TO FIGHT YOUR INNER DEMON
Spoilers: This part has spoilers for all of season 5 BtVS/2 AtS, and I guess I better warn about a few things from Angel season 3 here and there too.
Summary: The story continues; Angel and Buffy are still persecuted by the Council, and they have yet to find out how far the Watchers are willing to go to rid the world of what they consider their greatest failure in recent history; a turned Slayer. Will life, or unlife for that matter, ever return to normal? And where does Wolfram & Hart's plans for Angel fit into all this? Old friends and enemies will be there to help… and hinder.
Rating: Rated R – or M, nowadays – for violence, language, adult situations, death, torture and mental agony… you know the drill.
Pairings: B/A. If you've read the first part, you'll know that's my focus. There is also Xander/Anya going on there in the background.
Feedback: Remember the three keywords for any writer; feedback, feedback, feedback. So yes, feed me back. Give me feedback.
A/N: I'm back, and I'm a bloody animal! This story continues right where When You're Evil left off. You should read that one first as a lot of things have happened and this fic might not make very much sense if you're going in blind, so to speak.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, only the plot and any minor characters you don't recognize from the show. Blah, blah, blah…
CHAPTER 1: NEVER A DULL MOMENT
"Are you sure you are all right?"
Angel turned his head to look at Buffy. She stared into space and didn't seem to even hear him speak to her. Something was off with her; that was for sure. It frustrated him that he couldn't see what it was.
They were on their way back to the Hyperion after a miserably failing Bucah hunt. After Buffy had gotten attacked by something – presumably the Bucah – they hadn't been able to pick up its scent again. It had simply vanished, probably realizing that if it wanted to keep its scaly fins attached to its body, it better find new feeding grounds.
Angel assumed that Buffy simply could be a little disappointed that she had lost track of the demon – she had always hated to loose, and with both innate Slayer instincts and a demon inside of her, she could very well be feeling depressed about the fact that she had lost her prey. Yeah, it made perfect sense. Still, he wasn't so sure that was the case.
"Buffy?" At the sound of her name, she snapped out of her trancelike state and turned her head slightly to meet his gaze. Her eyes were confused… absent. Now, he was used to her mood swings. She had a lot on her mind and he often found her lost in thoughts, but for some reason this was different. At least he thought so.
"What? Yeah… sure, I'm fine. You?"
Angel smiled a little, just a tad worried that Buffy hadn't even understood why he asked how she was feeling. "There's nothing wrong with me, and the question wasn't really just a general poll. You've seemed a little out of it since you got hit back in the sewers."
Buffy rubbed her head with her right hand. "Yeah, well, even if I'm a vampire and a former Slayer, I still get affected by electric shocks. I feel a little funky, but it's no big. Just… stop bugging me, okay?"
Angel fixated his gaze on the road ahead. "I didn't know I was," he said quietly. Luckily they would be home soon – then they could just go to bed and forget this day.
As soon as Buffy raised herself up, getting to her feet, she felt a stinging headache in the back of her skull.
The thing that tried to light her up like a Christmas tree must have been loading some serious power. She brushed herself of and looked around in the dark and dank sewer tunnel. So, where was Angel? She could feel his scent very clearly in the tunnel, but she couldn't hear him anywhere. Strange.
Well, maybe he had gone after the Bucah. Angel, always the devoted do-gooder.
Usually, the notion of Angel going after a creature that was strong enough to knock her out without any trouble would worry Buffy... But now she felt strangely calm and care free. She smiled to herself. Actually, besides the headache, she felt pretty damn good.
In some way she felt lighter than before, as if nothing could harm or worry her ever again. No worries, no dark thoughts… nothing. What did that shock do to her, really? She would remember to thank Cordelia for sending them after the Bucah before she killed her.
Buffy froze for a minute. Why would she kill Cordelia? She didn't even feel wrong about thinking it – and she didn't feel ashamed for not feeling wrong about it. Hmm.
Well, about killing Cordelia, she guessed that Angel would have a thing or two to say about that. God, he could be so boring sometimes. Can't do this, can't do that… I feel so bad about that, yak, yak, yak… He simply cared too much. So full of emotion.
Angelus, now, he would be glad to join Buffy in killing Cordelia. In fact, when she thought about it, she realized that she and Angelus probably could have a lot of fun together. They had a lot in common. She couldn't understand that she had ignored all Angelus' qualities every time she had met him. Now that was a real man – like Angel visually, although a better dresser, but more dangerous, more interesting… more demon.
Suddenly it hit her. Whatever gave her the electric shock must have somehow made her shed her soul. She had no idea how it might have done it, but she was sure that was it. Why else would she feel so good and carefree, and even feel more strongly for Angelus than Angel? Well, not that she would complain. Life as a soulless demon would be great. She didn't quite know where to begin though.
