Hospital, the next night
Every possible inch of his body ached. He
forced his heavy eyelids open and peered out at the world around him, not
sure what to expect. He took a deep breath and felt a throbbing pain in
his chest, but for once, the pain wasn't a hollow feeling. He blinked in
confusion at the hospital room around him.
His head turned in the direction of the voice and he found himself
smiling. "Faith?" Wesley croaked upon seeing
the girl perched in a plastic chair next to his bed, one hand wrapped
around his limp palm. She smiled at him and he saw relief flood out of her
expression. She leaned up and kissed him immediately, pulling away when he
"I'm not sure...I feel...strange."
"You should. You nearly died, Wes."
"What? When? How did we get here...the last thing I remember is you
breaking the obsidian..." Wesley swallowed hard
and tried not to think about the stone. All that time he'd spent
collecting the power to open the Quor-toth and
now it was all wasted.
"After that, Justine's little...er...big bomb
went off and we got buried in an avalanche. I was knocked the fuck out and
you were gone too. I'm not too clear on the details after that, but I
guess that lawyer bitch swept down like a fucking guardian angel and got
her commandos to pull us out before we suffocated. She told me she'd
followed Justine to Point Dume. And she's the
one that broke the stone, not me."
"Oh. Well...I'd thank her if I didn't know better than to look for a
"That's what I thought. She could have taken us both out, but she didn't.
She's up to something."
"We'll worry about that later. Right now I just want to--"Wesley suddenly
tried to sit up. "Lorne!
What about Fred?!" Faith pushed him back down with a strong, but
"She's fine. She's actually at the hospital right now. Lorne brought her
in for stitches. Which reminds me..." Faith
clenched his hand hers. "I don't care how, but we're getting rid of her
"I know. We'll find a way." Wesley sighed heavily. "But they're fine?"
"Peachy keen daddy-o."
"What about you?"
"Knock on the nugget isn't going to stop me, you know that."
"And Justine?" Faith's grin faded for a moment and then it returned full
"I feel bad but I'm not going to beat myself up over something she did to
herself. She was going to kill you and I would have killed her if she'd
held that gun on you a second longer." She seemed unusually happy about
talking about this and Wesley frowned.
"Why are you smiling?"
"Because I've got a mission now and I know that it's the right one. One I
can finally believe in."
"Still, you're feeling awful cheerful." Wesley commented, wanting to be
caught up in her excitement.
"Post slayage haze; gets me all kinds of
juiced. Plus, saving the world? Never a downer."
Wesley managed to grin at the beautiful Slayer. Her own grin melted off
her face and she leaned forward in her chair. "I know all about that pet
rock you had and about why you were collecting all that energy and I swear
to God if you ever, EVER try something that stupid again, I will beat the
living shit out of you. Got me?"
Wesley was taken aback. "What?"
"You heard me! That little rock that almost ended the world yesterday was
a clear-cut case of attempted suicide. I told you I wasn't
gonna let you die and I meant it. Hell you
almost did! All that damned energy going back where it belonged almost did
you in! Start that shit again and I'll be forced to...do something really
unpleasant to you. Understand?"
Wesley could only nod his head. He knew better than to argue with a
Slayer, especially Faith. His Slayer.
"Faith I...I need to tell you something..." He started, not really knowing
where to start, but knowing that now was the time for the "I love
you's" and the "we can't but we will's".
Faith's eyes met his and she bit down on her lip.
"Knock, knock. Did I hear English talking?" Gunn's voice broke through the
tension between them and Wesley turned with a smile at his best friend. He
suddenly remembered Anne and he sat up in the bed as Gunn pushed his
wheelchair-bound wife through the door. Her right shoulder was wrapped up
in heavy bandages, but she looked healthy and whole otherwise. Wesley felt
a wash of relief come over him.
"Yeah, Watcher-mine woke up a few minutes ago, all business of course."
"Well, he is an uptight English asshole you know." Gunn grinned, wheeling
Anne to the other side of Wesley's bed.
"Shut up you, and no cursing around the baby!" Anne said, grinning up at
her husband, her face nearly glowing in the dim hospital lights. Said baby
was wrapped up in her arms lovingly, a tiny, chubby fist poking out and
waving energetically in the air.
"My bad, hon." Gunn said, perching on the edge of Faith's seat as he
planted a kiss on top of the Slayer's head. "Hey you."
"Hey dork." Faith responded immediately, squeezing Wesley's hand.
"So, how are you English? I mean, how are you before I beat the living
shit out of you for not telling me about the Apocalypse?" Gunn said,
crossing his hands over his chest and glaring at him.
"Oh...Charles, I'm sorry. I thought you should be here with Anne." Wesley
said, leaning back against the pillow, his eyes heavily shadowed. "Are you
"A little, but I get why you didn't tell me. Still, end of the world and
all, I should have been beside you, bro."
"Sorry. Next apocalypse, you'll be first picked for the teams."
"No one likes a smartass Wes. And that smug smile is just making me want
to kick your booty." Gunn said with a grin as Wesley tried to wipe the
smile from his lips.
"Why is everyone threatening to beat me up? Do you I not look dead
"Not even close, love bug." Wesley turned his head and saw Lorne standing
in the doorway with Fred tucked at this side like she was born there.
