Archive for July 2018

Faking It   Leave a comment

Title: Faking it
Author: Califi
Posted: 2005
Email
Rating: N-17-ish
Category: Humour, a bit of smutty fluff
Content: C/A – duh!
Summary: Read Notes
Spoilers: BTVS post Hell. AU
Notes: “Here’s a little one for y’all…” Scorchy challenge… read bottom of fic after, cos I don’t wanna spoil it , lol.
Thanks: To Scorch for a great little standalone to help in my quest to find the ability to write again. Luff you, Mwah!
A/N: My Muse is losttt…to where, your guess is as good as mine – anyhoo, this was a quick one to attempt to get back into the saddle. Not betared, so my fault if its total crap or full of typos. Cordy didn’t fall through the stairs in this, so no rebar accident. But she did catch X/W macking, so they split up.
A/N 2:  Another of ficlet of mine that I hadn’t uploaded to my Site. (Wow! 2005! Time has flown.) Tidied it up a bit. Hope you enjoy it.
Feedback: keeps my Muse happy and creative, so yes please


~*~*~*

“So… tell me why my life just dropped to a level of suck by being made to patrol with you?” Angel tensed and unconsciously shot an offended look at the blatantly irritated brunette trotting along beside him.

“I could say the same thing,” he muttered under his breath, his hooded eyes dropping to take in the four-inch heels Cordelia was wearing. “You might wanna take those off – the ground through here is pretty-“

Angel had to stifle a grin when she suddenly tripped,  landing face first into a convenient puddle of muddy water. “Uneven,” he finished. Biting back the smile, he leaned down to wrap large hands around her ribs and lift her off the ground.

“And I think I just hit rock bottom,” Cordelia grouched. Shrugging off his hands and taking a step back, she sent him a glare that could have stripped paint off a door. But the smudges of mud clinging to her brow and cheeks ruined the effect.

Catching the slight hint of a smirk, Cordelia pffted loudly and promptly turned her back on him.  Opening her purse she reached in, rifling around until her hand reemerged with a peach-trimmed silk handkerchief and a silver compact. He hovered behind her as she attempted to remove all traces of her muddy encounter, almost tempted to suggest she just left it.  The chances were high that it’d happen again with those ridiculous shoes.

“So what were you and Buffy arguing about earlier?” Turning on her heel to confront him, she went on the offensive. Whatever the blonde had said to her vampire must have been the cause for the stormy expression on his handsome face that, up until a few seconds earlier, had replaced the blank look that usually graced his features since his return from hell.

“It must have been a doozey, cos your face actually had an expression,” she snarked, ignoring the scowl and the “Hey” that fell from suddenly pouty lips.

“I think you’d better take those shoes off.” Angel refused to respond to her question; instead crouching down to reach for the slender straps around her ankles – only to be thanked for his efforts with a swift kick to the shin.

“I can do it. Jeeze!” Cordelia glared down at him. “Not like I’m helpless or anything” she retorted, then looked around before tottering over to a small, low tombstone and sat gingerly on it.

Angel straightened up and watched as she bent forward to undo the straps of her shoes. While waiting (yet again) he thought back to that particular conversation- if you could call it that.. Showing up at the library just two days after Buffy had told him it was over for good had probably not been a sensible idea. She hadn’t been happy to see him. Instantly grabbing his sleeve and dragged him to one side away from the others.

The ‘You shouldn’t have come’ and his stoic refusal to leave caused the ‘chat’ to become more than a little heated. She’d then decided to get beyond personal with a bitchiness he’d never experienced first hand.

Okay. Maybe he shouldn’t have brought up *that* night (Pre-evil) to make a point: that Buffy had been more than happy to have him around then. Her response had been totally uncalled for. Bringing up his turning evil and being a psychotic asswipe would have been more than enough to make him back off.

Surprising even himself, instead of storming out; all leather duster swishing to show his outrage, Angel had stubbornly refused to leave. The demon the Scoobies were on the lookout for tonight was renown for its toxic blood- harmless to him, but not so much for the others. Even the Slayer.

And then it had happened. After stalking over to stand by Rupert Giles who’d began his speech on the strengths and weaknesses of said demon, Buffy chose the pairings.  And yes, guess who she chose for him? Someone else she obviously had no time for either.

Picking up the sound of a soft grunt, Angel’s gaze shot towards his patrolling partner, who was struggling with one of the straps on her shoes… then his mouth dried up on noticing her struggle had gaped the neck of the spaghetti strapped cami she wore, rewarding him with the vision of two plump golden mounds barely held in by the delicate lace demi-bra.

Dear God, that girl was built! It was no wonder his alter ego had decided to tackle her to the ground instead of Willow (who’d actually been nearer). Without permission the sensory memory of that moment hit his brain. Quickly followed by a tightening of his pants. Cordelia was just a young girl, he reminded himself. Yeah, with the curvaceous body of a beautiful woman. His palms itched with the urge invade that scrap of nothing and test their weight.

“Hey, spacey!” Angel blinked, a little startled when her voice broke into his gutter-like thoughts. He looked up to find her staring up at him with a frown.   A frown because he’d obviously missed whatever she’d been saying. Which meant she’d missed his leering gawp, for which he was thankful.

It hadn’t exactly been fun for Cordelia seeing those two little traitors tonight. But she’d dealt. Acting like they didn’t exist had really got to Xander Cheating Ratbag Harris. Good.  “I said, are you gonna tell me why you had a face like a wet weekend?”

She had no idea what Angel’s beef with the Slayer was, and a big part of her didn’t care. But the obvious discomfort on the vampire’s face definitely sparked her interest.

“Buffy told me she faked it” the words were out before his brain had a chance to change gears. His jaw clamped shut in mortification. crappityfuck!

Cordelia’s mouth gaped for a long moment before a wide grin stretched bronze-glossed full lips. Angel fidgeted uncomfortably, waiting for a caustic remark. He knew it would happen, because that was what she was good at. But the silence stretched along with his nerves as she just stood there and continued to stare.

Then she shrugged. A real casual shrug. Now that wasn’t right. Where’s Cordelia Chase and what have you done with her?

“Most girls at one time or another have faked it.” Now it was Angel’s turn to gape.

Then he folded his arms, chin angled up. “Well they haven’t faked it with me.” he retorted defensively, ego still bruised from his exe’s deliberately hurtful stab at his manliness. “Anyway, I’d know,” he added with complete conviction; narrowing his darkening eyes when a definite ‘pfft’ and unladylike snort sounded out.

“How would you know?”

“Because I’d just know.”

“Oh, right, that’s right. I forgot. You’re a man,” replied Cordelia, nodding sympathetically.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked, half curious despite himself.

She shrugged. “Nothing. It’s just that all men are sure it never happened to them and that most women at one time or another have done it so you do the math.” Heavy brows ascended at her smug reply.

“You don’t think that I could tell the difference?” Disbelief colored every word.

“Nope”

Angel took a step forward, deliberate intimidation coming to the fore, but Cordelia refused to rise from her perch on the tombstone. She didn’t even bother to lean away.

That only annoyed him more. This-this girl was beyond annoying, beyond aggravation, beyond anything he’d ever come across in a female. And way too confident in her belief that she was always right. Time to turn the tables.  He could do that. After all, wasn’t he a Master Vampire? Scourge of Europe?  Well, he was once…make that twice.

“I think I’m in a better position than you, to know about things like this, little girl.” Angel returned, a knowing smirk creeping on his face. Cordelia jolted a little. She recognized *that* look, and hadn’t ever expected to see it on the newly resouled version… “I’m a vampire.” He added, as if that made it oh so clear. Almost made her grin. Dork!

“I know that, duh!” She replied, rolling her eyes at him. “But what has your undeadliness got to do with faking it?”

Angel tapped his nose and the smirk transformed into a leer. “It wasn’t just your body that I- Angelus wanted that night you know.” His automatic correction caused her to roll her eyes yet again. This vampire had a serious schizo issue; that was for sure.

“There’s nothing like the ambrosia of Virgin blood. Could smell it a mile off” Well, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration. A couple of meters maybe. The grin tightened with triumph when a blush bloomed on her sun kissed cheeks.

“Ewwe, that’s gross!” Cordelia replied acidly, not a little mortified that he’d even go there. “A lot has changed since the powdered wig days” she reminded him with a glare. “You don’t actually need a guy to get off, ya know.” Okay. That didn’t quite come out the way I expected, she thought with a blush.

But it sure made an impression: Angel’s face was a picture. There was never a camera around when you needed one.

