FARCE: A COMEDY IN THREE PARTS
One: Better Off Dead
Wesley rolled over and blinked blearily at the clock. 5:30 a.m. Bloody
buggering hell. Who on earth would be knocking on his door at this hour?
(Or at all.) It can’t be Lilah. He kicked her out a little after
10, and while her pride is a highly flexible thing, he doubted that she’d
come back quite this soon.
Then again, his judgment of character and other things had hardly proved
to be terribly reliable of late.
Still knocking. Whoever it is obviously isn’t going away. And if
he doesn’t answer it soon that bitch in 107 will complain about
him to the landlord again.
He yanked open the door and glared sleepily at the complete stranger
standing on his doorstep. A pale little man with a comedic face, beady
eyes, and a suit that could blind at twelve paces. Before Wesley can say
a word he pushed past him and entered the apartment. Not a vampire then.
“Excuse me,” Wesley grited. The little man stood looking
around at the living room, making no attempt to hide his disgust at the
state of it. Looking around, Wesley had to admit it is a complete tip,
but he really hasn’t been up to housekeeping these past few weeks.
His visitor shakes his head and turns his attention back to Wesley.
“Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, right?” He sounds like an American,
but not from this coast. “Sheesh. Musta been a helluva party. What
the hell is that stink?”
“Who the hell are you?” Wesley growled.
The absurd little man turned and looked up at him, his face grim. “Bearer
of bad news mostly. Name’s Whistler.”
“It's warm... it's very warm.” Angel says. It really
is. It’s so warm that there are beads of moisture glistening on
his face as well as hers. That’s just wrong, a vampire sweating;
it’s even wronger that it makes him look so *hot*.
“Angel,” someone croons with her voice. No way is it
her, she’d never be irresponsible enough to let the moist heat clogging
the room seep inside her, or lean towards him wetting her lips and deliberately
giving him a good dose of cleavage.
Once, she slipped up one time and nearly ruined everything. Never
“Yes,” he says. This can’t be him, not Angel with
that deeply sexy undercurrent in his voice. She can feel his dark eyes
sliding over every inch of her skin like heated oil.
“Make love to me,” It sounds like her voice, but it can’t
be her begging him to touch her, saying things to him she could never
say, even if they were true, even if he felt the same, because …
“Is that what you want?” he murmurs into her ear. “But
Yes she is afraid, she should be afraid; she shouldn’t be here,
her hands roaming over his chest, his shoulders, drowning her fear in
his silken skin and the stone solid muscles underneath, in the feel of
his hands on her and the taste of his mouth. “What if he finds us?”
Because she knows he’s close by, he’s always there just waiting
for his chance.
“I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid of anything.” He pulls
“This is wrong…”
He doesn’t care. “Hush...” he whispers, and ends
her protest with a kiss.
So wrong. To have Angel on top of her. To have him kiss her, again
and again, to feel his hands everywhere. He kisses her neck, her collarbone,
deft hands slip the straps of her dress over her shoulders, and down…
Impossible. They can’t…it must be two other people, locked
together on the couch under the flickering gaslight. Burning together,
melting in the overcoming heat..
His cool mouth, leaving trails of heat on her bare belly…
No... oh no....
“Princess,” Groo says reluctantly pulling his lips away
from hers. She can see the love and devotion shining in his blue on blue
eyes and she smiles, because he’s perfect. Handsome and strong,
and caring. He’s warm, not cold; completely devoted to her, his
princess. So what if he isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer?
She can have Groo, and she’ll never let him suspect that he’s
her consolation prize. Because she knows too well what that feels like.
"Wake up sleepyhead.”
He sounds happy, she thought.
She opened her eyes. He was standing next to the bed. His king-sized
bed, with the expensive sheets that was really, really comfortable. That
she remembers cuddling Connor on, so many nights. His bed, where they’d
lain side by side (perfectly platonic, and she was tired of explaining
that to Groo, tired of the wounded look in his all-blue eyes) offering
each other silent comfort after Wes’ betrayal and the loss of Connor.
His bed, where she’d fallen asleep exhausted and alone last night
after he’d disappeared, after hours of her mind being cursed with
images of all the ways he could kill himself. But he was here now. Typical.
She spends all night worrying about him, and he’s fine.
“Angel,” she says rubbing her eyes. “Where have you
been? We were really worried…” She looked into his eyes.
She’s not sure what it is that gives him away, but she knew, even
before he smiled. This wasn’t Angel. It was Angel’s face,
Angel’s voice, Angel’s body, but Angel’s not home. Angelus
“Hiya Cordy.” She’s never seen an uglier smile. “Missed
She rolled off the other side of the bed but he was there to meet her
and he tossed her back onto the bed. He crouched over her trapping her
with his knees on either side of her hips his hands bracketing her head.
When he lowered his face to hers and tried to kiss her she turned her
face away, then reconsidered when she realizes she’s exposed her
throat to him. She freezes, realizing that she had nothing but bad choices
and he took the opportunity to make a cold and brutal assault with lips
and tongue that left her gagging; her mouth felt bruised. He let her go,
“What’s up darlin’? Kinda late to go all shy on me,
not like we haven’t done this before."
"I never had sex with you, asshole," she snaps. She managed
to get her hands between them and shoved at his chest, just for something
to do. It has about as much effect as she thought it would. She’d
probably have better luck towing Mt. Baldy with a Yugo. Angelus smirked
and sat back, his weight immobilizing her legs.
"Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot it was *Angel* you spread for. *Angel's*
hands, and *Angel's* mouth and *Angel's* cock filling you till you screamed.”
He ran his hands down his body, checking himself out. “Hmmm, all
present and accounted for. So why don’t we make sure everything's
in working order?"
“Fuck off and die,” she suggested. Angelus slapped her so
hard her brain goes a little haywire. When the blurriness passes he’s
straddling her and her shirt’s unbuttoned. He reaches over and squeezes
her breasts left then right, like a shopper comparing cantaloupes.
“One of your best features.” She yelps as he rips her bra
off with a quick jerk. “You wouldn’t believe how much time
the wuss spent thinking about your tits. Baby, he had it bad.” He
shifts a little so he can unfasten her jeans. He slides a cold hand between
her legs. “After the ballet? He couldn’t get the taste of
you out of his mouth; he spilled gallons of spunk in that shower thinking
about you. Sent you off on that little honeymoon with the slug figuring
he’d remove temptation. Cause y’know, wouldn’t want
to risk – let’s see what was it? Oh yeah: me. Kinda ironic,
huh.” He stretches out on top of her, closes his cold mouth over
her nipple and sucks ungently.
“It was just the ghosts, the possession. Not real,” she mumbles
trying to squirm away from him. He lets go her nipple, but keeping working
his fingers deeper inside her.
“Nope. Hell, he even told the Powers. But hey, cheer up, it would
never have worked out.” He idly traces a line up her body from her
navel to the pulsing artery in her neck. “You and me though, that’s
got real possibilities
She drags out a laugh from somewhere. "You and me. Yeah, right.
Like I’d ever be interested in a creep like you. Aack.” She
gasps as his hand closes over her throat.
“Watch what you say to me, bitch, I’m not your puppy.”
He relaxes his grip so she can answer. She looks into his dark gaze and
reads her future. It involves pain, a lot of it, and it ends with her
ugly death. It’s déjà-fucking-vu all over again. Damned
if she’s going to be a wuss about it.
“Again, you and me?” she spat. “You: big, bullying,
psychotic, not too bright, leather-obsessed fashion victim and all-around
jerk. Me: so not interested. Lonely? Go find Miss Looney Tunes Drusilla.
Maybe she wants you."
"Naughty girl. That was unkind." The fey voice comes from behind
Angel’s hulking form.
Oh. Shit. No.
