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My Life Closed Twice, Chapter One - Anaross--- Unlife Inc.
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anaross
anaross
My Life Closed Twice, Chapter One
Not sure where this is going. But new fic. PWP--- Poetry without plot. :) Well, no poetry yet.



After Not Fade Away
Joss owns them, and the whole bloody universe.
PG now, maybe R later, if we're lucky. :)

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Emily Dickinson



Chapter One
The Call
September 2004

"Angel?"

His heart didn't beat anymore. But the sound of her voice over the phone speaker made it thump, once, twice. He sat up straighter in his leather chair and punched the speaker off, picked up the receiver and said, "Buffy." And then, "How are you?"

"I just heard." Buffy had never been one for small talk. Not with him, anyway. "What happened?"

He wasn't much for small talk either. Or big talk. He didn't know where to begin. So he said, "It was months ago. And you just heard?"

Once upon a time, she spoke to him with respect. Admiration even. That time was long gone. Now her voice dripped sarcasm, and every drop was like acid in his ear. "I didn't realize you'd sent out a press release. Must have missed the CNN coverage."

It was true. It was part of the truce agreement– neither side was to divulge the nature or extent or the result of the battle that rainy night in May. "Then you learned how?"

"Temporal disturbance showed up on some seismograph used by the watchers here in London. Or something like that. Tell me."

He didn't want to tell her. Didn't want to remember. He was back in his walnut paneled office and Harmony was just outside the door again and– and he didn't know anyone else in the W&H building, but they all seemed to do their jobs and leave him alone. Another clause in the truce agreement– everyone leaves Angel alone. "There was a ... confrontation. We won. They left LA. End of story."

She heaved a sigh of relief, and he felt guilty for thinking bad thoughts about her. A fleeting guilt, unprecedentedly enough. It was gratifying, in fact, that she'd worried about him.

"It was a good fight," he said. "We fought a good battle." His last battle, at least for the time being. Retire undefeated, like Rocky Marciano, that was his plan for this decade anyway. (Or did Marciano die undefeated? No matter. He didn't get beaten. That was what counted.)

"Giles said that Wesley... died. In the battle."

Before the battle, actually, but Angel wasn't one to split hairs. "And–" he couldn't explain Illyria, or how she didn't die so much as transfer dimensions, with a few hundred demons in hot pursuit. "And Fred. And Spike."

That last name was still half in his mouth when he realized it probably wasn't a good name to let all the way out. But it was too late to stop the momentum. And so he did his best to camouflage it, rushing on with more words. "Charles Gunn survived, though–"

"Spike?" Her voice was all wavery now. "Spike?"

So that boy Andrew kept his word. Never told her that Spike returned from the amulet-fire, the Hellmouth collapse. Amazing. Amazing that she'd never found out some other way.

"He's– he's still here?"

He better get this out quick, before she got the wrong idea. "No. Not now. He was back for a few months. But like I said. He didn't make it out of the battle."

"He was– how many months?"

Angel closed his eyes. His head hurt. It always hurt this time of the day. It hurt worse today. "A few." No reason to tell her about the months Spike was a ghost. He wasn't really real then. No use to anyone, anyway. "Four maybe."

"And he's gone again."

"Yeah."

"He came to you."

"Not willingly. I mean, it was all about the amulet. That came to me." And Spike was in it. Sort of. All flash and light and no substance. Just a ghost. And not even that now.

His head throbbed. Not because of Spike. He'd feel better if the pain were for Spike. For Wesley. For anyone. But it was just a headache. Came every afternoon as the yellow sunlight slid down the necrotempered glass of his office window. Every goddamn day, just this time. Not because of Spike. Just because.

Oh, right. Spike. He should say something. "It was a good fight. He fought well."

"I don't care if–" She swallowed what sounded like a whole tirade, and after a minute or so, she said, very quietly, "Why didn't you call me? Why didn't you tell me?"

Well, there was the question. He just couldn't remember the answer. At one time, he knew it. But now he couldn't explain why it once seemed so important to keep Spike from talking to Buffy. But he did remember at least this much: It seemed that important. Nothing seemed that important now. So he spoke what he thought might be the truth. "I didn't want you seeing him. I told him you didn't love him. Told him that a lot."

"And he believed you?" Her voice got higher somewhere in the middle of that sentence, and the last note just hung there in the space between them. Thousands of miles of Buffy voice.

"Yeah."

"He would have called me–"

Angel felt a spurt of anger. Against Spike, probably. That was a familiar anger, a century or more old. A good well-polished sort of anger. Or maybe it was anger for Spike. No. Couldn't be that. "Well, he could have. And he didn't. What's that tell you?"

Another quick breath. And another. And then, "Okay. Okay. I get it."

She didn't explain what she got, and he wasn't about to ask. He rubbed his fist hard against his forehead and waited, and finally she whispered, "Tell me. How did he... end?"

