Messenger of Fate
Written By:Chelle and Tinkerbell
This fanfic was a gift for our friend Lex, one of the most talented B/A authors on the net, when she was too discouraged to write. Tink and I put our heads together, gave her a starring role, and showed her how important it is that the fans keep B/A alive no matter what happens on the show.
The phone trilled loudly and Buffy rolled to get it, almost falling off the edge of the bed in her state of half slumber. "Hello?"
"Buffy?" Angel asked, tapping the pen in his hand on his desk nervously. It had been months since he had spoken to her and he didn't quite understand the reason he was calling, only that he had to. "I had to call you."
"Why?" Buffy had lost her balance completely when she heard his voice, and now sat in the floor, alternating between rubbing her ass and her knee.
"Have you seen yourself lately?" He got up from his desk and walked toward the VCR, inserting the video called "The I In Team". "Have you?"
"I look in the mirror daily, Angel. It's one of the perks of being mortal."
"Perks, huh?" He watched the tape begin and his jaw tightened. There was footage of her hunting with a group of military clad men, footage of her risking her life against a Polgara demon, unarmed, while the men sat crouched with weapons. And most disturbing, there was footage of her having sex with someone he had silently dubbed 'Wonder Bread'. "I've had you followed. I know what's been going on."
"Followed?" She gasped and pulled her pillow into her lap, clutching it in her shaking hands. Fury replaced the shock and she shouted, "Why would you--?"
"Because I love you," he stated simply. "And you're being ridiculous. This isn't you, Buffy. It's like you have all new writers or something, a new script for your life. You can't erase us. Just because I was stupid and left you, you can't just go throwing yourself at the first man who comes along. Or the second, since you've already plowed through the first and moved on. It's not right."
"I'll tell you what's not right!" Buffy yelled. "You bothering me out of the blue and acting like you know anything about my life."
"Buffy, I don't mean to bother you, but you need help. You've died inside and locked away the girl I love and you have to let her back out." He closed his eyes when the video tape began to show her kissing down the man's chest. It wasn't jealousy that was making him call her, it was the stranger he saw on the screen. Not him. Her. "You have to let me help you. You've changed physically and mentally and it scares me."
"I don't need your help." Buffy seethed, then cradled the receiver back onto the hook, not bothering to say good-bye. It started ringing again almost immediately and she flipped the machine on, then hurried to her closet to dress.
The machine picked up, she heard Angel say her name, and then he swore and slammed the phone down. She knew in her gut that he would be coming there as soon as the sun set. She slid her legs into a pair of leather pants, pulled on a halter and ran a brush through her hair. He wouldn't stay long, she would see to that. Gathering her purse and her jacket, she headed toward the door and yanked it open.
A woman stood on the other side of the door with her hand up, ready to knock. She jumped a little when she saw Buffy and said, "Oh, you scared me!"
"Can I help you?" Buffy asked, absently sliding her arms into her coat.
"Oh, I think you can." Smiling, the woman ran her hands through her neatly trimmed brown curls and smiled. "I'm Alexis, but you can call me Lex. And I'm here to set things right."
"Right?" Buffy raised one eyebrow and quickly fished a stake out of her bag. "Are you here to kill me?"
"No, I'm here to keep you from killing yourself and me." Lex pushed past her and stepped into her room.
"Excuse me, but what are you?" Staring over her shoulder at the woman, she shook her head. "Besides rude. I didn't invite you in."
"Does it matter?" Lex eyed the room and then focused on the blond. "You're messing up Fate. I'm a messenger of Fate and I'm here to put you back on track."
"A messenger of Fate?" Buffy rolled her eyes and flopped on the edge of the bed. "Are you going to start glowing now? Like those angels on that cheesy television show?"
"I could never be called an angel." Lex smirked, then grew serious. "But I am here to bring one back into your life."
Buffy's eyes widened and she stood. "You're the person Angel hired to follow me aren't you? You have some nerve."
"I was not hired by Angel. I was sent."
