SUMMARY: This is the end of ‘Becoming Part 2’ shaken and stirred! What would have happened if it ended on a different note? Besides, it always bugged me that Buffy was going to dust him before he became Angel again by beheading him. How was she going to stop Acathla then?
POSTED: 4 Apr 2004
CATEGORY: Angst of the highest order.
CONTENT/PAIRING: C/A goodness, with B/A angst
WARNINGS: None Listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
1) This was B/A versus C/A funfic that started between me and my buddy, Sunrise, on the CoA website. I started with my ‘Becoming’ ending and she countered it with B/A, then I with C/A and so on… Hopefully she will let me use the B/A stuff she wrote and her ideas to make this story fully developed. One day I will finish this completely, but I lost my direction on it. The first two parts are the best. I think you guys will love ‘em too!
2) I dedicate this to Cheese, you know who you are and why I dedicate it to you! And my kewl twin, Lindsay, ’cause she’s so kewl!
“Where are we? I… I don’t remember?”
It was bittersweet… he was back! She knew it, just like Giles said it would happen. The moment would be sudden , and she would know. His eyes had glowed suddenly, not like when he vamped out and he said her name… like only he could.
“Angel?” She whispered fearfully, her guard easing as she slowly lowered her sword. Buffy still felt apprehensive, but it had to be Angel.
He stepped towards her, smelling blood. “You’re hurt.”
Buffy felt her world fall into completion, as he pulled her into his embrace. It was him! It was his touch.
Angel didn’t know what to think, she was hurt and he couldn’t remember. “Oh, Buffy! God… I feel like I haven’t seen you in months!” He felt like he was finally awake, from dream or a nightmare he couldn’t remember.
“Oh, God, everything’s so muddled, I…! Oh, Buffy,” Angel whispered, kissing her shoulder in silent gratitude that where ever he had been he was back. He never wanted to feel this emptiness again.
Buffy’s eyes began to mist as she finally grasped her lover again. Then she heard it. Acathla. He was opening his vortex, preparing to swallow the world into Hell.
“His blood will open the door to Hell… Then only Angel’s blood will close it. One blow will send ‘em both back to Hell.”
Angel could feel her tensing up, as if she was preparing for a battle. “What’s happenin’?” Angel asked, as she pulled herself away from him.
Looking into his eyes, Buffy knew that he trusted her. He would die trusting her. “Shhh, don’t worry about it.” Caressing his face, she pulled him towards her, giving him a kiss that only she knew would mean goodbye. Behind them, she could feel the vortex gathering strength, and pulled back.
“I love you.”
“I love you,” he whispered back, meaning it.
His brown eyes were shining with tears. Angel trusted her completely and she could not do this meeting his eyes.
“Close your eyes,” Buffy whispered, knowing he would do so.
Never doubting her intentions, Angel began to close his eyes. This was Buffy, he would have faith in her no matter what happened. She loved him and he loved her…
OPEN YOUR EYES!
It was a psychic demand. Soundless, sightless yet powerful as a thunder cap. A desperate command that could not be ignored. The brutal force of it caused Angel to open his eyes in clear-headed awareness.
“Angel? Close your eyes.”
Glancing down at her hand, he saw that she was clenching the sword again. Was she preparing to strike? Who was she going to…
“Why?” Angel whispered, taking a step away from her. He was beginning to feel uneasy with her standing before him, sword in hand.
Buffy didn’t know what was going on. She had asked him to do something, and he wouldn’t do it. “Just close your eyes! Please!” Her plea had more desperation in it than she wanted.
“I feel like I haven’t seen you in months! Why should I close my eyes, Buffy?” This was getting ridiculous. Angel didn’t like the look she had on her face. She was eyeing him now as if he was prey.
Feeling frantic, Buffy tried to think of something, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t do anything with him staring at her.
“Damnit, Angel! Just close your eyes! Okay?!” Buffy nearly screamed in frustration. Why wouldn’t he do what she wanted? Now he was backing away from her as if she wanted to- as if she wanted to… kill him.
