RATING: NC-17, folks.
SPOILERS: Season 6 through "Wrecked".
DISCLAIMER: All hail Joss Whedon, UPN, the WB, FOX, Mutant Enemy and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. GO team! Theirs, not mine.
DEDICATION: For each and every one of you who have followed the series and kept the faith. Thanks to Mezzibelle and Colleen for the beta, and Chris for the kick in the ass.
FEEDBACK: I have no dance, sadly, so this is what I do for fun. Please feed my ego and send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Drusilla reads from ‘Brown Penny' by Yeats. Previous chapters may be found at
DISTRIBUTION: Please ask my permission first, just so I know where it’s headed. All of my stories may be found at http://www.willingslave.com
Chapter Fifteen: Revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know you can count me out
-"Revolution", The Beatles
The vampire mage slowly sat up, his hand clutching the branch that was stuck in his chest.
"I already killed him, Cordy," Willow explained, "but he didn't poof. Angel said it was okay, but I knew there was something wrong."
"Don't worry about it," Cordelia said, her eyes fixed on Aurelius. "You guys go find Giles. I- I can handle this."
Willow opened her mouth to protest, and Tara gently covered it with her hand. “ Cordy knows what to do."
Aurelius stood up, his eyes flashing with anger. With a hiss, he pulled the wood from his chest and tossed it aside. The two witches turned and ran into the mansion. Cordelia walked backwards, leading him away from the grass where Angel lay unconscious.
"You have no magick," the vampire said calmly. "You're just a human. How can you even presume to think that you can best me? I have seen the rise and fall of empires, the ebb and flow of civilizations."
Cordy had her back against the wall now, the ancient vampire inches from her. She raised her chin and looked into his eyes, not flinching as he leaned in to her throat.
Buffy and Spike slept, contented from their lovemaking. Spike curled around her protectively, his face pressed into her neck. Buffy dreamed, a smile lighting her face briefly, then flickering away.
Buffy sat on the shore of a lake. It was a beautiful summer day, the sun shining high in the clear blue sky. She watched the wind from ripples in the water, the ruffle of her long skirt blowing in the breeze.
"You left your parasol," said a familiar voice. She looked up to see Spike, dressed in a white suit, a straw boater topping his head.
"Thank you," she said, as he handed it to her.
He spread out a cloth beside her and laid out a picnic. "Do you want sugar in your tea?" he asked somberly. "Or just milk?"
"Both please," she replied, and he hoisted a samovar, filling two delicate china cups with steaming liquid.
"There they are now," he said, pointing at two figures walking towards them, a tall man in a tweed suit, and a woman with long dark hair. "They've brought the croquet set."
Drusilla smiled as she walked up to them. "Help me set up the wickets, William?" she asked sweetly.
“You need your rest,” said Giles sternly, as he set down a bag and an armful of mallets. “The lad and I will take care of it.”
"She likes to play games," Spike said. “She’ll be unhappy if you don’t let her have some fun. She cheats, though, you know." Drusilla sat down next to Buffy on the blanket. "Which color shall you be, my dear?" he asked Buffy.
She looked at the pile of mallets and balls piled next to the blanket. "I’m tired of being red. Why do I always get stuck with red?"
"We're not the ones playing for keeps today,” Spike assures her. “We can just enjoy the sun, and the fine company." He kissed her hand, and he and Giles began setting a course with the metal wickets.
“You should have a glass of milk,” Buffy suggested to Drusilla.
“I can live on poetry alone,” Drusilla replied. “Would you like me to read for you?” Buffy nodded her assent, and rested her head on the other girl’s shoulder.
"Oh love is the crooked thing," Dru read, her voice quiet amidst the gentle breeze. “There is nobody wise enough to find all that is in it.” Spike’s laughter rang through the air, followed by the deeper sound of Giles'.
Tara and Willow wandered through the mansion. “There are a whole lot of dead bodies here,” said Tara, as they mounted the staircase to the upper level.
“Well, we’ve got Drusilla, Aurelius, and Buffy,” Willow replied. “Three vamps equal quite a body count.”
“And there’s usually minions,” Tara said nervously.
They walked down the hallway and opened doors, cautiously looking inside. “What will we do when we find Giles?” the brunette Wicca asked.
