Angel: 'Not Fade Away'; Discworld: current; Sandman: not specified.Warning:
Angel by Joss Wheldon. Discworld by Terry Pratchett. Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I'm just borrowing...Summary:
Wesley learns a few facts of life from Death.
Wesley watched Vail taunt the woman as she wept over his corpse. He felt a brief pang of bitterness; Fred would certainly have cried, but Illyria? It was, he thought, going perhaps a bit too far with the illusion she had adopted to comfort him at his death.
He felt, as he watched, that someone else was watching him
. His suspicions as to who that might be were confirmed by the voice that spoke from behind him.
SHE CARED FOR YOU, YOU KNOW.
He nodded, not turning around. "I just wish that Fred and I could have done something, that..."
I WAS NOT SPEAKING OF WINIFRED BURKLE. A pause. AH, ONE MOMENT...
Fred's features rippled into Illyria's, and a moment later a very surprised-looking Cyvus Vail stood staring at his corpse as the Old One stormed away.
Death's 'voice' was always creepy, but now became positivly chilling.
MR. VAIL. I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR AFTERLIFE.
A scythe cut through the spectral form of the one-time Wolfram and Hart goon.
Wesley blinked. Standing behind where Vail had been was a small figure in a robe, carrying a miniature scythe.
The Death of Rats glared at Death, at least as much as the skeleton of a rodent can glare anyway.
YES, HE WAS QUITE SLIMY WASN'T HE?
The rat reaper scurried away, desperatly seeking a shower.
NOW THEN, MR. WYNDHAM-PRICE. I BELIEVE WE WERE SPEAKING OF THE FEELINGS OF A CERTAIN SUPERNATURAL FEMALE TORWARDS YOUR PERSON?
Wesley could only nod. Does one say 'no' to Death?
I PRESUME THAT YOU BELIEVED THAT ANY FEELINGS TORWADS YOU ON THE PART OF ILLYRIA WERE RESIDUAL FROM THE, AS SHE PUT IT, SHELL SHE HAD TAKEN?
THAT BELIEF WAS MISTAKEN.
"I don't see how an Old One can..."
SHE WAS NOT AN OLD ONE, NOT ANYMORE.
"What do you mean?"
WHEN THE ESSENCE OF ILLYRIA MERGED WITH THE BODY OF WINIFRED BURKLE, THE RESULTING BEING WAS BOTH, AND NEITHER.
"I don't understand."
DO OLD ONES HAVE SOULS?
"But she said that Fred's soul had been destroyed!"
A HALF-TRUTH. WHAT MADE FRED, FRED, WAS DESTROYED. HER SOUL AS METAPHOR. I ASSUME YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS? SOULS ARE A FORM OF ENERGY. THEY CAN NEITHER BE CREATED OR DESTROYED. THE LITERAL SOUL OF FRED BURKLE WAS MERGED WITH ILLYRIA'S DEMONIC ESSENCE. MODIFIED, BUT STILL THERE.
Wesley was left speechless.
OVER THE TIME SHE WAS WITH YOU, SHE REALISED THAT THE FEELINGS THAT FRED BURKLE HAD FOR YOU WERE NOT FADING. AS THEY WOULD HAVE HAD IT BEEN A TOTAL TAKEOVER. IT CAN BE SAID THAT, AS FAR AS SHE KNEW HOW TO LOVE, YOU WERE LOVED BY ILLYRIA.
"But the way she acted..."
OUT OF FEAR. ANOTHER THING AN OLD ONE WOULD NOT KNOW. SHE WAS AFRAID OF THE WAY SHE HAD CHANGED, THE WAY SHE WAS CHANGING. SHE WAS ALSO, ALTHOUGH SHE WOULD AND WILL NEVER ADMIT IT, AFRAID OF LOSING YOU. Death paused. FASCINATING AS THIS HAS BEEN, I'M AFRAID I WILL BE NEEDED ELSEWHERE VERY SHORTLY.
Wesley swallowed and nodded. "May I ask one question first?"
I SUPPOSE I CAN SPARE ONE MORE MOMENT.
"Well..." A pause. "How are you here? I mean..."
AH YES. THE BOOKS. I ASSUME YOU KNOW OF THE THEORIES THAT THE FICTION OF ONE PLANE REFLECTS THE REALITY OF ANOTHER.
AS FOR WHY
I AM HERE, THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND IT IS AS AN EXCHANGE PROGRAMME OF SORTS. I AM HANDLING THINGS HERE FOR A DAY, WHILE TELEUTE IS TAKING CARE OF THINGS ON THE DISC.
TO YOUR MORTAL MIND, I SUPPOSE IT IS. NOW I'M AFRAID I REALLY MUST BE GOING.
There was a sound like the distant ripping of universes, and Wesley Wyndham-Price was sent to his reward.finis