“Hey baby.” He rolls off Cordelia, which is good, except
that it leaves her exposed to Drusilla. The vampire’s mad eyes glitter
like the water at the bottom of a drain as she settles on the bed. Same
old Drusilla, pasty face and straggly hair and her Miss Gothick 1982 ensemble.
Cordelia’s too scared to move, caught between the two of them. Drusilla
creeps closer, her fingernails hovering over Cordelia's eyes as her mouth
twists into a pout.
"Daddy, she's a very rude little doll; throw the nasty thing away
and play with me instead."
Angelus chuckles indulgently. "No, Dru. She just needs a little
-- guidance. We need to teach her, you and I."
"Oh, yes! Please! You be headmaster, and I'll be top girl!"
Drusilla laughs and bounces on the bed.
“Do me a favor, and hold her for me Dru.” Cordelia can’t
help letting a whimper slip out as she’s jerked upright by her hair
and held with her back pressed to Drusilla’s bony chest. “Yeah.
Just like that.” Angelus nuzzles the length of her straining neck.
He nibbles with human teeth, and pinches her nipples roughly. Right about
now would be a good time for the cavalry, she thinks. Or if not, could
he at least quit fooling around and just do it.
Unfortunately, Angelus is in no hurry. She jumps as he bites down just
hard enough to break the skin with still human teeth. His tongue investigates
the shallow scrapes with excruciating thoroughness. Drusilla shivers,
and becomes agitated.
“Little brother’s coming. Hurry, hurry, hurry, my Angel.
We have to go and kill him.” Sighing, Angelus lifts his head, wondering
what she’s on about this time.
“Dru, I’m busy right now. Why don’t you… Hey,
ever heard of knocking?” He jumps to his feet as the door slams
Cordelia’s heart leaps as Groo charges in, looking every inch the
Champion. He’s beautiful, even wearing Angel’s slightly too
large castoffs. He charges with sword drawn. Angelus rushes to meet him,
grabbing a sword from the collection on the wall. They meet and the clash
and zing of metal fills the air as they go back and forth, blades flashing
so fast she can’t really see them, tearing up the room as they do
Hong Kong moves on the walls, the ceiling, and the furniture. Drusilla’s
grip on her hair and the arm locked around her waist keep her from saying
anything out loud. But in her head she’s cheering him on: Go Groo!
Kick his ass! Crazy Lady’s mumbling to herself, she doesn’t
sound pleased by this development. Drusilla hisses venomously when Groo
slashes Angelus across the chest and Cordelia winces as her sharp nails
puncture her skin.
Without warning Drusilla throws her across the bed. The back of her head
smacks into the headboard. She’s lying there dazed when Gunn arrives.
He looks at the duelists, and realizes that getting in the middle of all
that supernatural speed and strength would be a bad idea. Then he makes
eye contact and heads straight for her.
He lowers his weapon and reaches out to help her up. “Hey girl,
let’s get you outta here…”
“Gunn! Look out!” Cordelia screams as Drusilla pops up behind
him. Gunn spins, bringing his axe up, but she blocks the blow with a bony
arm, catches his wrist and twists brutally until he drops the ax. She
grabs his throat with her other hand and lifts him off his feet.
“Hello pretty skin,” she purrs.
~ * ~
Wesley stands before the dumpster, delaying the inevitable. He doesn't
want to do this. Doesn't want to confirm his darkest fears, but it isn’t
as though he has any real choice. This too is his duty, for it seems his
miserable purpose in life is to do the dirty and necessary jobs that no-one
He takes a deep breath and lifts the lid.
She's so pale, her dark hair spread across the shiny black bags, her
limp body devoid of the kinetic energy that made her Fred. Despite her
twisted neck and the bloodless wound gaping in her throat she looks peaceful.
He hopes to God it was quick, that she didn't suffer.
“He’ll pay, Fred. I promise.”
One last look, and then he’s forced to leave her to the dark again.
He’ll need to move her before he calls the police.
Later, a little after sundown, Wesley watches Gunn emerge from the service
entrance of the Hyperion into the side street. He’s wearing the
same grey pullover and jeans as always. He looks quite normal as he stops
to stare up at the evening sky, apparently fascinated by the stars. It’s
only as he steps out of the hotel’s shadow into the hazy orange
street light that Wesley can see the dark splotches and stains, the ripped
collar and the unmarked skin under it.
“Gunn,” he says softly.
Gunn snaps back to earth. His expression is wary for a moment then he
smiles. “Hey, Wes. You’re back!” He walks toward him
with a grin, just as if Wes hadn’t told him the last time they’d
met to never come near him again. He’s all guileless smile and sparkling
eyes; his hands are empty and open.
And that’s quite close enough.
“Man, we can really use your help.”
“No,” Wesley says and fires. Gunn shrieks and drops to his
knees as the taser darts scramble his nerves. Fighting the pain he struggles
back to his feet, clawed hands reaching for his attacker. He goes down
hard as the third and fourth darts hit. While he convulses on the ground,
Wesley steps up to deliver the coup de grace with the baseball bat he’s
been holding behind him.
Angelus lifts his head, distracted by the scream of agony. Sounds like
his fledgling has gotten himself into trouble. Too bad, the boy had potential
but hey: easy come, easy go. He listens for a moment in case whoever had
dusted Gunn was stupid enough to come inside, but there’s only the
sound of a car door slamming, the engine starting and then receding into
the distance. Oh well. Another time maybe.
He lowers his head and continues where he left off. Cordelia groans and
it makes him just that little bit harder. Damn, she’s tasty.
“I’m hungry,” Dru whines. She does that a lot. Whine
and pout. It’s starting to get on his nerves. On the other hand
this wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without her.
“Patience baby,” he soothes. “You’ll get your
~ * ~
Fuck, his head hurts. It feels like his brains are leaking out of his
nose and ears. What the hell had he been drinking last night? Every muscle
in his body aches. Plus, he’s hungrier than a motherfucker. He’s
“Open your eyes.” He does and his mouth drops open at the
sight of Wesley with a big black taser in one hand and a plastic bag in
the other filled with something *red*. Damn that’s a pretty color.
The deepest, most intense red he’s ever seen. Yearning, he leans
forward – and can’t reach it. Whatthefuck? He’s chained
to a wall with an iron belt kinda thing around his waist and manacles
holding his wrists above his head. Where the hell is this anyway? Some
kind of basement, he can see cinderblock walls and a rough concrete floor
with a drain in it.
“Hey, Wes. This ain’t funny,” he growls.
Nausea surges in Wesley’s throat at the sight of Gunn’s features
distorted by the demon inside him. By the demon that *is* him now. He
can’t afford to forget what it is he’s really dealing with
now. He keeps his face perfectly blank.
“Here.” He steps closer, holding the bag up to Gunn’s
mouth. He’s transfixed by the color, and the smell -- it reminds
him of the best meal he ever ate. What the fu…
Huh? There’s a taste in his mouth, salty and warm and good. He
licks his lips. More. He needs more. Wesley tosses away the empty bag,
and offers another. This time he’s aware of biting into it and sucking
down the warm contents. The blood. This is blood. Damn it’s good.
The bag’s empty.
“More,” he says. Something’s wrong with his teeth,
they don’t seem to fit inside his mouth right. Then Wes offers another
bag, and that smell wipes all other concerns from his brain.
Wesley feeds his prisoner. It takes four units before he stops gulping
it, after another two he’s drinking at a normal rate. Once a Watcher,
always a Watcher, he can’t help finding himself fascinated by the
process, the slow return of Gunn’s human face as the demon is satisfied.
He’s seen Angel drink his mugs of microwaved blood countless times,
but this is entirely different. Primal. He knows he’s seeing the
true face of the beast. Gunn takes his time with the eighth bag and when
Wes reaches for another, shakes his head, smiling. “Naw man, I’m
He feels *really* good, better than he remembers feeling in, shit –
ever. His whole body tingles with warmth and a sense of power, like he
could leap tall buildings with a single bound and kick Superman’s
ass. Not even Wes with that sour-lemon look on his face can dent his high.
