FARCE: A COMEDY IN THREE ACTS
Two: Brand New Way
Sight and sound dissolved into gray nothingness, leaving only the
agony of Drusilla’s fangs in her flesh, until even that faded
to numbness as Cordelia fell unresisting into the darkness, taking
with her only a vague sense of regret...
And then there was light. Too much light, stabbing through her
closed eyelids and urgent voices nagging at her when all she wanted
to do was sleep.
“Can you tell me your name?”
“Miss, can you tell me what happened to you?”
She convulsed as a wave of bright agony swept her into consciousness.
I need compression here! She’s losing a lot of blood from
the wound in her neck. There’s another bleeder on the left
upper leg, looks like it just missed the femoral.
“What are those, animal bites? What did the guy who brought
her in say happened?”
“Get me two units O-neg. Lots of bruising on the thighs,
and O.K. that’s definitely a human bite. I think we’re
going to need a rape kit.”
It hurt. Worse than the worst vision. Pain made it impossible to
think about anything else and would someone please shut up that
woman, make her stop screaming? Hurt it hurt it hurt, don’t
touch her, just NO! NO! Leave her alone she… NO!
Miss please! You have to calm down, we’re trying to help
you! Nurse, push 100 g of Demerol, 5g Valium; she needs to calm
Oh. That’s better. The pain had faded away and the screaming
had stopped and she could think a little. She stared up at the concerned
faces, the white ceiling behind them. Busy people, crowded round
her, doing things to her. She knows this one: Hospital. She’d
“Hello Miss, I’m Dr. Kelso, can you tell me your name?”
He had a nice face, he looked worried. She wanted to tell him to
relax. Everything was going to be O.K.
“Miss?” Ooops. He wanted some kind of answer.
“Cordelia Chase.” He smiled; right answer.
“Do you remember what happened?” Uh oh. Trick question.
It would be fun to actually tell him the truth-- if she didn’t
mind spending a few days under psychiatric observation. On second
thought she’d pass.
She looked straight into the doctor’s clear gray eyes and
lied. “I don’t remember.” He frowned, and she
sensed he wasn’t buying it, but he didn’t push it.
“We’d like to perform a few tests—your condition
suggests you might have been raped, and since you don’t remember…”
She could say no of course, but she didn’t want to set off
any more alarms. “I guess, if you think I should…”
Cordelia drifted as various things were done to her body. Eventually
she was moved into a private room and left alone. The slow drip
of the IV and the quiet hum of the monitor were soothing. Tomorrow,
or today – she wasn’t sure about the time – there
would be police to lie to but right now all she wanted was to sleep.
She closed her eyes and fell directly into a vision.
This one was different, there was the usual headlong rush of images
but none of the usual sense of urgency.
Middle aged guy in the remains of an expensive suit, tied to a
chair. She’ll take Wolfram and Hart for a thousand Alex. Angel
– and it is him, not Angelus, God knows she knows the difference
– holds the sharp end of a paper holder a scary millimeter
from the man’s eye. He begs. Angel’s face doesn’t
Abruptly her viewpoint shifted and she was looking down at the
same guy. He has both eyes intact, different suit. He’s talking
to a creepy-looking demon in a hood. “I want you to remove
Angel’s soul.” Shit. At least she knows who to blame.
And again with the scene changes.
Angelus, creeping into Angel’s room. Smiling malevolently
down at her obliviously sleeping self. Long pale fingers reaching
out… Please, please, change the damned…
Thank you. Fred lying pale and broken on a bier of broken glass
and garbage. Oh no, poor Fred…
Flash—the images are definitely speeding up. Drusilla sweeping
grandly into the Hyperion’s lobby. She looks up and smiles.
Flash-- This time it’s Wesley standing out front of the Hyperion,
looking worried as Gunn comes towards him. He’s not dead,
oh thank God!
And again-- Gunn vamping out and slamming the lawyer’s head
into a car. “Linwood,” Wesley says. Nice to have a name.
Flash -- Hoodie demon (she can’t tell for sure if it’s
the same one) chanting. Pretty rock. Pretty lights.
Flash -- Angel collapses in a parking lot as light flares in his
Flash -- Light flares in Gunn’s eyes. He lets Linwood’s
corpse drops to the ground. Guess she can forget about revenge.
Flash - Lorne talking to Angel “You’re safe as houses
sweetpea: Wesley got you an upgrade. Your soul is bound to your
body now – can’t have one without the other, so no more
“It’s never safe,” Angel says.
