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Title: If this were the last night of the world

Author: Tania
Summary: Wes POV, This is just another really morbid thing that came to me in those moments between awake and asleep. Written a few hours before the series finale of Angel aired.


It couldn't really be helped now that I look back on it. Angel said the words for me, "Live the day as though it were your last."

I walked from his office without a word, unable to stare him in the eyes and acknowledge our shared fate. It was cowardly, for all I knew three hours ago it was to be our last meeting, but I have to admit there was only one thought in my mind at that moment.

Illyria.

It is a frightening thing when you realize that faced with your own mortality you don't seek your mother's reassuring words, or an old friend's hand on your back while you share a pint, but not comfort at all. When you realize that you only want the one thing you were never allowed to have you seek all the harder for it. Even allow yourself a delusion wrapped in crusted flesh and improbable eyes.

The delusion, illusion, reemergence, was what I sought. I didn't have to wander far to find it. She sat in the lab, already wearing Fred's body like a gown. Dressed up for the show, happy to have a part in it one would imagine. She smiled at me when I joined her, predictable in my entrance as she had been in hers. That smile that she knew would bring tears to my eyes, large teeth without menace, warble to her voice that even the true Winfred had nearly lost years earlier. This body was possibly a Fred that I wanted above the real thing. A shadow of the true woman, pure in motivation, although to look at her I couldn't dare assume I knew what went on behind those eyes. I suppose I didn't want to know.

We drove to my nearly abandoned flat, passing hundreds of people, once again oblivious to the fact that the world was crumbling around their ears. How odd it was to look at them, we had always worried so much about what side Angel would end up on, and yet here was the real enemy among us; our neighbors.

It was hardly the distraction I had hoped it would be. Tender, yet hungry if that's the right word. She did everything beneath me, all that she expected me to want. Kissed me when I slowed my pace, trailed fingers over my arms as I clenched them around her, arched her back into my body when I so much as placed a fingertip under her spine. At this innapropriate moment I found myself wondering if she had watched humans do this for sport at some time in her very long life. If she had watched and taken mental notes even then, so easy to crush at this moment she must have thought.

As if on cue, she stares at me. Her eyes are wide open until she rolls her neck in a way that almost looks seductive, and suddenly she is no longer the woman I bedded but the monster that killed her.

"You take pleasure from the pain you cause."

"Did I hurt you?" I stammer, unsure if this is a question or hopeful wish.

"You are incapable of hurting me, yet you look into my eyes looking for proof that you have harmed me."

"No, I was just..." I can't lie to her, can't tell her the truth, that I wanted to see Fred looking back at me.

"Winifred Burkle is dead. You live."

"Yes."

"And yet you look for her within this shell even now." She pauses, shifting in the bed until she is no longer touching me, "You will continue to look for her if we couple again."

"We won't." Never. I add only for reassurance in my own mind.

"Because it causes you pain as well."

"No, because it was only a moment of weakness."

"Your entire existence is a moment of weakness." She stares at me again, and I suddenly realize what I was truly searching for in her eyes just then.

"Yes, we are weak."

"That is why you will not win on this night or any other."

"Someday we will win."

"But not tonight."

"No."

The last thought that passes through my mind before she reaches out to snap my neck is that it's never the neighbors or friends that do us in. It is the lovers we invited into our bed that find a way of changing everything.

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