A Little Bit of Heaven
Summary: Set after This Old Gang of Mine, just
before Carpe Nocteum. Angel fighting a demon, near death and dreams of
Author Notes: First time author, do not know to access beat readers,
hope this story benefits from your appraisal.
Story Notes: No Spoilers really.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimer, I wish I owned them but do not, so do
not sue me.
The lobby was relatively quiet, only the
occasional rustle of pages being turned broke the silence. Wesley looked up
from his book on Daemons and glanced over to see Cordelia engrossed with
her computer screen. Perhaps the answers they sought were by chance out on
the World Wide Web after all.
"Not holding much hope there," he
Over on the couch sat Gunn, a large tome open on his
lap. Fred was at his feet seemingly more comfortable on the floor than a
chair, several books arrayed around her lithe form. Wesley brought his gaze
back to Gunn, catching him studying the dark figure in the corner of the
room. On turning his head a little Wesley was able to make out Angel
reading in the shadows. His dark head bent over the several books that
weren't written in English. His vast knowledge of demonic and human
languages meant that Angel and Wesley (whose own knowledge was no small
matter) always scored the non-English books when research was required,
like now. Angel seemed to be unaware of the scrutiny of others, but Wesley
thought it highly unlikely. Vampire senses and all.
Angel was unaware of the scrutiny from the others
in the room, his mind caught up in a vision of golden hair, and hazel eyes.
Eyes that had looked at him with so much.... A stab of pain shot through
his un-beating heart and he took a breath, the first in several minutes and
looked up. He had to get out; he needed to kill something, anything to get
his mind of ...
When Angel looked up in that moment, Wesley could
see his gaze was distant and saw the unneeded breath. Angel had been
subdued since his return, a return to his earlier days of brooding. Wesley
looked over to Gunn and saw that he had turned his eyes downward to his own
After the club debacle of the previous day Gunn
was understandably uncomfortable. Nervous. He was deeply sorry about Fred
being shot at and the danger everyone had been put in. But he was
especially nervous around Angel and even though the two had had words, Gunn
still felt as if it was not enough. He was worried that he had let the team
down and now felt it had made his position shaky to say the least. Angel
had not spoken of the matter again, but his being quiet was in no way
indicative of how he felt. Angel was always quiet. Gunn wanted to make
things right, but did not know how to go about it.
It was late afternoon, Angel had joined them a
couple of hours before, since rising. The demon they were researching had
attacked people downtown, and only a scanty eyewitness report gave them any
clue other than it was big. This particular demon could any one of the
myriads of beings that frequented L.A. but tracking it down on paper was
proving to be a task harder than previously thought.
Wesley looked back to Angel but he was no longer
in his seat. He looked about to catch sight of him and saw Gunn had noticed
too. Angel was no longer in the lobby, which gave Wesley a slight start as
Angel's silent movements still had that affect on him.
"Angel?" he called.
"Yeah?" came the reply from behind him.
Wesley's heart tripped in fright for a brief
second as he turned to see Angel shrugging on his coat.
"Where are you going?"
"I thought that I would check out the area
once again and I also heard of this nest...." He broke off at Wesley's
"Do you want some...?" Wesley was
interrupted by Angel's "no." as he swept by to the weapons
Wesley stood and followed saying, "I suggest
you take Gunn as backup just in case." He glanced to the window at the
late afternoon sun.
Angel had the cabinet open and his favourite sword
was in his hand. Presumably stakes had been hidden in the pockets of his
coat. He turned back to Wesley and Gunn who had come up behind Wesley and
simply nodded. His dark eyes looked at Gunn and an eyebrow arched.
Gunn was eager, "I'm cool. Let's go. I'm
getting cramp sitting still all day long."
Without another word Angel headed for the
basement. Fred and Cordelia called out "Be Careful." Gunn waved
back to his co workers, his axe in his hand and followed.
They made their way through the sewers in silence.
Gunn kept glancing ahead in the gloom to the dark figure before him
continually amazed at his proximity to the very thing he had sworn to kill.
Angel made very little sound, no breathing to betray his presence,
footsteps silent, avoiding the puddles and slime in the tunnels. Usually
the group would have flashlights to guide them, but with Angel on the
prowl, his keen night vision led them, his senses on alert for any danger.
Gunn was a veteran and was nearly as silent, as silent as a human could be
anyway. He was sure footed as well and kept up with his dark guide.