Even the being chained and the general freakiness are no big deal right
“Hey, Wes. Whassup? You gonna let me down anytime soon?”
He giggles as he rattles his chains.
“Possibly. I need some information first. Is Cordelia in the hotel?”
Ol’ Wes looks about as grim as he’s ever seen him. Looking
damn skinny too, and apparently he don’t shave regular anymore.
Gunn frowns, his high’s starting to crash. “Don’t know,
I haven’t seen her since…” His voice trails off as he
tries to remember. Wesley feels uncomfortable sympathy with the confused
vampire, but he doesn’t have time for this.
Gunn shrieks as the taser sparks against his chest. He snarls, rage filling
him and flexes, testing the chains. “Shit! What was that for!”
“Is Cordelia in the hotel, alive?” Wesley calmly repeats
“Yeah,” he says surprising himself. How the hell does he
“This freaky chick, no tan, long dark hair, spacey eyes. She…aw
shit.” Gunn! Watch out! Cordelia screaming, trying to warn
him. “She took me out.”
“Drusilla,” Wesley says, unsurprised. Gunn’s eyes widen
“Drusilla. Darla’s um, sire. Figures. She kept calling him
“You have no need to feel bad about being defeated by Drusilla.
She’s quite mad, but her powers make her extremely dangerous. She’s
killed at least one Slayer.”
“Tell me about it,” Gunn sighs. Hello pretty skin.
“I need to know everything that happened. Start from the beginning.”
His tone is mild, but Gunn gets that good ol’ Wes won’t be
unlocking any chains unless he does some talking.
“O.K. Me and Groo’d had just got back to the hotel. We’d
been over in Venice, taking down this nest of demons.”
“You and Groo? Where was Angel?”
“I forgot, you been out of touch. It’s been a hard few weeks.
Cordelia’s still getting the visions but Angel ain’t been
in any shape to deal with them. He’s pretty much stayed in his room
since…” Suddenly neither man wants to look each other in the
eye. “…y’know, the whole thing with Connor. Since she
got back Cordelia’s been spending most of her time up there with
him, making sure he eats and doesn’t take up sunbathing.”
“So last night Cordelia wakes up and Angel’s gone. We went
out looking, but not a peep. And then she got a vision.”
“We got back and no-one’s around. I called out for Fred and
when she didn’t answer, I figured she was upstairs or something…”
He stopped and took a ragged breath. Wesley wonders if the obviously painful
confusion he reads in the vampire’s eyes is real, or only an echo
of the man who used to be his friend as he waits patiently for him to
“Then Cordelia screamed. Groo was up those stairs like the Flash.
I’m right after him, but by the time I got there Angel and Groo
were whacking at each other with swords fighting going at it so fast I
couldn’t see a way to get in and help. Saw Cordelia lying on the
bed, looking woozy, so I went over there and start to help her up…”
“And – like I already told you.” Gunn obviously doesn’t
want to continue, but Wesley can’t allow that. He needs to know
”Tell me the rest.” Wesley says.
“Shit. Woke up still in the room, tied to a chair. Getting kinda
sick of that,” he pulls absently at the chains. Wesley nervously
eyes the staples he hastily fixed into the wall earlier today. “Drusilla
had her arm around Cordelia’s throat. Then Angel walks in…”
“Angelus,” Wesley corrects him.
“Whatever.” He doesn’t want to think about this and
if he can just get these damned chains off he’ll rip those stitches
out of English’s throat and not have to deal with this shit.
Too damn late, the memories are already unreeling behind his eyes.
“Hey, Charles, how’s it going?” Angel grins and
strokes Cordelia’s hair, she’s tied up and gagged, and she
looks scared. Gunn feels guilty. Cordelia’s always come through
for him and he’d fucked up when it was his turn.
“Motherfucker. I knew I shouldn’t ever have trusted
Angelus gets off the bed. The punch makes Gunn’s head ring
and his vision shimmy. “Language, Charles. There are ladies present.
Anyway, you shouldn’t call me names when I’m about to do you
a big favor.” He gives Gunn a big toothy grin. “I’m
gonna make you immortal.”
Oh. Fuck no. Angelus chuckles at the realization on Gunn’s
face. The sound of Angelus’ amusement clues him in about why Wes
and Cordy were always a little nervous whenever Angel seemed a little
“Oh yeah! Dru insists. She thinks you’ll make a nice
brother. And face it, how can I resist? The big bad vampire killer becoming
a vampire. Can you say I-ro-ny? I knew you could!”
Gunn starts to fight the ropes, tries to unbalance the chair, anything.
There’s a scared kid screaming for help inside his head.
When Cordelia figured out what Angelus is planning, she goes a little
nuts herself. She struggles against her captor’s iron grip until
Drusilla closes her pale fingers around her golden throat. “Sssh,
Daddy’s busy now,” she whispers reprovingly into her ear.
Angelus moves behind him. Gunn can feel him standing there, like
a wall of ice sucking all the warmth out of the air. He jumps when Angelus
runs one cold finger down his sweaty neck. Then he leans over the back
of the chair and drapes an arm companionably over Gunn’s shoulders.
He mouths the curve of Gunn’s neck. “Mmmm. Salty.
“Y’know, son, when you wake up tomorrow night, you’re
gonna be really hungry. Maybe I’ll leave Cordy here for you. What
do you think?”
“Naw. Hey Dru, show our contestant the prize.” He grabs
the nape of Gunn’s neck in a steely grip, squeezing so hard he can
feel the bones grinding together so he has no choice but to watch as Drusilla
rips the sad remnants of Cordelia’s blouse off. Cordelia shudders
as her nipples are circled by Drusilla’s sharp-claws; tears start
to stream down her cheeks.
He feels sorry for Cordelia, but all he can really focus on is the
teeth scraping along his neck. Please, Lord Jesus, don’t let him…
The teeth go in and the wave of pain wipes out everything else. Hurts.
Fuck it hurts. And it goes on so long he starts to forget there’d
ever been anything else but this long white streak of agony spreading
from his throat to his entire body. He can feel himself being slowly fucking
*eaten*. Oh man, he should’ve gone to church more often because
God has got to be really pissed off at him to let this happen, and he’s
sorry and he’ll be good if only He makes it stop now. Please God,
Then it does stop, but he’s not dead. Pretty close though.
He doesn’t have the strength to hold his head up as Angelus turns
the chair around so Gunn can see him, flushed and grinning.
“Damn! That’s good!” he says smacking his lips.
“Full bodied, robust, and lots of it. Want a taste Dru, before I
“Yes please.” Gunn gets one last glimpse of Cordelia’s
despairing face as Drusilla dumps her on the bed. Then his world is filled
by Drusilla, who climbs into his lap. She’s way heavier than her
frail appearance would suggest and she reeks of jasmine, a putridly sweet
scent he’s always fucking hated. He’s not going to look in
her eyes. Not this time. She giggles.
“Pretty,” she murmurs, then wrenches his head sideways
and bites. The pain’s not so bad this time, he’s too cold
to feel much. He lets himself go with it, spiraling down…
Suddenly she’s gone. There’s a crash and he opens his
eyes, to find Drusilla lying on the other side of the room, right under
a big new dent in the wall. She licks the blood off her lips. “More?”
“Greedy bitch,” Angelus says fondly. “Nearly fucked
up my fun.”
“Daddy spank?” she asks hopefully.
