In A Maudlin Sort of Way

Part Thirteen - "The Hellmouth"

we are fossils
the relics of our time
we mutilate the meanings
they're so easy to deny

The Hellmouth was quiet. Eerily quiet in a way that kept both Slayers and all three souled vampires on edge. Spike and Dru set out on their own, knowing that they not be as suspicious without Angel and a pair of Slayers by their side. Spike smiled down on his mate as they moved silently through the town. Dru's madness, although accelerated, was acceptable. She was notorious for her derangement. It made Spike want to laugh. His beautiful, dark Queen, was more than able to form coherent thought from time to time but he was certain he was the only one that knew that, except of course, for Angelus.

She wasn't pretending. She was cuckoo, nuttier than a fruitcake, but she still had enough sanity to be dangerous. That's what he loved about her. She was ruthless and fierce. Even with her soul, she was a force strong enough to quake the heavens and spin the stars.

She leaned heavily on him as they made their way through the dark streets and alleys looking for members of the Order to destroy. She clenched and unclenched her hands rhythmically as they walked, digging those blood red fingernails into the pale palms of her hands. He smelled her blood sprouting from those half moon shaped wounds, but ignored them. He knew she wouldn't stop tormenting herself for days. The demonic part of him reared at the smell of her blood and begged to help torture her, but the soul whispered soothing words and kissed her cold brow.

They had already taken out seven lesser vamps this evening but half the night was gone and they knew there were many left. If the damn Powers That Be had been a bit more helpful, he knew they could have solved this already. He told everyone that they hadn't said anything at all. They had, of course, he just didn't understand it. As they walked searching for their next victim, the Oracles' words came back reverberating through his mind again and again, "Realize your worth, William. Only then will you be able to save them."

What the bloody hell did that mean?


you must rise from the mounds of desire and change
too late to discover peace of mind
too late to recover me
all you see and all you breathe and all you cease to be

Buffy and Angel moved together through the night, heading the same direction by instinct, brushing against each other as walked. It was impossible to dream that this would be resolved in one night, that they could undo the carnage they had helped cause in such a short time.

Buffy knew that the Annual Meeting was not their fault. It would have happened regardless of their presence but what was their fault were the issuing orders they had made. Kill every human in Sunnydale, Angelus had said, his voice stirring the crowd. Make the Hellmouth theirs again. His voice was as brilliant as his mind and she desperately missed the sound of it. The memory took hold as she remembered how he had explained to them in painstakingly simple terms how this could be accomplished, how the town could be home and headquarters to the vampire race. . It would be the one place on earth that belonged to demons alone. With no Slayer to stop them, it could finally be done.

Now that the orders had been issued, it was their responsibility to make sure they could stop it before Sunnydale was beyond salvation. Buffy couldn't help but think of those people she went to High School with and wonder how many of them and their families were already dead, how many of them had been turned. She and Angel mounted the steps to the Hellmouth together and entered the school, picking their way through the charred debris. A shudder fell over them as they moved forward, knowing this was the place when they regained their souls and had been linked to each other.

Buffy looked over Angel for a moment as they stepped inside. He was in game face and his golden eyes were darting around, sweeping each inch of the area in search of his brethren. She idly wondered about his immortality now that he was linked to her. If he died when she did, then it was only a matter of time before they both were distant memories to this place. The protectors of the world would leave this place together and the idea brought tears to her eyes. The realization of what that meant hit her so soundly that she stopped in mid-step. Her vision was blurred as the tears held there swam in her eyes. The linking had been a mistake. If Angel hadn't been tied to her then when his soul had been restored he could have been here to protect the innocents of the world. He was the demonic savior of the underworld, not her. She finally understood what the Powers That Be had planned and she had destroyed it. By loving him, she had marred the hope of having a champion to fight alongside the future Slayers.

"No," Angel growled, speaking for the first time since the linking, glaring at his lover with a ferocious anger, "No."

"Yes," she said, nodding her head sadly, allowing her tears to slide down her face. He had read her thoughts and it should have been amazing to her that their empathic abilities had moved to a higher level, but it didn't matter. Once again, she had ruined him. He pulled her into his arms and held her in his cold embrace, nearly suffocating her against his chest as he growled out again, "No."


be ashamed of the mess you've made

Ripper was prowling. Crossbow held loosely at his side with one hand, stake in his other, he scanned the land surrounding the Hellmouth. He felt his old demons circling his head and the insanity of his Slayer's new family beating at his conscience. This was Rupert's fault. All of it. He knew that if he had been a better Watcher, if he hadn't let Buffy go so freely in her own direction, that he could have saved her.

He didn't regret the murders of his former comrades. He didn't even regret dumping the bodies or the ice that was forming over his heart. All he cared about was seeking the answers to these damn riddles. He was the only was Spike shared the Oracle's riddle with, if reluctantly. William the Bloody was right. It made no sense. What worth? What could they have possibly meant by that?

Then there was the issue of his Slayer. Buffy was half vampire and no one knew what that meant either. Sunlight apparently had no effect on her, but what other vampiric vises could hurt her? What if nothing could hurt her now? Was she immortal? Could she be killed? A million questions floated in his head as he raised the crossbow and shot, watching as dust exploded through a nearby bush.

