Disclaimer: I claim no owner ship of the characters, this is my way of trying to help people find peace-whether they be characters who took on lives of their own, or people who have lost a part of their heart.
For anyone curious, I am posting this nearly a year after I wrote it, it felt wrong to publish it any day but on the anniversary of Glenn Quinn's death.
Funny how even a year later it still hurt. It wasn't the stabbing every day agony of losing Buffy, or the long smouldering ache of guilt from his past. It was a slow, crushing pressure that seemed to envelop his chest and spread throughout the rest of his body. If he'd been human he would have related it to someone sitting on his chest, staunching every breath and making his ribs creak in protest.
Today, one year later exactly, Angel pulled out a bottle of Irish whiskey and set it on the table. One glass and then another joined it. Unblinking, he poured the liquid into each glass, filling them halfway and then set the bottle down. He froze.
"Why do you live like this?"
He felt his throat tighten at the memory. Why had he lived like that? Addicted to every seedy vice in the underworld there was. Gambling, drinking, getting in with the wrong crowd. Knowing people who no sane person would go near; Doyle had hit rock bottom a long time ago. It took mind splitting headaches accompanied with pictures to start him back to the person he had been.
Angel smiled bitterly, despite all his faults at the core Doyle was the best man he'd known. Smart, funny, loyal, caring, empathetic and so much more. He could have been more than a fading memory and old shadow. He could have gotten out of the life he'd put himself in, cleaned himself up, but Doyle hadn't believed he was worth it.
Doyle's confidence had shattered once he'd found out his heritage, he lost everything; his job, wife, former existence and even some trust in both himself and those around him. He slipped and started falling.
He could have climbed back up though and that was probably what saddened Angel the most. Doyle had had the potential to save himself from the dark life he was leading, and now all that potential, effort and life was gone, wasted in the bottom of a bottle of cheap liqueur.
Angel traced the top of one glass with a finger. His friend had been at rock bottom, but he'd died a hero. More so, Angel knew he would never forget what his friend had been, become and was trying to change into.
Doyle was an example of what happened when you didn't realize that all life was precious. Even if you felt you couldn't clean up, couldn't stop your addiction and couldn't change who you were, it was always a choice. It hurt to know that his friend had had that choice and didn't take it.
Doyle had been cleaning himself up, slowly but surely. Now Angel would never know what his friend could have become.
Doyle had died a hero, but he'd died a hero that hadn't believed he was worth anything.
And with that thought, Angel lifted both glasses from the table and walked to the sink, pouring them both down the drain.
In loving memory of Glenn Quinn, I hope your example will prove to others that life is always precious and when you hurt yourself, you always hurt others. May you have found peace and may your friends and family find peace and comfort in your memory.
I may not believe in God, but I believe there is a reason, and that reason is why I still want to hold you in my arms every day, why I sit at your gravestone and talk like you're in front of me, and laugh at jokes you would have said.- Anonymous