"Immortal Beloved..." LXXXIX...



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)...

***

Part A.



Two months after the defeat of the Senior Partners...



Theme from "LA Law..." plays as a determined-looking Angel in expensive suit strides the hallowed halls of the LA county courthouse to enter courtroom 11a...Followed by an equally determined-looking Nina, in elegant yet screaming competent aggressiveness formal suit, a rather irritated-looking William, rather uncomfortable in his own monkey suit...And looking rather nervous, Illyria and Gunn, likewise well-dressed...All but William carrying briefcases...Which as they take seats behind a table, the bearers open in unison...

William rolling his eyes...

Entering now to take seats, across the aisle...The plaintiff and her team...Several of America's most famed, if perhaps not deserving of such fame, attorneys...

G. Lou Failey...A somber nod to the applauding courtroom audience...The applause cut short by the presiding judge's curt demand for silence...

Jackie Childs, attorney to the stars...A gleaming beam of the pearly whites and a wave to the world at large...

Alan Herskowitz...Famed defender of the undead...Well, Claus at least had certainly seemed more undead than most of the truly...Scowling over at the Angel team...

"What's his problem?..." Will hissed to Angel...

"Eh, he was up for my job when we were still Wolfram-Hart, LA..." Angel shrugged... "He was sniffing around, trying to check out my credentials all last year, claiming they'd no right to give the job to someone whom nobody at the California Bar Association could remember having taken the exams...Though I think what really pissed him off is I have better hair and look more like a TV lawyer..."

"Quite a team they got..." Gunn whispered, seeming a tad anxious...Will eyed him...

"I don't suppose you've retained those hot-shot legal skills...?"



"Uh...Sure...Uh...Some..." Charlie nodded...Will looked at him...As did Illyria...

"I've got our strategy all worked out..." he noted, brightening...

She peering into his briefcase, pulled out...

"... 'Legal Tactics for Dummies'...?" she held the book up, Charlie grabbing it...

Careful...he hurriedly put the book back in his briefcase, glancing across the way... "They may have a copy to consult..."

"Christ...How did I get into this one?...Why didn't I just give in to her when I had the chance?..." Will sighed... "Instead I got the team that couldn't beat the clowns Ally McBeal's firm used to take on..."

"Now, William..." Angel eyed him firmly... "Just cause she's assembled some talent to keep us occupied is no reason to panic..."

"No?...Well, I'll tell ya, ole pal...I'd feel a little better about this if any one of you lot actually were lawyers..."

"Hey..." Angel frowned... "We are lawyers...And have the mystically faked documents to prove it..."

'Sides...he noted... "I hear Failey is slipping, Childs is a grandstander, and Herskowitz's heart really isn't in this one...He having had legal troubles with his girl friends before..."

"And none of us have the slightest idea what we're doing..." Will shook his head...

"Please...We'll wipe up the floor with them...And make her wish she'd never started this..." Angel beamed...Then looked over to where the plaintiff sat, looking quite lovely in her modest dress, though rather sad...Especially since his last remark which she'd clearly overheard...Nervously brushing a blonde hair back...Occasionally making slight glances over at William who stubbornly refused to look at her...

"Besides..." Illyria cheerfully noted... "We could probably kill everyone here quite easily should all else fail..."

Gunn and Angel eyed each other...Well, always good to have a back-up strategy...

***

Two weeks earlier...



Offices of Angel, Burkle-Wyndham-Price, Gunn, Walthrop...LA...

"This is ridiculous..." the slight man fumed, rapping the document in his hand... "Crazy..."

Angel, behind his desk, eyed his new associate partner and his flagrant violation of firm dress...Not gettin' me in a monkey suit, boss...as William sat across from his senior partner in his favorite black leather jacket and t-shirt...

"Ridiculous or no, it's valid...And as she's refused all of Charlie's attempts at negotiation, you are facing a court proceeding..."

Arghh...William shook his head...And turned to eye Gunn... "Couldn't you get anywhere with her?...You're supposed to make things like this go way...She can't be that unreasonable..."

"Man...She was furious that you didn't come...I told you, she wouldn't even talk to me...You should've handed this yourself, Spike..."

