They'll probably put that on his tombstone, and quite soon he suspects.
"Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, He tried."
He'd shouted a warning when he saw Angelus appear behind the unsuspecting
Cordelia, felt the dropped food splatter warmly along his leg as the
monster pressed hard on the side of her neck, and she sagged, unconscious.
He'd rushed to her rescue, tried to take on Angelus like some kind
of hero, he was an ass to ever think that he had a snowball's chance
in hell against an inhumanly strong predator who had centuries of practice
at subduing humans. Still, he'd tried.
And been swatted like a fly. You couldn't call it a fight: he'd swung,
missed, felt a brief thrill when he managed to land one solid blow --
and then Angelus hit him and the lights went out.
He's not dead yet. Sure of that at least. He's reasonably sure the
afterlife doesn't feature being tied to a chair, gagged and blindfolded.
At least he hopes not. So: still alive, and not actually in very much
pain, considering. Both states are almost certainly temporary. He winces
as he recalls Angelus' more inventive atrocities he'd read about in
the Watchers' Chronicles.
His straining ears detect a door closing somewhere not too far away.
Heavy footsteps coming toward him and then there's a presence in the
room with him that makes the hairs on his neck rise. Unbreathing, avid.
Wesley desperately wants to say something, anything to break the silence,
but the gag in his mouth prevents that. Not that it really matters;
words aren't going to save him. Just let it be quick, he prays without
His only warning is the sudden displacement of air as Angelus closes
the gap between them. Wesley barely has time to register his collar
being ripped open before the pain of teeth slicing into his throat overwhelms
him. It hurts, God, it's pure agony. Feels exactly like what it is:
like being eaten alive, slowly. There's no romance here: Angelus is
a messy eater, grunting and slurping greedily at the wound, steely fingers
holding him in place as he bites deeper, gulps him down, bit by painful
Wesley doesn't fight. After all, it's no more than he deserves.
Because he should have killed Angel weeks ago. Should have acted when
he first saw the signs, and dealt with Angel himself. But instead he'd
hesitated, waited too long. He doesn't mind his own death (though he
wishes it didn't have to hurt so much). But the thought of Cordelia
dead, of all the people who are going to die by Angelus' merciless fangs
because of his vacillation, aches worse than the teeth.
So he endures the pain, welcomes the weakness he feels spreading through
him, the slow fading of sensation. Glad to have it over, at long last.
And feels cheated when instead of death and oblivion there's shock
and renewed pain as the fangs come out and the raw wounds are exposed
to the stinging air. He's dazzled a moment later when the hood is removed.
Angelus looks down at him with yellow eyes and there's blood on his
fangs. Bright and fresh: his blood. Wesley wonders what game they're
playing now as the demon pulls on his human guise. Why can't he just
get it over with?
"Wesley," Angelus says as he runs a human tongue over his
teeth to clean away the last remnants of blood. "I'm sorry."
Wesley stares at him in utter horror.
Angel flinches from the betrayal in Wesley's eyes at the realization
that it wasn't Angelus who'd fed on him. It might have been kinder to
pretend to be the demon. But right now he doesn't feel safe invoking
Angelus in any way.
Poor Wes. He was really sorry it had to be him.
But, the hunger has shrunken his world bit by bit, removing his choices
one by one, day by day, hour by hour, till he's down to a pitiful few
alternatives, none of them good.
The trip back from Sunnydale had been an eternity of growing need,
with Alice's terror and heat calling to him only inches away. He'd sedated
her again to make moving her from the car to the utility room easier
and it had been torture, holding himself back from the pulse he could
sense beating under her dark skin. It had taken all his control to leave
her there unharmed.
He'd crept into his quarters quietly, aware of Cordy and Wes upstairs
in the office and praying they wouldn't come down. He'd drunk everything
in his refrigerator, licked the containers clean, and collapsed in his
bed, exhausted. His last thoughts were that he'd have to think of some
excuse to send them away for a few days, until it's finished one way
His dreams were unrestful, filled with blood and Cordelia. Visions
of Cordelia flushed with terror and arousal as he holds her down. Of
her screaming his name as he… Then he was awake, and her fear
in the air, trickling under the door as she hurried past. Her fear mixed
with the sewer smell, and he'd known immediately. Gone after her and
caught her, just in time.
When he'd touched her, when he felt the fragile architecture of her
neck under his hand as he pressed on her carotid artery with old expertise,
his hands felt like they'd caught fire. As she collapsed he'd had to
catch her to keep her from hitting her head on the desk and he'd felt
the flames moving under his skin, eating away at his resolve. He'd bent
forward, fascinated by Cordelia's face gone slack and perfectly helpless.
All he could think of was how much he wanted her, wanted her, wanted
her; how much he wanted to drink her down and put out the flame and
show her how much he loved her…
Wesley had saved them both.
