In Need of a Sire (3rd in Angelic Face Series)

In Need of a Sire (3rd in Angelic Face Series)

By Philip S. ()

Summary: In order to pay for his crimes against their clan, the Gypsies have cursed Angelus with a soul and transformed him into a woman. A hundred years later the Vampire now called Angela is recruited by Whistler to help protect the newly called Slayer. A friendship grows between the two, even after Buffy finds out that Angela is a Vampire. What she does not know is that, inside, Angela is still a man. A man who has very strong feelings for her. Meanwhile Spike and Dru have come to town. In order to cure Dru, Spike needs her Sire, Angelus. At the same time he needs to get rid of the Slayer and the strange Vampire helping her, not knowing that said Vampire is the one he is looking for.

Spoilers: General spoilers for Buffy Season 2, but basically its AU

Rating: PG-13 to begin with. Might get worse later

Disclaimer: All characters taken from the shows Buffy and Angel are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and others. No infringement is intended.

--

Part 1

--

Angela was waiting for Buffy in her room when she got back from patrol. The dark-haired Vampire sat on her bed, cross-legged, and watched with a sort of detached amusement as Buffy struggled in through her window.

"Rough patrol?" Angela asked when the Slayer finally got in and collapsed into the nearest chair.

"Not really. I'm just tired."

"Maybe you're driving yourself a little too hard."

Buffy shook her head. While it was certainly true that she was doing too much and sleeping too little as of late, there wasn't a whole lot she could do about it. She couldn't cut school more than she did, not with Snyder watching her like a hawk. She couldn't cut patrol or training with Giles, seeing as people might die if the Slayer wasn't a hundred percent. And as used as her mother was to Buffy not being around much, she still had to put in the occasional mom-time.

Buffy sighed. These days she felt like she was doing at least two full-time jobs and trying to have a life on the side.

"Think you could lend me some hours each day?" She asked Angela. "I mean, with you being immortal and such you could spare some."

"I'd offer you a few of those hours I'm confined to my apartment because of the sunlight." Angela answered in the voice that always made Buffy confused as to whether she was joking or being earnest.

"What do you do all day anyway?" Buffy asked.

"Sleeping mostly." Right, Buffy nodded. There was that, of course. Embarrassed, she changed the subject.

"Right now I'm just hoping to get through the week." Buffy said while storing her Slaying gear in the trunk beneath her bed. "Career week. Another of Snyder's glorious ideas. One multiple choice test will determine my future. As if."

It wasn't the MC test Buffy was worried about and Angela heard that, it seemed.

"You do have a future, Buffy." She said softly.

"Yeah. Unless I die tomorrow because some Vampire gets lucky."

Angela got off the bed and put a hand on Buffy's shoulder.

"You could die tomorrow. Or next week. Or maybe in sixty years. Just because you might die tomorrow is no reason not to make plans for the future."

The dark-haired Vampire sighed. "I spent nearly a hundred years just existing from day to day, most of the time hoping that something or someone would come along to kill me before I would have to sleep and dream again. Only it never happened and I wasted a century that way. Don't make the same mistake!"

For a moment Buffy saw a shimmer of Angela's true age behind that youthful fa├žade she wore. Angela appeared to be a woman in her late twenties to early thirties, but she was 250 and change. Right now it shone through.

"Okay, I guess I'm a bit in a blue mood right now." Buffy admitted. "Though I have to wonder what kind of career I could ever have, seeing that I already have a rather time-intensive job I can't just quit."

Angela shrugged.

"You're asking the wrong person about an honest day's job."

That brought a smile to Buffy's lips.

"I guess so. Okay, let's change topics. Any news on the boogedy boo in town?"

Angela shook her head. "Spike seems to be keeping a low profile right now. If the rumors about Drusilla being ill are true I imagine he will focus entirely on making her well again."

"He loves her, uh? I didn't think soulless demons could love."

Angela nodded. "Normally they can't. Spike, though, he's always been the odd one in the family. Or maybe it's not love, but simple obsession."

She didn't add that she herself had once been obsessed with Drusilla and Buffy didn't really want to think about her dark friend's checkered past. Angela wasn't the same person she'd been back then and that was it as far as Buffy was concerned.

"We'll deal with Spike when he rears his bleached head!" Buffy resolved. "And if Drusilla comes along, I'll deal with her." She left it unsaid that Angela wouldn't have to then.

--

"Not a trace!" Spike murmured, giving the minion in front of him an icy stare. The younger Vampire shifted from one foot to the other. Being the bearer of bad news was never a good thing as far as he was concerned.

It had been a month now. A month of making use of every contact he had, a month of calling in every favor ever owed to him. A month of scouring the world for a Vampire whom no one had seen in a century.

Angelus! Drusilla's Sire. The one they needed to make her well again. He had been missing for a hundred years now and there was a very good chance that he was dust by now. Spike refused to believe that, though, at least until he found someone who saw it happen. Because if Angelus was dead, then so was Dru.

It was almost funny, Spike mused. For pretty much all of the last century he had hoped that Angelus was gone for good. Had he met his killer, Spike would have thrown a party for him. Now, though, when he needed the bastard for once, he wasn't around.

"Fabulous!" He muttered, dismissing the relieved minion with a wave.

"You are black with worry!" Drusilla sang from where she entered the room. "So many dark clouds, my Spike."

"I'm worried for you, Ducks! If we don't find Angelus ... we have to find him."

Drusilla smiled and her eyes seemed to focus on something only she could see.

"My Angelus!" She mused. "Find him you will. Closer than you think."

Spike rose from his seat.

"Did you see something, luv? Do you know where he is?"

Dru giggled like a little child. "No, I don't know where HE is!" She giggled again, almost toppling over from her laughter.

Spike shook his head. He loved Drusilla, but sometimes she could really get him confused.

--

Part 2

--

"I mean ... law enforcement?" Buffy threw her hands in the air. "I never thought much about getting a job but ... law enforcement?"

"What is so bad about law enforcement?" Angela asked as they strolled through the cemetery. "It's really what you are doing already. Though in a more formal way."

"Right!" Buffy said. "Because jobbing at the Sunnydale PD involves so many staking patrols. You think I should start reading a Vampire his rights before I stake him? You have the right to crumble into dust. If you don't it will only hurt that much more in the morning when the sun rises and fries your ass."

Angela managed half a smile at Buffy's ramblings. She was a walking contradiction. The fiercest fighter Angela, or Angelus, had ever met, yet at the same time on the verge of bursting into tears when she broke a nail while staking a Vampire. Patrolling every night to the point of exhaustion, yet doing it dressed only in the latest fashions.

