

The surviving vampires in the force keeping a bit aloof from the deplorable gloating and hubris of the others...Perhaps secretly not all that het up about a victory over the two rebel antiheroes of their kind...

Especially one that had not exactly brought many fruits of victory...

We've conquered...An alleyway...Which, given our need to conceal our presence on Earth form the human forces now converging on the site...The possibility of the enemy's more powerful allies arriving, even if too late...And the approach of daylight...We must evacuate...

And entailed losses of about 9,632 to 8, one clerically-minded fellow assigned to compile stats noted...If we can count in the last-minute humans who'd joined Angel and his force in the fray, whoever they were...

The remains a little too trampled to id right now...

But anyway...It was a moment all too rare...One to savor...

For once...With odds of about 10,000 to 1 in our favor...A victory...

At last...

Of course Wolfram-Hart, Inc, USA and the Black Thorns are shot to hell...Meaning we've lost our command team and our last major permanent foothold on Earth...The records-keeper vamp pointed out with not a little contentment...Having warned previously the losses here would so far outweigh the benefits that it would've been best to cut a new deal with Angel and write off the Circle...Worthless dolts to get taken so easily at that...

"Well..." one large, heavy-horned demon spoke up, ramming the little vamp down and trampling him to dust as he did so... "I got Spike's new coat..." he...Or possibly, she...Waved part of a leather jacket...

Great...the collective group eyed him...With a collective sigh...



We'll have it bronzed...

"People..." Senior Partner Joseph, once mighty head of the LA firm...Previously on leave during the Angel period...Now permanently unemployed, he noted to himself, sighing...Appeared in the midst of the group... "Time to withdraw...Human police and rescue forces are approaching and we've no assets left locally to bribe with..."

Several of the celebrating demons frowned at the little humanish, bald creature...Though none was so foolish as to challenge him...

"Victory is ours, Mr. Joseph!..." one tried to share the joy... "Let us celebrate and plunder!..."

"People...It's one thing to fight a few superheroes..." Joseph shook his head... "It's quite another to take on the entire US military and police forces..."

"Besides...I wanna get out before...Pickup..." he sighed...

Hmmn?...Several clueless demons eyed each other...A few passing their detachable eyes about to help the one-eyed or Harbringers left over from the First's army...The vamps about exchanging knowing looks...

Pickup...Yeah, lets go...Nothing more discouraging than seeing one's defeated enemies carried off to eternal joy...

Kinda makes one question the whole Evil system...We risk our possibly Immortal existence to kill a bunch of clowns who haul off to Heaven if they lose...

Whereas if we lose...

A bright light suddenly appeared all around the area...

Lovely...Joseph sighed, noting the second hand on his watch had frozen...Too late, time's been suspended...

"Back...Please..." a gentle voice commanded...The demons of the task force instinctively falling away...One or two feebly threatening or attempting to rally more sensible comrades who refused to budge...

You don't fight these guys...Straight from the Big One itself...

A glowing figure now stood just off from the largest body of demons...A few tried to make out its features but the bright light it gave off was too much for them...Ignoring the group it began scanning the devastated battle area...

Ah...The figure, its nun's habit now visible, smiled...Waving to a group of four now slowly moving her way...

"Hello...Welcome!..." it called...

"Lets go, people...No need to have it rubbed in our faces..." Joseph turned to his host, shrugging in resignation...

But...We won...Right?...The demon holding part of Spike's torn jacket looked at his companions...

***



"Dru?..." an approaching William eyed the gleaming figure in white nun's habit beaming at them...She held out a hand to him...

"Mr. Walthrop..." she hesitated a moment...

"William...Congratulations...You've won a most notable victory over evil..."

He looked round a bit...Well, quite a few dead demons...

"I mean your soul's triumph, Will...Not the overall body count..." she grinned...

"And here are our other friends, safe and sound..." she waved...He turned to see Angel, Illyria, Charlie, and a young woman vaguely familiar to him, approaching, all in the same gleaming white as Dru...Eyeing each other in considerable surprise...Both at seeing each other again and in their unusual mutual clothing choices...

"You three stop to shop at the Salvation Army thrift or something?..." Will grinned at them... "Same place as you..." Charlie noted...Will looking down to see that he was indeed likewise in white...

