"You bleeding pillock," Spike hissed, recovering with a roundhouse kick
that hit my knee. It buckled. "I came here to tell you to keep your bloody
paws off of my woman."
"And as for your 'lily white', you've let yourself go, lard arse." As I
dropped to the ground on one knee, Spike punched my face and followed
through with a kick to the side of my head followed. It was a fuckin'
It pissed me off something royal.
I came up off the ground with a groin shot, which Spike only partially
blocked. "Rrrfff..." My self-important child deflated with a protracted
groan. I stood and knee'ed him repeatedly in the gut.
I locked my hands and raised them over my head before dropping the blow
onto his back. [CRACK.] A mortal would have snapped like a twig. Spike
only suffered one or two broken vertebrae but it was enough to drop him like
a pole-axed pig.
I grabbed him by the shirt and hit him a couple more times. Finally, I
threw him to the ground. He landed on his back with a pained moan and
rocked, trying to regain his feet but unable. He stared at me with ice blue
eyes frozen with defiance. "Sod off," he managed, coughing up blood.
FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! How dare the effin' little prick defy me even as he
faced his own certain destruction?! To the very end he was insolent and
rebellious! And to think it was a trait I once cultivated in him, which I
approved of with paternal pride.
I hate him. I fuckin' despise the little S.O.B. I wanted him to beg and
cower. I yearned for his submission. Just to hear him plead for his own
miserable existence would have been the fulfillment of a thousand fantasies.
But he refused to give me even that.
My eyes fell on a wooden crate stacked beside a nearby dumpster. In a
fury, I grabbed the crate and shattered it against the pavement. It broke
into boards and shards. A shower of slivers rained over Spike.
Soon, more than shards would hit him.
I hastily selected one that made a suitable stake. Gripping it tightly, I
moved to stand over Spike while he watched me with his ice eyes. Lovely
shade of blue. If I could have plucked them out I would have kept them as a
I knelt over Spike's chest, straddling him. I wanted to be the last thing
Spike ever saw, and for him to watch me kill him. I crouched over him on
one knee; my stake-wielding hand dangled across the other knee so that the
weapon pointed precisely at my child's heart. I did not rush because I did
not wish to end his suffering too soon. This was a kill to be savored.
Spike's eyes were full of pain, hate, and hurt. Friggin' Angel would never
have done this to him. My Nancy-boy soul would never have reduced him or
humiliated him the way I, Angelus, intended to.
I could not resist the temptation to chat him up further before I offed
him. "You're soft, Spike. You've lost your edge and everyone sees it
except you. Dru knew. Why else do you think she dropped you for me faster
than a piece of rottin' trash?"
Hurt flashed in his eyes and I knew that I had scored. "You make me sick,"
I told him. "You're an embarrassment to my line. The William I sired would
have taken his own life before he let himself become the whimpering,
sniveling ass wipe that you've turned into. But you haven't done it so I'm
going to do it for you." I hefted the stake.
There was still no sign of fear, no hint of his game face. Not once in
this whole effin' fight had his visage changed. It was a sign that his
heart had not been in the fight and it pissed me off. "You came here
expecting to go another round with Angel, didn't you?" I asked.
"What?" he mouthed blankly.
"My prissy soul," I elaborated. "You and he trade a few punches and
insults, sneak a few gropes between blows, and it ends with both of you
bruised but not much worse for wear. Neither of you dies, cause that ends
"What the hell are you talkin' about, you bloody pillock?" Spike demanded.
He was clearly confused and off-balance. I liked the way that his use of
'poof' had changed to 'pillock'. I doubt Spike even noticed.
"I'm talkin' about you and your damnable infatuation with my prissy soul.
Pisses me off to no end. I've spent the last two years forced to watch the
two of you flirt and frolic like bosom bottom buddies."
I grinned viciously as the light of illumination dawned in Spike's eyes.
He began to understand. "What? You thought it was me, Will, your beloved
sire? Hate to break this to you, but you would have been a pile of dust on
the ground ages ago if it weren't for Angel."
"You're crazy," he said as his eyes flickered to the stake over his heart.
He really understood now. He realized that this time was for keeps. He had
lost, and his era was at an end. He would die now. That realization--and
the accompanying dread--was what I craved.
"Maybe a tad," I taunted, hefting the stake. I flipped it playfully once,
and caught it. "You came here today expecting to play with Angel. But you
didn't count on me."
"Oh, and one last thing..." I added, unwilling and unable to let the
opportunity to goad Spike one last time pass. "I know with certainty that
Willow-witch-bitch didn't shag you."
"Been shaggin' her box and arse," Spike lisped weakly through a mouth full
of blood. Red fluid trickled from the corner of his mouth. But his eyes
flinched and I knew I had scored another direct hit.
I laughed and spat in his face. The gob of spit hit him square in the eye
and he turned his face aside. Oh, it was a gamble on my part, a calculated
guess, but it paid off. I was right. Just as I had suspected, my prissy
soul had refused to shag in the wicked witch's body out of "respect" for his
Angel always was a soddin' wuss. I know him too well. Guess a hundred
years of forced cohabitation has finally paid off. It was almost worth it
to see the humiliation and emasculation in my progeny's eyes. One last dig,
one last twist of the knife, and I would finish him.
"Willow didn't fuck you because she wouldn't... couldn't... without my
permission. I have too much on her," I sneered. "She may have been passing
time with you but she'd never have shagged you. Not *ever* without my
permission. I give all your women a good seein' to cause I have the
Fury crossed Spike's face. "I hate you," he hissed. I had him, and
defeat. Victory had never tasted so sweet. This was it, time to finish it.
