Disclaimer: Angelus and any other characters you recognise are not mine, they belong to the great Joss and friends. Luc Tarpeau is my creation, and if you steal him, remember he's evil. Not worth nicking, really. :)

Author's notes: You see, he wouldn't let go of me. Any idea what it's like having a charming vampire looking over your shoulder constantly, asking for more stories? I don't recommend it. On y va, alors - part five in Luc's tale. For newcomers to the Breton saga, the series begins with
Les Chroniques Parisiennes, in which Luc Tarpeau becomes servant to Angelus, and continues with The Breton, which goes wildly AU as we follow Luc across the centuries to Los Angeles. Next up we meet Mike Fletcher, Council agent on a mission to Sunnydale, in Death Awaits, before Retribution is given and received. Which brings us up to date. Luc has returned to Paris, and the very building in which he served Angelus, and died, all those years before. Read on, and do let me know what you think. Thanks.

Chapter 1

Luc Tarpeau squared his shoulders and stepped into the hotel in which he had died. Once a hôtel particulier, now it was simply a hotel. Somewhere to stay. Somewhere to restart an unlife torn apart by the Slayer.

What had once been the hallway, lit with candles and leading the way into the sumptuous salons, was now the hotel reception. Luc put down his bag and surveyed it, his feelings of sadness at the manner of his return mixed with nostalgia and a certain amount of gleeful anticipation at what lay ahead of him.

He rang the bell on the reception desk, and shortly a middle-aged woman, dressed in Chanel, emerged and smiled up at him.

"Luc Tarpeau," said Luc. "I have a reservation."

"But of course!" she said. "Welcome. I'm Madame Orlov. May I see your passport?" Luc passed it over, and she busied herself writing down his details before handing the forged document back. "How will you be paying?"

"Credit card, when I leave," Luc said, confident that he would not have to pay anything. The woman smiled and he fished out the card anyway so she could make a note of the number. "My trunk's outside, madame; I wonder if someone could bring it up for me? It needs two people."

"Certainly, monsieur!" she said, dimpling a smile at him. "You're in room 12," she said, taking a key from a row of hooks. "I think you'll like it. This way!"

They passed doors and she rattled off a list of functions: "Dining room. Breakfast. There's a residents' lounge in there. Library."

Luc listened with half his mind, naming the rooms in his own mind - salon, music room, Angelus' study. He followed her upstairs, glancing at the décor, which was surprisingly similar to how he had known it. They paused on the second landing outside a door, and Luc found himself staring at the door to the room that had once been Angelus' bedroom. The room in which Luc himself had died.

Madame Orlov unlocked the door and passed Luc the key. "Here we are ... come in. The bathroom is through there, you have a television and a fridge," she opened cupboards, "and just call if you need anything. I'll have your trunk brought up directly."

"Thank you," Luc said, and she smiled again and hurried away. Luc put down his bag and breathed in.

The room smelled neutral, of disinfectant and old perfume. Instead of the deep red which Angelus had favoured, it was papered in pale blue and the bedspread was dark blue. There were some pretty views of Paris on the walls - nondescript watercolours - and a vase of flowers on a sideboard.

Luc investigated the cupboards and discovered a small kettle with some biscuits and sachets of coffee and tea. In the fridge there were the usual overpriced miniatures of spirits, and there was a copy of the Bible in French in a bedside drawer. Luc used his handkerchief to push this to the back of the drawer, out of the way, before turning to his bag.

Most of his belongings were in the trunk, but he unfolded the sketch of himself that Angelus had drawn, and with a piece of blu-tack attached it to the mirror on the top of the sideboard. A small pile of books found a home next to the mirror.

Luc took off his jacket and hung it in the empty wardrobe, smoothing the sleeves gently, and then unbuttoned his collar and took off the tie he was wearing. Crossing to the window, he opened the curtains (also blue) and then the windows, and looked out at the Parisian night.

The view was a lot lighter than in the old days, he reflected. Raised above the city, the towers of Notre Dame were floodlit, and Luc could just see the glowing pyramids outside the Louvre. Closer to him, the streets of the Marais were dimmer, but there was a steady scattering of neon red and blue. But it was still Paris; still ultimately the same city.

He was roused from his reverie by a tap at the door. Opening it, he saw Madame Orlov, accompanied by two young men with his trunk. He let them in and saw them out again. For a moment he contemplated unpacking now, but changed his mind and simply changed his shirt, before slipping out himself in search of dinner.

This part of the city seemed to have changed very little since he had last been there. The same narrow side streets, the same sandstone buildings. It was only the people who had moved on - instead of fashionable nobility, the Marais was now populated by the fashionable middle-class. Luc chose the darker streets, looking, this first night, for someone who would not be missed. He planned to stay in Paris a while, and rousing suspicions the very night of arrival by picking a meal with family did not seem like a good idea.

He returned to the hotel well before dawn and showered in the luxurious bathroom, fitted in the small room that was once Angelus's dressing chamber, before throwing back the covers and sliding into the bed. Luc fell at once into sleep, and into dreams.

* * *

Paris, 1838

He woke gradually, a spark coming to life deep inside him and slowly rousing all his senses. He was lying on something soft and comfortable, far softer than his normal bed, and for a moment he simply revelled in the luxury before questioning the why.

Then he remembered, and opened his eyes.

"You're awake." The voice was soft, slightly accented.

Luc tested his wrists and discovered he was still tied to the bedposts. "I thought you'd killed me," he said, turning his head.

Angelus smiled, and rose from his seat. He had changed his clothes and was now wearing a spotless white shirt with a ruffled collar. "But I did," he said.

Luc fought the rising panic and managed to stay calm. He explored his body mentally, searching for pain where he had been bitten, for the throb in his fingers where they had been broken. Nothing. He stared upwards, at the burgundy canopy of the bed, and took a breath.

The resulting bout of coughing brought Angelus to the edge of the bed. "You don't need that any longer, Luc."

Swallowing, Luc grimaced. "Apparently not. What happened?"

Angelus bent, and Luc flinched involuntarily, but the other merely leaned over and began to untie the ropes binding Luc's wrists and ankles. "I turned you. Be honoured, you're only the second one."

"You mean ..."

"Welcome to the night," Angelus said, cheerfully, untying Luc's left hand. "I came to the conclusion that such courage shouldn't be wasted. By betraying me, you've earned yourself eternal life." He coiled the ropes, and Luc sat up slowly. His head was spinning, and he felt a hunger he could never remember feeling before. "Or, to be more precise, eternal death, but it's a figure of speech."

"Oh." Luc rubbed his forehead. "Remind me to thank you later." He looked around the room. "What time is it?"

"Nearly dusk. Time to get you changed - those clothes are covered in blood - before we go hunting."

At the mention of blood Luc's stomach had turned, and he closed his eyes and slowly breathed in. Yes, he could smell it now, a heady, coppery scent; and with it something lurched inside him.

Angelus grinned. "Hungry?"

"Yes," Luc said. "God, yes." His voice sounded odd, and he put a hand up and felt his teeth carefully. "Oh."

"Just concentrate on turning it back," Angelus said gently. "There's time enough to use them later. In a while, it'll be second nature." His features flickered from human to demon and back again. Luc frowned, and thought about his old face, his human face, the one he would never see again, and a moment later found that it seemed to have returned.

"Have I done it?" he asked.

"You've done it," Angelus said. "Good. Now, wash, change, and we'll go and eat."

Luc found a smile spreading across his face. "D'accord," he said. "Let's go and eat."