Bring Forth The Night
Angelus shifted in the uncomfortable chair. He was cranky and wanted to kill someone.
He had driven to Sunnydale the night before with the idea of planting mini cameras throughout Buffy's house. Taking Buffy would require perfect timing; he’d need to catch her off guard and hopefully alone. Or it would be The Return of Soul Boy, now playing at a theater near you.
Xander and Anya had been downstairs with Dawn watching a movie, and he had climbed the big tree outside Buffy's window. Sliding the window up, he had slipped into her bedroom.
That had been the plan anyway – the reality was that he had run smack into an invisible barrier and nearly tumbled off the roof. Only vampire quick reflexes kept him from landing in a heap in the yard.
“Damn witch.” He growled. He’d parked the van down the street and spent a less than restful day on the floor, with barely enough room to stretch out. Angelus had already decided he was going to kill the little redhead, but now she deserved a little extra pain.
“How do I get in?” Showing up on the doorstep was a thought, but he was sure they knew he was loose. “So how do I get them to invite me in without realizing they’ve invited me in?”
A big brown truck blocked his view of the house and he growled again. The growl ended mid rumble, and a smile curved his lips.
“Xander! Remember the anchovies!”
“Anya.” Xander stopped next to the car. “They give you heartburn.”
“And that’s why you need to stop and buy Rolaids for me.” She waved from the porch before she went back inside the house.
“If we’re broke up – why do I still do what she tells me?” Getting into the car, he flipped the lights on even though it wasn’t fully dark yet, and backed out of the driveway.
As he drove off down the street, a brown van pulled up in front of the house. The driver got out, hefted a large box onto his shoulder and walked quickly to the door.
“What? Did you forget – “ Anya opened the door. “Oh, you’re not Xander.”
“If it’s for the Magic Box, we’re closed.” She tried to peer around the box to see his face.
“It’s for Dawn Summers. From Los Angeles.”
“Probably from Buffy.” Anya frowned. “It could be from her father. He’s such a deadbeat, though. He never calls or visits – “
“Ma’am. It’s heavy, can I come in?”
“Oh, sure, come on in.” She stepped out of the way. “Set it down in the den.”
Following him, she admired the broad shoulders. The long black coat did nothing to disguise the man’s lean form. Big and broad, he might be fun in bed. Xander was good and she had lots of orgasms, but wouldn’t a stronger man be even better?
“Where is Dawn?”
“She’s upstairs.” She put her hands on the box as he set it down. “What’s in it?”
“No idea. I just grabbed it out of the back.”
“You look – have we met?” The dark eyes and ruffled dark hair looked familiar somehow. “I thought you guys wore brown uniforms.”
“I don’t like brown, and polyester gives me hives.” Angelus smirked. “Leather and silk is more my style.”
“I know you – “ Anya turned and looked at a picture on the mantle. Christmas, Dawn, Buffy, and – “Angel.”
His words breathed through her hair and cool hands settled around her throat. “This sucks – ”
Angelus scooped up her body. “Normally yes, but I’m full.”
Carrying her to the sofa, he laid her down and pulled the multicolored throw over her. Carefully, he propped her hand under her cheek as if she’d fallen asleep watching TV.
At the top of the stairs, he could hear Dawn’s heartbeat. Slow and steady in sleep. He took a deep breath of Buffy's scent as he went past her room. She hadn’t been here in almost two weeks, but her scent still lingered. Vanilla, purity, and – hello?
Pausing, he tested the air again. Oh, you’ve been a bad girl, lover. A smile curled the sensuous lips. You’ve already got one of those play toys, don’t you? Or do you just use your hands? For a moment he let himself imagine Buffy lying in her bed, touching herself and fantasizing about him. Revenge now, sex later.
