The End Of Days
By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: Apocalypse, Nowish just begs for some rewriting… this is set during Apocalypse, Nowish and before the BtVS episode Bring On The Night. As always, Angelus' thoughts are in monotype corsiva which you can download from the main page.
“Oh… Angel, I love you. I always will. You know that.”
Angel tried not to flinch back from Cordelia’s earnest expression. He knew by the way she’d hesitated, paused between each statement, that she expected him to respond.
The words were lodged in his throat. He’d tried practicing them, running them through his head. ‘I love you, Cordelia’, but they wouldn’t come out. It wasn’t helping that from behind him he could feel Connor’s eyes drilling into his back.
If looks could kill. Angelus laughed softly.
Aware that Cordelia had paused again, Angel grabbed the reluctant words and threw them out. “I don’t suppose we could stop there?” He blinked. Where had the ‘I love you, too’ gone?
“I wish we could – more than anything – but I can’t.”
Cordelia turned to face him. “When I got my memory back, everything came rushing
in. Sunnydale, moving to
“Tell me what?”
“What I remembered when I was a higher being. I remember seeing you – your past – when you were Angelus.”
“I never tried to hide who I was or what I’ve done.” Angel frowned. “You already knew.”
“Knowing is different than living it. When I was up there, I could look back and see everything you ever did as Angelus – what happened after you were cursed – your love for Buffy. More than see, I felt it. I lived through it all and I felt how much you loved her.” She hesitated.
Was it good for you, too? Angelus snickered.
“I don’t know if I can compete with that love. I love you, Angel.” Cordelia lifted her hand to his face. “But I can’t be with you.”
Of all the things he had expected Cordelia to say, this wasn’t on the list.
What, you didn’t think she’d be jealous of Buff?
Angel ignored his demon. Cordelia had never worried about competition if she wanted something.
Maybe she can tell you don’t love her? Angelus laughed.
Buffy was once in a lifetime. But that doesn’t mean I can’t love someone else. Angel knew what he felt for Cordelia couldn’t compare to the love he would always carry in his heart for Buffy, but wasn’t it enough?
“It’s just too soon.” She let her fingertips rest on his cool cheek. “Maybe if we give it a little time…”
He started to tell her she was wrong. They could make it work if they tried.
“Oh, God…” Her body shook and convulsed, and her eyes turned white.
“Cordy!” He grabbed her shoulders to keep her from pitching over backwards.
Connor rushed over and stood by helplessly as the vision gripped Cordelia without mercy.
“He’s coming!” The Beast burrowed upward in her mind. “He’s coming now!”
Angel groaned in agony as the dagger slid into his throat. Blood bubbled up and filled his mouth. The Beast pushed its face close and its fetid breath burned his sensitive nostrils.
“Do you really think she’s safe with him?” The Beast taunted him.
Helplessly, Angel felt himself being lifted and thrown. He sailed past the edge of the roof to hit the roof of the building next door. He grunted and tried to roll with the impact. The momentum bounced him across the roof until he plummeted off the other side.
This is going to hurt.
Angel watched the windows flash by as he fell, twisting desperately, looking for something to grab onto. The pavement grew closer and closer. Closing his eyes, he went limp and waited for the pain.
The darkness faded away and Angel lay still trying to feel how badly he was hurt. Broken ribs, arm, his leg, punctured lungs, something broken in his back, and the dagger was still in his throat.
Get up, Soul Boy, hell’s a poppin!
No. The pavement was cool and wet, soothing the friction burns on his face and hands.
Get up! Angelus growled urgently.
Angel closed his eyes and groaned. His entire body throbbed and ached. The ground rumbled and shook under him, causing him to cry out as it jarred his broken bones and torn skin.
Get up, damn it! The demon snarled. You want to die here in this fucking alley?
Fuck you. He winced as the thoughts bounced around his fractured skull. I can’t die from this. It just feels like it.
One of those fireballs hits and we’re dust!
Blinking the blood and dirt out of his eyes, Angel rolled his head to one side. Fireflies? Fireworks?
The sparkles and lights flickering in front of his eyes weren’t from his injuries. Angel pushed at the ground with his good arm, his scream of agony blocked by the metal lodged in his windpipe. Flopping onto his back, he fought to stay conscious, pushing back the gray fog that covered his vision.
Blood gurgled in his throat and he tried to swallow it. With his injuries, he needed every drop of blood; he couldn’t afford to lose any more.
The knife blade grated his windpipe, cutting the wound open wider. Angel raised a shaky hand to the handle that jutted out from his throat. At least eight inches of metal was shoved inside of him. God help me, give me strength.
Just pull the fucking thing out. Angelus snapped. He’s busy right now.
With a jerk, the blade pulled loose, the pain paralyzing him and leaving him unable to swallow the fresh blood that bubbled up.
The sky was full of comets streaking through the night to collide with buildings and houses in huge showers of sparks and burning debris. The ground shook as one hit nearby. Flaming boards rained down on Angel, and he forced himself to his knees and then to his feet, crying out as his left leg twisted and buckled under him.
Quit your whining and move!
Shut up! Dragging his useless leg, he made his way slowly down the alley past the clumps of burning trash until he reached the street.
