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Oct. 18th, 2005

angel

_no_white_flag_ just to be clear

There's a few things I've been thinking about as of late. I'm not entirely sure when or how the power and water got turned back on in the hotel but I'm very grateful for it. Otherwise my method of keeping my soul intact would be sorely different; Cold showers aren't exactly the best relief, generally once I'm out of the shower Buffy makes her presence known and I'm back at square one again. Honestly I don't mind it, taking my time to relearn Buffy and every single inch of her is a gift I'd never thought I'd get.

Still, It's getting harder to resist and as much as I love Buffy I'm the one who has to stay strong because when she's in the moment she can't think about the consequences. So I sought out a shaman I'd had a little bit of contact with while I was still head of Wolfram and Hart. He hadn't been willing to deal with them which gave me hope that maybe he would deal with me, seeing as how I'd gone up against them and lived. Little things like that I hoped said something about my character and which side I'm on.

It had been almost a week and a half since the scene in the kitchen. Spike and Illyria had come and gone at least once and I still wasn't sure if Spike had taken the time to actually talk to Buffy, but I have no doubt he's aware of the situation.

A couple of days ago I sought out Connor. It took me a few hours but I got a hold of his new number at Standford. I called him and he's going to come down and see me in a few weeks, I'd like to think he was relieved to hear from me but I wasn't sure. I didn't want to get my hopes up, having a relationship with him was possible, but only if he wanted it. I wasn't going to force anything or attempt to make him feel guilty. He's still my son, no one can take that from me.

Buffy was out, she was going stir crazy so obviously she had to shop, when the shaman walked into the lobby of the hotel. I didn't know who he was at first but there was very little doubt once he threw me back into the wall. Now that was unexpected.

"Can I help you?" I asked picking myself up from the floor.

"So it is true. You live." What's with these guys and creepy voices? Didn't they have another cliche' to work with?

"In a manner of speaking."

"You requested and audience, the binding of your soul." He lifted his hand and a small blue orb appeared in it.

I eyed him carefully, for all I knew this was a trick. I didn't really trust shamans as a rule. The evil one who tried to kill me, the one who took my soul, bad track record; that's all I'm saying. But this was something I had to do, for myself. I don't care if the world doesn't think I deserve this one thing, I've been through enough. They've got to give a little.

"I did, how do I know you aren't going to take it instead?" I crossed my arms over my chest. Might not be such a good idea to piss of a shaman but this was my soul we were talking about.

"I have no desire to see Angelus reclaim your body. The sheer fact that the wolf, ram and hart desire it gives me cause to see it never happens." He smiled.

"So you're going to bind my soul just to spite wolfram and hart?" I asked brow raised.

"Yes, do you have a problem with that?"

"No just wanted to be clear." I uncrossed my arms and stuffed my hands into my pockets.

"Very well."

The blue orb lifted and flew directly into my chest, pain ripped through my entire body and I hit the wall with a thud. I could see the blue light in my eyes and I slumped forward, trying to catch my unneeded breath.

"It is done. Don't call upon me again."

I couldn't speak, my body felt like it was on fire, I finally looked up and he was gone. I somehow managed to get into a sitting position and leaned my head back against the wall. Damn that hurts. I closed my eyes and then there was nothing.

Jun. 9th, 2005

angel

deep inside - inside_thebeast

Perhaps it was watching the sunrise from behind a thick plate of glass, glass that held properties that inevitably saved me from turning to ash, it made everything that much more bitter. The air I didn't need to breathe burned me from the inside, this place was permeated with evil, the sickening feeling that I was being pulled underneath. It was suffocating, I'd drown if I had the need to breathe.

It made me ache knowing that my family did breathe it, unwillingly, unwittingly if you wanted to get technical. They'd all agreed to this; agreed to what they thought they knew.

A chipper voice next to me pulled me out of my internal session other would like to call brooding and forced me into another type of bad mood. Complete and utter annoyance.

This had to be some level of torture someone had devised, even Angelus would have been detered by such a low blow. Using Spike as a torture method would never have occured to him, of course the person Spike would torture most would have been myself, or him so it didn't surprise me that he hadn't really thought of it. But whoever had was really going to get the sharp end of my fist when I found out who it was.

I ignored him; if I did it long enough he usually went away to bug Fred about helping him, or Wes or really anyone who'd listen to him, or respond to him. He was the type that had to be active at all times. It really annoyed the hell out of me as much as it did when I was Angelus. He has no patience for anything worth while. And he wonders why Dru left him, why Buffy ...

I really need to do something productive. I sit down at my desk and look over the massive stack of files I need to look over and I sigh indignantly.

There's always a little reminder of the things that cannot change, and the things I pray will. Cordelia laying comatose in the medical ward of this large empire. Connor in his new life, the life he deserved to have but I could never give him. Fred and her scientific mind that on most days blows me away. Wesley, despite the past and what we cannot replace, is here in the thick of it. Gunn who never needed a reason to fight, he just did it because he knew what was right. Lorne who got sucked into my world with the destruction of his.

