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What You Do Afterwards is a Angel Fan Fic series written by myheadsgonenumb.

“Bottom line is even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what, are we helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.”
Whistler, "Becoming, Part 1"
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The series is an Alternate Universe Fic where Doyle lives thanks to the intervention of Season 5 Cordelia, who is looking to change her fate and never become a Higher Power. This means the events of “Hero” are slightly altered so he never needs to sacrifice himself in the first place. The story focuses on how the universe adapts to Doyle being present for all five seasons, plus an epilogue set in 2020 called Coming of Age.

Season One

Season Two

Season Three

Season Four

Season Five

Coming of Age


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What You Do Afterwards contains examples of the following tropes (Beware unmarked spoilers):

  • Adapted Out: Eve never appears due to Lilah never being killed. Marcus Hamilton makes a cameo in the penultimate episode to capture Drogyn, but he plays no further role.
    • Also, teenage!Connor, as Doyle is able to warn Wesley of Holtz's treachery, so he makes a clean getaway, and Holtz never steals the boy away to a hell dimension.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Doyle’s relationships with later members of the team, naturally. Plus, he actually gets to have a real relationship with Cordelia in this version.
    • Also, thanks to Doyle inspiring him to make a Heel–Face Turn, Lindsey MacDonald leaves Wolfram and Hart during Season 1 and hooks up with Kate Lockely in Season 2.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Cordelia learns how to hotwire cars from Doyle and how to fight from Angel. Then, she becomes a Slayer in the finale of Season 4.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Lindsey MacDonald. In this version, unlike Angel, who dismisses his attempts to do good, Doyle explains to him how he had a similar background to the lawyer, and how he used what he went through to help people. This inspires Lindsey to ditch Wolfram and Hart and join the LAPD as a district attorney, aiding Angel Investigations alongside Kate Lockely throughout Seasons 2 through 4 until Kate is killed by Jasmine, framing Angelus, and he briefly returns to villainy in Season 5 out of revenge on Angel by bringing Spike back, but once the truth is revealed, he switches back to the good guys.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
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    • In canon, Cordelia was a struggling actress for much of Season 1. In this version, since she never had the visions and Doyle’s death hadn’t left her emotionally distraught, she succeeds in the ‘Stain Be Gone’ audition and becomes their spokeswoman for a whole season.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The series Angel where Doyle remains a part of the main cast from beginning to end.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Canon!Cordy is specifically trying to get out of this by saving Doyle.
    • Briefly happens to Doyle in the finale. Fortunately, Cordy gets in touch with Willow, who is able to not only get him out of it, but winds up taking his place — much to her delight.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the finale, Doyle and Cordelia have vanquished the Scourge and have gotten married, but Angel gives them Connor and orders them to flee LA before his killing of the Circle of the Black Thorn brings hell on Earth. Lorne is spared having to kill Lindsey, who dies much more heroically during the final battle and as part of the team. Wes still dies, but not without making his final peace with Angel.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Happens three whole times:
    • In Season Two, when Angel goes on his crusade against Wolfram and Hart, not only firing Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn, but also not even noticing that Lilah has gotten Doyle imprisoned over very old illegal activities. This leads to Doyle feeling betrayed and siding with the rest of the family over Angel. Thankfully, Angel still comes to his senses, and everyone becomes friends again.
    • In Season Three, when Wesley kidnaps Connor and involves Doyle in on the act. By now, Angel has developed feelings for Cordelia, and despite Lorne advising him against it, he makes a move on her. Cordy doesn’t really notice, but Doyle does, and this is what inspires him to help Wes in his plan. Of course, the truth comes out, and Wes and Doyle are both kicked out of the group, and it’s not until Season Four they start to patch things up. Then, almost immediately after they’re all together again…
