Era/season/setting: Buffy Season 4, Angel Season 1
Banner Credit: Twinkles
Notes: Borrowed the opening scene entirely from the end of Angel’s first season episode I Will Remember You, written by David Greenwalt and Jeannine Renshaw. A huge part of the first three chapters is borrowed from Buffy's 4th season - Something Blue, written by Tracey Forbes. Everything you recognize is their respective writers’ property, and not mine. Interspersed, you will find my small changes, until canon is left behind (mostly).
Warning: There is the slightest bit of canon Bangel. Nothing explicit.
Rating: PG for now
Summary: What if Buffy brought back a little surprise after her encounter with Angel in I Will Remember You?
Buffy eyed Angel’s dejected appearance as he walked down his apartment stairs. “I’m guessing that expression isn’t because they were all out of fresh OJ at the deli. What happened?
Angel sighed, not willing to look her in the face. “Nothing happened. I just…”
“Where have you been?”
She could feel his reluctance to respond as he answered, “I went to see the Oracles. I asked them to turn me back.”
“Because, more than, ever I know how much I love you.”
“No. No – you didn’t!” Reeling with disbelief, she backed away from the human Angel.
Angel took a few steps towards her. “And if I stayed mortal, once of us would wind up dead. Maybe both of us. You heard what Mohra said.”
“Mohra is dead. We killed him.”
“He said others would come,” Angel insisted.
“They always come. And they always will. But that’s my problem now, not yours – remember?”
Angel refused to listen to her. “No. I won’t just stand by and let you fight, maybe die, alone.”
“Then we fight, together.”
“You saw what happened last night,” Angel belabored. “If anything, I’m a liability to you. You take chances to protect me and, that’s not just bad for you, it’s bad for the people we were meant to help.”
Buffy was incredulous. “So, what? You just took a whole twenty-four hours to weigh the ups and downs of being a regular Joe and decided it was more fun being a superhero?”
“You know that’s not it. How can we be together if the cost is your life, or the lives of others?” Angel reached out, pulling her gently against his body. “I know. I couldn’t tell you. I wasn’t sure… if I could do it if I woke up with you one more morning.”
Buffy huddled closer into his arms. “I understand,” she sniffled. “So, what happens now?”
“The Oracles are giving us back the day; turning back time so I can kill Mohra before his blood makes me mortal.”
He turned to look at the clock. “Another minute.”
Unable to stem her tears, Buffy cried out, “A minute? No. No! How am I supposed to go on with my life knowing what we had? What we could have had?”
“You won’t,” Angel whispered softly into her hair. “No one will know but me.”
“Everything we did…”
“It never happened.”
“It did. It did!” Buffy insisted. “I know it did.” She tenderly placed her right hand on his heart – his still beating, mortal heart. “I felt your heart beat.”
She shut him up with a desperate kiss, peering over his shoulder at the clock. Their minute was almost up. “No! Oh god, it’s not enough time.”
Angel’s tears mingled with hers. “Shh, please. Please.” They clutched more tightly. “Please, please…” he repeated.
“No. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget.”
She never saw the white flash that enveloped the office.
Buffy stood next to the glass door leading to Angel’s office. “So, let’s just stick to the plan. Keep our distance until a lot of time has passed and, given enough time… we should be able to…”
“Forget,” Angel said gruffly.
“Yeah,” Buffy agreed. So – I’m gonna go – start forgetting.”
The shatter of broken glass drew her attention to the window as a big demon with a gem in the middle of its forehead crashed through, screaming loudly.
She watched, as Angel turned, grabbed the clock from his desk and coolly proceeded to smash the demon’s jewel with it. The demon vanished in a flash of light.
“That was unreal,” she said, stunned by the efficiency of the kill. “How did you know how to kill it?”
“It’s a Mohra demon. I – I had a lot of time to catch up on my reading,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Yeah – okay,” she said, slowly nodding her head. “So, I guess we’ve covered it, right?”
“I guess we did.”
“And that’s all there really is to say,” Buffy said, awkwardly toeing the ground. She turned and headed out the door.
The weather was beautiful, the blanket was soft, and Riley had packed a picnic lunch full of things she enjoyed, like fresh apples, crackers and a multitude of cheeses. She should be happy, content with a fella who seemed interested in her. (One with a pulse and no aversion to sunshine.)
So why didn’t she feel right?
She couldn’t put her finger on it. She felt… off. But a little bit of light-headedness and some general stomach uneasiness – they could be explained away by hunger, right? She really hadn’t had much of anything to eat yet today. Buffy picked up a cracker, added a thick slice of Havarti cheese with caraway seeds and popped it into her mouth.
Nope. Not a good idea. She picked up a napkin and delicately spat the food into it.
“What’s the matter?” Riley asked, concern lining his face. “Willow told me you liked cheese.”
“I do – usually,” she said, feeling more uncomfortable by the minute. “Maybe just a plain cracker would be better.” Buffy crunched her way through a couple and, sure enough, her discomfort seemed to ease.
She took a small bite of apple and swallowed. Another bad idea; there would be no second bite. Back to the crackers, then.
“Jeeze, Buffy… you’re looking a little green around the gills. If you’re not feeling well, you don’t have to stick this out on my account,” Riley said sympathetically. “We can always do this when you’re not queasy.”
Buffy nodded slowly. “I don’t know what’s wrong. I was feeling fine and then suddenly food was not my friend.”
She looked up and spotted a sulky looking Willow heading their way.