Angel froze. They had been walking for quite a
while and Gunn was lost. He had been thinking about the night before and
Angel getting ready to be staked when Angel froze. Gunn stood still his
heart beginning to race. He hadn't noticed anything and he was annoyed at
himself for being preoccupied while on the job.
"Nice way to get yourself killed," he
Gunn reached slowly for his stake in his
waistband, his other hand gripping his axe. Gunn peered ahead of Angel into
the blackness but couldn't make out anything. In a blur Angel swung around
to face Gunn his sword seeming to jump into his hand from beneath his coat.
Angel's sword came arcing towards Gunn, and instinctively, Gunn drove the
stake he had been holding towards Angel's chest. Too late Gunn realised to
his horror that the sword was moving past his head to behind but he was
unable to pull his hand back and felt and heard the dull smack of wood
piercing muscle. As if in slow motion he took in the fact that Angel had
twisted his chest to deflect the stake, which was embedded in his ribs, and
without stopping his turn, Angel pulled the stake out and plunged it into
the vampire behind him in a sweeping arc. Gunn shook off his shock and
turned with his axe to confront another vamp that had stepped in to replace
the one Angel had beheaded. As Gunn fought his vamp he heard the sounds of
fists and grunts and dusted vamps behind him. Finishing off his opponent
Gunn turned to find Angel, who, after giving him an appraising glance,
disappeared around the bend after the last vamp.
Gunn stood catching his breath then legged after
the vampire. Round the bend there was nothing. An inky blackness loomed.
Gunn walked cautiously forward but nothing.
"Angel?" he called softly realising he
could be giving away his position, but no response.
Gunn decided to wait for a while. He was shaken.
He had staked Angel. He had thought that Angel was still upset, even angry
about what had happened at Caritas and had come after him. But all the
while Angel had been saving his life, again. God, what if the stake had
found his heart. Oh God! Angel had expected it. He had seen and twisted
away from the fatal blow! Had used it as a weapon in a blink of an eye. All
this time he had threatened that if Angel turned bad he would kill him. But
it looked as if it would take more than Charles Gunn to do that. Angel was
a master vampire. A lot older than the vamps he and his gang were used to
dusting. He was faster, stronger, smarter, and wiser. No easy target.
Realising that Angel was not coming back any time soon, Gunn decided to
make his way back to the hotel. He had no idea in which direction Angel had
gone but maybe he would go on to the crime scene and Gunn could get there
faster above ground than under.
The sun had gone down by the time Gunn made it back
to the Hyperion. The others were still at the research when he arrived.
"Hey Gunn. How did it go? Where's
Angel?" Fred piped.
"Yeah. Did you lose tall dark and
broody?" Cordy asked.
On seeing the look on Gunn's face Cordelia said,
"That was a joke Gunn!"
"I....I...I can't believe I did it,"
Gunn choked out.
"What did you DO?" Cordelia asked her
"Calm down," came Wesley. "Time to
explain Charles. What happened?"
In a small voice Gunn replied, "I staked
Angel. It. it was an accident. I didn't mean to..I mean...."
"OH MY GOD! YOU STAKED ANGEL?" screeched
Cordelia. Tears beginning to pool in her eyes, shock written over her
Wesley felt his knees give. He sat down abruptly.
Fred burst into tears. No! Not Angel, not this way, it couldn't be. After
all they had been through.
"An accident? What do you mean?" he
Cordelia marched over to Gunn grief and anger
glaring out at him. "All right SPILL. WHAT HAPPENED?"
"Angel came at me with his sword, I thought
he was going to kill me and before I realised he was attacking a vamp
behind me I had all ready plunged a stake into his chest. He.. He saw it
coming though and turned in time to stop it going in his heart. He then
dusted a few more and the last I saw he was chasing after some one in the
There was a loud SLAP as Cordelia's palm connected
with Gunn's face.
"That was for Angel, and for scaring the crap
out of us all!" she said.
"So he is still alive, um undead then?"
Wesley breathed a sigh of relief. Shakily he
asked, "Why did you think that he was going to kill you? Angel
understands how you feel, he doesn't hold a grudge Gunn"
"Yeah I know... it's just, you know, HELL, I
"But he isn't you."
Cordelia was at the phone beginning to punch in
some numbers. Her hand was shaking and her face was pale.
"Why not Wes? I have to know if he is
"Because he is hunting and it may not be a
good thing to announce his position in such cases."
