Immortal's Dance
This is based loosly around Angel and Buffy's breakdowns during the Buffy 5th and Angel 2nd seasons.

    My name is Methos, it's the name that I died my first death with, I'm not sure if it's the one I was born with.  I can't remember anything before the day I died, and even that is vague.  But my name is also Death is as in the four horsemen, I was the one who told them what to do and how to do.  We killed and murdered for three thousand years and I loved it.  That's what I tell most people and it's true for the most part, what I always leave out is the fact that part of me hated what I was doing, and parted of, hell most of me at the time wanted to bury that part.  And I did a good job too.  I buried the part of me that really was a live, and simply existed from day to day at first I found what little pleasure I could in the kill and the slaughter, but eventually I grew tired of the killing.  It was eventual, you see under all the shroud of being *death* Methos is a good man, I'm a good man.  I couldn't do it anymore so I traveled for another thousand or so years never really doing anything an then something started to change I came out of my shell for a short time, you see I met this poet named Lord Bryan he also was like me an immortal, not a vampire, but you already knew that.   I went back into my shell of course, stopped killing wondered the world.  Until I met this man by the name of Duncan Macleod of the clan Macleod.  You see he work up the real me and shattered that shell of mine, I of course even before I knew that had happened returned the favor.  

    Now I live as most live with souls one day at a time, relearning how to feel and love again.   I was finally getting my life back in order; everything was fine and dandy.  Then I heard just had to hear about this wonderful story about a Slayer and a Vampire cursed with a soul.  I tired to get the whole story out of him, Spike I believe the vampire's name was.  Anyway what I got was one of the most tragic stories I have ever heard.  First the slayer and the vampire totally and completely fall in love and on her seventeenth birthday show each other that.   But there's a catch this curse has a happiness clause and Angel becomes Angelus again.  By the way Angel is the name of souled vampire Angelus is the name of the vampire minus a very important soul.   Well they fight and fight and fight until Buffy, that's the slayer, is forced to confront Angelus to prevent the world from being destroyed.  Well it turns out that her friend Willow had found a way to recourse said vampire, but she didn't know that and was forced to send the vampire to Hell because by the time his soul was returned it was too late to doing anything about it.  He eventually returns, but he still has this clause thing to worry about with the pressure of the slayer's friends and mother he leaves town believing he is giving her a better life.  Unfortunately things haven't been going all that well for either of them Buffy had recently broken up with her substitute boyfriend.  Who from what I got was not to really what she needed, I think he's more suited for an average girl, not a slayer.   The vampire is even worse is the basics evil law firm brings sire/old girlfriend back from the dead, old girlfriend haunts vampires dreams, she makes him obsessed with her, she shows herself, she finds out she's dying, brought across by Angel's childe Dru, goes on a rampage and kills the lawyers (which Angel ignores), now he is running around and terrorizing the local night population.   In other words, he's breaking down.  I know this behavior, I did it once.  This needs to be revealed through dialogue and action, rather than told in a big clump.  I'll give you some examples.

    After hearing all of this I decided I needed to go pound some sense into the two first, Angel, and then Buffy.  If I could find her and bring her with me to help pound sense into said vampire great.  I had no sooner decided what I was going to do with the situation then I felt the presence of a near by immortal, and just as I located her Spike turns and tells me that's Buffy.  An immortal slayer, great.    And guess what she thought, she thought Spike had done something he shouldn't have.  It took a lot of talking to get her a way from him and in my car for a drive to LA.  This is the story of the events that happened, this is the story of a souled vampire and slayer immortal.  And by extension me.

Transitions Chapter 1

    Buffy watched Methos out of the corner of her eyes; he had finished telling her about Angel and about what she was.   “Angel has a good soul, he wouldn't hurt people like that.”

    Methos looked out the window for several minutes deciding how to answer that unspoken question.  He didn't want to tell her the truth of the situation, but he had to, he had to.   “I have a good soul, and I was Death of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  It started out like this with me as well, I was fighting a war and I didn't have time to fight the good fight.  Then I stopped caring who was in the way when I killed.  Then I stopped caring who I killed; I killed just to kill.  Believe me; we stop it now, or it never stops.”

    “So what finally brought you out of it?” she needed to know how it ended if they failed.

    “I met someone who reminded me of the woman that I had loved.  The woman that I had killed for is this a mortal woman?,” he paused it was oddly refreshing to have someone willing to listen to him and not judge.  “Her name's Cassandra and she hates me for killing her people and taking her prisoner.” who are her people and is she still a prisoner?

    Buffy watched her teacher for just a moment.  Who was he trying to fool?  “Does she know that you love her?”

    “No, and it's best that she doesn't.  Part of her really still wants to kill me, this would ensure it.”  He looked at her and saw skeptical look on her face.  “I know you think that it is just an excuse like the ones that Angel used with you.  But she really does hate me and I don't want to hurt her anymore.  I think I've done enough of that to last another 3 thousand years.”  He watched the road for several minutes.  He had never been this forthright with anyone since Kizzy died fifty years ago.   She had been in love with and married a souled vampire, but this one didn't have curse, its soul was bound.  She simply walked up to him one day and put his sword to her throat and asked him to kill her, or help her die so he could receive her quickening.  He had helped her find some really sharp blades to jump into.   Part of him hated himself for not being able to kill her quickly, himself.  But she was gone; he had seen that. ??Couldn't forget that??

Sunnydale 1990

    Methos watched as his oldest living student and friend looked at him over her cup of coffee.  “I've tired to move on since Jancon's death, but the truth is I can't.  I wake up during the day wondering why he isn't there.  And then I remember, I remember that he's dead and I remember that I killed all but one of the bastards that did it.”

    “Maybe if you give it a little more time.  Kizzy, we are immortals we mourn each other longer than mortals do.  It's normal for you to still be hurting he was part of your life for 3 thousand years.  You don't get over that it a couple of years,” Methos said with increasing fear and desperation.  He felt the cup in his hand start to bend a little and he relaxed his grip.

    “It's been 15 years, Methos.  And the truth is I'm tired of trying to pretend that I've moved on, I'm alright.  I want you to help me end this.”

    He looked at her for a moment devastated; she could give it a little more time, couldn't she?  “Why now?  Why me?” he finally asked trying to keep the grief, pain, and terror out of his voice.

    She smiled softly and for a moment Methos saw the young warrior that had died on the battlefields, the immortal that had come and helped him get a way from the horsemen, the protector of mortals, and the fierce friend and lover.  But the moment was gone and she was back to being blank unresponsive Kizzy.  “Because I can't pretend that I will ever be whole again without him in my life.  Because I'm tired of tiring to put my life back together again, I'm like one of those old people Methos you die right after they're spouses does.  But I can't without your help, and I need you because I want someone I trust to have my quickening.  My memories and through me Jacon's.”

    “I can't take your head.  Don't ask me to.”

    She nodded sadly she knew that would be too much for her friend to handle.  “Then figure out a way for me to die.”

Why is this scene in here?  Is it important later?

Between Sunnydale and LA, 2001.

    He was brought back to the present by Buffy roughly shaking his shoulders.  “Snap out of it, I don't like people zoning out on me on the road.”  She sounded more angry than scared, she seemed to have accepted the immoral thing all in stride. We need to see this happen, rather than being told.

    He smiled at her apologetically.  “Sorry, hazard of being immortal . Our memories can be so vivid that sometimes we lose track of what is going on in the real world.”  

    He tried to say jokingly, but Buffy wasn't buying.  “Must have been something important.”

    “It was.  I remembered the last person who listened to me without out judging me for who I was.”


    “No, immortal.  That day she asked me to help her die, or kill her.  I couldn't take her head myself so I found a way for her to die.” Unnecessary.  Buffy doesn't need to know, and we've already been shown/

    “I'm sorry.  Is there anything I can do?”

    “Don't ask that of me if Angel dies on you after years and years of life together.”

    “I won't.”

    “So, you know Angel better than I do, and obviously better than the folks in LA.  What do you think he'll do next?”

    “He'll train for awhile.  Maybe a day or two, but then he'll be back on the street hunting for Darla and Dru and anyone is considering helping them in their campaign of mass destruction.”

    “Okay, why?”

    “Partly because he knows how dangerous those two are together, and also because I think he'll blame Darla at least for his downfall.  He'll blame her for causing him to lose control and abandon those people, what people? No matter how bad they were.”

    Methos looked at her for a moment he could practically feel the love coming from her even after years of separation separation from whom?.  “May I ask a very nosy question?”

    Buffy stared out the window for a moment, then decided it seemed only fair.  “I've been nosy with you, it seems only fair that you're noisy with me.  Just a warning thought, my life hasn't been very happy.”  Why should she warn him about this?

    Methos nodded.  He could see the lack of happiness in the way that she held herself and the look of exhaustion on her face.  It wasn't obvious, but he had been observing people for thousands of years.  “I can see that you love Angel with all your heart, why did you let him walk a way?”

    She turned to him and wanted to him and then stopped.  Everyone in her life had said the opposite about Angel: how he was wrong for her, how their love was wrong.  No one had really ever said, I see that you love each other to death.   No one had ever wanted to know how she could let him walk a way.   “Because he believed that I deserved a normal life.”  She looked at the stars for a moment then, gathering her thoughts. There was more than just one reason, and she felt Methos needed to know all of them.  “Because he has this clause in his curse that makes it so he can't have one moment of true happiness, makes it kinda hard to be happy with someone when you can't express it.   And finally because not many people in my life have ever supported our relationship.  It was the most wonderful thing, but no one else seemed to see that.”

    “He wanted you to have sunlight and children, didn't he?”

    “Yes, and now I find out about this immortality thing, and that I can't have children anyway.”  She took a deep breath she was surprised at what she was about to say.  “And sunlight?  It isn't worth a damn if he isn't there.  Angel was my light and he's been gone for two years.”

    “Then I say go for it.  I think it might be the only way for us to bring him back to his senses.”

    “What about the happiness clause?  I know Angel.  He'll still believe there is someone better for me out there.  Someone who can make love to me.”  Why can't he make love to her?

    “There is a way to permanently bind his soul to his body, but there is a drawback.”

    “What is the drawback?” Buffy was trying not get too excited.

    “He won't be able to become mortal again.  If he does change from being vampire he'll become immortal.”

    “I can live with that, and I think he can as well.  What do I have to do?”

    “We'll need to get supplies to make a drink and then after you drink it we have 24 hours to get him to drink from you.  There is a catch though; you have to be totally relaxed.  You can't force him to drink, nor can you be afraid of what is to happen.”

    “I can do that, but Angel will not be willing to drink from me.  I don't think he'll do it willingly even now.”

    “Then I'll force him.  You just stay relaxed and be there to help him through the transition.”

24 hours later.

    Buffy opened her eyes slowly and groaned when she saw that the clock announced that it was almost 24 hours since she and Methos arrived in LA, roughly 2 am in the morning.   Her hand was going for the phone before she remembered that she was a dead slayer now, she couldn't call him.  Methos' voice came back to her, clear as day.  “It's better if the Watchers, most vampires, and most demons remain blissfully ignorant of our existence.  It you go back, you'll not only make your life a hell of a lot more complicated, but every other immortal alive and those yet to be born.”  She couldn't call Giles, or see her family back in Sunnydale.  What she could do was take a shower.  Perhaps getting the sewers off of her would wash a way some of the sickness with it.  She hated this!  Last night all she had been able to think about was Angel, but now with Angel out for a least another hour, she could take a shower.  Maybe after that she would feel a little better.

    Buffy walked into the bathroom and turned the faucet on as she slowly disrobed.  Her mind kept going over and over what Methos had said about what it meant to be an immortal.  “The only way to kill us is take our heads, and -- trust me on this one -- people will be after your head.”   She covered her face in her hands.  This wasn't fair!

    And then he had said:  “Children?  I've never heard of an immortal having one, and only one preimmortal in all my life.”  Angel had left her so she could have a normal life, and it turns out she couldn't even have that.  All she could have is the fucking sun, and she didn't want that; she had always preferred the night.  

    “The game, what is the game?”  she remembered asking.   “According to that legend, eventually only one immortal will have all the others' quickenings.  “Do you think it's true?” Methos had asked. “No,” she'd replied, “it sounds like a whole lot of bullshit to me, like so many myths: a little truth and a lot of lies.” Check to be sure I put the words in the right mouths.

    “Then why haven't you stopped it?” she'd asked Methos then.  

    “Because I can't!” he'd growled.   “No one can.  It's got a bloody life of it's own now.  Even if I could prove that there would never be a gathering, it would take thousands of years to convince everyone.  So I just keep my bloody mouth shut.”

    And then she'd just had to ask, hadn't she?  She held her breath as she slipped quietly into the bathroom and shut the door.  She could feel the tears welling, and she didn't want Angel to hear her when he awoke.

    She sat down on the cold tiles and started to cry heavily, she had just had to ask on their way here.  Angel's soul was bound he was starting to heal, and temporary memory loss of the last few weeks would really help.  Omit?

    “You said you can't,” she'd persevered, “but do you know someone who can?”  

