The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit


* 'So, you got your soul back and basically moped for a century.' Angel felt his way along the sewer wall and found the hidden brick. He didn't see why he'd wound up with Megan for this. They usually completed a case without the client accompanying them, but she had been insistent. He saw her point - if they left her at the office, she would be in a prime place for Drucilla to strike. But she was as blunt as Spike and didn't have the redeeming advantage of an ass he wanted to bite. He sighed. 'Yeah, that's pretty much it.' 'And now you're a detective?' 'I try and help people,' said Angel. 'You're a PI,' said Megan. 'Kind of strange for a vampire.' He looked at her and she held her hands up. 'Sorry, but I've never met a vampire socially.' 'Most people don't,' murmured Angel. She laughed. 'Yeah, I guess so. Well, not for long anyway.' They walked on a bit and he could feel her thinking. She was tensing behind him and he smelt the blood in the air. Someone had been feeding round here. 'So you and Spike.........?' Here it comes. 'Yes?' 'Are you, er.........?' He turned to look at her, seeing the inscrutable gaze, and shook his head. The resemblance was weird, but there. He nodded his head. 'Yeah, we're er.' 'Whoah!' she said and grinned. 'That's sweet.' Angel thought about the wicked grin his lover usually wore. He could feel the stinging in his ass as the cuts scarred over and the throbbing against his pants as Spike's naked body came into his mind. Horny, yes. Irresistible, yes. Sweet? Not as far as he knew. 'So what do you do when you're.........er' 'Not running for my life? Well I was studying for my Masters at Essex Uni, but having a vampire stalker tends to put you off your books.' 'Yeah, I suppose,' said Angel. 'Has she ever got close?' Megan nodded. 'Once, in California. Some of her vamp friends bumped into me at a nightclub.' 'Bumped?' She slid her roll neck down a little and showed him the mark on her neck. 'It was a big bump.' 'So I see.' They carried on down the tunnel. 'Do you really think you can do anything about Drucilla?' 'What do you mean?' 'I mean,' said Megan, 'You guys used to hang out. Are you sure you'd be able to stake her?' Angel sniffed the air and turned right. 'If she's killing again, and she won't walk away from this one.........' 'You will?' He looked at her and she shrugged. 'I just wanted to know if suddenly I'm lunch, okay?' He nodded. 'I won't let anything happen to you. But you have to stay back.' She nodded, grinning at the implication. 'I get it. Don't become vampire food.' He laughed briefly. 'That's pretty much it.' She stepped back against the wall and raised her hands. 'Well that's okay, cause I didn't plan on becoming a corpse anytime.........' A hand clasped round her neck. '.........Soon.' Angel spun round as Drucilla's goons entered the tunnel. The largest one held Megan by the throat and was slowly sniffing her, smelling the pulse and the throb of her blood. As the dark princess walked round the corner, he drew himself up to his full height, stamping down on the guilt he always felt around her, concentrating on the demon in front of him. 'Hello Angel,' she purred. *



'Drucilla,' said Angel, 'Why don't you put the girl down now?' 'Oh that's going to work!' said Megan, stamping on the goon's foot. 'Stop quoting cop shows!' The big vampire growled at the pain in his foot and let go of the girl. She ran over to Angel and pulled a cross out of her coat pocket. Angel held an arm in front of her, and waited for them to make their move. Drucilla smiled wickedly at him and walked up to him slowly. 'I knew you'd come. My Angel, come to see Princess.' She ran a finger down his cheek and looked at Megan's horrified face over his shoulder. 'And you brought me a present.' Drucilla sighed and moved slowly round Angel's body. 'My Spike.' Megan stepped backwards, feeling the slime pressed against her hair. She would have groaned, except the demon in front of her seemed to have scared her speech away. And Dru was still coming. 'Not Spike. But so very close.' She kept one hand on Angel and stretched the other to Megan's neck, stroking the pulse and pressing her nails up against the skin. 'How would you like to live forever?' 'Enough, Dru,' said Angel, pulling her hands away. 'Call off the goon squad.' She looked at him, hurt and turned those wide, innocent eyes to his. 'Your heart is full again.' She touched his chest, a seductive grin teasing him, tempting him. I was yours, she seemed to say, I could be yours again. Give me what I want. 'Not the Slayer.' 'Dru, leave it alone.' She looked confused for a second and then looked at him in wonder. 