A Happy Ending
Here is my entry for the cya_ficathon. It's wacky, and weird, and disjointed... but enjoyable. It's rated PG-13, I suppose.
Characters/Pairings you want the story to focus in: Angel, Spike (not paired), B/A
Characters/Pairings you want in the story too: Buffy, Giles, Connor, Illyria
Things you want: Post-NFA, I want a story about B/A reuniting, and the way the other characters respond to it. Happy Ending, please
A Happy Ending
The armies of the night rose up in unrighteous anger at the destruction wreaked by the champions of the light. The champions, broken in body but not spirit, stood fast against the overwhelming demon horde, unable to prevail but content to let their story end there, with noble death, with valor, with a strike for righteousness.
Except death, as is often said, is just the beginning -- and others, those in power, were not quite ready for the story to end.
And, as is also often said, powers in charge can have quite the sense of humor.
"Right bit ironic, inn't, don't you think?" one worker said to another. He was an average man in every way: average height, average age, and average intelligence. In fact, he wasn't truly a man at all, but rather completely asexual. Androgyny was a difficult effect to reach, though, and over the ages he gradually adapted his thinking to a male-like mindset. For the servant of a higher power he was really quite dull, he figured, but with only an average imagination, he had no idea how to change that.
"What's that?" the other worker said. This worker, even more dull than the previous, certainly merits as little mention as possible.
"You know, champions of the light who can't go out in the light," the first worker said. He shrugged. "You know, 'cause they die an' all. Just seems ironic."
"Yeah, I suppose it is," one of the two dead bodies said. The head, which sat in a bowl near the shoulders of the body, had a prominent brow and the singed remains of dark hair. "I don’t see that it matters."
"I think it's downright poetic," the second dead body said.
"I've heard your poetry," the first dead body snapped. "You would."
"I've got a poem for you," the second said. The head of this body was attached, but there was a large hole in the middle of the torso. "Here you go:
"Angel, you're a git;
Once these poofs attach my legs
I'll make you my bitch!"
To emphasize the final line of the haiku (which didn't quite rhyme with the first line, a detail that annoyed the creator no small amount but which he felt could be fixed with just a few rewrites, or perhaps six), a pair of severed legs twitched on the table.
"Now, now, you two," the second worker said. "All this bickering ain't making the work any easier."
"Well, we're dead," the first body snapped. This body was certainly the more impatient of the two. "Didn't expect to be operated on."
"Yeah. Poof's head's cut off," the second body said. Light reflected off of bleached blond hair as the head nodded to the side. "How come he isn't dust?"
"You were dead before, for over a hundred years each," the first worker said. "I just do the work. That's all I do, the work I'm told."
"Just lie back and relax," the second worker said. "Boss'll see you soon as we're done."
Several hours later, the two champions -- Angel and Spike, the vampires with souls (only one per, not multiple, but "vampire with soul" is an entirely different matter, after all, and could easily lead to a great deal of confusion as the regularly accepted implication of "with soul" was blatantly false in both cases) -- sat in an office. The word to best describe the office was "sterile," certainly, as it resembled nothing so much as an operating room which had a desk and chairs in it instead of operating equipment.
A man who looked curiously like H. Ross Perot sat on a desk and talked to the two champions. He talked for several hours, in the slow drawl of a politician, and his audience quickly tuned out.
"So, as you can see, you aren't technically dead, in the classic sense of the word," the man finished.
Angel realized the man had finished first. He glanced over at Spike, whose head was down. He seemed to be muttering to himself about what words rhymed with "git."
"The classic sense of the word?" Angel asked.
"Quite," the man said.
They stared at one another for a moment.
"Angel is an itch,
my lease fav'rite emotion;
so not crescent fresh!"
Angel turned to Spike. "What the hell was that?"
"It's a Sifl & Olly reference," Spike said. "Only cool people would get it."
"So!" the man interrupted. "Are you two ready to get started?"
Spike looked at him for a moment. "Has anyone ever told you that you look just like that H. Ross Perot?"
The man looked hurt.
Spike and Angel sat together in another white room. In a disturbing trend, again the man in front of them looked like a former third-party Presidential hopeful; this time, it was Ralph Nader.
"See, the problem is that we've never had this happen before," the man said.
Angel and Spike looked at each other, confused.
"Had what happen?" Angel asked.
"The death of an ensouled vampire."
"All right, look here," Spike said. "Why the bloody hell do you look like Ralph Nader?"
The man's face went blank. "Do you really think so?"
The man bounded forward off the desk and gave Spike a huge hug. "Oh, thank you! Thank you!" the man said. "Thank you!"
"Get off of me!" Spike yelled. He struggled, but he was seated, so his leverage was poor. Also, the man was surprisingly strong for someone who looked just like Ralph Nader.
