Summary: Buffy/Angel crossover. (btvs S7/ats S4) After killing off the Beast, Angelus decides to return to Sunnydale. But this time he chooses to go after the Scooby gang through the Slayer's little sister. In the Angel timeline, this picks up right after the events of 'Salvage'; disregard everything after that. In Buffy, sometime before 'Lies My Parents Told Me'.

NOTE: This story contains material that some (many...?) might find objectionable. If the idea of Dawn/Angelus content, in any shape or form, bothers you, read no further. Also, this is a very DARK story. Lotsa graphic violence, coarse language, and strong sexual content. Can't say I didn't warn you... Well, you could. But then you'd be a LIAR. Pants on fire, and all that shit. And really, in this heat, wouldn't having your pants on fire be one of the last things you'd want?

Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to Joss Whedon. Well, all things BTVS and Angel-related.


THE ABATTOIR

- 1 -

He eyed the house across the yard hungrily, soaking in its vitality, like a starving man might inhale the aroma of a meal he was not allowed to touch. But touch it he would... no one was going to stop him from that.

His tall figure was swallowed by shadows that had grown quite accustomed to him and his kind throughout the years. They held him in their familiar embrace, a lover that had long since lost its infatuation, but couldn't stand to give up its one companion through the solitude of the night.

He could feel them inside. So alive, so vibrant, and calling to him... calling to Death.

White teeth glinted in the darkness.

And they hadn't a clue. Not a clue.

Like chickens huddled in a coop, just waiting for the fox to steal its way inside. And this fox was more than happy to oblige.

There was a hunger building up from deep within him. Not the usual desire for blood -- he'd fed that earlier, on some blonde in a short skirt and too-red lipstick that stood out in stark contrast against the flesh that grew paler still with each passing moment.

Her screams had wrung through the night, tinged with that pleasurable note of terror that comes with the realization that the long-dismissed monster in the closet does truly exist... and that no one's coming to save you from it.

He'd smiled at her, almost serenely, when he saw the familiar look pass through her eyes.

No, this hunger was something larger, something not so easily quenched. Hunger he just hadn't been able to fulfill back in L.A. Oh, it'd been amusing for a while, pitting the Slayer against the Beast, Beast against Slayer... not to mention the rest of the pathetic bunch that called his weakling counterpart 'friend' as they bumbled about trying to de-soul him and re-soul him, all the while having not a clue as to what was really going on.

But it hadn't been enough. Despite the definite entertainment value of the whole affair, something had been... lacking.

So he'd returned to the one place where fun and games had always seemed to come in abundance.

His senses tingled in anticipation.

If the offering in L.A. had been less than filling, the one in Sunnydale was pure gluttony.

A building full of slayer Potentials...

What more could a soulless, sadistic creature of the night ask for? Just the thought of it was enough to make his eyelids heavy with pleasure.

A light flickered on in the upper level of the house, and unconsciously he drew further back into the darkness, forgetting his fantasies for a moment. His gaze turned in the direction of the beacon, catching an impression of long brown hair as a figure sailed by the window.

He waited patiently until she returned, pausing within his view and giving him a clear glimpse of her profile. Her right hand went to the opposite wrist, gaze concentrated downward. Something sparkled as it caught the light: the face of a watch. Removing it with swift, practiced movements, she placed it aside, and turned toward him in the process.

Fair complexion, full lips, pretty features. She couldn't have been more than sixteen, maybe seventeen -- too young to be one of the 'Scoobies', as they'd been dubbed so long ago.

Maybe a Potential?

He frowned slightly and cocked his head to one side, noting that there was something undeniably familiar about that face. He'd seen her before, he knew. Somewhere...

With the watch out of the way, her hands went to her waist, and he raised an eyebrow, just barely anticipating the gesture before she pulled her sweater up over her head. Oblivious of her audience, she tossed the shirt somewhere off to the side, clearly comfortable enough within the residence to create her own mess.