Making jokes about dusting Vampires in front of a Vampire. Angela didn't much mind, of course, but still, it was of little wonder that Buffy was not considered material for politician or diplomat.

"And Giles had the nerve, the nerve, to tell me the same when we went looking into that crypt, you know? I didn't even tell him about it, he just came up with it on his own. I mean ..."

"What crypt?"

"Huh? Oh, Giles noticed that someone had stolen a book from his stacks and apparently this crypt contained some kind of cross to decipher it. Cross of DuLac or something."

Angela remembered reading about DuLac somewhere, but couldn't quite put her finger on it. She pushed it from her mind. If Giles was on it, there was little doubt he would soon find out everything and inform them.

"I think you need to do something to relax, Buffy." Angela said. "You are incredibly tense. Whatever evil might turn up next, you'll be worse off facing it like this."

Buffy shrugged.

"I don't know. Maybe you're right. But I'm afraid I pretty much abandoned all my relaxing hobbies when I became the Slayer. Never enough time for them."

"What did you do for fun before you became the Slayer?" Angela asked.

Buffy gave her a look. "Don't think I don't notice that we're talking about me again. Always about me. Wasn't the plan for you to talk more about yourself?"

"Your plan!" Angela reminded her, emphasis on the 'your'.

"So, on the topic of the things we do for fun ...?" Buffy prodded, causing Angela to sigh.

"When I was human we ... I mean, the men went out hunting deer and the likes for relaxation. The women were doing ... sewing work and the likes." I think, she added in her mind. Truth to tell Liam had never been very concerned with what women did in their spare time. He had been much more interested in filling his own spare time with as many of them as possible.

Buffy gave her a smirk that made Angela uneasy. Mostly because of the feelings it stirred up inside her. Liam's feelings.

"I just tried to picture you sewing. Doesn't work. I bet you sneaked along on those deer hunts, right? Or did other funny stuff that women weren't supposed to do."

"I ... I didn't do a whole lot of womanly things while I was alive." Angela said, which was the truth. There was no need for Buffy to know that this was because of her not having been a woman then.

"Coming back to the topic," Angela continued, "what did you do for fun before you became the Slayer?"

"All right, I'll let you change the topic. This time." Buffy smiled again. "I ... well, for a long time I had a real thing for ice skating."

"Ice skating?" Angela asked.

"What?" Buffy asked, putting her hands on her hips in a challenging stance. "I'll have you know I was very good, too. Was even thinking of applying for an amateur championship or something."

"Okay, I believe you!" Angela said, raising her hands in surrender. "You still have your skates?"

"I think. Why?"

"Well, there is the ice stadium just outside the city. Always closed on Tuesdays, if I remember right."

Buffy smiled at her. A happy smile that made Angela's dead heart sing. She loved seeing Buffy that way.

"Tomorrow is Tuesday."

Angela nodded and there was a new, happy spring in Buffy's steps as they continued their patrol.

"Okay. Now I just have to hope that Giles doesn't practice his usual sucky timing and schedules me for world saveage or something tomorrow."

--

Spike shook his head. Drusilla was now getting weaker by the day. He could almost see the specter of death, true death, hovering over her head. The same Reaper that he had defied so very often by going after the world's most dangerous prey now threatened to take the one thing in Spike's existence that made him feel something else than anger and bloodlust.

Dru was dying and the one person who could save her was not to be found.

He had entertained brief hopes that, if the Sire could not be found, maybe the Sire of the Sire would work as well. Only to learn that Darla had been killed but a few months ago. Killed by the Slayer and her pet Vampire. Just like the Master, Darla's Sire.

He had never much liked Darla. Had downright despised her, truth to tell. And the Master was just another Vampire to him, he had never met the guy. Anyone who was stupid enough to get himself imprisoned inside a Hellmouth deserved it, Spike guessed.

Yet to hear that this dark-haired turncoat had killed, or at least helped kill, members of her own bloodline to help the Slayer, thereby destroying what slim hopes he still had for Dru ...

It was the last straw. Something had to be done. About both the Slayer and her fanged pet. As much as Spike would like to take care of them himself, he didn't have time for this. Dru required every bit of his attention. Adding one more notch on his Slayer hit list wasn't half as important. He needed to remove the distractions that these two posed and fast.

Then he had an idea.

"Send out a message!" He told one of his minions. "Tell the Order of Taraka that there is a bounty on the heads of the Slayer and the Vampire that aids her!"

--

Part 3

--

Angela sighed. She should have known this was a mistake.

Watching Buffy skate across the ice, gliding over the shimmering surface like a creature out of myth, it was almost more than she could bare. Buffy was so serenely beautiful it tore Angela's dead heart in two. Knowing that this beauty, this wonderful girl, could never be for him ... her ... whatever.

A mistake, yes. Yet somehow she was never able to keep herself from making these mistakes when it came to Buffy. Why was this happening to her?

The plan had been to make Buffy relax. Things had been so tense for the young Slayer as of late. Spike, her mother, school, training, Angela had seen how Buffy had been worn away by her many matters. So much responsibility heaped upon the shoulders of one so young. She needed this chance to just shut out the world and enjoy herself for once.

It was working, too. Angela could see the happy, relaxed smile on Buffy's face as she glided across the ice, all thoughts of Slaying, school, and training far from her mind for the moment. Angela, though, was feeling anything but relaxed. Seeing that smile on Buffy's face ... she needed something to distract herself or surely she would go mad.

Busily checking the empty stadium around her for ... well, anything, she tried to get her thoughts back under control. She was here on a mission. Her job was to protect the Slayer. That Slayer had somehow gotten it into her head that the two of them should be friends and Angela had been helpless to stop it. That was all, though. There wasn't, couldn't, and mustn't be anything more between them.

'Why not?' A voice inside her seemed to whisper.

A movement caught Angela's eyes, distracting her from her own thoughts. Was there someone moving through the rafters of the stadium? She was sure she had seen ...

A small outcry by Buffy made Angela's gaze return to the Slayer, just in time to see her lose her balance and land with her behind on the cold ice. Angela couldn't help a smile at Buffy's pouting expression as she tried to struggle back to her feet.

The smile disappeared when a huge figure suddenly rose up behind Buffy, one giant arm wrapping around the girl's throat and pulling her to her feet and across the barricade. Angela started running immediately, taking a shortcut across the ice. Superior reflexes allowed her to keep her balance as she closed in on the battle.

