Chapter Thirty One
‘Damn, Damn, Damn’, Spike’s thoughts raced as he clenched harder on the cigarette between his teeth and mumbled the words on the paper in front of him.
“Maybe, it’s your pronunciation?” Angelus laughed.
“Fuck” Spike slammed the burning stem to the floor and crumbled the paper in his tight fist.
“Give it up. It’s not working. I’m ba…ck…….. ck. Accept it. And get me out of these chains, like a good little sire.”
“Bugger that,” Spike yelled. He stumbled down to the floor to grab the stake that Angel had dropped earlier.
“You wouldn’t kill your only childe, now would you?” Angelus pouted from his bondage. “That’s just not very loving, now is it.”
“Go to hell.”
“Been there, done that….”
“Lucky you, you’ll know your way around then, when I dust your bloody arse.”
“Such malice, such hatred, you seemed to have developed some issues over the years. Would it help if I said I was sorry for all those tiny, inconsequential, and little. …well not so nice things that I may have perpetrated on you in the past. I didn’t mean them, honest. I really did care about you after all we were family; in fact, we still are- even closer now, you being my sire and all. And I am very very grateful to you for that.
I promise I’ll be good. . And you have to admit there were plenty of grand times. And there are more to be had, just let me loose. That chip hasn’t dulled your lust for blood, only made it impossible for you to obtain, what you want. Well, I can help there. Let me hunt for you- service with style. Come on, Spike. You know you want to be a vampire again, not just some lap dog to the goody two shoes humans. And really, do they- can they appreciate your unique talents like I can, one of your kind, your childe.”
“Bugger…” Spike mumbled again. The turned again bastard hadn’t lost his talent of persuasion that was for sure. Spike moved closer to the vampire straining on the hard lid of the crypt. He could see the chains weakening against the force of Angelus’s strength. He had to make a decision, soon. Fuck it, childe or not, the gift of gab aside,
Spike did not want Angelus wandering around. The grand times, admittedly had been grand, but they were no longer possible, not with the damn chip welded to his brain, not with Buffy around. Spike had realized that when his dark queen had come for a visit and he had been willing to stake her for Buffy. No, those good times were gone.
Hell, he had loved Dru, Angelus he could only tolerate even in the best of times. No, Angelus undead and kicking, killing, torturing, taunting was not something beneficial to Spike’s future. Nor could he concern himself with Buffy’s possible, probable, okay definite anger towards him at his part in the re emergence of the evil vampire. But, she would have to realize that it would be worse for her and all of her friends if Spike didn’t jab the wooden stake through Angelus. And who knew, maybe she wouldn’t find out. There was always hope.
Spike turned his hand raised to strike.
“I guess the answer is no then. And you called Angel whipped.”
“I’d say givin’ up humanity for a bleedin skirt could be called whipped.”
“Ah, but you should see her in a skirt. Makes the mouth water. Fuckin lickin delectable. Come on, Spike, I have no interest in the slayer, you can have her. Let me go.”
“I don’t trust you.”
“Wow, not nice. The love really has gone away.” Angelus laughed pulling and breaking the chains. In a fluid swift movement, he was on his feet, the stone tableau between him and Spike. “A duel to the death, then” He laughed merrily, eying the stalled blonde.
“Okay, then the duel?”
“You are dust.”
“Ouch.” Angelus exaggerated a wince. “I’m hurt.”
Both vampires circled the crypt, their strong bodies tensing in preparation of the battle.
Spike moved closer.
Angelus’’s head jerked at the voices. His eyes narrowed as Wesley and Cordelia rushed into the small chamber.
“Spike, move away.” Wesley ordered.
Spike looked around his expression incredulous as a stream of people flowed into the mausoleum.
“Back away,” Wesley said, his crossbow pointed directly at the blonde vampire.
“It’s Angelus,” Spike, his wooden stake still in the air. “Bad dead guy, evil dead guy. Should be wasted bad evil dead guy. No bleedin’ soul.” He reminded.
“Yes, now back away or be dirt devil debris”
Spike’s brows rose as he moved away. “Bloody hell”
“Saving the day, are you Wes. How kind, how inappropriate, how too late, unless…I know you think that you can bring the soul back. Can’t, sorry, – well not really. It’s gone. ” Angelus stood still, smirking and eying the weapon in Wesley’s hand.
“Angel?” Buffy said.