She opened her eyes. Angel was standing in the doorway.
The knot of tension in her stomach unwound at the sight of him.
Not that she didn’t appreciate the Powers giving her an update,
but seeing him in the flesh made it real. “Hey,” she
said softly. “From the look on your face, I must look pretty
bad.” He flinched.
“Cordy. God, I’m so sorry.” His hand clenched
on the metal of the doorframe and made it groan in sympathy.
“Come over here, Angel.” Reluctantly he came to stand
by the side of her bed, head bowed, and waiting for judgment. Having
him this close was harder than she’d thought it would be.
She made herself take his cool hand in hers.
“How can you stand to be near me…after what I did?”
he asked softly.
“Angel – I know that wasn’t you. That could never
He didn’t say anything and his eyes were full of shadows.
She refused to look at her wrists, at the bruises that matched the
fingers entwined with hers. “Angelus is gone for good, the
PTB gave me the good news. You’re free Angel. You can be as
happy as you want to be.”
“Happy.” He made the word into a curse.
“Yeah, happy. Get used to the idea Broodzilla. Come on Angel,
I need you. Gunn and Lorne and me we all need you.”
He winced at Gunn’s name and her own thoughts skittered nervously
away from the whole undead Gunn concept. “Sucks to be us sometimes,”
she murmured. He squeezed her hand gently.
They sat in silence. She didn’t remember being so aware of
his unnatural stillness before, no breathing, no pulse or heat in
the flesh holding hers. He sat there stolid and silent as a statue.
She was relieved when there was a knock at the door and Lorne stuck
his head inside. “Hey, guys. Everything alright here?”
“We’re fine,” Cordelia stated.
“Sorry kids, hate to interrupt you kids, but Mr. Sun is on
his way and the big guy needs to get a move on.”
Angel had been aware of the threat of daylight threat for awhile
but he was reluctant to leave Cordelia. It had been so close, he’d
almost lost her. He wanted to sit and count every breath and let
himself be lulled by the cadence of her heartbeat, the solid reassurance
that she was alive. She looked so small and pale in the cold hospital
bed. So vulnerable. It would be so easy to hurt her. It had been
…and so much fun.
He stood up and let her hand slip through his. “He’s
right,” he mumbled as he headed for the door.
“Angel!” He froze.
“Angel, I love you.”
He could almost taste the pain and truth in her voice. “I
know,” he said and fled.
Lorne came over to the bed and kissed her gently on the forehead.
“Hey Princess, I’ll be back soon as I get him home,
“Make sure he eats.”
“Will do crumbcake. Anything I can do for you?”
“Can you go by my place – I don’t know where
my keys are but Dennis will let you in – and get me some clothes,
and a nightgown and maybe some moisturizer?”
“Sure thing doll. I’ll be back before you have time
to miss me.”
Alone again, Cordelia settled back against the cool sheets with
a sigh and pulled the thin blanket up. Shivering, she wondered why
they kept the temperature so damned low in here. She’d never
been so cold in her life.
Gunn had never noticed before how creepy the Hyperion’s lobby
was. He didn’t like the way the high ceiling arched overhead
full of shadows, even though he can see into them they still bug
him. He felt spotlit sitting here on the couch in the huge empty
space. Not like he’d ever spent any time alone here before.
There’d always been someone around, hanging out behind the
desk, lurking in the office while they waited for a client or discussed
a case or patched each other up after a fight.
He wished someone would show up. Anybody: Cordelia or Wesley or
Angel or even Lorne. Oh man, Lorne; he’s gotta be laughing
his ass off about him being vamped; dude never did forgive him for
that mess with Gio; shit, couldn’t really blame him. He was
so fucked. Right now he don’t even have a place to stay. Can’t
sleep in his truck. Fact was he’d better stay out of the old
neighborhood and away from his old crew. He don’t see them
giving him a chance to explain about how it was cool ‘cause
look, he’s got a soul. ‘Specially since he isn’t
100% sure that’s true: having a soul never kept Angel from
going off the rails.
