Exit – Special Features

Chapter 15

(Author’s Notes: I know my notes usually come after the story, but in this case, I’m making an exception. First of all, I’d like to welcome you to the Special Features portion of this fanfiction. Something that, I hope, will give you a bit of insight into the process behind creating this and many other fanfictions. I’m doing this for several reasons. One is that there are three songs that, while not a part of the text of the story, were very… instrumental (pardon the pun) to it’s creation. All three songs are from the Brother Bear soundtrack, and are copyrighted to Phil Collins. They are NOT mine. They just influenced the story. And when you read the lyrics, I believe they will do the same for you.

Another reason I chose to create a Special Features chapter for this story, is that while the ending you just read WAS my original ending, I played for a time with a different ending. After seeing You’re Welcome, I began looking for a way to work Cordy into the story. When I realized that this story was actually taking place BEFORE You’re Welcome, I was forced to discard this alternate ending. But I believed you, my loyal readers who have stuck with this highly unusual piece of fiction from the very beginning, deserved to see the other way I thought it might end.

The third reason for creating this Special Features section, was simply as a thank you to all of you wonderful readers and reviewers. I can’t believe I’ve actually gotten no REAL negative comments on this story, despite the unusual story line, pairing, setting… You get the idea. So, without further ado, I give you the Special Features. In order to navigate this section, I recommend you click on Edit in your browser, then on Find On Page, and search for one of these three sections. They can be read in any order you wish, but I have placed them in the order I believe works best.

1. Song Lyrics

2. Disclaimers

3. Deleted Scene

4. The Journey: Metaphor or Reality?

5. Final Notes

I hope you enjoy these Special Features as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing this story, with all it’s twists and turns, to you. Sincerest Thanks, -Darkwolf)

Song Lyrics

“Look Through My Eyes” by: Phil Collins,

From the “Brother Bear” Soundtrack

There are things in,
Life you learn and,
Oh, in time, you’ll see.

‘Cause somewhere out there,
It’s all waiting,
If you keep believing.

So don’t run,
Don’t hide,
It will be alright.

You’ll see,
Trust me,
I’ll be there,
Watching over you…


Just take a look,
Through my eyes.

There’s a better place somewhere out there.

Oh, just take a look,
Through my eyes.

Everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find,
If you’ll look through my eyes.

There will be times,
On this journey,
All you’ll see is darkness.

But out there somewhere,
Daylight finds you,
If you keep believing.

So don’t run,
Don’t hide,
It will be alright.

You’ll see,
Trust me,
I’ll be there,
Watching over you.


Just take a look,
Through my eyes.

There’s a better place somewhere out there.

Oh, just take a look,
Through my eyes.
Everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find,
If you’ll look through my eyes.


All the things that,
You can change.
There’s a meaning in everything.

And you will find,
All you need.
There’s so much to understand.


Just take a look

(take a look)
Through my eyes,
(look through my eyes)
There’s a better place somewhere out there.

Oh just take a look,
(take a look)
Through my eyes,
(look through my eyes)
Everything changes, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find.
(You’ll find)
If you take a look through my eyes.
(There’s a better place)
Just take a look through my eyes,
(you know there’s a better place)
Just look through my eyes…
Take a look through my eyes….



by: Phil Collins
(From the “Brother Bear” soundtrack)

Come with me,
I’ll take you now.
To a place that you fear.

For no reason why,
Your heart has turned,
Away from me.
And I will make you,



Everything will become clear to you,
When you see things through,
Another’s eyes.

Everything will become clear to you,
Whatever’s meant for you,
You will find.



Come with me,
I’ll take you there.
To a place where you’ll see.

Every thing you need,
To be the one,
You need to be.

And all of those things,
That you feared…

Will disappear,
From view,
In time….




Everything will become clear to you,
When you see things through,
Another’s eyes.

Everything will become clear to you,
Whatever’s meant for you,
You will find.

“No Way Out (theme from Brother Bear)”
by: Phil Collins
From the “Brother Bear” soundtrack

Everywhere I turn,
I hurt someone.