“Hardly.” Angelus eyed the group and the assortment of weapons that had suddenly appeared in their hands.
“I wouldn’t move.” Gunn said to Angelus. “We haven’t met, not proper like. But I haven’t heard anything quite at all likeable about you.” The young black man held a cross brow towards the dark vampire and a set of shackles.
“Yeah, well I don’t like you either.” Angelus growled as Gunn snapped the iron chains around his hands and feet. “The whole gang- LA and Sunnyhell. Just for little old me. I’m impressed and very annoyed.” Angelus eye’s targeted Cordelia as he pulled on the cuffs.
“Dreaming of me were you. So, seer what did you see? Did I kill anybody, or was it just some torture and maiming. Or did you see the plans that I have for you? Was it good for you? Because believe me, princess it will be good for me, very good.”
Cordelia blinked. The pounding in her head was becoming unbearable, the medication was no longer working, and she was unable to squeeze and push the pain to the corner of her mind. The sight of Angelus was making that impossible.
Groo grumbled from behind. “You are the beast.”
“Wow, this time you got it right, I am the beast. Maybe you aren’t so dumb. Nay, you are.” Angelus laughed.
“You will not harm the Princess, I will defeat you this time.”
Angelus laughed. “Not likely. A challenge, then. Where’s the torch, the ceremony? Ump. I think I’m offended. Oh well, never mind. This time to your death, to your very messy long overdue death. But first, the chains?” Angelus lifted his hands to Wesley and Gunn. “What?” He said when neither moved. “That’s just a little unfair, isn’t it?”
“NO,” Cordelia stepped forward.
“Do not fear Princess, I will kill it, the beast will not touch you.”
“I’ll touch the Princess in ways that you could only imagine and over your dead mangled body. She belongs to me, realize it.” Angelus growled pulling harder at the iron that bound him.
“My edible, delectable Cordy is that all you can say- no. Where’s the pleas, where’s the ‘don’t hurt him, I love him’ whine.” Angelus mocked. “Angel was a dumb ass.”
Cordelia winced. Her head was breaking apart. Her internal defenses for containing the pain were failing.
“Damn, the evil version sure likes to talk.” Gunn said, taking a closer protective stance towards Cordelia’s motionless form. Her eyes clouded with tears as she just stared at Angelus.
“The bastard gets off on his own bloody voice.” Spike mumbled. “Bugger.”
“How did this happen?” Buffy said. Her stunned expression turned to Spike. “How did you let this happen?” Her tone rising in growing anger.
“Let?” Angelus rolled his eyes to Buffy. “Give the vamp his proper do. He’s my daddy. Don’t you see the family resemblance?” Angelus showed his game face.
“What?” Buffy shouted.
“Impossible…the chip…. You’re dust…” floated up in angry waves toward the blonde vampire.
“Bleedin’ blabber mouth.”
Angelus smirked at Spike’s discomfort and worry. “Oh, enough with him, back to me.” He called as the attention turned towards Spike.
Spike backed nervously away from Buffy and the rest of the angry crowd. “It wasn’t my idea, believe me. It was his. Or Peaches’ rather. A daft idea true, but I took precautions. I got the bleedin spell. But the damn thing wouldn’t work. It’s your fault.” Spike pointed to Giles. “Why in the hell do you keep a useless soul spell around, in a safe, like it was important or something? It’s not my bloody fault. It’s his and the chits.” Spike spun around waving his finger at Angelus and Cordelia.
“Cordelia’s?” Wesley said.
“Sure, Peaches wanted to be a vampire again, daft he was, and very insistent, said being a demon would save the tasty bit. I was just trying to help him save her. That’s what I do now help save the good guys. Just trying to help. He was the one that figured out that I could bite if the human was willing. Angel was willing. See.” He pointed to Angelus. “Vampire, me- no pain. Now, can we kill him? The curse thing doesn’t work.”
“Give me the spell.” Giles ordered.
“Sure, you can have the bleedin piece of nonsense.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Said Buffy. “How can Angel becoming a vampire again save Cordelia and why does she need saving. She looks perfectly fine to me, just a little tired.”
Wesley shot a glance towards Angelus.
