Demons And Cookies

By Maquis Leader

 

 

 

Rated PG

Author’s note: Set in Angel’s future after the BtVS epi Chosen and after the Angel epi Home. In this universe, Spike is still dead. Cordy came out of her coma when Connor killed Jasmine, the AI gang did not make a deal with Wolfram and Hart, and Connor is… I dunno where. Okay, okay, he’s out killing demons on his own after Angel stopped him from killing the people in the store. Less angst there for Angel… And Spike is still dead. Thank you Cress for the name of the demons. And did I mention that Spike is still dead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Guts! Ick! Guts!”

 

“Get down!” Angel pushed Cordelia out of the way and leaped on the Cresil demon’s back. He’d killed one Cresil already, slicing it open with the two handed long sword he favored. Unfortunately, the demon’s death throes had included splattering Cordelia with its insides as they became its outsides.

 

Gunn and Wes had another Cresil cornered. Despite their differences since Fred had married the former Watcher two years ago, the two men worked well as a demon killing team. Gunn drew the demon’s attention while Wes slid his sword into its hearts.

 

The demon reached up and tried to snatch Angel off his back. Twisting to one side, he drove the point of his sword down through the demon’s neck. “Die, damn it!” He twisted the blade viciously.

 

Screaming in pain, the Cresil reached up again; this time his claws raked across Angel’s back and shoulder, slicing through the leather coat and snagging deep in the vampire’s flesh. With a roar, the demon flung Angel across the cavern and against the wall.

 

Slamming into the unforgiving rock, Angel slid down to lay stunned on the dirt floor.

 

Ow! Shit! Shit! That hurt! Angelus yelped. Get up! Get up!

 

Groggily, Angel staggered to his feet as the Cresil demon lumbered toward him. He could see Cordelia and Lorne hustling the little girls out of the cave. He smiled despite the pain in his head and back.

 

Cordelia’s vision had led them to the lair of a clan of Cresil demons who had snatched a group of Girl Scouts from their campground. A familiar tingle at the base of Angel’s spine had alerted him even before he saw the little girl standing in front of her terrified fellow scouts. She was brandishing a large chunk of wood, and the demons were circling warily, already sporting a bloody mark or two.

 

He had smiled when her eyes widened and her head snapped toward him. She felt him as he felt her. Then the blue eyes had narrowed and he knew she had listed him over in the enemy column. Hopefully when this was over, she’d understand he was one of the good guys and wouldn’t try to stake him

 

The little girl was one of the Slayers given her powers when Willow had used the scythe’s power to cast a spell that changed the Slayer’s destiny. Never again would there be one lone – lonely – Slayer.

 

Well yea and rah rah! Now this thing’s going to fucking kill us! Angelus snarled. And we didn’t even get any cookies!

 

They’re not made with real Girl Scouts anyway. Angel raised his sword as the demon closed on him.

 

They’re not?

 

No. He blocked the razor sharp claws as they sliced down at him.

 

Well that sucks. Angelus pouted. Oh, watch the tail!

 

Angel jumped up as the barbed tail whipped toward him. I saw it! He swung the sword down, chopping most of the tail off. “There you go, stumpy!”

 

Stumpy? Is that the best you’ve got? There was a mental yawn. I’ve never eaten a girl scout. I’ll bet they’re full of sugary sweetness.

 

And you’re never going to find out! Leaping up over the Cresil, Angel landed behind it. Before the demon could turn, he wound up like a pro golfer and sliced the creature’s head off.

 

Fore! Angelus snickered as the three eyed head bounced across the floor.

 

“And they say vampires can’t play sports.” Laughing at the absurdity of the situation, Angel wiped his sword off on the demon’s body.

 

He was walking toward the cave entrance, a smile on his face as he heard Lorne singing Kumbyah with the little girls they’d saved, when the pain hit.

 

A scream of agony tore from him. Dropping the sword, he fell to his knees, clutching at his chest. “No – no – oh God – “

 

Angelus howled in pain as well, but he rejoiced in it.  Get out, Soul Boy!