“Later. Gotta finish up here first.” Angelus slices open
the palm of his hand and clamps the bleeding wound across Gunn’s
mouth. Gunn seals his lips, determined not to give in. Just got to hold
on, a little longer. Don’t give in. He can feel his heart starting
to falter, his lungs feel like he’s been running a marathon. Almost
outta here. It’s getting dark, he doesn’t mind. Baby Jesus,
here I come. The darkness closes over his head, and he’s drifting
down and away. Nothing hurts now. He’s going to sleep…
…in the darkness something salty leaks past his lips, seeping
into his mouth, and suddenly his mouth is so dry. He’s dying of
thirst. Or just dying. Part of his brain screams no, but, he can’t
~ * ~
“Which one did it?” Wesley asks when it becomes obvious that
Gunn isn’t going to say any more.
“Angelus.” Gunn’s face has lapsed into demon again,
yellow eyes seeping hatred.
Wesley hides his disappointment at the news. So much for his first choice.
He’ll have to go with plan B. “Ah.”
“Sonofabitch thought it was real funny. Why don’t you let
me go so I can show him how funny I think it is?” He returns to
human with an effort. “C’mon, you can’t keep me here
“First things first. Are you certain that Cordelia was alive when
“Yeah. I could sense her breathing, her heartbeat.” Gunn
stops himself before he gets to the blood, and the smell of her sex.
“Did you try to find her?”
“No. I knew they were both with her. No way were they gonna share…”
He freezes, realizing what he just said. He waits for Wes to stake him
cause he sure as hell would’ve. But Wesley doesn’t react,
doesn’t seem to have noticed his slip.
“Did Angelus say anything about Sunnydale? The Slayer?”
Gunn is disturbed by how aware he is of Wesley’s pulse jumping
enticingly under the stubble. Is this what it was like for Angel? Is this
what it’s going to be like for him? Every time he looks at Fred
is he going to be thinking about eating her?
“Hey, where’s Fred? She got out and called you, right?”
Wesley doesn’t say anything.
“Wes, where’s my girl?”
Wesley’s mask cracks, his eyes aren’t so much cold as barren.
“I’m sorry Charles.”
“No. Fuck. No. Not Fred. NO!” Losing his human aspect in
the grip of all too human pain, Gunn lunges at Wesley and is brought up
short by his bonds. Wesley is very glad he didn’t follow the impulse
to unchain him immediately after he’d fed. He stands well back,
letting Gunn rant and curse until he runs down into dull acceptance and
“I’m going to kill that bastard!” He swears, yellow
eyes damp. He hasn’t noticed yet, but he’s pulled one of the
staples securing his chains halfway out of the wall. Wesley knows that
time is running out.
“Yes, I agree. Angelus must die. And the man who set him free,”
“You know who it was?” he growls.
“Yes. And I have a plan to deal with both of them.”
“OK. I’m with that. Let’s go. What are we waiting for?”
Wesley hesitates. This is the crux. He has to decide. Gunn has slipped
back into his human face, but that means nothing. He knows he isn’t
really dealing with his former friend Gunn, or at least not just him.
Vampires are demons. Vicious predators with no better angels to their
natures. Gunn the vampire could, and very well might rip out his throat
and go on his merry way, uncaring.
On the other hand, he can’t do this alone, and the last thing he
needs tonight is an angel.
Gunn stands perfectly still while Wesley unlocks the cuffs and steps
back. Free, Gunn stretches. He’s aware of Wesley’s fear. It
tugs at him, makes it hard to keep his focus. But he’s gonna be
strong and ignore it. He can do anything he has to in order to get the
bastards who killed his girl. Fred. Oh man.
“Where is she?” Wesley doesn’t have to ask who she
“I called the police – anonymously. She’s at the city
“I want…” Gunn stops, because he doesn’t really
want to see her, he knows he’ll need to eventually, but not right
now. “…A funeral. I know we’re broke, but… oh
man, what about Roger and Trish?” He growls unhappily, hunching
his shoulders against the pain. “Shit. Wes, how come I feel like
this? I thought when you got vamped everything human…went. So how
come I feel like my heart’s been ripped out?” Wesley steps
closer, reaches out a tentative hand, then thinks better of it.
"It’s not something the Council advertises…” he
says in that lecturing tone that about drove Gunn crazy when he was alive,
but is surprisingly comforting now. “…but the fact is that
vampires frequently retain human emotions -- unfortunately, generally
the less admirable ones of anger, lust, jealousy, but occasionally the
higher ones: love, loyalty, empathy, and devotion, persist as well."
For a little while, he adds silently.
“So it’s going to keep hurting like this?”
“Not forever,” Wes promises. Gunn shakes his head and stands
“Hope you’ve got more blood for me, cause I’m gonna
need all the damn super-strength I can when we go to cut Cordelia loose.
You have a plan?”
Wesley nods and pulls another two bags out of the hot box. “Yes.
But we aren’t going to the hotel.”
Gunn pauses a millimeter away from biting into the bag. “What?
Why not? What about Cordelia? Or do you figure she’s already dead?”
“Gunn – no. I don’t believe she’s dead or turned.
But all the two of us charging in there would accomplish is getting both
of us killed.”
“I can take him.”
“No, you can’t. Gunn, he’s your sire. If we went to
the hotel… you wouldn’t be able to fight him, and if he asked
you to kill me, you probably would.”
Wesley sighed. “Think about what you’d like to do to Angelus.
Cut off his head? Set him on fire? Shove a stake right through his black,
withered heart? Tie him out to face the sunrise? Drain every drop of his
blood and lock him in…”
“Stop!” Gunn’s complexion has gone grey with horror.
He shudders. “Shit.”
“What’s the matter, Gunn?”
“Hearing you say that, thinking about it was -- just *bad*. Like
liver ice-cream, or you and Fred and me having a threesome. Times two.”
Wesley pauses for a moment, disturbed by the imagery, then nods in agreement
with Gunn’s main point. “As I said: as your sire Angelus holds
very real power over you. There’s nothing we can do about that.
“So what are we gonna do?”
“Deal with the person who’s ultimately responsible for this
mess, and make him pay.”
~ * ~
She rises slowly to consciousness.
Who is she? Cordelia, she’s Cordelia Chase. Formerly of Sunnydale,
and what the hell is going on? She’s suspended in the midst of cool
heavy flesh, her body penetrated forward and back and being moved between
the two of them, back and forth and her mouth is open on smooth skin that
tastes of blood and honey and sex and there are hands reaching round to
caress and she’s battered and tumbled by the waves of sensation
moving through her body. Never felt anything like this before; it feels
like heaven, like some drug that will leave her mad and lost. Soft breasts
pressed against her back and hips grinding against her ass, whimpering
with pleasure at each stroke deep inside her. In front an iron hard body
thrusts into her, stretching and claiming her. Sparks run from each place
of connection, filling her with light and she can feel her orgasm hovering
over her like a huge wave. A soft snarl and the hint of teeth at the nape
of her neck pushes her over and she screams, and thrashes as delight crashes
down on her and rolls her under.
Surfacing, she remembers. Still being rocked by her partner’s lusts,
but her joy has drained away and left her stranded on the barren sands
It’s Drusilla behind her, she knows the sound of her approaching
crisis too well. Knows how the strap-on lodged inside her feels rubbing
against her clit because she’s had her turn, she’d knelt behind
Drusilla riding each thrust of Angelus into his daughter’s ass as
she screamed from the pain and pleasure and Cordelia had shouted as she
Angelus slams into her so hard when he comes that he knocks the air out
of her lungs. In that long, breathless minute she’s vaguely aware
of Drusilla squealing and clutching her tight in the throes of her orgasm.
After, both vampires collapse, temporarily sated, holding their toy between
them. Cordelia lay silent and numb, feeling her living heat being leached
away into dead flesh.
Her neck stings where they’ve bitten her over and over. She’d
begged them not to stop. She feels lightheaded from blood loss, and with
a little luck maybe she’ll faint. Unconscious would be good. Anything
not to remember the things they’ve done to her, together and separately.
The things she’s done, willingly, eagerly with them.
Drusilla nibbles playfully at the back of Cordelia’s neck, then
stops. “Oooh, Daddy, dolly’s awake.”