"The court will never...For her?...It's impossible..." "They already did...And a date is set...There's nothing more we can do regarding preventing this from going to court..." Angel sighed...Then brightened...

"But you'll have our best to help out there...I'm frankly kinda looking forward to leading the team on this one..."



Jesus...Will glared at him... Gunn and Illyria beside him looking nervous as well..."You?...In court...?"

"Boss..." Charlie hesitantly began... "It might not be so good for you to handle this one..."

Not having any courtroom experience...Or any valid legal credentials of any kind outside our shared faked degrees and phony resumes...he did not say...

"You are not a lawyer..." Illyria stated flatly...

"Hey...I'm licensed to practice...I can produce a diploma and bar certification..." Angel frowned...

"I'm dead...Er than ever..." William sighed... "Just mail me to her in a box..."

"You should have gone to see her when she called you..." Illyria frowned at him...Then beamed... "Wesley would gone...Even if she were the demon who'd...Involuntarily...Taken Ms. Summers' body..."

"This is not the same thing..." he glared at her...

"Hell, she's not even..." he paused... "And the whole is ridiculous...How can she sue me for breech of promise in 2005?..."

And what the hell promise did I ever...? he eyed the group...

"Well..." Illyria began... "If I understand the facts in the case..."

"I never made any promise!..." he insisted... "This is all a fantasy on her part...And might I again point out...She's..."

"Don't say it, Will..." Angel cut him off... "We can't use that argument anymore...We've gotta get out of that mind-set..."

"State of California ruled in her favor...She can take you to court..." Gunn noted... "And this is more than just 'breech of promise'...Liability, damages...There is potential for criminal prosecution here, you're lucky she isn't pursuing that line..."

Yet...

You should've gone to see her...Illyria sighed... "...'A woman scorned'..." she noted, rather surprising herself by the quote...

Demon or human...Or whatever..., she noted firmly...

"Well, we'll all be there, Will...Backed by the remnants of Wolfram-Hart's old research team...We can't fail..." Angel nodded decisively...

Great...Will sighed... "I'm sure the Brood will wow the hell out of the judge..."

***

The courtroom...Now fairly well packed...Reporters milling in back...

A judge in black robes took her seat...Eyeing the group at the Angel table over the rim of her glasses...With a rather severe frown...

"How come she gets this case?..." Will hissed... "She's the one who ruled on her initial petition to sue me..."

Isn't that some indication of her bias here?...Can't you get somebody else?...

"We tried..." Gunn whispered...Looking at Angel who looked a tad embarrassed... "The Boss had a few problems with the motion..."

"Just a few details I hadn't gotten down..." Angel noted... "But this time..."

"Lovely..." Will put his head in his hands...



Well, not like I have all that much to lose...he sighed...Just my income for the next thousand years or so...

He scanned the jury in their box...Eight women...Four men...The women looking sympathetically at the sad-faced plaintiff, looking rather downcast in her seat...The men looking as well...Three with rather extreme attention...One a bit indifferent, apparently...And now eyeing Will with a rather direct stare...

And smile...

Well, at least one male juror appears to be gay...A thin ray of hope there...he thought...Smiling back...

Well, hell...Desperate times, desperate measures...

"I would ask members of the media...And those in attendance..." the judge suddenly spoke... "To maintain silence during these proceedings...I understand the interest in this case, but I will have the room cleared if any disruption occurs..."

She picked up a folder in front of her and opened it...

"In the case of Ms. Buffy Anne Summers, R...versus...Mr. William Soames Walthrop..."

The courtroom door opened suddenly...The judge giving an annoyed glare...

"Hey!..." Buffy called from where she just entered...Followed by two deputies, one now drawing his gun...She glaring down towards the judge who eyed her coldly... "I object!..."

Buffy...A nervous Willow following the deputies... "You don't object..."

"You bet you don't...In my courtroom..." the judge glared back at the Slayer...Who withered a bit, much to the surprise of Willow...And the Angel team, including William who'd turned round to witness the scene... "William..." she breathed, staring... "Ms. Summers, H...I believe?..." the judge drily noted, scanned further in the folder...Several reporters attempting to get a picture...Deputies now confronting them as well as more surrounding Buffy...

"William?..." Buffy called... Buffy?...Willow stared at her... "What the hell's going on here?..."