But there’s nothing I can say,
To change the things I’ve done.


I’d do anything within my power,
I’d give everything I’ve got.

But the path I seek,
Is hidden from me now.


Brother Bear,
I let you down.

You trusted me,
Believed in me,
And I let you down.


Of all the things I hid from you,
I cannot hide the shame.
And I pray someone,
Something would come,
To take away the pain…



There’s no way out,
Of this dark place.
No hope,
No future.


I know I can’t be free.
But I can’t see another way.
And I can’t face another day.


Tell me where,
Did I go wrong?

Everyone I love,
They’re all gone.


I’d do everything so differently,
But I can’t turn back the time.
There’s no shelter,
From this storm inside of me.

Oh, ohhh,


There’s no way out,
Of this dark place.

No hope,
No future.

I know I can’t be free.
But I can’t see another way.
And I can’t face another day.



Can’t believe,
The words I hear.

It’s like an answer to a prayer.
When I look around I see.


This place,
This time,
This friend,
Of mine.


I know it’s hard,
But you found some how,
To look into your heart,
And to forgive me now.


You’ve given me the strength to see,
Just where my journey ends.
You’ve given me,
The strength to carry on.

Oh, Ohhh…


New Chorus:

I see the path,
From this dark place.
I see my future.


Your forgiveness,
Has set me free.
Oh, and I can see another way.
I can face another day, yeah!


I see the path…
I see my future.

I see the path,
From this dark place.

I see my future…


I’ve noticed in my readings of fanfiction here on ff.net and elsewhere, that most authors choose to include a disclaimer, despite the fact that one is included in the terms of use of this and many other fanfiction sites. As this is common practice, I choose to add my disclaimers here. First, for the above songs. They do not now, nor have they ever, belonged to me or anyone I know personally. With the possible exception of my bought copy of the Brother Bear soundtrack.

And then there’s the story itself. It feels strange to do this for the characters, and yet not the story, but I suppose that is what I must do. The STORY is mine, and the characters aren’t. The ideas, plot, and overall plan of the story (including the art in the Concept Art section) are mine. Angel, Spike, Buffy and anyone else from the Jossverse that I might have mentioned at some point, aren’t mine. The hunter, I suppose, IS mine… But I don’t think I want him. shrug

Alternate Ending

(Chapter title: “And I won’t remember I did”)

(Author’s Note: One more note, then I’ll let you get on with reading the alternate ending. Considering the time frame (the literal one) spoken of in the fanfiction, it’s very possible that by the time Angel and Spike reached London, it was AFTER You’re Welcome. I just realized this as I sat here typing out the alternate ending. However, that completely throws off the Jossverse’s timeline, so it might be best to ignore that. But it does give a way that this could have happened. Thank you, and enjoy a second look at the ending of You Can’t Top An Exit Like That. Oh. And one last note. Included, just to set the scene, are the last few paragraphs of chapter 14. Thank you.)



Spike ran until he couldn’t go any further. Ironically, his leg wasn’t what stopped him, but, rather, the very river that had been their home for so long. He was further downstream, though… And the stench of death pervaded this area of the riverbank. Not too far from where he’d burst from the foliage, half a decaying carcass of a whistling deer was rotting… and not too far away from that, the body of the other panther who’s life had finally given out some time the previous night. Spike felt strangely saddened upon noticing the other cat’s corpse, then sobered with the realization that his body was very likely about to JOIN that of his fellow panther, when the hunter crept out of the trees.

Spike tried to lunge, but his leg had had enough by then, and finally decided to give out. The panther collapsed on the muddy riverbank, hissing and spitting at the hunter, even as the man smirked at him and raised the rifle to deliver the final shot. But a sudden noise distracted the man. The canopy was suddenly screaming with the voice of every animal that inhabited it. The hunter looked confused for a moment, then shrugged it off and went back to aiming his rifle carefully at the wounded panther.