When I first agreed to this it was about Connor and Cordelia, keeping them safe and doing whatever it took to keep them safe. Then it had been about working from the inside out, the belly of the beast and all that nonsense.

Over the last week though I've come to realize that I can't change this place; there's too much. Too many people, too much power, it corrupts and it will get to me if I let it. I jsut have to find a beacon of light, a focal point to remind me of why I'm here.

Harmony walks into my office and goes on and on about something I'm not interested in.

I'll bide my time till I find the weakness and then I'll exploit it. Someway I'm going to beat this place, I refuse to let it beat me. My people are strong and they can make it, but it doesn't keep me from worrying about them. It doesn't escape my attention that the percieved weaknesses of my staff. Fred's a woman; they believe she isn't strong. Wesley has failure issues; they believe he'll repeat his mistakes. Gunn is hungry for acceptance; they believe he will fold to their will. Lorne is comfortable; they believe he's apathetic to their cause. I accepted the offer; they think I crave the power.

I sigh, uneeded and get up heading for a bright spot in this whole place.

I enter the lab and, as always, find myself impressed by the precision in which these people work. She's in her office, overlooking the entire lab and I smile. Fred's always a breath of fresh air. She's light and beauty and looking at me.

I smile and head up towards her office door, it opens before I get to it and I walk inside.

"Just came to check up on you," She gives me a look, "Alright, I can't focus."

Apr. 21st, 2005

angel

the sky fell down on me _no_white_flag_

My gaze drifted down the cracked wall of the hotel room. The days had blended together since I'd been hurt, I hadn't seen Illyria or Spike for days. After the building had tumbled in on itself and the demon numbers had dwindled Spike had insisted we get somewhere safe. I'd been hurt badly; but held on. It had been odd, to have Spike of all people break into a butcher shop to fetch blood for me.

I'd begged Illyria to make the call for me. The Hyperion was livable, only a little destruction had gone down within its walls, but the power had been severed along with the phone lines. I'd been in no shape to walk to find a phone or really anything at all. Something about Illyria had changed since Wesley had died, she'd become more human if that was possible.

After she called Buffy and Spike made sure I was comfortable the two of them left me to chase down the remaining demons that had fled L.A. and started causing destructing in the cities surrounding. They were determined not to let them get far.

I didn't know what had changed in Spike. He never asked me what had gone on in Rome after he'd left. Maybe he'd already known, it was possibly the reason he hadn't stayed with me. He never asked how she was, if she'd mentioned him, but I knew he knew I'd seen her. And I think he knew what had happened.

The past few weeks had weighed heavily on me. Nina hadn't taken my honesty well, the world had changed irrevocably. Wolfram and Hart no longer existed in this plane, at least not in the same way it had. They were far less powerful at the momment and would take a while to regain any semblance of power. The sacrifices of my family hadn't been in vain and that was something I was thankful for.

I heard her before I saw her, my eyes were closed and I could hear her stealthy footsteps echo through the hotel's shambled lobby. I could picture her walking gracefully, carefully through the hallway, setting down a bag of weapons and supplies, pulling out a stake, possibly a sword just to be sure. The hairs raising on her neck telling her a vampire was close by, the tingle running down her spine telling her its me. I could see it all in my mind so clearly that it was enough to make me believe I was dreaming.

I heard the door open and a gasp as she looked at me, but my eyes were still closed. I know I must look horrible. Spike had told me as much, one eye was swollen shut, a good number of puncture wounds littered my body. Spike looked bad as well, but I had to take on the dragon, it would have killed me if it hadn't been for Illyria.

I opened my good eye and saw her standing there, "Buffy."

Mar. 11th, 2005

angel

... _no_white_flag

Ohhh. The point is she's moving on. You guys do the same, and you might catch her one day. One of you, anyway. But you keep running in place, you're gonna find she's long gone.

His words ran through my head over and over. Why did a guy like Andrew who I didn’t even know make so much sense? Still, leaving without seeing her? I wasn’t so sure I could do it. My senses were on fire just like they always were when she was around. The last time I’d seen her well it had been interesting to say the least but I could still taste her lips on mine.

A kiss like that wasn’t something you just forgot.

Then again I wasn’t the kind of guy who forgot much. I could tell you what she was wearing the first time I met her.

Spike and I were about to step on the plane and I stopped. I just couldn’t not see her, tell her, well I didn’t know what in the hell I was going to tell her but it was a need I couldn’t ignore.

Spike shook his head at me, I’d honestly expected him to turn around with me, and expect to tag along. He didn’t, he just gave me a look, I wasn’t sure if it was one of those knowing looks that annoyed the hell out of me or if he was pissed off he hadn’t thought of it first. I’d know him for a damn long time and I still had no idea what his motivations were. Spike was an enigma, and I didn’t want to think any further on it, I’d get a migraine.

I had a mission. I was going to at least see Buffy, talk to her and then go back to L.A. There was a part of me that wanted to demand something from her, but that was the selfish part that had been acting like a 12 year old since before we’d arrived.

