Cliché Ending

Author’s Notes: This is AU.

See previous parts for notes.

Rating: Adult; explicit sex

Disclaimer: Own nothing. All belongs to Joss, ME, Fox, et.al.

Pairing: B/A

Distribution: My site, EverySixSeconds; sites currently with permission to host my fics; all others please ask.

Originally posted: Jul 21, 2002

Buffy opened the door and Giles, Wesley and Jenny came inside. They all waited with bated breath when Angel hesitantly began to tell them about the last few days.

He told them that Darla taught him to hunt, to kill. He was ashamed when he admitted to killing a vagrant near the docks, then later a man outside a liquor store. He didn’t quite have Darla’s thirst for blood, so a kill every few days was enough to satisfy him. Finally he admitted to killing Parker Abrams, Buffy’s neighbor, in a jealous rage. He’d seen the guy outside her window the night he had been there.

Giles hesitantly asked about Cordelia and Faith, to which Angel looked away before admitting that Darla had killed them. She resented other women in Sunnydale, particularly if they were young and beautiful. She had grown up in Sunnydale and had been overweight and unpopular in school. Any of her attempts to bond with the popular girls had been met with ridicule, so she particularly resented the girls that represented the type that had rejected her. In particular, Darla hated Buffy because of Angel’s obsession with her and she was determined to destroy her by killing her friends first as torture. She had planned a lingering slow death for Buffy, which was one reason that Angel felt it necessary to stay close to her.

Wesley talked Angel out of turning himself in, suggesting that they all wait a few hours until their heads were clear and they could come up with a plan.

Buffy stayed with Angel that night, her presence a comfort to him as he struggled to figure out his life now. They talked for long hours that night. Angel told Buffy about the few years he spent in Sunnydale as a child, about the painful memories and insecurities he had carried with him for years. Buffy felt sincere remorse that she never realized that such childish cruelty had caused him so much pain. She convinced him that he was not responsible for the horrible crimes that the demon inside him had committed and that he could make amends. By morning, Angel determined that Buffy not waste her life on him but Buffy was equally determined to stay. When he realized that she wasn’t going to compromise, he capitulated and smiled for the first time.

Giles arrived later in the afternoon along with the news that Darla had been the identified as the murderer of Cordelia and Faith, along with several other young women and men, and that a statewide manhunt was on for her. Spike had made the announcement at a press conference just minutes earlier, after a reported tip. Her apartment had been searched and evidence had been found connecting her to the murders.

No one in the room could resist a look at the dust pile that had been Darla as Giles said the words. Sadly, the Sunnydale police would never capture their suspect.

Wesley showed up shortly after Giles, already prepared to leave Sunnydale. He admitted that he had lived there for a while as a young man and that his own cowardice had nearly cost Giles his life. He had hid during a particularly brutal battle with the Master and several of his minions, leaving Giles and another white hat, Charles Gunn, to fight their way out against nearly impossible odds. Wesley could have gone for help, but he had been paralyzed with fear. When Giles and Gunn pulled him to safety, Wes had fled Sunnydale vowing never to return.

Epilogue

Angel moved to Sunnydale and published several more books, his vampire novels receiving critical success as ‘horrifyingly real’ and ‘so authentic you could believe it could happen.’ Undoubtedly his own exploits in helping rid Sunnydale of their otherworldly scourge contributed to the graphic descriptions found in his novels. Wesley continued as his friend and editor, albeit remotely from Los Angeles.

Willow and Oz moved to Maryland where Willow was going to attend Johns Hopkins University. Willow couldn’t stay in Sunnydale now that she knew about the existence of vampires, and she never really felt safe there again knowing that her neighbor had murdered her friends.

Giles and Jenny continued to lead the efforts of the white hats to keep the vampire population in control and to keep the hellmouth closed. With a man on the ‘inside’ so to speak, now that they had Angel helping their cause, their job had become easier than ever.

Buffy moved in with Angel shortly after Willow and Oz left, having no roommate to share the rent. They married in a small private ceremony just after Buffy completed her degree in child psychology.

In a strange and miraculous twist of fate, Angel had banked sperm some years earlier when he had brief but unwarranted cancer scare. They were hoping for a child in the spring…