“Hmmm? Yeah?” He sits up and studies her face. “Hiya
Cordy, welcome back. Hungry?”
She doesn’t answer him.
“Didn’t I tell you she’d be fun,” he tells Drusilla.
“Oh yes. She was lovely. So sweet, and soft, and obliging. She
tastes of blackberries. Mmmm.”
“Yeah, Gotta say Cordelia – you were great.” He savors
every wince as his words hit home. “Really, you were quite a ride.
Best I’ve had in *years*.”
She closed her eyes. She doesn’t want to see him, doesn’t
want to remember. Can’t help remembering.
Cool skin and soft mouth and his cock in her mouth and she strains eagerly
to take all of him in and when he comes she gulps it down like it was
ice cream. Drusilla whimpers, and holds her in place with narrow iron
thighs and all she wants is more, more, fingers and tongue and cock filling
her and she’s come so many times it *hurts* but it was like an itch,
the more she scratched it the more she wanted…
Angelus chuckled. “Now, I could have forced you to do all those
things -- well most of them anyway -- with old-fashioned brute force but
Dru’s way is just so much more fun. Baby, if you could only see
the look on your face right now – priceless.”
He killed Gunn. She’d been forced to watch him be drained and then
forced to drink. Gunn’s a vampire and she doesn’t know if
she can stand to see him that way.
Groo. Poor Groo. Angelus proudly showed her his head, beautiful eyes
gone dull with death and so much blood… He left it on the table
for awhile, where it oversaw her degradation, but Drusilla complained
about the smell and the flies. She doesn’t know where it is now.
“So baby, you up for another round?”
Cordelia doesn’t say anything. She closes her eyes and lets herself
slip away into welcome darkness.
Angelus pokes at her once or twice, he’s not surprised when he
doesn’t get a response.
“Angel?” Drusilla questions.
“Cordy’s taking a little nap.” He gets up and starts
to get dressed. “You stay here and keep an eye on her darlin’
while I go get us someone to eat.”
~ * ~
Linwood checks his watch as he walks the short distance between the elevator
and his executive parking space. It’s almost 9 p.m. He sighs, remembering
the 40 hour work week with a kind of sour nostalgia. Hard to believe he’d
ever been young and unimportant enough to go home after only 8 hours service
to the senior partners. He’d been married back then to his first
wife Louise, a naïve girl who’d married him for his money.
He’d been quite fond of her, and regretted having to kill her when
she figured out what had happened to the children.
His current wife, Marcie, is a far more suitable choice for him. She’d
been an attorney; he’d met her at the firm. An ambitious, clever
woman who might have made herself quite a career with Wolfram and Hart
– but she’d decided instead to take the safer route of marrying
him. In that way she got to enjoy the benefits of sin, without the very
real risks climbing the career ladder at the firm would have entailed.
She’s everything a trophy wife ought to be: beautiful, socially
adept, and it’s quite soothing to not have to censor himself when
he’s with her. She’s been there, done that, and dictated the
memo re: Approved Disposal Procedures.
He recognizes the voice and the face despite the stubble and the grim
look in his eyes. Mr. Wyndham-Pryce has certainly changed since Linwood
took over the Special Projects division. Through surveillance cameras,
Linwood has studied the man interacting with his colleagues in the Hyperion.
Been played by him and had the satisfaction of knowing that he’d
been played in turn by Sahjinn into stealing Angel’s child. He’s
pored over the man’s medical reports and the depositions of the
eyewitnesses to Angel’s murderous attack. And of course he receives
regular reports on him from Lilah. She’d reported him missing from
his apartment this morning.
“Wesley. I’m glad to see you.”
“Really? How convenient, since I need to talk to you.”
“Ah, well, you should have made an appointment. I’m afraid
I don’t have time right now.” Linwood knows the importance
of maintaining a calm and professional deportment when dealing with demons
and other dangerous beings. He continues moving towards his car, pressing
the button on his key ring to unlock it. There’s a panic button
on the dashboard if he can just reach it. “If you’ll call
my secretary in the morning, I’m sure...” He puts his hand
on the door handle. The former Watcher places his hand firmly over his,
“In a hurry Linwood?”
“Yes, as I said, call my secretary…”
“I’m afraid this matter is urgent. I need your help restoring
Angel’s soul.” Deep breaths Linwood, never let them see you
sweat. He smiles.
“Angel. Is that what this is about? Lost his soul again? Well,
I’m afraid that’s not my problem.”
“I think it is,” Wesley says calmly and nods, which is all
the warning Linwood gets before he’s shoved face first into his
car. The person behind him holds him in place with one hand and no sign
of effort, and whoever it is isn’t breathing. Linwood’s betting
“So, Linwood, shall we start again? Remembering that I *know* it
was you who arranged for Angel to lose his soul.”
Linwood smirks, he can’t help it.
Of course he’d done it.
"They'd kill you before they'd kill me." The bastard had taunted
him. The memory of sitting there in a pool of his own piss and hearing
those words just before he made that call to Lilah haunted him. Because
it was the truth. Angel is an “invaluable resource”, whereas
Linwood Murrow, even after all he's sacrificed for the firm: his children,
his first wife, his soul – is eminently dispensable.
The memory is never going to fade, but it hurts a lot less now. He may
have sold his soul, but he still has his pride.
If he’d arranged to have Angel dusted the senior partners would
have eaten him alive, literally. He was not interested in dying any sooner
than he has to; especially since judging from the meetings he’s
had with the late Holland Manners, afterlife as a fully-committed employee
of Wolfram and Hart leaves pretty much everything to be desired.
Granted, the senior partners probably won't approve of his removing Angel’s
soul, but at least it isn't a 100% certain death sentence. 50/50, tops.
Worth it. Because he can't let this go. Can't let that smug bastard terrorize
and hurt him (two cracked ribs, multiple contusions, a black eye he had
to call a firm healer in to fix…) and get away with it.
It was surprisingly easy to arrange. There were several Shamans in the
LA metro area who were capable of doing the job. He picked the most highly
recommended, paid a large sum of money, and hey presto! Angelus.
“Yeah, you got me: I confess: I did it.” He raises his hands
mockingly. “Take me away officers.” He only has to stall a
few more minutes. There’s a security patrol scheduled every 10 minutes.
He’s spun around and slammed against his car again. He’s
nose to nose with the vampire who’s been holding him. The guy’s
in full demon-face so it takes him a moment to recognize him, street kid
– Gunn, Charles Gunn. Angelus’ work he bets. The guy looks
pissed off. He wraps one hand around Linwood’s throat and squeezes,
cutting his air off inch by torturous inch.
Through the haze starting to blur his vision, Linwood hears Wesley’s
voice. “I suggest you watch what you say. Gunn isn’t very
happy with you. His girlfriend died last night.”
“What do you want?” Linwood has to struggle to force the
words past the cold fingers throttling him. Wesley sighs.
“Again: We want you to help restore Angel’s soul.”
“I don’t know,” he temporizes. Gunn growls, and Linwood
feels the last of his airway being closed down. “O.K., O.K.,”
he rasps. He’s been keeping his eyes fixed on Wesley. He’s
sure he knows who’s really calling the shots here and he feels a
certain satisfaction when, just as his lungs feel like they’re going
to explode, the Englishman nods and Gunn lets him go.
Linwood falls to his knees, gasping for air. Dammit. He’s sick
and tired of being mauled by the fucking undead. Well, at least he can
have the satisfaction of having this one killed. Slowly, by preference.
Right now though, breathing has priority.
He looks up to catch his two opponents trading a glance.
“It’s going to be expensive.” He warns them.
Gunn hits him in the face, he feels the crunch and through the nauseating
pain he can tell his nose is broken. Wesley shakes his head at him sadly.
“I’m afraid that’s not our problem, is it Linwood? Whatever
it costs, I’m sure you’ll pay it.”