Having to deal with Wesley's brave if inept attack quenched the fire
momentarily. He'd regained control, for just long enough to let him
secure both of them. But afterwards, sitting in his office, trying to
work out what he's going to do now, the hunger reignited. And he kept
thinking about Cordelia, downstairs, on his bed. Helpless. Waiting.
<Two birds in the hand> Angelus whispered.
There was no more blood in the refrigerator, the butchers were all
closed and the hunger screamed for a sacrifice. Nothing but bad choices.
Cordelia, or Wesley.
And Wesley was the lucky winner.
Even after the dreams, the fantasies full of blood, blood, blood, it
shocked him, how good Wesley tasted. How deeply satisfying it was to
have his teeth in living flesh again, to have hot human blood spurt
into his mouth. To swallow, and feel the vitality spread through his
body, warming his cold flesh, bringing him as close to life as he can
Very glad that he hadn't fed on the Asian woman -- was it only last
night? If he had he'd be a murderer now, not Angelus, but him. He doesn't
think he'd have been able to stop for some anonymous stranger, it was
hard enough to stop when he knew it was Wes he was feeding on. His friend
struggling in his grip, heart racing in, panic filling his blood with
sweet adrenaline. No delirium to blame it on this time. He made the
decision, to do this…
And the demon hasn't been this happy in a long time. It luxuriates
in his inner torment, in his victim's pain, egging him on to take more.
To do more. To sate his lust as well as his hunger on the former Watcher.
Because he can. Because Wesley can't hate him more than he already does.
And now he's looking at him accusingly, with those big blue eyes. Angel
wishes he'd left the hood on.
"Sorry," Angel says, again. In an atypical display of inhuman
strength he lifts Wesley, still in the chair and carries him into his
office. Sets him down carefully beside the desk, shuts the door and
draws the blinds before removing the gag.
"You're not Angelus," Wesley says coldly.
"Not more than I ever was, no." It's a relief to speak the
truth. He hopes Wesley will hear it, but even now, the hatred in his
eyes is softening.
"Angel. Why have you done this? How could you?"
"I've been losing control for weeks Wes. I know you noticed. The
hunger has been getting worse and worse…"
"Why didn't you say anything? We might have been able to help."
The statement annoys him because it's so untrue, on so many levels.
He moves forward, smiles meanly when Wesley can't keep himself from
"Why didn't *you* say anything, huh Wes? 'Cause maybe you were
scared you'd have to deal with what I really am, not what you want me
to be? You like to pretend there's two of us Angel the good guy, and
Angelus the vampire. Both you and Cordy do it. But it's not true."
Wesley's eyes widened. "Oh, God, Cordelia…" Angel shakes
his head angrily.
"Cordelia's fine. She's downstairs. I would never hurt her."
Wesley takes a deep breath.
"So what will happen now? You can't keep us here forever."
"Don't need to. I've got the solution to all our problems. The
moon's full tomorrow night. Just one day and then it will be over, one
way or the other."
She's gone, but he's still here. In a world of pain, but still here.
He'd been sure he was for the dustpan that time.
Spike groans as he takes his first tottering step, he feels like the
little mermaid: every footstep is like walking on knives. Feels like
there's nails and broken glass shifting in his guts. Broken bones and
it's a good thing he doesn't really need his kidneys. Only one working
eye and his coat is beyond saving. She really did a job on him. Bitch.
But he's still here.
He's fucking famished, his battered body screaming for blood to heal
itself. Can feel his skin starting to draw tight as the tissues start
to dehydrate. Going to have to do something about that, and soon.
He's been out for awhile; he can feel the night outside as he creeps
slowly down the attic stairs, through her room, shit-scared every inch
of the way that she'll come back to finish their 'conversation'. Every
instinct is urging him to run from this house, and keep running till
he finds a nice deep hole to hide in. Instead he lurches along the hallway,
smearing the wallpaper with bloody hands until he reaches the door.
Nearly loses his balance again, having to cling to the railing, as
he slowly descends one last time into Orexis' gleaming white temple
Spread-eagled on the table like a proper little sacrifice, the boy
is unconscious. She must have stopped by sometime between kicking his
arse and now because Spike smells fresh blood. When he's close enough,
he can see the deep punctures where she's been feeding on him.
Thing is, Spike could do with a pick-me-up himself and here it was
laid out for him, boy probably wouldn't even feel it if he stretched
that skinny neck and slid his fangs into the slow, steady, pulse...
Down boy, he tells himself. Not this one. There are things more important
Revenge, for instance.
He undoes the restraints and awkwardly hefts the boy over his shoulder.
