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[personal profile] last01standing
Title- The Fallen
Rating- pg-13 (violence)
(other story info on chapter one)

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Eight-Blindsided

Cordelia was staring at Oz in shock. “You just had a vision,” she accused. “Why do you have my visions?”

Doyle who had been watching the scene in muted shock, came to life. “Your visions, Princess? When did you ever have visions?”

Cordelia’s attention turned to the Irishman, age old irritation bubbling to the surface. “Since you kissed me and got yourself incinerated!”

“I did what now?” Doyle asked, confused.

“You only kissed me to give me the visions!”

“Princess, calm down. I think this is one of those private conversations that might be better off, you know, private.”

Cordelia glared at him.

“Well if you want to be that way, should I be asking exactly how Oz got the visions.” His eyes sparkled with good humor and Cordelia couldn’t help but smile back.

Oz gave a small moan and tried to pull himself up to a sitting position. Willow, paralyzed with fear, watched him. “Are you OK?”

Oz glanced in her direction eyes softening for just a second. “Fine.”

Fred gave a small squeak. “You had a vision! I’ve got to go find Angel.” She could hardly contain her delight. For months now, she was sure that the powers had given up on him, but it seemed that they hadn’t.

Oz laboriously pushed himself up, swaying slightly on his feet. “I’m coming.”

Kate raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Can you even walk?”

It turned out that Oz was stronger than she gave him credit for, he took a few shaky steps before looking at Fred who shrugged. “Follow me.”

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A curly haired blonde stretched luxuriously on the couch of the high price apartment. “Now that’s better.”

“About time,” sniffed Eve from the doorway. “I was wondering if you were even going to surface.”

“Girly,” Glory said, examining her nails. “I don’t know who you are, but if you expect to be alive for another minute, I suggest you get yourself far away from here.”

To her surprise, Eve did not move. “My name is Eve.” Glory made a threatening step towards her. “I’m from Wolfram and Hart. Liaison to the senior partners.”

The name held such power that it stopped Glory in her tracks. “What was old Benji doing with the likes of you. Here I thought he still enjoyed pretending he was one of the good guys.”

“We picked him up,” Eve explained easily. “You see we’ve got plans—big plans. Plans involving you.”

“Are you going to tell me these big plans or just stand there yammering about them?”

“I hear you and the slayer have some background.”

“Stupid bitch wouldn’t give me my key.”

Eve took a step forward and grinned. “How would you like the chance to get even?”

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“Buffy, I’m sorry. I don’t like it any more than you do.”

“Angel you work here. For lawyers. And here I thought you running a detective agency was weird.”

She was sitting on his leather couch, and he had deliberately positioned himself behind his desk. For some reason the space seemed essential. He was uncomfortably aware of the fact that there was a stake in her pocket. Angel sighed. “This place—they try to trap you. Give you what you want most.”

Buffy felt the anger subside a little. “What did they offer you, Angel?”

There was a time when he would have told her everything, but at that moment, he looked her square in the eyes and knew that he couldn’t do that anymore. “Buffy,” he began, but the door to his office burst open and Fred stumbled in, followed closely by a haggard looking Oz.

Buffy stood up. “What happened.”

Angel already knew. He’d seen the look on Oz’s face before. Seen it on Doyle’s face, seen it on Cordelia’s face. “You had a vision.”

Oz nodded slightly, looking like he was ready to collapse. Angel stared at him expectantly.

“There’s going to be an attack,” he said, closing his eyes as if to try to recreate the images. “By the docks maybe.”

“Who’s going to be attacked?” Buffy asked quickly, “What’s attacking them?”

“There’s a lady,” Oz told them, eyes shut. “Curly blonde hair, way too powerful for her own good. I’ve never seen her before. The victims. I think their last name’s Gunn. And I think I saw Jesse. I don’t know.” He opened his eyes and Angel was shocked to see barely concealed pain in the normally stoic werewolf. “It’s going to happen tonight..”

Angel put a hand on Oz’s shoulder and steadied him. “We’ll stop this.”

And then Fred raised a tentative hand. “Gunn has a sister?”

“Yeah,” Angel said, moving to his desk looking for a sheet. “But she’s dead.”

“Then how can,” Fred began and then stopped, “oh.”

Angel nodded and turned to Buffy. “Go with Fred and get everyone. Especially anyone who can hold their own in a fight. Keep Jesse out of this though. I don’t want anyone getting hurt.” Buffy and Fred nodded, leaving the room and Angel turned to Oz. “You’re going to tell me exactly who you saw doing this.”

Oz swallowed and started to explain.