'Spike?' Angel swallowed hard. Maybe, he could talk Dru out of this, maybe they could get away. And if she'd been rational, that might have worked. But he had seen to it a long time ago that she would never control her mind, her premonitions adding to the chaos of her thoughts. He wondered how she'd envisaged this. 'Here, Baby,' said the crisp accent. 'Now why don't you just leave the poof and his friend alone?' She smiled at him, but didn't move. 'You've been a very bad boy, Spike.' 'I know Baby, I'm a bad man, remember.' 'Very bad,' she moaned and swayed against Angel. The dark vampire didn't look at her, his gaze fixed on Spike. The blond gave off all the cockiness of Drucilla's lover, cig smoking away as he walked forward. He held Wesley by the neck and winked at Angel. 'Have I been punished enough, Pet?' She shook her head. 'Baby wants to play. Let me have this one and I'll hold a party.' 'A party,' said Spike, hurling the hapless Wesley against Megan, effectively knocking them both out. 'I can live with a party,' he said, trying ignore the pain in his head. 'Spike,' murmured Angel warningly. 'See Angel here thinks that he's your number one man, and I said my Princess would never love anyone who's housebroke.' 'That's my Spike,' grinned Drucilla and met his mouth with a kiss. Angel watched, praying that he was wrong, that Spike was just playing her. He knew, he felt that it was true, that his lover wouldn't leave him for anyone, but she was tonguing his mouth so enthusiastically and he didn't seem to show any resistance at all. He could have sworn that they were back in the past, Angel watching them as they infiltrated Sunnydale, ripe with wickedness and tormenting him, knowing he fought against the vices they revelled in. Spike pulled back, tasting his wicked ripe plum and wondering why it didn't quite taste the same. For over a year he'd missed her, wishing she was in his arms, in his heart and in his bed. He'd actually dragged two of the Slayer's little pals into the problem, looking for a spell to bring her back, but he'd realised that he was tired of trying to be what she was after. He was tired of pretending to be Angellus. He was Spike, and if she couldn't live with that, he wasn't going to change for her. So he'd left her with one in a dozen ugly demons and headed back to Sunnydale, to search for the gem of Amara, and.........well, that had gone pear-shaped, so he'd tried in LA and that had gone so badly, he really didn't want to think about it. But he was over Dru and if he needed any more evidence, it was in that kiss - it had literally meant nothing. He only hoped her addled brain wouldn't pick up on it. He risked a look at Angel. The vampire looked as though the heart had been torn from his body.........well actually, no he didn't, people tended to wail and scream a lot more when that was happening, but Angel looked heartbroken. When this is all over, he promised himself and willed Angel to understand, when this is over I will make it up to you in as many ways as you can believe. I'll even bring tiramasu. 'Come on then, Pet,' he said to dry, 'Let's go see this party of yours.' She nodded excitedly and then looked over his shoulder to the unconscious humans. 'Can I have them now?' Spike grinned and blew out the smoke. 'Nah, Love. You have to wait till later. Get one of the boys to tie them up and keep them out of the way for a while. You and I have to talk, Princess.' She looked up to her sire. 'And Angel?' 'Bring him along, Love. He can't fight his way out of all of us.' 'My Spike,' she grinned and licked along his face. 'My baby.' Angel watched silently as they walked into the sub basement of Drucilla's lair, allowing himself to follow dejectedly. He couldn't make his heart understand that Spike was acting. It hurt too much. Perhaps this is how Buffy felt about Faith, his guilt murmured and he bit it down. He had to keep his wits sharp, had to stay.........someone banged the back of his head.........alert......... * 'Oh this is perfect,' said Wesley as his head throbbed. 'We're tied up in some vampire's lair with no sign of Angel or Spike.' 'Well, you get points for the obvious,' said Megan, 'Now how about we get out of here?' They were tied either side of a pillar in the dankest part of a cellar, rats scrabbling in the background and slime coating their clothes. The knots were tight and Wesley's wrists chafed as he tried to get free. His fingers kept brushing against hers and he was trying to ignore the rush of electricity that flushed through him each time. 'If only I'd brought a knife instead of a crucifix,' sighed Megan. 'Like that did any good, anyway.' 'No,' agreed Wesley, 'I think Drucilla's too far gone to recognise traditional vampire fears.' He rested his head against the pillar and then thought. 'It's not been the best of days, has it?' 'Well no,' she said with a dry laugh. 