"The Bright Side..."



PG-13



Major spoiler-Flee at Once if you haven't heard the grim news!!...























































Summary: I give various members of the Buf-Angel gang a happy ending...Sorta...







Giles emerges from the new Council office, to the group awaiting him in the hall...Buffy and William, Angel and Harmony, Xander with a smiling Dru beside him...Dawn looking a bit frowningly at William, from a wheelchair ...Andrew next to her...Willow and Kennedy, Fred and Wes off to the side a bit congratulating their friends...A final triumph won, at least for those formerly cursed by Evil...

William coughs violently into a handkerchief, Buffy watching him a bit anxiously...He quickly folding it and putting in his suit pocket...She is also in a wheelchair, and trembles slightly...Involuntarily...He pats her...Nothing to be concerned about on this happy day, pet...Nothing...

She eyes him, but smiles and nods back...Nothing...

Angel shaking a bit as Harmony looks at him...Likewise a bit anxious...

"He's evil...Spike..." Dawn hisses to Andrew... "No, Dawnie...You've forgotten again...That is William...Human-souled and now fully human William..." he assures her gently...

Oh...Right...she nods...Trembling slightly...Oh!...she points at Dru, gently smiling at her...

"No, no...Dawn...Dru and Harmony are human again too...And Dru has Anya's soul now, remember?...Dru wanted the peace of Heaven and let Anya have her body when Will and Angel went to help her...You remember that, right?..."

Ye...ah...Dawn nods...Buffy turning to her and patting her...Dawnie...It's gonna be fine...

"So...Giles!..." Buffy beams at him from her chair... "So is there more good news?...These shakes and such...Dawn's memory problems...All minor, right?...Easily handled?..."

Ummn...The new Council Chairman eyes her sadly...

"Well...My dear...My dears..." he turns to them all...

"I think it would be best if I spoke to each of you separately..."

"Giles...?" Harmony spoke up...Taking Angel's trembling hand in hers... "I can't speak for the others but...After what Angel and I have been through...We'd prefer to hear it straight out...Together..." Right, sweetheart?...she smiled at him...He nodding...

"I think you can tell us all together, Giles..." Xander nods... "I know Anya-Dru and I want to be here for the rest and want them to know everything..."

Yeah...A chorus...

"Well..." he eyes the group... "Perhaps the others would withdraw...Willow, Winifred, Wesley...Kennedy...Andrew...If you would..."

"We'll tell ya everything..." Buffy smiles at them... "Andy?...No...." Dawn anxiously grabs at him...Ummn...She looks at Buffy, then Giles... "Andy?..."

"Yes...Of course Andrew can stay Dawn..." Giles nods kindly...She calms, smiling back...Holding Andrew's hand...He stroking her hair...

The others reluctantly head out...Willow turning to give Buffy a silent thumbs-up...Which she returns with a gentle smile...

"My dears..." Giles pauses...Tears welling...

"Best to get it over with, Rupert..." Will smiles at him... "We can take it...We can take anything...Except..." he puts a hand on Buffy's shoulder which she takes... "Separation..."

"Yes..." the Chairman pauses, turning to Angel... "Liam...You and Will...Are I'm afraid, suffering from the negative side of your human restoration...You are again susceptible to human illness..."

"It's syphilis, isn't it?..." Angel eyes him... The Watcher Chairman nods..."In your case and Anya-Dru's, yes...You knew?..."

"I guessed...Poor Darla..." he waves a hand... "It wasn't her fault...Anya...I..."

"No, Liam...It's alright..." Anya-Dru smiles... "We knew...I was the one who told Giles it was probably the cause of your troubles a few days ago...I got tested for a whole panel of stuff just in case before Xander and I..."

"We are getting married..." Xander replies firmly... "That's settled..."

"Syphilis...That can be cured right?..." Harm asked anxiously...Xander looking intently at Giles...

"This is a very unusual strain, Harmony...One that disappeared from human hosts long ago...Liam, I promise you the Council will do what it can for you...But..."

"Yes...It's ok, Rupert...I was expecting to hear this...And hell, I've a whole science department of the world's best to set on the problem...But Harmony's problem can't be that?...We haven't...Ummn..." Angel pauses...

I wanted to be sure it was safe...Angelis-wise first and then... he notes...

"AIDS, right?..." Harmony smiles at Giles sadly... "I know...I got tested just after I regained my soul..." she looks wanly at the others... "A vampire mucking round in today's blood supply?...Kinda inevitable..."

Harm?...Angel takes her hand... "I was going to tell you Liam...But I wanted to know about you first...Don't worry...We're together right?..."

"And of course it's consumption?...Ummn TB?...For me?..." Will eyes Giles who nods... "Yeah...Mum was about to die of it when I killed her, poor lamb..."

"TB?...That's easy, right?..." Buffy nervously looks at Giles...