And it came back to him. Just like that. Everything that had happened in the last few months as Angelus. He had killed Jenny Calendar, and so many others. Taunting Buffy and her friends. Angelus had tortured Giles to get what he wanted from the librarian. How to open Acathla. And he had succeeded in opening it.
“My blood. My life.”
Angel knew what she was trying to do. She was going to send him Hell to close the vortex. “You want to kill me?!” Glancing behind him, he could see that Acathla’s mouth was open, and the portal to the demon dimension was growing wider.
“YOU WANT TO SEND ME TO HELL!?”
Buffy felt as if she had been torn apart. Angel was glaring at her with such mistrust and anger. Her eyes welled up again with fresh tears, “I love you! But I can’t do this with you looking at me!” Buffy cried out in anguish as she saw the expression on Angel’s face- he was disgusted with her.
Backing away, he shook his head in denial. Not, Buffy… she would have found another way! She wouldn’t send me to Hell! As Angelus she would, but not me.
Yes. She would.
“No,” he hissed at her. “You don’t love me.” Suddenly he lunged forward, grabbing her sword. Still meeting her green eyes, he made a violent gash across his chest. The silk, black shirt he was wearing began to moisten with his blood.
Angel sneered at her, when she cried out in alarm at his action. His face terse in distrust, he held the sword now dripping with his blood in front of her eyes. Whirling, he plunged the sword into Acathla, closing the vortex.
He had sealed the opening with his blood. Buffy’s face was awash in astonishment. He had closed it and he wasn’t dead! “But how…?”
Snarling, Angel turned away from her, glaring at the now dormant Acathla. “My blood opened it, so I used it to close it! You didn’t have to resort to killing me, Buffy! I don’t know what you think love is, but it’s not sending me to Hell.” Giving her a sideways look, he began to walk away from her.
Buffy sobbed into her hands, desperation taking hold of her, “ANGEL!!! Please don’t leave me!” How could she go on living without him?
Stopping in his tracks, he spun around, his hand stained red as he clutched the self-inflicted wound on his chest. The blood ran over his claddagh ring, like the one he had given her. Angel felt himself waiver inside. She was so beautiful, her face flushed in anguish and her eyes shining like emeralds. Shining with tears for him. Would those tears have been shed if she had killed him? Maybe she would have cried, but the tears would have been different.
“I love you. Please, you have to understand that I would have had to kill you to save the world. Please!” Buffy could feel her heart pounding. Angel just stood there, as if weighing her meaning. The expression in those dark depths were unfathomable. Maybe I’m reaching him, she prayed to herself. God she hoped she could reach him! She didn’t know if she could live without him, now that she knew she did not have to kill him.
With only six words, Buffy knew it could never be mended. She was trying to seek forgiveness and understanding from the one she loved with all her heart. The lover she would have killed to save the world, when there was now proof that it could have been saved without his sacrifice. It was never her sacrifice. She would live and he would have been sent to Hell by her. Buffy knew deep in her heart of hearts, had she killed him, she would be able to go on.
“I thought I was your world.”
Angel said it so softly, almost like a caress. He was right, he was her world and she had the resolve to destroy that world. Her knees gave out, and she crumbled to the floor in agony. She had lost him. Either way she would have lost him. But this was so much worse then killing him. It would have been so much easier just to kill him, she sobbed within herself.
Seeing her fall to the floor, Angel felt his compassion fall with her. It was almost as if he could read her thoughts. He didn’t know if it had been the voice that commanded him to open his eyes or if he could just sense it somehow. Angel knew she was battling within herself whether it would have been better just to kill him. Why not? She was going to just cut my head off as Angelus, and the portal was already opened. He remembered kneeling before her, beaten, as she raised her sword for the death blow. Then he got his soul back and she was going to send him into Hell. Not dusted, just existing as he was in this world.
“Why were you going to dust Angelus and not me, Buffy?” He wanted to know. By God he had a right to know.
Buffy looked up at him, dumbfounded. Was she really going to do that? Whistler had told her one blow would send him and Acathla back into Hell, so why did she just want to dust Angelus? Acathla would have still been active and she had seen Angelus open the portal.
