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Final chapter folks, possibly an epilogue in the works. For four days I tried and tried to stretch out these meagre few words, and it just seemed to want to end right... there! So, let me know if it works for you. It's been a pleasure sharing something from start to finish.

Cross posted in sickchicks and my regular journal.

Hell Is In the Details – Chapter 21 – For Ever and a Day

Angel, we are now prepared to pass judgment based on the wishes of Spike, of the Order of Slayers. You have become a liability to the cause you were charged with fighting for.

To redress this issue, we will remove your soul!

By binding your soul to your demon, you have grown complacent and fat on the excesses available to you through Wolfram & Hart. You have developed an exaggerated sense of self worth and propriety.

You have lost sight of your mission and failed to maintain contact with the lowest elements of society. You no longer care.

We will remove your soul and its binding magicks, and return it via the original Calderash malediction. Until such time as the soul regains the lessons it’s lost and learns what humanity has to offer, it will remain unbound.

From this moment on, you are cast out from your position at Wolfram & Hart. The Senior Partners have been informed of our judgment against you and access to their resources has been terminated.

Your colleagues have already turned from your side. You will continue to aid the helpless alone, as you once were. We suggest you keep to the path set out before you. The consequences for straying are… severe.

You, Angel of Aurelius, will transport with us to our realm until such time as your soul is newly ensconced in your body.

Our business in this realm is concluded.

With a loud earthshaking rumble, the Tribunal sank back into the earth from which it has arisen, the ground returning to its previous state, while Angel simply… vanished.

Willow was the first to break the silence. “Oh Goddess! Did you see that? I mean, look around – not a pebble out of place. And Angel went poof! Well, not *poof* poof, but they’re really going to remove his soul and curse him again. And, hey! Sorta feeling proprietary here. I mean, I’ve already re-souled him twice, and…”

“That’s my Will.” Xander laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. “When surprised – babble. Nice to see that some things don’t change. However,” he said, turning to Spike, “some do. I gotta say that you and Buffy make a mockery of the term ‘the second coming’.”

“If we don’t want to try for another bout of ‘Who’s the Phoenix’,” said Lorne, pointing towards the lightening sky, “I think we need to head back to my place.”

Looking around like a mother hen searching for her chicks, the green-skinned demon realized someone was missing. “Has anyone seen Wesley since this little confab began? I was sure he’d be here.”

Giles looked distinctly uncomfortable. He didn’t know Gunn or Lorne well, and the prospect of telling them about their friend unsettled him.

“Lorne, is it?” he asked, tapping the Anagogic demon on the shoulder. “I’ve been in touch with Wesley by phone. Quite frankly, he was too embarrassed by missing the signs of Angel’s deterioration, as it were, to face you all. Especially you, Spike.”

Removing his glasses in a time-worn gesture, Giles pinched the bridge of his nose in an attempt to stave off a headache.

“In point of fact, Wesley is the reason we’re here, at all. It was he who found out the lengths the Tribunal would go to in meting out their brand of justice. That they would put you on trial first. And while the world knows I am not your staunchest supporter, I felt I ‘owed you one,’ to borrow a phrase from the children, for my inappropriate actions last year.”

“Oi, Victoria!” Spike’s eyes glittered in the moonlight; hard to tell with amusement or annoyance. “I’d say tryin’ to have me murdered in cold blood was more than inappropriate. But for this - tonight? I’d say we were bloody well even, mate. An’ thanks for coercin’ the kiddies into helping.”

Giles looked momentarily puzzled at Spike’s salutation, before remembering the reference. “Yes, good. Make fun of the silly Watcher who cracked one joke this year. And for your edification, nobody had to be coerced into speaking up for you. Seems as though coming back from the dead after saving the world carries bonus points with it

Gunn, Harmony and Lorne took the lead, talking amongst themselves as they walked back towards Lorne’s place. Buffy kept to the rear of the group, allowing Spike the rarest of things – interaction with the Scoobies as an equal participant.