"Wow," Willow whispered behind him. He had nearly forgotten she was there. Even Xander and Cordelia's bickering behind him made no impression on his rampant thoughts. Clear out the Hellmouth, he thought, and then the answers would come. They had to. Any fool could see that Angel's insanity was going to hook into Buffy sooner or later. The linking would not allow them to stay apart, even in their minds. If Buffy was not able to rouse her lover to lucidity, then she would be mad as well, taking Spike and Drusilla with them shortly thereafter. Strangely, what worried him was Drusilla. If she was already insane, what happened when she caught her Sire's mental flu?


all that you suffer is all that you are
all that you smother is all that you are

Gunn moved forward, grinning freely as his gang turned army combed the Hellmouth for the undead. He cared about Buffy and Angel's future and he even cared about all those Scoobies, but this was out and out fun. All those nights on the streets of LA taking out vamp nests had prepared them for this battle and he was proud of his friends. All of them had gone from homeless vagrants and no good street hustlers to hunters and predators. They were skilled and alert, chemical free and high on the fight for good. It was exhilarating, a total rush and he stood up as their proud leader.

To his right the dark haired, jailbird Slayer stalked off alone. He looked over his gang and after a moment's hesitation, left them to move ahead on their own, moving silently after her. They didn't need him to breathe over their shoulders. All were completely capable of fighting on their own, a fact that made him feel like a proud father. Maybe this is how Giles' felt about Buffy. Before she became a vamp, that is.

Gunn was having a bit of difficulty keeping up with Faith and not revealing his presence at the same time. She was stunning as she moved, silent and deadly, suddenly shifting to a crouch in those delicious leather pants. How the hell she had procured those after her jailbreak was beyond him. A sneaking suspicion lead him to believe that some store near Giles' house had some inventory missing. Their loss was his gain, that was for damn sure.

"Are you just going to stare at my ass all night?" Faith said without bothering to look back at him.

"That was the idea," Gunn said, sporting a suggestive grin as he walked up closer, "Thought you might need some back up."

"Yeah, right," Faith muttered as she turned around to face him. His eyes moved over her generous cleavage before snapping back to her eyes, which were dark and bitter, but not uninviting. In fact, the asking in those dark orbs was becoming a command as she stepped closer to him and pressed him against a large oak tree. Her unstaked hand caressed the semi-erection that was quickly rising and he heaved a breath, uncertain of what to do, "I know what you really want."

"I'm not denying that I would love it," Gunn said, keeping his hands away from her body, "But I'm here to stake vamps."

"Oh, so you are one of them," Faith snapped, turning away from him and moving ahead through the woods, "Guess I was wrong about that."

"One of them?" he sneered, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"A worker bee," she answered, knowing without looking that he was right behind her, matching her strides, "A Scooby add on for the good Slayer. Funny that she was the one to become a vamp, isn't it?"

"Ok okay," he said, laughing out loud as he followed her tight leather clad body winding through the trees, her booted feet crunching angrily and unSlayerlike through the leaves and brush, "I get it."

"Get what?" she demanded, stopping and facing him again, "Get what!"

"I've been watching you since your came back from your scenic jail tour," he said, standing still, arms hanging at his sides, feet shoulder length apart. It was his normal stance. Not a fighter's stance, but a leader's. His chin was raised defiantly as he looked over the dark haired beauty. He was not intimidated by her, but completely unafraid and confident. It infuriated her and attracted her at the same time.


"So, you wanna be good," he said, sliding a hand over his bare head, "But you don't know how. You're afraid they're all going to remember that they hate you anytime now."

"You don't know shit about me," she swore, tossing her head angrily. He watched as her creamy skin shifted with her movements, deceptively soft and weak looking. Charles Gunn knew better. She was one of the two most dangerous women in the world.

"Right," he said, moving ahead of her, daring to turn his back on a Slayer, "Shit, woman. I am you. I know what it feels like to not know whether you're good or bad, not sure if you're good enough to be on the right side of the fence. You're heading toward the lighter side of things, Faith. You ain't foolin' nobody, so why are you trying?"

Gunn found himself on the ground in an instant, the grinding leather body of the Slayer straddling him. She didn't speak at first. Her teeth were gritted behind those harlot colored red lips, silky, dark hair all flung to one side as she looked into his light and amused brown eyes and dug her fingers into his beautiful caramel skin at the wrist, pinning him to the ground. Finally, she managed to speak, her words coming out in puffs of anger, "What the fuck do you know about it? Don't pretend to know me, Chuck. You don't. You can't even begin to imagine what it's like to be in my shoes."

"Oh, you'd be surprised," he answered, still amused and nearly laughing. He was seriously pissing her off. She didn't let him go but gripped him more tightly, fuming at the audacity of this man.

"Tell me then," she ordered, pressing her knees into the ground on either side of him, her whole body clenched in anticipation at the thought that someone, anyone might understand her.

"I know what it's like," he said, lying easily and calmly beneath her, "to be all alone. I know where the line between dark and light is. Been there, Faith. Done that. I know how it feels to have no one to care whether you live or die."

"So?" she said, barely managing to get it out above a whisper. She loosened her hold on him and he eased one wrist free, letting the stake he gripped roll away so that he could caress her cheek, "I know what it's like to need love and trust."

"You're not going to break me that easily," she choked, enjoying the feel of a gentle touch for the first time in longer that she could remember. He didn't answer as he eased his other wrist free and ran his fingers lightly over her arms. He lusted after her, he wanted her, but these movements had nothing to do with that at all. He was nuzzling a heart that had been encased in steel a long time before. Her foundation was beginning to crack and Faith was terrified that her soul would come spilling out all over Charles Gunn's.


way down deep within my heart, lies a soul that's torn apart

When the sun rose, Buffy and Angel stayed in the high school, deciding to guard the Hellmouth by day. They had taken out dozens of vamps in and around the area, which proved that even though it was closed, the mouth of hell still attracted them in droves. They found a room that was fairly sound toward the corner of what had once been Sunnydale High and planned to snuggle there to wait out the day.

