|To Search Inside Your Soul
Author: writealittle PM
Angel has left Sunnydale and Buffy. What happens when you divide two true soulmates? Can Angel undo what has been done to save his one true love?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Buffy S. & Angel - Chapters: 8 - Words: 27,813 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 33 - Updated: 12-31-12 - Published: 11-11-12 - id: 8695262
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own anything of BtVS or Angel. All characters (except for my original character, 'Raegan') belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.
Bolting upright in his bed, Angel grabbed a hold of his chest; fighting back staggered, unneeded breaths. Remembering back to his dream a moment ago, only one disturbing memory crossed his mind.
"Buffy..." her name the only sound, breaking the silence hanging in the room.
Rubbing his hands through his hair, Angel couldn't calm himself. It was as if the very blood coursing his veins was reaching a boiling pitch. He couldn't put a finger on his hunch, but this feeling inside, he knew. He knew it was Buffy.
Truth be told, Angel had loved and been with many women over the span of his two-hundred and fifty years of life and un-life. He'd experienced heartache, loss, evil, good, apocalypses – even Hell itself. He had seen and felt it all, the whole gamut of feelings and emotions. But this feeling, right in this moment was a very new one. It was as if his reason for being was no longer in existence. This could only lead him to one answer. It was Buffy. Reaching over to his side table, he looked to his clock which read 10:41am. His bones were aching with a drained feeling and it wasn't due to only having four hours of sleep.
Quickly, Angel moved out of the bed, clumsily knocking over the ornately carved wooden box on his bedside table. Time stood still. In slow motion, a small silver and shiny object drew his attention. Watching Buffy's claddagh ring spin through the air and falling on the cold wooden floor, it was like he was watching her very heart fall to the ground with it. Angel was panicking, caught of guard by a vivid image in his mind of Buffy falling to the ground.
He looked to his empty hand. He had reached out to catch the ring but was too slow.
She was gone – was she? Had he lost the only woman who had truly loved the man and the demon in him? The one person in all the world who made sense and gave him a genuine purpose and reason behind his plans for making amends?
He roared in anger. Hadn't they told him that without his demon powers, she was going to die? But now it was going to happen anyway? He cried out in anger and pain. It was a dangerous cocktail of emotions for both the man and demon inside him.
"NOOOOOOOOOO! BUFFY!" He jumped forward, attacking the first thing in his path. Punching a hole in the wall beside the doorway, he stumbled forward, landing on his knees. He was hit like a train with the feeling of helplessness. Had his decisions been all for naught? Had he done the wrong thing, even though he had intended a life of happiness and fulfillment for his beloved? There were so many questions and he knew deep down there was not enough time to answer them all.
He made his way to the door way, tears of anger and frustration, but also a deep sadness pooling around his eyes.
"Buffy, no...nooooooo, Buffy" he was panting.
Making his way to the front desk, Cordelia was sitting at the counter pre-occupying herself with something - that he would later recall - not work related.
"What are you doing awake so early, I thought..." she took one look at his face and she knew there was no point finishing her question. Something was clearly not of the good about this picture. Angel was known for keeping his cool and he never cried. He looked like a mess. She watched him as he reached desperately for the phone receiver, dialing what must have been a number he knew by heart. Noticing the dialing code, she knew where he was calling. Sunnydale.
That only meant one thing.
"Giles, Buffy. Where...I...I...Buffy is she, is she okay? Tell me" He was struggling with his thoughts. He had so many questions and Angel needed to know for sure if she was ok "Sick? Sick, how? Why didn't you?...okay, I'm coming there...no Giles, tonight. I will be there straight away."
Robotically, he put the receiver down, staring blankly at the desk. Giles had informed him that she had felt increasingly ill the last few weeks, but she was going to see a doctor this morning. So, she didn't seem to be...no. He didn't even want to acknowledge that thought. Banishing any ideas of her no longer being alive, Angel felt confused. He remembered vividly, the differences in Buffy during his visit over Thanksgiving. She felt...empty. Like, she was no longer the same woman he had fallen in love with. She looked the same, but yet, she wasn't.
