Angel had finally reached the grounds of the hotel, he was so grateful that it was still standing, though there was some damage, it was still structurally sound. Angel raced through the door yelling for Spike and Illyria, he assumed they had already made it back there by now.
The worn out duo finally appeared in the lobby after coming out of Angel's old office where they had been holed up and waiting for Angel to arrive.
"What's going on now oh Soul-ful one?" Spike asked sarcastically. He liked to take little digs at Angel now and then, merely because he knew it drove the Champion crazy. Angel just blew it off this time, he had never taken Spike seriously, and he wasn't about to start now! Once he knew he had their full attention he proceeded to tell them about everything that had happened in the alley just after they had left.
Once he was finished reciting the tale, Spike was the first one to speak. "Oh, well I guess that clears up the whole mystery that we went round and round about, as to whether the Shanshu prophecy was referring to you, or to me – where the whole, 'Vampire with a Soul' thing was concerned. So big guy, did you come to a decision as to what you are going to do?" This time Spike actually sounded sincere in his interest.
"No Spike I haven't." replied Angel, "I don't know what to do because, I always knew deep down that one day, I would become human. But I had given up on that fantasy after the whole plot to bring down the Black Thorn – which is what ultimately altered the intended outcome of the Shanshu prophecy. Though now that we killed the Black Thorn, I just . . . well, I juusst don't know.
Spike and Illyria remained quiet as Angel continued talking through the decision that had been all but forced uponhim by Cordelia, or rather, the Powers That Be. "The one thing that I am struggling with the most is," Angel finally said after taking a long pause to think, "the fact that I will retain no memory of either of you, or of anyone for that matter – or anything that I have done while I was thought to be one of the World's ultimate Champions!"
He angrily punched his balled up fist into the side of the wall that he was standing near, denting the innocent drywall with the force of his angry strike.
"Look Angel," Spike spoke up, seeing the anguish that was tormenting Angel, "Listen, I have known you longer than anyone Angel, and believe me when I say – no one is every going to forget you – or all of the good that you have done in this world."
"Take it from me, and when I say this man, I mean it - if any one deserves this Angel – it is you!"
"So if you can't make a decision right know," Spike continued, "then you need to just sleep on it, and then hopefully, the answer will come to you by morning." With that advice, Angel started to climb the stairs towards his old bedroom. During the night Angel started to dream about a tall brunette with crystal blue eyes.
The next morning Angel awoke hours before everyone else, he had finally made his fateful decision. He proceeded down the stairs to his office where he sat down at his desk and began to compose a letter to Spike and Illyria. After he had finished with the letter, he took one last walk through the lobby towards the main Hotel entrance, taking a moment to look around, taking one last look at the lobby and hotel that had acted as their base Headquarters for so many years.
He couldn't help but think back to some of his best and worst memories of this place, one of the best and worst of them had to be in regard to his son Connor. The best Connor memory being the time he had brought him here as a newborn baby, then raising him for a while until he experience one of his worst memories involving Connor, which was when his own friend at the time betrayed him by stealing his tiny son, which resulted in Angel losing him forever. Or so he thought, until Connor came back later bringing a whole new set of problems along with him.
He wondered how Connor was doing now, he hadn't seen him since the end of the whole 'Jasmine' nightmare.
Angel felt a sadness over take him at the realization that he was leaving Connor once again.
Angel finally disappeared through the door and began to head back to alley. By the time he finally arrived he found Cordelia was there, already waiting for him. He walked up and stopped in front of her.
"Angel, have you made your decision?" she asked him in her very caring and sweet tone of voice.
"Yes," Angel replied, "I have made my decision and . . . I have decided that I do wish to accept the new Shanshu prophecy that is being offered to me now." Upon hearing this news, Cordelia smiled her bright, gorgeous smile at him, making it clear that she knew he was making the right decision which made her feel happy for him, proud of what he had become, as well as what he was about to come.
Back at the hotel . . .
Spike and Illyria, whom had both had awakened only moments before, began looking for Angel after Illyria had gone to his room to wake him, only to find it empty. They looked in all the usual places Angel sometimes went to brood, calling his name again and again while they searched. Then after going to check out his office, they finally spotted the note on the desk that was in a white envelope with their names written on the outside: Spike and Illyria
They looked at each other, each thinking the same thing, that Angel had left and this was most likely his good bye letter to them. Spike quickly grabbed the envelope from Illyria's grasp, ripping it open to get to the letter within. He then began to read it out loud for both of them to hear.
Spike and Illyria
If you are reading this, you will have already realized that I am no longer with you . I have come to the decision that I am going to accept the new Shanshu prophecy that has been presented to me. Thank you for helping me to take down the Black Thorn and for becoming reliable friends to me. I will certainly miss you both.
Spike, with you I will miss our arguments and fights and if you do decide to return to Rome to find Buffy , please tell her that I love her and - I always will, but please don't tell her anything about what has happened to me, or rather what will be happening very soon.
Illyria, I never really got to know you all that well, but it was impossible not to look at you and still think of Fred now and then. I just hope you realize just how much she meant to all of us. I will say this about you however, you were definitely very good to have on our side in a fight !
That is all I have to say and please , don't come looking for me. I will have no memory of this existence after today, so unfortunately I wouldn't recognize either of you anyway even if I wanted to.
Oh, and one last thing Spike, I still think the Astronauts would win.
Goodbye to you both,
As Spike and Illyria finished reading the note - Spike looked at her and said, "Illyria, I can't explain it but, I have a really bad feeling about this! I think we need to stop him, I only hope that we can get there in time.
Back in the alley . . .
Upon hearing his answer, Cordelia gently placed one hand over Angel's chest, right where his heart would be if he had one. Upon doing this, Angel was quickly taken aback as a burning pain spread throughout his chest while they were suddenly surrounded in an intensely bright, white glow.
Cordelia and Angel were still connected to the glowing light when suddenly, the luminescent beam disappeared almost as quickly as it had come about. All of a sudden, Angel grabbed his chest and fell to the ground in pain.
To be continued . . .