 

“I wasn’t – wasn’t – “ Angel fell back in the dirt. “No – I wasn’t – that – happy – “

 

Too bad!

 

He’d suffered this pain before, lying face down in a dark alley, rain pouring over him as his soul was ripped free. Stumbling from the bed where he’d made love to – “Buffy!”

 

I’ll take good care – The razor sharp pain choked off the demon’s thoughts.

 

“Angel!” Cordelia knelt next to him. “Oh God! That thing must have hurt him!”

 

“He’ll be fine, Cordy.” Gunn threw down his axe and helped Wes roll the suffering vampire over onto his belly. “He ain’t dust.”

 

“Get – get away – get – “ Angel reached up to push Cordelia away as she touched his face. “Angelus – “

 

“It can’t be.” Wes shook his head. “I doubt that saving girl scouts, as rewarding as that is, is going to give Angel a moment of perfect happiness.”

 

“Buffy – “ He grabbed Wes’ shirt. “Love – tell her – love her – “

 

“Angel, you’re going to be fine.” The other man patted his shoulder. “The demon must have poisoned you.”

 

“Tell her!” He grunted out between the painful tears of his soul.

 

“Buffy knows you love her, Angel.” Cordelia stroked a hand through the dark hair. “You’re going to be fine. You can call her and tell her.”

 

“No – “ He looked up at her, blinking as she appeared to fade away.

 

Bye bye, Soul Boy!  Angelus grunted in pain. This was taking longer than the first time. I’ll tell her for you – Buffy’ll be real loved –

 

“No!” Angel dug his fingers into the dirt floor in a vain attempt to anchor himself. “Protect – protect – “

 

“The girls are safe, Angel.” Wes assured him as he cut the leather coat open to expose more of Angel’s wounded back. “Little Emily is quite the little Slayer.”

 

“She almost took Lorne’s head off with that log she’s carrying.” Gunn’s laugh choked off as he saw Angel’s back. “Oh, damn, those cuts are ugly.”

 

Get out – get out – Angelus was shrieking in pain and joy. Get out!

 

“Buffy – protect – “ Angel reached out blindly and found a hand. “Please – kill me! Stake me!”

 

“Angel, no.” Cordelia winced as he crushed her hand. “It’s just nasty demon goo, you’re going to be real embarrassed later, you know. And okay, I just had my nails done.”

 

“Angelus – “

 

“No Angelus, no grr.” She put her free hand under his face to protect it from the rock and dirt he was lying in. “Wes will fix it. Won’t you, Wes? Wes?”

 

“Buffy – “

 

“She’s safe, Angel.” Cordelia didn’t like the look on Wes’ face. He looked scared suddenly. “Buffy's retired now, remember?”

 

“I don’t understand this.” Wes muttered. “The cuts aren’t that bad, and Cresil demons don’t secrete poison.”

 

“They did somethin’.”

 

“Wes! Fix it!”

 

“Come back here, Emily. Leave the nice vampire alone, sugar cookie.”

 

Their voices were getting fainter, fading away. Angel blinked, but he could no longer see. He could no longer feel Cordy’s hand. Buffy – I love you -- don’t forget me –

 

I’ll make sure she won’t – Angelus’ voice was a faint whisper.

 

No – no – no – “No!” His scream startled him. Angel rolled over. He could feel again. See and hear. “Oh God – what have I done?”

 

Nothing! I can’t – Angelus growled in frustration.

 

What have I done this time? Angel searched frantically through his memories looking for his newest crimes. He couldn’t find the gap. “How long this time?”

 

“Your time is up.”

 

“What?” He turned, but there was no one there. He was alone in a small stone cell.

 

I can’t find it! Find it! Angelus demanded. Did I go to Buffy? Did I kill her?

 

A chill ran down Angel’s spine. He scrambled through his memories. Lying in the cave. Here. Lying in the cave. Here. Where is it?

 

Damn it! The demon snarled. They couldn’t have shoved you back in that fast!