'It turns out the only member of my family left alive is.........well, dead.' Wesley chuckled. 'Yes, I suppose that must have come as something of a shock.' 'Yeah. My grandmother mentioned him briefly, but I thought it was just because of his closeness to Drucilla.' 'Well he's not close to her anymore,' said Wesley, 'Although Goodness only knows what's going on out there.' 'I don't even want to think,' said Megan. She huffed as a thought occurred to her. 'How sharp do you think a crucifix is?' 'Oh I'm not su.........ow!' She slipped the cross down against her bonds, slicing against his back and her fingers. 'Pretty sharp then.' 'I think you've torn my jacket!' 'Oh, sorry, Wesley. I'll stop trying to get us out of this before they call lunchtime, okay?' He sighed. 'Good point. Cut away.' She sawed away at the rope, listening to Wesley yelping every time she cut him. 'Look, if you stop making that noise, I'll kiss them better, now be quiet!' ......... 'There.' 'You've cut through?' She struggled against the pillar and pulled one hand free. 'Yes!' Megan rubbed her wrists and turned around to undo Wesley, her fingers covered in tiny cuts. She was almost through the final strand when she paused, a grin crossing her face. 'Miss McGill?' She moved round and straddled his legs, picking his glasses up from the floor and replacing them. 'Megan?' She bent forward until she was nose to nose with him and felt Wesley squirm in what she hoped wasn't entirely discomfort. 'Wesley, if we get out of here.........' 'We will.' 'If we get out of here, would you come to dinner with me?' Wesley's eyebrows shot up. 'On a.........a date?' She grinned. 'Well that was generally the idea.' He smiled. 'Do you always ask men out when they're tied up?' She looked at him. 'I didn't mean it like that. I just.........ah, well. Yes I'd love to take you to dinner. Now untie me.' She kissed the tip of his nose and climbed off, cutting through the last of his bonds. Wesley got to his feet and started to readjust his clothing whilst Megan looked at the shredded remains of the rope. 'I wonder why they didn't use manacles.' 'Maybe Drucilla has a more entertaining use for them.' She dropped the rope and stood up. 'I really didn't want to go there.' 'Indeed,' said Wesley, 'Let's hope we don't have to.' * Angel had made great use of manacles in his long existence. He'd understood quickly the pleasure inherent in pain and as Angellus, he had relished initiating fledglings and victims to the darker side of sex. Of course, safe words were passť for a vampire, so there had been much more pain than pleasure. But he'd enjoyed it at least. It was probably why he'd preferred the gentler side of his nature with his soul. He tried to make a distinction between his existence with and without a soul, but this had been easy. The guilt inherent in such acts was no longer worth it to him. More than that, he no longer needed such depravity to turn him on. Making love to Spike was the image that haunted his dreams now, a pleasure that far surpassed anything he'd done as Angellus. For some people though, the manacles were enough. 'Hit him again!' The crack of the whip sailing through the air stung Angel far more than the actual blow. The knowledge of who was hitting him caused him to hang limply, cursing every blow and wishing he was far from here. In his head, he tried to imagine that he was lying in bed, a long lean body pressed against his own......... .........touching him, trailing his fingers slowly down his body, feeling every nerve......... .........smoothing over his chest, stroking against his nipples......... ..........his tongue stroking a path down his neck, hips pressing up against him......... 'I don't think he's paying attention, are you, Peaches?' Spike turned the chain until Angel was nose to nose with him and saw the desolation in his dark chocolately eyes. There was pain there, but it wasn't the only expression in all that brown. Spike recognised the lust and knew it wasn't about pain. Best not to let Dru know about that, though. Drucilla purred as she moved next to Spike. She looked at Angel pityingly and he was back in time, strapped to Dru's bed, waiting for her to pour more holy water on his body. He had almost welcomed that torture. He didn't welcome this. 'Would you like something else?' she asked in her little girl voice. He raised his eyes to hers, seeing that mixture of death and innocence. She thought she had it all going her way. And the way Spike looked.........he couldn't do this to me, Angel breathed. I love you, don't let me be right. But Spike was grinning as if he'd just got the joke and the vampire felt his heart ache. 'Had enough, Pet?' Angel met Spike's glowing yellow eyes with his own. 