Title: Next Best Thing
Category: Humor, Drama, Angst
Summary: A wonky spell forces Angel to lose his soul and the demon takes the next inhabitant. Cordy. Willow is summoned to dispel them and Spike tags along for good measure. (Can’t seem to keep them out of anything it seems. heh)
Spoilers: Up to the induction of Wesley into their team. I don’t really remember the name of the episode. Don’t kill me.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: By all means just tell me where? Stranger Things is a given.
Notes: This is after Doyle’s dead and before Angel’s beige period. I’m sorry about cutting Blood is Thicker, the Angel/X-Men crossover, because that just took too much brain and I’ve been dog busy lately. I will post it after I’m done with this. This is smaller, simpler and easier to finish! Thanks to Califi for telling me this isn’t total crap. Love you babe.
Feedback: Like breathing air.
“This is the perfect way to get rid of the Kisbath demon!”
“Wesley! The thing doesn’t HAVE a head!”
“Just because it doesn’t look like a head, doesn’t mean it ISN’T!”
Cordy’s head whipped from left to right at the two men arguing in the lobby. If her arms hadn’t been holding an assortment of charms and dust and musty old books, she might have smacked them both, but the fact was that she was trying to get their attention and they weren’t paying any to her.
How dare they!
“The head implies the opposite end of the side he’s standing on and there’s NOTHING there!”
“A head constitutes a brain Angel and since the demon is rather coordinated for a brainless creature, I’d say it HAS a head!”
“I’ve seen it from all ends Wesley! There is no…”
“SHUT UP! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Just SHUT up!”
Angel blinked at the mahogany haired woman standing there her soft suede heels stomping down with wicked intent onto the floor of the hotel lobby and she did not look pleased.
Wesley himself, drew away from the death glare that Cordy had perfected over time. Wesley cleared his throat and pushed his glasses more firmly on his nose while Angel shoved his hands into his pants.
This woman could instill fear in men and vampires, Angel realized again for the hundredth time since he’d met her.
Standing there with an arm load of various ingredient Cordy seethed with silent fury.
“First of all! While we stand here arguing about which side of this Kissbutt demon is up, IT’S probably eating its next victim as we speak. Second of all, Wesley, just because it constitutes a brain doesn’t make it a head! Think of Xander. Third of all! Angel, what the hell do you mean you looked from EVERY end? Can I just say Eyow? And LAST of all, this stupid stuff isn’t exactly LIGHT!”
Without further delay she shoved the entire contents of her arms into Wesley’s before planting her hands on her hips. “Okay you may speak now.”
Angel blinked at her. For a second he wondered if he should tell her he didn’t need her confirmation to speak but then let it rest considering the girl did have the innate ability to make him feel exactly five inches high with just one look. He figured it was better to just not antagonize the woman further.
He might have to buy her clothes. “Cordy, it’s a Kisbath demon.”
She rolled her eyes and ‘pfffed’ emphatically. “That’s what I said Kissbutt, so are we doing this spell so we can blind the ugly little thing or not?”
“Well we still need to figure out where his eyes are.” Wesley put the contents of his arms on the table and took a deep breath as he regarded the material. It was really nice of Cordelia go out and get these ingredients for them and with such accuracy too.
Considering that newt testicles were hard to find. And magic wasn’t really his strong suit. Now research. Research he could do and he still felt that it was lacking since they really didn’t know where the eyes of the demon were before they threw the spell-cast dust in its eyes to blind him and then kill him.
“Considering it HAS a head.” Angel picked up a small jar with floating bits as he shot back petulantly.
“Angel, technically if it can hypnotize its victims it must have eyes and thus a…”
“Oh my god! You both are like schoolyard pygmies arguing over the last banana! Will you just MIX the ingredients so we can get on with our lives! I DO have a life unlike you two wallflowers!”
For an insane moment Angel wondered if pigmies even ate banana but when Wesley began his feeble protest he only shook his head and let her silence him.
“MIX!” She commanded pointing a finger to the assortment of spell casting material.
He watched with amusement as Wesley immediately went to putting the ingredients together to mix and sifting through the book to find the appropriate incantation.
