Taking the Dead


by Saber ShadowKitten and Tinkerbell









Part Six





"Don't look!" I command him in my sharpest, most 
'I-am-your-sire-do-what-I-say' voice.

He looks, naturally.

He looks, and raises a finger in a universal salute before collecting a giant 
wad of phlegm in the back of his throat and spitting it up toward them.

Always graceful, my boy is.

"And you!" He rounds on me, and it takes every ounce of control not to wince 
even slightly at the thunderous look in his eyes. "You knew!"

"Stop it," I warn him, acutely aware of the scritching of ball-points above 
us. I can practically feel their glee at this display of vampiric anger.

"I'm an ass!" he shouts.

This is true, however, to laugh now would surely mean my death at the hands 
of William the Bloody.

"I'm an ass for trusting you, Angel. I'm an ass for ever going to find you in 
the first place. What, are you in good with them?" He gestures obscenely 
upward again. "Was it a plan of yours to get me here? What do you get for 
that? They throw you a nice, warm human to drink instead of that piss-water 
blood you filch from the meat market? What?"

Spike was always good at giving a lovely display of anger. Some people just 
get quietly upset when they are wronged, some take to furtive 
passive-aggressiveness, some just bide their time and sulk quietly. I prefer 
the latter myself.

But Spike... Spike gets beautifully angry, and quite loudly, too. It must be 
the eternal child that resides in him, for no one, save children, seems to 
feel the unfairness of things quite so vividly. I have a quick mental image 
of a gamin face, blue eyes wide as saucers, saying, "But Mum, *why* can't I 
have a lolly before supper?"

Enough of this childishness for now, though. I grab his upper arm and yank 
him close to me, hissing, "I had nothing to do with it, you idiot. Now shut 
your damn mouth before the stiffnecks up there can write any more fascinating 
information."

To my surprise, he obeys.

In fact, I'm so surprised that I drop his arm and he elbows his way past me 
to the far corner of the cell, dropping down onto the floor and resting his 
forehead on his knees.

Nothing to do now but wait.

No, hold on. That's not true. Waiting will only mean that we aren't taking 
action, that we aren't doing anything to facilitate our own freedom.

And I'm sure as all hell not spending the rest of my miserable, cursed 
existence in here. I want to be miserable on my own terms.

Chancing a look upward tells me that the suits have seen all they want to see 
for now. There is a big show of putting away clipboards and reattaching their 
pens to their pocket protectors.

Walking over to where Spike sits muttering under his breath, I nudge him with my foot. 

He kicks out viciously without raising his head from his knees, connecting 
with my shin.

I deserve it, I know. And later, when we get out of here, I'll let him exact 
his punishment on me with painstaking detail. It could involve some 
bloodshed, I'm thinking...

Crouching down, out of kicking range, I tell him, "I know what we're going to 
do."

"Huh. I'm not listening to anything you ever say to do, ever again."

"Fine, pretend not to listen. But you better remember what I tell you, boy, 
because it's going to mean both of our lives." I know my voice is hard by the 
end of the sentence, but I don't care. I don't have time or patience to baby 
him right now, especially because there's no one on earth who needs *less* 
babying than he does. 

He needs a firm hand cupping his balls, and that's the way you control him.

Speaking rapidly, I explain. "A hostage situation is the only way, Will. 
There won't be opportunity for us to be together again in the same cell, 
we'll have to do it now, as soon as one of them comes in for us. I can't 
really hope it will be that Walsh woman, but one of her lapdogs will have to 
do. Let's just hope she thinks her lapdogs are valuable. Are you listening?"

I know he is, because he shakes his head no.

"Good. The freaks up above have left, so the only other eyes on us will be 
the monitor and whoever's watching it from the control room. I'll have to be 
the one to grab her, since your chip will be activated at the first sign of 
danger toward a human. Then you can --" He looks up at me with dead eyes and 
I stop what I'm saying. "What?"

"How d'ya know you ain't been implanted, too?"

***** 


Defeat.

