Title: Without You
Rating: NC-17 Just for a change
Content: C/A – duh, would I ever do anything else!
Summary: This is for Scorchy and thanks for such a lovely challenge Hun. (at bottom of page)
Spoilers: None- sorta BtVS 1 timeline
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: GT/AA/ST. Anywhere else, ask.
Feedback: Yeah feed me!!
“Psst. Willow c’mon” Cordelia gestured with one arm for her to follow her out from behind the cover of an abandoned and rusted out Caddy at the side of the road. It was dusk, the best time to catch the demon’s napping and the vamps before they’d wiped the sleep out from their yucky yellow eyes.
“Are you sure, I mean what if their hiding waiting for us to…” replied Willow, wringing her hands and reluctantly poking her pale, scared face over the other side of the dented bonnet.
“Move it, Willow- or we’re caught for sure” hissed back Cordelia, thoroughly exasperated by now. “Geeze, you’ve been like this since we left home, which is what 100 yards and an hour ago”? I just had to take her with me didn’t I, thought Cordelia with an eye roll aimed entirely at herself.
“Sorry it’s just I’m not as brave as you are” Willow defended herself but managed to stop hovering by the dubious safety of the rusted out wreck. She knew she had to get it together and fast. They desperately needed to find some food and didn’t have much time before the second wave of demony badness hit this part of town.
“I’m not exactly loving this either ya know” replied Cordelia in a whisper and grabbing Willow by the arm dragged her along the edge of the deserted street.
Hurry, hurry HURRY was the single word that continuously circled Cordelia’s mind as she led the way. It was an unconscious chant that had fast become a part of their daily routine in the battle for survival. A bloody battle, which inevitably included a crap inducing panic to get back to safety before sundown, gave the whole place back to the vampires of the hellmouth.
Life in Sunnydale hadn’t always been like this. In fact not too long it had been a fairly nice place to live if you could excuse the occasional weird stuff happening and the overly high death rate. Then just over four months ago a vicious and powerful Vampire known as the ‘Master’ had found a way to extend the mystical boundary that had caged him for decades and set out to turn the little town on the hellmouth into his personal playground.
According to rumour the magic used to extend the mystical barrier had changed it irrevocably. Now it covered the whole of Sunnydale and instead of keeping the Master locked behind it, he was the only creature that could pass through it. The barrier prevented all other beings from leaving or entering, which was bad news for the humans. Within days the demons had taken over and Sunnydale became an amusement park for all things demon with the hapless humans as game.
Those that could- fought back and were killed first; many others were rounded up and placed in holding cells for food or entertainment. Finally what was left of the human population wised up and realising the hopelessness of resistance, retreated to the underground maze of tunnels that riddled the area. There they developed elaborate defence mechanisms to ward off the vampires- but few worked for long.
The two girls skirted along the outside of the buildings that lined the street, most of them little more than burnt out husks. They hugged the shadows and constantly checked around and behind them with wary caution, eyes wide with fright and hearts beating heavily in their chests. Occasionally they’d duck into the broken out storefronts to see if there might be something edible on the inside. Something the other scavengers had missed. But so far they’d found a big fat zero and both girls were starving.
They came to the last store on the block. From memory it used to be a doughnut shop but like so many was now reduced to just another ruin of broken glass and dusty busted counters. Even the cash register had been pilfered and the door leading to the back was hanging of its hinges at a crazy angle. Cordelia eyed it with her head at an assessing angle.
“We could do with some firewood” she murmured and nudging Willow directed her attention to the potential fuel. I cannot believe I’ve been reduced to seeing things as either food, clothes or fuel , Cordelia thought to herself in mild disgust, strangely pleased that she could still see things in that light. Far too often recently civilisation seemed like nothing more than a dream she’d once had.
“I don’t have any tools and besides won’t we stick out like sore thumbs trying to get it home”? Said Willow doubtfully, not looking forward to the idea of lugging it home between them. Cordelia’s brows snapped together at the other girl’s lack of enthusiasm and then thinking about it; shrugged fatalistically. “True enough”.