It was in stark contrast to her visit to LA. Thinking back to those memories of the day that never was, Angel felt as if a knife was twisting through his chest. He winced, furrowing his brows. The thoughts were painful to recall. There was no denying the spark that was in Buffy that day. She was the most incredible woman, his sun and life. He remembered the beautiful scent of her hair, the touch of her smooth, soft skin. She was alive and she was present that day, she was more grown and mature and she was the object of all of his desires. But now, he felt the emptiness that she seemed to have felt during his time in Sunnydale. Something was seriously wrong, Angel knew it – there must be some kind of connection to Buffy and how he was feeling right now.
Angel deliberately ignored the stunned look on Cordelia's face and made his way back to his room. Although he knew he would not able to sleep his way through the sunlight, he would sure as hell spend what was left of the day brooding.
Lazily opening her eyes, Buffy felt a sense of calm and peacefulness she had not experienced since...well, ever. With slow, languid movements she sat up leaning on her left hip, her left hand holding her up. Rubbing gently at her eyes, she took a relaxing deep breath. Leaving her right hand to rest across her brows, she noticed how bright it was, although Buffy was completely unsure as to where she was exactly. Looking around, she could only see white. A bright, fluorescent-type of white. Cautiously making her way to a standing position, she felt a firm hardness under her feet. It was as if she were standing on a regular floor, however she could see no floor. Everything around her was white. How did she get here? Was this another slayer dream?
Feeling her slayer senses kick into over-drive, she could tell that she was being watched.
"No Warrior. This is not a dream" a soft spoken voice, but with a firm tone, drew her attention.
"Who are you? Where am I?" She was feeling very confused, wasn't sure how she got here and had a feeling that something was very wrong.
As if reading her thoughts, the mysterious voice replied "Don't be troubled, there are powers at work here, which are out of your control".
Buffy had heard these types of omens before, yet paid no mind. She had beat death and apocalypses before, why should this be any different? What 'powers' was this voice referring to? She needed some answers and also something tangible to fight. Who is this voice?
"Aaahh. I see your mind Slayer. However, as I said, things are out of yours...and my control. Would it appease you to see me in my corporeal form? It appears you are confused. Don't allow me to concern you. There is much more at stake here."
Wracking her brain, Buffy tried to grasp her wandering thoughts. Something wasn't right. Looking down at her feet again, she noticed for the first time that she didn't recognise her clothing. Everything was white. In frustration, she clutched at her torso – pulling at the soft cotton singlet. Flashes of faces, memories and thoughts came crashing down.
One thing really concerned her. That was it. A baby.
No, hers and Angels baby.
"The baby. What, what happened to my baby?!" she placed her hands across her still flat stomach again, in desperation, trying to gain some sense of the early life inside her. She waited helplessly for an answer. For something. After several moments of silence, she couldn't hold back the flooding of emotions to hit her. Sobbing, the slayer let out her fears, holding her hands to her face, she was surprised that she had shed no tears. It was as if she couldn't cry.
Had she lost the baby?
Feeling a soft hand lift her chin up, her eyes met calm, blue ones. Looking into their owners face, she saw a man – not much taller than herself. His sparkling, yet wise eyes spoke to her more than any words could. Buffy could not help feeling a wave of calm overtake her.
"Hush young one" with a gentle nod and a small smile, the man waved his hand across her face. "Your child is in no danger right now".
Buffy was distracted by the image in front of her. As he waved his hand, a vision appeared in the air. She could see a hospital bed...and there was her Mom, seated in the chair beside. Standing by the door was Giles, Willow and Xander. Looking closer, Buffy could see it was her in the bed, with so many tubes and machines attached to her. Her body looked still and lifeless, yet she could see the steady rise and fall of her chest. This couldn't be right, Buffy again frantically felt around her own body, where the tubes and machines were attached. She appeared to be fine.