“I-I don’t know, Angel,” she whispered in detachment. She honestly did not know. Dusting Angelus would have damned the world, there would have been no blood to close Acathla.
“Yeah, I don’t know either,” Angel leered, shaking his head in bewilderment. Love was nothing in this world. It was nothing to her. “Just to let you know, metal in the chest wouldn’t have killed me, Buffy. Had you sent me to Hell, I would be there as I am now. I would be in Hell as I am now!”
Turning to leave, he vowed he would never love again.
This couldn’t be happening! How could this happen to her?! She and Angel were to be forever. He was never supposed to leave her, and there he was, walking away from her.
Buffy clawed her nails in ground, as if trying to dig a hole to bury herself in. She just wanted to be away from it. To pluck out the pain and be numb. He was the love of her life, but he didn’t care! Each step he took was as if a chunk of her existence went with him.
Angelus has destroyed so much, she had to finally come to the realization that she would never have her Angel back. In that final instance when she had been prepared to dust Angelus, she had realized she did not want the world to continue. She had been ready to take his head off, and there would have been no blood to stop the Armageddon. Acathla would have swallowed the world. Putting an end to the light.
I wanted the world to end.
It was a realization that damned the Slayer.
Buffy slammed her fist into the ground, relishing the pain that surged up her arm. She was destined to protect this world, not to secretly want to destroy it! True, she had always felt alienated with her gifts, but she had always loved them. She wanted to be a normal girl, but it was a lie. Having such power within her was something she could never part with. Maybe that was why she was chosen. To protect the world, by loving her power. Her world…
It had crumbled. Her mother did not want her, and where was her father? The one she loved with all her heart had become her worst nightmare. It wasn’t Angelus that had been her nightmare… it was the thought that one day Angel would leave her.
Angel was almost to the back exit. The sun had risen in the East, and as much as he wanted to burn from it, he found he couldn’t waltz into it’s rays. Buffy had been willing to send him into Hell, and he’d be damned a thousand times over if it he went there now!
Suddenly he heard the scrap of metal on the cement floor. Turning sharply, he saw out of the corner of his eye that Buffy, still crouched on the ground, was pulling the sword toward her. Her eyes were vacant, as if she had lost something precious. What is she…
Faster than even he could see, Buffy plunged the sword into her chest.
“BUFFY!!” Screaming, Angel ran over to, skidding his knees on the floor as he grasped her before her head hit the floor. Blood was running from her chest in continuous rivulets. She had buried the sword deep, and it was too close to her heart. Angel could hear her heart begin to slow as he cradled her in his arms. “Oh, God! Buffy, why?”
Gasping as she felt her life flow from her, she brought her dewy eyes to Angel’s face. “I-I was going to kill you, bu-but that wasn’t the worst thing. I wanted the world to end after I killed Angelus-” Her speech broken as she coughed, her lungs filling with blood.
“I wanted the world to end because I knew… I’d never see you again.” Buffy began to shake, she was getting cold. “And then you were back- I’m so sorry, Angel! I can‘t live with that!” Sobbing she grabbed his hand, holding it to her wounded chest, the sword still imbedded.
Angel felt tears of ice run down his face. He didn’t want this… this wasn’t supposed to happen! “Please, Buffy, hold on- don’t die! You can’t die. Not like this!” She was so brave. Buffy was meant to die in battle not by her own hand. How can it end this way? Angel trembled in fear as he heard her breathing weaken. She was dying.
Buffy’s eyes were staring at the ceiling, the green in them shining brighter than he had ever seen. “Do you really think there’s a Heaven?”
Nodding his head, he collapsed into sobs, “Yes, baby, I do.”
She gave a weak laugh. “If there’s a Hell there’s a Heaven.” Her eyes narrowed slightly and then began to widen in childlike amazement. “I think I see it Angel- so bright..,” Giving one last, soft breath of air, and she was still. Angel whimpered as her fingers fell from his.
“Buffy?! BUFFY!!!!!!” Angel cried and cried until he couldn’t anymore. Shaking her could not bring her back. She was cold. The only life that had ever touched him had extinguished, because of his rage. Her green eyes stared ahead, lifeless… looking at something he could not see. She went into the light without him.