Continuing on to Dawn’s room, he eased the door open. She was curled up in a patchwork quilt that had been a gift from Angel. She was sleeping the sleep of the innocent. Or the very stupid.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, Angelus pulled the quilt back. Dawn was wearing a pink t-shirt and panties, and her dishwater blond hair covered her face. Her scent was similar to Buffy's, and he found himself getting aroused at the sight of her. He was a vamp too long without pussy.
Angelus licked his lips. Dawn had been made from a part of Buffy taken by the monks. She wasn’t Buffy, but it wouldn’t be that hard to pretend. Soul Boy got Buffy's cherry – maybe he’d take her baby sister’s.
Dawn rolled over, and her hand hit Angelus’ leg. She opened her eyes. “Angel? Oh my God, Angel?” Sitting up, she threw her arms around his neck. “They said you were dead!”
He breasts rubbed against his chest, and he pulled her closer. Nothing like firm young titties.
Too bad he didn’t have more time. Angel had loved Dawn, but Angelus thought she was a whiny little snot and it was all her fault Buffy had died. She deserved a long, slow death – but sadly, there just wasn’t enough time, and he insisted on perfection in his work.
He heard Xander’s car pull into the driveway. Nope, not enough time for the serious artiste to work.
“Dawn, you forgot something.” He whispered in her ear. “Angel was already gone.”
“What?” She leaned back and looked up into his eyes. “A – Angelus?”
“I’m really sorry that I don’t have the time to rape and torture you like you deserve.” He slid his hands up her arms to her shoulders. “We could have put your whiny mouth to good use before you died.”
“You – you’re – “ Her eyes were wide with fear. “You’re going to kill me?”
“You know, maybe you’re smarter than you look.” There was a delicious spike of fear in her scent. It lingered even as the snap echoed off the walls. “Or maybe not.”
Tossing her body back onto the bed, Angelus threw the quilt over her and walked out of the room.
“Food’s here!” Xander pushed the front door closed with his hip. Walking into the living room, he set the boxes on the coffee table. “Dawn! Pepperoni patrol is here!”
He turned and spotted Anya lying on the sofa. “An, hey, I got your smelly fish and your Rolaids. And some breath mints so we don’t have to make you sleep outside.”
“An?” Sitting next to her, he patted her shoulder. “Anya? I got Tic-Tacs, the pretty red ones.”
Anya didn’t move. Xander patted her shoulder again. “Anya?” The skin on the back of his neck began to crawl. He brushed her hair back from her face. Her eyes were wide open in shock. And death. “Oh my God – “
“Sleeping like the dead, wouldn’t you say?”
The soft voice made his heart practically stop. The world slowed down, and it took days for his body to stand and turn. Angelus’ face snapped into focus as time began to move once again. His heart was caught off guard and tried to smash through his chest.
“What?” Angelus held his arms out. “No welcome home hug?”
“You killed her.”
“Dawn!” Xander backed away from him. “Dawn!”
“Also dead. But not to worry.” Angelus smirked. “She died with a smile on her lips.”
“A smile – “ Anger boiled up inside Xander, almost drowning his fear. “You raped her? She’s just a child!”
“She was a child.” He laughed. “Now she’s just a corpse.”
There was a trunk of weapons in the den. If he could get to it, he could kill Angel once and for all. Feinting to the left, Xander dodged right and ran for the trunk.
He had never truly appreciated the speed and grace that a vampire possessed. Angelus seemed to materialize in front of him as he entered the den. Xander skidded to a halt just before crashing into him.
“Xander, buddy, where you going?” Angelus smiled. The air was thick with fear. “Don’t tell me you’re scared of me? Little ‘ole me?”
Xander took a step back. Angelus’ hands shot out and grabbed his shirtfront. “Xander, old buddy, old pal. I can’t tell you how that hurts my feelings.” Laughing, he blocked Xander’s punch.
“You’ve always been afraid of me, haven’t you, Xander?” Spinning him around, Angelus locked an arm around his throat. “Always afraid of the monster – the demon – “
“Let go – you bastard – “ Choking, Xander struggled to break the vampire’s hold.
