The Clockwork Vampire


by Spirit


Wesley leaned into the right turn, managing to weave through the busy traffic. Doyle clung on behind him, wishing, not for the first time this trip, that he'd gone with Cordelia in the cab. But Wesley had been right about the time, and although Cordelia was capable of delivering a perfect verbal blow, Doyle's Brachen strength and the ex-watcher's skills were far more useful against Angellus. And if Rebecca had managed to trick Angel into exchanging blood, they might have more than one killer to deal with. If they lived that long. 'I only came with you because Spike said you don't speed,' yelled Doyle above the whistle of the wind. Wesley flicked his visor up. 'What?' 'You don't speed,' repeated Doyle more loudly. 'I thought you never broke the law.' 'Oh,' said Wesley, understanding, 'I don't, unless it's a life or death situation.' 'And does this count?' Wesley nodded. Doyle felt the bike pick up speed and shuddered as he gripped tighter. Would it make any difference if he reminded the Englishman that both their employers were dead anyway? Wesley squeezed the throttle and Doyle closed his eyes. Probably not. * Spike picked himself up off the floor as quickly as he could, before facing down the vampire who walked over so casually. He'd noticed before how differently Angellus walked - the cocky stride of a man who knows he's the biggest in the room. An arrogant grin across his face, the newly awakened vampire took a good look at his protégé. 'Well, if isn't the traitor in our midst. Betrayed me, killed Dru. Anything else you'd like to do before I have dinner?' He gestured to the cowering actress in the kitchen and she shrunk back, her mind unable to cope with what she was seeing. 'Fuck off, Angellus,' growled Spike as he rubbed his back. Angellus threw his head back and laughed. 'And I always thought you were the one with the witty comebacks.' He tutted. 'I don't know Spike, you're acting kinda.........human?' Spike rolled his eyes. 'I'm all demon, mate.' Angellus picked up the poker from the fireplace and looked at it as if he was seeing it for the first time. 'So how does this go again? Oh yeah!' He swung at Spike and chuckled as the vampire rolled out of the way. 'Of course, I gave you warning. Being that I'm a gentleman and all.' Angellus gave him a sorrowful look, before grinning at him. 'Shame you couldn't give me the same courtesy when you threw me over for the Slayer.' Spike growled and looked at the actress. 'What the bloody hell did you do, woman?' The master vampire picked up the glass and ran his finger round the rim, tasting it cheerfully. 'I'd say she drugged me, and hey! Guess what, that pesky soul's off in the ether again!' Angellus moved swiftly to the fridge and smiled at her, vampire charm on overload. 'What's the matter? You look a little nervous.' Rebecca looked into the demon's face and shook her head. This wasn't supposed to happen, she reminded herself. This isn't what I thought. 'You're, you're.........' 'Free,' said Angellus happily. He tasted the drugs off his finger. 'God I love this stuff. Remind me to get the name of your dealer before I kill you.' Rebecca backed away, unconsciously moving towards the other vampire. 'Kill me?' Angel cracked the glass on a ceiling beam and waved its serrated edge in her face. 'Remind me, Spike, did we ever kill a famous person before?' Spike tried to take in what was going on without panicking. Angellus was loose, even if it was only temporary. And if it was as the result of a drug then it might only be for a short while, and he would get his lover back. But Angellus was easily capable of killing both him and this woman in that time. And if he killed either one of them before Angel regained control, he'd spend the rest of Eternity mourning that act. Which meant that Spike was going to have to protect feeble actress bint as well. Terrific. He was going to have to protect, not just another of the 'would-be-food' category, but one who had actually attempted to seduce Angel away from him. Just when had he decided that being with Angel was more important than the kill? He glared at Angellus. 'Don't know about you, mate, but I killed a couple of Slayers. Can't remember you doing in anyone with a name.' Angellus scowled briefly, then he seemed to cast it off with a shrug. 'Ah well, would you think you counted as a witness?' He looked at Spike appraisingly before shaking his head. 'Well, no, you're dead. Hmmm, how am I going to do this?' He brandished the broken glass at the actress and it was all she could do to back away from his confident stride. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, she thought desperately. What have I done? The dark vampire seemed to come to a decision. 'Tell you what, we'll do it the way we used to in my day. I'll keep your head on a pole!' Rebecca had stepped as far back as she could, feeling Spike's boots with the back of her feet. 'My head on a stick?' Angellus shrugged and tossed the glass over his shoulder. 'Okay - pike.' He lunged forward and Spike tossed the screaming girl over the back of the sofa, bringing Angellus within kissing distance. Not that he felt like kissing much at the moment. 