Rating: PG-13? shrugs
Summary: Angel realises the obvious as he watches Wes's burial
The wind was bitingly cold, piercing through the few mourners. The sky was dark and overcast, a brooding mass of cloud. The few leaves danced on trees misshapen branches, and sighed an ominous sigh of despair. I wonder again, what you loved about this place. England. You never left instructions about what you wished to happen to your body, so I guessed, and your family took care of the rest.
The ground was soggy, waterlogged, a smell underfoot of mud. Beneath the graven headstones grinned crisp clean skulls, and folded bones in attitudes of prayer. 'Alas poor Yorick I knew him once,'- a madman's tribute to a fallen friend. Hamlet knew well death the leveller, the king in the gullet of a beggar. Waiting for eternity, crumbled dust of forgotten souls that clogs the hidden pores of shapeless earth. Devouring maw, absorbing essence of a thousand rotting lives. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, decaying rot to decaying rot. Shreds of garments cling with the bare remains of modesty to the clavical, femur, tibia of a naked classical skeleton, obscuring the clean white lines of death. Unknown martyrs claw the soil, last rictus grin etched on the skull of the damned. Crushed bones of neck- a hanging rope's meal, mar the smooth lines of criminals bodies, reconciled in death to the reality that grasps us all.
Spade hits the soil, a wet thud of clinging earth watered with l'eau de mort, the water of death. The old ways are observed. The coffin is plain wood, a mass of rough beam oak. I do not need to see inside to know the serene face that lies within. Though that is my imagination. Your face is covered by the lid, and my eyes were too dimmed by tears to focus when I picked you up and took you from that building. The pyschopath who dared to kill you, who did not waste time telling you of his evil plans, but just did the deed has stolen your living face, but I know what it would look like if you were still alive- not serene, for serenity never came easy to you. Not peaceful- you made your living by war in these last years. Even in sleep your face never lost its restless look, mouth pinched in, eyes shut tight, hands clenched around whatever you fell asleep holding. I hope that in death your face has lost these attributes but I would wager not. You weren't supposed to die like this, you survived so much else. You were supposed to live to rejoin us.
I wonder if at the end, you wanted to die. Did you look into those insane eyes, and consciously know you couldn't win, and yet go ahead any way? Would you have longed for death, begged for it even. You never begged me for anything, never even asked, and yet I would have given you anything but that. You never asked for anything. You just couldn't see me standing there behind you. I killed for you Wes. And I lived for you, hoping that one day you would turn around and see a reason for living in me.
Now I'll never get a chance. The last memory I will have of you is of a cold smooth forehead beneath my lips, and then my Wesley, my perfect Wes will be locked beneath the ground and rotting for eternity. I wish desperately that there is a heaven after all.
It begins to rain, sleety thick rain that drives in my face, and down my neck. I don't open my umbrella.
In my hands I hold that most cliched symbol of thwarted hope, and dying love, a white rose. I hold it so tightly that the thorns should have pierced my fingers, and stained the white rose red. But the florist has snapped the thorns from it. My hands are sticky with the sweat of grief, and I wonder what to do with the rose. It seems too ignoble to simply toss it into the grave, as though by that one action I can shrug off all you were to me, so I kiss it first. It has no scent, no taste, no meaning and I let it drop. A white rose unopened, a fitting tribute to a life never lived.
Did I love you? Perhaps that is between me and my God. Did I love you as I loved Buffy? No, but then you wouldn't have wanted that. Passion of any sort made you uneasy didn't it, made you twitch with uncomfortableness, look from side to side as though for an escape. God forbid that you show your feelings after all, or do so much as to make a gesture as to what it is you really wanted. Was it really you, who shied away from affection of any kind, or was it the you, created by your family. Even Cordy could see it. You hurt her you know. Every time you pushed away the simple comfort of a friend, chose the hard cold path of loneliness instead, it was like a knife wound on someone too hurt already. It wasn't love forged in a burning flame, a meeting of two souls with fireworks and explosions and the end of the world for our wedding bells. I didn't even notice it changing, and I know you didn't. Or maybe you did, and in your own quiet way you ignored it. You spent your last moment in the arms of someone who never belonged to you, and I'd kill you for that, if you weren't lying in a grave not two feet away from me. Illyria is standing beside me you know. She does not weep, but her eyes are bright and hard, and she is flickering. I saw Fred in her face for a moment, lost and heartbroken. Except she didn't love you Wesley. I know she didn't, even if she thought she did. And it is killing me slowly, to know you died believing a lie.
Maybe this is my punishment. Not the soul, not the curse. Just the knowledge that anything I love will be taken from me in one way or another. I loved Buffy, and yet I drove her away from me. I began to fall in love with Cordy, and a Higher Power saw fit to take her. I fell in love with you, and you died, as mortals have a habit of doing. I should know after all. I will continue, and you will be nothing more than a thought, a memory, a cherished moment caught in time. I try not to think anymore Wesley. I try not to remember, because madness lies that way, a black hole that will swallow what sanity I have left. And if I let it overpower me, then I will not survive. Spike is silent to my left. He's missing an arm, the flesh too mangled to reattach, and I don't want to meet his eyes, just in case I see indifference. You deserve more than that. You deserved the world. I'm just sorry I couldn't give it to you.
Everyone has left, but I sit by your grave on the sodden soil keeping vigil and remembering.
Tonight at least you will not spend, alone in the endless dark.
Oh the angst! It's killing me XD Overblown descriptiveness as well. My, my you did get lucky! Reviews would be most welcome.