Angel smirked, and took no part in the hug/scuffle.
The man let up after a few seconds, and Spike managed to push him off and back to the desk. The man let out a big sigh and straightened his clothes.
"Don't ever do that again!" Spike said. "I'll bloody kill you!"
"I'm already dead," the man said.
"Let's get back to the point," Angel said, although he still smirked. "What do you mean, the death of an ensouled vampire has never happened before?"
"Yeah," Spike said. "I was souled, and I died."
"Actually, no, you didn't," the man said. "You see, what technically happened is that the dissonate conflux between your souled and demonic states was used to reverse the polarity of the Hellmouth, which in turn collapsed it. You were then returned to the point of origin of the dissonance reactor -- the amulet -- in a non-corporeal state until such time that your physicality could be restored."
Angel and Spike stared at the man, faces blank. He sighed.
"Spike no die," he said. "Spike just go poof for little bit."
"I always said you were the poof," Angel grumbled.
Spike tackled him out of the chair, and they fought.
The man groaned. "I'm sending you two to the next meeting. Good bye."
Translocation spells in the Halls of the Dead can be performed using one of two methods: the seamless method, which is the preferred method of those who often traverse the Halls and relocates the individual in a precise location with no residual confusion or injury, and the Norman method, named after a long-time translocationist with a penchant for randomly miscalculating the precise destination for individuals to be relocated despite having perhaps the best spatial memory of the millennium.
Angel and Spike, mid-fight, experienced the latter.
They arrived in yet another pristine white room, six feet above the floor. Gravity exerted its dominance, and they crashed to the floor in front of another desk.
A strong hand grabbed Spike by the back of his collar. Another strong hand, attached to the same body as the first, grabbed Angel by the back of his collar. Both were roughly placed in chairs.
The first Slayer walked from behind them to the desk. She had long, wild hair and her face was painted. She wore a charcoal gray business suit with a skirt hemmed two inches above her knee, and heeled Mary Janes.
"You two are quite immature," she said in an aristocratic English accent.
"You never ran for President on a third-party ticket, did you?" Spike asked.
"Spike!" Angel hissed. "That's the first Slayer!"
"Well, duh," Spike said. "But she's breaking the motif we've had."
"It was decided the two of you required a firm hand to keep you separated," she answered. "You have no one to blame for the broken motif but yourself."
Spike's shoulders sagged. "We're sorry."
The first Slayer smiled, which didn't actually make the two vampires feel more reassured, considering her history and all. "Good. Because you're going back. I was supposed to explain the rules to you, but I find that I would rather not. Enjoy your next attempt at life, Champions."
The first Slayer also used the Norman method for translocation, but a subtle variation thereof. Angel and Spike were transferred in the exact position they left -- sitting -- but the chairs did not go with them.
So they sat down an extra eighteen inches to the floor, where they both fell backwards. The room was dark, a bedroom by the furniture, and two people on the bed were having sex.
Before Angel or Spike could get up, the couple was off the bed. The male jumped on top of Angel and punched him hard in the face. The female grabbed Spike and threw him against the wall.
Angel struggled, but the male was far too strong for him. He couldn't see anything in the room, it was too dark; he could make out shapes of furniture, but nothing else, including the male's facial features. Which, now that Angel thought about it, was weird. He should be able to see fine in the dark.
The male pulled back for another punch, but paused with his fist back. "Dad?" he said softly, confused. He sniffed the air for a second, then jumped up and turned on the lights.
Angel rolled over onto his stomach and held his jaw. Connor hit harder than he remembered.
"It is Angel and Spike," the woman said. Angel groaned; he recognized that voice, too.
He looked up and saw a naked Illyria holding Spike up against the wall by the throat. "Yes, Illyria, it's us," he said. "Can you put Spike down, please?"
Illyria nodded and dropped Spike. He crumpled to the floor.
Illyria and Connor stood in front of the door -- blocking their escape, Angel figured -- and looked at them.
Angel rubbed his jaw as he stood up. "So, uh, you two are..."
"Yes, we have sex fairly often," Illyria said. Connor looked at the ground, seemingly embarrassed, but he had a small grin on his lips. "I remembered sex from Winifred Burkle's memories, but until I found Connor, no human was able to move fast enough or hard enough to truly pleasure me, or last long enough."
"Whoa," Spike said.
Illyria ignored his comment. "Also, the length and girth of his--"
"Okay, then!" Angel said. "Don't need to hear about my son's boner, thanks!"
Connor coughed as Illyria tilted her head and looked at Angel. "I would think you would be proud that your son exceeds your own limitations. The memories of Winifred Burkle are not very complimentary toward either your size nor stamina."
