So I've written for the Buffyverse before, but this is the first fic in this verse that I'm actually publishing. Thought I'd start with something short to see if it works haha :)
Also I have to say that sadly my beta Heaven's Eagle is not really caught up on the Buffyverse which is why this hasn't been looked over... I tried to do my best myself, but if there are still some grammatical errors left I am truly sorry ;)
Hope you like it, tell me what you think!
The first thing that hits me is the cold. The icy, gripping and paralyzing chill that works itself up through my spine to my entire body. Despite the warmth radiating from the few remaining fire sources around me, I can feel it seizing all parts of my body and taking full possession of my being in every aspect. It numbs my limbs and my aches and my mind and for a moment it's everything.
For a long while it's the only thing I feel.
Then I perceive gravel. Coarse, rough little stones that dig into the skin of my palms as I try to hold myself upright on the ground. I can feel it get into the leather of my coat and my clothes and it's just so horribly dull and lifeless, as if all the joyful things on earth have disappeared to leave behind only this.
What exactly is left behind? Fire and smoke. Stones and ash. A walking corpse whose time has ended long ago and whose newfound purpose has now again been torn from the world forever.
"Should we do something about…?"
The words pass muted through my eardrums, sounding as if originating a mile away and what I manage to perceive in sound my mind fails to understand in meaning. They are spoken indifferent and businesslike; of course they are. An insecure employee unsure of his next course of action, no doubt a father waiting to be able to return home to his wife and children. Completely oblivious to the very similar situation he just destroyed.
"Yes, we should," a familiar voice rings out. It is cold and calculating and filled with such an uncaring type of menace, I have wondered many times how it is possible that a human soul would still inhabit such a being. "We should let him suffer."
There was a time when I would have wanted nothing more than to get my hands on the cruel woman and to show her once and for all who she was truly dealing with, because she had no idea. I would have gladly enjoyed taking her apart piece by piece and relished the screams and the blood; soul or not, I wouldn't have cared. Everything she took from me, every obstacle she ever put in my way to stop me from reaching my goal… this was the final moment she would have paid for everything.
And now that he has been taken from me, the one thing that has become my whole world even before it truly entered it… the reason why for the first time in my long existence I have felt truly blessed with a miracle… I can't move. I can't fight.
I can't live.
There is no fight left in me, no bloodlust, no purpose for even moving. A flash of bright light. My numb mind barely manages to locate the source of it; the headlights of departing cars pass over and around me.
No, don't leave me! They can't leave me. I can't be alone, cause I'm always alone; I don't know anything else. No matter how close someone gets, I'm always alone. There is no one on earth who can help me bare the burdens of my past and there is no one who should every have to try. I know this and I have always known this. But still I did the unforgivable, I crossed all the lines of the impossible, fooled myself into thinking I could have something that I will never ever deserve, allowed myself to have… hope.
Hope that I would never have to be alone again.
Because I had a son. A child, a beautiful boy. More than 200 years I spent on this planet and I can't say I ever looked upon anything so beautiful. So innocent, so untarnished and just purely wonderful.
How is it that a being of such age, wisdom and knowledge can live through such an endless period of time and not even begin to grasp the true meaning of life? Before him I was lost. Living in the shadows, hiding from the world, trying to be something that I'm not… a hero.
You think you know something about living because you have this really long life. You spend all your time trying to figure out what it all really means… but in the end that's all you really have. Drifting. Existing. Trying to live with yourself after all the lives you've destroyed. Never would I have dreamed that I would one day wake up and have something more.
No creature knows what the true meaning of love is before he has gazed upon a child that he can hold as his own. In that one moment everything just changes. The world around you stops and there is nothing else left. All that remains is that tiny little face and those big blue eyes and the fluttering little heartbeat that hammers away next to your still chest.
In that moment, it didn't matter that my heartbeat didn't exist. He was mine. He was the tiny, beautiful organism that was pumping life and warmth and wonder into my veins, making me feel more human and alive than I ever had since the day my afterlife began.
He was everything and is everything.
I have to get him back. I have to, there is no other option, if I don't do it no one else will. I can't bear to think of the place that he is now, the darkest of the dark worlds, the deepest pit of hell, the fire, the torment, the agony… He must be so scared, so alone, so-
I can't breathe. I have no need for breathing or air or oxygen and yet I still feel as if I am suffocating. Pain passes through every single one of my limbs, my chest heaves uncontrollably and my throat is being strangled by an unknown force.
I have to get him back. He's my son and I'm his father and I was supposed to protect him and he's my responsibility and I'm all he has and I let him get taken, let him get taken to that place, the darkest of the dark worlds where… I can never get him back.
No. No! He is not gone, he can't be gone no no no no no no no no no no no.
For the longest period of time I can't form a single coherent thought. All that keeps passing through my mind is that one word of naked denial.
No, he's not gone, he can't be gone. He can't be gone, I just opened his college fund, I bought him a hockey sweater and I'm gonna see him grow up. He can't be gone cause Cordy's on holiday and she's gonna bring home presents for him and what are we gonna do with the presents if he's not here?
He's gonna be here and grow up and live a full life and be the one good thing me and Darla ever did together, like I promised her. He was the person who saved her and I was supposed to tell him that. I'm going to tell him that, because he's not gone. He can't be.
I should have been more careful, I should have protected him. Never let him out of my sight, left to raise him on my own, something. I should've known that such happiness could not last. It never lasts, because I don't deserve it. I won't ever deserve anything else but punishment for all the things I did.
But it's not his fault. It's not his fault he has a monster as his father. He's nothing but a child, for God's sake, an innocent, wonderful child. He should never have had to pay for my sins and now he is doing exactly that.
It's my fault, it's all my fault. Everything is my fault. Take me, please for the love of God, take me! I would accept an eternity of torment in hell tenfold if only that would spare him. He doesn't deserve it, I do!
Maybe that's why this is happening.
When he entered my life I truly felt like having been blessed with a miracle. An impossible child that could never have happened and yet he still happened. But I'm a monster, a murderer, the Scourge of Europe. There are no miracles, because I deserve no miracles. Everything around me is as cursed as I am. Everything I touch is destroyed sooner or later.
Everything I touch is doomed.
I have to get him back. I can't get him back.
He was everything and now he's gone.
The last remnants of fire are still burning and feeding around me when my arms, which have been bracing my upper body, finally give in to the enormous weight of despair and I collapse onto my side in complete defeat, no purpose nor strength nor life left to drive me.
Beside the wretched sound of a desperate and strangled sob, there is but one word that escapes my mouth.