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 Angel's Secrets

Fanfiction Archive

Symphonie Fantastique

By Interlocutrix
interlocutrix(at)hotmail.com

Summary: The music of Angel's heart.
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to Joss and the Mutant Enemy and the WB and all those other people you already know about. I just borrowed them for a little while and they will be returned in the morning unharmed and in one piece. I don't own Berlioz's Fourteenth Opus: Symphonie Fantastique. I also don't own the exerpts from the program (Which are the bits in Italics). And a bit from the Bard is in there too (Good Old William. What would we do without him?) I have no idea whom they belong to. I'm just grateful they exist. I'm just having a little fun here pointing out something I noticed. I'm not trying to rob anyone of his or her livelihoods so you don't need to freak out and sue me. And I know this probably isn't the place for it but a big thanks to Marc for all the critique and spellchecking.
Feedback: yes please. send to interlocutrix(at)hotmail.com
Distribution: yeah, just ask me first, ok? I like to know where things are going.

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Angel flipped restlessly through the pile of CD's that had been left undisturbed in a back room of his mansion during his long absence. No one, save Buffy had entered the mansion since the morning he had regained his soul and had lost his place on earth. He was searching for something to calm himself a little, to shorten the time and soothe his soul until Buffy returned.

His hand came to rest on a recording all too familiar to him. He shook his head; Drusilla must have left it when Spike had stolen her away from the final battle. He could not remember acquiring it. No, it was Dru's music. This piece would always belong to Dru.

He felt a vague softness still lingering for her, overshadowed by the aching remorse of his soul. This piece was Drusilla, from its petal softness to it's blinding violence. It was as though the music, like Drusilla was acting under a demonic psychosis.

Guilt wracked him again. He'd done it. He'd made her what she was. Like the music, once beautiful in her innocence then because of him she had descended into this arcane madness.

It hurt him to remember but he could not bring himself to put the CD down. He turned the case over and read the program on the back.

first movement: Reveries, Passions
second movement: A Ball
third movement: A Scene in the Country
fourth movement: March to the Scaffold
fifth movement: Dream of a Witches' Sabbath

He knew them by heart, always had, ever since he had seen its premiere performance in the Paris Conservatoire thirty years before he was even to meet Drusilla. He knew it.

The revelation hit him like a deathblow. There, in the music were he and Buffy, their life together as it stood to date. They had met and he'd felt whole again. He had risen above the pain of his restored soul to be brought by her to exultant love and the depths of suffering. He had been brought back to tenderness.

"Reveries, Passions," he whispered to himself.

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1863

"Oh, Angelus!" Drusilla came fluttering through the door. "Can we see this one, please?" She thrust the bloodied theater bill into his hand. Before he had a chance to read it he saw in her eyes that her heart was already set on seeing the performance.

"Of course we'll see it." He unfolded the crumpled piece of paper. He wondered for a moment where she'd found it. Drusilla, had of late discovered the theatre and it has become her passion to see as many plays, operas and symphonies as she could find. He read around the bloodstained fingerprints and laughed. "Berloiz's fourteenth!" He kissed the top of drusilla's head. "Of course we'll go!"

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>From the program of Symphonie Fantastique:

introduction

A young musician of extraordinary sensibility and abundant imagination, in the depths of despair because of hopeless love, has poisoned himself with opium. The drug is too feeble to kill him but plunges him into heavy sleep accompanied by weird visions. His sensations, emotions, and memories, as they pass through his affected mind, are transformed into musical images and ideas. The beloved one herself becomes to him a recurrent theme (idee fixe) which haunts him continually.

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Angel pressed play on the CD player and lay down on the cold, stone floor. A soft melancholia swept over him with the first soft strains of the symphonie. Music from the affected brain of an opium addict. The fourteenth opus. The one with the extra movement.

"Reveries, Passions..." A tear slipped from his eye.

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first movement

First he remembers that weariness of the soul, that indefinable longing, that sombre melancholia and those objectless joys which he experienced before meeting his beloved. Then, the volcanic love which she had suddenly inspired in him, his delirious suffering, his return to tenderness, his religious consolations.

