Disclaimers: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I make no money from this story.
The Angel's Heir
"Well I was born an original sinner.
I was borne from original sin.
And if I had a dollar bill
For all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money
Piled up to my chin"
-Eurythmics, "Missionary Man"
Los Angeles, 1972.
It was ironic, really. She'd spent eight years cooped up underground with her dear old daddy sire, plotting and planning, and when he finally sent her to pick up Luke at the LA harbor, some hunters spotted her.
The ship Luke had been on was delayed. Most likely the dumb bastard had started draining everyone on board, doing the Spirit of Whitby thing like so many others, not that it mattered. All she knew was, the damn boat was late, Luke was a no-show, and about ten or twelve really pissed off vampire hunters were chasing her through Battery Park in pickup trucks.
She really needed to get with the modern times herself. Maybe buy a gun? Or just take one after eating the gunstore clerk. Whatever. A vampire who didn't go for the fancy-shmancy martial arts or swordplay? It'd shock the hell out of any Slayer looking to pummel her. Right before she killed them.
But that was kind of moot if she couldn't get away from these locals with crosses, stakes and crossbows, not to mention the army surplus flamethrowers and holy water squirt bottles.
She cowered in a storm drain in one of the many concrete rivers they had in the town. They'd set one of those moving picture deals in here. She'd watched it the night after she came back to America, giggling at the silly premise while snacking on the popcorn girl. The one with the huge ants that reminded her of P!'Strxn demons. What did they call these things, aqueducts? Made for good hiding places for demons and girls like her. Nothing like the real deal in Italy, of course. Those things had lasted a thousand years. These would probably be overgrown in a century.
Damn it! How the hell did they know?
...no, wait, that was on Luke's oversized head again. Eat a whole cargo ship full of people and you sure as hell caught the eyes and ears of hunters. All they had to do was find out where the ship was gonna dock, and stake it out. No pun intended. And there she had shown up, bold as brass in her lovely winter coat in sweltering summer LA, and every single hunter on the docks must have gone 'Bingo!'...
But it was such a nice coat! The shop girl she ate when she grabbed it had been sweet, the coat itself had served her well. Breakfast at Tiffany's indeed. Though it had been the girl who was named Tiffany, not the shop. Man, the things you reminisced about when running for your unlife.
"Got her! She's in the tunnels!"
She looked around. Great hiding places. Not so good for running through. Especially since she was pretty sure at least half the demons that lived down here hated vampires. Question was, would she risk it? Possible death through pissed off slime demons or way worse, or certain death by fire and stake and...
She turned and ran into the tunnels.
Ten minutes later, she was really regretting it. She wasn't sure what kind of demon this was, but he was big and fast and not very fond of her. The horns and spikes on the shoulders suggested...what? Built for close quarters.
"Okay, clearly we got off on the wrong foot here, but I mean it, I just want to go by, nothing else. I could bring you food?"
The demon snarled. "Haaalf-breeeeeeed..."
Oh, great. One of those purity nuts. "Sure. Okay. And this half-breed just wanna be out of your hair. Horns. Look, there are hunters after me, and I just wanna outrun them. Is there anything or anyone I can bring you to make you happy? Money? A baby? Kittens?"
"Yooouuu caaaan dieeeeee..."
She dodged the first swipe, and the second. The third, barely, but the long spikes on the sides of his arms suddenly elongated by at least six inches and ripped open her blouse and gut in passing. Cursing, she leaped back, trying to get away. Okay, not so good a plan after all. He made another pass, and her coat was torn neatly in half, followed by stinging pain in her back. She hissed out a curse as she finally managed to escape out into the side tunnel, and was running again.
She had liked that coat.
By the time she saw the cold blue light of night again, her back was on fire and the cut on her abdomen was ice. Poison. The damn thing had poison spikes! Now she really had to rag William about his name choice. Possibly not. Dru was scaring even her these days. Make fun of Spike in front of his lady love and face the possibility of waking up under Drusilla's tender mercies.