~ * ~
The Asian kid in the booth looks up as Angelus enters the All-Nite Mart.
He gives him a half smile before dropping his gaze back to the textbook
he was reading. The kid knows him – well, the wuss really –
from his late night shopping trips to pick up food for his human pets
and emergency diaper runs for the brat. Come to think of it he should
probably get something for Cordelia. It’s been awhile since she
ate and he doesn’t want her fainting or anything. When he gets back
he plans to do her again, rape her the old fashioned way this time with
the traditional screaming and hopeless struggling. He’s looking
forward to using the chains. He grins. Going to be a party.
Now that Dru’s influence has worn off Cordelia is dealing with
a huge load of horror, disgust, and self-loathing. He can almost see her,
lying there huddled in his bed, despairing, probably thinking she wants
to die. Which is a crock. Give her a few hours rest, and yeah, something
to eat, drink, and suddenly she’ll be interested in living again.
One of the many things he finds endlessly amusing about humans is their
blind, idiotic, drive to stay alive. It’s why no-one ever successfully
resists being turned. No matter how resolute their purpose, no matter
how much they hate and despise vampires, when it comes down to it, when
they get that taste of unlife in their mouth with its unspoken promise
that they don’t have to end, not right now anyway, possibly never,
the primal urge to keep living takes over and they drink. They always
He’d really wanted to turn Holtz. It doesn’t get much funnier
than turning a vampire-slayer into a vampire, and he really would’ve
enjoyed being Holtz’s sire. But Darla wouldn’t hear of it.
Didn’t want anything as grizzled and unattractive as Holtz hanging
around for decades offending her aesthetics. For a former whore she had
a lot of damned pretensions.
Well, Darla’s dust, this time for good, and he’s damn well
going to turn Cordelia. No way is he depriving himself of that face, that
mouth, that incredible body. Her tits alone -- those perfect globes, with
their large, highly sensitive nipples – shit, he could suck on them
for days. Once she’s turned he thinks maybe he’ll put a nice
big ring through each nipple, a smaller matching one through the hood
of her clit, link them with a fine chain and make her into his little
love puppet, make her dance. He stands a little closer to the shelf and
adjusts himself. He needs to get back to the hotel ASAP. Damn shame to
wash the taste of her out of his mouth with someone’s else’s
blood, but he’s worked up quite an appetite.
He walks around the store, picking up some soup, a carton of orange juice,
and some candy bars for Cordelia, while he checks out what’s on
the menu. Pickings are kinda slim this time of night. The clerk’s
young and juicy, but he’s safe behind three inches of plastic: too
damn much trouble when he’s after something quick and easy. There’s
a wizened alky in search of something cheap to go with his pint of vodka
– not unless he really has to. A couple of towering, under-aged,
teens are trying to work up the nerve to try and buy a 32 oz. They’d
do, except that handling the two together might be tricky. A plump middle-aged
woman, nervous about being out this late, in this neighborhood, buying
milk and bread. Not exactly filet, but she’ll have to do. Doesn’t
want to keep his girl waiting.
He pays for his shopping, and hurries out of the store, dumps the groceries
in his car and then waits, hidden in the shadows at the side of the store.
A few minutes later his target emerges and heads for her slightly dented
“Excuse me, miss?” The woman looks up at him apprehensively,
then relaxes when she sees his face. Sure is handy being this pretty.
He smiles. Almost in range. Couple more steps, and he can snap her neck,
scoop her up before she falls and have her in his car before anyone is
sure there’s anything wrong. Then back to the hotel, share a quick
snack with Dru and he can continue Cordelia’s education. He wants
her fully trained before he turns her. Not broken; he’s had enough
of that with Drusilla. The madness thing has definitely lost its entertainment
value. Right now she’s useful for keeping Cordelia under control,
but once he’s sired Cordy he’s thinking it might be time to
cut Dru loose. Or dust her. Whatever.
Just one more step.
~ * ~
It feels like it takes fucking forever to track down the guy they need.
Gunn watched with growing uneasiness as the minutes ticked by and Wesley’s
ability to hide his nervousness started to fray at the edges. He’s
not feeling too great himself. Linwood’s bleeding, and this thing
inside him, the demon he guesses, won’t give him any peace about
it. It don’t help that every time he looks at the lawyer he thinks
about Fred and how he won’t ever see her smile again. Even if she
wasn’t dead, he’d have lost her. She’d never want him
He’s just about to kill Linwood and fuck the plan when they locate
a Shaman demon who Wesley feels confident is capable of the necessary
spells. The amount of money the nervous heavily robed non-human demands
stuns Gunn, but Wesley never blinked and after a momentary twitch Linwood
arranged the transfer.
So, now there here, back in the basement of the old factory where Wesley
had had his little talk with Gunn. The candles and incense are burning;
the shaman stands in the center, eyes closed while he thinks. He’s
cradling a rough sphere of what looks like dull grey stone against his
“Are you ready?” Wesley asks the shaman, who blinks his red
eyes a little nervously before nodding.
The shaman bows his head and raises his rock to eye level. His eyes glow,
and suddenly he’s a much more impressive being. He begins to chant
in a language that sends slivers of electricity through Gunn’s bones.
< Angelus, Ihre Seele wird zu Ihrem Körper, um heftig gezerrissenes
gesprungen asunder nie wieder zu sein, hören mich Götter meiner
Leute, Energien der Schwärzung, Energien des Lichtes, ließ
seine Seele gesprungen warden... Angelus, Ihre Seele wird zu Ihrem Körper,
um heftig gezerrissenes gesprungen asunder nie wieder zu sein, hören
mich Götter meiner Leute, Energien der Schwärzung, Energien
des Lichtes, ließ seine Seele gesprungen warden>
Gunn doesn’t understand the words, but he can tell the shaman is
repeating himself. As he chants the rock starts to glow, faintly at first,
but the radiance grows, from dull gray to a warmer golden hue, growing
brighter with each repetition of the incantation, till it shines like
a misplaced sun, and Gunn flinches instinctively from the light. The shaman’s
words flow in a river of sound, commanding not begging in aural counterpart
to the pulsing light.
The light flares and the words thunder and Gunn feels something move
through and past him like a warm breeze, like a reminder of something
he didn’t know he’d been missing, and then it’s quiet
and dark again.
The shaman opens his eyes and nods.
“Is it done?” Wesley asks.
“Yes. His soul is restored, and bound.”
~ * ~
He’s kissing asphalt again. Not for the first time, probably not
for the last. Everything feels really distant and hazy. Like how he got
here. Last thing he remembers was leaving the hotel because…well,
that’s kind of vague too.
“Cordy?” He knows she’s somewhere near. He can smell
her, almost taste her…
“Hey man, you O.K.?” He rolls over to find the two tall adolescents
from the store peering down at him, concerned.
No he’s not O.K. Where’s Cordelia? He…
Cordelia. Oh God. She’s alone at the hotel, with Dru.
The boys jump when the guy on the ground groans. They freak when he leaps
to his feet and glares at them, and all three take a great sigh of relief
when he ignores them and runs away into the night.
“Dude! Did you see his face?”
~ * ~
She’s awake, and she’s breathing. But all she really feels
is -- numb. She doesn’t care enough to even think about trying to
escape. Though she seems to be alone right now. It’s kinda funny
that Wesley’s the one person likely to survive the destruction of
Angel Investigations. He picked a really good time to become a pariah.
Even if Angelus goes after him, he’ll be too much on guard to be
“Thief!” Drusilla hisses.
“Huh?” Cordelia gapes at Drusilla who stands at the foot
of the bed, naked and ugly as an albino cockroach. No trace of the little
girl in her eyes, just the psycho killer. Shit. Suddenly dying doesn’t
seem such an attractive option.