“Or maybe you were afraid of something else?” He shoved Xander forward until he was driven against the table. “Not the demon – the alpha male.”
“No!” Slamming his elbow back into Angel’s stomach, Xander realized he might as well have hit solid concrete. His elbow throbbed, and Angel merely grunted.
Chuckling, Angelus forced Xander to bend over the table. “What were you really afraid of, Xander? Getting bitten? Or getting ridden?”
“Get off me!” Adding to the fear that Angel was going to murder him, was the memory of what had happened the summer after graduation.
One of the male strippers in the bar he’d been working in to get the money to fix his car had decided that Xander was in need of companionship. The guy had had him over the sink in the men’s room with his pants down before some of the other guys had pulled him off. He’d left the next day, but the fear had followed him.
“Sweet… oh, you smell so sweet…” Angelus pulled Xander back up and twisted a hand into his hair. Jerking his head to one side, he bit into Xander’s neck.
Twisting his fangs, Angelus bit down viciously. “That’s for trying to come between me and Buffy.”
Xander screamed as Angelus ripped his fangs free.
“And this is for not telling Buffy that Willow was putting Angel’s soul back – “ He pulled Xander’s head back to look him in the eye. “And getting me sent to hell for a hundred years!”
The thick fangs tore into his throat again, and Xander’s knees buckled. He’d seen vamps feed and knew that Angel was being as vicious as he possibly could.
Where’s the thrill? His mouth was locked open, but the screams wouldn’t come out. Where’s the thrill?
Angelus growled and jerked his fangs as he fed. A vampire’s bite was normally a pleasant experience – after the initial pain, a sexual charge ripped through the victim’s body, overriding the pain and making them completely helpless and a willing conspirator in their own murder. A victim’s death was usually the most pleasurable experience of their life.
Usually. Unless the vampire was especially malicious and denied them that pleasure. Angelus bit down harder, his fangs slicing through muscle and tendons. He shook him like a cat shakes a dying mouse. Nicking Xander’s windpipe, Angelus snorted; bubbles in the blood tickled his nose.
I knew – it was – a lie – Xander’s vision went dark and the pain faded away.
Lifting Xander’s lifeless body, Angelus carried him out to the car and laid him in the backseat. Anya he laid on top of Xander. After putting Dawn in the front seat, he wiped the splatters of blood off the dining room table. The big box he put back in the delivery truck, stuffing the driver into the trunk of Xander’s car. Taking the pizzas, he set the boxes on Dawn’s lap before backing the car out of the driveway.
The mansion on Crawford Street was still empty and abandoned, but Angelus was sure Buffy would check there if she became the least bit suspicious. With that in mind, he had rented a unit at a storage place on the other side of Sunnydale. Pulling Xander’s car inside, he pocketed the keys. “It was such a nice, peaceful ride. We’ll have to take these trips more often.”
Chuckling, Angelus closed the metal door and snapped the padlock shut.
Leaving the storage place, he walked back toward Buffy's house. After a few blocks, he began looking for a car that he could steal. Preferably quietly. It wasn’t that he minded the walk, a vamp had to keep in shape after all, but he couldn’t risk being seen.
He wrinkled his nose at the rust and primer paint scheme of the mid seventies compact he’d found, but put aside his grand sense of style in favor of maintaining a low profile.
The car was easy to boost, and he was gone in a few minutes. “Need to work on that. Time was I could do that in less than a minute.” One of Soul Boy’s more interesting jobs had been as a repo man. He could work nights, alone, and getting shot at didn’t faze him.
It had also given him money for blood and Manilow records. Angelus shuddered at the memory. “Her name was Lola and Tony should have fucked her brains out and then left.”
He ditched the car a few blocks from Buffy's house and walked quickly, head down and senses wide open. If anyone spotted him, he’d have to kill them. Not that he minded adding to his body count, but at this point, he couldn’t afford to have any kinks in his plans.