The huge man had Buffy draped over a table and was choking the life right out of here, Angela could see Buffy's eyes roll back. Finally closing the distance she threw herself into the much larger man with a growl, managing to dislodge his hands as they both tumbled across the floor.

"Get away from her!" Angela screamed, vamping out in anger, and threw two punches at her opponent. Only to see that they seemed to do no damage at all.

His return blow did. Stars exploded before Angela's eyes as she was thrown backwards, crashing into another table. Before she could even think of struggling back to her feet her opponent was there, dragging her upwards, throwing her into the nearest wall.

Angela, her vision blurry, wasted no thoughts on fair fighting and kicked him between the legs with all the force she could muster. The man inside her winced as her opponent let go of her, folding in upon himself. She knew only too well how much that had to hurt. Catching her breath, metaphorically speaking, she kicked him again, hoping to get him down for good.

He didn't go down. Straightening up much faster than she would have believed possible he blocked her next kick and backhanded her with enough force to throw her back into the wall, her head making hard contact with the cement. She managed to bring her legs up when he advanced again, shoving him away from her.

Right toward Buffy, who spun around and delivered a roundhouse kick at the attacker's throat. The ice skate she still had on her feet sliced clean through his neck, almost taking the head off. The big man made a few stumbling steps out on the ice, clutching his throat, then collapsed.

"Gross!" Buffy complained, rubbing her throat.

"You okay?" Angela asked, pushing away from the wall.

"Fine. Might have some bruises tomorrow. What about you? This getting beaten up in order to save me is getting to be a habit."

Angela could hear the concern underlying her quip tone. The thought that anyone could actually care for something like her was still so new, so strange, that she didn't know how to handle it.

Instead she concentrated on their attacker. He was not a Vampire, that much she was sure of, nor any other kind of demon she was familiar with. Then she saw the ring he wore on his hand and her blood ran cold.

"You're bleeding!" Buffy said suddenly, all humor fading from her voice.

Only now did Angela notice that blood was flowing down her face. Her fingers found a cut on her forehead, probably from that vicious backhand blow. She also became aware that she was still in full Vampire face.

"It's nothing." She said, turning away. "It will be all healed up by morning. We have more important things to worry about."

"Just let me check!" Buffy insisted, taking off her gloves. "I want to make sure it's nothing serious."

She reached out with her hands, but Angela flinched away. Buffy realized that it wasn't because of the wound.

"Look at me!" Buffy demanded.

Angela tried to return her face to its human features, but the heat of battle still flowed through her veins, the demon still too excited to go back to sleep. Buffy's fingers touched her face and Angela found she didn't have the strength to prevent the girl from turning her face back toward her.

"I don't want ... don't want you to see me this way!" Angela managed.

"You're my friend, Angela!" Buffy reminded her as she checked the cut above Angela's eye. "I don't care what your face looks like."

Feeling her fingers trail along the ridges on her forehead, the heat of her skin so close, Angela had to fight to keep absolutely still. So close, she could clearly smell Buffy's scent, could hear the thundering of the pulse right beneath that silken skin. Instincts inside her cried out, told her to feed, to fuck, to take what she wanted.

Never! She vowed. Not Buffy!

Buffy checked the wound and found that it was harmless, was hardly bleeding anymore even. She also noticed the way Angela held herself. Rigid, still, yet with an underlying tension that screamed of an inner battle. Buffy had gotten quite good at reading her friend's body language and she knew that something was deeply troubling the dark-haired Vampire.

Was it the face? Was she really so ashamed of her own nature that she couldn't bare to have Buffy touch her demon face?

Or was it something else maybe?

Neither Vampire nor Slayer noticed the person watching them from up in the rafters.

--

Part 4

--

The Order of Taraka.

Angela had paled the moment she had seen the ring Buffy's mysterious attacker had worn, which was quite a trick for a 250 year old Vampire. She had refused to say anything, wanting Giles to take a look at it first, just to be sure.

Buffy's Watcher had paled as well.

The Order of Taraka. A group of bounty hunters. Humans and demons both, not one of them like the other. Each worked alone, each in their different way. Their only interest was in the collection of the bounty. The bounty that, apparently, had been put on Buffy's head.

Someone wanted her dead and was willing to dish out lots of money to see it done. Buffy and Angela had defeated the first of the bounty hunters, but Giles said they would just keep coming. There were a lot of them, no telling who they were, and they would continue to try and kill her as long as the money was out there.

Buffy didn't think she'd ever been so scared before.

Vampires trying to kill her because she was the Slayer, that was nothing new. She was almost used to that by now. But with these bounty hunters it was something else. It was in no way personal for them, just a job they had to do. Buffy imagined one of them, making small check marks on his daily to-do list.

Collect laundry from dry cleaner. Check.

Grocery shopping. Check.

Kill Buffy Summers.

Somehow this impersonal thing made it a lot worse. It shouldn't, really. Shouldn't someone wanting to kill her because he hated her be the worse thing?

Giles had told Buffy to go home. To be more precise he had told her to find a safe place and stay there. Yet how could her home be a safe place? She wasn't sure if they knew her full name or address, but certainly that wasn't so hard to find out. This was, after all, a pretty small town.

Thanking God that her mother was away in Los Angeles Buffy turned away from her house, trying to think of a place where she could stay for the night.

Hide. Why didn't she say it? She was looking for a place to hide. She, the big heap Vampire Slayer, was looking for a bed to crawl under until the bad men went away. A flush of humiliation crept up her cheeks. She shouldn't feel this vulnerable. She was the Slayer. She was strong. It changed nothing, though.

Giles, Jenny, Angela, they would try and find out who had offered up the money. Odds were it was Spike, but they had to be certain. The bounty hunters would only stop coming if the money went away. That was the one good thing about this. They wanted her dead for a very simple reason and once that reason no longer existed, they would go away.

Somehow that didn't make it any better.

Buffy thought about Willow or Xander's home, but how could she endanger her friends? If someone really wanted to find out, then the identity of her two best friends wouldn't stay secret for long. No, she couldn't do that. Same with Giles.

It came down to one person. Again. A part of Buffy felt incredibly guilty for wanting to burden Angela. Hadn't the dark-haired Vampire suffered enough on her behalf already? Buffy had lost count of the number of times Angela had gotten hurt in saving her life. The Three, Darla, Spike on Halloween, the first Taraka bounty hunter, the list went on and on.

Still, she was the only one. And Buffy was too scared and tired to do the noble thing.