Such an ugly word, it is. It's synonymous with the weak, the worthless, the pathetic losers. A real vampire never admits defeat. We may be thwarted, or temporarily stopped, or choose to make a tactical retreat, but we're never defeated. The concept of defeat was as foreign to me as what it must feel like to be a woman.

Well, dress me up and call me Shirley, because I am utterly defeated.

My anger vanishes as quick as it flared. I *am* an ass for trusting him. I *am* an ass for thinking he'd help me. I *am* an ass for thinking that Angel may have some smidgen of feelings leftover from long ago.

The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

The rage that I'd felt a short while ago had been buried by an avalanche of hurt. I didn't think the arsewipe could make me feel this way. He doesn't care that I'd fucked him. He doesn't care that I was in control. He doesn't care that he didn't bite me. He doesn't care that I'd wanted to rip his throat out. He doesn't care that I hate him. He doesn't care, period.

He's indifferent.

I drop to the ground in the corner of the observation room -- although showroom's a better descriptive -- and rest my head on my bent knees. The floor is cold on my bare ass, the tails of

my duster having spread when I sat. I really should get dressed again, but that would take too much effort.

Angel comes over and starts lecturing. First, we'll do this; then, we'll do this; and then, we'll do this. The Great Escape, in vivid technicolor and Dolby Surround Sound. Steve McQueen, eat your effin' heart out. Too bad the soddin' nonce's plan may have one fatal flaw:

"How d'ya know you ain't been implanted, too?"

The poof looks startled for a moment, then a thoughtful frown replaces the look. "We'll just have to hope I'm not."

I snort. If there's one thing I don't do, it's hope. Hope has a tendency of ripping your heart out, throwing it in a blender, and hitting puree.

"Get dressed," Angel tells me, rising to do the same. His shirt is in tatters, and he throws a scowl at me before tossing it back to the floor. He cares more about his stupid clothing that he does about... about...

I dress mechanically. Up until now, I'd wanted to escape. Up until now, I'd wanted to live. Up until now...

"Stand here," the shirtless Angel instructs, positioning me so I'm facing the metal door. The unfeeling wanker crouches in front of me, his back to the door, clasps my hips and buries his face in my crotch.

Ooookay.

"Grab the door," he mumbles against my trousers. "Whatever you do, don't let it shut."

Ah, the plan. Didn't think he wanted to give me a quick blow. My cock's not stirring, anyway, so even if he did it'd be kind of hard. Er, not hard. Stupid brain, now is not the time to pun.

I stand there stiffly, eyes on the door, waiting for it to open. I don't really care if Angel's plan succeeds or if all my skin is peeled off after we fail, I just want this to be over with.

Angel sighs and nuzzles my crotch. His hands gently squeeze my hips. I don't know what the nancyboy is thinking about, nor do I give a damn. He could be reliving that night in Florence in his mind, the most precious night of my unlife, and it still wouldn't matter to me. I'm the one who's indifferent now.

A tear slides down my cheek, and I sniff.

Stupid allergies.

I hear the electronic buzz of the lock being disengaged, and I tense even more. Don't let the door shut, I reminded myself, as it slowly swings inward.

The muzzle of a taser precedes the soldier as he starts into the room. He aims at me, rather than my sire, and I'd applaud Angel's ingenuity if I gave a shit. The soldier doesn't think Angel is a threat because of his position. Stupid, stupid soldier. Didn't they teach you anything in combat school?

Angel moves in a flash, somersaulting backwards, his feet landing a double-kick in the soldiers groin. I duck as the taser is fired. The electric bolt whizzes over me, most likely leaving a scorch mark across my hair. Punk skunk, the new fashion statement.

I go for the door, absently noting that my sire isn't screaming in pain as he thrashes the soldier. Guess they didn't monkey with his brain. I must've gotten the privileged vamp treatment last time I was here. Lucky me.

There are more idiots in the hallway, trying to get in. Angel uses the now-unconscious soldier as a shield as they fire their shock-weapons. The body in the poof's hands shakes and sort of glows from the amount of current being pumped into him. It's actually kind of neat.

