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-Nine

The interior of Gareth Evans' house revealed secrets both dark and terrible. His basement was a miniature torture chamber filled with implements of pain that were best left to museums and history books. Most still carried a resonance of agony. All of them made Elizabeth ill to look at, nauseous to touch and when she asked Dersk to hand her something, she realized that the half-demon's emotions were just as powerful as a human's.

What made Elizabeth feel ill had left the young man scorched to the soul. A wave of pity welled up in her and she put her hand on his shoulder. "Lend me your phone and then go upstairs. You don't need to see this," she said softly.

Swallowing heavily, Dersk wordlessly handed Elizabeth his cell and left the chamber of horrors.

Once he was gone, the vampath walked over to a wall and pushed aside a curtain of fabric that masked a door. Exerting a little pressure, she broke the handle and pulled it open, revealing further atrocities. The bodies of three small children were neatly laid out on a butcher block.

They were fresh – the stench of putrefaction had yet to permeate the walls and surfaces of the room. It was painted white-white and set up as a miniature replica of a morgue, sans autopsy table. A floating butcher's block complete with an array of knives that would have made any chef proud stood near the hellish setup.

Against the back wall was a door to a walk in freezer. Elizabeth stared at it and then decided that she didn't have the intestinal fortitude to face whatever lay beyond the steel clad entry.

Opening the phone, she dialed Kate's number. It was answered immediately.

"Damn it, don't give me excuses, just find her!"

A sweet smile curved the vampath's lips. "So you do care," she drawled softly.

"Elizabeth!" A beat, and then, "Doc, where the hell are you? If you've been out getting drunk –"

"Long story, will tell later – much later, when I've got a stiff drink and a thick steak to help ease the memories."

"Are you all right?" Kate's voice dropped to a worried murmur.

"I will be." Licking her lips, Elizabeth said, "Look, I know you've got some good connections and… I need a – I think the spy term is a 'cleaner' – only this one needs to be geared more to the occult."

"Okay – I can have someone meet you wherever you are."

"No innocents. This is not a job for the good of heart." She ran a hand through her hair, wincing at the twinge of pain that lanced through her shoulder. God, but she would be willing to do party tricks to get a back rub. "Look, Dick… I'm standing in the middle of a psychopath's dream house. There's a little bit of something in here for all the sick and twisted little fucks out there. I'd like to… see that it's properly disposed of. This is not a job for amateurs." God no – I've learned my lesson about that. How many times had she wished that she had told Luke to take his vampire fantasies and bury them? How many days did she spend standing on the threshold of daylight and darkness, praying for the strength to take that last step, only to fail and run to the shadows at the last minute?

No, she would not risk exposing an innocent to the evil that had nearly consumed her soul.

Kate was silent for a long time. Finally, she said, "Go home. Get some rest. Tomorrow, I'll make you dinner and you can give a full report. Just tell me where you are – it will be handled."

Quietly, Elizabeth gave her the address and then hung up the phone. Taking one last look at the children, she said a soft prayer and headed upstairs.

The habits of life are hard to break, even in undeath. Gareth Evans had kept meticulous notes detailing his exploits, including the fact that he worked as a "procurer" for the warlock, Vitmar Caruso.

What he obtained, in short, were children. Because of his harmless appearance, it was easy for the former CPA to approach the homeless, the lost, and the unwary and gain their trust. This quality was of immense value to his employer, because it kept him in a steady supply of sacrificial lambs.

It was only when Caruso failed to make good on their deal – one child for every ten Gareth brought to the warlock's top man that Evans had snapped. The massacre at the lake side cabin had been a calculated insult delivered in the form of attention that the men did not need. Evans had known of the European's interest in those particular children, and had acted to draw the gaze of both the mundane law as well as that of Caruso's boss.

The message had been received, and within a day of the slaughter, ten children had been delivered to the vampath's home. Gareth had drawn out their suffering for as long as he could, but soon he would have had to seek new victims.

