Blood Roses Community Forum Index

"It started with a girl..."


 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Wesley's Diary

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Blood Roses Community Forum Index -> Writers' Workshop
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
LisaP
Forum Ghost
Moderator


Joined: 03 Sep 2003
Posts: 645
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:45 pm    Post subject: Wesley's Diary Reply with quote

A short vignette that should have turned into something longer, but once again the muse just slunk off somewhere and refused to return *sigh*, leaving a big gap near the end. So here is what I was left with...

Wesley's Diary


I hardly know why I’ve started to keep this occasional journal. After all, it’s not like I’m a Watcher any longer – and I already keep a diary of my day to day life and also a work journal of demonic happenings. Perhaps I’m just a journal junkie. Cordelia would tell me to get a life – and as in so many other things – she is probably right. Still, once a Watcher, always a Watcher I suppose. I feel impelled to record my observations and opinions about that most mythic of demons – the vampire.

Of course, there is the argument that my observations of this particular vampire are intrinsically of no value except with regard to those who are interested only in Angel himself. After all – an ensouled vampire is not exactly typical of the species, and Angel’s behaviour can no way be described as typical. However, in the short time I have worked alongside him (see how I already dispense with the usual Watcher terminology of ‘it’ as opposed to ‘he’) I have come to the conclusion that despite Angel’s soul he remains a valid object for study. He is – after all – still a vampire. The fact that he suppresses many of his baser instincts does not mean that he does not experience them still. And I have watched some of these struggles, sometimes from quarters rather closer than I would wish.

It has become more and more apparent to me that our knowledge and understanding of the vampire has come largely from what could actually be described as a sub-species of the demon. Most of our studies are from a distance – observations almost random in their occurrences. Those vampires careless enough to be observed seem to have been - without exception – young vampires, fledglings not cunning enough to keep themselves unseen. And the descriptions imply that they all have been minions, little more than teeth on legs. To my knowledge there has never been a recorded instance of an elder vampire, either a Sire or a Childe, successfully studied. So, here I am, working alongside a vampire who has achieved his quarter millennium, who is a master vampire and sire. And even taking into account Angel’s soul, he is so vastly different and superior a creature to others of his species that not to record my observations of him would be nothing short of criminal.

-0-

It’s like having a magnificent tiger in your own home. This tiger is tame – domesticated almost – placid and in its own way even affectionate. You can stroke it, even scratch it behind the ears and under its chin. But if it growls for some reason, then you immediately go on red alert, and only relax when it becomes placid again. Even then, you stay watchful for a few days until its behaviour convinces you that the growl meant nothing. And then something else will happen – the tiger idly kills something – a rat, or a small dog or whatever, with no effort at all, and you go back onto red alert.

Working with Angel is a lot like living with that tiger. He’s a magnificent creature, beautiful on the eye, and his quietness and apparent gentleness make him seem tame. He’s also fiercely intelligent and steeped in knowledge and understanding that accompany his 250 years. A rare and stimulating companion. He’s so controlled that it’s easy to forget that he could kill you in the blink of an eye. And then something happens that reminds you of that fact.

Today we were all in the office, and Cordelia was criticising Angel’s lack of commercial acumen. This is a familiar refrain, and normally Angel hangs his head and simply looks apologetic. Perhaps Cordelia was in a particularly bad mood, but her criticism was even sharper than usual, verging on abusiveness in fact. Angel finally made as though to leave the office and Cordelia grabbed at his sleeve in temper. Angel growled at her. We both froze. He immediately apologised – profusely – but the damage was done. Cordelia tried to brazen it out, but it was obvious how he had frightened her. She was uncharacteristically quiet for the rest of the day, even though Angel left the office soon after the incident and didn’t return until we were just packing up to go home for the evening.

-0-

I nearly died today. If it hadn’t been for Angel I would certainly have been killed through my own stupid carelessness. As it is, I’m entirely unscathed – apart from a near nervous breakdown – and Angel is holed up alone in his apartment nursing a myriad of vicious, deep wounds that he won’t let either me or Cordelia look at, let alone treat.

Cordelia had a vision of a Turok demon attacking a group of homeless teenagers. I already know of this breed of demon and as there was no time to waste I didn’t bother with any prior research. We, or rather, Angel, killed the demon and saved the teenagers. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that Turoks hunt in packs, and at least five other demons descended upon us just as we were leaving the young people. Everything happened so fast that I can’t really record with any accuracy the actual course of events. I dimly remember being the rope in a tug of war between Angel and one of the biggest Turok demons for a few moments. If Angel had lost then I’d have been carried off as stock for their larders. Anyway, Angel managed to defeat all five Turoks – he must be even more powerful than I realised – but not without taking some horrific looking injuries from the Turok claws, ten inch diamond hard slashing mechanisms.

