Disclaimer: I do not own Willow, Angel, or any of the BtVS or Angel characters.  Joss Whedon, the WB, and a lot of other people do.  Songs belong to their writers/performers

Kiss the Flame
by Karen U

*Kiss the flame
Let’s run with the hunted, the untamed
Kiss the flame
Embrace the faceless, the unnamed*
-Jewel, Kiss the Flame

Part one - LA

Willow pushed her hair out of her face.  It had been an incredibly long day.  She’d had three classes already, and it was only one in the afternoon.  And now she had to go to work.  She turned as she heard someone call out her name.

“Willow!  Wait up.”  Cordelia was walking briskly towards her.  At the urging of Angel and Doyle, the brunette had decided to attend UCLA with Willow and try to get her education.  She was only going part-time, so she had time for the agency as well as auditions, and things were going well.  Willow smiled as Cordelia fell into step
beside her.  Never in her wildest dreams had Willow ever considered that snotty Cordelia Chase would become one of her best friends, much less her roommate.

“Hey, Cordy.  How was class?”

“This idiot guy keeps hitting on me.  Mind if I sic your boyfriend on him?”

“Go for it.  I’m sure Angel has nothing better to do than beat up frat boys.  Why can’t Doyle do it?”

Cordelia snorted derisively.  She adored her boyfriend, but come on.  “Angel’s way more intimidating than Doyle.  Except, of course when he sneezes,” she added as an afterthought, referring to the Irish half-demon’s tendency to show his demon side when he had allergies.  It could get really embarrassing.  Oh, well.  As far as Cordelia was concerned, Doyle’s tendency to be kind of spiny when he sneezed was nothing compared to a guy with a huge zit on the end of his nose.  At least Doyle could shake off his scaly image within seconds.  Zits could last for days.

Willow grinned, then unlocked her car.  Since Cordelia’s driving had improved very little since high school, it was generally up to Willow to drive.  Willow didn’t mind.  Even though she knew she could heal herself, she didn’t care to die again.

Willow smiled brightly at Doyle as she and Cordelia entered the warehouse, then leaned over to give him a kiss on the cheek.  “Anything for me to do?”

“Run a few searches on the computer.  Missing girls.  See if you can find any similarities.”  Willow frowned, taking the file from Doyle.  Missing girls.  That didn’t sound good.  She headed toward the office she and Cordelia shared, then turned back to the half-demon.

“Is Angel up yet?”  Her vampire boyfriend rarely got to bed before dawn, and he often slept until early afternoon.

“Yeah.  He’s downstairs, doing some research for Giles.  Why?  You need him?”

Willow snorted.  “Yeah, right.  He’d probably crash my hard drive.”  Doyle laughed, then returned to his work while Cordelia grabbed a bottle of water and headed downstairs to help Angel.  She was about as useful on the computer as he was, so they left computer research to Willow and Doyle.

A few hours later, Angel came into Willow and Cordy’s office to find his girlfriend still hard at work.  He put a bottle of water on her desk and leaned over her shoulder to see what she was doing.

“Any luck?”

“I think so.  Maybe.  I hope not.”

“What does that mean?”

“I may have found a connection among the girls.  I’m not sure yet, though.  I’ve got another name to check.”  She typed in a few instructions, then watched as the screen changed.  As she read the information, her expression grew bleak.  “I’ve found the connection.”

“What is it?”

“They’re witches.”

“Are you sure?”

Willow nodded, clearly upset.  “I recognized some of the names from those files I saw last year.  I checked the rest.  All of the names can be traced to a family with a background in witchcraft.”  Willow took a deep
breath, then said the words she had hoped she’d never have to say.

“The hunters are back.”


The blonde witch ran through the streets.  The hunters didn’t know she had done it, but she had sensed their presence and taken off.  They’d never had this much trouble catching one of their targets.  Of course, they still caught her in the end.

They always caught their prey.

