Letters from My Father
Part 2

Buffy looked up into gigantic lizard eyes, eyes the size of houses that loomed in a perfect darkness. If not for those eyes she couldn't see her hand in front of her face; hadn't, in fact, for probably days. It was hard to keep track of time here. Ugliest eyes she had ever seen, but it was a relief of a sort to see something. She sighed.

"So...he's dead," she said, "And I'd be about snack size, right? Goldfish size? You know what the best kind are? Those cheddar ones,"

"He made a final confession," grated the voice.

"About your breath? Honesty is so important when it comes to hygiene issues. I guarantee nobody else would say it as nicely,"

"He never loved you,"

Buffy exploded in laughter. She enjoyed this for a while, gasping and straining on the chains. Finally she caught her breath.

"You need propaganda lessons,"

"He was incapable of human love,"

"Oh!" Buffy giggled, "It's a technicality! OK, then, I guess you have a point. He never REALLY loved me," she looked up solemnly, "I have a question," she said.

The eyes blinked. An enormous unseen cold uncoiled slowly; the sound was a silken gliding of scales, like a sliding of polished bone on bone.

"Yes," it purred.

"Were you dropped on your head when you were hatched?"

There was a bellowing snarl, a blast of truly disgusting air. "I could eat you-"

"Then do it," Buffy yawned. "Hey, don't you guys have tunes down here, or anything?"

"He is suffering,"

Angel was suddenly in front of her, writhing, sweat dripping from him, crying out in a panic of pain, his voice raw. Buffy bit the inside of her lip, drawing blood. She grinned wryly.

"I thought you said he was dead,"

"He will be,"

"Whatever," she shrugged, then sniffed. "Man, it's stuffy down here,"

"You have changed your tune,"

"Well, I mean, look. It's not that big a deal. I got what I wanted,"

"You...you wanted him..."

"I wanted strong babies! I got them. Yeah, we had a good time, but everybody always said we were doomed anyway. I guess it was going to happen at some point,"

"I will show you-"

"Yeah, yeah, you keep showing me his suffering. What about MY suffering, huh? These chains are cheap metal. I can FEEL my wrists turning green,"

"I will increase-"

"Sure, if you want to spend the energy. See, I have personal memories of him killing people, threatening my friends, my family. He was my enemy at one point, the worst one I ever had. And just between us, he was starting to get a roving eye lately. I don't really mind watching him squirm a little," she lowered her voice, "The thing is, I had to fight him. He's pretty tough. So if you want to wear yourself out with him, that's your deal,"

The image of Angel faded, but not before Buffy saw his body relax, the pain gone. He hung limply in the chains. Maybe he could get some rest.

"And now, for you,"

Buffy looked up with a warm smile, a smile of relief.

"Let's see what you got," she said.