“Are you sure this is what you think it is? I mean -- in a *church*, of all places?”
“Trust me, soldier,” the calm commander replied. “Just look around. You'll see the signs, they have definitely been here tonight.”
“I don't see anything that looks even remotely HST-related,” the dubious soldier persisted, shining a bright flashlight around the dimly lit remains of the decimated church. “I mean, there’s really not anything all that unusual here, when you get down to it.”
The unit he was a part of had been assigned to this strange little town for less than a week, and already the soldier had seen more eerie, disturbing things than he had ever expected to see in a lifetime -- most of things he would never have thought were possible at all.
Still, something in him rebelled at the idea of the creatures he was only beginning to accept the existence of -- the “hostile sub terrestrials” as his commanders called them -- going about their wicked endeavors in a *church*.
When his commander gave him a flat, disbelieving look, he shrugged, a bit embarrassed, as he conceded, “Well, besides the -- the fire -- and the -- rubble, everywhere. But -- that didn’t *have* to be an HST. Could have been some completely human trash, decided to have a little fun and blow up a church is all.”
“Decided to have a little evil bloodletting ritual while they were at it, too?” the commander smirked grimly as he ran his fingertips through the red fluid smeared on the altar at the front of the church. “And check those piles of dust back by the door. I’m pretty sure you’ll find those are *very* HST-related.”
Properly subdued, the soldier ceased his arguments and went about his work, while the commander of the unit slowly walked through the room, carefully surveying the entire scene, trying to surmise what might have created it. As he did, his men were systematically moving through the room, moving the debris and searching for any signs of any kind of evidence to be taken back to their headquarters and analyzed later.
“Commander! Over here! I think we have a victim…”
“Agent Graham,” another soldier, a tall black man standing nearby him, aiming a technical-looking instrument in the direction Graham was looking, interrupted him slowly, cautiously, “I -- don’t think that’s a victim…”
“Yeah, well -- room temperature, no heartbeat…sometimes just means ‘dead’,” Graham reminded him with mild sarcasm.
At that moment the supposed corpse shifted slightly, a quiet moan slipping from his lips in unconsciousness.
Agent Graham jumped backward with a sharp, startled cry -- much to the amusement of his comrades.
Sometimes he hated being the newest member of the group.
The black agent took a gun from a holster at his side, one specially equipped with wood-tipped bullets, and swiftly took aim on the weakly shifting body on the floor amidst the rubble.
“Forrest, no!“ the commander ordered sharply before he could pull the trigger. When the confused agent looked up at him in a silent question, he smiled at the first sign of success they had had that night, as he remarked mildly, “looks like we might be able to get some idea of what happened here tonight, after all.”
The curious air of the men in the church changed to surprise, and then excitement, as the extent of their success gradually dawned on them.
“Get it secured. These things are strong, you never know when it might wake up. And it might look like’s it’s injured pretty badly, but they can take a lot and keep going. Be extremely careful with it.”
Commander Riley Finn’s smile widened as he turned and walked out of the church, allowing his men to go about following his orders, securing the unconscious hostile and preparing it for transport back to their headquarters. This was definitely an important success, indeed -- and one they had just happened to stumble onto, as well. He was very glad now that he had decided to have his men check out the unusually open door, and lighted interior, of the abandoned church.
Two weeks they had been in this little town, reportedly a hotbed of HST activity.
Two weeks -- and nothing to show for it so far but a few piles of dust, and some tissue samples from dead demons, material for their underground labs to analyze. But as for live specimens -- so far, they had nothing.
General Walsh was going to be so pleased.
Drusilla followed the powerful call of family -- a call that, from her sire at least, had been muted for nearly a century, as Angel had deliberately severed such ties with his family soon after getting his soul. But now, the call was strong, powerful, beckoning her back to where she belonged.
The side, the arms, of her daddy.
She was not surprised when the call led her to the door of an old, abandoned mansion on Crawford Street. She paused on the terrace, impressed by the stately, imposing nature of the place -- though she might not have used such words to express it. Still, it was just the sort of place she would have chosen for herself -- had she ever been lucid enough to choose for herself, that is.
“My daddy knows what ‘is little girl needs,” she murmured in a lyrical voice, on the edge between speech and song. “I can ‘ear ‘im calling me…right now…” she said to no one, as she pushed open the unlocked door and made her way easily through the darkness inside. “Coming, Daddy…“
Her senses, the connection between her and her sire, drew her up the old, winding staircase to the second level of the mansion, where she paused at the first open doorway, peering into the blackness, in search of her beloved, estranged sire.
Suddenly, a powerful arm wrapped around her waist from behind, jerking her forcefully backward against a hard, muscled body, while cool lips fell on her throat. His laughter joined her own delighted giggle, as he spun her around and looked her up and down hungrily, as if it had been a lifetime since he’d seen her.
And, in more than one way -- it had.
“There’s my girl,” he said in a soft voice of dark pleasure, his eyes cold and glittering and wicked in the darkness.
Just as she had remembered.
“You’ve come back,” Drusilla exulted, bouncing on her heels like a giddy child, beaming up at her sire. “Just in time for the party…”
“Of course,” Angelus smirked, wrapping his arm around her waist with a false gallantry and leading her purposefully down the hallway. “It’s *my* party, isn’t it?”
Drusilla just giggled with excitement, obviously satisfied just to be with him again.
“So not that I really care all that much…but where’s your shadow gotten off to, Dru? Shouldn’t he be following you about like a lovesick mutt about now? Or you know,” he shrugged, “nipping at my heels or something? I *am* getting rather familiar with you at the moment, you know. He wouldn't usually take a thing like that too lightly.”
