When the Sun Never Rises
Ten Years Later
Buffy was restless. Lying in bed, she had spent most of the night staring at the wall, wrapped in the arms of her human husband. Her night had consisted of short dozes and mind wanderings and she finally gave up. She carefully extracted herself from his embrace and sat up on the side of the bed, rubbing her sore eyes. A glance at the clock next to the bed read 3:45 a.m. Gods, how she would love to be asleep right now.
Yawning, she shuffled down the hallway and peeked in to the rooms of her children. Her six children were all, thankfully, healthy and well-adjusted, with no memory of the days when vampires ruled over the humans. Her children would never be seen begging on the streets for scraps of food to keep them alive like she had as child. They had never seen humans walking around thin and haggard from starvation, willing to whore themselves to vampires for a warm meal.
Her children, the children of a Slayer, had never seen a vampire at all. She was eternally grateful for that fact. She would always have nights where rivers of blood and violent murders crawled up from her hidden memories. She would be haunted by the events that lead up to a shift in the power balance, removing control of the vampires from the earth. The most powerful vampires were destroyed and only a few remained, prowling at night, and hiding in the dark corners of the world.
The time following the end of the perpetual night was still a muddled mix of memories. She could recall small glimpses with extreme accuracy, yet other moments were completely lost to her. She didn't remember that first sunset, nor the next sunrise. She didn't remember leaving the High Council's ceremonial chambers.
Perhaps that is why this personal ritual persisted, she thought, as she slowly let herself out of the house she shared with her family. Angelus had been right. Once the sun returned, it was as if it had never been gone, as if humanity hadn't been enslaved for a millennium. Most people didn't remember that it had ever been different. They went about their lives with no appreciation for everything Angelus had sacrificed.
"It still isn't safe to be prowling around here at night," came the voice from deep in the shadows. "Humans should still fear the darkness."
Buffy shrugged, looking at the ruins of the High Council's chambers which towered before her. "I'm still the Slayer," she said, quite unruffled by the interruption. "I'm not afraid of the things that go bump in the night."
Turning her head, she watched as he emerged from the shadows. He looked bad, more haggard than she could ever remember seeing him before. But he looked happy, something she wouldn't have thought possible. "I didn't think vampires were supposed to be on speaking terms with the Slayer."
Lindsey smiled and then glanced at the ruins. "I have it on pretty good authority that the Slayer owes me," he said.
Buffy nodded. She did owe him. If not for Lindsey, she probably would have bled to death from the gaping wound Willow's claws tore in her upper arm. She hadn't even been aware of the injury, staring helplessly at Angelus as the sun rose.
Buffy had never tried to keep up with the court intrigue that the Master so loved. It was too complicated, too perverse. But she knew that even the Master would have been shocked at just how far Lindsey was willing to go to appease his avarice and ambition. Despite his performance before the High Council, Lindsey hadn't believed the myth of the sun to be a fairytale. He had believed it, completely. He had also believed that nothing short of absolute chaos would ever wrest power from the Master's ruling Drakuhl party. Lindsey sacrificed eternal night for his chance to rule the darkness.
"Better to reign in hell," Lindsey started.
"Than to serve in heaven," Buffy finished with a sigh. "I think I know someone who might disagree with that sentiment."
“I didn’t used to,” came a voice from behind them. Neither Buffy nor Lindsey turned around to glance at the newcomer. Both sensed his approach several minutes before he arrived.
“A lot’s changed,” Lindsey agreed, his eyes surveying the ruins. Once, a vampire could stroll through the streets and devour any human he came across and toss the corpse into the street with no fear of being attacked.
“Know what hasn’t changed?” Angelus asked, wrapping an arm around Buffy and pulling her against him. “The part where I told you to stay the fuck away from my wife,” he growled.
“Scary,” Lindsey said, laughing. He turned to face his former adversary and leader. The most terrifying and evil vampire in history had become this human who reeked of mini vans and slobbering children. “All these years and no gratitude from you, Angelus.”