My lips twisted into a cruel parody of a smile. I was showing a hell of a
lot of teeth. "You know, I still owe you one for that stunt with the
crowbar. So I guess your lily white arse is about to meet the great wooden
shaft. See you in hell, boy-o." I swung the stake up and prepared to
plunge it down.
*NO!!!* From the back of my head, my bloody witch shrilled like a fish
wife. She objected to Spike's destruction. Damn, slight miscalculation. I
had pissed her off and woken her up. She grabbed for control.
I fought her tooth and nail, with every fiber of my being. "I have a soul.
I will not take an innocent life." The words issued from my mouth. They
were an affirmation of the witch's identity. What she was as well as who
"Spike is about as innocent as the devil himself," I replied aloud.
Fuckin' all, I was actually pleading. "Let me kill him. He's a pain in the
ass for everyone."
"I like him," Willow asserted. "He's cute, almost adorable, in a
Spike'o'licious kind of way."
"Spike'o'licious?" I mocked. "Fuck. Chew him up and blow him, why don't
"That's your job! I'm not the Great POOF!" Willow returned. On the
ground, bubble gum Spike stared up with round eyes. He looked positively
"Grr! Argh!" I growled but I was losing the battle. The witch was
winning. We changed from game face and back several times as control
shifted precariously between us. The stake slipped to the ground with a
Spike's eyes bulged as I staged an argument with myself. If the bloke
thought me nuts before, I imagine I had just left Drusilla in the dust.
"Yer a bloody loon!" he exclaimed.
"No shit! Tell me something I don't know!"
Willow won. With a tremendous effort, she thrust me back into the prison
in the back of our head. I went, quite unwillingly, but resigned for the
time being. There would be other days, other battles, when her guard would
come down and her mind would be weak. It was just a matter of biding my
"Spike, are you OK?" I gasped as I regained control. (This is me, Willow,
by the way...) Spike told me later that my eyes actually turned gold
(soul-gold and not vampire-gold) as I my soul took over. He saw it happen
but did not understand what it meant at the time.
"Fine and dandy," Spike snapped. I extended my hand but he scooted away.
"Don't touch me!" he snarled, determinedly dragging his carcass across the
sidewalk with his arms rather than suffer my touch.
"I'm sorry," I apologized, babbling from contrition and disorientation.
"He just slipped out. It was an accident. You caught me off-guard and I've
been having trouble keeping him under control!" I reached for him again.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!" Spike roared. My hand froze. Oh Goddess, but I felt
awful and guilty. Poor Spike! He looked so hurt. Angelus had battered his
body and his spirit. He was bleeding all over the sidewalk and I wanted to
help him but he was terrified to let me near him.
"I really am sorry," I finished weakly.
"I can see that," he retorted sourly. "Bloody sorry and sad. You're so
wretchedly pathetic that I'd ask the Slayer to off you if I thought she'd
I gaped. Wow! Was that ever a concession if I have ever heard one! Spike
asking for Buffy's help was like... like... like Spike asking for Buffy's
Spike dragged himself to the wall, still using his arms. His spine was
obviously damaged and he could not stand. "Are you going to be OK?" I
"Oh, fine." Sarcasm again.
"I can't just leave you here," I explained, feeling totally helpless.
"Especially, considering...morning, sunlight, POOF!" I mocked an explosion.
Spike gritted his teeth. "I'll be fine. Go away."
"But the sun will come up and..."
"Angel, if you come near me right now, I'll retch on both of us." Graphic
but to the point.
"Oh." I stood up and stared down at him. I was starting to recover my
orientation. "Spike, why did you come to LA?" I asked. Curiosity was
killing me. "Was it about Willow..." I hesitated. "Or me?"
Frosted eyes glared at me. "Willow is mine," he hissed, spelling it out
explicitly. "My property. Hands off. Maybe you and her were spankin'
friends before but those days are done. Read my lips, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF'A
HER OR I'LL RIP YOUR BLOODY HEART OUT."
Fire sparked my spirit. Right then I was too outraged to be embarrassed or
self-conscious. Ooohhh! I swear! When I get my hands on Angel's lying
carcass! *He* was to blame for this whole mess!
"Don't threaten me, you candy-ass," I said. "You're the one lying on the
"Gladly! Pull down your pants!" For show, I switched to game face. My
own outrageous behavior shocked me but the demon's sarcasm still resonated
throughout my being. I was feeling downright peckish.
Spike glared in silence, for once at a loss for a snappy comeback. It may
have been the first time that he did not have something sassy to say.
Goddess knows, it was probably the last. Finally, he straightened his red
shirt and slapped away imaginary dust. His movements were awkward,
betraying his injured back.
"You tell *Willow* that I'm going to turn her over my knee and beat her
bare ass raw the next time she decides to share about my purported spanking
fetishes," I informed him. I clenched my teeth and fists. "In fact, I'm
going to do it anyway for this time."
Spike shot to his feet despite the injury. "You stay away from her or I'll
kill you," he snarled. "She's mine an' you'll keep clear if you know what's
good for you!" He was serious. Spike was ready to kill me over Willow.
I mean Angel.
Oh Goddess help me! I turned and marched off, effectively ending the
insane, inane conversation with Spike. I have two things to accomplish.