'Well that wasn't nice,' berated Angellus. 'I thought we could share a meal, us being old friends and all.' 'We're not friends,' said Spike flatly, 'We were never friends.' He stopped, aware he'd begun a speech very similar to this once before. Only that time he'd been talking to his be-souled lover and his Slayer sweetie. Spike steeled himself, determined to see this through without casualties. He'd beat Angellus and chain him up until he could get in contact with Wesley and the others. Then he could think about whether he had to take Angellus out for good. But for now......... Angellus grinned at him and Spike ignored the knowledge that it had once had the effect of melting away all his resistances. 'We're not friends, huh, Spike?' He sniffed and then raised the same knowing face to the vampire. 'Guess you don't want me now you're not the baddest vampire in the room?' 'I don't want you at all.' Angellus covered his still heart. 'Oh, now that hurts, Spike. I'm cut up about it, really.' He sighed. 'Still, I'm not the one who can't bite, now am I?' Spike swung out and knocked the vampire off his feet. 'Oh I can bite, Pet. Just got a bit more choosy about it all.' Angellus rubbed his jaw. 'You're more pathetic than when I took Dru away from you.' 'Really.' 'Oh yeah, see,' he leaned in close and whispered, 'I didn't have to try. She was just looking for an excuse, Spike. You were just the stand in whilst Daddy was away.' The younger vampire gritted his teeth. There was so much truth in that it was painful. If he could only think of a way of turning the tables. If he could just see......... 'And look now,' grinned Angellus, 'You're a stand-in again. Soul boy's fluff, whilst his 'true love' screws someone else.' He patted Spike on the shoulder. 'You may as well drop and bare your ass for me now, because we both know it's what you'll do eventually.' He moved to walk away, listening to the sobbing from their captive. 'All right, Angellus, you win.' The vampire paused, but didn't turn. Spike dug his fingernails into his hand and carried on with his distraction. At least it might give him a minute to figure out how to chain him up. God knows why they hadn't bothered getting them out. And then again, God really didn't have anything to do with this. They were technically unclean, unfit for God to deal with, and yet.........he had hope. Did that count at all? He had to try it anyway. 'I know, it wasn't exactly.........being a good sport,' he waited to see if the sarcasm had registered, but Angellus didn't move. 'With that whole Slayer thing, but I wanted Dru back.' Angellus tipped his head as if he was listening. Spike couldn't help himself. 'And you were being a bloody wanker!' Angellus snorted in amusement. 'Still got some of that old fire, then, Spike, my boy!' Spike shook his head. 'But you're wrong about something, mate, even if you haven't got the wrinklies to admit it.' 'Oh?' said Angellus, turning round. 'And what would that be?' Spike met the deceptively soft brown eyes and waited until the vampire blinked. 'I was never the stand in with you.' Angellus smirked a moment, and then started to laugh. 'Is that why you stay here with Soul Boy? Feeding on animals, cause you've got some whacked out idea that you were my favourite?' 'I was,' said Spike. 'You can arse around here and deny it all you like, but when you got cursed, you were almost fucking relieved, because you were about one step away from breaking your precious bloody lore.' 'That's not true.' Spike grinned, the brevity of his sire's reply confirming what he'd believed for so long. 'Vampires can't love, that right, Pet?' Angellus stared at him a moment and then ran his tongue over suddenly dry fangs. 'I need a drink.' He bent over the back of the sofa and pulled the trembling Rebecca out, holding her by the neck. She struggled against his grip and the vampire started to feel that power coming back. 'Want a bite, Spike? Oh no, that's right, you're tamed now, aren't you?' Spike nodded towards Rebecca. 'Kill her now and you won't find out what she gave you. Then it's back to soul city before you can come down.' Angellus slapped his hand over his mouth in mock horror. 'Oh no! And you'll be so upset if I leave you!' Spike reached into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled pack of cigarettes, squashed by the fall he'd taken. He drew two out and lit them before offering the spare to Angellus. 'You've left before. I'll get over it.' Angellus grinned. 'Such a stoic, Spike. Not like the old days. Soul Boy wearing you down?' The younger vampire shook his head, aware that each moment he could delay Angellus' kill, was an extra chance for the others to get here. Cause he was fucked if he could come up with anything. He hadn't got a plan B, which was something he'd have to improve on. Problem was he didn't have much of a plan A either. 'Angellus, why don't you stop being such an arse and just quit trying to wind me up. You don't have the power anymore.' 'No? Well that's a shame,' sighed Angellus cheerfully, 'Maybe I should forget all about you and find someone else. Rebecca here, or Wesley? Or maybe trek to England and snap up that worthless descendant you raised.' He seemed to consider and then shook his head. 