He sucked nervously on his teeth. He could really use a toothpick,
pretty sure Wes kept some in the top drawer of his desk. But it
didn’t feel right for him to go in there. He wondered who
was gonna be boss now. Cordy, or maybe Wes if he came back. No disrespect
for Barbie, but personally he’d vote for Wes. Man showed them
he’d got the strategy skills and they could sure use his book
His butt slid around on the plush upholstery as he tried to find
a comfortable position. He felt itchy, like his skin didn’t
fit right. Maybe because there was a demon crammed inside it with
him now. The way his skin slithered over the changing bones when
he vamped was just plain Nasty. Especially the part where it felt
kinda good. He’s kinda curious about what he looks like; maybe
he can get Cordelia to take a Polaroid so he can check out just
how scary he is. Though it ain’t like he don't have experience
being scary. Didn’t need fangs, just being a tall young brother
made him pretty damn scary far as a big chunk of the population
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Man, where were they? After he’d pulled his shit together
he’d come here like Wesley said. He’d gone upstairs
to check it out but he’d only managed to make it as far as
the hallway outside Angel’s room before the stink of blood
and the memories drove him back down here.
There was no-one else alive or undead in the hotel. Just him. Worried
and starting to feel hunger scratching around inside even though
he can still taste his last meal in his mouth…
“Hey, Linwood, look at me motherfucker…”
Gunn shook his head free of the memory, he didn’t want to
think about that shit right now. Or ever if he can help it. Can’t
take it back, and he wasn’t sure he would even if he could;
he’ll be damned if he’s gonna cry any tears over that
bastard Linwood. He was sorry about torturing and eating him though.
Even though he’d tasted so good…
He really needs Angel to come back. He needs to talk to Angel.
That’s all. Needs some tips on how to deal with this new part
of him that wants blood and violence and pain. That’s all.
Don’t care what Wes said, he’s not down with that sire
bullshit. Last thing he needs is a daddy, already got one of those,
somewhere. And for the first time in years he hoped the asshole
wasn’t dead. Cause he’d like to find George Gunn and
show him how much his son appreciated being left to try and raise
his baby sister on his own after mama got eaten by vamps on her
way back from the stop-and-rob one night and they lost the house.
Yeah, he ought to find Dad, make that motherfucker repent. Just
…raw red sockets oozed red tearstains to bracket the screaming
mouth. He leaned forward for another taste at the same time digging
his fingers into the soft gut, tearing through skin and meat to
the slippery vulnerable organs inside…
Damn, he’d lost control again. He held his hand up to his
face fascinated by the way his fingernails had gone all clawed.
Definitely don’t want that happening on a date. He had to
get some control. Before he hurt someone. Someone who didn’t
deserve it. Aw shit, he’s ripped the upholstery. Cordy’s
gonna kill him.
Cordy. The scent of her blood had been thick in the air upstairs.
Please Lord Jesus, let Cordy be O.K. Because if she wasn’t
then it was over for all of them. No way would Angel survive that,
he’d lock himself up in a dark closet and Wes would blame
himself like he blames himself for every damn thing. And Charles
Gunn? Without his friends, his girl, or a purpose he’d be
just another monster that somebody needed to put out of its misery.
He wished – wished he hadn’t been so damn quick up
those stairs or maybe been just a little bit quicker. Wished he
hadn’t looked into Drusilla’s eyes, or that he’d
held out and not swallowed. Wished he’d been run over by a
fucking bus on the way to meet Groo. Wished for whatever it would
take for Fred to be alive and Cordy not hurt and for him to not
be sitting here undead and fucked with bits of lawyer stuck between
Angel greedily inhaled the clear night air as they stepped outside
of the hospital, and then gave it all back, purging his senses of
the hospital stink of chemicals, fear and blood. Always blood.
“My car’s over in the visitor’s lot. Come on.”
Lorne walked away. Angel didn’t follow.
“I can make it back to the hotel on my own.”
Lorne looked dubious. “Angelcakes…”
“I need some time to think. I promise I’ll be there
when you get back, OK?”
Lorne sighed and accepted the inevitable. “See you back at
Angel walked along the quiet streets as slowly as he dared, feeling
the warning prickle in his shoulder blades as the sky paled overhead.
He wished he had somewhere else to go, anywhere other than that
damned hotel. The scene of the crime. Gunn was waiting there for
him there; another in his long chain of dead only he has to face
this one. What the hell could he say to him? ‘Hey bro, sorry
I killed you? ‘
He hoped Dru had the sense to run before he had to kill her.
And he just can’t believe it was Wesley who saved the day.
Wasn’t that a kick in the pants? So he guessed killing him
is out and if he were a better person he wouldn’t still hate
him. But he’s not. The best he can do is to not kill him.
