Posted: 27/08/03. REPOSTED: Feb 8 2004
Category: Angst. cross-over fic with BtVS & AtS between seasons 2-3
Summary: “The sands of time run thin.”
Spoilers: ATS seasons 1&2
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: GT, AO and JF
Notes: The one-liners in italics after each chapter heading, are taken from the Levellers song, ‘Dance before the storm’.
Thanks/Dedication:This is for Amanda– my very own stalker! Reposting the first bits again as they have been slightly amended. Thanks muchly to La for the beta. Here we go….
Feedback:if you must
“And you dance before the storm…”
London, England 1762
“…every man wants to be a tyrant when he fornicates.”- Marquis De Sade
The woman screamed in abject agony as the knife was dragged slowly down and across her back. Hours of abuse and torture had left her bereft of any semblance of self and she was surprised at her own ability to still scream. The light from the remaining candles, cast ugly and tainted shadows around her bedchamber, illuminating her aggressor’s form. The caricature of him bouncing off the walls, made him seem impossibly iniquitous, more than she already knew him to be. Her body baring the testament of his depraved games.
“That’s it darlin’, scream for me.” Angelus mockingly tapped her ass, “I’m almost done.”
She whimpered and shook beneath him, making him tighten his hold and push her further into the bed.
“Careful or you’ll make me miss and I’ll have to start all over again.” The cold calmness his voice emanated made the hairs on the nape of her neck rise.
She felt his weight finally lift slightly off of her back, watching out the corner of one bruised eye as he lay the bloodied knife on the bedside table beside her. She hissed as he spun her around onto her now shredded back and roughly pulled her legs apart. Pushing himself into her, Angelus relished the pain in her eyes and the noise she tried to impart into the room through her scrapped vocal chords.
“All done now, sweetheart.” He started to move his hips, finding a rhythm that only pleased him. “Apart from this one last thing…” and without further preamble, he allowed his face to change and bit heavily into her neck, gorging himself on her life. Angelus felt the woman under him flinch slightly as he pulled her head back by her hair and slit his wrist, forcing the blood to drip over her parted lips.
“Drink…” he mumbled before releasing himself into her, completely sated in his own tyranny; finally allowing her to succumb to the darkness that she had tried vainly to find hours ago.
When he came back with Darla hours later to enjoy the new vampire he had created, all they found in the room was the echo of his carving bled into the sheets on the bed.
Lord Westford’s Manor. Kent, South East England. New Years Eve, December 2000
The path that wound through the woods was well worn. Well enough to be followed, but not so obvious that the undergrowth didn’t still attack your legs on occasion and tonight, the path was especially busy.
People were parking up in the nearest village, their varying methods of transport overtaking the local pub’s car park and overflowing around the market cross. The patrons walked the trail, loaded down with alcohol and other appropriate substances to see the new millennium in, slowly making their way to the path’s destination. Eventually, the police would catch wind of what was going on, but probably not for hours, leaving plenty of time to party. The dull, repetitive thud of bass was beginning to come into hearing, the sound magnifying with each step; wrapping around the excited and constant chatter of people.
Two hundred years ago, this should have been her place of rest; one, among her many ancestors. But something, or rather, some-one had irrevocably changed that for her. She turned to look at her companion, chasing the unbidden and unwanted past away. He caught her gaze and held it, allowing a small smile of understanding to grace his lips. He held his hand out to her and she took it, allowing him to pull them into the approaching clearing as they finally left the trees behind. The music was now a pounding crescendo and the night was broken by the beams of light that were escaping from the confines of the building, which for tonight, was their Mecca.
The structure was a mausoleum, the pyramidal roof the only mark above the ground. A symbol of dynastic pride, pious respect, and love, she paused to take in the ambience and took in a long deep breath, exhaling slowly and shaking her head a little as if to clear the cobwebs.
“Can you feel it?” Her companion asked, stopping slightly behind her.
“It’s here.” She replied, moving a step towards it. “Fancy a dance?”
“Only ever with you.”
She smiled at the compliment and reached back with her hand for him. He held on tight and together they descended the steps to the interior of the building.
Prague, Czech Republic. New Years Eve, December 2000.
The vampire ran. He could hear its pursuers falling away as he continued in full, supernatural flight. Relaxing his state for just a second, he paused at the corner of the alley before reaching into his pocket.‘Good, still got it’ He turned the object over and over in his hand, ‘Close…so God damned close’. Allowing himself one more furtive look back, he ran across the square, merging into the throngs of people celebrating the beginnings of the true millennium.
Just as the vampire emerged unseen from the other side of the crowds and disappeared into the night, the pursuers reached the corner of the alley. Most of them were panting, doubled over in an effort to recapture lost oxygen into their frantic bodies. One still stood tall, eyes narrowed in disgust at the result of their well laid plans. He cursed swiftly and motioned impatiently to one of the others. “Damno! Shit…give me your phone”
Hyperion Hotel. January 2001.
