Title: Sacrificial Love
Spoilers?: Becoming Part. 1 & 2, Passion...lots more...
Synopsis: On the night of Buffy's 17th birthday, Buffy is sleeping peacefully in Angel's arms...until the spiritof a Slayer, Eva O'Connor, visits her with a
gift. She is shown the events to come, with Angellosing his soul...and then is given the chance to later it, but going back in time to make sureAngel/Liam is never sired by Darla...what will Buffy choose?
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Buffy sighed with content in Angel's arms. She couldn't feel him breathing, but she knew he slept peacefully.
Life couldn't get anymore perfect than this. True, her lover was a vampire...but he was who he was, and she loved him for it. Rain slowly began dropping outside his apartment, and though she wanted to stay awake to bask in her happiness, the lull of sleep beckoned to her. Draping her arm loosly across his chest, Buffy smiled softly before giving in to rest.
Seconds later, Buffy's eyes shot open. Her slayer instincts warned her of another presence in the room. She sat up quickly, her eyes scanning the darkened apartment. Beside her, Angel still slept. She quickly reached over and pulled on his shirt, softly crawling out of bed, as not to wake him.
She slowly moved through the room, prepared for any creature or intruder who may be there.
"Who's here?" she asked quietly but firm. Her next words caught in her throat as a young woman stepped in front of her. She seemed to appear from nowhere, and a soft illuminous light surrounded her form.
"Who are you and what do you want?" Buffy questioned, her arms raised, her fists clenched.
The young woman smiled in greeting. "I come here with no harm intended." she assured Buffy, gesturing for Buffy to lower her arms. "I've come here, Buffy
Summers, to give you an extraordinary gift."
"Wow, you shouldn't have," Buffy shot back sarcastically. "Now who are you?"
"You may know me...you may not. But he does." she told her, gesturing with her head to Angel, who still lay sleeping in his bed.
Buffy glanced at Angel, then back towards the woman curiously. "Angel? I don't understand..."
The woman nodded, "I'm Eva O'Connor...one of your ancestors..."
"Sorry, there's no Irish in my bloodline." Buffy said, getting more agitated by the second.
And yet the woman remained patient. "I, too, had a sacred birth right."
"You were a Slayer..." Buffy interrupted, finally realizing.
"I was...in 1758...I killed many demons and vampires in my day, until I met him." she said softly, once again nodding towards Angel.
Buffy said nothing, but silently urged the former Slayer to continue.
"Angelus was the worst. He found pleasure in my death. He made it slow...and torturous."
"Angel...killed a Slayer?" Buffy asked, hurt filling her eyes. "He never told me..."
"Of course he wouldn't," Eva said matter-of-factly, "He loves you...he would say nothing to hurt you. He is no longer the monster he was...for now."
"For now? What do you mean?" panic began to rise inside Buffy.
"I have come here to offer you a gift, Buffy. A chance to glimpse into your future...and change the past."
Buffy shook her head quickly. "I don't understand...what gift? What is this about?"
Eva slowly leaned down and took Buffy's hand in hers. She was so warm, Buffy realized, looking up into the young girl's peaceful face.
"I know this is sudden, and hard to comprehend," Eva told her as she and Buffy began walking towards the door, "but you must accept this...to save your life...and Angel's."
This quieted Buffy. "I would do anything to make sure he's safe." she informed the ghost.
Nodding in understanding, Eva gestured her hand high, opening the door the the apartment. Rain flew inside at Buffy's feet. She took one last look at her sleeping lover before walking out into the dark night with her ghostly visitor.
Buffy braced herself against the rain as they stepped through the door into the...day? Confusion filled Buffy, as well as concern, when she noticed the rain had stopped, and dusk was approaching. Her Slayer instincts put her on alarm when she noticed the blonde woman, lying face down on the ground, two holes penetrating her neck.
Quickly, Buffy looked behind her, startled to see Angel's apartment had vanished. She turned questioningly to Eva, who said nothing but continued to lead Buffy through the streets of Sunnydale.
"What's going on?" she asked , wondering why a tiny part of her feared Eva, and the purpose of this journey. Within a few seconds, they were standing on a balcony, inside a dark, damp warehouse. Knowing she would probably get no answers from Eva, Buffy peered over the side. Her eyes widened when she saw Spike, Drusilla, the Judge...and Angel!
She started to call out to him, when Eva lifted her hand to silence her.
"What are you doing?" she hissed, "We have to save him! That blue smurfy thing could kill him."
Eva turned to look at Buffy with sad eyes. "Watch the scene before you."
Below, she could hear Angel taunting Spike...and watched in horror as the Judge placed his hand on Angel's chest.
"No!" she cried, ready to jump over the railing to save her lover. Eva softly took her arm to hold her in place, nodding again towards the four below.
"This one... cannot be burnt. He is clean." the Judge announced, removing his hand from Angel's chest.
A look of realization hit Spike's face as he glanced at Dru before studying Angel. "Clean? You mean, he's..."
The Judge began to move away. "There's no humanity in him."
Buffy's mouth opened in shock, the truth finally hitting her. Angel smiled coldly below. "I couldn't have said it better myself...."
Sick to her stomach, Buffy watched Dru smile happily as Angel announced he was back. Weak and suddenly tired, Buffy leaned on the railing for support. Eva waved her hand once more, and Buffy found herself standing in the hallways of Sunnydale High.
