Touch, Feel, And Lose
by s.a.

Angel knows he is insane.

Time passes, and this hell goes on. Immeasurable eras fly by, though all he knows is mind-destroying torture. When he has forgotten his own name, he still cries out hers. When flesh is torn from his body, he still sees flashes of blonde hair. When he loses his mind, he still yearns for the warm body that was his for such a short time.

Time passes. But there are moments, wretched moments, when he shifts.

When he shifts, he regains his mind. But he does not control himself. He is audience to his own actions. It doesn't matter. She is there.


He is on a beach. He can hear the waves, and he cranes his neck to immerse himself in the soothing sound. He looks at his hands, and realizes they're glowing a bright red. Fire, he thinks. No.


The sun is setting, and he is caught in its light. His face nearly breaks into a smile, until his eyes catch on -- her.

It is her. She is achingly beautiful in the fading light, and he feels himself walk towards her as if his feet were not his own. His body slides against hers, made for each other. His arms come from behind to tug her into an embrace, and he can feel the smooth fabric of her dress on his chest. It doesn't compare to the touch of her skin, so warm and right and perfect.

Her hand moves, and he nudges his face into her fingertips. So good. Nothing has ever been this good. He concentrates on this touch, memorizing every detail, hoarding each sensation with the intensity of an artist going blind.

She speaks. "How did you find me here?"

He is compelled to answer her, softly and with meaning. "If I was blind, I would see you."

"Stay with me," she says, and he hears the plea in her voice.

"Forever. That's the whole point. I'll never leave." He feels this, these words he's giving to her. Never leave. Never leave her. Never.

"Not even if you kill me."

No. Wait. These are not his words. He wants to say -- He wants to say, "I love you."


Time passes, and he remembers the sound and the sunlight and the ghosting of her skin. He screams in jagged pain, and though his mind is lost again he knows the touch of her hand.

When he shifts, there is no pain. There is something far more aching.


He's in the shadows, but he can feel the sun warming his skin. It's a courtyard, slightly familiar but he can't place the location. He wants to reach a hand out, grasp the yellow-bright sunlight and cherish it forever. He waits in the shadows for something. He waits for her.

He moves to her side, taking his rightful position with long-missed grace. She doesn't touch him this time. He refrains from pulling her into his arms, though he dearly wishes to. There is something at work here.

She speaks. "I thought they would be here."

"They are. They're waiting for you," he says, but these are not his words. He doesn't know what they mean.

They stop for a moment in their walk, and she asks of him, "Am I dreaming?"

He can smile at this, because it's so very unreal. "I'm probably the wrong person to ask." He wants her to stay. "You'd better go."

"I'm afraid," she says, and he hears the confusion in her voice.

"You should be." And this is true too.

She walks off as a bell blares, and he wishes he could beg her to stay.


Time passes, and he can feel the sunlight burn his skin during the most wretched agony. He remembers the space between them, and his place at her side, and the fear in her voice.

When he shifts, it is quiet and dark. And she is there.


He sees nothing but her, nestled in his arms. She belongs there. They sway silently to the music, the low pulse of the beat dictating their slow movements. It's easy and right. He's done this before, though he can't remember when. He wishes he could. He wants those memories.

She speaks. "I miss you."

I love you, he wants to say. I need you. Don't leave me. He is silent as she looks up at him, and he burns the memory of her passionate eyes into his mind. He can't help but fall into her gaze.

The next moment is endless. He wants to cry out as he turns his head, losing sight of her, but he is forced to focus on the ring. The ring that matches his, the ring he knows is on his own finger. They are bound by these rings.

Rage fills him as it clatters to the floor with an echo that resounds in his mind. He steps away from the embrace, even as he is yearning for it again. He bends down, picks the ring up. He loves the feel of it in his hands, feels the warmth radiating from it. Her warmth.

He looks to her, grasping the ring, trying to quell his anger. He remembers now. It was her.

"I had to..." she says, and he can hear the raw pain in her voice.

His hand tightens around the ring, and he doesn't feel the pain of it cutting into his flesh. Dark, unliving blood runs in rivulets from his palm, and he can hear the droplets splash to the floor.

He can say it now. "I loved you..."

She looks at him in horror, centering on his chest. He can feel the wound opening, and the rush of blood seeping out. He is terrified and furious. He loved her. He loves her. She betrayed him.

"Oh god, Angel..." No. Don't let her talk.

With all his ferocity he screams in her face, "GO TO HELL!"

He can sense his mouth curving into a dark smile, and when he looks at her again he can feel his dead flesh rotting.

"I did."

Her screams fill his ears.


Time passes, and now he has the stench of flesh rot in his nose and her horrified screams in his head. He remembers holding her close, and the ring that slid from her finger. He remembers her passionate eyes.

When he shifts, lightening courses through his body. The next thing he feels is cold stone.


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