“God, could my life suck anymore than it already does”? Shouted Cordelia in a rare display of reckless, frustrated temper. She stomped around the store, kicking at the debris lying here and there; oblivious to the large shadow that now blocked the doorway to the darkening street.
“Why don’t you ask me that?” said a man’s voice. Startled out of their wits; the girls shrieked and turned to see a tall leather coated man step inside the abandoned store with them. Cordelia and Willow both stared, at first in horror and then after a second- in bemused surprise.
Wow what a hottie was Willow’s second thought, following straight after the ‘Oh My God were dead one’ that is.
Cordelia recognised him, how could she not. He’d fuelled some of her hottest fantasies for months after she’d spotted him at the Bronze one night. Oh yeah he was ‘Salty Goodness’ all right and her face flushed a deep red when she recalled some of things she’d once imagined he might do to her nubile teenage body.
Not so nubile now, but that’s what months of living like a rat and starving does to you.
During class, in the shower but more often in her bed she would fantasise about him making love to her in every way her hormone fevered mind could come up with and then some. She’d haunted the Bronze after that night with her heart fluttering in anticipation of seeing him again; only she never did and then all hell had broken loose- literally.
Cordelia eyed him while her mind whirled in a dozen different directions all at once. Yeah right, if this was the part were she was supposed to mistake him for human and fall into his manly arms- well she wasn’t that dumb.
Every human she’d spotted within the few weeks since they’d been left alone; all looked like her and Willow. Pale from being underground most of the time; dirty, gaunt and dressed in little more than rags. Oh he was pale enough but he looked well fed and was dressed in clean, form fitting clothes that looked way to good on him to be anything other than his own.
He was a vampire- had to be. Her heart sank and broke a little from being forced to face the ruin of yet another fantasy from those better days. Then she felt a spurt of anger for the faceless monster that had turned him, dammit, whoever made him into one of the mouldy undead needs to be tortured slowly and endlessly- what a waste.
She pulled her thoughts back to the problem at hand. Okay, time to play it cool and hope he wasn’t mean and hungry- he didn’t look hungry. Please God, don’t let him be hungry.
“Hey there” she said aiming a bright wide smile right at his shadowy handsome face. “We were just leaving so feel free to poke around or whatever”.
She gave Willow a look and jerked her head towards the door. Willow nodded and both girls started to edge their way around the wall, trying to circumvent him and both praying that he’d move out of the way. He didn’t though, just continued to stand there and watch her like she was some kind of gourmet delight he wanted to nibble on- Gross she’d just had to use a food analogy hadn’t she.
“Look Mister, not trying to be rude here or anything, but you need to move”. Maybe they could brazen it out? She raised a haughty brow at him and crossed her arms over her threadbare vest top and dirty, oversized ‘Sunnydale High’ team jacket. “You’re blocking the door”.
“So what’ve you found then, mate” asked a new voice from behind the stranger. The voice was clearly English and cocky as could be. Darkly handsome was joined by another black leather coated figure, only this one was startlingly blonde and in full fang face. Oh crap- not good!.
“Oh goody fresh, young blood. Aren’t we the lucky vamps? Two tasty nibbles, all we need now is some Jack Daniels and this’d be a right old shindig”. The newcomer stared at both girls and licked his lips slowly, deliberately showing off his glistening fangs while he did it. Cordelia and Willow both gulped and stopped to stand frozen in terror, feet glued to the pitted wooden floor. The blonde caught the scent of fear and smirked, obviously pleased with it.
“We’re not fresh are we Will? Nope tough as old leather; it’s the genes- don’t ask but I think Mom wasn’t very discriminating. I mean look at us- do we look like we share the same father”. She laughed nervously and her hazel eyes met Willows green ones meaningfully. Telling the other girl to follow her lead.