Some time later she arrived in front of Angela's apartment door and knocked softly, trying to find the right words to say. Come to think of it, she probably wouldn't need any. Angela knew what the Order of Taraka was. And she knew Buffy pretty well by now, though the opposite wasn't really true. When she saw her standing outside her door, Angela would probably know all she needed to know.

No one opened the door. Buffy shook her head, berating herself. It was still night. Someone who was forcibly confined to the inside during the whole day would probably spend every second of night outside. Buffy swore under her breath.

Following an impulse she tried the doorknob and found it yielding. The door swung open on well-oiled hinges and offered Buffy the first real look of Angela's apartment. The few times she had been here before it had only been to get Angela for their latest patrol or some of the social stuff the Slayer forcibly subjected the Vampire to.

Slowly Buffy walked inside, her respect for her mysterious friend's privacy warring with her curiosity and the burning need to just get inside, away from whatever prying eyes might be watching her in the night.

Not much in the way of windows. That was one of Buffy's first thoughts, though it shouldn't have been much of a surprise. First off this was a cellar apartment. The few windows that did exist were set high up the walls and heavily shuttered. Vampires weren't big on daylight after all.

No mirrors, either. Again, should have been obvious. What use where they to someone who would never see herself in them? Buffy wondered what it was like not to have a reflection. Angela never wore makeup or the likes. Was that because of the simple enviable fact that she really didn't need it or just because it was too much of a bother to put on without a reflection?

Thought upon thought assaulted Buffy's mind as she looked around her friend's apartment, thoughts of what her life had to be like. She didn't open the refrigerator in the kitchen, guessing that it contained little but bags of pig's blood. The kitchen itself looked new and sparkly. Never been used.

There were but a few scattered personal items, yet they did give the place a sense of identity. Some paintings that looked quite old and valuable. A statue in a viewing case. Almost everything had a sense of age about it, driving home the fact that this place belonged to someone who had lived in three different centuries and was about to enter her fourth one.

The closet stood open and Buffy saw the almost uniformly black wardrobe the Vampire preferred. A few scattered dots of color were in there. The white outfit she had worn on Halloween. The few non-black shirts Angela possessed. Red and white. Buffy wondered how Angela would look in a blue dress or a jeans. Or maybe one of Willow's fluffy pink sweaters.

Seeing the bed tucked away behind a set of curtains in the corner made Buffy remember how bone-tired she was. She hadn't slept much these last few weeks. Lots of patrols and fighting. Now this deep-set anxiety over the Taraka bounty hunters. She just wanted to close her eyes and sleep.

Without another thought she dropped down on Angela's bed, not even bothering to take off her boots. The black sheets seemed to surround her, molding themselves to her body like Angela's black coat always seemed to embrace the dark-haired Vampire. Buffy's eyes fell shut and she drifted off to sleep.

Inside the dark apartment of her friend, Buffy felt safe.

--

Part 5

--

"Hello, Willy!"

The short, sleazy man twisted around upon hearing the deceptively feminine voice calling out his name and saw a dark shape enter through the bar door. The woman approaching him did not look at all dangerous to the untrained eye, but Willy's eye was not one of those.

"A-Angela," he stuttered, "fancy meeting you here. What's up?"

The dark-haired woman walked around the room, looking at the empty bar.

"Nice place you have built here, Willy. Lots of customers?"

"You know me," he said, spreading his hands, "I don't play favorites. Anyone who wants a drink and can pay is welcome here. Neutral ground at Willy's, that's the appeal."

Angela gave him a smile that held no warmth and was almost as devastating as a blow to the head.

"Sure, Willy. Neutral, that's you. Double-dealing snitch, you mean."

"Hey, no need to get insulting." She took a step closer. "Though if you really want to ..."

"What I want is information, Willy!" She said, stepping still closer. Willy was a small man and Angela found it almost comforting that there were still people around she could tower over. Being taller gave one an edge, no matter how little it might mean in an actual combat situation.

"In-Information? I have n-none of that, I'm afraid. How about some blood, though? I have nice blood, fresh. Not human, of course, I know you're not into that stuff, but ..."

She stopped his babble by casually grabbing his head and slamming it down on the counter.

"I could use some blood actually." She said, her voice never rising. "Been a long time since I opened up a vein. I'm tempted."

She leaned down, keeping his face pressed to the counter, until she could look into his eyes.

"The Order of Taraka, Willy! Don't tell me you haven't heard of them. I really dislike people who lie to me."

He opened his mouth to utter a protest, but it only caused Angela to press down on his face even harder.

"All right! All right! I ... I heard of them. In town for some big score. Lots of cash out for your little friend's head. Yours, too."

The news that the Order of Taraka was after her as well should have unnerved Angela, but the only one she could think of was Buffy. She had stopped thinking of her own safety and comfort a century ago.

"Who's dishing out the money?" Angela said, slipping into game face as her anger grew. "Is it Spike?"

Willy considered feigning ignorance, but the sight of the Vampire face so close to his own quickly dispelled all notions of dishonesty.

"Yeah, yeah! Spike! He dished out the money. Wants you and the Slayer out of the way in the worst way, if you know what I'm saying."

Angela nodded. Spike had been the logical choice, yet it didn't really fit what she knew of the bleached Vampire. Spike liked to do his own killing, especially when it came to Slayers. She doubted he had gotten scared of Buffy or herself, so there had to be another reason why he had hired the Tarakans.

"Heard anything else?" She asked Willy. "What is Spike up to that he wants us out of the way so bad?"

"No way, Angela! Spike's gonna kill me when he learns I spilled the beans."

Angela smiled wolfishly and leaned closer to whisper into Willy's ear.

"And you think I won't?"

Before Willy could think of an answer to that question Angela suddenly found herself grabbed and flung across the room. She had a brief image of her attacker before she crashed into the wall, stars exploding before her eyes.

Instinct made her duck a kick that could have caved in her head and she rolled across the floor, back to her feet, shaking off the cobwebs. Facing her was a dark-skinned girl, no older than sixteen or seventeen judging by her looks, but with the stance of an experienced fighter.

Also with a strength that clearly told of her inhuman origins. Another Tarakan?

Without any of the witty banter Angela had almost gotten used to after sparring with Buffy so much her opponent attacked again. Angela hung back for the moment, trying to get a reading on her opponent's style. Flawless technique, yet with a stale flavor. None of the sheer energy Buffy radiated during a fight.

Thinking of the Slayer distracted Angela for half a second and it was enough for her opponent to slip a solid blow in under her cover. The kick caught Angela in the chest, sending her flying through a door and into a back room.