    • In Season Five, Angel reveals he signed himself away to Wolfram and Hart during his crusade to get Connor back from Wesley, meaning he ‘’has’’ to join them. Wesley, Gunn, Fred and Lorne still give in to temptation and follow him there, but Cordelia and Doyle refuse and remain at Angel Investigations to battle the Scourge. Sadly, the team never fully gets back together after this.
    • Fortunately remedied in the Distant Finale, Coming of Age, which shows the surviving team members did eventually get back together and reclaimed the Hyperion to continue working as Angel Investigations.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Groosulug reappears in Season 4, seeking Doyle's wisdom after losing the throne in Pylea.
    • Holtz reappears as a ghost during Coming of Age to try and tempt Connor away from killing Salahjan. Darla and Wesley return as ghosts to encourage him.
  • The Chosen One: Doyle is destined to defeat the Scourge. He finally pulls it off in the penultimate episode.
  • Citizenship Marriage: A romantic example. Doyle's green card is set to expire at the end of Season 5. Cordelia immediately decides they should get married.
  • Crossover: As this is a fanfiction that doesn't have to worry about actor availability, Buffy, Dawn and Giles all appear in "You're Welcome" as Cordy and Doyle visit them in London. Willow also appears in the finale.
  • Death by Adaptation: Kate Lockely is killed by a Jasmine-possessed Kali instead of Lilah.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Neither Gunn nor Wes end up with Fred in the end. Due to Wes’ bad handling of her brief transformation into Illyria, she ends things with him upon realizing he’s more in love with the idea of her. Although he tries to deny it, he later seems to admit she was right.
    • Also, Angel does end up with Cordy for a brief time in Season 4, but it soon becomes clear he’s the rebound guy, and he’s forced to step aside so she can get back with Doyle.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Wesley still dies in the finale, but instead of Fred/Illyria, who doesn’t even stop by this time, it’s Angel. Wes prefers this as he finally manages to apologize for his actions that led them here.
  • Distant Finale: Coming of Age is set in 2020 when Conner is in college — complete with all the joys of living in 2020 (i.e., COVID-19, wildfires, election, etc.)
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Angel and Doyle wind up doing this to each other in Season 3: Angel making a move on Cordelia, which prompts Doyle to help Wesley kidnap Connor.
  • For Want of a Nail: Doyle’s presence changes a lot of things, such as him becoming the King of Pylea because of his visions, Wesley making a clean getaway with Connor (meaning we never have to deal with teenage!Connor), Cordelia never becomes a Higher Power, and Fred’s soul survives being infected with Illyria.
  • Friend to All Children: Doyle displays a knack for talking to children, thanks to his years as a teacher.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Fred is the person in the group Doyle is least closest to, and as a result, the one she trusts the least, even when they're on the run from Jasmine together. It's not until Season 5 when they have a meaningful scene together, when she goes to him for advice on her failing relationship with Wesley.
    • Also, Spike and Doyle don't have much interaction throughout Season 5. This is because Lindsey is still manipulating Spike by pretending to be Doyle, who only met the real Doyle for five minutes back in Season 1 and doesn't remember him. It isn't until the Illyria business when Spike finally meets the real deal and figures out the truth, but even then, they don't really cross paths afterwards. He still attends their wedding in the penultimate episode, so he's still considered a friend.
  • Happily Adopted: In the Distant Finale, Doyle and Cordy have adopted to girls who were abandoned when they became Slayers. They make for an adorable family.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A lot of things still stay the same, despite Doyle being there.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: After he betrays Wesley and tries to keep his involvement a secret, Doyle is visited by Skip, who convinces him to tell the truth by showing him a world where he never had the visions, but that version of Cordy is killed, so naturally, Doyle demands to return to the real world… which is exactly what Skip planned.
  • Love Triangle: In addition to the usual one between Gunn/Fred/Wes, we also get one between Doyle/Cordelia/Angel during Seasons 3 and 4. When Angel realizes he has feelings for Cordy, he tries to come between them. This is what ultimately drives Doyle to betray Angel and help Wesley kidnap Connor, fracturing the entire group. While it doesn’t excuse Doyle’s actions, Angel feels guilt that his actions drove him to do it.