'Not even close.' Dru dropped her hands to Angel's jeans, the last vestiges of clothing he had left. She ran her fingers over the firm length of his hidden cock and grinned. 'Somebody wants to play.' Spike locked his gaze with Angel's again. Don't let it be this way again. Don't make it you and Dru against me. I won't do that again. Don't you bloody get your kicks with her. Dru knelt down and slowly unzipped Angel's jeans, all the time focussing her attention on her sire. Angel didn't see, he wasn't there, not with Spike and Dru. He couldn't bear the thought of losing his lover. His beloved. He wasn't.........he refused to give it up. You're mine as much as I am yours, he willed Spike to know. This isn't real and I don't know how far you're going to take it before you take your revenge on her but God, stop torturing me! He felt Dru licking at his backside and wondered what she was doing. Spike noticed and walked round. 'Um, Love, what are you doing?' 'He's bleeding,' she said gleefully. 'His bum's all bloody.' 'Probably slipped when he was shaving,' said Spike, bending to pick her up, 'Leave his ass alone.' 'No, wait, there's something.........' Spike pulled her to her feet and kissed her harshly. 'Now why don't I see if you still like to play, eh, Baby?' She smiled at him and he wondered at how easy she was to play with. Maybe that had been part of why he had looked after her so long. She was a vicious creature, gifted with foresight and without any conscience whatsoever, but she was a child. Angellus had seen to that. He picked up the second set of manacles and clasped them round her hands, fastening them through a loop in the ceiling. She sighed deeply and leaned back as the onset of lust spread through her body. Her hair slipped down over her shoulders, hanging in long tendrils down her back. Her feet barely touched the ground as she hung, stretched out by the manacles. Spike picked up the crop he'd been using on Angel and looked at her. She grinned widely, expectantly. 'Playing with Princess?' He grinned at her, a wolfish quality that had sent her wild for decades. She moaned gently and shifted her dainty feet in anticipation. Spike stood within inches of her, his mouth a hair's breadth away from hers. 'Do you want to know what's on his arse?' She breathed out dreamily, which he took to be a yes. Angel looked at him, wondering if this was such a good idea. But Spike's eyes, so cold since they'd met Drucilla, were warming up. 'Well, let's take a look shall we, Pet?' Spike reached up and unclasped the metal bracelets, catching Angel as he slumped down. The older vampire quickly turned his head to look at Spike, reading the anger there. He didn't know where this was going, but there was revenge written on his lover's face. Revenge that Angel was beginning to suspect involved him. And his ass. 'Spike?' asked Drucilla, 'Show me?' Spike grinned and carried the aching vampire over to the sofa, laying him face down as he stroked his spine. Angel turned his head, wondering how far Spike was going to take this, what kind of punishment he was going to inflict on Drucilla..........If he was at all. Spike sat on the hard backed sofa, Angel's legs stretched over his knee. He had been so keen to show Drucilla that she meant nothing to him now, that he would rather be with Angel than be with her. he had planned to get to this point, then fuck his sire senseless, bringing them both of, letting her know that she no longer had claim on either of them. Let her watch, get her aroused and then leave her there, exiting with his lover. He'd planned that, but when had his plans ever succeeded? The problem was, that he knew that if he carried it out, Dru wouldn't be the only one hurt. Oh sure, he'd hit Angel with a crop, but he was a vampire, it would all be healed in a couple of days. In the old days, Angellus would have loved to show off in public, demonstrating his hold over whichever hapless lover of the moment he had. It had been about control, never about affection and, despite his demonic needs, Angel deliberately avoided any kind of domination. Between them, they'd managed to find some kind of equilibrium, and if Spike acted out his plan now.........that was all over. He had to decide which mattered more. 