Spike staggers under the weight even though Oz had never been what you'd
call robust, especially after his stay in chez Orexis. Spike looks up
at the long flight of stairs, and wonders how the hell he's going to
Something's tickling her arm, soft strokes, like being licked by a
cat. Not an unpleasant sensation, only she doesn't have a cat. Cordelia
opens her eyes, and oh shit. It's Angel bent over her arm, gently tracing
the vein from wrist to elbow with quick little dabs of his tongue. Tasting
her. Her arm that she can't pull away because of it being handcuffed
to the bedpost. Which means it's evil twin time again, and dammit she's
fresh out of holy water. "Angelus," she says. Surprised when
he stops what he's doing, sits back, and frowns.
"Angel," he corrects her a little peevishly. She's guessing
she's not the first person to make the mistake, (if it is one) recently.
"I'm still me…just." Shift behind the eyes as he turns
his attention to the cuffs. "Hope these aren't too tight."
He's padded the metal with a scarf. Reassuring, that he cares.
Not really. She's not sure that insane Angel is necessarily an improvement
on full-tilt Angelus. If she's going to be killed, she'd rather it was
"You - you knocked me out! What the hell is going on?"
"I didn't have a choice. I couldn't let you stop me." Delivered
in a tone that made it sound like it was her fault.
"Wesley, where's Wesley?" His eyes slide away from hers and
now she's really scared.
"Wesley …he's in my office." Unconsciously, he licks
his lips. "He's fine."
Cordelia suspects this is a new definition of 'fine', but lets it go
"Angel, please, we can help, whatever it is. Whatever you need.
But you've got to let us go."
"Can't. Ohhhh Cordy," tracing her face with his hand. "I've
been losing it for weeks. I think my soul is coming unstuck. Both of
you knew something was wrong, but you didn't know what to do about it
that wouldn't feel like betrayal, and I understand that; but I can't
go on like this." He smiles, and she wishes he hadn't. "But
it's O.K., cause I figured out a way to fix it."
"I needed Alice. She said she'll help me."
"That why you left her tied up in the sewer? Because she's going
to help you? Help you do what?"
"The full moon's tomorrow night. Pretty sure I can hold out till
then…" Just like she hadn't spoken.
"Hey!" she snapped. "I asked a question! What is Alice
going to help you with?" Angel comes back into focus, and his expression…is
"Ah, well, there's a ritual."
"Which involves what that you need Alice for?"
Slowly, reluctantly, he explains. Oh.
Deep breaths Cordelia, you can deal with this. You can talk him out
"There has to be another way. What about Willow? Or Giles…"
"No time, no time."
"Angel! You can't do this to Alice. She's scared of you, and you
said the sacrifice had to be willing…" He's not listening.
Apparently 'willing' has also been redefined.
"I've gotta go," he says and bends over and kisses her.
It's a long kiss, tasting of regret…and blood, Cordelia realizes
with a shudder that breaks the embrace. Angel straightens up. She has
to look away from the longing and sorrow and lust warring on his face.
"If this doesn't work…Cordelia, promise me you'll get out,
don't stop for anything, or anyone; just get out. Alert the Council."
"Try and sleep. I'll be back soon."
And he's gone. Leaving her alone, with her thoughts and she wishes
she'd stayed unconscious. She mourns lost chances. If only he'd come
to them -- or they'd spoken to him. Or anything. They've lost Angel,
and it doesn't look good for getting him back.
4:10 a.m. Giles stares in disbelief at the glowing numerals. Someone
is ringing the bloody doorbell.
"Rupert?" Joyce mumbles sleepily.
"I'll deal with it," he says grimly. If it's anything short
of the Hellmouth's opening, someone's going to die.
Downstairs, not bothering to turn the lights on because the moon's
still up, filtering through the windows. The doorbell rings again twice
before he reaches the door. He throws it open, hoping for a demon, something
he can kill with a good conscience.
Not really pleased to have his prayer answered. It's Spike. Bent over,
coughing and he stinks of alcohol and vomit and blood and Giles decides
to hell with this 'can't slay a helpless creature' buggeration, he's
going to stake the bastard. His mouth is open to curse him when Spike
looks up. Giles recoils, the vampire's a horrible mess: one eye's swollen
shut, his face is bruised and covered with bloodless cuts, and so thin
it looks like it ought to be on display at the British Museum.
"Give us a hand here Rupert," he gasps and moves aside so
that Giles can see Oz, lying on the porch very pale and still.
Spike just manages to avoid Giles' fist. Raises his hands "Hey!
Hey! That the kind of thanks I get? I'm the one who rescued him."
"Help me get him inside, right," Spike says his one eye glacial.
"And Uncle Spike will tell you a little story."
When Xander woke the next morning he kept his eyes closed as he rolled
over, hoping he'd meet with Alice's warmly sleeping form and that the
last few hours would turn out to be a nightmare. But he contacts nothing
but air and cool sheets.