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Spike set out for the bar as soon as the sun went down. Granted, he hadn’t returned to Wolfram and Hart the last evening for fear of running into Buffy. Which when he thought about it logically was stupid because he was sure (fairly sure at least) that Buffy would be happy to see him, or at the very least glad that he wasn’t dead.

But he couldn’t bring himself to go see her. Something about the impending confrontation made him incredibly nervous. Strike that, it made him bloody terrified. Even when he and Buffy were on fairly good terms, they weren’t exactly friendly.

He took a sip of his whiskey and wondered when exactly he’d become this much of a wanker.

He blamed the soul but that was only because he couldn’t bring himself to blame her. He sighed and finished off his drink, rooting through his pocket for some money for the next one. But before he could order, someone placed a fresh drink on the table in front of him. He looked up to see a man, with longish brown hair and bright blue eyes staring at him. As the man smirked at him, Spike pushed the offered drink away. “Be a good lad and push off.” He placed his own money on the table, attempting to concentrate on the pole dancer in front of him. The man didn’t leave and his gaze soon began to make him uncomfortable. “What are you gawking at?”

The man shrugged. “A guy like you, whiling away his time in some cheesy downtown strip dive. Look like somebody who's feeling kinda lost.”

“Is that right?” Spike snorted. “Funny, thought I knew exactly where I was.” He pointed at the sign over the stage. “Place called the Peppermint Stick.” He jerked his finger in the direction of the pole dancer. “Prima ballerina up there's Sunshine. Though I'm fairly certain that's not her real name.”

The stranger shifted uncomfortably. “You know... we really should talk.”

Spike sighed. “You know? Really not.” He stood up and fixed one of his glares on the man. “I don't know what you're selling, but best you peddle your wares someplace else if you know what's good for you.” He turned to walk away.

“Hey, Spike.” He abruptly stopped walking. He’d never told the man his name. “Get any interesting mail lately?”

Spike turned around slowly. “Who the bloody hell are you?”

The man sat at the table where he had sat only moments before and gave him an irritating smile. “Your new best friend.”

“You!” Spike said, realization dawning on him. “You say you're responsible for me being back?” Seized by a fit of inexplicable rage, he stalked over to the man who was grinning smugly at him. “You sent that package with the de-ghosting mojo.”

“And?” the man prompted.

Something clicked. “The amulet,” He said slowly as the man nodded. “You mailed that thing to Wolfram & Hart.”

“Hey, couldn't leave your spirit trapped in a bauble at the bottom of a hellmouth, could we?”

You should have, thought Spike, but aloud he asked, “And who's ‘we’?”

“Come on, Spike. You must know there's a lot of folks out there that are interested in you.” He took a casual sip of his drink. “Powerfully interested, one might say…”

Spike grabbed the man by the wrist, knocking the glass to the floor. “Enough with the cryptic, butch. I want to know who...” He noticed an odd pattern of tattoos on his forearm. “...or what you are... what you want, and how fast I can snap your forearm before you answer.”

“You can call me Doyle,” the man said, holding his gaze. And for just a second, an inexplicable picture of a skinny dark haired Irishman floated to Spike’s consciousness… “But it's not what I want... it's what you want.” Spike let go of the man’s arm half figuring that he wasn’t worth it. Doyle grunted softly, “You got your life back now. What are you gonna do about it?”

Spike wondered why he didn’t just leave.

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Oz surveyed the sketch, nodding. “That’s her.”

Angel looked at his drawing. It was of a curly haired lady, dyed blonde, wide-set eyes, full lips. “Have you ever seen her before.”

“Asides from the vision?” Oz asked, “Never.”

Angel immediately berated himself for the stupid question. Oz had always been short on words but he wasn’t one to hold out important information. “I’ll go run this by Buffy. She might have seen her somewhere. “Vampire?”

“Stronger,” Oz replied with conviction although his voice sounded tired.

A thought occurred to him. “When’s the last time you’ve had any sleep?”

Oz glared at him. “I’m coming.”


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“I’ve heard enough,” Spike said, turning to walk towards the exit.

Doyle followed him talking insistently, “Don't you even want to know why you came back to L.A.? You hate this city. There's gotta be a reason, right?”

“You talk a lot for somebody saying nothing.”

In frustration, Doyle put a hand on Spike’s shoulder to stop him. “You've got a destiny…”

Spike turned, and in one smooth motion had Doyle pinned to the wall by his throat. “Look I don’t know who you are but I’m not interested. My destiny ended with Sunnydale.”

