Almost Redemption [Now It’s Dark AU]

Almost Redemption
by Jennifer-Oksana
Show: Angel, Buffy
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Recruited by Glory and really pissed off, Scully figures out her purpose in life.

It’s not every day, good or evil, that you’re recruited by a god. Granted, it’s happened to me at least twice that I know of. Thus I am allowed to be blase. And I am sorely unimpressed by the crazy one who’s pressed me into service this time.

“You and me, girlfriend. We’re going to bitch-slap the Key right out of the Slayer and then BOOM!” Glory rants, traipsing across the mall. I hope she trips and breaks her divine ankle in six places.

“Sounds dandy,” I say without any feeling, wondering why I said yes to her for the six hundredth time. I guess it’s my fatal weakness for crazy people with vision.

“Gee, you sound enthused,” she snarks back at me, looking over her shoulder.

“It’s not my fault. I’m sorry, Glory, but your plan is fundamentally flawed, and putting it into action will be fatal for everyone involved.”

That came out before I could stop it. Glory stops dead in her tracks, turns around, and stares at me. I probably shouldn’t have insulted a god that can suck the sanity from your brain, but hey.

“Excuse me?” she asks, arms akimbo.

“You do realize, Glory, that the Slayer hates us both?” I ask very calmly. “She’s not going to tell you anything. She’d rather die. And even before you say it–no, that’s not any good if you don’t know where the Key is first.”

She nods. “True.”

“Now, obviously, Buffy realizes this,” I continue. “So she knows that we’re not really going to kill her. But the obvious alternative to that–torture her friends–is also a loser plan.”

“Why?” Glory objects.

“Because it’s painfully obvious we’re going to do it,” I reply flatly. “And all of her little friends will come together and redouble their efforts to defeat us if we kill one of them. And they have good luck.”

Glory nods, the light slowly dawning in her brain. “So what do you suggest?” she asks.

This kind of catches me in a bad spot, because I have no plan. But then I think, and I do. Oh, how I do have a plan, and I love it when a plan comes together.

“I suggest we destroy her from the ground up. When she doesn’t care what the Key does, she’ll give it to you.”

“But you said not to torture her friends!”

“Don’t,” I reply. “Kill them. All of them. In front of her if possible. Leave them as present on the living room floor. Suck the sanity right out her Watcher. Burn her house to the ground and crucify her mother in the ashes. Call the cops on her when she’s out slaying.”

Glory blinks. I’m not sure if she’s impressed or scared.

“Overkill much?” she asks.

I pause.

“No, I don’t think so,” I reply. It’s sort of sobering, isn’t it? I’m going to destroy someone the way I was destroyed. I’m going to take everything, and I’m not just talking trash. Hell, I even wonder if I could find one of those vicious cancer-spawning control chips.

“You’ve got a serious revenge thing going on with the whole world,” Glory notes. “I dig it. It’s exciting and psychotic.”

“Glad you approve,” I reply wearily.

“So what do we do first?” she asks, putting her arm around me and marching us down the mall. “Torture? Murder? Emotional blackmail?”

“No, first we understand,” I reply primly. “We understand what she wants, and then we take it from her.”

“What if something goes wrong when we take it? What if she doesn’t play ball?” Glory asks.

“Then we tie up the Slayer and start cutting off fingers. Then toes. Then ears. And so forth.”

Glory’s eyes go wide. “You are so sick. I love it. You’re the best underling ever.”

I almost lose my temper and strangle her, but I manage not to attack my divine employer.

“I live to please,” I lie through clenched teeth.

Glory smiles. “You are just too cool.”

I shake my head. “I’m simply goal-oriented.”

Yes, I have goals. They have little to do with Glory’s. I don’t give a damn what the Key is, but I’m also not going to challenge a god. I have obligations to my family. I came to kill the Slayer, not because I want the victory, but because it’ll make the people who still care about me happy. And I’m playing with Glory mostly because I like her crazy destructive streak. In fact, if I do find out where the Key is, I’m going to make it my goal to get it as far from Glory as possible.

Not because I care either way, but because I feel like doing it.

The Day Planner in my head is bulging with to-dos. I have to kill the Slayer. I have to find the Key. I have to keep the Key from Glory. I have to ditch Glory. I have to reunite with everyone, and I have some serious revenge to take. But the idea of burning down Buffy’s home appeals to me on a very deep level.