Buffy had managed to pull herself together and accept the truth of her ultimate betrayal to the man she loved long enough to fight out the rest of the night. Now that the morning sun had risen, she was able to refocus on the matter at hand. It was difficult to read Angel's mind, even with the part demon inside her helping. His insanity kept his thoughts and emotions in a whirlwind, slamming against his skull, so the few thoughts she was able to catch were garbled and unclear, except for one. He loved her. He loved her more than she would have ever thought to dream of. If nothing else was made certain, it was that he would rather die than be without her. He didn't care about immortality if it was without her and he didn't care about the fate of the world if she was gone. The good fight was now only possible by her side.

A twisting vow rushed her as they stood in the middle of the room staring at each other, away from the dangerous morning sun that was peeking through a large crack in the foundation on the other side of the room: Even if we weren't linked, if you died, I'd greet the sun the next day.

"Angel," she gasped, pressing her hand on his unbeating heart, "No."

"Mate," he whispered, knowing the one word answer was the explanation to the mystery. He moved down, sweeping his lips over hers. He prodded her mouth open and explored her mouth greedily as he shrugged out of his duster. She felt his fingers tugging her shirt up and broke the kiss to allow him to pull it off and toss it to the floor. Cold hands covered her breasts, forcing her nipples to become painfully erect. He continued to kiss her as he cupped them and swept his thumbs over her nipples briefly before moving away to tug at the top button her jeans. She kicked off her shoes and aided him in removing them before she swiftly unbuttoned his shirt, tearing off two buttons in the process. When his chest was bare, she pressed against him, scraping against his skin as she tossed his shirt aside.

He slammed her to the floor and crashed to his knees, unzipping his pants and pushing them down before plunging into her. She rose to meet his thrusts as their urgent coupling became more feral, more desperate. As they mated for the first time since they had linked, they were stunned into silence from the overwhelming feel of their emotions prying into each other. The intensity of physical and mental violation was surreal and forceful. Buffy didn't even realize what she was doing as she bared her throat for him and Angel, mesmerized by his lover, had no thoughts of the fangs that elongated inside his mouth. As he lunged for her throat and dug into his scar, he felt her climaxing around him. He felt her release physically, as he plunged inside of her, as her inner muscles flexed around him and emotionally as her screams of passion spun through his mind. Her feelings of ecstacy hit him as he tasted metallic tang of her blood, laced with arousal and adrenaline. As he nursed the wound in her throat, he climaxed, unable to resist the attack of her enveloping him. He growled against the wound as he felt his lover's fangs pierce his throat. He knew in moments he would taste his own blood inside hers.


In A Maudlin Sort of Way
Part Fourteen

By Tango

LYRICS: All lyrics are from the Smashing Pumpkins.

DEDICATION: For indie who has wanted me to write this for a loooong time. See, I keep my promises! *G* And for everyone who has asked me about it since I left it mercilessly hanging. *G*


to cleanse your life takes more than time
take what you want
take all of it

Spike didn't bother to tiptoe into the burnt remains of Sunnydale High as he went in search of his Grand Sire and the partial vampire Slayer. The smell of their rutting and the animalistic sounds they were making were a sure indication that his black steel toed boots thumping through the once shining high school halls were not going to be noticed.

He was a man on a mission, after all, and he didn't need to pussy foot around the issue. Tiptoeing was not what was called for. Action was. He hefted the crowbar that he had taken from Angel's car and loosened his death grip on it. Smooth and easy, that's how this was done.

He stopped just outside the door and peaked inside, not feeling the least bit of shame that his cock jumped in response of the sight, no matter what his ears or nose warned him about. Buffy's slender legs were wrapped around Angel's hips as he pistoned into her like a runaway freight train. He wasn't entirely certain before that moment what exactly being part vampire meant but as he watched Buffy glutting herself on Angel's blood, he had a far more clear picture.

It made his pants a great deal tighter and he had to hold the crowbar tightly lest it slip from his hand. He watched little rivulets of blood escape her as she suckled at his throat and then at her pink tongue as she licked up her mess along the column of his throat, purring like a purebred vamp.

He took a deep breath and flicked his cigarette butt out behind him in the hallway. No sense in worrying about a fire hazard here, not that he usually did. What he lacked in finesse, he made up with pure balls, as he rushed across the room and made four well aimed swings just as the couple were finding their release.


just taste the drinks that she served
and this feeling shivers down your spine

"Look they're both too strong to waste time screwing around with bloody arguments, Ripper," Spike groused as he rummaged through the weapons trunks they brought along with them and groaned in disappointment to see that there were no manacles in sight. Frustrated, he interrupted the Watcher's sputtering and turned to Willow, "I need to magically enchanted manacles and foot chains. My old Sire won't be held in place with less. Can you handle it, Red?"

Willow looked up from where she was crouched over Buffy, examining the ugly bruise forming on her temple and then cast a worried look at Giles.

"Very well," Giles snapped and nodded curtly before pulling off his glasses and wiping them with a fierceness was inches away from cracking the delicate lenses. "Go on, Willow. I'll have a talk with Spike here."

