CONTENT: Angel/Buffy romance.
SPOILERS: Innocence
SUMMARY: This was inspired by the scene in Innocence where Buffy has a dream of Angel in the sunlight. Which leads me to believe that Angel's soul is still out there. Trying to help. This assumes Angel's soul is nearby..and it is his thoughts.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Angel or Buffy or the events of Innocence. Joss Whedon and the WB do.


by: Rebecca Carefoot

Here I am.

Not sure where here is exactly.

Not really sure of much. Except that the pain is gone, and I am separate. I am as I was before the curse. Out of body. Just me. My soul. Floating.

The touch of her skin against mine wasn't what did it. The brush of her lips against mine. The salty sweat that covered her body, the feel of her hands on me, the soft moans. None of that was what did it.

Because as much as I enjoyed making love to her. That wasn't what made me happy. Her body naked and vulnerable in my arms; it wasn't what broke the curse. Ok, so it was part of it. But the physical wasn't what made this happen. It was what the act symbolized. Because as I held her naked body in my arms, and I felt her move under me, I knew that she did love me.

I knew how much trust she had in me. For the Slayer to make herself utterly vulnerable to a vampire. Well, that takes faith. It takes friendship. It takes loyalty. And most of all it takes love.

Do you have any idea how long it's been since anyone has trusted me that way? Trusted me in a way that I don't even trust myself. Loved me in a way that I cannot love myself. Well, the real truth is no one has ever loved me that way.

And the two of us, with nothing between our naked bodies was when I really and truly understood that I don't have to be alone anymore. That she loves me, as deeply as I love her. And that's when I felt for the first time in eighty years, completely happy.

And she fell asleep next to me when the two of us had spent our passion. Her tiny body curled next to mine. Her head resting against my shoulder. To see her so peaceful. So beautiful. It broke my heart, but it filled me with happiness at the same time. And I fell asleep too. Secure. Content.

Until the pain started. Until I felt myself being sucked away. I could have gone gentle I suppose. But I'm stubborn, always have been. And knowing what would happen if I lost was enough to make me fight it.

I tried to get away from her, to put some distance between her and the demon. But the pain just kept getting worse. Until I couldn't stand, I couldn't move. All I could do was gasp her name. And that was the only thing that helped me hold out as long as I did. Because the pain was unbearable. I was being torn, ripped, shredded, mangled.

And then I felt my grip slip and I was floating. No more pain, no more body. No more Angel.

Only I'm still here. I can see it all as it happens. And I stand by and watch as the demon that speaks with my voice berates her. I stand by and watch as the demon that sees with my eyes, tries to bring her as much pain as he can before he kills her. And I cry, though I have no tears.

I cry because I am stuck here. Floating. And there is nothing I can do. I want to reach out and touch her. Gently kiss her and tell her it will be all right. But it is not all right. It can never be all right ever again. Because that trust, that love that she had for me...I can see it dying as I watch her. I can see her cutting herself away from it. Because she knows what she has to do.

I know too. And I understand. And I cheer her on silently. But a part of me dies when I see the hate in her eyes. The hate that slowly replaces the love under Angelus' onslaught. Selfish me, to wish that I could return to her. Selfish. For a part of me hopes she can't kill him.

But that's crazy. And I know it. So I watch and wait. As her eyes grow colder. As the mental knife that Angelus weilds twists deeper into her heart.

I see everything. And I can do nothing.

I take it back. I can do one thing. I can continue to love her. With all of me. And I stand by. A ridiculous gaurdian that can do nothing but watch. And love. And dare I say hope?

I cannot help it. I still hope for a miracle. I pray that somehow I will be able to return to her. But this is me being selfish again. After what the demon has done, how can we ever be together?

Things can never be the same again. And even if by some miracle I were able to regain my body, I know we can never be together again. Not the way we were. I don't think that she can forgive me. I know I cannot forgive myself. I don't think she could trust me. I don't think she can love me. And if her love for me dies. I die. Forever. No more floating soul. No more waiting and watching. Just dust and ashes. That's all I'm worth without her.

She still wears the ring. Although she sometimes takes it off now. Longer and longer each time. She is getting stronger, and I know that soon she will be able to take the final step and put that stake through his...my...chest. Then everything will disappear. And it will be a relief.

But I will miss her. I try to tell her sometimes...that I still love her. That I'm sorry. I don't know if she hears me. I like to think sometimes that she does. I like to think that when I talk to her at night, she listens. That somehow my thoughts gain access to her dreams. I hope she understands.

It wasn't her fault. It was mine. All she did was make me happy. All she did was give me what I wanted..love. All she did was have the courage to care for me. And she made me happier than I have ever been in my life. Selfish me. Because I wouldn't trade it. Even though I see what came of it all.

And for a moment I was no longer lonely. Too bad it had to end up this way. Too bad there isn't some way to kill the demon and reinstate me as sole owner of my body. But it's useless to torment myself with possibilities that do not exist. I see the pain in her eyes and I know it has to end. And it can only end one way. Selfish me. Because I will regret dying. I will regret the fact that this time I will not even be able to watch. I will lose her.

But the better part of me. The part that loves her more than myself. That part welcomes the end. An end to her pain and mine. And all that will be left of our love will be dust and memories. Selfish me, to hope that she holds on to the memories when I am dust.

So I'm waiting. Floating. Holding onto her. Clinging to the love she still has for me. Watching that love slowly fade. Until finally...the end. Dust.

I wonder how long this will last. And I float.

the end

Read the companion piece from Buffy's POV...Today.


Buffy&Angel // Rebecca Fic