They came again, those gut wrenching sobs that tore at his heart. How could he go on without her? How could he have even thought he could? Ever?
Angel closed his eyes in anguish. She was going to go on without me, he sobbed to himself. Love was supposed to be eternal, but she was going to kill him.
“But I stopped it,” he whispered to her, lightly touching his lips on her golden head. “I stopped it and you still went on without me! Did our love mean so little, Buffy?”
“Her love meant everything to her, Angel.”
Angel whipped his head up in surprise, his tearful brown eyes widening in astonishment at the owner of that voice. Beautiful hazel eyes, that almost matched his pain. “Cordelia? What are you doing here?”
Her poised, perfect face was wet with her own grief. She had come down the garden steps to the glass doors, just at the moment that Buffy had plunged the blade home.
“I didn’t come here for this,” Cordelia whispered, as she inched closer to the vampire and the fallen Slayer. She could feel her lips trembling as she gazed upon the still figure of her rival. I’ll never get to tell her I was sorry, she thought, sorry for all the things I said. She had always thought there would be time. Everyone thought there was time.
“I-I came to find Xander, but-but-” Cordelia broke, the lump in her throat to big for her to continue. Giving a strangled cry, Cordelia Chase began to cry.
Angel reached up a hand, pulling her down hard into his embrace. All he could do was hold onto them both, as his body trembled with dry sobs.
It was an odd sight to behold… The dead Slayer cradled between the vampire, who only moments earlier was trying to destroy all life on earth. Now, he had returned to the one she had loved. And the other, the most unlikeliest of friends, Cordelia, crying out her pain for her fallen ally.
Cordelia forced herself to pull away from him, bringing her gaze down to Buffy’s serene face. Reaching out a quivering hand above her friend’s face, she gently closed those green eyes. She could be sleeping, she mused, seeing one of her tears fall on Buffy’s pale cheek.
“Angel,” Cordelia asked, “What happened here?”
He just looked wildly about the room, as if trying to find what he had lost. There was so much loss!
Angel brought his feral gaze to Cordelia’s questioning. She should have felt fear at his look, but she didn’t.
“The spell- whoever did the Kaldarash spell it worked!” He began, his voice breaking. “Was it Willow?”
Cordelia gently nodded her head.
“And-and the vortex opened, and I was back! I was so happy to see her, Cordelia! I felt like I hadn’t see her in so long.” Angel slowly rose to his feet, cradling Buffy’s body in his arms. Slowly, he walked over to the table in the middle of the room, laying her form on it’s surface.
Cordelia’s face felt scalded with tears, as she watched Angel’s careful movements. Angel brought his hand to the blade, still buried in Buffy’s chest. Screaming, he wrenched in from her body, hurtling the weapon across the room.
Cordelia, still crouched on the floor, flinched at the sudden outburst of rage.
“She said ‘close your eyes’ and I did,” Angel’s look was so far away, as if he were watching the whole scene again, but he was not a part of it. “But there was something in her voice that made me open them again. There was a voice… Then I began to remember what – he- had done! She kept insisting that I close my eyes-”
Cordelia gasped in alarm, as Angel swiftly moved to where she was sitting, and violently wrenched her to her feet. His fingers biting into her tender arms as he pulled her in front of him.
“She was going to kill me!!”
“Wha- why?” Cordelia whimpered, her arms stinging as he increased his grip.
“She was going to close the vortex to hell by sending me there! It could have been closed just by my blood, which was what I did after- after I pushed her away.”
“You pushed her away?”
“Yes,” he whispered, his hold on her arms relaxing. “I told her that she must not have loved me if she was so willing to kill me. The vortex could have been closed just by my blood! But I wouldn’t have died, Cordelia. I would have been in Hell, as I am now. I‘ll always live in Hell!”
Angel whimpered, sinking down to his knees in front of her. “She killed herself because I was going to leave. Our love meant nothing either way.” His voice broke into sobs again. As if needing to find solace, he wrapped his arms around her hips, burrowing his face in the soft hollow of her stomach. Her sweater becoming damp with his tears.