 

“There wasn’t enough time.” Angel couldn’t find a single memory between the cave and here. Wherever here was.

 

“Your time is up.”

 

“Where are you?” He looked around. “Where am I?”

 

“Where do you want to be?”

 

“Not here.” Angel turned around again, searching the stone walls for a door. There wasn’t one.

 

“Then where?”

 

“Who are you?” He demanded.

 

“Choose.”

 

“Choose?” Tilting his head back, Angel studied the ceiling looking for grates or openings. There weren’t any.

 

Did I kill her? Did I? Look! Angelus demanded again. Do I just not remember? What the fuck is going on? Find it!

 

Shut up! He shoved the demon down. I can’t think!  “Who are you? Why are you holding me here? Who – who did I kill?”

 

“Your time is up. Choose.”

 

“Choose what?” Angel turned around, his hands held up in a gesture of helplessness. “What are my choices?”

 

“What do you desire?”

 

That’s always a trick question. Angelus warned. You ask for water and you drown kind of thing.

 

I know that. Shut up! “When you say desire – “

 

“He doesn’t understand.” A different voice said. Softer and feminine.

 

“What do you expect from a lower being?”

 

I know that voice… Angel’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully.

 

Yeah…

 

“I know you.” He went back through his memories while Angelus searched from the past forward. “I know you. The Oracles!”

 

“Yes.”  A woman appeared before him. Golden with blue runes etched onto her skin.

 

“You’re dead.” He stared at her.

 

So are we.

 

“We are not the same as you.” The male Oracle appeared beside her. “We cannot die.”

 

Can we try again, just to be sure?

 

Vocah had hacked them to death, their blood staining the stone floor of their temple. “But I saw – “

 

“What we wanted you to see.” She said.

 

“Why?”

 

“So that you would not come to us with every meaningless problem.” The male said loftily. “We have issues of greater concern.”

 

And yet, here you are.

 

“We were here if you truly needed us.” The female looked chidingly at her brother. “But we did not wish to be a crutch.”

 

“I understand.” Angel nodded. And he might have run to them many times over the years if he had been able to. “I had to do things myself.”

 

“Now, what do you choose?”

 

Again with the choosing! The demon snorted.

 

“I don’t understand.” Angel said carefully. Powerful beings could be both literal and capricious.

 

“Your time is up.” She said. “And you must choose.”

 

Do they have to be so damned cryptic? Angel ground his teeth in frustration.

 

You want a straight answer? Oh master of the ' Evil's coming. It's dangerous.' warning. Angelus laughed.

 

“Did I die? Am I dead?”

 

“You are already dead, lower being.” The male smirked.

 

Listen, asshole –

 

Angel grabbed his head as Angelus screamed in agony.

 

“Quiet, demon.” The male brushed an imaginary speck from his immaculate robe.

 

You’re awfully brave there, toga boy. The demon’s voice was weak, but still defiant.

 

Shut up. While he hadn’t felt the demon’s pain, Angel had heard it and didn’t care for a repeat of the experience. “Okay, I’m already dead, but am I – did I – “

 

“Cease to exist on that plane?” She smiled. “No. The damage to your physical form was not that severe.”

 

“Okay, so the choice isn’t hell or limbo or – “

 

“Or paradise?” The male shrugged. “It can be if you so choose.”

 

Heaven? Angel thought about that. To be free of the guilt and loneliness.

 

Are there babes? ‘Cos it ain’t paradise if there ain’t babes.

 

“Choose.”

 

“I – I – don’t know – “ His mind was blank, and Angel couldn’t speak the words.

 

“Your reward!” The male said impatiently. “Choose your reward!”

 

“Your time is done, Champion. Your service to us has ended.” The female said gently. “Now you may choose that which you most desire.”

 

Cryptic much?

 

Angel’s knees weakened, and he stumbled over to lean against one wall. The cool stone against his face helped clear his mind. “My desires? Anything?”