Wesley slowly came to. His sleep had been fragmentary at best, probably something to do with the bloody hard desk he was slumped on. As his mind lifted from its fog he tried to catch hold of the whispers that seemed to fill the air around him, fleeting through his sub-conscious; what was that language? …he knew it. His brain grabbed feebly at the snatches of phrases but they blew through his ears and he eventually blinked, finally focusing on the polished wood of the desktop in the office.
His hand reached automatically for his glasses and he sat, straightening his poor back. He eventually stood and picked his mug up, heading for the lobby- there was always coffee in the lobby. The tea would just have to wait, he was gasping. Wandering back to the office, he picked up the scroll he had been working on for most of the night. Sipping his coffee, he re-read the Latin text.
‘In terrorem haud iganata loquor hic et nunc incipit locus sigilli quaere verum respice finem sic itur ad astra venire facias in artuclomortis lachrymal angelus.’
The Latin was bad and incomplete, but he surmised that whoever had written it had been in some distress and in a hurry; they usually were and the English translation was coming along just as beautifully iffy.
‘As a warning, I say things that are known here and now. Begin here, the place of the seal, seek the truth, look to the end. Such is the way to the stars. You must make come at the moment of death… angels tears.’
Quite. That cleared that up then. Clear as bloody mud. Sighing, he placed his mug down and decided to go home to freshen up, taking the scroll and his work with him.
Cordelia Chase’s Apartment.
Cordelia slowly and quietly opened the door to her bedroom and held her breath. She released it almost immediately at the silence pervading the building and at the body slouched outside her door. In fact, on her way to the bathroom, she stepped over numerous bodies, the living room was filled with them; and in the middle of them all, upside down on her couch was a vampire. She’d already found Gunn in her kitchen asleep on the table, Dennis very carefully cleaning up around him. But where were Wesley and Fred? She put her hand to her head – what a party! What a night! It had been absolutely brilliant, even Angel appeared to have enjoyed himself. The drunker he got the worse his stories became and he and some of Gunn’s friends appeared to have had a good chat about past conquests, their tales getting more lecherous and lewd as the party continued into the early morning.
And she’d thought vampires were nasty. Hmm.
Thank God for Dennis though. He must have cleared up most of the remains from last night already, apart from the human ones, of course. She chuckled, gave a sigh, and went back into her bedroom to get dressed and wait for everyone else to wake up.
She didn’t have to wait long.
A loud crash came from the kitchen as Gunn rolled too far to the right, fell off the table and face planted into the floor. Angel woke with a start and tried to get a grip on his bearings, the muffled cursing from the other room making others come round with him. His tongue scrapped the roof of his mouth experimentally and his head was starting to vibrate nicely. He found he couldn’t actually sit up from this position and just as he was debating how to swing his legs over his head with the minimum of fuss and effort, a pair of bare feet and legs came into view.
‘Hel-lo….’ He thought.
“Morning.” Said the legs.
“Morning, Cordelia.” He replied
“Need some help?”
“Please…I appear to be… stuck…”
She snorted and he felt her take hold of his legs to move them off the back of the couch. Unfortunately- or not, depending on your point of view and right now, his point of view was first-rate; he could see straight up her skirt. And she smelt absolutely…his nostrils flared… divine. He mentally chastised himself as his legs fell with a thud on the ground, his body twisting on the floor and away from Cordelia’s crotch. But he told himself he couldn’t help it. It was just…there.
See, that’s what three months with the demon monks will do for you; have you leering at your best friend. Should’ve gone to Vegas.
The legs were leaving, replaced by boots and a gravelly voice,
“Man, you okay?”
Angel twisted so he was finally sitting upright. The room spun a bit before he focused on Gunn who was now leaning against the couch on the floor with him. He chanced a sideways look to see if his friend had witnessed his little indiscretion, only to find him half smiling.
“Dog, I woulda done it.”
The statement let him know that he had. Strangely embarrassed, Angel wasn’t quite sure what to feel about that, so he just returned the half smile. Noticing that other people were now awake and talking amongst themselves about last night, a thought came to mind.
“What happened to Wes?” He asked Gunn, watching bottles and cigarette butts float into a bin sack.
“Took Fred to the hotel. Never came back.”
The conversation was about to resume when a loud enraged yell emerged from the kitchen.
“Okay! What joker put dishwashing liquid in my washing machine?”
Silence reigned as everyone watched suds seep into the living room.
Gunn looked at Angel in surprise and they both started to laugh as the bubbles washed up against their feet
And don’t look back to where you’ve been…
945 BCE Babylon
“And thus what you call havoc, deadly sin , or briefly stated: Evil, that is my proper element.”-Goethe’s Faust
Fighting with the last vestige of their power, the supernatural screaming of the four demons was starting to drown out the constant chanting of the priests that encircled them. The doors to the temple blasted open as an unholy wind unleashed itself, slamming the temple guards against the walls.