Game-faced, Angel hisses and throws glowboy at the shooters, knocking a bunch of them down. He flies out after the body, grabbing the nearest gun muzzle and yanking it from the surprised soldier's hands. Smart move, that, because the gun Angel's taken is a military issue .9 mm and will harm the human gits a lot more than the tasers.

Bam! The light fixture above one group shatters, raining glass down upon their heads. Snarl! Angel snares one of the bigger blokes and shoves the nose of the gun up under his neck. "Freeze!" someone in command shouts. "Shoot him!" the captured moron shouts back. "You do, and I blow his brains out," Angel growls.

And I stand here and hold the door open.

Go me.

A new voice in the hall, a familiar female one. "Stand down," she orders.

The soldiers do as she says, which must make her the Grand Poobah of this shithole. I wait for the feeling of 'kill, maim, destroy' to come over me.

It doesn't.

I'm simply indifferent.

I poke my head into the hall to take a look at her. Her name badge reads M. Walsh. She blond, sour-faced, and an actual adult. I'm so used to getting my arse kicked by children, maybe that's why I could care less about this bitch.

"I guess this is the part where I say: don't hurt him, and you reply: not unless I get what I want," Walsh says in a dry tone.

"No, I think I'll get right to the threats," Angel returns. He tightens his grip on the soldier. "Spike and I are leaving. Try to stop us, and I'll kill this one, followed by each and every one in this pit."

"Don't let them leave, Professor," the captured soldier -- Finn, his name patch reads -- says.

"Ah, the brave little hero," Angel taunts, digging the gun further under the git's chin. "Don't forget, boy, I can smell your fear."

"You do understand that once you're free, we will simply hunt you down again?" Walsh points out, ignoring her pet soldier's pleading.

"I'm looking forward to it," Angel replies.

Walsh nods. "Very well, since you leave me no choice."

"Into the room," Angel orders, gesturing with his head towards me.

I move back and hold the door open wider. I'm very good at my assigned job.

Once all the soldiers and Walsh have entered, I leave, allowing the door to shut behind me. The metal door clicks as the lock engages.

Angel doesn't wait a moment. He starts down the hall, pushing Finn in front of him, the gun now pointed at the soldier's head from behind. I trudge after my sire, not paying that much attention to where we're going or who's around. It's not like I care if I escape anymore. I'm indifferent.

My sire is talking with Finn. Threats, most likely, and promises of retribution. I wonder why Walsh chose to let us go. She has to believe that Angel will munch the boy once we're out of here. If she believes he's that expendable, why didn't she simply shoot through him?

Unless it's a trap, or maybe she knows that Angel won't kill humans. Well, we'll find out soon enough. There's the door that leads out of this place.

Nighttime, which means sunlight's not the surprise. Wouldn't that've been the bloody bugger? Daring escape thwarted by UV-rays.

"Run," Angel tells me the second we're outside. His ridged face is scrunched even further in anxiety and his eyes search the shadows. "Go, Spike. Run."

Run, Spike. Run. See Spike run? I don't think so.

"*Now*, you good for nothing little shit," Angel snarls, his golden eyes flashing. "I did not just rescue your ugly ass for you to get captured again."

Finn uses Angel's distraction with me to spin around and knock the gun from his hand. I watch for a moment as a nice, big fight ensues. A fight that I can't participate in because of whatever the soldiers did to me.

Wow, I'm brooding. I'm truly brooding. So this is what it feels like to be my ensouled sire.

A hysterical giggle erupts from my throat. I've certainly done it this time, haven't I? Dru would be even more disgusted than she was when she dumped me. The second time, not the first. Even after I'd tortured her, she'd still thought I was a wuss, which hurt worse than her simply tossing me out because I tried to woo her back.

"Damn it, William, *RUN*!" Angel yells mid-punch, his bare torso bruised and cut from the fight. His chest is heaving as the animalistic side in him makes him pant. His fangs gleam in the faint moonlight as his lips pull back in a vulpine snarl.

I run.

