MADE IN HEAVEN

Made in Heaven

Author's notes

He was made in Hell. He’d long accepted that. Even Liam was a product of that place.

She most certainly wasn’t, and you know what they say. Opposites attract. They were so far apart, they’d attracted in spades. Despite what Whistler had said (‘Nobody saw you coming’), he was pretty sure the Powers had seen her coming. Some Powers, somewhere had known what was to happen, and had had some bigger game plan than Acathla. What he didn’t know was whether that game plan had been Made in Heaven or Made in Hell. It was important to him.

The Apocalypse had gone pretty well. For him and his friends, that is, not for the Apocalypse part. Okay, so they’d all died stopping it, but the fact that they’d stopped it was a big plus, right? Now, he could feel the tug of Hell, but he was ignoring that, as he’d long ago learned to ignore the demon. With difficulty. He’d got a game plan. After all, what did he have to lose? He was dead. Not vampire dead. Just plain dead. He’d saved the world (again), and it was time for some payback. Those Powers could do something about it – after all, someone had had the power to bring Darla back to torment him. Now it was his turn, and things could change. He’d make sure he wasn’t Made in Hell this time. He just hoped there weren’t going to be conditions. Magic always seemed to involve conditions. Still, what did he expect? He was dust, not some Snow White, with a bit of poisoned apple stuck in his throat, waiting for the seven dwarves to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. He set off on his quest.

***

It was a year to the day since Angel’s death when she saw the bronze statuette in the curio shop. It was a warrior slaying a dragon, sword raised high to deliver the killing blow. It looked remarkably like Angel, and she had to have it. Its price was low for such a fine piece, and the shopkeeper showed her why. The dragon’s tail was wrapped around the warrior’s feet, and a thin red line ran from the end of the tail, wrapping around the human figure like a constricting snake wraps around its prey. It looked as if the dragon were trying to squeeze its slayer to death, but it was a fault in the casting. The shopkeeper flicked it with a finger, though, and it rang as true as a bell.

When she got it home, she examined the piece more closely, wondering whether the sculptor had ever met Angel, so much did it resemble him. She still cried for him every night, in her dreams. She checked the base, to see whether there was a name – she would love to talk to someone who remembered him with kindness – but it simply read Made in Heaven. She looked on the internet, but couldn’t find anywhere of that name – other than references to the obvious – and so she simply put the statuette where she would see it every morning when she woke.

***

Two years to the day since Angel died, she took the statuette down from its pride of place and polished it, as she did every week. No one, not even the shopkeeper, had told her that patina was valued on a bronze, and should never be polished off. As she worked away with her rag, one fingertip damp from the metal polish, she noticed that the red line was fainter than usual. She polished a bit harder.

***

On the third anniversary, the red line had disappeared. Now, though, there was a faint rattling from inside, and she wondered what she had broken. There was no external damage, and so she just apologised to the warrior – she’d taken to talking to him, which was a bit of a worry – and settled down to polish.

***

On the fourth anniversary, she stormed back into her little house, riding gale force tears. She’d tried so hard to put her lost lover behind her, but his shadow lay on every man she ever met. Put that together with hormones, and tonight had been the last straw. Wrapped in anger and choked by despair, she picked up the bronze and hurled it at the wall, as hard as a slayer could. Time seemed to slow, as she watched it turn end over end, glinting in the lamplight. Something metallic but much, much bigger seemed to toll as the bronze hit the wall and shattered. A flawed casting, indeed.

And then the shards of bronze were gone and he was lying crumpled at the base of the wall. He seemed to be choking on something. Not even stopping to wonder – there would be time for that later – she wrapped her arms around his midriff and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre. She damned well wasn’t going to lose him again. He retched, and something popped out. It looked like a large pearl, and when she picked it up, the oily colours seemed to clot and swirl under her fingers. Tiny letters, arranged in a sort of arctic circle, read ‘Made in Hell’.

His fingers closed around her wrist and she heard that beloved voice say, “Better keep that safe”. The smile started in the pit of her stomach as she looked at him. “Oh yes, we’ll keep everything safe.” And they did.

THE END
August 2005

Rating:For anyone
Summary: The Battle’s over. Angel’s dead. He’s going to have words with someone about that.
This is a rosebud fic, written for Blood Roses Forum’s second birthday. Rosebuds are up to 500 words long. This is almost twice that, so I guess it’s a double rosebud.

Feedback: Pretty please. Send it to Jo

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