She knew she was babbling but if now wasn’t the time to babble, then she didn’t know when was. Then feeling bad about so many lies, she crossed her fingers and silently sent her dead mother an apology. The sentimental gesture wasn’t missed, eyes the colour of dark chocolate caught the slight movement and a smile twitched at the corners of his full lips.
Cordelia saw the smile and winced, it wasn’t a pleasant one. Oh boy where they in trouble. Surreptitiously- she hoped; she started to look around for something to defend themselves with. Not that she expected to get far but so what- they were all out of options so..
“We’re not that picky are we, Angel? They look tasty enough even for your delicate palate don’t you think”. Blondie slapped him on the back and grinning wolfishly, started towards the girls with obvious relish. He halted and looked up in surprise at the aloof face of ‘Angel’, who’d grasped his arm in passing. “I don’t think so”.
Hearing that Cordelia felt like collapsing in relief before he carried on, his deep voice rasping slightly and raising goose bumps along her skin. “We take them back with us”. Dimly, over the crushing disappointment that roared in her ears she heard Willow ask the question that echoed in her mind.
“Back- back where? Oh no- no going back with you,” said Willow; obviously panicked and not trying to hide it. That was it, they were OUT of here , thought Cordelia who tensed her arms and got ready to make her move.
Quick as lightening her hand clasped a nearby partly crushed wooden crate. It was plywood and light in her hand as she threw it in his face. He raised a hand to ward it off and seeing their chance she grabbed Willow by the arm and dived for the space between the two imposing figures. They didn’t even make it through the door before she felt an arm encircle her waist. Panic bloomed inside her and she screamed and kicked out wildly as felt herself being lifted off her feet.
In the very next instant a hard hand clamped over her mouth and she felt his lips move next to her ear. “Shut the hell up, unless you actually want to raise a pack”. She tried to bite his hand and he gave a muffled laugh. “Be glad that didn’t work, Sweetheart. I like to do the biting around here”. She puffed a breath out over his clamping fingers and wriggled. But no matter how hard she struggled she couldn’t seem to budge him an inch.
Hopeless tears pricked her eyes, he felt like a brick wall behind her back and as for the arm around her waist, steel cable had more give in it. Through the tears still blurring her eyesight she saw Willow clasped similarly in the embrace of the blonde vampire. Now busy grinning at his friend; clearly pleased with the night’s catch so far- and so early too.
They left the store just as the sun finished its descent, leaving only a fading glow on the far horizon. They must have been out longer than either of them had realised and Cordelia felt a sick feeling of dismay that she’d forgotten the most basic rule of survival in the hellmouth- never, ever stay out after sundown. Being Cordelia though, she also cursed fate for letting that one slip result in getting caught.
It was still early enough that the street was empty but that wouldn’t be the case for much longer. The vampires and demons of Sunnydale all knew that the best chance of finding some sport was to catch a foolhardy human who’d taken a last deadly risk by staying topside those extra few minutes.
Cordelia and Willow found themselves being hauled bodily down the empty street with their arms pinned to their sides and legs kicking uselessly out. Their cries of mingled rage and fear; muffled by hard hands, clamped over their rapidly numbing lips. They hadn’t gone far when Willow began to see stars and felt a sickly bubble of nausea rise up her body.
“Spike, let her breath before she passes out” demanded a hard voice and tears of relief pricked her eyelids when the pressure over her nostrils immediately let up so that she could take in some air. “Sorry Red; forgot you need to breathe. Don’t want you dying on me now do I, Pet”? She felt the hard chest at her back rumble with laughter and squeezed her eyes shut trying to block it out.
Tiring and realising how useless it was Cordelia finally let herself go limp and stopped kicking her legs in an effort to break free from her captor. Her mind whirled dizzily with one reckless, desperate plan after another until she felt like she was going mad. Oh God we are so dead- think, Cordy THINK!
In total silence they were carried swiftly down the street with both vampires carefully scanning ahead for potential problems such as other hungry vamps. At the same time Cordelia’s eyes skimmed the passing walls and the sidewalk, frantically searching for a means of escape but finding nothing but drifting garbage, crumbling bricks and graffiti. Despair filled her and her heart sank into her queasy belly.
