Fic by Author Era Pairing Rating Title
Title: The Lie You Lead
Pairing: Angel gen, mentions of B/A, Aus/D
Disclaimer: Yeah right. They're not mine.
Summary: You are still the broken shell of the man who died so long ago. You are not forgiven and you are not worthy.
You stare into the inky blackness of your room. Twirling the amber colored liquid in your glass, you raise it to your lips and take a harsh swallow, relishing the burn as the alcohol sears your throat. You idly wonder when your world became so dark and then laugh bitterly at that foolish thought. When wasn’t your world dark? From your lust-fueled days as a young man in Galway to the passion-driven nights of rampage as the Scourge of Europe and then to the dream-like unreality of your life in Sunnydale, your world has been marked by darkness. Whether you willingly embraced it or not, it didn’t matter; you could never escape it.
However, for a brief shining moment in your eternity the Light blessed you. Even then you knew you didn’t deserve that measure of mercy. No creature with a past as black as yours does. That knowledge didn’t prevent you from grasping onto Her as a dying man clawing his way back from death. Until, you remember, you turned your back on Her and walked away. At the time, you were certain you were doing what was right, for you brought nothing but pain and misery to Her, but as you look around your room, you realize you never really knew. Would you be better off if you had stayed? Or would you have ultimately destroyed Her as you had been told you were born to do?
It’s pointless to wonder about ‘what might have been’ or ‘what could have been.’ You made your decision to live in Hell.
When you left Sunnydale and came to the City of Angels (you remember how you laughed at the irony of one of the most feared demons seeking redemption amongst the Angels), you thought that this was finally the chance to be the man? (demon? souled vampire?) you had started to become in Sunnydale. Before you know about the loophole in the curse, before you crushed the Light. You wanted to return to that sense of innocence, that sense of belonging, you felt when the Light first warmed you.
Now you scoff at your foolishness. How could you have ever believed you could become more than the animal you are? How could you have ever believed in… you?
As the days and weeks and months passed, you still managed to retain some of your naiveté. Well, as much naiveté as a souled 243-year-old vampire could possess. You plastered on a smile for Cordelia and Doyle, and later Wes, and pretended that you weren’t dying inside, that what little peace you had found wasn’t slowly withering into nothing. You cooked breakfast for Cordy, Wes, and Gunn. You joked and laughed and smiled. You lied and said you were happy with your life. You played the game, you slayed the demons, and prayed that somehow, somewhere, you would find the Light again.
You can’t believe you were ever that naïve.
You shake your head and take another swallow of your drink. This little amount can’t get you drunk, and right now you yearn desperately for that gift of oblivion. If you were drunk, you could ignore the voices in your head, the whispers of “Dear boy” and “Me too, I can’t either.” If you were drunk, you could close your eyes and see only blackness, not golden blonde hair, icy blue eyes… If you were drunk perhaps you could finally rest.
You’ve never been that lucky, though.
So you sit in the depressing silence of your room, waiting for the dark to slowly creep in and devour your entire being. It’s already overpowered your mind; now you’re just waiting for it to conquer your soul. You feel the hollowness inside your heart and for once, you welcome it.
As you look out of the window and into the hazy fog of the L.A. skyline, you wonder at the unreality of it all – your life, this world, everything. What if all the world you think you know is an elaborate dream? Would you believe your story? Drunken Irish lad is turned into an evil vampire and wrecks havoc throughout the world for one hundred and fifty years. Evil vampire is then cursed with a soul and wanders the earth, alone, for one hundred years. One day he is shown a young girl and his life is transformed. For the first time in as long as he can remember, he wants to be something more than what he is. If someone told you that story, would you believe it?
What if all the world’s inside of you and you’re really all alone? You feel alone. You look around your barren, empty room devoid of any pictures, of any sense that someone actually lives there. You laugh bitterly and the sound echoes throughout the room, serving as a reminder of how alone you truly are. Wes, Cordy and Gunn left long ago. Or rather, you fired them long ago. They didn’t need to be caught up in your downfall and truth be told, you didn’t want them around. You had grown tired of pretending, of forcing a smile that you didn’t feel on your face so that you wouldn’t be bombarded with cries of “Angel, are you okay?” or “Hey, this is a no brooding allowed zone.” You had grown tired of the lies.
So you did what you’ve been doing every night since you told them to leave – grabbed the nearest bottle of alcohol, slowly climbed the stairs to your room, locked the door-- to keep out who you don’t know since you abandoned everyone in your life, and settled in your chair for a long night of brooding.
There’s no hope for you. You can’t deny it any longer. If you were honest with yourself – and why shouldn’t you be? You have nothing else – you’d know that there never really was any hope for you at all. You lost whatever shred of hope you once had one balmy night in a dark, lonely alley when you kissed Death.
And now Death has come calling again. For so long, she was your only companion. Ironically, Death taught you everything about life— the thrill of lust, the agony of love, the joy of fear, the pleasure of dying. Part of you, the part you have fought for so long, wants nothing more than to get lost in Death’s welcoming embrace once again. That part is growing stronger day by day and you no longer have the will, nor the desire, to fight it. Life would be so much easier if you could get lost in Death again.
You’ve grown so tired of fighting. You long to give up, to just… let go. No more voices haunting you in the middle of the night… no more emotions to cloud your mind. The voice that has been your devil for so long has only grown stronger until finally, all you can hear are His taunts and jeers, His whispers of how He would make everything better. It would be so easy to let go, to embrace the darkness with open arms. It would be the simplest thing in the world to allow the evil free rein.
And why shouldn’t you? What do you have keeping you tied to this world? You look around your empty room. No friends, no family – you ate yours about two hundred and fifty years ago-- and most of all, no love. You remember when you had love. The warmth of her smile would chase away any of the cold that had crept into your soul; the touch of her skin against yours would send a rush of pleasure throughout your body so powerful, you felt your unbeating heart sing. When you were with her, you were able to forget that you hadn’t seen the sun in over two hundred years. Her love made you want to be better than yourself. It only took one night, countless deaths, one scar, and one resurrected Sire to make you realize that you can never be better.
As you watch the approaching dawn, you long to rise and greet it. It would be easier than this, you think. You can choose to believe in yourself, in the world, in the power of your mission, but you’re tired of lying to yourself. You watch the early rays of the sun chase away the darkness. Your eyes close for a moment and you pretend that you are made whole with the breaking of a new day. Your sins are washed clean. You are forgiven and you are worthy.
You can live in this illusion, you think to yourself. Then you are reminded of the truth when you feel your fingers begin to burn as the sun washes over you. You are still the broken shell of the man who died so long ago. You are not forgiven and you are not worthy.
You open your eyes and embrace the darkness within.