Spike’s heart sank when he realized that his death wouldn’t be fast. The man was considering him the way most people look over a pair of jeans they’re about to buy… He wouldn’t want damaged goods. Which meant that he was going to shoot Spike as many times as it took to kill him, without damaging his trophy. The panther’s handsome head. Helplessly, hopelessly, Spike cried out one last time along the Sire/Childe bond, sending his final thoughts… Along with his love, and forgiveness to his Sire, in what Spike was sure was the last moments of his life.

But just then, the white wolf burst from the trees behind the hunter.


Angel snarled, charging at full speed at the hunter, launching himself into the air, his jaws gaping and preparing to rip the man’s neck out from behind. “Leave my Childe alone!”

The hunter whirled, his rifle suddenly pointing directly at the wolf’s head. The man gave a cry of fright, and his finger tightened on the trigger.

“Angel!”, Spike cried. “Sire, LOOK OUT!”

The single thunderous gunshot was enough to silence all the screaming creatures in the jungle.

Time stopped.

It didn’t slow down. Lives didn’t flash before canine and feline eyes. Time simply… stopped.

Everything was frozen in place. The water in the river had stopped running. The animals in the canopy were still and silent… And a bullet hovered mere inches from the face of a leaping white wolf, frozen in the air, who now had a very comical look on his face as he considered the frozen hunter and the rifle. For some reason, the bullet stopped square in front of his eyes was more disconcerting than the fact that he was frozen about five feet off the ground in mid leap. “Spike?”, he asked after a moment.

There was a pause, then the reply came. “Yeah, Angel?”

“Can you move?”

Spike carefully shifted, then pushed himself to his feet, and was amazed to find that his wounded leg no longer hurt. “Yeah… I’m movin’. Hang on.” The panther slowly made his way around the frozen hunter, and stopped in his tracks when he saw his companion’s position. “God… Angel, the bullet…”

“Yeah. I kind of can’t help seeing it. Can you get me down?”

Spike blinked. “Get you DOWN? I don’t even know what’s holdin’ you UP.” But the panther approached his Sire anyway, determined to help in whatever way he could. But that was when the light started filtering through the trees.

It wasn’t sunlight. It was too… pure for sunlight. And the shadows on the ground didn’t respond to it. Everything was still except for the panther and wolf’s breathing. And Spike suddenly had to step back when the light wrapped itself around Angel’s middle and slowly lowered him to the ground. “Well. That works.”

Angel shook himself and growled at the light, just on principal, and quickly moved to stand next to his Childe as the two stared at the light that should very well have been blinding, but wasn’t. “What is it?”

Spike shook his head. “No clue, mate…” The panther slowly approached the light column, that almost seemed to be watching them the same way they were watching IT. He slowly extended a paw, reaching for it. And when he touched it, the light seemed to explode outward. With a cry of fright, Spike scrambled back, tripping over his own tail and nearly crashing into Angel in his haste to get away from the lights.

“Whoa,” Angel whispered. And when Spike got to his feet, it was suddenly obvious what about that light had the older vampire enraptured.

It was like an aurora, but at ground level. The lights wound around and through everything, always moving. They circled the wolf and panther, only to dive up into the sky, then back down again. Spike stared at the waving light tendrils as they wound their way toward the old panther’s body. “Angel… Look. The panther…”

The white wolf turned, just in time to see the light turn into a swirling vortex above the dead animal… and it was doing the identical thing around the half a deer carcass. Slowly, with what sounded like a distant panther roar and deer bleat, something rose away from the animals bodies. And when the two vampires squinted their eyes, they could almost make out the form of a panther and deer running side by side into the aurora.

“It’s a portal,” Angel whispered after a moment. “To some kind of afterlife… Those two must… they must have been the Guides of people who’ve died. But… does that mean that we’re-”

A soft whistling sound distracted him from finishing that thought, and both Angel and Spike turned to look at the main aurora column now. Something was moving toward them from inside it. As it got closer, it became obvious that it was another cat. A long, thin, incredibly graceful feline, with a golden body covered in small black spots. A cheetah.

Angel swallowed. He knew. Somehow, he just knew. “Cordy?”