One, I am going to catch my spanking killer and stop her. Two, I am on the
next bus to Sunnydale so fast the earth will spin.
Goddess only knows what Angel might have done with, or to Spike in order to
elicit such zealous over-protectiveness and possessiveness. The very
reckoning makes my stomach flip-flop! I have never seen Spike so worked up
over anyone other than Drusilla!!
Franken-Angel is in control of my body, and is out of control! He is lying
about my sexual practices, and carrying on with Spike! Goddess, what might
he say or do next?! Someone has to stop him before it is too late!
How is it that your worst enemies are so often your closest friends?
I shuffled along, meandering without direction for several blocks. There
was too much going on in my head to watch where I was going. Weird thoughts
and visions occupied my mind. The strangest was the image of Spike and
Angel-in-my-body shagging like wild weasels.
Even more disturbing was the memory of Spike's tight little ass pressed up
against my crotch AND ME LIKING IT. It seems wrong but it was so right.
I...Spike has a great butt. Sure, I have looked. I mean, what woman
hasn't? I suspect that even Buffy has checked him out at least once, even
though she would rather suck face with leeches than admit to it.
I...I...I am a SHE. A SHE in a HE body, but still a SHE.
And Angel? Angel & Spike? Spike & Angel? (A before S flows better.) OK
then, Angel & Spike. Spike seemed ready to carve a heart proclaiming that
"Spike loves--lusts--Angel" in the nearest tree truck. Of course, Spike
thinks that Angel is me, Willow, but...the sentiment was there.
What am I to make of THAT?!
Neither Spike nor Angel SEEM gay. Well, maybe in a burlesque, macho way
that involves violence and tons of testosterone. And Angel had Buffy, Spike
Drusilla. Of course, there is the "If it moves, vampires will shag it
factor". But I always thought that was more of a myth than anything else.
Kind of like Scottish men and what they wear--or not--under their kilts.
Angel is Irish; Spike is English. Angel is even from the time period that
matters most. Not to sound like I am carrying around nationalistic
stereotypes in my head, but I am to an extent. Did you know that a third of
America's revolutionary army was reputedly made up of Irish emigrants? That
fact alone is reason enough to think that they would rather fight than shag.
Excuse me, err, um, have sex. Spike has corrupted my English and Angelus
my way of thinking. All I need to do is start watching football and leaving
the toilet seat up and my transformation to male is complete.
Because, it would seem, that upon returning to Sunnydale in *my* body,
Angel turned into a nouveau sex fiend and took up "shagging" with SPIKE!!
Of all the people (AND demons!) in the entire population he might have
chosen from, Angel just HAD to choose the most sarcastic smart-mouth in
GRR... Let me inject a note of hysteria here when I say that I AM NOT
HAPPY WITH ANGEL RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!
Weirdly, this is making sense to me. I may be shocked BUT I am not
surprised! I mean, what exactly do I REALLY know about Angel?! Aside from
the whole "Tall, dark, and brooding" aspect that is? Very little and most
of it is leading!
Known Angel Facts:
A) He was a vampire bad ass for about a hundred and forty years. I
*imagine* that liking sex must have played some role in that. My vampire
self certainly seemed sexual enough. AND shagging is half of all Spike ever
talks about. (Blood, violence, and Drusilla being the other half.)
B) About a hundred years ago, the Kalderash cursed him with a soul for
killing their gypsy princess chick. The time following the curse is a big
blank but I am picking up fragmented memories of starvation and suffering
from good ol' Angelus.
C) Just over a year and a half ago, Angel lost said soul because of the
"Happiness Clause" of his curse. I re-cursed him but not before his demon
managed to wreak havoc and destruction. (And murder a whole bunch of
innocent people, including at least one who was very close to me.)
And that is about it, all that I really know. Angel and sex--his practices
and preferences--are really a great big gray area. Well, other than for the
fact that sex would have made his soul go bye-bye before I monkeyed with his
If I make a few bold assumptions, I can extrapolate that: SEX + ANGEL ==
THAT SPECIAL MOMENT OF TRUE HAPPINESS
TRUE HAPPINESS is not that easy to come by. Or so one would think. Back
in my days of rosy romanticism--before my newfound cynicism--I used to
believe that it was SEX WITH BUFFY that made him so happy. I thought that
the total trust and acceptance of being with the one person--the Slayer no
less!--who truly *loved* him had made him truly happy.
It was a beautiful fantasy.
Silly me. I really had no understanding of MEN. Being one has been such
an enlightening experience! Being a demon has been even more illuminating.
Angelus is more than just a bad ass; he is also a first class MAN.
*You could use the attentions of a real one, Sweet Cheeks. Spike was right
about one thing. Dogboy didn't have knackers to keep your minge stuffed.
At least Spike is hung li--*
"You shut up!" I interrupted.
*You're the one who brought up my pair.*
"One more word and I'll get your pair snipped! Gelding you would be a
pleasure!" I growled, really meaning the threat. Right that moment, I was
feeling majorly PMS bitchy. Suffice it to say, I not nearly as fond of IT
as Angelus. IT gets hard in the morning, is easily excited, and an erect IT
makes moving awkward and embarrassing. IT is a pain in the arse.
Angelus shut up. Humph. Note to self: threatening to trim my demon's
equipment is an effective silencing measure. End note.
Goddess! Listen to me! Talking to my inner Angelus! And bad mouthing an
entire gender! I never had thoughts like this before Oz left. Is some part
of me nursing a grudge, blaming the entire male gender for his
Okay, breathe and refocus. Being a Wiccan is about balance and harmony.