Willow opened a door and made a wheezing noise. “Oh no,” she said breathily.
Giles lay in a large, ornate bed. A fire burned high in the fireplace. He was nude, and very pale against the red sheets. Drusilla lay next to him, her dark hair spilling over his chest. The two witches exchanged a look. “Is- is he dead?” Tara whispered.
Holding hands, the two girls crept across the scattered Oriental carpets to reach the bed. They looked down at Giles. His chest moved up and down and he was quite obviously alive. Drusilla shifted, throwing her leg over Giles’ body. “How are we going to get him out of here without disturbing her?” Willow whispered.
“Maybe a levitation spell,” Tara whispered. “Or we could just-”
Drusilla’s eyes opened and she looked up at the two girls. “Do you mind?” she asked softly. “If you keep talking, you’ll wake up dear Rupert. The lovely boy needs his rest. I wore him quite out.”
Stunned, Tara stammered. “W-W-W-”
Drusilla reached up and touched Tara’s hair. “Aren’t you a pretty one? Your hair is so ripe and pretty, like corn.”
Frowning, Willow said quickly, “Sorry to disturb you.” In a blink, she teleported herself and Tara from the room.
“How odd,” Drusilla remarked. Giles murmured faintly, and she closed her eyes, slipping back into sleep.
Aurelius’ fangs were closing in on Cordelia’s neck when she whacked him in the head with a sachet of herbs. He looked startled and she sneezed as a spray of dried leaves flew into the air. “Freeze,” she said faintly, as she sneezed again.
A frost crept over Aurelius’ skin, immobilizing him. Cordelia pushed against his frozen torso and the vampire toppled backwards onto the lawn. She looked up at the sky. “Now I just need to wait for dawn,” she said, ”and you’ll be one crispy critter.”
She walked across the grass and kneeled next to Angel’s unconscious form. Cordelia’s brow furrowed with anxiety as she smoothed her hand over his cheek. “Wake up,” she whispered. “If this prophecy thing is true, when the sun comes up, and Aurelius goes all dusty, you are going to be human. That means that we can have a future, and I can let myself love you. We’ve got everything to look forward to now. Just wake up, and see it.”
With a start, Buffy’s eyes opened. She turned her head to see her lover sleeping and smiled at the sight of him. Shards of dreams fluttered through her brain, so tenuous that they slipped away. Something had awoken her, buzzing in her mind and tickling her throat. She couldn’t really pinpoint it, until she felt her face shift. She needed to feed.
Images flooded through her mind, reminding her of what she was and what she needed. She had learned her lessons from Drusilla: the most sensitive spots to bite, the perfect angle to tilt her head, so the rich blood would slide down her throat in a glorious stream. She could taste the blood of the prey she had already taken; feel the urge to run, and hunt, and revel in her newfound power.
Tapping down on the urge as best as she could, she began to shake. The bed rocked with the force of her spasms, and Spike’s eyes flew open. “Love,” he said firmly. “Sweet love.” He ran his hands over her shoulders and arms, repeating it over and over until she was nearly still. “You must feed,” he said softly, his eyes boring into hers. “Denying it makes you sick, or insane, or both, especially in one as newly turned as you.”
“I don’t want to kill people,” she whispered. “I know it’s wrong. I just can’t help it.”
“The demon inside you, it doesn’t offer any options,” he explained. “The only way for you to survive is to feed. That’s what it means to be a vampire. You’re a slave to the rhythm of each day, and the appetite of your demon.”
“I want to hunt,” she said, her voice cracking. “I know it’s wrong, but I need to.” She rolled out of the bed and frantically paced around the room.
“If you continue to kill, and feed, the knowledge that it’s wrong will pass,” he said. “The more human blood you drink, the more your own humanity will slip away.” He walked over to her and stopped her movements, kissing her gently on the forehead. “If you drink, you’ll become the very thing that you slayed, the demon that you have spent your life fighting.”
“What choice do I have?” she asked.
“Theoretically, you could do as I have been forced to do,” Spike explained. “You can subsist on animal blood, never causing a human any harm. But you’re a slayer, and even if your mind recoiled at the prospect of hunting, your body would rejoice. Your slayer senses combined with your demon, you don’t stand a chance of fighting your urge to kill.”
“I can try,” she said. “I could do it.”