Somehow we got back to the offices, and Angel insisted that he would be alright and that he’d see us tomorrow.

Perhaps vampires simply don’t feel pain the way humans do. After all, they are essentially corpses. However, this doesn’t really tie in with what I understand about their sensory perceptions. Angel’s senses are all far more heightened than a humans – beyond what we could imagine, I suspect – wouldn’t he feel pain more acutely too?

It’s no good. I simply can’t leave for home without checking that Angel is OK.

-0-

I’ve just left Angel.

Either I was unusually silent when going down to his apartment, or more likely, he was too distracted to register my presence. I think I have the answer to my earlier question on whether or not vampires feel pain that much. They do.

-0-

It’s a most disturbing fact that normal human ploys don’t work with vampires.

For example, if one arrives in the office feeling upset for any reason one can normally hide it with a bright smile and a cheery hello. Not when your employer is a vampire. Angel ignores the human façade and can sense exactly how one is really feeling. As I say, disturbing, to say the least. Especially as I suspect he can do it with any strong human emotion….

Angel’s learned to suppress his natural reactions to such an extent that most of the time we aren’t aware of those highly refined senses of his. However, very occasionally I notice a slight flaring of his nostrils as he picks up something from the air around him. I don’t think Cordelia is aware of it – and am heartily glad for her sake that she isn’t, particularly as I have noticed how Angel keeps his distance from her at certain times of the month, presumably when she is ovulating or menstruating.

Of course, his sharp hearing, perfect night vision and astounding sense of smell are invaluable to us in the course of our work. Angel can track a scent better than a bloodhound, and it’s almost impossible to ambush him. This should make me feel extremely safe – but in actuality it worries me greatly. I know that if circumstances changed – if Angel lost that precious, fragile soul – then we’d never be safe from him. Angel could find us no matter how hard we tried to hide from him. It’s best not to dwell upon this uncomfortable thought, especially as Angel tries his hardest to reassure us that he is perfectly safe to be around. But I know he is aware that both Cordelia and I carry holy water with us – the supernatural equivalent of Mace – and that we both wear crosses around our necks. Of course, we would be foolish not to do so, given our demon-hunting activities, but that doesn’t explain why we continue to do so when we are in the office, during the day, when Angel is usually asleep downstairs.

-0-

I have a helper. Bizarre really, Angel has noticed my observations of him. Instead of being offended or angry, he has offered to answer my questions as honestly as he can. He says that he’s heartily sick of reading so much rubbish about vampires – even in textbooks and other Watcher diaries – although how he’s been able to get hold of such documents is probably a subject left well alone.

It’s strange, despite Angel’s efforts to appear human, he is irritated when he comes across the stereotypes that form much of vampire mythology. I once saw him get quite heated in his denial of the whole vampire in a coffin stereotype with Cordelia – who after all had just been teasing him.

So now all I have to do is nerve myself to ask Angel about aspects of vampirism and vampire behaviour when they occur to me. I wonder if I will.

-0-

Sometimes I feel like Alice through the Looking Glass – “Curiouser and Curiouser”.

The more I study Angel, the more complexities and surprises I uncover about him, and about vampires in general. I admit that it does disturb me to discover that despite his soul, Angel retains much more of a vampire’s instinctive behaviour than I had first believed.

Cordelia had a vision of a vampire’s nest in downtown LA which Angel duly cleared out in a ruthless and highly efficient manner. He dispatched six vampires in as many minutes. Afterwards, I asked him whether he felt any regret at killing what were, after all, his own kind. He seemed surprised at this gap in my knowledge of his species.
“I don’t feel any kinship with those vampires, Wesley. And before you ask, it’s nothing to do with the fact that I have a soul. Vampires only bond with those that they make, or are made from, other vampires that are not connected by blood are seen as competitors – either avoided or killed.”

I wondered if this meant that Angel would have wanted to kill the nest of vampires even without Cordelia’s vision.

“Wes – I kill every vampire I come across, regardless of visions, and regardless of their threat to humanity.”

That succinct explanation made a cold shiver run down my spine. Somehow I thought that Angel would have controlled this instinctively murderous behaviour in the same way that he no longer drinks human blood. There’s no logic in this thinking – after all, Angel is still protecting humanity by destroying vampires, does it matter that he would kill them anyway because he still sees them as competitors for his territory? A little voice inside me says that it does matter, but I’m not sure why.

-0-

Just what is Angel?