Cordelia brought her eyes down to his pitch-black head, amazed at what she had heard. The wheels in her head were turning. “The rest of the gang will be back here soon, Angel. Especially when Xander finds out I came here. You need to get out of here!”
Angel kept his arms around her, delving in her warmth, her humanity. There was no reason anymore. “Why? They’ll just think I killed her and then they can kill me. It’ll be done.”
“No,” she snarled, cupping his face in her hands, making him look and her. “You have to live! She ended her life when she could not end yours! I need to get you out of here!” Grunting at his weight, she tried to pull him to his feet. “Angel, please! I-I can’t let them kill you!”
Grabbing her hands, he stilled her. “Why not? I murdered Jenny and enjoyed it! I might has well have plunged that sword into Buffy. It should end this way, Cordelia.”
“Angelus killed Jenny, not you. I have seen Angel and I have seen Angelus! They are not the same,” Cordelia pleaded, trying to pull him up. “And I saw Buffy destroy herself! She could have fought, but she didn’t. You have to fight.”
Angel knew her words were accurate, even though he wanted to deny them. Something had called to him to keep his eyes open and he did. The only being he had ever loved was lying dead on the table behind him. What was there left?
“The fight is left.”
Angel felt his strength return at her words and rose to his feet. He had kept his eyes open because he was supposed to continue. There was another destiny for him. His journey in Sunnydale had ended with the Slayer. She was no longer part of his future. Buffy was to lead him in the right direction, another would help him follow it.
“Why did you come here, Cordelia? Not because of Xander.” It wasn’t even a question, but an affirmation of fact. Angel knew the same thing that had called to him was the same phenomenon that willed the brunette here. He felt it.
Bringing her gaze to floor, she trembled as she felt Angel place a finger under her chin, raising her head back to his eye level. She tried to pull away from him, but he grasped her the side of her face in a firm, yet gentle grip. “Tell me.”
“I- I had a feeling that I needed to be here. That I had to see you. Something- called to me!” Cordelia bit her lower lip until it bleed. She didn’t know what to think about all this. She was so confused. After the spell was completed, she had run out of the hospital hell-bent on getting to the mansion. The only thought that had been pounding in her mind was to get to Angel. To keep him here.
“We have to keep fighting, Angel. I don‘t know where, but-” It suddenly dawned upon her. Angel was supposed to continue on, aiding the forces of good and she was meant to help. She had not idea why she was chosen for this. She knew that she was the least favorable candidate as a force against darkness, but it felt right.
Angel knew she was right. They had to keep going. Whatever happened to them in the past or future, they had to keep going. He had to find someplace to go.
The sun was almost completely up now, and shafts of light were pouring into the room. “Get out of here, Angel. I’ll finish here and I’ll meet you wherever you go! Give me a few weeks.”
Cordelia knew that the gang was coming back and they would see Buffy- Angel needed to leave! “Go to the tunnels and get out of Sunnydale! I’ll tell everyone what happened.”
Angel closed his eyes, imagining the pain Buffy’s friends and mother would feel. He wished he could turn back time, but destiny could not be fought. And he knew it was meant to be. “When I get to were I‘m going, Cordelia, I’ll find you!” He placed a quick kiss on her forehead and backed away, a new fire in his eyes. He had a feeling that when the brunette would get closer to him, he would sense her.
Buffy was gone, but she was with him. She would be with him and Cordelia, giving them strength.
Cordelia gave him a trembling smile, feeling her eyes well again as she watched him tenderly brush a strand of golden hair from Buffy’s brow. Giving her light kiss on her cool lips, he turned away, on last time, and headed for the tunnels.
He turned around, “Yeah?”
“Keep your eyes open. Okay?” Cordelia warned, giving him a sweet smile that touched her eyes. Whatever the future held for the two of them, fate was pushing them to it.
Returning that warm smile the best he could, promising her. “I will. I‘ll never close my eyes.”
And he was gone. But he knew he would not be alone on his journey. Cordelia could never end it and neither would he. And he knew she was smiling down.
…TO BE CONTINUED…
THIS STORY APPEARS TO BE UNFINISHED