“And what do you think would happen to the first person that you met? You’d rip their throat out, just as you did to those people last night.” She shook her head. “What if it was Willow, or Giles, or Dawn?” She looked up at him, her eyes full of pain.
“ I’d never hurt the people I love,” she said adamantly. “I would never do that.”
“No,” he replied. “Buffy Summers would never do that. Your demon would. “
“How can you be sure?” she asked.
He took her hands and guided her back to the bed. They lay down together, holding each other tightly. “The night that I rose as a vampire, I woke up in my coffin,” he began. “I was frightened, and frantic. I slammed my hands into the satin lining and the wood over and over, finally breaking through and getting out.” She shivered, and he kissed her palm gently. “I sat up, and I was in the parlor of the house where I had been born and raised. I climbed out of the coffin and walked upstairs, opening the door to my mother’s bedroom. She was sleeping fitfully, tossing and turning. I put my hand on her shoulder, and she awakened with a start.
‘William,’ she said. Her face glowed with happiness at seeing me. ‘My William.’
‘Mother,’ I replied.
‘I knew it was a mistake,’ she said, sitting up and clasping my hand. ‘I knew you’d come back to me. God has heard my prayers.’
I looked down at my mother, the woman who had loved and nurtured me all of my life. In the blink of an eye, my fangs were in her throat. I drank her quickly, her life draining away in seconds. She never struggled, never made a sound, her hands clasping the back of my head as I killed her.”
Buffy looked at Spike, her eyes full of tears. “I’m so sorry.”
He reached out and brushed one away as it rolled down her cheek. “You’re still capable of tears, Buffy,” he said quietly. “You need to make a decision while you still can.”
She thought of all the people that she loved, and how much it had hurt to lose some of them. She imagined how much it would hurt, to lose Spike. “I don’t want to leave you,” she said.
He smiled sweetly, his face lighting up as he looked at her. “Wherever you go, I’ll go, Buffy,” he promised. “You want to greet the sun, I’ll be right there by your side.”
“I couldn’t ask that of you,” she said. “I wouldn’t ask you to die for me.”
“I’ve lived without you, Buffy,” he reminded her. “It was hell, every minute. The pain, it never stopped, not until I saw your face again.” He gently kissed her hand. “That was before we loved each other, pet. We are still bound, still one. The claim is eternal.”
“You’ll do whatever I want?” she asked. “If I choose to go on like this, or end it all?”
“I’ll be by your side, forever,” he promised.
Tara and Willow materialized in the living room of the Summers home. Nanny Travers turned, a burst of flame shooting from her mouth. The two Wiccas fell to the floor, dodging the fire.
“Terribly sorry,” said the dragon, as she transformed back into her human form.
“That’s okay,” said Tara, as she helped Willow to her feet.
“Where are Angel and Cordelia?” Nanny Travers asked.
“They’re back at the mansion,” Willow explained. “Cordelia’s got the spell to freeze Aurelius, and Angel-“ she paused.
“And Angel?” prompted the nanny.
“Angel’s kind of unconscious,” she said shamefully. “I- sort of knocked him out.”
“Willow!” said Tara, shocked.
“He wanted to hurt Buffy,” the redhead explained. “I couldn’t let that happen.”
The dragon glared at Willow. “So Cordelia’s in dire peril, and Angel is defenseless?”
“Well, Cordy’s got her spell-“ Willow replied.
The dragon turned to Tara. “Do you know how to cast Dione’s spell of protection?”
“Yes, and I have the spell components here,” Tara replied.
“Cast the spell, and protect the child,” the dragon said. She held out her palms, and slowly breathed a stream of blue fire. She formed it into three distinct globes, and handed them to Willow. “To activate the fire, just say ‘fire’.”
“Just say ‘fire’?” Willow said, eying the orbs of dragon flame in her hands.
“After you throw them, obviously.” The dragon regarded them seriously. “Can one of you kindly tell me how to get to the mansion?”
Buffy pulled her gown over her head, as Spike fastened his built. “The sun will be up in less than an hour,” he explained. “We need to get going.”
“There’s something I need you to do first,” she said.
“Anything, love,” he said, as he kissed her cheek.
“I want you to go to Xander for me,” she said softly. “I need him to pass on a message to Dawn.” She reached over to the bedside table and handed him a folded piece of paper.