Elizabeth put the journal down and wiped the tears from her face. Dersk was sitting in a chair, staring blindly at a laptop. The screen displayed an ever changing panoply of horror.

Technology gave the average computer user the ability to tailor a screensaver to suit their tastes. Evil gave Gareth Evans the desire to take garish, full color photographs of his work and turn them into a personal slideshow of pain.

Slowly, Elizabeth reached over and shut the computer's lid.

The half-demon's scales seemed dull and listless. His face was wet with tears and he had thrown up twice in the time that the vampath had been in the room.

Perching on the edge of the desk, Elizabeth folded her arms over her chest and said, "He's dead, Dersk. There's nothing left but ashes and dust. Even his soul has been holy watered into oblivion."

Dersk began to shiver uncontrollably. Looking up at Elizabeth with tears gathering in his eyes, he said, "But … the evil he did will live forever." For a creature that looked like he should be the main attraction at a freak show, his voice sounded just like that of a teenaged boy who has just realized that death is real.

Covering her face with one hand, Elizabeth sighed and said, "I don't know what to say, Dersk. I'm not the best judge of good and evil – my own morals are a little complicated." She cocked her head and gave him a soft smile. "But I think that Kate would say that the evil only lives on if we forget about the victims – if we let them die for nothing. She would tell us that the reason we do what we do is to prevent others from suffering the same fate. And you know, that's enough." She stood and put a hand on Dersk's shoulder. "Because of what I did, not one more child will suffer at the hands of Gareth Evans. I call that a good day in the office." Patting him gently, she smiled and said, "Now, let's get out of here. We've got enough to peel back some of the layers protecting Bizby. That's more than we had before."

The young half-demon looked up at her and said, "Thanks. I wish… I wish I could have found you sooner." He eyed the marks of her captivity sadly. "Kate's told me some of what you went through… she told me about Iscariot." Looking away, he said, "I lost a brother to him, once. So I know. It would have hurt less if he'd cut off my arm."

Silently, Elizabeth squeezed his shoulder and then stepped away. Gathering the evidence they wanted, they left the suburban house of horrors.

No one noticed a black garbed figure slip into the house. No alarm was given when a succession of tightly boxed items were removed. There was not even a peep of curiosity when a fire gutted the house on West Sixtieth, doing little damage to the surrounding properties but completely destroyed every last shred of Gareth Evans' life.


Chapter Thirty

A shower and a change of clothes did a lot to restore Dersk to his good spirits. Elizabeth however, looked as worn as a three day old pair of gym socks. As Kate let her employees into her flat, she almost ordered the vampath to turn around and go back home, but then she thought better of it.

I can't send her home looking like that. She's about to fall asleep standing up – not a good thing if you live in druggie wonderland. "Hey Doc, you look terrible. Go sit down or something."

Elizabeth offered her a weary smile and a laptop. "Here's your link – you might want to kill the screensaver. It's not safe for public consumption."

Breezing by the women, Dersk flopped onto the couch and said, "Hell, it's not safe for any consumption. Delete it, please."

Both of Kate's eyebrows rose in mute question.

"It's the personal record of a psycho-sadistic vampath named Gareth Evans," Elizabeth said softly. She couldn't meet Kate's gaze. "I killed him."

Juggling a laptop on an arm that's covered in a thick, heavy cast was not easy, but somehow Kate managed. Hesitantly, she reached out to put her free hand on Elizabeth's arm. "Are you okay, Doc? Be honest. Are you hurt? Do you need –"

The softness in Kate's voice nearly undid the vampath. Whatever hope she had of avoiding any emotion other than that of an employee and employer evaporated under the detective's gentle touch and sincere concern.

A smile quavered on Elizabeth's lips. Shyly, she said, "Well – I think my back has a really big red bull's eye painted on it, because I keep getting daggers thrust into it."