Part two - Sunnydale

*So unaware, I foolishly believed
That you would always be there
But then there came a day
And I turned my head and you slipped away*
-Reba McEntire, If I Had Only Known

“Sure, Will.  We’ll be on the lookout for anybody suspicious.  And we’ll make a list of known witches in the area, keep an eye on them.  I’m sure Amy knows most of them.”  Buffy hopped up to take a seat on the kitchen
counter of the apartment she shared with Amy.  After spending freshman year in the dorm, she had vowed that she would never have to share a bathroom with thirty other girls again.  Buffy looked up, surprised, as Spike entered the room, and nearly missed Willow’s question.

“What was that, Wills?”

“I asked if I could talk to Amy.”

“She’s not here.  She was supposed to meet Xander, and she left a couple of hours ago.  I’ll have her call you, okay?  I’ll talk to you later.  ‘Bye.”  Buffy hung up the phone without waiting for Willow to say goodbye
and turned to glare at the vampire in her kitchen.  She could have sworn she had done that whole ‘uninvite’ thing.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“What?  I can’t come to see my favorite Slayer?”

“I uninvited you.”

“And Sabrina the Teenage Witch invited me in again.”

Buffy groaned.  Amy seemed to have a problem with the whole ‘Spike is evil’ thing.  It probably came from the fact that he had never tried to kill her.  Of course, Spike was helping them now, however reluctantly.

“What do you want, Spike?”

Spike shrugged and took a seat on the counter.  “I’m bored.”

“Great.  Just great.  He’s bored,” she muttered to herself.  “My one night off, and I have to entertain Spike in order to keep him from doing something awful.”  She turned her head to glare at the vampire that was now sitting beside her.  “Your boredom often leads to mayhem.”  She sighed.  “What, exactly, are we going to do to alleviate your

Spike winked suggestively, and Buffy groaned aloud.  “That is definitely not an option, Spike.”

“We could always go out and create some trouble,” he suggested.  At that moment, a loud crash sounded as Buffy’s front door was forced open.   Spike hopped off the counter and pushed Buffy behind him as Xander
stormed into the room.  “Or it could come to us.”

Buffy pushed her way out from behind the vampire and looked at her friend in concern.  “What is it, Xander?  What’s wrong?”

“It’s Amy.  She never showed up.  I waited over an hour, and she never showed up.”  He thrust a purse into Buffy’s hands.  It was unmistakably, undeniably, Amy’s.  “I found this on Slate Street.  She’s gone, Buffy.  She’s missing.”

<Oh, God,> Buffy thought.  <The hunters.>

Part three

*Do you wake up on your own
And wonder where you are*
-Goo Goo Dolls, Slide

Amy woke up slowly.  Her head had never hurt so much.  She felt like she had a concussion coupled with a raging hangover.  She looked at her surroundings, then groaned aloud.  She had no clue where she was.  That could only be a bad sign.  The room was dark; there didn’t seem to be a lightbulb in any of the fixtures.  The walls were white, and the entire room had a very sterile, hospital feel to it.  Amy stood up carefully, reaching out to the wall for balance as the room began to spin.  She gingerly touched the back of her head, wincing when she found a lump, but grateful that she didn’t seem to be bleeding.  Slowly, keeping one hand on the wall for balance, she made her way over to the bed in the corner of the room and sat down.

She thought back to what Willow had told her about the hunters.  There was no doubt in her mind that they were the ones who had captured her.   She remembered what Willow had told her about the files the hunters had
kept, and she knew she was in big trouble.  If they took her powers, it would kill her.  She couldn’t use the same means of escape Willow had, either.  If she killed herself, she wouldn’t come back.

As Amy shifted on the bed, she felt something hard stick her.  Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out the ring Willow had given her with a protection stone in it.  As she stared at the ring in her hand, Amy came up with a plan.  It wasn’t necessarily a good plan, but it was the only one she had.

She said a few words, placing a tracking spell on the ring.  Hopefully, the spell would work properly, and she would be able to reach her friend.   The red stone in the ring began to glow, and Amy could sense Willow.  She quickly placed an anchoring spell on the ring, and she prayed that she would be able to get back to her body before any of the hunters noticed what she was doing.  She’d only done astral projection once before, but it had worked perfectly.  However, she had known where she was at the time, as well as precisely where she was going.  She had never sought out a specific person from an unknown location.  She took a deep breath and let herself
go, seeking Willow out.