She shivered. Not because of the imagery, but because of the poison churning its way slowly through her blood.
Vampires had circulation. They had to, to get the blood they drank out into their system. They didn't need to breathe so the lungs kind of atrophied after a short while, sure, they could talk and smoke and yell because the damage it did healed near instantly, but anything more advanced than that was a no-go. There was this one guy in the '30s, in Paris. Black guy, turned on leave during the Great War. Trumpet player. He'd cursed a storm about not being able to play any more, first time he tried to toot that horn after being turned, his lungs burst and left him wheezing for weeks. What was his name again, Trap? Trudy? Something starting with 'Tr'.
Unfortunately, circulation meant some poisons actually worked. Sedatives. Drugs. Poisons. This one felt...bad.
She looked down at her belly. Aw, hell. The edges of the cut were smoldering, blackened and growing ever so slowly. And she was definitely-
Whoo. Woozy. She had to...uh, she had to...something. Couldn't remember what. Run? Yes, running would be good.
Something stung her shoulder, and she glanced down at it. Oh, just a crossbow bolt. Nothing to worry about. Half a foot to the left and down, sure, she'd be dust, but in the shoulder? Pssht.
...oh, wait, there was a thin metal wire attached to it?
Roughly thirty thousand volts of current sent her into spasms, dropping her to the ground. And then they reeled her in. Like a fish.
Damn these modern times. One of them raised his crossbow again, reloaded with a wooden bolt this time, but it wasn't him she was worried about, it was the guy next to him with the flamethrower, and then there was fire and smoke and the stink of napalm and she screamed, she screamed because she hated pain, she'd let Heinrich turn her in the first place because she hated it, and then everything was nothing.
And the heavens shook.
1978. Wolfram & Hart, Los Angeles Branch.
"...and we bring our attention to local matters. The Exnargh clan has broken the truce with the House of Needles, Currie, that's your case. Deal with it. But the House of Needles is an important part of the firm's clientele, so try to use subtlety this time."
"Manners! Boy of the hour. I have a fun one for you, resurrection deal. Client is anonymous, which means high on the ladder. Needs to bring back a dusted vampire, use her as leverage."
"Sir? You can't resurrect a vampire, I mean, it's possible if it's a really old master, but-"
"Client specified alive, not undead. So just drag the soul back. The disorientation and pain from the demon memories should make her pliable to convincing, don't you think? Handle it. Now, anyone want to check on why William the Bloody was spotted in New York?"
"Sir, I investigated that already, turns out there's a Slayer there. Looks like he's going for another one."
"...interesting. Well, keep an eye on him."
"Now, if there's no further business, I call this meeting adjourned."
There was pain. Light, then pain. She had been...happy? Content. Blissful. And then there had been cold, hard stone floor beneath her and men in robes and a man in a suit and oh God she had killed all those people, she had murdered so many people and they were telling her she was special, so very special, and she couldn't, couldn't see, couldn't feel because the pain was everywhere and she had to be dead and in Hell, this had to be Hell, she had been in Heaven and now...
...and she deserved it, didn't she?
The young man smiled at her. "Please, relax. We just want to keep you safe. My name is Holland. Holland Manners. Would you like some clothes?"
Dorothea 'Darla' Carruthers, whore, demon concubine, monster, was alive again. With all the consequences of such a thing.
After a few weeks, they let her go. Set her free. Every now and then she had to call Holland, but for the most part she just had to travel to various major cities and walk around in the daytime and some nights, and she got paid a hefty sum to live on.
It went on like that for some time, right up until the shakes and the pissing blood began. She remembered that. She remembered the fever and the pain and the craziness, and the hideous face leaning over her and asking if she wanted to be taken away from all that disease and pain. She just hadn't expected to experience it again.
That was when she realized the people who brought her back to life were evil. Because she called Holland, and he talked a lot, and she knew that tone of voice. His utter lack of surprise hidden by fake surprise and shock.
