As the Hellmouth Turns

by diannelamerc (under influence of Joss Whedon and the SunS!)
Copyright 1998

*{{{Possible-spoiler warning for the "Angel" spin-off show, etc...}}}*

May it please the Jury, I offer the following as Defense Exhibit #1:

> Someone must be ready for work to start; Joss Whedon dropped by (very
> briefly) this morning at the official Posting Board and left this
> message:

> > "I think next season Buffy will become a vegas showgirl or the head of a
> large dog-polishing firm. Xander and Codelia will be revealed to be
> brother and sister and Willow will finally realize her dream of becoming
> a mexican wrestler. Also, and I'm just guessing here, GOATS!"

May it also please the Jury, I offer the following as Defense Exhibit #2:

> Okay, I have this all figured out. Xander gets a pet goat and names it
> Cordelia (hey, he's an infatuated teenager, it could happen). The Hellmouth
> somehow manages to give this goat the ability to think and speak like a
> human so when Angel leaves, he takes the goat with him to be his helper,
> since a goat for a personal assistant wouldn't be considered weird in LA,
> just eccentric.

Thank you all, I just wanted that on the official record. You may now proceed to the story...

[The scene is a old deserted cemetery. The lighting is dim, but evenly so, with no apparent source of light. For some reason the set is close-feeling and the camera never backs away for more than a mid-range shot. An alarming number of trees, bushes, and other assorted shrubbery frolic alarmingly in the background, obscuring anything more than ten feet away.

Precisely three tombstones are visible. From this representative sample we can determine that no one has been buried here (publicly) for at least 100 years. This is unfortunate as at this close range some of the Styrofoam pebbling in the tombstones is not hidden by the coat of gray paint and craft-store moss.

Already present, seated on a convenient tombstone, is ANGEL. XANDER enters stage right, leading an attractive, well-maintained and behaved GOAT on a small leash. Both look worn-out, despondent, yet somehow sexy. The goat, for its part, is looking particularly suave (in a goat-like manner) today.]


"I can't do it, man."

Angel looked up from his rugged, yet classically striking pose on an old tombstone. With a manly, yet sensitive, expression, he looked up at the teen... all the while keeping a close eye on the goat. "What can't you do, Xander?"

"All of it... none of it...." A confused pause. "Can you re-state the question?"

Angel ignored his request, understanding all too well the depths of turmoil into which the teen's soul had been thrown. "The goat-- she's just too much, isn't she?"

Xander nodded silently, the slightest gleam of moisture in his eye. "Cordelia was my life, my soul, my sole foreseeable source of nookie." He looked pained. "When I named my goat for her I meant it to be a lasting, living reminder of the love we felt...." He trailed off, sighing deeply. "But when Giles found us making out behind the check-out counter, he came unglued. He pulled me away from my love and pushed me into the nearby table, shouting incoherently that what we were doing was a terrible sin. At first I thought he was just being repressed and British and all-- I mean, it's not like Cordelia's a vampire and making love to me would cause her to lose her soul like you did with Buffy, thereby threatening me, everyone I care abo...."

"I _do_ know this bit already, Xander," Angel pointed out, not unkindly.

"Oh, right... wait. What are you doing out of Hell?"

"Xander!" Angel was getting agitated now and got up to pace in order to demonstrate this fact. "You already *know* that the Evil Angelus was only my amazingly coincidental twin! I assumed I had killed him along with the rest of my family, but somehow I managed to leave him still alive, although on point of death. Darla had the incredible foresight to make Angelus a vampire in secret and send him immediately to outer Zimbabwe, so that I would not know. He lived there for centuries, curing my name and waiting for his chance to take revenge upon me. He arrived in town the night Buffy and I... well...," Angelus looked away, gazing manfully at the horizon. "I somehow sensed his presence that night and the torment it caused me made me leave the bed and stumble towards the door.

"Unfortunately, he was waiting in the hall, clonked me over the head with a handy shillelaigh, hid my unconscious body in a broom closet, and then ran out, fully-dressed into the rain. And that's all I remember until-- just recently-- the deep and crushing soul-torment of my beloved Buffy woke me from my stupor and I stumbled out into a changed world.... But you already *know* all this, Xander!"

The teen looked startled. "Oh, yeah," he admitted a little sheepishly, "I just forgot."

Angel just looked at him.

"Oh, right!" Xander continued. "Giles was ranting about sin and damnation and then it all somehow just came out-- how he had fathered illegitimate twins while possessed by Eygon about eighteen years ago, then given them up for adoption in shame and disgust. He had a change of heart less than a year later and had been searching for them ever since. Only bare moments before he had discovered through his research that those twins had both been adopted separately by couples who had later moved to Sunnydale. He had just found definitive proof that-- against truly staggering odds-- Cordelia and I_ were those twins! She's my *sister*, Angel! I've fallen in love with my own sister!"

"Bummer, man," Angel offered in a guy-bonding supportive kind of way. "I can take her with me," he offered nobly, "take care of her for you."

"No," Xander sighed, "You can't. Ever since she found out that *she* was actually supposed to be the Slayer, but that Giles had forced Buffy into doing it to cover his shame and the fact that he couldn't locate his daughter, she's been determined to take her place fighting the Forces of Evil and all. Especially since Buffy dropped the gig and headed to Vegas to become a showgirl."

"I meant the goat," Angel clarified.

"Oh! Good idea, you take her," Xander handed over the leash. "She brings too many painful memories to me now."

"I understand." Angel rose to leave.

"Wait," Xander stopped him suddenly. "You're leaving?"

"Yes," Angel sighed. "Things haven't been the same since my evil twin Angelus took over my life for six months. I feel as if I've lost my sense of purpose, my depth, my sincerity... my soul."

"So where will you go?"


Xander nodded. "Good call."

It was Angelus' turn to ask, "So, what will you do?"

The teen shook his head. "I don't know. Cordelia has completely renounced any social life to concentrate on her new calling. Besides, I've done that 'wait for the Slayer to notice me' thing before."

"Yeah, been there, done that...."

"Willow doesn't need me anymore either. Oz put his playing on hold to managing her career... I hear she's really hitting it big in Oxaca. All I would get from a trip down south is a case of Montezuma's Revenge and one of those tacky ceramic figurines they sell at the border crossings. There's just no place for me now in the masked, caped, star-studded life of "La NetGirl Peligrosa."

He sighed. "And Buffy.... I heard Giles is trying to make amends for what he did to Buffy by setting her up as a dog polisher in Van Nuys."

"I hear that pays well," Angelus offered wistfully.

"Yeah," Xander agreed.

"Well, there really isn't any more to say, is there?"

"No, I guess not."

"Bye, Xander." Angel rose to leave.

"Bye, man."

They share a manly, sad, wistful look, then Angel exits stage left with the goat in tow. After Angel has passed out of view the goat turns back for one last, long, lingering gaze at Xander and bleats softly.

"Good-bye, Cordelia."

[Scene lingers on the single tear rolling down Xander's cheek as the goat is slowly lead away. ]

The End


P.S., this is *so* not my fault. It's all to be blamed on Joss and Beth. So there! :-p

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