First off, she would have to find Angel and… maneuver him to a little happiness moment. Her lack of soul could be a problem, but she would figure out a way to work around it. Maybe she could use a little of that drug – what was it called? Doxyfox... Or something. She was sure she could find someone that she could… convince to give her a little.
If she loosened Angel up a bit he would surely be happy to let her… turn him over to her way of thinking. And she had no doubt she would be able to make the soul go all skippy if she could just get her hands on Angel. Well, not mainly her hands of course… She had some wicked moves, and she would be glad to use them on him.
Maybe she should torture him for a while first. She smirked to herself when she pictured Angel finding Cordelia's corpse in his bed. Wesley's severed head would look great as a decoration in Angel's office. Oh, yes. She would use everything she had learned from Angelus to torture Angel to… well, not death. She didn't want to kill him, not physically anyway.
She would have to settle for torturing him to a point that would fascinate Angelus and make him proud. After that, she could drug him and give him a nice moment of perfect happiness. She and Angelus would cut a bloody swatch through every country on the face of the earth, maybe Angelus could upgrade his nickname from the Scourge of Europe to the Scourge of the World, she thought enthusiastically. Well, that sounded lame. Maybe he could come up with a better name. Then she would…
Buffy didn't have time to form any other plans before she felt a sharp pain in the back of her head. In her disoriented state she saw three men standing behind her, but she was too out of it to fight back. She was reeling back and forth for a second before everything went black and she slumped to the ground in a heap. She didn't notice a thing when the figures carried her out of the sewer, carrying her over to a man that was waiting further away in a dark street corner.
"Restrain her before she comes to again," Quentin Travers said sternly, stepping out of the shadows. He glanced at the still form on the ground.
"Did it work, sir?"
"I worked out just the way I hoped it would. The ferula gemina split Buffy Summers into two different entities. If this device works as it should, it will be enough to kill one to make the other one perish as well."
"So what are you waiting for?" Weatherby said sharply and raised his stake. "Let's just slay it here!"
"No." Quentin's voice was calm, but left no room for argument. "We bring the demon back to England and notify Angelus of its whereabouts. After we've drawn him to London, we terminate them both."
"Sir, with all your respect… I think the safest way to kill this demon is to simply take it out right now."
"We want Angelus as well. This matter is of no importance unless we kill them both. There is another active Slayer, one that has already shown willingness to abuse her powers… and if Angelus is firm on keeping a turned Slayer as a mate, he will take her as well. We need to end this permanently."
"Do you find it difficult to follow orders?" Quentin interrupted with a stern glare.
"Of course not."
"Then load her in the truck, and make sure that the restraints are tight enough. We will return to England as soon as possible."
The doors were swinging behind Buffy when she entered the Hyperion. Angel was hurrying his steps right behind her, but she didn't even wait for him before she disappeared upstairs.
"Bucah hunt go alright?" Cordelia asked from her desk as soon as she heard them coming, but Buffy ignored her completely.
Cordelia was feeling a little better now, the Seltrax had done its job and the throbbing headache from before was now only a dull pain in the back of her head. She could stand up straight and keep her eyes open without almost fainting from the pain, which was an improvement from just an hour ago.
She just hoped that Angel wouldn't notice that her eyes were red and puffy and her makeup recently re-applied. Well, of course he wouldn't. Vampire or not, he was a man. He wouldn't see that she had been in the bathroom fifteen minutes ago, crying quietly from pain and frustration. She glanced at the stairs where Buffy had disappeared.
"Ah, we're in a good mood. Great," she said and turned to Angel instead. "You know, either you're a bad influence, or you pass down your brooding skills to those you've exchanged bodily fluids with," Cordelia said calmly. At Angel's look, she understood how that had come out.
"I mean, those you vampified. Sired, whatever. Then again, we have Drusilla who's a total loom, very non-broody and that little Irish guy… Penn, was it? The only thing you seemed to have given him was the spiky hair."
Angel continued glaring at her; he was clearly not up for joking around. Well, he almost never was, so Cordelia didn't really care about that.
"Hey, maybe you give, like, different properties of yourself to everyone you sire? Buffy got the brood-o-rama, Penn got the stupid hair and Drusilla got the charming sadism and insanity. From Angelus, I mean. I'm sure there are other examples." Angel stared blankly at her. She sighed.
"Okay, I give up. I promise I won't try and perk up the vibe around here anymore, Mr. Big Dark Energy Sucker. I don't mind as long as that's the only thing you suck…" Angel was obviously about to leave, so Cordelia decided to cut to the chase.
"Okay, alright. How did the Bucah hunt go?"
Angel sighed and leaned against the counter next to Cordelia's desk. "Not good. Not at all, actually." Cordelia frowned.
"It wasn't there?"
"Yes, it was, Buffy saw it. She followed it but then she got hit by something, she said it was like an electric shock, and then we lost track of it."
"The Bucah has electro powers? Huh. Strange that I haven't seen any of that in my visions about it."
Angel furrowed his brow. "I know."