"Fine!" she slammed the phone down.
"What do we do now then?"
Gunn spoke softly, "I was going to go to the
crime scene to see if he turns up there."
"Where was this nest he mentioned?"
"I dunno, it was on the way downtown, he
"Let's get Angel's car and go to the crime
scene, then backtrack along the sewers."
"And if we still haven't found him...?"
"Then we ring his cell. Last resort."
Fred and Cordelia grabbed stakes while Wesley
picked up a crossbow.
"Do you think one of us should stay here in
case he comes back?"
Cordelia shot Fred a look "are you
volunteering, cause I ain't staying!"
Fred stammered, "I..I..I will be OK here
right? On my own?"
"Of course you will Fred. Just ring us the
minute he shows up"
"OK. I can do that"
"Come on" Wesley urged and they were
Angel followed the vampire at a distance. He had
let him get ahead as if he had lost his pursuer and kept tracking him. He
winced at the burning pain in his ribs. It would heal but it was still
painful in more ways than one. He had smelt the fear on Gunn just a second
before the stake hit home. He was saddened. He didn't blame Charles in the
least, knowing it had been instinct and after recent events,
understandable, but his heart was heavy.
The vamp ahead stooped low to a hole in the sewer
wall and eased through. Angel waited a few moments then cautiously
approached the opening. His senses on full alert he followed. There was no
light on the other side of the opening; a narrow path ran away down to the
left. Vamp night vision made out the pathway was empty, but Angel sensed
the vamp ahead. He stood to one side of the opening, waiting, listening.
There! He heard a faint scuff a long way down and silently stalked the
pathway himself. His sword in his hand he wound his way down into the dark
depths of the city. Several minutes later he was at what appeared the
bottom, in front of a steel door.
Great. Just what he needed, some rusty door that
would squeal when it opened. No, he remembered there had been no sound of a
door opening and there was no sign of his prey. So breathing in an
unnecessary breath he pushed against the door. It swung open noiselessly,
and he stopped and listened. No sounds of alert, he then swung the door
open further and stepped through.
The large room was empty of life or of the
un-dead. Pieces of furniture and clothing littered the place, bedding lay
on the floor but no sign of the occupants. A low grunt, followed by a growl
came from his left. He paced over to the wall and listened. Yes there it
was again but not from the wall. His eyes darting around he spied a trap
door in the corner of the floor. Quickly he reached the opening and
proceeded to cautiously descend. The stench hit him before he hit the
ground. Rotted corpses, and blood. Old, stale blood but also fresh. His
mouth watered at the smell of fresh blood, the bloodlust under control but
always present. He shook himself, concentrate!
Carefully stepping around body parts Angel
followed the grisly trail to another opening in the wall. He could hear a
voice pleading, placating. Peering around he saw the vampire he had been
trailing talking to something hidden behind a half wall. Part of the far
wall to his right was missing, a beckoning emptiness in the surrounding
dark. "I swear" the vampire was babbling. "There were too
many. It was an ambush. I was lucky to get away..."
"STOP! FOOL!" a deep grating rumble
reverberated around the room.
"You were followed!!!!"
"No! No I swear" came the reply
Angel saw the body of a little boy thrown away
like a broken doll up against the wall. Another of a young woman, her
throat ripped out sat upright seeming to look right at him. Angel felt sick
at the way his mouth had watered at the smell of fresh blood.
He stepped forward and with one silent swift
motion of his sword decapitated the vampire in front of him. As the dust
settled he saw the owner of the rumbling voice. It was the demon they had
been researching. And it was big. Hell it was big lying down!
Red eyes glaring at him, the thing hissed
"What do you want...vampire?" It had guessed at what he was. It
began uncoiling itself off the floor. Its scales scraped the cold stone
with a hiss.
"What are you?"
"I am Azor! We are few but we are
powerful." Came the boast. Its body now upright, towered above Angel.
"Now why is it that ugly demons such as
yourself keep telling me that? Do you all come with a manual?" Angel
kept his arms low, his sword held easily in his right hand.
"You will not leave here alive!" roared
"Nothing new there as wasn't alive when I got
here. And I'm guessing you are the one who destroyed that little hotel on
Maine St." Angel kept his eyes on the red eyes of his opponent, noting
the talons at the end of his thick scaly arms and his long tail coiled
around his hind legs. The creature wore a long vest of some kind across its
chest which covered half of its' body.