 

“Anything.” The male waved his hand. “Riches? Possessions? Power? Isn’t that what you lower beings typically desire?”

 

“He desires none of these things.” She smiled coyly. “He desires the female.”

 

“Yes!” Pushing away from the wall, Angel went to her. “Yes, that’s what I want!”

 

“A female?” The male sneered. “Is that all lower beings ever want?”

 

“Not merely a female.” Tossing her head, his sister glared at him. “The Slayer. His mate.”

 

Yes! Buffy, want Buffy! Angelus growled. Want her bad!

 

“Is that all you want?” The male asked. “We shall give her to you.”

 

“Yes!” Angel said again.

 

What about me? What about what I want? There was a sigh. On her knees, begging for me to –

 

“Begone, demon.” The female waved a hand dismissively. “Your time is done as well.”

 

There was a mental yelp and then silence echoed through Angel’s mind.

 

“Look into your heart, Champion.” She cupped Angel’s face in her hands. “Show me your heart’s desire.”

 

Every dream, every wistful fancy, every hot and sweaty fantasy rushed through his mind. Angel relived the forgotten day in an instant, the memories driving him to his knees. Their one night of love passed in the blink of an eye, every kiss, every touch, every soft word, every glance swept through him.

 

“You wish to be human. To be with the Slayer.” She tilted her head and smiled. “To love her and keep her safe.”

 

“Yes.” He whispered.

 

“All these things we grant you.” An enigmatic smile crossed her lips. "Except that which is already yours.”

 

"What do I have?" Angel asked.

 

"Something already freely given."She stepped back and took her brother’s hand. “Speak her name and it is yours.”

 

Angel smiled.

 

 

 

“Buffy.”

 

“Hey, Angel.” Buffy tucked the phone under her chin as she rinsed the last dish and put it in the drainrack.

 

“I need to talk to you.”

 

“Sure. Talk. Is something wrong?”

 

“No. Nothing’s wrong.”

 

“Okay, good.” Her life had been quiet for the last few years. The Hellmouth was gone – the one in Sunnydale anyway, as Giles liked to remind her – and with so many Slayers active, she had been able to go to school and build herself a life while they took care of the vampires and demons and werewolves, oh my! that populated the world. “Not that you shouldn’t call me if there is a problem.”

 

“There’s no problem, Buffy.”

 

“Oh.” Angel had been reluctant to have her help him since she ‘retired’. He acted like she’d break or something. “’Cos you know I’d help.”

 

“I need to see you.”

 

“Sure.” A smile curved her lips. She and Angel talked on the phone a lot and saw each other from time to time. Dinner, talking, the occasional smoochies and groping session. All a good part – the best part of her life. “When?”

 

“How about now?”

 

“Are you driving down tonight?” There was a knock at the front door, and Buffy walked from the kitchen through the living room toward the door. “Or do you want me to come up?”

 

She opened the door to see Angel standing there, cell phone to his ear. “Not exactly.” He said, the familiar half smile on the sensuous lips.

 

“Angel?” She giggled. Angel with a cell phone was something she’d never gotten used to. The phones were like doll toys in his big hands, and he looked like her Dad had years ago when she had made him play Barbies with her. “You look silly.”

 

“You’re so not good for my ego.” He folded the cell phone up and tucked it into his jacket pocket.

 

“Sorry. It just doesn’t go with the whole dread creature of the – Oh my God!” It was midday, and the sun gilded Angel’s shoulders. The phone fell from her fingers. “Get in here!”

 

Angel stumbled as she pulled him into the house. He grabbed her shoulders to catch his balance.

 

“Are you crazy?” Buffy ran her hands over him, looking for smoke or burns. “Are you hurt? Are you nuts?”

 

“No.” He grabbed her hands. “I need to tell you something – “

 

“Something that couldn’t wait until dark? How did you – “

 

“Buffy – “

 

“How did you get from the car to the porch?” She peered out at where Angel’s black convertible sat in the driveway with the top down. “You – “ The top was down. The. Top. Was. Down.