"It is of no consequence who sent me. You should be counting your blessings that the two of you were deemed worthy of a messenger to begin with. Do you know how many people who truly love each other are torn apart and never find the path back to one another?"
"I have a feeling you're going to tell me."
Lex chewed her lower lip for a split second and then nodded, "I am going to tell you. But can I tell you over a hot meal? I swear, I keep expecting you to fall over dead before I finish a sentence."
Buffy narrowed her eyes. "You're approach isn't exactly polished, you know."
"You're my first mission." Lex shrugged. "And I'm originally from New Jersey. We aren't known for our patience or liking that heroin chic look you're sporting. Are you ready?"
"Fine." Buffy threw her hands up and stood. "But you should know, as far as I'm concerned, Angel has his life, I have mine and we aren't going to be together."
Lex pulled something from her pocket and held it up. One long string and one short string dangled from her fingers. "The long rope is Angel and his life. The short one is you and yours."
"You're here to tell me I'm gonna die!?" Buffy shouted, covering her face.
"No!" Lex rolled her eyes. "Why couldn't I have been given something simple, like being a tooth fairy? He's over two hundred, Buffy, and you're going to live a normal mortal life. That's why your rope is shorter." She held it out and added, "Take it."
Sighing, Buffy snatched the ropes and looked at them. "Why are they knotted together?"
"Must I explain everything?" Lex asked. When Buffy stared at her blankly, she took the ropes again and rolled her eyes. "Fate weaves lives together. That's our job. We bring people in and out of the loom of life and wait for them to become tied together. The first knot signifies your first union with Angel, the second knot is the second union, and if you look closely, you will see that they are fused together at one end." Holding up the end where the ropes melded together, she continued. "Fusion happens once in a thousand years. The Powers That Be have now recognized this and are willing to make a few allowances. Not even they can step in the way of fate."
"You're telling me that I'm destined to be with him?"
"Wasn't that simple?"
"You could have just said, 'Buffy, it's destiny', instead of going off on that sidenote about everyone being on a weaving loom. Do you know how disturbing that is? I mean, what if my piece of rope accidentally got looped through, I dunno, Xander's piece of rope and--"
"Please." Lex exhaled loudly. "Breakfast. No wonder you're so skinny. You can't keep your mouth shut long enough to chew."
"Fine, breakfast," Buffy huffed.
Lex stared with distaste at Buffy's plate of fruit and cottage cheese. "That's what you're having for breakfast?" she asked, as the waitress set down a Belgian waffle overrunning with strawberries and whipped cream in front of her.
"Please. You could go into a diabetic coma from what *you're* eating."
"I'm counting on it," Lex smiled, and dug in.
Buffy grimaced and daintily picked up a piece of melon. "Riley says I should eat lots of fruit, it's good for stamina when we're hunting."
Lex snorted. "Riley. Figures."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that idiot Joss couldn't come up with someone more suited to you. More dark, more debonair. More Angel-y. Damn, how about just scrapping the whole Riley storyline and giving you Angel, for God's sake? Men," she muttered, forking another bite of waffle. "This makes my job so hard."
Buffy finally threw her fork down in disgust. "Oh, give me a break! Here you are, moaning and groaning over what Joss has done, when all along you have the power to fix it. You've fixed so many mistakes of his in the past. It was a relief for me to be able to relive some of the more horrible wrongs he had done, and relive them the right way!"
Lex didn't look up, just continued drawing designs with her knife in her syrup. "I don't want to do that any more. I just came here to show you your entwined destinies and then I'm supposed to be on my merry way."
"Hmph. Never figured you for a quitter." Buffy shrugged nonchalantly. "Well, I need to go. I'm meeting Riley for a picnic. Maybe he'll even bring me *flowers*," she gushed, rising from her seat.
Lex looked up in alarm. "No! No picnics! No flowers! This is just not right!" She jumped up and grasped Buffy by her arms. "Don't you see?" she asked patiently, as if speaking to a small child. "Angel. An-gel. Not Riley. Angel is your destiny."