Azor chuckled, the sound harsh in Angel's ears.
"My vampires were not keeping up my supply of food. I had to teach
them a lesson in how to fill my larder."
"Well, kitchens closed." Angel began as
he pirouetted and sliced into the demon.
With a roar it reacted far more quickly than he
had anticipated and swiped at Angel with his tail, sending the vampire
flying into the wall. He rolled as Azor stomped over to him and he leapt up
and over the shoulder of the beast slicing into it with his sword again as
he did so. It roared again and turned in the suddenly too small space. Its
tail thrashed against the wall in anger resulting in crumbling concrete.
Moving faster than humanly possible, Angel darted
in and drove his sword into Azor's belly. It glanced off but wicked talons
caught Angel in his chest and he spun away in pain. Angel vamped out and
kicked out at the thing's leg where a knee joint appeared to be. His leg
felt as if he had kicked the wall but Azor's bellow brought a wicked grin
through a mouthful of fangs.
Gripping his sword tighter he swung around to
deliver another blow when he went flying back against the wall. Hard.
Dazed, he realised he had forgotten the tail again. Shaking his head he
darted around the demon towards the back of the room. Azor shouted at him,
but Angel had noticed an opening behind the half wall. He darted through
into another space. He continued his run, hearing the demon following.
"No. NO!" it was screaming at him.
He looked around and saw the demon had stopped his
Angel looked down and saw the remains of more
bodies, many more bodies and shards of shells. There was a skittering and
the clatter of many claws. He noticed the bodies had been chewed. People
had been going missing and no one had been aware. If vampires had killed
them, their bodies would've been found. But these people had met a more
grisly fate. Trying to see into the mess that was the floor he taunted his
"Well, what do we have here? Looks like
someone needs a cleaner hmm? Or maybe a nanny?"
Azor edged closer and roared at him, "Big
mistake Vampire! My family will eat you alive as I watch and enjoy the
sound of your screams."
He leapt at Azor trying to edge him back to the
opening. Both feet hit his chest and Azor rocked back, but kept upright and
grabbed Angel by a leg and hefted him towards his razor like fangs.
"Oh no you don't" Angel muttered as he
brought his sword up and attempted to slice off the demon's head. Claws
pierced his leg and raked his back. He was thrown back into the cavern.
Bouncing hard he rose to his feet. He had to destroy Azor and his brood; if
they grew to full size then many more people will die. He couldn't allow
Looking about he saw movement on the walls and
floor and hoped that they wouldn't attack him before he had killed the
Blood loss was making him weak and this had to end
now. Limping towards the demon that was watching him with some amusement,
he asked "What?"
"You're plucky! I have to give you that. Most
vampires would have been dust by now. Why interfere in my business? What's
it to you?"
"It's MY business and besides, I just don't
like your face."
As he spoke Angel had his lighter out and he threw
it behind him into the dark. Then he attacked again, leaping high,
somersaulting over Azor's head and landing on his back. Dropping his sword
he grabbed the creature's throat and drove a stake into the back of its
neck. It was roaring now, its tail swiping the walls, cracks appearing,
snaking up into the ceiling. The demon's claws raked at Angel trying to
dislodge him, and then it heaved its body against the wall. Grunting in
pain, as he was jammed into the concrete he grabbed another stake and
pounded it up and under the demon's chin. He let go as it staggered a few
steps and ran for his sword. The world began to scream and he realised it
was the creature's babies as the fire caught the rags littering the floor
and bodies. Realising he had to stop the creatures from escaping, he swung
up and once again hit the demon with both feet flying. It reeled and
Angel's fists pounded into him and it toppled. As it fell Angel swept up
the sword and brought it down on its neck. The demon was lying before the
opening its bulk partially blocking it. Racing over for a burning rag, he
threw it towards the door. Knowing he could be trapped himself he began to
pull at the demon's body. Something landed on his back and teeth took a
chunk out of him. He rolled onto the floor dislodging the fiend and another
landed on his leg. He plucked that off and threw it into the fire. Its
death squeal made the others fearful of him and the fire. Quickly he went
back to dragging one big heavy carcass to the opening. Gasping in pain now
and the exertion taking it's toll he managed to prop up the body. Crawling
over it and squeezing out the door he looked around for a more permanent
solution. Not willing to climb back upstairs and let some of the little
demons escape he looked at the pillars that helped hold up the ceiling. At
least part of one wall was already taken care of.