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"They're dancing..." Her face was dreamy, "At a ball... He's so happy..." Her face became a mischievous smile. "but he's going to murder her..." She laughed softly to herself. "...and then she will have a party. Can you see them?" He smiled at her in affirmation and put his finger to her lips to quiet her. She turned back towards the orchestra, sitting on the edge of the seat, her face beaming like a child on Christmas morning.

Angelus smiled quietly to himself. She'd taken her own interpretation from the program. Again. But she had connected with this piece in a way he'd never seen with the others. But still she seemed a little restless, no doubt impatient for the fourth movement when the carnage began.

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second movement

He finds his beloved again at a ball in the midst of the tumult of a brilliant party

.

He remembered the first time he sought her out there, amidst the mass of reveling teens. He had stood beneath the staircase, just watching her. Content to stand where he was. Just to see her was enough for the moment. She shone like a beacon through the crowd. A beam of sunshine that threatened to consume him. The need to know her better grew within him. He knew so little of her, but he had followed her here to this mystical war zone. The girl he had only barely spoken to.

Even in her melancholic state there was a light in her, a secret force that drew him to her. A force who's only purpose was to kill his kind, though he was an outcast from them. He was no more than a moth to a flame.

He had known that he would have to confront her eventually. It was his purpose, to help her, and that of a higher force. And so he'd followed her here, to this little town only to find himself hiding in the shadows as he had before, to little effect. But she knew of his existence, if not that he was the very thing that it was her calling to kill and that, he supposed, was the first step.

She was leaving. Had he lost his chance or was it about to come. She sensed him as she passed and he cursed the force inside him that had caused him to duck out of sight as she turned to look. But he needed to talk to her. And there was a bounty on her head tonight. He followed her.

The next time they had met in that place, she knew his true nature. And she'd kissed him. In that place full of innocent humans, her friends looking on, she'd kissed him. The cross he'd given her burned into his chest but he'd been unwilling, unable to pull away. She'd left her mark on him. And he would wear it.

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third movement

On a summer evening in the country, he hears to herders calling to each other with their shepherd melodies. The pastoral duet in such surroundings, the gentle rustle of the trees softly swayed by the wind, some reasons for hope which have come to his knowledge recently - all unite to fill his heart with a rare tranquillity and lend brighter colours to his ideas. But his beloved appears anew, spasms contract his heart, and he is filled with dark premonitions. What if she was deceiving him? One of the shepherds resumes his rustic tune, the other does not reply. The sun sets. Far away there is rumbling thunder - solitude - silence.

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"Can you hear it Angelus? Can you hear the thunder?" He remembered with perfect clarity the wonder in Drusilla's voice as the music worked her into a manic frenzy the night before. He loved her for it, her susceptibility. She was so open, so vulnerable and so dangerous for it. He had learned to predict the wildly repetitive patterns of madness that he'd driven her to. She was his masterpiece of manipulation. A demented oracle, so delicate but willful.

She came wafting into the room. "I had a dream..." For a moment Angelus thought she was still in it. "The man with the third eye... his symphonie."

"What do you mean Dru?" He took her hands. He had that look about her, as though she had not had a dream, but one of her premonitions. "Explain carefully... Who is the man with three eyes?"

"No, no!" She shook her head violently. "It's not right. Not three eyes, third eye... With poems... And music... And poppies..." He face beamed for a moment. "The Poet's Third Eye! And the music... His third eye heard it..."

Angelus struggled to understand but it seemed that tonight she had slipped into incoherence again. Slowly, in his own mind he untwisted her riddles. "Berloiz? Dru, do you mean the Symphonie?"

"Sometimes I think that I shall close my eyes and not be able to open them again and I would be blind..." She had already lost her train of thought. He knew he had to pry the vision from her before it was lost altogether.

"Drusilla? Sweet? You must tell me about your dream." He coaxed her, his voice softening.

"It was the Symphonie... you had the third eye..." She placed her little hand to his chest, "In here..." then to his forehead, "and here... and it made you terribly unhappy..." Her voice rose to a whine and then dropped suddenly. "But then she came... and she sent it away... she made you happy again and it went away... It was the Symphony, Angelus! The Symphonie Fantastique! But then you dreamed of killing her... third eye is gone... you dreamed of killing them all..."

He smiled. "And I will, Drusilla. You just wait, I will."