'But then, why would I want yet another whining brand of the same family?' Angellus started caressing the back of Rebecca's neck and grinned at Spike. 'You know why Soul Boy likes you?' 'Great ass, educated tongue and a wicked sense of humour?' The vampire roared in laughter. 'Close. But not quite.' He moved in close, pressing his fingers against the small bones in the actress's neck. 'He likes you because he thinks you've gone soft. Not as evil as other vampires.' Angellus flicked his tongue out. 'He thinks you're like him. 'He doesn't have to be alone anymore. 'You might have been my favourite, but you're all he can have. 'And that's why he stays with you.' Angellus puffed out a huge cloud of smoke, pleased with himself, whilst Spike's eyes blazed with recognition. The old vampire might have been cruel, but he took a callous pleasure in the truth, loving how the recipient hurt in the telling. But Spike knew something that Angellus ignored. Angel might think all those things, but he'd never been deceived about Spike's basic nature, and he loved him in spite of it. Angellus might know the logic, but he couldn't understand the emotion. 'You know what, Angellus, you're right. And if I had any sense, I'd be happy to have you back.' He blew out a smoke ring. 'And you know why I'm not?' 'Why?' 'Spike winked. 'Cause he can do something you can't mate.' Angellus looked unimpressed. 'And what's that?' 'He's not subject to any stupid bloody vampire lore. Takes all his orders on instinct, does what needs to be done.' Spike sucked down the last of his cig. 'He doesn't care what anyone else thinks, cause Angel can make his own mind up.' He grinned at his sire. 'And you're too much of a coward to do that.' Angellus growled and then twitched his fingers, clicking a nerve in Rebecca's neck and knocking her out. He lifted her unconscious form to his mouth and bit deeply, drinking human blood for the first time in over a year. 'Mmm, nothing like a good dose of fear to sweeten the blood.' He tossed the girl into Spike's arms and stepped back, watching as Spike's face morphed at the scent of blood. 'Why don't you have a drink, Spike. Think you can cope with a sleeping one?' Spike didn't look down, aware that all he'd have to do was suck, that he wouldn't have to hurt her. That he could actually do this. She smelt so damn good and there was so little left in her body. If she didn't get her blood replaced, Rebecca would die anyway. All he had to do was drink. Angellus watched the emotions run past his childe's face. 'Well, that's a thought for later - when you wake up.' He shot straight from the shoulder, ramming Spike's chin backwards with a sickening noise. Sickening to anyone who wasn't a bloodthirsty killer anyway. As Spike smacked to the floor, temporarily out of the game, Angellus grinned to himself, happy that when he awoke, Spike would be unable to resist the call of blood. And that would end his little trips with Soul Boy for good. And maybe, he'd get his favourite childe back. In the meantime......... Angellus climbed the stairs, wondering whether he'd have to call the do gooding trio or if that gabby cow had managed to work out what Rebecca was up to by herself. He was almost impressed when he saw the answer machine bleeping, and when he heard Cordelia's anxious voice telling him, or the broody excuse for a vampire he sometimes became, that he should be careful of Rebecca, he grinned. When she added that they were all on the way over, Angellus sat back in the big chair trying to make up his mind which one to drink first. He guessed it didn't matter too much, as long as the girl went last. After that play, she deserved all the waiting she got. * 'Well?' Wesley shook his head. 'I don't know. Cordelia says he's not answering any calls, which doesn't look good. I suggest we head in via the office and we can pick up some supplies before heading downstairs.' 'Supplies?' asked Cordelia, 'What am I supposed to do? Take notes?' 'Er, Princess, I don't think he means that kind of supplies,' said Doyle as they mounted the stairs. 'Quite,' said Wesley, 'I think it might take a little more than your two-pencils-crucifix to deal with Angellus.' Doyle looked at the item in question. True, it looked as effective as a wet flannel against a vampire, but it was more than he had. If Wesley hadn't been pulled over and cautioned for speeding, they would have arrived before Cordelia, instead of finding the girl pacing on the outer steps. 'Is everybody ready?' asked Wesley as they reached the door. 'Well yeah,' said Cordelia, 'About as ready as I'm ever going to be to take on my boss in demon form.' He looked at her in confusion before pushing the door open. 'Switch the light on,' he said quietly. Doyle tried it. 'Really not wanting to say this, man, but it's not working.' 'Great,' said Cordelia, 'This is where the heroine is dumb enough to forget to bring a flashlight too. You did bring one, right?' There was silence for a minute before Doyle spoke up. 'No flashlight.' 'You didn't bring one?' exclaimed Cordelia. 