Not because told me to, and not because I'm afraid of being recaptured.

I run because I'm *not* indifferent.

I run because I *don't* hate him.

I run because if I didn't, I would've made a bloody fool of myself.

My sire looks gorgeous fighting in the moonlight, reminding me of the past, reminding me of how I'd felt and still feel about him.

Reminding me that I'm still in love with him.



*****

Ouch.

Soldier Boy may be big, dumb and tree-like, but apparently he's been 
trained in more than one form of the martial arts because he just landed a 
kick that would have knocked the spit out of a mortal.

Seems to me he needs to be taught a lesson, and not merely because he works 
for this god-awful government faction; not merely because he had a hand in 
capturing first Spike and then both of us; not merely because he plays lapdog 
to that bitch that made Spike and me fuck in front of an interested panel of 
suits.

He needs to be taught a lesson because he put his hands on Buffy.

There is blood trickling down my side. My eye is starting to swell from where 
Lapdog placed a well-timed fist. I think a rib cracked a minute ago.

I feel fucking fantastic.

It feels marvelous to fight something real. For too long now I've been 
fighting phantoms. I've been swinging punches at things I can't reach: The 
Powers That Be, my curse, even God.

I've railed against God for most of my time on earth.

And now, I have something that reacts when I hit it. Something that grunts, 
that gasps, that bleeds. So I give it all I've got, no holds barred.

The child is a nothing but a heap on the grass in a matter of moments.



I steal his shirt.

And find I'm alone in the dark, because Spike has vanished. * * * Where to find him? Where to find the errant childe, the lost sheep ... ? Wait. Think. Feel him. Where was he when he found me? I remember, suddenly. It feels like eons ago that I was skulking in the shadows of the Watcher's house, alert for the danger to Buffy. The danger to Buffy! And now there is panic of the worst sort, the kind of panic that sets in when you realize that not one, but two of your loved ones are in danger and you are too far away to help. The night whispers. /...hurry, Angel...hurry.../ I'm hurrying. Shut up. The cemetery ... the burned out high school ... the Summers home on Revello Drive ... and then, finally, the Watcher's house. And what in the name of Christ Almighty is in Giles' fucking living room? Is that a ... it looks like a ... An Indian? I guess that's not really PC these days. I think they say "Native American" now. From what I can see of him through the window, he certainly looks ... native. And may lightning strike me down if he's not holding a hatchet. There is no question of me throwing myself headlong into this fight. That ... that ... thing is threatening Buffy, and the danger is great, otherwise Doyle would have never had a vision about her. Kick the door down, fly into the living room, try to look like Batman or The Dark Knight or whatever. I make a distraction which would have worked beautifully for Buffy to stake it or behead it or cast a spell on it, except the enormous Native American is not the one distracted. Buffy turns, as do all the rest of her crew, and the look that crosses her face is one I would die to see under normal circumstances. A look that clearly says, 'Angel, I've never been gladder to see you in all my life'. I have to ignore her. The Indian-guy is advancing on her, whirling his tomahawk at her precious head, and there's gonna be some fightin', folks. Why do people think that it is actually okay for them to threaten my loved ones? And then, not less than ten minutes later, the house is Indian-free. More ribs have been cracked, and if I had to take a deep breath, I couldn't do it because of the searing pain. He managed to take a chunk of my scalp in his meaty fist and rip out quite a bit of hair, so my head is pulsing. Buffy is fussing over me. I want to let her. I want to lay my head down in her lap, blood and all, and close my grainy eyes. I want her to keep making soothing noises at me and looking at me like I'm the last American hero. Please. I want to. I'm so tired, and my body aches. So does my spirit. Heaving an enormous sigh, I look around at the small gang of people that help to keep my golden girl safe. They're looking back at me with various expressions ranging from gratefulness to 'what the fuck are you doing here?' I quickly explain about Doyle and the vision, and I'm thankful that Giles doesn't spill that I've been in Sunnydale longer than I let on.