"But then she kills you, Angelus. She kills you with the third eye and the blade... A very old blade... And a demon... She kills you with the blade. And the little witch, the third eye returns. The third eye and a blade... The idee fixe. Beloved. And I am there... but I am not yours... not yours... not beloved." She was becoming distraught. Angelus took her into his arms.

"Shh... Drusilla..." He soothed her. Stroked her long dark hair and held her tight. But he had to know more. "What else, Dru? What happens next?"

She seemed to brighten almost immediately, "There is a party... with Beasts." she laughed, her eyes darting around, watching something unseen to Angelus. "... wonderful beasts... and ghosts... and powerful men... sorcerors and witches, they are trapped... but they are having a party... Angelus, can we go? Can we go to the party?" He was about to answer but she continued, her face falling once again. "But I cannot go... and you are unhappy... so unhappy again... the third eye... the party is for you, but I have no invitation, though I would sorely like to attend..."

Something else seemed to catch her attention, something new. "She's coming... Angelus! Beloved is coming... She is beloved of them now... and she dances... she dances with the beasts... you are not her beloved... not anymore... she is with the beasts... doing all kinds of lovely things... they touch her Angelus... they touch her and you cry because you can not... you do not believe in the monsters... they have her... she has left you... you can see her... raised high and fallen... it's all changed... the light in the darkness... becomes the darkness in the light... she is one of them... like you can not be... the third eye is crying... it cries for her, Angelus, and it cries for you... it cries for such a long time until you can not... you can not stop them... she is gone." She collapsed back into his arms, spent after her delphic fit.

He pulled back from her a little, looking at her face in the candlelight. An idea came to him. He lifted her slight figure and carried her to the bed, laying her out as she stared up at him, doe-eyed. "Oh God, I have an ill-divining soul. " He drew a lily from a vase and folded it into her hands as he continued the quote "Methinks I see thee now thou art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. Either my eyesight fails, or thou lookest pale..." He leaned over the bed and softly kissed her lips. She laughed girlishly.

It had been too long. She was beginning to feel at ease. He smiled. The time had come. Her mind had healed to feel once again. She was surprisingly resilient, considering the permanency of the past injuries he had caused her.

And now he would have the pleasure of watching her break once again.

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fourth movement

He dreams that he has murdered his beloved, that he has been condemned to death and is being led to execution. A march that is alternately sombre and wild, brilliant and solemn, accompanies the procession... The tumultuous outbursts are followed without transition by heavy steps. At the end, the idee fixe returns for a moment, like a last thought of love interrupted by the death blow.

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It had seemed the perfect plan. The ultimate act of destruction. As Angelus it had thrilled him. The idea that he had wielded a power great enough to plunge the world and all the creatures in it into the utter chaos and torment that was hell. and the crowning jewel. It would take Buffy with it. It would kill her and lay her down in torture knowing that she had failed the entire world. It had seemed the perfect plan.

And now it terrified him.

And now he had been punished for such a perfect plan. Such a perfect punishment.

The sentence of remembrance. The hellfire of his own conscience. Every thought bringing on a fusillade of guilt. Released from purgatory, he needed no cerberus to confine him. He had a soul. A soul that bled for all those the demon it held at bay had destroyed. A soul that returned the pain from whence it came.

Behind the veil of demon immortality his soul was slowly destroying his heart. And his only source of comfort was his greatest source of pain.

Buffy.

As his soul had returned, the very moment, she had forgiven him. She had kissed him. She had sent him into the hell that he had opened. She, with his own blade, she, had sent him to hell. For the world.

And he had forgiven her. Before he had understood it, he had forgiven her. His soul had known. His soul had understood the sacrifice when his mind did not. And it loved them all.

All her friends, standing by her, living so much of the time on little more than will power and courage. He wanted to share their brittle lives. But it could not happen. Not now. Not ever. He could not expect them to forgive him. He could not forgive himself. That evil that lay dormant within him still clung to his semblance of a life. There was no force that could rid him of it and leave him walking. No way that didn't threaten to send him back to that place.

He couldn't end it. It wasn't within him. He had a soul and its very nature was to cling to hope. To cling to the goodness that surrounded him. To pray that the weakness he caused in her was outweighed by the strength she drew from him. To pray that he could make amends. To keep Buffy alive that little bit longer. Let the light shine on. And in return exist in this place that was better than the next.