    He had just stared at her for moment, as if he didn't want to tell her the truth.  “Yes, an immortal slayer and her souled vampire husband.  The prophecy has never been found complete, but based on what little I and several of the other old ones know, you and Angel have the potential to stop the gathering, to stop the killing.  We just don't know the rest.”  

    Great, just great!  The world had once again been dropped squarely on her shoulders.  The only good news was that Angel would be with her.  And with that she turned on the shower as hot as she could stand it and, tucked in a little ball, and cried for all she was worth.  That is how Angel found her later, mourning her mortality and her innocence.
    Angel's heart clenched at the sight of her, he couldn't clearly remember that last few days, but he did remember one thing she had returned to him.   She had returned to him with a way to bind his soul to his body forever and that's why he felt his memory was foggy.  He turned the faucet off, grabbed a towel and scooped her into his arms.  She hung onto him for dear life crying her heart out, and all he could do was be there for her.

    It must have taken at another thirty minutes for Buffy to calm down, Angel felt helpless as he watched the love of his go through unspeakable pain and he wasn't able to do anything about it.  Finally, finally she calmed down enough to speak.  “It just isn't fair,” he was small half choked with tears but it was a response.

    He held her to him afraid to know what wasn't fair, afraid not to know.   “What isn't fair, Buffy?”  He took her face and positioned it so that she could see him.  “Tell me what's wrong.”

    “That The Powers That Be always seem to decide that I'm the one or you're the one to do things, it seems that we are allowed very little happiness.  It's not fair that they make us go through hell before they tell, oh by the way your immortal that means you can't have a normal life.  It also means that your blood is one of the main ingredients to binding a vampire's soul.  I just want I happy life, but that seems to be to much to ask.”

    Angel looked at her for long moments, his world expanding and contracting.  He had left her and all the reasons for him leaving had just flown out the window.  “Buffy, I'm so sorry.  I really thought I was doing the best thing for you.”

    She looked at him her eyes stilled brimmed with tears, where was Angel in all of this?   “What about you, Angel?  What was best for you in all of this?”

    He looked at her straight at her, he didn't remember everything that happened, but he remembered the feelings.   “Nothing, that was the problem.  I did what I thought was best for you and then tired to get on with my life.  I didn't I fought demons to deal with the frustration and the loss, but.”  He paused not quite sure how she would react to what he was going to tell her next.  “But somewhere along the way I stopped seeing the light and the good in what I was doing.  I cared, but all I was doing was making sure that the good guys won, not makings sure that this or that person had a better life.”

    “And then it become about killing all the bad guys, everything that could have hurt her might have played a part.  Dead, no thought about what they might have been.  Or those they left behind.  I was death to all those who harmed her, and I did it well, too well.   Eventually it stopped even being about that and started being just about the joy of killing, that's when I threw the key away to the cage I'd put my soul in.  I see you going down that same path, but you're at the point when you can turn back.”  He stopped and took a deep breath he heard the voice, and knew it had caused him to stop in his tracks down the path that he was taking.  When had that happened, close to when he agreed to agree to?

    “Don't force it, Honey, you can't make your memories come back to you.” Buffy gently brought him back from wherever he had gone.  She was so worried about him that she hadn't even realized that she had started using one of her old endearments for him.

    “Buffy, I know I jumped over that cliff, I know I stopped hoping and seeing the best in people.”

    “ It was just about stopping the bad guys wasn't it?  Not caring about who got hurt, the lives that were lost.”

     “Buffy, don't you see?  I need to know what happened, how can I not go there again if I don't know?”

    Buffy's heart clenched, this behavior was bad news, it met that it would be a very long time before Angel remembered what had, had happened over the last few weeks.  “That's the trick with what happened, it allows a certain period of forgetfulness, your soul will decide when to remember.  You can't force it, Angel.”

    He looked at her, how could his soul know something and not know it at the same time?   He also felt the truth in her words saw it in her eyes, he wanted to know what happened.  He needed to know how many people he hurt, the only small comfort was that he still had his soul, he hoped that had kept him somewhat in check.  “It was just so hard, Buffy, doing what I did.  Seeing what I did and keeping the hope up.”

    “Especially after Darla, or before?” she hadn't met to ask, but it came out.  She had gotten the basics from what he said when they confronted him.

    “Darla was just the final straw it was one thing after another.  Then when I finally got her to try, to live the rest of her life, she's made by Dru.  I think I decided that it was the proof that I couldn't win and fight fair.  I couldn't care about who got in the way and win.  I know you don't understand...” he felt her hand on his lips.

    “But I do, Angel.  You die every day you go out and fight, save the world.  When you left, you took the one thing that brought me back to me every night, your love.  The knowledge that you'd be there and you loved me, that gave me hope.  I didn't love Riley.  He knew it and I knew it.  I just wanted someone to give me that hope you took a way, he couldn't and I faded a way.  You're just the first of the two of us to get there.”  She stopped for a moment to collect her thoughts.

    “What your trying to say is that you can't live without me much more than I can live without you.  She smiled sadly and nodded, that was what she meant to say.  “I love you, Buffy, and it makes me wiggy sometimes, and makes me put myself through Hell all over again, just to make sure that you have what is best.”

    “Don't you see, Angel?  We are what is best for each other, everything else seems just not to work.  So, let's try to make us work, please?”

    He still was sore from the magic, and whatever had bound his soul to his body, but he wanted to show her.    “Yes, I do, Buffy, I finally do.”

    “Good, then hold me and let's try to make these two years go away for awhile,” and he did.  They just held each other then; no words or actions just giving one another comfort both too tired for anything else.

    Across town Methos squinted at his map, you would think after 5 thousand years of reading maps of one kind or another, but he couldn't make heads or tails out of this one.  It had been generously supplied by one of the demons he had accosted too exactly where Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn where hanging out these days.  He needed to get a feel for what had happened and the only way to do that was to go see Angel's friends.  `Besides he'll need more than just Buffy to fully and completely heal', he thought.  So he was going to find where Angel's friends were and tell them the good news, he just didn't know exactly how he was going to explain it, and he hated not knowing what he was going to do. He sighed, he knew the reason he had no idea what to do, he didn't know the whole story.   Angel's healing had been more important than knowing the whole truth.   So, here he was knowing only the basics of what had happened and nothing more.  Angel was too despondent at the time to tell them the whole story and privately Methos wondered if either of them wanted to hear it, after all his had been pretty awful.

Over four thousand years ago

    Methos watched as his mate played a game of sling pole with one of the young girls of the village.  The girl's name was Cornellia she was bound to a half demon.    They made a beautiful, if unique couple.  The interesting thing is they were both seers, the half demon by birth and Cornelia as a gift from her bonded one.   They fought evil he had reasoned so it only made sense that she has the same ability.   He watched Kizziedomont; Kizzy as most called her unable to pronounce the difficult language of her people.  She was helping them swing the poles, her strangely colored eyes swam toward him for a moment and then toward the hills, and they froze.  Her muscles tightened and he saw her go for her sword, but it was far too late.   

    The army swooped down out of the hills and the last thing he saw before his world went black was the face of their leader looking at him, with a face of a demon.  

    He woke up to the feeling of Kizzy shaking him her hair was matted with blood, some of it looked like demon blood, other looked like human.  She hunted demons as a profession she would have held out longer that he, or....  “Where's Narssa?” he asked not seeing his mate near him.

    She looked at him with a deep regrets.  “One of the army took her head, to demonstrate the strength of them over us.  Needless to say, they road like Horathan was coming to take them to the world of the dead.”

    “You received her quickening?” he asked.

    “Yes, even though I was too far away to stop it, I was closer than you were.  I'm sorry, she was your mate and you should have received it.”

    “At least it went to someone I know will do good by her,” he looked at the sky for a moment; it had started out as such a wonderful day.  “I saw the face of their leader I, a human face.    I now vow on the death of my mate, death to all of those who caused it.”  With that said he slowly got up and walked a way only looking back once.

    As he looked back he heard Kizzy say in whisper that in years to come he would question whether or not he had actually heard her say it.   “I wish your soul luck in striving off the despair, my friend, my teacher.  Because the road you've chosen has turned heartless stronger souls than you.”  He would never have guessed how prophetic her words were, or known how much he should have headed those words.

2001, LA

    Methos was so wrapped up in remembering that he plowed right into someone. They knocked each other over, papers scattered.  Cordelia gave the man who had knocked her down a dirty look, and begun to pick up her papers.  “You know it's not the best idea in the world to walk around on the streets not paying attention to where you are going, or what you are doing.  You can ruin people's day doing that, not to mention hurt yourself.”

    “I guess I'm a little distracted.  When I had the guy draw the map, he didn't mention how bad his penmanship and orientation was I'm trying to find a Mrs. Cordelia Chase and her associates.  You wouldn't know where I could find them, would you?”

    “I better, I'm Cordelia Chase.”

    With that being said Methos finally really looked at her, and what he saw took his breath away, she wasn't an immortal, but she looked like Cornelia.  Dear sweat, and often not so sweat, Cornelia.  He was looking into a face long dead and it took his breath away and he really didn't know what to say.  

    “Hello, you wanted to talk to me about something.   Is anything computing up there.”  Cordelia shook the man who had suddenly spaced out on her.

    Methos smiled sheepishly at her.  “I'm sorry, you look like a friend of mine.”

    “Oh, really.  So, why didn't you call me by her name?”

    “Because she's dead, you don't exactly expect to meet your dead friends on the street, now do you?”

    “I don't know.  This town you never do know what your going to run into.  So, are you looking for me because I'm Angel's secretary and if you want to know where he is your going to have to look somewhere else,” exactly like Cornelia.

    “No, I'm not looking for Angel, but I am here about him.”

    Cordelia looked at him and hoped this wasn't more bad news about Angel.

    Buffy looked at the ceiling, she was tired, but she couldn't seem to get her brain to go to sleep.  Angel was, mostly because of exhaustion.   She just wasn't tired enough to get her brain to go to sleep.  She kept going over conversations she had, had with Methos.  “I died, how can this be my first death!”  She nearly screamed at him and he had nearly wrecked his car.

    “What, when did this happen?”  he asked trying unsuccessfully to hide his surprise.

    “When I was 16 years old, my first year in Sunnydale.  I went to face the Master and ended up dead, I drowned.”

    “How long were you out.”

    “Not that long, because one of my friends was able to revive me.   A couple of minutes at most.”

    “Ah, that explains it, Buffy you probably weren't quite dead yet.  They revived you, which means that you as a mortal lived.”

    “But I thought at you said....”

    “I know what I said, but sometimes, with some immortals they can stay mortal if they are revived quickly after death.  Also you're a Slayer, so to kill you, it would have to be pretty permeant.  So did they call another one?”

    “Yes, and she died and then Faith was called.  Faith isn't all that stable.”

    “First part,” Methos said.

    “What did you say?”

    “Nothing much, just wondering if another Slayer will be called after you.”

    Buffy nodded, that was the question.  In fact, Giles had not been sure if it would happen when she finally died, but if it did that would mean there would always be two mortals Slayers.

    Now that she thought about, she knew that Methos had been referring to the prophecy, the incomplete prophecy.   She hated prophecies in general, but this one seemed even more annoying than usual because it was missing parts.  Parts that might help her understand what was going on.  What she really hated was the idea of never seeing her friends again, her sister.  Dawn, she couldn't leave her with Glory after her, she had to somehow get protection or Dawn would have to come with her and Angel.  Now Methos would probably want her to wait until he got back to cabin and discuss the entire situation, but she had never been one for doing things the way they should be done.  So she picked up the phone and dialed a number she knew by heart.  “Giles,” she smiled hearing her watchers voice, “it's me, Buffy.”

    At that particular moment Methos was seriously considering screaming.  He knew that many people felt this way when people behaved like this, like he and Angel had.  “The truth is that we aren't sure if we want Angel back in our lives, man, he totally went over the bend with this one.  What's to say that he won't do it again?” This was from Gunn the teenage; well he'd almost say gang leader, if he didn't know that he hunted demons for a living.

    “It won't help if I say that I can guarantee that it won't happen again, will it?” he knew the answer before he asked the question.

    “No, we've moved on,” this was from Wesley.  He was British and proper, but there was something more about him, he almost reminded him of the other researchers he used to work with.  “Angel may be willing to go at this again, but we aren't.  We can't, that trust is gone.  You tell Angel that we don't need him anymore.”

    “Most of your old friends say that they've moved on, Methos.  They say that even if I can get you back to the way you once were that they don't want to see you again, they don't need you anymore.”  He heard Kizzy voice from thousands of years in the past, begging him to remember who he was.

    “Look we went through, a lot with him and this Darla thing.  I just don't think we can do it anymore, “ that was Cordelia.

    Methos looked at his feet and then again at them.  “You know he hasn't done all that much, he's been a pain and horses ass but it could have been worse.  I know that you don't think you need him, but has it ever occurred to you that he might need you?”

    “You know, I know this wonderful person in Sunnydale who might listen to this and believe it, but she isn't me.  Angel wigged out on us, he * fired* us, and now we're not going to come back.  End of story.”  Cordelia said, he could hear some sorrow in her voice, but not much.  It was too little, too late.  Which made Methos wonder what kind of friends Angel had.