Willow ground to a slow halt in front of them. “I interrupted,” her best friend said dejectedly. “You’ve got apples – my bad.”
“You’re really pale, Buffy.” Riley was still trying to help. “Let me walk you back to the dorm, at least.”
“Did something happen?” Buffy asked Willow, ignoring Riley for the moment.
“No… everything’s fine. Same.”
“Your apples are turning brown, the way they do.”
Riley laughed. “Yeah, I guess they do that.”
“Yeah,” Buffy agreed, her queasiness coming back.
“We were just leaving, Willow,” Riley said, standing up and repacking the basket. “Buffy’s not feeling well.”
“Oh. Oh! C’mon, then,” she said, turning to Buffy. “We can walk back to the dorm together.”
Riley’s face fell a bit. “Well, I guess if you girls have it covered, you don’t need me tagging along.”
“I’ll call you later, Riley,” Buffy promised, waving a small goodbye.
Buffy didn’t know why she’d let Willow talk her into coming to the Bronze. It must have been her ‘poor me’ attitude and sad face. It was hard to leave a friend in need – especially, Buffy mused, for her.
The Bronze was uber-loud tonight; crowded (and reeking of beer and sweaty people) which didn’t help her mood. The queasy feeling she’d had earlier had returned in full-force but bound by the girlfriend code, she vowed to stay and do her best to distract Willow from her woes.
“Jeeze, you mean Oz just sent for his stuff and didn’t even call her?” Xander asked as they all huddled around their small table. “That’s pretty harsh.”
“I only wish I had my powers back,” Anya replied, with a look that pinged Buffy’s demon radar. “I’d liquify his entrails for her.”
“That’s sweet.” Xander nodded, obviously upset on behalf of his oldest friend. “God, poor Will. No wonder she’s…”
Whatever he’d been about to say was abandoned when Willow appeared in the middle of the throng, dancing her little heart out.
“…having a wonderful time.” He stared agog as she bopped and wove amongst the others.
“Wow. Way to rebound,” was all Buffy could say, totally surprised by Willow’s change in demeanor.
“I believe that’s the dance of a brave little toaster,” was Xander’s rejoinder.
Willow finally spotted them and made her way to the table. “Hey, guys. C’mon! This music’s great!” she enthused, still dancing in place.
“It’s nice to see you brought your boogie shoes tonight, Will.”
“Yeah… I-I know I’ve been sort of a party-poop lately, so I said to myself, ‘Self,’ I said, ‘it’s time to shake and shimmy it off.’”
“Sounds like a good policy,” Buffy agreed.
“Yeah! And it works, too. You know, I just figure, in the grand scheme of things, we’re all just –” Willow grabbed at her falling jacket as a bottle of beer fell, its contents foaming out on the ground.
“Drunk?” Buffy supplied in shock. Willow with a beer was not what she expected.
With an awkward little laugh, Willow bent to pick up the bottle. “Drunk… I mean, that’s such a-a strong word. Kind of a guttural Anglo-Saxon word. Drunk!”
Xander grimaced. “Will, not loving the drowning of the sorrows.”
“Not drowning,” Willow insisted. “Wading. A-a-and… see?” she said, pointing to the bottle. “Light! No big.”
“No big?” Buffy scoffed. “Anyone remember when Buffy had the fun beer-fest and went one-million years B.C.?”
“Sadly, without the fuzzy bikini,” Xander sighed, obviously drifting off into just such a fantasy.
“Off topic, Xander,” Anya admonished.
Xander took the hint. “Right. Topic now.” He walked over to his friend. “Will, how about you give me that beer?”
“No! Why should I? I’ve got pain, here – big-time legitimate pain.”
“We all have pain, Will,” Xander soothed.
But that just seemed to ramp Willow up. “Oh, like what? ‘Oh, poor little me, I live in a basement.’ Yeah, that’s dire,” she snorted derisively.
Obviously offended, Xander shook his head and walked back to their table.
Buffy stood up and took Willow by the arm. “Okay, you know what? That’s it. I’m taking you home.” Will clearly needed an escort to their dorm. Plus – bonus, Buffy realized – it would get her out of here, as well.
Willow pulled her arm out of Buffy’s grasp. “No. I don’t want to,” she insisted.
“Well, you’ll thank me when you still have a friend in the morning.”
“I just can’t stand feeling this way. I want it to be over.”
Buffy could empathize. They’d all been there at one point or another. “It will. I promise,” she declared. “But it’s gonna take time.”
“Well, that’s not good enough.”
“I know. It’s just how it is. You have to go through the pain.”
“Well, isn’t there some way I can just make it go away? Just ’cause I say so? Can’t I just make it go ‘poof’?”
Speechless, Buffy just stared at her. My god, would this night ever end?
Wide awake, Willow glanced at the clock. This just couldn’t go on. Her pain needed to end. And not later – now!
Glancing over to make sure Buffy was still sleeping the sleep of the unconscious, Willow crept quietly out of bed and opened the trunk where she kept her spell components. She hauled the necessaries into the bathroom and set things up on the floor: a circle of red candles, an incense censer, a goblet and three trays containing herbs.
Stepping into the middle of the circle, she sat and placed a bowl in front of her. “Harken all ye elements, I summon thee now,” she began to chant as she dropped ingredients into the bowl between the circle of her legs. “Control the outside, control within. Land and sea, fire and wind. Out of my passions, a web be spun. From this eve forth, my will be done. So mote it be.” Pouring the goblet’s contents into the bowl, a flicker of electricity connected her to the candles and all of the flames rose high – signifying the spell’s success.