“There,” Gunn pointed to a solid steel door.
“Yes,” Wesley winced as he heard the sounds of gasps and whimpering through the door.
“Gentleman,” he looked to Gunn and John.
They both nodded and readied.
Wesley stalled and looked around. He quickly pointed to a large pipe that was lying on the ground. He nodded.
Gunn rushed over and picked it up. Wesley, Gunn and John took a hold of the pipe and aimed it at the lock. With quick three nods, the iron pipe pounded on the door.
A sigh of relief flew from Wesley as the door broke open. The three men went tumbling into the room.
“Angel, Cordy,” the shouts hit the air as Gunn and Wesley saw the tableau before them.
Without thinking much, Wesley shot an arrow from his crossbow into the vampire’s stomach.
Angelus lurched away, Cordelia’s blood dripping from his mouth.
“Gunn, Cordelia, get her out of here.” Wesley shouted.
Gunn already had the girl in his arms. He stalled for a moment. “Angel, you shot Angel?”
“Go, get the hell out of here, just go,” Wesley yelled.
Gunn nodded and carried his burden away from the room.
Angelus grappled up, looking at the arrow stuck in his stomach. He lurched forward attacking Wesley.
“John, go,” the former watcher shouted.
John looked back only once as he was running out of the room.
“Ouch, ball-less wonder. Did you think this was enough,” Angelus nodded to the arrow. “Or did you just not have the guts to kill me.” He heckled.
“Damn you, Angelus, but then again how many times have you already been damned. Call me a fool if you will,” Wesley answered as he shot Angelus with another crossbow into the stomach.
“But, never question, if we can’t save you, you’ll be dust” Wesley took one last look at the slumped over vampire before he ran as fast as his feet could carry him.
“Where? Where’s the girl?” Bathym bellowed. The demon’s large frame encompassed the broken doorway.
Angelus dragged himself up against the wall. He winced as he ripped the crossbow arrows from his stomach. “A visit from Cordy’s Heroes,” he grunted. “Your transportation trick didn’t do much transporting, now did it? What’d you do just toss the human do-gooders into the next room? Next time, I would suggest somewhere a little farther, preferably hell.” Angelus said sarcastically.
“ERRGH,” Bathym howled rushing the vampire.
Angelus quickly brought up a bloody bolt and shoved at the charging demon’s chest. The force of the blow shattered the thin arrow as it barely penetrated the demon’s thick skin.
Bathym laughed. “Ineffective.”
“I don’t know, it stopped you didn’t it?” Angelus dropped the splintered bolt to the floor.
“I am invincible.”
“Of course you are,” Angelus deadpanned. His fingers probed the tears in his shirt, examining the extent of his wounds. Angelus grimaced as he pulled back his bloody hand. The borrowed blood was flowing freely. He was loosing it by the cupful.
“Get her back or you die,” Bathym yelled.
“That’s not very polite,” Angelus retorted, not at all cowed by the demon’s threat. The loud demon was getting on Angelus’ nerves.
“Master! What’s happened?” Renfield rushed into the room. His eyes widen to the size of saucers has he took in the wounded vampire and the slight cut on Bathym’s hide, in the otherwise empty room. “The lower demon, he has attacked you. Do I kill him, Oh Majestic One?” Renfield wheezed, bobbing his thin head at Angelus.
Angelus disregarded the human’s words, but rather stared contemplatively at his rapid pulse beating through the pale skin of his scrawny neck. The loss of blood was making him dizzy; he needed to replenish soon.
Bathym ignored his servant’s whine. “You will get her back. I need her and the necklace,” Bathym ordered Angelus.
“Yeah, well that makes two of us.” Angelus growled. Angelus could care less about the piece of jewelry, but he did need Cordelia back. He could still taste her tantalizing flavor on his tongue. Her blood was an elixir to him.
The compulsion to have the young woman was all consuming. It was beyond the mere obsession to acquire someone that Angel loved. Angelus didn’t want Cordelia to destroy, but to possess.
“You will bring her back dead and with the necklace,” Bathym yelled trying to regain the vampire’s attention.
“Or you will hop, skip, and jump- and then kill me, I get it.” Bathym was truly getting annoying. Angelus straightened his injured body, swaying in the attempt. “I need to feed.”