    He nodded and then got up.  “I know that you don't realize it right now, but you're all making a big mistake,' with that Methos left it was time to leave.  But first he wanted to take sure that this Darla stayed as far a way from Angel as he could get her.  With that he headed out to try and find the vampire, she thought she was death.  Well death had a few things to show her.

    “Buffy?” she heard Giles voice filled with disbelief.

    “I just got news that you died, the council isn't sure if the powers will call another, but you are dead,” Buffy sighed they didn't know if there would be another Slayer for a while.

    “I'm sorry, but Giles I can't come back,” he could almost hear him opening is mouth to argue.  “I wish I didn't have to ask you this, I wish I didn't have to ask you to keep this a secret, but I need you to help me to decide what to do about Dawn.”

    “Yes, the Key needs protection and since you can't come back, it means that either she has to come to you.”

    “Or I have to find some other kind of protection.”

    “There is no one better that you, Buffy,” he wanted to yell at her tell her she had to come home.  But he heard the finality in her voice, and the small wish that it didn't have to be this way.

    “I'm not so sure about that anymore, I'm not so sure about anything anymore, “ her voice started to trail off and then she brought herself back.   “Look Giles, I know someone who can probably can think of another solution if there is one, but if there isn't you may have to tell Mom that your sending Dawn a way to be safe.”

    “Buffy, your mother has the right to know that you're alive.”

    `I know she does, but I'm not sure if she can deal with the fact that I'm not going to be able to come home to visit, ever.”

    “I'll look after Dawn, Buffy, find that other solution.  I don't want your mother to loose both of her daughters.”

    They said their good-byes and then hung up Buffy sat down and stared at the phone.  “Neither do I, Giles.”

    She then turned around to find a not so asleep Angel.  “How much did you hear?”

    “Most of it, enough to know that your being your usual `I'm not going to listen to orders' self.”

    She looked at him for a minute and smiled sadly.  “You probably figured Methos won't want me calling Sunnydale, right?”

    “Right, and I'm pretty sure that you would be promising to come if that was possible.”  He looked at her for a moment; he had an important question that might get him into a lot of trouble.  “Buffy, I heard Giles say both daughters, but I thought that you were an only child?”  He asked and then waited for the explosion.  It came, but in a fit of laughter.

    Buffy took a deep breath and tried to control her laughter, but it was a loosing battle it was just so funny.  “You mean that you think I'm an only, “ more laughter.  “An only,” more laughter.  “An only child.”

    “Yes, last time I looked you where, so what did Joyce do adopt?”

    Buffy took a few deep breaths she found the humor in the whole situation, those Monks had only had enough time to caster their spell on them, and no one else.  Hence Angel, heck probably her dad, didn't remember Dawn because for them she never existed.  “I'm sorry, Dawn is the Key, don't ask me to what because I don't know, but these monks sent her to me as my sister.”

    “So since there is no one to protect Dawn, the Key from....”

“Glory, the super demon she's incredibly powerful, I'm not sure if I can take her in a head on battle.  At least I wasn't sure while I was mortal.”

    “So, to ensure this super demon from getting Dawn she either needs a new protector, or she needs to come with us.”

    “Basically, I'm hoping that Methos knows someone who can.”

    Angel almost asked Buffy who Methos when he had s sort spark of memory.  Young looking man, black hair, about Wesley's size and stature, unassuming.   “I walked the road you are walking now for far longer than you have.  It doesn't lead to anything, but death and pain all around you.  You loose the best part of you when you forget why you are fighting, when you loose hope the reasons why you are killing eventually follow until all that's left is the killing.  This young woman loves you and you love her, hold it with both hands.   Love whatever kind you have it's the only thing that really holds us together in this endless life of ours,” then he remembered biting her.   What had happened in-between?  Was there anything in-between? Why did he bite her, right ingredients bind his soul, there was more to it than that, but that was one of the big reasons.

    “The guy that was with you, that told me what I was really doing?”

    “Yes, he's my teacher, I guess he's going to teach me how to be immortal.  You *remembered* the discussion we had in the sewers?”

    “Yes, and I remember biting you, I'm sorry.”

    “Why?  I'm not, Angel it gave you soul, this time without the curse. That means it can't be broken.  Besides, it didn't bother me when you bit me, it didn't hurt.”

    He wanted to yell at her about what that indicated, but what if it only indicated immortality.  “Did Methos say anything about it?”

    “You would think he would have, but all he said was he would explain the whole thing later.   That it was complicated, and he had somethings to do, and he wanted to give us some time to talk.”

    “Perhaps normal?”

    “Perhaps, you know what he is going to say when he hears that I called Giles?”

    “What that I shouldn't have that it was better all of them believing that I was dead, that the Watchers shouldn't know about immortals.  I guess I'll just have to tell him that the world's fate is more important than his life being complicated.”

    “You can also tell him that Giles doesn't work for the Watchers anymore and he knows how to keep a secret.”

    “I know, that's the reason I called him instead of mom.”  

    “So, he gave us sometime to ourselves?”

    “Yes, I think that he thought we might want to try out this permanent soul of yours.  We really shouldn't disappoint him, now should we?”

    Angel's fingers then entangled into Buffy's hair as he pulled her down to him.

    Meanwhile Methos was eating his meal and trying to decide what to do next, he really should just leave, but there were considerations.   He had wanted to go and kill the women, well female vampires that were the cause of this.  After some consideration he had thought better of it, not only would it have announced his presence as well to the vampire community, but that of immortals.  Not something many of his compatriots would appreciated that.  The other thing was that after he had thought about, he had realized that disappearing for Buffy wasn't going to be as easy as disappearing for him was.  She was the Slayer, and because of Faith's present circumstances there were considerations.  She had probably called her watcher; he could deal with her watcher knowing just not the council.  At least not at this present time.  The world was changing and he like he had done in the past would just have to change with it.

    He rolled his coffee in his hand, if he really thought about it he knew in his heart what was bothering him.   “I just don't think we can do it anymore,” Cordelia's voice came back to him.  He wasn't sure how he was going to tell Angel what his friends thought of him.  As far as Methos thought Angel's friends sure weren't acting like friends, they were acting like people who knew Angel.  Friends helped you even when you didn't know that you needed that help, and they at least tried to forgive you for past mistakes.  Besides it's not like Angel had done all of the things you had done, he had just harassed some lawyers, and buried a couple of vampires.  Of course he did fire them, but still.    “The thing about mortals is they don't have the luxury of being as forgiving as we do.   You know that saying of theirs fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame of me.  They just don't have the time to give some, a lot of chances.” Kizzy had said that after he had been unable to explain himself to a mortal friend.  She would have been irritated, even mad at Angel's friends, but she would have understood.  She always did.  Sometimes he couldn't tell which one of them was the teacher and which one was the student.  They were the oldest living beings, yet she seemed the one who had gained all the wisdom.   “I miss you a lot right now Kizzy, you wold have known how to handle this.  You always knew how to handle things.   I need your wisdom right now old friend.”

10 years before the birth of Christ.

    He would wonder later how she had found him, but he wouldn't wonder why.  Kizzy had always been that way, stable and strong.  She had looked for him and discovered him only to let him go when she heard about the horsemen, but now it appeared she had, had enough.   Her eyes bore into his as she looked at him across the sword that she had against his neck.   “It seems that nothing else is going to work, Methos, other than pain that will wake you up.”

    “This isn't pain, Kizzy, this is a threat,” he touched the sword gently.   It had been thousands of years since they had last seen each other, and yet in all that time she hadn't forgotten him.

    “True, but you've always had a stubborn streak, that's why we're discussing you leaving the horsemen in the first place.”

    “Who wants to leave?” he asked, even though he knew she saw the answer in his eyes.

    “You do, and I want you back.  Methos, you're my teacher the last remnant of what my life used to be like.   I want you back in my life; I want you to meet my mate, and be at my bonding ceremony.   I want my teacher and my friend back.   We were good for 600 years, I think we can be good again.”

    “What do the rest of my friends say, what do they want of me?”

    “Most of your old friends say that they've moved on, Methos.  They say that even if I can get you back to the way you once were that they don't want to see you again, they don't need you anymore.  Not the best thing for me to tell someone I'm trying to get back, but the only truth I can tell them.”

    He looked out over the landscape, he had told the others to go without him today he had plans he wanted to work out, in fact he had a decision to make.   It was made for him the minute his old student walked in.   He had wanted to decide whether or not to leave; did he dare feel again?   He guessed the answer was yes.   “What am I going to do, Kizzy?”

    “About the past you mean?”  Her dark purple eyes boring into him, he sometimes felt as if she could see past all that was and simply see him.

    “Yes, what am I going to do about what happened?”

    “Nothing, you can't change it and if you try to change it you'll end up hating yourself for it.    You move on, you acknowledge that it happened, but you don't live in it.   You live Methos, and you try to rebuild yourself, that's the only thing that you can do.”

    He looked at her for a moment and then nodded, she was right it was the only thing that he could do.    “How do you know that?”

    “Because my mate is a Kindasma, a vampire souled by our blood.   I've got lots and lots of practice in this area because of him.”

    He smiled the first true small in close to three thousand years.   “That would give you practice, wouldn't it?”

Present day

    Kizzy had known when it was time to come and get him, now he wanted her knowledge of what to tell Angel.   She had been blunt with him, but she had had to be.   He wasn't just dealing with someone who had forgotten how to care; he was dealing with a very bruised soul, a soul that suffered much more that his due.   He had actually met Angelus, once, and to tell the truth he wasn't all that impressed by the Scourge of Europe.  He just seemed to always compare everything spook he met to himself at his worst, it was Angel's back sliding that had scared him because there he saw a very bad potential, but it was over now.  He closed his eyes for a minute and imagined she was sitting there next to him, what would she say?   She would first point out that you can't force people to deal with each other, but you also don't have the force the issue.   “Just give them sometime, Methos, either it works out or it doesn't.  Besides he and Buffy sound as close as close can get to me.   I think that she can work miracles were others can't.”  Let nature run it's course that would have been her advice.

    She of course had a very good point that he couldn't and really shouldn't ignore, even if he was only talking to her memory.  It helped him sometimes to talk to her, or at least what he thought she would be like in this era.  She would have loved the 1990's and the 2000's it was just tragic that she couldn't live to see them, but she and Jacon had that kind of love.  The kind that makes old men die soon after their wife, simply because they can't seem to imagine a life without them.   Take its course, he would do that.  If Angel met up with his friends so be it, they would just have to cross that bridge when they came to it.  That was all he could do, and perhaps seeing Angel happy would have some influence on his so-called friends.

    Fate could be funny sometimes; Angel had given up his humanity to become a vampire again.  Only now did he fully understand why the oracles had granted his wish, he had Buffy were destined to be together for a very long time.   Not to be human, or at least mortal not every really.  It was only in this calm with him staring at the ceiling this time that he realized that the PTB had been very cleaver, they had made the Powers of Darkness think that he was the vampire with a soul, they focused all their energies on him leaving whoever that vampire was alone.   And without the proper understanding of immortal lingo they couldn't understand the prophecies that had been written about him and Buffy, or even that there were some really quite vital ones.   It was beautiful, but he was still annoyed about it.   They had gone through a lot of pain for nothing, or had they?

End Chapter one

Chapter two: moving on.

    It was a week later that Giles showed up with Dawn in the car, and information about Grace, for the watchers council.   Buffy smiled at her friend it was good to see him if only for a short time.  “Your mother and discussed it and she agreed that she can't really protect Dawn.  I'm charged with finding a suitable protector for her, which means that I have to take her to this animous protector.”  He looked at his slayer for a moment as if deciding what to say.   “Buffy, are you sure that you can't return?”

    “Mr. Giles,” Methos was the one who stepped in seeing Buffy wavering.  “I know that she wants to come back to her home, to live with you again, but that is just not how our kind of immortality works.   It's especially important that in Buffy's case because we prefer to not be known by the demon community.   At least most of it.”

    Giles looked as if he was going to say something, but stopped.   “I just wish there was a way for us to get around that, Buffy's mother is hurting so much right it just doesn't seem fair.”

    “True, in the short term it's not fair to those we must leave behind, but what you forget is that as immortals we are forced to watch those we love grow old and die while we remain forever young.”  Methos took a deep breath his thoughts going back to Alexa.   “Trust me on this one, Mr. Giles, this is a particularly unpleasant experience that Buffy will have to face, but she has so much more to deal with, don't add to her pain.   I know that she wants to go home, but as her teacher it is my job to help make this transition as smooth as possible and that includes leaving most parts of her mortal life behind.”

    Giles looked at his slayer for a moment, he could see that although she appeared happier than he had seen her in a long time, she was still reeling a bit.  The last thing that she needed was for him to tell her that this was the wrong thing for her to do, it was the way things were.   Even this was going against most rules for newly born immortals, but there was no choice with Dawn.

    “Giles, I have no intention of loosing contact with you,” she smiled at him.  “You're my last connection to home, I'll send you cards and tell you how I am.  And maybe after awhile you can tell mom about what really happened, just not yet.  You're a good enough actor to pull this off, she isn't.”