'Drucilla,' said Spike slowly, feeling Angel tense on his lap, 'I think it's time for confession, Pet.' * 'Just hit him' Megan hissed. They were stuck behind the door, knowing that on the other side was a vampire who, although stupid enough to pay attention to Drucilla, was big enough to take both their heads and bang them together like coconuts.........and that was a best case scenario. Wesley wasn't even going with what would really happen. He didn't want to know how fangs in your neck felt. Being bitten wasn't exactly up there with 'things I want to experience before I die'. Probably because it was on the list entitled, 'things I'm probably going to die from'. He shuddered. I've given that one too much thought, he reminded himself. Megan prodded him in his side and he gestured to her to keep quiet. She gestured back and Wesley wondered exactly how similar to Spike she was. He didn't fancy that kind of abuse all evening. Still, Spike was famed for his sexual appetite. I did not just think that. Yes you did. No, I didn't. I am merely rescuing this young lady and myself from the clutches of Drucilla's fiends. And then I'm going to try and find Angel and Spike before I start panicking myself that Spike's gone bad again. Or Angel's gone bad. Or they're doing things with Drucilla that I really don't want to think about. And then I'm going to think about doing those things with Miss McGill. 'Oh shut up,' said Wesley aloud. The goon turned. 'Wesley, what was that about being quiet?' They backed up against the wall. 'Change of plan?' 'I'm game.' The vampire charged them and at the last moment they stepped aside, letting him smack his head on the wall. He crumpled and Wesley staked him with the crucifix. He yelled, but he didn't go poof. 'Umm, isn't he supposed to explode?' Wesley nodded. 'Where's a stake when you need one?' Megan looked around as the vampire howled, clutching at his back. 'There's a chair. Can we break one of the legs off?' Wesley picked up the chair and smacked it against the wall. It didn't break. 'Wesley!' He looked up to see the vampire, having knocked the crucifix from his back, moving to Megan, teeth bared. 'Oh dear.' 'Sod oh dear! Do something!' As the vampire closed in on the girl, Wesley swung the chair again and this time it splintered. Right down the middle. Oh dear. Megan held her arms out, trying to keep this brute from her neck. She kicked out viciously, but he was much stronger than she was and.........urgh, he had bad breath to boot. He grinned at her and opened his mouth wide, showing her teeth that could cut through metal. Oh God, she thought, I'm gonna die. As his saliva dripped onto her neck she felt him tense and as she waited for the pain of being bitten, he pulled back. He looked at her for a moment, puzzled, and then he exploded into ash of a hundred years. Wesley stood behind him, half a chair in his hands, the central strut having pierced the vampire's heart. She struggled to get back to her feet and started brushing the dust off her sweater. 'Thanks Wesley.' He breathed out, unaware that he'd been holding his breath and grinned cheerfully at her. 'Slightly unorthodox, but I think it worked.' She nodded. 'Could be the start of whole new staking phase.' He looked at her uncertainly. 'Well, it worked. Let's break these up into a few more and get on shall we?' She smiled at him and he blushed. 'Whatever you say, Wesley. I'll follow your lead.' He looked up at that, but she was already trying to break the chair up and he wondered if he'd imagined the suggestion in that statement. He hoped he hadn't. And if they could get out of here he was on for what promised to be a most interesting date. If they hadn't been trapped underground in a vampire's lair with his friends missing, he would have been happy. Ah well, you can't have everything. *



'There's been a few changes round these parts, Pet,' said Spike, stroking the fabric covering Angel's thighs. 'I've become a new man, so to speak.' Drucilla just looked at him and he wondered how much of her mind was taking this in. He continued anyway. 'See, you never wanted me.' Angel hissed under Spike's fingers and tried to ignore the throbbing against his hips. 'You always wanted Angel, here. Your big bastard of a Daddy, sire.' She switched her gaze to Angel with a soft smile and Spike bit down on his jealousy. He moved so that Angel was on the floor and sat back, lacing his hands across his lap. 'And I always tried to do my best for you, didn't I, Princess?' She didn't answer, but Angel knelt up, staring at him with those oh so soulful eyes. What do you want me to do, Spike? Do you really want me to prove how much I love you here, so that she knows? Do you want to humiliate her? What? Tell me? Spike looked away from his gaze and back to Drucilla. 'But you left me anyway, because I'm not your precious Angel.' 'Spike?' asked Drucilla. 'You came back to me.' 'You left me, Princess.' She purred then, turning her little girl gaze to him. 'You told me that I wasn't good enough for you. You'd rather be with the most disgusting demon than with me.' He leaned over and picked up the bottle of vodka. 'Well I'm over it now, Pet.' He drunk deeply from the bottle. 'And I don't want you any more.' She looked at him, puzzled. Spike loved her, didn't? He wanted her despite everything, didn't he? 