Willow sat at her computer, desperately searching for a possible location of the hunters.  She was nearly certain that they were the ones who had kidnapped Amy.  She pushed her chair back from her desk and closed her
eyes wearily.  It had been over two hours since she’d gotten the phone call from Buffy alerting her to Amy’s disappearance, and she was no closer to finding anything than she had been then.  Suddenly, Willow became aware that someone was watching her.  She looked behind her, and her jaw dropped in shock.  Amy, a transparent Amy, but Amy nonetheless, stood behind her.

“Oh, my God.”

“Nope.  I'm just Amy.”

“Are you okay?  You’re not a ghost, are you?”

Amy shook her head.  “Astral projection.”  She paused, looking for a way to break the news to Willow gently, but she couldn’t find any.  “The hunters are back.”

Willow nodded sadly.  “I know.  There have been a bunch of witches missing from the LA area.  By the time I figured out what was happening and called Buffy, you were already missing.  I’m so sorry, Amy.  We’ll get you out, I promise.”

“You can’t promise that, Will.  I know you’ll try, though.”

Willow studied her shoes, trying not to look at Amy.  It was weird looking at one of your friends when you could see through them.  After a moment, she looked back up.  “Do you know where you are?  Your body, I mean.”

Amy shrugged.  “No clue.  I woke up in a room with no lights or windows.   It has a bed, though.  It feels a little like a hospital.  Sterile.  Creepy.”

“Can you tell me anything?”

“How long have I been missing?”

“Three, maybe four hours.”

Amy nodded, then began to pace.  “So, it’s what?  Seven at night?”  At Willow’s nod, Amy continued her train of thought.  “So I can’t be too far away.  They have me isolated, so I don’t know if there are any others.”

Willow thought for a moment.  “You said your room has a bed?”

“Yeah.  Why?”

“When they kidnapped me, they kept me in an office of some sort.  What if that’s all we destroyed?  Just their offices and laboratory.  I looked at the police report.  Nothing was mentioned in it about bedding or anything.  There weren’t any bodies, either.”

“So they had another building besides the one you burned.”

“Probably.  After I escaped, they probably kept a low profile for awhile, then went back to their hunting.”  Willow smacked the top of her desk in frustration.  “Damn!  How could we be so stupid?”

“So what now?”

“I do a computer search, try to find where their second building is.   They probably bought it at the same time they bought the first.  Then we come and get you.”  She turned to Amy, concerned.  “Will you be okay until then?”

Amy nodded, taking a quick glance at the clock on the wall.  She had been with Willow longer than she thought.  “I need to get back to my body.  I don’t want them to suspect anything.  I’ll see you soon.”  And with that,
Amy disappeared.

Willow jumped up from her chair and went to find the others.  She needed Doyle’s help for this.  She walked briskly into the conference room, where the others were absorbed in research.

“Doyle.”  The half-demon looked up, startled by Willow’s sudden appearance.  The was redhead was in all-out, high-efficiency, research mode.  Something had obviously happened, but now was not the time to question her.  “I need you to get on the computer.  Look up any buildings deeded to a Michael Smith.  I know the name’s
generic, but it’s what the hunters registered under last time.  It’s probably a warehouse.”  Willow paused as another thought hit her.  The police report on the warehouse they had burned down the year before had always bothered her, but now she realized why.  “Cross-reference any buildings you find with buildings that have lab
supplies delivered to them.”

“For what, the past year?” Doyle asked, already hard at work on his laptop.

“No.  The supplies have been going to this building longer than that.  Once they get the witches, they aren’t going to want to take the chance of losing them in transport. They drain their powers in the same place they keep them.  The lab we burned last year was dead.  The reports I’ve uncovered on the fire are pretty detailed.  They would have mentioned if lab supplies had burned.  They didn’t, which means there weren’t any to burn.  They probably perfected their technique at the lab, and then they got the second building and set up shop there.  It’s probably not in LA, or else they would have taken me there instead of to their office.”

