Aucuns Regrets au Paradis
By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: This is the sequel to Regrette Rein. I realized it just couldn’t end there. Especially after all the email saying just that… Thank you Verdun for once again being my lovely French minion!
“I’m here, lass.” Her eyes fluttered open, a soft green that amazed him considering their situation.
“Love you…” Buffy smiled up at him. “Meet me…”
“I’ll be there soon.” Angel dipped his head down and brushed a kiss over her lips. “Rest, love.”
“Love…” Her heart paused, lurched forward a few beats, then stilled.
Angelus keened and howled within him as Angel captured Buffy's last breath and held it in his lungs, refusing to let it go.
Cradling her warm body against him, he laid his cheek against her hair and waited for them to come for him. Finding the Slayer already dead would spoil their fun, and possibly make his own death that much longer. But he would willingly suffer a thousand deaths to spare Buffy a second’s pain.
A thought from Angelus startled him. Her body paraded before the assembled demons, pawed and torn. Bits of her ripped into souvenirs. Reanimated by magic to serve them or even –
Her soul! He cringed at the idea. Buffy's soul could be forced back into her body by one of the more powerful sorcerers, and her torment would never end.
We can’t let that happen. The demon growled to him. Angel agreed with him. But how? Feel her? His body hummed with the blood he’d taken from Buffy. The small amount had been enough to heal most of his wounds. We’ll use it against them. Yes…
Nuzzling Buffy's throat, Angel kissed the soft skin, mentally begging her to understand. Gently, tenderly, he eased his fangs through the jugular and into the carotid artery. She would feel no pain, not now, but he couldn’t bear the thought of marking her more than was necessary.
For a moment, he simply rested his fangs within her body, savoring the intimacy of the act. Her blood was still and silent, and yet it still pulsed with power. There were no more potential Slayers for the power to turn to. Buffy was the last of the Chosen Ones. How ironic that it would be used to help a vampire.
Without the pumping of her heart to drive Buffy’s blood into his mouth, Angel was forced to slide his fangs back and forth along the vein and artery to slice them open wide enough to let him suckle from her.
Tears ran down his cheeks and dripped onto Buffy's face and throat as he drank in her sweet, cooling blood. Angelus moaned and keened, a sharp harmony to his own grief echoing in his mind.
Power and magic burned through him as he swallowed, nearly choking him as it seemed to force its way down his throat and throughout his body. His muscles bunched and tightened as new energy rippled through them, and his skin tingled from the weight of the air.
Adjusting her body in his arms, Angel sucked every drop of blood from Buffy that he could, draining her down even as Angelus offered up the beginnings of a plan.
A sound from inside the cell made the guards look up. Another sound and they looked at each other.
“What'd'ya think?” The green haired demon looked at his companions.
“They were hurt – “ One of the vampires shrugged. “They’re gonna cry a little.”
The sound grew into a soft keening, and the two vampires shifted nervously. It grated on their nerves until one of them slapped the door with his hand. “Shut up!”
The other demon snorted and shook his head. “Bad enough we’re stuck here guarding a room full of dying humans and missing the fun – I hear they’ve got the last of the Furies out there – now we gotta listen to this freaking noise?”
“That’s Angel.” The second vampire said. “No human makes that sound.”
“I don’t give a fuck.” The first vampire slammed his fist against the door. “Damn it! Shut up!”
The larger of the two demons chuckled at the two vampires. “Gets to you, huh?”
“Who woulda thought Angel was such a pussy?” The green haired one laughed.
The keening grew even louder. The four guards looked at each other again.
“Hey – you don’t think – “ Amber eyes widened in fear. “That Slayer – “
“She dies and we’re all dead.” The first vampire growled. “She’s the fucking main event!”
“She wasn’t that hurt – was she?” Shifting his axe awkwardly to his left hand, the demon fumbled for the key and opened the door. “She couldn’t have died!”