He shrugged to her...

"Sit down, Ms. Summers...Or I will have you charged with contempt of court and disrupting court proceedings...Now..."

Uh...Well...She looked round...Hmmn...Grrr...She spied her twin, now looking back to her...Hi! Buffy!...Willow!...The plaintiff Ms. Summers, R waved back to them...

"Ms. Summers, both of you...I won't tolerate this again..." the judge eyed each...Ms. Summers, R nodding sheepishly and taking her seat...Failey and Herskowitz consulting briefly, Childs smiling for the cameras...

Willow pulled Buffy off to a seat...

"My god he really is..." Buffy shook her head... "You knew he was alive...In his way..." Willow whispered...

"Knowin' and seein' him in the Undead flesh...Two different things, Wil..." the Slayer hissed back...

God, I should be the one suing here...she noted angrily... "He never even called me..."

Well, you didn't even mail that card you and Dawn bought after Andy came home and told us about Will, Dana, and the hands thing...Willow did not say...

"I guess our Botty feels pretty much the same way..." she noted instead... "Though she seems a leetle more determined to get him..."

Say...Willow eyed Botty at the plaintiff's table... "She looks pretty good...Though I'd sure like to know who found her and had her repaired...And enhanced her programming to the point she could do convince a court she should be entitled to human legal status..."



Eh, California...Buffy hissed...They'd rule a tree human here...

"She looks a few pounds heavier than me...And she still doesn't have my fashion sense..."

"Ms. Summers, R..." the judge looked to Botty who smiled back... "Let me see if I've got the facts here straight..."

"I frankly don't see why Will doesn't just give in and marry her..." Willow whispered as the judge addressed Botty...

Buffy eyeing her friend a bit coolly now...

"I mean...She's potentially Immortal more or less, she looks like you...And she loves him like nobody's..." she paused as Buffy's stare moved to hard glare...

"She's not human...She doesn't love him anymore than a coffee maker would..."

Buffy?...

"You're dating His Benevolence...A very nice guy, by your say-so..."

"Yeah...And I'll bet he thinks it's the title...Do you think he thinks it's the title, Wil?..."

Ummn...

"I'll bet Andy told him it was the title that got me...Heck, like I would want to be called 'Her Benevolence' for the rest of my life...Hell, he gave himself the title at that..."

Last week after a week at his Geneva estate, he was the greatest...Willow did not say...This week, one look at William and he's pond scum...

"He's fighting this...He's doesn't want her..." Buffy nodded, rather pleased...Hmmn...

"You think that means he doesn't love me anymore...?" she looked anxiously at Willow...

Uh...Well...

"And you say that Mr. Walthrop therefore...In view of both refusing to marry you...And in abandoning you after you were temporarily severely disabled..." the judge continued to Botty...Who looked a bit distressed...

Ummn...Well...Ma'am...

"Your Honor..." Failey rose...Childs jumping up, waving... "Your Honor, this is a case of right vs wrong...Of an abused, betrayed legal person seeking redress..." Failey and Herskowitz now glaring at their colleague... "Look at her, once a strong, proud member of the android race, loving and trusting...Now, betrayed...Abandoned...Her reason for existence gone...Her life ruined...She's pitiful..." Childs waved his hand in a slashing gesture...

"Your Honor...This case points to a straightforward violation of the plaintiff's personal rights.." Failey tried to cut in...

Botty looking rather embarrassed, glancing again over to the stony-faced William as he sat watching the judge...

"Be seated, gentlemen..." the judge cut both of the standing attorneys off... "We'll get to you later..."

"You clowns try to cut me out of this case again and I'll have your balls in a glass jar on my library shelf..." Herskowitz quietly hissed to his partners as they reluctantly sat...

***



"Your Honor..." Angel began, rising...

"The case here deals with whether or not Mr. Walthrop and Ms. Summers, R..." he smiled at Botty who beamed back... "Had by virtue of his purchasing her from one Warren Alonzo Mears, late of Sunnydale, California, an implied marital and prenuptial contract with her..."

Eh, boy...Willow sighed...Trying to scrunch down in her seat...

Did he have to mention the late Mr. Mears?...In a court of law?...