He was fed up with cruel ironies. Congratulations, your soul is
permanent! There’s no more Angelus; go on, be happy. Sure,
he’ll just go up to her and say ‘Hey Cordy, sorry about
my evil alter-ego raping you and killing your boyfriend. Wanna date?’
God, Cordelia. He’d felt every shudder she’d fought
down for his sake when she’d held his hand and every half-conscious
cringe and suppressed recoil had been a kick in the gut. Angelus
had destroyed whatever chance they’d ever had to be together,
all that was left now was tainted memories and a gaping hole in
She didn’t blame him. She blamed everything on Angelus and
she believed he was gone for good. She was so fucking wrong on both
counts it was funny.
She didn’t get it, none of them do. ‘Angel’ is
just an alias. It’s not all their fault, he’d encouraged
the confusion. It made everything so much easier. Though at first,
he’d tried telling them the truth. He’d admitted to
them that the memories of Angelus’ crimes weren’t nightmares,
but it made the humans uneasy around him, made them draw away and
he didn’t like that. So he’d stopped telling them. He’d
gone along with the fiction that Angelus was a completely separate
persona. It made it so much easier for them to let him in and treat
him like a person, a friend. Angel needed that.
But underneath it all the truth is that he is Angelus. Same mind,
same memories, same desires. The soul was the only difference: it
lets Angel care about others, and keeps him from following his baser
instincts, mostly. But it doesn’t keep him from wanting to
go back to the hospital. Doesn’t stop him wanting to tear
Cordelia free of the tubes and wires and carry her back to the hotel,
lay her on his bloodied bed and fuck her until she screamed. Doesn’t
keep him from craving her blood, wanting to taste it again, sweet
and vital on his tongue.
If she knew what he really was, she’d run and never come
anywhere near him again. And that would be the best, really. If
she’d go. Remove the temptation. Leave him and make a life
for herself in the sun. She deserved that. Everyone knows that the
monster is never meant to get the girl. He’d thought she’d
leave with the Groosalugg, but she came back. Why the hell does
she keep coming back? Why won’t she hate him?
Too soon the Hyperion loomed before him, silhouetted against the
brightening sky. Angel hesitated, tempted by the thought of walking
into the dawn, but he’d promised her.
The first thing Angel saw as he stepped inside the lobby was Gunn
sitting hunched on the lobby couch. He looked up and Angel couldn’t
help but recoil a little from yellow eyes and ridged forehead. Gunn
turned away and conflicting emotions washed through Angel as he
watched his fledgling struggling to shift back. Sorrow and remorse
as he remembered Gunn becoming dead weight in his arms, undercut
by the memory of how very good the last of Gunn’s life had
tasted sliding down his throat. His demon clamored, urging him to
step forward and claim his newly made son; to touch/ feed/ shelter/
fuck/punish him. To mold him into whatever image pleased him. .
“Hey, Angel.” Gunn’s face was human again, his
voice unsteady as he tried to maintain his cool. Angel saw how he
leaned forward in unconscious yearning. He remembered crawling out
of his grave with a dull ache in his bones that only Darla could
salve; how he’d craved her attention, begged for her direction.
Penn, eager and pliant. Angel moved a step closer.
He smelled blood. Not Gunn’s but vaguely familiar. Fuck.
If Gunn had been feeding, if he has, soul or no soul he’ll
have to kill him, again. He can’t do this. The silence stretched
as neither vampire spoke.
“How’s Cordelia??” Gunn asked.
“She’s at the hospital.”
“She gonna be OK?”
“Yeah. I guess. I don’t know.” He stared at the
patterned floor. “I don’t know why she doesn’t
hate me.” He knew why Gunn didn’t hate him and he wasn’t
going to be pleased when he figured out why.
“She loves you man.” Angel knew that Gunn was only
trying to help, but he can’t hear this.
“Gunn, I don’t know what to say to you… What
I did. I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah. I know. But it wasn’t you. I got that.”
Angel sighed and let it go.
More silence. The two of them standing just beyond arms reach.
“Wesley,” Angel said. “Lorne said he was the
one who got my soul back.”
“Yeah, and mine. Wes really came through.”
“So he got to be the hero at last.” That probably came
out just a teense bitter, but Angel was too tired to care. Gunn
“Man, I don’t think that’s why he did it. Wes…”
Gunn’s mouth snapped shut at his sire’s growl.