His arm tightened around Buffy’s waist and he said nothing. It was a long standing argument. Angelus brought down vampire High Council and brought back the sun. Lindsey had not only saved Buffy, but Angelus as well. An arrow dipped in the blood of a Mohra demon had destroyed the vampire Angelus forever and created the human standing before him.
Both thought the other owed him eternal gratitude.
Truth be told, the current arrangement was the only way they could all survive. Lindsey couldn't risk getting another Slayer – one who might not see him in such a sympathetic light. Buffy would never have forgiven him for allowing Angelus to perish. But at the same time, Lindsey certainly couldn't allow a vampiric Angelus to continue to exist. Too much competition. This way, Lindsey could rule the night, while Buffy and Angelus were free to play house together.
Lindsey tried not to spend too much time thinking about Buffy and Angelus. He found their existence nauseatingly saccharine.
"I was just keeping an eye out for her," Lindsey corrected. "Now that you can't."
Angel started to take a step toward Lindsey, but Buffy held him back. Right now, Angelus couldn't hope to win a fight with Lindsey, but Buffy knew that wouldn't stop him from trying.
"I can take care of myself. Goodbye, Lindsey," Buffy said firmly.
The vampire inclined his head and once again melted into the shadows.
Angel pulled her closer, resting his chin on the top of her head. "It's the middle of the night, you know," he said.
“I know,” she said softly. She looked over the ruins once again. Tears blurred her vision. “Sometimes I have to come and see it again, this place. I almost lost everything here. I almost lost you here.”
Angel’s whole body stilled. “You’re pregnant again, aren’t you?” he asked, but he already knew the answer. There were only six times that Buffy had made this trek and stared over these ruins in tears.
“I don’t know,” she sniffled, turning into his arms. He smiled against her hair. Lifting her against his chest, he felt her wrap her arms around his neck and cuddle closer. After all the years of death and destruction, he was now preparing himself for his seventh child. He had taken so many lives, bathed in violence and gore until humans no longer even had any meaning to him. Now he would sell his soul for one of his children.
How the mighty have fallen. Master Nest would have been the first to say that. Angel smiled as he carried his wife into the house. He was more likely to sit in a puddle of melted ice cream than he was to see blood these days. He wouldn't have it any other way.
The house was still blissfully silent when they made their way back inside. Thankfully none of the children had woken in the night.
"You shouldn't be out alone," he chided softly, leading her toward their room.
She smiled softly, warmed by his concern. "I'm the Slayer," she said.
"You're my wife," he corrected. "And you're pregnant."
"We don't know that," she said, though her voice lacked any real conviction.
"We know," he replied. "You only get weepy like this when you're pregnant."
"That's not true," she said. But it was. And they both knew it. Most days were too busy to give the past much thought. During the day there were the demands of parenting their brood, making a living, rebuilding the society that had fallen so low. At night, they did their best to protect this new world from the creatures that lurked in the gloom.
Buffy was the Slayer, but thankfully, she wasn't the only one. The girls who once would have been known as Harkers were now Potentials or Slayers In Training. Giles and Janna kept tabs on them, trained them. They were good. Strong. The youngest girls didn't really remember the time of eternal night. Buffy knew that one day it would be nothing more than a tale told to keep naughty children in line.
“A new little Summers’,” he murmured, joining her in bed and rolling her underneath him. Having long forgotten his last name, the name of a human who had lived thousands of years before, he took her name with his new life. He barely remembered his family or friends from that time. The memories were just hazy ideas, really, just shadows that sometimes flitted across his mind.
“Another mini Angel,” she countered with a grin. With the exception of their youngest daughter, Grace, all of their children looked just like Angel with dark heads of hair and melted chocolate eyes. Buffy used to say that it was like her genes hadn’t even been *considered*.
“Gracie turned the tide,” he said, sliding down her body. He rooted under her shirt until he could feel her flesh and then followed with his mouth. “Now the rest of our children will be blonde like you.”
“The rest?” Buffy asked, going a little pale and shifting under him.