By Maquis Leader
“Regrets?” The unladylike snort echoed in the small cell. “Besides losing?”
Angel heaved a sigh of useless air. “In this life. Do you have regrets?” She was quiet for several minutes, and he began to think she wasn’t going to answer.
“I regret letting you leave.” Buffy said softly.
“I regret leaving you.” The light in their cell was dim, barely enough for his heightened senses to make out her face, but he could see the silvery tears on her cheeks. “All I can say is that I thought it was the best thing for you.”
“I know.” She wiped at the tears. “It probably was.”
Moving closer to her, Angel put his arm around her shoulders and carefully pulled her against his side. Buffy had been badly injured in the last battle, and he didn’t want to hurt her.
On the other side of the cell, Wes and Gunn sat holding Fred. Her lifeless body was draped across Gunn’s lap, her head lolling on Wes’s shoulder.
When it became apparent that they had lost, they had retreated, running through the sewers until they found a safe place. A breathing place. A place where Fred could open a portal.
It had opened, and for a moment they saw Pylea, green and sunny. Angel had taken Buffy's hand and smiled. All was not lost. Here they could walk in the sun and have a life together. Buffy smiled back, understanding that at least this one small victory would be theirs.
It closed with a thunderclap and an explosion of magic, cutting off their escape, their last hope, and Lorne’s life. Fred had never regained consciousness, a mercy considering her wounds, and had died soon after.
Buffy had been thrown against the brick wall, a smear of blood following her slide down to the filth. Angel had picked himself up from where he’d been thrown and crawled to her. He’d crouched over her still form, growling at their captors, until they had beaten him unconscious.
Now they were in a small dark cell. All that remained of humanity’s hope. A street fighter, a former Watcher, the Slayer – no matter how many had died and been chosen since Faith had fallen – Buffy was always the Slayer. And himself. A souled vampire.
“What’s so funny?”
Angel realized he’d laughed aloud. “Sorry.”
“No, it sounded good.” She leaned back to look up at him.
“Beats thinking about what comes next.” Buffy's eyes met his.
Fear slithered down his spine. Not for himself, but for her. They were all going to be killed at some point, tortured and tormented for amusement. As the Slayer, Buffy would get special treatment. Her murder would even outdo his own.
Inside, Angelus snarled. Visions of Buffy suffering rushed past, and the demon snarled again.
Dropping a kiss on her cheek, Angel got up and limped over to where Gunn and Wes sat. Wes was numbly stroking Fred’s hair and murmuring to her. Gunn’s eyes were closed, his head was slumped forward, and his heartbeat was weak.
Wes looked up as Angel knelt next to him. “She’ll be all right in a moment. She just needs to rest.”
“And so do you.” Gently, carefully, Angel slid his fingers into Wes’ hair. “Rest, my friend.”
Gunn opened his eyes at the sound of bones snapping. “Hey, Angel.”
“Gunn.” Angel shifted closer to him.
“Been a blast, man.” He smiled despite the pain. “Just be quick.”
With a deft twist, Angel snapped Gunn’s neck. Carefully, he guided the limp body to rest against Wes’ where he lay slumped over Fred.
Wiping his hands on his pants, he walked back to Buffy and sat down next to her again. He lifted her up and settled her carefully on his lap.
They sat quietly, her head tucked under his chin and her warm fingers playing with his. Angel could hear the sound of blood seeping and dripping inside of her body. As carefully as he had moved her, he had heard the grind of broken bones, though she hadn’t made a single sound of pain.
Buffy was hurt beyond even the ability of the Slayer to heal. She needed a doctor and a hospital. Angel rubbed his cheek against her hair. There were no more doctors or hospitals.
Evil had gained the upper hand in the constant struggle for supremacy. Good had fought back, losing people and ground with every battle. They had fallen back time and again until they hit the ocean and could back no farther.
Surrounded and outnumbered, good had been overwhelmed and wiped out. Demons had overrun man, and evil won the final battle. A few pitiful survivors, themselves included, had scattered and ran.
In the end, it hadn’t mattered. Fleeing had only prolonged the inevitable. Here they sat, waiting their turn to die.
“Am I next?”
“There is one thing I don’t regret.” Angel ignored Buffy's question. “That I love you. I’d not change a moment.”
“Me either.” She raised a hand to touch his face. “Well… except to get more time together. More smoochies would be nice.”
“More smoochies would be a good thing.” His inner demon snickered at his use of the word smoochies at his age and suggested several alternatives. All of them crude.
“Maybe we should let Angelus out?”
“What?” There was a sudden and resounding silence in his head.