“Just open the fucking door!”
Inside, they found Angel huddled over a small body, keening and rocking the woman.
“No heartbeats – they’re all – “ The second vampire reached for Angel’s shoulder.
Dropping Fred’s body, Angel exploded up off the floor, catching the vampire and the green haired demon by surprise and slamming their heads together.
The demon staggered, dropping his axe and clutching at his face. Catching the axe, Angel swung it in a vicious arc, lopping the vampire’s head off. The return swing whistled down eerily in the small cell.
Baring his fangs triumphantly, Angel jerked the axe blade out of the demon’s skull. Spinning, he caught the other vampire and demon before they could step back. Dust showered the falling bodies.
Stepping cautiously out into the corridor, Angel saw no one else. The fight had been quick, lasting only a few seconds, and silent save for the whistle of the axe blade through the air.
Going back inside the cell, he lifted Fred from the floor and laid her between Gunn and Wes once again. Carefully, he picked Buffy up from where he’d hidden her behind the door.
The key was still in the lock, and he pocketed it after closing the door and locking it once again. Let them wonder.
The building they were being held captive in was old, almost as old as Angel himself. He ran a hand along the wall, seeking a weakness. A whisper of air washed over his fingertips.
Angelus urged him to hurry as he searched for the trigger to open the hidden panel. Buffy's head rolled against his shoulder as he worked, as though agreeing with the demon. At last he found the edge and opened the panel.
The nice thing about old places was that there were always secret passages. He moved quickly and quietly through the passage, Buffy's blood singing through his body and fueling his senses. His vision was sharper, hearing keener, and muscles stronger than ever before. For the first time, he understood the Master’s crazed descriptions of Slayer blood.
Fruit punch mouth.
Angel blinked. Buffy lay limp and dead in his arms. Where had the thought come from? Angelus gave a mental shrug.
Moving on, he checked each doorway he came across until he found one that opened into an empty room on one of the upper floors. Outside the window was a large oak tree whose limbs stretched over the stone wall surrounding the building.
It was a trick sliding the window up with Buffy in his arms, but he managed it. Closing it after he was outside and perched in the tree was even trickier, especially with Angelus’ snarky ‘help’. It would have been easier to leave it open, but the smart thing to do was to keep them off their trail for as long as possible.
Moving out along a thick limb, Angel kept an eye on the guard at the far end of the wall. He strained his senses, trying to feel any magical wards that might be set along the perimeter. There was no one left to fight the good fight, but who knew what precautions might still be in place.
Satisfied that nothing mystical was blocking their way, Angel moved to step from the limb down onto the stone wall.
He froze. He hadn’t imagined it. There was a voice in his head. Angelus coughed. Two voices then. Crouching down, Angel watched as a pair of Xefyr demons drifted under the limb. Wispy and ethereal, they had no scent or sound for him to catch.
Rolling Buffy's head back, he looked down into her face. She looked peaceful, a smile curving her lips. But gone, definitely gone.
Great, now I’m losing my mind. Ignoring Angelus’ snicker, Angel stepped down onto the wall before dropping easily to the ground and moving away through the darkness.
The sun was beginning to peek out from behind the blanket night had thrown over it as Angel laid the last of the dead limbs on the pyre.
He’d gotten used to hearing Buffy's voice. He’d traveled steadily for the last two nights, faster than he had been able to move before, his body fueled by her blood. And the occasional whisper of her voice. Hallucination or spirit, she seemed to be with him.
Buffy had warned him of demons and traps as he carried her body away from danger. During the last day, he had paced the small cave he’d chosen to hide in from the sun. Now he understood the Master’s loving descriptions of his experiences after he’d drained a Slayer. LSD to the infinite power.
Colors were brighter, sensations stronger; it was almost as if he could feel the air against his skin. The demons he had encountered seemed to be moving in slow motion, making it only too easy to skirt around them without their ever knowing he was there.