'So you can just bugger off. Go away, go sleep with whoever gets you hot.' He grinned. 'Cause I've found someone else to love.' She stared at him, her brain refusing to understand what he'd said. She had been sure of lots of things. Don't go out in the day. Take what you want. Let Spike take care of things. These were all definites, these were the things she believed in. Anything else made no sense. Angel reached his hand to touch his lover's face, not caring if the world saw him. It was as near an admission of love as he was likely to get. The blond vampire winked at him and moved to leave, before Angel caught his arm. 'I thought you wanted your revenge?' Spike sniffed and looked at Drucilla. 'Look at her, Pet. She doesn't even understand what I've said.' He shook his head. 'I can't get my own back on someone who doesn't understand the idea.' 'Spike?' breathed Drucilla. 'I've made a picnic.' Spike stood up and passed Angel his shirt. 'A picnic, eh, Love. Yeah, it's about your level. Why don't you just eat it all up whilst me and Angel get out of here.' She smiled seductively at him and Spike paused. He could feel something in his marrow, but he didn't know what. Drucilla looked to unconcerned, even for her. He looked to Angel and saw the same expression there. Something wasn't right. 'Yes,' she purred, 'And I've invited everyone.' 'Everyone?' repeated Angel. 'All my friends,' she smiled, leaning against the chain. 'Everyone who loves me. My Angel.........' She sighed and spun round so she was facing the mural above the bed. Something she'd painted herself by the looks of it. All bright colours and flowers. Somehow, it combined into a suffocating bouquet born of a tortured mind. Which was after all, exactly what Angellus had made of her. Spike looked to Angel, wondering if he'd understood any of that, but Angel was looking as blank as he was. He turned back to Drucilla. 'Pet? When you say everyone?' 'Every demon who walks the tunnels. You've been a bad boy, Spike.' 'Oh shit,' said Angel. 'We've got to get out of here.' Spike was already moving towards the door. He sniffed and gestured back to Angel. 'There's fucking loads of them out there! She's bloody trapped us!' They looked at the dangling marionette and Spike spun her round, bringing her delicate face level with his. 'Is this your final bloody revenge? Get me and Angel killed, cause I made nice with the Slayer?' She gazed up at him, no malevolence in her eyes, just emptiness. They had always told her what she was, both he and Angellus. She was Angellus' pretty dolly, Spike's Princess, but she was nothing to herself, an empty shell upon which both men had cast their expectations. With them, she had purpose, an identity. Without them, she was.........nothing. 'Fuck!' exclaimed Spike and looked around the room for a way out. 'If them demons get in here, it's going to be a massacre and you and I are the sodding main course!' Angel ran his fingers over the walls, searching for a door. 'She knew all along. She knew about you and me.' 'Yeah, like that's important now, pet. Now find a way out!' Angel shook his head. 'That's why she's doing this.' 'Huh?' said Spike as he touched the canvas of the bed. Something here. 'It's not about you and Buffy, or me and her.........it's about us. Isn't it, Dru?' But Drucilla wasn't paying attention, off in her land of far away, dreaming of nights when they had all hunted together and fed and fucked and been a family. 'She needs us. In some damned way we made her what she is.' 'That was Angellus.........And this is not the fucking time for blame!' Angel moved away from the wall. He could feel Spike as close to panicking as the vampire ever became. It was both a bad thing and their best chance to get out of here. He'd never been famed for his patience, but his bloody and violent reputation was well won. Even so, going against all the demons Dru could gather who wanted revenge on them both.........they weren't looking down the best odds. 'Got it!' said Spike and uncovered a handle. Angel rushed over to Spike's side and helped him yank on it. It wouldn't budge. 'It's stuck.' 'Yeah, now tell me something I don't know, Love!' There was a muffled laughter from behind the other door and the vampires looked at one another in the knowledge of their future. It didn't look long. 'Break it down,' said Angel. Spike nodded. 'Let's just get the fuck out of here!' The two vampires back up slightly and moved forward, pressing on the door with all their combined strength. Angel growled and felt himself shift into game face with the effort, aware that Spike was doing the same and strained to push the door down. He felt it shift a little and roared, pressing against the heavy oak frame and wishing that they'd used fibre board or something less protected to close this way out of the room. 