On one level – the one that we see most often – Angel is a quiet, controlled, considered creature. He’s incredibly well read, speaks at least six human languages, including Latin. He’s a talented artist, to the extent that if he were human he could probably make his living from it. He’s serious, but there is a dry sense of humour lurking underneath that brooding exterior, and on the very rare occasion that we see him smile it’s impossible to think of him as anything other than a devastatingly handsome young man.
He’s extremely physically graceful, yet awkward and shy when forced into social situations, yet his demeanour can be sympathetic and even comforting in times of crisis.

On another level Angel is an incredibly efficient fighting machine. He’s supremely comfortable in his own body, not surprising as he’s had 250 years to get to know it, and he uses those preternatural abilities to their best advantage when tracking and killing evil demons. There’s a controlled violence in his fighting that speaks of an ice-cold brain working out the most effective methods of dispatching his enemies. However, now and again something will happen that causes his own demon to emerge. Then it’s a different story altogether. Then there is a kind of rage that envelops him and God help any creature that decides to attack him. Angel will literally tear them apart – limb from limb.

This leads me to believe that on yet another level – this is like unpeeling a supernatural onion of sorts – Angel has a primal aspect to his nature that has more in common with that tiger than with any human being. There have been times, thankfully so rare that I can recall them all vividly, that Angel has seemed more like a wild animal than the civilized creature that he usually presents to the world. I understand that when Angel was regurgitated back from the Hell dimension that he had been sucked into courtesy of Acathla, he was completely feral. I never saw this – but I can well believe it.

Finally, and most disturbingly of all, I believe Angel when he says that he and Angelus are one and the same.
Cordelia’s assertions that “He’s not you” are not met by denial by Angel. At the beginning I thought it was because he agreed with her, but now I’m sure that he doesn’t argue with her because she needs to separate the creature he was in the past from the hero that she thinks he is now.
Angel has never tried to deny who he is, but it’s sometimes difficult to reconcile the person he is today with what I have read of his exploits in historical documents. And sometimes it isn’t.
Occasionally I have caught a glimpse of something shifting deep down in Angel’s eyes. I can’t explain what – neither would I want to – but whatever it is makes the blood in my body run cold. The only time I’ve ever caught a glimpse of Angelus was when that stupid actress drugged Angel, and Cordelia assures me that the high as a kite version of Angel didn’t bear any real resemblance to the calculating evil that he became after he lost his soul in Sunnydale. Even so, it terrified us to realise that, even with his soul, how Angel can become suddenly so viciously cruel if he loses control of himself.

-0-

The Vampire. Watchers have been fascinated for aeons regarding this particular demon. Sometimes their diaries betray an interest that strays from how to track and kill, and into more – shall we say – esoteric areas. Many of the diaries show obvious signs of censorship – pages removed – but even so, there is enough left that leads a careful reader to wonder exactly where the fascination with this particular creature has led them.

I’ve been reading part of the diaries of a nineteenth century Watcher, Tobias Gilbert. He makes an extremely covert mention of vampire blood – and its effect on a human. We were never taught anything about the properties of vampire blood other than how it is used when turning, and how blood-related vampires are bonded in some way.

I plucked up the courage to ask Angel if he could shed any light on what Gilbert was hinting of in his diaries. Angel gave me a strange look and sighed.
“I sometimes wonder if the Council gives its Watchers and Slayers just enough information to get themselves killed. But on this occasion I guess they might have a degree of wisdom in withholding certain pieces of information.” He looked at me thoughtfully and continued.

“You know already that we are creatures of magic – outside of the natural forces of nature. There is no way that I should be able to be standing here now talking to you. My body should be long rotted to extinction. Yet here I am, animated by the magic in my blood. Did you ever wonder, Wes, what effect the blood of a vampire could have on another creature?”

It had never occurred to me that – outside of using their blood to turn a human into another vampire – that a vampire’s blood would harbour any other properties. I’ve seen Angel bleed countless times, and apart from the fact that his blood seems darker and thicker than normal, it does otherwise seem to be just blood. Even as I thought about it, I felt stupid for not realising that a substance that has the power to inhabit and animate a drained corpse probably had other magical qualities.

Angel seemed to understand my confusion. “There have been occasions where a vampire has allowed a human to taste them – without taking the human’s blood. You know the process of turning, Wesley. There is no risk of the human becoming a vampire accidentally.”

“But why? Why would anyone want to drink a vampire’s blood?” I hoped that I just sounded interested, but guessed that Angel detected the disgust that I was trying so hard to disguise. However, he didn’t seem offended. Rather, he seemed amused.

“Wes – you are such a straight guy. I bet you never even smoked weed at college did you? Vampire blood – it gives a human the kind of rush that not even the most refined class A drug can start to emulate. And the older the vampire – the greater the effect. I’m told that it’s like flying.”

