by Sing To Angels

I am dying.

There is no use denying it, because I know it to be true. My time is up. I've helped the helpless, fought the wicked, failed in protecting the one pure thing in my world. No chance to make it up now, though. If I want someone to blame, there is no convenient scapegoat. Just me.

Of course, I'm not the one who wielded the knife. No, not the one who sliced through my voice box and the major artery in my neck. I'm merely the one who is bleeding. The one who is dying.

What's left for me at home? My adopted family - the one I chose and chose me in return - have surely turned from me by now. My family, my friends. Cordelia's gone. Angel would have killed me after what I had done. I'm only glad Justine beat him to the punch. She was more merciful than his wrath, to be sure. Quick and clean, to the point. Not personal, simply business. Gunn, the betrayer. Sweet little Fred, the whoring bitch who lead us both after the secret under her skirts. No, stop it. Stop it, I said. Fred is not a bitch. She is only a woman, like the rest of them. Bloody hell, I thought I was over that.

Really, I shouldn't listen to him, he tells me such horrible things.

From this vantage point, the sky looks like a dome above the planed surface of the Earth. No wonder the ancients thought the world was flat. I feel as if I'm trapped in a bubble, and the moon is a shining gem at the apex, full and round like a face. The grass, however, is sharp. The blades are rough, smelling of sevendust and pesticides. They're snagging my skin with tiny teeth, devouring the flesh that hasn't melted from my bones due to long nights of research. Teeth. Pain. It makes me think of Faith, actually. Now there's a bitch if ever there were.

But Lord, she was a pretty thing. And so cunning with her mantrap, too. I still remember the demonic light flashing in her eyes as she pounced on me, cutting my skin to ribbons whilst impaling herself on me again and again. That was the sweetest torture I've ever known. I couldn't have been more excited if I had had five Slayers surrounding me that night. But it was only her. One magnificent, glorious, sensual Slayer who liked to stab shallowly into my shoulder blade with an ice pick as she neared her release. It was one hell of a turn on.

Oh, I know. I've been in America long enough to pick up the psycho- babble these people banter about as casually as one discusses the weather. So my father mentally abused me, I'm horribly scarred for life. It is the same story with every person on this planet. A psychologist would most likely say that I had confused love and anger somewhere along the way; pleasure and pain. Always wanting what was just out of my reach and never appreciating what I did have. Gormless head shrinkers. What do they know?

A dirty word. A bad girl. It all gives me a tingle just by thinking about it. Makes the blood pump faster through the chambers of my heart and out into the air, compels me to shiver with the cold creeping into my veins. I used to sneak off to the blue-collar pubs when I was a young lad. It was so delicious to mingle and wallow in the grubby atmosphere. Just for a moment, then once again to my strict and proper regime. Fuck that, I say.

Faith was right, you know. I did desire her. From the first moment I looked into her eyes. She was just a little girl, really, lost in a world she knew far too much about. The underbelly, the corruption, they were all she allowed herself to embrace. And I, on the other hand, knew nothing. Naive, stupid, proud. I suppose I am still arrogant after all.

We make a fine pair, now. I have sunk so low that even she would turn away in disgust. I could have changed that, saved her. And God how she wanted to be saved! I could see it every time those bittersweet eyes glanced in my direction. So confused. Like me. We could have held each other up in a world that wanted nothing to do with either of us. Instead, I sang a little song and we both got screwed. She is a piece of shit, that much is true. But, I suppose that the conceit has drained away, along with my blood, and I see that I am, too.

Dogged and ragged, hungry for something I can never have. I never could find. Just a little taste of love to sweeten the cold and bitter dish I have been served my entire life. I can feel that bond with her. I used to think it was something I imagined to ease the ache of loneliness. However, I know it is real. She is thinking of me now, hurting and weakened by my pain. I could have saved her. She could have saved me. But that is in another world, some other dimension maybe. Happy endings aren't real. This isn't Sleeping Beauty. No kiss from my bonny dark sweetheart to melt away the thorns and pricks.

I should have danced.

I should have twirled.

I should have sung so long and so loud that ears bled and car windows shattered five miles away.

I should have found ladies of the night to ease my aching groin.

I should have done foolish things, caught venereal diseases and engaged in pub brawls.

I shouldn't have been so consistently upper crust and damn unflappable.

I should have rammed Faith into a wall the moment I met her, as I had wanted to do.

I should have killed Fred with that axe and fucked her slowly cooling corpse afterwards.

Angelus could have been dust except for my incompetent feelings of friendship towards the demon with Angel's face. Too many 'should haves' for me to count. Just a wasted life full of blundering good intentions that never panned out in the end. Faith wanted the light, but I . . . well, I have always yearned for the darkness, if you couldn't tell.

This is the end. All my little friends will wind up as the Power's pets, whilst I shall be the dog sleeping on the doorstop in the rain. I can hear Faith chanting my name along with foolish encouragements to never give in to the icy claws that grip me now. And Fred is hovering over me, blurry to be sure, but there all the same. They found me. How sweet that they were looking.

What use is it, really? I had best take my medicine like a good boy. Depths of Hades, here I come.


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