After Doyle’s death and Cordy’s unwanted visions and their final adjustment into this hotel, Angel was finally beginning to believe that the saying was true. For every door closed another opens.
Besides, he’d lost enough people in his long life to realize that mourning those that you lost isn’t fair to the ones that are still with you.
And so Angel set out to rebuild his family. Again.
“Well this incantation needs to be said in the vicinity of the demon before it’s blown into his eyes.”
“Define vicinity Wes. How close do we need to be?” Angel walked to the counter and ducking behind it to grab his axe and to strap on his blades.
“A couple of yards to be on the safe side.”
Cordy frowned. “Well this Kissbutt demon is small but he packs quite a punch, how are we going to get that close without it putting the whammy on us?”
“There is no ‘us’ Cordy.”
The girl spun around and glared at Angel as he shrugged on his coat and the axe disappeared underneath it. “Well the demon’s victims were all male. YOU said so. I’d say I’m the best bet. Unless you plan to grow boobs.”
The vampire that had a hard time answering all of her questions and replying to her remarks stood there staring at her and pondered the mental image she spoke of. He could almost hear his demon cackling in the background.
Stealing a glance down at his chest he quirked an eyebrow. She did say manly boobs once right? He couldn’t confirm in a mirror, but he was also called ‘salty goodness’ by said woman once before. Did she think…
“Stop! Stop that right now!”
He nearly jumped at the finger poking him in his gut.
“I know what you’re doing buster. You’d think a vampire with your history and fame would not need reassurance about his sexiness.”
His mouth twitched with a smile. Cordy thought he was sexy.
“No.” She shook her head vigorously. “I am NOT babying you about this Angel. Nope. Not happening.”
Wesley cleared his throat softly and both eyes turned to him. “Well she does have a valid point about the Kisbath.”
“Wesley I can’t grow…”
The watcher’s eyes widened. “NO! I meant…I mean she is female. The hypnotic stare of the demon doesn’t affect her.”
Cordy bit her cheek to keep from grinning at the shock on Wesley’s face and Angel’s misinterpretation before she grabbed the small bottle of baby blue dust that Wesley had prepared and the small note of the incantation he’d scribbled on a paper.
This sure as hell was a faggy color to kill a little bad demon. But she wasn’t one to judge. The demon was a stark fashion statement anyway. Red slimy skin with yellow spots. As if. Didn’t he know polka dots were like so last century?
Angel ran a hand through his spiky hair before regarding the smug girl before him. With a relenting half sigh, half growl he thrust the hilt of one of his daggers at her.
“The ugly little thing also has claws the size of a very large lobster that can take your head off. And yours is pretty visible.”
The girl whooped happily at being included and threw her arms around his neck. Yay! She got to kick butt of this Kissbutt demon! “Oh thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”
“WHOA!” Angel ducked his head before the dagger in her hand nearly caught him in the eye.
If things went the way they were supposed to the Fang gang would take days off. So when they tracked the demon to a local warehouse and it seemed to be resting, they made the mistake of thinking they’d have more breathing room.
“When this is over, I’m going to have a manicure.”
“There’s this lovely new old bookstore around the corner. I’m thinking of building a rather large library in the hotel.” The blue in Wesley eyes were glassy with an almost orgasmic glow.
Both Angel and Cordelia shuddered before stepping forward through the dark warehouse.
“He so needs to get laid.”
Angel bit his cheek when Cordy grabbed his sleeve to steady herself while Wesley was lost in visions of dancing books and talking scrolls. “Don’t we all,” Angel muttered low under his breath, his demon’s voice a lot more assertive when it came to being laid.
It was while they were hatching eggs that weren’t even laid when the demon woke up.
The roar was loud for a little red demon with six legs or arms. And the sharp keening sounds was louder than either of them were prepared for. When the slashing claws came out of the darkness Angel shoved his seer away from him and Cordelia was thrown across the floor screaming about rude vampires.
The bottle got knocked out of her hand and Wesley was flung into a row of boxes. “Cordy get the bottle!” Angel was just in time to jump away when the Kisbath launched itself at him.