Goes downstairs to check the machine.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. They were supposed to do the whole Turkey
day thing at Buffy's place. She was making macaroni and cheese. No way
would she leave him like this, not Alice.
And he knows, he *knows* Angel has something to do with this. Doesn't
know what, but *something*.
He gets dressed, has coffee and tries to think. He knows the police,
not to mention his alleged friends, won't believe in her disappearance
until he can provide some evidence besides his belief, his knowledge
that she loved him and she wouldn't leave him.
So he goes out into the neighborhood, walking. It takes him all of
20 minutes to find her car, parked a few blocks away, groceries spilt
and leaking all over the back seat. He uses his mobile to call the police.
Then Giles, who cuts him off before he can say anything.
"Xander. Thank goodness you called; we have something of a situation
going on here. I'm calling an emergency meeting, how soon can you get
In the dark, in the cold, Alice has long since given up waiting for
Cordelia to come back. Shuts off thoughts of all the things that might
have happened to the girl as she slowly scratches the vevês into
the concrete. How many weeks since she did this with claws on a wooden
On one hand, it's easier doing this with a brain that's comfortable
with abstract symbols. On the other hand fingers are no damned use for
scratching concrete, and the tool she's using, half a key she'd found
in the dust, is wearing away with every careful scrape. Truthfully,
she doesn't really think it's going to work, not this time, but she
has to do something, she's not ready to die. Not now, when she's finally
found someone who loves her.
She's deeply ashamed for caving in, and saying she would do it. Wishes
she could claim it was part of some kind of strategy, get him to trust
her and then escape, but the truth is at that point, she would have
said anything. Pleading, sorrow, and barely repressed bloodlust chasing
each other across his face. Angel's mind has gone off the rails, again.
She's pissed with the whole Sunnydale crew, who ought to have known
better. The vampire's lost it at least twice before that she knows of.
How many chances does he get? How many more people have to die in the
name of Angel's salvation? What's wrong with them all that they can't
see that the world and everyone in it will be a lot safer without him
Scratch, scratch, scratch. Taking the time to make the pattern perfect,
mustn't piss off the loa when you're asking for favors. She's almost
finished when she hears footsteps, and the door opened.
Angel. As he comes in Alice hastily moves in front of the pattern.
She knows it isn't evening yet, much less moonrise. He looks at her
with those unsteady eyes and she notices there's blood on his mouth.
Poor Cordelia, Alice thinks sadly.
"Cordelia broke the lock. You're not safe in here," he tells
her. He moves towards her, with that damned syringe in his hand. She
fights panic as she shuffles backwards.
"Please, don't drug me again," she begs. To her surprise,
Angel stops, considers it.
"O.K. If you promise not to fight me."
She nods. Stands complaisantly as he puts the hypo away and brings
out the keys. She doesn't try to get away when he unlocks the padlock,
leaving the collar on. Knows her chances are slight and none, especially
since he'll be waiting for her to try something. She waits for orders.
"Come on," he says, gesturing for her to go first. Once they're
out in the tunnel he takes her by the arm and leads her through the
sewers and to what is apparently his lair. Big bed, black sheets, and
cuffed to it is Cordelia, alive; not very happy, but alive. Her eyes
widen when she sees Alice.
"Company," Angel says. He pulls out a set of handcuffs, and
locks her wrist to the footboard. Checks it.
"I've got to go out." He leaves, locking the door behind
"Hey," Alice says, twisting round to face her. They're cuffed
at opposite corners, out of reach of the other's hands. Damn.
"Sorry," Cordelia says. "I had the phone in my hand,
"Not your fault. Where do you think he's gone?"
"It's after 8. Probably to get more blood."
"Umm, I don't suppose you have a hairpin on you? Or could float
one over here?"
"We're just going to have to wait for the cavalry then."
Neither of them voicing the obvious: that it could be quite a wait,
since no one knows they're in trouble.
Giles takes another swallow of coffee, foul stuff, but he needs the
caffeine after last night.
It feels rather odd having a meeting in the bright morning light. When
they were still at Sunnydale high, before they blew it up, they usually
met in the afternoons or evenings.
Nerves and tension in the room thick enough to see. Not as much fear
as there ought to be. All those bright young faces, less concerned about
the latest threat to Life as We Know It, than their own personal pain.
Oz, Willow, Xander. Only one face missing: Buffy, again. He'd called,
left messages, but so far, no response. He feels well-worn anger at
the thought that once again she is neglecting her duties.
This morning, when Willow arrived and tried to hug him Oz pulled away
from her. Now they're sitting separately. Oz's expression is cold when
he looks at her. Giles doesn't know what's wrong between them, and strongly
suspects he doesn't want to know.
Xander justified but frightened now that he has hard evidence that
his lover didn't simply leave him. Angry at being told that yet another
apocalypse has priority.