    He finally saw it; she hated this, but knew that it must happen.  She knew that she had to leave even though everything inside of her told her to do the opposite.   “I will miss you, Buffy.  I would have loved to see how you handled what they had in store for you, never dough that I am proud of you.”

    Buffy tried to hold back her tears, and felt Angel's hand gently squeeze hers he had remained silent through the entire conversation. They had agreed not to tell Giles about the change in their relationship and why.  They were a couple again, he could see that, but he didn't know the rest.    It just didn't seem right to put so much information on him at once, he either believed they had found or would find a way around the loop hole.  For now that was all they thought he needed to hear.  For now once the immortality had sunk in they would tell him the rest.

    Buffy grasped his hand back and then stood up to embrace her watcher for what could very well be the last time.   Time would tell a different story, but at that moment she believed that would be the last time she actually saw her friend face to face.   And it was much harder than she had every expected and now she knew why Methos was adamant about not communicating with her friends, it really wasn't what they could deal with.  It was what she, Buffy Summers the new immortal, could deal with.   She suddenly realized if this was hard, it would be ten times harder to say goodbye to them when she was still young and they were old, much, much harder.  And with that silent tearful goodbye Giles left and Buffy's life as a mortal drove a way with him.   Buffy stood for several minutes watching him go before she collapsed in tears into Angel's arms.  Methos watched it all with sad knowing eyes.   So far they had dealt with Buffy's issue's, now all they had to do was get out of town with out running into Angel's friends and they everything should be fine, after all they had saved the world from freezing in one moment.  How hard could avoidance be?  Why was that life never let things be that simple?  For at that same moment two teens ran up the stairs to a youth shelter and with that action Angel's past few years in LA were on careening course toward his present last few days there.

    There were a thousand justifications for every action, and a thousand more reasons that you shouldn't have taken that action.   For every path led there would be reasons why you shouldn't and there would be justifications for why you should.  Methos sat quietly trying to reason his way through one of those dilemmas, Macleod was one of those people that had the ability to whether any storm, but he wasn't sure if this was right.   He could be wrong after all Liam Ferrnel could be a different individual, than Angel, but all the pieces fit.   Born into a relatively well off family, real pain in the ass of a father, had a younger sister, face like an Angel, a wild youth, and the family suddenly dies there son had been seeing world at that time.     It all fit, everything, but he could be wrong.   And if he was wrong he could hurt his friend, on the other hand he could show up and claim ignorance to the relationship or something like that.  If they didn't know each other, no harm no foul.    But Macleod most likely would like to be warned about it, and he wasn't sure if he should tell Angel anything until he was sure.  What a bind, and really no way too simply fix the problem.  He was going to have to tell someone something.  Perhaps it would be better if they were surprised, that way neither of his two boy scouts could get themselves into a tizzy over possibly nothing.

    To say that Dawn was confused was to say that it was cold in the North Pole, she was more than confused.  And with that extreme confusion came fear, it taken quite a lot of work to get her to settle down and go to sleep.  It had taken quite a lot of congealing and cuddling from both Buffy and Angel to get her to settle down.   With Dawn finally asleep Buffy sat next to Angel in the hotel that had served as his business and home, it was a beautiful place and she was sorry that they couldn't stay here for longer.   What she really wanted to do was throw caution to the wind and stay here, but she knew that she couldn't and she knew why.  It was still hard not to, and that made it even harder to leave.   “It's hard to believe that she's not really human,” Angel said breaking her train of thoughts, she didn't mind.

    “I know.  I still have a hard time believing that she's not my sister.  I have all these memories of her and I know that they aren't true, but a large part of me doesn't care.  I she's important someway to the world, but I don't care all I care about is the fact her last name is Summer's and that she likes to wear my cloths, does that make any sense?”

    “Completely, Buffy it doesn't matter what her biology is she's your sister in every way that really matters.” His hand gently rested on her shoulder as he watched the sleeping child within.  “I'm just going to have to get used to that fact that you have one.”

    She smiled up the man she loved; he always seemed to be able to say the right thing.  “So what are we planning to do for the last week we live in LA?”

    “Well Methos mentioned that we going to be going to a couple of areas that you might want some hiking boots, we need to buy you a coat that can hide your sword, nothing much nitpicking stuff mostly.”

    She looked at him she knew there was something else.  “And?”

    “I want to take you to this Demon Karoke bar,” he shrugged seeing her look at him suspiciously.  “I'm not going to ask you to sing, Buffy, but the owner is physic.  Expect that you have to send for him to tell you your future, I want to know what he thinks of Methos.”

    She smiled; trying hard not to laugh the idea was hilarious.   But it would be worth the kicks, especially if they could get Methos up there, she too would like to see the expression on that poor demon's face.   “The owner he's the green guy that helped us, right?”

    “Yes, that's him.”

    “Anything else you want to do?”

    “Clean house, I thought I'd donate some of my old cloths to this local shelter,” he paused for a moment, “and I have to say goodbye to Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn.”

    Good-byes sucked especially the ones that Angel would have to do with his friends, so they cleaned house.  They found everything that Angel didn't need, cloths, books, and bed sheets and put them into boxes.  And then they put into the car and headed toward a shelter that Angel had found an address for on his desk.  “Any idea what the address is all about?”

    “No idea, it could be anything.  Which means that I may not be the most welcome person in the world.”

    “Honey, you were a pain in the ass, not the apocalypse he's staying at your hotel.”  He saw her shake her head at that, he wasn't sure which it was the fact that she couldn't believe that he had bought a hotel or that Methos nice unassuming Methos was Death.

    “Still I might not be the most welcome person, “ he said as he pulled out of the driveway.

    “True, but I know a couple of places in Sunnydale that I might not be the most welcome person there.”

    She smiled at him and caressed his hand.  “That' true enough, but at least they won't want to kill you.  I think that if Methos walked into some of the establishments he had graced at his worse that is just what they would have wanted to do to him.”

    He smiled, but said nothing.  Buffy knew what he thought; he thought that everything that had happened must have been horrible or he'd be able to remember it.  She wouldn't tell him why he refused to remember it wasn't just because of the deeds, but because of the feelings that he felt.  So had she for the that matter.

A week ago.

    “I walked the road you are walking now for far longer than you have.  It doesn't lead to anything, but death and pain all around you.  You loose the best part of you when you forget why you are fighting, when you loose hope the reasons why you are killing eventually follow until all that's left is the killing.  This young woman loves you and you love her, hold it with both hands.   Love whatever kind you have it's the only thing that really holds us together in this endless life of ours,” Methos said.

    Angel thought about what he said for a moment and then turned toward Buffy.  “I'm so tired, Buffy,” he had said to her as he had looked at her as if across a great chasm that could not be crossed no matter how much he wanted to.  “I can't fight like I used to, there isn't enough of me there.”

    “There's not enough of me to allow you to stay this way.  I'm a mess.  You're a mess.  We're both a mess.   The only thing that seems to be able to hold us together is each other, especially now.  I can do alone, Angel, but what makes me pick myself up and keep fighting the good fight is you.  Is that true for you too?”

    “Yes, Buffy, God yes, but we can't.  I'll loose my soul and then you'll have to kill me.  I can't put you through that again, I just can't.  I'm better numb than causing you pain.”

    “But you being numb does cause me pain, and it's needless pain.   Angel, I'm immortal, we can permanently give a vampire his soul.   I want to make you whole again,” Buffy said as calmly as she could.

    “Drink her blood she has the rest of the ingredients flowing in it, and you'll make up something else.  You'll never be human again, but you'll loose your soul either.  You can love the way you two were meant too,” Methos said rejoining the conversation.

    “Be with me Angel, forever.”

    “Forever,” he whispered into her ear and then bit her and Buffy's world exploded into pleasure so much more intense than before and she felt her sinking into Angel gladly.

The present

    Buffy was snapped out of her memory by Angel stopping at the shelter and looking at her.  He had seen Methos do so he knew what it was, but she was sure that she was a little flushed.   It had only been after Methos had returned from wherever he had gone that they had learned that one of an immortals more sensitive erogenous zones was the neck. In other words if someone bit you with your consent it could, especially if there were sexual feeling toward said vampire, cause great pleasure, if it was not consensual it hurt like nothing in the world.  He had also mentioned something about the blood tasting different, but she had been to relieved to listen, it had been normal, at least for an immortal that is.  “I hope that's for me,” he finally said.

    She smiled back at him.  “Yes, defiantly for you, always for you.”

    He leaned over and kissed her feeling her moan in response, it had defiantly been a good memory.   “Good, because it looks like you're going up there by yourself.  Because that's Gunn,” he pointed to the black man going up the stairs with a white tired looking woman, probably the mother of the shelter.

    “And you don't want to seem to be sneaking out of town?”

    “Yes, do you mind?”

    “No, not at all.”   Buffy got out of the car and saw Angel get out with her and go to lurk in the shadows whatever happened he would see it.  Buffy grabbed the boxes and headed up toward the entrance.

    Gunn and Anne turned almost as one as they saw Buffy mounting the stairs carrying several heavy boxes.  “Oh, my, is this for the shelter?” asked Anne.

    “Yes, if I can get it in and not drop it on your feet.”

“Here let me help you,” both Gunn and Anne said at the same time.

    “I'm Anne and this Gunn by the way.  He's a private investigator and well he agreed to come back to his old neighborhood and help out with a problem.”

    “Really, need some extra help.  My finance and I are moving up to Seattle in a couple of days, but we wouldn't mind helping for as long as we're here.”

    “I could use the help,” Anne said.   “Come in I take it you're cleaning house with the move, Mrs.?”

    “Beatrice Ferrnel, and yes we're cleaning house.”

    About an hour late Buffy stormed out of the shelter she wanted to go pound in some police heads.  The idea of hurting those kids.  Okay, some of them weren't pictures of good behavior, but they hadn't been doing anything.  And now Angel's friend Gunn was going off to do something rather dumb.  She walked toward the shadows to find no Angel; she turned the corner and found him looking at a beheaded cop.  A *very * dead beheaded cop.  “Well that explains some of it, they aren't real cops.”  Buffy grumbled as she looked at her slightly shell shocked finance.

    “I wasn't doing anything, Buffy, she watching you and Gunn,” he said.

    “And then he came up and tried to arrest you, when you asked he hit you.  You probably knocked him down and were going to walk away, right?”

    “But then he got back up, and he attacked again, and I beheaded him.”

    “Because it was the only thing that you could do at that moment.  Oh, Angel I'm not mad at you.  This just explains the conversation that Gunn and I had with the kids at the shelter.”

    “These guys have been harassing the local kids?”

    “Yes, and get this your friend and couple his buddies are going to go find one of these cops and get said cop on video tape.”

He looked at Buffy a moment he wanted to go chasing after Gunn, it was one the dumbest ideas he had ever heard of, but he had done some pretty dumb things in his tizzy over Darla.   “Stupid as hell, we should probably call Cordy and Wesley.”

    “He called them on their way out.  Which means that we had better leave, unless you really want to explain to them how come I'm still alive.”

    Angel looked at her grimly for a moment and then nodded.   She was right besides he did have one resource that might make tracking down who and what was doing this to the kids a lot easier.

    Two hours later they their answer, Zombies, cops brought back to life.  Cops that were now harassing a neighborhood.  Angel was tiring very hard not to laugh at Buffy as she had a discussion with her teacher.  “You heard me right, Zombie Cops”, she smiled at him as she listened to Methos rattle on, he talked a little too much right now.  “So what you're saying is that it depends, but if there's a statue smash that first?”  “Yes, we will be.”   “Take care of Dawn, and thanks.”

    “So, I take there are so many types of Zombies that it's hard to say what, right?”

    “Yes, but statues are a good place to start,” she smiled at Angel as he rolled his eyes.  “As if we didn't know that, let's go kick some butt.”

    They basically stormed in Angel leading the way.  He was scared, Buffy was too, but it was his friends in the line of fire.  He was scared and mad, and that made him dangerous.   It made her dangerous as well, what happened to justice?  She wondered to herself as they both stormed into the Chief's office.

    “Can I help you with something?” the Chief asked.

    “Actually we like to talk to you about some dead cops,” Angel said very quietly, he was trying to control his anger.

    “I think you know them,” Buffy said coming to face the man that had put so many people at risk.   “They should be laying in ground, but their not.  Instead they are terrorizing your precincts streets.”   

    With that pronouncement he turned and fired his gun at them, which nicked Buffy in the arm and then ran toward a hidden compartment.  Buffy and Angel looked at each other for one moment and then busted through Angel in full vamp mode.  Buffy knew as she thought vamp mode that wasn't exactly what it was, but it really didn't matter right now.

    She looked around all the cops were lined up with candles next to them, and then there was the center alter with a bucket full of guts, and a statue.  A statue.  “So how are you doing it,” Angel asked.

    “I won't betray them, they're good cops.  They died on the streets,” he said.

    “Now their back, right?” Buffy asked picking up the statue as she did so.  “Someone told me the best thing to look for is a statue.  Say goodbye to your Zombie Cops.”  She broke the statue over the table although she would have rather hit it over the idiot's head.   She turned around to see that Angel had slugged him, the Chief of the dead police was out cold.  “Feel any better?”

