Title: To Catch a Thief
A/N: Hello all and welcome to my first Angel fanfiction. I've written Buffy, I've written LotR, but Angel, now there's a new one for me. Hope you enjoy. I love Oz, Doyle and Spike so I had to write something that would have a logical reason for all three being together. This is what sprang to mind. With the new season in sight it makes sense to go back to the first one, right?
Dedicated to Doyle!!!! I just started watching Angel, found a favorite character, and they killed him off 9 episodes later. WTF? Anyone know why he left? I'm curious.
Rating: PG-13, most of my stuff is. For violence mostly, few British cusses from Spike.
Main Characters: Doyle, Spike, Oz, Angel
Setting: Just after the best episode EVER "In the Dark", mostly because it is the only time my three faves have ever been onscreen together: Doyle, Oz and Spike. Makes for fanfiction fun! If you haven't seen that episode (it was awhile ago, I know) then I have added a brief synopsis of it at the end of the fic. Just the basics really.)
Summary: Spike is not the type to accept defeat, at least not the first time. So after he loses the Gem of Amara to Angel he decides that he wants it back, and will go through Angel's friends to get it.
Doyle held up a hand to shield his eyes from the green shockwave that burst out of the ring of Amara as Angel smashed it, destroying his one hope at humanity. He still couldn't believe that Angel could give it up so easily, not even try it out for a few days, take it for a test run so to speak. But if Angel was right, and it made him so close to normalcy that he stopped helping people, then perhaps it was best he not get used to it. Better to lose it now and forget it, then get attached for a few weeks and make a really hard choice.
Even still, it took strength. Doyle wasn't sure he would make the same choice.
Cordelia smiled to herself as she tidied up her office. It had been a good night for them in the long run; the evil vampire was dead and Angel now had the ring of Amara, which meant he could go out in the day, which meant he could help more people, which meant he would make lots of money, which meant Cordelia could get those new heels she wanted so much. Yes, it had been a good day. Still smiling, she turned around as she heard the door being opened.
"So, how was the sunset?" Cordelia asked as Doyle and Angel came in from the roof of the building.
"It was great," Angel replied quietly, remembering the warmth of the sun's rays that the ring had allowed him, and knowing he would miss it. With the ring destroyed he would probably never feel that warmth again.
Cordelia just nodded, still all smiles, and not noticing the sombre answer, "You know I've been thinking, with you able to go into the sun now that opens whole new doors for our business opportunities. You can do more patrolling, look for more helpless people, perhaps in the richer, more esteemed areas of town. Do door to door promotions …"
Angel cut her off before she could get too carried away, "I destroyed the ring."
Cordy's face fell and moments later she slammed her folder on the desktop, "No! No, no no! We finally catch a break and you throw it away! What is wrong with you? Have you no decency? Have you no pride? Have you no idea how much a decent pair of heels costs?"
Doyle moved forward to calm her down, "Easy Princess, he did what was best."
"Best? I think it would be best to go out for a little stroll on the beach, save a few helpless drowning victims on a nice sunny day. But he can't do that now! Is that best?" Cordelia could never understand these honor and duty matters. The only matters she was currently worried about were her career and her wardrobe.
"I couldn't use it Cordy, it was the easy way out and I can't take shortcuts like that. Trust me, it's better this way," Angel insisted and it was clear from his tone this would be the last that was said on the matter.
"Oh, but I … Oh!" Cordy stomped away in a frustrated huff; she would never be able to get those heels at this rate.
Doyle and Angel sighed and started to go after her but stopped when the front door slowly opened, a blond visitor on the other side.
"Anyone around?" Oz asked as he peered inside. Seeing Doyle and Angel in the doorway he smiled in greeting as they waved him in, "Hey."
"Hey," Angel replied in return, surprised but not unhappy to see the lycanthrope, "What's up?"
Oz came in and dropped a duffel bag on the floor as he sunk into one of the chairs, "Not much. I was just wondering if you know any good hotels in the area, preferably something cost efficient but also grime free. I'm negotiable on the grime part though."
"A hotel? I thought you were leaving this afternoon," Doyle questioned, taking a seat in the leather chair in the office.
"Was. Can't. Van's trashed," Oz replied in his usual monosyllabic way.
"What happened?" Angel asked, remembering it working that afternoon.
"Wall got in front of me. I went through it," Oz replied, referring to the rescue staged by himself, Doyle and Cordelia to get Angel away from Spike.
"Oh right," Doyle replied sounding apologetic. It had been his plan after all. "Sorry about that mate."
