Copyright June 2006
Disclaimer: Characters from Angel: the Series are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, and the WB.
I — 1997
Her chest aches, lungs heaving to expel foreign breath. She had been fated to die, and accepted her fate. Now life surges through her again, her body snatching greedily for what it had so unwillingly relinquished.
In years to come, she will thwart other prophecies, bulldozing fate from her path by sheer indomitable force of will. This one, however, is not her doing; it was another’s hands that pulled her back from the shadow.
She looks past the man who saved her life, her smile leaping to the creature who would have let it end.
Brain damage. Has to be.
II — 2001
Hell shrieks all around her: engines’ thunder, hammering thuds of combat, eyes aching from scattered fires. Escape from her casket bloodied her hands, the nails torn from clawing through the earth above. Even now, her dress drips occasional soft clods in torturous counterpoint to her heart’s awful lurching.
Movement is horror, slick wet layers sliding over one another. Breath is a foul liquid rasp; slime coats her throat, nostrils.
Her bludgeoned mind is incapable of thought, only suffering. Below that dumb awareness of pain, however, is a core of passion, wordless but molten-pure:
Whoever did this to me, dies.
III — 2002
The pain is good, life slashing its way up from darkness. This had been nothing like the swift, clean plunge into Heaven, equally unlike death beneath the Master’s fangs. He had wrenched life away, dynamic, forceful; this time, bullet-torn, she had felt herself draining into nothing.
She is whole, renewed, but in her savior can be seen only more darkness. Clothing, hair, eyes, all black.
And the soul within —?
Death is undeterred, will have its due. In her friend’s fathomless eyes, she sees bleak promise of whose life will be taken in forfeit … and whose hand must render payment.
IV — 2003
X-rays don’t lie.
Slayer healing can’t fix mortal wounds.
So when the bus passengers (including her) finally get emergency medical treatment, the X-rays have to be explained away.
Severed abdominal aortas don’t self-repair. They’re nonsurvivable without a skilled trauma team already onsite. Fighting with such a wound, leaping tall buildings, even staying conscious until the nearest ER … stark impossibility. Except she did.
She’s not immortal; remembering golden realms lost, doesn’t want to be. Someday she’ll die and not come back.
She came back this time, though.
And, when it mattered most, she did it on her own.