A Momentary Grace (part 5)
Disclaimer: Characters and Premise are borrowed from the show "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."
Buffy burst into the library Wednesday morning, panicked and panting for breath. "Angel's gone," she said, grabbing Giles' arm tightly.
Giles looked alarmed. "We'll find him," he promised clasping her hand comfortingly. I'll make your excuses to Principle Snyder, then we can start by checking the salvage yard."
Angel woke in a barren, windowless room. Nev sat across from him, waiting. Upon attempting to stand Angel discovered he was tied to the chair.
"I ought to kill you," Nev said conversationally. "Cletus and I were part of Kelvasus' original army. We grew up together. That was more than two thousand years ago, Angelus. Now thanks to you, they're both dead."
Nev stood and walked slowly toward his captive. "Angelus, Angel, an ironic name for a demon," His voice was light, almost amused, definitely insane as he circled Angel's chair. "That must make you a fallen Angel."
Nev stood behind Angel, resting his hands on Angel's shoulders. "A fallen Angel, but not anymore. It took me awhile to figure out what was different about you. It was so inconceivable that I almost missed it, but somehow the fallen Angel regained a state of grace. That's what happened isn't it? You're human, mortal once more."
Nev's hands tightened painfully, "Is this your reward," he snapped. "You betray us, your own kind, to the sunlanders and become one of them? Is that it?"
Angel screamed as his collar bone shattered under the pressure of Nev's grip. "My people died so that you could be redeemed" Nev hissed. "You must truly hate us, but oh how much more you must have hated yourself. That's all over now though, isn't it Angel. Fallen Angel, risen Angel, the soot's washed from your wings and you soar in the sunlight again. No more a cursed creature. It must have seemed like a miracle."
Nev leaned down and whispered in Angel's ear, "I ought to kill you, like you killed them, but this is so much better." Nev buried his fangs in Angel's neck. Long minutes later Nev raised his head, Angel's blood dripped from his fangs as Nev lifted his wrist to his teeth.
Smiling Nev said, "Get ready to fall again, Angel."
It was dusk, Buffy had spent the entire day in a fruitless search for Angel. Each hour in which he remained missing brought her closer to despair and now, with night closing in, the last flickers of hope began to fade.
Trudging tiredly through her rounds once again, Buffy almost missed the familiar silhouette that appeared from the mouth of an alley.
"Angel?" Buffy asked, a timid, hopeful smile dawning on her lips.
The shadowed figure turned at the sound of her voice and Buffy flew into his arms.
"Where were you?" she asked. "I was so scared."
Angel stood in the circle of her arms, as cold and still as stone. Confused Buffy pulled away.
Tears glittered on his cheeks as he looked down at her. Angel tried to explain, but words wouldn't come. Shock and loss had rendered him mute.
Silently, Buffy reached up to brush away Angel's ice cold tears, the coolness of his skin telling her what Angel couldn't.
"It was too perfect to last," Angel said finally.