Just a few notes about this story, mainly to avoid people being utterly confused and lost. This story is based off the 1998 movie "City of Angels" that starred Nic Cage and Meg Ryan. The basic plot of the movie is that Nic Cage's character is an angel who falls in love with Meg Ryan's character, and as a result, he gives up being an angel so he can be with her. The entire time I was watching the film, I was really reminded of how Buffy and Angel, and once the plot bunny attacked me, I couldn't get rid of it, so here the story is!
Second note: Angel is called Angelus in this story, but he's NOT, and I repeat, NOT, evil in this. I thought that it would be better to use his full name instead of just "Angel" because, let's face it, an angel named Angel would be really kinda corny.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Angel. They belong to Joss Whedon. Nor do I own the movie "City of Angels".
City Of Angels
As the sun began to rise in the distance, the large group of angels stood silently on the cold sands as the song overtook their ears, the sound of it such a beautiful thing that humans would never hear in their entire lifetimes. As the waves continued to hit against the sands behind them, the angels continued their watch of silence, unseen by anyone.
That was their role in life, to watch over the humans, remaining out of sight unless they were needed by one of them. They were silent protectors, visitors to their souls in their final moments of death, and guides to heaven once that person had finally passed on to the other life. No-one knew they existed, but yet, somehow they knew that they were being watched over in some distinct way.
Maybe that was why they called Los Angeles "The City of Angels."
The scene was overwhelmingly sad, to anyone that could actually feel the emotions coursing through the room that is. As he continued to watch the various relatives crying around the man's deathbed, Angelus could only know that it would be over soon. No-one could see him, but he could see them, could see each tear flowing down their cheeks.
Seeing humans cry always fascinated him, considering that it was one of the acts he was incapable of doing. The fascination had lasted centuries, and he knew that it would never truely go away. No matter how many times he watched the humans, he would always feel some curiosity as to how it actually felt to cry, to let the wet tears flow down your cheeks, to feel an emotion so strongly that it made you show it on your face for all to see.
In particular, he found his eyes being caught by a small child simply staring at the man on the hospital bed, her cheeks the only ones in the room not stained by tears. Her mother on the other hand was crying almost hysterically as she continued to hold her daughter. How they were related to the dying man, he couldn't say. Still, he found himself unable to take his eyes off of her. Another thing that fascinated him was the fact that many young children didn't usually respond with the same emotions or actions that their elders did. It was simply as if the pain of watching a loved one pass away didn't affect them until they were much older. Over the course of his 'career', he had come to the conclusion that it was due to their brains still not being fully developed, but still, the way they ignored emotions was 'odd', for lack of a better term.
"Mommy?" The child asked, looking up at her mother in the process. "Why is everyone crying?"
"Well, Buffy, we're all sad because Grandpa is going to Heaven, and we won't be able to see him for a long, long time." Her mother answered, looking down into her daughter's eyes.
"What's Heaven like, mommy?"
"It's a place where you go when you get old, and you're not sad anymore, you can only be happy when you're there." Angelus smirked at the explanation, knowing that the description wasn't completely true, but it was still enough to be considered partially correct. Over the years, he had heard many different interpretations of what Heaven was supposed to look and feel like, each one more different than the last. There were often times that he would simply go through and compare the different versions that existed, if only to pass the time. They amused him.
"Is Grandpa going to be an angel?" The child asked again, the question being met with a slight smile from her mother.
"Yes, he's going to be our angel, he'll be watching over us all the time. So whenever you feel sad, remember that he's going to be up there, watching over us." As the child's mother finished talking, the room grew silent again for a moment before one of the doctor's came into the room, the look on her face completely void of emotion. He had seen her a few times before, each time with that same expression. Somehow she had grown used to doing this, however crazy the idea may have seemed.
"Mrs. Crembly." She said, addressing the man's wife. "It's time. We need to…pull the plug." The man's wife was silent, whatever tears she had cried earlier already dried on her cheeks. Nodding, she gestured to the other family members that it was time to leave. As they left, Angelus watched them for a moment more before he switched his attention to the doctor. From where she was standing, she nodded to the other medical personnel that had followed her into the room. They moved swiftly, and within minutes, the heartbeat monitor that had lay attached to the man went flatline, and as he returned to his feet, Angelus helped the man to his feet, and as they walked silently out the door, they continued into the white light that illuminated the end of the hallway before them.
Sixteen Years Later
The traffic continued to rush by underneath the road sign, the drivers obviously oblivious to the two angels that sat above them, simply watching their vehicles pass by. As they continued to watch the various vehicles roll past, Angelus and Spike were almost utterly silent in their observations, as they almost always were. Tossing the cigarette in his mouth towards the ground below, Spike blew the smoke out into the air.
"You know, the humans always say that these things will kill you. I don't see what all the fuss is about."
"It's something inside them." Angelus replied, his eyes still focused on the traffic zooming by below his feet. "Something that makes them get sick. It's strange really. If it hurts them so much, why would they make them?"
"Eh, the buggers probably worry about it too much. Worrying doesn't do so well for them. I've seen my fair share of 'em brought to an early death by simply worrying about it too much."
"Still, you think they would have learned by now, don't you?"
"Depends. I honestly don't think that all the humans are all too bright. Some of them just lack the same kind of brain that others do." Spike answered, looking out across the skyline that spread out in the distance. "Then again, I suppose we can't all be that lucky."
"We were never human, Spike. We can't ever know what it's like to be one of them."
"You say that like it's a bad thing, cuddles." Turning his head back to face him, Spike looked at him for a only a moment more before he continued to speak. "Besides, we all know that its all you dream about it."