She flipped back to her feet and got in a blow of her own, the girl growing overconfident for a moment. The kick would have taken a normal human's head off, yet she seemed barely stunned.

"You're a tough one, aren't you?" Angela teased as they circled each other. "Back off now and I'll let you live!"

Not the most original of threats, she had to admit to herself. No doubt Buffy would have dished out a dozen puns by now, thereby distracting her opponent to the point where she could easily get rid of her. Yet even though Angelus had, of course, been a master of irony and scathing remarks, Angela doubted that she would ever pick up that particular fighting style from the Slayer.

Her opponent still didn't speak, but instead attacked again. A flurry of punches and kicks passed between them, Angela desperately trying to find an opening. The girl fought like someone had taught her to do so from the day she could walk. This would be tough.

The demon in her blood also reminded her that the sun would be up in less than half an hour.

"Let's finish this!" She growled under her breath and finally went to the offensive.

Only to realize that her opponent had been waiting for this. Grabbing her by the hem of her coat, the girl threw Angela over her in a perfect flip, causing Angela to crash into a pile of wooden cases.

"Now that was humiliating!" Angela muttered as booze from dozens of broken bottles trickled down her body. The sharp smell of alcohol almost overwhelmed her sharpened senses. She quickly struggled back to her feet, only to see that her opponent was standing a good distance away, not following up.

"You won't beat me by drowning me in booze!" Angela told the girl, trying to figure out a better angle of attack.

"I won't need to!" The girl spoke for the first time. Angela had a moment to realize that she was standing inside a partitioned part of the store room, a metal cage that held most of Willy's liquor reserves, when the girl slammed the cage door shut on her.

"No!"

Angela threw herself against the cage with all her strength, but it didn't even budge. She had to watch helplessly as the girl added a padlock to the cage door. She struck it again, but without effect once more. This thing didn't look that solid. Had Willy built it with Vampires in mind?

"This won't hold me for long!" Angela hissed at the girl.

"I suggest you hurry then!" She smiled at her. "The sun will be up soon."

Angela looked around and saw that the storeroom had a window. An east-facing window. This wasn't good.

"Meanwhile I will deal with your little blonde friend." The girl informed Angela and departed, leaving the dark-haired Vampire to strike at the cage door in impotent fury.

--

Part 6

--

Spike was fuming.

The first assassin the Order of Taraka had sent to Sunnydale was already dead. He didn't know any details, but he could guess. The Slayer and that fucked-up Vampire that hung with her. Why couldn't they just lay down and die like all the other good guys he had met this last century? The good were supposed to die young.

"Three assassins, coming for you." Dru sang from where she lay on the bed. "Off with one head, leaves but two."

"I know they killed one of them, pet!" He growled at her, irritated.

Dru pouted at his harsh tone and Spike sighed.

"I'm sorry, luv. It's just that I'm getting fed up with all this. The Slayer just won't die and that bloody poof of your Sire is nowhere to be found."

"Hide he does!" Dru giggled. "Hides were you can't see him."

"Do you see him, Dru?" Spike asked, hoping against hope that her mad ramblings would make sense for a change.

She just giggled again, though, her small hands playing with the Tarot cards spread out before her. Three of them showed the Tarakan assassins, that much Spike had figured out. She had turned one card over before he had even been informed of the assassin's death.

One card she had clutched in her hand showed the picture of an angel.

"Spike!"

He looked up to see Lenny, one his minions, walk into the room. The burly Vampire looked out of breath, or maybe just flustered.

"What is it?" Spike asked, annoyed.

"You ... you know how you had us looking for Drusilla's Sire and all, this Angelus fella?"

"No, Lenny! It completely slipped my mind that I have applied every resource I have to finding the bloody poof."

Lenny took a few steps back. Spike wasn't at his most amiable when he started being sarcastic.

"Well, it's just ... one of the boys, he ... he spoke to some of the local demons and one of them told him that, a week or so ago that guy was spying on the Slayer and that, that Vampire that follows her around. He overheard them talking and ..."

"What?" Spike was staring to lose his patience and it showed.

"Well, George says that this Vampire chick, Angela is her name, he said that she told the Slayer that she was the one to sire Drusilla."

Spike just looked at Lenny for a long moment, his face completely neutral.

"She said what?" He asked after a minute, still looking completely calm.

"She said ..."

"The nerve of some people!" Spike thundered, grabbing Lenny and throwing him across the room. "What's that bloody bitch's problem anyway? She runs around with the Slayer, helps kill her own kind. Isn't that enough, I ask you?

"No, she bloody well has to run around and boast of other people's accomplishments. Next she's gonna tell people that she killed that idiot Slayer in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. And maybe it was also her that did in the one in New York, you think?"

He growled and smashed a table that was unlucky enough to stand close to him.

"Angela!" He spat. "The bitch calls herself Angela? Angelus'll be spinning in his dirty grave. If he's dead, that is. Which he isn't! He mustn't!"

Spike tried to calm down, but having little luck doing it. This cuddly Vampire ran around and pretended to be Angelus, did she? Telling people that she sired Dru, taking credit for the only worthwhile thing the bloody poof had ever done in his entire stinking life.

"Oh, I hope the Tarakans rip her limb from limb before they dust her!" He growled. "No, scratch that! I will do it myself. I will rip out every hair on the bitch's head, then I will cut off her bloody breasts and stuff them into her lying mouth, then I'll ..."

Spike suddenly trailed off as his eyes fell on Drusilla, who had been watching his temper tantrum from where she sat on the bed. Her dark eyes were almost glowing and her lips had spread into a wide smile.

He remembered her strange reaction when he had asked her whether she knew where Angelus was. She had laughed and said that, no, she didn't know where HE was. A strange emphasis on the 'he' that Spike had paid little attention to at first, writing it off to Dru's unstable nature.

He also remembered how, a century ago, he and Dru had met with Darla. Remembered how Darla had ordered them to help her tear up a Gypsy camp in Romania. Angelus had disappeared a few days earlier and Darla had muttered some strange stuff about a curse and how Angelus was lost to them.

Gypsies were strong in the dark arts, he knew that. Was it possible ... could it be ...?

He quickly walked across the room to the bed and grabbed Dru by the shoulders, glaring intensely into her eyes.

"Drusilla!" He growled at her. "What do you know about this? This Angela? Is she ...?"

Drusilla smiled serenely.

"Daddy wears all-new clothing now." She whispered, hushing as if to keep a big secret. "They punished him for being so mean to their girlies. Those lovely girlies that he tore apart with his teeth, teeth, teeth!"

She playfully bit at him, but Spike was all out of patience.