"Happens," Oz shrugged, seeming none too put out by it. He wasn't really, he didn't mind having to damage material things to help a friend.
"You going to be stuck here long?" Angel asked, making a mental note that he would have to find a way to pay the werewolf back, for the van and the rescue.
"Naw, they'll be done tomorrow. Headlights need to be replaced, that's about it," Oz said, casual as always.
"Well, I hope I'm not sounding too presumptuous but you can shack up with me for the night if you like, got a great couch with a lovely view of my television," Doyle offered, "You helped us out after all, it's the least I can do in return."
Oz rolled it over for a second, then nodded, "Sounds good. Thanks."
"Don't worry about it, Allen Francis Doyle always pays his debts. Unless of course they're of the monetary sort, then you're plum out of luck." Doyle said getting up to lead the way out. "We'll be heading out then Angel, say good-bye to the Princess for me."
"I don't think she's talking to me," Angel commented as they disappeared out the front door.
"What happened?" Oz asked as they entered the street.
"Oh, uh, Angel destroyed the ring," Doyle explained, leading the bass player down the street to his place, "Cordy wasn't too happy."
"Hmm," Oz nodded, not delving for any further information.
"Nothing, it's just that other than getting my headlights replaced, this trip has suddenly become slightly pointless," he said, but there was no emotion in his voice to imply disappointment or anger, just mellowness. That intrigued Doyle.
"Well, you got to see the beautiful sights and sounds of L.A." Doyle pointed out, trying to seem optimistic. There was suddenly a noise in the distance, car horns blared and people could be heard screaming at each other in anger.
"Don't know how I ever lived without," Oz commented dryly. Doyle couldn't shunt him for the sarcasm.
"Do you need to pick up your things?" Doyle asked.
Oz held up the duffel bag, "Pretty much all I got. I hadn't planned on staying the night."
"All right. I don't have a car but the apartment's not too far, you'll love the couch, I just got all the lumps just right," Doyle joked, but other than a look of amusement in his eyes, Oz made no indication he appreciated the humor, "Don't say much do you?"
Oz just shrugged, "I say what I feel needs saying."
"In as few words as possible I suppose." After that a silence drew between the two as they walked, it was not comfortable or uncomfortable, it simply stayed there as the two men considered one another. It was clear to Oz that Doyle was a very talkative person and for that reason wanted Oz to be as well, since one sided conversations are never that interesting. For that reason the werewolf prompted to enquire.
"If you don't mind me asking, what type of demon are you?"
Doyle stopped as if shot, "How did you know?"
"Oh, I'm a werewolf," Oz said as if introducing himself, "And you don't smell completely human."
The Irishman nodded, but still seemed shaken. After working so hard to hide his identity it didn't seem fair someone could literally just sniff him out, "Fair enough. You really threw me for a loop there, I thought my spikes were showing or something. I'm a brachen demon. Half demon anyway, my ma was human." He paused, still considering his new companion, "A werewolf huh? Your mates know?"
"Yeah, found out the hard way. I tried to kill them," Oz explained.
Doyle bit his lip in thought for a moment, as if contemplating asking a question, "Did uh … does Cordelia know?" Oz nodded, "She okay with that? You being not completely normal? She don't treat you any different or anything?"
"No, she was always cool about it. Never got a bad vibe off her for it. My fashion sense she didn't appreciate, but not many do," Doyle mulled this over for a second, then Oz continued, "She doesn't know you're a demon?"
"And you like her?"
"Good luck with that," Oz offered, fully understanding how complicated that situation could be.
Doyle just smiled, "Thanks. Oh, we're going left, it's just another block." They continued on, the silence erupting once more. When they reached Doyle's place he led them up the staircase and into the apartment on the second floor.
He pushed the lock in the key and undid the deadbolt, "Don't mind the mess, I wasn't expecting …."
The place was in shambles. There was stuffing all over the living room from the cushions that were cut open, drawers were strewn on the floor, the fridge was on its side and clothes littered the room. A few windows were broken too, making the floor a dangerous mine field and Doyle's meagre CD collection was tossed aside. What had once been the half demon's semi-liveable abode had quickly become a trash pile. Oz stepped in behind the shocked Doyle.
"It's uh, not that bad."
"What happened?" Doyle pondered as he stepped in further to see what was taken, "I don't have anything worth more than my shirt except for my scotch. Oh my god the scotch!" He raced to the liquor cabinet, which had been forced open. Several bottles of his better mix were missing but most of his supplies were still there. "Who the hell would …"
"Spike," Oz sniffed, "He's been here. Couple of hours ago though."