Going inside the house, he did a quick tour to be sure everything looked normal. No bloodstains. TV off. Lights off. Doors locked. Mini cams strategically placed. Satisfied that Buffy wouldn’t be able to tell he’d been there – or, more importantly, that he had murdered three people there – Angelus locked the front door behind him.
He got into the delivery truck still parked in front of the house and drove it a few blocks away leaving it in an alley near where he’d parked the van.
Checking his watch, Angelus found he had plenty of time for the next step in his plan to Claim Buffy And Extract Revenge On Those Assholes who’d kept them apart. TCB for short – CBEROA just wasn’t pleasing to his artistic senses. “Taking care of business, and working overtime.” He sang softly as he started the van.
“Bacardi, Bacardi – it’s here somewhere.” Willy sorted through the boxes in the storeroom. “Why can’t they drink something normal like Kazleti blood? A piña colada? Who the fuck drinks piña coladas anymore?”
“I blame Garth Brooks.”
Willy jumped, and the bottle of tequila he was holding slipped from his fingers.
Angelus grabbed Willy by the collar and threw him through the opening in the floor. Dropping into the sewer after him, he pulled the trapdoor shut as the bottle shattered on the dirty wooden floor above them. He grabbed Willy’s ear and began dragging him through the ankle deep water.
“Angel!” Willy tried to pull free. “Jesus, man – you scared the hell out of me!”
“I need information.”
“Sure, hey, no problem. Can you let go?” His eyes watered as Angel gave his ear a vicious twist. “Haven’t I always come through for you before? Come on, man, let go.”
“Shut up.” Reaching a convenient break in the tunnel, Angelus threw Willy into the small cavern that had been formed by storm waters over the years.
“Ow!” Willy rubbed his shoulder as he sat up. “Come on, Angel, I’ve always been square with you – most of the time anyway – you need something, you just ask. We’re buddies, right?”
“Oh yeah, great buddies.” Angelus rolled his eyes. “We’ve had some good times – remember when you sold me to Spike so he could kill me to cure Dru? Oh yeah, those were the days.”
“That – uh – “ Willy edged away. “But he didn’t kill you. Buffy rescued you – hey, I even helped! I took her right to you, remember?”
“Oh, hey! That’s right!” Angelus backhanded Willy. “You sold her to Spike too. I’d forgotten about that.”
“That was a misunderstanding.” Wiping the blood from his face, Willy looked up at him. “Angel, buddy – this ain’t like you – you’re – “
“Not myself?” Laughing, Angelus drew back a booted foot and planted it deep into Willy's ribcage. “You’re wrong, sleazebag – I’m exactly myself.”
Bones crunched and snapped, and Willy fell back to the muddy ground, clutching at his side. “Please – Angelus – “
“How sweet, you remembered I like begging.” Angelus mocked.
“What – what do you – want?” Wheezing, Willy crawled away from Angelus. “We settled this, didn’t we? You beat the crap out of me – I even licked your boots – remember?”
“I remember.” A kick in the chest sent the man sprawling. “But then – I didn’t care about Buffy. Or at least I didn’t know that I cared about Buffy. So – “
One of Willy's hands was conveniently within stepping distance and Angelus casually placed his boot heel on the back of the man’s hand. “You haven’t been punished for that yet.”
There was an arousing crunch and ripple of fear through the small cavern. “Weasels like you are always the best – “ Angelus stepped down harder until Willy's screams for mercy began to hurt his sensitive ears as they echoed off the rock walls.
“Moving on to the next item on our agenda – “ He kicked Willy over onto his back. “The ritual torturing for information.”
“I’ll – tell you – “ Willy cradled his mangled hand. “Whatever you want – “
“No, no, no!” Angelus threw his hands up. “You’re not playing by the rules!”
“Anything! I’ll tell you anything!” Tears ran down Willy's face. The last beating he’d taken from Angelus had landed him in the hospital for a week, and it had taken months of rehab before he’d walked without a limp. “Just tell me what you want!”