The shocked expression unfortunately didn’t last long. Those dark eyes narrowed as he lowered into a squat. Invading her space in a way  that made her feel a little hot under the collar. God he was a hottie. Ducking her head, she let her loose hair fall forward and cover even hotter cheeks attempting to ignore his uncomfortably heated gaze.

Pity he’s a walking corpse. Cordelia felt the need to remind herself of that factoid right now. “I know what you’re doing, buddy” she warned with a sniff. “You’re just trying to distract me so I’ll forget about your ex squeeze faking it.”

“She did NOT fake it!” The vampire stood up so fast it made her dizzy. There was nothing heated in his gaze – glare now, she noted with a stifled grin. Just male pride taking a major hit.

Angel reined in his outrage with difficulty.  What the hell have I ever done to her? he wondered with a little self pity. Oh yeah. He remembered.

“250 years experience and a girl has to fake it with you?” She added with an evil snikker. The taunt drove home with the precision of a stake to the heart. She finally risked a glance and couldn’t help but grin at the play of muscles in his face as he ground his teeth.

The little Bitch! “243,” Angel corrected her with a definite growl lacing his tone. This slip of a girl was daring to jab at his prowess with the women? Maybe he should forget talking altogether and show her just what kind of pleasure he was more than capable of giving!

One thing was for sure; he didn’t feel guilty about trying to eat her now. Pity they stopped him.

Not liking the predatory gleam that now lit his eyes, Cordelia prudently decided it was time to start moving again. She rose from the tombstone and held her spike-heeled shoes in front of her body defensively, then slipped around him and started walking.

His mouth tightened in frustration at her faux innocent look. Angel shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his pants and attempted to shake off the urge to strangle the wench. It would be a satisfying experience. Not as satisfying as the other acts he could picture performing right now, but it was definitely on his list of to-do things where Cordelia Chase was concerned.

But none of it would go down well with the others – especially the strangling portion of it. And the sex-having. Angel sighed heavily. He was just glad she wasn’t on speaking terms with Harris. That pathetic boy would have a field day with it.

“Ooo…Oh…Ooo…” All thoughts of revenge and the vision of separating Harris’ head from his shoulders melted away at the odd sound coming from the girl a few feet ahead of him. Within a blink of an eye he was directly in front of her.

“Are you okay?” he asked, temporary concern overtaking the strangling urge. Confusion flickered as he took in the rapturous expression on her face.

“Oh…Oh god…Ooo Oh God…Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh God…Oh yeah right there” Cordelia’s hips started rocking subtly, and Angel’s eyes dropped to watch almost hypnotized by the erotic sway.

“Oh! Oh…Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes…Oh…Oh…Yes Yes Yes….Oh…” her free hand lifted to briefly cup a deliciously full breast and drool  exploded in his mouth. The hands in his pants clenched for a totally different reason now, and it took all of his restraint to keep them there and not reach out to follow the same path as hers as it traced its way down her ribs until it pressed enticingly into her taut belly.

“Yes Yes Yes” Her hips rolled at a quicker pace, her mouth parted and the tip of her tongue emerged to lave her lower lip. One of the hands in his pocket curled open and the tips of his fingers absently ran the length of his now- aching shaft.

“Yes Yes Yes…Oh…Oh… Oh… Oh God Oh… Oh…” by the time Cordelia’s eyes rolled into the back of her head, Angel was literally panting; one hand slid out of his pocket to grip her writhing hip. He was completely unaware that he was leaning into her body, his lips inches from hers.

“Huuuuh…” a long, drawn-out sigh painted his hovering mouth with moist heat…  Then she blinked, opened her eyes and proceeded to smile smugly up at him.

“Aren’t we supposed to be looking for a slimy, poisonous monster? Hello?” Snapping her fingers in front of his stunned face, she grinned knowingly. Sucker. “Angel? You in there?” It was Angel’s turn to blink – several times, and then he took in the faux worried expression on the face surprisingly close to his.

Clarity came to him as shockingly as a bucket of ice-cold water. Not only was he leaning over her smaller figure like a ravenous wolf about to eat her whole, but one of his hands clutched at her hip like a lifeline. The other hand…. Clearing his throat, Angel was grateful Cordelia hadn’t thought to look lower than his face. Yet.  He rapidly pulled both hands free and took a big step back.

“Is that drool? Ewwe!” Even as she said it, Cordelia couldn’t help but grin cheekily up at him.  He looked like he’d been hit with a mack truck.  Oh well. Game over. She stepped around him, swapping the shoes to her other hand..

“Come on, big guy; times a-wasting.” Cordelia called over her shoulder as she began weaving gracefully through the graveyard, an awed grin spread her mouth wide. Hooboy! No wonder supergirl had to fake. Something that size had *gotta* hurt!

It took Angel a moment to fully pull himself together. Cordelia Chase was so not an innocent young girl. She was a Witch! An evil cruel… hot and sexy as hell Witch. He shook himself, licked his lips to check for drool and then adjusted his uncomfortably tight pants. Satisfied he looked normal – well, as normal as a vampire could be, he followed after the casually strolling brunette.

“You SO wouldn’t have to fake with me,” he muttered under his breath, as dayamn, that was one hell of an orgasm. But, alas, it wasn’t perfect. For a start she hadn’t screamed his name- over and over until her voice became hoarse.

What? He could dream.

FIN

(Scorchy’s Challenge: Can anyone remember the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally? Of course you can, who can forget it?!

The subject of faking comes up between C/A. Angel honestly thinks that women can’t fake and Cordelia proves him wrong 

This would be hilarious if it was done during BTVS years or even C/Aus!!!)

Califi

Posted July 22, 2018 by califi in Complete

Getting to Know You 18   Leave a comment

Part 18

Four Months On…

“He was cured.” Giles looked up from the book he was perusing, at Buffy’s blunt statement.

“I’m sorry?” he asked, confused as he stared over at her. “Who?” Glancing back to the pages of the book with a frown, Giles wondered how this pertained to the latest demon issue they were researching. Had he missed something?

Willow, sitting across from the blonde at the library table reacted in a completely different manner; staring with wide anxious eyes at the girl in dawning realisation – sadness at the sheer heartbreak in the girl’s eyes.

“When I killed him, Angel was cured.” Buffy turned to look at her friend. “The spell finally worked. At the last minute …” Willow swallowed tightly, glanced awkwardly at the  Watcher’s darkening expression then looked down at the table.

“I was about to take him out, and, um… something went through him… and then he was Angel again. He-he didn’t remember anything he’d done.” He just held me, “she explained raggedly. “But… i-it was… it was too late. Affalfa was already starting it’s whole sucking into Hell thing, and I, I had to do it to stop it. So I, I told him that I loved him… and I kissed him… and then I killed him.” Buffy’s eyes glossed with unshed tears and looked down at her hands for long moment, her slight frame trembling.

Stunned silence pervaded the room, no one knowing quite what to say.

Rupert Giles was eternally grateful that he hadn’t confronted his Slayer when being made aware of the spell casting. Wasn’t she aware that the first attempt failed? He doubted she even knew of the second attempt. how could she have? Willow had been in hospital at the time of Buffy’s fight with Angelus.

Being kidnapped had taken him out of the loop. The youngsters left to pick up the pieces. Guilt flooded in. Not exactly his fault… except in a way, it really was. If the ritual had been completed before the interruption … Well, he wouldn’t have been tortured for a start. The outcome would have definitely been different for them all. But not all in a good way.

For a start, the vampire would have survived.

“I’m so sorry.” Willow finally broke the dreadful quiet that ascended, her voice thick with sympathy. OHMIGOD! I knew it! It did work… but I was too late. She averted her gaze and swallowed the lump that had formed.Life just wasn’t fair.

Taking a deep breath and attempting to shake off the almost debilitating grip of pain, Buffy husked “It’s okay,” completely unaware of the deep guilt that swamped the two people listening to her confession. She gave a small tight smile and and attempted a casual shrug.

“I’ve been holding on to that moment for so long. Felt good to get it out.” The lie slipped almost effortlessly from her tongue.. Nothing felt good anymore. She’d just felt it was the right thing to do, to tell them. Maybe now they’ll understand why I ran. So sick of feeling guilt every time she looked at them.

The smile thinned as she rose to her feet and glanced briefly towards Giles. Then grabbed the stake she’d earlier tossed onto the table and turned, almost eager, towards the exit.

“I’ll, uh, see you guys later.” With a half hearted wave of her hand, Buffy walked out of the library, her eyes fixed to the floor in front of her.

Willow watched her friend leave, the sadness and guilty feelings she felt almost making her want to cry at the injustice of it all. The heavy scrape of a chair turned her attention towards the sound.

