Title: A Talk in the Dark
Category: Angsty post-ep for Origins
Summary: He’s had a bad day…..
Feedback: Is needed like air. Or amaretto sours.
It was familiar and safe; the good old days, sitting alone in the dark. No one disturbed him. No one asked him to sign anything or to save anyone or what color to paint the 4th floor lab facility. That left his cognizance when he entered the apartment and shut the door behind him.
Shut out the world.
He kept all the lights off and sat in the middle of the room, alone and still. The walls were soundproofed; he couldn’t hear anything beyond the thick silence that blanketed him and weighed him down into the chair.
Angel didn’t open his eyes or raise his head up from the back of the chair. His voice was low. “Bad life.”
A silvery sigh drifted over his shoulder and a waft of vanilla teased his nostrils as Cordy strolled by and sat on the sofa facing him. She tucked her bare feet under her body as she looked at him steadily.
“It’s not the life itself, Angel, it’s the effort put into living it.”
“Did seeing Connor upset you?”
“No. Yes. I did the right thing. I know I did. You should see him, Cordy.” Angel’s eyes opened and he smiled softly. “Stanford. Can you believe that? God, he’s smart. And good, Cordy, he’s a good kid. He’s a…..”
“He’s a good man.” Cordy finished for him. Angel nodded, staring up into the darkness.
“He is that. A good man. I know I did the right thing.”
“You did what was right for Connor.”
“Yeah.” They were silent for a moment. “Did I do the right thing, Cordy?”
“You just said….”
“Yeah. I want to believe that. You’re my voice. You’re…..you’re what makes sense. Did I do the right thing?”
Cordy rose from the sofa and walked to the window, staring out into the inky blackness of the moonless night. “Our lives, Angel…..they’re not that simple. One flicker, one small choice can affect all that we do…all who we are. You gave Conner a chance at a life that he wouldn’t have had…”
“…and signed on with Hell to do it..” Angel finished bitterly. “Shit. A fucking prophecy that my son had to fulfill….it’s not choices, Cordy, it’s games and prophecies and torture and being chess pieces on a board played by Gods and Goddesses who use humanity’s flaws for entertainment. Fuckers.”
Cordy’s voice was gentle. “We talked about this. Gunn made his own choice. He made a couple of them lately; you think you’re alone in the dark here? Try going down to the basement.” Angel couldn’t even summon the strength to glare at her.
“Wesley made his choice, too. My heart breaks for him.” A tear slipped down her cheek. “Fred….oh God she was young, and all joy.” She rose and walked to Angel’s chair, kneeling in front of it and staring up at him. “She can’t come back, Angel, but her soul…”
“It was destroyed, Cordy.” Angel’s voice was hard. “Burned and destroyed.”
“Bullshit. You can’t destroy a soul. It bends and stretches and rises and floats and dances in realms that layer around us. She’s gone, Angel, she can’t come back, but her soul soars as joyfully as she lived.”
Angel closed his eyes again. “It’s too much. I’m surrounded in a siege I know nothing about. My soldiers are…broken. I’m in the dark and clueless while the fucking Senior Partners have liaisons and contacts and contracts and plans and plots. How am I supposed to fight that? How the hell am I supposed to fight what I can’t see or know anything about all alone? Because that’s what I am. I’m alone.”
“So you’ll sit here in the quiet dark, and hope that evil…what? Passes on by….rings the bell and decides no one’s home? Are you waiting for it to come to you?” Cordy’s voice began to hum with anger. “then you damn well deserve what you get, Angel. You don’t want to fight anymore, step outside and watch the sun rise. Don’t worry about the rest of the world; they’re just chess pieces anyway.”
“WILL YOU FUCKING LEAVE ME ALONE?” Oh, God, this was too hard. There was a long silence, and he finally looked down. Down at the empty space by his chair. He stared at the empty space and felt his body grow even colder.
He rose and walked towards the bedroom, his steps measured as his body plodded on. She came to him so rarely anymore; he shouldn’t have sent her away like that. He paused at the doorway, looking back at the empty, tomb silent room. She had always been his voice.
God he missed it. He turned and walked slowly to the bed, falling down on it face first and burying his head under the pillow.
In another realm, a gentle spirit floated, watching, listlessly dancing as Angel’s body shook with sobs. The spirit’s soft ribbons of love and compassion reached out to gently stroke Angel’s back until he stilled and pulled the pillow off his face.
A whisper of a caress smoothed his brow until he fell asleep. His last thought before slumber overtook him was that he smelled a comforting scent of vanilla.