"Spike, I won't pretend to understand your entire plan, but I find it difficult to believe that brutality is going to solve anything," Giles said, returning his glasses to his face, pocketing his handkerchief and resuming his pace around the room. "Frankly, I think it's madness. I can see, however, why you'd like to chain up that raving lunatic of a Sire, but Buffy as well? Surely, you-"

"Think that the Slayer will stay away and listen to what you say and be a good little girl?" Spike growled back, "Not bloody likely. A vampire's power of persuasion isn't going to sit well with the chit. I need you to keep her away. Far, far away from me and him." Spike jerked a thumb at Angel's unmoving form before heading over to where Buffy laid. He knelt down beside her and pulled her to a sitting position, pretending not to notice that the blanket they covered her with had fallen to reveal two beautiful breasts. He struggled not to smile as he leaned into her throat and licked at the dried blood there, already tingling at the first taste of her potent blood.


do what you got to do
say what you got to say
do what you got to do

Spike took a sip of whiskey as he watched Angel waking up. Despite his goal, there was a certain pleasure to having this much control over his Sire. He had spent all of his vampiric life under his Sire's control, always rating second place. Hell, he couldn't even his keep his mate out of the Poof's bed. As much as he regretted the necessity to do this, there was still a small part of satisfaction that would come along with duty.

Angel took a few minutes to come full awake and then rattled at his chains as he growled in protest. He was not a happy vampire, but then it didn't come as a huge surprise. Game on, Spike thought as he took a final swig and rose to his feet. The Oracles said he would have the power to reverse this bloody mess and if anyone was at all skeptical about the truth of the matter, he was. He didn't have a fucking clue what he was doing.

Course, he was usually good at flying on a hunch and Dru was there to tell him if disaster was about to strike. She hadn't freaked out about anything yet, so he at least he wasn't harming anything. It was disconcerting how she seemed fascinated with Angel in chains though. She kept pawing at his bare chest and humming to herself in that adorable crazy way. He was going to have to keep a sharp eye on her during this little experiment.

"Ah, you're awake," Spike said, swaggering across the room. Angel snapped and snarled, but Spike grinned back at him. "What's that mate? Not nice. After all, I did get that little blonde ball and chain off you."

"Buffy," Angel growled through gritted fangs. Intimidating as it was, Dru shivered happily and threw her dark head back to laugh. She clapped her hands and danced across the room to Spike, pressing her body against his, sliding up and down him seductively. She danced and whirled her way across the room to her Sire and swayed in front of him, oblivious to his snarling and pulling at the chains. With a breathy sigh, she scraped her clawed fingernails down his bare chest and licked the blood that sprang up in their wake.

"Daddy wants to rip our throats out, Spike," Drusilla crooned as if she were at a party. "Makes me shiver."

"You don't have to worry about your little bint," Spike added, slipping away from Dru and moving as close as he could without risking his neck. "She tasted like sunshine going down. Can't believe you were so stingy with her blood. Poor form, mate."

"Ate her all up," Dru said, licking her fingers before snapping them into a fist, "My Angel, Spike didn't even leave any blood for us."

"Sorry, pet," Spike said in voice that didn't sound regretful in the least. Instead, he leaned in and spoke in Angel's face. "Smell her blood on me, Angel? She was so good." He turned around and leaned lazily against the wall rubbing his stomach. He closed his eyes and smiled in the memory before turning to look at Angel again. "One little bite and she came like a wild thing. That naked little body writhing under me...mmmm...."

"No worries," Spike added. He held a hand out to Dru and clasped hands with her, escorting her up the stairs. "She didn't even know she was going to die until the end."

With that Angel roared and flung his whole body toward Spike, only to be held fast by the chains. He looked like a rapid animal as he tried to launch himself on his Grand Childe.


my daydream seems as one inside of you
though it seems hard to reach through this life
your blue and hopeless life
my daydream screams bitter 'til the end

Buffy woke slowly and found herself chained up in the passenger seat of Giles car. She tried to sit up, only to find that she was actually attached to the seat itself. She wiggled against them and looked wildly around to her only to find that she and Giles were alone in the car.

"Where's Angel?" she demanded, finding her voice hoarse. The coppery tang of his blood was still in her mouth and her body ached from slamming against him. She had just been with him, but from the dull ache on her head, it wasn't going to take long to figure out how she couldn't remember getting dressed or leaving him.

"He's with Spike," Giles said quietly, without quite a bit of guilt seeping into his voice.

"Spit it out, Giles," she growled out and jerked in surprise when a feminine version of Angel's vampy growl came out of her throat. "S-stop with the cryptic," she rasped.

"I'm taking you back to Los Angeles, where I will be keeping you safe," Giles explained, keeping his eyes trained carefully on the road before him. "The others remained on the Hellmouth to try and take out the vampire threat formed from the Annual Meeting."

"And the part where I'm chained to your car seat and have the distinct impression that I've been hit over the head with something bludgeony? Not to mention the fact that I'm sure Angel didn't just quietly sit by when you took me from him?" she snapped irritably and wiggled against her chains. "Got a key to these things?"

"Certainly," Giles answered, "But I'm afraid I can't release you from your bonds. I do apologize for that, Buffy. It's not my intention to hurt you or Angel in anyway. Please believe that, however, I must keep you away from him until we can attempt to restore his mental state to something approaching normal."

"Can you tell me what the hell is really going on here?" Buffy shouted, "I'm the Slayer, not some little girl that needs protecting and I think I deserve the truth."

"Very well," Giles said, "But I will tell you firstly that your chains and manacles are magically enhanced and cannot be broken or released, so please do stop struggling."

"Well, they pinch," she complained, "Who put these on me? Spike?"