It was chaos; people ran blindly, screaming and crying in their panic. A group of people knelt around a man reading from the bible. Others were breaking store windows and looting, despite the danger.
A man knocked into Angel, and he cried out as he fell again. Crawling back up, he staggered to a light pole and leaned on it for support.
“Repent! Repent for the end is nigh!” The man raised his bible over his head.
That’s right buddy, the apocalypse is here. Angelus purred. Your time is over.
Have to get to Connor. Angel made himself move. One foot in front of the other.
Sound plan, but one foot isn’t working. The pain, even filtered as it was, made the demon wince. We need blood.
See a blood bank anywhere? Stubbornly, he kept moving, ignoring the people pushing past him.
I see prey.
No! Angel stumbled and fell over something. His torn knee shrieked with pain as it hit the sidewalk. Throwing out his hands to break his fall, he screamed at the agony of his broken arm bearing the brunt of the impact.
Blue eyes stared at him as he rolled her over. Her face was frozen in shock, eyes wide and mouth parted. There was no pulse; he couldn’t hear even the faintest heartbeat. Touching her, he found her skin still warm. She’d died only minutes ago.
Sitting up cautiously, he studied the woman’s body. A piece of metal had pierced her heart. Hooking his good arm under her, Angel crawled into an open doorway, pulling her with him. “I’m sorry.” He mumbled painfully as he pulled her up onto his lap.
She’s already dead! Christ, you are such a pansy ass!
Cradling the woman’s head on his shoulder, Angel lowered his mouth to her throat. The handsome face blurred and shifted into that of the demon within him. Razor sharp fangs punched through her skin into the jugular until they rested in the silent carotid artery.
God, yes! Angelus growled in pleasure at the first mouthful.
Swallowing the woman’s blood, Angel closed his eyes and tried to ignore the pleasure that rippled through him. Feeding and sex were closely related for vampires, and her blood was still hot enough to make him clutch her close and grope at her still body.
Cuts and scratches sealed shut, broken bones began to knit, and the pain faded in intensity as his body absorbed the life in her blood. The gash in his windpipe closed, allowing him to gulp greedily until she was drained.
Angel bowed his head in shame as he lifted his hand from her now bare breasts. His cock had hardened while he fed, and it ached uncomfortably as he leaned her body against the doorframe.
Getting to his feet, he limped down the street.
“I don’t know.” Cordelia shivered as she and Connor watched the fire rain from the sky.
“It’s him, isn’t it? It’s that thing?”
“We don’t know that.” She lied.
“I should have tried harder. I should have stopped it.”
“It was too strong. It wasn’t your fault.”
“What if it is? What if that thing is – “ He swallowed hard. “It chose the place where I was born. Is that why it’s here – because of me?”
Cordelia turned to him. “No.”
“I was never supposed to happen.” Connor shook his head. “The child of two vampires? What if – “
“Connor, it’s not you.”
He looked at her. “You don’t know that.”
“Yes, I do. In my heart.” She lifted a hand to touch his face and brush back his hair. “It’s not you, baby.” She pulled him close and kissed his cheek. Wrapping her arms around him, she patted his back. “It’s not you. Not you.”
“Why – what – “
"Connor, I held you as a baby. I felt your innocence." She pulled back to smile sadly at him. "When I think about what you've missed." She cupped his cheek. "I believe in you -- I know this isn't your fault."
“Consider yourself lucky. You’re getting off the hook for the time you spit up on my pink silk blouse.” Sliding her arm around his waist, Cordelia hugged him close.
“For the end of the world, it’s kinda pretty.”
“Please.” She shook her head. “Spielberg could’ve done this so much better.”
From the roof across the street, Angel watched Connor and Cordelia through the open window. He had made his way here as quickly as he could, afraid he would find the Beast had been here before him.
No such luck. Angelus snorted. Both still among the living.
“She’s my friend and he’s my son.” Angel climbed down the fire escape to the ground.
He locked you in a box and dropped you in the ocean. And she – A long, dramatic sigh and a chuckle. Just rubbed your nose in your past. Again.
Ignoring him, Angel climbed up to the window where Connor and Cordelia stood.
“Angel!” Cordelia rushed to him. “You’re a mess, what happened?”
“Nothing good.” He hugged her briefly before stepping back. “Have you heard from the others?”
“No.” Her doe eyes were wide and frightened.
“Cell phones aren’t working.” Connor shrugged. “But the others – they’re probably dead anyway.”
We can only hope.
Reminding himself that Connor had been raised by a bitter man in a harsh world, Angel swallowed his anger. “Get your things. They’ll head back to the hotel.”
“We’re staying here.”
“Connor, I don’t have time to argue with you.” The boy seemed determined to fight his every decision.
“Connor.” Cordelia laid a hand on his arm. “We have to kill this thing, and we can’t do it alone.”
The boy’s face softened. “If it’s what you want, we’ll go.”
Excuse me while I puke.
Cordelia quickly packed a bag for herself and Connor while Angel filled them in on the chaos outside. “We’ll have to go through the sewers.” He rubbed at his throat; his windpipe was still sore.