He sighted the lacy pink material now left exposed over the generous curves of her breasts, and smirked. Sixteen, he decided definitively. There was something about that age that made them go for the pink and the lace, even when they weren't really expecting anyone else to see it. He recalled the last sixteen-year-old he'd seen in pink lace; no doubt, she was somewhere inside the house right now, explaining to the rug rats which end of the stake to put in a --

It hit him so suddenly, that he stopped mid-thought.

Well, well, well.

If it wasn't little Buffy Junior.

Though not so little anymore, he had to admit as he eyed her appreciatively. She'd tugged her pants free from her waist, and when she bent over to pull them down the length of her legs, she gave him an unobstructed view to settle his newly amended opinion.

Angel would have writhed in discomfort at the sight before him; he'd always regarded the youngest Summers family member as much a sister as had the Slayer herself.

Fortunately, he had no such qualms.

His eyes lingered on the curves of her body, and he felt himself hardening in anticipation as her hands moved behind her back, no doubt to the clasp of her bra. Really, who could blame him? She shouldn't have chosen to do her little strip show in front of the window. Of course, she probably thought she was safe with her room facing out into the backyard... her mistake.

Then she pulled back suddenly, disappearing from view, and he let out a low growl of frustration.

"Tease," he muttered under his breath.

Dawn slipped the tank top over head, next tugging her shorts into place. Nights at the Summers residence were like a perpetual slumber party these days. And privacy was a concept nearing extinction.


Everywhere you turned, there were eyes, and ears, and mouths. And flailing limbs and appendages too when someone managed to sneak in a stash of sugar-packed snacks and the girls gorged themselves on the contrabands before Buffy, or one of the other 'grown-ups' confiscated the rest (they insisted that teenaged girls were enough of a handful without dousing their bloodstream with sugar).

With the ever-accumulating mass of bodies calling the place home nowadays, there wasn't an inch of space to breathe where you weren't forced to share that very air with at least one other person.

The whole situation was quickly driving Dawn to insanity. The non-clinical, hormonally induced sort of insanity that one was quick to reach during adolescence. But insanity nonetheless.

In the midst of the flurry of activity, all the preparation, and doomsday prophecies, the most important thing in life was casually being overlooked... Living.

Almost seventeen years old and she could count on one hand the number of dates she'd been on... and still have a thumb and finger left over.

It wasn't that she was unattractive. She knew that she was at least pretty.

And it wasn't that she had overbearing parents who restricted her social activities. She had no parents to speak of.

And it wasn't as if she wouldn't have liked to go out more often. It definitely wasn't that.

Rare moments like these were the only ones where she had any time to herself -- to do as she wanted, and not as others wanted of her. And it would be over soon, once she returned to the rest of the brood waiting downstairs, taking turns to dress down for the night. After that, she got to share her modest sleeping quarters with as many other bodies as could be squeezed semi-comfortably onto the floor, and then wake up the next morning to join up with the rest of them for breakfast and whatever else the day brought.

Nothing in this house was just hers any more. Not her room, not her clothes, not her sister and friends -- she had to share it all. Even now, glancing around her usually pristine room and finding it cluttered with piles of clothes, carelessly discarded bubblegum wrappers (with used wads of gum ensconced in them, she discovered, much to her chagrin, as she went to pick one up and came away with some of the gooey stuff stuck to her hand), and various training instruments, she felt a flare of annoyance rise up in her. The chair at her desk was piled so high with clothes that should have been hung up or placed in nicely folded stacks someplace, it was a miracle it was still standing upright.

In the next moment, just to rub it in her face, without preamble, the whole mess toppled right over.

Thump.

With a small groan of frustration, Dawn stomped over to the site and yanked the chair -- and struggling briefly in the process -- and its contents upright.

It was a never-ending, wholly frustrating state of affairs. And she felt guilty for resenting the other girls' presence in her home, when the alternative meant their deaths. Sure she wasn't the slayer, but she was the slayer's sister, and that had to mean something. She might not have been a protector of the innocent (the best she could hope for was to be one of the protected innocent), but at least she should support the cause. Put a bumper sticker on her car, buy a t-shirt, or donate some money to the foundation every so often.

Of course, realizing all this did little to stop her from feeling the way she did.