    • Also in Season 5, thanks to her not being killed in Season 4, Fred/Wes/Lilah. Surprisingly, Wes/Lilah wins out, but only briefly in the finale.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Wesley still kidnaps Connor in this version, but more successfully thanks to involving Doyle, who never feels one hundred percent comfortable with it, and when the truth comes out, it costs him his relationship with Cordelia and his friendships with the team. Even worse, he initially tried to hide his involvement and let Wes take the heat, earning him ire from his partner-in-crime, and only told the truth when Skip manipulated him.
    • Even worse for Doyle when it turns out Jasmine possessed him, forcing him to commit murder and then have sex with Kali against his will. He is absolutely mortified when he finds out.
  • My Greatest Failure: Leaving Wesley out to dry over their kidnapping plot, something that drives a wedge between the two of them. It takes a whole season before Wes fully forgives him.
    • Also his inability to save Kali from Jasmine. He makes up for it in the finale when he uses his brief stint as a Higher Power to wake her from her coma.
  • Not Himself: Doyle when Jasmine possesses him. It only lasts for three episodes before he passes her on to Kali, but Cordelia kicks herself for not noticing when they find out.
  • Odd Friendship: Doyle and Dawn in "You're Welcome".
  • Off on a Technicality: How Lindsey gets Doyle out of his Season 2 legal troubles.
  • On the Rebound: When she and Doyle break up badly in Season 3, Cordelia ends up drifting towards Angel, but as she and Doyle slowly repair their friendship during the Angelus story arc, she realizes Angel is only a rebound, much to his disappointment.
  • Original Character: As neither Cordelia nor Doyle can bear Jasmine in this version, a new female demon named Kali is introduced to fill the role of Jasmine’s mother.
  • Papa Wolf: Angel to Connor, of course. Gets Deconstructed in that he is so dead set on raising him and believing only he knows what’s right for him, his judgement is very clouded. In Season 4, he ends up vindicating Wesley and Doyle’s decision to kidnap Connor when he refuses to leave him behind when they go on the run from Jasmine, as to take him on the run would put him in greater danger.
    • Also, Wesley to Connor. As Doyle is in on the plot and warns him of Holtz’s actions, Wesley doesn’t fall for Justine’s trick and escapes with Connor to a ranch. They stay there for a month before the others catch up with him, but during that time, he bonds with the boy and grows to love him like his own son, and when he’s expelled from the group, he misses him terribly. As trust is rebuilt between Angel and Wesley, they end up becoming co-parents to the boy, with Wes taking him on a day out after shooting his cyborg dad, and his perfect last day in the finale is spending it with Angel and Connor.
  • Redemption Quest: Season 4 is largely this for Wesley and Doyle, with them working to make up for their actions in Season 3.
  • Shipper on Deck: While most of the team just accept Cordelia/Doyle, Fred turns out later to ship Cordelia/Angel, and is later disappointed when it doesn’t work out.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Even when they're broken up in Season 4, Doyle at no point takes an interest in anyone else than Cordy. Kali falls for him when he saves her from a sex trafficking ring, but he just isn't interested. It's only when he's possessed by Jasmine that he's interested, something that the others reflect should've tipped them off.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Aside from Doyle, this also includes Cordelia, Lilah and Fred. Sadly, not Wesley, who still dies in the finale, as does Lindsey, although his is a more heroic death than in canon, fighting alongside Team Angel. Also, Lorne is spared having to kill Lindsey, meaning he joins the others in the battle and instead comforts Lindsey as he dies.
  • Spirit Advisor: Holtz plays an evil version of this to mess with Connor during Coming of Age, trying to convince him he is evil and should kill himself. Thankfully, Darla and Wesley are sent by the Powers That Be to remind Connor of his goodness and that he is loved.
  • The Stations of the Canon: The fic still largely follows canon in the show, just with the insights of Doyle, and then later Cordelia in Season Five.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The team just keeps getting split up for one reason or another.
  • Wham Line: Doyle receives a vision of the Buffy finale when she and Willow give all the potential Slayers their power, which turns out to include Cordelia!
    Cordelia: “Doyle, what the hell just happened to me?!”

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