“Gunn – I -- maybe you’re right. Probably. He
saved Cordy, I owe him. But I still can’t forgive him for
Gunn looked like he wanted to argue, but Angel’s glare silenced
him. The uncomfortable silence nudged itself back between them.
The dawn was beginning to send fingers of light through the lobby
“So, uh – what do I do?” Gunn said.
“Huh? You know the basics. Drink blood, avoid sunlight, crosses,
holy water, fire. Don’t kill humans or Lorne. Uh…”
“I mean, I don’t have any place to stay now. So, can
I stay here for awhile?” The neediness in his gaze was like
fingers plucking at Angel’s arm.
“Um. Sure, no problem.” He can’t do this. “I’m
tired – I gotta go. Take whatever room you want.” He
fled upstairs. After a few minutes Gunn followed.
She rode him, mouth smeared with his blood, her cunt clenched around
his cock so tightly he can only move at her pleasure, a reminder
of how easily she could break him in half. He’d lost track
of how long they’ve been at this. Weeks, days, hours, blurred
into an unending loop of him spilling himself into her by cock and
vein interspersed by blackouts. As she shuddered through her climax
and dragged him along with her, he sensed the end was near. He welcomed
it. He was looking forward to the end of caring, one way or another.
She bent down to kiss him, cool silken lips leaching heat from
his.. “Such a lovely, lovely boy. Mine. The nasty girl shan’t
He shivered as her teeth skimmed teasingly over his taut throat,
snagging slightly on the rougher scar tissue. Now, he thought. Now.
Perhaps he’d spoken out loud because she nuzzled in closer
the tip of her tongue burning his skin with cold. “Patience,
Charity, Hope and Prudence,” she recited.
“My sisters. Daddy said Patience was the sweetest. Saving
myself of course.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, because she seemed genuinely
sad. She giggled.
“Silly boy, they’re much better off dead.” She
nuzzled his throat. “Such kind concern should have a reward.
Sweets to the sweet,” she purred, her words dripping like
cold rain on the skin of his throat.
Her fangs sliced into him and it didn’t hurt much, certainly
no more than he deserved. His blood fled eagerly down her throat
and he felt himself grow lighter, insubstantial, free of his fears
and regrets. He hoped vaguely that she doesn’t decide to turn
him. All he wanted was for it to be over at last...
“IT’S 7:30 A.M. PEOPLE! This is KROK! THE HOT ROCK!
HERE TO GET YOU GOING WHERE YOU GOTTA GO!”
Wesley hit the snooze button with his eyes still shut and fell
back onto the bed. 7:30 a.m., why on earth had he set the alarm
for this unholy hour? Oh yes, he has an appointment in Burbank at
10:30 about some translation work and as he needs the money rather
badly he couldn’t afford to be late. Resignedly Wesley slid
out of bed and plodded towards the bathroom.
He turned the shower on high and nearly scalding as if to wash
away the last shreds of his dream. He dreamt about that night at
least once a week since the event.
The sun had woken him late that morning, warming his face after
its long crawl across the piles of books, pizza boxes, crumpled
wrappers, and dirty laundry. He’d sat up slowly, feeling the
sting of his wounds, his whole body one throbbing bruise, and wondered
what had gone wrong. Typical – he couldn’t even get
himself killed properly. He had been quite disappointed with Drusilla.
He’d cleaned himself up, then made himself a cup of tea and
some toast. Midway through his breakfast it occurred to him that
she might come back that night, to finish what she’d started.
The sheer terror that gripped him at the thought came as an epiphany.
He’d drunk another cup of tea and phoned Willow.
The uninvite spell had been done well before sundown. He sat down
in his living room armed with cross and holy water, but Drusilla
didn’t appear. He hasn’t seen her since. He hopes he’ll
never see her again.
After the shower he stood before the mirror his eyes fixed on the
unfogged space he’d rubbed clear of steam and felt a familiar
tickle at the back of his neck. He could feel someone standing behind
him, watching. He tried to ignore it as he finished shaving, knowing
from past experience that if he turned around there would be no-one
there. The sunlight spilling through the deliberately gauzy curtains
meant it couldn’t be either of the obvious suspects.
Wolfram and Hart? They certainly had the resources but he couldn’t
imagine why they’d bother. His only importance had been as
Angel’s associate. Now that he was on his own surveillance
seemed pointless. Which did not necessarily rule them out.
It was all very annoying.
He nicked himself. Swearing he dropped the razor and spun around
to find – nothing, again. He was growing tired of this game.
Something will have to be done.