When I finish my half-lie, I'm invited to share Thanksgiving dinner with them. Well, Buffy invites me and Willow seconds the invitation. That jackass, Xander, is loudly disagreeing, and the odd girl by his side is studying me like I'm a side of beef. Angel loins, $2.99 a pound. Giles re-extends the invitation after telling Xander to shut up, but I can tell he'd rather have Spike take a mallet to his ribs.

Speaking of my wayward childe...

I feel pinpricks of guilt at my conscience. I haven't thought of the boy since I'd shown up here, skivvies outside of my tights. I look around for him.

Because, of course, they would invite the vicious killer inside without hesitation.

Shaking my head at my stupidity, I start to make my excuses in order to leave. It's then that I catch sight of Spike through the kicked-open door. He's standing outside in the courtyard, looking all the world like a orphaned beggar child wishing he was the one invited to Thanksgiving dinner. I don't think he sees me.

I could leave. Sneak out the back and let Buffy deal with Spike. Now that I know he isn't the danger, I can rest easy knowing he won't hurt her.

*Can't* hurt her.

"What are you looking at?"

I turn to Buffy at her question, the weight on my shoulders making me slump over like a little old man, and sigh. "Spike."

Buffy looks at me for a long time, and her eyes are old.

"Go help him, Angel."

It is an enormous credit to her that she does not ask me what happened, and 
why Spike is hovering outside like a lost puppy as we speak. 

Remind me to love this girl. I cup her cheek, brushing my thumb over her smooth skin. She smiles softly, and that weight on my shoulders gets a little lighter. I smile back, then without a word, leave Giles's blood-spattered, but happy, home. Gotta go help my boy.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~ He glares disdainfully up at the brown building where I live. "I'm not going home with you." "You're already home with me," I point out. "That's 'cause you put me in yer pussy car and drove me to yer pussy house. I'll sleep out here." Brat! "I have blood inside," I coax. Why am I coaxing? He's not a child. Yes, he is. "Not hungry," he sighs, and takes a long-suffering look out the window. "Well, I am. And I'm going in," I snap, and do just that. Let him freeze out there, who fucking cares? I heat a mug of blood and carry it to the kitchen table, where I sit myself down and keep one eye on the elevator. He's so predictable. Sure enough, the lift creaks and thirty seconds later he's slamming the cage door open. "Whyja leave me out there ya big freak it's damn cold and ya dint even leave yer damn keys so I could turn the heat on and where's yer fuckin' icebox with yer fuckin' blood?" I slide my own cup across the table to him and he snatches it, mumbling under his breath. I watch as he wanders away into the bedroom. Don't follow. Leave him be, my conscience whispers, leave him alone, let him adjust, give him some time ... "Angel, where's the fuckin' remote for your telly!" Enough time. I stop in the doorway of the bedroom and grimace slightly. He's put the mug down on my cherry-oak night-stand without benefit of a coaster. His disgustingly filthy shoes have been kicked off and discarded in the middle of the floor. He's pulled his dirty t-shirt over his head and flung it over my antique hat rack, and he now stands bare-chested in front of my small television, cursing it. He's very thin. I feel faint stirrings of desire. What? No, I don't. I don't want him. He turns and looks me up and down. "What're you staring at, ducks?"



*****

I know I'm acting like a bloody girl, stomping around and bitching because I'm upset, but I can't help it. I saw the way Angel had looked at Buffy through the open door of the Watcher's house. It made me wish that someone would look at me like that again.

But Dru's off shaggin' the mucus demon of the month; and my sire doesn't love me anymore.

Sure, I'm here in his flat, but only because he'd manhandled me away from his precious Slayer and into his motor. I can feel the irritation coming from him in the other room, and I'll be he's already wishing he'd left me in Sunnyhell.

I know I am.

Once the poof sets his mind to something, however, he'll see it through to the bitter end. That aspect of his personality hadn't changed with him gaining a soul. And since I'm his new project, he won't leave me alone until he's earned his 'I helped Spike' merit badge. Which means I'm stuck with him, no matter how much he's hurting me, rather than helping.

