Lines Are Drawn

I look in to see him curled up. His back is to the door, and if he's truly asleep then my standing here won't even make him stir, much less wake him up fully. This one has hit him hard -- they *all* hit him hard, even the ones that end well. He thinks no one notices.

But this one ended badly, and he's finally stopped hiding behind his mask of guilt and brooding to let the actual pain in. He thinks we don't know about that, either.

I take another step in and he doesn't move. I want to go over and tell him it's all right. No one wins every time.

But he knows that. He doesn't need platitudes.

He needs to win. Needs to rescue and save and redeem, even if the innocents come out ahead he still needs to be win every battle. We took the war; Angel's only remembering the ones he let fall.

I admit I can understand this one. There's a world of difference between failing to save someone, and killing them yourself. Honest mistakes and no way to have knowns aside, Angel killed an innocent.

Again.

It has to be tearing him apart. I just wish I could do something. Not to make it better, not to make him forget -- he won't. Just, something. To help. There is very little I can offer, however. Only this, following him downstairs to make sure he isn't screaming at the walls or worse. Clean up the kitchen a bit from the fits of anger and self-loathing. Stare at him from the doorway, and make futile wishes.

I wish. I wish a lot of things. I don't expect any of them to come true, but God, I wish that something would come true for him.

He's earned every moment of suffering. I know that. I've read the journals, I've seen the eyes of his victims -- even when they say his name without the tremble of fear, when they'd like to think they've forgiven, I can see. The darkness that won't ever go away, no matter how hard Angel would wish he'd never done those things.

But he did, and his victims will haunt him forever. I can't undo it, can't make it go away. Can't say he doesn't have a perfect right to suffer just as much as he has made others suffer.

But that belies the whole notion of mercy. doesn't it? And so I wish I could go in there, and rest my hand on his back, whisper something to him which him make him not mind the pain. Make him turn his head and look at me with clear eyes that see things other than suffering.

Even if it's only me he sees.

But I can't give him those things. I don't even know if I could try. I only know I wish them, and so I shall stand here, every time he finally gives up, retreats to the caves within his soul, and howls at his walls. I shall stand here and keep watch, and do nothing, until he is ready to bolster his walls again and face his days.

That is when I leave, and dream about his nights. Crawl into the caves in my own mind, and pretend that someday there will be more.