Angel, who had been looking through the files on the missing girls, looked up.  "Some of these girls have been missing for three months or more.”

“Yeah.”  Willow paused, suddenly sad.  Her determination to save Amy had pushed the thought of the other witches out of her mind.  She knew that they were probably far too late to save most of them.  The hunters
probably wouldn’t want to give their victims an opportunity to escape.

“Where are the bodies?”

Cordelia wrinkled her nose.  “Ew.  Bodies?”

Willow nodded, understanding Angel’s logic.  “There aren’t any.  All of the girls are still listed as missing, and I couldn’t find any Jane Doe’s that seemed to be a match to any of them.”

Cordelia’s face reflected her disgust.  “You’re saying they’re keeping the bodies?”

“Cremation is a more logical,” Doyle replied, never looking up from the computer screen.  “No bodies, no evidence.  I’ll see if I can find anything.”

“Oh, yeah.  Cremation supplies.  That’s really inconspicuous.”

Willow shook her head.  “I’m thinking more along the lines of enough supplies to build a really big kiln.”

“Kiln?  Like for pottery?  That’s disgusting.”

“They kill people, Cordelia,” Willow reminded her friend.  ”I wouldn’t put anything past them.”

Doyle cleared his throat.  “I think I’ve found something.”

Willow went to stand behind Doyle.  Leaning over, she quickly scanned the screen in front of her.  “Bingo.”

She straightened up and looked at Angel and Cordelia.  “Call the others.   We’re going to San Francisco.”

Part Four - San Francisco

*I won’t go
I won’t sleep
I can’t breathe
Until you’re resting here with me*
-Dido, Here With Me

Xander sat quietly in the back of Spike’s car.  Spike was breaking every imaginable traffic law in order to get to Amy as quickly as possible, but he had yet to be stopped.  For that, Xander was grateful.  He couldn’t believe this was happening.  Amy was gone, and they may not find her in time.  He pushed that thought out of his mind.  They had to find her in time.  They would find her in time.  If they didn’t, he had no idea what he would do.  He just couldn’t picture life without Amy.  Xander sighed as he realized that, somewhere along the line, he had fallen in love with Amy without even knowing it.  Now he just prayed that he got the chance to tell her.

Giles shifted in his seat.  Spike was driving entirely too fast for his comfort.  He looked at the young man beside him and sighed.  He had never seen Xander look so lost.  Wearily, Giles closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the seat.  He only hoped they would find Amy in time and be able to rescue her.  He also hoped Spike wouldn’t have a wreck.

Spike drove fast, but he was careful.  He had no intention of having a wreck before he could get to Amy.  Of all the Slayer’s friends, the blond witch was the only one who truly seemed to accept him.  He was going to find her and bring her back safely.  And then he was going to tear the hunters to pieces.

Buffy sat beside Spike, occasionally glancing at the speedometer.  She didn’t think it had been below 100 miles per hour since they had left Sunnydale.  However, she trusted Spike not to have a wreck.  She’d ridden with him before, and he was a much safer driver than he appeared to be.   The only ‘accidents’ he’d ever been in involved him purposely hitting the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign.  The Slayer glanced at the vampire beside her,  wondering what was going on inside his head.  She imagined it included murder and mayhem directed towards the hunters.  For once, she had no objections.  In fact, she intended to help him.

Angel drove quickly, trying to keep Spike’s car in sight.  He had never seen the other vampire drive so fast.  He could hear the deep, even breathing of the others in the backseat, and he knew Cordelia and Doyle were sleeping.  His girlfriend, however, was still wide awake.

“You okay, Willow?”

“I will be when we find Amy.”

“How do they do it?”  The question had been bothering him for awhile.

“How does who do what?”

“The hunters.  How do they drain the witches’ powers?”

Willow shrugged before she realized Angel couldn’t see her gesture because he was watching the road.  “I don’t know for sure.  I really don’t want to know.”

“How is it even possible?”

“Power’s a tangible thing.  I can feel other witches because I can feel their power.  I can share my power with other witches, at least to some extent.  In fact, Amy and I have pooled our powers to do some of our more complicated spells.  The hunters must have found a way to force the witches to share their powers, and then they drain
them completely.”