I feel him behind me, most likely making a face at the mess I'd made. Angel takes his neatness seriously. After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness, and the souled freak is desperately striving for redemption.

I turn to prove myself right, only to find him looking at me, not with annoyed disgust, but with... desire? "What're you staring at, ducks?" I ask.

He crosses to me, and I want to flinch back, to keep away from those hands that are reaching for me. Don't touch me, I think. I'll hurt worse if you touch me. You're still in love with Buffy, not me.

"You're so thin," Angel murmurs, his large hands spanning my waist. I can feel his fingers meet in the center of my back, and, when I look down, I see that his thumbs are close to touching.

"I'm on the Callista Flockhart diet plan," I tell him caustically. What did he expect? The blood sitting untouched in the mug on the night-stand is the first non-drugged meal I've had in weeks.

I lift my gaze to meet his, and there's no mistaking the desire this time. He wants me. It's as plain as the honker on his face.

He doesn't make another advance, though. His bleedin' conscience won't let him.

So I raise my mouth and close my eyes and give him the permission his fucking soul needs.

I let him kiss me and touch me. I let him rub himself against me. I let him press me to my knees and push his hardness between my lips.

I swallow.

I let him strip me and lay me on the bed. I let him stroke me, both inside and out. I let him tell me not to come.

I obey.

I press my face into the pillow as he enters me, his body blanketing my back. I raise my hips slightly, giving him full access as he slowly thrusts. I briefly wonder if he's thinking he's fucking Buffy as he fucks me. Or if he's comparing her hot cunt to my cool anus. Or, if he had time for a bit of kink before losing his soul, he's comparing her hole to mine.

I savor the feeling of his cock up my ass. He's taking me so slowly, dragging his pleasure out, and since he's already come once he'll be fucking me for a long while. I can tell he's forgotten about my swollen shaft, and with my hips arched as they are, I won't be orgasming any time soon.

I don't mind.

Because I'm burying my tears in the pillow, trying to keep my crying silent. He mustn't know that I'm blubbering like a soddin' baby. He mustn't know that I'm not as indifferent as I seem. He mustn't know that I'm still in love with him, despite all that's happened over the years.

He mustn't know that I'm remembering Florence. Of sinking my fangs into that soft swell of flesh below his navel. Of him writhing in pleasure beneath me, and holding my head to him as I drank his blood. Of him saying:

"An eternity, William, will not be long enough with you."

I know this means nothing to him but sex. It shouldn't mean anything but sex to me, either, but it doesn't. To me, it means the end of a beginning that never happened.

He climaxes with a hiss, nameless endearments on his lips, and I feel his cock pulse inside me. Fill me up, sire, I think. Give me a part of you that will stay with me when you leave, even if it's for a brief time.

Fuck, I've turned into a bloody maudlin git.

I wipe my tears on the pillow and curl up beside him on the bed as he pants needlessly. My cock is painfully hard, but I ignore it as best I can. He murmurs meaningless words of post-ogasmic bliss, and I falsely echo them, then silently listen until his useless breathing stops and I know he's fallen asleep.

I get up, put on my trousers, and turn to look at him. My sire's sprawled comfortably on the bed, one arm thrown over his eyes, his other hand resting on the gentle swell of his abdomen, sound asleep. I reckon the past twenty-four have been a real bugger.

Has it really only been twenty-four hours? Oi.

I grab the mug off the night-stand and wander out of the bedroom, closing the door behind me. The blood goes down the sink in the kitchen, the mug placed upside down on the light blue sink mat. I take a seat at the kitchen table, fold my arms on the scarred surface, and lay my head on them.

I feel hollow inside.

In the past day, I've resigned myself to asking my mortal enemy for help; begged my sire to save me; gotten recaptured by the bastards who bolloxed me up to begin with; hurt myself; trusted my sire; been betrayed by my sire; dominated my sire; truly lost my sire and had my heart eviscerated; escaped; realized I still loved my sire; got brought to LA; acted like a girl; got fucked by my sire; and brooded.

"'Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it.'"

And now I'm singing. Bugger, I need a fag.





End