“They won’t hurt him. He’s – well – “ Buffy bit her lip. “He’s one of them – sort of.”
“So, he’d be safe.” Her fingers slid over his lips. “I don’t want you – or Angelus – to be hurt.”
“Buffy, for one thing, I don’t think you’d survive what it would take to let Angelus loose.” There was a soft chuckle in his mind. Catching her hand, Angel kissed her fingertips. “For another, there’s no guarantee that they’ll simply accept Angelus as one of them. They may not believe my soul is gone.”
“They find him in here with four dead bodies?” She dropped her hand back in her lap, too tired to stroke his face any longer. “I’m thinking they’ll buy it.”
“It’s not like I have a blinking sign that goes off. ‘Soul not in residence’ in flashing neon.”
“You know they can tell.” She laid her head back on his shoulder and gave him an impish grin. “Come on, make love to me. You know you wanna.”
“Tempting as the offer is – “ Brushing a kiss across her lips, Angel paused while Angelus injected comments on the dark, the stone floor, the dampness, and the generally unromantic aspects of sex at this particular time and in this particular location – and then mentally agreed with him. “I’ll have to pass.”
“Will you bite me?” Buffy smiled at the startled look on his face. “There are times I’ve dreamed of it. How cool and sharp your fangs were – the pain – the pleasure. I want it again before I die, Angel.”
Angelus was all for that idea, the thought of tasting Buffy's blood again making him growl.
“Buffy, I shouldn’t – “
“Why? ‘Cos I might die?” She brushed back her hair from her throat. “I want to feel you again, Angel.”
“Buffy – “
“Don’t take too much.” Reaching up, she slid her fingers into the thick, dark hair and pulled his head down. “I don’t want you to be – be too strong for what they want.”
The curve of her throat was soft and salty with sweat. Angel let his lips rest against the pulse beating just below the surface. Each beat of her heart quivered against his mouth, the constant rushes of blood – of life – calling to him.
Tracing a trail along her skin with his tongue, he followed the flow from Buffy's collarbone to her jaw. Her blood was sluggish, sighing as it trudged wearily along, not singing to him as it normally did.
Resting his forehead against her cheek, Angel let himself morph into his true face. He knew she could feel the change, and he waited. The slightest tinge of fear to her scent and he would pull back.
“I love you, Angel.” Buffy whispered to him.
The other time, he had bitten into her flesh brutally, anger and weakness allowing Angelus too much freedom. He had marked her with a deliberate cruelty, intending to sire her. If not for the strength in her blood, Angel knew that right now they would be on the other side of the cell door, celebrating humanity’s downfall.
Angelus asked if that would be such a bad thing and he had to say no.
This time, he kissed and nipped at her skin, licking and nibbling and treating her to the foreplay vampires indulged in. Purring and growling until her sluggish heartbeat came more quickly, and the spicy scent of arousal surrounded them.
Buffy cried out as the cool fangs slid into her. Clutching at Angel’s head and holding him to her, she closed her eyes and welcomed the rush of ecstasy that chased away the pain.
Angel’s thick fangs buried in her throat as his tongue coaxed her blood into his mouth was the most intimate experience of her life. She’d kissed him countless times. They had kissed and touched, pleasured each other with their mouths and hands. And made love the one doomed night.
Buffy had held Angel’s body within her own, cradled him between her thighs and given him her innocence, and it was a thousand times less intimate than this suckling of her blood from her body.
Angelus protested strongly, cursing as Angel pulled away after only a few deep, sweet swallows. Buffy's whimpers were as much pain as pleasure when she arched against him in her orgasm. Within her, the drip of blood turned to a trickle.
“Oh… God…” She panted. Her eyes flickered open to see Angel watching her, the chocolate eyes concerned. “Good… it was good…”
“I know.” He allowed a smug smile to escape. “Are you all right?”
“Sleepy.” Her eyes wouldn’t stay open. “Kiss me…”
“I love you.” Lowering his mouth to hers, Angel kissed her, nibbling and sucking at her bottom lip. “One dream came true, Buffy.”
“No matter how it ends.” He kissed her again, more gently this time. “In this life I was loved by you.”
“Mmm… love you… ‘n you loved me…”
“Sleep, lass.” Her lips were slack under his, her breath barely whispering out. “Sleep ‘till we meet in heaven.”
Cradling Buffy against his body, Angel rested his cheek against hers, purring softly as he counted her slowing heartbeats. And waited.
Let the world stop turning,
Let the sun stop burning,
Let them tell me love's not worth going through.
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart,
The only dream that mattered had come true;
In this life I was loved by you.
In This Life
Don't want it to end here? Aucuns Regrets au Paradis
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