Through the Eyes of Grief Immeasurable
Not for profit, just for the fun of it.
Willow brought word of Buffy’s death and before Angel gets the good news phone
call. My cackling dark muse thought about this reaction from Angel.
~Through the Eyes of
laid out before his disbelieving eyes, her death takes on unfathomable sorrow.
Long blonde hair frames
her delicate features. Hands folded reverently across her chest.
Vacant hazel eyes stare
back at him, transfixed, shell shocked at the moment of death.
He hates her for leaving.
Overcome by an intense,
fiery anger he growls at her still form, incensed that she chose death over
life, without asking, without hesitation. Buffy left without saying goodbye.
Angel brushes aside a matted
strand of hair from her cheek. His trembling fingers caress her ghostly-pale
skin, meet icy-cold flesh. He flinches. She’s been dead for a while now.
Her once rosy lips are ashen
gray, her nose caked with dried blood, a crimson line snakes from the corner of
her mouth to her chin, her battered body bathed in dark red stains. Yet he sees
nothing but her beauty that ugly death can’t take away.
She was so young, so
full of life. He would have stopped her, if he’d known, offered himself in her
place. He would have struck a deal with the Devil, his soul for hers. But he
sees it now. Her power to save the world was being alive, a befitting sacrifice
of warm blood and flesh. He would have been laughed at, rejected as a
worthless, meaningless dead thing of no consequence. He’s irrelevant to them.
Waves of misery and
loneliness, far worse than a century in Hell, wash over him. Empty, endless
hours stretch out, as far as he can see, and beyond. He’s afraid for the first
time in his life.
She was his savior, the luminary
of hope in his merciless darkness, and without her he’s lost. He thought he was
stronger than this, impervious to death’s touch, but he’s never lost something
so fragile, so precious, someone he loved. He never expected it could hurt this
And the odds of him
falling back into the underworld of shadows again, with nothing to cushion his
descent, are very high. He imagines, though, she would yell at him for even
thinking of going back to that life, wondering why she’d bothered to save him,
if this is how he repays her. He’s sorry, he tells her unblinking eyes, sorry,
he can’t promise her he won’t.
He stares at her expressionless
face, a shaky finger gently tracing her lips, remembering how supple and sweet
they were, how her kisses melted his heart. He’d give anything to see her spirited
smile again, to hear I Love You whispered in his ear. But the air is still and
silent, morbidly serene, never more to be filled with her infectious laughter.
What kind of fucked up
world lets him live instead of her?
his mind whirls in thought. Denial of harsh reality gives way to a sliver of
hope. Resurrection is possible, a cure for her untimely death, as once there
had been a reprieve for his.
He’ll force them to
bring her back, torture them, if he has to. They owe him. His sacrifice of
humanity didn’t save Buffy from an early grave. He’ll coerce the Oracles to give
him back what he misses more than he ever believed possible.
Then Angel remembers.
The Oracles are dead.
Left to agonizingly
lament that which cannot be reversed, emotionally exhausted, he turns to
forgiveness. He recalls the moments when she could have given up, left him to
die or fail wretchedly on his own. He’s lost count of the times Buffy
exonerated him, teaching him that to love is to forgive; that it can tame even
a monster such as him. She deserves his forgiveness more than he ever deserved
The last drop of faith
trickles from his mind. Grief-stricken keening spills from his lips. Obsessing
on the grim and final truth, he’s drowning in self-pity and guilt, failure and
heartache. He sighs deeply, kisses her freezing lips. “Sleeping
beauty, your prince can’t wake you,” he rasps.
But no tears cloud his eyes. He’s beyond feeling anything now, except the
enormous, malignant futility eating away at his soul. He’s dangerously close to
losing the cursed humanity that has kept him grounded. He doesn’t give a damn
what happens to a world that so thoughtlessly allowed Buffy to be taken from
Laying his head on her
shoulder, he buries his face in her tousled hair, still smelling faintly of
musky perfume, while the lingering, coppery bouquet of her blood taunts him.
For a moment he’s aroused by the scent of her, a strong urge to savor one last
taste flows through him, repulses him at the same time, though just having that
nefarious thought has edged him closer to soulless habits.
There are much worse
things than dying.
The longer he stays the
less desire he has to move from this place, to leave her. It’s safer here. Out
there is uncertainty, crushing guilt and regret, failure to thrive and loss of
control. It’s a purely selfish demise he’s now considering, cowardly and
pathetic. And yet he can’t seem to care.
Angel lies down beside
Buffy, one arm cradling her head against his cheek, his free hand finding hers
and grasping it tightly. He closes his eyes, convinced that, in time, his dust
will mingle with hers, dust that the years and the winds will scatter across
oblivion. The world will forget them, eventually, as it does all the dead, and
he’s at peace with that. No heroics, no glory, no redemption. In the end it
comes down to nothing matters but being with her.
Ashes to ashes, dust to
jerks awake, gasping. Slowly turning his head, he stares at the empty space
where his outstretched hand grips the bed sheet. Buffy isn’t lying beside him,
never was. Only these night terrors haunt him, shrouding his world in the
deepest blackness of any darkness he’s ever endured.
had kept them apart, but she was always as near as his heart, and the driving
force behind his existence. He lived because of her. He loved because of her.
And every time he thinks of Buffy a piece of his soul sheers off, seeking to
love goes with you,
soul will follow.
gave him unconditional love, “Always,” she’d said.
stumbles out of bed to bear yet another abysmal day, fighting the good fight in
her honor, wondering how long he can face this kind of forever.
Marathon November 2013