"You think it was something else?" Cordelia prodded, thinking about the other thing she had seen in her vision. Yes, the thing. She didn't actually know what it was, and considering how the Powers liked to screw with her mind, she assumed that if could simply have been a rabid raccoon or something. Then again…
"Maybe." Angel shrugged. "I-I don't know. I guess Buffy might just be feeling a little low because she lost the demon, but… I'm gonna keep a close eye on her."
When Buffy woke up, she found herself tightly chained in the back of a small truck. She knew this place. She had been in a truck like this before… but in Faith's body.
Actually, it made perfect sense. They wanted to rid the world of the danger and failure that was a turned Slayer. Damn shit-heads.
Still, she couldn't figure out why they would want to remove her soul for that… if it was really they who did it.
She was still drugged and could barely look straight. She soon gave up trying to count the men sitting in the other end of the truck, guarding her with their crossbows at a ready. Going on visuals, she was pretty sure that there were about… twelve of them. The heartbeats told her that they were only two.
Well, two or twelve, the guys looked more than willing to turn her into a walking pincushion if she so much as moved. Not that she planned to, or could even, really. The question was… what were they going to do to her? She was sure that they had some sort of plan for her – otherwise they would have killed her instantly instead of going through all the trouble of dragging her across the Atlantic to take her back to the Watcher's Council head quarters. And she was pretty sure their agenda wasn't rehabilitation…
Either way, she would sit tight for now, she was sure that Angel had the same weakness that her own ensouled version had for Angelus – he would rescue her for sure. Any minute now. Come to think of it, he couldn't reasonably even know that she was soulless yet, could he? That might be a card to play. When she got out of here.
The truck slowed down and it became even darker around it. Buffy couldn't hear the sound of the wind outside anymore, so she figured they were probably inside now. In a large, damp garage by the smell and sounds.
"Home at last," she said woozily with a slight smirk at the twelve-looking two men. They didn't even react.
"Oh, come on. What's the matter? Don't you have the guts to look at little me? Big, mighty, brave Counschil men," she slurred slightly. They continued to ignore her.
"Hello-o? Are you like, cyborgs or schomething? 'Hasta la vista vampie', that kinda deal?" Buffy gave up. She would enjoy trying out her newborn lust for taunting and mind games, but not on people who didn't even have enough of a mind to play with.
The car stopped and voices, high pitched, snooty British voices were heard outside. A human would only have heard a muffled mumble from inside the isolated truck, but Buffy could make out what they were saying. Barely. Their voices were loud and painful in her ears, echoing and stinging. They were bickering about the best way to move her from the truck to a cell… and their insecurity would be the perfect opportunity for her to escape… if her legs had only been moving when she told them to.
The back doors opened. Buffy tried to see who it was coming in, but she was blinded by the bright light and had to close her eyes until they stopped flashing strong white spotlights at her. She was still blinking against the light when a large man with a gray beard entered the truck, holding something in his hand. Oh, joy. A tazer. As if she wasn't far enough out of it already.
Without a sound or a warning, the man zapped her in the face with the tazer several times until she felt like her whole body was buzzing. There must be enough electricity in her to light up a small city. It didn't knock her out completely, but it made her even more dizzy and disoriented. Unfortunately. Unconsciousness seemed pretty appealing right now.
The voices around her echoed even more, she could barely make out any words, and everyone was a little blurry around the edges. When she tried to reach out to grab an arm that was extended towards her, she found that her limbs didn't quite move like she wanted them to.
She noticed the three men that were taking her, more like manhandling her, to her cell. They led her inside and pushed her against the wall. She wasn't able to stand upright without support so she staggered into the wall and fell to the floor.
First the only feeling she had was the one of cold, hard concrete against her body and face, but it was soon accompanied by a burning pain in her side. She heard a loud cracking and sort of a crunching sound as one or more of her ribs snapped and quite possibly splintered. One of them, Buffy couldn't make out whom, had kicked her in the side. Hard. She gave a low moan. She barely avoided screaming, refusing to give them the pleasure of showing her pain.
"Bugger, what do you think you're doing!" one of the British voices said. He sounded upset. Buffy tried to see who it was, but the fact that all of the figures were multiplied by three, at least, made it a little hard to discern which of them that were talking.
"What? Protecting vampires now, are you?" another one mocked. "Maybe this one has poisoned you with its perverted mind. Even as a human, a Slayer no less, sworn to fight for the good side, she was making friends with those she was supposed to kill. Little trash." He cleared his throat and spit Buffy in the face. She didn't even react. She felt the gob slowly making its way across her face, but her body didn't move like she commanded it to. Oh, how the Council would suffer for this. With Angelus at her side… they would rain hell over the prigs.
"Mr. Travers clearly said to leave it unharmed."
"Oh, come on, you ponce! I'm not going to kill it, who cares if it's unharmed? It's only still alive to help draw Angelus here. Now come on, let's just sod off."