"It's nothing more than dreams. Nothing more, nothing less."
"Ah, and in that, see, lays the issue. You don't believe that yourself. We all know that it's all you think about sometimes, being one of them. Feeling emotions, taste, love. You desire it more than anything."
"And that's all it is. Needless desire. Wishing for something that you can't obtain. How many times have you seen it happen to the humans, Spike?"
"Plenty. Doesn't mean that it changes in any way. Either way, it's still rather sad."
As she continued to push her bike down the crowded streets, Buffy Summers could feel the wind pushing back her hair, the feeling of it a welcome one considering how hot it was outside at the moment. Not to say that she was complaining, there had been days when it had been hotter outside, this day was still relatively cool in comparison. Still, at least she wasn't going to be late like she had been yesterday. That hadn't looked professional in any means, and that was something she couldn't afford to have happen again. Not if she wanted to get an official position at the hospital, and actually get some pay rolling in.
Hopping her bike up onto the sidewalk, she could already see the old stone architecture of the hospital up ahead, the entire area 'quiet' as she approached it, which was strange considering that there weren't any sirens going off around her or coming from the streets. Still, it was only momentary, and she would, without a doubt in her mind, start hearing the sirens approaching again soon enough. It never fully stopped, just simply took a break.
The locker room was almost completely empty as she opened the door, which in itself wasn't strange, considering that she worked hours where hardly anyone was ever busy. Originally she had wanted to work one of the busier shifts, in hopes of perhaps clocking in some real hours, but the people up top had decided against it. Something regarding experience, but then again, wasn't that what she was here to gain?
Peeling off her hoodie, Buffy stuffed it inside the open locker in front of her. Even though it had been hot outside, she had still chosen to wear the hoodie, knowing from personal experience that you could still get chills from riding down the interstate. She hadn't been sick for at least five months now, and she was looking to keep it that way. Pulling on the rest of her 'uniform', she closed the locker and walked out of the room to begin her shift.
It was almost always in hospitals nowadays. It wasn't like it used to be half a century ago, when everyone had almost always died in the privacy of their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones. Somewhere along the line, people's ideas about hospitals had changed somewhat. Sure, there were still plenty of people who still died inside their homes, but not in the droves that they once had. It was becoming somewhat of a rarity.
Some part of him wished that the years had gone by so quickly. As he walked through the somewhat crowded halls, Angelus' pace was somewhat slow, as if he were simply trying to keep the noise he was making to a minimal, even though he knew from years of experience that no-one could or would hear him. He didn't know why he did it to be honest. Maybe it was just another one of his attempts to pretend that he was human, if only for a moment.
Spike hadn't been lying when he had said that it was all that he dreamed about. For centuries he had done his job, and he had done a damn good job of it. But still, there had to be something else out there for him. Something that would make everything he was actually mean something to someone.
Something would actually make him feel something.
It was only foolish dreams. He thought, shaking his head in the process. He had been doing this job for centuries, and dreaming about something wouldn't make it come true. He had come to guide another soul to heaven, and that was what he was going to do. There was nothing else beyond it, no way out of it. He vaguely recalled some statement from one of the humans that seemed appropriate for the situation.
Life's not fair.
Someone had told him that years ago, and those words had stuck with him for some time now. He didn't know why they always were present in his immediate thoughts, maybe it was something to do with the look that the man's eyes had held when he had said those words to him. They had held strong emotions, some of the strongest that he had ever seen in his 'life-time'. Perhaps that's why they had looked so...haunting to him, as strange as it had been to describe that thought.
Pulling off the scrub cap that was wrapped around her hair, Buffy could still hear the steady sound of the man's heartbeat as the monitor echoed through the room. Behind her, some of the other medical personnel were beginning to clean up the room surrounding the patient. Doctor Chase had already left, no-doubt getting ready to go home from his busy shift. Out of everyone here, he worked the most hours per week, often going hours without rest. How he did, she didn't know, but from what she had seen of his work, he was someone to be admired and respected.
Running a hand through her brown hair, she closed her eyes for a moment, her brain screaming at her for rest. Considering that she was 'running' on only three or four hours of sleep, she felt inclined to agree with her body. She knew it wasn't healthy to be out and doing things without that much sleep, but she had tried many different, so-called 'solutions', and each one had simply left her feeling worse than she had before. So far, reading had been her main source of comfort, but even that couldn't save her from feeling exhausted on her shift.
"Buffy?" She heard someone say from behind her, the sudden sound of it making her jump slightly. Turning around swiftly, her heart beat slowly began to return to normal once she saw that it was just Riley.
"Jesus, Riley, you scared me."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to catch you off-guard like that." He replied, noticing the slightly black 'bags' underneath her eyes as he spoke. "You still have trouble sleeping?"
"Yeah." She answered, slightly caught off-guard by the subject change. Still, she tried her best to straighten her posture and answer her friend. "Those pills that they gave me didn't work too well."
"Strange. Maybe you just need a higher dose?"
"Possibly. Still, I'm rather not have them so high that I start falling asleep while we're in there."
"True." Riley said, a slight chuckle running underneath his voice. "Something tells me that wouldn't get you that job you're looking for." The two of them grew silent for a moment before he spoke again.
"Maybe you should go home and get some rest. I'm sure the people up-top would understand."
"No, I'm fine, really, just a little slagged. I think I'm just gonna go grab something to eat, and maybe I'll be a little more alert then." She replied, making her way towards the door in the process. As she opened it and walked out into the hall, she rubbed her eyelids before she continued, the sounds of the hospital echoing in her ears along with her footsteps.
So... thoughts? Leave 'em in the review box, you know the deal.