"He must have been looking for the ring, I haven't been home since I left this morning. Damn it, and he took my best scotch. I thought vamps couldn't get in without an invitation."
"You're half demon, probably changes the rules," Oz walked around cautiously, trying to put a few small things back in their proper place. He picked up a picture on the counter that had been smashed, it looked like it was Doyle's mom. Oz found a chain of rosary beads on the floor that had been next to it and placed them beside the picture, "Sorry man."
"No, like you said, it happens. I'm sorry though, here I go offering you a place to sleep and you get this." Doyle motioned to the apartment.
"Not your fault. I'll help you clean it up," Oz offered, dropping the duffel bag and coming up beside the half demon.
"I'm too tired. Let's just get the big stuff done and then we'll crash, worry about the rest tomorrow," Doyle said. Oz nodded and together they righted the fridge and discovered it still worked, fixed up the couch partially and cleaned up the broken glass from the windows.
"I'm beat," Doyle announced, "You take the bed though, you deserve it after all you did for us today."
"No, don't worry about it. It's your place, I'll take the floor." Oz sounded pretty resolute and even began spreading out some sheets. Doyle stepped forward to protest but ended up on his knees as blinding pain raked through his skull. Oz was by his side in an instant as the half demon hissed in agony and pressed his hands into his forehead.
There was pain, not just in his head but a warning of future pain. Spike was there, smiling in victory, a bloody knife in hand. Angel, looking worried. Chains. Pain. Oz unconscious. Then Doyle saw himself, chained and bloody. Then more pain and then eight simple words: "It's life or death, that's all it is."
"Doyle man, take it easy, what's wrong?" Oz asked frantically as he writhed in pain, shuddering with each new image. When Oz got no response he got up and searched for the phone, and then quickly realized he didn't know anyone in LA. "Shit, what's Angel's number?"
Just then the vision stopped and Doyle folded forward, shaking, his arms barely stopping him from hitting the floor as he gasped for breath. Oz returned next to him.
"Doyle, you okay? What happened?"
"A vision, a bad one. I have to call Angel," Doyle said, still gripping at his head while Oz helped him to his feet.
"Why? What's wrong?" Oz asked, steadying the Irishman as best he could.
"Spike's still around and he wants that ring."
"But you said Angel destroyed it," Oz pointed out.
"We didn't exactly send Spike a memo," Doyle countered as he finally got his feet under him, "Get me a shot of scotch, would you?" Oz did so gladly, moving over to the liquor cabinet while Doyle dialled.
"Come on, pick up, pick up. Princess, it's me, is Angel there? Get him quick! I'm sorry I yelled but this is important. Yes. Thank you. Angel, mate, we got a problem. Just had meself a lovely migraine of a vision … Spike's still around. He's mad and he wants that ring. Yes, I know it's gone. No, I didn't get a location, just a time. Soon, very soon. No, you don't understand it felt urgent, like a message you forgot to tell someone. Could be twenty minutes, could be ten, could be right ……."
The front door slammed open with enough force to knock it off its hinges. Doyle backed away on instinct and dropped the phone as a boot appeared out of nowhere and a hard kick connected with the side of his head, sending him toppling roughly to the floor. Angel's panicked voice could be heard on the other end as the phone slid beneath the kitchen table.
Spike smirked as he watched the half demon collapse, having already been off balance from his vision. Sensing someone behind him he turned around in time to catch Oz's wrist in mid-air, stake at the ready.
"Now that is just plain rude, sneaking up on a bloke like that, easy way to get yourself killed," Spike squeezed down hard on the wrist until Oz dropped his stake and then backhanded him viciously, sending the werewolf across the room and over the ruined couch.
"Well, bursting in uninvited, that's not too polite either," Oz commented as he looked around for a weapon of some kind. But he wasn't in Sunnydale, this was unfamiliar territory and he didn't see anything. No crosses, no stakes, no holy water, no chance. But that wouldn't stop him from trying. Driving forward Oz ran at the vampire, tackling him around the stomach and pushing him into the nearby wall. Spike practically shrugged it off. He brought his hands down hard on Oz's back, knocking the wind out of him, then lifted him by the hair to strike him hard across the jaw. Oz fell to the ground, gasping and struggling to regain his feet. Spike growled and moved in for the kill when a figure leapt onto his back.
"No one touches my scotch!"