Let us consider what a contract is...Angel continued...

Uh-oh...Gunn pulled at him...Boss, we agreed not to pursue this line...Even though you thought it was a brilliant strategy...

You promised, Boss...he pulled again, discreetly...Illyria and Nina frowning at Angel as well...

This was not to be our defensive plan...Illyria glared...

"A contract is a legally binding agreement which is unbreakable...Unbreakable..." Angel nodded...

And if such an implied contract existed between Ms. Summers, R and Mr. Walthrop...It would be Mr. Walthrop's duty to at the very least, provide permanent maintenance for the one he'd caused to have brought to existence...

We're dead...Gunn sighed...Trying to smile confidently at William...

"However...If the said Ms. Summers, R...In her original form...Failed to meet her specific operational requirements...As laid out in the purchase agreement..." Angel smiled...

A very distressed look from Botty...Angel?...

"William?...Did I ever fail to meet my operational requirements?..." she called over to him...He, catching the distress in her voice, unable to repress the gentlemanly instinct turned...

"Never, love..."

Buffy in the back, blinked...

Aw...Willow smiled...That's so...She looked at Buffy's angry face...

Nothing...I said...Nothing...

Hmmn...Angel blinked a bit...Somewhat nonplused by the sudden undercutting of his argument...

"Anyway...My point is...My client, Mr. Walthrop..."

Has a warranty...He waved a sheet of paper...

"Yes..." the judge nodded... "I have a copy here...Please give this to the jury to look over..." she handed the copy to a bailiff...

"Your Honor..." Failey rose...Childs again jumping up... "Your Honor, Walthrop there has just admitted our poor girl here never failed to meet expectations...She was beautiful, she was available, she got the job done...End of story...Case closed..."

"Ah, but Your Honor...Ms. Summers, R in fact, did not live up to said expectations..." Angel smiled his best mysterious Perry Mason smile... "The said Mr. Mears, her designer and builder, promised a humanoid Buffy-bot who could deceive Ms. Summers, H's friends and family...And fight successfully as a Slayer..."

I have here a brief videotape, taken by a security camera after Ms. Summers, R did battle with a rather puny vampire...Angel waved a videotape...

"It shows Ms. Summers, R taking significant damage from said puny vampire...Confirming that she did not, in the realm of Slaying...Live up to stated specifications..."



Hmmn...Botty looked down...

"Mr. Angel..." the judge sighed... "Need I remind you that Ms. Summers, R has been declared a legal person in this state...And no legal person can be held to a warranty on themselves..."

"But, Your Honor...Our contention is...That on the as yet unexplained death of Mr. Warren Mears, Ms. Summers, R became the legally obligated person pledged to fulfill the signed purchase agreement and warranty..."

Bwhhah...Herskowitz struggled to repress a chuckle...Childs and Failey smiling from their seats...

That's their defense?...

Hmmn...Will eyed the downcast Botty...

No need to shame the poor thing in public...She did her best within her limitations...

"And there's more..."Angel hastily added...

"I'd like to call the first of my witnesses...Ms. Willow Rosenberg..."

Huh?...Willow stared...

Thought I was just here for moral Buf support...

"Why is he looking at her like that, Wil...?" Buffy anxiously poked her, eyeing William's sympathetic look towards Botty...

***

Part B...

Angel gave his best combination "LA Law, Legal Eagles, The Practice, Perry Mason..." attorney-at-law stare at Willow now nervously sworn into her chair...

"You are Ms. Willow Rosenberg...?"

Uh... "Yeah..." a decisive nod...

"Best friend of both Ms. Buffy Summers, H...And Ms. Buffy Summers, R...?"

Botty giving a best-friendly wave to Willow...Hey...Hey, the wiccan waved back...

Cutting it short as she caught Buffy's glare from her seat...

Ummn...Well...

"I guess...From both their points of view..." she began...

What the hell does that mean? ....Buffies H and R thought...

"I suppose I am..."

"And did you know the creator of Ms. Buffy A. Summers, R...One Warren Alonzo Mears...?"

"Hey!..." Buffy called... "Stop calling that thing by my name!...She's a bot...She's not my robosister or my robodaughter..."

"Ms. Summers..." the judge glared at her...Withering her again as a startled Willow looked over...



