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
By sHaYcH


Chapter Twenty-Five

"Yes, thank you. Dear, whatever, whoever, thank you, thank you, thank you," Dersk flopped onto the sidewalk and breathed deeply of the night air. The foul odor of the sewage system still lingered, but it was not so completely overwhelming.

He had followed the tunnel to a manhole and climbed out onto a residential street. The quiet was pervasive, and after the hollow, echoing slosh of the sewer, he was grateful for that, as well.

"You owe me a big, fat, juicy steak, Kate Lockley," he muttered as he pushed himself to his feet.

With great care, he withdrew a silver case from his pocket and opened it. Slowly, he took out a cigarette and inhaled, savoring the scent of the fresh tobacco. The case closed with a click as he put the smoke in his mouth, lit it and inhaled. Closing his eyes, he allowed the rush of nicotine to push aside the dreadful stench of the sewers.

He looked around, getting his bearings. Roughly, he was about nine miles from Kate's office, which was good, because by the time he got there, some of the smell would have dissipated. Not all of it, and that was fine by him since he wanted his boss to have a visceral grasp of just how far he would go to get what she wanted.

Angling for a raise was something that was so much a part of Dersk's nature, that adding little extras to his daily work was a matter of course. From his shirt pocket, he withdrew a cell phone. Opening it, he punched the speed dial.

He began walking toward the office as the phone rang. After the sixth ring, it was answered.

"Mfph, Lockley." Sleep fuzzed and muffled by the wires holding her jaw shut, Kate's voice sounded like she had been filling her mouth with chewy rocks.

"Hey, Boss. I have a lead."

Awake, Kate said, "What is it?"

"Several bodies, cut into tiny, almost bite size pieces and dumped down a manhole off South Narragansett and West Sixtieth. Let me tell you what a pleasure it was to wander among that particular ode to all that is fucked in the world."

"Mother of God," Kate whispered.

He could hear movement on the other end of the line. "Are you getting up? Don't get up, Boss. You are not coming out here, do you hear me? You have two broken ribs, a busted hand and your jaw's still doing a credible impersonation of a steel trap. Stay. Put. I'm a big demon, Boss. I can poke around without you lurking behind me."

"You just want another raise," Kate groused, but the sound of her movements ceased.

That was easy. She must have taken some Vicodin. That always knocks her into next week. Good. Kate and Elizabeth weren't the only ones who wanted to have a whack at a large portion of Tom Bizby's corpulent hide. Unlike the demonic masters at the delivery service where he had worked before meeting Kate, he actually cared about this employer.

"Always," he replied, grinning. "At this point, I'll settle for my boss, asleep, and getting better."

"Okay, okay, but I want a full report in the morning."

"Of course. Typed, double spaced and proof read, even." Dersk's lack of anything resembling office skills was a source of great amusement for Kate.

"You're lucky I won't hold you to that, snake boy." She was silent for a moment and then said, "Have you seen Doc at all?"

"Nope, but then – she probably took the high road."

"Right. Okay, if that's all?"

"Yep. That's all. Oh, and this neighborhood is about as boring as it can get – I don't think there's been a case of shocking orange paint or tie dye curtains anywhere near this place ever."

Kate laughed. "It's Mid-Western Suburbia, not Telegraph and Market, Dersk."

The half-demon sighed dramatically. "Oh, you should have been there… the glorious, drugged out, hippy free love days when a demon could put on his skin and walk like a man – I miss LSD."

"Now there's a flashback I don't need. Please let me sleep, Dersk, before I give you a pay cut."

"Good night, Boss."

"Night, snake boy."

Dersk hung up and pocketed the phone. Stubbing out his cigarette, he continued to head toward the office.

Kate was dreaming. She knew that because she had the oddly disjointed sense that she was walking through water. Everything was colorless, except for a crimson thread that was woven about her index finger.

The detective glanced down and admired the thread. It was quite a pretty red. Not candy apple, or cherry, but more of the ruddy, almost brown tone of blood when it has dried to a scab.

She flexed her finger experimentally. The thread was very supple; it moved with her and did not break. Running her thumb over it, she was hard pressed to determine if it was cotton, nylon or silk. There was a sleekness to it that was akin to silk, and yet it was soft, like the cotton used in most sewing projects. She was about to stick her finger in her mouth to taste it when she felt the tugging.

Intrigued, she let her hand drop. Immediately, there was a pulling sensation to her right. Since it was a dream, she felt safe in following it. As soon as she stepped in the direction of the tug, it stopped. Confused, she turned to go back and felt the sensation once more.

"Okay, so… I walk toward the pull got it. I can't believe I'm going to let myself be led around like a dog."

Kate headed back toward the sensation and was directed by a series of tugs and pulls through a confusing hall. The walls were slate gray; bare of any distinguishing marks and the floor was an unchanging pattern of brown and blue spots.

"God, who's making this dream? An interior decorator from the 1950's?"

At that very moment, she stumbled over a ripple in the floor.

"Okay, sorry, sorry. Geesh. No sense of humor, these Powers That Be."

As she regained her balance she realized that in her dream, she was not bound and held by the bandages, casts and wires that were aiding her body in repairing the damage done by Bizby and his minions.

"I could get used to this."

The hall made a sharp turn to the left, which she nearly missed. Spinning on her heel at the last minute, it took her a moment to realize that she was looking into a room filled with giant scales. Mouth agape in awe at the sheer size of the image, Kate could only watch as invisible hands dropped shadowy items onto the scales.