“You said they had hundreds of files on witches they had killed.   Wouldn’t they be completely unbeatable right now?  I mean, imagine the power.”

“The power would fade.  They have to keep stealing power in order to keep having it.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I share my power with Amy, she can only use it only lasts for so long.  Then it fades away.  The power needs to be anchored.  My power is a part of me.  In order to permanently have my power, a person would have
to literally become me.  The hunters don’t become the witches they kill.  That’s why the power fades, and they have to kill again.”

Willow sat up straighter as Spike began to slow down.  He pulled into a parking lot with Angel following close behind, and Willow stared at the warehouse, most of which was hidden by trees.  This was the place.  She could feel it.

It was time to save Amy.  That was their first priority.  Then they would find a way to stop the hunters.


Part Five

*And I know I’m gonna blister in these flames
But I’ll stay here till this smoke clears
And I’ll find you in the ashes that remain*
-Nichole Nordeman, Burnin’

Buffy practically leapt from the car and headed for the trunk.  She opened it and began to take out weapons.  As far as they knew, the hunters were human, but Buffy didn’t intend to take any chances.  She passed the tranquilizer gun to Willow, surprised when the redhead shook her head.

“Weapons won’t be necessary.  What we need is a plan.”

“Find Amy.”

Willow turned to Xander.  “And the others.  A few of the girls have only been missing for a few days.  Chances are that they’re still alive.”

Doyle nodded.  “We’ll probably find them in the same area of the building that we find Amy in.”

“I want to look for the other witches.  The ones in the files.”

“Willow, they’re dead,” Xander replied impatiently.  He wanted to find Amy.  And he wanted to do it now.

“Not all of them are.  There were three that were in comas.  The hunters had to be curious as to why they didn’t die.  They probably kept them to study them.  I have to look for them.  They may be the only family I have left.”

Angel reached over and took his girlfriend’s hand.  To some extent, he understood what she was going through.  Like her, he was the last member of his family.  However, he had played a major part in the demise of his family.  Willow had nothing to do with the loss of hers.

“I’ll go with Willow.”  He looked at Buffy and Spike.  “Can you two handle the hunters while the rest of us gets everyone out?”

Spike smiled cruelly, violence clearly on his mind.  “I’d be glad to.”

“We’d be glad to,” the Slayer corrected, picturing some violence of her own.

The small group spread out, trying to find the easiest way to gain entry to the building.  After a few moments, Willow caught site of Buffy gesturing to the others.  She had found an open door.

“Okay,” Buffy whispered as the others surrounded her.  “Cordy and Doyle, you take this floor.  Giles and Xander, take the second floor, and Angel and Willow will take the third.  Spike and I will look for the laboratory and destroy it.  Got it?”  The others nodded and took off.


Cordelia and Doyle checked the first floor, trying every door they came to.  Most rooms seemed to be offices, and Doyle began to wonder if the first floor would produce nothing.

Then they hit pay dirt.

Cordelia tried to open the door, only to find it locked.  She went to the next door, ready to move on, but Doyle stopped her by placing a restraining hand on her arm.  “Someone’s in there.  I heard them move.”  Doyle took the bobby pins Cordelia offered him and made quick work of the lock.  He opened the door cautiously, half-expecting one of the hunters to be waiting on the other side.  He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw who was on the other side.  It was unmistakably one of the missing girls.  And she was alive.  Doyle moved quickly, untying the restraints holding the girl to the bed and reassuring her that he and Cordelia were there to help.  Then the three of them went on to next room.  There were still more people to save.


Giles and Xander searched the second floor.  The search was quick; there weren’t many rooms on the floor.  Xander took one side of the hall, methodically picking each locked door, a talent he had picked up years
before; as a child, he had forgotten his house key more times than he could count.  He was about to give up completely when he heard a familiar voice cry out.

“Oh, Giles, thank God!”

Xander turned to see Amy barreling into the startled former Watcher’s arms.  Giles held her briefly, thankful she seemed to be okay, before relinquishing her to Xander’s embrace.