Giving up for the moment- she finally noticed a car parked at the side of the road not too far ahead. It seemed to squat on the road, a menacing shadow in the half-light of dusk. Somehow she wasn’t surprised to find her mouth was released as they came up along side it. She should have guessed this monster of a car was his- it fit him somehow.
He stopped next to the back passenger door and she couldn’t suppress a gasp when he hitched her higher up his wide chest with a single arm over her ribcage. It was partly a warning- not to try anything while he fished the keys out of his coat pocket. A warning she took absolutely no notice of. Was he nuts or did he think she wanted to die she thought with a renewed shot of defiance firing inside her.
She didn’t take a deep breath, knowing that would give her away just simply let out a piercing scream, threw herself forward and then jerked back to smack her head into his face. Her head exploded with pain when it connected with his. He grunted and the arm tightened abruptly around her belly in a punishing grip. Ignoring the painful squeezing she raised her arm to ram her right elbow backwards, hitting his jaw with a crunch and making her yelp yet again at the pain. Geeze was this guy made of solid rock?
He snarled at the onslaught but didn’t loosen his arm, she felt the growl work its way up and out from the depths of his chest and desperately wriggled and kicked, trying to work herself free. He swore savagely, and dropped the keys to free his hand so that he could swing her towards the car. She guessed what he intended and instantly started to kick out again with her feet but they simply bounced off the hard metal with dull thumps.
She panted and sobbed and fought against him but he remorselessly continued to wrestle her to the cars body until she was finally pressed against the hard ungiving surface of the black metal by his much heavier, muscular frame. Cordelia tried to evade having her hands caught but he simply manacled her wrists with his longer fingers and shoved them palm down on the soft-top of the car.
Then leaning hard into her back, he used his weight to subdue her again. To Cordelia it felt like she was being smothered and the air choked in her lungs as she gasped for more. Oh shit he’s too strong, this is hopeless I’m never gonna get out of this. She felt the despair creep back and might have given in then, except suddenly it was all just too much.
The grinding hunger and constant fear of the last few months transformed into a red-hot rage. All she could think of was that she wasn’t going to die like this- wasn’t going to let fate have the last laugh and allow herself to get eaten by her own fantasy guy. NO WAY!
“Get off me you big bully. Go pick on someone your own size” she yelled and heaved backwards with all of her fading strength, bucking with her hips into his, heedless of his harsh grip and escalating anger as she continued to dig in her heels and push backwards against his chest and groin. “What- do you get your rocks off by beating on girls. You’re nothing but a sick loser. Asshole- oomph”.
He shut her up by crushing her against the car and stopping the tirade by completely cutting off her air. “Shut UP” he snarled into her ear, so close his lips caught dark strands of her hair. Cordelia went quiet as a measure of sense returned. The red mist receded again and dumbly she wondered what the hell had gotten into her- two vamps was better than ten.
Once he was certain she was going to do as she was told he stood back and grabbing her shoulders spun her around to face him. He shoved her back against the car and deliberately leaned in again, resting himself even more intimately along her front with his chest against her breasts, loins locked together and face to face. “Are you trying to get yourself killed”? He asked her in a savage voice, incensed by her wild recklessness. She stared up at him in bewilderment. Was this joker for real?
“Like I have a choice”? She snapped back her eyes flashing with simmering temper. Hazel clashed with midnight dark and both of them were oblivious of their fascinated audience.
Still held painfully secure, Willow had silently witnessed the one sided struggle. “C’mon Cordy you can do it”. She would have cheered if she’d been able to when she saw the obviously painful blow to the jaw and the look of shocked surprise that appeared on that cruelly handsome face.
All she could hope was that the brunette would have the sense to just make a run for it and save herself. But all hope died when despite her wild valiant struggles Cordelia was soon held captive again by the menacing and by now utterly furious stranger.