“Fine,” Bathym signed in contempt at the vampire’s seemingly vulnerability. In an instant, Bathym’s long serpent’s tail whipped out capturing Renfield in its strong coil. “Here.” The demon swung the wide-eyed human towards Angelus.
“Master?” Renfield managed to squeak out before he was thrown into Angelus’ waiting fangs. The vampire tore into the skinny human’s throat, drinking him dry. Renfield’s empty body fell to the ground. Angelus closed his eyes as he felt the stolen blood revitalize his hurt body.
Bathym stared down at Renfield’s crumpled form. “He was really a good servant, you know. Had the right balance of fear and obsequiousness. Not that easy to find now a days. Now get the girl.” He added, no longer concerned with his dead menial.
“Bandages?” Angelus looked down at the open gashes on his stomach. The bleeding at finally stopped but the wounds were still exposed.
“Here,” Bathym snorted. He bent down a tore off Renfield’s jacket. “Make do.”
“Your little helper did have his uses, didn’t he?” Angelus shredded the material and wrapped the makeshift dressing on to his injuries.
“Ready, now?” Bathym asked impatiently.
Angelus ignored the demon as he pushed past him.
“Vampire,” Bathym called.
“Keep your tail curled. You’ll get your necklace,” Angelus said still stalking away. “Maybe, and only after I will get what’s mine,” he added growling low.
“How is Cordelia,” Wesley cried, jumping behind the wheel of Angel’s car. He glanced up in the rearview mirror catching sight of Gunn nestling her unconscious form onto his lap.
“Breathing,” Gunn answered. “Wes…Why?…….How? I mean why would Angel do this…”
“Not Angel, Angelus,” Wesley corrected.
“What? The badass evil dude, I thought he came out only when Angel had the ‘big happy’? You don’t think he and Cordy….Nah,” Gunn shook his head in answer to his own question. “Not enough time, and definitely not the right atmosphere to get down in.”
“That was Angel,” John interrupted. “He bit Cordelia,” John stared in concern and shock at the young woman.
“No, not Angel. But, the evil demon he was before Angel received his soul. Somehow, Angel has lost his soul and somehow we’ve got to figure out a way to return it. But first, we need to get Cordelia to a safe place.”
“Why would the bad ass evil dude be helping Bathym? I thought he was only into those homicidal un-dead bitches,” puzzled Gunn.
“Yes, Darla and Drusilla. If he remains on the loose long enough, I imagine he will go to them. But, I’m afraid that won’t be his immediate goal.” Wesley glanced back up in the mirror to catch sight of Cordelia.
“I don’t understand? The necklace would be of no use to a vampire,” asked John.
“Not, the necklace, its possessor.” Wesley corrected. “In past appearances, Angelus has always seemed to focus his particular psychotic brand of torment on those that Angel cares the most about. And, like you said, Angel has very strong feelings for Cordelia.”
“Shit, the psycho vamp will be jonesin’ hard for Cordy.” Gunn exclaimed, pulling the young woman further into his embrace.
“Quite,” Wesley concurred. “Bathym and Angelus,” he shook his head. “Cordy is in grave danger.”
“You should’ve dusted the bastard,” reprimanded Gunn.
“No, not until we know for sure whether Angel’s soul can be returned or not.”
“And if he causes a shit load of damage before then? If he gets to Cordy.” Countered Gunn.
“Then, he is dust.”
“Wesley, we should get her to the hospital,” urged the Professor.
“No, a hospital is a public place. Angelus could enter anytime. No, I’ve a recipe for a potion that can help quicken Cordelia’s own natural ability to rebuild her blood supply. Damn.” Wesley banged on the wheel.
“What’s up, English?”
“Gunn, we’re going to have to drop you off at the Hyperion. The necessary ingredient is there. Get them, quickly, then get out. We can’t be sure how long Angelus’ injuries will slow him down.”
“Where are you going?”
“To John’s,” he explained, without asking for the Professors permission. “Angel has never been invited in. We need time to make a plan.”
“Wesley, Gunn,” John interrupted. “Look, the bite marks.” He called in amazement.
Wesley swerved the car to the side of the road. “What is it?”