"What did they do to him, Dru? Where is Angelus now?"

She threw her head from side to side, her dark hair flying about, some strands striking his face as she moved.

"Made him new, made him new!" She sang. "Gave him a soul, so he's good now, good, good, good! Made him so he's no longer he, but a lovely, lovely she."

Spike threw his head back and growled deep in his throat. So it was really true. Angelus, the Vampire who was his Sire in every way that mattered, was here. Had been here all the time, right under Spike's nose.

A woman. Spike couldn't help but chuckle. A chuckle that soon grew into an all-out laugh as he rolled that thought around in his head. A woman. The great and powerful Angelus, a woman. It was almost too good to be true.

A woman who was helping the Slayer. Who had prevented him from killing that girl. The laughter died in his throat, to be replaced by a cruel smile. What a wonderful, wonderful opportunity for him. He clearly remembered everything he'd had to endure at Angelus' hands when he had been a mere newborn. How the older Vampire had used him time and again.

"This is perfect!" He whispered to himself.

Turning around, he found Lenny still there, his back pressed against the wall, demon eyes watching him like a scared kitten.

"Lenny, tell the Tarakans that the bounty for the female Vampire is off!"

"They won't like that!" Lenny said, not relishing the idea of going anywhere close to the bounty hunters, especially with news like this.

"I don't care. Tell them that they'll get it on top of what I put out for the girl. Tell them to concentrate on the Slayer and leave the Vampire to me! And find her for me, Lenny! I want her here, alive!"

The Vampire nodded and hastily got out of the room, leaving a smiling Spike behind.

Angelus was a woman now. This was too good to be true. He walked toward Drusilla and slouched down on the bed beside her, softly stroking her face.

"Soon you will be healthy again, pet!" He whispered to her. "And we will have lots of fun with your all new and improved daddy."

"He's mummy now!" Dru giggled. "But only in flesh. Still a man inside. A man who wants what a man wants."

"He will get some, my love!" Spike promised her. "Oh yes, he will get some."

--

Part 7

--

"You are who?" Buffy asked, sure that she had heard incorrectly.

"I am Kendra. The Vampire Slayer."

Buffy faced her opponent in the middle of Angela's wrecked apartment, using the brief respite in their furious battle to catch her breath and go over the events of the last five minutes.

She had slept. Slept in Angela's bed, slept better and longer than she had in a long time. In the dark apartment of her mysterious friend she had felt safe, safe from the assassins that were trying to kill her for nothing but a large sum of cash.

Only that safety had turned out to be an illusion. Some instinct had snapped her out of her sleep, just in time to avoid having her head removed by a steel blade. Fighting instincts had taken over before her mind had come fully awake, making her strike back at her silent attacker but moments later.

It was a girl, no older than she herself was. Larger, more muscled, and fighting like she had done nothing but since the day she'd been born. Methodical, like a machine, relentless. Buffy had found herself on the defensive at the start, her body still sluggish from the long sleep.

When she had finally started fighting back it had quickly wrecked Angela's apartment, destroying what was probably a priceless statue and several paintings, as well as what little furniture Angela had. The two girls had found each other pretty evenly matched, causing a brief respite in the battle.

Enough time for her attacker to lay this bombshell on her.

"You are the Slayer?" Buffy asked to clarify.

"Yes!" The other girl answered, her heavy accent a worse thing to hear than Giles' British brogue or the occasional lapse into Gaelic Angela suffered from.

"Bad cover story, honey. Maybe you shouldn't have tried to take the name of someone whom you were going after."

Kendra just stared at her, no understanding in her eyes.

"I am the Slayer!" Buffy clarified. "One girl in all the world, blah blah blah. So that leaves you out in the cold, sister! You're not the Slayer."

"I am the Slayer!" Kendra just replied. "I don't know what you hope to accomplish by this insane babbling, but it will avail you nothing."

The air between them sizzled with tension, both of them looking for any kind of weakness in the other, yet finding no opening. Buffy went through the previous minutes of the fight in her head, trying to place Kendra's familiar fighting style.

Giles. Giles had taught her to fight just like that. Of course most of her training had come on the job, seeing as she had known nothing about Slayers or Vampires before she had been called, but Giles, and Merrick before him, had done their best to give her at least the basics of a formal fighting style.

Kendra had the whole package.

"Maybe there is something we've not been told." Buffy said. "I tell you what. We'll call a truce and visit my Watcher. Maybe he can figure all this out."

"Your Watcher?" Kendra asked.

"I told you, I'm the Slayer. I have a Watcher. Are you telling me you don't?"

"Of course I have. I am the Slayer."

Buffy sighed. "Okay, then how about we visit mine and try to figure out what this is all about."

Kendra considered her words for a good long while, then dropped her fighting stance.

"I accept your truce. For now."

The two girls walked side by side, neither taking her eyes away from the other, making their way out of the wrecked apartment.

--

"This is truly amazing." Giles said for what had to be the thousandth time. "Two Slayers at the same time. I don't believe this has ever happened before."

Buffy shook her head. She didn't like to think about what Giles thought to be the cause for Kendra's presence. Her death. The Master had killed her, it had been but a few short months since that. She was back, better than ever, but it didn't change the fact that, for those few short minutes, she had been dead.

Drowning in darkness. Nothingness. Dead.

Long enough to cause another Slayer to be called in her stead.

"Okay, so you are both the Slayer then?" Willow asked. "Cool. Two Slayers. But, hey, why did you attack Buffy, Kendra?"

The other Slayer, a strange thought in itself, had her arms crossed in front of her chest, that haughty, detached expression still on her face.

"I thought she was a Vampire."

No further explanation was forthcoming and Buffy gave her rival a condensing smile.

"Good thinking, Sherlock. Makes we wonder if I truly missed anything by not getting the whole raised-to-be-the-Slayer thing."

"I had ample cause to think so." Kendra said, sounding just a bit offended. "I saw you socializing with a Vampire."

"Buffy?" Willow asked. "No, Buffy would never socialize with a Vampire. Though I'm not exactly sure what you mean by socializing. But Buffy would never do such a ... oh, you mean Angela?"

Kendra looked confused again.

"Angela," Buffy explained, "dark-haired, likes to wear black. Is that who you saw me with? Okay, granted, she is a Vampire, but not the average kind. Just believe me when I say she's on our side, okay?."

"Is she?" Kendra asked, cocking her head to one side. "It didn't seem that way to me when I ..."

Kendra's voice trailed off when she saw Buffy stiffen and pale. The blonde Slayer turned toward her with a look in her eyes that managed to penetrate all the way to Kendra's soul.