Oz didn't know who it was at first, but after a moment realized it was Doyle, now in demon form. Spike would have shrugged him off as well, in demon form their strength was almost equal, and Spike had the greater skill and experience but what gave Doyle a slight advantage here was the cross and rosary beads he had picked up and now burned into the vampire's neck.
"You sodding git!" Spike cried as he smoked at the cross's touch, then flipped Doyle over his back and onto the floor where he slipped back into human form. Before he could move, Spike kicked Doyle hard in the stomach and then even harder at the side of the head, cutting open his forehead and sending him to unconsciousness.
Spike put a hand to his neck, checking the damage done there, "Everyone has to be a sodding hero and go on doing stupid things. All I want is my bloody ring."
"Too bad it's not yours blood boy," The comment came from Oz who had risen once more and rushed at the vampire again. Spike spun out of the way, grabbed a knife from the table and then pushed Oz into the wall, crushing his windpipe with his forearm. The werewolf pulled at the vampire's grip but Spike was too strong and didn't relent.
"Actually it is mine. I found it, I keep it; only problem is, Angel has it. Probably thinks it'll look nice with that poofter hair of his, but you see I want it back and that's where you come in," Spike pushed down harder on his windpipe, cutting off all air. Just then more figures appeared in the doorway, dark and pale, as they stepped forward Oz saw that they were more vampires, working for Spike. "You're gonna be a good little dog and give Angel a message for me. You tell him that if he ever wants to see his new little whelp again he'll come alone to the packaging factory at the corner of sixth and Douglas at dawn and he'll bring the ring, which he will give me to keep me from cutting him into pieces so small they fit in a thimble," Spike drew Oz's gaze down to Doyle's motionless body.
"Think you can remember that?" Spike drew the knife down Oz's forearm, a trail of blood blossoming behind it, "Or do I have to spell it out for you?" Oz couldn't move or breathe so had no way of responding, but Spike took it from his eyes the answer was yes. Smirking, he released Oz's neck and allowed him one quick draw of air before slamming his elbow into the wolf's temple, knocking him out completely and sending him sprawled onto the floor. Spike sighed and threw the knife back on the table, his work done.
"Well that was interesting, must do it again sometime," Spike pushed back his bleached hair, kicked Oz's form away from the doorframe and then motioned to his cronies to pick up Doyle's motionless body, "The things I do for immortality."
Doyle moaned as he was hefted over a large vampire's shoulder and carried down the two flights of stairs, but he did not awaken.
And soon after that they were gone. Down the stairs and out in the street. Doyle was tossed carelessly into the trunk of Spike's car as the vampires all climbed in, Spike in the driver's seat, happily humming to himself as he drove away, squinting through his blackened out windows.
Oh, I'm evil. Sorry, I love cliffhangers. Chapter two is about half done so it should be out soon. Hope you all liked and I'd love some feedback, I live off it and if I starve then there's no more story.
Hope there's still some Doyle lovers out there, this is for all of you. Hell, hope there's some Oz lovers too. That guy never got the screen time he deserved. Anyway I'm outtie. Here's a short summary of the ep "In the Dark" for those who didn't see it.
Okay, Spike finds a ring in Sunnydale called the Gem of Amara that can make vampires immortal (stake 'em and they don't die) so they can also go out in the sun without getting fried. Buffy of course stole this from him and decided to give it to Angel. So in the episode Oz shows up, having a gig in LA or so he says, and gives Angel the ring. Angel knows what it is and hides it instead of uses it. Later on Spike shows up of course, wanting his ring back. He kidnaps Angel and tortures him, wanting to know where it is. Angel won't tell him. Spike goes to see Doyle and Cordelia and tells them that if they want to see Angel alive again they'll give him the ring. They find it but know that Spike will kill them if they give it to him. So when they show up (they bring the actual ring for some reason) they throw the ring across the room, as a distraction I guess, then Oz drives through the wall with his van and pulls out two crossbows, one pointed at Spike and another at his little vampire torture expert (who is a vampire as well).
Cordy and Doyle free Angel and they take off in the van. Spike's helper vampire takes the ring and goes after some boy scouts; Spike can't follow him because it's the daytime. Angel makes the others go after the vamp, they kill him and Angel gets the ring. He walks around in the sun for a bit, enjoys it. Then at the end of the ep him and Doyle are on the roof and Angel destroys it because he thinks it's taking the easy way out or something and it would make his quest too easy. Really didn't get his reasoning there. So that's about it. Good ep, I liked it.
Please tell me what you think, and then they'll be more. I can write Doyle's accent out if anyone would prefer it that way, makes reading the dialogue more interesting sometimes. Robinyj ^_^