From time to time, the scales would move, but mostly they hung, suspended evenly above the plaid ground.

"This is how it is. From time immemorial, the Universe has strove to hold itself in Balance."

A large, dark object dropped onto one side of the scale, massively upsetting the balance.

"It is not without peril, though, for He Who Hates All works to nullify the Universal Plan."

Kate counted the time by her heartbeat. A full ten minutes had passed before another large object fell onto the scales, balancing them.

"So it is the task of He Who Loves All to correct the ripples in the fabric. However, this is not without its cost."

As Kate watched, several smaller items fell from the scales, hitting the ground below. Those items transformed, becoming people, places, even things. One Kate immediately recognized as a portrait of her father.

"Daddy?" she whispered brokenly.

The man in the portrait was speaking. Softly, he called, "Katie – I love you Katie. God, can you hear me? I love my daughter; don't let her fall, not like me. Not like her old man."

Covering her face with her hands, Kate sobbed. "Daddy, I hear you. I won't fall. I promise, Daddy. I won't let you down."

"The Plan is ever at risk. To place oneself at the Gate and stand as Keeper takes a special soul."

"What? What are you talking about?" I've got to remember not to eat whatever I had for dinner again. This dream is worse than a morphine nightmare.

A ghostly face emerged from the darkness. Shrouded in a white-cowled robe, Kate could not determine whether the speaker was male or female.

"You, Kate Lockley. I speak of you, and your determination to hold back the darkness with nothing but the strength of your will. Shattered you have been, and yet, you persist. We like that."

"Yeah? We who? I mean, I know this is a dream, and that this is really just a manifestation of the horrible combination of pizza, Jolt and Vicodin, but really, since you're here – how about not acting as if riddles were the only way to communicate." Kate's tears still wet her cheeks, but she disregarded the volcanic toss of emotions that turned her stomach into a lava pit in order to get to the bottom of her subconscious mind's need to run her through hell.

"Plain speech is denied those whose duty it is to tend the scale. We can only offer this question, Kate Lockley – what is the Law of Balance?"

Kate woke in a puddle of sweat. Filled with a surge of dread, she struggled to free herself from her blankets while reaching for her phone.

"Come on, come on, answer it…" she muttered softly as she listened to the other line ring.


Chapter Twenty-Six

Purple. Death was purple with green stripes, orange dots and a faint odor of Stetson cologne.

Elizabeth opened her eyes and looked around the room. She was face down on the most hideously colored bedspread she had ever seen in her entire life – both human and vampiric.

Her arms were bound tightly, tied from wrist to elbow in a series of painful knots that had long since cut off the circulation to her fingers. The same bindings wrapped her legs from her knees to her ankles. To make the situation even more uncomfortable, the dagger was still impaled in her side.

Every time she moved, she felt it slice into her a little further. Her mouth was filled with a thick ball of fabric and a patch of duct tape kept it in place. She could breathe, see and hear. All of her other senses were denied, including those she associated with her symbiote.

"Thou hast wakened. I am overjoyed to see the light return to thy eyes, my love. Doest thy hunger consume thee?"

The odd little man drifted into the light. He bent neatly at the waist and brushed a strand of hair from Elizabeth's face.

Unable to speak, the vampath glared daggers at him.

"Ah, of course. Thou hast yet to trouble thyself to seek the boundaries of thy gifts." He stroked her cheek lovingly, and then slapped her so hard she saw stars.

::Reach within your mind, Wife. Speak with the strength of your thoughts and prove yourself to be my equal. Show me how the Gods have answered my call – come to me, Wife. Speak and be mine.::

"What is the Law of Balance?"

"You called at…" There was a pause and then, "Three fifteen in the morning to ask me to explain a fundamental tenet of witchcraft? Couldn't you have looked it up on the internet?" Willow's words were broken by tiny squeaks and yawns.

"Willow, I'd love to let you yell at me – can you do it later? I think this is very important." Kate was frantic. The sense of dread she had woken with now blossomed, full grown, into a fear so intense that she was barely able to keep still. The phone was tucked up against her ear while she held her gun loosely in her hand. If anything came through her door, she was going to shoot first and check for good guy cards later.

"Are you okay, Kate? You're not in trouble, are you? Do I need to send out the cavalry? Honey, honey wake up – it's slaying time."

Kate heard a softly murmured, "I get to dust something, great. Where's my crossbow?"

"Damn it Willow, just tell me about the law!" Kate was frantic now. The worry had ramped up until she was shaking so hard that she had to put her gun aside to hold onto the phone.

Stunned into speaking, Willow said, "The law of balance: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is most true in cases of good and evil. L-like with the First Evil – he was major big bad, so we had to have a major big good, thus, the Slayer Pride turned into a pride of slayers."

Every word was like a tiny tap on the eggshell that surrounded Kate's thoughts.

"Why would I dream about that particular law?" she muttered.

"You called because you had a dream? Are you sure you're not a slayer?" The ironic twist to Willow's tone was lost on Kate. "I dunno… you have any troubles with serious evil or run into any saints lately?"

"Saints? Big evil? Do I get to slay, or should I go back to dreaming about you, me and a can of whipped cream?"

"No one that I can think of…" said Kate softly. But there was one difference, one new person in Kate's life that flaunted all the rules of good and evil.

Elizabeth Blaine. It was not her imagination that her heart skipped a beat, hammered hard and then began to race as though she were running a marathon.

Oh Doc, where are you? You should have called by now…

Part 27

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