"So let me see if I've got all this Spike's been spying on us
for months, and we're not staking him because?" Xander asks harshly.
"He saved Oz," Willow says and blushes.
"Spike is unimportant right now. I questioned him last night,
but he doesn't seem to know that much about his former employer. I've
told you everything he told me."
Spike had been in terrible shape last night, on the edge of irreversible
damage and Giles had been sorely tempted to allow the slow desiccation
to run its course until the vampire crumbled to dust. He's still not
sure why, once Oz was clearly out of danger, he'd rushed out in search
of something to feed the little monster. Spike owes his unlife to the
American obsession with 24-hour shopping. The ungrateful vampire had
gulped down the pureed liver, making faces the whole while, and then
crawled up the stairs and taken refuge in the spare room's closet. He's
still there, waiting out the sun.
"What he knows is that she's a sorceress, and that she's not human.
Apparently she's been here in Sunnydale for centuries, and she's very
excited about the winter solstice."
"December 21," Willow says.
"Thank you, which leaves us less than a month to find out what
she's planning and come up with a way to stop her."
"Wild guess: this would be Hellmouth related," Xander says.
"That's a safe conjecture, yes."
"So, what do we do? Sic Buffy on her? Blow her up during office
Giles shook his head. "We need to find everything we can about
her. From Spike's description of the geas she laid on him, she's extremely
"Well, you've got her name, so the Watchers should be able to
help out, right?"
"Umm, well. Even if we could count on their help, it's highly
unlikely that Sylvia Orexis is her true name."
"Oh. So what do we do?"
"Research!" Willow piped up. Giles nodded.
"Yes. However, right now I have a more important task for you.
We need to remove the binding she's placed on Spike."
"Or we could stake him." Xander says hopefully.
"No." Oz says, his voice coarse. He senses more than sees
Willow flinch. Good.
Oz is less angry with Spike than he is with Willow. Willow is human,
and claims to love him. Spike's a demon. A demon that's lost his only
true love, who looks like a truck hit him, then backed over him. Who'd
rescued him and carried him across half of Sunnydale.
Who'd kidnapped him, fed on him, watched him being tortured, and fucked
They need to talk.
"No," Giles echoes. "He might prove useful. Willow,
do you think you can break Orexis' spell?" The little witch looked
"Sure, it shouldn't be too hard. It's like, ah, blowing glass.
You know 'cause not many people can make a vase or bottle or one of
those cool animals, but anybody can break one. I'm going to need a few
"Whatever you need. The quicker it's done, the better."
"So, where's Buffy?" Xander asks.
Excellent question, Giles thinks.
It's dark in here, and dark is good. In the dark he can concentrate
on the pain of broken bones and rent flesh. Can focus on his hunger,
nowhere near being sated by Giles' offal shake, it's making his belly
cramp, he can hear his skin crackling like rice paper when he moves.
Focus on his pain, his hunger, anything so he doesn't have to think
about Dru. He wishes now he'd scraped up some of the blood and ash smeared
glass, just so he'd have something of her.
He can hear them downstairs, discussing their strategy. He really doesn't
care what they decide to do. He figures their chances not better than
70:30 in her favor, but that's better than nothing. Better odds than
him on his own. Either they'll win, and destroy her, or she'll win and
destroy them and him along. Strictly win/win as far as he's concerned.
Note to self: being a prisoner sucks. Besides the terror and damage
to clothes and hair it's really boring. Avoid in future.
She'd dreamed of being in Angel's bed -- but not exactly like this,
sans Angel avec another girl and cuffed to a bed. Though she'd bet idiot
boy Harris would pay plenty for photos of what was if you thought about
it a pretty kinky situation. Then again, maybe not. Alice, poor deluded
kid, seems to think he's changed. Not just changed, been transformed
into Mr. Sensitive, the Perfect Guy, he cooks, he cleans, he goes down
like a submarine... Cordelia hopes she never sounded that sappy when
she was suffering from her Xander delusion.
Other than Xander, they didn't really have much to talk about once
they'd discussed escape scenarios, and what they would do if they had
a hairpin. They'd tried rocking the bed -- it didn't move an inch, probably
bolted down; tried kicking at the headboard/footboard to work something
loose --- also no luck. Cordelia had to explain that screaming isn't
likely to get them far since the only other tenant on the ground floor,
Dr. Folger, has closed his office for the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving
Neither of them had seen a movie in ages and Alice was not a haute
couture kinda gal. Cordelia's not bringing up the whole ritual thing
unless she has to. Politics -- neh. Eventually, conversation sputtered
out and both women dozed until Angel came back.
Cordelia straightened up and Alice went to full alert, watching him
suspiciously as he went into the kitchen area. He came bearing brown
bags with the local deli's name on them, and she could smell coffee.