A movement caught his eye and he saw a scaled baby
demon climbing over its parent. Reaching in he grabbed it and threw it back
into the flames. Crawling after it he grabbed another piece of burning
debris, on closer look a piece of a corpse and, he retreated setting fire
to Azor's clothing.
That ought to stop the critters for a while. He
staggered over to the central pillar and started pounding it with his fists
and feet. The already weakened ceiling cracked some more and slowly the
pillar gave way.
Angel ran back to watch as the ceiling collapsed
and fill the hole but he hadn't counted on the entire thing falling inwards
and he was suddenly thrown into oblivion.
Gunn, Wesley and Cordelia, found no sign of Angel
at the wreckage of the hotel on Maine St. Leaving Angel's car parked in the
street it was decided to go down into the sewers and back track from there.
Their torches threw eerie shadows ahead of them and Cordelia's
"Eeww!" as she tried avoiding; disgusting, gross debris
accompanied the three. Eventually Cordelia gave up and thanked her lucky
stars she had on sensible demon hunting shoes and not her fashionable
"Call Fred to see if he has turned up,"
"I think Fred would have called us in that
"Ring his phone then."
Wesley stopped to peer at Cordelia.
"He'll be fine."
"How do you know Wesley? Have you looked at
him lately? Have you seen how he doesn't seem to care about getting hurt?
How quiet he is since he came back? I mean he was always quiet but before
this he had opened up more, laughed a little..," Cordelia sighed.
Gunn kept quiet, he didn't have anything to add.
He found it odd that his friends cared so much for this vampire as if he
was a real person and then remembered that he did on occasion too, when he
forgot for a moment just what he was. That had been the whole problem.
Denying he had any sort of feelings for Angel and trying hard to fit back
into that black and white world of his crew. Because it was simple and
straight forward that way.
"I'm not blind Cordelia, I had noticed but he
will come through this. He has before." Wesley was replying, as he
pulled out his phone.
"It seems his phone is either off or he is
out of range.." began Wesley and Cordelia interrupted,
"Or he's hurt and cannot answer the
Not answering her they continued on.
They came to an intersection in the tunnel system
and decided to split up.
"Gunn you proceed to the left, Cordelia and I
will go this way. Keep in touch if you can get a signal down here."
Cordelia added "And he had better be alive...
no, un-dead when you find him." Gunn nodded and headed off.
30 minutes later he thought he smelt a faint whiff
of smoke. Standing still he sniffed the air and shone the light over the
walls. Stepping slowly forward he tried to catch another whiff but then
began to suspect he had imagined it. His light hit a dark opening ahead of
him to his left and he crouched down and peered through. The smoke smell
was definitely stronger in here. Gunn carefully eased himself through and
followed the narrow pathway down. A steel door stood open at the bottom and
he stepped through axe ready.
The room beyond was a mess and part of the floor
seemed to have given way. The far wall had crumbled too and there was a gaping
hole. Gingerly testing the floor he reached the edge and looked over. The
smell was gut wrenching and wisps of smoke clung to the air. Below him was
a mass of stone, bricks, steel and wood. He played his light over the
rubble not really expecting to find anything. Something glinted in the
flashlight and he decided to go over to have a closer look. His breathing
harsh in his own ears, but thankful for no other signs of life that might
signal the presence of any possible enemy, Gunn climbed down into the pit.
He clambered over to the spot where he had noticed a glint and found
Angel's sword half buried.
"Man." He breathed.
He reached out and dislodged the sword from the
stone and began to carefully search the rubble. Several minutes later he
spied a shoe. Attached to the shoe was a black clad foot and Gunn knew he
had found Angel. Or at least his leg as the rest of him was buried beneath
"Angel" he whispered.
Again louder, "Angel."
No movement, no reply.
"Hang in there, man."
He scrambled up out of the hole and ran all the
way up to the sewer tunnel. He rang Wes's cell phone.
"I've found him. Head back and follow my
path, there is a low opening in the tunnel wall about half an hour along.
I'll leave my hat there. Hurry."
"Gunn, how is he?"
Gunn heard Cordelia speaking past Wesley. "I don't know. He's buried
under a mass of rubble and he ain't moving or speaking, but he's not dust
so that's something isn't it". He hung up before they could reply.