“Be split, be accursed, broken and banned!” Yelled Solomon, fighting for control with the parchments in his hands.
The wind turned itself into a vortex, swirling around the demons and knocking the priests backwards. With their final screams, the vortex delivered each demon into a brass vessel and died out. Solomon dropped the scrolls and scrambled forward; sealing each pot with his ring, engraving each vessel with the demons’ own mark.
Secure in the knowledge that he done all he could, he slowly rose up and looked around. The chamber they had congregated in to complete the ceremony was trashed; broken furniture littered the floor, statues to mysterious deities were smashed, no longer able to be worshipped as the idols they once were. But apart from a couple of unconscious guards and dazed priests, they appeared to have gotten off lightly. As he muttered a quick prayer of thanks to Yah’weh and suppressed the shudder at what could have been, he gave the order to the guards left standing.
“Take the vessels to the lake.”
The fighting was strangely fierce for a vision. Demons were raging all around them, but holding their own they were.
“Tauo freim!” Said an assailant.
‘Tauo freim?’ Angel’d heard that before. Oh yeah… glove.
‘Duck, left hand swing…’ Oh yeah, he’d landed on Willow. He avoided a right hook, literally; and punched the demon on the nose with the flat of his hand. It howled.
‘Mmm…Willow.’ Angel surprised himself at his slightly lascivious thought and then doubled it when weirdly, he felt guilty for thinking of her. He drifted for a second before snapping back and blocking an oncoming blow. He thought maybe it was because of Buffy. He paused. Nope, wasn’t because of her it was… He looked from the demon he’d floored towards Cordelia…and Wesley who were bickering while fighting another demon. Cordelia was pummeling said demon with the flat of her sword.
“Stay down, would you!”
“Yes. Because that always works, Cordelia.”
Cordelia stopped her thwacking and turned the point of her sword blade onto her colleague. Wesley wisely backed up.
“Hey! Better than your girly prodding.”
They were interrupted by a large squelch and the forgotten demon falling to the floor, followed by an equally large sucking sound as Gunn removed his own sword from its back.
“And you’d know all about Wesley’s proddin’, girl.”
Cordelia held Gunn’s mischievous look and graced him with a sly grin. Wesley blushed profusely and averted his eyes, only to find Angel had killed his opponent and was now frowning fiercely at him.
Cordelia caught the scowl as well, “What’s with him?”
Gunn sniggered “Maybe he’s still upset over the whole car/cat thing.”
Cordelia and Wesley joined in with smiles of their own before Wesley stated -“It wasn’t very nice of whoever locked that poor creature in his car though was it?”
“Yep. Nothing like a cat poo sausage on your leather upholstery to bring down your day.” She added, jumping slightly at a low growl coming from behind her. Without looking, she threw her right hand out and smacked Angel square in the chest with the back of her hand.
“Stop it. It wasn’t any of us.”
“God damned cat.” He intoned, rubbing his chest.
The team of four started back towards their cars, meandering past the demon parts now littering the alley. “At least your home hasn’t just hosted a foam party.” Cordelia continued.
“Yeah…Cordy…look…a-about the dishwashing liquid….” Angel started tentatively. Gunn frantically shook his head behind her. Not a good idea.
“Pfft!” Cordelia interrupted, ignoring his stammered start, “When I get my hands on the retard…that…put…it…aagh!” She screamed as the vision swamped her brain. Gunn caught her under the arms as she staggered backwards under the power of it, pushing him back a good two feet. Angel and Wesley both managed to grab a forearm each and pull her upright. Her legs buckled and it took all three of them to hold her steady.
“Cordy? Cordy? Cordelia?” Both Angel’s hands were holding her face now, willing her eyes to open and he was getting a little panicked. Two in one night? Not good. He caught Wesley’s eyes and saw the barely restrained panic there too.
“Sick. Gonna be…” She whispered, finally opening her eyes. Angel moved just as Cordelia turned her head and vomited. Gunn slowly lowered her to her knees. Angel gently pulled her hair away from her face as she continued to retch, murmuring inane words of comfort.
God, she felt rough. Her head couldn’t even translate what ever the vampire was trying to say to her, all she could hear was static. ‘This is bad Cordelia’ She told herself. ‘Pull yourself together, or their going to know; their going to know… Getupgetupgetup’ Only this time, the mantra failed and she faded into darkness.
“Shit.” Angel caught her just before she hit the floor of the alley and her own vomit.
“She’s passed out. Wesley you drive. Gunn we’ll see you back at the hotel.” He gently picked her up into his arms and strode back to the car not stopping to see if his orders had been adhered to.
For the moment, Wesley was no longer in charge.