“I can’t leave you, Buffy,” he said seriously. “The feed is upon you, and you can’t go out hunting so close to sunrise.” He raised his brow. “Although-” He steered her across the crypt, to the shackles that hung on the wall.
“Do you think the chains will hold?” Buffy said anxiously, as he locked the sturdy cuffs around her wrists.
“Worked well enough last time,” he said wryly.
“Thanks for the reminder,” she said softly. “I was already thinking of Drusilla.”
“I’m so sorry,” he said, contrite.
“It’s not your fault,” she said earnestly.
“Drusilla would never have come for you, if it wasn’t for me,” he pointed out.
“If I’d never claimed you, none of this ever would have happened to us,” she responded. “Please, let’s not do this. Just do what I asked you to do, and hurry back.”
He bent to kiss her lightly, but she took control of the kiss, escalating it into something flaring and passionate. Buffy’s hands flailed uselessly in her cuffs as she strained towards Spike with all her might. “My love,” Spike murmured.
“I need you inside me,” she pleaded. “Please, just once before you go.”
“We’re running out of time,” he reminded her.
She pulled up on her wrists and locked her legs around his waist. “I need you,” she said. “Your blood, your body. I want all of you, so badly, right now.” She pulled his collar aside and bit his jugular, her fangs sliding into his neck.
He whimpered, his body surging with arousal. He unzipped his jeans and pulled up her skirt, sliding inside her in one fluid motion. Their eyes locked, and he remembered the first time they had made love, feeling her all around him. “Buffy,” he moaned. She was bleeding him heavily as they moved together, and his head swam with the combined sensations.
She pulled away from his neck, and they kissed hungrily. Their movements were punctuated by the clank of chains, tinkling faster and faster as they surged together towards their release. His hands closed around hers, their fingers clenching tightly. He rested his head against her chest, his body trembling. Together, they cried out, reaching their crescendo.
Spike kissed her gently and then pulled away. “I hate to leave you,” he told her as he fastened his pants. “I’ll hurry.” In a flash, he slipped off through the tunnels.
Angel opened his eyes and looked up at the sky. It was beginning to lighten, the black of night now a lighter gray. He turned his head and saw Cordelia tapping her stake on her shoe, humming tunelessly.
“Cordy?” he asked, as he stood up slowly.
“Thank God!” she exclaimed, as she wrapped her arms around him. “You were knocked out for such a long time.”
He smiled at her enthusiasm, and hugged her back tightly. He looked over her shoulder, and spied the frozen figure of Aurelius lying on the ground. Abruptly, he grabbed her by the waist and turned her around so that his back was to the other vampire. “Get out of here,” he growled as he shifted to gameface.
“Why?” Cordelia asked. She peered around his shoulder. “Oh, yeah, Aurelius. Don’t worry about him.”
Angel turned around and chopped off Aurelius’ head with a stroke of his sword. The head rolled merrily across the lawn, and the body stayed where it was. “Why isn’t he dusted?”
Cordelia moved around him and stood in front of him. “We have to wait for sunrise, and then he’ll go poof.”
“Willow staked him, I cut off his head, and he is still here.” Angel turned and looked at Cordy. “Why do you think sunlight will do the trick?”
With identical expressions of worry on their faces, they looked down at the headless vampire. Angel took a glass globe of holy water and dropped it on Aurelius’ chest. The glass shattered as it hit his frozen body, and the holy water harmlessly sheeted over the surface.
“Oh, that’s so not good,” Cordelia said, her eyes wide. She knelt down and unzipped the bag she had brought. She pulled out a flare and lit it, tossing it onto Aurelius. They watched as the fire flared brightly, then died away, not having hurt him in the slightest.
Spike walked into Xander’s hospital room, finding him awake, Anya sleeping in a chair next to the bed. “How is Buffy?” Xander asked anxiously.
“She was turned,” Spike said.
Xander closed his eyes in pain. “This is all your fault,” he said bitterly. “This whole mess, all the pain we’ve been through. It’s because of you. I really wished we’d staked you when we had the chance.”
“I wouldn’t have wished this on her,” Spike explained. “But I’m running short on time, so I’m going to have to strip the mea culpa down to the bare bones.”