There was no one she could talk to about it either. Everyone was so wrapped up in the 'big picture', they'd probably all tell her the same thing, with vary degrees of severity: Get over it, Dawn.

Things like ordinary life didn't matter in times like these. Neither did an ordinary person.

With a sigh, she padded across the floor in sock-clad feet, flicking off the light as she passed through the doorway and --

Thump.

The sound froze her in mid-stride.

"Son. Of. A -- "

Dawn broke off her muttered curse, stalking back toward the desk. With an impatient gesture, she yanked the chair up, ignoring the clothes that fell from their perch and onto the ground below in the process.

"Stay!" she commanded, when it showed signs of possibly losing its balance yet again. The chair rocked back slightly, teasingly, before falling back into place. Dawn eyed it suspiciously for a moment longer, daring it to defy her. Nothing. With a smile, feeling inanely pleased with both herself (as if she'd taught it a trick) and the chair (it had learned well), she nodded. "Good."

She turned to go.

Thump.

"Argh!"

Whipping around in outrage, she smacked face-first into a wall.

A startled gasp left her lips, but no more.

Not a wall -- a chest.

A chest attached to arms, and arms attached to --

Large hands ensnared her wrists in an ironclad grip. Her gaze shot upward and she found herself staring into two dark eyes glinting with malicious humor.

"Guess who," came a low whisper like a promise.

And her body grew still with a new horror.

She witnessed lips curving upward, and in the next instant she had been flipped around, her back to his chest, both arms pinned to her body with one of his. His other hand clamped down over her mouth, cutting off the scream that had just started to build.

He lowered his head, facing moving so close to her that his lips brushed her ear as he spoke, causing her to shudder convulsively against him.

"Now, be a good girl... and don't struggle too much while I do this."

It was when she felt something sharp -- teeth! -- graze her neck, that true panic set in.

Dawn bucked wildly in his grasp, but even at full strength, she couldn't provide him much of a challenge. The burning pain in her neck that came in the next moment fuelled her fight somewhat, but soon the repercussions of the action set in; her energy was quickly sapped away, her movements turned sluggish. Her eyelids grew heavier, drifting shut against her will... her body began to sag in his grip, until he was all that held her up -- his arm binding, his teeth invading her -- taking, and taking, and taking, until she'd have nothing left to give...

no...

She tried to speak, her mind still in denial while her body succumbed to its fate. She wasn't supposed to die like this...

not like this

And what about the others? Would he go for them next? Would he get them all, one by one, creeping up from behind, in the shadows, undetected...?

Buffy!

Her mind screamed the last thought before the darkness claimed her.

She couldn't say if it was a warning, or a plea.


The rustling of sleeping bags filled the room, as several bodies 'bunked down' for the night (as per Xander's instructions, as he tried to sound sufficiently authoritative).

"Kennedy. Get your feet out of my face."

"Hey, wouldn't be a problem if you didn't insist on sleeping head to feet."

"Better your stinking feet in my face, than your putrid morning breath."

"I don't have morning breath!"

"Um, actually, Rona's right, Kennedy. Almost everyone has bad breath first thing in the morning. See, during the day, your tongue and cheek move around, and um, dislodge the food debris and dead cells, which are washed away by saliva afterward. But while we're sleeping, our tongue and cheeks don't move much, and the flow of saliva -- "

"Shut up, Amanda!"

Pause.

"Well, even so... it's not putrid."

"Whatever. I still prefer the feet."

"Then why are you complaining?"

"Because I don't want them in my face!"

"Well then -- "

"Sow deh lar!" interrupted an angry voice.

Though no one knew the exact literal interpretation of the words, the general meaning transcended all language barriers, and silence immediately fell over the room.

Soon, the entire house had stilled, its various occupants quieting into sleep.

And no one noticed that one of these occupants was inexplicably absent.

tbc


Yep, so that's chapter one. Gives a pretty good idea of where the rest of the story's going... so if this part didn't agree with you (for annny reason at all), don't read the rest. Sound good? Ok.

Now for those of you who are actually somewhat interested by the developments so far... why don't you tell me what you think?