The End
Marie - December 18 2001

Somewhere in LA....

He stood in the centre of the dark street, and looked up at the heavens. As he stared, the clouds rolled away from the bright moon, but the light he was suddenly bathed in wasn't the pale glow of moonlight, it was a strange, soft, iridescent green, and he held up his arms in wonder.

"Is this.... Shanshu?" he said, hesitantly.

The voice that answered from the darkness wasn't one he recognised.

"You have served us well, my son. Go, now, and live your human life in peace."

As the lights faded, he stood in the silence and heard the beat of his heart.

Sunnydale, two days later...

Looking up at the house, he smiled to himself as he felt his heartbeat accelerate. At last, he thought, at last. It was a Norman Rockwell house, white picket fence and all, and he climbed the three steps to the porch and knocked on the door.

It seemed an age before anyone answered, but finally the door opened. A girl stood there, looking at him questioningly. "Yes?" she said.

"Er, Buffy?" he replied.

"Oh, are you-"

"Yes. Is she here?"

"Sure," she said and, holding the door wide, beckoned him in. "Through there," she said, pointing at a door to the left of the narrow hallway. Smiling at him, she grabbed a coat from a hall closet. "See you later," she called out, and left.

He looked at the door. My love, he thought, and closed his eyes. It's been so long. Stretching out a hand, he pushed the door open.

There were two people in the room, and the one crouching turned and looked up as the door opened. When he saw who it was, Spike stood and walked towards him. Shoving a half-empty bowl at Angel, he growled "About bleedin' time you got 'ere. What kept you?" As Angel opened his mouth to reply, he added "Oh, never mind! She's all yours. I'm off!"

As he watched the blond vampire walk out, he heard a mumbled sound and turned to look at the room's other occupant. She sat in an easy chair, her white hair straggly, looking at nothing with once-lovely eyes rheumy and faded.

"Buffy?" Angel whispered, and stared as her toothless mouth mumbled his name.

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