He let Doyle go. Not feeling the slightest bit of guilt as the man gasped for breath. “I'm just doing what they tell me.” He muttered, stumbling away from the wall.

“They?”

Doyle pointed skywards “They!” He jerked his finger downwards “Them! The ones that brought you back. I don’t know who they are.” He made a wide helpless gesture. “Look, I'm just a guy. I'm nobody. A drifter. I was minding my own business, and then one day… Wham! I start having these visions.”

“Visions?” Spike asked despite himself.

“Yeah,” Doyle said softly, “like brain pictures, but they hurt. Like when you eat ice cream too fast. You start seeing people in trouble...” He lifted his gaze off the floor and fixed it on Spike “...who need a champion.”

“Hey, you are barking up the wrong vampire. That's Angel's beat.”

“Angel's not in the picture anymore. All right?” Doyle said frantically. “He's working the other side of the tracks. He’s got to get himself in deeper than is good for him. Wolfram and Hart sucks the life out of you. Nobody is out there helping the people that really need help. “

“What,” spat Spike sarcastically, “so I'm supposed to jump every time you get a vision of someone in dire peril?”

“Why do you think we're having this conversation? I had one right before I came here. You don't have to believe me, but if a young girl gets murdered tonight and you didn't lift a finger to stop it, ask yourself... can you live with that?”

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Buffy smiled and twirled her sword. “I’m liking these weapons.” She grinned at Angel who had just entered the room. “Where’d you come up with this stuff.”
“I get around,” Angel said, staring at her. “I’ve got a picture. Thought you might know what we’re up against.”

Buffy accepted the sketch, face paling when she saw the face in the drawing. “But this is Glory.”

“Glory?” Angel repeated, “She’s…”

Buffy cut him off. “She’s the one who killed me.”

A memory stirred in the back of his head, Spike trying to convince him to have someone killed.

“This isn’t about my bloody conscious. This is about the ticking time bomb whose life your people are saving.”

Angel swallowed. “We should get going.”

Buffy stared at the sketch for a long moment. “Yeah. We should.”


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“How’s it going Bam-Bam.”

Oz only dimly registered Doyle’s voice, his lips quirked on their own accord. “Bam-Bam?”

“You don’t remember that, huh?” Doyle said sitting down next to him. “Honestly I don’t really either. It’s just one of those things Cordy’ll never let me forget.”

“You were drunk,” Oz said distantly.

“It happens,” Doyle admitted. “I could go for a drink about now. I always get the feeling that I’m marching into doomsday.”

“Yeah?” Oz asked.

“So what did you do? How’d you get dragged into this?”

“Into what?”

“The vision guy role,” Doyle clarified. “It’s a punishment for most. Atonement and all that. These visions aren’t a coincidence. What did you do?”

Visions of Veruca danced in Oz’s head followed immediately by thoughts of Tara. Tara who he used to dream of killing almost every night. The dreams had subsided, but all the guilt was still there. He stared at Doyle. “I made a mistake.”

Doyle stared back a him, eyes just as haunted. “Me too.”

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Gunn had tailed her to the docks, getting short glimpses of curly brown hair all day.
His sister. He couldn’t quite believe that his sister was alive. It was like he was dreaming. He cleared his throat. “Alonna?”

All was silent save the water gently lapping up against the docks.

“Alonna! I know you’re here!”

The silence was deafening, twilight slipping unseen into the dark of night.

Gunn turned around slowly trying to get another glimpse of her. “Alonna!” he shouted again, “are you he…”

He was cut off as something slammed into his back. “Wha…?”

His head was slammed roughly into the pavement. A familiar voice hissed in his ear, “Who are you! Why have you been following me!”

“Alonna?” Gunn choked as his vision doubled.

She twisted his left arm back and screamed, “How do you know my name!”

“Alonna, it’s me,” he said, grimacing. “It’s Gunn.”

His head slammed into the pavement again and he felt the sticky red blood start to slid down his face. “I know my brother. And he don’t dress like no hotshot lawyer off to scam on the little man.”

“Alonna,” he pleaded.

Frustrated, she rolled him over to get a look at his face.

And for the first time in years, Gunn stared his younger sister straight in the face. Not knowing what else to do, he started to laugh. “Damn girl, you pack a real punch. Remind me to never get on your bad side.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh God. Gunn. I’m sorry.” She helped him get to his feet. “Are you OK? I thought you were…”

“I’m fine,” Gunn said grinning. “I’m just glad to see you.” He pulled his sister into a fierce hug.

