Summary: Angel reflects on his life as a vampire.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything related to Angel. All property belongs to Joss Whedon.
Feedback: This is my first Angel fic. If any other forums would like this, feel free to take it, just let me know where you’re posting it.
Sometimes I can almost imagine that she loves me.
I can imagine that she looks at me with the same desire that I look at her with. I can imagine that she can see past the monster and see a man whose soul aches to know love again.
But I can’t blame her that she doesn’t.
I can’t blame her that she can’t forget what I am. That she can’t forget that a moment of pure happiness can unleash a monstrosity tethered to my body by the loose bounds known as guilt. She can’t forget, soul or not, inside this body that used to be a human, that a demon constantly lurks.
As I turn my clouded eyes to her hands, hands that attempt to stop the blood flow in a futile effort, I think of all the things I regret. I regret two and a half centuries of pain and suffering I’ve caused to so many innocents. I regret that I will never see my son grow into the wonderful man that I know he’ll become. I regret that I will never know her love, a love that I am sure would equal all the sunrises I missed in my years as a vampire.
She is the reason that I continued to fight. Her and my beautiful son. For nearly two years I was fueled by the belief that I would some day shanshu that I would become human. In a way his birth ended that dream.
Staring into his eyes, I saw pure innocence. It was something I never was and never could hope to be. It was then that I realized I could never be forgiven for the sins I’ve committed, nor do I deserve to be. I decided at that moment that the only thing that mattered was keeping my family safe. Maybe some measure of redemption can be achieved in that.
I can see the panic in her eyes as the blood continues to seep through her fingers. I wonder if she ever considered me as a person she could love. Or did she just see me as a big dork of a vampire who brooded over a love doomed from the start. I wonder why the Groosalug holds such a special place in her heart. A place that I wish she held me. Not that it matters anymore. She made her choice, and soon I will be out of her life forever. Perhaps it is for the best. Groo is good for her. He can protect and be there for her when I can’t.
She’s getting desperate now, urging me to stay awake. It’s hard though. I’ve lost so much blood. I close my eyes to rest, an action that earns me a few curses. I smile lightly at that. I’m going to miss her when this is over. I know I’ll never see her again after today. She’s such a good soul. I’ll be going to a place far different that she will. A place that I have already seen before.
It is then that sleep overtakes me, and then the dreams begin.
Sanctuary, New York
“Kill the beast!” the mob shouted as they chased Angel through the streets of their small town. “He attacked the Johnson child!”
The souled vampire ran desperately from the lynch party that wanted him dead. It was all a giant mistake.
Behind a small shop on Main Street, Angel had found a vampire feeding from a small girl. Morphing into his demon face, he launched himself at the other. The fight lasted only a moment since the other was a mere fledgling. But as he bent to check on the child, a group of men stumbled across him as he was still in demon face. They reached the obvious conclusion.
One man fired a revolver, the bullet ripping through Angel’s left shoulder just before he could turn into the alley. Angel frantically overturned boxes and trashcans, anything that might slow down the people giving chase. His anguish only increased as he found that the alley had a dead end.
Nearly three dozen townsfolk blocked any escape Angel may have had as they sealed off the alley entrance. Angel began to silently prepare himself to visit the hell he was sure that he would go to as the townspeople lobbed torches at him. Several of the braver men stepped forward crosses bared at the demon. As one man moved to impale him with a pitchfork, Angel shoved him violently, sending the mortal flying backwards nearly twenty feet. The others back off some, mindful of the vampire’s strength.
“Kill it!” a woman cried. “He hurt my baby!” Another gunshot was heard, the impact of the bullet slamming Angel into the wall behind him. Angel clutched the fresh wound at his belly as his eyes searched for escape. Finally he saw an open window about twenty-five feet above him. Healthy, it would be easy to make the leap but with two bullet wounds it might be difficult. Not that he had a choice.
As the crowd approached once more, Angel willed himself to his feet and used all of his reserve of vamp strength to barely make the ledge. The crowd below was stunned at the display of agility, and Angel used the chance to escape into the night.
Cordelia continued to cradle Angel’s wounded form to her body as she stared at the decaying body of the Rorshact Demon only ten feet away. Early that morning before sunrise she had received a vision of this particular demon at this warehouse. Stumbling from her room at the Hyperion, she told Angel they needed to move. Leaving Connor with Fred, they went to the warehouse alone since Gunn and Wes were nowhere to be found.
The fight proved to be brutal. The Rorshact was twice the size of the vampire. The demon had lunged at Cordelia, but Angel had knocked her out of the way, instead it was he who took the devastating slashes to the chest inflicted by the Rorshact’s claws. And now it was past daybreak. They were alone and without any means to get help.
“Come on, damn it,” Cordelia whispered. “Wake up for me.” As if by some miracle, Angel awoke from his memories to look into the tear filled eyes of his Seer. “Thank God!” Cordy exclaimed. “Why did you do that?” she asked her friend. “You could have gotten yourself killed?”
“Better me than you,” Angel whispered. Cordelia’s heart broke at that.
“Stupid vampire,” she berated. “You have a child to take care of.”