If I cannot master my emotions (and demons) then I cannot... Err, cannot
what? What the hell am I doing in this body? What am I going to do if this
I think that I am beginning to understand why Angel tried to kill himself
last Christmas. The prospect of escape--any release--from this wretched
existence is welcome. I HATE BEING A VAMPIRE.
This is ridiculous. Not only am I being unfair to Angel but also my
reasoning is biased and unfair. Angel did not lose control because of sex
or he would have drained Buffy while they were making love, JUST LIKE MY
No, Buffy herself told me that he was fine right after the first time they
made love. She fell asleep in his arms, and he lost his soul in the
afterglow. He felt content, happy, and then the curse kicked in. Angel
felt what was happening and instinct drove him as far from Buffy as he could
get, or again, Buffy would have been drained in her sleep.
I am beginning to realize just how fragile control over the demon really
is. My slipup is a glaring example. Control is ephemeral, insubstantial,
and almost an illusion. I have to be vigilant, always alert, and on-guard
or Angelus will slip through again. Next time I might not be able to stop
him before he kills.
It is amazing that Angel has been so successful. Not one kill in over a
hundred years. My respect, and admiration for Angel's courage and strength
are profound. I *must* resolve to be as brave and self-disciplined or
someone innocent will die. Then, *I* will be the one in need of staking...
Talk about walking a mile in another person's shoes! The footsteps behind
me and ahead of me are definitely not mine! This has been an eye-opening
look into Angel's life. I have developed a lot of empathy for the daily
struggle that is his. (If only this could have happened to Xander...)
Would Xander hate me now because I am a vampire? Me, Willow, his best
buddy and childhood friend? The thought is terrifying and depressing
because I am very much afraid that he would. Xander is not terribly
flexible on the Vampires == Evil thing.
Considering what a trial this is, Angel is a virtual paragon, a model to
emulate and my inspiration in times of darkness and trail. With his
guidance and the resolution of my own free will, I will triumph in the face
of adversity. Angelus be gone [whip crack], Willow is on the job!
I think highly of Angel...
I am still going to wring his treacherous, lying little neck when I get
hold of him. GRRR...
How DARE he tell Spike such ridiculous lies?! IMAGINE, he and I carrying
on a secret spanking affair! HA! I suppose that he told poor Spike some
story about leather, paddles, and fun bondage stuff. HA again! I *never*!!
(Well, except for that once, but that was only to catch a killer.)
And poor Spike thinks he is fooling around with Willow! Shy, quiet,
introverted Willow Rosenberg and William the Bloody, bof'ing like wild
beasts. Quite the image, ain't it?
I would blush but why bother? In the last two days, I have dreamt about
sleeping with and murdering my best friend. I have come out of the closet
to a cop, had my ass paddled by a professional prostitute, and had an
intimate encounter with Spike's behind in an alleyway. *Nothing* can shock
Gee, I wonder if Spike liked me in a romantic sense. Me, Willow, not
Angel. Was there some sort of attraction there that Spike felt for me
before Angel-the-sex-vixen came along and started playing? I cannot help
thinking that there must have been...
Wah! Angel stole Spike! I never even had a chance. Not that I wanted him
or anything, because peroxide and dead really isn't my type. But still...
It would have been nice to have been given the option. The validation of my
feminine worth would have been pleasant, considering how walked on it has
I was so busy moping that a cop car almost ran me down. It was going fast
and the lights were flashing but not the siren. Luckily, my vampire
reflexes are sharp and I leapt out of the way.
Curious, I turned into the parking lot and walked closer, observing the
swarm of police cars and personnel present in the lot. One of the rooms was
obviously the center of activity.
Angel's lurk rating must be at least partially transferable because I
managed to walk past the perimeter guard without being noticed. I almost
made it into the room when a short, fat man stepped in front of me. He
blocked my path with his bulk.
He was Caucasian, rather squat, round in the middle like a donut, and
rumpled from head to toe like an accordion. His hairline had receded to a
point so far back on his head that he might as well have been bald. A badge
proclaiming him to be "LA PD Detective" was attached to the pocket of his
cheap, ill-fitting suit.
"This area is restricted," he informed me belligerently. From his
expression, he was hoping I would argue. It must have been the male
testosterone factor. Angel is tall, handsome, and buff. This poor little
man probably felt he had to prove that his "pair" were as big as mine.
Men. [ Insert confusion and feminine distaste here. ]
"You don't belong here so you're gonna have to leave," he informed me.
"Oh," I said, indecisively glancing about. The cop stepped closer and I
retreated, only because I did not want a physical confrontation. Besides,
he stank of sweat, bad breath, and stale cigarettes, and his aroma assaulted
my nose like a team of Initiative commandos.
"Leave," the rumpled little man ordered.
"But," I protested weakly. I wanted to but I had a bad feeling that
another murder had occurred. This motel was only a block from one of the
other murders. How could I explain to him? If only I could see an actual
crime scene, I might be able to learn something new about the killer.
"Not buts!" He postured and advanced again, brandishing his fists at his
sides in a subtle but clearly threatening maneuver. I retreated again. Not
that Shorty intimidated me, but I did NOT want to get into a confrontation
with a cop!
"Detective Davis!" A woman's voice cracked like a whip. We both spun and
I smiled with relief upon spying Kate. She approached us with a determined
stride and stared down the other officer until he looked away.