"No...no, I...I don't understand. That – that isn't real. It's not me! I'm...I'm..." looking around at the white expanse and up to the man in front of her, she lost her resolve. "...fine" she knew that wasn't the case. None of this made sense.
"May I call you by your name? Buffy, is it?" he looked at her earnestly. Eliciting a brief nod in between her quiet sobs, the being continued. "Buffy, tell me. What do you know about 'the soul'?" Seeing him gesture behind her, she turned to find a small wooden bench seat. Shrugging it off she takes a seat and can't help but rub at her temples. The confusion of it all was giving her a headache. Why was he talking about souls? It was such a profound question to her though. Her life somewhat revolved around the existence (or non-existence, for that matter) of one soul in particular and its owners rather tentative possession of it...all due to her. She smiled ruefully. "Ughhh...preaching to the choir there..." she sighed and closed her eyes. Considering that she (wait, was it her?) was pregnant right now with the soul in question, there were so many painful memories that also came along with it. Despite the fact that now she appeared to be in some bizzaro limbo land and had no idea what was happening, even if everything was 'ok', the idea of the perfect family with...well...that particular soul, was certainly not on the cards.
Angel had left her twice. The first time breaking up with her and secondly, during her too-short time in LA, he had made the decision to not be with her. His intentions were abundantly clear to her. If she could make sense of this current state of affairs, and if she did end up having a baby (could slayers even have children?), single motherhood was something she needed to come to terms with and fast. It appeared that Angel wanted nothing to do with her, surely that would extend to having a child to her – something that would ultimately link them together for as long as she lived? There were so many things running through her mind and she needed to gain control. Right now, she was stuck in the middle of big. Fat. Nothing. And apparently, discussing the finer details of...souls? Groaning in resignation, she was once again interrupted.
"I see you have a lot to learn, Buffy. If all you know is in relation to one soul only, well you must understand that you know very little indeed." He waited patiently, allowing the hidden message to truly sink in.
"So I'm guessing this...whatever 'this'" she threw an arm out into the air ahead of her "Is, I'm going to be here for a while?" he was looking far off into the unintelligible distance and seemed to be looking at something she couldn't see. Seeing his brief nod, the first answer to one of her own questions now satisfied, she wanted to open that particular door of knowledge, just that little bit farther. "How. How long exactly are we talking?" she gazed once again to his face. Trusting her slayer instincts, she knew that he wasn't batting for the evil guys, but that was not to say he was all Mr. 'Good Guy' either.
He was still staring straight ahead, and she watched as he took a long, sideways glance in her direction. It was as if he was listening to another conversation that she was not privy to. She waited. Waited some more. Buffy was almost ready to give up and break the uncomfortable silence when she heard him speak.
"Time is of no concern right now. What you need to understand, is that you have to heed my words in preparation for you to make a choice. When the time comes Buffy, you will need to make that choice. It is of the utmost importance that you understand the significance of this request and that you must not regret your decision."
His words had two affects on her. Firstly, despite the deafening silence around her, his request hit her like almighty thunder. Secondly, her usual curiosity took over. "So, what is this choice I have to make then?" Buffy tried to come off confident, but she couldn't hide the hesitation she truly felt.
"That is not for me to tell. I do not yet know what it will be anyway. Each choice and decision is different for everyone who meets us here."
Cryptic. He was being cryptic. Why didn't her life just come with a handbook? Some kind of directions to where it was she needed to go, and providing all of the answers to life's greatest mysteries? Life wasn't easy though, she had learnt that the hard way at the tender age of 18. She was still a teenager and all thanks to her long (by slayer standards) career as the chosen one, Buffy had lived through more than most who make it well into their centenary. One doesn't live and not learn though – particularly in her line of work. Resigning herself to the hard road (and not the oh-so tempting option of the easy one), Buffy bounced up off the wooden bench and looking straight into the...man's (wait, was he a man?) face. "Ok, so. We do this by the book then. How do I know I can trust you though? How can you show me you are one of the good guys?" she continued, jutting her chin out. She looked down her nose to him. He was still staring blankly ahead.