Hissing in sympathetic pain, Kate turned, set the laptop on the coffee table and said, "Dersk – go down to the office and … do something for about ten minutes. Doc, you – bed – shirt – off – now."

The half-demon grumbled but gallantly left the ladies alone. Elizabeth smirked.

"If you wanted me in your bed, Dick, all you had to do was ask nicely," she drawled as she drew her shirt over her head. The sultry effect of her words was ruined by the whimper of pain she let out when she had to raise her arms above her head.

Upon seeing the bruised, bloodied ruin of Elizabeth's back, Kate let out a soft string of curses. "If you were human, I'd make you go to the hospital," she said. "As it is, I'm going to have to rely on my Girl Scout first aid badge to get me through patching you up." The detective went to her bathroom to retrieve medical supplies.

Holding her shirt to her torso, Elizabeth looked over her shoulder at Kate and said, "You can let it be, you know. I will heal." Sarcasm dripping from every word, she added, "Vampaths and vampires don't differ in that respect. Anything short of a fatality – and believe me, Wainright goes into some detail about how to kill one of the Tos ki'Dren – and I'll be as good as new in a few days."

"You know, Doc… I think I said something about you, in the bed, with your shirt off, right? Oh, and since you offered so nicely, you can talk me through stitching that big fucking hole in your side." Kate held up a small mirror. "You can even watch."

Elizabeth sighed aggrievedly but climbed onto the bed. "Just what I like in an employer – pushy, demanding, bitchy and completely in command of the situation." Not to mention beautiful.

"Hey – quid pro quo, Doc. You patched me up and trundled around after me like I was a toddler in her first real panties – the least I can do is patch you up when you get hurt doing my dirty work." Though said through her clenched jaw, Kate's words were light, and put a smile on the vampath's face.

"I didn't mind, Dick. I still owe you for helping me when I first woke." Elizabeth didn't like to think of her return to life as anything Christ-like. Rather, she categorized it as akin to rising from a bad dream. The past five years had been one long nightmare, and except for a few minor physical alterations, she had finally awakened.

With nothing to say, Kate only soaked some gauze in peroxide and began the arduous process of swabbing the vampath's wounds.

"All right, since we're lacking in the sterile dressing area, a clean towel will have to suffice. First, you need to thread the needle." Kate did as she was instructed, laying towels around the area of the wound. With slow, deliberate instructions, she was led through the process of first stitching Elizabeth's back and then her side. When she was done, the detective washed her hand and returned with a bottle of cold beer.

"Here, it's not prescription strength, but it should take the edge off."

Elizabeth accepted the beer with a grateful smile. "Thanks. God, I feel like I've been beaten with the ugly stick and left hanging on the fucked up tree." She uncapped it and drank deeply.

"Do you need some help with your shirt?" Kate said as she went to retrieve a beer for herself. The vampath was lying on her side with her top pressed against her chest.

Looking down at her state of undress, Elizabeth pursed her lips. "Well, I could just go topless –"

"I'm sure that Dersk would enjoy the view."

Is he the only one, or … Tempted by curiosity, Elizabeth almost let her symbiote do what it wanted, and reach out for Kate's emotional core to sample the flavors, textures and colors that the detective kept locked behind a cool façade, but she restrained herself. No. I can't make love happen. If I do, the emotion is false, a shadow of truth created by the symbiote and not real, not of the heart.

"Well in that case," she said, smiling and setting aside her beer. "Yes, I'd love some assistance. I seem to have some trouble with my arms – I think it has something to do with the bruises, but one can never be certain."

"I'd offer to give you a massage but somehow I don't think that would help," Kate said as she held up her casted hand.

"No," the vampath said, laughing. "I'm not into masochism."

Slowly, they were able to get her re-dressed. It was a button down shirt, which made it somewhat easier, but still painful. Kate was assisting with the buttons when they heard the door open. Turning to face the intruders, they heard a voice say, "See, told ya she was gay."

Part 31

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