“What about the demons?” Cordelia frowned. “And the ick?”
“Too much prey on the streets.”
“I’m wearing old clothes anyway.” She threw up her hands. “Can’t we ever be attacked by something clean?”
“Feeding frenzy?” Connor asked quietly.
“Yes.” Vampires and demons were moving among the panicked humans without fear.
“Exactly.” Taking Cordelia’s cell phone, Angel tried the hotel’s number again.
How would you know? Both people you fed on were already dead. Angelus groused.
“It tastes better when they’re scared – doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it does.” He turned and found Connor smirking at him. “And no, I didn’t feed on anyone.”
“Of course you didn’t.” Cordelia slung her bag over her shoulders. “He wasn’t saying that you did.”
Yes he was.
Yes he was. Looking at his son, Angel wondered if his own father had felt the same despair.
Their trek through the sewers was relatively uneventful. Their only encounter was with a small band of Kym demons that decided to find easier prey after Angel shifted into game face.
Climbing up the ladder into the basement of the hotel, Angel turned and helped Cordelia up the last few rungs.
“No lights?” She stood shivering in the dark.
“No power.” He found his way to the door mostly by memory. He listened intently, but heard nothing. “Connor.” He said softly.
“Take Cordy to her room and stay with her.” He ordered. “I’ll make sure – “
“Excuse me – hello?” Cordelia said into the darkness. “I’m not hiding. I can defend myself.”
Walking around her, Angel tugged on her hair. She shrieked and spun around.
“There’s flashlights – quit that!” She jumped as Angel tapped her on the back.
“Demons can see in the dark.” Connor took her hand. “You won’t be safe.”
“Demons.” Resting his hand on the doorknob, Angel turned to look at Connor. “And you.”
Good point. What the fuck is he, exactly...
“I don’t have to see.” Cordelia said smugly. “I can glow.”
“Cordy!” Angel hissed as he shielded his sensitive eyes from the sudden flare of light.
“So there.” She pulled the door open and went past him.
“Don’t blame me if something takes your head off.” He followed her out into the hallway.
Walking with the nightlight that was Cordelia, they made their way to the hotel’s lobby. Angel smelled fresh blood before they started up the stairway. Wes and Gunn’s and the slightly musky scent of Lorne’s blood as well.
On the last step, Angel found himself facing a shaking crossbow held by Fred. She dropped it and threw her arms around him, almost knocking him back into Cordelia and Connor.
“Angel! Oh, we were so worried! They said the demony thing threw you off the roof!” She dug her fingers into his leather coat. “There’s fire and demons and it’s so awful and I’m scared – “
“Shh…” He patted her back. “We’ll stop him, Fred. Just like we always do.”
Wes was on his hands and knees studying the pieces of paper they’d laid out on the floor earlier. Lorne was lying on the sofa and Gunn was pacing nervously, battleaxe clutched in his hands.
The lobby was lit with candles and oil lamps. “This is nice.” Cordelia let her glow fade. “Except for the mass destruction and mayhem.”
“Which is only going to get worse if I’m reading this correctly.” Wes gave a short, bitter laugh. “And if no one has tampered with this particular prophecy.”
“Any ideas on how to stop it?” Angel couldn’t see any real pattern to the markings.
Chinese menu? The demon snickered. I’ll have the tender young waiter with a side order of terror, please.
“No?” Gunn stopped his pacing.
“No.” Wes repeated as he got up slowly from the floor. He grimaced at the ache in his ribs.
“Isn’t there some damn book or scroll you can look this thing up in?” Gunn shouted. “Some piece of mystical crap you can decode?”
“I left my secret decoder ring in my other pants.” Collapsing in a chair, Wes rubbed at his temple.
“Maybe I can open a portal and we can send him somewhere else.” Fred wrung her hands nervously. “I’ve been studying – “
“No!” Grabbing Fred by the arm, Gunn jerked her around to face him. “You’re not opening any more portals!”
Inside Angel, Angelus growled angrily. The demon had a soft spot for the timid girl. “Gunn – “
“No, oh no!” Cordelia grabbed her head as she felt the warning signs of an approaching vision.
“Cordelia!” Connor caught her as she collapsed.
Images rushed through her mind. Connor and the Beast – Angel – no, not Angel – Buffy – a sword – endless night. The pressure was crushing her skull and she cried out, but still the vision poured in. Angel and Buffy lying in bed, kissing – Connor and the Beast locked together – Angel smirking – not Angel – no, not Angel –
“Not Angel?” Wes went back to the pages on the floor.
“Oh, my head. God! I thought the headaches were gone!” Holding her head in her hands, Cordelia moaned. “Somebody please tell me the back of my head is still there.”
“What did you see?” Angel knelt next to her.
“Leave her alone!” Connor glared at him. “Can’t you see she’s suffering?”
Oh, boo hoo! Angelus said mockingly. We couldn’t get lucky enough for her head to explode.
“It’s all right, Connor.” Sitting up shakily, she tried to sort through the pieces of what she’d seen. “There was Connor and the Beast. They were fighting.”
Connor smiled and sat up a little straighter. “Of course I’ll fight it.”