They had known all along.
So they brought her back dying, just to...what? She knew what they were having her do. She was bait for someone. She'd acted bait for sailors looking to grab some unlucky bastard to fill out their crews more than once, had even acted bait for cutthroats in alleys. Back when she was human...the first time.
Needless to say, she was now more than a little embittered at the people who dragged her out of Heaven.
And the worst part was, the worst part...was, where did this leave her? She had been a monster for over three hundred years, then died due to a monumental fuck-up on her blood brother Luke's behalf, then brought back by what had seemed to be nice people...
...and they were far worse than she had ever been. Because at least she had been a soulless monster. These people technically still had theirs, even if they were sold.
So she wasn't the big bad. Never was. Heinrich was an amateur in comparison to these people. They manipulated entire demon clans and brought down nations, all Heinrich had to his name was a small cult of vampires and some mind control powers. Well, she had them too, though dormant. All of Nest's children had it. Dru was the only one who had ever actually used it, and Luke, even if his was just used to subconsciously weaken his prey. He acted as if his strength was purely physical, but it was a lie.
Lies. Lies, lies, lies. She was alive, and dying. Soon the really bad symptoms would rise, and she would be begging for release. She might even let someone turn her, again. Better an unlife free of disease and guilt than dying with the memories of being a beast in a pretty face. Or so she told herself. Right up until she turned a corner into an alley and found the last man she had ever expected to see.
She stared at him. Hair bedraggled, filthy. Face pale and drawn and thin. Rags for clothes. But those brown eyes, that nose, that mouth, those cheekbones...face like an-
She dragged him home. He complained, weakly, and even in his sorry state he should have been able to push her away, but he didn't. Didn't when she deliberately invited him into her apartment, didn't when he sniffed her and goggled at the scent of blood and life this gave him, didn't when she sat him down on the couch and went to bring him something to drink.
The local butcher's gave her an odd look, but she told him it was for black soup. Probably he wasn't used to customers buying pig's blood in broad daylight.
Funny how disgusting it was to see someone drink animal blood. And not for the reasons she would have thought so before. As a vampire, it would have been demeaning, acting like some common beast looking for mere sustenance. As a human, it was the very act of actually drinking blood. Screw the vampire novels and movies, blood might be life but there was nothing really sexy about the drinking thereof. Talking, reading, writing about, oh yeah. The real thing? Kind of pathetic. Like having a nose bleed and feeling it trickle down your throat when you tipped your head back. If someone thought that was hot, she pitied them.
He stared at her. Mumbled something.
He flinched. "Sorry. Forgot that you...you're human now. How is that?"
"You mean how is it, or how am I human?"
Angelus stared at her. "...both."
"Scary. Horrifying. I was catatonic for a few weeks after they brought me back, remembering all the horrors I had done. Most of it with you. As for how I'm human...not entirely sure. There was a ritual. I was dead, see. Some hunters got to me in LA. And this law firm brought me back."
She laughed at the puzzled look on his face. "Lawyers are a lot scarier than either of us ever were. At least we did things in person. These people just sign some papers and contracts, and atrocities are done."
He nodded, probably not getting it. Not with the brains, her Angelus. Not unless it came to torture and mind games. "So why are you doing this?"
She stared at him for a while, then shrugged. "Because you look as horrible as I feel."
Life with a cranky souled vampire was...weird. But fun, after a while. She cleaned him up, got him proper clothes. Told him Wolfram & Hart were as evil as they came, and probably were waiting for her to bring him to them. She wasn't going to. He offered to help her, but seeing him like this had convinced her everything would be better than being undead again.
After a few weeks, after a night out of just seeing the sights, she had kissed him. And it had felt good. And he had smiled, for the first time since she saw him again.
A few months after that, they were in bed together. It was beautiful. Precious. She was dying, but at least she would have this. Actual love. And she knew he felt it too, heard him whisper her name, felt him shudder above her as they both climaxed together, and then...