“What’s the rush?” Xander said venomously. “Don’t you two have all of eternity together now?”
“We’ll both be gone soon,” Spike said. “Sunnydale’s seen the last of us.”
“Can we see her?” the other man asked. “One last time, to say goodbye?”
Spike shook his head. “Seeing her now, it would bring too much pain to all of you.” He pulled a note out of his coat. “This is for Dawn. Please see that she gets it.”
Xander took it. “I’ll see that she does.”
Spike turned to leave. “Spike,” Xander said. The vampire turned and looked at him. “Take care of her.”
“Until the very end,” Spike promised. With a flick of his duster, he was gone.
The sky was lightening considerably now, pink and purple streaks heralding the arrival of a new day. Cordelia took a deep breath and wiped sweat off her brow. “What haven’t we tried yet?” she asked Angel.
“Chopping him into tiny bits and shoving him in a blender?” he suggested.
Cordelia looked thoughtful. “Do you think that would work?”
He looked at her in exasperation. “Cordelia, this is a lost cause.”
“We can’t give up,” Cordelia said flatly. “It’s just not an option.”
“Well, what do you suggest we do?” he said.
She looked up at the sky. “Well, right now, I suggest you head back to Buffy’s house before you become a tiki torch. Plus, I’ll feel better knowing that you’re with Connor.”
“Nanny Travers will take good care of him,” Angel assured her. “I can’t just leave you here with Aurelius.”
“I have to trust that sunrise will make him poof, like Tara said,” Cordelia said. “I have faith in her. So much is depending on this.”
“When that freezing spell wears off, he’ll attack you,” Angel ground out. “There’s no way I’m leaving.”
“There’s no way I’m leaving him,” Cordelia countered. “If he’ll just freaking die already, we can go home and make love and get married and be a real family. I’m not giving up on that.”
Angel stared at her, his eyes wide. “What did you just say?”
“Sorry to interrupt,” said a quiet voice, “but I believe I have the solution to your dilemma.” They turned to see the draconian form of Nanny Travers walking down the stairs. “Aurelius may be impervious to human methods of destruction, or even magickal ones. But supernatural means should do the trick.” The dragon opened her fanged mouth wide, and released a torrent of blue flame.
Willow pulled back the curtain from the window, watching the rising sun. “I hope Buffy’s somewhere safe,” Willow said.
Tara wiped baby food from the corner of Connor’s mouth and smiled at Willow. “She’ll be fine. If Cordelia performed the spell, they will all be back to normal, come sunrise.”
“I hate waiting,” Willow said. “I hate the not knowing.”
“Everything will work out,” reassured the other witch.
The doorbell rang, and Connor squealed with surprise. Willow went to the door, and opened it to see a crying Dawn, with Xander and Anya. “Buffy’s gone,” Dawn sobbed. “Spike’s gone too.”
“No, Dawnie,” assured Willow. “Tara and Cordelia, they found a way to make Buffy and Spike human again. When the sun comes up…”
“When the sun rises, their going to dust themselves,” Dawn cried. “That’s what Buffy wanted me to know.”
Buffy and Spike walked along the docks, holding hands. “The sky looks so beautiful,” said Buffy. She held a bag of blood, taking long sips from it with a crazy straw.
“Feeling better now?” Spike asked, as she finished off her drink and tossed the bag into a trashcan.
“Muchly,” she replied. “Pretty odd, considering I’m going to die. Again.”
“You were happy in heaven,” he reminded her.
“That was before I had you,” she said. “I don’t want to be parted from you. Not ever.” She furrowed her brow in thought. “You saved a lot of people, fighting with me, saving the world. That’s go to count for something. So when they tally up the slate and figure out if you’re going to heaven or hell, maybe you’ll just wind up in purgatory.”
“Say a Hail Mary for me right quick then,” Spike said with a grin.
They strode together down the pier, the rising sun creating glints on the water. At the end, they turned to one another. “I don’t regret a moment,” she said. “Not a single moment we had.”
“I just wish we’d had more,” he said with a grin. As the sun rose high into the sky, they leaned together for one last kiss.
Giles kissed his lover as they moved together in rhythm. She was so ethereally beautiful, and he was entranced by every inch of her. He ran his mouth along her collarbone, admiring the delicacy of her body. He loved the silken feel of her skin. Such overwhelming beauty, distilled into a small frame.