Spike blinked at him, then back at the cheetah as it stepped out of the aurora… though it kept the glow of light around it, even as the cat slowly stood up on two legs… and showed itself as Cordelia. Just as beautiful as she’d been the last time Angel had seen her… alive.

Cordelia gave a soft smile, and crouched in front of Angel, wrapping her ethereal arms around his wolf’s neck and hugging him tightly. “It’s me,” she whispered quietly, scratching Angel’s neck when the wolf started whimpering. He knew. He could guess what had happened. “Shhh,” Cordy whispered to him. “Don’t be upset… It was my time, my Angel… I’m just glad I had this last chance to save your furry ass.” She gave him an almost cheeky grin as she sat back on her heels, then considered the panther sitting beside him. “And you. Spike, there are a lot of good things being said about you up there.”

Spike blinked. First he’s told the Scoobies consider him a hero, and now good things are being said about him in heaven? Maybe Angel hadn’t been right about their chances of spending their after dust upstairs, after all. “Really?” He furrowed his brow. “Wait… No offense, luv, but… Aren’t you in a coma?”

“She’s dead,” Angel whispered, his ears laying back, and Spike’s eyes widened when Cordy nodded. “I’m guessing she died while we were on the plane…” He looked at Cordy sadly. “I should’ve been there.”

Cordelia shook her head, ruffling the fur atop Angel’s head gently. “Don’t beat yourself up, Brood Boy,” she whispered affectionately. “Like I said… It was my time. And the PTB owed me a favor… I told them I wanted to get my man back on track. To show him a few things.” Her smile was sad and happy at the same time. “And I’m pretty sure you know, now.”

Angel nodded, glancing at Spike, then back at Cordy. “I know. And I’m never going to forget again.” He stood up when Cordy kissed the top of his head, then started backing toward the aurora again. “Wait… Cordy… I want…”

“I know, Angel.” She smiled at him again, sadly. “I’m going to miss you. But… I’ll see you again. Don’t worry.” Her body dropped to all fours as it reverted to the cheetah form, and now her voice came from all around them, and inside their heads. “You won’t remember this… Either of you. It’s not time for you to know about me, yet… But it IS time for you two to go home.”

The cheetah turned, and took off running into the aurora, while Angel and Spike suddenly found themselves lifted straight up into the air in the same tendrils of light that had taken the panther and deer’s spirits only a short time before. Below them, they witnessed time start again, and the hunter, oblivious to the lights in the sky, look around in confusion when he found BOTH animals were gone.

The lights began to spin, faster and faster, and Angel and Spike cried out in tandem, just as something made a very, VERY loud “POP!”.

Angel’s body hit the ground hard, rolling several times before he came to rest against something cold and leathery…

(Author’s Note: The rest of the ending basically proceeded as it did in the Epilogue. Any changes weren’t profound enough to bother rewriting for this Special Features segment. I hope you enjoyed the alternate ending. The truth is that this section very well COULD have happened… But if Angel and Spike didn’t remember it, neither would we. Thank you for reading. More Special Features to follow.)

A Documentary:
“The Journey: Metaphor Or Reality?”
(Insight into the making of an epic fanfic)

First of all, I’d like to thank you all for following me this far. And now, I’d like to take this time to answer a few questions that have been posed to me (and that I have posed to myself) while writing this fanfic. The easiest way to do this, and I hope I manage to address everyone’s concerns by doing it this way, is to look at the story from two different viewpoints. To look at it ‘through another’s eyes’, if you will. What follows is a bare bones retelling of the story, from the standpoint of A) Everything that happened in the Guide’s world is simply a metaphor. And that will be followed by B) Everything that happened in the Guides world was REAL, as well as all the danger. By the time you reach the end of this documentary, I hope I will have given you a deeper insight into the true meanings of this story… As well as a reminder that there is always more than one way to look at things.