It must have been so hard for him to stay schtum considering how annoyed he’d been when she’d confessed all. Especially now, since it had, after all, worked. If Acathla hadn’t been ‘activated’, Angel would still be here. And after the reaming out given by Cordelia; the  disbelief seen in the older man’s face at what he’d called the ‘romanticising of the whole sorry affair‘, she was just a tiny bit relieved it HAD been too late.

Waiting until he’d closed his book, picked it up then turned to across the library, Willow finally spoke. “Should we, um, tell the others? Xander, Oz?”

Giles’ hand paused on the door handle of his office;  lips pursing thoughtfully before replying.

“Did they know about the spell?” he asked, glancing over his shoulder. At Willow’s hesitant nod he sighed wearily. Everyone but me, it seemed.  And a certain brunette.  “As long as they are discreet, then I see no reason why not – but” he added as the redhead gave a wan smile. “I  see no reason to divulge this to Cordelia – no need to reopen old wounds.”

Except for her occasional need for books from the Library for school project purposes, Giles had hardly seen the girl the last couple of months. Only once had he attempted to engage with more than ” Hello, Cordelia. What book do you need?” and had received an irritated, slightly guarded glare for his trouble. No, she should definitely not be told.

Willow concurred a little too eagerly. “Oh, sure! I mean, it’s not as if he’ll be, you know; around – so why bring it all up again?” and remind her of my faux pas. Flushing a little at the memory. She hadn’t even connected eyes with Cordelia, never mind spoken. Not since that humiliating afternoon.

“Quite.” So much left unsaid in that one word.

The flush quickly spread down her throat.

***

Twisting the silver ring on her finger, Buffy glanced around now wondering why she’d even come here. Shivering with memories best forgotten.

The large room was thick with dust; motes floating in the odd spear of sunlight that penetrated the darkness.  The place looked like it had been abandoned for decades. No one had lived in it for even longer than she’d arrived in Sunnydale. What had she expected? A few nik naks lying around, left behind by the last occupants?

She sighed when her roaming eyes stopped to rest on heavy chains attached to the wall next to the cavernous fireplace. Check. And the still visible outline of where Acathla had rested.

It was time to move on. Turn the page and begin a new Chapter of her life.  Sounded easy in theory. A small sob caught in Buffy’s throat as she gently stroked the claddagh ring, before pulling it off her finger.  Then slowly crouched down to place it on the floor in the centre of the room.

Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust...

Straightening up, the Slayer took one last look around. Her trembling mouth tightened with resolve. Then she turned and walked away without looking back.

********

A Month Later...

A bright beam of light illuminated the Claddagh ring on the floor of the room, causing it to sparkle so prettily.

The beam glowed with more and more intensity until the ring began to vibrate, clinking madly against the marble. Suddenly the room was awash with a blindingly bright white light emanating from a dimensional portal opening above the ring.

A large body fell through and hit the stone floor hard. The light faded as the portal closed, and a naked man was left lying there. He was unsteady as he tried to get up, but was too weak to do more than lift his face. His breathing was shallow and laboured, and he shivered violently as he looked up hazily at the room around him…

TBC

nb: I had real problems with the last couple of Chapters posted. It had been so long since I’d first written the fic (or watched the reruns) that I bloody well forgot Giles was supposed to be ignorant of the Soul Ritual in this fic. … aaagh! Anyhoo, please forgive the editing and shakiness that’s hit the flow.

Posted July 21, 2018 by califi in Complete

Reboot? Nooooo!   Leave a comment

*

So just read on Twitter that good ol’ Joss Whedon is considering a ‘reboot‘ of BtVS!

The Joss whedon, who sliced open, GUTTED  and eventually killed off the character of Cordelia post S3 (not to mention her character slaying in Pylea) and instead ramped up the appeal of Fred in her place. Yesss, I’m still pretty pi**ed off with that.

Anyhoo, back to the point of this post:

Does this mean, if he goes ahead with it, that my Site will be defunct? *cries*

I’m feeling pretty GUTTED! It is all in the character descriptions. They will no longer make sense to those who watch the rebooted show.

What do the visitors of this Site think about it? (interested in finding out).

*

*

(Update): So the #Buffy hashtag is bringing in a LOT of shares/comments on Twitter. It seems the Public are divided. If JW decides to reboot using the SAME characters but with different Actors, then chances are this Site will most probably close due to the physical differences in the descriptions of the Characters.

And yes, I’m feeling pretty depressed. 🙁

The lack of comments (so far) is bringing me to the conclusion that, after so many (long) years, the interest in the Original show/s  fanfic is waning – tragic.).

Never forget:

(If anyone knows the Creator of this image, please send me the details, so I can give the credits. Thanks.)

Back to Bloggy Bit

Posted July 21, 2018 by califi in Complete

Getting to Know You. 17   Leave a comment

Part 17

Rupert Giles leaned back in his chair and rubbed his weary eyes as the young girl left his office. It had already been a tiring and stressful day and Willow’s unexpected visit had now added to the feeling of it being just too damned long.

Vague thoughts of weeks passed were now coming to the forefront. All because of a visit the girl had made to Cordelia Chase’s home. He sighed, removing his glasses to absently polish them as he went over their chat.

“I’m probably making something out of nothing, Giles, but I can’t get over the feeling I’ve missed some kind of bad hoojoo that’s had a gigantic bubble above it saying ‘Look at me!’ And I’m usually pretty good at noticing stuff, yaknow.” Willow chewed at her bottom lip staring pensively at the ex-Watcher. 

“Have you any idea what triggered this, um… unexpected behavior?” Giles asked. His eyes narrowed slightly as the young girl’s face reddened; a quick flicker of guilt in her eyes before she looked down. “Willow, I can’t help if you keep things from me”, he reminded her; his tone sharp enough for her to meet his gaze.

Giles still couldn’t quite believe what had come pouring out of Willow’s mouth. It was like a dam that had held too long before breaching with a whoosh as she gave  a very detailed account. Which took longer than it would have without the insertion of apologies after every sentence.

Did no one tell him anything? It made him wonder what else they kept from him. What kind of role model was he for his charges, that they felt the need to what- protect him from imagined hurt feelings?  Good God! Did he really come across as a weakling who’d fall apart at the slightest mention of the vampire… that had almost destroyed him. His heart, mind and body.

Or was it simply that they believed he’d delayed the original ritual at the Library deliberately. Which was, in fact, true. So why tell him that they’d tried again? He dropped his glasses on the desk and rubbed his face tiredly. As it happened, Buffy had won the battle anyway. But it could have gone completely arse up. Because of his delaying tactics.

But the foolishness of their second attempt still took his breath away. Not only because the girl’s concussion at the time had been pretty serious. The success of such an ill-thought venture could have caused terrible repercussions. Willow’s relaying of the brunette’s summation of the whole affair was, frankly, pretty much spot on.

There was absolutely no chance, in his opinion, of even the consideration of allowing the vampire back into the fold if he’d have survived.  The thought that Buffy, of all people would betray him like that after all that had happened … it didn’t bear thinking about.

His first instinct had been to confront Buffy- but was she aware of the second attempt?  What if she weren’t and his anger drove her away? It hadn’t been that long since his Slayer had returned. Could he risk the possible fallout? Honestly? No. Shaking off the annoyance, Giles began tidying his desk in preparation of leaving the office.

The rationale Giles had finally given regarding the scene described seemed to calm Willow’s anxiety, and she’d left with a lighter step.

Pointing out the fact that Cordelia had arrived late to a group who’d had more time, thus experience, in dealing with the harsh realities they’d been plunged into. This, he suggested, also explained very clearly the marked difference in both girls’ reaction to their frightening interaction with Angelus. The older girl hadn’t been involved long enough to really accept a vampire as an ally – never mind to take the time to differentiate between a ‘Good’ vampire and Evil Vampires.

The fact that Angel was himself a rare anomaly hadn’t helped. Logic seemingly skewed when it was deemed right to eradicate all vampires – except for one.  Angel had possessed a soul, yes- but he was still a vampire. Giles had experienced that particular quandary himself, so Lord knows how anyone expected a seventeen year old girl to deal with it.

A long and weary sigh drooped his shoulders. So many regrets. Allowing the involvement of young innocents. Not doing more to nip his Slayer’s unhealthy relationship with Angel in the bud. Frowning with the realisation that it would have made no difference. Knowing Buffy as he did, that would probably have made her even more determined to hang on to Angel. So young and insecure. And a first love to boot.

As for Cordelia… Giles had to admit to a stirring of suspicion and concern when it came to the happenings on that God-awful night. Willow was most likely right. Some things just didn’t add up. He recalled that last time they’d spoken- just before she’d left for the holidays. It hadn’t sat well even then.