"The illness is very advanced, Buffy...It must have been well established before Will died...And another previously unknown strain...I'm sorry...Will, Liam...I must tell you the prognosis for you both is poor...Six months at best..."

"Six months...?" Buffy stares...Twisting to look at William...William?...

"An eternity if you look at it right, pet..." Will smiles at her... "And I wasn't aiming at Immortality you know...At least not on Earth..."

"Buffy..." he turns back to the Chairman...Who sighs...

"I'm sorry..." Angel turns to her... "Oh, Buffy..."



"No, Liam...It wasn't you...Nor you Will...Buffy's illness isn't syphilis...And it could only have been Dracula..." Giles shakes his head... "The only vampire recently living in Europe who might have infected Buffy...And thereby Dawn...When Dawn was mystically cloned from her..."

"CJD variant?..." Will stares... "Giles?..."

"Dawn of course is deteriorating the more rapidly..." Giles hastily assumed a precise tone...Desperately trying to maintain composure... "Lacking Buffy's..." he burst into tears...

"Giles...It's alright..." Buffy wheeled to him..."Guess it wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had, drinking that slimeball's blood...she grins sheepishly...

"Yes...Rupert..." Will came over... "I understand there's some hope in research now..."

"This is all so unfair...My...Poor..." Giles chokes off...

"Actually...About what I'd expect from the Powers That Be..." Will notes...A wan grin to Buffy...

"Giles?...How long...Dawn and me?..." Buffy looks at him steadily...

"Dawn's case is progressing rapidly Buffy...In your case...Your Slayer physiology is slowing the disease, but you are manifesting symptoms...It might be a while for you...Dawn...Perhaps a year or two..."

"She won't be alone...Whatever happens to the rest of you..." Andrew speaks up... "Buffy I promise you...I'll help you take care of her...If you'll let me..."

"Thanks...Andy..." Dawn pats him... "Some guy I got, huh...sis?..." Winking at Buffy, who nods back...A deep look at Andrew who returns the stare...Yeah...she nods again... "Some guy you got, sis..."

Even if he is...Bi, now...she grins at him...And pulls William aside...

"Harm...I wanted to finally...To give you..." Angel sighs to her... "Hey..." she smiles... "This is what we wanted, right?...The chance for a mortal, human exit?...And we're not done yet...Liam..."

"Will?...You won't leave me here all alone?...If it looks like I might outlast the rest of you..." Buffy looks at him from her chair in a corner... "I think you and I have earned the right to decide our fates, girl...But we'll leave when we're good and ready...When we've exhausted every option and had ourselves a little fun..." he smiles to her...

Yeah...she nods...And they move back to the others...

"So there was an enemy out there I couldn't beat..." she notes wanly to him and the rest... "But hey...We all die...And nobody knows there's a Heaven like we do...We won't be separated in the end...Right guys?..." she grins at the others...

"Give us a few, Giles...?" she turns back to him...He nods, shutting the doors behind him quietly...

"Well...Guys...?" she eyes the group... "I know this one's...Dawn?..." she takes her sis' trembling hand...Starting to lose it a bit...

"I'd say...You're right about things, Buffy...We won't be separated...In the end...And so...For now...There's only one thing to do..." Xander smiles at her...

Nudging Anya-Dru as she stares...Oh, right...She pulls out two sheets of paper...Handing one to Xander...He begins...

["Always Look On the Bright Side of Life..." Eric Idle]


Play

Xander:

"Some things in life are bad, They can really make you mad,"



Xander and Anya-Dru:

"Other things just make you swear and curse, When you're chewing your life's gristle

Don't grumble, give a whistle, And this'll help things turn out for the best,

Da dee da...

Always look on the bright side of Life...[whistling]

Always look on the bright side of Life..." [whistling]

The others staring, gradually grinning and joining in...

William, Angel, Xander, Andrew:

"Always look on the bright side of life. [whistling]

Always look on the light side of life." [whistling]

Will and Angel:

"If life seems jolly rotten,

There's something you've forgotten,

And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing."

Buffy, Dawn, Anya-Dru, Harmony:

"When you're feeling in the dumps,

Don't be silly chumps.

Just purse your lips and whistle. That's the thing.

And..."

All:

"Always look on the bright side of life. [whistling]

Always look on the right side of life, [whistling]



Will and Angel...Hugging their respective mates:

"For life is quite absurd

And death's the final word.

You must always face the curtain with a bow.

Forget about your sin. Give the audience a grin.

Enjoy it. It's your last chance, anyhow....So..."

All (arm in arm):

"Always look on the bright side of life. [whistling]

Always look on the right side of life, [whistling]

Always look on the bright side of life!"

[whistling]

***

"So...?" Willow stops Giles as he emerges from the room...

"I think...Willow...It's best to leave it to them to tell you all..." he looks at her briefly...Wes and Fred eyeing him...Expert enough to have some suspicions as to what's up...

"What's with the singing in there?..." Kennedy notes...

