A/N: First shot at an Angel fic, but I think it turned out all right. I have only recently been interested in Angel but what I liked the most about season five was Illyria's interactions with Wesley, and the way this demon slowly grew feelings of love for the human. Just my two cents worth.

This one-shot is basically about Illyria's growing love for Wesley, and how she thinks he will never accept her in the form in which she resides.

Disclaimer: I do not own Angel; all rights belong to their respective creators. I also do not own Shakespeare's play, titled Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Summary: Beyond pain, beyond memory, beyond love. She doesn't understand. She doesn't know. He tries not to look at her. She looks so beautiful. So much like the one she killed.

NB: Takes place sometime after The Girl In Question.


Beyond


He finds her, breathing in broken shards of life. She is atop the roof again, glowering down at humanity and all its disgusting habits. Blinding lights, buildings of cement so tall no human needs but desires anyway. Vehicles racing like monsters in the night, their tails red as the blood of any human.

She is confused. Cluttered. It is all so suffocating to her.

Staring, he wishes to look away, to rid himself of her sight. He tries so hard, so convinced that he will be blinded by her striking beauty.

Wisps of her sapphire-stained hair catches in the wind as her head whips around. She sees him, glowers even harder, her face growing in shadow, and turns away.

She resents him for taking away her core, her power. Her whole.

Now all that is left is but a shell.

Her shell.

It is desolate around them. Nothing but the stark clarity of the night's air. The city is long sleeping, exhausted from the demands of the day.

Poring himself over a decrepit book, he paces behind her, voice dripping from him unwillingly. "They are not yet come back. But I have spoke with one that saw him die. Who did report that very frankly he confess'd his treasons, implored your highness' pardon, and set forth a deep repentance: nothing in his life became him like the leaving it; he died as one that had been studied in his death, to throw away the dearest thing he owed, as 'twere a careless trifle."

She twitches, moved by his dead words. "What is that speech?"

He hesitates at her uneasy voice, her words torn and tattered into shreds of broken demand. "Shakespeare. A play named Macbeth."

Turning to him with her head tilted, she avoids his eyes. "Why do you recite it so?"

Catching the edge of painful yearning in her fleeting eyes, he manages a broken smile. "It gives me comfort. It is what she liked. She liked to read."

She viciously turns away, her head an arrow of anger. "Fred. You continue to speak of her long after her demise. I wonder at this pathetic act of self pity."

"What you're feeling now," he speaks casually while clamping the book closed, dust spraying from the sheets of old pages, "is jealousy, Illyria."

She grits her teeth, clasps her jaw closed, though opens her mouth just enough to let her voice escape in a cold whisper, "I feel no such thing. My name is a foreign sound on your lips."

He ignores her. He notices the way her thoughts are scattered, fragmented. It amuses him slightly. "That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o'er-leap, For in my way it lies. Stars," he looks to the starless sky, "hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand! yet let that be, which the eye fears, when it is done, to see."

Soothed by his words, she sobers, no longer affected by those disgusting feelings. "You did not need to read that passage from your book."

He pauses for a beat. Sucks in the night's glory. "I know that verse pretty well."

She tilts her head. Questions rise in her mind complacently. "Why? Why is that verse any different from the others?"

Hesitating, he refuses to satisfy her scattered mind. He does not answer her plagued questions. Not this time. The truth, he knows, would singe her cold blood. The stinging truth would burn the blue into a flaming crimson.

"This place," she speaks distantly as she looks toward the black sky, "it is routine now. A tired mouth gasping for air that is rare and can hardly breathe on its own. Your world suffocates those that do not please it."

He spits bitterly at her, voice rasping out with a cold sting. "My world suffocates those that do not belong in it."

She stares deep at him with those crystalline eyes that do not see beyond what her shell can see. He hates that she can silence him with those eyes. Stars of bold ice and broken crystal. They used to be warm, inviting and seductive all at once in a sarcophagus of chocolate brown.

