Disclaimer: The words are mine. Unfortunately everything else belongs to Joss Whedon. The great wondrous stinker.

Clash of swords. Hurried breath from long empty lungs.

Four. Against a million... at least.

Folly. A fool's idea. There was no winning.

But that wasn't it. To win. To break that red ribbon before the others. That was never the point of it.

No, it was all in the fight. Fighting the good fight because they can.

And did.

And should.

And will.

And –

A catch of pain. Hollow and far away. Piercing. A twist.

It's a strange feeling, wood tearing at flesh and muscle. Breaking a heart in two.

There's a cry. Soft. Silent among the screaming hordes around him, surrounding him, crushing him. No one hears.

Fade to dust.

Ashes to ashes. A broken angel now; none can mend.


Far away and deep inside, he'd known it.

Words on paper. It was a flimsy hope, easily broken; torn; burned; drowned; cut…

But, it had captivated. The promise of mortality for an immortal. What a strange little idea. The perfect hook.

He'd had enough of prophecies. All they did was ruin things. Plans. Lives. The future of a father and his son. But this one was different. Smarter. It twisted its way into a shiny new suit and paraded around under a guise of truth. And for a moment, a long horrid moment, they'd forgotten. They'd believed.

But it was still what it was.

Smoke and mirrors.

Air and reflection.

Funny. Neither held much importance in the un-life of a vampire.

To be human! Oh what a folly to believe. What a silly idea. There was no redemption for the wicked.

Was there?


A world was on fire. And he'd lit the match.

He stands and watches. Red flames dance for an ashen sky.

The ground folds and crumbles under the destruction. Earth sags from the weight of the rain and the dead and the blood. He sees it all.

On a battleground, there is no difference. Good and evil. Right and wrong. They die the same. They fall. They don't get up.

He understands. This is his work. His purpose. And now, it's done.

A dragon limps away. Wounded. A wrecked toy; unfixable.

And then, there it is. The sudden moment.

A light.

Open hands. Waiting. Offering. The reward; the gift.

Redemption? No.

Ashes are softly gathered. All that was and would have been and could never be.

The vampire with the soul. The dark avenger. A hero. Helper of the helpless.

Wrapped in peace, the angel finally has wings.

Watch him soar.

Author's note: I have felt the tug of something since I watched tearfully as the events of Not Fade Away played out before me. This is what happened when I opened up, put the lyrical inspiration (World On Fire by Trading Yesterday) on repeat and just wrote. I hope it does some sort of justice to the great world Joss opened for us.

Dedications: This one's for my sister. Without whom I never would have known. And, ok, it's also for Angel. Cause he deserves it.