Giles cleared his throat loudly and kept his gaze away from her. He could hear the pout forming in her voice and he had to be strong. He could not release her under any circumstances. "Spike went to see the Oracles to investigate Angel's mental state and your partial vampiric state. After some research, we found what we think is the problem. We needed to separate you if we had any hope of Spike's plan to work. Of course, I was difficult to convince originally. Given that the two of you are linked together, I feared separating you two.

"It seems that no vampire has been exposed to as many infusions of Slayer blood and certainly not as many times as Angel has during the time that you two have It's not the same as regular human blood or animal, for that matter. The power that it has given him is too much for his mind to handle, even for a Master vampire like Angel."

"What exactly is Spike doing to him?" Buffy snarled, turning a tangible fury on Giles. He risked a look at her and turned away quickly when he saw that her hazel eyes had flooded to a pure gold. He swallowed convulsively and took a deep breath. This was the tricky part to explain.


if by chance or circumstance we fail
don't be sad

"Can't you people get a stake through one vamp?" Faith muttered the following dawn. They were all gathered in the living room eating bowls of cereal and looking worse for the wear, except for Faith and Gunn, who were acting like they'd been out bowling all night or something. Neither looked very tired, but pumped up instead. Willow, Xander, Cordy and Oz were leaning on their significant other and trying not to fall asleep in their Cheerios.

"I hate to agree with the darker and more evil Slayer, but the slaying isn't getting any easier," Xander admitted and took a bite of his cereal. He was used to being beaten, knocked down and stomped by vampires, but the sheer numbers were more dangerous than usual. He was shocked they were all still alive.

"I don't know," Oz said, shrugging, "I think we're kinda getting a rhythm down."

"Yeah, we started to do better towards the end," Willow agreed. A angry growl wafted up the stairs from the basement and she leaned closer to Oz. She trusted her magic and constantly reminded herself of that every time the insane vampire downstairs made a sound, which was almost constantly. If he got free, she really liked to believe he would just go after Buffy and leave them be, but considering she didn't trust the two more sane vamps in the house, she was having a hard time convincing herself. When Spike and Dru were considered the more sane ones, there was definitely a problem.

"You guys lost one in ten," Gunn chuckled, shaking his head in amusement. Faith snorted and headed into the kitchen with her bowl.

"Yeah, but... rhythmically," Oz added. He set down his cereal bowl and put a reassuring arm over Willow's shoulders.

"We suck," Cordelia sighed and stood as well. Xander stood to follow her and when Gunn grinned at him, he couldn't help smiling back.


the moon is out
the stars invite

After twenty-four hours and a two bottles of whiskey, Spike was thinking that he might have made a mistake. He wasn't sure why he expected Angel to change his behavior at all, but he couldn't help but have some kind of hope. Despite what an annoying good Poof Angel had always been, bitching at him for his less than wholesome behavior and fucking his Dru whenever he damn well pleased, he still wanted his Sire to live. If nothing else but to not feel guilt for the rest of his unlife about it.

He tiredly stood from the narrow single bed in the corner where he and Dru had spent the previous night and tugged her off her Sire. "Stop teasing him, Dru," Spike muttered, pulling her away. He wrapped an arm around her waist and led her back to the cot where he sank back down. She turned to face him, hiked her skirt up in tune with the imaginary music she always had in her head and straddled him.

"He's hungry, Spike," she whispered, "Starvin'."

"He just fed off the soddin' Slayer, pet," Spike whispered back. He was annoyed that she had been itching to mount her Sire since they chained him up. He spent the night waking up every hour or so to make sure she wasn't wrapped around Angel's waist. "He's not starving. I promise you that."

"Slayer blood," Dru moaned, her mouth watering at the idea, "Burns too bright. Can't hold it in. It loves to run and play, but it gets so tired. My Angel needs blood."

"Fine, we'll try it," he groaned, "I'll try anything to get out of this bloody basement."

Spike nudged his mate aside and tried to stand but she pushed him back and shook her head. "Blood of kin," she said softly, almost musically, "It's what raises us from the depths."


In A Maudlin Sort of Way
Part Fifteen

By Tango



Tell me, tell me what you're after
I just want to get there faster
I don't live

Angel strained against his chains, struggling to get free. Since the linking any distance from Buffy for any length of time was irritating and after a time, painful. His constant straining against the enchanted manacles was ripping the skin from his wrists, but he wouldn’t stop. He had to find Buffy, had to see her with his own eyes.

He knew Spike was lying. Even through his hazy mind, he knew she was still alive. Not only would his heart not accept the possibility of her death, but he knew there was a reason he shouldn’t believe she was dead. If he dug far enough inside himself, he would figure it out. He was certain. In the meantime, he strained against the shackles, trying to get free.

“Not. Dead!” he snarled out suddenly. He laughed out maniacally and felt like howling at the moon as it came to him. How could he forget the linking? They’re lives were intimately intertwined now.

“Oh, look, pet,” Spike said to Drusilla, walking toward Angel in his customary cocky gait. “He thinks he’s figured it out.”

“He’s all fuzzy inside his head, Spike,” she said, weaving back and forth with the emotion. “He feels emotions. Sharp, stabbing feelings like knives in his belly.”

“I’d like to stick a knife in his bloody belly for all this bullshit,” Spike snorted. He moved almost within reaching distance of his Grand Sire and took a swig of his whiskey, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Drusilla says you’re hungry, mate,” Spike offered with a grin. “Want a taste, then?”

