Title: Harmony's Gift
Author: Sweetdoggie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: After the fall of Sunnydale, Harmony sends Buffy a present.
Disclaimer: No permission has been granted to use the characters. They are owned by their creator, Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB, and Mutant Enemy. This story is non-profit and is intended solely as entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.
Buffy looked at the return address on the small package she held in her hand. Los Angeles, California. If this was from LA, it probably came from Angel. The last thing she needed or wanted in her life was correspondence from her former lover. Angel was sure to be asking for some sort of favor and she found, to her surprise, that she was deeply reluctant to grant him one.
With a resigned sigh, she opened the package. Interestingly enough, a DVD dropped from the mailer along with a short note. Glancing at the signature, she was startled to see it came from Harmony Kendall, former high school acquaintance and now vampire employee of the evil law firm, Wolfram & Hart.
They hadn't been friends even back in Sunnydale when Harmony was a vapid member of the “in” crowd and Buffy had been the social outcast. She couldn't imagine what the vampire wanted with her now. She read the note with curiosity.
Hi! I know you are probably wondering why I'm sending you this since we aren't friends or anything. But the truth is, this was just so funny I couldn't help it. I know Angel would never share this with you on his own. And I am still evil, sort of. I don't get a lot of opportunities for that working for the “Vampire with a Soul.” To tell you the truth, it's kind of boring, but it's better than trying to do it on my own. Oh, I should probably tell you before you watch this that Spike is back. First he was a ghost but then Fred did something and now he's really back all the way. I don't know much about that except it had something to do with this big, ugly amulet thing that we got in the mail. I don't suppose Angel ever bothered to tell you that. He wouldn't, I guess.
Anyhow, I got most of these pictures from the security cameras at Wolfram & Hart and some others from the recorder at the station where the final battle was accidentally filmed and broadcast. I think you'll enjoy this. Think of it as some sort of cosmic payback for Angel being such a bore.
Love, Harmony OXOXOXO
Buffy didn't know what to make of that. In the first place, it seemed very strange to have a letter from a vampire signed with “Hugs and Kisses,” regardless of the content. Harmony had been dense as a human; as a vampire she was pathetic. In the second place, what on earth could she send Buffy about Angel that would be considered payback? She had to snicker over the idea of Angel being boring. It hadn't occurred to her sixteen-year-old self, but seven years, half-a-dozen apocalypses, and two deaths and resurrections later, his brooding had definitely lost the edge on mysterious and moved down to that of—what was it Giles called him—oh yeah, a self-absorbed wanker with too much time on his hands.
She knew this wasn't an entirely fair assessment—Angel was trying to find redemption, though she had come to the conclusion that there was none for the deeds his demon-self had committed. There was no mystical buy-back, no get-out-of-jail-free cards in his future. He could live another thousand years doing only good and not one of the evil acts he had perpetuated so long ago would be erased or mitigated in any way. Which was not to say that it wasn't a good thing that he was doing. It was, but there was simply no satisfying the human conscience that drove the man. Angel hadn't yet realized that—might never realize it, in fact. He was forever frozen in the moment of time that he had been turned and couldn't move on from that because he was dead. She sighed and popped the DVD into her player.
Forty-five minutes later, she lay back on her couch, her sides aching from the laughter that had poured out of her. She wiped tears of hilarity from her eyes and played the recording again. It lost nothing the second time around. She could barely move by the time it finished playing. Buffy never thought she would ever say this, but she owed Harmony a big thanks. She had been puzzling for months over what else to get Giles for his birthday. That problem had just been solved.
Buffy smiled constantly for the next week. She was glad Giles' party was this weekend. She was sure she couldn't hold out another day. After a quick trip to Harrods, she had found a beautiful Kashmir scarf of the softest wool she had ever felt. It was a lovely, soft dove gray, with a tweed weave. She knew he'd love it. She'd added five CD's from various groups that she knew he'd like and then wrapped a copy of the DVD from Harmony separately. She kept the original. It was too valuable to only have one.
The evening of Giles' party was finally here! She was so excited she could hardly wait. She'd wrapped the scarf and CD's in red paper and the Angel DVD in Blue so there was no chance she'd mix them up.
They partied, opening presents, eating cake, and generally having a very good time. Buffy had held back the DVD till all the other gifts had been opened and exclaimed over. She was sitting next to Giles on the couch when she pulled the wrapped DVD from her purse. “Oh, look! Here's one I forgot.”
Her exclamation didn't really fool anybody. Whatever was in the tiny package was something that Buffy wanted to share, but had wanted to have an appropriate impact. Giles unwrapped it and looked at the homemade DVD curiously.
“What is this.”
Buffy grinned. “This is your real birthday present. Harmony sent it to me from LA. Trust me, you'll love it.”
Giles eyed the small disc with some dismay. He didn't see how he could love anything that came 1) from a vampire and 2) from a vampire that worked for Angel. He still hated that ponce with a bloody and violent passion.
Buffy put her hand on his knee. “Trust me. This is the best thing, like, EVER.”
He put the DVD in the player, turned on the TV and rejoined her on the couch. Everybody sat watching the screen in anticipation.
They watched a muppetized Angel walking down the hallway of Wolfram & Hart, they saw him get into the fight with Spike and heard Spike calling him a “wee little puppet man.” They watched Fred tousle his fuzzy fake hair and keep remarking on how cute he was. They saw him battle the evil muppets and watched him vamp out puppet style. At the end of the DVD were clips of all Angel's friends laughing themselves sick in the privacy of their own offices. By this time, Giles was laughing so hard, he couldn't catch his breath. His face was purple and his sides ached. Xander and Willow weren't in much better condition. Buffy managed to retain control , but only because she had inoculated herself by repeated viewings.
Giles finally sat back and collapsed against Buffy, still giggling. “Oh, B, B, Buffy! I have never, in my entire life, seen anything that funny.”
“I knew you'd like it,” she told him, grin in full bloom. “I sent Harmony a thank you present; a giant basket full of assorted stuffed unicorns.”
For some reason, that set Giles and the others off into another fit of laughter. Then they had to play the DVD again. By the end of the second showing, Giles was moaning and holding his sides while he laughed. He turned to Buffy, gathered her up in his arms and planted a kiss of extreme gratitude on her lips. “Thank you, Buffy. Thank you for this.”
She looked into his eyes as her hand crept up to cup his cheek. “I love you, Giles. I want you to be happy.”
He forgot the others in the room as he looked down into her eyes. “I love you too, dearest. I've loved you for years.” Leaning down, he kissed her again and this one had nothing to do with gratitude. Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back for all she was worth.
Willow and Xander looked on in astonishment, mouths open. Finally, Xander turned to Willow. “I sure didn't see that one coming!”
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