Part One:
Creating The Story

Believe it or not, this story started as two completely separate one shots. The first chapter, which I will refer to as ‘Entrance’ just for clarity’s sake, was a stand-alone story written after the episode “Harm’s Way”, in which Harmony was convinced that nothing she did mattered. The episode was Harmony centric, if you’ll recall, and didn’t really show us much of either Spike or Angel’s feelings on the matter. I disliked the way Joss had portrayed Angel, after ALL poor Harm had gone through, just ordering her to get more coffee, so I decided to do something about it.

However, as I got to writing the story, I found that the reason I’d started it didn’t seem to be becoming the focal point of the fic. This confused me, as it’s never really happened before. Usually, when I sit down to write a post episode fic, I basically KNOW where I’m going, and have a vague idea of how to get there. I had that for this story as well… But it veered off on a tangent all on it’s own, and I never was able to get it back on track. However, what it has evolved into is actually far more poignant, and a stronger, BETTER story than the one I originally had in mind. And it seems that I’ve made a name for myself with it, as well, which is always a nice thing.

As I noticed where the story was going, another idea popped into my head, seemingly randomly. How does Buffy feel? Not knowing that Spike’s alive, how is she coping with these last few months? So I started another one shot, not long after posting up Entrance. However, as that story progressed, it became rather surprisingly clear to me just how well this story would fit as a second chapter to Exit. So, after I completed it, and actually reread Entrance, following it up with this new short story, I decided to make that short the second chapter.

Of course, if you’ll recall, Exit was never really MEANT to have a second chapter. It was open ended on purpose, to allow readers to draw their own conclusions… But I hadn’t intended to continue it. However, after putting the second chapter up, I realized that this story was not going to let me go until I finished it. At this point, I didn’t even know where it was going.

You might notice that there’s a very short sequence in the third chapter that refers to someone chanting in Latin, and the plane going down as if it was going to crash. This is actually something that I mean to replace, later on, when it became obvious that the Guides reality was a dream world, which meant that I DIDN’T have to crash the plane. That little sequence is an example of me actually getting ahead of the story. I didn’t like it when I wrote it, and it still doesn’t fit, because I was trying to EXPLAIN something that I didn’t even understand, yet. As we moved along in the story, it became obvious that this never happened, because nothing in the future ever referred back to it. chuckle And I’m just too lazy to bother replacing the third chapter’s text with something that would make more sense later. I PROBABLY will do that, eventually, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

However, the fourth chapter is where things truly start to get interesting. And now we can move on to one of the two interpretations of the rest of the story.

Part Two:

Pure Metaphor

We already know about the physical journey that Spike and Angel are on. They’re on a plane, heading to see Buffy for the first time in months for Spike, and over a year for Angel. The emotions associated with this reunion are running hot, and Spike is doing his best to keep Angel calm. Internally, though he isn’t aware of it, his desires to have his Sire be his SIRE again have been reawakened by his constant proximity to Angel ever since his recorporialization. This is the motive behind his desire both to bring Angel WITH him to meet Buffy, and behind his desire to help his Sire relax at the same time. If Angel is relaxed, at this point, Spike is more likely to be relaxed. But when they wake up in the jungle, a few things have changed.

Let’s check that metaphor meter, now.

Spike is a panther, who awakens in a tree, while he’s secretly been hiding his acrophobia from people for a century. The first thing he has to face is his own fear. If we look at this through those little rose colored metaphor glasses, we see that his Guide is teaching him that, before he can move on in ANY relationship, he needs to first face the fears of rejection he still has. Symbolized here by his fear of falling. So the first thing he has to do is get out of that tree, or, looking at it as a metaphor, get past his own fear of rejection. Which he does later on by being the first one to make contact with his Sire. Spike is the one that starts the gentle licking and play that become second nature for them later on… And even when Angel pulled away initially, Spike didn’t let that discourage him. First lesson learned.

Then we have Angel. Not previously wounded, when he wakes up as a wolf, he has a deep, almost crippling wound in his leg. We didn’t see what caused this. So what’s the first lesson that Angel’s Guide is attempting to teach him? That, alone, isn’t clear yet. Because it seems more important to Angel that he suddenly isn’t in his own body. So his REAL first lesson is that he needs to get comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. When he reconciles with his Childe, they won’t exactly be on ‘normal’ relationship terms. Most people will look at them as strange, and disturbing… And Angel, the more superficial of the two, needs to get past what others… and what HE thinks of himself.