'Oh great, now the bad guy takes us down one by one.' Wesley shook his head and headed over to where he remembered the drawers being. 'You watch too many movies Cordelia. It puts ideas in your head.' 'Must have been watching the same movies,' said Doyle, 'Cause my head's full of ideas right now and not one of them includes a get out of here alive card.' 'We could get out necks bitten out and you're thinking about Monopoly?' Doyle looked at her. 'Well it's better than thinking about my neck getting bitten out, although, Thanks, Now that's what I'm thinking about.' 'You know, I always imagined you had boring conversations without me, but I never knew they were this dull.' They turned slowly to look at the dark figure with his feet up on the desk. 'Angel?' whispered Cordelia. 'Close,' grinned a cheery voice, 'But I wear better pants.' 'You slept with Rebecca?' asked Doyle incredulously. 'Actually, no,' said Angellus, 'But since I don't know what she put in my drink, I don't know how long I'm here for.' He jumped to his feet and melted into the shadows. 'Best not to waste it.' Wesley swallowed hard and moved his arm, keeping the other two behind him. 'Angel, if it's a drug that did this, it's not real. It's an illusion.' 'I'm not Angel,' said a voice by his ear. Wesley turned, but it was gone again. He could feel the cold draught up his back and knew it wasn't due to the bad air conditioning. He felt Doyle's back against his, and Cordelia pressing up against both of them. They looked like victims and he knew it. With another swallow in a suddenly dry throat, he tried to speak clearly. 'I don't wish to resort to drastic measures, but unless you listen, I warn you.........' Angellus melted into the light again, inches away and if he could have stepped back, Wesley would have done. But he was locked tight against the others and he couldn't go anywhere. And the vampire was in his face. 'You warning me? What happened, Wes? - Did you suddenly grow a pair? Well, that's it, isn't it? I mean, that's the whole root of your inferiority complex. Well, good news, Wes, old boy! You don't really have an inferiority complex. You're just simply - inferior.' The vampire grabbed him and hurled him into the corner of the room, knocking him out briefly. Cordelia gasped and Doyle pulled her closer. 'Why don't you jus..s..s.........' 'Juss..s..s..? Line?' Angellus stood back a little and started with a hideously accurate impression of Cordelia's acting. 'There may.........come a time when Torvald is not.........as devoted to.........me.' He laughed and turned to her. 'You were really, let me tell you, bad.' 'Stop it, Angel,' said Doyle, then winced as the vampire turned to him. 'But she didn't. Tell me Doyle, is that why you've still got the hots for Wesley? Because she's that stilted in bed?' Cordelia stared at him and then at Doyle. 'What?' she breathed. Angellus grinned. 'You mean he didn't tell you?' Angellus put his hand to his mouth as though he was embarrassed. 'Well Doyle it seems, had a good old slurp on Wesley's tonsils before Spike and I pulled his ass to safety when Xander came avisiting.' The girls stared a moment, waiting to see something in Doyle's face that denied it. She couldn't see anything. 'Oh God,' she said. 'Cordy. Princess. He's just trying to rile you. Don't let him.........' 'Tell her the truth? Why not? You didn't, Irish!' Cordelia bit down on the hurt and focussed on the present. She was not letting this vampire win. 'What did you do with Spike?' Angellus shot her his favoured animal smile and shrugged. 'Re introduced him to the fold. Let him get his taste for human blood back. When I'm done with this,' he gestured to the three of them, 'I'll see what I can do about getting that chip out of his head.' He winked at her. 'Course, I could always hand feed him for a while. Always liked being pampered, that one.' 'Oh I don't know,' said Spike from the top of the stairs, 'Liked the rough stuff more.' Angellus turned, smelling the tang of Rebecca's blood on the vampire. 'I knew you could do it if you tried.' Spike nodded and lit one up. 'Now how do I say thanks for everything you've done for me, Pet.' He walked closer, and Angellus noticed how clean his mouth looked. Now why was that? 'Oh yeah,' grinned Spike. 'Like this.' He stabbed his cigarette down on Angellus' neck and as the vampire howled, he picked him up and bashed him against the cage of the elevator. He slammed him again and again, beating all the anger he'd felt on the vampire who'd abandoned him a century ago. When he felt soft hands on his shoulder, he whirled around and was ready to punch them out too. Luckily, that old pain in the head thing was working well. Cordelia gestured towards Angellus. 'He's out for the count.' Spike looked at the crumpled heap of his lover and hardened his heart for the moment. 'Get the chains.' 'Okay.' She paused and looked back at him. 'Just so I don't have to say it later. Thanks Spike.' She shook her head. 'I can't believe I ever said that.' Spike nodded and picked up the prone form of his lover. 'S'okay, Pet. Wasn't your ass I was trying to save.' He walked down the stairs. *

Continued

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