Gunn bent over the pile of rock he knew to be
Angel and started to lift the smaller pieces out of the way. He estimated
where his head should be and began to clear. He worked to torchlight,
shadows leaping and diving, seeming to possess a life of their own. Gunn
was sweating now. He had lost track of time, caught in the monotony of
lifting rubble and throwing it away. He came upon a huge piece of concrete
studded with steel in the way, and it was too heavy for one man.
"Come on Angel." He whispered.
"Give us a hand."
Not able to lift the offending piece, he worked
around it until he was rewarded with a glimpse of Angel's face. Grabbing
the light, he played it over the still features. Blood marred the perfect
face, its paleness hidden under the crimson tide. Dark lashes remained
closed, the dark hair matted with blood also. There was no breath, no sign
of life. To all intent and purposes Gunn was looking at a dead man. A
"Angel." He patted his cheek. No
He put down the torch and continued working around
Angel trying to free his arms and legs. He then heard a noise and looked up
to see more light moving towards him. "Here" he called as he
lifted his light to show exactly where.
"Oh my God, Angel!" cried Cordelia as
she scrambled down. Wesley not far behind cautioned "Careful."
She crawled over to Gunn and shone her light down on Angel.
"Oh No! Angel! Wake up! Can you hear me?
Wesley knelt beside her.
"Come on, help us free him."
"Why won't he wake up Wesley?" she asked
as she lifted bricks off his legs.
"Let's just get him out of here, then we will
worry about that. Hmm"
When Angel's limbs were free they each took hold
of the large piece left and heaved. Panting, muscles straining, the rock
began to move and so did Angel.
"Wesley! He moved." Came Cordelia's
"Stop!" Gunn growled. They dropped the
rock gently back and Gunn bent down.
"Angel! You awake man? Can you hear me?"
Angel was as still as death. Gunn looked him over.
"Cordelia, you have to pull Angel off this
mother when Wes and I lift. Got that?"
"Wh..What do you mean? Pull him out?"
"No. Off. I think he is impaled on the steel
rods that run through this thing. That's why he is not responding."
"Oh. Oh ..." trembling she bit back the
"Don't worry about hurting him Cordelia. You
have to do this."
"I know Wes!!! Just get this done
already!" she snapped.
"OK. One, two, three!"
Cordelia lay beside her friend and inched her arms
under his body and placing both her hands on his shoulders, gently pulled.
"Cordelia! We haven't the strength to hold
this for any extended amount of time. Please pull as hard as
Cordelia closed her eyes and did as Wesley had
asked. She yanked Angel's shoulders as hard as she could and he slid
"It's working" she gasped. "Just
let me try again."
His shoulders free she worked her hands down his
body until she felt his hips. Then she pulled again and Angel was free
falling onto her arms.
Realising Gunn and Wesley couldn't hold up for
much longer, she pulled Angel and herself away with difficulty, as he was a
dead weight. Thankfully the men placed the rock back down. Ignoring the
others, she picked up her torch and played it across her friend. Her hand
flew to her mouth as she took in the ripped clothing and all the blood,
which meant too many injuries. Angel didn't bleed a lot usually, so this
meant he had to be seriously hurt.
"Cordelia, grab the other flashlights and
Cordelia did as she was asked, Wesley and Gunn
picking Angel up by feet and shoulders. She led the way up to the floor
above and there they rested.
"Give us a hand Wes."
Wesley helped set Angel upright as Gunn boosted
him over his shoulder in a fireman's lift.
"Man! You are heavy." He said to a
There was nothing. No light, no feeling, no form,
just emptiness. Angel was unaware, no thought, no pain, non-existence.
Angel was on his bed in the Hyperion. They had all
gasped at the extent of his injuries when they gingerly cut away his
tattered shirt. Cordelia was in nurse mode and gave out orders thick and
fast, sending Fred, Gunn and even Wesley scurrying for bandages,
disinfectant, water and towels. After gently washing Angel and cleaning and
bandaging his wounds, the four friends looked down at their exceptionally
Wesley cleared his throat. "He needs
"He'll be fine, won't he Wesley?" asked
Cordelia. "I mean he's been through worse."
She reached down to touch his face. Concern etched
"Why isn't he waking up?"
"Uh Fred. Yes. Well, I think it's to do with
the healing. And to do that he needs blood." Wesley left to go to
Angel's supply in his fridge.
"It's better that he is unconscious Fred,
else he'd be in a world of pain about now," came Gunn.
"I'm glad you found him when you did.