“So do you,” he thought. He watched as she continued to apply pressure to the wounds on his chest.
“Why won’t the bleeding stop?” she asked tearfully.
“It’s a Rorshact demon,” Angel replied. “His claws are tipped with Heparin.”
“What does that mean?” Cordelia asked confused.
“It’s an anticoagulant,” Angel groaned. “It prevents the blood from clotting.”
“So that means if we don’t get help soon then you’ll…”
“Go poof?” he asked with a wry grin. “Yup.” Cordelia clutched the vampire closer to her, wondering how the hell she had been so stupid to come here without help.
There have been times that I’ve wondered what the world would be like if Angelus had never been born. Certainly thousands would have lived long and full lives if he hadn’t been sired in that alley in Ireland so long ago.
But then also, I never would have meet Cordelia. I never would have been graced with a son that I love dearly. But is the tradeoff worth it? Is my own personal contentment more important that all the families that I’ve destroyed in the past centuries?
How can I possibly justify the belief that the suffering of untold scores of people is worth having those two magnificent people in my life? I don’t think that I can. In the cosmic scale of things, how can two hope to balance out with the victims of a monster? Perhaps it would have been best if Darla had just sucked me dry and left me for dead. Or maybe I would never have met Darla, instead I would have lived to be perhaps thirty-five when I would die of insanity and syphilis.
Cordelia hasn’t stopped crying since I told her about the demon’s claws. I hate seeing her cry. She gets hurt far too often because of me. She holds me close to her, her hands still trying to stop the slow but steady flow of blood pouring from the gashes on my chest.
“I want you to know that I love you,” I whisper to her. Her expression is one of shock and confusion. “I wanted you to know before I…”
“No, Angel, you are not going to die.” She says it with such surety that I can almost believe her. She takes one blood-covered hand and gently strokes my cheek. I have two totally inappropriate thoughts now. The first being that dying is a just price for the comfort of being in her arms. The second being that I wondered if Cordelia would be going ‘ewww’ if she were thinking coherently enough to realize that she has pig’s blood on her hands.
“I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you die,” she stated. “Connor’s already lost his mommy, he is not going to lose his daddy, too. Who’s going to teach him how to be a champion? Gunn? Wesley? Please, they can’t even do the cool leapy jumpy thing that you can.”
“Sunset is a long way off,” I remind her. “I can’t exactly move around in the daylight. Maybe you can go get help.”
“No,” Cordy objected. “I’m not leaving you alone.”
If I knew that I would never open my eyes again I’d probably have fought harder to stay awake. But the again, you can’t really control things when you’ve lost three or four quarts of blood.
It’s sickening to think of the pleasure I derived from draining the blood of my sweet little sister. I honestly can’t remember a kill tasting as sweet as that one. I do deserve to go to hell.
Sometimes it still amazes me of the brilliant clarity to which I remember all off my victims. I remember the Parisian prostitute I feasted on when news of Napoleon’s exile reached us. I remember when Darla and I followed the Prussian armies in there campaign against the French, when we fed on the dying soldiers in the field hospitals.
They say that just before you die your life will flash before your eyes. That’s not exactly true. It’s more of an evaluation of how you lived. For instance, when I was in that alley in Galway, I couldn’t help but think how shitty my life had been. I regretted not living a moral life. I regretted not courting Heather McAllister when I had the chance. I regretted all the play dates I broke with Kathy because I was too busy sleeping of my latest hangover.
It wasn’t until I was in Hell after the botched attempt to release Acathla that I could evaluate things again. Of course that time, I had all my Angelus years and souled years to take into account. I don’t think I need to reiterate the regrets I hold for that era.
But in the three years since my return from Hell, I think I can say that the biggest regret I have is the fact Cordy will watch me die. Even though she would agree that sleeping with Darla was pretty damn stupid, she can’t deny the end product shouldn’t be regretted. I know she loves Connor as if he was of her own blood. I may be spending the next eternity in a place of torment, but at least I have the knowledge that he will have someone that loves him by his side.
Cordelia Chase knew the exact moment when her heart broke. It was in that singular instant where one drop too much of Angel’s life force left his body. It was when his bloody and torn body began to disintegrate, when a light breeze blew in from a broken window and began to gently scatter his ashes. She couldn’t contain the cry of anguish as she clutched at the pile of dust that used to be her best friend.
She didn’t move for over an hour. She just sat and stared at the spot where her friend had been. Cordelia was trying to convince herself it was only a dream, that not even the Powers were so cruel as to rip a father from the life of a child, that they would take away the only Champion she could imagine fighting by.
Gently she scooped up what was left of the vampire and placed the ashes reverently in her coat pocket. She didn’t know what to do. The only thing Cordelia Chase knew for certain was that his death was not right, that he was dead because she insisted they leave without Gunn and Wesley.
Angel was NOT supposed to die. Not after all his hard work, not after he finally had his own family. The Powers did not have the right to do this. Cordelia slowly stood and stumbled her way to Angel’s old convertible parked outside. The sadness that had so quickly taken over her body grew even more as she realized that it would be her that had to break the news of the vampire’s demise to the gang.