Her stomach rumbled. There was only one thing she needed more than food
She got to go first. Angel unlocked her cuffs and silently followed
her to the bathroom. She took petty satisfaction in shutting the door
in his face.
After she'd taken care of the mandatory, she washed her hands, then
stood staring at her reflection. God, she was pale, and sleeping in
her makeup had left her looking like Rocky Raccoon. She scrubbed her
face, then used his comb to put her hair into semi-order. Spent a couple
of minutes studying his selection of hair-care products and assessing
their aggressive potential before reluctantly giving up the idea. No
windows, no weapons unless she hit him with the plunger.
Finally she gave into the inevitable and came out. Still silent, he
took her back to the bed and locked her up. Then he set her breakfast
on the side table. As he moves to the foot of the bed, she stares at
it. It's her standard order: Lo-fat ollalieberry muffin, no-fat mochachino
grande and fresh squeezed orange juice. Just like every morning.
She hopes like hell that Wesley is upstairs enjoying a café
americano and a bagel with cream cheese and tomato right now.
Alice takes even longer than Cordelia did. Long enough that Angel got
impatient and rapped on the door. She emerges smelling of soap, hair
noticeably wet, wearing one of his shirts. She's taken the opportunity
to clean off some of the sewer muck. She glances up at him as she takes
a reluctant step toward the bed.
She pivots and kicks him hard as she can in the knee, then drives the
broken off handle of the plunger into his stomach, and runs. Angel doubled
over in agony still manages to grab the shirt but it's unbuttoned and
she sheds it without breaking stride.
Cordelia watches in shock as Alice dashes past, bare to the waist.
Angel drops the shirt, yanks out the stick impaling his and tosses it
away. He snarls, his face shifting to demonic rage and goes after her,
moving so fast he nearly blurs.
She pounds up the spiral stairs, headed for the light. As she emerges
in the office she hears him coming. Sunlight beckons at the end of the
hallway as she hits the door to 'Angel Investigations' and fuck! --
It's locked. She wastes time kicking it twice, more goddamn sturdy construction.
Turns looking for something heavy to throw through the glass and Angel
grabs her by the collar, lifts her off her feet and shakes her angrily.
First time she's seen his demon face up close and she screams. He waits
patiently for her to stop. Glares at her with evil eyes and too many
teeth stretching his lips. Over the shock now she glares back at him,
"Scary isn't it?" He says, pushing his face into hers. "This
is what lives inside me, Angelus. The demon I've fought every night
and every day for more than a hundred years to keep a world full of
vulnerable," his tongue snakes out and licks her cheek, slowly.
"…tasty humans safe."
"I've seen worse," she says. He smiles indulgently.
"No, I don't think you have. Truly. Angelus was something special.
And he's so close now, he's right here, just under the skin, waiting
his chance to make up for lost time. Got sidetracked last time he was
out, but this time…you have no idea how bad it will be for you,
for everyone here, and in Sunnydale. I do know."
"You ought to; you are him."
"Yeah, you may be right. Still, as long as he's inside me, no-one
"I'm not going to do it."
"No." Putting all the conviction she can summon into it.
"Well, maybe you need a little more time to think," he says
suddenly calm. His face gone handsome again. He spins her around, brutally
twists her arm behind her back so she yelps with the pain. "Come
He takes her back to the room, reshackles her without comment, and
"You O.K.," Cordelia whispers. Alice doesn't answer.
He's in the closet. She hesitates, then knocks. "Spike, come out."
When he does Willow can't help staring at him. Giles had said he was
in bad shape, but if she didn't know it was Spike she might not…
no that's a lie. She'd know those icy blue eyes -- well eye -- anywhere.
Spike looks like he's been on the crack diet. Even his hands, pressed
against the doorframe are withered like some old man's, and the chipped
black nail polish looks more pathetic than sinister.
She remembers his hands, roaming over her body, pinching her nipples,
slipping between her legs, and sliding deep inside her.
She tosses him the bag of plasma and he catches it, weakness forgotten.
Gives her one calculating glance before going all demony as he brings
it to his mouth and bites down. Fascinated she watches him feed. Remembering
that mouth open over hers, taking her breath, giving nothing back. The
bag is emptied so quick it's like a magic trick, and when he lifts his
face, human again, she can already see the improvement. Flesh regenerating
almost before her eyes, bruises resolving, fading. She gives him the
It's gone, quick as the first. And he's looking better by the minute.
He has two eyes again. "Thanks, Red," he says.
She hates him, hates him, hates him. She takes a deep breath.
"Strip," she tells him.
"Take off your clothes. I need to remove the binding Orexis put
on you, and to do that I need to anoint you -- uh, all over."
"Sure, whatever you say," Spike smirks. He shrugs off his
tattered shirt, shucks out of his pants and stands there in his skin
looking smug. She notices that his ribs show starkly now; they weren't
visible a few nights ago. When she'd run her hands over his chest amazed
by how pale and smooth it was, flawless. She'd thought Oz was pale,
but Spike practically glowed.