"He's...Angelus..." she didn't have to ask, she could see it in his eyes, in his smile. His soul was gone.
"The night of happiness you shared was forbidden to Angel. It cost him his soul and he was restored to the monster he once was..." Eva explained, oddly detached from emotion. Buffy shook her head in disbelief....
"There has to be a part of him that is still good...there has to be some way to bring him back!" Desperate, she took Eva by the arms. "Tell me I can fix this!"
"You can...but..." Eva was interrupted by two students running into the deserted hallway. Buffy whipped her head around to see Xander and Willow walking slowly towards the library...they were speaking quietly. She opened her mouth to call out to them when the lights flickered out, she couldn't speak as a dark figure walked past her, stopping in the shadows.
She watched as Angel told Xander to get the others, than beckoning to Willow to approach him.
"What is it, Angel?" Willow asked cautiously, taking small steps towards him. In the dark Buffy could see Angel...in full vamp mode. Fear struck her.
"No! Willow, run away!" she screamed, once again, held back by Eva's soft but strong grasp.
"You cannot save them...they cannot hear you!" Eva explained in a hurry, pushing Buffy back against a wall. Relief swam through her as she watched Jenny appear, holding a cross.
She watched irritation cross Angelus' face as Jenny quietly informed Willow to walk away from him. When Willow turned her back, Angelus reached out, pulling her to him violently. Buffy tried to move towards them again as Willow yelped in pain.
"Don't do that!" Xander yelled, running back into the room.
Angelus grabbed Willow's next. "Oh, I think I do that."
"He's not Angel anymore. Are you?" Jenny asked, still unbelievably calm.
Buffy felt tears behind her eyes, she couldn't believe what was going on. Everything was falling apart so fast. She caught her breath when she saw herself standing behind Angelus.
" Why don't you give it to me yourself?" the other Buffy asked quietly. Angelus turned
Angelus spins around with Willow to face her. "Well, it's not really the kind of message you tell. It sort of involves finding the bodies of all your friends."
Buffy closed her eyes against Willow's shriek of pain. She listened to the other Buffy trying to rationalize with Angel.
"This can't be you." the other Buffy told him, desperation filling her voice. Angelus smirked. "Gee, we already covered that subject."
"Angel, there must be some part of you inside that still remembers who you are." the other Buffy pleaded. Buffy watched the scene sadly...she didn't want this to happen. She had to think of someway to stop it.
She snapped back to the happenings around her when she noticed Xander shove a cross in Angelus' face. Angelus shoved Willow against Xander and they both tumbled to the floor. A tear spilled over Buffy's eye as she watched Angelus grab Buffy roughly by the shoulders, kiss her, then throw her hard against the floor.
She panicked as the school walls dissolved around her, and they stood in the cemetary. Buffy was so distraught, she had almost forgotten she was with Eva. Anger dripped from her voice. "What is going on? How can I stop this?"
Eva began to walk through the cemetary, her long skirt dragging behind across many tombstones and flowers.
"You walk here at night...you hunt...you slay." Eva said when Buffy caught up to her.
"Yeah, so what? Why won't you answer any of my questions! This is nothing to ignore, I need to know anything you can tell me." Buffy said through gritted teeth.
Eva stopped suddenly, turning to Buffy. "You 'patrol'...through these graves of death. But have you ever known anyone who occupied them?"
"Of course...there are a few students...the ones I couldn't save." Buffy replied bitterly, still not sure what Eva was talking about.
Eva shook her head, "But have you ever *known* anyone...close to you?"
Buffy paused. "No...I hope I never have to bury anyone I love."
Eva said nothing, instead she clasped her hands together and looked below, at the headstone they had stopped in front of.
Swallowing, Buffy slowly followed her gaze, her heart dropping when she read the name. Jennifer Calendar.
"No! Ms.Calendar? Why?" she whispered, shock flowing through her.
"She knew more than you know...if the past is not altered, you will find out all. But she wanted to help you...to make it right. She attempted to restore Angel's soul...but he found out before she could succeed."
"He killed her..." Buffy realized softly, dropping softly to her knees. Oh God...how would Giles take this? The pain...he hadn't dealt with heartbreak like this...that she knew of. This wasn't Angel...this wasn't the man she loved. It was odd...she had never even imagined that Angel could actually lose his soul. To her, it just wasn't possible.
Eva let Buffy grieve for her loss before continuing. "There are more."
Buffy snapped her head up, quickly standing. "More? I won't let it happen."
"Your friend Kendra...she would be killed by the one they call Drusilla." Eva explained, noticing the continuing surprise in the Slayer's eyes.
"Kendra? She's not here....how could she die?" Tears finally made their way down Buffy's cheeks. "I can't deal with this! None of this is real, I'll know now, who to protect...there will be NO death!"
Eva shook her head once more. "Sadly, these events cannot be undone. If you do not change the past, you will not know of things to come when you return to his bed. But they will happen. This woman, and your friend...more will die...some tortured. And Angelus will work to bring Hell on Earth...and you will have to sacrifice much to survive."
"But I'm the Slayer, I can stop him...his soul can be restored! Jenny tried...it can be done." Buffy pleaded.
"You will fail." Eva told her, sighing. "But it is up to you....there *is* something you can do to alter these events, to change the past so more will live."
Buffy wiped away the tears on her cheeks impatiently before she looked up at Eva, determined. "Tell me what I need to do."