A/N: Here we are! Updated at last! Wow, this chapter is long! Ok… since I'm feeling lazy after writing this obscenely LONG chappie, I'll just do the same thing I did at the beginning of the latest chapter of my other fic…
THANK YOU ALL FOR REVIEWING!
"…And, in local news, a woman was wounded during a shooting in a department store. Witnesses say the gunman was unarmed by some sort of invisible force… most, call it a miracle…" Suddenly, the television screen went black. Skinner, Sawyer, Jekyll and Lorne all turned around to give protesting glances at Angel for turning off the TV. Skinner most of all…
"Hey!" The once again clothed invisible man complained. "I was watching that!"
Tom sighed, "I think this miracle thing is going to his head."
"They can call me a miracle if they want," Skinner said matter-of-factly. "I don't mind."
"Of course you don't," Tom replied. "As long as someone's not telling you to be quiet, you don't mind at all."
"Har-dee-har," Skinner said dryly. "And what did you do? Nothing. You just stood there and left the heroics to the rest of us."
"Skinner…" Jekyll, Tom and Lorne began in unison.
"I know! I know!" Skinner interrupted. "I'm shutting up now!"
"Good," Angel replied shortly. "We're just lucky no one else got hurt." Angel didn't want to admit it, but he was using concern to mask the feelings of jealousy and uselessness that were creeping over him. That used to be him out on the streets… now he was here. He'd gone from vigilante to businessman, and there was a part of him that would never be okay with that.
"Lucky?" Lorne said. "No, we're lucky these guys were there…" He swept a green hand at the present League members.
"Lorne," Angel said warningly.
Lorne didn't hear him. "I mean, if they hadn't been, more people would've gotten hurt…"
"Granted the good doctor here got a little scary, but…"
"LORNE!" Angel roared, Lorne's comments having fed Angel's already darkening mood. Lorne froze in mid-word, the vampire's potent emotions suddenly bombarding his psyche. "Get out!" Angel demanded. "Everyone out!"
Mina was just about to enter Angel's office when Lorne, Skinner, Jekyll and Tom came filing out. She cautiously poked her head into the room. "Is everything all right?" She asked.
"No," Angel said shortly, pacing toward his desk and sitting down. "Everything is not all right." Mina stepped the rest of the way into the room. She was dressed in her new outfit – elegant black slacks and a form-fitting burgundy turtleneck sweater. Angel glared at her. Didn't he just kick everyone out?
Ignoring Angel's glower, Mina pulled up a chair and sat opposite Angel. "Do you want to talk about it?" She asked, part of her wanting to know what sort of problems vampires in this era faced, part of her just desperate for someone to relate to.
"No, I do not want to talk about it."
Mina raised an eyebrow. "Must you repeat everything I say?"
"No, I mus…" Angel paused, realizing what he was doing. "Oh. Sorry." He sighed. "Would you just leave?" Mina didn't move. Angel stared at her, his eyebrows raised. "Please?" He tried in a last ditch effort to get her out of there.
"No, I will not leave," Mina said, a grin playing on her lips.
"Oh, real funny," Angel said dryly.
Mina sighed, and despite the freedom of her dress, she remained the proper woman, sitting perfectly upright. "Angel, I believe we have more in common than you think."
Angel couldn't help but laugh at this. "Yeah, right. You're what? A chemist? Besides, I'm a vampire, and you're…"
"…A vampire," Mina interrupted. She drew the collar of her sweater down, revealing the bite marks left by none other than Dracula himself. Angel was dumbfounded. She was a vampire? Why couldn't he scent it? He shot a glace at the window. He saw the reflection of Mina sitting opposite an empty chair. A million thoughts flooded his head. She had a reflection… there was no way she could be a vampire…
"Don't look so surprised," Mina said, raising an eyebrow.
The door swung open and Dorian, clad in an authentic Armani suit of charcoal gray, walked in like he owned the place.
"Dorian, are we so far below you that you cannot grant us the simple courtesy of knocking?" Mina asked indignantly.
Dorian raised his eyebrows. "Yes," he said simply.