“I saw a – a connection – a – “ Struggling to put words to something that didn’t fit into words, she shook her head. “Like a cord or something. A mystical icky cord.”
“Connor is connected to the Beast?” Angel looked over her shoulder at his son.
There’s a shock. Angelus yawned. Hello? Figured that out already.
“Angel – but not Angel – and – “ Cordelia looked into Angel’s beautiful face and swallowed Buffy's name. “He had a sword.”
“The Beast had a sword?” Angel shook his head. “He didn’t have any weapons.”
Except that knife he took from you and shoved into our throat. That was fun.
“Didn’t need ‘em.” Gunn added. “Beat the hell out of us with his bare hands.”
“No, Angel had the sword.” She said.
“We can’t kill it with a sword, princess.” Lorne brought her a glass. “Not unless it’s a sword-of-God kinda sword.”
Taking a drink, she gasped. “What the hell is this? Lighter fluid?”
“Was there something special about the sword, Cordelia?” Wes was writing down the details of her vision. “Runes, or magics of some kind?”
“No, it was Angel’s broadsword.” She shivered. “But it wasn’t Angel.”
“You’re not making sense, kitten.” Lorne took a sip from his own glass. “It’s either Angel or it’s not.”
“It’s not.” She looked away from Angel. “It’s not Angel. It
“Angelus?” Angel sat back on his heels.
“I can’t explain it.” Cordelia took another drink of the rocket fuel Lorne had given her. “It was Angelus. He had Angel’s sword, and he and Connor were fighting the Beast.”
Why the hell would I help? The demon snorted. Oh, was I killing Connor? That I’d do.
“Angelus would never help us.” Rising from the floor, Angel sat on the sofa next to Fred. “This thing is making life good for demons. If Angelus gets loose, he’ll just join in the killing.”
Damn straight. A chuckle rippled through Angel’s mind. And Slayer blood is tops on my list.
You go near her and I’ll –
What? You’ll be gone, Soul Boy.
“Cordelia.” Wes set the pad and pen down. “Are you sure you saw Angelus? Absolutely sure?”
“Absolutely.” She saw again the malicious glint in the chocolate eyes and the arrogant smirk on the sensuous lips. “Abso-freaking-lutely.”
“You must be mistaken.” The former Watcher said. “Angel’s right; Angelus has no reason to help us.”
“How about if there was nothing left on Earth?” A tired voice made them turn. “Not even vampires.”
“Giles.” Angel waved Gunn back when he raised his battleaxe. “What brings you to LA?”
“Angel.” Walking down the steps, he sat wearily on the sofa. “I was in the neighborhood.”
“What do you mean, ‘nothing left’?” Lorne asked.
“If the Beast isn’t defeated, he will kill every living thing on Earth. Humans, demons, animals, plants – essentially Earth will be nothing more than a barren rock.” Taking off his glasses and rubbing at his eyes, Giles took another look at Lorne. “Dear Lord, you’re green.”
“I’m not from around here, sugar lips.” He smiled. “Want some tea or something stronger?”
“Tea with something stronger, preferably.” Putting his glasses back on, Giles pulled a small notebook out of his jacket pocket. “The seers had a vision – also of Angelus – it seems he’s the only hope of defeating this creature.”
Then you’re all screwed.
“There’s no way he’ll help.” Angel closed his eyes at the snickering in his mind.
“Then he can die with the rest of us, I suppose.” Giles took the cup Lorne offered. He peered at the contents. “Is this tea?”
“Not exactly.” Lorne shrugged. “No power means no microwave and no water means no tea. It’s whiskey, but hey, I put a teabag in it for you.”
“Well, that’ll work.” He took a healthy drink.
What does he mean?
Who? Angel asked. Giles?
No, the tooth fairy. Yes, Giles, you moron.
“Giles, he wants to know what you mean.” He opened his eyes and looked at the other man. “About dying I suppose.”
“Dying. That would be as in ceasing to exist.” He took another drink of his tea flavored whiskey. “Dust in your case.”
Fucking smartass! Angelus growled. I knew I should’ve gotten that chainsaw!
“Giles.” Angel rubbed his temples as Angelus’ temper began to give him a headache. “Please.”
“Dying.” Setting down the cup, Giles handed the notepad to Angel. “The Beast isn’t going to merely kill all human life. He’s killing every form of life. Down to the smallest microbe.”
“That’s – that’s not possible.” Fred looked to Wes. “Is it?”
“Anything is possible.” He shrugged.
Flipping through the notes, Angel tried to make sense of them. It didn’t help that Angelus was making snide comments about Giles’ handwriting.
“Is there any way to talk to Angelus directly?” Giles picked the cup up and took another drink.
“Why would – “ The question took Angel by surprise. “He can hear you.”
“But I can’t hear him.” Giles explained patiently. “It’s a little hard to convince someone to do something if I can’t actually talk to them.”
“Doximal?” Giles turned to look at Wes. “Is that the drug that was used on Angel?”
“You told him about that?” Angel frowned, wondering how many things Wes had passed on to Giles and the Watchers’ Council. “We wouldn’t be able to – “
“There’s a supply in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.” Wes got up from the floor and went into Angel’s office.