...it was her first moment of true happiness since she had been reborn.
And the next morning, he grinned evilly at her and leaned in for the bite, and she knew he was gone.
Los Angeles, December 31st, 1979.
"Enyos, he's coming!"
It had taken them months. Months of hard work and research and translating and digging up ancient crones and withered old men who still remembered the old ways, but it had paid off. The curse was ready.
Unfortunately, he knew. Somehow, the demon knew. He had killed half the American branch of the clan – and poor Janna, her entire family wiped out in a heartbeat while she was at her girl scout camp – and now he had tracked them down before the ritual was complete.
If only finding these damn orbs wasn't so difficult. Some fool occult store owner had sold it as a fortune telling device!
But they needed time. Time they barely had.
He turned to where Krista was chanting, her eyes slowly blackening from the dark magics she was channeling, she would pay for that later, he suspected. Disturbing her now was not a good thing. But there would be no later unless they could keep the demon out.
So he started to chant too.
A counter, a shielding spell. Davos outside would be dead within moments, but Krista would live long enough to finish the spell. And if Enyos received permanent damage to his internal organs due to being awful at magic, so be it. A small price to pay.
He tried not to let the screams from Davos get to him.
Or the way Angelus chopped through the door with a fire ax, grinning. "Heeeere's Johnny!"
And then dropped the ax, screaming as the curse took hold once more.
Angel found Darla in the back streets in the slummier areas of San Diego, eating a banker whom she had probably enticed in her school girl outfit. The fight was brief. She cursed his name, he told her he loved her but she had to die, and then he staked her.
And he cried bloody tears, because he knew he could never love like that again. Not unless he wanted Angelus free once more.
And in an alley not far away, a short man in the height of fashion peered at the small globe in his hand. It glowed softly. He smiled, and nodded to himself.
It was mean, to be sure. And cruel. But they needed a way to make Angel fight the good fight, and if that entailed capturing and using his unborn son's soul before it evaporated into the aether? So be it.
But he had to hide it. A soul unused, a soul unspent was a soul lost. And this was a good soul. Weak of heart but empowered and good. Almost as good as the one he was to join it with. Things had changed, and plans high above had been thwarted. It was his job to make sure they stayed thwarted. The Flower Child and her mate the Twilight One were never to walk this Earth, no matter the cost. Even if it meant doing horrible things to innocents.
Besides, this poor kid was gonna die anyway, now. He was a threat to some of the darker powers out there, and they had already marked him for infant death. Too bad for the flowery bitch that his bosses had much more important plans involving the kid. Now they could even give him an upgrade to let him play out his true role, without too much interference. Join it with the soul most important to the universe's continuance and make it stronger.
It was simple, really. An unborn soul was a blank slate. A person was not his soul, he was his memories and experiences combined with a soul. The son of Angelus and Darla was not to be used as a pawn this time. And the One Who Sees was not to be pushed aside by creatures of lesser worth this time.
Because they would be one and the same.
Two blank souls, merged into one...
Yeah, this was gonna be a good one.
Sunnydale Memorial Hospital (formerly Edna Mae Wilkins Memorial), April 10th, 1980.
The child was stillborn. There had been crying about that. How a healthy baby boy could be stillborn in this day and age, what the hell kind of hospital was this, and they should sue. Funnily enough, not too much actual grief from the husband.
And then a short guy in bad clothes had showed up, telling the doctor to look aside for a moment. Against his own will he did so, staring at the window while a flash of white light happened behind him that lit up the room, and then a baby's cries could be heard, and the strange compulsion to look away was gone. And so was the ugly man in uglier clothes.
No matter. Because a stillborn baby boy was now suddenly alive and screaming with his little face all red and angry at this world that had dragged him out of the womb.
The doctor stared at the baby, then yelled for a nurse.
Alexander Lavelle Harris was, contrary to the prognosis ten minutes ago, alive and well.