Vampires are quite hard to kill other than the staking and beheading, but
with blood loss and the many wounds he has, I would hazard to guess how the
outcome would have been, otherwise." Wesley came back with a warm mug
"How are you going to get that into him
"With difficulty I should think. Normally the
smell of blood would be enough for him to rouse himself to feed even when
asleep, but as you see that isn't the case now." Wesley approached the
bed, "You can leave if you will, this is not going to be
"Give me the cup Wesley," Cordelia
insisted and he did so before he sat on the edge of the bed beside Angel.
He noticed that Gunn had pulled Fred gently out of the room. Carefully he
lifted Angel's head and pulled him up against his chest. Cordelia sat on
the other side and tried to pass him the mug.
"Just a moment."
Wesley cautiously opened Angel's mouth with one
hand and reached for the mug. As he poured the life giving liquid, his
other hand massaged Angel's throat forcing the blood down. Rivulets of
blood ran down his chin and Cordelia leaned over to wipe it away. Soon the
mug was finished and Wesley lay his friend gently back onto his pillow.
Cordelia gave Angel's face one last loving wipe and ran her fingers through
"Wake up Angel." She whispered, as she
pulled the blanket up over his still body.
Wesley was concerned.
There was sun and shade. Opening his eyes, Angel
noted tree branches overhead. Sunlight sifted through, warmth hitting his
face. Another shadow lowered towards him and he was lost. Lost in the
beauty before him. Sunlight and hazel eyes gazed into his. A brilliant
smile broke across that beloved face.
"Hey sleepyhead." She smiled again.
Speechless, he could only stare in wonder.
Her hand reached out to him and her warm fingers
caressed his face.
"How?" he managed to croak.
"That doesn't matter. You are here with me
She bent her golden head and her lips met his.
This was real. She was real. It couldn't be, but
it was. Buffy felt real, smelt real and tasted real. If she was here, did
that mean he was finally..? He lost his train of thought as the kiss
deepened and he was swept away with long suppressed emotion.
Wesley was more than concerned, he was worried. It
was morning now and still Angel had not stirred. His wounds were healing,
the blood doing its thing, supernaturally, but there had been no movement
or breathing to indicate Angel was still in his body. All right the
breathing was merely a habit, one Wesley would be glad to see Angel do
right now. Gunn had left last night, but he and Cordelia had taken turns
with Fred to sit beside Angel's bed throughout the night. He would have to
feed him again to aid his recovery. The wounds had been varied and
numerous. The most serious had been impalement on that concrete block, but
no wooden objects, other than Gunn's stake, had touched him. Wesley needed
to warm up some more blood.
Angel didn't know how long he had been with Buffy
and he didn't care. She was here with him and that was all that mattered.
They had kissed and talked and made love under the tree, in the sunlight.
Oh, he was still a vampire, no heartbeat, but the sunlight did no harm. No
happiness clause apparently for it would have been broken the moment he
opened his eyes. For this to be heaven, he would have been human, and he
wondered briefly at that. But then his beloved distracted him again and he
forgot the question.
"Wesley! What's the matter with him? Why
isn't he waking up?" Cordelia asked worriedly.
"For the hundredth time, Cordelia, I do not
know. He will awake when the time comes."
"But it's been a day now and still he sleeps
if you can call it that." Fred interjected.
Fred looked over to Angel's pale still form. Her
hero wasn't waking up and she didn't know what to do. Wesley patted her
"I know Fred. All we can do is wait. He
usually sleeps to help the healing process; perhaps this is going to take a
lot longer than normal. For him anyway."
Wesley wondered if Angel wanted to come back from
where ever he was. He didn't know if Angel dreamed or was just unaware of
his surroundings, only that life seemed to hold no interest for him and
that he had no reason to come back. Yes, there were a multitude of reasons
for him to return, but for Angel, his one reason for being in this world
Angel sat, long legs crossed at the ankles, his
back resting against a large rock, enjoying the view of the valley below,
basking in the sun. Breathing in the scent of flowers and sunshine, his
world was perfect. Two yellow daisies fell into his lap followed closely by
the picker of same flowers. Buffy breathlessly claimed her lover with a
kiss and snuggled into his embrace.
"It's so beautiful up here."
"Where ever you are is beautiful," he
replied his chin resting on her head.
