A Soul's Worth

A Soul's Worth

Cordelia walked into the office and froze at the sight of shattered plastic and metal that had once been her computer.  Angel sat on the stairs, staring pensively at something in his hands.

"What did you do to my computer?" Cordelia demanded angrily.

Angel tossed Cordelia the thing he'd been looking at.  "I asked Fred about these things," he said.  "She told me it's layers of patterned metals and dielectrics on a silicon substrate.  The raw components could be bought for just a few dollars; even with processing it only costs a hundred dollars or so.  Somehow I thought a soul was worth more than that."

"Angel, this is a computer chip, not a soul," Cordelia said giving Angel a worried-for-your-sanity look.

"Soul, computer chip, what's the difference," Angel shrugged.  "Oh yeah, a chip's worth more.  There aren't any mistakes with a chip, no moral ambiguities.  If your head hurts you're wrong, if it doesn't you must be right.  Violence against humans is bad, zap.  Stalking them, sneaking into their homes and stealing their things, that's just a way of expressing your love so it's not really wrong.  They'll love you for it in the long run."

"Chips are more durable than souls, at least my soul anyway," Angel continued bitterly.  "Spike can have Buffy, I can't, not without endangering her and everyone she cares about."

"It's not just the chip," Cordelia said awkwardly.  "Willow says he really loves her.  He makes her happy.  Isn't that what you wanted for her?"

"The love of a creature who believes in killing his rivals?  Well actually, he's all for killing anybody that gets in his way, in anything." Angel snapped.  "That's why Spike teamed up with Buffy when I lost my soul.  Dru liked me better than him, so he was going to get me killed.  So what if he loves her, I love Buffy too.  Love doesn't conquer all, not for me anyway, why should it for Spike.  What can he give her that I can't… oh yeah, sex.  I left her so she could have a normal life.  I thought that's what she wanted."

"Little Miss Freaky?" Cordelia snorted, ignoring Angel's glare.  "When did she ever want normal?"

"She always told me how much she wanted to be a normal girl; to have a normal life.  Children, sunlight, growing old with someone you love… That's normal, isn't it?" Angel's voice turned plaintive.  "Sex with a remorseless killer who revels in violence and chaos isn't normal.  It isn't good."

"You left her," Cordelia said simply.  "It isn't your place to deicide what's good for her."

"I left her," Angel repeated hopelessly.  "God what a fool I was.  I thought she wanted light in her life."