The sun’s coming up.
I know. Satisfied that Buffy's body was surrounded by enough dry wood to reduce her to ash, Angel picked up the can of gas and poured it over her. Dumping the last of the fuel on the wood, he tossed the can down.
Climbing up on the makeshift bier with her, he pulled his jacket back from where it covered her face. Pressing a kiss to her cold lips, Angel laid down and tugged the jacket back up, covering his head as well.
Angelus hadn’t put up the expected argument, seemingly resigned to his fate. Just make it quick, moron. Had been his last comment.
Pulling the lighter out of his pocket, Angel slid his hand out from under the jacket and lit it. As he let it fall, he heard the whoosh and roar of the gasoline igniting.
Come to me, Angel!
I am, lass. There would be pain, but it would be mercifully quick. Wrapping his arms around Buffy, he took the sharp stake he’d cut and shoved it into his heart. Angel cried out involuntarily, Buffy's last breath escaping as he exploded into dust amidst the flames.
He wasn’t dead yet? The stake had gone through his heart. He had to be dead.
If not the stake, then the fire burning around them should have reduced him to dust. And the sun was –
He opened his eyes slowly, fully expecting to see fire and smoke. Instead, he saw Buffy frowning down at him, sunshine gilding her hair a bright gold. “Buffy?”
“Are you going to spend eternity lying on the ground?”
“I’m – “ Angel sat up and ran a hand down his chest. No stake. “There’s no stake.”
“No…” Buffy smiled at his confusion. He looked down the neck of his shirt, and she giggled. “Ooh, but I’d be happy to help you look.”
Getting to his feet, Angel pulled her into his arms. She was solid and real. “Buffy! Oh God, you’re alive! It was all a nightmare – a horrible nightmare!” He picked her up and spun her around in a circle.
“Angel!” Laughing, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders.
“Wait.” Stopping, he let Buffy slide down his body. “It’s light…”
“Or, it can be night.” Instantly it was dark, with a vastness of stars swirling around them. “But we’ve probably seen enough of that.” The golden sun came out again.
“How – I should be on fire – “ He held up his hands, turning them in the sunlight. “How did you – “
“Just a little trick I picked up last time I was here.” Buffy took his hands. “Come on.”
“Last time?” Angel let her pull him along. A sneaking suspicion was creeping into his mind. “Are we – in – “ He looked around at the peaceful park. Weatherly Park. Which was burned and gone along with the rest of Sunnydale. “Heaven?”
“I think so. And you don’t have to whisper.”
“I don’t understand.” Was this really hell? Would Buffy vanish the moment he accepted that she was here?
“Angel, no brooding. This is a no brooding zone.” Wrapping her arms around his waist, Buffy leaned against his chest. “This is heaven – I think – wherever it is is nice. You’ll like it.”
“Heaven?” He lowered his lips to hers, still expecting her to vanish and be replaced by little red devils with sharp pitchforks.
“Yep.” She sighed against his lips. “And best of all, Willow’s already here.”
“So no return trips?” Angel smiled and slid his hands down her back. “Is sex allowed?”
“Angel!” Giggling, Buffy pressed herself against him. “Anything we want is allowed. That’s the point.”
“Hmm… this is heaven.” Buffy's lips were soft and warm under his, and her tongue lapped at his mouth, begging to be let inside. Hearing a strange noise, he opened one eye.
Little blue birds circled around them, singing and chirping.
“Okay, now you’re just showing off.” He laughed. It felt good, and he laughed again.
“So… eternity with me good?”
“Oh, yes…” He nipped the pouty bottom lip. “Eternity with Buffy… very good…”
Thanks to Bent for the beautiful picture!
And so, today, my world, it smiles
Your hand in mine, we walk the miles
A-thanks to you, it will be done
for you to me are the only one, alright, yeah
Happiness, no more be sad, happiness, I'm glad
Led Zeppelin ~ Thank You
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