Buffy's gaze turned soft for a moment. "I want him to be," she admitted truthfully. "I want that, but it's not possible...is it?"
"It is, it is!" Lex clapped her hands with delight. This might turn out okay after all. "It's possible! He belongs to you, *with* you!"
"Really?" Buffy mused thoughtfully. "If that's true, then where is he?"
Lex couldn't hide her wicked grin, and Buffy looked at her strangely. "What's so --"
She was interrupted by a strong hand on her shoulder, spinning her around. Buffy came face to face with Angel's handsome countenance. He was glaring at her.
"It's...it's daytime," was all Buffy could say lamely.
"Doesn't matter," he growled, waving a hand at the windows. "In dumb fics like this, liberties are taken all the time."
"Not dumb," Lex muttered. "This is a very good fic by two good friends, and don't insult it."
Angel ignored her, instead concentrating on Buffy. "What are you doing?" he asked. "Where were you going?"
Buffy's expression turned mutinous. "I'm going on a picnic. With flowers and food and wine. In the sunshine."
"With *Riley*," Angel said, frowning.
"Yes, with Riley!" Buffy shouted at him, twisting out of his grip. "Riley loves me! Riley would never leave me!"
Angel's eyes widened for a fraction of a second, then narrowed. "It's no wonder I left you, with you behaving like such a spoiled bitch."
Lex gasped audibly. "Angel! You can't say that to her!"
He snorted. "Sure I can. And you don't have a damn thing to say about it, since you gave up writing. My only chances for a glimmer of happiness came when you decided to rewrite history a little bit. We could relive the bad times, only they would turn out to be good."
"That's what I said," Buffy murmured, staring at him.
Angel turned back to her. "Who gives a rat's ass what you said? I don't even know who you are. Don't pretend we're still soulmates, because a soulmate of mine would never have gone off to open her legs for another man. Even Spike was appalled. 'Spreading your dimpled knees,' I believe is how he phrased it. 'Slutty the Vampire Slayer'.
Lex looked from one to the other, not believing what she was hearing. Angel, gentle, sweet Angel, would never say these things to Buffy! And Buffy would never stand there with anger in her eyes, retaliating in this way! This was going all wrong --
"I'm leaving," Buffy said to Lex, shrugging on her jacket. "I have a date to keep. Sorry your little mission here was for nothing." And with that, she flounced out the door with not so much as a backward glance at Angel.
Angel swung his furious gaze back to Lex. "What mission?"
"Mission?" Lex took a sip of her soda and stalled, eyeing the handsome vampire up and down. She had seen him in visions and in her mind's eye several times, but nothing could prepare her for how breathtaking he was in person.
"Are you going to answer me?" Angel stared at her for several seconds and then moved closer. "Or do I have to torture it out of you."
Lex snorted, wondering if he knew how appealing that idea actually was. She quickly pulled herself together when she saw him arch his brow and motioned for him to have a seat. "Fine, I'll explain, but you have to promise not to kill me."
"Fair enough." Angel slid a chair out and flopped into it, moving Buffy's half eaten plate of fruits and cheeses away from him. "Tell me."
"Okay. The guy who usually writes fate is named Joss. For a while, he had you two on track and everything was going A-ok. He was happy, I was happy, the masses were happy. Then he took one too many hits on his crack pipe, sent you packing it to Los Angeles and had Buffy dropping trouser to any guy who would look at her." Lex shook her head, then stiffened when Angel growled. "Oh, I mean, she's had two lovers, not like a million. Anyway, I was Joss' co-pilot. His revisionist. When he mucked up, I could cover for him. You know, right the wrong, break the rules, let you screw. WooHoo! Then he overrode my authority and brought Riley's wholesome ass into the picture. Seeing him getting all horizontal with Buffy broke me. I became a broken Lex and it wasn't pretty. I stopped revising his mistakes and look at what happened."
"Wait a minute." Angel realized he had clenched his fists during her spiel and quickly flexed his fingers. "Are you telling me that this could have been avoided? Everything?"