The wound, which seemed to come from nowhere, on the other hand, is a different symbol. Angel has been the one pushing Spike away and blocking his Childe from reconnecting with him. When looked at through our little metaphor glasses, the wound becomes a symbol of self-sabotage. By pushing Spike away, Angel is hurting himself, and his Guide has chosen to represent that with a real, physical wound. Something Angel understands. Also, if we look further in the future, we see that the wound didn’t stop HURTING him until after he became relaxed touching and being touched by Spike. So that makes the symbolism of that relatively clear. And shows that both Spike and Angel learned their lessons at the same time.

The second lesson was a mutual one, and is metaphorically symbolized here by the fight when Spike and Angel first see each other’s animal bodies. Accomplished a bit faster than the first lesson, this one is rather straight forward. Before they can move on, and get to somewhere that will be mutually beneficial, they have to first put aside their petty differences and inclination to fight. There’s a secondary lesson being taught here, as well, and it’s one that Angel won’t learn until later. Spike was ready for it first, so his Guide allowed him to believe that Angel was dead. That was the lesson. What happened when Spike thought his Sire was gone? He went into a rage at the one thing he could see that might have taken Angel away from him. This being the wolf. Showing Spike two things. One, he has more in common with Angel as far as grieving processes go than he thought, and two, he cares enough about his Sire that it would hurt BADLY to lose him. That was something he hadn’t been letting himself see.

Metaphor glasses are starting to look pretty clear about now, aren’t they? But wait, there’s more.

Now, as we move on, we begin to see how differently the two are adapting to their situation. In other words, Spike is adapting, and Angel is fighting it with everything in him. Within an hour of arriving, Spike is obeying his panther instincts, while Angel won’t even let his wolf tell him how to drink water. This results in the next lesson, though it’s actually a different lesson for Spike than it is for Angel. We now come to the Croc.

Now, I’ve been asked if the Croc is actually someone else’s Guide. And the truth is that I really don’t know. There are six billion people in the world, each with their own Guide. Chances are, yes. It is someone’s Guide. But is it anyone we KNOW? Most likely not. What I do know for sure is that the Croc is an important lesson for both Spike and Angel.

Let’s put on those metaphor glasses again.

Angel’s being stubborn, which isn’t anything new at all. He’s trying to BITE the water, and ignoring the fact that his Guide knows how to drink. He’s also ignoring his Guide’s instincts, which, if he had been paying ATTENTION to them, would have noticed the same things Spike did. The things that alerted Spike to the Croc’s presence and intentions. So there we have Angel’s lesson. He needs to learn to listen to his instincts, rather than fighting them. And then he’ll be able to see what’s so obvious to everyone else.

Now let’s take a look at the same situation, but from the other side. Spike’s side. He’s already learned to listen to his instincts. He’s been doing it his whole life, even after he got his soul. So it’s only natural that sinking into the panther’s consciousness would be his first, initial reaction. But now we come to the lesson that the Croc posed for Spike. There’s a killer coming straight for Angel. Something that will kill his Sire in a split second. Now, he’s already learned that he has NO desire to live without Angel, so what does he do? Leaping for Angel could be suicide. The Croc could grab HIM rather than the wolf. But Spike overrides his self- preservation instinct, and dives for Angel, risking his life to save that of his Sire’s. Needless to say, he learned that lesson amazingly well.

I’m curious. Have any of you guessed what the next lesson might be? And who is going to learn it? If you said “Angel”, you’re right.

Ever since his experience in Hell, he’s been (understandably) afraid of death. A fear that he’s been covering up for years with morbid humor and quick subject changes. If you’ve watched the show, you know what I mean. You’ve seen that slight tensing of his shoulders every time someone says “Go to hell”… and seen how quickly he is to respond with something like “No thanks. Already been there”. There’s a fear there. One he needs to both face, and get comfortable with other people knowing about. Other people, such as Spike. And when Angel finally accepts the comfort his Childe offers, he’s learned that lesson, even though he has yet to pass the first lesson his Guide presented him with.