"Stand still," she says, opening the vial of oil. With her
middle finger she smears the oil over his silent heart, draws a line
down to his navel, to his crotch.
"Turn around," she orders. Traces the length of his spine…
and notices something she hadn't in the semi-darkness of her dorm room.
"What's this?" she asks, referring to an elaborate pattern
picked out in silver on his back. It almost looks like lettering, a
word. He stiffens, then deliberately relaxes.
"A souvenir. Got it in Tunisia," he says.
Liar, Willow thinks as she does the back of his legs. "Front again,"
she orders. Daintily she marks his penis, trying not to think of him
inside her. Moaning and thrusting, pretending at passion while all the
time he was spying, lying to her, to all of them.
She marks his ears, forehead, mouth, and nose.
"Close your eyes." Spike obeys, feels her fingers pressing
lightly on his eyelids as she anoints him there too. "O.K."
He opens his eyes as she steps back and raises her hands. "By the
goddess I pray that all binding on him ceases. So mote it be!"
Light, pure, white and merciless, issues agonizingly from every orifice,
from every place she's marked him, sizzles through his body. Spike is
transfixed, unable to do anything but scream silently as it burns through
him, then he feels a different kind of hurting start to build. It's
like fishhooks tugging at his insides, trying to turn him inside out
and the sensation increases until he's sure he's not going to be able
to take it, torn between agonies, when abruptly, like a bubble popping
the lines pulling him apart give way and dissolve along with the light
and pain. He collapses to the floor, and stays there, face down on the
Willow looks down at him with a tiny smile. She could have chosen a
less painful spell. She could have, but she didn't.
After all, she *is* a witch.
"We done then?" Spike asks as he gets shakily to his feet.
Ghost pain is still zinging along his nerves, as he looks at Willow,
and decides that when this is over, if he survives, he's going to arrange
something *special* for Red. Something Angelus would be proud of. He
owes her. Owes them all hours of pain and suffering.
"I'll just get back to my beauty sleep then."
And he's gone, back in the dark curled around his hate, nursing it,
his new love.
Wesley calculates it's midday when Angel returned. He sets a bag down
on the desk, then unties Wesley and takes him to the toilet. The strength
of the grip on the back of his neck keeps him from even considering
making a break for it, despite the temptation of the sunlight he can
see twenty feet, light years away, at the end of the hallway. That and
the thought that even if he did make it, what about Cordelia?
He wishes he knew who it was he heard screaming earlier. He doesn't
think it was Cordelia, but he can't be sure.
He lets himself be led back to the chair.
Angel opens the bag. Sandwiches, soup, and milk to wash it all down
with. Wesley eats everything. It's been at least 12 hours since he's
eaten, and no telling how long it will be before he's fed again.
Angel never says a word as he eats. There's something about him, which
makes Wesley if it were possible, even more nervous.
Done, he waits docilely to be tied up again. Instead Angel opens the
bottom drawer and pulls out a bottle of whiskey and a glass. Pours it
full and hands it to Wesley who accepts it gratefully, gulps it down
without letting himself dwell on the whys and wherefores, closing his
eyes, the better to appreciate the soothing burn as it spreads throughout
Angel pours him another, then puts the bottle away, and ties him up.
Wesley sighs, and waits for Angel to go.
The pleasant haze instantly wiped away when Angel drops to his knees
beside the chair and takes hold of Wesley's arm.
I mustn't scream, I mustn't scream, I mustn't scream.
This time, thanks to the alcohol, it doesn't hurt as much as the first
time and he's deeply grateful for that. Wesley's aware Angel isn't being
as greedy this time, isn't taking as much. Either trying to spare him,
or make him last. But it's still intensely unpleasant, and he's pathetically
grateful when Angel stops. He licks the wound shut with his broad tongue,
kisses it gently before leaving him.
And Wesley suddenly realizes he has more to worry about than simple
Spike groans and opens one eye when the closet door is opened, again.
"Hey, Can't a bloke get a few hours…" stops when he
sees who it is. Oz. On his feet, and all things considered, not looking
"Spike," he says.
He'd had a few bad moments after he'd gotten here. Hadn't been sure
that it was going to work with the wolf all comatose. Luckily, when
Giles said his name, Oz opened his eyes. Eventually backed him up. But
afterwards, when he'd felt the blood in him turning to powder he could
just about hear good old Giles thinking about just letting him dust.
Under no delusions about why he's still here.
"Yeah, mate. Glad to see you're up and about." Spike starts
to get up, feeling the need to not be looking up into the human's face
right then. Oz shoves him back down. There's a crackle of violence around
the smaller man. Full moon tonight, Spike thinks, he hopes they haven't
"Spike, I owe you for saving me. So I didn't tell Giles everything.