He needed to make it up to her, to her watcher whose life he'd come so close to destroying. Xander, the boy who's judgement he trusted because he'd seen the demon had been unable to trust him from the beginning. Willow, she had returned his soul. Such hidden strength. One day she would control those forces, she had it in her. Little Witch...

Who had returned his soul. Who had fulfilled her part of the long forgotten prophecy. Drusilla had known. She hadn't understood, hadn't recognised, but she had known. The poor, muddled oracle who saw but rarely understood, who spoke but rarely heard. She had known. And buried deep within himself he had known. It had all seemed so right, as though hewn in stone. At every turn, no real alternative. Blind to buried portents.

He too absorbed, she too feeble-minded. And too much time passed between them.

His body was heavy, he could not rise to stop the music.

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It was a brief reunion. He had found her in the playground, taunting a small boy. He had not seen her in such a long time, not since he had released her from his power. Since he had lost the power to injure her delicate mind. Since her heart had hardened. "Or you'll hurt me?" she'd said, "No." she'd said, "No, you can't. Not anymore."

It was true, there was only so far he could go until the scars he had given her became he armour. He could not hurt her anymore. His soul prevented him but even without it, he could not hurt her anymore.

But he'd marked her. Marred her mind forever and it came back to him. "My dear boy's gone all away, hasn't he? To her." She still obsessed over him. He had ruined her and now she returned. "The girl. The Slayer. Your heart stinks of her. Poor little thing. She has no idea what's in store."

Had she known? Had she remembered? "Oh, no, my pet. This is just the beginning."

This is just the beginning.

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fifth movement

He sees himself at witches' Sabbath in the midst of a hideous crowd of ghouls, sorcerers, and monsters of every description, united for his funeral. Strange noises, groans, shrieks of laughter, distant cries, which other cries seem to answer. The melody of his loved one is heard, but it has lost its character of nobleness and timidity; it is no more than a dance tune, ignoble, trivial, and grotesque. It is she who comes to the Sabbath! ... A howl of joy greets her arrival... She participates in the diabolical orgy... The funeral knell, burlesque of the Dies irae. Witches' dance. The dance and Dies irae combined.

.

She arrived to find him on the floor, lapsed into another paroxysm of tears. She often found him like that, when the hunger and the guilt and the pain became too much. He had such a low threshold of tolerance since he'd returned. She could not fathom what he'd suffered in that place. They had very nearly broken him. Destroyed his soul, reverting him to an animal state. It seemed a miracle to her that he had held on enough to be brought back to himself.

She could not imagine a hundred years of time, let alone a hundred trapped in torture. That she had sent him to. No, she had faced that demon. There had been no other choice. The demon within him had doomed him to that fate. She had only dealt the coup de grace.

It seemed that he had not noticed her entry. She did not expect him to in that state, curled on the floor, his body wracked by violent sobs. The chaotic music swirled around him. Classical music on drugs, something in the back of her mind mused. Guilty as it made her feel to be thinking of a joke at a moment like this, she could not help smiling to her self just a little.

Cautiously she knelt beside him and reached one hand out gingerly to touch his shoulder, prepared to spring away should he violently move to defend himself from the memories that still haunted him. He flinched at her touch and edged away a little before looking up to see her. His body softened a little as he forced himself up. She sat down beside him. Taking his hand. "Are you alright?"

"It came back to me... Buffy... It all came back." The music had settled to low driving notes in the brass and a church bell. "The Dies irae..."

"Angel...?"

"The Day of Wrath. In the music. It's all happened. All of it... She knew." He reached with his free hand for the empty CD case and passed it to her. He sniffed and wiped at the last of his tears. It was such a comfort just having her near. He watched her brow furrow as it moved over the words.

"Angel... I... You have to stop torturing yourself."

The fear that she saw over taking his eyes cut her to the soul. His eyes were too clear, too bright with terror as he spoke the two small words. "I can't."

It hurt her too much to see him like that. The weakness that had always lain within him coming to the surface to consume him whole. She sought something else to focus on. A point to ground herself. Her eyes fell on the plastic case of the CD and she realised another piece was beginning, filling the room. She saw its name.

Lelio: A Return to Life

The End

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