"Everything. I could have made Buffy remember the time you were human, hell, I could have made you human again, but just between you and me, the vampire thing is more erotic. And let's face it, at the rate you were eating, you would have exploded sooner or later. Dust either way."
"Could you get back on track?"
Lex blushed a little. "Basically, I refused to do it anymore. So I got demoted from writer, to messenger."
"Here I am and my message is..." Lex took a deep breath. "You and Buffy are destined to be together."
"I'm going to need more than that." Angel told her honestly. "Destiny means nothing to me."
"Dammit. Buffy told me it was better to skip the loom of life story."
Angel shrugged. "I'm not Buffy."
Lex stared him from one broad shoulder to the next. "No, you certainly aren't." She came to her senses when Angel cleared his throat and shook her head, pulling out the ropes she had shown Buffy. "It goes like this---."
Riley had taken great pains to peel all the grapes in the bowl, but he slapped Buffy's hand away when she reached for one. "Now, now, we have to say Grace."
"Grace?" Buffy dropped the grape and looked up at him skeptically. Her eyes grew round as he lowered his head and blessed the food that was scattered across the blanket.
"Amen." Riley looked up at her and smiled. "Now, go ahead."
"I'm not really religious. I feel kind of guilty about eating 'graced' food." She watched him pop several cheesy poofs into his mouth and shook her head.
"I was going to talk to you about that. Church, I mean. You have to start going with me."
"Yeah, it's only right." Riley eyed her closely. "I mean, if I'm going to take you home to meet my parents, I don't want to have you not knowing the difference between Adam and Eve."
Buffy chuckled and popped a grape in her mouth. "Don't worry. I know that Adam was the man and Eve was the woman and they wore leaves as clothing and ate fruit."
Riley stared at her for several long minutes. "There was a much bigger difference, Buffy. One was smart and lived the way God intended and the other was the fall of mankind, the reason that there was sin."
"Are you implying that Eve wasn't smart?" She had stopped chewing and was tempted to throw the bowl at him. "'Cause if you ask me, a woman who lives by her wits with no vitamins and can still populate the world if pretty keen. Ewww, but wouldn't that make everyone brother and sister?"
Riley sighed. "See, that's exactly what I'm talking about. You can't go to Iowa with that argumentative nature."
"I wasn't arguing. If you believe in the bible, you have to believe she was responsible for all life. I was just telling you not to imply that the mother of everyone is stupid."
"I don't have to imply it. It's fact. She took fruit from a snake." Digging through the basket, Riley pulled out a soda and shook his head. "A snake tells her to eat it and she ate it."
"Talking snakes are normal, but eating fruit isn't?" Buffy glanced skyward and tried to remember the chant Willow had taught her to cause rain. ~Rain, rain come today, Please wash Riley far away? No, that's not it. Please someone up there? Make it storm? I swear I'll be good.~
The sky darkened slightly as the sun went behind a cloud. Riley's comment about what Buffy had just said was drowned out by a loud clap of thunder. Buffy almost grinned, but held herself back. "Awww, too bad. It's going to rain!"
"Damn, I left my regulation boots on the porch to air out and they'll get soaked. A good soldier never abuses his belongings. A good soldier treats everything the way they were intended." He stood, not offering to help her pack up and shrugged. "I'm sure you understand. I have to go."
"Go." ~Please, go now!~
Riley shrugged again, something that Buffy just realized annoyed her greatly, and jogged across the quad. Buffy watched him disappear around the corner of the Mathematics building and flopped back against the blanket to watch lightning streak across the sky. More thunder boomed and she squeezed her eyes closed, wondering if she would be put out of her misery if she asked for that too. A sob caught in the back of her throat and she rolled to one side, curling slightly to ease the pain in her chest.
Angel had watched from the distance, sitting in the passenger seat of Lex's car. Luckily, she had tinted windows, but now it was so cloudy, he was able to roll the window down. "She's crying."