 

“Buffy.” Angel took a deep breath. “Something has happened. Something – ”

 

She jerked her hands free of his and laid them on his cheeks. “You’re –  you’re warm – “ One hand slid down to grasp his throat. Beneath her fingers was a steady pulse of life. “You – you have a pulse? You’re – “

 

“Human.” He reached up to touch her face. “Alive.”

 

Buffy turned away. Angel felt his heart collapse under the weight of the pain. This was what he’d been afraid of. On the drive from LA, he’d almost turned around a dozen times. Despite what the Oracles had said, Buffy had moved on and no longer loved him. “I just wanted to tell you. Not over the phone.”

 

There was no answer from her. Buffy wrapped her arms around herself and bowed her head. She didn’t make a sound.

 

“I just wanted to tell you.” He turned to walk away. Now what do I do with the rest of my new life?

 

The breath was forced out of him as Buffy hit him in the back, knocking him to the floor and then flipping him over. Stunned, he lay watching as she tore his shirt open and laid her head on his chest. Her cheek was wet and he brought up a hand to wipe her tears away.

 

Beneath her ear was a strong, steady heartbeat, and Buffy felt her own heart beating in the same rhythm. Moving up over him, she looked down into his eyes. “No more curse?”

 

“No more curse.”

 

“No more liquid diet?”

 

“No more liquid diet.” Angel laughed. “Oh wait, do milk shakes count? I like – “

 

Her kiss cut off his treatise on the joys of milk shakes. Buffy kissed him hot and hard, pushing her tongue into his mouth to taste him. Returning her kiss eagerly, Angel slid his hands down her back to cup her bottom and mold her to his body.

 

When she broke away to rain kisses over his face and throat, he lay under her, panting for air. “Does this mean – “

 

“You try to leave me again and I break your legs.” She growled as she nipped his earlobe.

 

“Are you – “ He gathered his courage. “Are you asking me to move in?”

 

“No.”

 

“Oh.” That was a bit quick, stupid! Hi, I’m human, can I move in?

 

“I’m saying… “ There was the impish Buffy grin. “You can’t leave.”

 

Angel stared up at her, not saying a word, and she felt the grin slip off her face. “If – you want – do you want?”

 

“Only if you marry me.”

 

“How old fashioned, Angel.” Leaning down, she gave him a soft kiss. “Can’t we just live in sin? Shock the neighbors?”

 

“I’m an old fashioned kind of guy.” He couldn’t hold back a smile. And I fully intend to shock the neighbors.

 

“Actually, you’re just old.” The full on Angel smile was blinding. “Are you still old?”

 

“Technically, yes. But bodywise?” He grinned as he arched up against her. “Not so much.”

 

“Whew!” The green eyes glimmered mischievously. “‘Cos at two-fifty plus – you’d be all wrinkly and icky.”

 

“So, you’ll marry me?”

 

“Only if you keep me fat – “ She kissed him again. “And we make babies. Lots of ‘em.”

 

“Deal.” He tangled his fingers in her honey blond hair and pulled her back to him for a kiss, nibbling and sucking on her lips until she was squirming on top of him.

 

“That wasn’t the most romantic proposal I’ve ever had.”

 

“I thought about candlelight and champagne – but then I thought well… that’s not really Buffy's style.”

 

“We’ve seen way too much of each other by candlelight, Angel.” She rubbed against him as she kissed him again.

 

“Um… hmm…” He frowned against her lips. “How many proposals have you had?”

 

“I’ll never tell – “ Buffy shrieked as he rolled her over and pinned her to the floor.

 

“Did I mention I got to keep the grr strength?” Angel settled himself comfortably between her thighs.

 

Reaching up over her head, she pushed the door shut. Let’s not shock the neighbors! “So long as you have the grr stamina.”

 

“Depends.” The chocolate eyes were serious. “Are you cookies yet?”

 

“Bite me.”

 

He laughed against her lips. “Wasn’t that supposed to be eat me?”

 

“Even better.”

 

 

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