“Why would we have that?” The drug had induced a false sense of happiness, a bliss that temporarily gave Angelus control of his body.
“I had thought to find a reason why it allowed Angelus out but didn’t free Angel’s soul.” Wes came out of the office carrying a small box. “We’ll have to chain him up.”
“So you just had this stuff laying around?” Angel asked.
And we didn’t use it?
“Of course.” Giles agreed. “You have chains, I assume?”
“In the basement.” Picking up one of the lanterns, Wes headed toward the stairs. “We should do this down there.”
“Silly question. Obviously you have chains, who doesn’t?” Taking his notepad from Angel’s limp fingers, Giles followed the other man to the stairs. “Come along, Angel.”
“Does anyone want to know what I think?” Angel watched Giles and Wes disappear down the stairs.
“I think that means no.” Gunn told him.
What? Are you afraid to let me talk to somebody for a change? Angelus sneered. Without being able to censor me?
Grimly, Angel followed the two former Watchers down the stairs.
“Make sure they’re snug.” Angel tested the manacles on his wrists.
“They’re quite secure.” Giles raised an eyebrow. “Rest assured.”
“I’m not sure how much Ms. Lowell gave him.” Wes held up the syringe he’d prepared. “We’ll just have to experiment, I suppose.”
“Experiment?” Angel flinched back from the needle.
“Don’t be such a coward, Angel.” Wes slid the needle into Angel’s throat. “It’s not as if I can kill you with an overdose.”
“How is it that he doesn’t lose consciousness?” Pulling up a chair, Giles sat down in front of Angel. “If Angelus is able to take control, then where is Angel?”
“I’m not sure. Unconscious, I should think.” Wes put the drugs away. “But we were able to physically knock Angelus out. Angel, unfortunately has no memory of the incident. Except for Angelus', of course, and I consider those suspect at best.”
The room suddenly lost its focus. Wes seemed to blur as he bent to look into his eyes. Angel blinked and tried to focus. “W –W – Wessss….”
Oh, wow! This is so much better than that acid you tried in the sixties.
He was sinking, falling into the floor. Shaking his head, Angel fought to hang on. Fear made him struggle against the euphoria sweeping over him.
Give it up. The demon’s voice was loud, louder than usual. Let go.
Giles leaned forward as Angel’s head lolled forward. “Perhaps you’ve given him too much? We – “ He jumped back as the dark head snapped up.
“Or not.” Wes watched him struggle with the chains holding him in place. “You’re not getting loose, so calm down.”
“Miserable little twit!” Snarling, Angelus jerked on the chains holding his arms. “Guess all the times Daddy locked you in the closet didn’t teach you anything.”
“Now, now, Angelus.” Walking over to the struggling vampire, Wes calmly backhanded him. “Be nice.”
“Stop that!” Giles grabbed Wes’ hand as he pulled back for another blow. “He’s helpless, for God’s sake!”
“Helpless?” Jerking his arm free, Wes sat down in the chair Giles had vacated. “Like you were when he tortured you?”
Ignoring the gibe, he turned back to Angel – “Angelus.”
“Giles, old buddy! How’s it going?” He grinned. “Miss me?”
“Every moment of every day.” He said dryly. With a casualness he didn’t feel, Giles pulled up another chair and sat down. The dark eyes were as unnerving as he remembered. Evil sparked there. He had suffered nightmares for months, and always those eyes were watching him. “Let’s talk about the Beast.”
“Let’s talk about Buffy.” Angelus smirked. “She still pining over Soul Boy?”
“The situation is fairly simple. If we don’t defeat him, we all die.”
“And I care, why?”
“Because you’ll die with us.” Giles said simply.
“Sure I will.” He laughed.
“No portals will open.” He kept the smile from his face as Angelus’ eyes narrowed. “The Beast has sealed our dimension off. No portals, rifts, spells – nothing leaves here.”
“And how do I know you’re not lying?” Angelus slouched back in his chair.
“I can prove it if you like.” Giles nodded to Wes.
The younger man opened the book he’d carried downstairs. “Ext – “
“Not you, wonder boy!” The vampire snapped.
“Don’t you trust me, Angelus?” The book snapped shut.
“Not as far as I can throw you. Oh wait!” He snickered. “That’s actually quite a ways. Oh God, I crack myself up.”
“Who then?” Giles asked.
“No.” Wes opened the book again. “You can pick – “
“You either trust me or – “
“Trust you?” Angelus snickered again. “Like Angel trusted you? Huh? Like when you took the word of a talking hamburger? When you handed his son to his worst enemy? Trust you, Wesley? Like a fucking stake in the heart!” Angelus snarled. “Now get Fred or you can all die!”
“What’s the matter, Wesley?” The sensuous mouth twisted. “Afraid to let her near me? Hmm… afraid she’ll like what she sees? Afraid she – “
“Shut up!” Gritting his teeth, Wes bolted up from his chair.
“Wesley.” Giles put a hand on his arm. “Get Fred.”
“So, Ripper…” Angelus drawled. “All your fingernails grow back?”
“Oh, do shut up.”
“Is he okay?” She turned as Wes came into the lobby.
