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Angels, instead (PG)

Technically an Apocalypse fic, for Angels from the realms of glory and or Ding dong merrily ("Verily, the sky is riv'n with angels singing.") PG, pure post-series Spike/Buffy having a chat in the face of certain whatever.


"Spike?"

"Yes, Slayer?"

"I'm pretty sure this is the Apocalypse."

He looks upwards, which he's been trying to avoid. But no, she's right. The sky isn't full of sunlight (which if you're a vampire has its upside, but considering it's half past noon in bloody southern Cali in June is at least worthy of comment). No, it's full of…

"Angels?"

"Uh huh," she says, uncertainly. "I mean, I'm assuming." She's backed up against him, shoulder blades to his chest, both of them looking up, because there's really nowhere else.

Yeah. They don't look like demons. They look good. In sort of a searing, boil-away-the-flesh-of-the-unworthy kind of way.

"I thought they'd be more… golden?" says Buffy. And yes, it's a hell of a lot more interlocking blue/red than Spike had in mind when he imagined the heavenly host. (Not terribly often, but there's a world of Bible study still lurking in his subconscious, and these things do come up over the decades.) Cherubim blue, seraphim red? Is that how it works? Maybe archangels are gold? Maybe they'll see one before the end. He's not overly keen on that scenario, honestly.

"So, in terms of a plan?" he says. Not for the first time. She shrugs, moving warm against him. Solid, warm, alive. It's how he's planning on keeping her, despite the heavens.

The angels start to sing. The sky cracks.

"I'm thinking research," she says. "Is there something about a seven-headed beast next? Cuz that part, I know how to deal with."

It's a start.





If you want to know what these angels are like, you need to look at Jean Fouquet's extremely eerie Madonna and child, which looks a lot more modern than 1452. And is kind of NSFW, because although she's allegedly breast feeding, it looks a lot less functional.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
zanthinegirl
Dec. 14th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
I had to google that painting-- yikes. Who knew that they had silicon breast implants in the early 15th century?

They look good. In sort of a searing, boil-away-the-flesh-of-the-unworthy kind of way

Nicely/ appropriately creepy!
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 14th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ach, sorry, I meant to link (it is now). The model for the Madonna is the French King's mistress. I wonder what he saw in her?

Thanks for reading!
velvetwhip
Dec. 14th, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! Your Buffy is so perfectly in character!

Also, I looked at that painting and you are so right - it's quite eerie and very ahead of its time.


Gabrielle
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 14th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!

It's quite an unforgettable picture. Fouquet does paint things that are kind of in that style in other places, but much less dramatically so. Even the other half of the diptych, really isn't like that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melun_Diptych. But they are in different museums now, so the Virgin sits alone, and memorable!
slaymesoftly
Dec. 14th, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
LOL That's our girl. Face that apocalypse and spit in its eye. Angels? We don't need no stinkin' angels....

ETA - and, um, yeah. Not your average Madonna and Child for sure! Speaking of creepy....

Edited at 2013-12-14 10:00 pm (UTC)
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 14th, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'm backing Buffy in this one.

It's a very memorable painting. She always reminds me of a chess piece. Crossed with porn.
shapinglight
Dec. 14th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC)
Just goes to show that angels aren't necessarily a good thing.
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 14th, 2013 11:16 pm (UTC)
Nor Angels, come to that. ;)
chasingdemons
Dec. 14th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
Wow. This was a really beautifully written snippet.
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 15th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
dragonyphoenix
Dec. 15th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
"Is there something about a seven-headed beast next? Cuz that part, I know how to deal with." *laughs in delight*
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 15th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
*g* You have to go with your strengths, you know. And a big axe.
rebcake
Dec. 15th, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
I have every confidence in Buffy, though I share Spike's lack of enthusiasm for meeting an archangel, whatever fabulous colors they might come in! They might be Good, but I'll put money down that they are Not Pleasant.

Lovely. Funny and scary — just what I like in my Buffyverse.

Your sentence following "assuming" doesn't quite look all there.
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 15th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
Oh weird, it's just one missing word. It has returned now.

I'm pretty sure you don't want to meet an archangel. Flaming sword or not.
singedbylife
Dec. 15th, 2013 07:10 am (UTC)
Yikes, the poor person who painted this was either very artistic, or not at all. Lovely sb fag!
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 15th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
Fouquet made a good living from his painting for a few decades; I think he's just so unusual we're uncomfortable with his style. Although the model for this is the French king's mistress, so he may have had some external influences in the design!

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!
thisficklemob
Dec. 15th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
Those are some creepy angels.

Research to the rescue!
thisficklemob
Dec. 15th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
And speaking of creepy, on closer inspection I believe it's supposed to be baby fat, but it sure looked on first glance like a bit of her scarf is wrapped around the baby Jesus's neck.
red_satin_doll
Dec. 16th, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
I'm familiar with the painting although I never paid much attention to the angels before (yeah, that breast kind of pulls focus, doesn't it?) It wasn't unusual for kings, nobility and the wealthy to commission paintins featuring their mistresses, but they were often done for the client's private delectation rather than altarpieces (for obvious reasons.) I'm pretty sure that the king in question failed to see the irony in this instance. (Not that I'm Christian, at the moment, but wasn't Jesus sort of clear on the issue of fidelity re: the Woman at the Well? Not that that's ever stopped anyone.)

Using a medieval painting as inspiration is 1) very cool and 2) appropriate to the tone of menace in the story. they were originally feared as the ones who carried out God's judgements, casting people to hell or guiding them to heaven - guardians of the gate, so to speak, carrying flaming swords just as Spike and Buffy speculate. (hence the phrase "avenging angel" ) They're right to be a little concerned!

The gap between that and our contemporary hugs and puppies and rainbows version is huge; and I think that really got established in the 19th century.
brutti_ma_buoni
Dec. 16th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
Well, interestingly Agnes Sorel's patron, Charles VII, wasn't the commissioner of this piece, which I'd imagine made things more complicated! Not to mention that she was very likely dead when it was painted - it's an interesting model compared with the Renaissance mistresses as, for example, classical goddesses (I'm thinking Diane de Poitiers above all, but there are lots of others), where they were in a position to do the painter some good. Her tomb effigy is unearthly pale and beautiful too, so maybe it's all part of the same memorial.

It's the solidity of the angels that I always remember from this - not humans with wings, even those spectacular peacock wings you often see on medieval angels, but something that could fill the sky completely. And you'd never get away from them...
red_satin_doll
Dec. 16th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
it's an interesting model compared with the Renaissance mistresses as, for example, classical goddesses (I'm thinking Diane de Poitiers above all, but there are lots of others),

Definitely a huge shift in thinking from "the body is shameful" to reclaiming an ideal of antiquity and "the body is something to be celebrated". But as long as their was still a guise of metaphor, or "costume" i.e. a god, nymph, etc.

What they may or may not have realized in the Renaissance and later was that in Classical Greece, goddesses were depicted nude but real women were mostly housebound, and swaddled from head to foot when they went out in public. The "birthplace of democracy" was no friend to women although there were exceptions to the rule.
snogged
Dec. 17th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
Oooh! That's an eerie image of angels.

Nice work on the story! Had a nice creepy tint to it.
relurker
Dec. 18th, 2013 07:33 am (UTC)
Good!
Also, I always appreciate a "classic" source of inspiration...
: )
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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