    “A little,” he looked at the cop for a moment.  “I can't help thinking that he was doing exactly what I was doing, going too far with this fight evil.  No one pulled him back, and I hope all we have to show for it is some broken bones.”

    “I feel like we were just in time for something, Angel, I just don't know what it is,” she then pulled him so he was looking straight at her.  “What I don't want you doing is what if's, we pulled you off that cliff, that's all you need to know, okay?”

    He smiled at her sadly.  “I can't promise that, Buffy, but I'll promise to try.”

    “I guess I'm just going to have to live with that then.”

    “Yes, and I think I know what Methos was talking about, with your blood.”

    She looked at him, encouraging him to continue.

    “Your blood smells different, if I was an average Vampire I would have turned around and gone the other direction.”

    “That bad, huh?”

    “Only when your mad, when you're not it smells very sweat,” he took her in his arms as they head outside.  “But now I've got this instinct that says that means someone's in danger.”

    “I guess this proves it, my blood did change you.”

They drove away, they were about half way to the Hyperion when Methos called.  “She what?!” Angel heard Buffy almost hell into the phone.  “You're right, but were where you?”  “Making dinner?  How did she take a fall like that in the hotel?”  “Tripped down the stairs, she's alright other than the arm?”  “Good, we'll be there.”  Buffy then turned to Angel.  “Dawn took a fall down the stairs, and broke her arm.”

    “How did she fall down the stairs,” Angel asked not seeing the young girl as clumsy.

    “By jumping down them two at a time,” Buffy smiled it was normal behavior, nothing dire.

    Angel nodded trying not to laugh and turned the car toward County General.  Never expecting the confrontation that awaited Angel there.

    Buffy sat down with the Doctor as he outlined Dawn's injuries: a broken arm, a cut on her arm and one on her face in need of stitches and a possible concussion.  “So what do you want to do about the concussion?”  Buffy asked.

    “It is probably only a bump on the head Mrs. Summers, but to be on the safe side we would like to keep her over night for observation.”

    “This is just a precaution, you don't really think that there is something seriously wrong with her, do you?”

    “No, but we wold prefer to be on the safe side, wouldn't you?”

    “Yes, I'll sigh the admit forms and my Fiancée will walk her down and stay with her for awhile, if that's alright with you?”

    He smiled, of course it was.  “Yes, I thought when she was brought in that her parents or guardians didn't care about her, but now I see I was wrong.”

    “Thank you, and Adam is going to get some lessons on keeping ones ears open for suspicious behavior before he baby-sits again.”

    The doctor nodded and watched as Buffy walked out to the counter to sigh the forms and told her fiancée to follow him.

    The nurse smiled as Angel deposited Dawn on the bed.  “I need to change her into a hospital gown and take a few readings, if you wouldn't mind waiting outside, sir?”

    Angel smiled.   “Not at all, Dawn, I'll be right out there, okay?”

    She nodded, but Angel could see that she was quite scared.  No wonder considering the last time that she was in the hospital her mother was diagnosed with cancer after coming in for observation.  He couldn't keep an eye on Dawn so his eyes strayed to the next room over and if he had needed to breathe it would have caught.  There was Wesley; he'd been hurt, pretty badly.   They had almost been too late, Wesley had been hurt badly enough to have to be put in a hospital.   He just stared for several minutes, he wanted to go in and see if Wesley was all right, but he had been an ass.  But he could perhaps get some information on how he was doing; he was turning around to go and talk to one of the nurses about Wesley when he came face to have with Cordelia.

    “What are you doing here?” she demanded, facing the last person in the world that she wanted to see right now.

    “I came here to see how someone else was and saw Wesley.   I, Cordelia, what happened?”

    “Well, that's great.   Too bad it takes a gunshot wound to make you give a crap.  Wesley doesn't need you right now, we don't need you.  You walked away, just do us a favor and just stay away.”  With that said she walked past him.

    “Cordelia, how did he get shot?” Angel yelled at her, but she didn't answer.  He watched her as she walked into the room and saw her and Gunn talking to a recently revived Wesley.  He watched them, they were thriving, what right did he have to come back into their lives only to say goodbye again?  None.  They had moved on, now it was time for him to as well.  But he really wanted to go into that room and see how Wesley was doing, but Cordy no matter how harsh she had been was right.  Wesley didn't need him, or this right now.  

    He noticed as the nurse walked up to him.  “Sir, she's settled in if you'd like to stay with her for a while you can.”

    “Yes, I would very much.  Her sister will be looking for her in a moment if you could tell her where Dawn is.”

    “Of course I can, Dawn isn't your child is she?” the nurse asked noticing that he looked a little too young to be the child's father.

    “No, I'm her 20 year old sister's fiancée.”

    The nursed nodded and Angel went to see how Dawn was doing, it was time for him to get on with his life.  Several minutes later Buffy came in when she saw the look on his face she demanded to know what had happened.  He took over to a corner and told her, Buffy wanted to do two things at once hug the man she loved and hit Cordy.  She decided that Angel was right.  So he hugged him and then went to sit next to Dawn, she was going to be with the two most important people in her life for the night.  Make sure that nothing happened to either of them.

    They got chased out about an hour before sunset.  Buffy had wanted to stay, but the nurse had insisted that what Dawn needed was rest not people hovering over her.  So that sat in chairs close enough so they could see both Dawn and Wesley.  Neither of them was getting much sleep; in fact they were actually sleeping in shifts.  Methos, on the other hand, had gone home hours ago.  Especially after Angel had mentioned the K word, she wondered if they would actually be able to get him to do it.  No, she thought after the look he had given them she knew what he was doing, he was packing.  They were leaving no more wandering around wondering when they were just going to leave.  And no it was not up for debate.  She watched as Cordelia and Gunn where themselves ousted and then watched as they started to walk toward them, and she saw Cordelia debating whether to come over and give Angel shit and then she saw Buffy.  Well stormed would be the nice word for what she did.

    “What are you doing here?!” she asked and demanded in the same sentence.

    Buffy looked at her and considered whether or not she should answer or not. “Waiting for them to get done observing my sister to see if she has a concussion.”

    Cordelia crossed her arms and glared at Buffy.   Buffy stared right back at her and realized that Angel's assessment of Cordelia's feeling for her where right, she did think that Buffy was the reason for all the problems Angel and she had.   “Sure, you just walk back into his life, you probably ruined it even more than it already is.”

    “No, you did that Cordelia.  You see he was here looking after someone else, my sister Dawn by the way, when he saw Wesley.  You could have appreciated that he cared, he could have seen that he was getting back together.  But no *you  * slap him over the head with a we don't need you anymore pronouncement.   You didn't even tell him what happened, don't you think he deserves to know what happened to his friend, Cordelia?”  Buffy had stood up and was now shaking with rage.

    “No, actually I don't.   He lost that right when he fired us, and became Mr. I don't have feelings.   He dumped us out in the cold and you want us to be nice to him.  And now you're here and he's going to be even worse.”

    *Breath, * Buffy told herself.  She then looked at Cordelia, the person who used to be Angel's friend.  “I'm sorry you feel that way Cordelia, about me, about Angel.   I wish you could give more to him than you can, but I guess you can.   What I do want from you is an understanding, if you ever see him again I don't want to hear about a speech even approaching what happened a couple hours ago, understand?

    Cordelia didn't say anything she just turned around and left it was defiantly timed to leave.

    It must have been several hours later when Angel finally stirred awake, she smiled at him his hair was ruffled and he looked entirely unkempt, but at peace.   “I want to stay here,” he said.

    “Angel, you heard Methos, it's better for young ones like me not to have to deal with the death of their friends and family.  Besides the reason that you want to stay, doesn't want you anywhere near them.  Or don't you remember that?”

    “I remember, but I also remember bits and pieces of why they don't want me around.   Buffy, I want the chance to prove them wrong, I don't want to uproot myself or take Dawn so far a way from her mother that she can never see her again.”

    Buffy looked at the man she loved for a long time, she wanted to give in and forgot all the really logical reasons why this was a bad idea.  Then she realized that there were some good reasons why they should stay here.  “Methos is going to have a cow, but I feel that you're right.”  She then leaned over and gently touched her lips to his; it became heated faster than either of them would have imagined that it could have.

    Angel finally pulled away from her, he didn't want.   What he really wanted to do was drown in her as he had been doing for the last week, but it was time to come back to the real world.   Really come, which meant dealing with the repercussions with what happened between him, Cordelia, Gunn, and Wesley.  “I'd love to continue this, but it appears that someone is coming to talk to us,” Angel whispered into Buffy's ear.

    She smiled and straightened out and watched as the nurse came toward them to tell them that it was okay to take Dawn, but no excitement.  Buffy just smiled at Angel they'd work on that, but there were no guarantees that it would happen.

    They had expected it to be hard for them to convince Methos that it was a good idea to stay here, but surprising it wasn't.   “I thought we'd be moving to, it is after all the smartest thing to do considering all the circumstances, but Cassandra.  Cassandra the person whose village I destroyed, whose mortal life I ended and who I imprisoned, the person who hates me tells me that I can't come to Seattle that you two, me and Macleod have a destiny here.  She thinks that it may have something to do with your friends, but she isn't sure.”

    “So, you trust her?” asked Angel.

    “Yes, she may hate me, but she can see this destiny stuff.  And I'm sure that she wouldn't contact me if she didn't think it was important enough,” Methos said grimly he had no illusions that this meant anything more than her passing on her sense of things.

    “So, what are we going to do?” asked Buffy, after several minutes.

    “We're going to clean this place up, get Dawn registered in school and start to put our lives back together,” Angel gently took her hand.  

    “We're going to move on with all of our lives,” said Methos.  “Even if it may hurt to do so, we are just going to move on in LA instead of Seattle.”

    Buffy walked over to the window and looked out over the landscape.  “I want to marry you, Angel.   Not tomorrow, or a week from today, but now tonight under the stars.”

    He came over to her and put his arms around her waste.  “I want to marry you as well Buffy, but I want to say it to the world not in some small hidden a way chapel.”

    She looked at him, as if for the first time she realized that there might me more.   “Besides by the traditions of my people we are already married.   The right I gave you on your seventeenth birthday, it's a wedding band.”

    Part of her wanted to hit him for not telling her, the other part the larger part just wanted to kiss him which is exactly what she did.

    “I think I might have a solution to your problem, there is a ceremony that can bind together the lives of a souled vampire and a immortal.  It's one of the closet things I know to an immortal wedding ceremony, I think there were some subtle differences for the immortal to immortal one, but it hasn't been performed in years, this one has.  You could bond and then get married in a church later.”

    They both looked at him for a moment and then said together, almost unison.  “That sounds great!”  And so it was decided.

Chapter 3: A Binding of Souls; A Connection With Old Friends.

    The night was clear beautiful and they had decided to conduct the ceremony outside, on the patio.  The bind blew Buffy's hair in every which way, she wasn't wearing anything particularly special, nor was Angel.  He watched his soulmate as they stood across from each other a sword between them.   The whole idea of this ceremony was forming a binding that would be eternal.  It was therefore important that the magick be done correctly than for Angel and Buffy to look their best.  Methos had even said not to wear their best cloths, apparently one part of this casting was extremely messing.  So he looked at Buffy and she looked at him and neither of them really noticed the first parts of the spell.   The calling of the souls into the forefront, the casting of a circle of protection around Buffy and Angel.  They only became aware of his presence when he handed a knife to Angel and watches as Buffy put her hand across the barrier allowing Angel to slit a cut in his hand and then one in hers and then Buffy pressed their hands together.  “Together we bind ourselves, throughout Eternity,” Buffy said.

    “With this blood mixing my blood with yours, our lives mix, throughout time.”

    “Through the pressing of the wounds together so shall we share our pain, so shall we share our joy.”

    “This sword,” Methos said as he picked up the sword.   “Represents two without the hilt it cannot be wielded and without the blade the hilt loses its strength.  So it is with you, as the sword is our alley and our foe, it represents the union of two.”  Methos then separated their hands and thrust the sword between them and then closed their hands over it.   “This sword represents the strength of your bond, your love.  With the mixing of your blood on it, it binds your souls together as strongly as the hilt and the blade are wound.  So it is done, so it is done for eternity never to be reversed.”  With that said light shot from the sword and diverged to both Buffy and Angel entering their bodies.  They collapsed on the floor.

    It was several hours later when Angel woke up to find Buffy stirring beside him.  She looked down and smiled he look as happy as she felt, and knowing that it wouldn't cause the loss of her soul made her stop for a moment.  It was wonderful to be able to be like this with him without having to think about what might happen.  She gently pulled a way; “I just felt someone's quickening.”

    He gently rubbed her bare shoulders and she got up and threw on one of his shirts, he hated to admit it, but the site of her with his shirt on her cheeks still slightly flushed from their recent round of love making was arousing.   He wanted to ignore all precautionary rules and throw her down to their bed and make love to her again, not go and make sure that it was just Methos.  But that was dangerous and irresponsible, so he rolled out of bed behind her and grabbed his pants and put them on.  He watched as Buffy pulled out the, her sword.  It had been his sword, although as a mortal he had never had used and had never been able to bring himself to use after words, it had seemed right that it should protect his mate.   It felt as if part of him was protecting her.   