His inner self wanted to know why and where he
was, but his heart was content to just be, it did not want this to end, and
in the knowing, all could be lost. But to hold her in his arms again, to
feel her heart beating against his chest, to taste her lips, to make love
with his heart and soul to his beloved, was beyond compare. A miracle yes.
One he did not wish to end.
She seemed to know his thoughts, and said, "All
things come to an end."
"You are beautiful, I never told you how
beautiful you are," she said rolling over until she looked up into his
"Are you happy here?" he asked.
"How not, with you?"
"Ssshhhh. Just enjoy. And yes, I miss my
friends and family, but I love being here with you more. Don't worry about
me. You always worry about me. Take care of yourself more." She closed
Looking down at her tanned face, he reached around
and stroked her hair. He closed his eyes.
It was a new day and they were lying facedown on
grass looking down into the brook that babbled by. Birds sang, the sky was
clear and the lovers had bathed in the water after their last love making
and lay drying in the sun.
"I love seeing you in sunlight," he
"And I you," she sighed.
"You need to go back," she continued and
his heart contracted.
"They need you back," she persisted
turning her head and looked deep into his eyes.
"I need you back." She leaned over and kissed
"I want to stay here."
"You cannot," said she.
"Oh my love," she whispered, tears in
her voice. "I wish with all my heart that we could stay here, but it's
not to be."
"Why?" he repeated, his heart breaking.
"We were given this gift, a chance to be
together. A time, just for us. Something we have been denied for so long.
Ask not how." Again she kissed him.
It had been two days now and still no change.
Cordelia was asleep on the lounge in Angel's rooms, not wishing to be far
in the event of his awakening. Fred came and went whispering all the time
to herself. Gunn had put in another appearance and tried not to show his
concern for the vampire. Wesley tried to find reasons why, in his books,
but he could not concentrate. He got up, stretched and went to make some
coffee. Cordelia may need a cup and his coffee was far more palatable than
Angel lay under the same tree he had first found
himself. This small piece of heaven. In his arms lay the reason for his
very being. Hazel eyes gazed into brown. Light and dark. She was golden,
he, was not. But they became one, two halves into a whole.
"I love you," he whispered.
"Still my girl?"
"Will I see you again?" he asked.
"Here?" this hopefully.
"No. But we will meet again. Soon. I
promise" A kiss.
He crushed her to him, imprinting her into
"Close your eyes."
He did, recalling the last time he heard her say
those words to him and knowing that he was once again being cast into hell.
A life without her was hell. But trusting her and loving her, he could not
Wesley was standing by the bed, coffee in hand,
Cordelia sitting drinking hers in the bedside chair, when Angel opened his
"Angel?" he whispered.
"What?" Cordelia gasped, looking over at
Angel closed his eyes, took a breath and opened
"Angel? Do you know where you are?"
Cordelia kneeled down beside him taking his hand
in hers, "Angel."
"Oh boy! I'm so glad you're back. We've been
worried." She cast a look at Wesley.
Angel was still to speak. His eyes, Wesley noticed
seemed focused on somewhere else.
"Angel? Can you speak? Are you feeling
alright?" Wesley inquired.
When Angel opened his eyes, he knew he had lost
her. He heard his name and closed his eyes. It was not his beloved's voice.
He took a breath. Opened his eyes again. If he tried hard enough, he could
still see her smile, her eyes, her hair. A warm hand took his. Not her
hand, never hers. But a friend's hand never the less. Reality set in and he
knew he was back in his room. He heard voices but paid them no mind, still
listening to the music of hers. Again, came his name. The spell broken, he
tried to focus on the voices.
Two concerned faces came into view. He licked his
"How long?" he barely whispered.
"Nearly three days. We were worried,"
Angel closed his eyes again, dropped into sleep.
"Angel? Angel? Wake up. Talk to me!"
"Leave him Cordelia."
"But? Why? I want to know what happened to
"As we all. Later, for now, he needs to
"But that's all he's been doing for the last
few days. Shouldn't he be staying awake?"
"He'll be fine. Now that he has come back to
us, there is no need to concern yourself. I am sure when next he awakes, he
will be a lot stronger. Come downstairs. Let's have something to eat,
relax." Wesley gave Cordelia a pull on her arm.
Letting herself be tugged away from the bed, she
tucked Angel's arm back under the covers as she turned away.
Angel felt, rather than heard their voices as he
was spiralling down into sleep where dreams awaited of sunshine and love.
He knew that it wasn't real, this time, but the promise of soon filled his
heart and he was content.
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