"I bet Normal Joe is beginning to get old. You can't substitute love, no matter how hard you try. Why don't you go to her?" Lex tapped the steering wheel, resisting the urge to open the passenger door and kick him out. "Go."
"What if the sun... ?"
"It won't!" She cried, pointing at Buffy. "Put your trust in me. Just this once, believe that I will come through for you?"
"You stopped writing us. That," He pointed at Buffy. "is all your fault, Lex. You could have stopped this. And this," He pointed at his own tear stained face, "is your fault too."
"Just go." Lex looked away, guilt washing over her. What he said was true. She was the cause of the pain and the curiosity that so many people had as a result of her silence. With a deep sigh, she reached into the back seat of her car and pulled out a leather case. Opening it slowly, she trailed her fingers of the black keys of her laptop and flipped the power switch. "Believe me when I say to you that this time, there is nothing in the way."
Angel swallowed hard, staring at the laptop. An aura surrounded it, almost making it appear to glow and he nodded, "You won't stop?"
"Never again." Lex smiled and clicked an icon, opening her 'Scripts of Life' folder. "It's time that I take my rightful place as head of Mutant Enemy and the WB."
"Could you also do something about Fox?" Angel asked hopefully.
"Don't push it." She replied, then clutched his hand. "A love like yours is rare, Angel. It happens once in a million years and I was lucky enough to witness it in all it's glory. You two let me be a part of it and I know I can do it justice. You both inspire me and you both deserve happiness."
"Lex, I wouldn't want anyone else weaving my life, typing my script or starring with me in archive fic. Even odd Archive fic. I trust you completely." He brought her hand to his lips, kissed it lightly, then gave it a squeeze. "I trust you with my life. Do this the way the fates intended."
She watched him step out of the car and pause on the edge of the grass, watching him gather his courage. She looked back at her screen and saw that she had already typed a few words without even trying. 'Angel stood on the edge of the quad, staring at Buffy's still form. She had rolled to her stomach, her head buried in her arms and Angel took several purposeful strides toward her.'
Smiling, Lex continued to type, realizing for the first time how powerful she was and the gift she had been given. She possessed the ability to take two lives and right the wrongs, alter the paths they had taken, and give them the chance they deserved. She was more than a messenger, she was the author, the person responsible for bringing joy and closure hundreds of different ways. And Buffy and Angel were more than just a case or a story, they were a part of her heart and that was why she had to keep going.
"Huh?" Buffy looked up, startled. Her heart lurched when she saw Angel looming above her like thunder.
"That's what Lex said. We're destined." He paused, a half-smile warming his face. "She's a smart one, she is."
"Not so smart," Buffy muttered. "She won't write any more fic. I'll be stuck in hell with Riley for all eternity."
"Now you know how I felt," Angel said softly, and Buffy's eyes filled with golden tears.
"Angel," she sobbed, and launched herself at him.
He dropped to his knees, cradling her close, whispering words of comfort and love. "Buffy. My baby, my sweetheart. I can't be without you. Lex was right, don't you see? It's the loom of life."
"Knotted together," Buffy admitted, sniffling. "She was right. I called her dumb, and all along I was the dumb one. Maybe it's because I'm so thin, I don't have enough energy for my brain to process things."
"You're perfect," Angel scolded, feeling her breasts pressing sensually into his hard chest. He leaned in to kiss her, to taste her sweetness, and slowly they lay back onto the blanket.
After a minute, Buffy raised her head and looked around. "What happened to all the people that were here?"
Angel blinked, then grinned. "Lex wrote them out."
"She wrote them...ohhhhh!" Buffy's eyes lit up. "She's writing!"
"That she is," Angel murmured, feeling an unstoppable pull toward Buffy's mouth. He couldn't have broken free of her embrace had he wanted to. And he in no way wanted to. "I bet she wrote something else out too," he spoke against her full, open mouth.
"What's that," Buffy sighed, as she felt Angel nibble his way across to her ear and down to the soft hollow of her jaw.
"I know that fucking curse is gone."
From her vantage point in the driver's seat of her car, Lex grinned.