Colour of Blood


Author: Jo
Rating: For anyone
Distribution: The Angel Texts - Blood Roses Forum, Scribes of Angel and Angel Elders Mansion

Summary: The title says it all

A rosebud fic, written for the Blood Roses Forum’s third birthday. And it’s exactly 500 words. Yay, me


It starts with a cut on her upper arm. He can smell it before he sees it, but it’s red against her creamy skin, ruby against the black of her sleeve, and he wonders why she’s been cut. Why she’s wearing black. Why he’s wearing black.

She tells him to close his eyes, and what could he ever do but obey? He hears the jaws of Hell open behind him, although he doesn’t know what it is at the time, and all that comes of his obedience is more blood, his blood, deeper and darker than hers.

The gateway to Hell is a vortex of sickly yellow and bloody red, dragging him down and, before he hits bottom, he knows why he is here. He remembers what he has done. He remembers the blood, in such pretty colours.

Blood vessels, so near the surface of the skin, marking each bloodline, and just begging for bloodshed.

Blood, as it spurts from arteries, brightly red, sparkling and shining, new and fresh and lifeblood.

Blood, as it pulses weakly from veins, dark crimson rather than scarlet, pretty to look at but starved and poor, old, used up.

Blood, patterning bodies. Blood, painted on walls. Gypsy blood. Messages in blood, for her. Bloody murder, for red-blooded males and blue-blooded women. First blood and young blood. Always, his own brand of blood-letting, playing his own blood sports. For his amusement, and a bloody goad for her.

Giles-blood, dripping down librarian fingers. Buffy-blood (…Maybe we shouldn’t…/ Don’t. Just kiss me). Angelus-blood… Acathla. Oh, God, help me now…

He grits his teeth and pulls the sword out of his heart, trying to stifle the cry, but not quite succeeding. It’s blessed, he remembers. Will it work with him or against him? He knows he’s going to need all the help he can get, here.

Like all those who cried for help while you were sucking down their blood? Begged you for mercy while you made them watch as you leeched on their loved ones? That sort of help?

He looks around him. The sky presses down, sullen and threatening, red and black, marbled with yellow. The land is old and dry, a searing desert beneath a bloodshot sun, blackened-red in places, the colour of rusty iron in others. The temperature is blood heat. Such vegetation as there is looks withered and brown, the mere husk of a thing, bloodless.

Then he sees them, on the horizon, a band of dark creatures. He turns, and there are more behind him, then to his left and to his right. He’s surrounded, out in the open, with nowhere to run. He can take what he deserves, become the ultimate blood donor. Or, he can fight. He may brood but, in his way, he’s never given up. Not yet. He takes a firmer grip on the sword as the figures come closer.

He can see them now, in detail. They match the landscape.

Hell, it seems, is the colour of blood.

August 2006

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