That's one damned good glare...Especially for a non-Slayer...

"If I hear one more outburst in my court from you...I will throw you in jail...You get me, miss?..."

Yes, Your Honor...Buffy nodded sheepishly...Taking her seat...

"As for Ms. Buffy A. Summers, R...Who I likewise caution not to wave or speak to witnesses on the stand..." Botty hung her head in shame... "Her programming interface has been permanently fused to exclude new commands and she has been declared a legal person by the State of California...And that does it for me...And for anyone else in my court..."

Continue, Mr. Angel...

"I repeat my question, Ms. Rosenberg..."

Oh, please don't...Willow sighed internally...

Still one did have to face up to one's hideous crimes one day...And best before any chance of absolution was impossible...

"Were you acquainted with Mr. Warren Alonzo Mears of Sunnydale?...Creator of Ms. Buffy A. Summers, R."...

Huh, hey...Ummn...

"Acquainted?...Well, I suppose..."

Answer the question, miss...Today...the judge coldly informed her...

"Yes...I was acquainted with Mr. Mears..."

"And would you say he was a competent robotic engineer?...Capable of mastering all intricacies of duplicating a human being in robot form?..."

"Warren?...Well...He did a neat job with Botty...er Ms. Summers, R..."

"A 'neat' job..." Angel nodded...I see...

"But would you say his creation could fulfill his contract with Mr. Walthrop, aka Spike...As I quote... 'a robotic copy of Buffy Summers, true to all details'...?"

Well...Willow hesitated...Looking over to where Botty sat, looking sadder than ever...

"Your Honor!..." Failey and Childs in chorus, on their feet at once...

We actually died the night of the battle, didn't we...? the seated Gunn whispered, head buried in his hands...Now coming up to eye Illyria...

"And this is my lil' corner of Hell, right?...Where I'll have to relive this nightmare every day, forever..."

"Down, gentlemen...Let Mr. Angel proceed..." the judge frowned at the two attorneys...

"Angel actually seems to be succeeding on a few points..." Illyria noted quietly...Charlie pulling head up...Hmmn?...

At least he has made a start of a case on the crazy warranty thing...she pointed out...

"Ms. Rosenberg?..." Angel prodded her...

"I guess she didn't exactly match Buffy in all respects..." Willow sighed... "Though judging by her recent independent actions, she's come a long way since we left her in the dumpster..."

Ummn...She looked over at Botty who was now examining the floor and her feet...Tears clearly beginning to run...



"Ah, yes..." Angel nodded... "The dumpster...I'll be getting to that shortly...But lets get back to my question...You agree that as originally constituted, Ms. Summers, R did not quite live up to Mr. Mears' stated promise in the sales contract and warranty...?"

You bet she didn't...Dumb cluck-bot...Buffy fumed in her seat...

"Weeelll...I guess not...No..." Willow sighed...

But she really has come a long way, whoever repaired her...she firmly noted...Botty giving a quick, grateful beam her way...Thanks...

No sweat, kid...Wil's return smile...

"Now to the dumpster...Which I offer the following photo of, marked as exhibit B..." Angel waved a large photo...

"Ms. Rosenberg...You and your vamp hunting gang placed a certain degree of reliance on Ms. Summers, R's abilities as a Slayer after Ms. Summers, H's death...Correct?..."

"Oh, yeah...Botty was great..." Willow beamed...

"But not quite up to Ms. Summers, H's mark?...Correct?..."

"Heck even most of our new Slayers aren't up to Buffy's mark..." Willow insisted... "Botty did damned..." a quick, apologetic look to the frowning judge... "er...Darned...Well..."

"I see...And...After Ms. Summers, R was severely damaged by demon raiders the night of Ms. Summers, H's resurrection...What did you and your companions do with her?..."

Uh...We...Uh...

"You threw her remains in this Town of Sunnydale dumpster, did you not?..." Angel tapped the photo...

Uh...Ummn...Yeah, well... Willow squirmed in her seat as the majority of the courtroom attendees stared at her...

"We didn't think she could be repaired...And Buffy, H...er human Buffy...Was back..."

Was she still functional?...

Ummn....sorta...Willow whispered...Botty staring at her...William as well...With a sympathetic glance Botty's way...