    They slowly descended the stairs to find Methos talking to another immortal.  Probably Macleod, there was probably nothing to worry about.  The other two immortals turned to face them and Buffy felt Angel freeze behind her.   And she also felt shock, not hers Angels.  He knew Macleod from somewhere.  And as Macleod looked back he shared an equally surprised expression.

    It was too quite for Lindsay's liking, way to quite.   The year review was coming and what was Angel doing about all the scurrying around that his coworkers where doing, nothing.   And that was what worried him, it seemed that Angel had found something else to focus his attentions on and that could be very bad or very good.  It could be bad if that focus had turned him all the way back on the side of good, but it could be good if he had simply found someone else to hunt for awhile.   The question that he now had to ask himself was what or whom could bring Angel back defiantly not his former employees, but who?   So he had done some digging and had found what everyone else had missed.  The thing that should have been at least put into contingency plans, if not eliminated.  Her name was Buffy Summers and she was Angel's one true love, long as she was away from him he was wownerable to attack.  But put her back with him and they were an almost unbeatable force fierce, strong, and almost unbreakable.  It had only been the inability to be truly together that had finally forced them rather tragically apart.  So, if they found a way to be together the whole project could come down their heads.  The only way to eliminate that threat was to eliminate Buffy Summers once and for all and he thought he knew just the vampire that would be willing to do that.

The next morning around 6 am.

    The alarm went off at promptly 6 am as it had been programmed to, and Buffy groaned.  All she wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep, but she had to get Dawn to school, it was her first day.  She punched the alarm off and saw Angel looking at her blurry eyed.  “Go back to sleep, I'll get Dawn ready and take her to school,” Buffy said as she rolled out of their very warm bed.

    “Buffy, maybe I should get up after all…” she stopped him with a gentle kiss.

    “I can get my sister to school, Angel.  Besides we have to figure out how to set up that newer, faster, net workable computer that Methos brought her yesterday.  And vampires that have been drinking all night and sharing stories with Duncan, their childhood mentor, need a couple more hours of sleep.”  

    Her very groggy and most likely hangoverish mate smiled and nodded, and promptly fell back asleep.  Buffy smiled one more time, she had never really seen him this completely, well human acting.   He was not brooding or hunting demons, he was just sleeping after a night out parting with a friend.   Duncan and Angel had indeed met and in fact when she looked at them she could understand why Methos thought of them as his `two boyscouts,' they were really quite a like.   They even look slightly a like, not enough to mistake one for the other, but similar none the less.   Both had been wild in their youths, in fact, Duncan and told Angel that it had been every so slightly eerie seeing Angel behaving so similarly to Duncan in his first 75 years of life.   They had talked all day.  Buffy had decided they needed to do something to celebrate, first she had arranged for a babysitter, who happened to be a friend of another immortal in town.  Female one by the name of Amanda, Duncan had described Amanda as someone who had never quite stopped sowing her oats.  Lucy, Amanda's friend, was the wonderfully motherly type and Buffy had had no qualms about leaving her sister in Lucy's clearly capable hands.   

    Buffy gently shook Dawn awake, and smiled at her sister.  Dawn looked up at her with a face she had seen many times it was the `I don't want to go to school today' face.   “Time to get up Dawn, first day at new school and you don't want to be late.  Do you?”

    Dawn shook her head and trudged to the bathroom to begin her first day at her new school.

    Buffy managed to get Dawn fed and washed and herself a quick shower before they were heading out the door.   They really almost made it without anything happening, but just as they were heading toward the door it opened to reveal Gunn.   It looked like her morning was going to be a little more interesting than she had thought it would be.  She looked at Gunn and Gunn looked at her and then she said rather shagrindly, “I guess you figured out my name isn't Beatrice.”

    “Yeah, I guess you'd be Buffy.”

    “Yes, and this is my sister Dawn and she's starting her first day at school and we don't want to be late.  If it's quick you can walk down to the car with us.”

    Gunn looked at her and really considered telling her he'd ask later, but she might have the answer.  “Well Darla came to our place, oh, about 6 last night and totally trashed the place, any idea why?”

    “Other than the most obvious which is jealousy, no.”  She said as she opened the front passenger seat for Dawn to get in.

    Gunn watched her as she loaded her sibling into the car according to Cordelia she was the worst thing that could happen to Angel, but he didn't think she was right.   He saw someone that appeared to be very good for Angel, but he still had to ask.  “Any chance that Angel might have done something to provoke her last night?”

    “Other than first going from bar, to bar, to bar trying to find the prefect beer.  And then trying to prove to your friend that Irish whiskey is better than Scottish and his friend trying to prove that Scottish is better than Irish?”

    Gunn looked at her for a moment was he hearing her right?  “Did Angel get plastered?”

    She smiled it had been nice to see him letting loose so much with someone other than her, not that she didn't want him to do that with her.  It was just nice that he could do it with someone else, besides she got to hear some very interesting tales.  “Yes, he got completely plastered.  Both Duncan and Angel both swear the other is still wrong about the best whiskey.  Methos finally got a beer that he would call decent at the Karoke bar.”  She paused for a moment to look at her watch, defiantly time to go.  “Why don't you stop by tonight and ask all the questions you want.”  She put her hand on his arm as he turned to leave there was one more thing that she had to say before he went.  “Tell Cordelia and Wesley, but especially Cordelia that we found a way around the happiness clause.  Tell them that they don't have to worry about every seeing Angelus again, got it?”

    “Sure, I take it she would freak if I didn't tell her this?”

    “Yes, now I really do have to drive my sister to school.”  With that said she jumped in Angel's car and drove toward the middle school.

    Gunn watched her for a moment and then smiled to himself.  “So, he got plastered for no reason other than the fact that he was out with his friends.”  He then nodded to himself and headed back toward the new office, he had some good news.   

    Cordelia nearly hit the wall when she heard the news.  “He what!!!  This is worse than we thought I'm sure he's Angelus by now, come on, Wesley.”  She was walking at the office until Wesley and Gunn stopped her.

    “Cordelia, he loses his soul because of a happiness clause, which Buffy made Gunn relate rather empathetically that is no longer a issue.”

    “Look White Girl, he had a good time, actually it sounds like he had a great time.   I don't know who his friends are, but it sounds like they know how to make him come out of his shell, something we didn't do all that well.”

    “Well considering that he suddenly found a way around the happiness clause it is always possible that they are vampires like Angel.”

    “Wesley, Buffy is here that is never good it always ends up very tragic, they are not good for each other.”

    “She didn't look like she was going anywhere, “ said Gunn.  “In fact, it looked like she was planning on staying her permanently considering that she was taking her sister for her first day at school.”

    Both Wesley and Cordelia turned to Gunn when he said that.  “But Buffy doesn't have a sister, “ they said almost in unison.

    “Yes, she does I saw her loading her into Angel's car and taking her to school.  They were obviously related, and since Buffy is too young to have 14 year old daughter, she's her sister.”

    Wesley and Cordelia looked at each other then back at Gunn they were missing something, something vital.  Cordelia was the first to move striding forward toward the door.  “Well, I'm going to find out what this is all about, besides we need to find out why Darla trashed our office last night.”

    “Cordelia, “ Wesley said very quietly, but instantly.  “Angel is most likely asleep at the moment and Buffy is probably planning to join him there very soon.  If we want answers we should call on them at a later hour.”

    Cordelia looked at Wesley for a moment as if she was deciding whether or not he was telling the truth then nodded.  It made sense, she just wanted answers now not later, but she would have to get them later.  If she was really honest with herself she was still angry with Angel, especially knowing that he was finding a life outside of them.

    Someone had once told him that the greatest gift and the greatest curse of immortals was the ability to remember.   To remember everything in such great detail that you can not forget why you remembered this or that, why you remembered this person.  Methos could hear Buffy and Angel making love in the their room glorying in each other, it was around 9 am and it was still mostly quite, they had really had a good time last night.   He hated to ruin it this morning, but there was a final reckoning that he had to have.   A finality that had to be done.  This wasn't just about him or his mate anymore, but it was about answers.  He needed to know why, and he needed to finally close that chapter in his life.  Every 75 years, he carried with him always the one thing that could destroy the messenger that had destroyed his life so long ago.  It was one of a pair the other lost in the folds of time.

    They would be pisted and scared when he didn't tell them what he was doing, when he didn't tell them where he was going or why he was doing what he was doing.  He couldn't he had planned this for so long, it was time to finally do it.  In times past he might have looked up Kizzy and asked her to help, but now he had to go it alone and yet he never really was.

1989 somewhere outside Sunnydale.

    Kizzy turned the volume up on the radio as they drove toward Sunnydale.   “I like this song, it's sad but it reminds me of my life.  And yours I might add.”  The lyrics began and Methos watched as Kizzy began to get lost in them.  

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared `neath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right.
How could I have known that you'de every say goodbye.

    He smiled sadly as he heard them; yes they ran true for both them.  He had never expected to lose his mate.   His world had been so right back then, it had been prefect.  He had never prepared himself for her death.  Nor had Kizzy prepared herself for Jacon's death, it had just happened.   Neither of them had really seen goodbye coming.

And now I'm glad I don't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance.

    Boy did that hit home.  He was glad when he really thought about that he hadn't expected what would happen.  He had lived so well back then; it would have been a tragedy to know what would have happened in the end.   The same for Kizzy she and Jacon had loved and lived together so well.  Every night they greeted together, they lived and loved together and beautiful dance of life.

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all.

    They were all on top the world together in the valley nothing could touch them, they ruled the world.  He really didn't know what he would have done to save them, if he would have ruined it, sometimes he thought he would do anything to have her back.   Kizzy had that look on her face as well she too wondered what she would have done differently back then and with Jacon.

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance.

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pained but I'd have had to miss the dance

    Methos looked at the radio for a moment and was about to say bullshit, who wants to take chances, but then he saw Kizzy looking at him.   “It's called the Dance and is sung by Garth Brooks.  Methos, I want you to promise me something.”


    “I want you to promise that when you get in those moods of yours, when you try to block out the world you'll listen to this song.  You'll understand what it means.  You'll remember it as the song of both of our lives.  We've lost so much, but we both really danced before we lost it.  I want you to remember you dance, to remember this song.  I won't always be here to pick you out of the dirt.”

    “I promise,” he said he had wanted to say something about her saying she would die, but he didn't.  Everyone died even immortals, eventually.


    Methos had kept his promise he had bought the tape and eventually the CD, that particular song always brought tears to his eyes.   But he had made it his and when he did play it for himself, sometimes he could see parts of his life flash before his eyes.   Maybe it was time he introduced the song to the rest of his friends.  Tell them the story, tell them his story.  The whole one this time.  So he drove down the rode toward Wolfram and Heart humming the tune and singing it in his head.   In a way he felt that Kizzy was there helping him and so was Narssa in her own way.

    It was about noon when they finally dragged themselves out of bed.  A long night and quite a few drinks had kept almost everyone in bed.  Buffy had gotten up and taken Dawn to school and Methos had left sometime between when she got back into bed and now.   He wasn't in the hotel, but there was a note.  “Macleod, Angel and Buffy” it said on the front.  Duncan ripped open the envelope and began to read.   “I can imagine how you feel right now, finding out that I left without a word.   It's not that I don't trust, or think that you can take care of yourselves, but this is something that I need to do by myself.  I do trust and think that in any other situation I would welcome you by my side in this endeavor, but what I have to do I have to do myself.  We all have parts of our lives that we have to finish by ourselves; this is one of those.   I'm going to have to ask you then to let me do this myself, I'm not sure if you'll honor that request.  I'm not sure if I would, but this is something that I have to do for myself and I hope that you can understand that, I hope that you can understand why I have to do this myself.  Your friend, Methos.”  Duncan looked at the letter for a moment and then at both Angel and Buffy he knew that like him they waned to go running of to help Methos, but was that right?

    “He's gone to take on something big,” Angel said.  “And this something big and him have some history.”

    Duncan nodded still looking at the note for a moment.  “Aye, he's gone to bust something's chops that has wronged him in the past, the question I have is do we have the right to barging into this,” he looked at both Angel and Buffy.   “This is clearly personal and he may need to finish this by himself, without us tagging along for the ride.  Part of me is really very angry at him for not telling us what he is going to do, but the other part of me is glad that he is doing this it tells me that he really has come out of his self imposed lack of caring.”

    “The question I have, is do you think that he would go after something he doesn't think he can beat?”

    “Perhaps if he knows that it won't be able to kill him, but if he thought it could kill him he would only go after it if he was sure that he would win.”

    Both Duncan and Angel scowled at the letter whatever was going on he knew what he was doing, but did that mean that he would be able to pull it off.   “I mentioned Wolfram and Heart to him the other night, I wonder if this might have something to do with them.”

    “That feels right, the question is how do we get information about what is going on without alerting Methos that we are following him around?” Duncan asked he knew the old man would be pissed if he found out they were following him.

    “We go back to the karoke bar and find out what the host has heard, if something is going down, he'll know about it.”