“I can’t figure you out,” Glory says as she makes a beeline for The Body Shop. I used to love shopping there, before I became a bloodthirsty night-stalking demon. Now I just can’t muster up enough interest. It seems petty. “You are full of your own agenda, but it’s not anything I can figure out. What do you want, really?”

“I want everyone to feel just as bad as I did the night I decided to die,” I say without thinking. This is the truth. I’ve gone beyond wanting to punish the Syndicate, or the government. I want everyone to feel what it’s like for your soul to be sliced away from you with a thousand cuts. I want them to stare at the world, knowing it can never be better. I want them to confront despair.

“We can do that, you know,” Glory says. “Just stick with me, Dana-poo.”

I need to ditch Glory fast.

“Of course, Glory,” I say. “But right now, I need to go gather information about the Slayer. Is it all right if I leave for a while?”

“Go ahead. I know I can trust you,” Glory replies with a smile. “Have fun! Be violent!”

I’ve disappeared before she can say anything else.

I end up wandering for a while, thanking God that Glory decided to go shopping after the sun went down. That’s how I end up at the local Catholic church. I look at it, feeling not quite ashamed of myself, but strange. I realize that I have to go in. I want to confess. Fortunately for me, they’re actually doing confessions tonight, too.

Amazing how that worked out.

I don’t have a problem getting in, much to my surprise, and I know better than to dip my fingers in holy water. Instead, I walk over to one of the confessionals, wondering what I’m going to say and why I want to say it.

Bless me, Father, for I have agreed to join the forces of hell. Bless me, Father, for I hate this world and everyone on it so much that I want them to suffer with me. Bless me, Father, for I think I’m going to break your neck just for the blood underneath it–

I open the frayed purple curtain and sit down. I cross myself, noticing that doesn’t burn either.

“Bless me, Father,” I whisper. “For I have sinned. It has been far too long since my last confession–”

He murmurs something. I can’t quite hear it. I don’t really care, either. I’m confessing, but not really to him.

“Please, just listen. I can’t hear you anyway. I don’t want to hear you. Father, I have sinned. I–my God, where to begin? I sold my soul. And more than that, I don’t care. I don’t want to be forgiven. I just want to be heard. Everything that I did, I chose to do. And I’m glad. I decided to let that woman kill me in the park. And I was glad–are you trying to move?”

Silence. A little soft breathing. I can smell the fear.

“Don’t move or I’ll break your neck,” I warn softly.

The rustling that I had heard stops dead.

“Good priest,” I whisper. “I was glad when I felt my heart almost stop. I wanted to die. I didn’t realize that I would come back. I didn’t realize how much I hated everything about my life. I hated myself. And when I died, I realized the truth about myself. I was miserable and nobody cared. Everyone who cared, the world took from me. At least Job had someone to tell him that he should curse God and die.”

He whimpers a little, just a tiny whine of fear, like a mosquito. I chuckle to myself and keep talking.

“Bless me, Father, because when I realized that the world hated me, and that God hated me, and that every good thing I had done had led to my death, I gave in to all the things I had ever dreamt of doing. And I liked it. I still like it. I have killed, I have ravaged, I have maimed, I have lied and cheated and hurt every living thing I could managed to hurt. It feels good. I think I have a death wish, Father. I think I always had one.”

The words just keep coming, and every one of them feels like the truth. This is the truth I always hid from myself. It’s been eating me inside out and now it’s finally broken the skin, like all of the little wormies Drusilla sees. It’s been wriggling up and up–

Now it’s in my mouth, filling it. It tastes sweet.

“Father, I want to die. But I want a glorious death. I don’t think I can die until I have it,” I say. “Then I can die and go to hell forever. But at least I’ll have the truth with me when I do.”

He breathes in. “Young lady, I think you need–”

“I don’t need anything anymore,” I say, standing up. I reach across the grille and pull him back through, his throat caught in my hand. It’s pulsing with blood. Warm blood. Rich, delicious, hot blood. “And I certainly don’t need you spreading stories. And so, goodnight.”

He only gets to scream once before my teeth are drenched in blood. Death and glory. That’s what I want. That’s what I’ve always been searching for, in my aimless, unknowing human way. Each drop of life I suck from him, I realize it more. I have to die, but I have to do gloriously.

I drop the priest and leave the confessional, feeling oddly satisfied with myself and my new purpose in life. I even know how to satisfy that itch for glory.

I’m gonna start the Apocalypse. Because there’s nothing more glorious–or deadly–than that.

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