But what could he possibly do? The well of strength Willow had described… he’d witnessed it himself, and he seriously doubted Cordelia Chase would welcome his interference. Because it worked out so well the last time!

All that could be done until there was tangible evidence to work on, was to do what he did best.

Watch.

Part 18

Califi

(Sorry it’s short. unbeta’d, so forgive rusty writing. Cx)

Posted July 20, 2018 by califi in TBC

Domination 8   Leave a comment

Part 8

Gunn and Wesley arrived at the Hyperion at the same time. It was mid-afternoon, and both were ready to get down to business. But walking into the lobby, they found everyone watching television.

“What’s going on?” Wesley asked. “Where are Lilith and Reynolds?”

“Good question,” Angel answered.

“They’re gone,” Lorne answered. “Angelcakes went to check on them and both were missing.”

“What?” Gunn asked incredulously. “After all that work, they just disappear like a fart in the wind?”

“It gets better,” Cordelia said and pointed to the TV. The room fell silent as they watched the CNN news report.

“The investigation into Senator John Martin’s death seems to be coming to a conclusion. New details suggest that the Senator committed suicide with a large caliber weapon. Members of both political parties are stunned by the revelation that a man respected by Democrats and Republicans alike could do such an act. Spokespeople for the Democratic Party are expected to make an announcement shortly regarding these new finding.

“In related news, the sister of Senator John Martin, Rebecca, was found dead in her home earlier this morning. Rebecca Martin apparently killed herself by hanging during the night. Police report that a suicide note was found, and in it, Rebecca commented on her depression following the death of her beloved brother. 

“This is Angela Kelly reporting for CNN. Stay tuned for further developments on this story.”

“So that’s it?” Fred asked. “It just ends like this?”

“Apparently,” Angel said as he flipped off the television. “I doubt Lilith escaped on her own. The PTB’s probably found her and took her. Reynolds is probably the one we can thank for that.”

“And since Lilith is gone, there’s no threat of future murders,” Cordelia reasoned.

“But that’s bullshit!” Gunn yelled. “After all that work, after all that we discovered, that’s bullshit! For @#%$’s sake, we found out the people we work for are running their own Final Solution type experiments! It can’t end here!”

But not even Gunn believed that. The group sat in silence. Nothing for them would ever be the same again.

***********

Reynolds was glad to be home. It had been many months since he had left his Seattle home to travel to LA. But now that whole sordid mess was behind him. Tossing the copy of ‘Jane Eyre’ onto his kitchen counter, he went into the hall intent on heading up to bed.

But from his study, he heard the sounds of movement. Bypassing the stairs, he continued down the hall towards the room from which he heard noise. Throwing open the door, he found a man looking through his desk drawers.

“Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?” Reynolds yelled.

“Mr. Reynolds,” the man greeted. “Never figured you to be the type to betray the Powers.” The man showed no fear as Reynolds approached, despite the fact that he was much smaller. “You should know, the Powers do not tolerate traitors.”

“I didn’t betray the Powers,” Reynolds defended.

The man clearly didn’t believe him. “You knew the location of subject JFB5183 and you didn’t alert the authorities until much later. For your insubordination, the Powers have decided you must be punished.”

Reynolds never saw the second man from behind him. He barely recognized the soft thump of a silenced Beretta before his brains were splattered all over his desk.

The second man tossed the unmarked weapon aside. The first man grabbed a few files from the desk and led the way out. Several hours later the police received a call about a disturbance at the house of Peter Reynolds.

************

The LA County Morgue was surprisingly quiet. A young blonde woman walked briskly through the deserted halls to the Records Room. Pulling a small flashlight from her pocket, she searched the cabinets for recent files. Finding the two she was looking for, she pulled them out and tucked them into the back of her pants.

From another coat pocket she pulled a small bottle of accelerant. Dousing the remaining records with the fluid, she lit a match and ignited the cabinets.

It didn’t take long for the files to begin burning furiously. However, thanks to a set of pliers, nobody realized that there was a fire downstairs. Days later it was discovered that wire connecting to the fire alarms had been severed. Foul play was initially suspected, but blame quickly fell to the company that installed the system.

No one ever missed the fact that John and Rebecca Martin’s files were never recovered from the ashes.

************

The anesthetic wasn’t nearly as affective as Lilith would have liked. She could still see the bright lights overhead. She could still feel the cool metal table pressing against her back. She could still feel what They were doing to her.

Even in her drug-induced haze, she could hear the wails of a child. Her child. She struggled to get up. She may be a monster, but that was HER baby. A strong pair of hands forced her shoulders back to the mattress. She was too weak. Too weak to save her child.

The doctor finished cleaning off the bloody child and handed it to a nurse. “Take him to Nursery Three,” he commanded. The nurse took the child and obeyed the order. Turning to an orderly, the doctor ordered him closer.

“Give subject JFB5183 a potassium shot and take her down to Incineration. We have no further use for her.”

The orderly nodded and waved a friend over to help him. Together they wheeled the gurney to the elevator down to SubLevel-27. When they came back ten minutes later, they were hauling an empty gurney.

*************

Nursery Three was silent. Turning the baby over to an attendant, the nurse signed some papers before turning to leave. But then, the silence was broken. One baby’s moanful wail awoke the other four-dozen babies housed in the nursery.

“@#%$ kids,” the nurse muttered before leaving. It was the job of the four attendants working this section to silence the little brats.

Walking down the hallway, her heels clicking on the tile, the nurse passes doors marked Nursery One and Two. The sounds of 50 toddlers laughing and crying could be heard come from Two. The sounds of martial arts training could be heard in One, where the 50 teenagers were practicing fighting skills.

F-2 was proving to be a success.

End.

Liam

Posted July 19, 2018 by califi in Complete

Domination 7   Leave a comment

Part 7

“Okay, now you guys know what I am, right?”

The soldiers paid no attention to the vampire and began to slowly advance on them. Weapons trained, they were fully prepared to take both demons out.

“Guess not,” Angel muttered. “Well, you’re about to get a lesson.”

Before any of the men realized what happened, Angel used a burst of vampire speed to grab a fragmentation grenade from a soldier and toss it into the open furnace. The blast gave Angel all the time he needed.

Quickly beating down the opposition, he beckoned for Lilith to follow him. The demon was hesitant, unsure if she should trust the vampire. But as the flames from the furnace began to catch on the wooden support beams, the decision was made. Grabbing the vampire’s outstretched hand, she allowed him to lead her past the flames.

At the top of the stairs, Angel savagely uppercut a young soldier stupid enough to get in his way. From there they met no resistance, and they were able to easily make their escape.

Angel made sure the demon followed as he led the way to his friends. Upon reaching them, he didn’t expect the reaming he got from Cordelia.

“You stupid @#%$ vampire, you could have been killed! You have a son to think about, you stupid dorkhead!” When she finally noticed his companion she asked, “Is this her?”

“Yeah, but do you think we could discuss this when we get the hell out of here?” Cordelia would have ignored the suggestion had Wesley not interfered and led the way back to the cars. Angel took a last look at the battlefield below and hoped the decision he made was the right one.

*****************

The AI gang was trying to keep busy as Wesley interrogated the demon in his office. Gunn sat next to Fred playing on his Gameboy, while she looked at news websites. Cordelia had finally tired of cursing Angel for his stupidity and sat down to read the newest issue of Cosmo.

After listening to Cordelia’s justified ass chewing, Angel decided to stand guard by Wesley’s door in case of trouble. His vampire hearing allowed him to catch snatches of conversation, but not enough to keep up.

Several minutes later Wesley exited his office. The look on his face told the entire story. “She won’t say much of anything,” the Watcher said. “The only thing significant she said was ‘I won’t go back to that place’. She repeated it several times.”

“She said that to me at the house,” Angel offered.

“Whatever her home world is, it would appear she no longer wants a part of it.”

“Maybe it’s not her home world she’s afraid of,” Angel suggested. The vampire turned to Reynolds who sat on the couch reading one of the vampire’s novels. “You. You work for the Powers. I bet you can tell us where she was at.”

Reynolds continued to read ‘Jane Eyre’ as the vampire stalked towards him. He could tell them, but the question was if it would affect their future work for the Powers. He may have helped Martin in his time of need, but now he was dead, and Reynolds never lost his allegiance to the Powers.

“I’m waiting,” the vampire said.

“Fine,” Reynolds said. “What the hell. For the past few years, Lilith has been a Powers prisoner of war in the dimension of Elysia. Lilith’s race had a reputation for being badasses and terrorized the other clans on her planet. A coalition was formed and Lilith’s clan was defeated.

“But before the coalition could annihilate Lilith’s clan, the Powers stepped in. You see, the Powers have quite a few enemies, and they know a good opportunity when they see it. They captured several members of the defeated clan and took them to Elysia where experiments were performed.”