“Bloody hell, you wouldn’t”
“I didn’t. Soul wuss did, though, I have to admit, it was turning out to be a wonderful Idea, that is until you all showed up and put a damper on the things. Party poopers. But hey, I’m ready to let bygones be bygones. Just give me the girl. I’ll take the wus’ place and save the seer. Or at least have fun trying, believe me it wouldn’t be a chore. In fact, it would fit quite nicely in with my wants. How about it? Leave the comshucking to me. Send the ken doll back where he came from, that is if you won’t let me kill him.”
“Wesley…?” Cordelia said.
“You told Angel.” Her eyes flashing. “And he…” Cordelia glowered at Angelus. “Dumb ass. Stupid, stupid….stupid.” She raised her hand, a tranquilizer gun held firmly. “Dumb ass,” she repeated as she fired.
Buffy was enraged. She wanted so badly to pummel someone, but everyone she wanted to kill was off-limits.
Willow and Giles confirmed that the spell would work and that Angel’s soul could be restored, Spike had just mispronounced the words. So, as much as she wanted to she couldn’t stake Angelus, not if there was a chance of bringing Angel back. Though, Buffy had to admit if what she gathered from Spike’s self-serving accusations and Angelus seemingly confirmations were true, Angel was not far from being on her maim wish list.
Buffy glared at Spike. The blonde vampire wasn’t evil just incompetent and dangerously close to testing her limits on allowing him to live. But she couldn’t kill him, either, not if Angel demanded to be turned. But then again, she should do it, if for no other reason than the principle of it.
Buffy felt sick to her stomach. How could what Spike said be true, how could Angel give up his humanity all for…Her blue eyes shot to the brunette standing still against the wall of the cave, apart from the group, away from the bound body of Angel. Buffy glared, somehow for some reason it was all Cordelia’s fault.
Buffy wanted to yell at her some more, maybe backhand her one more time, something to bring an explanation or at least an expression to the young brunette’s stone face. But, Wesley, the two men she didn’t know threatened her if she lifted her hand once more to Cordelia. It wasn’t them, though that made her retreat, but Giles. His tone of rebuke had been chilling. So, she left Cordelia alone.
Cordelia’s mind was a bundle of confused emotions. The pain of the vision had finally settled haphazardly behind her protective walls. It finally had become bearable, normal almost. But the situation that she found herself in, was not normal and something she wasn’t at all sure that she could live with.
A new pain was taking over her body, piercing her heart and soul. And that pain refused to be manipulated.
Part of her just wanted to go hide, curl up, and die, to get as far away from the dark crypt, Angel and the angry, confused, accusatory stares that the Sunnydale crowd was flinging at her. Buffy had yelled, threatening and blaming her for what had happened.
Cordelia had said nothing; she had let Buffy strike her. She hadn’t felt it. The pain of the blow was nothing compared to that which was weaving and slicing through her being. Cordelia stared at Angel laid out on the stone tomb, his body chained tightly.
A burst of anger shot through her. She could kill him for the choice he made. She couldn’t stand the sight of the vampire. Rather than giving her comfort, the vampire’s presence was just exasperating the ache in her being.
Cordelia took a deep breath, her eyes never leaving Angel. Damn him. She prayed that the Powers were more forgiving than she was now. They could very well deny Angel his soul and redemption, because of his stupidity. How could he? The pain shot back through her heart, overwhelming her anger. Cordelia watched and waited.
Angel’s unconscious form jerked as the enchanted words flowed around him. A loud agonizing scream came from Angel’s mouth. Cordelia took out a deep breath when as the last candle flickered and died, she heard him speak.
Cordelia resisted the pleading tone of the voice. She straightened. “Angel.” A statement not a question.
The voice responded again. “Cordy, please.”
Cordelia said nothing, but nodded. She looked at Wesley. “I’m going home now.”
“Gunn,” Wesley ordered.
The black young man nodded quickly and ushered Groo and Fred out after the departing figure of Cordelia. “Come on, time to go home.”
“But…Angel,” Fred stuttered.
“English has it covered. Let’s go.”
“The beast needs to die.” Groo stated.
“Stop with the heroics okay. Let’s just go with Cordelia.”
The Pylean eyes shot away from the bound vampire. “The Princess, she needs me…” he charged out of the cave after the brunette.
“I’m thinking we’re still on square one, shit, fuck it we are so behind being on square one. That’s what I’m knowing,” Gunn grumbled as he pulled Fred towards the exit.
“Charles, do not curse so, it’s not nice,” Fred said staying close to the black man’s side.
“Sorry, come on girl.”