Perspective

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: Angel's POV, back on the airplane, on their way home from England. Is it gloomy in here, or is it just me?

He tossed back another of the mini-bar Jack Daniels bottles and lined it up with the other ten or twelve he'd finished since we'd left Drogyn. He paused for a moment, taking stock of his level of intoxication, then picked up another and poured it into his mouth, swallowing.

I just watched him, not sure what else to do with myself. Spike stared at the line up of miniature bottles and scoffed.

"Can't even get drunk," he mumbled. "Why would anyone ever make a bottle this small?" he asked me, as if I knew. He kept staring at the bottle in his hand. "It's inhuman." He clunked the bottle down with it's matches on the tray table and studied me. "Thousands would have died if we'd saved her," he said, and somehow from him, it doesn't sound condescending, like it could have.

"Yeah," I agree.

"She wouldn't have wanted that," he said firmly.

"Yeah," I agree again. I'm so tired. I let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding and rub my eyes. "I tried calling Wes. There was no answer."

"I guess she's gone, then," Spike frowned. He glanced at the bottles again, picking up another. "It's like a bloody tease. It's like, 'Here's what a bottle of Jack would look like if you actually had one,' or 'here's a drink, but it's very far away'." He pretended to look through a telescope at the bottle. I guess he was trying to cheer me up. Or maybe just himself.

"What does that mean, really?" I asked.

"It's a play on perspective," Spike snarked, waving the bottle at me.

"Gone," I correct him. "What does it mean that she's gone?"

Spike bit his lip, then started slowly, "Well, in the world of men, a person dies, they stay that way."

"Unless you're a vampire," I observed unhappily.

"Or the ghost of one that saved the world," Spike added.

"Or Buffy," I continued. "Death doesn't have to be the end, not in our world. Rules can be broken. All you have to do . . . is push hard enough."

But we're both smart enough to know that no matter how hard we push, dead is dead. Nothing changes that.