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Fanfic / A Mother's Love

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A Mother’s Love by David Knight is a continuation of Angel. After the final battle against Wolfram & Hart left Illyria the only survivor of Angel’s final stand, she was banished to Quor’Toth by the Senior Partners, only to find herself arriving in the Quor’toth of the past a short time before Holtz and the infant Connor arrived in that dimension. Taking the baby and killing Holtz, Illyria resolves to raise Connor herself to change what happened to her originally, returning to the Hyperion with Connor as in canon and starting a new chain of events.


A Mother’s Love contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Illyria has spent the last seventeen years training and defending Connor; if she wasn’t one before, she certainly is now.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Illyria goes from being a reluctant ally of Angel Investigations motivated only by a desire to do violence to a more clear-cut hero, fighting for the sake of the family she has formed with her new ‘son’
    • Connor is no longer driven by his own warped psychology, but instead starts out on Earth already viewing Angel as a hero and a willing ally to his biological father's mission.
    • Justine decides to join Angel Investigations after she is shown what would have happened if she had gone along with Holtz’s plans.
  • Becoming the Mask: When Illyria first finds herself holding Connor, she turns into Fred as she finds it easier to emotionally relate to others.
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  • Broken Pedestal: Illyria forces Justine to experience this for Holtz when she gives Justine a brief glimpse of the next two years based on the memories Illyria retains of Fred, including how Justine's role in furthering Holtz's vendetta against Angel contributed to Jasmine nearly taking over the world, forcing Justine to realise that, despite his talk about wanting to stop a dangerous monster, in the end her mentor only cared about his own revenge.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Illyria doesn’t have her full powers, but seventeen years in Quor’toth have allowed her to regain a fair portion of her old strength and a range of old and new abilities, including the ability to open portals and generate an energy scythe as a weapon.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Having killed Jasmine and captured Skip, Illyria helps Angel dispose of Skip by hurling him into Quor’toth.
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  • Fix Fic: The whole storyline explores how Illyria gets a chance to change the events that led to the deaths of all of Angel Investigations.
  • Future Me Scares Me: In a sense; Fred is naturally uncomfortable with the discovery that Illyria is walking around in the corpse of her future self.
  • Happily Adopted: Illyria essentially adopts Connor after she finds him in Quor’toth, although he is always aware that she is not his biological mother.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Illyria has become more attached to humanity after fighting alongside Angel before being sent to Quor'toth.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Fred begins to realise that Illyria’s resemblance to her is more than a weird coincidence when Connor mentions that his mother has told him about Darla’s last words, which were only heard by Angel and Fred.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Wesley mocks Lilah with his own knowledge of the truth of Angel and Connor’s positive relationship.
  • Mama Bear: Illyria explicitly states at one point “For my son, I’d do anything”.
  • Morality Pet: It is suggested that Justine’s twin was this for her in life, encouraging Justine to take the moral action where Justine favoured a more ruthless approach.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Justine has this moment when the vision she was given by Illyria made her realise that her alliance with and loyalty to Holtz could have destroyed the world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Referenced, as Lorne in particular notes that changing history like this creates the risk that something worse will happen instead, which appears to be proven at the end of the story when the First Evil appears in the Hyperion in Buffy’s form.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Senior Partners attempted to punish Illyria by banishing her to Quor'toth, but somehow the portal combined with Illyria's latent time-manipulating abilities and sent her back to Quor'toth shortly before Holtz and Connor arrived there.
  • Off with His Head!: Having taken Connor from Holtz, Illyria kills him by literally kicking his head off, with that single blow sending Holtz’s head flying out of sight as his body falls to the ground.
  • Parental Substitute: Illyria takes this role for Connor, even as she still tells him about the heroism of his father and the sacrifice his true mother made so that he could be born.
  • Put On The Bus: The entity that would become Jasmine is destroyed by Illyria before she can come to Earth.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: From a certain perspective; thanks to Illyria changing history, Connor never sees Angel as a villain, but this time around everything he sees after he arrives on Earth affirms what Illyria told him about his father as a skilled champion of good.
  • Sequel Hook: The story concludes with the First appearing in the Hyperion in Buffy’s form.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Illyria uses the discovery that she has arrived in the Quor’toth of the past to change history in favour of the heroes.
  • Ship Tease: Angel and Cordelia’s chemistry at this point is acknowledged, to the point that it prompts Groo to break up with her, but while Cordelia is confronted about her feelings for Angel, Angel is too occupied with Connor’s return and Illyria’s warnings about the future to consider his own attraction to Cordelia.
  • Shipper on Deck: Surprisingly never comes up; Connor might see Angel and Illyria as his parents, but he shows no sign that he has any interest in them ending up together, recognising that they do not have that kind of relationship.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Groo still breaks up with Cordelia due to her love for Angel, but Wesley also decides not to pursue anything with Lilah after Illyria’s warning.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Illyria still lacks her original power as an Old One, but after spending the equivalent of seventeen years in Quor’toth training herself and raising Connor, she is now capable of creating a scythe of pure energy, and has regained some degree of her old ability to travel between dimensions.
  • Trust Password: Illyria convinces Angel to listen to her by turning into Fred and calling him ‘the handsome man who saved me from the monsters’, something that only Angel and Fred would know the significance of.

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