The small puncture wounds on Cordelia’s neck glowed with a white light. Cordelia gasped and blinked her eyes. Her hand flew to the lesions as they healed. Cordelia struggled away from Gunn as she tried to sit up. “Wesley…”
“Cordy, are you all right,” asked a concerned Wesley.
“Your kidding, right?” she weakly retorted.
“Cordy lie down, you’ve lost a lot of blood.” Gunn pulled her back down.
“No, I’m fine,” she said in contrast to her earlier statement. “The necklace has worked its mojo. Hey, what’s the Native American kidnapper doing here.” Cordelia glared at the Professor.
“I’m sorry, but I…we needed the necklace. It belongs to….”
“The Hopi, the old guy…I got that much. The old guy, in my dream, not the Wise One, the other one?”
“My father,” John said quietly.
“I’m sorry, but did you ever think that if you told us, gee, I don’t know the truth, gave us some warning, this all may never have happened. Angel wouldn’t be running around reinventing his grand old evil days.” She grunted in exasperation. “Eww,” she sighed, tears welling up in her eyes. Cordelia took a deep breath. “Wesley, start the car. We’ve got to the Hyperion.”
“No. Not hotel. Professor’s.” Wesley argued disjointedly.
“No,” Cordelia demanded. “We have to go to the hotel. Angel will go there and we need to capture him. Wesley, he still has his soul.”
“Cordelia, that was Angelus. He can’t have a soul.”
“Sure, he acted like Angelus, he thinks he’s Angelus, but he isn’t not really, not completely. He can’t be, Angel still has his soul.” She repeated, trying to explain what she had seen and felt. “Wesley, I was there, I saw, I heard. The big tailed ugly may think that Angel doesn’t have a soul, but he is wrong.”
“Impossible. Cordelia, I’m not saying we won’t try to retrieve Angel’s soul. Maybe, Willow’s spell or…I don’t know, but we’ll try, it could take some time.”
“Yeah, like maybe forever” Gunn grumbled.
“No, no,” Cordelia shook her head. “We don’t need to do all that. I can heal Angel.”
“Cordelia, his soul is not injured, it’s gone. He is Angelus.” disputed Wesley.
“Wesley, listen to me. Bathym went on about how he couldn’t kill or take the necklace, and he said those that he influences couldn’t either, whatever that means. Then, Angel came. The big ugly touched him, and then poof Angelus. And now, Bathym thinks Angelus can kill me. Bathym babbled about how Angelus didn’t have a soul therefore wasn’t really one of his followers. But he is wrong. Wesley, I tried to heal Angel, I almost did it. His soul is still there, its just…its just dark and evil,” she shuddered, trying to explain.
“Legend says that Bathym and those that he corrupts can’t harm the possessor of the necklace,” John pondered out loud.
“Harm? Oh, he can harm, just not permanently,” Cordelia retorted.
“Wesley, if Cordelia is right…”
John smiled at the insistent young woman. “Bathym has the ability to reach into a beings soul and amplify the evil that resides within. That evil grows in strength, until it becomes paramount, there by contaminating the soul.”
Cordelia nodded vigorously. “And Angelus is the evil in Angel’s soul. Bathym just made him stronger that’s all. But, he isn’t real. Angel is still there, just lost in all of the darkness.”
“The necklace can cure Bathym’s corruption, that is purpose for which is was designed. Cordelia can with the necklace, heal Angel’s soul.” John finished anxiously. Bathym was wrong. John couldn’t believe it; he had grown up hearing of the almost god-like abilities. But the demon was fallible and that meant he could be destroyed.
“Angelus is real and he did hurt you.” Wesley stated.
“Yeah, but I’m better. If Angel was really the soulless ‘grr’ guy that Bathym thinks he is, that you think he is, I wouldn’t be, I’d be drained dry. “We have to go. So, go,” she ordered Wesley.
“We still need a plan,” countered Wesley, still not sure that he believe Cordelia.
“We have a plan- tag, bag and heal, ump. Now, come on,” she argued.
Angelus grumbled as he stood out on the near empty street. Well, he hadn’t really expected Angel’s car to be waiting, but it would have been advantageous. Now, he would have to waste precious time finding an alternative form of transportation.