As we move along now, we see that the next lesson isn’t Spike’s, OR Angel’s… It’s Buffy’s. She needs to see the panther, and her Guide knows it. Her Guide brings her into something she immediately recognizes as a Guiding dream and relaxes into it… Yet something’s different, here. Enter Spike, as a panther.

Buffy and Spike have a soul-mated bond, which is illustrated later. But Buffy had been so intent on keeping Spike from ‘getting in’, that she never realized he already WAS. So, subconsciously, she’s been blocking the bond from the very beginning. If their bond had been open, she would’ve been able to understand Spike’s words from the very beginning. There’s her lesson. Trust yourself, and your decisions of who to love. Buffy does, but she can’t consciously open the bond… And if she did, she isn’t expecting to find anything, so it wouldn’t have been open anyway. So this lesson is really more of a ‘look. That panther isn’t normal’ moment.

The next lesson is actually Angel’s. His instant panic upon being confronted with the Jaguar is to hide. And to ream Spike for bringing the cat to their camp. Notice that Spike doesn’t play the ‘submissive Childe’ roll here, either. He stands up to his Sire. This only unnerves Angel more… However, it does also force him to start looking at Spike as more of an equal. This is good. Lesson learned? Sort of. They’re still working on that one.

As we move further on, (I’m purposely skipping a bit, because now that you all can see a bit of my thinking, I think your own metaphor glasses will be doing the translating for you), we get to a point where everything just seems perfect. Plenty of food, safe and sound, wounds healing…

But now it’s Spike’s turn to see something. And THIS is the hardest lesson he has to learn. When he’s hunting the Duiker… yeah, I know, you’d think the lesson is ‘patience’, right? Well, MAYBE that’s a separate lesson. But it isn’t the one I’m focusing on here. Spike’s happy with his kill. Excited to get back and show it to Angel.

And he’s so damned cocky that he ignores the panther’s instincts for the first time. The ONE thing that could’ve kept him out of that Tiger Trap. But he failed that test, and in he fell. Lesson learned? Painfully so. Though it probably won’t register with him consciously for awhile.

Now back at the camp, Angel’s getting upset. Worried about his Childe. But wolf eyes aren’t the best at night. Not much better than human eyes, and definitely worse than vampire eyes, which are built more like cat’s eyes. However, despite his fear, Angel sets off into the jungle, away from his safe haven, to find Spike. Was there a lesson there, or is it to come? How about a little of both? Putting fear aside in favor of protecting and finding his Childe… And then facing his own innate fear of LOSING Spike… and asking for the Jaguar’s help. For passing this test… learning this lesson, Angel gets a reward.

Thanks to his still active bond with Buffy, and Buffy’s realization of things… He and the Slayer can now hear and understand each other. But there’s a failed lesson here, too. Two of them, actually. Number one, Angel let Buffy distract him from finding Spike… when he was RIGHT next to his unconscious and injured Childe’s dank prison. The second failure comes later, when, after releasing Spike from the pit, Angel makes a semi- conscious… and later FULLY conscious, decision NOT to tell Spike about Buffy. This is selfish, and risky. Selfish for obvious reasons… and risky for the one that’s coming up.

Thanks to Buffy paying another well timed visit, Spike discovers that Angel has been not only HIDING things from him, but LYING to him as well. With their new, more open, more affectionate relationship, this is a heavy, painful blow to Spike. Angel tries to apologize, but he failed the test days before it even came up. Spike leaves.

Now Buffy mentioned a hunter, and we are coming up to a part that got me a lot of ‘scared’ reviews from people who thought I might actually KILL Angel… Might I remind you… I’m not Joss. 😉

People have emailed me, asking if the hunter is real or not. If we are dealing in a world of pure metaphor, then no, he isn’t. At least, not the way you would think. But the Guides world is real as well… Remember that Buffy said that her Guides aged while she was dead? Meaning that, when their Guided dies, a Guide reverts to it’s true form. Now does this mean that they leave the dream world? Or is the dream world just some hidden, magical corner of the real world? I can’t answer that for you. THAT one is up to you to figure out.