“Thank God you’re okay.  I don’t know what I’d do without you,” he murmured into her hair.”  Amy looked up at him, startled.  Xander wasn’t the type to express himself like this.  He usually went for a fast quip, but not this time.  He must really be worried.  Amy opened her mouth to reassure him that everything would be alright, that she was perfectly fine, but Xander’s next words caused all thought to fly out of her head.  “I love you.”  Amy stared, shocked, as Xander leaned down to kiss her.

Giles turned his back, giving the young couple a moment to themselves.  After a little while, he cleared his throat.  “We’d better get going.  We don’t have much time.”


Angel and Willow searched the third floor.  The floor was completely dark, and Angel was just about ready to tell Willow to give up the search and go back downstairs when Willow spoke.

“Angel.”  The word was nearly a whisper, but Angel heard it and rushed to his girlfriend’s side.  Looking inside the room she was standing at, Angel almost gasped in shock.

A young woman lay in the bed, unconscious.  There were no beeping machines, absolutely nothing to monitor her condition.  But she was alive.  Of that, Angel was certain.

Willow was the first to break the silence.  “We need to see if there are any others and get them out of the building.  They don’t belong here.”

Angel nodded, then continued his search of the floor.  If the files Willow had seen were accurate, they had two more witches to find.


Buffy and Spike hadn’t found any of the hunters to beat up, so they were venting their frustrations by destroying everything in sight.  The laboratory was a mess; broken glass was everywhere.  Spike had even set fire to what appeared to be notebook full of research on how to more effectively drain the witches of their power.

“What is going on in here?”

Buffy and Spike turned to face the intruder.  Several intruders, in fact.   Spike smiled wickedly, his game face coming to the fore.  It looked like he and Buffy might get to have some real fun after all.


Angel carried one of the witches out of the building, Xander and Doyle following close behind him with the other two.  He made his way to the car where Willow, Amy, and Cordelia waited with the missing girls.  Three of them had been found.  They looked frightened, but seemed to be alright.  Giles had gone to find Spike and Buffy.  They needed to get away from this place.

Giles rushed towards the sounds of fighting, not at all surprised to find Buffy and Spike more than holding their own against almost a dozen hunters.  Given what these people had perpetrated over the years, he thoroughly hoped that the vampire and the Slayer had beaten the living daylights out of them.  However, the fighting was getting far to dangerous.  Giles noticed several barrels marked flammable at one end of the room.  The end of the room that Buffy was at.  And one of the tables was on fire.


The Slayer looked up, searching for her Watcher.  Spike, on the other hand, immediately looked for Buffy, and he saw what Giles saw.  The fire was getting far too close to the barrels.  The place was going to blow.

Spike dodged the hunter he was fighting and ran to the Slayer, tossing her small frame over his shoulder and heading for the door.  He didn’t give a damn about the hunters, they could all blow up for all he cared.  He only cared about Buffy.

The others turned as Giles, Spike, and Buffy came barreling out of the warehouse.  The panic on Giles’ face was evident, and he was motioning wildly.

“Get down!  Get down!  The whole place is going to explode.”  The words had barely reached their ears before the whole building went up.  Spike hit the ground, pulling Buffy underneath him to shield her.  After the intense heat died down, he raised his head slowly and looked at the girl beneath him.

“You okay, pet?”

Buffy nodded, shaken to the core.  If it hadn’t been for Spike, she would have died.  Spike rolled off Buffy, then helped her to a sitting position, cradling her in his arms.  Giles was sitting up a few feet away, and Buffy chanced a look behind her.  Angel had already helped Willow stand up, and he now had her pulled into a tight embrace.  The others, including Amy, seemed fine as well.  Buffy carefully pulled herself from Spike’s arms and stood up, taking the vampire up with her.  Then she, Spike and Giles made their way over to the others.

“Think anybody survived that?”

“Besides us?  No, I don’t think so.”  Willow paused, then asked the question weighing on her mind.  “How many hunters were in there?”