Spike gaped and turned to Angel. "You wee little man!"
"Shut up, Spike!" Angel said. He turned to Illyria and sputtered, "What? I never, with Fred-- And I'm not--"
Connor burst out laughing, unable to hold it in any longer. He fell back against the door, he laughed so hard.
Illyria smiled. "Your son explained pranks to me seventeen months ago," she said. "I find that I enjoy them almost as much violence and sex."
"Oh, great," Spike said. "Just what we need. Big Blue on Jackass."
"Do you two think you could put on some clothes?" Angel said. "This is kinda weird, talking to you while you're naked."
Illyria's clothing simply appeared on her body. Connor finally got his laughter under control and grabbed a pair of pants off the floor.
"She said you taught her pranks seventeen months ago," Angel said. "How is that possible?"
Connor paused for a moment with his shirt half on. "Umm... You two have been gone almost two years, now," he said. "Illyria found me about six months after the battle, here in San Francisco. This is where I live; I go to UC Berkley."
"You told me you went to Stanford," Angel said.
Connor nodded. "I do. I was testing you."
"Don't I smell the same? You should be able to recognize that."
"You smell... warmer."
Angel looked at Spike; it hit them both at the same time. "We're bloody alive, Angel," Spike said.
"Buffy," they said together.
Angel met Buffy at a diner. He sat on one side of the table, beside Spike. Buffy sat on the other side, beside Giles, who had the distinction of being the only person at the table who had not died and come back to life at least twice. He didn't feel left out, though.
"And, and so you're back," Buffy said. "Again."
"Yeah," Angel and Spike said. They glared at each other.
"At least you bothered to tell me about this one," Buffy said to Spike. "Not like the last time you came back from the dead."
"Wasn't dead, love," Spike said. "The dissed comflux between my soul and demonic state was used to reserve the popularity of the Hellmouth, which in turn collapsed it. I was then returned to where the thing-a-mabob came from as a bleeding ghost until I got my psychology back."
"Right, of course. And where, pray tell, is the flux capacitor in all this?" Giles said.
Buffy ignored them both. "And, so, what? You just expect to show up and have me choose one of you?"
"Well, no," Spike said. "I expected you to jump straight into the sack with me, but you already straight-up dashed those expectations."
Buffy and Giles both gave Spike a look.
"I, um, actually just wanted to know, you know, if you were done baking," Angel said.
"If I was done what?" Buffy said.
"Baking? Remember, you said you were cookies, and--"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Buffy said.
"I told you she never remembers those random metaphors she makes up," Spike said. Giles coughed. It sounded suspiciously like a muffled laugh.
"Whatever I said is beside the point," Buffy said. "I already have someone in my life."
"Not the Immortal," Angel and Spike said. They glared at one another again.
"Oh, no," Buffy said. She rolled her eyes. Beside her, Giles scoffed. "He is so last year. You don't know him. His name is Connor."
"What?!" Angel said.
"She's boinking your son!" Spike said.
"We're not boinking, it's a serious relationship!" Buffy said.
"What do he mean, your son?" Giles said.
Angel realized Spike shouldn't know Connor's true identity. "Yeah, what do you mean, my son?"
Spike glanced at Angel, confused. He quickly decided that he didn't much care if Angel was confused, though, and instead turned to Buffy. "I thought he was with Illyria," he said.
Buffy pushed her hair behind her ear and looked out the window.
"Well, ah, technically speaking, Connor is with Illyria," Giles said. "Sometimes. But he's also with Buffy." Angel and Spike gaped at him. "And me." Angel and Spike gaped some more. "And Dawn." More gaping. "And Willow. And Xander."
"Bloody hell, Angel," Spike whispered. "Boy's more of a man-slut than you are."
Buffy turned to them, her face flushed. "It's just that Connor's so strong, and he can move so fast and last so long--"
And he rolled over and fell off of the bed and onto the floor.
"Angel?" Buffy said. He looked up, and her head appeared over the edge of the bed. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
Angel sighed. "Bad dream."
Buffy reached down and helped pull him back onto the bed. "The Connor's-a-man-whore one?"
"Yeah." Angel lied down on his back, and Buffy snuggled up against his chest. The bed was comfortable, more so because of his companion than any attributes the bed actually had. The whole room actually made him a bit uncomfortable, as it was Buffy's, and decorated as such. He'd known her since she was sixteen, but still found it difficult to reconcile someone so tough being so... girly.
His return to life was just as difficult as his life seeking redemption was. He just wished pink and yellow sheets (separately; there was one set of pink, and three different sets of yellow -- he thought a combination of pink and yellow sheets, at one time, would be more than he could handle) weren't a part of it.
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