Hmmn...Clashes a bit with the blonde...he frowned...

"I don't suppose..." he turned back to Dru... "When we get where we're goin' you can wear anything you like, William..." she smiled...

"Dru...?" Angel blinked at her...

"Human-souled Dru..." Will guessed quickly, smiling at her...She nodding back with a grin...Yeah...

"So...We lost, eh?..." Charlie frowned... "I am right in assuming we're all dead?...Nice as it is to see my grandma was right about the white robes, lights, and all..."

"I think any fair-minded military commander would hand the palm to you...The Partners suffered irreplaceable losses...And since some of the Slayer Corps showed and more are on their way..." Dru smiled at the young woman standing with them... Ah, Claire the Slayer from our little army, right...Will nodded.... "They're forced into abandoning Earth for good..."

"Not an utterly humiliating outcome for us..." Illyria nodded...Then looked at her white outfit carefully...

"Does this mean...?" she asked Dru... "Welcome to the Light, sister..." Dru smiled...

"The winning side is preferable..." the no-longer blue one pronounced...

"But..." she lost a little composure...An anxiously questioning look to the white nun...

"Best to ask him...And her...Yourself..." Dru pointed to where another group in white was now taking form...

"Cordelia..." Angel gasped...

"Hey..." a merry wave from a Cordy who hurried over...Lifting Angel off the ground for a hug, spin, and kiss to his shock...

"Wesley..." Illyria blinked...Ummn...Oh...

"Hello...Dr. Burkle..." she eyed a white-robed Winifred at Wes' side...

Whoa...She gasped as Fred walked into her, literally...Will, Charlie, and Angel staring...

"They're one now..." Wes explained... "She's won her place as another dimension to Fred's immortal nature...Which for a demon is no mean achievement..." he smiled at the beaming Winifred-Illyria...

"Make room there, miss..." Darla tapped Cordy on the shoulder... "Hello, Dad..." she grinned at Angel... Darla?...

"I hear leaving our boy with you was not the worst idea I've ever had..." she hugged him...

Ummn... "We've agreed to share...If that's ok by you, Angel..." she eyed Cordy who nodded...

"Of course...We may have a few other nice fellows we'd each occasionally like to visit..."

Or at least I would...she grinned...Allowing for Eternity and all...

Gram...? Charlie found himself tossed up... "Sweetie-pie!..." a booming cry of joy...As a horde of relatives joined his grandmother around him...



"Liam..." Another figure came forward, followed by others...Angel's jaw dropping...

"Mother...Father..."

"Boy...Seems ye've gone and done it this time..." the stern voice followed by a smile...

Well done, my son... A firm nod...

"And high time you brought yer mother a grandson..."

"Mother..." Will stared at the figure moving his way... "Oh, William..." she smiled, extending arms... "You've made me so proud, son..." she hugged him as he sobbed in her arms...

"William..." a shy voice as he looked...

"Cicely?..." he gasped...

Hmmn... "You did resemble that vengeance..." "I was..." Cicely sheepishly nodded, stepping forward to him...Showing Halfreck form for an instant...

"But the soul is immortal in Eternity if not on Earth...And it seems the one I did harm to forgave me...Publicly..." she smiled at him... "So, here I am..."

Thank you for your poem, William...she kissed him... "It was the one thing my soul clung to within Halfreck...That kept part of me a little bit human...That someone idealized me so..."

"So...Dru..." Angel looked at her from his mother's embrace as she watched the group happily...

"What now...?"

"Now?..." she smiled...

"Now...My dearest friends...You get the big finale...Naturally..." she chuckled...

"Courtesy Mr. Cole Porter..."

She cocked her head and put hand to her ear...The others from Heaven smiling and gathering round her as the Angel group watched...

(Blow, Gabriel, Blow...Cole Porter)

Play



Dru:

"Do you hear that playin'?

Chorus (Wes, Angel's family, Mrs. Walthrop, Cicely, Charlie's family, friends):

(Yes, we hear that playin'.)



Dru:

Do you know who's playin'? (Mother?...Will stared at the trumpter beaming at him...)



Chorus:

(No, who is that playin'?)

(sung) Dru:

Well, it's Gabriel, Gabriel playin'!