She cried out in release, and he shuddered as he followed her. A glowing incandescence began to swirl around her, and her eyes opened, panicked. She ripped her nails along his arm, as cried out in fear. The glowing intensified, completely enveloped her and then burned away, falling to the floor in a rain of golden dust.
Reality crashed into Giles with the force of a tidal wave. The watcher was stunned to find himself in Drusilla's bed, inside her body. He scrambled off the bed, conscious of his nude state. He looked at the floor in dismay, seeing the shredded scraps of what had one been his favorite shirt. The pants had fared no better. Someone powerfully strong or seriously impatient had ripped the front fly open in one fell swoop. He reached into the pocket, and closed his fist around a globe of holy water. He whirled around to confront the vampire.
He turned to see Drusilla staring at him, pulling the covers up to her chin. "Are you an angel?" she asked, her voice soft. He took in the tinge of blood in her cheeks, the rise and fall of her chest. Carefully, he unsealed the glass that held the water and poured a handful into his palm.
She slid out of the bed and walked over to him, her face alight with wonder. "You are," she said ecstatically. "You are my guardian angel, like the nuns say."
Cautiously, Giles placed his hand on her forehead. He was amazed to find it warm, and the holy water spilled in delicate drops over her pale brow. Thoughts of research, prophecies, and the Council overflowed in his mind. "Ah- um- ah-" he stammered, trying to spit out an appropriate response. ‘Consult your books,’ his brain supplied helpfully, but his mouth opened and closed futilely. "I'm just a man," he said, suddenly able to speak.
She smiled at him, a smile filled with radiance and peace. There was no demon here any longer. She was just a young woman, once more. "You are a gift from God," she said reverently, as she reached out and placed her hand over his heart. “You’re so beautiful.”
As he opened his mouth to deny it to, his heart was seized with a powerful longing. For love, and innocence, and all the beautiful things that overflowed from the eyes of this girl that he'd thought he'd knew, but now was certain that he'd never met.
Cordelia looked at the spot where Aurelius had once lain. “Damn,” said Cordy. “That was really impressive.”
“Just doing my duty,” Nany Travers said, once again in her human guise.
“Your duty was to protect Connor,” Angel said. “You shouldn’t have left him.” The shimmer of golden dust surrounded Angel in a nimbus, and then faded away, revealing his annoyed expression.
“You know,” Cordelia interjected. “She just saved all of us from big vampire doom- and made you human again. You might want to back off a little.” The dragon smiled, and walked up the garden stairs into the sunlight.
Cordelia walked over to Angel and took his hand, placing it on his chest. He closed his eyes, and felt his heart beating. “This- can’t be,” he said in awe.
“It’s real,” Cordelia assured him. “This, now, this is no dream. It’s never going to be taken away.” She cupped his face in her hands and kissed him, a long, rapturous embrace.
Buffy and Spike sat at the end of the pier, their heads tilted back to the sun. “We should have dusted by now,” Buffy remarked.
“Sure enough,” Spike agreed.
“Has this ever happened to you before?” Buffy asked. “The golden sparkle thingy?”
Spike shook his head. “Can’t say that it has.”
“It’s been a weird few weeks,” Buffy said. “Should we just chalk this up as normal?”
“Probably safer that way,” Spike agreed. He helped Buffy to her feet and they headed back into Sunnydale.
Buffy grimaced, making a succession of weird faces. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Trying to vamp out,” she said. “Doesn’t seem to be working.” She put her fingers on her neck. “I’ve got a pulse.”
“Me too,” said Spike. “I’m not going to get too excited about it, though. Last time I felt a little human, it was at your expense.”
“I feel fine,” Buffy assured him. “No smoking of the skin, no urge to revisit a liquid diet.” She stopped on a street corner, and with a roundhouse kick, knocked a dumpster across the street. “Still got the Slayer powers,” she commented.
“I’m hungry,” Spike said, and Buffy turned and looked at him. “For breakfast food,” he clarified. “Juice, maybe a donut.”
“That sounds really good,” she said. “I’ve still got this totally rancid taste in my mouth.”
“It’s a beautiful day on the Hellmouth,” Spike observed, putting his arm around the woman he loved as they headed for home.
Continued in Epilogue