Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike Bingo Prompt: It's a fine line between love and hate; prompt_in_a_box: "You should leave."; and bad_swa Bingo Prompt: Free
Warning(s): Character Deaths
Word Count: 1,180
Date Written: 26 July 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
I thought I wanted you out of my life. I thought I wanted to be free of you. Truth is, I've always had a bugger of a time deciphering what I want from what I need or what's good for me. Started way back with Cecily. Mother told me she'd be no good for me -- she told me we'd never work out --, but I didn't understand then what she meant. I didn't understand that she was trying to keep me from letting the bit break my heart.
It's kind of like when I went after my soul. My story is that I went to get it so I could love Buffy as she deserved, but bollocks, man, I didn't know what I was getting into when I found that old Shaman. I wasn't really after my soul. I wanted the gnawing at my brain and my heart to stop. I wanted to be my old self again. He gave me my soul, and through no little suffering at my cost.
All the same, I got my soul. I went a little crazy. Even then, I knew better than to say I hadn't gone after my soul on purpose. I fixed my story -- I concocted a better reason than just getting the Slayer out of my system --, and along the way, I realized I could make you jealous again. You weren't the only pillock with a soul. You weren't the only good Vampire.
But you were still better than me, weren't you? Even when I died saving the world, you were still on your high horse when I returned. We always do that, you know. No matter what else happens, no matter what skirt we might go chasing after, in the end, we always return to each other. Only you didn't want me back, did you, Angel? How many times did you tell me I should leave? How many times did you beat me senseless while all the time pretending to be so much better than me?
Maybe you are. Maybe that's why I can't shake you. It's a fine line between love and hate, and we don't do a good job of walking it. We're constantly sliding back and forth. We're either fucking each other's brains out or beating the crap out of one another. I've been sick of this little game of ours for over a century now, but there seems to be nothing I can do.
I can't break whatever this hold is you have over me. Soul or no soul, I'm always yours. Want me or not, I'm still yours. But right now, I'm looking around, and I don't see anybody else. The Slayer and her little fiends are gone. She didn't come when you called. Good thing, too, she didn't or else she'd be dead like the rest of them.
I'm watching you try to pick up their pieces. You've buried Wes. You've got a piece of Illyria's hair, and I'm pretty sure that's a chunk of Gunn's arm. Hard to tell with how charred it is. All I can smell from it is burned flesh. Can't tell if it's him or not, but I know you want to believe.
You want to believe they're at peace now. You want to believe we made a difference. You want to believe this world is worth saving. Is it, Angel? Now that all your little friends are dead, was the price worth it? Were their lives worth this big glob of Earth and your do-gooder attitude? You've always acted like you're so much better than me. They're dead because of you.
And I'm still here. Also because of you. Don't look at me like that. Don't you dare cry now! This is all your fault! Bloody -- How the Hell do you look so handsome, so beautiful even when you're crying?!
You really are the one with the Angelic face. No wonder they all fall for you. No wonder they all followed you. No wonder I'm still here, still following you, like the love's bitch that I am.
But don't look at me for consolation. I don't have any to give. They were my friends, too, most of them in their own way. I hate that they're dead, but what did you expect? Humans can't fight the battles we face. Not even Illyria stood a chance in Fred's body.
Don't sob. Please don't sob. Damn it, man, don't bloody cry like that! I've got no words for you. I'm good, but I'm not that good. I can't make this better. There's no longer any bloody silver lining to this damn --
Damn! You would have to do that, wouldn't you? You're on your knees in the blood and the rain, and they're bound to be back any second now. You're looking to Heaven like God gives a shit about us -- which He don't, trust me, I know -- and you look so bloody lost, so bloody hurt -- Damn! My heart's breaking just watching you.
I approach you slowly. Part of me still wants to run, but I won't leave your side, 'specially not now when you need me the most. I can't leave you like this, and I can't stand to watch you break now. I tried to tell you this would happen. I tried to tell you we should run, but you were so damn and determined to be a bloody hero. Now look at what it's got us.
I can feel you shaking even before I touch you. I touch your shoulder gently, and you don't pull away. I kneel before you, looking at you grieving, still trying to find words when there are none that can make any of this better. I drop down before you, arms open, and you fall into them, weeping, sobbing, acting like all the water in the world's gonna come out of those soulful eyes of yours.
I rock you gently. I'm murmuring something, but I don't even know what I'm saying. There's nothing I can say to change anything that's happened or make any of it better. I can't change it; it ain't gonna get better. But we need to get moving, Angel. We need to get going before they come back.
Damn. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK! The Earth's shaking underneath us again. They're coming back! This time, if we don't move, they're gonna finish us, but you're no shape to move. I try to pull you to your feet; you won't come.
You won't believe them, and I won't believe you. Bloody Hell, you've screwed us all! You've screwed us all! I look up, feeling the dragon coming, feeling his flames heading for my head and back, Hell, for my whole body. I look to you. You're still crying, you bloody ponce, but in that moment, I catch your eyes. I see the reflection of your soul in your eyes, and just before the dragon's fire takes us both, I know. Soul or no soul, it's always been you. I've always loved you.