But that's it. No more favors." Oz has remarkably pale eyes and
the ferocity in them is uniquely human.
"Yeah, yer welcome."
"When this is over, I think you should leave."
"My fucking pleasure, believe me. I wish I'd never come back in
the first place."
Oz doesn't say anything, just nods and shuts the door on Spike, returning
him to blessed darkness.
"Where's Oz?" Joyce asks, breaking into Xander's telling
her, again, about Alice's disappearance. About finding the car, talking
to the police.
"Went upstairs, probably taking a nap," he says, frowning
at the interruption. Joyce feels guilty.
"So, what did the police say?"
" 'They'll look into it.' Yeah, right."
"Hmmm. I just thought of something." She gets an odd expression
on her face. "Um, Rupert, do you think Angel might know anything?
Could that be why Angel was here." Giles looks up from his books.
"No, I don't think…"
"Wait a minute, Angel was here? In Sunnydale?" Xander looked
"Yes, but I'm sure he won't have had anything to do with Alice,
or Orexis for that matter, which is what…"
"Yeah? So why *was* Angel here?"
"I'm not exactly sure," Giles admitted reluctantly. "He
seemed a little - umm, distracted."
"You mean more than when he cold-cocked me and played elevator
"Xander, we have no reason to suppose…I'm sure it was simply
"Giles, this is the Hellmouth. Not much coincidence happening
"Maybe we should call him?" Joyce suggested.
"Yeah, why don't we."
"If it will make you feel better," Giles agreed.
The phone rings, and rings. Nothing. Xander hangs up, resolve in his
"Joyce, I'm outta here. I'm going to L.A. Keep trying that number,
and if you get through phone me on the mobile. O.K.?"
Without waiting for her answer, he runs out, man on a mission. Giles
looks at Joyce, embarrassment and concern in his eyes. Knowing that
he's handled it all badly, hoping it will all turn out all right despite
his incompetence. Wishing there were someone in L.A. he could ask to
check up on Angel and make sure that the boy isn't walking into the
"Gon' climb you like a tree," Lucy purrs, suiting her actions
to her words. She jumps up, wrapping her arms around him, braces her
feet on his legs and walks her way up his body, till she straddles his
hips, her arms around his neck.
Part of him knows it's just a dream, sweeter than most of them. Angel
She licks his chest, rubbing herself against his cock and bringing
it to sudden, demanding life. He groans, and cups her buttocks, squeezing
the warm and succulent flesh. He bends his head to breathe in the sweet
smell of her sweat, her blood.
Cordelia opens her eyes as the door swings open and Angel enters the
room. She'd drifted off again, according to her watch it's 3:15. She's
hungry again. She yawns and looks at him, hoping he's brought food.
Stares in disbelief as he totally ignores her, goes straight to Alice.
He slips his hands under the loosefitting shirt and starts to fondle
her. Alice stirs, murmuring Xander's name.
Cordelia realizes that Angel's eyes are closed, his face empty.
"Angel? Uhhh, Angel! Stop that!" He shows no sign of hearing
her as he sits down on the bed, and pulls Alice into his lap.
Alice wakes to find herself imprisoned in Angel's arms. His heavy head
on her shoulder, his mouth by her ear. "Lucy," he moans. She
can feel his erection, huge and threatening against her back and fights
"Angel," she hisses. "Angel! Let go!"
"Love you," he murmured. One huge hand is on her breast,
caressing it. Alice tries to wriggle free, but his grip only tightens.
Deep sigh. She manages to twist her head enough to see a little of his
face. His eyes are closed, his face oddly slack even as he kisses her
cheek; he's in some kind of a trance. She can hear Cordelia losing it,
straining to reach them, shrieking at Angel.
"Wake up!" She raised her voice. "ANGEL! WAKE UP!"
Both of them shouting as he moans, still oblivious. His mouth is soft
and cold and insistent as he nuzzles her, licks her neck, with increasing
intensity. Alice gives up on words and tries screaming. His hand muzzles
her and she bites down as hard as she can.
Pain, he jerks as her teeth draw blood, the dream no longer so sweet
though Angelus is fine with the screaming…
His eyes open, and he's confused. He's holding Alice, and she's screaming,
reeking of panic and Cordelia is screaming at him, her face distorted
by fear. Alice so warm against him and… he swiftly shoves her
away. Gets to his feet, too aware of the unabashed erection tenting
his pants. Alice is crying, but it's Cordelia's face that he responds
to. The terror in her eyes, the sadness, the loss. He takes a step forward,
wanting to comfort her, but stops when she cringes.
And he reads the truth in her eyes, that it's too late. That he's lost
her, lost Wesley, lost all hope of redemption. That it's time to end
END part 9
Next: part 10, The Greenest Eye