Still caught up in the drama being enacted in front of her, Willow yelped when she found herself abruptly dropped to the sidewalk. Then before she could even gather her scattered wits; her hair was caught and wrapped around a pale fist.
The blonde vampire dragged her over to the other pair to say sneeringly, “Jesus, Angel heaven forbid you might hurt the poor girl” he mocked, then continued in a fed-up ‘had it up to here’ voice, “just cut her tongue out will you”.
He pulled sharply, swinging Willow round to lean against the car next to Angel and Cordelia. “Stay there Red and don’t try anything cos un-like soul-boy here I’ll be more’n happy to snap you like you was firewood- got it”. So saying he dropped down and retrieved the car keys.
Spike froze halfway to standing and then swearing long and hard, finished straightening. Resignation and utter frustration was all too clear even over the strange English accent. “Looks like your little baggage managed to get herself some attention, Angel”. He warned.
Angel’s head whipped around, revealing his taut face and frighteningly intense expression. Dark eyes pierced into the hapless Cordelia for a final time before he thrust himself away from her to take a looked for himself. What he saw made him even angrier and grabbing her wrist he thrust her forward to show her what she’d brought on them. “Are you happy now”?
She stayed defiantly silent and disgusted with her stupidity he shoved her back against the car, next to Willow again. “Don’t move an inch or I’ll make you sorry you were ever born- got it” he snarled the warning over his broad shoulder as he went to stand beside Spike, both of them between the girls and the oncoming threat.
“Yeah, well I hate to burst your bubble but your too late- go figure”. He shot her another dark look for the smart-ass comeback at a time like this and then shaking his head gave up for the moment.
The trio of vampires were whooping and dancing along the centre of the road; apparently happy at the thought of joining a party or maybe simply planning to crash one. They were a dirty ragged bunch, each wearing mismatching cast-offs from victims that for the most part were a really bad fit.
“Hey dude, got yourself some tasty squealers”. Angel knew damn well it wasn’t so much a question as a warning that they’d better be in a sharing mood. Too bad- he wasn’t.
The vampires stopped a good ten-foot away, maintaining a safe distance while they made their demands and assessed the competition. It was an obvious give-away. Angel quirked a brow and give Spike a sideways knowing look, which was immediately returned.
“Maybe” he finally admitted shortly and then sent back a message of his own. “But you’re going to have look elsewhere tonight. These two are ours”. He injected every bit of cold hard purpose in his voice that he could, knowing it was useless. Food was too scarce nowadays for any vamp to pass up the opportunity to snatch a snack.
Not that any of this really mattered; all he wanted to do was go home- not negotiate with these assholes. He still didn’t understand what’d made him intervene in the first place. So what if he’d known that a bunch of vamps had taken up residence in the basement of that that doughnut store. He should have known better than to get involved. Just look at what it had gotten him; a screaming loon of a girl, her jellyfish of a friend and now a fight that he didn’t want and could easily have avoided.
“Now that’s not very friendly” the affability, as false as it had been was now totally gone. Replaced by an answering hardness every bit as cold as Angel’s.
“I’m not a friendly guy,” replied Angel, not taking his eyes of the three for a second and yet intensely aware of the girls behind him, living breathing beings. Nothing to him but food and yet here he was standing between them and death. Irritated by the whole ridiculous situation he nevertheless narrowed his eyes and took a deep breath, centering himself.
He felt rather than saw Spike do the same; the difference between them was that he knew that the other vampire was relishing the coming confrontation. “Yeah, believe me Fella’s, Angel ere ain’t so big on the social niceties if ya know what I mean”. Spike grinned, belying the playful sorrow of his lament.
“Now me, well I’m just Mr Party A-n-i-mal so lets partyyyy” he launched himself before the last word was drawn from his mouth. He took two down in a sprawl and immediately started to knock seven bells out of the pair of them. The third one carried on coming at Angel, grinning widely in anticipation of the fight and certain that between him and his two pals they could win the fight and the prizes.
