I don't own, surprise, surprise. This is my first venturing into just Angel fic. This is for my brother, who suggested it.

No Place To Go But Up


For a few moments more, Angel stood on the lawn, looking through the living room window like a beggar hungrily staring at a feast. In the warm glow of the dining room lights, Connor accepted a slap on the back from his father then sat back in his seat around the table.

He bravely took one step, then another away from the window, watching the boy stab heartily at his meal with his fork. Connor looked happily upon the only family he'd ever known, glad to be spending the last few moments of his adolescence in their company.

He'd don't the only thing he could do, and Connor's health and happiness were no longer in his hands. Though, he reminded himself, they'd never really been in his hands at all.

He'd finally done right by the boy, he assured himself. He'd done the best he could for everyone-Connor-his friends-Cordelia-the world. Connor would have the life he should have been given, had he not been a pawn of gods. His friends wouldn't suffer from the memory of him. Cordelia was going to going to get the best treatment available. Los Angeles was going to have it's best possible chance for seeing order restored. and all he had to do was whore himself and become the head of Wolfram and Heart.

The family laughed again as Connor made faces at his sister. None had any recollection of a life any different than this, just as he had asked for. It was the same type of insertion that had been used with Buffy's sister. He saw the happy creases around Connor's eyes and the smile burning on the boy's face, and he realized it was the first time-and the last-that he would ever see that. It was the right thing to do.

Finally, Angel worked up the courage to turn on his heals and drift with a hung head back towards the sleek dark limo waiting for him. The driver opened the door, and without looking, he stepped inside and sunk into the leather interior.

The car was of an adequate temperature, and he never got cold, and yet he pulled his leather duster around himself, shoving his hands deeply into his pocket. He sighed, letting all the air out of his lungs, but not drawing in more. With resignation, he leaned his head against the tinted glass window and tried to relax.

* * *

No longer feeling the motion of the limousine in motion any more, Angel realized he'd drifted off to sleep. It had been a nice nap, if nothing else. It wasn't often that he slept without dreams any more. Having lived so long, when they came, they were intense, and most often painful.

Perhaps this most recent decision, no matter how conflicting between his mind and heart, had brought his subconscious some peace.

Angel yawned, trying to work up the nerve to open his eyes. If they were back in Los Angeles, he'd visit Cordelia, then try and explain his actions to the others.

The lights were dim, even for someone of his advanced sight. He blinked a few times, looking around, trying to get his bearings. "Where are--"

His hand reached up and pounded on the plated glass in front of him. A heavy, thick sound rumbled around him. He tried to move about, but was confined. He pushed to no avail against his surroundings, a coffin of some sort.

Angel's eyes focused in the dim light. He saw particles floating past the glass, deep-water fish brushing against him in the murky water.

Time was as frozen as the water down here.