The fates were smiling, either that or falling mightily down on their job, Angelus chuckled as a car turned onto the dark street. It all depended on your perspective, he thought. They were definitely smiling in his mind.
The car only had one occupant, a woman. Angelus thought that the woman might have a different perspective once he got through with her, though.
Angelus waved the car down. The woman was young, pretty and blonde. Angelus inwardly grimaced. Blonde, he was tired of blondes, they tended to get boringly whining after awhile. Buffy, Kate, human Darla, hell, even vamp Darla had her moments. B
oring and…dumb, Angelus thought as the car slowed to a stop. Those jokes seemed to be true. Only an idiot would stop for a strange man in the middle of the night. Angelus knew he shouldn’t hate her, after all woman like this kept him fed most of his undead life.
She was only providing a necessary service. It wasn’t her fault she was stupid and uninteresting.
“Um, hi…can I help,” the young woman rolled down her window.
“Yes, my car broke down,” Angelus pointed in a far away direction. “Would you happen to have a phone?” The vampire smiled.
“Um,” the young woman gaped at Angelus devastatingly handsome smile. “Um, yes…But I…do you need a ride somewhere?”
“That would be nice,” Angelus shot the woman another smile, this time seductive as he moved to the passenger side.
“Great…I mean ok, then.” The woman couldn’t wait to tell the women at her dinner club about the walking hunk. They would of course lecture her about picking up a stranger at 1am, but whoa what a stranger.
Guys like him only came around once in a lifetime and she wasn’t going to miss it. He was just too hot to ignore. Boy, would she have stories to tell.
Angelus kicked the woman’s depleted body to the curb as he started the car. Between the scrawny Reinfold and the dim blonde’s blood, Angelus felt most of his strength returning. He pulled off the makeshift bandages. Yep, almost as good as new. Angelus really enjoyed being a vampire.
Angelus fingers strummed on the steering wheel as he drove. Where would Wes less take Cordelia? Angelus growled as he thought about the former rogue demon hunter. For a balless wonder, Wyndem-Price did seem to have an uncanny knack for frustrating Angelus’ plans.
The first time had been a fluke; Angelus had been too distracted watching Cordelia trying to bluff him. He pictured her holding that harmless water bottle babbling about some priest or another blessing the drinking water. Angelus growled.
Cordelia was definitely not boring; she was heat and flames. He had to have her. Angel was a gutless, wimpy ass fool for not taking advantage of the beauty that had been under his nose all that time. Well, Angelus would not be so neglectful of Cordelia. But first he had to find her.
Wesless wouldn’t have gone back to the Hyperion. What the former rogue demon hunter lacked in balls, he made up for in brains. No, they wouldn’t go to anywhere that Angel had an open invite. So, that knocked out Cordelia’s or Wesley’s. That only left every other private residence in LA. Angelus growled, thinking.
His growl deepened as he realized the answer. The Professor’s. That’s where they would go. Angelus didn’t agree with much of what Angel thought or felt. But Angel’s thoughts about killing the Indian were valid ones. Not only had the Indian have the gall to kidnap Cordelia, she thought he was gorgeous. Yes, Dr. Red Bear just made the top of Angelus’s kill wish list. With Wes less coming in a close second.
Actually, Angelus reconsidered; maybe he should keep the Wesley alive for awhile. The man did know his books. He just might be able to give Angelus the know how to destroy Bathym. And the demon definitely had to go. Angelus wasn’t at all comfortable with allowing the arrogant demon to live, not when Bathym could in a hop, skip and jump threaten the vampire and be a danger to Cordelia.
No, he would move Bathym up from the third spot on his list. Then Wesley, Gunn, Wolfram & Hart. Not that Wolfram & Hart was all that bad; it just annoyed Angelus that the law firm thought it could control him.
Then what? Angelus guessed he could go to Sunnydale, but nothing there really excited him anymore. Buffy could live or die for all he cared. But, maybe Cordelia would like to cause some havoc in her old hometown. Now, that could be fun. Angelus trembled at the thought of Cordelia by his side, in his bed, under his control.
She was his and soon she would feel his dominance. Angelus’s foot pressed harder on the accelerator.