Title: The Gilded Cage

Author: Silvi

Disclaimer: The Character of Angelus belongs to you know who. I'm just borrowing him, no profit intended nor gained.

Rating: PG

Category: Angst, Ficlett

Pairing: None

Spoilers: None

Author's note: This is a sad story. By and by there are no spoilers here though Angel is in L.A and he has his gang, though they don't appear in this story. Oh, and he lives in the Hyperion Hotel.

AN#2: This was my absolutely very first fic. The first printed words I ever made after discovering the wonder that is fandom and fan fiction so it´s not all that good if any but I thought of posting it anyway. Sorta like Then – Now kind of thing.

AN#3: Angelus is Liam but not. He is NOT Angel though.

Tell me what you think of it but be gentle please because of all the fics I have this is actually the one I´m the most sensitive about- perhaps because it was my first and I´ve never posted it before.

Acknowledgement: to my beta Pat - Thank you soooo much for betaing this.

Words between (-:/...-:/) are memories

Summary: Angelus reflects on his situation.

When I was a boy I used to watch the birds fly. At least I have memories of it. I remember the feeling of envy I had towards them and that I could spend hours watching them. That earned me a lot of pain and a sore behind -:/ya shant waste time on such idleness boy— the fall of a belt and sounds of leather hitting reddened skin.-:/

There was a man living next to us that used to hunt them. He would go out during the day and set up traps all over the green hills and when the night fell he would returned to them picking up the birds he manage to catch. -:/ see, boyo, its easy to catch them if ya know them, always know ya opponent, no matter how trivial the case may seem-:/

Sometimes he had me help him. I hated what he did to them, up in the sky they looked magnificent, free, and the main reason why I envied them, but on the ground they didn't. They looked broken somehow, out of place. Their pitiful cries would carry over the ground but old Donnelly would just pick them up and throw them into a basket he carried with him.

I used to get a clench in my stomach every time I saw it but I never did anything to prevent it. Luckily I lost the burden of humanity together with my life the night I courted death, if death came disguised as a blond noblewoman -:/I could show you...darling boy-:/ but in my dreams those cries sometimes haunt me now, probably because they now join the echoes of my own.

One of the best things that happened to me was my turning, though I gather that soul-boy would most likely argue against that.

He's forgotten all the good times we had. We were never accepted until she came along and no matter how hard he tries now the new pets aren't going to be any different. I wonder how he intended to have them accept him by being someone he's never been. It won't be him they "embrace" into their folds, only the mask he's been wearing. He's more of a scam then I ever was.

He has no idea the hell I have to endure day in and day out, and I meen it literally. There's no fire, hot pokers and all that rot, I'll give you that. No it's a heck of a lot worse.

Imagine me, the most feared creature of all the continents, except Australia – I've never been there, any way...me, the Scourge of bloody Europe, ruled by no-one, worshiped by my own sire and childer, there wasn't anything that I couldn't do. I wanted to destroy a village? Well go ahead. Picturing all that are you? I was the bloody king of the bloody world! I'm channelling a little Spike here, but bear with me.

And now, what am I? Hmmm can you tell me? I surely can't. I'm not a child, I'm not a sire. I'm not even a master vampire anymore, not in the ways that count anyway. My own body lies beyond my control. If I want to sleep I can't, not if soul-boy doesn't want it too and he's not gonna accommodate me, that for sure.

I'm worse off than a dog. Sleep, sit, lie, anything, its all bound to him. I've been striped of my choices. At least in the fire dimension I had a little more autonomy.

Have you any idea of what's that like to be me? Hmmm, to be reduced to nothing? I kind of doubt that. And what's making it all a heck of a lot worse it's to see how low soul-boy has sunk. Listening to him sucking up to those humans, who aren't even worth a rotten peach, he surrounds himself with really turns my stomach. He's selling himself out!

He's a dog too, worse off then I am though, because he has the option to change it, but does he? Noooo. Oh looky, now he gets a pat from that bitch and the waaayyy he croons. She managed to whip him faster then the Slayer did, and he's not even in-love with her.

Ooooh the fights I used to have with him over who would get control over the body. I miss those times sometimes. I don't do that these days, fighting I meen. Wonder if he's a little worried about the stillness in him. Not that I care.

Being reduced to a shadow forever trapped in time kinda does that to you. And talking about forever with creatures like us, has a whole different meaning then doing it with humans, we're not called immortals for nothing, you know.

I used to dream about a lot of things, being free, get reunited with my family, restore my glory-days, you know the usual stuff that you're prone to do when you've lost all of it.

You know what I dream of now? Nothing, that's right, about nothing. Blackness.

I'm tired. Tired of this whole farce my life has become. One would think I would dream of getting free again, that that would be what I want, what I would fight for and it is. But to the contrary to popular belief of those little mortals that run around here, they are not the only ones to fear the curse, for it to be broken. Oooh no, it's the reason why I stopped fighting really, sometime ago.

Even though there's nothing in the world I want more than to be free, what happened in good old SunnyD just proves that that's something I can't handle anymore. The best thing for me really, is just to cease to be. I know it now. Those damn gypsies sure knew their thing. Spike is right, I died that night over one hundred years ago, and I just haven't realized it up-till just recently.

I mean, what was I thinking, Hell on earth? I tell you, I wasn't. I was drunk on the feeling of finally be rid of that soul. Had I really been it control I would never have hurt my beautiful Will.

I love my childer, all of them. That's why they're still around; if it hadn't been like that I would have dusted them shortly after they were turned. I mean, that's why I turned them in the first place.

I made them, now why would I want to destroy them? They were made to be with me forever, and remember, immortal here, the whole "different meaning" and all that. Destroying them, it would sorta be mote if they were dust, now wouldn't it?

Oooohhh, I hurt them so bad, I can't forget the look in Dru´s eyes, and Will! It makes my insides bleed, metaphorically speaking. It makes me wonder if demons don't have some kind of soul, entity what ever, the way I feel.

It irritates me what soul-boy says about me not being able to love; he should bloody well go have his memory checked.

Hmm, let's just not think about that shall we. Have some mercy with this old broken demon.

Changing lanes: The one thing that used to define me was me wanting things, my ability to crave for things, used to give my sire quite a lot of trouble back in the day. In a way I'm glad she's not around anymore. I wouldn't be able to endure the shame of her seeing me like this.

I'm telling you this now because when I left Ireland, Darla by my side, never did I think the day would come that I'd stop wanting. It ´s left me. I'm nothing but hollow inside. In the end...There is no sadder creature then a bird that had its wings cut off. Especially if it has known the heavens in which it was meant to roam.


AN: Thank You Shell for pointing it out. I have changed it now...Way-ya!!!This is beta-ed now - thank you to those who have R&R this story.