"This man is with me," she said, reaching into her pocket to obtain a
special pass, which she handed to me. I accepted it gratefully and pinned
it to my jacket.
"Thanks," I said as the cop grumbled and left.
"Don't mention it." She smiled slightly. "There's been another murder."
She nodded toward the room.
"I thought so... I was in the area and I saw the cop cars..." I trailed
off. This strong, self-contained woman made me feel meek in a way that even
Buffy cannot manage. Her formidable confidence was intimidating. In a way
I was glad that she thought I was gay. It offered me the protection of a
"That's good." Another nod. "Would you like to go in?" She indicated the
room. I gulped. Going in meant blood and guts...and a dead body.
"Err, sure," I agreed and she ushered me in.
"What's the victim's name?" I asked as we stepped through the doorway and
the smell of fresh blood socked me in the nose.
"Hugh G. Rection," she answered. And then I saw the body and my stomach
tried to exit my body though my throat. It was a massacre.
My stomach jumped around in my abdomen like a big fish on dry land.
Flop...flop...flop... There was blood. There were guts. There were gross
things I could not identify. Everywhere. Ceiling, walls, floor, bed. No
part of the room had been spared.
I have seen bodies, and I have seen grossness before. This, though, was
amongst the most stomach turning, puke inducing, nightmarish kind of thing
that I have ever witnessed.
"Eww," I said, staring at a mushy pile of internal goop, wondering what it
was. It was long and ropey...intestines...?
"Yeah," Kate agreed beside me. "He was completely eviscerated." I
started, having momentarily forgotten she was there. "The body is over
there." She pointed.
"May I?" I asked. The body was out of sight behind the room's double bed.
There was a man bent over it, examining the body. He wore surgical gloves
and was going over it with a surgical scraper, collecting evidence. I took
him to be the medical examiner.
"Sure," Kate said, hanging back. Obviously, she did not want to get any
closer than she was. I swallowed and gathered my nerve, inching closer.
"Dr. Weinberg," Kate introduced. "This is Dr. Angel...Smith...
He's...a...specialist in blood..." I restrained a groan. It was one of the
worst, but most apropos, lies I have ever heard used to describe Angel.
Dr. Weinberg only spared me a glance because he was focused on his work.
"Dr. Smith," he greeted. "Where did you go to school?"
I nearly swallowed my tongue. "Stanford," I said, naming the first medical
school that came to mind. Dr. Weinberg hummed, but fortunately, he was only
making the inquiry to be polite.
Fighting nausea, I peered over his shoulder at the body. The chest cavity
had been split clean open and all of the internal organs removed. The arms,
legs, and head were still intact. The killer had only been interested in
"As with the previous three victims," the doctor began, "the sexual organs
have been removed. In all of the previous cases, all internal organs,
though removed, were eventually accounted for, with the notable exception of
the victims' genitalia and..."
Dr. Weinberg kept lecturing, explaining it to us in layman's terms. (For
Kate's benefit... After all, I was supposed to be an esteemed blood
specialist from Stanford.) Basically, what it amounted to was that the
demon was torturing her victims before she ripped out their guts and left,
taking their sexual organs with her. My automatic assumption was that she
was eating them...
Gradually, my overly sensitive vampire nose began to distinguish smells
apart from the blood. My stomach grumbled because the blood/gore odor was
really starting to get to me. I wanted to get out of there before Angelus
flipped out again, but the secondary scent was nagging at me.
Following my nose, I got up and sniffed my way into the bathroom. Kate
rose and followed me, watching curiously. "What's that?" I asked, pointing
to a streak of bright yellow fluid on the handle of the faucet. It was rank
and nasty, probably some sort of body excretion, and definitely not human.
Strange, oh strange... Had the killer washed her hands? There was blood
in the basin. But then, the entire motel room was pretty much covered in
"I'm not sure, nothing like this has been found at any of the previous
crime scenes," Kate said. "Hold on a sec." She left the bathroom and
returned shortly with a test tube.
"Can I get a sample of that?" I asked.
"Sure," she said, scraping slime into the vial.
[Film footage of the sun rising over LA flashes by, cueing the reader into
the passage of time because the author is feeling too lazy to properly
Wesley showed up at the office bright and early Thursday morning. He
arrived before Cordelia, which I thought rather strange. Why was Wesley
Wyndam-Price reporting for work promptly at 8AM, every single day of the
Reality check, but Wesley is not exactly Angel's *employee* or anything.
As far as I can tell, he is not employed at all. And yet, the unemployed
Watcher sure does seem to spend a lot of time hanging out at the offices of
I showed him the vial containing the demon's bodily excretion and he
promptly volunteered to help me run an analysis of the substance and trace
"Thanks," I said. "I'm gettin' bleary eyed from staring into this
microscope. So far, all I've managed to determine is that it's a
hydro-carbon compound containing high quantities of graphite." I rubbed my
tired eyes and pushed away from the instrument.
Wesley bent over the microscope to take a look. "Graphite, you say? Like
pencil lead?" He frowned, thinking hard. "That's rather unusual."
"Good ol' number two," I quipped with a small smile, which was not
returned. It is odd but I suppose that Wesley feels more comfortable
hanging out with a vampire detective and an impoverished former high school
beauty queen than he does anywhere else. It made a sad statement about the
poor man's life.
Having watched Giles deal with unemployment for the last year has convinced
me that idle Watchers are about as sorry as three legged dogs. I decided
right then and there to do something to help him. "Wesley, do you mind if I
ask you for a favor?" I inquired carefully.