“What kind of experiments?” Wesley asked.

“The Powers wanted a new weapon to battle a race of demons in the Othrys dimension. They wanted to use their new prisoners, Menglers they call themselves, as the soldiers in the war. But Menglers were too hard to control.”

“So what did they do?” Cordelia asked, even though she wasn’t sure she wanted to know.

“The Powers began cross-breeding Menglers with a souled entity.”

“Humans,” Angel said disgusted.

“Humans,” Reynolds agreed. “They figured a creature with a soul would be easier to control. But the F-1 generation didn’t met expectations. Many were still violent. So work began on F-2.”

“Lilith’s an F-1,” Wesley realized. “Once you saw her generation failed it was decided to cross-breed again. That makes the child three-fourths human.”

“The Powers anticipate a much higher success rate with this generation, but still, plans for F-3 are ready to be implemented once the F-2 generation reaches maturity.”

“Son of a bitch!” Cordelia yelled. “You mean this baby is nothing but a guinea pig for the Powers?” Cordelia didn’t like that idea at all.

“But that still doesn’t explain why she’s here,” Angel brought them back to focus.

“How she escaped isn’t known for certain, but it’s believed she seduced a guard and used the advantage to make it to the Prison Jumpstation.”

“Jumpstation?”

“A room most PTB facilities have. From there authorized personnel can jump between dimensions,” Reynolds explained.

“So Lilith discovered she was pregnant and decided to make her escape to a dimension where she could more easily blend in,” Wesley hypothesized.

“Good theory, but no,” Reynolds said. “Lilith wasn’t pregnant when she jumped. The PTB’s had her in holding until the doctors were ready to experiment on her group.”

“So that means that Martin is the father,” Angel said.

“Probably,” Reynolds agreed. Off the questioning glances he continued. “There have been isolated instances of guards impregnating the female subjects. So when I say she wasn’t pregnant when she jumped, I mean the PTB’s didn’t impregnate her.”

The group was silent for several moments. They couldn’t believe these were the people that they worked for. “Why didn’t you tell us this earlier?” Angel asked.

“I didn’t think I needed to. I expected you to do the usual seek and destroy, not take the girl in like a stray puppy. The PTB’s would be pissed if they knew you know.”

“So,” Wesley asked. “How long before Lilith gives birth?”

“Gestation for the F-2’s seems to be about two months. Considering how long the murders have gone on, I’d say you got a month before she delivers. Projections indicate the offspring reach maturity in about three years.”

“This is @#%$ great,” Cordelia said. “So now we work for a bunch of people who took a page from Hitler’s playbook.”

“She’s right,” Wesley said. “It’s the Final Solution or Project 731. This is blatant manipulation on the part of the Powers. We’re working for beings no better than the Nazis.”

“But does any of that give us a clue as what to do?” Gunn asked.

“Not really,” Angel said. “Its just tells us the people we work for are sick fucks. But in the meantime, I think we should probably keep her here until we do decide a course of action.”

Wesley agreed to that, and he and Gunn escorted the demon to a bedroom upstairs. Confident that she wouldn’t be going anywhere, the two men came back downstairs. The group decided to disperse for some rest, all wanting some sleep before any major decisions were made.

Once alone, Reynolds picked up the copy of ‘Jane Eyre’ and finished the chapter he was on. Marking the page he was on, Reynolds tossed the book aside and began to head up to the room he had been given. But before reaching the stairs he stopped. As if coming to a conclusion, he headed back to the offices and picked up a phone.

Deciding it was the best way to cover his ass, he dialed a number from memory. After three rings a voice picked up. “Alvin? It’s Peter Reynolds. Yeah, can you do something for me? I need you to send some people over to the Hyperion Hotel here in LA. Yeah, I think the people inside are harboring our fugitive. That’s right, JFB5183. Send a recon team for a silent op. Thanks.”

Reynolds hung up the phone pondering his action. Basically, since Martin was no more, he had no reason to play against the Powers. Maybe by doing this, they might not dig too deep in his recent indiscretions. Reynolds smiled. He might be able to keep his head.

Walking back into the lobby, he grabbed the first edition copy of Austen’s novel. It was payment for making him stay in a shitty room, Reynolds decided. Tucking the book into his pocket, Reynolds made his way out into the streets, the rising sun making its appearance.

Part Eight

Posted July 19, 2018 by califi in Complete

Domination 6   Leave a comment

Part 6

There are people who say that in life there is simply black and white. Good and evil. Right and wrong.

You know what? That’s bullshit.

There are many gray areas in life. Oftentimes, I like to think that I fall into this category. I can’t deny the fact that for nearly 150 years I was as ruthless and brutal a killer as ever walked the Earth. There was no humanity inside me; I was the essence of evil. But what of me now?

I’ll never claim that my having a soul makes me a good and righteous man. I know better than anyone that I’m still capable of some heinous and vile acts. But without the soul, I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t do the things that I do.

How many are alive because of the things I’ve done in the past few years? I am a being capable of extraordinary evil, but instead I’ve made the conscious decision to save lives instead. Doesn’t that make me a gray?

The same philosophy can be applied to a situation. I don’t think that anyone would disagree with the suggestion that Lilith is evil. Regardless of the fact that she kills to survive, she is still evil. I know that from personal experience.

But there is a life inside her. An entity that has yet to be corrupted by the world. A being that if given a choice could choose the path of righteousness. How in any good conscience could I, or anyone else be asked to sacrifice this soul to destroy the malevolent one which houses it?

This is a gray area. The child isn’t guilty of anything. It’s merely caught in a situation it has no control over. But the question still remains: how do you resolve the situation?

I have no doubt that Wolfram and Hart would destroy both if given the opportunity. But maybe by beating them to the punch we can save at least one innocent soul. As I look at Cordelia, I can tell this is the option she prefers. She wants this child to live.

I know that she sees this child as Connor. Cordy risked her life by trying to protect Darla so she could give birth. I know she’ll try to do the same for Lilith. And so will I.

************
“I thought we agreed the next time we had to do this we’d check the last place first.” Wesley just ignored Gunn’s comment, while Angel slapped him in the back of the head. “What?” Gunn asked.

They had checked the first six possible locations and had turned up empty. Deciding to try the seventh local together, the party discovered they were a little late.

“I’m sorry,” Cordelia said, “but is that a Hummer with a machine gun?” The guys all looked to where Cordelia was pointing. Sure enough, it was a Hummer with a machine gun.

“Damn,” Gunn said. “I gotta get me one of those.”

“It looks like they’ve laid siege to the house,” Wesley said. It appeared the Watcher was right. From what Angel’s demon senses could detect, there were at least two-dozen fully armed riflemen waiting to storm the house.

“This could be really bad,” Angel said.

“What do we do?” Cordelia asked. “We can’t let them just go in and kill the baby.”

“We also can’t take on two army platoons loaded with automatic weapons,” Wesley calmly replied. “I think we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

A small explosion at the front door quickly ended the debate. Three troopers were sent flying when they tried to break down it down. Another explosion in back told of the same story happening at the back door.

“Somehow, it seems as if Lilith isn’t completely defenseless,” Angel pointed out. Medics quickly approached the fallen men and pulled them to the woods surrounding the house. The man apparently in charge began barking orders to the troops now in disarray.

“Perhaps we should get closer,” Wesley suggested. The four began to sneak downhill towards the edge of the trees. Another team stormed the house from the front, but soon, their screams were heard resonating through the forest.

“Uh, now we were going to go in there?” Gunn questioned. “I’m sorry, but I’m not looking to walk into a massacre.”

“What do you think, Angel?” Cordelia asked. Everyone looked when he didn’t answer. Angel wasn’t to be found.

****************
Angel quietly slipped away from the others and approached the house from in back. With an easy jump, Angel was on the balcony outside an upstairs window. A swift kick shattered the door and Angel was granted access.

The vampire paused a moment to tune his sense to the surroundings. He felt the weakened pulses of the second assault team that stormed the front door. He could also smell a distinct scent. It was one he had smelled before. Once at ‘The Palace’, the other time at Martin’s mansion.

“Lilith?” Angel called. “I know you’re here.” Angel stepped into the hallway. Trying to determine which direction the scent was freshest, he allowed his nose to lead him downstairs. At the bottom, he saw the mangled bodies of the assault team. One man was missing a leg, another appeared to have a large piece of shrapnel embedded in his head.

“Lilith?” Angel called once more. “I want to help you. I want to help your baby.” Cautiously, Angel stepped past the fallen soldiers, ignoring the survivors’ pleas for help. He couldn’t stop. He had to find her. Angel noticed and managed to avoid stepping over a tripwire running along the entrance to the kitchen. His eyes finally settled on a door that led to the cellar. Pushing it open slowly, he allowed his eyes to adjust to the dark below.