He appeared tired and drained, definitely not the look of someone who held all of the power. Or, certainly not someone who was prepared to yield and utilise said, hypothetical power. She didn't even know if he did have powers. He came out of nowhere though? She thought to herself. Some kind of witch powers.
He watched her as she continued her tirade, could practically read her internal dialogue as if it was written across her features. Somewhat amused, Raegan thought about how his day (not that they really had 'days' here) had started for him – much the same as usual. If The Minders Elite had told him that he was being tasked with a Warrior, he would have withdrawn. He was still considered one of the lower ranked Minders and he certainly wasn't in their good graces after some recent 'indiscretions' on his part. So, Buffy's arrival in his quadrant had been a huge surprise to him as well as Buffy clearly was. Speaking telepathically with his Consort, Freija, she informed him that The Elite were to pass on specific instructions. Buffy was his charge indefinitely and if things did not work out...they would be reconsidering his rank within the sanctum.
One thing was for sure. Right now, he didn't want to be here any more than the woman in front of him. He drew his attention back to Buffy. Her confusion was starting to turn more into aggression and he needed to diffuse this fast.
"...and, AND! You know my name, I don't even know yours! I can't trust someone whose name I don't eve-..." she was now facing away from him, pacing the ground in what seemed to be a well practised pattern.
"Raegan. You may call me Raegan"
Swooping around to face him again, her hair swept around her face, creating an almost halo effect. With a sideways glance of her own, she huffed "Well, was that so hard, Raegan? Now that I feel we are good ol' chummy pals, how about you tell me, how can I trust you?" Buffy rested her hands on her hips, leaning her weight back on her left leg. Although she was looking right at him, she couldn't seem to mentally grasp and hold onto his human features. Only his deep, blue eyes. It was as if everything else seemed to be blurry, like she was wearing a strange pair of glasses, whose prescription was way off.
He smirked at her question. Trust. It could be such a fickle concept for most and yet he could sense its importance to her. No doubt due to her position on Earth and her previous experiences.
He could work with trust, though.
"Trust. Ok Buffy, tell me. Who do you trust? Who do you believe would undoubtedly lay their lives down for you?" He needed to get into her mind and and memories and to do this, he needed some kind of base to build from.
The question actually took her by surprise and she turned away again, to hide her response. Buffy knew she had several people in her life who she could trust, despite the fact that Slayer-dom was supposed to be a one way ticket to solo-town. Running over her most trusted circle, she thought of her Mom first. No, as much as she knew that she could trust her with anything, she also wanted to keep her away from the slayer world as much as possible. Giles? The man who she thought of as a father figure, she knew that he had only the best intentions for Buffy, but trusting someone meant more than their intentions. Willow, Xander even? As much as she loved her best friends, she really wasn't sure if this was a life and death trust scenario on their part. Especially as the last few months had been so difficult since Angel...Angel.
Was he that one? Could he be the answer to that particular question? It seemed an easy and innocent enough request on Raegan's behalf, however could the answer be more difficult for her to come to terms with? To be honest with herself?
It was true, taking the fact that he had broken up with her and then turning back time to erase a perfect day with her, she still knew deep down that he would give anything for her. She knew this was the truth because she felt the same for her. Perhaps this was what Raegan meant by not being concerned with time? When it came to Angel, she wasn't sure that there was enough time ever existed or to be in existence that would allow her to really understand hers and his feelings. But this was a start.
Turning back to Raegan again, she whispered dreamily "Ang-" expecting bright blue eyes, her eyes met with a familiar broad chest. Slowly, shyly even, she scanned up and felt tears spring to the corners of her eyes as she stared into rich brown ones instead.
"Angel?" What? How?
Thanks for reading and for the reviews.
Sorry for the delay with this chapter, I was unfortunately the recent victim of having no work/life balance which was then followed up by the always hectic Christmas/New Year break.
Happy New Year everyone!