“Aww,” said a new voice from somewhere above them, “How sweet.” The figure jumped down from the rooftop where she’d been standing. “Don’t you just love happy endings.” She grinned. “Personally, I think they’re overrated


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Angel felt like he was back with the Scoobies. Marching into battle with Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, Tara and Oz made him feel uncomfortable. Made him feel like he was the outsider again. But this was his city. This was supposed to be his mission, but with the notable exceptions of only Kate and Doyle, he was surrounded by the self-proclaimed Scooby gang.

Wesley had accompanied Giles and Mrs. Calendar back to the Hyperion in order to research some prophesy. They’d, at Buffy’s insistence taken Dawn, Andrew and Jesse along as well. Lorne had, as always, sidestepped any mention of possible violence and Fred said she needed to recheck the lab reports in case she’d missed something. Doyle on the other hand had grinned and proclaimed himself combat ready.

He heard voices floating over the still night air, recognized one of them. “Gunn.”

Doyle looked up at him. “The docks are about two blocks up.”

They heard a crash and Angel started to run.

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Spike threw the vampire into the splintered remains of the wooden porch at the end of the alley and watched with detachment as it exploded into dust.
The vampire’s victim stood up shakily behind him. “Thank you! Thank you! That thing was gonna kill me! “

Spike turned on her. “Well, what do you expect? Out alone in this neighborhood? I got half a mind to kill you myself, you half-wit.”

The girl stepped back, shocked. “What!”

Spike ignored her comment and continued, “I mean, honestly, what kind of retard wears heels like that in a dark alley? Take two steps, break your bloody ankle.”

“I was just trying to get home,” the girl said defensively.

Spike pushed her towards the lit street, “Well, get a cab, you moron.” As she walked away he added, “And on the way, if a stranger offers you candy, don't get in the van!” he rolled his eyes and muttered, “Stupid cow.”

“Believe me now?” Doyle’s voice came from his position on a fire-escape

“What, your victim vision?” Spike snorted, “Please. Can't throw a bloody stone in this town without hitting some bimbo in trouble.”

Doyle walked down the fire escape towards him, “Tough guy, huh? Nice work, by the way, takin' out that vamp.”

“Oh, yeah,” Spike said dryly. “Epic battle. My finest hour.”

Doyle looked at him earnestly. “You just saved a girl's life. It's nothing to laugh off. Though you could try being a little nicer next time. You almost made her cry.”

“Next time?”

Doyle shrugged. “Well, that's up to you. A lot more people need saving.”

“News flash, sparky: Don't need your help. Been saving people long before you showed up.”

“Not like this.” Doyle shook his head. “You just helped a person when there wasn't anything in it for you. That's not like the Spike I know.”

“Oh, is that right?” There was a dangerous edge to his voice, “And what Spike is that?”

“The Spike that's only out for himself,” Doyle replied, seemingly unaware that he was playing with fire. “The one who does good deeds to impress...women.”

Spike turned, angrily. “You'd best watch your…”

“I'm just sayin'. You did good. From what I hear Angel didn't save the girl on his first mission.”

“What's Angel got to do with this?”

“Nothin’,” Doyle said slowly. “Not anymore.”

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Angel rounded the corner only to see Gunn’s body smash into the wall of a nearby building and slumped down. A girl’s shrill scream reached his ears.

Buffy was a half step behind him, but she seemed to freeze at the sight. “Glory.”

The attacker turned around. “Slayer! Long time no see.”

Doyle hissed in his ear, “She doesn’t smell right.”

Angel had noticed that himself. She looked human, but everything about her scent screamed that she wasn’t. She definitely wasn’t a vampire. Nor did she have sharp demon undertone that characterized the half human like Doyle or Oz.

Somewhere behind him, he heard the sound of a crossbow’s slow loading. And a second later the bolt whizzed past his ear.

Glory caught it easily, and looked at it in distaste. “A cross bow? Slayer, your friends are digressing in intelligence.”

Angel already knew the next move. He’d heard Kate slip out her gun. He grabbed her by the wrist. “Now’s not the time.”

“Well you going to stand there all day or are we going to fight.”

Angel held his breath as he saw Alonna creeping up behind Glory, armed with a trashcan lid. She pulled back to hit her, buy Glory whirled around and grabbed her by the throat. “Now just what do you think you’re doing.”

Gunn saw Glory with his sister and rose with a roar.

And the calm was over.

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Giles had a headache. It was not from hours of obsessing over a prophesy, but rather from the bloody infernal racket coming from the hotel room adjacent to the one he was working in.
He believed it was called “Backstreet Boys.”

Telling them to stop wouldn’t help. He’d tried it many times before, but had eventually given up.