A gnashing of teeth and a roaring growl was his answer and Spike laughed drunkenly. “And you’re supposed to be the fancy talker of the group. All civilized like. Look at you now. Your bint is a cooling corpse and you’re a growling beastie. It’s like I always dreamed this would end.”

Spike snorted in disgust and bit his wrist, still staying just out of arms’ reach. He was ashamed of Angel for being so weak, angry with him for being such a poncey Nancy boy, for becoming a weakling when he was supposed to be this impervious hero. Sure, Spike made fun of him every chance he got, but the truth was, if Angel hadn’t had some epiphany a hundred years ago, they’d all be dust or lying in a gutter somewhere feasting on rats. It was Angel who forced them all into a life of fealty, making them champions for the good side, instead of soulful pieces of shit, drowning in remorse for crimes they committed as demons. He was supposed to be the good one, the strong one, the one that would always be safe when nothing else was. He was a great bleeding let down, that’s what he was.

Spike wasn’t sure why he told Angel that Buffy had died. He thought maybe it would snap him out of it, but so far all it had done was make him crazier. He should have known better. Truthfully, he was running out of ideas. Some great bloody hero he turned out to be.

Angel lunged for Spike’s wrist, which was welling and dripping with blood. Spike watched him for a moment, stretching toward him in almost insatiable need. He was nothing more than an animal now, wanting for blood and the sex of his mate. The vampire who stood above them all, had dropped to less than even Penn’s worthless ashes.

Sighing, Spike stepped forward and let his Sire drink from his wrist. Angel dug his fangs in ruthlessly, tearing a larger hole. He glutted himself on the blood, making loud sucking sounds that the great Angelus would have looked down upon. It wouldn’t do to act like you were starving, even if you were, Spike remembered. Angelus was an even greater Poof than Angel when it came to appearances and niceties. He only made a mess when he had a reason.


My daydream seems as one inside of you
Though it seems hard to reach through this life
Your blue and hopeless life
My daydream screams bitter 'til the end

“Come on, Giles,” Buffy complained as she sat in the living room bound to a chair with manacles enchanted with the same spell as Angel’s. “This is really just dumb. I mean, what do you think I’m gonna do if you set me free? Eat the city? I’m part human, you know, and speaking from a person’s perspective, you’re really violating my rights here.”

Giles’ sighed. Buffy had been talking nonstop for almost an hour about the injustice of her being held captive when Spike was doing something horrible to Angel. She wasn’t speculating, Giles knew. She could feel her linked mate’s emotions even from over a hundred miles away and he was certain Spike was doing something to Angel that he definitely did not want to know about.

“I don’t enjoy keeping you captive Buffy,” Giles said, finally, wishing for nothing but peace and quiet and for things to revert to normal. He was a fan of the ever changing world he was a part of by being Watcher to his Slayer, but in the last month, the events had far reached his patience. He was ready for a break.

“Then let me go. I can shower,” Buffy said, giving him her best innocent girl look. “Besides, sooner or later, I’m gonna have to go to the bathroom and then everything’s just ewww. Please? I’ll be good.”

“Certainly not,” Giles objected, returning to his book. He had spent the time since they had been back in the apartment attempting to root out a way to send things back to normal and to contact Whistler, who had disappeared and never bothered to show himself again.

“If the Council wasn’t evil, I’d tell on you,” Buffy pouted. “Besides, how could you leave Angel with Spike? He’s hurting him. I can feel it.”

“Buffy-“ Giles started, but an agonized scream from the Slayer cut his comment short. He stood from his chair, dropping his book in the process as Buffy lurched against her chains hard enough to break the chair she was chained to and go tumbling to the floor. She screamed and writhed as tears flooded her eyes.

“Dear Lord,” Giles shouted, keeping her from hurting herself as he would an epileptic. She screamed until her throat was dry and the sounds became whimpers and rasps. “Buffy, what it is? What’s wrong?”

“Angel,” she managed hoarsely. “He’s dying. They’re killing us, Giles.”


Just taste the drinks that she served
And this feeling shivers down your spine
Love comes in colors I can't deny
All that matters is love, love, your love

Spike jumped back in horror as Angel roared in agony, yanking until his already shredded wrists seemed skinless and bloodier. He screamed and wailed, jerking uncontrollably from the streaking pain in his limbs.

“What’s this, pet?” Spike said, turning on his mate and gesturing at Angel who roared and roared, slamming back against the concrete wall behind him. “I thought that was supposed to help.”

“He hurts all over,” she said, smiling and humming. “Inside and out. Through his veins to the tips of his fingers.”

“Is he dying?” Spike demanded, grabbing her shoulders firmly and pulling her to him. “If he dies what happens to us, Dru?”

“No curse, no soul, no petting of the kittens,” she tranced, leaning her head on his shoulder.

“Drusilla, love,” Spike said, shaking her a bit. “Is he dying?”

“My Angel will never die,” she said, looking over at Angel serenely as if his ear splitting screams weren’t happening. “My Angel is forever.” She leaned into Spike and whispered confidently, “He’s immortal, Spike.”

“Bloody hell, woman, just tell me straight,” Spike demanded, stepping away and taking another drink of his whiskey. “And shut the hell up!” Spike roared to Angel. “If you’re going to die, just be done with it!”

Drusilla leaned against the wall and watched her mate for a moment, pacing angrily around the room. He lit a cigarette and inhaled trying to calm down before he hurt her feelings. Angel finally stopped roaring and slumped against his chains, unconscious and the silence seemed almost louder than his screams had been before.

