The Dragon And The Phoenix
by Losselen

The webs of your eyes
Are fastened
To the flesh and bones of you
As to rafters or grass.
- Wallace Stevens

Time is wonderous. Time is possibilities stripped down to an essence, because you wouldn't know it being taken back, you wouldn't remember having another life. It'll be in a jar all along, trapped inside clean glass; the mirror never lies. It seem all very terrible, because he keeps thinking about the instances, the moments, the stream of happenings and actions and words. They'll be stringed back into a pretty little jar where it'll start over again, refolded this time, newer.

The blood of Los Angeles flows like clutches of diamonds, threaded webs of headlight-stars. The city is raw and unfamiliar.

But it seems as if he would be here forever.

It seems as if he's been here since the beginning.

Sometimes, he wakes up with Spike watching him, he thinks it is impossible that he would stay so quiet like this, but that's what Spike does, he stares, stares, and goes. Angel tries to convince himself that Spike is not a ghost. He thinks about the technicalities, what Fred said; he thinks about the quiet line of his mouth tucked away and he wants to know if this is Spike at all. He is dreaming a lot lately. The sometimes-dream of time, a collection of mistakes, a tiny twitch of a butterfly's wing.

But Spike is corporeal, he wonders why he forgets.

The bathroom in Angel's penthouse has no mirrors. That was one of the first things he'd gotten rid of. It has to offer only hot water and mist, a possibility of hiding, of fading forever, of losing his outline. A ghost, a ghost. (He imagines wiping the fog from silvered glass, and he'll see himself in there. Then he'll sink through it. Maybe.)

It's a dirty mirror, a tinderbox for the burning of a soul.

Strangely, almost cathartically, this feels like switching roles, Spike helping the helpless, Angel fading now. His turn to feel the tug and tap of hellfire. Angel is dreaming memories. His skin burns when he touches his reflection. When he slumps against the bathroom tiles--white, immaculate, Modernist walls--he is drenched, slow and dull with hot water, too dazed to think.


There are angels of a thousand colors that stand on flowered grounds, bronzed, venerated, the logo of a city. At night, blood paints the asphalt streets, lays down the ground rule of existence and people walk on them later in sunlight, oblivious. It feels impossibly ironic. It's a metaphor, a poetic justice sort of thing; Angel keeps on seeing the strings of reality, the string with his friends' memories being roped back into a jar, being redesigned by high powers into Something Else and he wonders if this ever happens to himself, if he should be living a hundred-thousand parallel lives. (The blood of his son, he killed him and a newer, better version of him is alive today. It must be a twisted thing. Poetry.)

The city-sky at night is not blue, it is red. With god knows what like blood or commercial lights, and Angel wonders if this is the slow, final apocalypse.

And he wonders who is the real Vampire with a soul, because he doesn't like holding onto hopes only to find that they're less concrete that they really are. (Which is half the deal with Hope anyhow, that you won't ever know what it is, until it is too late, be it a rock or a fairywing.)

He sometimes manages to convince himself that the world is going to be threaded back together, to peace and pure so that it is not always on the brink of apocalypse. Occasionally, he believes he might just be the one to do it, sometimes, he'll believe that with an adamancy he won't understand, with a simpleminded stubbornness; it'll be like holding onto something, real or fake, he'll just put his hands around it and try not to let go.


Fucking Spike is the thing next best to holding on. And Angel knows what that feels like, having held onto so many spurious things. And it's not like this is love or anything, It's just fucking Spike, just the vain process of searching for something pure inside something impure; demon behind the soul behind the demon; the sweet, laden smell of conscience-burning, self-cleansing. And he searches for the William he knew, or Angelus knew, it doesn't really matter. He is tasting something so much like his own blood beneath Spike's skin, and it's not even funny. Spike is laughing like mad and it's not even funny.

(It all seems so foolish now, and he remembers the day when William said that he is from there to be called Spike. He remembers how he slowly became Angel instead of Angelus, gravitating downwards with the weight of his soul. Pathetic, not even foolish anymore. As if the process of renaming would renew you, would clean out your past and all the foul secrets. As if you would become a new slate, a clump of clay instead of a grasp of ash.)

Punches and sweeps and kicks. They fight again, and somehow fangs end up in another's neck and there is the quiet before the clearing. It's the only peace, the only small drop of nepenthe until it's too much again, until it's gone. So Angel slams himself into Spike when he has him pinned, trying to find that familiarity in the bleeding and the breathing. He drops his head on Spike's back, the solid and scarred ground, and he feels the tickle of his own hair. He just rests it there.

Until he comes without grace and Spike arches off and it starts to seem like the beginning of his ending.


The dragon and the phoenix will bring prosperity to the land, rain and all. But all Angel has seen is the rain of fire, is the shower of fallen stars.

He wonders what it would feel like to have so many versions of one moment, that you forget which one is true and which other ones are false. Which did happen and which sprung from his mind. He wonders what it would feel like to have sets of different memories that are of the same thing. He'll call it memory one and memory two and so on, until he runs out of numbers, until he runs out of infinity.

There's a whole sea of them, blue and turquoise, gold-tipped tails whipping behind. Runed silver and cloud-lace, the pink-pure breasts of women in the sky. They have fabric eyes, a crevasse-slit between their irises where everything falls, everyone dies. Their fingers are swift with the white lacework of foam and braid, traceries, stoneworks of holy Gothick, plaited flesh around ash bone. There's a whole cup of them, crystal-glass. They're just on his bed, catching magicdust and time and possibilities.

Angel dreams.


Her skin is cut, bruised from shattered glass, little bits and pieces, Slayer blood trickling, trickling. It sounds like silver little bells all ringing at once.

No prosperity here.

Rafters or grass.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Updates / Silverlake Remix