He grinned wickedly, as he lowered his mouth to her neck again, playfully nibbling at the spot just above her jugular, as she willingly through her head back to allow it. They both seemed to lose interest in the question and its answer for a few minutes, as Angelus walked her backwards through a door at the end of the hall, into a bedroom that he had clearly already prepared for them, and backed her into a lavishly made bed in the center of the room, pushing her back onto the mattress and falling on top of her, still kissing her wildly, hungrily.
After a moment he pulled back, smiling down at her coldly as he asked in a casual, conversational tone, “Are you going to answer my question, darlin’, or am I going to have to punish you?”
“Oh, yes, Daddy, please!” Dru beamed up at him eagerly, a little growl in her throat as her vampire face came forth.
His own came forth as well in response, as he asked in a low, dangerous voice, “Which?”
As if daring him to punish her, Dru nipped playfully at his shoulder with her fangs, drawing blood, which she lapped up with pleasure, before meeting his eyes with desire and replying boldly, “Both.”
“One, in time,” Angelus nodded with a grin, amused by her antics, finding that he really had missed his crazy childe in the many years they had been apart. “The other -- now.” His expression became a bit more serious as he asked again, “Where’s Spike?”
Drusilla’s smile fell, her lips forming a petulant pout, as she sullenly answered, “Bad puppy. He’s gone and got all his fangs ripped out, he has…and what’s worse he won’t want ‘em back…”
Angel’s eyes narrowed slightly, a puzzled frown that was still mostly unconcerned wrinkling his brow, as he tried to make sense of her nonsense words. It really *had* been a very long time since he had had to decipher Dru’s random riddles.
“What are you talking about, Dru?” he asked her quietly, already lowering his mouth to her throat again, swiftly losing interest.
In all honesty, he could very well do without the presence of his arrogant, rebellious grandchilde.
Dru’s response was a soft moan of need and pleasure, as his hands began to accompany his mouth, playing her body with a skill that only he had ever possessed for her. “Sun’s comin’ out,” she murmured, her head falling back, her eyes closed. “Gonna burn him all up, it is…leave only shining ashes in ‘is place…”
Angelus raised his head, a wicked glint in his eyes as he grinned at her and reminded her in a voice of soft, malicious glee, “Sun’s already up, Dru. Wherever he is -- guess he’s already history, then…”
Dru’s expression was hazy, dreamy, as his hand slid under her skirt, and she threw her head back again, swiftly losing her focus on the conversation at hand. Still, she managed to shake her head slightly, insisting in a soft, wistful but distracted sort of voice,
“No…not out yet…very soon…still…too late to save him, it is…” She opened her eyes, wide and earnest and full of naked need, drinking in the sight she had longed for for so long, the sight of her sire. “Don’t need ‘im anymore anyway…”
Angelus’ smile widened at those words, and he felt a possessive pride rising up in him, and he found himself wishing momentarily that Spike *was* around, just so that he could hear for himself his “Dark Princess” rejecting him blatantly in favor of her sire.
“Who do you need, Dru?” he asked her in a low, growling whisper, his fangs notching the soft flesh just below her shoulder blade, then moving slowly lower, tearing open the bodice of her flowing, ancient gown to reveal her pale, perfect breasts. “Who do you need?”
“You, Daddy,” she replied without hesitation, meeting his eyes as one of her own hands trailed enticingly down the front of her bare chest, between her breasts. “Only you…”
With a triumphant growl of approval and satisfaction, Angelus fell on her then, devouring her with all the hunger of a creature who’s been fully denied all pleasures of the flesh for over a century. In their rutting, sensuous pleasure in each other -- both forgot the injured vampire they had abandoned in the church, the one who was responsible for the freedom they were enjoying.
In that moment, all they needed was each other -- but Angelus had no intentions of settling for no more than the affections of one single, deranged vampiress.
When he awoke -- all the world was going to be his.
Buffy awakened just as Angelus and Dru were drifting off to sleep later that morning.
She was terribly surprised to be waking up alone.
In fact -- “surprised” didn’t even begin to cover it.
She rose from the bed, wrapping Angel’s sheet around her self-consciously as she made her way through the small apartment, softly calling his name -- and receiving no reply.
Stunned, a little hurt -- and with a rising sense of shameful apprehension, Buffy made her way back to the bedside, and quietly got dressed.
She knew that she should have left then, should have headed home, or to school, or to any of the various loved ones that would be very worried about her right about now, having no idea where she had spent the night -- but somehow, she couldn’t quite bring herself to leave.
She sat down on the edge of the bed, staring listlessly at the wall as her slightly numbed mind tried again to figure out where Angel might have gone.
*How could he just *leave*? After…he wouldn’t just…*
The thought of his just waking up and getting dressed and walking out, without speaking to her, without even waking her, set a cold, unpleasant feeling deep in her stomach. It seemed so -- unfeeling...so -- *dismissive*.
*But -- Angel loves me -- he told me he loves me -- he'll come back, he probably just -- had to do something in a hurry...couldn't take the time to...*
*Or maybe,* a vicious little voice in the back of her mind whispered, *maybe he's changed his mind...maybe you weren't any good...maybe he thinks he's made a terrible mistake and just wants to get away from you...*
Trying to figure it out made her head and heart both hurt, so Buffy gave it up for the moment, lying down on the bed and waiting quietly for his return.
After all, she had no idea how very long she would end up waiting for a love that had vanished forever in the night.
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