“Trying to steal my Angel away. I won’t let you! I’ll
eat you up and bury your bones in the garden and you won’t be any
more trouble.” In a flash she’s on top of Cordelia, pinning
her arms down with bony fingers and her body as she brings her fangs down.
Cordelia screams. With no whammy haze to dull the pain it feels like someone’s
shoved a broken bottle into her neck. She fights, twisting away, feeling
the wounds rip wider. Drusilla clamps a hand onto her forehead to hold
her still. She claws ineffectually at Drusilla with her free hand, kicking
her legs desperately as she tries to shift the bitch’s dead weight.
Drusilla doesn’t even react to her struggles. She murmurs contentedly
to herself as she takes Cordelia’s life in ladylike sips.
“Angelus!” Cordelia screams. When Drusilla freezes and lifts
her head to look for him, Cordelia takes advantage of her lapse by getting
her leg up between them and kneeing Drusilla as hard as she can in her
gut. Drusilla grunts as she’s kneed again and her grip slips a little.
Cordelia shoves with her other leg and rolls both of them off the bed.
Drusilla lands on the bottom and the back of her head hits the thinly
carpeted floor with a pleasantly solid thunk. Finally, she lets go. Cordelia
scrambles to her feet. She puts her hand to her throat, there’s
blood, a lot of blood, dripping down the side of her neck and down her
chest. She’s got to get out of here. Get help. Get…
Drusilla tackles Cordelia from behind, wrapping her arms around her waist
her nails jabbing into Cordelia’s stomach like fishhooks. Cordelia
staggers as Drusilla bites into the soft flesh just above her hip; moaning
with pain she claws at the arms holding her until they bleed, but Drusilla
hangs on. She tries to drag her dead weight toward the door but she doesn’t
have the strength. She sways and Drusilla holds her upright as she continues
~ * ~
“Er, excuse me,” Linwood says in as deferential a tone as
he can manage after being stuck in a chair for two goddamn hours. “We’re
done here, right? Angel has his soul back. Our business is concluded.”
Wesley looks at him and nods curtly. Linwood lets the breath he hadn’t
known he was holding. He raises his cuffed hands.
“Great, good news, now if you’ll just remove these…”
Gunn hits Linwood, knocking him out of the chair to land in a clumsy
sprawl on the dirty concrete. The lawyer glares at him outraged.
“Hey! I did everything you asked. He’s got his soul back,
better than new! We’re even!”
Wesley says nothing. The Shaman demon seems to shrink back into his hood.
Gunn kicks Linwood in the back. The lawyer’s howl is cut off short
by a kick to the belly. Fuck, that hurt, that felt like internal damage.
Good thing the firm has that Healer on retainer… Gunn hauls him
to his feet by his throat cutting off thought. Can’t breathe, can’t
“Let me go! We had a deal!” He tries desperately to make
eye contact with Wesley, the Shaman, anyone but the creature holding him.
“Look at me,” Gunn snarls. “We never had a deal.”
”Help me!” Wesley doesn’t answer. Gunn growls in satisfaction
at the thick scent of fear dripping off the man. Fuck, that smells good.
"You got me killed, which is bad enough.” Gunn shakes Linwood.
“But mostly you’re gonna die because you got Fred killed.
Winifred Burkle. She was sweet and loving, and she didn't fucking deserve
to die. So I'm gonna make you pay a little of what you owe, a down-payment
on what's waiting for you in hell."
Linwood looks into Gunn’s dark, angry, human, eyes, and panics.
“Wesley! Do something, please! We had a deal!” He hopes for
a moment when the man finally makes eye contact.
“That you’d pay for restoring Angel’s soul? Yes. Thank
you for all your help Linwood.” And Wesley deliberately turns his
back on Linwood.
“Look at me,” Gunn says.
Linwood screams for a long time.
~ * ~
The doorframe splinters when he slams it open.
“Get away from her,” Angel’s voice is raw and deadly.
Drusilla lifts her gory face and he can see the evil calculus going on
behind those yellow eyes. She opens her mouth to taunt or beg or seduce
him, and he doesn’t care, he doesn’t have time for this.
She makes a horrible gagging sound when the shard of wood he throws enters
her mouth, pierces her tongue, the back of her throat, and lodges in her
skull. She lets Cordelia go and Angel’s there to catch her before
she can fall.
“Cordy?” he whispers. Her normally warm complexion has turned
that chalky color he’s so familiar with. The smell of her blood
makes the hairs rise on the nape of his neck, he clamps his hand over
the wound in her throat, compressing it, but he can feel damp warmth spreading
on her side as well. She needs a doctor, right now. Drusilla still lies
on the floor, writhing in agony as she tries to remove the skewer. Angel
kicks her out of his way and then forgets about her. He adjusts his hold
on Cordelia slightly, and runs.
It’s 10 blocks from the Hyperion to L.A. General. Even this time
of night there are people out, but the ones that see him hesitate to accept
the witness of their eyes -- a man running so fast he blurs, carrying
a naked and bloody woman – until he’s past and they can pretend
they never saw anything at all.
~ * ~
The smell of blood hangs in the air. Linwood is finally dead but Gunn
holds him upright against the wall, his face buried in the dead man’s
throat. Feeding. There can’t be much left in him, but Gunn seems
determined to get every last drop.
The shaman closed his eyes as soon as the screaming began and hasn’t
opened them since. He jumps when Wesley taps him gently on the shoulder.
“Now,” Wesley says. The shaman nods and begins to chant.
Even lost in the intoxication of feeding and revenge Gunn hears the low,
insistent drone of the shaman chanting. He ignores it. He kneads the dead
flesh, feeling the broken bones slide under the skin as he tries to coax
a few more drops out of his prey. He wishes it could have lasted longer,
almost wishes he hadn’t killed him, because the taste of fear in
fresh warm blood is the best thing he’s ever had.
The demon starts to grumble, then screech as the chanting increases.
Kill him, stop him! it howls, and Gunn lifts his head and lets the corpse
tumble to the floor. He feels the chanting like a dull hammer pounding
in his skull, and a crawling electrical sensation inside his bones. It’s
warm and seductive, painful and irritating at the same time. The demon
is in a panic. Killkillkillkillkilll – stop it. Stop them. He moves
toward the shaman and Wesley, unsure of his intent. The words roll like
thunder through him. His face shifts as the demon takes control. The light
from the stone sphere is searing. He snarls. He doesn’t want this.
He wants…killing and blood and freedom. The shaman and Wesley are
going to take it away from him. Killhimkillhimkillhim.
Light flares from the sphere in a slow wave that ripples through the
room and passes through the walls like they were no more solid than smoke.
Gunn groans as light flares in his eyes. He drops to his knees beside
what’s left of Linwood Murrow.
Blood. Linwood’s blood. He’s kneeling in it. More on the
dead man's ravaged throat, spoiling the Armani, mixing with the dark patch
at his crotch. Blood on his hands, on his teeth, in his belly. A moment
ago it was ambrosia, now the taste of it curdles in his mouth.
"Oh fuck, fuck, no…" Wesley watches, struggling to maintain
his detachment as Gunn heaves, desperately trying to expel the lawyer's
blood. He fails; the vampire has priorities that trump his shiny new soul.
"You don’t look well. I'll go along to the hotel. You follow
when you're feeling better."
“Hello?” Wesley’s voice dies away unanswered and the
hotel falls back into silence. He hurries across the lobby, eager to escape
the sound of his footsteps echoing off the marble floor. He notices a
whiff of corruption coming from the office, but he doesn’t investigate.
He’s done enough, he’s almost finished.
He takes the elevator to the third floor, Angel’s floor. He sees
the shattered door – no need to knock then. Still, nothing stirs
but himself. He steps inside.
The bed with its stained and rumpled sheets seems to glower at him accusingly.
Sticky dark splotches of blood mark the carpet.