She watched Spike come to life as Dawn smacked the vampire on the shoulder, then hugged him – making all those little sister faces Buffy had come to recognize over the years; Spike smiled indulgently as Willow nattered on, hands waving about in emphasis of some point or another, but the sight that would stay with her forever was Xander and Spike both trying to lure Giles into a discussion about whether some mutant monster movie had based its demons on actual species.

Except for missing her mom, Buffy’s family was complete. Weird, and not entirely human – but complete.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2004 03:24 pm (UTC)
Until such time as the soul regains the lessons it's lost and learns what humanity has to offer, it will remain unbound.

Aaah. Gotta love it. It took Angel nearly 100 years to grow into his old soul, to get past the remorse and such, and now he has to do it all over again. How fitting!

So, now it's on to more Crazy Eights, right? Huh? Huh?

*grovels on hands and knees...well not hands AND knees, because then I'd just be on all fours. But knees...definitely knees*
May. 20th, 2004 03:27 pm (UTC)
And there's the All Roads Happy Christmas *g*
May. 26th, 2004 08:57 pm (UTC)
Hey Liz... just reread the whole thing... and yes, I do believe the holiday epilogue is what's next on the agenda. Hopefully will do it justice for you. **grins**
May. 26th, 2004 08:52 pm (UTC)
Actually, I just reread All Roads Lead to Rome... think there's just one more chapter to write - the epilogue... then it's on to Crazy Eights. And more of What Dreams May Bring. That just made me feel all smooshy which I needed after Hell.

Hope you decide to read 'em all.
May. 27th, 2004 04:52 am (UTC)
Oh I AM reading them all. And enjoying them all. I read EVERYTHING you write. I'm all stalkerish that way.
(Deleted comment)
May. 26th, 2004 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm sort of sorry to see it come to an end, myself. It's my first completed fic. But yay! Completed. Such mixed feelings. Glad you've enjoyed the ride. Hope you like the epilogue, as well.
May. 20th, 2004 03:40 pm (UTC)
"Final chapter folks, possibly an epilogue in the works. For four days I tried and tried to stretch out these meagre few words, and it just seemed to want to end right... there! So, let me know if it works for you. It's been a pleasure sharing something from start to finish."

Most definately worked for me, wrapped up nice and concisely, Angel got his soul re done which was way over time in coming, self absorbed nit and bonus he's not there as a reminder to Spike for now. Spike got to belong with a family who care. Just wondering about Wes....Ah well you did mention an epilogue?!!

And Angel went poof! Well, not *poof* poof,...


Its been a pleasure reading.....so ::scuffs floor:: what's next?! *g*
May. 26th, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC)
So happy the ending worked for you. As for Wes? He called in his regrets to Giles... couldn't bear to show up after failing to notice Angel's lapses. The epilogue... well... it's there for you. Go read and hopefully enjoy.

As for what's next? Gonna finish All Roads Lead to Rome, then Crazy Eights,,, and definitely more of What Dreams May Bring. Everything is listed in Memories for you!
May. 20th, 2004 03:40 pm (UTC)
Good for you on getting it done!
May. 26th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the pat on the back! Nice to be encouraged.
May. 20th, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC)
Wow. Love.

Sad to see this go, but happy at the end! *g*

I must say, I LOVE the Willow-babble --> the perfect end to a big, scary event!

May. 26th, 2004 09:29 pm (UTC)
**smooches you back** Hope you like the epilogue as well. Personally, I'm just glad I was able to see it through from start to finish in a fairly coherent manner.
May. 21st, 2004 12:33 pm (UTC)
The consequences for straying are… severe.

I love this line . It says to me IOW buddy stray off the straight and narrow one bit and we will SMITE YOUR ASS!
May. 26th, 2004 09:36 pm (UTC)
Hee! Oh yeah... they've got their eyes on Angel. Don't think he's gonna be allowed to get so out of control again. **grins**
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )