Close Your Eyes
Angel didn't go to hell alone, and now he and Buffy struggle to find their way home.
Disclaimer: I am borrowing all recognizable characters. I just didn't tell Mutant Enemy.
Please tell me what you think! Flames will be used for vengeance spells.
"Close your eyes."
Those were the last words she had spoken. The last thing she had told her lover before running her sword through his chest. She could remember the moment as clear as if it was happening before her eyes again. The shock and betrayal in his brown eyes. The expression of pain twisting his beautiful face. The heat of his blood on her hand and the sharp jerk as she was yanked off her feet into this place.
She was sure it was hell.
She wandered down the empty, silent corridor, her gaze fixed on the door at the end. A voice echoed up and down the hall. "Angel! Angel!" She thought it might be hers. The door neared, and she reached out to take the handle…
Her quarry ran ahead of her, dodging through the headstones, but she pursued him relentlessly. The distance between them shortened as she pressed harder, her Slayer strength giving her extra speed. She caught up with her enemy and grabbed his arm, throwing him to the ground. He rolled to his feet, whirling to face her. She couldn't make out his features in the darkness, but she knew what he would look like: demonic, inhuman, a monster.
She clutched her stake tighter and drove her heel into his stomach, knocking him backwards into a tombstone. He scrambled to his feet and attempted to block her attacks, but she drove him inexorably backwards.
"Please," he said, his voice distorted through a mouthful of fangs. "Please, no."
"Begging won't save you, vampire," she spat, lifting her stake for the final blow. It pierced his heart with little resistance and he stumbled backwards, clutching at the stake through his chest. For the first time, the moonlight fell on his face and she screamed.
"Buffy," Angel whispered, and exploded into ashes.
Pain. There was always pain. In his chest, a deep, burning agony as if the sword was still there. In his head, a fire blazing in his skull. On his skin, a thousand burning knives piercing his flesh. In his soul, where the face of every life he had taken stared at him with accusing eyes.
And always he was alone. There was no voice but his in the darkness, his the only screams, the only sobs and wasted pleas.
She had sent him here. But he had deserved it, hadn't he? He had allowed Angelus to escape. It was his fault. She had been right to condemn him.
"Close your eyes."
He clung to the image of her face, the last thing he had seen before coming here. It was the only thing keeping him sane.
The demon could smell her fear and growled in anticipation. Angel was confused. He wasn't in control of his body. Ahead of him, the girl cast a look over her shoulder, searching the shadows for any sign of danger. The demon forced Angel to walk closer, as silent as the darkness. Angel realized with a sick feeling what the demon had planned and struggled to make it stop, to halt its slow yet inevitable approach, but he was a helpless spectator entrapped in his own mind, forced to watch helplessly.
Closer the demon came, and closer. The girl froze and whirled around, her eyes widening in shock and fear. With a scream she began to run, and the demon howled with pleasure at the chase. The demon caught her within moments, holding her as she struggled for life.
Angel struggled, too, but to no avail. The demon held the girl still and opened its mouth, fangs inches from her neck.
"Angel, why?" Buffy asked, tears bright in her eyes.
"Because it's what I am," the demon replied, and bit down.
Giles stood before the stone effigy, glaring maliciously at the demon. On the floor at the statue's feet lay a sword, its blade rusted with blood. A few feet away, something glinted silver in the afternoon light. The Watcher stooped to pick it up and saw that it was a silver ring carved in the shape of a Claddaugh. He turned it over in his fingers with a sigh.
Xander and Willow entered the room from different doorways. "Still no sign of her?" Giles asked. Both teenagers shook their heads.
"Whatever happened, she managed to keep Deadboy from sucking the world into hell," Xander said, indicating the statue of Acathla with a nod. He grunted when Willow elbowed him hard in the side. "Ow!"
"She and Angel—I mean, Angelus—must have fought," the aspiring witch said. "She obviously won. Killing Angel—Angelus—must have been really hard for her. I'm sure she just needs time."
Giles sighed again, still clutching the ring in his hand. "Yes. I'm sure that's it. I just wish we knew where she was."
A voice echoing down an empty corridor… "Angel! Angel!" A single door, forbidding and unpleasant… Reaching for the doorknob, unsure of what lay beyond…
Her quarry ran ahead of her… The distance between them shortened… She caught up with him, threw him to the ground… "Please. Please, no." He stumbled backwards, clutching at the stake through his chest.
"Close your eyes."