“Don’t be so smug” advised Angel and let him come closer, “You ain’t got nothing yet”. He ducked under a roundhouse swing and came up on the vamps other side. “C’mon is that the best you can do” he wiggled his eyebrows and smirked, provoking the other vampire into taking another useless shot.
The second swig unbalanced the unwary vamp and he stumbled straight into Angel’s upraised knee, which connected with a sickening crunch that split the nose into two bleeding rivers. “You should have done what I said and got the hell out of here” Angel told it, deadly serious.
“Fuck you” the vamp snarled back infuriated, then charging recklessly forward it wrapped meaty arms around the vampire in an attempt to run him off his feet.
“Guess again” replied Angel grimacing at the pressure around his ribs.
He drove an elbow into the vamps back. Jerked lose the vamp staggered backwards. Angel grabbed it by the shoulders and stepping back once- slammed the knee up again to deliver a second brutal blow to the vamps battered face. Immediately following it up with a snap kick to the jaw that jerked its head almost completely back on its shoulders. The vampire yelped as it bit into its own tongue and fell to the sidewalk clutching its face. Blood dripped from its nose and mouth but those yellow eyes still glared with ferocious hatred and manic hunger. This wasn’t over until either was dust.
Spike fell between the two of them and landed on his ass where he stayed sitting for a second laughing hard. He stumbled back to his feet and wiped his own blood from his mouth and chin. Grinning maniacally he shrugged his shoulders, then jerked his head from side to side to unwind his tense shoulders. That done, he gleefully launched himself back into the fray with a cackle of pure enjoyment.
Angel shook his head at Spike’s antics and catching the other vamp by surprise appeared next to him without warning. Standing over the still sitting vampire and taking advantage of that deadly inattention he wrapped both arms around its head before it could recover and then twisted hard.
Thick muscles bunched under the black leather duster and the neck broke with an audible snap. The vamps hands still came up to try and drag him off but Angel simply compensated by planting both feet further apart to resist the strong pull on his arm. Then with a final twist he ripped the head clean off and the vampire turned to dust.
He looked to see how Spike was doing and found him wrestling furiously with the last one. Satisfied that the fight was all but over he turned back to the car only to find the two girls missing. He stared in disbelief and felt the vague glow of satisfaction that the victory had briefly given him become instantly doused as fresh rage engulfed him.
“Well this is just great” he growled sarcastically and promptly vamped out. Hard ridges formed on his forehead as his fangs elongated and feral eyes now gleamed topaz with demonic fire.
“That is it- forget about not getting involved or just letting them go. I’m gonna wring her goddamn neck”. He stalked stiffly back to the car and found their trail instantly. He was pissed off in a big way and he knew exactly who he wanted to take it out on- that dark-haired harpy who’d so easily gotten under his skin.
“About bloody time too. Your pussyfooting around just cost me my dinner you big Poof” said Spike as he came up behind the taller vampire. He ignored the resulting snarl from his grandsire and rubbed his hands together. “Come on then lets go get em back- I’m starved”.
Scorchey’s Challenge: *Demons have totally taken over Sunnydale, there’s no Slayer or Watcher and there’s only Cordy and Willow of the main SG around. The humans that are left alive are hiding out in caves, tunnels and whatnot.
*Angel still has his soul but he’s very Beigy as in dominant, overbearing, growly and snarly. He’s with Spike at the mansion in Sunnydale and though he has a soul, he’s not really all that bothered about the state of things!!
*One night when it’s Cordy’s turn to go get food for her and Willow, she runs into Angel and Spike who force her to take them to hers and Willow’s little hideout. The vampires take both girls as slaves and things happen!!
*in my version I planned to have Angelus not Angel but to be honest, this would be more fun if it was Beige Angel!
Scenes to include if you choose to take this…*1) On a particularly rioty night, Cordy gets scared (bless her) and climbs into bed with Angel (sweet!).*2) Angel getting her to do proper slave things like wash his clothes, run his bath etc etc! *Whatever you do with Spike and Willow is entirely up to you, pair em up if ya like!!!