"Speaking of looking like hell. You two...look
like hell." Anne said, looking up from the bundle in her arms. Fred rushed
into the room and sat down bonelessly at
Anne's feet, peeking her head over the edge of
the blanket and blinking at the baby. Lorne sauntered into the room and
leaned against the wall.
"Well, I don't call kicking demon ass a walk in the park."
"And marathon visions with the screaming and the puking and the wiggle
wooply in your skull. It's not a pile of
poisonous duggleberries. Ha! I wish!" Fred
piped up, touching a tiny finger with her own.
Wesley saw her wrists were stitched closed, raw cuts in the flesh made by
"Yeah, what she said." Lorne grinned widely and fondly gazed down at the
Seer. "But, crisis averted. Once again, Connor Investigations saves an
otherwise disastrous day."
"We're changing the name."
"Pardon?" Gunn spoke up, brow furrowing as he looked
"We're changing the name. We...I know now that what we used to have won't
come back to what it was. Connor is gone and so are
Cordelia and Angel. They both made their choices in life and
they've been killed because of them. They wanted to die because they
couldn't handle this world. I used to understand that." Faith squeezed his
hand and his voice picked up in volume. "But I know now that living in the
past, dwelling on your guilt is a fool's road. It'll lead you to
self-destruction and I...I don't want that. I have a family and friends
and you all...well you're all I need. I have to let Connor go."
There was silence a moment and then Lorne spoke up. "So...umm...I'd hate
to break this angsty moment up, but umm...I
was wondering something."
"What's that, Lorne?" Anne asked, running her fingers through Fred's hair.
"Well...the signs. All of them came to pass, am I right?"
"Yeah." Faith confirmed, chewing on her lower lip. "So?"
"So whose death was it that triggered it all? And if all the signs came to
pass, why didn't the world end?"
"Good questions. Ones I'm afraid I don't have the answers to. It doesn't
really matter though. Angelus, Cordelia or
Justine's death could have been the one. Who knows? All that matters is
that we stopped the end of the world and things are righted again."
"You've got a point, bro. We won, why worry? As long as Wesley knows
"Don't start Gunn. I already gave him the 'spell bad' speech and he was
responsive. Let's let it drop and just be thankful the
dumbass isn't dead from re-absorbing his own
"Yes, thank you Faith for putting my missteps into such a nice neat
package. I'll be sure to run my every move by you next time." Wesley
snapped at her with no real snark behind his
"Make sure you do." Faith replied, leaning back against Gunn's leg.
"So...can I hold the damned baby now?" The moment was broken as Fred
giggled up at Wesley. Anne handed the baby over immediately, watching
fondly as Wesley cradled the bundle in his arms. He counted up ten fingers
and ten toes, an awed smile on his lips.
"Her name is Lily Alonna." Gunn said, sharing
a glance with his wife. Wesley looked up and grinned.
"A beautiful name for the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life."
Faith coughed and Wesley flushed. "Second."
"No...you're right Wes. First." Faith said,
standing and moving to the head of Wesley's bed, staring down into Lily's
tiny face. "She's gorgeous."
"So now that my daughter's got a name, what about our business? We need
something with...hope, you know?"
"I've got one."
"What's that, Wes?"
"The Wyndam-Pryce Agency!"
Wesley grinned at the collective chorus of "No!" directed straight at him.
Things were finally okay. He had a feeling that nothing could go wrong
Setting---Wolfram & Hart, same night
Lilah Morgan walked carefully through the
labyrinthian tunnels beneath Wolfram & Hart's
office building. Her heels clacked loudly on the floor and she took deep
breath. At the end of the stark white tunnel, she stopped and flashed her
security card at two muscle-bound guards. They waved her through
immediately and she entered the overly bright room.
At the sound of her name being spoken, she jumped and squinted into the
brightness. A smile smirked her lips at what
"Hello. Enjoying yourself?" She eyed the splash
of bright red that was smeared across the floor. The guard who'd been
assigned to feed him was splayed at his feet. He didn't move, only stared
at her with his yellow, furious eyes. "She's dead. We found her bits and
pieces on the beach."
He flinched, but didn't move away from the kill in the corner. She almost
felt sorry for him, but she didn't. This was just business. "Why did you
"It's my job."
"You should have let me die. With her." There
was a cold fury in his eyes that shook her to the core; but her mask
stayed in place and she smiled, ignoring his words.
"You want to get them back don't you?" He nodded his head at her words and
moved up against the heavy glass partition that separated the cell from
the rest of the room. "Well I have the perfect plan."
"Not without her." He growled, his fingers
clawed against the glass, blood dripping down his chin.
"What do you mean? She's dead."
"We're getting her back. And then I'm going to kill them all."
"I'm not sure if there's a way..."
"Find a way. Find a way to bring her back and I'll do anything you want.
I'll sign any contract. Just bring her back."
His jewel bright eyes bore into hers and she smiled widely. "That's what I
wanted to hear. I'll start the process."
She turned on her heel and started to walk away, but his broken voice
called out to her. He sounded like a broken man clutching at his last
straw. "Just like she was?"
"Of course Angelus. Just
like she was."