“He’s – Angelus.”
“Oh boy.” Cordelia said.
“We need you to do something for us.” Wes held out his hand to Fred.
“No.” Gunn grabbed her arm. “She ain't going down there.”
“It's okay.” She smiled. “Angel wouldn’t hurt me.”
“That isn’t Angel.” Cordelia shook her head. “That thing isn’t Angel.”
“He won’t hurt me.” Fred repeated firmly.
“I want to look at him.” Connor stood up, but Cordelia caught his hand and pulled him back down on the sofa.
“He’s chained to a chair.” Wes took Fred’s hand and led her downstairs. “I wouldn’t put you in any danger.”
“I know that.” She giggled nervously.
“Just remember that he’s really not Angel.” He cautioned her. “Angelus can be quite mean spirited.”
“Mean spirited?” Cordelia muttered. “Yeah, and Hitler was just a funny little man with a mustache.”
Angelus looked up as Fred came into the room. Giles allowed himself a mental sigh of relief. The stare and the cruel smile had become more unnerving with every passing moment. The vampire had refused to answer any questions while they waited. Merely stared and smiled.
“Angel.” Fred smiled at him.
“Fred.” The soft tone of voice and the slow smile brought a flush to her cheeks. “Why don’t you unchain me, sweetheart?”
“Oh, I can’t do that.” She shook her head.
“I thought you were my friend.” He looked hurt. “Remember Pylea? The cave?”
“Leave her alone.” Wes handed her the book.
“The night in the cave… um…” He laughed softly.
“I said to leave her alone!”
Angelus’ head snapped back, and he tasted blood in his mouth as Wes hit him.
“Wesley!” She grabbed his arm. “Don’t – don’t hurt him!”
“Fred, please.” Giles took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “Open a portal for us.”
“What?” She looked at him with wide eyes. “Oh, I couldn’t. I can’t.”
“Sure you can, sweetie.” Angelus licked the blood off his lip. “Open one for us to Pylea and we’ll visit your cave.”
“Please, it’s important.” Wes smiled reassuringly. “Open one and close it again.”
“Well, I suppose if you think it’s all right…” She leafed through the book. Frowning in concentration, she recited an incantation. Nothing happened. “Maybe I didn’t do it right?”
“Come here.” Angelus ordered.
Wes grabbed her arm. “Be careful.”
“You’re such a fucking wuss. I’m chained up!” Angelus laughed. “She’s got more backbone than you do.”
Fred knelt next to him. “What do you want?”
A slow smile curled his lip and for a long moment he said nothing. Then he looked up over her head at Wes. “Want to know what Wes wants?”
“No.” She laid the book across his lap.
“Open the book for me.” He watched her turn the pages. “Wait, there.” He recited the incantation and waited. Nothing happened. “Turn the pages.” He growled.
“It won’t matter which one you try.” Giles put his glasses back on.
“Wait, there!” Fred stopped flipping pages. Angelus read the incantation and again nothing happened. “Damn it!”
“So you see, you have as much at stake here as we do.” For the first time in days, Giles smiled.
Angel woke slowly, his head fuzzy. “Wh – what happened?”
“How do you feel?” Cordelia leaned down and pressed a kiss to his lips.
“Wes and Giles drugged you, remember?”
“Vividly.” The candlelight hurt his hyper-sensitive eyes, and the inside of his mouth tasted like the opium addict he’d fed off of once.
“It’s okay.” She smiled at him. “He’s gone now.”
“Who?” He struggled to sit up. “Giles is gone?”
“Gone?” He grabbed his head as the room spun.
Don’t panic, sweetie, I’m still here.
“What happened? Where’s Giles?”
Turning, he saw Giles sitting the chair next to his bed. “What happened?”
“Angelus has agreed to help us.”
“He has?” Falling back on the bed, Angel massaged his aching head. “How’d you manage that?”
Because I’m as fucked as they are.
“Once he understood the situation, he was quite eager to help.” He smiled as Angel’s eyebrows rose. “All right, so he’s only helping because it’s in his best interests. The point is – he will help kill the Beast.”
“You can’t trust him.” Getting up carefully, Angel walked to the small kitchenette. Turing on the faucet, he waited for a moment. When no water came out, he sighed and turned it back off.
“God no, he’s an animal.” Cordelia shivered. “An evil animal. Remember how he killed Jenny Calendar?”
“That had slipped my mind, actually.” Giles said sardonically. “Thank you for jogging my memory.”
Yeah, Ms. Tact, that’s our sweet little Cordy.
Sitting back down on the bed, Angel started piecing together the memories from Angelus’ talk with Giles and Wes. He winced at some of the things the demon had said to them.
“Angelus has promised not to harm anyone.” Giles ignored Cordelia’s snort of disbelief. “He won’t try to feed on anyone, and he will work with us to kill the Beast.”
Angel shook his head. “His promises aren’t worth anything.”
“Normally, I’d agree with you. But these are extraordinary circumstances.” A slight smile curved Giles’ mouth. “We’re his only chance of survival as much as he’s ours.”
“All right, how much of this drug do I have to take?”