Gabriel, Gabriel sayin'

"Will you be ready to go

When I blow my horn?"



All:

Blow, Gabriel, blow,

Come on and blow, Gabriel, blow.

I've been a sinner, I've been a scamp,

But now I'm willin' to trim my lamp,

So blow, Gabriel, blow.



Oh, I was low, Gabriel, low,

Mighty low, Gabriel, low.

But now that I have seen the light

I'm good by day and I'm good by night

So blow, Gabriel, blow.



Dru (rest as backup):

Once I was headed for Hell.

Once I was headed for Hell!

But when I got to Satan's door,

I heard you blowin' on your horn once more,

So I said, "Satan, farewell."



And now I'm all ready to fly

Yes, to fly higher and higher

'Cause I've gone through brimstone

And I've been through the fire

And I purged my soul

And my heart too

So climb up the mountaintop



All:

And start to blow, Gabriel, blow

Come on and blow, Gabriel, blow



Dru:

I wanna join your happy band

Play all day in the Promised Land

So blow, Gabriel, blow!



Get up you scamps, get up you sinners!

Get up on your feet and SING!



All (including Angel group):

Blow, Gabriel, blow, (Blow, Gabriel!)

Come on and blow, Gabriel, blow. (Blow, Gabriel!)

I've been a sinner, I've been a scamp,

But now I'm willin' to trim my lamp,

So blow, Gabriel, blow.



Oh, I was low, Gabriel, low, (Low, Gabriel!)

Mighty low, Gabriel, low.

But now that I have seen the light

I'm good by day and I'm good by night

So blow, Gabriel, blow.



Once I was headed for Hell.

Once I was headed for Hell!

But when I got to Satan's door,

I heard you blowin' on your horn once more,

So I said, "Satan, farewell."



All (fading):

So, Blow, Gabriel, blow!

Blow, Gabriel,blow! Oh....

I wanna join your happy band

Play all day in the Promised Land

So blow, Gabriel, blow, Gabriel,

blow, Gabriel, blow "



William and Mrs. Walthrop off to one side...

"William?..." she eyed him... "Anything troubling you...?"

"Apart from guilt over killing you and thousands over the last century, Mother?..." he wryly smiled as she gave him a frown...Will...

"Well, maybe just one thing..."

Ah...she nodded...

"Cicely is a nice girl..." she noted with a faint smile...

"Who is very fond of me now...Though still not quite in love with me, I think..." he smiled back... "But, no...That's not it..."

I see...she patted him and led him to a piano which had suddenly taken form in a room not unlike their old sitting room back in Victorian London...

"Is this...?" he looked around...Unable to keep a modicum of disappointment out of his voice...



Not that it wasn't Heaven to be home...Just...Well...

"Heaven's what and where you want it to be, William..." Mrs. Walthrop smiled...

"Or in this case, just for the moment...Where I'd like it to be..."

Of course...he smiled back...Patting her gently...

"Though we're not required to stick to tunes of our own time..." she noted...Offering him a music book, turned to a certain page...Which he scanned...

"You and Dru have become quite the Porter fans..."

He smiled at her ruefully... "A boy's best friend indeed..." he smiled at her, shaking his head as she rose, gently kissing him...And began playing, singing softly as she left...

Play



"In the still of the night...

as I gaze out of my window

at the moon in it's flight...

My thoughts all stray to you...



In the moon's yellow light...

while the world is in slumber

Ah,the times without number

Darling, when I say to you..."



Buffy's voice caught him by surprise...

"Do you love me...as I love you?..." He turned to her as she came to the piano bench...

"Sorry, I couldn't get through the pack in time..." she sighed... "But I was there..." she smiled, taking a seat by him...



Together:

"Are you my life to be...

My dream come true

Or will this dream of mine...

fade out of sight..."

"While the Moon's growing dim...

on the rim of the hill...

in the chill, still...of the night..."



(In the Still of the Night...Cole Porter...)

***



"But we did win, right Mr. Joseph?..." the demon tried again as the 'victorious' army of Evil raced back for its Hell portal...Slayers pouring in against them from all directions...Eyeing the now abandoned dead bodies of the Angel team he and his comrades had dragged to a would-be victory pyre...

"Shut up and run like Hell, kid..." Joseph frowned at him...