A tattered scrap of cloth that used to be a top he remembers Cordelia
He’d been so sure. Angel loved her and Angelus couldn’t help
but be obsessed with her, as with Buffy. He been quite certain he wouldn’t
kill her. Not immediately. Not before he could save her.
“Oh god, Cordelia,” he whispers.
“Wesley, what are you doing here?” Lorne’s voice snaps
at his back. The demon’s voice has an edge that Wesley hasn’t
heard since Pylea, and his expression is unforgiving. “And what
do you know about what happened here?”
“More than I want. Angelus got loose. I’ve dealt with the
situation.” He says calmly. “But there are a few things you
need to know, about Angel…and Gunn."
Lorne’s anger abruptly collapses as he gets a premonition of what
he’s about to hear. “I’m not going to like any of this,
Wesley shakes his head. “No.”
Just as he’s about to start, Lorne’s cell phone rings.
“Hello? Angel?” Wesley deliberately avoids eavesdropping.
He studies the backs of his hands with deep concentration until Lorne
hangs up. He looks Lorne in the eye. The demon looks grim.
“That was Angel. He’s at L.A. General. Cordelia’s going
Oh thank God. He can feel Lorne’s red eyes on him, reading him.
“Wesley. I think you’d better finish telling me your story.
It’s getting close to dawn, Angel’ll be back here pretty soon.
And you’d better not be.”
“Yes. You’re probably right. “
~ * ~
“So what happened to the plan Wes?” Whistler blocks his path
as he leaves the hotel grounds. The little demon is obviously angry. “You
were supposed to contact Gunn’s crew, come back here and rescue
Cordelia. Right away, as in this morning when I talked to you. Instead
you go all Lone Revenger on me.”
Wesley stares coldly at the Power’s messenger.
“Ah yes. The plan. Tell me, how many of Gunn’s friends would
have been killed if I’d followed your plan? And once they found
out Gunn was dead, I don’t think they’d just let Angelus go.
Whistler shows his not-quite-human teeth. “Angel – wasn’t
the priority. The Seer...”
Wesley raises an eyebrow. “So all the PTB care about is Cordelia
nowadays? Interesting that Angel’s no longer their golden boy. You
wouldn’t like to tell me why that is I suppose?”
“Need to know, Watcher. And you don’t.”
“Fine. Well, I’ve dealt with the situation as well as I could.
“And I knew Angelus wouldn’t kill Cordelia.”
“You weren’t so sure a moment ago.”
“No, I wasn’t. But unlike you and the powers that you work
for, I actually *care*. You came to me, to pull your chestnuts out of
the fire. It might have helped if you’d warned them of what was
coming, or called me a little earlier, say before Angelus murdered Fred
and Gunn and the Groosalugg.” To his credit, Whistler does look
a little embarrassed at that.
“We didn’t know. Kinda into the big picture, they tend to
miss the details.”
“Details.” Wesley says. “Details.” He’s
shaking. He has a gun tucked into the small of his back and he seriously
considers using it. “Get out of my way, and don’t ever come
near me again,” he snarls. Whistler looks into his eyes, and moves.
~ * ~
Angel hates hospitals. The quiet air of desperation, the constant undertone
of pain, and the distracting scent of blood.
Cordelia’s blood, on his hands.
He doesn’t remember what he told them about how Cordelia got hurt.
Must have been a good story because he detects no suspicion or censure
from the doctor who came to reassure him that his friend had needed a
lot of blood but she’s stable now, she’ll be fine, she’s
in Room 401. Visiting hours are normally 9:30 to 5:00 p.m., but if he’d
like to see her, just be discreet.
He can’t do it. Can’t stand to see her pale and battered.
Not while the memory of his hands inflicting each wound, and the pleasure
he’d taken from plundering her body, is sharp and clear in his mind.
Not while her blood is still running in his veins.
Lorne slides into the seat beside him. “Hey Angelcakes. Have you
seen her yet?”
“No. I can’t Lorne.” He looks into his friend’s
kind red eyes searching for understanding. Lorne shakes his eyes.
“She’s going to want to see you sweetie, trust me. And you
need to see her, and know she’ll be O.K. And *then* you need to
get out of here before the sun comes shining through those great big windows
“Why? What’s the point Lorne? I keep thinking I’m on
the right path, and then… Anyone who gets close to me ends up hurt
or dead. Connor was just a baby, an innocent, and he’s dead because
of what I did all those years ago. Cordelia – my best friend who
I raped and nearly killed. It’d be best if I just ended it now.”
“No, Angel. It’d be easier for you is all. Coming back from
this is going to be hard. It’s going to hurt, and I can’t
promise Cordelia will ever be able to look at you the same way as before.
But you have to try. You’re her Champion: act like it.”
~ * ~
Home again, home again. Wesley thinks as he walks up the stairs to his
apartment. There’s a half-bottle of scotch in the kitchen. He’ll
have to go out tomorrow and restock. Or perhaps Lilah will oblige.
His hand shakes as he tries to fit the key into the lock. He’s
exhausted. It’s been a very long day. Something flickers in his
peripheral vision and he turns to find he has a visitor.
She wavers, as if uncertain of her intent and for a moment he thinks
he might just make it, turn the key, twist the knob and throw himself
through the doorway before – she moves quicker than his tired eyes
can follow and she’s suddenly pressed up against him, holding his
face between her small hands and looking up at him with a grave but somehow
“Drusilla,” he rasps. Her eyes are dark, bottomless. It would
be so very easy to lose himself in them. It’s a possibility he finds
himself giving serious consideration to.
“Watcher. I didn’t see you until it was too late,”
she comments. “Daddy’s gone, and Grandmother’s gone
and my Spike’s gone, and I’m all alone in the garden. We’re
He can’t argue with truth. “Yes.”
“Mmmm.” Her eyes gleam. “All alone in the dark. What
will you taste of I wonder? My Spike tasted of ashes and now he’s
“I’m sorry to hear about that,” he says as she seems
to expect an answer.
“Hush baby bunting, Daddy’s gone a hunting -- but he’ll
be home soon, bright and terrible boy.” Wesley stifles a sigh and
wonders how Spike stood the endless stream of non-sequiturs.
“What do you want Drusilla.” He winces as her nails dig into
his face. A polite reminder.
“Rude, we haven’t been introduced. Very rude, to keep me
on the doorstep, like this. You ought at least to invite me in dearie.”
He shrugs, yielding to the inevitable. “Come in Drusilla,”
he says and opens the door, gallantly motioning her in ahead of him.
“Thank you.” She minces across the threshold.
He has the distinct impression that she is no more impressed with his
apartment than Whistler had been, but ladylike, she says nothing. She
settles on the couch, regal amidst the sagging cushions and empty pizza
boxes. He watches her warily.
“Come sit with me.” He’s much too tired to argue. He
sits beside her and doesn’t protest when she pulls him close, nestling
her head against his chest. The silence of her seems to still all the
random noises of late night, cars and crickets and the nervous hammer
of his pulse.
“Sssh,” she whispers. “It will all come right in the
end.” She twists her head to look into his eyes. “I can be
her for you now if you like.”
And it’s her, dark eyes and delicate features, almost ethereal
in his arms, but not. Her mouth sensual and soft with a slight tang of
chili. “Fred,” he whispers.
“Wesley,” she moans. And it’s Fred’s sweet drawl,
and Fred’s delicate body as he’s imagined it in his arms and
her lovely sparkling eyes…
“No.” He says harshly pulling away. Drusilla stares up at
him, her mouth wet from his kisses. He stares at her stark white face
and dead, dreaming, eyes. There’s the taste of old blood in his
mouth. “Don’t be her. Be you. Be Drusilla for me.” He
puts a hand over a cool breast as he bends down to kiss her tepid mouth.
She’ll probably kill him, and he probably ought to worry more about
that, but right now he can’t bring himself to care.
End Act 1: Better Off Dead
Next: Act 2:
Brand New Way