He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes before returning to the prophesy. “That’s strange.”

“What is?” Ms. Calendar asked hopefully, “And please say we’ve started making some sort of forward motion.”

“Not really,” Giles said, “it’s just. I haven’t ever read anything quite like it. If my translation is correct. The prefix reads ‘an apocalypse’.”

“So this guy was a bit non-descript,” Ms. Calendar said dismissively.

Wesley looked over Giles’s shoulder curiously. “As a rule, none of these prophets really knew any of the other’s works. This of course resulted in thousands of prophesies all claiming that this was how the world would end. It’s quite fascinating really. It also implies that the prophesy does not had a set timeframe, but rather occurs whenever conditions are correct.”

Ms. Calendar rolled her eyes. “And I used to think you swallowed textbooks, Rupert.”

Wesley ignored her. “It seems to say something about the time of imbalance. Which I can assume means…”

“Of course,” Giles interrupted suddenly. “It’s the slayer spell.” When Wesley’s attention snapped towards him he felt obliged to explain, “Willow cast a spell that endowed all the potential slayers with the powers of a full slayer. It was the only way to even come close to defeating the First.”

“The First Evil cannot be defeated!” Wesley exploded angrily, “It’s part of how everything has always been. There is good, and there is evil. There’s a balance. There is evil, yes, but a certain amount of it is necessary.” Wesley glared at him. “Thanks to your carelessness, the way has been paved for what could possibly be the most cataclysmic apocalypses of all history.”

There was a crash from outside, interrupting Wesley’s rant and Giles stood up and opened the door to the room. “Andrew! Dawn! For God’s sake keep it down in there.”

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“You know I don’t get you humans,” snarled Glory, “always picking fights you have no chance of winning.” She turned easily and threw Kate into a wall and Oz couldn’t help but see her point. He doubted that any of them had gotten a decent hit at her. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t even sure she had moved. As far as he could tell, it was only Willow and Tara who’d escaped the majority of the physical damage, but even their spells seemed to do little to slow Glory. Oz nearly froze with the sudden knowledge that they weren’t going to beat her. This wasn’t like the mayor when he’d believed, despite everything that they’d had an outside chance at winning the fight. They’d had a plan. But here there was no plan, just all out chaos. A handful of stubborn individuals who either had death wishes or who didn’t know a losing battle when they saw one. They weren’t the Scoobies any more. The lack of teamwork in their attack was painfully obvious he wondered when they’d stopped being a team…

He heard Buffy’s voice, “What are you doing here Glory. You do remember last time. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for me to go find my trusty troll hammer.”

Glory suddenly began to laugh and this time, everything did stop. Willow and Tara stood side by side, lips frozen in some spell. Cordelia and Doyle were huddled together in the corner, both seemingly holding the other up. The brother and sister from his vision were on the other side of the docks. He had fallen into step behind Angel like it was the most natural thing in the world, Kate a foot or so to his right. Only Buffy stood alone.

“This isn’t about you,” Glory’s voice cut through the air like a knife. “I could kill any one of you right now, but I’m not going to. I’d rather see you fail. The world’s going to end.” She smiled. “And none of you can do a thing to stop it. Slayer.” She leaned in towards Buffy, who, to her credit didn’t flinch. “It’s never been about you.” Glory flashed her another smile. “Catch you later.”

Buffy’s eyes widened in realization. “Dawn.”

And after she’d seen the slayer and her companions rush off to the Hyperion, Glory crouched in the shadows and smiled. “Good guess.”

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Jesse felt like he was back in high school. All the cool kids got to go fight the bad guys and save the world. Not that anyone he had known in high school had saved the world on a regular basis. And it’s not like he could actual fight. His high school career mainly consisted of bloody noses so he really didn’t blame them for leaving him behind. It wasn’t like he had a death wish.

The glass window to the lobby of the Hyperion exploded inwards, jarring him roughly back into the world of the living and he sat up from the couch to see what was happening. He caught a glimpse of distorted features and a pale white face. He sank back down, praying he hadn’t been seen.

The voice of his murderer drifted to his ear. “Isn’t anyone going to come out to play?”

From upstairs he heard Giles shout, “Andrew! Dawn! For God’s sake keep it down in there!”

In response, the music from the room grew even louder.

Jesse struggled to calm his erratic breathing; Looking for something, anything he could use as a weapon, trying desperately not to remember the last time he saw that vampire. Because the last time. He didn’t make it out alive.

The Master stood in the doorway, drawing himself up to full height as Jesse quaked behind the sofa.

Softly, very softly the Master said, “I know you’re here.”

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