“Lilith?” Against all better judgment, Angel stepped down onto the first step. Only his vampire reflexes prevented his decapitation by an axe swinging from above. Taking in several unneeded breaths, and thanking a God that damned him, the vampire collected himself and crept downstairs.

“Hold it there,” a voice called as he reached bottom. Angel turned to find Lilith aiming a very large pump action shotgun at him.

“I don’t know what you plan to do with that, but I guarantee it won’t work,” Angel said pointing to the gun.

Lilith stepped closer, sniffing the air as she approached. “You’re a vampire,” she said flatly. Angel nodded. “You have a soul. Who do you work for?”

“The Powers That Be,” Angel told her.

Lilith’s eyes widened. “I’m not going back to that place,” she said. The demon pumped a shell into the chamber and fully prepared to fire.

“Whoa,” Angel said. He put his hands up to show no harm. “I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. I’m here to help you and the baby. And what do you mean go back? Go back where?”

A stampede of footsteps stopped any further questions. Within moments, a storm of commandos had the area surrounded.

“Freeze!” one commando yelled. “Put down the weapon!”

Angel groaned at the sight of the soldiers. Lilith began to slowly back away from them until her back was against the wall. She did not like this at all. And she damn sure wasn’t going back.

Part Seven

Posted July 19, 2018 by califi in Complete

Domination 5   Leave a comment

Part 5

“We don’t have any solid information on where Lilith might have ran,” Wesley told the gang. “And with our limited resources, I doubt we’ll be able to glean much information either.”

“Well, there is one way,” Angel said with a glance to Cordelia. His Seer knew exactly what Angel meant, and she liked the idea.

“We send someone after her with greater resources,” she told Wesley. Walking over to her desk, she found the notebook with the names of all the clients of ‘The Palace’. “John Martin wasn’t the only familiar name in this book.” Flipping through the book, Cordelia found the name she wanted. “According to this book, he was also a client of Lilith’s.”

“Who?” Gunn asked impatiently.

Cordelia grinned evilly. “I’m going to Kinko’s to use a copier and a fax. Be back soon.” The lovely Seer was out the door before anymore questions were asked. All eyes then turned to the vampire sitting on the couch.

“What?” he asked defensively. “It’s the best choice right now.”

********************
Lilah certainly didn’t see this move coming, but still, it would have made her giggle if it wouldn’t ruin her cool exterior. Still, she had to give them credit. It was a great play. Lilah knew exactly how the superiors would respond to this, and evidently, so did the folks at AI.

Holding the transmission from the fax machine up, she read it once more.

Frenchman Pierre La Croix
Copperfield David Lynch
Apollo Gavin Park
Lancelot Paul Cransfield

Never in a thousand years would Lilah thought that Gavin Park would be into the whole dominatrix things. Perusing the book before she sent it to AI, she had been shocked as hell to find his name inside.

She almost felt sorry for what would happen to him. The superiors would bring the hammer down on his ass. Then they would send a team to locate the murderer of the Senator. What they would do to her, Lilah didn’t know.

It wasn’t a secret around Wolfram and Hart that Senator John Martin didn’t like some of the people in charge. Lilah didn’t know the details, but apparently there was a feud between Martin and the firm. That was part of the reason why she sent Angel the book. It could be used to destroy Martin. And that would be good for her once it was found she was responsible for it.

Right on cue, other lawyers began to come out of their offices with copies of the fax. Only moments later, security burst through the main doors and headed straight for the office of Gavin Park. Lilah leaned back on her secretary’s desk and watched the scene with interest.

A pair of burly guards flanked Gavin as they exited his office. A scared Park looked desperately around, trying to understand what was happening. Locking eyes with Lilah, he pleaded for help. Lilah merely smiled and waved at the man being taken for ‘interrogation’.

Once the guards escorted Gavin out, the rest of the lawyers looked at each other stunned. “Who wants a drink?” Lilah asked cheerily, causing many to look at her strangely. “I need a cigarette, too,” Lilah muttered to herself. “That was almost better than sex.”

*******************
“So I guess the plan now is just to keep tabs on Wolfram and Hart?” Gunna asked as he popped the tab on a Coke. The gang had assembled in the kitchen eating Chinese. Even Angel was eating egg rolls, although he was the only one dipping them in pig’s blood.

Reynolds dropped his chopsticks after watching the vampire for a moment. He noticed no one else paid attention to the Champion’s strange eating habits. Hell, the Seer warmed the blood for him.

“It’s a smart move,” Reynolds admitted. “I know Wolfram and Hart. They’ll want to find Lilith just to make sure this fellow didn’t leak any information he wasn’t supposed to.”

“Quite right,” Wesley said. “So for the time being, it’s reconnaissance work. We just observe while Wolfram and Hart does the work for us.” The rest of the gang agreed to the action. Cordelia then excused herself and took Connor upstairs. Angel tossed aside an egg roll and followed his Seer.

The vampire found her singing to Connor in his bedroom. Angel once again found himself envying Lorne for his ability to read auras. He would love to know what Cordelia was thinking. Guess he’d have to do it the old fashioned way.

“Are you okay?”

Cordelia didn’t jump at Angel’s appearance. She had long since become accustomed to his popping out of nowhere. “I’m fine,” she told the vampire. “Just tired of this case is all.”

“I know,” Angel said. He walked forward and placed a hand on his Seer’s shoulder. “I know this is frustrating, that you think the visions haven’t helped us.”

“That’s because they haven’t Angel,” she said. Turning to face the vampire, he could see the frustration marring her lovely face. “All the breaks we’ve gotten are because of informants.” Cordelia sighed and shook her head. “I feel I haven’t helped on this case, that you don’t really need me.”

“I always need you,” Angel told her. “In more ways than you realize,” he admitted. “And just because the visions haven’t solved this thing, that doesn’t mean you haven’t helped. You’re intelligent, level headed, and oftentimes the sole voice of logic around this joint.” He was glad to see her laugh at that last point.

“Who’d a thought that a few years ago? Me being the voice of logic?”

“Well you changed,” Angel said. “For the better. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but I like the woman you’ve become.” Cordelia actually blushed. Angel didn’t know if he’d ever made her blush before.

“We will find Lilith,” he said. “We will stop her.”

“But what if what Wesley said is true? What if Lilith really is pregnant? I know that Lilith is evil, but the child inside her is probably part human. We don’t know what it would be like. It could have a soul.”

Angel could see the confusion and desperation in her eyes. They were the same emotions in her voice. They were also the same emotions he was feeling about the situation. “I don’t know,” Angel admitted. “But we will figure something out. We always do, right?” Cordelia gave a small smile and nod. “C’mon, lets put Connor down and go back downstairs. There’s probably work to do.”

Cordelia reluctantly set the child down in the crib. She followed Angel downstairs to start working once more.

*********************
The team leader slung his M-16 over his shoulder as he entered the hotel room formerly occupied by Lilith. Scanning the room, he noticed that the room didn’t seem very lived in.

“Report Sergeant,” he barked at the other man in the room.

The sergeant snapped to and saluted. “She’s gone sir,” he told his commander. “According to hotel management, she only had the room for a day and a night. Cleaning hadn’t been here yet when we arrived.”

“Anything interesting?”

“No sir. The only trash found was a couple soda cans and some takeout from a local deli. There is no evidence that she fed while here.”

The leader nodded. The orders came down less than six hours ago. The target was to be located and apprehended for questioning. And it was to be found ASAP. “Alright, gather whatever evidence there is and ship it back to base. We need to saddle up and get going. We’re on the clock.”

The sergeant saluted and grabbed a box. The leader took a last look around the room before following the soldier out of the hotel.

******************
“Did Martin own any other properties that Lilith would have known about?” Cordelia wondered.

“I don’t think so. They were friendly, but I don’t know why he would have told her about any of that,” Reynolds answered.

Cordelia gave the man a funny look. “Guys say weird things when they’re getting some action.” Gunn, Wes, and Angel stopped in their tracks at that comment.

“Do they ever,” Fred agreed. Even Cordelia turned to stare at her. “Or so I’m told,” Fred stuttered.

“Well,” Wes started, wanting very much to change the conversation. “Is there any way we could find property records?”

“Sure,” Fred said. Her cheeks were still very much red. “That should only take a half hour for me to find here.” Fred fired up her laptop to begin the search.

“Yeah, but wouldn’t Wolfram and Hart already think of that?” Gunn asked.

“Maybe, but it’s still worth the effort,” Cordelia said. The Seer tried to stifle a grin as Angel snuck up behind Gunn.