The girl groaned before slowly dragging herself to her hands and knees. “Gimmie a minute.”
Angel squeezed his eyes shut and listened with his vampire hearing trying his best to duck the onslaught of snapping claws. “Cordy I might not HAVE a minute!!!!!”
“Well just keep him busy!” She crawled across the dusty floor as the sounds of snapping claws filled the empty warehouse. She grumbled when the dust coated her hands and knees. “These jeans are ruined.”
“CORDY!!!!!!!!” Angel swung his axe when one of the claws caught the hem of his coat. “Let GO of the coat right now!”
“He’s worried about his coat. Pffft! This is CK!” The seer shook her head trying to clear the buzzing in her ears before her fingers closed around the glass bottle. “AHA!”
“CORDELIA!” Angel was fighting blind and although his enhanced vampire senses were keeping him dancing out of the demon’s reach the little creature was faster than he’d expected.
Wesley stood up taking aim of the crossbow. “The larger tentacles Cordy! Go for the largest ones!” He knew he couldn’t shoot with Angel in the fray.
“There’s three of them!” She rolled to her feet and uncapped the little blue bottle. Decisions. Decisions.
Angel winced as a claw slashed across his abdomen tearing skin and he smelled the metal tang of his own blood. “Take all of them dammit!”
“HEY! Pudgy!” Running across to the struggling figures Cordy momentarily panicked when the demon turned its body towards her. Pouring the sand like dust into her palm she looked up and screamed. The creature definitely had a head and teeth and they were a few inches away from her face.
Angel’s eyes flew open at the smell of familiar fear and the axe slid into his hand. “Cordy, look out!” He saw one claw slide out to snap shut on her arm, but before he could step further he caught a face-full of the dust that Cordelia dumped all over the screaming demon and him.
“The words Cordy!” Wesley yelled, “say the words!”
Flailing blindly, the sharp end of Angel’s axe was lucky enough to cut the arm that was reaching for his panicked seer and gave her enough time to pull out the slip of paper from her pocket. Pointing a shaking finger at the demon and she started speaking the incantation in Latin.
The little creature let out a shrill howl and Cordelia stood there panting and staring down wide-eyed at the demon struggling at her feet. If the sudden gulping of air didn’t faze her the ugly creature at her feat nearly made her revisit breakfast.
“Oh god, its not dead! Wesley if we live through this I’m going to KILL you!”
Angel felt his nose twitch before he sneezed the dust clouding his vision and his nostrils burned. And for a second there, the stale air in his lungs was sucked out of him and a hollow remained in his un-breathing chest.
Coughing with the itch in his throat he groaned and tried to make out the squirming demon on the floor, the axe raised in his hand, but the dust had gotten into his eyes and mouth and the odd ache in his chest only deepened.
Wesley’s eyes widened as the claws stretched up towards the frozen seer and he pulled the trigger. Dust or no dust, the arrow lodged itself into its midsection. And with a last wail it fell to its side. When it collapsed Wesley walked over watching Angel groaning and rubbing his eyes sprinkled with sparkling blue dust and Cordy stood there her breath caught in her throat.
“Well, I’m guessing there was more than one way to kill it.”
“You think!” The vampire blinked, his were eyes burning but his vision cleared slightly. The dull ache in his chest remained. “Good work Cordy. The demon might not be blind, but I am.”
“Well fuckity dee soulboy. When you entrust the backbone of the plan to a half pint cheerleader, it’s a wonder you don’t get castrated.”
Wesley’s head snapped around to stare at Cordelia.
Angel blinked rapidly a couple of times to make sure it was her who spoke before he leaned a little closer to look into her face. “Cordy?”
When Cordelia raised her hazel eyes they were flashing with anger and a hint of cockiness he’d never seen on her.
Her usually beautiful mouth spread into a wicked sneer. “Guess again soulboy.” Then the widening of her pupils was accompanied by a gasp.
“Oh no. NO! This can NOT be happening to me!”
And now he realized that it wasn’t his breath that was sucked out of him.
It had been his demon.