Buffy, in spite of herself, staring as well...

"Would you speak up, Ms. Rosenberg?...Was Ms. Summers, R still functional?..."

"Yeah...Yes..." Willow sighed...A murmur in the court...

"So...Feeling Ms. Summers, R did not deserve the regard and respect a human being would normally command...You and your friends decided to abandon her, though still functional and to some degree, conscious, to whatever fate awaited her in the town dump?..."

Bo...oss...Gunn hissed... "You're going over the line..."

He's getting the jury on her side, is he crazy?...he whispered to Illyria...Botty's legal team obviously agreeing as they sat, beaming at Angel...

It's ok...Botty's kind look to Willow said as Wil stared embarrassedly at her...

"You know..." William sighed to Illyria as he watched Botty's generous action... "One must admit, she's quite a compassionate girl..."

"I guess we did..." Willow nodded sadly to Angel...



Even Buffy looking a bit distressed...Wil?...

"And did my client, Mr. Walthrop...Her nominal owner at the time, before her legal emancipation...Participate in this decision to abandon her...?"

Uh...No...

"What was that?..."

"No...He did not participate in the decision...Xander...Mr. Harris, a member of our group...And Buffy's sister, Dawn...Decided with me..."

Kinda feel bad about it now that we didn't think it over...But we were busy with resurrected Buffy and all...

"So my client did not participate or agree in the decision of your group to abandon Ms. Summers, R...?"

"No..." Willow nodded...

"I sure would like to know who repaired her, though..." she added...

The judge frowning, cautioned her on making unsolicited statements...

"That's all, Ms. Rosenberg...Thank you..." Angel nodded to her...

Mr. Childs?...the judge eyed him... "I see you can't wait..." A titter through the room as Childs rose quickly...

"Never...When justice needs servicing, your Honor..." Childs nodded gallantly...

"Ms. Rosenberg...Hello..." a wide smile...

Hey...Willow nodded...

"When Mr. Walthrop thrust my client into her time of cruel bondage and inhumane abuse..." Childs clasped hands in a tormented expression...Deep grief furrowing his brow...

He was an Undead, hideous fiend...Was he not?...

"Spike was a demonic vamp, yeah..."

"A brutal, maniacal killer of the worst kind, correct?..."

"He was pretty bad...Though he's better now..." Willow noted...

"Damned straight!...He's a hero!..." Botty called...Beaming at William...

"Absolutely!...Yeah!..." Buffy rose hastily...

No damn cluck-bot's gonna cut me outta paying my guy his due...she glared at Botty...

"Ms. Summers, R!...And H!..." the judge snapped at them...

"Sorry, ma'am..." they chorused, sitting...

Girls...Will eyed each, turning to Botty, then back to Buffy...With a sheepish smile...

Which each of the twins returned with firm nods...

Our Champion...



"Mr. Childs..." the judge nodded to him...

"Yeah, my client gave him utter devotion and love...Correct?..."

"Sure...I mean...She was crazy about him...He was her reason for existence...She was made to love him..."

"Programmed you mean...Enslaved, in actual fact!..." Childs noted...Banging fist on the rail of the witness box for emphasis...Willow jumping a bit...

Mr. Childs...the judge frowned...He waved a hand... "A hard thing to bear witness to your Honor...Ms. Rosenberg...My client could not resist the demon Spike, even to the level of...Sexual relations...Correct?..."

"Well no...Spike commissioned her as a sex-bot Buffy after all..." Willow noted...

Though William is much better now...she hastily added...Will giving a faint smile and nod...Thanks, Red...

"A sexual slave of a foul, Undead, unholy fiend!...This was my client's life in those horrible days...Unable to fight her desire for this admittedly studly monster from Hell..."

Buffy eyed Botty...Botty, Buffy...Both smiling at William...

Oh, yeah...

"I guess so..." Willow nodded...

"And she defended him against the goddess Glory...And even when partially emancipated by you from her previous condition she still loved him all that the summer you had her take on the role of the deceased Ms. Summers, H...Correct?..."

Still do...Always will...Botty's long, wide-eyed stare at William said...

Buffy frowning to glare intensity as she watched...