"Of course," Mina sighed. She never put it past Dorian to be so self-centered. "Of course…"
"…So then, I took his gun and I beat him senseless with it!" Skinner said happily, telling Wesley, Fred, Gunn, Quatermain and Nemo his rendition of what had happened at the store. Jekyll, Tom, and Lorne were there as well, and the three of them were getting very tired of this story.
-You should have let me out Henry,- Hyde growled. –Because if I have to hear this story one more time, I'll…-
Jekyll sighed. "I know," he said softly, shooting a glance at Skinner. "I may beat you to it."
-You? Ha! You couldn't beat…-
"That's enough, Edward," Jekyll scolded. Those present who weren't members of the League had taken to staring at Jekyll. He put on a nervous grin. "Sorry about that."
"You are one weird man," Spike said strolling in. He took note of Jekyll's new wardrobe. "Nice threads," he said sarcastically.
"Thank you," Jekyll replied dryly.
-Henry…- Hyde said, annoyance creeping into his gruff voice.
"Edward, I am not about to let you maim Spike," Jekyll said sternly. He paused and grinned slightly. "Though, it is tempting…"
"Ha! Him? Maim me?" Spike scoffed. "He'd never stand a chance."
"You've never seen Mr. Hyde in action before," Nemo stated, "You would hardly get a chance to blink."
"Is that so?" Spike replied, not sounding entirely convinced. "So then, let's find out."
"Find out what?" Wesley asked suspiciously.
"Who would win, of course!" The blond vampire replied as though the answer were obvious. He gave Jekyll a friendly punch in the arm. "Come on! Let the big guy out and we'll have a showdown!"
Jekyll shook his head. "No. There is no way I am letting Hyde out just so you can have a 'showdown.' Forget it."
-Come on Henry! Where's your sense of sport?-
"No," Jekyll said sternly. "And I don't want to hear another word about it… from either of you."
"Aw, come on!" Spike whined. "I'm bored out of my bloody mind!"
"Spike, stop it," Wesley said. "Letting Hyde tear this place apart would hardly constitute as amusing."
Gunn raised an eyebrow and smirked. "Yeah," he said, "But it might be fun watchin' him tear Spike apart…"
"Please," Jekyll sighed, massaging his temples. "Don't encourage him. He's unruly enough."
"Speaking of unruly," Skinner said mischievously as Mina and Dorian came wandering in. "What have you two been up to?" He asked, only to find his statement being studiously ignored.
"Hello you two," Lorne said. "Where's the boss man?"
"Angel? He's in his office… sulking," Mina replied.
"Of course," Gunn muttered.
"Sulking?" Skinner inquired. "What on earth would a grown vampire have to sulk about?"
"He's feeling rather useless," Mina explained. "Your little show of heroics set him adrift on memory lane, as it were."
Dorian scoffed, "More like set adrift on the pity me river."
"Dorian be quiet," Mina snapped.
"Well, that's Angel for you," Spike said. "Ooh! Poor me! I'm a vampire cursed with a soul… Now I'm stuck in this crummy office… Ooh, pity me!"
"Man, shut up," Gunn said, is patience with the blond vampire already worn thin. He looked at Jekyll hopefully, "Are you sure you won't…?"
"Yes. Quite sure," Jekyll replied shortly, choosing this time to ignore Hyde's pleas for a 'showdown.'
"I don't know about you all," Skinner interrupted, paying no heed to Jekyll and Spike's antics. "But I feel I could use a drink."
"You always feel you could use a drink," Tom commented. Skinner shot Tom a glance, resisting every urge to make a face at the smart aleck American.
"I'm all for a drink," Spike said cheerfully. "It's been a long day."
Skinner raised a brow. "Oh yes," he said skeptically. "And what have you been doing all day?" Spike was about to issue some sort of reply when Angel came bursting in. He looked out of breath and obviously shaken.
"Angel? What…?" Wesley began, and soon got his answer when a very big, very mean, very angry monster came crashing through the doorway. It was absolutely massive. Its gray-black head all but went through the ceiling, and its claws imbedded themselves into the carpeted floor. The group stared up at it. The monster looked like a dragon that had been hastily coated in cement and it was not happy.
