Chapter 23: Sparks
This was bloody brilliant. In fact the more Spike thought about it, the more it almost made getting captured by the Initiative worth it. It was all he could do to hide his glee as Angelus sat nervously in an old stone chair that the Master had once used as a throne. He was only wearing some old sweats with an elastic waist band, and he watched careful as Willow finished her preparations.
"Couldn't this, I don't know, fry his brain?" Buffy asked Spike quietly.
He could tell from the expression on his grandsire's face that he was thinking much the same thing.
"No worries luv," Spike told her, unable to pass up the opportunity. "He doesn't really have much of a brain to fry."
"Boy!" Angelus growled.
Spike ignored the older vampire. Now that Angelus was more or less his old self, Spike found the urge to irritate him overwhelming. And Angelus clearly was back. While Buffy and Willow had been breaking into the Initiative's holding pens, Darla and Angelus had been keeping a good section of their forces busy above ground.
Angelus might not have been able to directly hurt the human soldiers, but he was able to distract them while Darla attacked, and led them into a series of deadly situations.
As Darla had later recounted with all of a Sire's pride, Angelus had left a string of soldiers dead or maimed. He had been able to trick them into using their weapons on each other, managed to get a couple hit by oncoming traffic, and many more had been misled into some of the more dangerous demon dens in Sunnydale.
Angelus and Darla hadn't been the only ones to enjoy a bit of carnage. As they fled from the holding cells, Spike, Buffy, Willow, and Xander had run into a few small detachments of soldiers. Spike had somewhat changed his estimation of Xander as he watched the fledge tear into the soldiers. The kid had potential even if he was a bit sloppy.
Spike had worried that Xander's viciousness would upset Buffy, but it didn't seem to faze her. Although her fighting was more controlled, she didn't hesitate to use deadly force when necessary. She did stop Xander at one point, but only because their opponents were all dead or disabled, and she pointed out that it was more important for them to get out of there than for Xander to have his revenge.
"Remember," Angelus' voice brought Spike's attention back to the present. Angelus was holding Willow's head back by her hair and generally doing his best to intimidate her. "Even with this chip, I can still hurt you, so this better work."
"It will," she assured him. "I just feel silly I didn't think of it before. The chip is a very delicate, if highly sensitive, electronic device. And it's pretty small and in a tight place," Spike snorted, a variety of comments about how much space there might be in Angleus' head coming to mind. "So I'm thinking they didn't have room to put in a surge protector. It does make you wonder how it's powered though. I mean, does it have tiny batteries? Or is it somehow using the brain's own electrical impulses to keep going? You know, if you'd just let me cut open your skull. . . "
"Get on with it!" Angelus ordered.
Willow hurried over to grab the ends of her jumper cables. As they were escaping the Initiative it had occurred to her that a high voltage current should disable the chip in Angelus' head. And Spike thought that electrocuting Angelus was just too good a show to pass up. He'd even dubbed Willow 'Electra'. After all Willow wasn't exactly a terrifying name for a vampire. And considering Darla's love of the classics, he felt that it had a fair chance of catching on.
As they all watched with morbid curiosity, Willow clipped one of the cables to Angelus' arm–Spike had suggested that the obvious place to connect the cables was Angelus' nipples, but that suggestion had been shouted down–then she touched his other shoulder with the remaining cable.
"Fuck!" Angelus cried as his back arched and his eyes went wide.
A moment later Willow broke the connection and the current.
"Angelus?" Darla asked with concern as she approached her lover.
"Yeah," was all he said as he pulled himself to his feet.
"So how do we know if it worked?" Xander asked.
Angelus smiled as his eyes fixed on the Slayer. Spike could feel a chill go down his spine at the wicked look in the Scourge of Europe's eyes.
"No," he said firmly, stepping in between the Slayer and Angelus' gaze. "Don't even think about it, mate."
"Think about what?" Angelus said in an innocent silky voice that invariably meant he was up to no good. He took a few steps towards Spike and the Slayer.
"Don't play games. I wasn't turned yesterday," Spike said moving forward a couple of steps to intercept Angelus.
Spike was so intent on Angelus that he was taken completely by surprise when he was pulled back by a small hand.
"What's the big deal?" Buffy asked. "He punches me, and we find out if the chip still works or not. It's not like I can't take a punch from him."
Spike hadn't taken his eyes off his treacherous grandsire, and he could see a hint of gold at Buffy's last words. Angelus didn't like being dismissed so easily.
"Luv, this isn't about-"
Before Spike could continue trying to talk some sense into the Slayer, Angelus interrupted him. "Come on William, my boy. She's the Slayer, she can certainly take care of herself. Doesn't need you watching out for her like a mother hen. Do you girl?"
"Whatever," Buffy said. Spike wasn't sure if she was oblivious or simply not all that interested in the show of power between the two men. "Look just take a swing at me and let's get this over with."
Buffy and Angelus moved in towards each other and Spike tried to get between them again, but Buffy was faster, and threw him back against the wall. Before he could get his feet back and intercede, it was over. Angelus took his swing at the Slayer, his fist crashing into her face. Buffy's face was forced to one side, but neither she nor Angelus cried out in pain.
"See boy?" Angelus smirked. "That wasn't so bad. The way you were acting you might have thought I intend the girl some kind of harm."
Spike growled, "You just keep it that way, mate."
Angelus smirked, and Spike had no doubt whatsoever that his grandsire already had some grand and gory plan for the Slayer. No doubt it galled him that Spike had two Slayers under his belt and Angelus had none.
There was only one thing to do. Spike was going to have to find away to get Buffy away from here before Angelus had a chance to act. Luckily the one virtue that Angelus did possess was patience, and that meant that Spike had at least a little time.
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