I've had fragments of this story sitting on my hard drive for months, but I've finally been able to finish it and polish it up. It's my interpretation of one of the most important missing scenes from the Buffyverse... it's the day after the destruction of the Hellmouth in 'Chosen', and Angel gets a phonecall.
1100 words. Characters: Angel, Harmony, Faith. Rated 12 for occasional use of swearwords (but you already knew that, because this story has Faith in it...).
*brrr* *brrr* *brrr* *click*
Wolfram and Hart, Harmony speaking, how can I help you?
Ahem. I said, Wolfram and Hart, Harmony speaking, how can I help you?
Yeah, I heard you. Why the hell are you answering this phone?
You're through to the Chief Executive's office, I'm his assistant. Are you sure you have the right number, Miss - ?
Yeah, I've got the right number. I want to know what the hell you're doing with Angel's phone. 'Cause if this is some sort of trick...
Mr Angel is our CEO, so - oh! You must have called his old number! They had it diverted here when he accepted the job! Wait, I'll put you through...
A woman to speak to you, boss.
Yes, Harmony? and her name is...?
Oops. I forgot to ask. Sorry. Do you want me to - ?
Sigh. No, just put her through.
OK. You want to tell me what the hell is going on?
Who - ? Oh. Faith, it's you. What hap--
So you recognise my voice. That's a start. You under a spell, Angel? Or should I say 'Angelus' again?
What? No, it's me. Angelus is safely gone. There've just been some... changes. But listen, what's --
Changes such as you working for Wolfram and Hart now? With a secretary?
Well yes, but how do you-- ?
Remember? They're the bunch that paid me 15 thou to whack you. And now you're their boss?
Uh - Yes. I have my reasons.
Yeah? Well, they'd better be good ones, 'cause this sounds like some fucked up crazy shit. So spill.
Er, well, I can't actually tell you.
You sure you're not Angelus?
Yes. I'm not him. You were there, Faith, you saw. I'm my own man now.
Your own man. Huh. You're working for this big evil law firm now, but you think you're your own man. Dude, are you nuts? Hell, I ain't exactly got the stellar track record in making great decisions, but even I can tell you're crazy.
I'm not-- I had to do it. Not for myself, for-- for someone else. There was a deal to be made, and I'm willing to pay the price. But now we've discussed my exciting new career opportunities in such detail, will you please tell me what's been happening? I've seen the news from Sunnydale, but--
Oh, that. We won. 'S why I called you in the first place, to tell you. It was a big bloody mess and some of the girls didn't make it, but we won.
Didn't make it--?
Y'know. Died. Shuffled off the mortal. I-- oh! Don't worry, big guy. Buffy's still with us. Seems there's no demon born can take her out. Leastways, not permanently.
She's really OK? Why didn't she call me herself, if--
B's fine. She just didn't want some big emotional scene, yo. Girl's feeling kinda fragile at the moment, is all.
Oh. But she doesn't want to talk to me about it? Bet she's having no problems talking to Spike, though...
Well yeah she is, 'cause that's kinda the point. Spike's dead.
Yeah. Turned all pillar of fire saving the world.
You heard me. Hey, did you know the guy? 'Cause you sound kinda upset.
I - I - well - no! Of course I'm not upset. Specially not if he died sav- if he died helping Buffy to save the world. I should talk to her. I'll drive up to Sunnydale tomorrow night.
Yeah, well, point the first, there ain't no Sunnydale any more, just a huge-ass crater. And point the second, you've not been listening, dude. B don't want to talk right now. Not to you, not to me, not to anyone.
So you're her errand girl now, are you, Faith?
Hey, just my good deed for the day, now I'm all redemption-y and stuff. Speaking of, how'd your apocalypse go? Did you find out what the deal with that Beast dude was all about?
Yes, we, uh - sorted it all out.
No 'and'. We had a problem, we dealt with it. We don't need any flashy pillars of fire to save the world here...
Uh-huh... Listen, I gotta go. I - oh damn it. Angel, you sound kinda cut up. You need anything? I could swing down to LA, maybe come see you? You know-- damn, I'm crap at this. We could talk or something?
Faith, I appreciate the offer. Really. But what I'm doing here... honestly, it's probably best if you stay away. All of you. Don't get mixed up in this.
That sounds kinda ominous. I thought you said you hadn't turned evil again?
I'm not evil. But what I'm doing here, in order to do good... I might need to get my hands dirty first. Make compromises along the way. You know how it goes. But Buffy-- I doubt she'll see it that way.
Damn straight she won't. I think you're playing with fire myself, but it's your life. Unlife. Whatever. But when B hears about this, you'll be lucky if she don't turn up at your doorstep one bright sunny morning with a stake.
You're going to tell her?
Hey, she's gonna find out sooner or later, might as well be from me. I'll try and convince her you've got your own good reasons, but I'm not sure she's gonna listen to me. She ain't in a real conversational mood right now, like I said. Fact is, it's Mope City around here right now; I'm thinking of blowing the place myself. I ain't big with the whole shared-emotions group-hug shoulder-crying thing.
I remember. But are you sure you should be going off on your own? It's not--
I ain't. Don't know quite how it happened, but I seem to have gotten myself an actual boyfriend. Or something, anyway. Not quite sure how this works or even if it's gonna, but I figure I may as well give it a shot. Guy's crazy enough to want to hang with me, we might actually have something in common. And it's not like there's anything here for me, is there? A gal can't wait around forever...
I-- I'm happy for you. Congratulations. Do you know where you'll go?
Wherever. Supposed to be a Hellmouth over in Cleveland; we might see if there's any fun going on over that way. Hey, if you don't want me coming down to LA, maybe I'll see you there sometime?
Maybe you will. Thanks for calling, Faith.
Sure. Be good, dude.