“Hey Gunn,” Angel said. The black man jumped a foot in the air.

“Damn, man. Don’t do that. Need to get your undead ass some bells or something.” Gunn ignored the vampire’s grin and continued clutching at his heart.

“What’d you find?” Cordelia asked him.

“Wolfram and Hart’s goons hit a hotel on the outskirts of town. It was evidently clean, no evidence of a kill.”

The gang took solace in that. Maybe they would find her before she fed again.

*******************
So this was home. Lilith dropped her bag unceremoniously on the floor by the door. It was certainly better than the hellhole she had stayed at earlier. Walking into the living room and fingering the drapes, she decided the place was acceptable. For a while at least.

Lilith tossed a picture of Janice and Christopher into the fireplace and went into the kitchen. Liking the large glass windows, she decided the place was fairly nice. It was certainly better than her home back in her own dimension.

********************
“I found a listing of seven properties,” Fred told the gang. “Some where owned by Martin’s wife and her family. Others were owned by him.”

Grabbing the list, Wesley immediately went into leader mode. “Fine. We’ll go in teams. Gunn can come with me. Angel and Cordelia can handle themselves, right?” The vampire and Seer nodded in agreement. The watcher divided up the properties. “Lorne, you can stay with Reynolds and Connor?”

“Sure sweetie,” the green demon answered.

“Then let’s go.” The four grabbed their favorite weapons from the closet and prepared to begin narrowing down the list.

********************
A private entered the control room and handed a folder to the major in charge. The list consisted of several properties that were owned by the Martin family.

“I want recon teams to check these out,” Major Cooper told the soldier. “Put Jorgensen’s and Harper’s people on it.” The private quickly snapped a salute and trotted off to carry out the order.

Part Six

Posted July 19, 2018 by califi in Complete

Domination 4   Leave a comment

Part 4

“The pituitary gland,” Wesley said with realization. “She needs it to survive.”

Reynolds nodded. “For some reason Lilith’s species is unable to produce several of the hormones it needs to survive. In her home dimension, she could simply take in what she needed from the food she would naturally eat. But in this world…”

“So she uses humans as a vitamin supplement,” Cordelia finished.

“Basically,” Reynolds answered.

Cordelia shook her head in disbelief. “In her own world, how often would she need to feed?”

“Every two weeks maybe.”

“She’s feeding much more often here,” she told Angel. “The murders are happening about every five days.”

“The ones you know about anyway,” Reynolds supplied. At the AI gang’s looks he continued. “Five victims over approximately a twenty-five day span, right?” Angel confirmed this. “She’s been here longer than that.”

“How long?” Angel demanded.

“Couple months,” Reynolds shrugged.

“I don’t believe this,” Cordy said. “This makes no sense.”

“Then I’m wondering whether this information will help or hinder your understanding. Wanna guess who runs ‘The Palace’?”

*****************
Lilith was bored and hungry. And that was not a good thing. She was tempted to ask Rebecca if she could take an appointment tonight. That would satisfy both needs.

Stretching elegantly on the Senator’s bed, she wondered where the hell John was. If he were here, then at least she wouldn’t be bored. He was probably still off worrying about that Reynolds dick. A look of disgust passed over the pretty brunette’s features. She didn’t like Reynolds. But even she had to agree with John that he was a necessary person to have around.

But she still didn’t like it. Because of Reynolds she wasn’t having fun now. Propping herself up on one elbow, Lilith wondered if John would miss the stupid looking bodyguard if she were to invite him in.

A sharp pain in her abdomen interrupted the demon’s moping. “Fuck!” she shouted. Even though a pleasant surprise, this was still a surprise nonetheless. This latest development might make her change her plans.

Stomach growling, the demon slipped on a robe and went of in search of food.

***************
“Excuse me?” Gunn said. “But the sister of a U.S. Senator runs a dominatrix shop that currently employs a serial killing demon?” Gunn shook his head. “This city is fucked up.” No one disagreed.

“It’s perfect for her. She gets to do her two favorite things. Feed and torture. But as I was saying before you so kindly interrupted me,” he glared at Gunn. “Rebecca hired her mainly because she thought John would like her. Only after she killed for the first time did they learn about her nature as a demon. But by then, John had become attached to her, so he decided he wanted to protect her and called me in.

“My job originally was to block the visions the PTB’s would send to their Seer’s. I only partially succeeded. The vision’s were being delayed a few days.” Reynolds laughed sarcastically. “I thought that would be enough.”

“So why would you help Martin cover this up?” Angel asked. “If the Powers discover what you’ve been doing, it’ll be your ass on a platter.”

“I know,” Reynolds sighed. “Believe me. I didn’t want to get involved with any of this. For trying to take the child I’m sorry.” He directed this last part to Cordelia, who was still shooting daggers at him. “But I owed him a favor. He helped me out a long time ago when he was Lieutenant Governor.” Reynolds thought a moment before reaching a conclusion. “I’ll help you bypass the security in Martin’s mansion if you want to go after her.”

The AI gang was surprised at the offer. Before Cordelia could decapitate the man who was about to kidnap her boy, Angel spoke. “Fine. But if I have any suspicion that you are lying to us, well, I saw many other invoices at ‘The Palace’.” Angel’s tone left little doubt what he meant.

Reynolds looked at the vampire with believing eyes. “Okay,” he agreed.

****************
“Hi baby,” Lilith purred when John finally came back to the bedroom that night. He was fully intent on ignoring her and just going to bed. That was before he saw what she was wearing.

The black leather covered only the most private of places. The shiny black material contrasted beautifully with her smooth, white skin. Playing aimlessly with a whip, Lilith smiled seductively at the man. Martin forgot all else as he approached the sexy demon.

Lilith took his hand and led John to their ‘special area’. Along the wall near the bed was a pole jutting out horizontally seven feet above the floor. She placed his wrists in the manacles on the pole giving her full access to his spread-eagle body. With a teasing kiss, the demon slowly began to remove his clothing, stopping every so often to bite and lick her favorite parts.

John’s moans were easily heard in the hallway outside. Slightly annoyed, the guard pulled his Walkman from his jacket pocket and turned up the volume. He really didn’t need to hear that.

Martin was quickly lost in the attention Lilith was giving him. After experiencing the electric nipple clamps and choke collar, Lilith moved on to her favorite toy.

It didn’t take long for John’s screams of pain and ecstasy to fill the room. The cracks of her whip left angry red welts on his back. Lilith whispered confessions of love in his ear between strikes. She wiped away his tears and kissed his shoulder sweetly.

Stepping behind her lover, Lilith’s face began to slowly contort. The proboscis emerged from her mouth in a deadly arc toward the back of John’s head. Absorbed in his own sobs, he never realized what happened as the proboscis shattered his skull.

*****************
The routes Reynolds told to approach the mansion from proved to be effective. Working in two pairs, the AI gang was quickly able to knock out any guards that tried to put up opposition.

As Angel and Cordelia neared a side door, his demon senses became confused. Noting his expression Cordy asked what was wrong. Instead of answering, Angel just simply snapped the lock to the door. Cautiously he stuck his hand across the threshold.

“No force field,” he told his Seer.

“Shit,” Cordy moaned. Angel quickly led them to the main staircase where they met Wes and Gunn.

“Angel, how…?” Wes started. Suddenly it dawned on him. It didn’t take long to remember from Reynolds description to find Martin’s bedroom. Inside, they found the US Senator hanging limply from manacles attached to a pole above. Blood poured from a wound in the back of his head.

“It’s a fresh kill,” Angel said. “I can smell the blood’s warmth.” Wes was the only one to come near the body, but still he didn’t touch it.

“So what now?” Gunn asked.

“We get out before the police show up. Then we find Lilith,” Angel said simply.

The AI gang had just driven out of site when the first police cars arrived on the scene.

*****************
Lilith watched the television with vague interest. She didn’t like this place. After several months of living in luxury, it was a tough adjustment to living in a shitty motel. Taking a sip of her soda, she remembered that the plans had changed. She would simply have to make do.

When a story about John’s death came on, Lilith fumbled for the remote and turned up the volume.

“Last night, the body of United States Senator John Christopher Martin was found in the bedroom of his mansion in the foothills of LA. Police say the cause of death has yet to be determined, but several sources would indicate foul play.

“The California Democrat easily won re-nomination in the primary held only a few months ago. Senator Martin was seeking his third term in the United States Senate. The Senator is survived only by his sister who has yet to be located. As many may remember, Senator Martin lost his wife Janice and son Christopher in a fatal car crash only months after his first election to the Senate.”