"When you did what?" Buffy asked through clenched teeth.

"My duty!" Kendra said, not understanding what Buffy was so upset about. They were talking about a Vampire after ...

Without warning she found herself pushed into the wall by the smaller girl, who was snarling in her face with enough rage to set the building ablaze. Buffy felt like she would burst any second. Had her friend been harmed? Was Angela ...?

"What did you do?" Buffy growled. "Did you hurt her? Did you ...?"

Kendra did not know why the other Slayer behaved that way, but some part of her recognized the deep concern in her opposite.

It was just too strange to think that this concern should be for a Vampire. One who was probably ashes by now.

--

Part 8

--

The heat wasn't the worst part.

The stuffy backroom of the bar was hotter than an oven by now, the sun shining in through the window heating up the bare walls until the air seemed to shimmer. Angela's hair was plastered to her face in wet strands, but she didn't have the strength to push it away.

It wasn't the heat that was killing her. It was the light.

She had spent her strength trying to break the deceptively fragile-looking cage door, but it refused to budge. By now she was convinced that Willy had built this thing for more than keeping his liquor reserves safe, but it didn't really make a difference now. She wasn't going anywhere.

The light was slowly coming toward her, taking its sweet time.

It had started making its advance on her in the far corner of her limited space, slowly creeping down the walls as the day drew on, touching the floor and coming toward her. A steady, unrelenting march toward the other corner of the cage, where a sweat-drenched Vampire covered in the few remaining shadows.

Angela had stopped her unnecessary habit of breathing, the air around her was too stuffy for it to offer any comfort at all. She sat huddled, her black coat lying around her like a heating blanket. Most humans thought Vampires didn't sweat, but that wasn't exactly the truth. It just took a lot to really heat up their bodies, seeing as their hearts didn't beat and most other major organs simply stood still as well. Also their bodies contained so little in the way of liquids that there wasn't much to sweat with.

Angela was sure she didn't have a drop of sweat left by now.

Every now and then she growled under her breath, the demon inside her reminding her that she hadn't fed it in a good long while now. She really should have drunken something before leaving last night, but her worry over Buffy had made her forget about unlife's small necessities.

Soon she would never need blood again.

The light was only a few feet away by now and Angela could already feel its deadly touch on her skin. Vampires were mostly asleep during the day, not only because they were active all night, but because moving around during the day was hard. Indirect sunlight, while not lethal, sapped their strength too quickly.

Only a few feet separated Angela from certain death, permanent this time, and she didn't know if she would be able to move even if the door were to suddenly open on its own. Her strength was gone, the light had ripped it out of her slowly as it marched toward her, bleeding her dry like from an open wound.

She closed her eyes for a moment and by the time she managed to open them once more the sun was a good foot closer than before. She was losing time here, blacking out from the proximity of the light. Blacking out, she laughed, though it came out as a dry coughing. What a play with words, seeing as she was about to be swallowed by the light.

She stared at the patch of rough concrete floor just next to her, where the light was moving toward her. She was able to see it move if she stared at the same spot long enough. See it move steadily forward, the very rotation of the planet bringing her closer to her doom with every passing second.

What would be more fitting, she wondered. To remain here, huddled in the last scrapes of shadow like a scared animal, and wait for the light to come toward her? Or to go and meet it on her feet, looking at the sun for the first time in 250 years with her head held high, greeting it for the last time.

The decision was made for her, as she found that her legs simply refused to move from where she had drawn them against her chest. There was no strength left in them.

"This is it then, Angelus!" She whispered to the demon inside of her. Or maybe to herself. She wasn't sure where the distinction lay between the two, or if there really was one. "I guess you will meet your end in the backroom of a dirty bar. Fitting, really. You were born behind a bar as well, weren't you?"

She giggled, imagining what Dru would think now. Dear daddy, or mommy, was stealing her act, talking madly to herself. Maybe the mad Vampire had foreseen this. That was why Angelus had taken a liking to her, after all. Dru was able to see the future. She had seen through her female guise in a moment and saw all too clearly that which still lay beneath.

Had seen the male hunger for the Slayer's sweet body, her beautiful flesh. More than that, the longing for the light and happiness she represented even as she stalked through her dark world. The light was just beside Angela now and she imagined seeing Buffy's smile somewhere in that beautifully lethal glare.

"Can I touch you?" Angela asked, not really sure whom. Slowly one of her hands came up, shaking from exhaustion, reaching out to touch the light.

The cage door clanked open suddenly, a dark shadow falling across the sunlit floor. Soothing darkness fell on Angela as someone stood between her and the light, keeping the lethal lover away from her.

Hands, warm hands. They grabbed her under her arms, dragging her out of the corner she had huddled in and along the floor. Angela could feel the thunder of a pulse beneath the skin of those hands, the beautiful sound of blood rushing from cell to cell. A growl escaped her throat, but the demon had no strength left to go after this wonderful temptation. So she hung limb as the warm hands dragged her away from the light and into the shadows.

Some indefinite amount of time passed until her eyes adjusted to the dimness, allowing her to make out her savior.

Willy? Willy had saved her? He was the last person she would have expected to do that, or at least he was pretty far down the list. Why had he saved her? She didn't understand it.

The sleazy barkeeper let her fall to the ground none too gently as he reached another backroom of the bar, this one blissfully devoid of windows. The cool shadows seemed to wrap themselves around her like healing hands, a gentle lover nursing her slowly back to health. She'd need but a few minutes, no more than half an hour at the most, and she would surely recover enough of her strength to get out of here.

Willy didn't give her that time. From where he had dropped her she saw him wrenching open a trapdoor in the floor, the unmistakable odor of sewer coming from it. Figured that Willy would have a direct entrance to the underworld, seeing as a lot of his most loyal patrons lived down there.

He came over and grabbed her again, awkwardly maneuvering her toward the hole in the ground and unceremoniously dropping her into it. Angela fell like a boneless puppet, not even able to break her fall in any way. She ended up on her back, lying in shallow sewer water, its comfortable coldness soaking her clothes.

For a moment she considered the possibility that Willy was actually trying to help her. Maybe bring her back to her apartment, or at least far enough away from the sun and whatever creatures might be looking for her to keep her from harm.

This illusion didn't last long.

"Here she is, just like you wanted." Willy told someone standing nearby, a figure separating from the surrounding shadows. "Where's my money?"

Spike grinned at the fallen Vampire, dumping a bundle of crumpled dollar notes into Willy's hand. "If anyone learns I got her, you die. Got it?"

