Welcome to Denial of Destiny!

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By Mark Jones


**Disclaimer: All Characters and concepts belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I just like a better ending sometimes…***


*** Notes: Takes place at the end of Angel season 2, once they return from Pylea. ***

                       “It’s Buffy.”


Angel could tell by the look on Willow’s face when she stood. She had bad news to tell him. The only thing that could have brought her here in person was that something happened to Buffy. “Excuse us.” He motioned to Willow to join him in the office. Cordelia started to object, but a strong hand and stern look from Wesley kept her with them.    

  Cordelia regretted it a few moments later. A crash and Willow screaming brought Cordelia and the gang running to the office and throwing open the door. What they saw way possibly their worst fear realized. 

A terrified Willow sat back on the couch, trying to shield her face and cram herself into the smallest possible ball in the corner. Angel, fully vamped out, had thrown several potted plants against the wall and was currently hoisting a file cabinet to follow the path of the plant.

“No! It can’t be!” he screamed. Cordelia, Wes, Gunn and Fred looked on in horror as Angel (or Angelus?) sent the 2000 pound file cabinet crashing into the desk. With a feral growl, he turned his attention to Willow, who balled up with a look of fear. Cordelia and the others rushed in to intercept him.

“He’s lost it… gone bad!” Gunn exclaimed, pulling a stake out.

  They would be too late to keep him from Willow.

      Angel lifted her up by her arms to a standing position. “You’re lying! Say it isn’t so!!!” he yelled at her, his voice betraying an un-vampire like emotion. Willow, however, had ceased being afraid by using a simple calming spell… and it was starting to affect Angel as well. She looked up at him… yellow eyes, fangs, ridged forehead and all… using her index finger she traced a tear that ran down his face. His visage returned to normal as Willow sadly shook her head.

“I’m sorry, I wish I was.” Tears rimmed her eyes as Angel broke down in front of her and the others.

“Oh God, no…” Angel found himself unable to stand as he collapsed on the couch, still holding on to Willow, who sat down beside him. Angel buried his face on her shoulder, hiding nothing, crying for everyone to see. The rest of the group looked back and forth puzzled. Willow looked up and filled in the missing pieces.

“Buffy is dead.” She said solemnly. Cordelia and Wesley immediately looked at each other, saddened but even more so aware of the effect this had on Angel. Gunn and Fred weren’t as aware of the Buffy – Angel relationship, but were respectful enough to ask questions later.

“Angel,” Cordelia said, sitting down behind him. She put a comforting hand on his shoulder, but Angel’s only response was ‘just go, leave me.’ Not sure about the last display of anger, a nod from Willow told them it would be all right.



Angel’s sobs finally quieted enough to allow him to sit up and speak. “Who did it? How did it happen? And is he dead?” Will knew Angel well enough to read the look in his eyes… he would avenge her if need be.

“She gave her life to avert the Apocolypse.” Was her simple answer. Angel nodded… he knew Buffy would give no less than her life. But she left without…

  A few minutes later, Angel stood to walk Willow to the door.

“I just thought I should tell you in person.” She explained. Angel nodded softly.

            “Thank you for coming.” He said, managing a small smile. “I’m sorry about…” He motioned to the wrecked office. Willow shook her head.

            “If you hadn’t reacted that way, I’d think your feelings for her had changed.” She hugged Angel goodbye. “I’m glad it’s still strong. No matter what happened between you both, you were still her one true love.” With that, she gave him a quick peck on the cheek and walked to speak to the others. Angel watched her go through again tear-rimmed eyes, and shut the door. 

             “I’m going to check on him.”  Cordelia stated. Wesley started to speak, but she shot him a look that shut him up. It had been over an hour. She knocked softly, then opened the door. “Angel?”

            Music filled the room. Sophie Zelmani’s “I’ll remember you” was playing. Cordy remembered that story by Willow. It was the song that played at the Bronze the first night Buffy and Angel really kissed. She walked around the room, and found Angel in a small pile by the corner of the desk. She knelt down, putting her hands on his shoulders.

            He looked up at her with bloodshot, tear-ridden eyes. He must have been crying those whole past hour.

            “Oh, God, Cordy…” She knew it was bad because he never called her ‘Cordy’. “She’s gone, she’s go…” a sob replaced the last part of his sentence. “I never even got the chance to tell her… Oh, no…” Angel’s eyes shut, chasing tears from his eyes. Cordy took Angel in an embrace, hugging him close as he cried. “I loved her so much.” His body shook as he went on. “It’s all my fault… she was supposed to… It’s why I stayed this way…” New sobs racked his body as Cordelia tried to understand what he was saying.

            “Angel, what? How can this be your fault?” He suppressed a sob and looked up.

            “There was a day. Unlike any other. I became alive. We shared everything…” He sniffled. “I made a choice to give up life with her and the Powers That Be turned me back into this.” He gave a sigh so deep it hurt Cordy’s heart to see him like this. “And now… redemption… shanshu… whatever.” He laid his head back on Cordy’s shoulder.

            “I just want to die.” 

            The following morning, Cordelia found Angel still in the office. He was sitting on the couch, and apparently had not slept that night. She sat down by him silently.

            “If I’d just had the chance to tell her how I felt.” He said. Tears still seemed to come easily to him, but Cordy thought it might be that way for a while. “I just want to see her one more time, Cordy.” Angel swallowed, then looked up into Cordelia’s concerned eyes. “Thanks for helping me. I don’t know that I would have made it…” His eyes pressed shut as the memory of Buffy saying the same thing to him came back to his mind. He opened his eyes again.

            “I have to leave.” Cordelia processed this thought for a moment, and asked what he was going to do. “I need to get away for a while. I need somewhere to retreat to, to think, to… cope with this.”

            “Where do you want to go?” she asked. He stood and walked across the room.

            “There’s a monastery in Sri Lanka that I visited once a long time ago. It was quiet, peaceful and the monks there practiced harmony with all things.” Cordelia nodded, standing up beside him. “I’m not sure when I’ll be back.”

            “When you’re ready, we’ll be waiting.” She said supportively. They hugged, and Angel went off to pack while Cordelia went to tell the others… they would be running the business for a while.

To be continued...


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