“He drank of the Slayer. He took her life, yet she lives” Drusilla said calmly. Spike turned to face her and looked into lucid eyes that he seldom saw. He cocked his head and urged her to continue. “He drank of that which does not exist and now he carries what cannot be.”

“What does that mean?” Spike said, trying to keep his voice gentle.

“The Powers can’t take back what wasn’t supposed to be given,” Drusilla said quietly. “But my Angel was confused. His body couldn’t handle so much of the Slayer inside him, so you gave him kin’s blood to remind him not to burn.”

“Dru, I wish I understood what the hell you’re talking about,” Spike said, slumping in his chair.

“The link twisted, Spike,” she said, “and now the fates are satisfied.”


The grace of falling snow
Cover up everything you know
Come save me from the awful sound
Of nothing

“Finally,” Whistler said, walking through Giles’ front door, skirting the broken wreckage of the chair and Buffy’s unconscious body before having a seat in one of Giles’ chairs. “It really took you guys a long time to figure all this out. I thought it’d be much quicker. Panties were seriously bunching all over on the other side.”

“What is going on?” Giles demanded, pulling himself to his feet and shaking a fatherly finger at the pimp looking demon. “You disappeared after you led us to the Hellmouth and left us with a mess of monumental proportions and now you tell me you knew the solution all along? Why weren’t we informed that this would happen?”

“I can’t do everything for you, Rupert,” Whistler said, chuckling. “What fun is that? Besides, the Powers are all prickly about what I can and cannot say since the whole future of prophecies have been changed by Wolfram & Hart’s meddling. They really did some quality work on this one.”

“Yes, let’s send them a thank you letter and a nice fruit basket,” Giles snapped.

“Calm down, buddy,” Whistler said, holding his hands up. “I didn’t do it.”

Giles turned around in a huff and scooped Buffy in his arms, before laying her gently on the couch. He perched on the arm of the couch and crossed his arms, looking expectantly at the demon for an explanation.

“The vamps weren’t supposed to lose their souls, but that wasn’t the big deal. The Slayer losing her soul, now that was enough to freak out the good side. Then Angelus fed off the Slayer multiple times when she was a vamp, infusing himself with the biggest power source available. Her blood was so tasty, that he fed off exclusively - with a few exceptions. Basically, he overdosed. When blondie over there was turned back into mostly human again, he still had all this vamp Slayer blood in him, only technically it didn’t exist anymore. That with the return of his soul, drove him batty.”

“And?” Giles prompted, “What does that mean?”

“It’s kind of like a sugar high, you know? The sugar pumps you up but then your body uses it too quickly and you take a nose dive. Same idea, only this sugar doesn’t exist, so metaphysically speaking the fates were confused. Angel was confused too. He didn’t want the lesser priced stuff, he wanted the goods he couldn’t have, so he didn’t feed when he was changed. He just fed off the Slayer.”

“Why should this be such a big deal?” Giles argued, clearly uncomfortable with the idea that Buffy had been a nonstop snack for her undead boyfriend

“He’s missing the other food groups, Rupert. It was making him worse. Just trust me on this,” Whistler demanded. “Anyway, in order to balance the things that were crooked in the fate side of things, the Powers made a choice. They could let Angel keep going nuts and craving the Slayer like she was crackrock, which would mean losing one of their champions or they could use the link to step up the Shanshu prophecy.”

“Shanshu?” Giles said, scratching his head. “From the prophetic scrolls of Aberjian?

“Yeah,” Whistler said, nodding. “If you took up the time to decipher the whole damn thing, there’s a section that names a vamp with a soul playing an integral part in the end of days. That’s Angel. The prophecy says that if he serves on the good side, he’ll avert the apocalypse and when he does he’ll receive his gift.”

“Shanshu,” Giles said, receiving a nod from Whistler. “To die?”

“To live until he dies,” Whistler explained, shrugging. “It means he’ll be human. The problem is he can’t be human before the end of days, only after. He needs to be a vamp until then, but with the screwing that Wolfram & Hart did, there wasn’t a way to keep him the way he was without switching things around. They were willing to change it, but there had to be a catalyst. The Powers always gotta be difficult. If Angel fed off a descendant of his line while linked to the Slayer, part of her humanity would bleed into him.”

“So he’s human?” Giles asked in confusion.

“He’s immortal, not human,” Whistler said. “He’s gotta be alive for the End of Days and humans won’t withstand what he has to go through, not to mention live until then. The Shanshu prophecy has changed. Angel has forfeited his right to ever be human because he turned the Slayer…but see, I made a tiny mistake with the linking that affected the Slayer too.”

“What *tiny* mistake?” Giles demanded angrily.

“The part where she’s linked to Angel so neither one of them can die,” Whistler said sheepishly. “If Angel’s immortal then so is Buffy. If he can’t die, then neither can she. When she bled into him, he bled into her. They’re pretty far away from each for exchanging of fluids, huh?”

“Oh dear,” Giles said, scratching his head. “She won’t age?”

“Look on the bright side,” he said. “No crow’s feet and canes.”

“No children or normal life either,” Giles said sadly.

“Just between you and me,” Whistler said, standing up, “She wasn’t ever going to have those things anyway. Gotta go. More wrinkles to iron out. See ya, Rupert.”

“Wait!” Giles said. “I have questions. What happens now?”

“You guys are gonna haveta figure that out yourselves. And try not to fuck things up this time alright?” Whistler said. “When what’s to come changes, it gives me a hell of a headache.


