Look, I don’t write fan fiction. I prefer to keep my ideas for my own original characters (Internal Damnation: coming sometime eventually, really...), but when I read “Angel: First Night”, I was disappointed, because I’d always had a cool vision for what happened in the alley. And now that I know my vision is NOTHING like what happened, I choose to share that vision with you, so indulge my fanboy senses for a minute or two.
We open with the final moments of “Not Fade Away”, the demon army closing in on Angel, Spike, Illyria and Gunn. Angel says his now-famous line, “Let’s go to work”, then charges at the army. He swings his sword and we hear the same clash from the episode, only now we see that Angel’s sword is clashing against... a force field.
Angel reaches out and touches the field, which has a similar vibrating essence to one we’ve seen before -- in Season 5 of “Buffy.” Angel and Spike look up and see... Willow! She explains that once Angel and his crew started killing off members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, they detected a seismic shift in power and quickly mobilized the slayer army to L.A.
Gunn makes a sarcastic comment about an “Army of 1” (seeing only Willow), and she notices his faltering state. He responds with “don’t worry, I’ll be...” then begins to sparkle. He takes a deep breath, pats his suddenly healed body, and finishes “... fine?” Willow jokingly remarks, “courtesy of the army of one.”
Because of this healing spell, however, the force field starts to falter. Willow gives the attack command, and, from seemingly out of nowhere, the slayer army appears, leaping from the rooftops to attack.
The fight begins, and with the numbers now evened out a little bit, things are going the way of our heroes. However, there is that pesky dragon to deal with. The tightness of the alley prevents him from doing too much damage, but he’s still able to whip his tail down and pick off slayers (though occasionally he nails a demon too). Finally, with the battle very much turning against the W&H forces, the dragon makes his move.
He flies up high, then begins to swoop directly at Angel, when he’s thrown violently against a building by... a missile? Everyone on the ground looks up, and sees a helicopter being piloted by one Xander Harris! “The glorified bricklayer picks up another spare!” His new slayer girlfriend, co-piloting the chopper, doesn’t get the reference, but no matter. Xander sets the chopper down on an adjacent building.
One problem... the dragon is down, but not out. He rises up and lands on the same building, prepared to take a bite out of Xander. The dragon takes a big lunge at the chopper, but his mouth comes up just short. He’s being held back by his tail -- and we see the holder is none other than our favorite slayer, Buffy!
Buffy’s arrival doesn’t go unnoticed by Spike and Angel, who both, while fighting multiple demons, look up and see her radiance atop the building. Angel quickly decapitates the primary demon he’s fighting, then uses one of his vampire super-leaps to get onto the fire escape of the building. He sprints up the stairs to join Buffy, just as the dragon was ready to attack.
Their reunion mirrors the one from “End of Days”, with the roles a little reversed. Buffy says to Angel, “you look good” to which Angel responds “You look timely... and also good.” Buffy starts to make a move at the dragon, and Angel stops her. “You wanna slay the dragon,” Buffy asks. “You heard that?” Angel responds, “it’s one of those things I have to finish myself.”
The dragon rears it’s head back, and begins to breath a plume of fire at Angel, Buffy, and the chopper, but Angel slides under the fire, under the belly of the beast, and thrusts his sword straight up into the demon. It recoils in pain and starts to stumble. Willow, watching from above, quickly teleports the slayer army back to headquarters, right before the dragon’s corpse lands in the alley, crushing the remaining W&H forces.
Buffy and Angel share a triumphant kiss -- like at the end of “End of Days” while Spike, again, is forced to watch from the distance. Illyria actually puts a comforting hand on Spike’s shoulder. “Not now, Blue” Spike responds.
Another rumble from the alley suggests things aren’t all as they seem though. A black portal begins to emerge from the dragon’s opened underbelly. Seeing this, Willow urges everyone to get out of there. Buffy hops into the chopper and tells Angel to get in.
“I’ve gotta get my people out first,” Angel responds.
The chopper lifts off and Willow follows behind in flight. Angel hops down to the alley, and Gunn asks, “so what now?”
Angel quickly responds, “now, we run.”
The black portal is too fast though, and consumes the entire city quickly -- leaving L.A. in hell (and bringing us to where we are in “After the Fall”.)
Meanwhile, Willow’s transportation of the entire army onto U.S. soil draws the attention of the government, setting the stage for their actions in “Buffy, Season 8”.
See what I did there -- I worked my vision into current continuity. I’m a freakin’ genius.
And thank you for allowing be to briefly be a total fanboy.