Blast From the Past

by Mediancat

Part One: May 17, 1998, Sunnydale, California

The warehouse exploded.

Xander tried repeatedly to enter the burning building, but the heat from the flames was too intense. The Slayerettes had cornered Angel here and trapped him inside, then Giles and Buffy went in to perform the ritual of soul restoring that Ms. Calendar had found, whether Angel liked it or not.

Clearly, he didn’t.

Willow buried her head in her hands and sobbed, “No, no,” while Oz put his arm around her, and Cordelia tackled Xander to stop him from trying another run back into the fire. Then a figure, howling and aflame, burst through an upper window carrying a body. All four rushed to see who it was, hope lighting in their eyes, but the hope faded quickly when the figure turned out to be Angel, carrying Giles’ body. The four advanced on him in a grim rage, crosses and stakes held high, determined to take the price of Buffy’s life out of the vampire’s hide or die trying.

“W-wait,” Angel said weakly, putting Giles’ body on the ground. The Thesulan Orb rolled from his hands. “I’ve got my soul again. I’m Angel.” He sank to his knees. “I killed her!” He shrieks.

“And we’re going to kill you!” Xander said, advancing. Cordelia grabbed him and held him back.

“What if he’s telling the truth?”

“We can’t take the goddamn risk!” Xander snarled. “He’s killed Ms. Calendar, Buffy, and probably Giles, and you want to spare the dead son of a bitch?”

“He brought Giles out,” Willow said.

Angel opened his shirt, exposing his heart. “Go ahead. I deserve it.”

“You’re right,” Xander said and aimed the crossbow. Angel didn’t move. Xander lined up the sights, got ready to fire and … shot.

Angel didn’t flinch, and the bolt buried itself in his shoulder.

“If I ever see you again, I’ll kill you myself, got it, Deadboy? Now get out of here before I change my mind!” Angel walked off slowly. After making certain he was gone, Xander fell to the street and cried. Cordelia hugged him.

Willow rushed to Giles’ side, Oz following a moment after. Willow put her head on Giles’ chest. “He’s breathing, but not hard.”

Oz said, “He needs to get to the hospital, now. Into my van.” Gingerly Oz and Cordelia loaded the unconscious Watcher into the back of Oz’s van while Willow went over to sit next to Xander. On the way, she picked up the Orb.

“She’s gone, Will,” he said.

“Shhh. I know, I know.”

“What do we do now? What will we do without her?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know. What we have to.”

Willow held an inconsolable Xander and both of them sat together, watching the warehouse burn.

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