“Angel, we don’t know how long this will take or how long the battle might last.” The other man looked away. “And there’s the chance that the drugs could affect Angelus’ ability to fight.”
The demon was laughing, and Angel shuddered as he realized what Giles was saying. “You’re talking about my soul.”
Or the lack thereof, actually.
“No.” He stood up and paced to the window. Outside, fires
burned throughout the city. It was the only light: darkness blotted out the
“I’m sorry, Angel. I wish there were another way.” He said softly. “I know it's – “
“No, you don’t know!” He snarled. “You’re asking me to give up my soul! You have no idea what you’re asking!”
“Angel, we’ll put it back.” Cordelia laid a hand on his shoulder. “Just pop you right back in.”
“You don’t understand.” He brushed her hand away. “I don’t know where – I have no memory of where I was when Angelus was free. Limbo? Hell? Did I even exist?”
With a start, Giles realized Angel was afraid. “Angel, I’m sorry, truly sorry. If there were any other way…”
“But there’s not.” He sighed.
“Giles, do you mind?” Cordelia jerked her head toward the door.
“Certainly. I’ll be downstairs.” Picking up a candle, he left the room.
“Angel.” She slid her hands up his back and over his broad shoulders.
“Cordelia, you should leave.”
“And go where? In case you haven’t noticed, the city is a demon buffet.” Stepping closer, she laid her head on his back.
“After all I’ve done.” He shook his head. “I won’t even be here. I have to give up my soul and let the demon out.”
“It doesn’t have to be all bad.” Sliding her arms around his waist, she spread her hands over his flat stomach.
“What are you saying?”
She’s saying she wants to fuck your soul loose. Angelus giggled. This day just keeps getting better and better!
Turning, Angel backed up a step. “Cordelia, we can’t – “
“Shh… “ She placed her fingers on his lips. “This isn’t the way we wanted it, but it may be all we have.”
Her lips were warm and soft, and Angel let her kiss him. When her tongue slid along his lips, he opened his mouth to her. She tried to lead him to the bed but he broke the kiss. “Not – not here.”
“Give me a few minutes. Then come to my room.” She kissed him again, running her hand through his hair.
After she left, Angel collapsed onto the bed.
What’s the matter? Scared?
“Shut up.” He rubbed his hands over his face.
Cordelia’s door was open and he could see there were candles lit inside. “Cordy?”
“Angel.” She closed the door behind him as he walked into the room. She smiled as he looked at her, his eyes wide. The yellow teddy and thong were well worth the money she’d paid for them.
Should we tell her that she looks crappy in yellow?
“Cordy, I’m not sure this is right.” He backed up as she slid her hands up his chest.
“Of course it is.” She tugged at the buttons of his shirt. “We’ll make love and – well you know.”
Oh I know. And you are so wrong.
“You have to get away from me.” He let her pull his shirt off. “Don’t trust him. After… you know… after?”
“I won’t.” She led him to the bed and bent to pull the bedspread back, making sure to give him a good look at her ass.
I hate thongs. You’d think I’d like them, but really… Angelus gave a mental shudder. Skanky and cheap.
“Yeah.” Pulling her into his arms, Angel kissed her gently and tenderly.
Cordelia sighed as he kissed her, his tongue expertly twisting and playing with hers. His mouth was cool, nothing like anyone else she’d kissed. When his hand cupped her breast, she arched against him and moaned.
Leaving a trail of kisses across her cheek, he nuzzled her ear before moving down the slender column of her throat. She flinched and pulled away.
“Okay -- no biting.” She untied the front of her teddy. “No grr, okay?”
I wouldn’t bite you on my worst day. Snapping your neck is always an option, however.
“I wasn’t going to bite you.” He sighed. “Don’t be afraid of me.”
“I’m not.” She pulled his head down to her breasts. “This is going to be so wonderful.”
“Oh God!” Hanging onto the metal railing of the bed frame, Cordelia wasn’t sure wonderful was so wonderful. Angel was incredibly strong and talented; he’d brought her to climax over and over. She sneaked a quick peek at her watch on the bedside table. But they’d been at it for over an hour and Angel showed no signs of slowing down.
They had changed positions several times and now he had her on her hands and knees, his thick cock pumping into her until her pussy began to ache. Nobody had warned her about a vampire’s stamina. Well, they had, but she hadn’t believed them.
“Angel, baby – “ She gasped as another orgasm shook her. “Baby, wait – “
“Sorry.” He slid out of her as she turned. “I can’t – it’s – “
“It's okay.” She kissed him, savoring the taste of sweat on his lips. “Let’s just do something.”
Angelus chuckled. She wanted to fuck. Guess she should be careful what she asks for.
“Here.” She pulled something out of the bedside table. “This is what we need.”
“What is it?” He looked at the tube.
“It’s lube, silly. Sorry, I forgot you haven’t had sex in this century.” She squirted some onto her hands and rubbed it over his cock, making him hiss in pleasure. “Now me.”
We have too had sex in this century! Just last week we banged the hell out of the Sisters. Angelus sneered. And we didn’t need this slimy crap!
“Oh.” He took the tube and put some of the cool gel on his fingers. Cordelia knelt in front of him again and he slid the lube along the hot and swollen lips of her pussy. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“Don’t worry, honey.” She caught his hand. “Here.”
