Title: To a Lullaby of Love's Design
Author: Silvi Henna
Fandom: Ats
Genre: Angst, semi song-fic
Rating: FRC
Pairing: Fred/Angel
Spoilers: Pylea

AN#1: Found this while I was digging among my files and thought I'd share. It takes place after Angel has seen his true demonic visage in Pylea.

AN#2: "A Lullaby of Love's Design" is copyrighted by Miria L'auroel, Sugar Moon Lullabies, U.S.A.
All rights reserved.
Website: http / sugarmoon . topcities . com / lullabylyricslld. html

Summary: Fred wants to help Angel. Inspired by a scene in Truth or Consequences by Salustra.

Looking at the shaking figure laying on the hard ground on top of the old worn furs she was lost on what to do. She felt his pain and she wanted nothing more then to sooth him but it had been such a long time since anyone had been with her that she fumbled and stumbled in everything she did.

This place brought nothing but horrors to those that did not belong there and obviously it had finally reached him. Crawling closer she flinched with each sound that passed his lips. She couldn't see his face as he was laying with his back to her but she knew that he was staring blindly forward seeing only the nightmares in his mind. She had a vague recollection of having done the same.

It was his continued sound of distress that made it impossible for her to think that he was nothing more then an illusion unless her mind was very apt at conjuring such agony. Be that as it may she cannot not respond to it. Oh how she longed to soothe him even if he happened to be just a figment of her imagination. If he was then he sure was one of the best ones she has ever had, since he didn't conjure any fear in her. But what if he was real?

What if? That very small part of her that had almost flicked out like a dying flame seized with its last strength to the whispering of a hope that did not belong within a creature such as herself, not within a mere cow. But what if...

The ever ongoing call drew her back and she knelt beside him. Hesitantly she placed her small delicate hand on his shaking and spasmodic jerking shoulder. She wanted to cry out as her hand met solid quivering flesh. Clamping her hand over her mouth her vision blurred as tears so long absent from her eyes filled them. Leaning forward she turned her head to the side her cheek ghosting over his skin. Her hand lowered slightly reveling her mouth open, forming a perfect round o and then a wondrous sound escaped.

She didn't spend much marveling at the revelation as he once again emitted a strangled sound. Jerking back a little she looked down at him, one hand slowly lowering to his head. Patting gently she looked to where her other hand was resting against the pale skin of his shoulder and she felt a strange tingling sensation. It had been such a long time since she felt the smooth skin of another she had almost forgotten the feeling of it.

Rubbing him gentle she lowered her head again and lightly rested her head against him. She wanted to help him so badly that she felt the ache in her but she didn't know how. He was so rapt in his own world of horrors that she felt despair fill her. She wanted him to come back to her. It had been so long since she had heard another speak gentle words to her, that the thought of losing that window of connection to someone else was more then she could bare.

"Come back" the words barely generated a movement in the air. "Come back" she said again, her voice barely above a whisper. Again she repeated turning her face into him letting his very real smell fill her, "Come back. Please come back, don't leave me."

By the splatter against the ground she knew that a tear had fallen from her eyes. She couldn't remember when she last cried. Tears where useless in this place and she learnt quickly not to waste them. But with him, he had opened a door in her that perhaps would have been better to have remained closed if this was all it was going to be.

Rubbing her face between his shoulders she didn't know if the shudder racking through her body were his or her own.

She so wanted to help him but she didn't know how. Still petting his hair and rubbing his shoulder slowly a memory unfolded within her and she decided to do what the woman – her mother – in it always did that made her feel safe.

Shifting further up she gently cradled his head in her lap her hands ghosting over his face. Caressing his cheek she began to rock back and forward, humming softly under her breath. Slowly the tune grew in force as she began to remember the words. She gazed out into space as she too became lost in her own mind. Her hand continued to caress his face. As her eyes gained focus she looked down to him and sang her voice barely going beyond the space they both occupied.

"A lovely twinkling message is in the stars that shine,
Give me your tomorrows, and I will give you mine.
The stars all nod their heads, and the moon has closed his eyes,
To a lullaby of love's design."

As she continued to hum she noticed that the shaking had stopped and she watched as he blinked slowly his eyes focusing on her momentarily and the pain she saw in them made her falter before she gave him a tired smile. He was back. She continued to sing softly to him and caress him as his eyes lost focus and his lids began to drop. Soon his eyelashes fluttered closed and she knew that he had just gone to sleep. He was still in her arms, curled up with his head in her lap. Continuing the soothing caresses she kept singing gently rocking as she sat there.

He was far from ok, she knew that, she had seen it in his eyes, but this was a start.

Fin.