"Sure!" Willy said, quickly gathering up the few bills he hadn't been able to catch. "My mouth is sealed."

Spike stalked toward Angela, looking down at her. 250 years of practicing a poker face allowed Angela to keep any betraying signs from her face, but she knew that look on the bleached Vampire's face too well not to feel fear.

"I'm so glad Willy gave me a call regarding your unfortunate situation." Spike said, kneeling down beside her. "I don't think he would have risked getting you out of there if I hadn't offered the money."

He snapped his fingers and two Vampires emerged from the shadows, quickly hauling Angela up by grabbing an arm each. She didn't try fighting them. No sense wasting what little strength she had left in a futile attempt to escape now. There might come a better chance later, unless Spike planned to dust her right here and now.

"It cost me some, I admit," Spike continued, "but I guess it's worth the money."

His hand shot out to grab Angela by the hair, wrenching her head up until they were face to face.

"After all, it's not every day that a lowly Vampire like myself has the opportunity to save the life of his long-lost Sire."

He knew!

That was Angela's last thought before the world around her drowned in darkness.

--

Part 9

--

Buffy burst past Kendra into the sunlit backroom and looked around for any sign of her friend.

Or her remains.

"I still don't understand you." Kendra said, leaning against the door frame. "She is just a Vampire."

"And I keep telling you that I don't care about your understanding. If anything happened to Angela, your ass is mine!"

The second Slayer just shook her head, still confused, while Buffy scanned the caged-off area for any signs of ... of anything. Angela was no longer here, that much was immediately apparent. Also apparent was the fact that the entire room was filled with sunlight.

"Angela?" She called out, no matter how futile it was.

"She did not die here." Kendra said, sounding annoyed. "There is no ash on the floor and the cage door was open. It looks like your demon friend escaped."

Buffy glared at Kendra's tone, but her heart rang out in joy when she realized the other Slayer was correct. No ashes, the cage open. Angela had gotten away. She should have expected nothing less, of course. Angela had survived for over 250 years even without a young girl coming to her rescue.

"Okay, so I guess I won't have to kill you." Buffy said, growling under her breath at Kendra.

The other Slayer ignored her threat. "Now that we know your Vampire is safe, can we please concentrate on the important matters? Your Watcher said that this Spike plans to work some kind of magic with this book he stole."

"I can handle Spike!" Buffy spat at Kendra. "Right now I have to make sure that Angela got away okay."

"Our duty has to come first!" Kendra spat back. "What kind of Slayer are you that you ..."

A noise behind them drew the attention of both girls, causing them to twist around. Kendra recognized the sleazy person. It was the barkeeper the Vampire had been in the process of killing when she had entered.

"Who are you?" Buffy got in the man's face, causing him to flinch back.

"Me? I'm no one, really. No one at all. Just Willy. That's me. Willy. No one."

"Your Vampire tried to kill this man." Kendra remarked, sounding superior. "But I guess since he is so good, that was a misunderstanding on my part." Her words were ignored, though.

"Where is Angela?" Buffy grabbed Willy by his shirt, none too gently pushing him into the nearest wall. "Is she all right?"

"Hey, what do you take me for?" Willy asked, sounding offended and very frightened at the same time. "You think I'd just let her burn? I'm not that kinda guy."

Buffy stared at him for a while longer, then let him go. Angela was safe, that was all that mattered for now.

"Okay." She said. "If I find out you lied to me I will break your legs, understand?"

Willy nodded, paling. Buffy turned back to Kendra.

"I guess now we can deal with Spike. Come on!"

As soon as she found a phone she would call Angela at her apartment, just to be sure.

--

Angela had lost consciousness somewhere in the sewers, passing out from exhaustion and hunger. When she woke again the first thing she noticed was that she could not move.

"I can feel my Angel." She heard a voice. A voice she knew only too well.

"About bloody time you woke up." Another familiar voice.

Before she could open her eyes she was grabbed and hoisted to her feet, where she found herself face to face with Spike. Eyes the color of summer skies bored into hers and she could almost feel the fury vibrating inside him.

Spike had little reason to like her, she remembered only too well all the things she ... Angelus had done to him, just for the fun of it. She wanted to open her mouth to speak, only to realize that she was very effectively gagged.

"Welcome back, Angelus!" He spoke her name, dripping with sarcasm. "I like the new look. It certainly is an improvement over the ugly sucker you were when last we met."

Angela tried to move, but her hands were bound together behind her back, metal cuffs cutting into her wrists. Her legs were free, but she was barely able to stand, let alone fight someone like Spike without the use of her arms.

She had never felt so helpless before.

"Your timing is admirable as always," Spike continued, grinning, "returning to us just when we need you most, old boy."

He turned away from her, looking at the large four-poster bed behind him. Drusilla was dressed all in white, reclining on the bed like something out of a wet dream. Angela felt the slightest stirring of the heat this beautiful girl had always caused inside her ... or him, rather.

"Dru is ill." Spike said, all humor draining from his voice. "She was almost killed by a mob in Prague. As her Sire, I'm sure you are anxious to do everything you can to make her well again."

The smile returned to his lips, sending shivers down Angela's spine.

"Don't worry. It will only cost you your life."

With that he let go, shoving her hard back to the floor. Angela crashed into a collection of cushions, dolls, and assorted junk, her head bouncing off the wall with a painful thud. She had to think of something and soon. Being at Spike's mercy was not something she cared for much.

Spike caressed Drusilla for a moment, but then his attention returned to Angela.

"I remember everything, you know? Everything that went on about a century ago. The great and powerful Angelus, what a hero. You are my role-model, you know?"

He knelt down in front of her, one hand sliding sensuously up her thigh. For the first time Angela was thankful for the gag, for it kept her from gasping. She had been prepared for torture, but ... he couldn't truly be planning ... no, Spike couldn't ...

"I especially admired your way with the girls." Spike said, leaning closer. Angela shrank back from him, from where his hand traveled further up her body. He reached her waistline and pulled her shirt out of her pants, his fingers slowly sliding beneath it.

"I loved how you made them scream."

Angela bit down on the gag, hard, as cold fingers reached the underside of her breast. He couldn't do this! Not to her! She wasn't a woman, she was a man! She was Angelus, one of the most powerful Vampires in the world! Spike couldn't do this!

Drusilla was smiling so broadly it threatened to split her face in two.

"Wanna see how good a student I was, Peaches?" Spike's free hand went to his zipper.

Somewhere, Angela was sure, the Gypsies were laughing in delight.

TO BE CONTINUED