"Mmm?" He walked over the shelf and took down a book. From across the
room, my sensitive vampire hearing picked up a stomach rumble. Based on my
observations over the last week, Wesley was either perpetually hungry or he
never ate. Or both.
"Well, being Angel is pretty tough. And not that Cordelia hasn't been a
big help." More like a hindrance. "But I was kind of wondering if you'd
like to come to work for Angel Investigations..."
Wesley looked up; I had his undivided attention. Hope was transparent on
his face. He wanted the job. It was something he was doing for free
already and it was what he had been trained for, investigating and dealing
with the supernatural.
"Please don't say no too quickly," I pleaded. "Because I'm really out of
my depth here and I could sure use the help. No one has been collecting a
salary as detective assistant since Angel's friend, Doyle, died so there's
room on the payroll."
I made that last up but I had to let Wesley keep his male pride intact and
the only way to do that was by making him believe that he was doing *me* the
favor. Honestly, I had no idea if Angel could afford another employee but I
was determined to make it possible.
Wesley raised a hand. "No more, please. Thank you, I would be honored to
work for you." His smile was genuine, sweet, and ever so brief before he
returned to his book.
"Great!" I exclaimed. Mission accomplished! Add one employee to the
payroll, and remove one unemployed Watcher from the "ever so pathetic" list!
Staring at his book, Wesley's expression suddenly changed. "Ah-ha!" he
exclaimed, leaning closer to a page. I jumped to my feet.
"The Sa Tyre Demon. It's of Korean origin and all members of the species
are female. They reproduce by consuming the sexual organs of human
"Eww," I interjected. Wesley reprimanded me with a stern stare so I shut
He continued as if I had not spoke. "...their feeding frenzy culminates in
the live birthing of multiple young once they have consumed enough
adrenaline and testosterone. The species has a particular taste for
"Which accounts for the S&M," I surmised.
"I suspect so," he agreed. Wesley held up the book so that I could see a
sketch of a female demon, which possessed huge boobs and exaggerated sexual
organs. It looked like a teenage boy's crude doodle.
"Looks human enough," I said.
Wes nodded. "Yes, they pass for human until they morph into their true
demonic form." He turned the page and I blanched. The "vamped out" Sa Tyre
Demon possessed wicked looking claws and long tentacle-like protrusions
coming off the top of her head.
"Medusa," I muttered.
"Quite," Wesley agreed.
"So, how do I find her?" I asked.
"Sa Tyre demons must consume twice their body weight in graphite every
day," Wesley supplied, reaching for the phone book. "Coincidently enough,
there happens to be a No. 2 pencil warehouse located in the Korean district,
not too far from where all four of the murders have occurred!"
"Great!" I was already standing so I tried to look prepared. "Let's go!"
"Not so fast!" Wesley muttered.
"No," he said flatly. "Sa Tyre demons can only be killed by decapitation.
Other forms of attack will injure but not destroy them."
"Great," I muttered sarcastically. "Just great. I'll be lucky to hurt it,
let alone chop off its head."
"You needn't worry," Wesley assured me, opening a filing cabinet drawer.
"What, are you going to file for me?" The question popped out of my mouth.
Boy, am I getting to be Sarcasm-Girl. Blame Angelus...
Wesley gave me a look that indicated he refused to demean himself by
answering that. Instead, he yanked out a hand-axe, along with a whole bunch
of tangled weapons of various types.
"Fortunately, I am trained in all manner of hand-to-hand weapons," Wesley
informed me with overblown self-importance. "I am also highly skilled in
the martial arts."
I blinked. Since when?
"You have nothing to fear. I will decapitate the demon in due haste and we
may return in time for brunch and to have Cordelia complete the paperwork
which will place me on the payroll." Wesley dropped a mace on his foot
while he was untangling the axe.
"Ow, ouch, ouch..." he chanted, hopping on one foot and holding the other.
I moaned, more scared than ever before. We were doomed. We were going to
die. Oh Goddess, please, please, please... I need your help. Where, oh
where, is a Slayer when you need one?
Before we left I hastily scribbled a note to Cordelia, informing her of our
destination in case we never came back. I wanted her to know where to send
Spanking Willow - Week One
We entered the warehouse, moving between tall towers of crates cautiously.
"Where do you think it might be?" Wesley asked with an exaggerated whisper.
He might as well have been speaking normally. I winced. Had he forgotten
that I had inherited Angel's overly sensitive hearing?
"Lower levels?" I suggested, taking an educated guess. "Where do demons
always hang out? Underground."
I sighed. "Someday we're going to come across one that does something
original. Rooftop dweller, loves sunlight, pays taxes and obeys the
laws..." We made our way to a service elevator and entered it.
"There are many species of peace loving demons...blah, blah, blah..." I
winced as Wesley went into lecture mode. He promptly forgot about being
quiet and began waving his axe about like a pointer.
We exited on the lowest levels. There were several sharp [CRACKS] as we
exited the lift. I froze, as did Wesley. "Did you hear that?" I whispered
as he turned on a flashlight and shone it on the ground.
The floor was littered with the husks of number two pencils as far as the
eye could see. Their little yellow bodies were broken and discarded like
refuse. I bent over and picked one up, holding it under the light.
Wesley gasped. "The lead has been sucked out!" he exclaimed. "There must
be thousands! It's a massacre!"