'It's going,' snarled Spike. They growled together and the door finally gave. They fell forward, both vaguely aware of a yelp on the other side of the door. As it smashed to the ground, Spike realised why it had given at all - some of the wood was soft and mushy, pulpy beneath his body. He wondered vaguely why they weren't lying flat on the floor when he felt fingers on his shoulders. 'Get up off him!' He looked up and saw Megan frantically pulling at his arms. 'You're squashing Wesley. Get up!' Spike got to his knees and pulled the splintery mass up off the spluttering demon hunter. His glasses had cracked and fallen on the floor whilst he looked completely stunned by this turn of events. Angel got to his feet and looked at them both, wondering where they had come from and having a sneaking suspicion that he didn't want to know the answer. 'What the hell are you two doing here?' snarled Spike. 'Losing my glasses, apparently' said Wesley, '*We* were escaping,' he added, getting to his feet. Spike snorted. 'Well done, Ducks, you managed to walk straight into the vampire's layer.' 'Spike,' said Angel softly, 'I think, that was the idea.' They looked at him and he shrugged. 'Well did you two find another way out?' Megan and Wesley shook their heads. 'We followed the passageway round to here. I take it that this isn't the way out.' Spike rolled his eyes. 'The way out is behind that door over there, Pet.' Megan stared at him. 'And you were coming this way because?' 'Because, Peaches, this week behind door number three, your grand prize is a bunch of very pissed off demons.' They looked at the door. It wasn't bulging, but their imaginations were nicely taking care of that. 'Ah, that does rather put a damper on things,' said Wesley. 'A whole fucking flood,' agreed Spike. 'Anyone got any ideas?' Angel walked over to Dru and shook her. 'You don't need to do this Dru. Just let us leave and we'll be out of your hair. You don't have to do this.' 'Marvellous,' said Spike, 'I'm sure the begging for our lives plot will work this time.' Wesley looked at the crack down his glasses. 'I thought she was a bit.........off centre?' Spike laughed. 'She's fucking nuts, Mate. That's why we're up that bloody creek without a paddle.' 'Actually,' said Megan, pointing at an implement on the wall. 'There's one.' The boys looked at the item and Wesley grinned. 'Good Heavens, do you know how much those things are worth?' 'Do they have any effect against big aggressive demons?' asked Spike. Wesley shook his head. 'Shouldn't think so for a minute.' 'Then shut up until we can find something that does.' Drucilla opened her eyes and smiled up at Angel. 'My love. Why did you have to leave me?' Angel flicked his eyes quickly to Spike, sensing the hurt, but Spike just shrugged. Maybe some good had been done here anyway. Great Angel, way to philosophize. Like this is the ideal time for us to be getting over certain hang-ups. Now if we could just blag our way past the demons out there we'd be fine. 'Dru, you've got to listen to me. You don't need either of us anymore. You can go.........beome something, maybe someone. You don't need us. Just call off the goon squad, please.' She glared at him then and Angel realised the stupidity of what he was saying. His beautiful Drucilla may have been a few dairylea triangles short of a full picnic hamper, but she was completely evil. When she had her strength, she hunted and killed in ways humans never dared dream of. She was a living nightmare and he had made her. 'Dru, I'm so sorry,' he murmured. 'For fucks sake Angel, quit it. We need you at full strength, not feeling sorry for yourself. Them bloody wankers'll come in here anytime.' The door opened and the collection of Dru's entourage and several of the demons Spike could recognise destroying came into the room. Angel stepped back so that he was half covering the others, unconsciously guarding Spike with his body. Megan breathed out, never having seen this many unnatural creatures collected in one room. 'Suddenly feeling like a gatecrasher,' she murmured. Wesley squeezed her hand. 'I won't let them hurt you.' She gave him a wink of gratitude, but it didn't ease her fears. I'm going to die, she thought for the.........she didn't know how many times it had been today.........I'm going to die in this dank place and no one is going to know. Could life suck anymore? One of the demons released Drucilla and set her back on her dainty feet. She grinned like a child and gestured to Megan. The rest of the ensemble turned to look at her and moved forward, a predatory look on every face. And apparently it can, thought Megan swiftly, as they closed in on her. Remind me never to ask dumb questions again.

Continued

1