He let her guide his fingers up between the rounded cheeks of her ass to the opening there. “Cordy – you want – “
“Just slick it up first.” She purred. “Use your fingers. Then give me that big cock.”
You should have known. What a fucking skank!
“Like this, baby.” She reached back to push her middle finger deep inside herself.
In high school, Cordelia had decided anal sex was the best way to go. She had had to borrow her mom’s dildo to use on herself until she got used to it, but it had been worth it. No pregnancy worries, she didn’t have to take off anything but her panties, and it didn’t screw with her makeup. And the guys didn’t run and tell because they were ashamed they’d done it.
Angel watched Cordelia push a second finger into her anus. He wasn’t a stranger to anal sex, far from it, but most of his experience was as Angelus, and the memories weren’t pleasant.
It could be if she were screaming and bleeding.
Angel felt cold inside.
You know this isn’t going to work. The demon laughed at him. Just bang her ass and let’s go get Buffy.
“Come on, baby.” She whimpered. “Fuck me. Fuck my ass.”
Moving her hand, Angel guided his cock to her and pushed himself deep inside of her with one hard thrust. She moaned in pleasure. It will work. I love Cordy.
And I love sitting in the sunlight, don’t see that happening either.
Forty-five minutes later, Angelus’ laughter still echoed in Angel’s head. He’d finally been able to come, but only because he’d let himself fantasize about Buffy. Something the demon had participated in enthusiastically. He sighed. It hadn’t worked. He didn’t love Cordelia enough.
She was snuggled against him, snoring softly. At least she couldn’t complain that he didn’t get her off.
Are you serious? They had to have heard her around the freaking block! There was a smug tone in Angelus’ voice. Fucked her bowlegged, we did.
Getting up from the bed, Angel pulled his clothes on and left Cordelia’s room.
Giles was waiting in the lobby when Angel came in from where he’d been scrubbing himself at the fountain in the courtyard. “Are you all right?”
“It didn’t work.” He rubbed the towel over his hair.
“I didn’t think it would.”
“You didn’t – “ Angel looked up. “Then why didn’t you say something?”
“Would you have listened?”
That would be a big ‘no’.
When Angel didn’t answer, Giles continued. “I called Buffy before my plane landed. I told her that she was needed here.”
“You knew – you told her – “ Anger choked him at the thought that Giles had told Buffy that he needed to use her body.
“Not that she was needed for you to lose your soul.” A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Although I had assumed that would be necessary as well.”
Me too, but nobody listened. There was a dramatic sigh. I am so unappreciated around here.
“I told her that this is the End of Days and according to the prophecies, she’s an important part of the battle. She is the warrior come from the light.”
“So she’s on her way here?” Angel pulled a clean shirt on.
“I’m not sure.” Taking off his glasses, he held them up and peered at the dirt on the lenses. “I told her to wait until I got to Sunnydale. That was before fireballs started falling from the sky and wrecked my rental car. I wonder if Hertz will make me pay for the damage? They’re bloody well not getting it.”
“We can’t call. I’ll have to go get her.”
“And Willow.” Giles put his glasses back on. “We’ll need her help as well.”
“I’ll bring them back.” Angel picked up the bag he’d brought downstairs. “If anything happens, move through the sewers to our old office. Wes and Gunn know where it is.”
“I thought your old office was bombed.”
“It was, but my apartment and everything below ground is still there. It should be secure, there’s no access from street level.”
“I’m surprised no one has come in here.” He looked up at the glass doors leading outside.
“Guess a reputation like mine helps sometimes.”
Turning, Giles saw Angel was already headed downstairs to the basement. “Angel, be careful.” If the vampire heard him, there was no sign.
The sewers were still virtually empty, the few demons and vampires that Angel passed were sated and full, none giving him a second look. With his game face on, he looked like just another vampire.
Every few miles, he would check out conditions at street level. The farther he traveled from the city’s center, the better things looked. Finally, he was able to crawl up out of the sewer and walk down streets that were reasonably debris and demon free.
Are we walking all the way to Sunnydale?
“I couldn’t drive through all that crap.”
You just don’t want to scratch up your shiny Angel mobile.
I’ve had better offers. Angelus snorted.
Breaking into the Downey Ford dealership, Angel found the keys to an SUV. Taking the cans of black spray paint out of the duffel bag, he carefully covered the windows. LA seemed to be under a blanket of perpetual darkness, but there was no way to tell if it had spread as far as Sunnydale. For now, he’d leave only the windshield uncovered.
Hey, isn’t this the model where the back seats fold down?
Driving out of the lot, he shot a glance over his shoulder. “How would I know? It’s big and has four wheel drive. Other than that – “
Remember, the one in the commercials?
“I don’t watch the commercials.” Angel shook his head. “I don’t even watch TV.”
Yeah, I think this is it. The demon sighed. Can we do Buffy in the back? We can put the seats down and she can get on top – oh! On her back, yeah… with her feet on the ceiling…. Maybe on her knees?
Ignoring the mental pictures Angelus was painting, he pointed the truck towards Sunnydale.