A/N: Just a little scene missing from Not Fade Away. Illyria takes it upon herself to bury Wesley.

Disclaimer: Who even reads these things anyway? Don't own Angel, its characters, or Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof. All rights reserved.

To dig a shallow grave was to bury what needed to be seen no more.

Shallow Grave

To dig a shallow grave was to bury what needed to be seen no more. I learned this, long before this time. I had seen grief overwhelm even the greatest warrior who stood before countless armies and died for his cause. I had seen this, long before this place. Long before I had ever felt such a thing for such a being.

He deserved such a grave. He deserved to be shown peace in the damp soil. He deserved to be lain to rest.

Finally. After all his suffering.

His body lay twisted, aching in that dull way all humans did. His mouth opened, blood dribbling stiffly, eyes bare and blue. His hand sheltered the wound, covered the ripened blood and stifled the pungent smell of metal blades.

I lied to him. I don't think he noticed.

Finality smiled upon me as the charred remains of our enemy were left smouldering on the cruel tile beneath us.

I stared at him for a long time. Time meant nothing to me anymore. I had no need for it. It was an intricate pattern, detailed to accommodate for the fabric of life. It succeeded no longer in this place, among these decaying remains.

Time ended.

Metallic blood drew me closer to him, seduced me to dare reach out my hand and touch his cold skin. I recoiled, frightened by it. This body I wore fluttered to life with the sting of grief. My hollow inside crippled me; I knelt to the ground, falling beside him in a heap of unbridled feeling.

The dried tears on my shell's skin warmed suddenly. They leaked fresh from my crystal eyes.

This pain was suffocating; like that night in the shell's home, he drinking his poison, me sucking lifeless air through dead teeth, wanting to pound the constraints of the earth until it all dissolved.

I couldn't control the aching convulses shredding through me, or the hot liquid pooling across my face. Everything from the inside was being wretched out through my mouth that didn't listen to my commands. I told it to close, to bridge that gap between lips and cease to make meaningless noise.

It didn't, and I wept.

I thought of him, needless blubbering and tears that melted in his mouth as he grieved for the shell. For Fred. I thought of him wanting to die every night simply because she had. I thought of his lips moulding to the glass and the hot, amber liquid pouring down his throat like fire in a treacherous rainstorm.

I thought of his eyes, unable to look at me. I thought of his want for the shell of my body and I warmed, quick strides of emotion sprinting through me, hot and thrashing as I desperately urged those sickening feelings from me.

He lay there, twisted and disconnected from this existence. I didn't know where souls ended up. I didn't know where they went after they left this world. He had never taught me about life after death.

This body scratched me. It irritated the soft, pale skin of her shell. I wanted to rip it off, to rid myself of this cold, hard scale that I had placed upon her flesh. I wanted to become her again, but he was gone, and there was no more need to lie.

Scraping the caked blood from his flesh with a violent finger, I lifted it to my eyes, seeing the dried red crumbling from my touch. Nothing much made sense. Something as strong as blood so easily spilled, so readily leaking from his body that I felt my insides churning, tightening around this armoured body.

And I cared to see this blood. I cared to see his flesh lying in wait for the flies. I cared for his sacrifice, for his death. And for his undying love for Fred.

I cared.

That feeling scratched at me, shredded the skin beneath this costume and tore through my flesh with sharp talons.

I grieved for him.

Know I knew how he felt.

My world gone, dead.

I dug a hand beneath his still head, my fingers curling around that little bit of ruffled hair on his neck. He looked so peaceful, so at ease as he bled dried blood. He was not heavy like I thought he would be. Humans weighed very little.

Though, I wondered why they felt they had the weight of the world on their shoulders. I wondered why everything had to matter to them, chain them to the ground, mould them to the earth. I wondered why they cared.

His head curled over my arm as I carried him.

The night was stiff, hot in the calm of the storm. Patient, like it knew what was coming. The heavy pelting of the thing they called rain stung me as I looked to the melting cuts in his face. If he could feel now, he would be stinging, too. The hot rain would blister his skin.

I felt the soil beneath me soften in the dawn of the rain. Kneeling down, I placed his body carefully on the innocent ground. His blood stained it. My hand slipped easily into the moist ground. I kept digging.

On and on, through the night.

Lower, beneath the surface, but not too deep. He didn't deserve to be buried. He deserved to be laid just below the surface, where he would be able to see. I knew he would see.

I could not see him anymore.

Slippery soil stained my hands, blood leaking in thick blotches around my skin. His blood.

I stood, looking forever down on his grave. Dirt gathered in lumps, uneven collisions of moistened soil and blood. His body lay beneath, covered in this dirt. I looked down once more, knowing he was looking back up at me, and turned away.

To dig a shallow grave was to bury what needed to be seen no more.


A/N: Done. Feel free to leave a review :)