50 Years Later


My love
I send this smile over to you
Disarm you with a smile

Buffy walked behind Angel carrying a picnic basket as they headed into their house in Los Angeles. She grinned. He was adorable in his baseball cap and jeans with five year old Janna Osborne, Willow & Oz’s great grandchild, hanging over one shoulder, her long red locks swinging with his movements. Holding his hand and doing his best attempt to walk without stumbling was two year old Eric Giles, great-great grandchild of Rupert Giles, who had died twenty years earlier of a heart attack.

Buffy smiled at them with a twinge of sadness. She wished she could have had her own children, Angel’s children, that they were the ones holding his hand and drooling on his shoulder, but she wouldn’t have traded the past fifty years for anything. She was thankful for the time she was given without being a demon and most importantly without Angel being a demon. After so long being a vampire, he took great pleasure in little things like eating dinner or watching a sunrise or even walking in the park with her. For years the daytime was an exploration with Angel. He taught her not to take things for granted and it was a lesson she tried not to forget.

A frustrated huff behind her and the slamming of a car door broke her out of her reverie. She turned around to see her sixteen year old adopted daughter beginning to stomp up the sidewalk with her backpack slug over her shoulder.

“Darryl,” Buffy warned, narrowing her eyes. “Stop it right now. You’ll wake up Janna.”

“So what?” Darryl growled out. She definitely resembled Angel in looks and in moods, even if she wasn’t their biological child. She could brood with the best of them. “I can’t believe you made us leave.”

“You’ll see that boy in school on Monday,” Buffy said, with a sigh. “The kids were tired.”

“They’re not even ours. Why can’t their own parents drag them around?”

“They’re our family,” Buffy said, ruffling her hair. “Now if you help me clean up, I’ll get your father to take you to the mall later, alright?”

“Really?” she said brightening. “Will he pick up Xander too?”

Buffy groaned. “Sweetie, your father likes Xander the third even less than he liked Xander the first. And I think he might be a bad influence on you.”

“Mo-om. Come on,” she whined, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Ask your father,” Buffy said, refusing to get in the middle of it, “And don’t say that I said it was okay, cause that’s not what I said.”

“Never works anyway,” Darryl fumed. “You guys can read each other’s minds.”

“We’re only telepathic sometimes,” Buffy objected.

“When it matters you are,” Darryl said, stomping into the house.

“Yeah,” Buffy said, grinning freely as she watched her daughter stomp toward the house. They were always telepathic when it mattered. Angel unlocked the front door and swung it open just in time for his daughter to stomp past him and he turned to Buffy and winked. There was no way he was going to pick up Xander on the way to the mall. Buffy laughed.


Buffy was already in bed at midnight when Angel came home from picking up Darryl and ended up bringing home three giggling girls for an impromptu slumber party. He shed his clothes and crawled into bed, purposely waking up his sleeping wife with all the noise he was making.

“I thought you loved me,” Angel groaned, feeling every minute of his of 292 years.

“I do,” she said, smiling as he pulled her closely against him.

“You made me go to the mall,” he grunted. “You obviously do not love me nearly enough.”

“I was looking out for myself. Despite the great shape I’m in for being almost 70 years old, a day at the park with the kids tires me out more than a nest of vampires and a band of Fyarl demons,” Buffy said, laughing.

“I know what else will tire you out,” Angel said, in a low predatory voice. He shifted Buffy onto her back and crouched over her, nipping little kisses along her neck. She urged him down on top of her, opening to create a cradle for his hips. He groaned when he came in contact with her bare skin and thanked the Powers that Buffy still slept naked.

He moved to her breasts, taking a nipple into his mouth and swirling his tongue around it. Buffy moaned, arching against his mouth. “You’ve been thinking naughty thoughts all day,” she moaned, threading her fingers through his hair.

“I think naughty thoughts all day every day,” Angel murmured, switching to take her neglected nipple between his lips.

“All these years,” Buffy mused, tugging him up to her mouth for a kiss, “it’s hard to believe you still want me as much as you did when we met.”

“I want you more than when we met,” he said, sliding into her slick heat effortlessly. Most days he was certain she was made just for him, to perfectly fit him. “Before I didn’t know what I was missing, now I do. I love you, Buffy.”

“I love you too,” she returned, rising up to meet his thrusts. He reached in between them and easily found her little nub, massaging it in time with his movements. He loved, more than almost anything else, to feel her climax while he’s inside her. The flutter of her inner muscles, the expression on her face, the way she panted his name in pleasure was worth going insane for fifty years before. It was worth losing his soul. It was worth almost anything. As his bonded consort and his legal wife, he loved her more now that he had ever thought possible.

He buried his face in her neck and sucked on the scar that he marked her with so long ago, laving the raised flesh with his tongue. Then with a growl, he buried his fangs in her neck, breaking the scar once again and suckling there. With an answering feminine growl, Buffy, too, sank her fangs into his throat. With twin cries of pleasure, they climaxed together, madly thrusting against each other.

Angel rested against her breast, taking a deep panting breaths and listened to her heartbeat as he recovered. “Fuck,” he groaned a few moments later when he rolled over onto his back and took her along with him.

“What do two adrenaline charged partial vampires do in the middle of the night?” Buffy teased, straddling his waist. “Do we stay here and take advantage of each other or go out for a quick patrol?”

“Fuck patrol,” Angel said, pulling her hips down. “After all these years of fighting and patrolling, I think we deserve a night off.”

“We took off on Monday too,” Buffy reminded him, giggling.

“A week’s a long time,” Angel growled, pulling her down to his lips.


The End! I really hope you liked it!. *G*