The doors open...Buffy beaming as she and Dawn are wheeled in...

"Guys!...We're all getting married!..." she grins... The others behind her beaming as well...

Andrew suddenly spies a grinning Jonathan in angel costume, blue Jedi-like halo around him, in a corner, beaming at him with thumbs-up...

So...Giles thinks, smiling wanly...As the group gathers, eagerly discussing plans...It ends with a wedding...Well...

It was usually good enough for Shakespeare...

***

Meanwhile, in Hell...

"So..." the First in her favorite Buffy form glares, watching the singing old Sunnydalers/Angel crew happily marching off, arm-in-arm... "Even that didn't get them down...And when they die, they all go off to Eternal Bliss...Bastards!!!..." she kicks the giant crystal ball from which she'd been observing Earth...Rather like that of the Wicked Witch of the West's...

"Well...At least I have the pleasure of making all you losers pay!!...Forever...!!!" she leers at her rogues' gallery of Evil...

"Lets see?...Who gets it first this morning?...Ah..." she grins at a terrified little Colin...Huh?...

"But I never killed anybody directly...Just a few by order..." he notes... "How come I gotta suffer like this all the time...?"

"Hey, kid...Didn't Heinrich ever tell you?....Life is unfair..." she sneers at him as he's dragged to a small cell...Again...Locked in...As usual...

Well...He thinks...At least I'm used to the daily flameo...Huh?!...A troupe of Bringers bring in a giant vat of acid...He stares...

Hey?!!!...

"What can I say, kid?..." the First smiles beatifically at him as the cage is lifted over the vat... "Variety is the spice of Eternal Torment..."

Spike, further back in the chamber, flayed on his rack turns to Angelus, nailed loosely on his cross...As they eye poor Colin as the First gleefully handles the rope lowering him to a new type of roasting...As the Master desperately tries in vain to hypnotize the savage dogs ripping him and Tucker Wells to pieces in a pit next to their torture cell...Mayor Wilkins fights off rats attacking him in his cell...A deformed, hideous Glory in hers braces for yet another round of un anesthetized plastic surgery...Adam gets disassembled alive...Demonic Drusilla watches her favorite doll go through the shredder...Followed by a screaming, demonic Darla...While defleshed Warren gets his usual live nerve ending stimulation...And the W-H senior partners are raised slowly writhing on meathooks...



"Could be worse, mate...At least we get to watch them..." Spike notes...Angelus nods...Arrgh!!...The slight movement causing agonized suffering...

"Well!..." Warren calls... "Arrrrgggghhhh!!!!!....At least we get to watch you too!!..."

"So it all ain't so bad then!..." Spike cheerfully hollers back...

Not to mention the First occasionally tries her noncorporeal best to sleep with me...he thinks happily...And so has been cutting me quite a break in the torture thing...

Spike, joined by Angelus, then Warren, Mayor Wilkins, the mangled Master and Tucker, Dru, the struggling, strangling WH partners, and finally Glory...Adam finding it illogically human to sing in such circumstances...And Darla needing to be regenerated back together...

"Life's a piece of shit,

When you look at it.

Life's a laugh and death's a joke. It's true.

You'll see it's all a show. Keep 'em laughing as you go.

Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And..."

(Hell imps joining in...The First fuming...)

"Always look on the bright side of death, [whistling]

Just before you draw your terminal breath.[whistling]

Always look on the bright side of death..." [whistling]

("Enough with the singing!!..." the First shrieks..."Arrrrrrgggghhhh!!!!" Colin yelps as his cage sinks...Yeah, Angelus notes contentedly...Twisting...Oh, God the pain!!!...To see the screaming Mayor trying to pull a rat from his eye socket...Heh...Eternity in Hell ain't without its pleasanter aspects...)

***

Cut to shot of an upside down D'Hoffryn hanging above Colin's descending cage...He shrieks to a beaming Halfreck now beside the First...

"Haly?!...I know we've had some employer-employee issues!...But!..." "May I?..." Haly eyes the First... "You go, girl..." the First waves a hand...Haly happily grabs D-H's rope, lowering him after Colin... "But of course, you go right after him..." "Fair enough..." Haly shrugs...

All (the First reluctantly joining in...Eh,what the here):

"Always look on the bright side of death. [whistling]

Always look on the right side of death. [whistling]

Always look on the bright side, the right side of death! [whistling]

"Now that's entertainment!..." a watching Demon Sweet happily notes...

***

Cut to shot of Lindsay in his Hell torture cell...

"I'm bustin' out of here see...And when I do!...You'll see vengeance like you never..." "Shut up, you stupid $%#@#...!!" a massively overweight Lilah shouts from her cell...Where Hell demons are busily stuffing her as she begs for mercy...

All:

"Always look on the bright side of death. [whistling]

Always look on the right side of death. [whistling]

Always look on the bright side, the right side of death! [whistling]

***


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