Now they are seductive in a different manner.

He cannot look away. It does not become him.

So he stares.

Her thoughts are menacing. Her mind grows weary of this silent battle between destined warriors. She takes a rare pleasure in being able to intrigue him so, though that is not enough for her.

Intrigue promises little satisfaction. It is a fascination; a curiosity of a fruit so forbidden it rots through. It wilts and dies, leaving a bitter hollow to gape and pour ripe blood out in a stream of chaotic nothingness. It will not suffice.

She parts her lips, a sensuous human trait that befalls her grace. "I will soon be rid of these emotions," she pauses to break away from his gaze, "just as I will soon be rid of this shell."

Closing his eyes and smiling as her voice reaches him, he remembers the delicate thread of the softer voice that came before the deeper one. He remembers the sweet tone before it became overwhelmed with cruel bitterness.

He remembers.

She glowers, enraged by his prudence. "Why do you smile as I talk of destroying this shell?"

His fingers trace the railing, his eyes a sparkling resemblance of madness. "You will never destroy her."

She looks down as he catches her lie.

Then, she remembers, she has already destroyed the shell.

She smells the poison from where she stands; his whiskey. And she knows that however hard she tries, his memory of the one he loves will never fade. No matter the destruction she brings to her human body, no matter the damage assumed, Winifred Burkle will never disappear.

She hates him for that. She does not know why. Perhaps it is because he refuses to let go of a memory so dead that the flesh of it is rotted through. Or perhaps it is because she loves him.

No.

Cannot love. Love is a simplistic human feeling that sickens her through and through.

Not love.

He notes her internal struggle, the twitching of her head, the rapid blinking of eyes that are as delicate and solid as malleable steel. He sees the turmoil, the pure hatred of her conflict, and he revels in it. He even laughs at it.

She peers at him intensely. The bristles of his chin, the dull of his faded sapphire eyes, his rugged expression of pain and loss. And yet he laughs.

She imagines stroking his cheek lovingly, fingers circling his lips. She would kiss him.

But he would never let her.

He would pull away and look at her with disgust.

She, an effigy of his dead lover's body, is craving the touch of his cold fingers. It sickens her. She, this god of great power, stripped to the bone and flooded with unwanted memories that force unbidden emotions, is falling in love with a man so broken it stings her.

He looks at her in awe. Her likeness to the one she hollowed out to embody is devastating. Sometimes he forgets that she isn't the one he loves. Sometimes he forgets that he can't have this thing touch him with human fingers. Sometimes, he lets himself forget he is not in love with her.

As he stares at her now, she is no longer blue. She no longer hosts the vision of an armoured warrior with raging sapphire wisps of hair and dead lips. She is a vision of beauty, rendered to a flawed, delicate, pale human body with full lips and locks of chocolate hair.

She is now human.

He knows it is a lie, an illusion forced upon him. But he can't stop staring. He can't stop wanting.

She peers at him with lustrous eyes, pools of dappled brown in the dull moonlight. He smiles. How can he not? She reaches him with ease, no longer separated from him by the cruel knife of angry tension.

In this body, he no longer resists her.

Her hand strokes the rough skin of his cheek. And he lets her. He lets her touch him with human fingers. She looks into his hopeful eyes. She looks deeper and he lets her. He lets her find what is hidden beneath skin. She presses her lips to his. And he lets her.

She parts with him, if only a little. She stretches her lips across her face. "That verse; why was it so different from the others?"

He breathes in her voice, drinks it all and swallows it selfishly. "That is your favourite verse, if I'm not mistaken."

He lets her lips touch his again, even though this time they are painted a deep blue. He laces his fingers with her sapphire hair, stroking it very lightly. With his hand he runs his fingertips along the layered ridges of her crimson armour.

She is not human anymore, he knows.

And he lets himself forget.


A/N: Fin. Reviews are appreciated.

Peace