You had to give us credit though; finding out Buffy was willingly with the Immortal, it was worse for us than if she’d chosen one of us over the other, at least then we could spill some blood, you’d be surprised how much beating the shit out of Spike soothed me; especially where Buffy was concerned.

Things were never simple where Buffy was concerned. It’s safe to assume that how ever long I live, my world would come to halt if Buffy was in danger, or hell even concerned somehow, maybe mentioned. I’d moved on with my life, but that didn’t make my love for her any less.

Cordelia’s death had hit me deep, I loved her, she’d given me hope after I’d lost it all. But Cordelia wasn’t Buffy and that had been why I loved her. She wasn’t suppose to replace Buffy, hell my feelings for her had surprised me more than anyone, she was my best friend and I loved her in a way I’d never lover another person. But the same went for Buffy, Buffy was my first love, my soulmate and nothing would change that. I might have walked away but I never forgot; never forgot one moment we had together; including the moments that we never meant to be. But that’s another story.

It was close to dawn when I got checked into the hotel room. I wasn’t going to barge in on Buffy that night. I was feeling a bit more considerate than I had when we first arrived. Gunn called to tell me that the head was returned; Spike added that a certain ‘talk dark and handsome’ one we both loathed had been behind the kidnapping and return.

He’d been playing with us the entire time. What could she see in a guy like that? He’s such a … I’m sure she’d appreciate me talking about her boyfriend. God boyfriend; I think I deserved to be disgusted. The thought of him touching her, it really pissed me off. I wasn’t feeling too much like myself, then again I’d been out of sorts since I took over Wolfram and Hart and there was still so much to do.

My cell phone rang, Nina. I sighed heavily, it wasn’t right to lead her on the way I was. Loneliness was not an excuse to make someone think there would be a future, I’d left Buffy those years ago for a reason; I couldn’t pretend that my thoughts were ever fully there when Nina and I were together. It just wasn’t fair to her, but I’d have to deal with that somewhere besides the phone when I’m out of the country.

I instructed the hotel to send a message to Buffy’s apartment asking her to meet me in the square after sunset. Until then I’d try to sleep without having to think too much at the days ahead and the things I would have to do. It was going to be rough and it was possible I wasn’t going to survive. I had to at least say goodbye to Buffy; maybe more for myself than her, she might hate me for it, but it was what I had to do.

Jan. 14th, 2005

angel

piece_of_metal

I set the phone down on its cradle. I could only stand there, my body unwilling to move for what seemed like an eternity.

Buffy was gone.

This was something I’d experienced before. When Willow showed up I just knew, the look on her face. Dawn’s small voice haunted my mind, my heart.

I’d never gotten to say goodbye. Not the first time and not this time. I could remember with perfect clarity how perfectly she fit into my arms. Her small frame resting against mine, coldness against warmth.

My entire world had been shattered when Buffy had died. And then she’d come back, and as happy as it made me, selfishly speaking, I’d known the moment I saw her that she was miserable.

Willow had brought her back from heaven; they’d actually assumed that Buffy would go anywhere else. Foolish children, that is all they’d ever been, intentions were pure but the rational thought had been less than active. They were selfish; as I had been when I found out she was back. The hope of gaining my humanity with something to show for it had been restored.

But that was gone once again. With her life so fragile despite the power she possessed. Taken by a stupid man. Buffy was suppose to die in battle, as a true hero was meant to, as she had in the beginning, sacrificing herself for those she loved. Not by some … child with a gun.

I moved, finally, grabbing the axe I’d discarded before and finding myself in a blind rage, inhuman screams as I took out my anger and heartbreak on anything within reach in the hotel.

I don’t know how long my destruction continued but I finally stopped, my body shaking in rage, I looked around the tattered lobby and sighed. I had to get control of myself, I would be no good to anyone acting like a child.

I picked up the phone and dialed the number I’d been trying to forget.

“Wes. It’s Angel. I need your help.”

I explained everything that had been happening the last few days to him. He was definitely the last person I wanted to put my trust in at that moment, but the only one I could rely on. He’d go to Cordelia, find Connor and take over my duties for a while.

I hung up the phone with him with a heavy heart. He’d lost my trust and this was his chance to regain it. I only hoped I wouldn’t regret lending it to him again.

I rushed upstairs to change and found myself in that old black drop top heading towards the women’s prision.

Once I got there it took me a little longer than expected to convince the gaurds I needed to speak with Faith. I was lucky they knew me and owed me a little more than they were willing to admit.

I stood out by the fence, the moon settling its unearthly glow down on the ugly buildings. It wasn’t too long till a tired Faith walking towards me on the otherside of the fence. When she noticed who was waiting for her I saw her pace quicken.

“Hey.” I said.

What was I suppose to say anyway? This wasn’t exactly the kind of thing I’d been planning to do today.

I tried to hide the bruises on my fists from my unhealthy fight with the Hyperion lobby.
angel

October 2005

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