Author: the one and only *Leighann*
Summary: This is a companion piece to "My Hero." It really doesn't matter if you've read "My Hero" or not, actually. This is Angel's POV.
Authors Note: This is angst. Wonderful, delightful, agonizing angst. I am a glutton for it.
Timeline: umm, it doesn't really matter, but it has reference to the end of days.
"Savior" by the Angel of faith, Leighann
Looking back on my lifetime, I have to smile. There were just too many good times
When I found and married Tessa
When my daughter, Bridget, was born
When I ushered my little girl down the aisle
When I became a grandfather
When I first felt the warmth of the sun on my face
Its funny, but even after 341 years of living, some memories that now seem lifetimes ago, (And technically, I guess the are) are yet to be swept away
The feeling of her warm hands on my icy skin
Her sweet, genuine smile, her warm, kind eyes, and her bright, strong heartthat of a warrior.
After 341 years of being, I still cant break a habit Ive so long exercised
Most of the time, I sit and think about the old days, when things that cant be uttered now were in common conversations then.
A word that brought so much joy, and yet so much pain to my heart.
I still remember the day she willingly gave up her own life for mine.
Its okay, the war is overnothing bad can ever touch the Earth again. Its over, Buffy said as she tried to smile, even through the blinding pain I knew she was in.
She was always trying to be strong.
Always strong for me.
I remember how I could feel my tears falling from my eyes and landing gently on her cheekthe one I used to dream about touching every night while in Los Angeles on those cold and dreary nights when everything seemed lost and hopeless.
I knowI know I said. I could feel her breathing becoming labored, and her eyes becoming slightly hazy.
She is going to die.
You know, the last few years have been the best of my life, she said to me. If it werent for you, I dont think I would have lived through the first war.
I remember those years very clearly.
Ironic how the best memories always come from the worst possible situations.
At that moment, I was speechless. There were too many things that needed to be said. Too many possible things I could have said. Instead, I chose the one that came naturally, like a second nature to me.
Finally, after a couple of silent moments, my brain kicked in and things that needed to be said, I said. You would have made it. Youre strong, Buffy. Stronger than you know. Thats why I loved you so much. Why I still love you. Youre strong, and you influence everyone else to be stronger. Its really me who should be thanking you.
She reached up and ran her soft, warm hand through my tangled hair and looks deep into my eyes.
Ive yet met a person whom I can have a conversation with without saying a word since Buffy.
Tessa and I never really developed that kind of relationship. Tessa was smart, and beautiful, and had a glow to her that resembled Buffys in a way.
But what really attracted my to her was her soul. This sounds crazy, and I have to admit, it if I were anyone else, I would have to say it is insane, but I could almost sense a familiarity in her soul.
Buffy was my soulmate, and to this day I still believe that Buffys soul resided in Tessa after she died. Like the Powers gift to me.
Crazy? I think so.
BuffyI I said to her as she lay broken in my arms that cold day. Yet even through the cold and the exhaustion, Buffy brought me back and filled all my senses.
She made me warm
ShhListen, she said to me as she placed her hand on my now beating heart.
Do you hear it? She asked me.
How could I not? With every dull thud of my heart, it screamed out, BUFFY!
I remember cryingI cried a lot. I regret crying so much. Not because I felt stupid either.
Its because I wasted that precious time when I could have been telling her my real feelings.
I love youI try not to, but I cant stop
I hear ityou did thisfor meyou were the reason all this happened I said to her.
For the first time since the day that never was, Buffy cried. At that moment, I felt my heart break, and the reality of what she did, of how much she really loved me, truly sunk in.
Noafter all you did for meafter all these yearsI am finally glad I can repay you, she said. She always did keep her promises to me.
Even the ones that were impossible.
Even the one that cost her her life.
Buffythis isnt just a favor. You are lying here dying because of me, I said to her.
The saddest thing was that I never really appreciated all the other multiple times she put her own life on the line for mine.
I still cant believe that her dying slowly, and obviously painfully in my arms was the way I learned to appreciate it.
No. Angel, if I can give you, even half of what you gave me, it isnt nearly enough. This wasnt a favor, she said.
It was a gift, she said to me. I could feel the tears that leaked from my eyes running streaks down my face.
AngelI love you She said to me.
My heart began to race. No. This cant be happening, I thought.
Buffy wasnt supposed to die. Not here. Not like this.
She was supposed to live with me, and have children and grow old and get fat. This wasnt how it was supposed to end.
She was supposed to die alongside me.
But, no matter what I did, no matter what I said or attempted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the strongest one in history, was dying.
And there was no way I could stop it.
There was not enough time. There was not enough time to say the things I needed to say.
No! Thats not enough time! How am I supposed to go on with my life knowing what we hadwhat we could have had?
I love youmore than anything, I said to her, as I kissed her swollen lips.
Then, her body shook as a tremor of pain overwhelmed her frail, once strong form.
OhhAngel, she murmured silently. The last two words she would ever speak to meto anyone.
ShhLoveclose your eyes, I said to her.
The dramatic irony behind those words was evident, but not important enough for me to analyze it further until a few years later.
Then, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Chosen Onemy Chosen One, died.
Her breathing became labored and hard, and pretty soon, stopped completely.
I felt the tears that I thought were endless suddenly stop as I realized the gift, the treasure, Buffy had bestowed upon me, and the courage that this extraordinary woman, that half the world would never even meet, or acknowledge for that matter, had. She had enough to die for me.
Dying for my life.
Another irony that the Powers found humorous, most likely.
Buffyyou have no idea what youve given me. Youre than a friend, lover, championyoure my hero, I said to her lifeless body as I placed a gentle kiss to her forehead.
Sometimes, life can be hard.
Sometimes life can be more enjoyable than you could hardly imagine.
Some people dont even acknowledge the fact that end of the world has come and gone.
But, I could never forget the fact that a woman, a single woman who was wise way beyond her years, saved me, in every way a person could be saved.
More than that, she gave me hope. Hope in people. Hope in a higher Power.
Buffy Summers was my love.
Buffy Summers was my savior.
Buffy Summers, gave me life.