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Unsent Letters

Part 3 -'finale'

by Mark Jones

“I love you.” Buffy said, raising the stake high above her head, preparing to plunge it into Angel’s chest. They had made love, and she knew what that meant. A moment of happiness meant Angel losing his soul, and she knew from when it happened before, she couldn’t let that loose of the world again. Last time it almost cost the world a one way ticket to Hell.

 Angel knew as much himself. As he kissed her earlier, with tears in his eyes, he pressed a stake into her hand. He knew he couldn’t allow this thing to continue the terror that had seized Europe a century ago. And she loved him for it. And for trusting that she was the only one who could do this.

Buffy gritted her teeth and pressed her eyes shut, a tear running down her cheek.

 Using a force drawn from beyond her normal strength, one borne of love, she thrust downwards to his heart. Angel’s hand stopped her, however. She looked down at him now looking up at her, his left hand stopping her stake arm. She knew he would fight, Angelus would always fight.

 Buffy punched with her other hand, and he caught it with his right.

 “Buffy!” he said, a worried look on his face. She stopped short… Angelus always called her “Buff.” She paused and looked down at him, and with a voice they both remembered from not so long ago said softly…

 “… angel?”

 Angel managed to nod, honestly afraid she would hit him again. He looked back up in her puzzled face, his own bewildered look mirroring her face.

 “I’m all right.” He said, propping himself up in the bed. “I mean, of course I’m all right, I mean… soul and all.” Buffy looked at him, almost wanting to believe. She raised a hand to his face… still cool to the touch. He was still a vampire. Angel nodded in the same line of thought.

 “Yeah, I’m still the same. I still can feel the beast inside me.” They sat for a moment, both wondering what happened… or didn’t happen. Buffy got a slightly upset and disappointed look on her face as she slumped down, seeming to want to cry.

 “No, Buffy. Not like that.” Angel said, seeming again to read her mind. “I experienced true happiness again, I know I did.” He cupped her chin and brought her face up to look at his. He spoke to her in an intimate, lovers voice. “I love you. I’m… I’m in love with you. I always have been. I’m happy when I’m with you. And I’m truly happy only when I’m with you.” Buffy looked into his eyes and saw nothing but genuine feelings, and her eyes teared up as Angel took her into his arms. They both closed their eyes tight, affirmed that he was still ‘Angel’, but both unsure of what happens now.

 “So what happens now? Is it permanent? Will you change later?” Buffy said, not raising her head from his chest. Angel shook his head softly, leaning his face down to kiss her on the head.

 “I don’t know.” He replied. “But I know who can tell us.”

  The oracles looked at their two warriors standing before them. They had not had such visitors in a millenia! A vampire and a slayer. Two very different people, but as the female oracle looked at them, she could clearly see the lines of their lives. His was white, but tinged in red. She knew that as she watched him a century ago, it had more red than now. He had been atoning for his sins.

 She looked from him to the slayer. Her lifeline was white. But not with as much luster as it had when she looked upon the warrior previously. Life had changed her over the years, from a young inexperienced but pure slayer to a mature, life-experienced woman. She was still the same purity at the core, but she had been hurt, and life had taken it’s toll on her.

 Then as she looked at them both, she removed her senses from their individual lifelines and looked at both of them. Each with an individual lifeline, but both intertwined. She saw micro-connections between them… their life experices together so far. She looked up their lifelines to the future… more interactions, some good, some not good… and then she actually had an eyebrow go up. Their lifelines merged further in time. She noted this with amusement. It would be quite distracting from the war to watch the two of them further down the road.

 “What have you brought us?” the male oracle asked. Angel unwrapped a package he had brought for them. He held an exquisite jeweled dagger, which flew to the male oracle’s hand.

 “The Adjanti dagger, used to slay the evil demon Heraclis. A symbol of our fight we carry on.” The male oracle nodded, as he and his companion examined it closely. Butty leaned in to Angel.

 “What if we need that again?”

 “I have another.” He mouthed back to her. She smiled to herself.

 “What brings you to us?” The male oracle asked. Angel took a half step forward.

 “Since you turned me back into a demon,” he explained, using their reference to ‘vampire’, “I have feared to have a moment of happiness, for fear of losing my soul again.” He glanced over his shoulder at Buffy. “I was about to give up my soul, because if my misery over the past months since we last met.” Buffy was suddenly puzzled, wondering what Angel was talking about. She made a mental note to ask him later.

 “I had a moment of weakness, or perhaps… clarity. I wanted that happiness again. And so I was prepared to end my fight, and release my soul for that one moment. Neither could I set lose another demon on the world, and I would make sure of that. Yet now, a half day after my moment of true joy, I still have my soul. Why?”

 “We will not answer to the petty questions…” the male oracle started.

 “Patience, brother.” The female oracle said. “Let us indulge our warriors for a minute. It will not tarry us too long, nor will these type of requests continue.” She finished, looking at Angel and Buffy in warning. “We care little for petty curses of family or love. The fight continues. You are simply what you were before.” Angel looked at Buffy, thinking furiously. His mouth soon dropped open as he realized what they were saying.

 “Go in the good fight.” In a flash of light, Buffy and Angel were both standing in the antechamber underneath the post office. They stared deep in each other’s eyes for a moment. Angel opened his mouth as to speak, but Buffy put a finger up to quiet him. They continued to look at each other in silence.

 Buffy looked up from the bench where she sat outside her dorm. Books were scattered all over as she worked furiously to prepare for finals. Willow lay on the ground on a blanket, her face buried in a book as well. She looked up when Buffy began to scan around.

 “Buffy… what is it?” Buffy scanned the woodline for a minute, a look of concern on her face.

 “I don’t know, I…” She paused as a familiar figure walked out of the path from the bushes, his trench coat playing out behind him. The sun was just under the horizon, and it was time that vampires came out to the world of the mortals.

 But this one was all right. Buffy smiled at Willow.

 “My boyfriend’s back.” 

She got up and ran across the courtyard to leap into Angel’s arms. They twirled for a moment, looking deep in each other’s eyes, and then they kissed. Willow looked on, first happy to see them together again, then in awe as they both seemed to change in front of her eyes. She had never seen such a kiss in her years. It was like two halves of the same whole. Eventually they both came up for a breath.

 “How’s work?” she asked him. He lowered her back down and put an arm around her, walking over to the bench.

“Good. Staying busy, of course.  Some big infestations of Rehnard Demons kept me busy most of the day.” He smiled at her. “But I’m here now, and this is where I want to be.”

 The lovers smiled at each other. Buffy was in school, still the same protector she was before. Angel was still in the PI business, still the same vampire as before. But they had both come to agreement that their love was something that needed to be given another chance…

 Maybe it was fate.

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