"And after rending him these services...Not to mention involuntarily joining you and your little self-appointed troupe of world-savers in your fight to save the world from vicious evildoers of all descriptions at great personal risk...Performing feats that any fair-minded human being would consider heroic..."

She was left to rot in a pile of garbage...Childs sighed heavily...The entire jury glaring now at William...

"Unloved, uncared for...Abandoned..."

God, why didn't we settle for any amount when we had the chance?...Gunn shook his head...

" 'Cause she doesn't want money.." Illyria reminded him in a whisper... "You offered her practically everything Will had on his instructions..."

No further questions...Childs smiled, taking his seat...

"Mr. Angel?..." the judge eyed him...

"Ms. Rosenberg, again...Did my client make or have anything to do with the decision on disposing of Ms. Summers, R's remains?..."

Willow shook her now rather teary-faced head...No...

No further questions, your Honor...

"Botty, I'm so sorry..." she called over, sobbing as she left the stand...Botty shaking head, a kind smile...

"You might've asked me what I wanted you to do with her..." Buffy hissed to Willow as the wiccan returned to her seat... "I might've found a nice, pleasant...Utterly inaccessible and isolated plot for her fully disassembled parts somewhere..."



You were kinda out of it then, Buf...Wil noted...Dabbing eyes with hanky, then blowing nose...

Not to mention far too utterly absorbed in yourself that whole year to give a damn about any of us, excepting maybe Dawn, including Botty or William...she did not say...

"Good thing for you Angel didn't bring up how Warren died..." Buffy whispered...Willow frowning at the ten or so reporters scattered about them, straining to hear what the former paramour of the defendant and template for the plaintiff was telling the most recent witness...Several aiming their Sound Master 8000 mikes their way...

"Yeah...I would have sobbed like blazes remembering how my good ole fellow geek pal died so tragically..." the wiccan hastily noted...Loudly...

"If I may call my next witness..." Angel smiled to the judge...Who gave a slight smile back...

Gunn, noting it eyed Illyria...

A ray of hope...She likes the Brooding One...

"Ms. Buffy A. Summers, R..." Botty looked from where she'd been longingly staring at William...Hmmn?...

***

Part C...



Botty sworn in, Angel came up, smiling at her in the witness box...

"Ms. Summers...Hi..."

"Angel..." she nodded...Eyeing him curiously...

"Your pointy hair looks less bloody stupid..." she noted...

Oh...She looked as most of the courtroom attendees tittered...Along with several members of the legal teams...

Uh...Sorry, boss...Illyria sheepishly stifled her grin as Angel glared back at her...And then at Buffy, who rolled eyes...Sorry...

"Sorry...Old bit of data record popping up in my system..." Botty apologized... "I'll arrange to delete that...You do look very nice in a suit, Angel..."

"Thanks..." he frowned at her... "Ms. Summers, R...Who repaired you after you were deposited in the Town of Sunnydale dumpster...?"

She eyed him...Repaired me?...

"Before or after I got off the landfill hill in LA?... 'Cause I think before, it was my automatic emergency repair that got me going again..."

"After..." Angel smiled... "When you regained all these parts that seem to be working so well for you..." She smiled back, shyly pleased...Thanks...

Well...she pondered... "First I was mailed to an engineer in Scotland...Then he couldn't fix my motor control interface, so he had me shipped to Japan...They do neat work on bots in Japan, ya know?...They did most of my new prosthetics too..."

Then, I think to England for a gyroscope and some sensory repairs...And then, Germany, I think...No, it was Switzerland...Geneva, yeah...

Well-traveled girl is our Botty...Willow noted to Buf... "Shut up..." Buffy frowned...

"I remember 'cause I was there when Buffy came into town with the Immortal...One of the lab techs at the electronics firm that was repairing my primary power system showed me a photo of them together in the paper..."



I was kinda shocked...she sighed, not looking at her twin... "I mean...Everybody knew William was alive...And had survived the big fight in LA with the Partners..."

Couldn't understand...I mean after all he'd done when she came back...The soul, the thing at Sunnydale...?

"Buffy...?..." she looked over to her... "How could you leave William for that bloody stupid pointy-haired, aristocratic jerk?..."

