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Through the Eyes of Grief Immeasurable

 

Through the Eyes of Grief Immeasurable

 

Author: Zuriel

Website

Disclaimer: Not for profit, just for the fun of it.

Rating: PG-13

Word Count: 1,078

Summary: After Willow brought word of Buffys death and before Angel gets the good news phone call. My cackling dark muse thought about this reaction from Angel.

 

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~Through the Eyes of Grief Immeasurable~

 

Intimately 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. Shes 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 cant take away.

 

She was so young, so full of life. He would have stopped her, if hed 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. Hes 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. Hes afraid for the first time in his life.

 

She was his savior, the luminary of hope in his merciless darkness, and without her hes lost. He thought he was stronger than this, impervious to deaths touch, but hes never lost something so fragile, so precious, someone he loved. He never expected it could hurt this badly.

 

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 shed bothered to save him, if this is how he repays her. Hes sorry, he tells her unblinking eyes, sorry, he cant promise her he wont.

 

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. Hed 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?

 

Desperate, irrational, 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.

 

The Oracles.

 

Hell force them to bring her back, torture them, if he has to. They owe him. His sacrifice of humanity didnt save Buffy from an early grave. Hell 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. Hes 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 hers.

 

The last drop of faith trickles from his mind. Grief-stricken keening spills from his lips. Obsessing on the grim and final truth, hes drowning in self-pity and guilt, failure and heartache. He sighs deeply, kisses her freezing lips. Sleeping beauty, your prince cant wake you, he rasps. But no tears cloud his eyes. Hes beyond feeling anything now, except the enormous, malignant futility eating away at his soul. Hes dangerously close to losing the cursed humanity that has kept him grounded. He doesnt give a damn what happens to a world that so thoughtlessly allowed Buffy to be taken from him. Bastards!

 

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 hes 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. Its safer here. Out there is uncertainty, crushing guilt and regret, failure to thrive and loss of control. Its a purely selfish demise hes now considering, cowardly and pathetic. And yet he cant 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 hes 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 dust

 

Angel jerks awake, gasping. Slowly turning his head, he stares at the empty space where his outstretched hand grips the bed sheet. Buffy isnt lying beside him, never was. Only these night terrors haunt him, shrouding his world in the deepest blackness of any darkness hes ever endured.

 

Distance 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 join hers.

 

My love goes with you,

My soul will follow.

 

She gave him unconditional love, Always, shed said.

 

Angel 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.

 

~ end ~

IWRY Marathon November 2013



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