An Alternate Ending
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Summary: What if the season two finale had gone another way?
Disclaimer: All of the characters from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox Television and the Warner Brothers television network.
The Acathla stood dormant as Angelus and his colony of vampire henchmen looked on in anticipation, none of them knew exactly what Angelus was aiming to achieve, they just felt safe in the demented yet partly secure society provided by his antics and orders.
Drusilla stood ready for the ritual as Angelus began to recite the words which would awaken Acathla, unbeknownst to her that her beloved Spike was prepared to attack at any given moment. Suddenly one of the vampires assisting in the ritual burst into ashes as Buffy stood behind him with her sword held high. "Hello lover" Buffy said to Angelus, rather dryly. It was obvious that she had been through every conceivable form of torture in the past months. The dark circles beneath her eyes accounted for the endless nights she spent awake in her bed, fearing her former lover. "I don't have time for you" Angelus responded irritably yet with confidence. He had been infactuated with Buffy since the moment the demon occupied his body, and he had dreamed of the moment that Buffy would refer to him as her "lover" without a tone of mockery, but he had no time for this now. He took more pleasure in the thought of earth being swallowed up by a vortex leading to hell.
Without warning Spike appeared behind Angelus, prepared to take him down. As quickly as Spike had initiated the attack, Angelus had retaliated. With a single blow Spike tumbled to the ground. "Dear Buffy, I want this over with. I originally had hoped our farewell would be more demonic and planned, but this will just have to do..." with that he pulled a pistol from his trenchcoat. Buffy could feel herself sink deep into her thoughts. She remembered clearly the moment Darla had threatened her with a gun, and how Angel was there to save her. Now here she was, opposing the man she loved more than anything but hated equally as much, and he was the one threatening her life. Buffy could not find the ability to speak, her voice was trapped. She realized than that Angelus had her future in his hands, and she would die.
It was decided, Willow would perform the ritual that would restore Angel's soul despite her current condition. Everything was set, the orb, the incantations, now all that was needed was a body for the spell to pass through. Willow was that body. Oz looked onward in confusion. He did not know exactly what was happening, but he didn't like it. For that matter he didn't like anything that involved Willow putting herself in any kind of danger. From the moment he first saw her in her eskimo clad gear he felt an emotional connection. Cordelia busily prepared all the needed materials for the spell, she too was unsure of the upcoming events.
Slowly Willow began to recite the spell from her latin scripts as Oz chanted quietly beside her, completely unaware of the English translation. As Willow continued her voice began to weaken and her breathing rate increased. Worriedly Oz asked what was wrong as Cordelia inquired the translation of the latin chants. Suddenly Willow's head shot up to the ceiling and reflexed downward again. She had determination in her eyes and her voice speedened. "Willow?" Cordelia asked in fear. The chanting became louder and stead fast. Willow seemed to be occupied by some sort of gypsy spirit. With that the orb began to glow and Willow sat there in bewilderment, now back to normal.
Buffy looked steadily into Angelus' eyes in hopes of making some sort of mental connection. She was not stupid. She knew of his passion for destruction, and that it would please him more to open the gates of hell than to kill her slowly. He would sooner have it done with. Angelus aimed his pistol up at Buffy with a cocky grin as Buffy closed her eyes in horror. She bent her knees slightly, in preparation for a round house kick to his groin. This would surely disable him long enough for her to regain a dominant position. Without warning, without a moments notice, before Buffy could act, Angelus fired the pistol and Buffy fell to the ground.
Angelus smirked with satisfaction and slowly turned his attention back to the Acathla. He felt an eerie sense of loss for the Slayer. He did feel for her, no matter how demented and sinister. He pined for Buffy, but his passion for death overpowered his passion for flesh any day.
That's when it happened, Angelus' eyes flashed red and he tumbled to the ground gasping for breath. He sat there in a fetal position with his head cradled into his knees. Bewilderment and confusion overwhelmed his senses as he took in the blur of surroundings around him. It was as if he was taken to an alternate dimension. He did not see the pavement outside his apartment, nor did he feel the beating rain he had felt the last time he remembered. He closed his eyes trying to make sense of his current circumstances. His last memories were that of his night with Buffy, the night he achieved true happiness, a night he would never forget.
Angel's soul was restored, but it was too late. As Angel rose to his feet his first instinct was to find Buffy, hold her close, and breathe her in. He did not yet acknowledge the terror that stood inches away from his feet. Angel slowly rubbed his eyes and looked upward, to his horror. As quickly as Angel had gotten up he fell down again in agony and shock. He could feel his body shake and a numbness enveloped him. He scrambled to the side of his lover and tenderly smoothed the hair away from her face. He couldn't believe it. This couldn't be Buffy- his beloved Buffy! Thoughts whirled through his mind like a funnel cloud. His eyes filled up with tears to the point where he could not make out the shapes before him. He thrusted his hand to Buffy's neck to check for a pulse. Fear overwhelmed him that he would not feel the steady beat of her blood circulating. There was however a faint pulsating movement. Angel wrapped his arms around Buffy as his eyes lit up with hope. All Angel could do was utter the name, "Buffy? Buffy?" Angel could sense his vampire self rise to the surface because of his rage to the knowledge that someone had hurt Buffy. Gathering her up into his arms he moved steadfast towards the door of the mansion. He did not recognize a single surrounding but that did not effect him in the slightest. His only concern at this point was Buffy.
"Going somewhere love?" uttered a dulcet voice. With that Drusilla stood in front of the entrance with an inquisitive look on her face. "Why are you saving what you slaughtered? Is this some game? You know I love games dearest." Her words were eerie to Angel who wanted nothing more than to get Buffy to safety. He was in a state of complete and total confusion, but did not need answers, all he needed was the reassurance that his love would be alright. "Move!" he said with a combination of determination, anger and pure discust. Drusilla was able to pick up on Angel's change, it took her no contemplation to come to the realization that Angel's soul had returned. The Buffy-whipped Angelus was back, but she wouldn't have it! Drusilla shifted her weight slightly and wavered from side to side as Angel strided towards her determinidely. His face was filled with emotion and his eyes were red from the strain of his tears. Drusilla simply smirked up at him, fully aware of the knowledge that the Slayer was in danger of death. "Pretty thing, she's going fast" Drusilla chirped the words as if in song. Angel refused to acknowledge Dru's existance and the possibility that the slayer could die, no, not his Buffy. Suddenly hatred overwhelmed him as the idea that Drusilla had been the one to inflict the pain on Buffy hit home. As Angel approached nearer he growled, "You hurt her!" Drusilla's eyes widened and a mockingly sympathetic smile took form on her mouth. "No love, you did! Don't you remember... Angelus?" as the words left her lips Angel could feel his knees buckle and his skin crawl. He hadn't been referred to as Angelus, not even by Dru, since the evil demon had occupied his body all those years ago. He shunned any and all thoughts of his past and ignored Drusilla's eerie suggestions. Angel pushed his way to the exit with every intention of seeking revenge on Buffy's attacker once her safety had been insured. His confusion quickly turned into anger which clouded any memories from coming back to him. He was completely unaware of his actions over the past few months and he didn't give it any thought.
Spike began to moan and Drusilla moved quickly to his side which allowed Angel to leave the mansion without a fight. Stepping out into the night Angel took to the sidewalk, heading into town. He broke into a run with Buffy scooped up in his arms. The night was still; the moon shone down on Angel as he raced frantically through the streets of Sunnydale in search of a destination. The hospital seemed as if it were thousands of miles away and Angel was astonished by his speed and agility. Never had he been an impressive runner but with Buffy harmed he was not about to let his physical inabilities stop him.
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