Not you, Angel...she hastily noted... "See, I just still need an initial plane of reference in establishing a new character in my data files..."

Buffy now looking round at various members of the court and attendees staring at her...

"Then when I found out who'd arranged for my repairs..." Botty beamed...

Ah...Angel smiled...Waving a finger...

Oh-oh...Failey looked at Herskowitz, then Childs... "She tell any of you guys who that was..." Childs shrugging...Herskowitz attempting to look like one who knew everything but was not inclined to say...

"And who was it, in fact, who actually arranged and paid for your restoration, Ms. Summers, R...?"

Eh, no sweat, girl...Will smiled at the beaming Botty...

"William, of course..." she pointed to him, a loving smile on her face... "After we found each other at the landfill, when one of the Partners' tossed him halfway across LA to die there when dawn came...And my systems were jarred back on...And I pulled him down to a couple of guys who caretake the place...Really nice guys, Hank and Joey, you know them?...The next day, from the hospital, he had me carried over to a local guy who fixed enough of my emergency systems to keep me going...And I was in a crate to Scotland the next day..."

She saved him from the Partners?...He got her fixed?...Buffy hissed to Willow...Who was tearing again..."God, that's so..."

Ummn...Unimportant, next to the one who helped him get his soul back...Yeah...she solemnly noted to her friend...Buffy giving her a narrow look...

Even if she didn't do a thing to help him get the soul back...Willow thought, rolling eyes...

***

"So...My client, William Soames Walthrop, arranged for your repairs, Ms. Summers, R...Is that correct?..." Angel eyed Botty who nodded...Absobloomingtootly...

How come Will and Angel never told us this?...Gunn hissed to Illyria as they watched...Then eyed her narrowly as she gave a Mona Lisa...Well...Winifred-Mona-Lisa-Illyria...Smile...

"They told you?...Not me...?"

"Will wanted my opinion...He was afraid even then the robotic Ms. Summers might view it in the wrong light..."

"Now, Buffy, R...If I may call you Buffy, R..." Sure...she smiled...Thanks... "Sure...Why would you want to sue the man...Unman...Who'd done this for you?..."

Botty looked down...Ummn...

"I thought it meant..." she paused... "I mean...Buffy H didn't seem interested...What with her hangin' on the Immortal's arm day and night..."

Hey...Buffy frowned...

"So I figured...Will must be trying to say...In his poet's way..." she sighed, smiling at her beloved lil' poet...

"But when I came straight to LA after Switzerland...He didn't...Want to..." she started breaking up...



"Then I..." she frowned... "I lost my temper..."

Didn't know I had one till I lost it...she grinned...

A sound of chuckles through the court...Ms. Summers, R...the judge frowned...

Sorry...

"And I went to see a lawyer...Cause William's a lawyer now as well as a heroic human-souled vamp defender of Humanity and poet...And I thought, since he did order me for a permanent companion...See I'd read up a little on law...To kinda impress him...And there's a lot of cases of women whose boyfriends and fiancees run out on them..."

Not that you ran out, Will...she called...

"Then my first lawyer...The first one I went to...Had me thrown out of his office, saying I must be part of a joke...I went to ten lawyers in LA and San Francisco...And finally one told me I had to be human...Or human-souled, at least...To seek legal redress..."

But...He being a very nice man...He told me in California, practically anything could be declared human by the right judge...

Uh...Sorry...she eyed the frowning judge...

"And so then I watched the episode of "Star Trek" where Mr. Data got declared human...And the old "Outer Limits" episode where they tried a robot for murder..." And I knew I could make as good a case as they could...And I knew a case involving a robot twin of a human Slayer in love with a human-souled vampire was sure to make headlines...So...she beamed... "I looked up on the Net the three most brilliant...And most headline/glory-hogging, mercenary legal minds in the USA today and got them to take my case..."

You go girl...Willow hissed...

Another narrow stare from her companion...Whose side are you on, Willow?...

"Didn't know you were on any side here, Buf..." she replied...

She did all that for me?...William stared at Illyria, then the earnest Botty on the stand...

"Wil...You suppose if I invited him home and made him dinner?..." Buffy hissed...

"Think that would count as more heroic self-sacrifice on his part, Buf..." Willow noted...

***

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