The corner of Angelus’ mouth curled up in a cruel smile. “I want you to hurt.”
He let Willy beg a while, breaking the fingers of his good hand one after another as Willy started telling him anything he thought Angelus might want to know. And there were a few interesting tidbits of information he filed away. But it was mostly crap.
The real fun was the look on the snitch’s face after Angelus grew bored with the man’s babbling and finally let him know what he wanted. Gratefully, Willy blurted out the information. Then his joy turned to horror once again.
“It’s the game, Willy.” Angelus shrugged. “We have to follow the rules. Otherwise, it'd be a hollow victory.”
“I told you – I told – please – “ Willy huddled on the ground at Angelus’ feet. “Please – just let me go – “
“You see, I have to disbelieve what you told me.” Grabbing Willy's broken hands, he twisted them, enjoying the fresh terror that rolled off the man’s flesh. “And you have to suffer a bit more.”
“Please – please – “ Willy screeched in agony as the splinters of bone ripped and gouged through skin and muscle. “Truth – it’s the truth – I swear – I swear to God!”
“You know, this is really starting to bore me.” Angelus wiped his hands on Willy's shirt. “Guess we’ll just have to throw caution to the wind – flout the rules – live dangerously.”
His hands felt like lumps of fire hanging on the ends of his wrists. “I told you what you want – please, man, just let me go.”
“You want to go?” Angelus stepped aside. “Go.”
Getting to his feet, Willy sidled around Angelus, sure the big vampire was going to hit him again. When he got past without being touched, he began to walk back through the sewer. He wanted to run – desperately wanted to run – but he knew that running might arouse Angelus to attack. Even walking too quickly could excite a predator to pursue. Willy forced his steps to stay at a steady walk.
“Oh, my! I just remembered!” Angelus laughed softly as Willy's gasping breath hitched to a stop. “Nobody’s supposed to know I’m here.”
“I won’t tell!” Willy walked a little faster. “I swear to God I won’t!”
His frantic breaths and the splash of his footsteps were the only sounds in the tunnel. “Angelus?”
Nothing, not even the echo of a footstep. Had he left? Willy was afraid to look. “I swear, man! Your secret’s safe with me! I’ll take it to the grave!” He could see the light in the ceiling that marked the opening up into his bar. Just a few more feet!
He dared a glance back over his shoulder. There was no sign of Angelus in the dim light. Willy felt a rush of relief. The relief dissolved as he turned back. Angelus stood in front of him, lip curled up in a cruel smirk.
“You didn’t really think I’d let you go, did you?”
“Please – please!” A cool hand shot out and caught his throat as he tried to back away.
Angelus lowered his face down until he was nose to nose with the terrified man. Slowly he let his features change to that of the demon. “Come on, Willy – you know how the game has to end.”
“No! No!” Willy struggled as Angelus lifted him up. He cried out as he was flung through the air. Landing with a splash, he lifted his head from the dirty water.
Standing over him, Angelus put a boot on Willy's chest, shoving him back under the water.
Frantically, Willy tried to push up, but he couldn’t get any leverage with his forearms and elbows. His hands were useless, flapping on his wrists, agonizing pain eating up his arms when he tried to use them.
Desperate, he tried to twist and kick at Angelus as his lungs began to demand air. His fingers wouldn’t work; he couldn’t close them around the vampire’s ankle.
The boot on his chest pushed down harder, forcing the remaining air out in a bubbled scream. Water rushed back in to fill the void. Willy blinked, trying to see through the murky water and the gray haze sliding over his vision.
There was a light – a yellowish light. With his last thought, Willy realized it was only the golden eyes watching him as he died.
Angelus cocked his head, listening to the frantic heartbeat falter and stop. “Good doing business with you again, Willy.” He stepped over the body and set off down the tunnels, heading for a certain crypt in a certain cemetery. “Damn, now my boots are wet.”