“At least a dozen.  Maybe more.”  Buffy looked at the building behind her.  It was still smoldering.  “They can’t hurt anybody anymore.”  She looked at the people around her, noticing for the first time that six of them were unfamiliar.  They had gotten what they came for.  She turned her attention back to Willow.  “We should get
these people to the hospital.”

Willow nodded slowly.  She knew the three girls they had saved were okay, but they still needed to be checked over by a doctor.  Unfortunately, she didn’t think anything could help the witches she and Angel had found.

Part Six

*For we shall be spared
We shall be left standing
To face what’s left of concrete and honey*
-Jewel, Kiss the Flame

“They aren’t going to get any better, are they?”

Willow turned at the sound of her boyfriend’s voice.  She was sitting on a bench outside the hospital.  She had been right; the three girls had been fine, but the doctors were at a loss when it came to helping the witches that were in comas.  “No, they’re not.  They don’t have any power left.  They can’t heal.”

“Can you help them?” Angel asked, coming to sit beside her.

Willow shook her head, tears forming in her eyes.  “Only short term.  I could give them some of my power, but it would fade.  They don’t have any power of their own.  Without that, they’ll never be able to get better, and I can’t give them their power back.”  Angel pulled Willow close as she began to cry.  She sobbed brokenly into his chest, and he barely heard the words she spoke.  But he still heard them.  “They were all Harmons, Angel.  They were my family.  And I can’t help them.”

“I know, baby, I know.  God, Willow, I am so sorry.”  He closed his eyes against his own tears.  It tore at his heart to think about what she was going through.  She was the last one left in her family.  If she stayed with him, the Harmon line would end with her.  He loved Willow more than anything, but he didn’t want that to happen.

After awhile, Willow calmed down and pulled back to look at him.  He was staring at her sadly, an intense expression on his face.  He looked almost as if he was trying to memorize her.

“What’s wrong?”


“Something’s wrong, Angel.  I can tell.”

“You’re the last one, Willow.  The last Harmon.  You can’t let it end with you.”

Willow pushed away from him, putting distance between them.  “And just what is that supposed to mean?”

“Being with me; it’s not fair to you.  Willow, if you stay with me... I can’t have kids.  You know that.  And it’s not fair to you.  You would make an amazing mother.  You should be with someone who can give you children.”

“And end up with someone I’m going to outlive by a few hundred years?”

“Is that why you’re with me?  I’ll live as long as you will?”

“God, Angel, no.  That’s not why I’m with you.  I love you.  I want to be with you.  Only you.  If I only wanted someone who would live as long as I will, I could go find some other vampire, or a demon, or even another
witch.  Harmons aren’t the only ones with amazing longevity.  But I’m not going to do that because I want to be with you.  No one else; just you.  And as for kids?  Have you ever heard of a sperm bank?”

“You’d want some anonymous donor to be the father of our children?”

“We could ask Xander or maybe Doyle to be the donor.  I don’t know.  I’m only nineteen, Angel.  We’ve got time to think about it.”

“Doyle, huh?  Then our kids would be really special.  Part Irish, part demon, part gypsy, and part witch.”  Angel had a slight grin on his face.  He should have known Willow would come up with something like this.  He should have known she wouldn’t leave him.

Willow smiled back.  “We could always ask Xander.”

“Unh-uh.  No way.  Xander is not going to be the father of our children.  He still hates me.”

“You’d rather have kids that are part demon than part Xander?”

“Definitely.”  Angel leaned in to kiss her, but was interrupted by a shout.

“Hey, you two!”  Angel and Willow turned to see Buffy and Spike headed in their direction.  They were holding hands.  Willow turned to Angel, and the two exchanged a knowing grin.  It appeared that Spike and Buffy had gotten together.  Finally.  Willow turned back to Buffy and smiled.

“What’s up?”

“Xander convinced Amy to let the doctors look her over, and now she’s asking for you.  Something about turning Xander into a pig.”

Willow laughed.  Xander would definitely have his hands full with Amy.  And vice versa.  She nudged Angel.  “Come on.  We should go in.  The sun will be up soon anyway.”

Angel stood and turned to his girlfriend, extending his hand to her.  She took it, and the two of them walked back into the hospital.


The End