Horrified, I dropped the body. The vast scope and viciousness of the
carnage made me ill. It was pencil genocide. "Goddess!" I breathed. "What
could have done this?!" But I knew, and I vowed swift and sure revenge on
behalf of those poor, murdered pencils. They *would* have Justice.
I charged further into the warehouse, pencil husks snapping under my feet
with every step. I may have been walking on bones but it was necessary to
put a stop to the Slaughter of the Pencils. Wesley followed, urging caution
but I was ENRAGED.
Have you ever noticed that people never look UP for impending danger? I
was no exception and the demon dropped on me without warning. I never even
saw her coming. She hit me like a bomb and knocked me flat on my back. A
hard series of blows followed that left me disoriented.
Wesley shouted and charged, holding the axe above his head for a great
blow. He was heading straight toward *me* and the demon. I screamed like a
girl. (Allowed! I *am* a girl!)
The Sa Tyre demon turned to meet Wesley's rush. She looked EXACTLY like
the drawing, including exaggerated sexual organs and eel-like things on her
head that writhed like snakes.
The demon struck Wesley in the face and knocked him over with one punch.
He dropped the axe. She leaned over to sniff his unconscious form. "This
one I will eat," she said, thinking aloud.
"Hey! Medusa!" I shouted, standing. The reprieve had given me a chance to
get my act together. Game face on! Super Angel To the Rescue! "Not if I
have anything to say about it!"
The Sa Tyre demon turned to me. "I will eat him later," she amended.
"First, I will kill you." She lashed out at me with a blow so hard that it
felt like a tree truck striking my chest. I went right back down to the
As predicted, I got my arse kicked and it hurt, hurt, hurt... But I did a
good job of not whimpering or crying! Apparently, the Sa Tyre demon knew
what a vampire was, because she stopped the arse kicking long enough to pick
up a pencil.
In my head, Angelus howled in fear and anger. *Let me out before you get
us both killed!*
The demon's distorted features loomed closer to mine as she bent over
wielding the pencil in her claw, the instrument of my impending doom. Oh
Goddess! It was just too humiliating. Staked with a pencil! Terrified, I
started to comply with Angelus' demand to let him have control.
There was a very distinct, very scary [CLICK] of a pump shotgun loading
ammo into the firing chamber. The unexpectedness of it frightened me
senseless. It scared the demon too. She froze.
A pair of boots appeared beside my head. "Pick on someone your own size,"
a voice stated flatly. The speaker had a Clint Eastwood drawl down perfect.
A double-barreled [BOOM CLICK BOOM] sounded twice in quick succession.
The right half demon's face and head exploded like a ripe melon. Pieces of
skull and brains rained over my face and she fell over, landing beside me
I sat up. I looked up. "Angel!" I gasped his name and it was practically
a prayer. I had never been so happy to see anyone before in my life.
"I came as soon as I heard," he said, stepping over me. He pumped the
shotgun again. It was then I noticed that the demon's limbs were writhing.
She was still alive.
"How did you find us?" I asked.
"Your note--!!" The demon sprang to her feet with a howl and flew toward
Angel, propelled by unholy strength. I let out a horrified squawk when she
knocked Angel down and threw myself forward.
The demon landed on top of Angel. My heart nearly left my body via my
throat as visions of those wicked claws ripping open his gut filled my head.
The demon's body rose and fell.
The body leapt with the impact of another shot.
I jumped in no particular direction, just needing to move. Oh Thank
Goddess! The demon had handed on top of the gun barrel!
"Why isn't it dying?" Angel shouted. With a smooth, fluid motion, he
kicked the demon away and rolled to his feet. Her limbs were still flailing
"You have to chop off her head!" Wesley's feeble voice called. Angel
looked really cool, like an action hero, as he slammed the gun's stock into
her head. I wish that I could look that good.
"Wesley!" he demanded. "Axe!"
"Axe!" Wesley called from the other side of the room. I cringed and a
whimper escaped as the Rogue Demon Hunter / Klutz Extraordinaire tossed the
axe straight at Angel. Visions of the blade embedding in Angel's chest
danced through my head.
Angel tossed the shotgun aside and caught the axe out of midair. He spun
it twice in tight circles and whirled to face the demon as she gained her
feet yet again.
[SPLISH] (Yes, really, she went SPLISH.)
Her head separated from her neck; her body fell to the ground. Icky gore
gushed from her body and Angel bent over to inspect the body, making sure
that it was dead.
"Nice work," Wesley said as he stumbled over to Angel.
"Thanks," Angel replied.
"Where did you get the gun?" Wesley stared at the huge shotgun. Angel
told me later it was called an Ithaca.
"I stole it from a cop car," Angel supplied helpfully.
Wesley exhaled. "Of course, how silly of me to imagine that you might have
acquired it legally." He and Angel exchanged looks that jockeyed for
position. (I'm not sure but I think Angel won.)
Angel changed the subject. "Nice job there, buddy. You almost didn't need
me." Angel patted Wesley on the back and the ex-Watcher visibly preened.
Angel turned to face me. "Willow, are you OK?" he asked.
"I'm alive," I said. "But I'm not," I immediately corrected myself,
feeling oddly self-conscious. My eyes left his face. It was then that I
noticed what Angel was wearing. Black, black, black... You can take the
Angel out of the vampire but you can't take the vampire out of the Angel.