Lilith flicked the television off after that. She had no interest in that whore and the child. What did interest her was finding a safe place for the time being. She remembered John telling her of a small house he owned someplace outside Los Angeles. With a little research, Lilith thought it should be easy to find.

**************
The AI gang had set up a television in the lobby. They were all watching news reports of the Senator’s murder, all except Wesley, who was busy flipping between a medical book and a demonology tome.

“This is insane,” Cordelia said. She turned to glare at Reynolds. “I thought you said she cared about Martin. Why would she kill him?” Cordy accused.

“I don’t know,” Reynolds snapped back. “I thought she did.” It was apparent that he was just as confused as the rest of them.

“I may be able to account for Lilith’s increased killings,” Wesley said. All eyes turned to him. “The pituitary controls many vital functions. While this could be merely interpreted as bloodlust on her part, I think it’s something different. What if she’s taking in all these hormones because she’s not the only one who needs them?”

“What do you mean?” Gunn asked.

“What if she’s pregnant?”

Part Five

Posted July 19, 2018 by califi in Complete

Domination 3   Leave a comment

Part 3

Rebecca Martin ignored the secretary’s protest and entered the large office. John looked up in surprise to see his younger sister standing in his office. “John, we have a problem.”

“What?” John asked nervously.

“”My blackbook,” she said, “it was stolen.”

John felt his heart catch in his throat. “W-what?” he stuttered.

“My home was broken into. My desk was ransacked and my blackbook is gone. John,” she choked, “all the names and codenames of the companies clients are in there. Even yours.”

John Martin leaned back in shock as he absorbed the news. His worst nightmare was coming true. If the information in that book were to become public, he could kiss re-election goodbye.

“Shit, John, if this becomes public, we’ll both go to jail.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” John snapped. “Then I guess we better make sure it doesn’t go public. Besides, I got a good idea on who might have it.” John pressed the button on the intercom. “Shirley? Call Reynolds. Tell him he’s going to have to add a second contingent to his plan.”

*************
Cordelia hadn’t let go of the notebook since the mail had been delivered ten minutes ago. Finally, she thought, they got the big break. In her hands she held the Holy Grail to this case.

“Eww,” she moaned as she recognized one of the names.

“What is it?” Angel asked.

“John Martin is in here,” she said. At Angel’s confused look she went on. “SENATOR John Martin. Up for re-election this year. I was going to vote for the guy. To Hell with that, I’m going Independent now.” She ignored the look the vampire sent her way.

Shutting the book, she tossed it to Fred. “Now that we have this, we can contact people who have appointments in the near future.”

“And hopefully stop the next murder from occurring,” Wes added.

Fred’s eyes widen as she saw the number of names listed in the book. There had to be two hundred names at least in here. “I’ll start getting addresses,” she said going to the phone book.

The members of AI smiled for the first time in days. They were getting very close.

**************
Things were just going from bad to worse, Reynolds decided. He did not want to be doing this. He was a man who actually had some morals. What he was being asked to do went against all of them.

But some things couldn’t be avoided.

The question was when to do it. It would have to be when the main crew was out of the hotel, leaving only the green Pylean refugee home. Reynolds didn’t think it would take much to disable him. After that, the rest of the job should be easy.

John seemed sure that the people at AI had the notebook, and Reynolds concurred with that. After knocking out the demon, it shouldn’t take long to find the notebook. Reynolds had no problem with this. It was part two of the plan that he didn’t like.

The goal was to make the vampire chase after something more important than some demon murderer. The vampire would have to devote his energies to finding his missing son.

**************
Angel couldn’t shake off the nagging feeling he’d been having. The feeling had nothing to do with this stakeout, but it was…something else.

He’d read books and such about parenting. There had been stories where a parent would get this bad feeling that something was wrong with their child. Angel had thought the notion to be silly. But right now, he wasn’t sure. He felt he should check on Connor.

Angel, Fred, and Wes were set up in an empty apartment opposite one of a ‘Palace’ client. Gunn and Cordelia were staking another place across town. As much as Angel felt it his duty to stay, he just couldn’t shake this feeling.

“Will you guys be okay if I run back to the hotel real fast?” he asked his friends.

Wes lowered the binoculars he was using to look back at the vampire. “I suppose so. Why?”

“I dunno,” Angel said. “Paternal instinct thing. I need to check on Connor.”

“Well Angel, I’m sure that Lorne would call if something were wrong, but if you need too,” Wes said. Angel smiled at the watcher’s understanding. Clapping his friend on the shoulder, Angel headed downstairs to the convertible.

He was just being paranoid, Angel thought. Wes was right; if something were wrong Lorne would call on the cell phone. His worry was completely unsubstantiated. Right?

**************
The green demon had been more trouble than he originally thought, but in the end, he’d knocked the creature out.

Reynolds searched the Hyperion’s offices a good thirty minutes before he finally found the notebook. With a slight grin, he tucked the notebook into his pant waist and headed up the stairs. Entering Connor’s room, he found the demon still unconscious on the floor. Just as he reached the crib, a voice from behind stopped him cold.

“I really wouldn’t touch him.”

Reynolds was out cold before he realized who it was.

**************
Angelus had always been a master at torture. He had turned torture into an art form.

But having a soul really put a damper on that.

Not to say that Angel couldn’t be a royal bad ass when he wanted to be. He could. It was just the fact that killing would weigh on his conscience. But having a demon inside insured you could be evil when necessary.

But what Angel was doing to this man was hardly lethal. Unless of course he breathed at the wrong moment. And Angel really hoped that didn’t happen. Being breathless himself prevented the whole doing CPR thing.

“I’d start talking,” Angel said. “Because if you don’t, I might just see how long you can hold your breath.” When the man refused to respond, Angel lowered him headfirst into the bathtub. After a minute, Angel pulled on the rope and raised him back out. “Well?”

“Fuck you,” the man spat.

“Nothing’s ever easy around here,” Angel muttered. Angel tied the rope so the man was left hanging over the water. Disappearing for a minute, the vampire reappeared carrying something wrapped in cloth.

“When Cordy and I broke into ‘The Palace’ offices, I got a good look at some invoices.” Unwrapping the cloth, he revealed a cattle prod. “And I just said I have got to get me one of these. Just scream if I get the voltage too high.”

**************
Cordelia clutched Connor closer as the first scream reverberated through the hotel. Normally she would strongly disapprove of Angel doing something so Angelus like. But not today. Trying to hurt her baby was simply unacceptable. She almost smiled at the sound of the second scream.

“Are you sure we should allow Angel to be doing this?” Wes asked her.

“That man tried to hurt Connor.” The tone in her voice left no room for argument. Wesley wasn’t stupid. You do not mess with a pissed off mother.

The screams continued for several more minutes. The gang watched as Angel carried the man over his shoulder down the stairs. Angel dropped the man unceremoniously on a couch in the lobby.

Cordelia glared at the man who tried to hurt her baby. As much as she would like to play with the cattle prod, she knew that such action would be pointless now. Evidently the man had decided to talk, and she wouldn’t risk changing his mind.

“What’s your name?” Angel asked.

The man glared at Angel a moment before answering. “Peter Reynolds.”

“Who do you work for?”

Reynolds smirked a bit. “The Powers That Be.”

****************
John Martin was sore from his latest ‘session’ with Lilith. He knew fully well he was a sick man for enjoying this. And this little fetish of his might be the cause of his ruination.

Rubbing his sore wrists, he entered his office and checked his answering machine. No word from Reynolds yet. Glancing at the clock he saw it was well past two in the morning. Perhaps he’d wait to call in the morning. There was no reason to worry.

Sitting gingerly in his plush leather chair, Martin wondered when things became so complicated. His sister had always known of his particular sexual preferences. Hell, she shared most of them. Otherwise she wouldn’t be running ‘The Palace’.

But one visit his sister told him of a new arrival. She called herself Lilith. Only much later would he learn how appropriate the name was. John sometimes wondered why she never killed him like the others. He liked to believe it was because she cared for him. But more likely it was the protection he could give her.

His Lilith had a mean streak matched only by her hunger for survival. As much as she killed for the pleasure of hurting tortured souls, she did it for a much more primal purpose as well.

And he wondered when Lilith would decide she didn’t need him anymore.

****************
“She’s not of this world,” Reynolds explained. “This is a creature straight from the depths of Hell. The victims she chooses, they aren’t random, you understand that?”

Most everyone but Angel was confused. He had seen the similarities in the files. “All of them were alone,” he said sadly. “No families. Some divorced, some widowed. They had all been hurt at some point. She feeds on that.”

“Psychologically, yes” Reynolds agreed. “But she needs them for something more. Something far more basic. They have something she needs.”

Part Four

Posted July 19, 2018 by califi in Complete