    “Then we'll make our decision from there.” Buffy said, joining the conversation.

    6 pm, Karoke bar.

    They left a note for Gunn, Wesley and Cordelia and headed out around nightfall.  They now ended up at the karoke bar and it was packed.  Packed with lawyers Buffy noticed as they entered and headed for the green demon.  “I was expecting that you kids would end up here sometime tonight.”

    “So, I take it that Methos has already been here tonight,” Angel asked.

    “Yes, he has, but even if he hadn't I would have been expecting you.  You guys got pretty drunk last night, and sang a lot, so I got a good look.  Anyway he wanted to know when they were going to call the senior partner, now I'm not sure what it is all about, but I do know this is something he feels that he needs to do without your help.”

    “But can he do it?” Buffy asked.

    “That's the gray area right now.  You see although you and Angel were meant to be together the PTB could never decide when.   Essentially when he did finally become immortal the whole time surrounding it, well it becomes murky especially for those that are close to you.  I can't tell you if you're friend is going to succeed this time, because I simply can't tell.”

    “So he's done this before?” Angel asked.

    “Oh yes, that was quite clear this guy has some serious issue with this demon and he wants to make sure that it and as many of its friends down in the home office suffer.  He's not going to get to see the home office, at least not what he thinks is the home office and that's where you come in.  You have to be there to catch him because he is going to crash.”

    They all nodded, but before they left Buffy turned toward the host with something that she need clarified.   “What do you mean the PTB could never decide when?”

    “Oh, that.  Well you see both you and Angel are important to the unfolding of the universe, there are quite a few possibilities of when you and Angel would become a true couple, each possibility spinning of in it's own universe.  Now not all of the possibilities are necessary for the best, but hey that's the balance between light and dark.   You see you and Angel were supposed to return the balancing act for immortals, you are the warriors of light, but where there are warriors of light there are warriors of dark. “

    “Faith, when I was mortal she was my counterpoint, she kept me in check.”

“Exactly, she was your opposite, if you had become immortal that night there would have been another opposite for you.”

    “Now I can't tell you who the warriors of dark are, or even if they are two specific people, what I can tell you is that you and they will come together is this coming End of Days battle and which ever side wins will decide the ultimate fate of the next well anywhere from 2-5 thousand years.”

    “So if we win the earth will be in the light until the next end of days, but if we loose it will be plunged into darkness,” Duncan said.

    “Yes, and it will be very much be decided by your group and a few others.  In some realities it is a forgone conclusion that light will win you and Angel got together so quickly and have been beating down the forces of darkness.  But in this one and in most others it is very much still up for grabs.  So this makes whatever you do very important over the next few days.  You have some hard decisions to make with your mortal friends; you could even lose them.   Don't forget them while you're dealing with he's fall out.”

    “I won't and thank you,” Angel said and walked out.
    The host watched them as they walked away, yes, a thousand different alternatives each of them with their own end, each end not totally known until they were upon it.”

    “I guess we stay near Wolfram and Heart and wait for him to come to us,” Angel said.

    “Yes, but Angel first don't we owe your friends and explanation as to why we couldn't make it?”  Buffy asked.

    Angel looked at her for a moment and then nodded.  “We'll meet you at Wolfram and Heart, I think I owe them, we owe them an explanation.”

    Duncan nodded and then grabbed Angel's coat. “Liam, Angel, whatever happens in there don't forget that you have friends outside now.  You don't have to deal with this by yourself, there isn't an immortal in the world who hasn't fucked up royally and had trouble dealing with mortal friends after words.”

    “Yes, but most of them didn't fire them after well I don't know what but I know that it was something really off the deep end.”

    “I've done deep end, Methos really did deep end.  Everyone is entitled to a little craziness and irrational behavior, it comes with the territory of being immortal.”

    “Ok, I'll remember that I've got friends, besides she's going there to remind me of that.”

    Duncan nodded as he watched Buffy and Angel go one and he went the other.  He knew that every immortal made an ass out of themselves sometimes, it was just the good ones who got brought out of it at all.  He just hoped that Angel's friends could understand that.

Offices of the new Angel Investigations.

    Angel looked at the door for long moments in the car, he knew that eventually he would have to get out of the car and say something to his former employees.  He just wasn't sure what to say.  He felt Buffy's hand gently rest on his, giving him as much support as she could without doing it for him.   `I'm here,' her eyes seemed to say, `and I'm not going anywhere.  You can do this.'  He looked at her one more time and nodded it was time to get this over with.

    The walked hand-in-hand toward the office, and with every step Angel felt as if his world was falling apart and coming together all at the same time.   They finally gently pushed open the door to look at two faces, full of annoyance.   Cordelia and Wesley looked at them; they obviously weren't all that impressed by the hastily written note that they had left.  Well, they hadn't been all that impressed by Methos' hastily written note either.   “Hi, guys I guess you want and explanation,” Angel said.

    “Yes, that would be nice.   When you invite people over you don't then decide to take off and go bust the bad guys.  So, there better be a good explanation as to why you weren't there when we arrived,” Cordelia said.

    Buffy felt Angel holds her hand tighter, he wanted to be anywhere but here.   But if he was going to get back his friends, salvage what was left of their friendship he had to be here.   “We didn't plan to leave on you, but a certain member of our group decided to go bust a big monster that Wolfram and Heart are hosting tonight.”

    “So without out so much as a phone call you as a group decided that Wolfram and Heart were more important that us, is that it Angel?”  Wesley asked his tone much harsher that it usually was.

    “No, Methos decided that all on is own and left us a note saying what he was going to go do.  Now what do you expect us to do, Wesley?   Sit around and wait and hope he doesn't go do something stupid or get hurt?”

    “And a phone call was too much to ask of you when this happened?”  Cordelia asked, not even considering that the fact that they had not told them their new phone number.

    “No, Cordy it wasn't, but Gunn didn't give me your guys phone,” Buffy said no longer able to keep her mouth shut.

    “But you could have…” Cordelia stopped when she felt Wesley's hand on hers.

    “Cordelia, their friend was out there about to go against Wolfram and Heart, what do you expect them to do?   Think through everything and call us at home, hoping we are there?” Wesley said.   “Angel, I am still angry with you, but I can understand why you didn't think of everything.”

    “Thank you Wesley, I especially wasn't thinking straight considering both Duncan and I had hangovers.”

    Cordy had the look on her face as if she wanted to fight some more, she still was very angry with Angel for what he had done.  “What were you thinking, Angel, going out and drinking like that?”

    “I was think that I wasn't working on any cases and I wanted to catch up with someone I hadn't seen in a long time.  Besides, Methos wanted to go have a beer.” Angel said.

    Wesley saw that Cordelia still wanted to say more, he did as well, but Angel's friend was still out there.   “Perhaps we can continue this dissuasion later,” he pulled himself out the wheel chair to shake Angel's hand and that was when his stitches pulled loses.

    Wesley was surprised when Angel forced him back down into the chair.  “Cordy, call an ambulance,” he said his voice strained.

    “What!  No, not until you tell me why.”

    “I smell blood, and it's leaking on Wesley's shirt.   Call an ambulance,” he said through gritted teeth.  “I'll stay until they get here, make sure that you're alright.”

    Wesley shook his head it was good to see Angel back.  “No, you go deal with your friend, it's just a couple of stitches I'll be fine.”

    “It's blood, it's not alright.  We'll drop by later, see how you're doing after we deal with Methos.”

    “Yes, that would be nice.  Angel, we were wrong about you and Buffy, all of us.  We always thought that the pain it wouldn't be there if you two weren't together.   But life is pain isn't it?”

    “Yes, pain is part of life, Wesley.”

    “You two help each other with that pain, I just wanted to say I'm sorry.”

    “So do I, Wesley, for the pain I caused you, Cordy, and Gunn.”

    He nodded.  “Thank you, I don't know if the others can say that yet, but you've turned the corner.   Now go help your friend.”  He watched as they left, although reluctantly, Angel was back and this maybe for good.  He wonders as he watched the car pull away what the future would hold for them, for all of them.   They could never go back to what once was like humpy dumpty they had fallen, and all the kings horsed and all the kings men could not put them back together again.  But maybe those horses and those men could make them into something new, something wonderful.  One could always hope.

    “I called the ambulance they should be here in a minute.  Where did Angel go?”

    “I told him to go deal with is friend, I told him to leave.  He'll come and see how I'm doing after they get him settled,” Wesley looked out into the night.  “He apologized, Cordelia, I don't know if you can accept it but I could.”

    “So, he wants things to back to the way they once were, doesn't he?”

    “I don't know, I don't think so.   He just wants to move on with us.  We've got these pieces of our lives and now we are going to have to find a way to put them together, but what we create will never be the same as it once was.”

    “Do you think we can do that?”

    “I don't know, Cordelia, but we must try, we must.”

Chapter 4: Of Beginnings and Endings.

15 years later

    “Buffy, Buffy,” Buffy looked a way from her memory to find Cordelia looking at her.  “Where were you?”

    “15 year ago, that day that Methos decided he was going to take on the creatures of hell.  The day that slept with Darla after we came home, the day everything fell apart and came back together again.”

    “Oh,” she smiled her face shining as it did, “that day.”

    Buffy looked at her friend for a moment, at 35 Cordelia looked, well she looked sophisticated.   It still surprised Buffy sometimes when she looked in the mirror that her face didn't show the signs of aging that her friend's did.   Not the Cordelia looked old, she looked great, she just looked 35.  Buffy looked 20, Dawn her younger sister looked older than her now.  “Yes, I was thinking about that, and the day after.  Kate trying to commit suicide, those three eyed demons, Lindsey going after Angel, and Darla disappearing.  Giles calling to tell me that my Mom had died.”

    It had been a hard couple of weeks after that everyone trying to step on anyone else's toes, trying not to show how mad they were.   They worked it out they always did, then Cassandra had come.  She didn't want to deal with Methos and Methos was still reeling from what he found out.   “I slept with her because she was there and had the same look of loss that I did, “ he had shouted at her.  

    “What excuses do you have, you were Death and you think that you have a reason to hurt,” Cassandra had yelled at him.

    “It killed my village, and my mate.   You know what's worse than that?  Having the person that looks just like her hate me,” he had shouted at her.

    They had just looked at each other after that neither quite sure what to say to the other person, they had come to an understanding that day.  They had all come to an understanding that week and had moved on, they had two different agencies, but they really were one.   Cordy, Wesley, and Gunn had never been able to decide what to call their new agency; they had finally just added an `s' to Angel Investigations, becoming Angels Investigations.  She, Angel, Duncan, Methos, and Cassandra in later years had become Immortal Investigations; it had been a wise crack of Amanda's that had stuck.  The Hyperion was not only head quarters, but sanctuary to any immortal needing a place to hide.   “You ever think about it, “ Buffy suddenly asked Cordy after several moments of silence.

    “Think about what?”

    “If Angel isn't the vampire with a soul, then who is?”

    Buffy tried not to laugh at the face that Cordelia made at her; the thought at probably never even crossed her mind.  “No, actually I always assumed that we just misinterpreted the scripts.  I thought that said Shashue, meant death, but it also meant life that it meant Angel would become immortal.  Isn't that what it means?”

    Buffy smiled and shook her head.  “It should have been obvious to us, to Wolfram and Heart, but none of us saw it.   `The vampire with a soul,' how can this be about one specific vampire if all a vampire has to do to gain a soul is be cursed by the gypsies, or drink the blood of an immortal after they have drunk that nasty drink?”

    “Your right,” Cordy said looking at Buffy with a smile, “how could there only be one with those to possibilities?”

    “Yes,” Buffy looked up to see the waiter approaching with their orders and left her response hanging.

    They talked for several minutes about nothing important Gunn, Wesley, and Cordy's latest boyfriend.  It always sadden Buffy when Cordelia talked about her love life, it sadden because both she and Cordy knew that she wouldn't find her Mr. Right, she had already found him.  Doyle had died before Buffy had come back into Cordelia's life, but from the still melancholy face she got when she talked about him and the fact that no one seemed to stick it was obvious.  It was too painfully obvious; the love of her life was dead.   Not that Cordelia wouldn't find happiness, or a good standing relationship, but nothing would ever be like it could have been.   Then, then there was Methos' memory of a similar couple long ago, Buffy was firm believer in past lives.  Cordelia and Doyle were continually living their lives together, expect in this one he hadn't lived long enough for it to happen.  “So what do you think of this on and off romance of Methos and Cassandra?”  Buffy finally asked her.

    Cordelia gave one of her classic May Queen smile.  “I really don't know what to think about it.  Come on he destroyed her village, killed her and imprisoned her, why would she possibly be interested in him?”

    Buffy smiled at her friend, the relationship was certainly complicated.   So was hers and Angel's for that matter, it wasn't just the vampire slayer thing, but the fact that both of them knew in some part that Angelus had loved her as much as a demon could love.  It wasn't the soul binding, no holds bar love they shared, but it was love in it's own twisted sense.  They didn't talk about it all that much, but they had come to an understanding.  “Yeah, I know, but she brought him back to who he is as well.   He in the only way he could back then tried to protect her.  I know that he has loved her for a very long time, but does she love him the same way?  That's the question that I think those two will need to answer.”