And not just black but Black leather...tons of it. Black leather pants,
black leather halter top, black leather duster, and even his fingernails
were black. He wore spiked boots with heels so high he would have broken
his neck if he fell. Sunglasses and the gun completed the look. He
reminded me of a chic femme fatal, or maybe a female version of the
Angel had even mastered a hip-rolling feminine saunter that screamed sex
appeal with a bullhorn. He wore my body well and he was beautiful. I felt
downright dowdy in comparison. He made me feel self-conscious and awkward,
realizing what a waste I had made of such a nice body. My ego plummeted to
previously untold depths.
"How did you find us?" Wesley asked.
"I found Willow's note," Angel replied.
Wesley clarified, "But how did you know to come?" He seemed fixated on
finding out why Angel had returned unexpectedly to LA. Come to think of it,
I was kind of wondering that myself...
Angel glanced straight at me as we neared the car. He gave me a hard look.
"I saw what you did to Spike. The second I saw him I knew what was
I cringed and hung my head in shame. Poor Spike! "What did you do to
Spike?!" Wesley interrupted. "What was happening??"
I answered Angel, "Is he OK? I didn't mean to hurt him but...but..." My
voice was tiny.
"What did Willow do to Spike?" Wesley Wyndam-Price demanded.
"Spike is healing," Angel assured me, turning to face me. "Mostly hurt
pride, and that will mend. I'm more worried about you." He touched my arm.
There was so much compassion and understanding in his eyes that my own
filled with tears. Finally, someone who *understood* what I was going
"Hello? Can anyone hear me talking?" Wesley asked.
I extended my hands and placed them on Angel's forearms. We were holding
on to and supporting one another. "I've been so scared," I whimpered.
"Angelus is awake inside of me, thinking and giving me nightmares. And when
Spike showed up he slipped out and I lost control, and-HIC!"
"Shh," Angel shushed. "I know what it's like." (As corny as it sounds,
him saying that helped. Just knowing that he had genuine empathy for me
made me feel less alone.)
"Have I become invisible?" Wesley queried sarcastically, waving his hand in
front of his face. "Because I don't *feel* invisible."
Angel rolled his eyes. "Wes, personal, OK?"
"Oh, very well! But don't come to me when..." The rogue demon hunter
strolled off complaining. Angel took my arm and dragged me toward the car
I followed Angel, overcome with gratitude. Not only had he saved mine and
Wesley's life, but he had also killed the Sa Tyre demon for me. His
understanding and support were overwhelming. When I imagine how hard it
must have been to drop everything and come to LA with no notice... To just
give up cavorting with Spike...and...and...
SPIKE! *Speaking of Spike!* Ooohhh! I had almost forgotten! *Angel* was
the...the... How did Spike put it? The "sex kitten" who had been "riding
him hard and putting him away wet"!
I went from sad to mad in two seconds flat. Feminine outrage filled me
with potent indignation and I opened my mouth, prepared to let Angel have it
"Angel, what the blazes have you been doing with my body?" I demanded with
righteous anger. Angel flushed and glanced at me. He had guilt written all
over him. Before he could answer, Tara came running around the car toward
I blinked. "Tara?" I gasped. Surprise knocked the stuffing out of my
outrage. It was like my outrage was a big stuffed turkey, violently
destuffed. Or something like that...
"Willow?" she squealed, approaching me cautiously. "You're so...big," she
said, looking me over. I once again felt self-conscious. Angel's body
always feels like a potato sack compared to my own.
"Tara!" I opened my arms and hugged her. She hesitated for a second and
then threw herself into my arms. "What are you doing here?" I asked.
She smiled and babbled. "Well, I saw you but it wasn't you. It was Angel
but I knew that it wasn't you. The energy flowing through your body was all
wrong for the soul in it. At first, I thought you were possessed. So I
asked Angel what he was."
She laughed. "It was funny cause he answered 'Angel' and I thought for a
second that he was an angel because he has a very pure aura." She blushed
and giggled again. "But I knew that he couldn't be a real angel because he
also had a very passionate--"
Angel cleared his throat. "Tara," he interrupted. "The cure?" I was
Tara nodded. "Oh right." She smiled and pulled a ring box out of her
pocket, displaying it proudly. She opened it and something inside glowed
with light. "This is a Katra." She took it out of the box. "It should
restore the natural balance and put you and Angel back in the proper
I nearly jumped over the moon with a surge of excitement. "Will it work?"
I whispered, awed. I extended a shaking hand. I was afraid that it would
vanish the moment I touched it.
"It should." Tara smiled and placed it in my hand.
"This is the reason it took me so long to get here," Angel volunteered.
"Once I realized that you were losing control over the demon, I knew that we
had to switch back as soon as possible."
My smile finally broke free. Angel was promptly and summarily forgiven for
acting like a sex-crazed fiend in my body. And for painting my fingernails
black. "What do we do?" I asked, holding the Katra in my open palm. I
could not wait to get it over with.
"Just touch hands," Tara instructed. "The Katra will do the rest."
I nodded and took a deep breath. I looked at Angel. His expression was
inscrutable but his eyes were sad. He liked being alive and he wanted to
remain so. I cannot say that I blamed him. But he was also willing to give
it all up in order to insure that Angelus remained locked away.
I have arrived at the conclusion that being Angelus' warden is one hell of
a sacrifice... Have I mentioned recently how much I admire Angel? I cannot
say it often enough.
"Are you ready?" I whispered. He nodded and wordlessly extended his hand.
My fear and excitement were running amuck as our hands got closer.
Our fingers touched and there was a flash of white light.