He didn't want to remember that night. But he probably owed her at least that much. "There was a dragon." Now he remembered, and the annoyance came back full-force, as strong as that moment when he lay on his back on the wet pavement and watched the dragon's big wings beating above, and silhouetted against the gray sky, standing on its back, sword raised (my sword, Angel thought, my dragon)– Spike. "He stole my dragon."

"You mean–" Buffy laughed, and it was the old laugh, all golden, only tarnished a little, maybe more like brass. "You mean he saved you."

And he tried to smile. It didn't hurt anymore than the headache hurt. "Well, that's the way he'd put it. The dragon was over me, and – well. Spike irritated it like he irritated me, I guess. And he made it fly away. With him."

"Then you didn't see–"

"I know."

"How? If you didn't see?"

"I know." She should know too. But she hadn't even known Spike was back, so how would she know that he was gone again? "He was–" He didn't want to say it. But it was true. He felt Spike go like he'd felt Darla go. Ping. Chainbreak. "He was blood. I felt him go."

She didn't cry. At least she didn't cry. She just said, "Where?"

"That I don't know. Charles and I–" Angel shouldn't take any credit, if there was credit to be had. It was Charles, really, hauling himself out of the hospital bed and into a copter, insisting that they find some sign, or some closure, like there something like closure in this universe. "We found the dragon's wing, up in the hills in the next county. He'd hacked it off. You know what dragon's blood is like."

"Acid," she whispered.

"Yeah. It must have eaten him away."

"Oh." And then, "Oh." And finally, "You're okay?"

"Yeah. I'm okay." He was. Really. He had his building and his office and his truce agreement. He was okay. "Anyway. So long, Buffy. Take care."

"Yes. Thank you. Goodbye."

He waited politely for her to hang up. And then he hung up too.

That was it. So that was it. That was all.
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Comments
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appomattoxco From: appomattoxco Date: February 4th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
He waited politely for her to hang up. And then he hung up too.

That was it. So that was it. That was all.


NOOO it can't be!

Now instead of going to bed I'll be maddly refreshing for more.
anaross From: anaross Date: February 4th, 2006 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
No, go to bed. I won't be writing anything more for a few days. :) Many papers to grade.
adriana_is From: adriana_is Date: February 4th, 2006 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)
wow...more please. Because it does say Chapter One up there. :)
cindershadow From: cindershadow Date: February 4th, 2006 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
More story from anaross! I knew that there had to be some reward for enduring this week . . . and this definitely qualifies.

Thanks!
nandibble From: nandibble Date: February 4th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Spike will resurface, reappear. Because he always does. I have faith.

Very nice opening, incidentally. Terse, controlled, saying almost nothing. Because Angel has nothing to say.

timeofchange From: timeofchange Date: February 4th, 2006 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Very nice opening, incidentally. Terse, controlled, saying almost nothing. Because Angel has nothing to say.

You have a way with words. Unlike Angel.

The point being, yes, exactly what you said. Very nice, indeed.

From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)

My Life

Great beginning. May we have more? Love your writing
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: February 4th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
What an interesting start! I'd love to see more; can't let poor Spike be eaten by a dragon!
ladycat713 From: ladycat713 Date: February 4th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
"Well, he could have. And he didn't. What's that tell you?"

This line alone should provide some interesting thinking on Buffy's part . And I wonder what she got?
makd From: makd Date: February 4th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Great start! Like the other posters, I'm sure Spike will come back: he always comes back.

And Angel...truly alone, in a kind of hell....

Buffy...out of the loop and probably re-thinking Spike's last words to her....

kathyh From: kathyh Date: February 4th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
New fic ::bounces up and down:: Like everyone else I'm pretty confident Spike will be back. Angel seems to have devised another personal hell for himself, and I love your Angle voice, full of things he's sure he isn't feeling. Great start.
(Deleted comment)
curiouswombat From: curiouswombat Date: February 4th, 2006 11:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Great start. I wonder why Angel thinks he won, if he is back in the W&H building full of employees who are getting on with 'things' and ignoring him?

I feel sorry for Harmony being stuck for ever in his outer office as well!
petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: February 4th, 2006 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh goody, a new fiction but NO... Spike can't be dead. He's like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps on going. Hmmm... if Angel won that battle then why is he still back at W&H with Harmony outside the door...
Great beginning.
db2305 From: db2305 Date: February 4th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great beginning. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you are still a Spike-fan, but after that long story that was all about Angel (the name escapes me, sorry, I loved it, though), I am harboring doubts.

But write on either way. You'll convince me!
caliente_uk From: caliente_uk Date: February 4th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful and intriguing beginning. So glad to see a new story from you! :)
moscow_watcher From: moscow_watcher Date: February 4th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great beginning. I'm salivating in anticipation of the next chapters!

That was it. So that was it. That was all.

You're evil. To finish this way the first chapter of new adventure - it's a stroke of evil genius! :)
49 comments or Leave a comment
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