    “Do you think that they will ever really be able to sort it all out?” Cordelia asked.

    “Who knows, Cordy, it's never that easy with these kind of complicated relationships.  You and I both know that, they could spend hundreds of years in and in-and-our relationship.  It's not uncommon, heck, most immortals have quite a few of those relationships, or they could end up eventually coming together forever.  Who knows, I think they have a lot to work out.”

    Cordelia looked at her friend for a moment; Buffy was wiser than most people could give her credit for.   “Your right, but it is fun to ponder isn't it?”

    “Oh, absolutely.  Especially right now when they are just getting started, I don't know what I hate more, the long periods of silence or the I hate yous that we still hear sometimes.”

    Cordelia watched her friend for a moment as she chased pieces of her soup around.  “Do you think that they've always been in love?”

    “Cordy, I think that a big part of the problem with those two,” Buffy said.  “Can you imagine what it's like to be in love with someone who has abused you, and mistreated you for years?”

    “No, but you can, can't you?”

    “Yes, Angelus was part of Angel and the darker part of me loved him.  It was all so complicated, and I can understand what Cassandra feels.”

    “But it was easier for you, it was just his demon Methos still had a soul.”

    “Yes, but she still has to deal with the fact that Methos is in a way two different people, one she hates, the other she is half way in love with.  That is not fun and it's probably going to take them a couple of centuries to work it all out.”  Buffy almost laughed at Cordelia's face; she sometimes had trouble dealing with the length of time it took immortals to deal with stuff.   “Ok, enough about them.  Cordy, really how are you doing?”

    “I'm okay.  I'm not wonderful, but Josh is a good guy Buffy, and he can deal with what I deal with every day.  He's just not Doyle, and he'll never be him, but I think he's enough to make me happy.  That's all I can really ask.”

    “I know, except in my case I could ask more and I didn't.  I'm glad he's good for you, Cordy, and I wish that Doyle hadn't died.  You know what, this place has a new cook.”

    “What makes you say that?”

    “Because he put more pepper in the soup than is usually…” Buffy stopped mid sentence and just starred at the entryway.  There stood someone from her past, someone she had hoped not to see again for at least a while.  Spike, William the Bloody, stood in the entryway with Dru and she guessed Darla would be behind them, but the crowd was blocking her view.

    Buffy didn't know whether she wanted to run across that short distance stake in her hand and dust the whole bunch of them, or just ignore them.  She knew the closer they got to The End of Days the more chance she had of seeing them again.  She just didn't want it to be now, soon was a relative term for immortals.  Soon could mean a hundred years or it could be two years, she had been hoping for a hundred.  She had been hoping that her mortal family would be dead and buried, but on some level she had known that wasn't the way things were going to be.  On some level she had always known that it would be within her friends lifetime.

    Cordelia turned when Buffy didn't finish her sentence and she to froze 3 of the four worst vampires known to exist were standing at the entrance to the restaurant that they were eating in.   Spike, Darla, and Druesilla all in the same place.  She felt Buffy's hand on hers indicating that she should act as if nothing is wrong.  “When all hell breaks loose I want you to run for that door over there,” she said indicating the employees only exist.  “Don't look back just keep running, I'll hold them off as long as I can, but it won't be forever.”

    “Buffy there is no way that you can take those three on all by yourself, you need help.”  Cordelia said worried about her friend, she wasn't really going to try to kill those three?

    “No, of course not.   I'm an immortal Cordelia and unless they think to cut off my head they can't kill me.  It will hurt like hell when it's over, but I'll live.”  Buffy watched as they became closer into view, Darla and Dru were defiantly on the hunt, but Spike seemed to be hanging back.   `He still has his chip, probably hanging around them for the company.'  She automatically put his danger rating down a notch, he probably still couldn't kill, but that didn't mean he couldn't hurt people.  Then just as she had predicted all Hell broke loose as both Darla and Dru grabbed for a patron.  Buffy saw Cordy run for the exist and make it, she hoped.  She grabbed her stake and prepared to meet them head on.

    The look on all three of their faces were, if they had been in another situation, priceless.   They hadn't aged a day, but the fact that a living-breathing human hadn't was something new, and something scary.   It only lasted a minute as they stopped what they were doing and went toward her with avengence, all save Spike.  Buffy felt herself pushed backwards by Dru into the arms of Darla, she pushed both of them down but they were back up again instantly.  She watched out the corner of her eye for Spike, but he just stood there transfixed unable to move.  “You two really haven't forgotten how powerful I am, have you?” she asked.

    “Powers have their limit Slayer, you are one and you are surrounded.  What are you going to do?  How can you possibly plan to escape this?” Darla said watching Buffy as she turned this way and that; she was scared Darla could smell it.  She liked that; they all liked that finally having the upper hand on the most powerful Slayer in human history.  Part of her wondered why she hadn't aged, but she ignored that part as she swooped in for the kill the others, her minions and Dru closing around her.   “None, you're beaten.  I will enjoy this, taking your life.  You took from me what was mine, you gave him a soul a permanent one and for that I'm going to make you suffer.”

    As Darla drew closer, Buffy punched her hard sending her flying backward into the wall.   She ran toward her fully intending to end this Darla sprang toward her and the two met.  “You never did get it Darla, Angel was never yours to keep.   You always thought that if he could just rid him of his soul he would go back to being yours, but would he?”  She kicked the vampire and Darla responded with a strong punch to the Slayers side.   

    “He would have,” she responded refusing to listen to what the Slayer was saying.  And watched as they again circled the Slayer, this ended today.

    And it did indeed except not the way that Darla wanted, because at that moment Angel followed by his comrades burst in and the battle was fully joined.

    They won finally Darla and Dru and the rest of the remaining remnants of their gang ran when they had staked or decapitated most of them.   The only one that didn't leave with them was Spike he had staked a few of the lower vampires and then had just left, as if he really didn't want to be around when all the chaos was over, which was wise.  “Cordy doesn't understand why you wanted her to leave,” Angel said as he entered their room, she had been gazing out the window.  “But I do.   You had a better chance of living through that encounter.”

    “True, but even so I'm glad that you showed up when you did.  I really wasn't looking forward to dying no matter how shortly that way.”  She stepped away from the window and into his arms.  “She's obsessed with you Angel, she truly believes that if you just didn't have soul things could be the way they once were.”

    He looked at her for a moment, considering.   “There was a time that I would have agreed with her, I believed I would go back to my old life if I lost my soul without a second thought.  I don't think Angelus would be interested in returning to the kind of relationship she wants, he's too interested in you for that.”

    She put a finger on his lips before he could finish, she knew the rest.   “I don't hate you for that Angel, we are bound together.  I'm not saying I like the fact that your former demon has a thing for me, but doesn't that say something about how strong our love is.   How strong your feelings are that the darkest part of you feels some distorted and totally and completely obsessed part of it?”

    He rubbed her arms as she spoke, not that she liked the dark part of love that Angelus had for her, but she seemed to think it indicated that it did.  Did it?  Perhaps, perhaps it did.  “Perhaps you're right, but Buffy you didn't like the way he was obsessed with you?”

    She looked at him her eyes full of honesty.  “My soul hated it, hated what he made out of our love.  But some dark part of me, the part of me that glories in the killing and the death of evil, the part I'm not going to say Slayer, but caused by it liked it more than I cared for.”

    “Your demon loved mine,” this time he smiled at her in irony everyone had demons his just used to have the potential to take control.   “I think I can deal with that.”

    “I hope so, because you did promise Eternity to me,” she said as edged closer to him.

    “Yes, I did, didn't I?” he whispered as he pulled her up against glorying in their victory and the fact that neither of them had been hurt.  From two different corners two eyes looked on.  One set sighed and turned and walked a way not sure what to do.  The other looked on jealously and tried to find a way to bring back that which she had lost.

    All they could think of after that encounter was counting the increase in activity, the knowledge.  It had never been about ending the killing for immortals, but about showing that sides existed.  The more they worked together the more some became convinced that `there can be only one' had nothing to do with an immortal, but a side.  A side in the coming battle, a side in End of Days.  One would come out on top and the other would be forced into the shadows, until the next time.  It was time to call Sunnydale; it was time to prepare for the end and for the beginning.

Two months afterwards.

    Giles arrived the next day, it had been 15 years since he had last seen Buffy and she didn't look a day older than the last time he had seen her.  She still looked like she was 20 years old.   “My sister left here half an hour ago, said she had go to Australia to begin it.”

    “To begin what, Buffy?”  Giles asked his Slayer was facing the window unable to face him.

    “End of Days, she is what opens the two gates and lets it all start.  Grace, Ben, and their father they got stuck here last time.   That's why Grace has been trying to get a hold of her, her only way home is through the portal that opens only at one time during an End of Days.”  Buffy said her voice cracking from the tears that were flowing down her cheeks.

    “I don't want to ask you to help, to ask the Scoobies to help, but I have no choice.   The side of good needs every fighter, even the weaker ones.  You won't be on the front lines, but you'll be there killing as many messengers as you possibly can, the bad ones at least.  I don't want to ask you to possibly die, Giles, but I have to.”

    “And you and Angel, where will you be?” he asked.

    “Me, Angel, and all the other immortals both good and back will be at the epicenter for this continent.   There we will decide what course this part of the world will take, how much evil and how much good will be left.  In the end of it all there will be one victor and one loser, I hope we win.”

    “So do I, what about the present Slayer?”

    “She stays in the middle works through lesser demons and vampires, only the worst make it to the epicenter so far no Slayer ever has.   Dawn remembered it all Giles, and told me and now I tell you.”

    “We will fight, Buffy, how much longer I would like to talk to you some more.”

    She smiled at her watcher, so would she like to spend hours showing him LA no longer having to pretend she is dead and talk when the other Scoobies aren't around.  “It's already begun Giles today or tomorrow something will happen that will set it off and then the end will come.  And then the beginning will come.”

    “I will wait with, Buffy, if you will have me?”

    She had smiled at him and then looked up all of her friends that remained were there and they had all waited for the end to come.   Hugging their life partners close together praying and hoping for the it to be a little bit longer, but eventually it came in a hale of nuclear destruction, no one which country fired them or who returned, but suddenly the world was bathed in darkness.    The last memory Buffy had of the whole Scoobies together was as she looked back over her shoulder riding away.  Giles, Xander, Willow, Oz, Tara, Anya, Wesley, and Gunn all waving goodbye to their immortal friends as they rode to face their fate.  She knew as they waved she would never see them all together again, at least not in this life.


    And so it ended and so it began we met the forces of darkness and won a resounding victory.  And yet we almost didn't, the vampire with a soul the thing that we had all worried about, about who it could be turned out to be none other than Spike.  He didn't have a human soul, but he had a soul.  And it was the sight of Buffy fighting so diligently so valiantly beside Angel that made him turn battles mid stride, love does that to you.   We faced each other, Angel and Buffy and Darla and Lindsey two perfectly soulless people.  The exact opposite of what Angel and Buffy were after all wasn't that what the host said about balance, or some just nonsense.   We won, but at quite a cost Connor, Amanda, Nick, and Jacky a student of mine and thousands of others lost this life.  Will I see them in another form, I don't know.

    I simply remember the last scene after all the dust had cleared of Angel and Buffy kneeling over a demon her sword laying between silently crying together.  I didn't cry I couldn't cry, I had no more tears, but Cassandra did as did Macleod we all held each other through the night.  Taking comfort for each others presence, until finally the sun began to come back and Angel had to take shelter in one of the many destroyed buildings.

    We returned to LA, we returned home to find our friends most of them dead Cordelia, Oz, Tara, and Gunn lost his site.   Willow, Xander, Anya and Giles somehow got through it mostly unscathed. We and they began to put things back together again, now looking back it seems a bitter sweat victory having lost so many to the chaos.   Even 500 years later.  Our story ended as it began again and will continue to until the end of time, if that ever happens.  Now we live near were we once were, but in a completely different place and time, culture, everything is different I have done this thousands of times.  But it was knew for Buffy even a bit for Angel and Macleod, but we had each other and in the end friendship, love in all its forms is what matters most no matter what the hurt.  I learned the lesson along time ago and have never forgotten it.

    Methos put down his pen and looked up to where Angel, Buffy, Macleod and Cassandra were singling him.  The carnival was in full swing, and it was time for him to join them entertain their hosts and then enjoy themselves.  He still wasn't sure what he thought of being called Gypsies or what Angel thought, but the life wasn't all that bad.  There wasn't all the much fighting or loss, and after the End of Days those that remembered needed a break, it would be back, but that would be a least a thousand more years.  For now Slayers picked off the few remaining vampires, and demons and humanity and at least on this continent rebuilt itself, he didn't know about the others, but eventually he would. He stopped and put one more thing more thing in his story.  `Methos of the tribe Cornedred, Asia.'  He then picked himself up and walked toward them putting the book in his pack.

    They had endured so much pain, but he wouldn't have missed the life that it brought for the world.  He watched as a young woman and a man walked by and they reminded him of a couple he had once known, and one he had heard about.  It appeared that Cordelia and Dolye, or whatever they were called now were still going strong.

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