For a moment I was thunderstruck, and then the questions began to arise in my brain, the first of which was “But why would a vampire allow a human to feed from them?”
Angel raised an elegant eyebrow. “Wes, it’s not exactly feeding…we’re talking about a few drops here. I doubt severely that any human could stomach more than that. But in answer to your question, the vampire in question doesn’t normally have a lot of choice in the matter.”

It transpired that for aeons there have been humans – vampire hunters, and shockingly, Watchers – who have set out to not kill, but capture vampires with the express reason of milking them for their magical blood. I’ve never heard even a rumour of such a thing at the council, but I’ve no reason to disbelieve what Angel is telling me. For the very first time it makes me look at Angel and his kin as something other than killers. This is like reading about those poor bears in China that are kept in tiny cages and drained of vital bodily secretions – predator turned victim. Angel shakes his head at me.
“Don’t start to feel too sorry for the vampires. OK, it’s not something I’d want to happen to me – not that it would ever have been very likely, it’s usually only young minions that are foolish enough to get caught – but our blood has other properties in common with powerful narcotics. It’s addictive, much in the same way as our bite is”. I’m not sure, but Angel seems to be looking particularly hard at me.
“Very addictive, Wes. Once they taste the blood, humans can’t wait to try it again – and again. That kind of addiction can only lead in one direction. The human ends up as a meal”.
Is Angel warning me?

-0-

Re-reading some of my earlier entries into this journal, I could see why anyone else perusing them would wonder why I stay working with Angel. The fact is, Angel tries so hard to be good. He is the living (well – in the preternatural sense of vampires being living, that is) embodiment of atonement. The fact that he continues to struggle against his baser instincts while attempting to atone for his past crimes makes him even more heroic in my view. And make no mistake – Angel has all the qualities of a Shakespearian hero – including being tragically flawed. This heroism alone would make me want to be at his side, but there are more personal reasons too. Angel respects me. He values me, both for my skills and for me as a person. And for that he commands my loyalty to both his cause and to him.
I suspect that Cordelia, if pressed to within an inch of her life might admit the same. There is no doubt in my mind that we are both better people for our association with Angel, stronger – and happier. Quite an admission, but true nonetheless.

I now realise that this occasional Journal has moved far away from its original purpose, which was to study a vampire at close quarters, and become a series of observations about a remarkable individual. Because of this, it seems inappropriate for me to continue writing about Angel – even with his tacit permission. I’m no longer an objective observer, you see. Angel is no longer simply a fascinating subject to study. He is my friend.
_________________
LisaP


Occasionally, I'm callous and strange
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Fran
Warrior


Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lisa,

Missed reading your stories, enjoyed this .

I think it's finished, the last line gives closure.
_________________
Fran
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Adjovi
Warrior


Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...I absolutely loved this. You have Wesley's voice just perfect.

These are my favorite bits:

However, in the short time I have worked alongside him (see how I already dispense with the usual Watcher terminology of ‘it’ as opposed to ‘he’)

I love the clincal descriptions in which Wesley starts off writing that eventually evolve into something more.

But if it growls for some reason, then you immediately go on red alert, and only relax when it becomes placid again.

Yet...clearly he never forgets what Angel really is.

I think I have the answer to my earlier question on whether or not vampires feel pain that much. They do.

This was so subtle and succint.

And this? Awesome beyond words:

“Very addictive, Wes. Once they taste the blood, humans can’t wait to try it again – and again. That kind of addiction can only lead in one direction. The human ends up as a meal”.
Is Angel warning me?


I'm just in awe of this. I have to admit I love anything that explores Angel's vampirism--one of my favorite bits about fanfic--the abliity to do that. Just a great job! Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
The Librarian
Oracle


Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 785
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lovely piece of work, Lisa, and Fran is right. It's so good to see another one of your stories.

The ending is perfect, and that is why your Muse downed her pen, and went off for a stiff drink. No need to tell her off. She did a grand job.

Jo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LisaP
Forum Ghost
Moderator


Joined: 03 Sep 2003
Posts: 645
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you ladies for your kind words. I did as Madame Jo suggested, and got the ending sorted out pretty early on, but I had wanted to explore what would have happened if Wesley gave into temptation and managed to ingest a drop of Angel's blood - but the words just wouldn't come! Mad

Thanks Adjovi for your comments - I confess that I find Wesley the easiest of all the characters to write, somehow he just chats away in my head, while the others hang back mutely.
_________________
LisaP


Occasionally, I'm callous and strange
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
The Librarian
Oracle


Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 785
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I had wanted to explore what would have happened if Wesley gave into temptation and managed to ingest a drop of Angel's blood - but the words just wouldn't come!


Well then. Now we have another story to look forward to!

Yippee!!!!

Very Happy

My suggestion helped? Wow! I'm so glad...

Cool

Jo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Blood Roses Community Forum Index -> Writers' Workshop All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group