"Does this kind of thing happen every day?" Tom said, scooping up his rifle.
"Pretty much," Gunn replied.
Angel, sword in hand, was fending off the monster quite skillfully, but was receiving a beating just as good as, if not better than, what he was giving. The monster had sheer size on its side.
"Angel, where did…?" Fred began.
"How should I know?" Angel snapped, barely dodging the beast's tail. "It just showed up! Came out of nowhere!" Again the monster swung its tail, and again Angel barely missed being knocked through the wall. Tom cocked his rifle, took aim and fired. The bullet merely ricocheted off of the dragon-thing, and only achieved in making the monster more aggravated. It reared its ugly head and let out a guttural roar the made the windows rattle.
"Nice job Sawyer!" Skinner shouted over the din.
"Yeah! Now you've pissed it off!" Angel hollered, joining ranks with the League and the rest of his friends. "How are we supposed to get rid of it?"
All at once, six of the seven members of the League turned to look at Jekyll. The doctor sighed. "I had a feeling this would come back to me." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a phial of formula. "This won't be pretty," he warned as he uncorked the phial and downed the clear liquid. At once, the painful and gruesome transformation began.
"Oh," Spike cringed. "'Not pretty' was an understatement." Angel and his friends tried to mask their looks of disgust and amazement, as the soft-spoken doctor became a monster before their very eyes.
When the transformation was complete, Hyde looked down at Spike. "I'll deal with you later," he growled.
-Edward,- Jekyll reprimanded.
Hyde grunted and turned his attention to the monster. The dragon-thing stopped in mid-roar as Hyde barreled into it, driving it from the room. Everyone else filed out, eager to see how this battle would end. The two were staring each other down. The dragon-thing was weaving its head back and forth, like a snake about to strike. Strike it did. Quickly, Hyde clamped his massive hands over the beast's muzzle, inches away from his own face. The monster reared up and jerked its head violently, sending Hyde flying across the lobby and crashing into Harmony's desk.
"Hey!" Harmony cried, freeing herself from the wreckage. "Just what do you…?"
The monster roared again, and wrapped its whip-like tail around Harmony's waist. It lifted her off the ground and brought her to its face. The dragon-thing cocked its head and snorted as it inspected its catch.
Harmony put on a look of absolute disgust. "Ugh! Get a breath mint or something!" The monster made a sort of chuckling noise, as though it were amused by Harmony's remark.
Skinner looked at Angel quizzically. "Did it just laugh?"
The dragon-thing, still with Harmony constricted by its tail, looked quite satisfied with what it had caught and made for an exit. Suddenly, Hyde came bursting from the remnants of Harmony's desk. At Hyde's appearance, the beast dropped Harmony and reeled around, ready for another battle.
Hyde leapt up and wrapped his arms around the monster's neck. With a yell, he flung the beast clean though the staircase. The creature roared and heaved itself upright. Now it was really pissed off. It lashed out with its tail, grabbing one of Hyde's monstrous arms. It dangled him in mid-air for a moment, then delighted in whipping him back and fourth violently. It made the chuckling noise again.
"It is laughing!" Skinner declared.
With a frustrated roar, Hyde, by some means or other, freed himself from the dragon-thing's grip. He dropped into the midst of what once was the staircase and snatched up a jagged iron bar the at one time served as a handrail. Quickly, he drove it into the unprotected underbelly of the monster. This time, when it roared, it was enough to make the nearby windows crack. Hyde clamped his hands over his ears – he looked to be in great pain.
"Uh-oh," Tom said. He knew what that look meant.
"Uh-oh?" Lorne echoed. "I don't like the sound of that."
Hyde was writhing is pain as he made the equally painful and gruesome transformation back into Jekyll.
The monster wrenched the iron bar from its belly, pain and anger now dictating its actions. It wrapped its tail around the weakened, barely clothed doctor and leapt out the window…
A/N: A cliffie! I'm evil. Enough said.