The short version is that the hunter represents every single outside force that would try to split the newly found team of Sire and Childe up. He represents evil. Battles. Anger. Resentment. Pain. Loss. Everything that could come between Angel and Spike, including the opinions of other people.

Now why does the hunter come upon Spike first? Well, remember the failed test back at the pit? This is Spike’s punishment for failing… Like Spike’s leaving was to Angel. A physical mistake causes physical repercussions, and an emotional mistake causes emotional ones. Spike is shot, but not killed, by the hunter. He’s still able to get up and run. But the hunter chases him, and corners him. At this point, his leg stopped working.

Now, had he turned and used the energy that he used to RUN, and attacked the hunter instead, then he might have killed the hunter before the wound became bad enough to cripple him. But he panicked, and chose to run. Now he’s trapped, and the hunter is leveling his gun at the panther’s chest. Nothing Spike can do will stop the hunter, though he blusters, hissing and swiping a paw, claws outstretched, trying to frighten the hunter away.

Now we reach the final test. When it came down to it, Spike saved Angel from the Croc, right away. Without a second thought. Now it’s Angel’s turn to face the same choice.

And he does it without thinking.

The hunter carries a gun. The hunter represents everything that is trying to keep Spike from him, and him from Spike. Angel leaps, even though a part of him has to know that the gun will come up faster than he can sink his teeth into the hunter. Perhaps a part of him is hoping that his simple momentum will hit the hunter hard enough to kill him, dead or not.

And we get the fateful words. The words that break open the long dormant Sire/Childe bond… The use of the terms themselves.

“Leave my Childe alone!”

“Sire, LOOK OUT!”

Are those words what triggered them to snap back? Was it the gunshot? Or was it the opening of the bond itself? My theory is that it was a mixture of all three. And more. In the deleted scene above, you see that perhaps there was someone orchestrating all of this, behind the scenes. Did that really happen? I leave that up to you to decide. But now, we move on to the final part of this documentary…


Part 3:

Pure Reality

This section will be much shorter. In fact, it can be summed up in one simple question. Was everything that happened real?

The duikers, the deer, the panther, the wolf, the jaguar, the croc, the hunter and his gun… Was all of that pure reality? With no hidden meanings at all?

If you’ve read this far, then I think you’ll agree with me when I say that the answer is yes…

And no.

For what has happened here was a melding. Partial reality, and partial metaphor. Everything that happened was real. If the bond hadn’t snapped open at that last instant, it’s very possible that Angel never would’ve awakened from his slumber on the plane, his conscious mind forever separated from his body.

But however you look at it, the end result was the same. A reunion, in more ways and one, and a clear declaration of a kind of love that’s meant to last forever.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, both the metaphorical, and the real. I hope you found it as interesting and informative as I did while I wrote it.

Thank you,



Credits & Final A/N

Angel, Spike, Buffy & all related characters and places belong to Mutant Enemy, despite my many attempts to steal them for my own. The story idea, story itself, and all ideas expressed in this Special Features section are solely that of the author, and are not meant to sway the masses into thinking like me. Because if you did… well, no one would want to read my stories, because everyone would know them already. =D

Author’s Note: Thank you all for sticking with me through all the plot twists, ect. That this story has gone through. A more loyal, nice fan base has never existed. Congratulations to you all for making this journey with a slightly deranged vampire werewolf. ( It’s up to you to decide whether or not I’m kidding about that last part.

Anyway, I’ll be putting up a new short, two chapter story soon, entitled Miracle. The basic idea there is that there’s this cat that wanders into Wolfram & Hart one day, and steals everyone’s hearts… Except Angel’s…. As to where it goes from there, I hope you take that journey with me as well.

Reminding you to always try to look at things from another perspective… (You never know when that will make you see everything clearer…) This is Tygerwolfe. And this really is: