DISCLAIMER: Angel the Series/Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy etc. Elizabeth Blaine and attendant characters belong to Wes Craven etc. I'm just playing. If, herein, other characters bear a certain resemblance to familiar faces, it's intentional and they, of course, belong to their various creators as well.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: 1. I write femslash. Therefore, there be f/f lovin' ahead. If you don't like it, find another 'ship. 2. Vampires and blood and stakes, oh my! This story is dark in places. Not all the time, and not forever, but there will be some points where things aren't pretty. If you are bothered by graphic descriptions of the evil that men do, you may wish to find something fluffy. 3. Some knowledge of the show, Angel and the movies Dracula II and III (Ascension and Legacy) are quite probably necessary, though not entirely so.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Resurrection is for the Unbelievers
For all her education, and all of her youthful desire to be a doctor, Elizabeth hated hospitals. Not quite as much as she had hated the morgue, but it was up there on her list of Places she would Rather Not Be. Especially now, when someone she wanted to add to her list of Damn Good Friends was lying in a bed while machines ticked out the rhythm of her life.
All around her, the vampath could sense the agony of the patients. She had taken to singing random tunes in her head just to keep from going crazy. After three days, it wouldn't take much to send her screaming into the ward. Beyond that, she had to struggle to keep from randomly ripping out plugs on the various patients for whom death would be a mercy.
Instead, she concentrated on sitting next to Kate, holding her hand and praying that she would wake up and remember that the president was shrub junior.
After five days in a coma, Kate woke. Consciousness came slowly, creeping in on silent feet. First she became aware of the bandages that spattered her body like tiny hugs and then she realized that her jaw was wired shut. Opening her eyes, Kate looked around and breathed a sigh of relief. She was safe. In a hospital. There was even a uniformed officer posted outside of her door.
Whatever had happened, she had been rescued.
Then she noticed the pressure against her side. Looking down, she saw a flare of red hair, and the soft in and out flux of a sleeper's respiration. One of her hands was gently tangled in another's.
Lifting her free hand, she gently pushed Elizabeth's hair from her face. The vampath came awake immediately. Her verdant green eyes filled with tears. "Hey, Dick, you're awake."
Kate smiled. "Hey, Doc, you're observant," she said, though it came out slightly garbled because she couldn't open her mouth.
A tear crept down Elizabeth's cheek.
"Don't cry. You'll make me think you care."
Elizabeth closed her eyes. "Shut up, Dick."
"I'm thirsty. Can I have something to drink?" There were so many conflicting emotions caterwauling inside of her that Kate didn't know how to begin. Falling back on civility seemed the best answer.
The vampath stood and reached for a pitcher. Pouring a glass, she dropped a straw into it and said, "Here. But take small sips."
Doing as she was told, Kate sucked at the water. It was blessedly cold and slid down her parched throat like a ball bearing through grease. When she finished, she nodded. "Thanks."
Elizabeth smiled. "You're welcome." Setting the cup down, she touched her fingertips to Kate's cheek. "For everything," she added.
The detective looked up at her and felt something in her shift. No matter what happened, she would never again view Elizabeth as something she hated. Once, she offered me friendship I wonder if it's too late to accept it. She almost spoke her thoughts aloud.
Instead, she said, "So what happened?"
Elizabeth sat in the chair near the bed. "Well, just after the lovely little bitch doll attacked you, Dersk held up his phone and said, 'I've just dialed 911 all those who don't want to go to jail, do not pass go, do not collected two hundred dollars, and please exit the building. The rest can continue to act like the hoodlums you are.' I swear, I nearly lost it laughing so hard when the big guy grabbed the girl and ran into the forest."
Through her wired teeth, Kate said, "And then what happened? All I have are flashes."
The vampath shrugged. "Cops came, found us Dersk is a very creative liar. You should give him a raise. He convinced them that you had been on the trail of a deadbeat dad when you were attacked by the same bastard who killed those kids. Then he told them that when you didn't show up at work, he found me and we followed your trail to the cabin."
"And they didn't question that?" Kate was shocked. When she was a cop, if anyone had told her such a cock and bull story she would have locked them up faster than they could say "probable cause".
Elizabeth's smile was part pixie, part devil. "Oh, I might have nudged them a little. After all, you needed help, not a holding cell." Her expression shifted as Kate remained silent. "I know, I know not exactly a good thing, but I swear I didn't change anything; I just encouraged them to believe Dersk."
"You should have taken Wainright's book with you." It was all that Kate said. Turning away from Elizabeth, she closed her eyes. "I need to rest."
The vampath felt the detective's disappointment as if it were a living thing. It scraped against her mind like sandpaper, eroding her fragile sense of calm and leaving her feeling like the scum the detective would scrape from her shoes. Backing away from Kate, she said, "I'll leave you be, then."
Before she could leave, Kate said, "Take my key. Get the book. Read it, Elizabeth. It's important. You have to know what it says you have to make an informed decision." I won't be able to let you in until you do.
"About what?" Despite herself, the vampath stepped forward and put a hand on Kate's wrist.
Swallowing, Kate replied, "Everything. You you have a choice, now, Elizabeth. There's no demon this time, only you and the symbiote. The Tos will control you, Doc. If that happens, its hunger will rule and you will cease to be Elizabeth and become something else. Something I won't want to know."
Elizabeth twined her fingers with Kate's. "I will never be someone you don't want to know." The promise was spoken softly. Leaning over, she brushed her lips over Kate's cheek. "I'll read the book, but I've already made my choice." Pulling back, she whispered, "I choose " and then smiled enigmatically. "Sleep well, Dick."
Kate's homecoming was a quiet affair punctuated by Dersk's incessant rambling about making sure she ate everything the doctors outlined in her meal plan and reiterating just exactly how much the half-demon hated playing secretary.
With a secretive smile on her face, Elizabeth said, "If you hate it so much, Demon boy, then let me take over. I'll be Kate's secretary. I can answer phones and it sure beats mopping up after the girls at Sharkey's."
Dersk almost but not quite managed to look hurt. "You want to answer the phones, type up invoices and smile at all of the random, off the street clients? You got it, Doc." The half-demon had taken to using the nickname, though he refused to call Kate, Dick. Not after the detective had oh so subtly threatened to relocate a certain similarly named portion of his anatomy to somewhere round about the seventh planet in the solar system. With Kate, he stuck with "Boss" and everyone was happy.
"Hey, don't I get a say in this?" With her jaw wired shut, the words had a harsher edge than Kate might have intended. The expression of mock outrage on her face, coupled with the half-hidden smile in her eyes softened the sharpness of her tone.
"No." Dersk and Elizabeth spoke simultaneously.
"You are going to sit upstairs and recover. You will sip savory soups and suck sweet treats through a straw and we shall make certain that your every need is met with a smile," Elizabeth said comically.
Kate's expression was anything but happily accepting. Offering her "friends" a full-toothed grin, she said, "What if I told you two to go jump in the lake?"
Dersk frowned. "Gee, Boss we just want you to get well."
"Yeah, we're trying to help you know, because it's what friends do," Elizabeth added.
Kate looked at the half-demon and the vampath. "You guys, it's really sweet of you to offer, but I don't need help. Honestly. I'm fine. I can handle this on my own."
"Pardon my potty mouth, but bull fucking shit. Kate, you just got your jaw, fingers and three ribs broken by the local representative for the Billy Big Bad if you think I'm going to walk away and let you play target, you're sadly mistaken." Elizabeth crossed her arms and locked her gaze with Kate's.
Dersk scuttled over to stand beside the vampath. "Yeah, what she said," he chimed in, also crossing his arms and doing his best, "I'm serious" look. On a human, the expression would be formidable. On a half-demon covered in bluish green scales, it was downright threatening.
Kate looked from one to the other. If she could, she would have dropped her jaw in amazement. Instead, she only shook her head. "Fine, but no savory soups, or succulent sweets I want real food, even if I have to suck it up through a straw." She winced. "And pain killers. Lots and lots of them. In fact, just hand me that bag."
The vampath opened the pharmacy bag, dug around until she came up with the correct bottle. Reading the directions she approached the detective. Smiling, she said, "One dose of banana flavored Vicodin, coming right up."
Glaring at Elizabeth, Kate said, "I hate you." But she took the stopper into her mouth and sucked at the meds until they were all gone. "God, that's foul."
"Wash it down with this?" Dersk reached into a bag and pulled out a bottle of chocolate milk.
"Or this?" Elizabeth said, proffering a can of cola, straw already inserted into the mouth.
"Gimme," Kate said, grabbing for both the soda and the milk.
Laughing, the trio headed upstairs. In short order, the ailing detective was tucked into bed and admonished to get some rest.
"I'm not tired," she said, and then promptly yawned.
Elizabeth grinned. Watching Kate try to yawn with her jaw wired shut was an exercise in cute. The detective made little mewling sounds as she fought the urge to open her mouth. "Vicodin, Dick. Gets you every time. Sleep well. I'll be up to check on you in a bit."
Making a face, Kate closed her eyes and was shortly asleep.
Now that she was working for Kate, Elizabeth quit her job at Sharkey's. Comparatively, choosing between slinging booze at the local sleaze bar or fronting a tiny private detective agency just couldn't add up, so she dropped the one to pursue the other with a whole heart.
After that, it was all about learning how to finesse Kate. For the first two weeks, it was rough going when she would have to fight the urge to either engage her power or bite her boss. Only Wainright's treatise, which she had read front to back several times, and the promise she had given kept her in check. The Tos ki'Dren would not subsume her she, Elizabeth Blaine, would learn control and keep her word.
She had chosen Kate, and whether the detective knew it or not, she was the driving force behind Elizabeth's resolution to be more than just a psychic version of a vampire.
Dersk helped. The half-demon seemed to have found his place as an agent for the incapacitated detective. Every day, the young man would show up, get an assignment and head out to begin the search. Kate was determined to get Bizby and his boss off Chicago's streets.
By the end of the second week, they had settled into a comfortable routine. Of Bizby and his boss, all that they were able to learn was that the fat man had sold the cabin to a developer who was planning on tearing it down - no one wanted to vacation where eight children had been slain.
From Angel they learned that the trade in lives had slowed to a trickle, which led Kate to suspect that Caruso had suspended his activities until the heat blew over. Unable to connect him directly, Kate shelved the investigation in favor of other, more lucrative searches.
During the course of his inquiries, Dersk often heard rumors, some of which had the potential to explain why Bizby had held children at his cabin. Seated in Kate's living room, the half-demon related what he had learned to Kate and Elizabeth.
"Bizboy's boys are frantic seems the kids belonged to some higher up of higher ups from across the pond. I guess they were part of a group of 'special' children that this bigwig was prepping to become super bad guys. Bizby's nuts are in a sling if he doesn't find out who killed them, he's going to be eight pounds lighter."
Kate shrugged. "Well, that wouldn't break my heart. What I'm more interested in is finding the killer. Anything that would do " She paled visibly. "That to a child needs to be put down like a mad dog."
"I could do some trolling " Elizabeth offered softly. Since saving Kate's life, the vampath had not bothered to hunt, preferring to spend her time helping the detective.
A barely visible shudder rippled over Kate at the suggestion. Rubbing her jaw, she sighed. "I don't know," she said and then sipped from a glass of water. One thing she had learned about having her jaw wired shut dry mouth was a bitch. "I spent a lot of time hating vampires, Doc. It's hard not to think of your abilities as a form of vampirism." She closed her eyes and bowed her head. The pain that hovered just beneath the surface flared to full blown life.
By virtue of her nature, Elizabeth took the brunt of it full in the skull. A small, soft sound of sympathy burbled from her throat. Reaching over to Kate, she took the detective's hand in hers and caressed the palm with her thumb.
"Kate, its okay if it bothers you that much, I won't go." Even as she said it though, Elizabeth could feel her symbiote as she now knew to name the ravening hunger that threaded through her every cell when she came into contact with strong emotion come to blazing life.
Kate lifted her head and looked into Elizabeth's eyes. Though the vampath tried to hide it, the detective could see the need that flickered darkly in the verdant depths.
Pressing her lips together, Kate took a deep breath and said, "No, you need to hunt. It's your nature and I won't ask you to change just because it makes me edgy." She forced a smile onto her lips. "I'm a big girl, Doc."
Kate shook her head. "No, I don't want to discuss it. Go I'll be fine. Finding who- or what- ever killed those kids is important. Dersk, are you free tonight?"
"Yep. Nothing penciled into my little day planner. What can I do for you?"
"I'd like to know more about this European. Is he human or what? See what you can dig up. Oh, and if you run into any of Bizby's boys stay in the shadows. I don't want to be scraping scales off the walls of some random building."
Dersk grinned. "Right-o, Boss. My hide is more precious to me than it is to you I'll be as careful with it as you would be with that rocket you call transportation."
Elizabeth stuck her tongue out at the half-demon. "Hey! I like Kate's bike, so shut up, snake boy."
"Well of course you would it's a giant vibrator on steroids." He smirked when Kate blushed.
Laughing, Elizabeth said, "Then why is it that motorcycles are ridden by men more than women?"
The half-demon opened his mouth, shut it, and then glared at the vampath.
"Yes? You wanted to say something?" Elizabeth stared pointedly at Dersk, raising both of her eyebrows and pinning him with her gaze until the half-demon's scales actually seemed to change from their usual bluish-green to a shade that approximated purple.
"No," he drawled slowly. "This snake boy knows when to slither off in defeat." He stood. "That said, ladies, I'll be off to do the boss' dirty work." Giving them a two fingered salute, he left.
Reluctantly, Elizabeth let go of Kate's hand and rose. "That's my cue to get busy." She licked her lips. "Can I get you anything before I go?"
Kate felt like there was a hole in the bottom of her lungs. The thought of Elizabeth heading out into the city to purposely hunt a killer did funny things to her heart. Why do I care so much? What does it matter if she wants to put herself in danger? She's perfectly capable of handling it.
A flash of memory came, filling her mind with the bloody, battered body of the vampath as she lay pinned under the crushing weight of Amy Jennings' would-be killer. Chills led a brigade of goosebumps over flesh. God, what is wrong with me?
Bunching the strange emotions into a tiny wad and burying them deep in her heart, Kate offered Elizabeth a tight smile. "No, I don't think so. I can nuke soup with the best of them. The phone's been transferred up here and you can lock up on your way out."
Without any other excuse to stay, Elizabeth nodded. "All right, Dick. I'll call you when I get home if I don't find anything." Scooping up her jacket, the vampath left.
Kate leaned back on the couch, letting her head drop back until she could stare at the open beam construction of the vaulted ceiling. If I were a carpenter, I could build a loft and have a bed bigger than a postage stamp. To accommodate all the necessary furniture, Kate had purchased a twin bed rather than the queen she was accustomed to.
Careful not to jar her cast, the detective draped her hands over her head. Or I could just sit here and feel completely useless.
After two weeks, the broken ribs no longer ached like someone were driving nails into her chest, but that didn't stop other smaller hurts from flaring. Her jaw, for example, was a constant source of irritation. If she were to do something as simple as yawn, it didn't matter how much medication she was on, because for at least ten minutes afterward, her face felt like it was on fire.
The doctors had told her that her hand might never be the same. Bizby had twisted the fingers so forcefully that several of the tiny bones had shattered. Now, it was encased in a special cast that weighed at least five pounds and made bathing an ordeal.
Oh God. I need to shower tonight. I stink. Did Elizabeth remember to buy more trash bags? I hope so I don't want to stand with my arm hanging out of the curtain again. Kate closed her eyes for just a second and was startled awake an unknown amount of time later.
The office buzzer was going off in a bizarre rhythm that sounded like a band of epileptic monkeys was attempting to play the drum line to a Metallica CD.
Muttering, "I'm coming, damn it, hold on!" Kate stumbled downstairs. Through the frosted glass of the door, she could see two shadowy figures, both smaller than her, and obviously female.
Double the cliché for the price of one? Fun and exciting. I wonder if they'll both be blonde, exotic and over-sexed? Since opening the doors to her agency, she had been visited by at least four different women, all of whom wanted to play out the role of the "damsel in distress" and at least one of which was a man in drag.
Each time, Kate had been courteous, and when it was plain that she was not going to play along, the faux clients had left.
I could just ignore it.
The constant hammering on the buzzer's button made that thought worthless.
Letting out an exasperated sigh, Kate opened the door. "We're closed for the Willow?"
"Hi!" The bubbly redheaded witch had a huge smile on her pixie-like face, and she was waving her hand excitedly. "We're here!"
Behind her, with her hands shoved deep in her pockets, stood a brunette whose face bore an expression that was somewhere between boredom and disgust. "Yeah, hey, we're here." Under her breath, she muttered, "Still say we shoulda called. Hate being rude."
Willow patted her girlfriend's arm. "Oh, honey it's not rude. Kate's practically family. We wouldn't call Buffy if we were gonna visit, right?"
The other girl made a face. "You wouldn't call I would. God knows I'd rather not have Miss 'I'm the Great Bufficus' go all agro on me for no damned reason."
Kate couldn't help but smile. "You must be Kennedy. I've heard a lot about you."
"It's all lies, damn lies!" The brunette slayer put out a hand, which Kate took. "But I know what I've heard about you is good."
The detective cocked her head and said, "Well, my source isn't known for her utmost ability to tell the truth, but I think she's got her heart in the approximation of the right place."
Willow chuckled. "That's a pretty good description of Faith. I'll have to remember that."
Kate smiled. "So, what are you doing in the Windy City?"
"Flying kites?" Willow ventured nervously, looking up at Kate with an innocent smile. Then she frowned. "Not to be uh, rude or anything, but Kate, you look like hell. What happened?"
Sighing, Kate stepped aside to allow them entry. "It's a long story."
Kennedy took one look at the various injuries dotting the detective's body and said, "Oh goodie. I've always enjoyed a good bedtime tale."
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