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 Thirty-Five

Faces lit by sunlight, Willow and Kennedy looked out over the glistening waters of Lake Michigan. In the distance, colorful sails picked out the shapes of boats as they raced against the wind. Birds wheeled overhead, diving and squabbling for the best tidbits of food.

The witch was perched on the top of a picnic table while Kennedy stood between her knees, leaning back against her chest. Every so often, Willow would bend down and whisper something, or point, and the slayer's face would break into a bright grin. Occasionally, they would both laugh at the antics of the birds that fought over the chunks of bread they tossed out into the water.

Willow's left hand was comfortably inserted into the waistband of Kennedy's cargo pants and now and then, she would stroke the soft flesh of the slayer's abdomen, causing a tiny ripple of pleasure to shudder through her. After about the tenth time the witch did this, Kenney turned, cupper her hands around Willow's face and kissed her until they were both breathless.

Winding her fingers into the dark, heavy tresses of Kennedy's hair, Willow traced her lover's lips with her tongue, leaning in to nip at her bottom lip and then fusing their mouths together in a long, heated exchange of kisses that ended with her pressed against the table and Kennedy spread on top of her.

"Table… not… so cozy," Willow whispered as she arched into Kennedy's touch.

Smiling against the witch's lips, Kennedy said, "I think there's a soft blanket somewhere under that tree over there."

"Ooo, I'm thinking I like that idea…"

Standing, they wandered hand in hand over to their picnic blanket. In the shadow of the tree, they slowly undressed, feathering kisses and light touches over each other's bodies as the sun drifted below the horizon and set the world on fire with a blaze of color.

"What's your favorite color?"

Wakefulness had found Kate and Elizabeth still twined around each other, Kate pressed up against the vampath's back so tightly that a molecule would have had difficulty slipping between them.

"My what?" Kate said in confusion.

"Your favorite color – you know, black, pink, chartreuse? Mine is cerulean blue – the color of the sky at high noon on a summer's day." Elizabeth turned to face Kate and said, "It was one of the things I missed the most after … " Her eyes drifted shut and she sighed. "When I was a vampire, I couldn't bear to see the day, because it reminded me of what I had lost."

The shift had caused the women to drift apart. Kate's casted hand now rested on the bed between them. The detective looked everywhere but the vampath's face.

God, why is this so hard? I'm an adult. All grown up and long since left the nest, and yet, right now, I feel like teenager. All logic, all reason says that I should just get up and make some coffee, but what I really want to do is touch her hair.

"So, that's my painful contribution to small talk. Your turn, Dick." Why won't you look at me, Kate? Do I disgust you that much? Can't you see beyond the fangs? I thought I felt… imperceptibly, she shook her head. I must have been imagining it.

"I don't think I have one."

"Oh come on, everyone has a favorite color. Even Iscariot had his fashion quirks. That man changed trench coats like Imelda Marcos changed shoes."

Kate snorted. "Okay, um… black? I like black. And blue, yeah – I wear a lot of blue."

Elizabeth smiled. "It's a good color for you. I can imagine that it makes those gorgeous eyes of yours look like mine cut sapphires."

The crimson stain that washed over Kate's face only made the vampath's smile broader.

Biting her lip, Kate said, "Um, so… do you like sports?"

Elizabeth laughed. "Depends on what you consider 'sport'."

"You know, baseball – soccer – that sort of thing. I played volleyball in college."

"Ah, well, working nights at the morgue didn't give me much opportunity to participate in team events but occasionally Luke and I would play a pick up game of half court." The vampath ran a hand through her hair. "I wasn't very good, I'm afraid. Head was always elsewhere."


The soft, sweetly sad smile that touched Elizabeth's lips nearly broke Kate's heart. "Yeah. Lowell – he um… well, I thought he wanted me to work in the morgue to get used to death – to see that mortality was real – he had muscular dystrophy and it had progressed pretty rapidly." The vampath sat up and pulled her knees up under her chin. Wrapping her arms around her legs, she rested her head on her thighs and said, "But he just wanted a spy among the dead." Bitter tears stained her cheeks. "I was one of five – five! Just another cog in his damned plan to find a vampire."

Kate sat and awkwardly began to pat Elizabeth's shoulder. "Hey, Doc – that's the past. It's over."

Shaking her head, Elizabeth said, "No, Dick. You're wrong." She lifted her gaze up to meet Kate's. "It will never be over. Not as long as I have these." With no more effort than it took to draw breath, the vampath willed her fangs to appear.

As much as she tried to hide it, the thrill of atavistic fear that rocketed through Kate's body at the sight was clearly displayed in her eyes.

"I'll never be who I was – I will never be Elizabeth Blaine again. Because of him, I will never be anyone you can trust."

Walking into his apartment was like stepping into a maelstrom. Nearly everything the young half-demon owned was strewn about the small studio. His television, stereo and videogame console had been smashed to unrecognizable bits. Despite himself, Dersk felt tears form in his eyes.

"Damn it, Reevis I'd have gotten you the cash."

Behind him, the cabbie yelled, "Hey, man, the meter's tickin'. You gonna get yer shit outta my trunk or what?"

Sighing, Dersk set his bags down and started to unload the taxi. After the cabbie had gone, the half-demon went to the hidey where he kept his money. Kneeling in front of the sink, he opened the cabinet door and reached up, feeling around for the loose piece of board. Sure enough, it dropped away and a roll of cash fell into his hand.

Gripping it tightly, he muttered, "This is all you're getting you scum sucking shit wad."

He put the perishables away and left, heading for Reevis' squat.

"So you think they got any sleep?" Kennedy asked as she and Willow headed back into town.

"Sure – they were both exhausted. Kate's aura was pretty dim and Liz, well… I'm not sure I understand all that stuff about the Tos ki'Dren yet but she looked pretty frayed too." During their bonding session over the computer, Dersk had filled Willow in on Elizabeth's rather extraordinary situation. Armed with that, the young witch had used her considerable talents to learn as much as she could about the vampath's symbiote. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to learn much more than what the private investigators already knew.

Kennedy grimaced. "My stabbing her probably didn't help, either. God, I feel like such a shit for that. I don't know what happened – usually, I can smell a blood sucker a mile away."

"Hey, we all have our off days. Maybe you were, just thinking about something else. You know how that can be when you're thinking about random parse variations and how neat it would be if you could create a spell that would work better than Google. And oh! Oh! That would be so cool because then I could find stuff so much easier!"

Kennedy's laughter made Willow smile. "You are such a geek."

"That's me, geekster Willow. See, I'm even sporting an ad for geekdom." She pointed to her shirt, which read, "Think Geek."

"I like mine better," Kennedy said. The slayer's black cap-sleeved t-shirt said, "What's a nice girl like you doing in a dirty mind like mine?"

Willow eyed the lettering and grinned. "I'd say she was having a good time, but then I'd have to be jealous that you had another woman in your head and that would not be good because then I'd go all 'wicked Willow' and that's never a good thing – thank you, Martha Stewart." The witch sighed dreamily.

"Oh yeah, like you want to be just like Miss Susie Perfect Homemaker."

"No – but it's a nice thought to contemplate before I remind myself that it would take far too many chunks of my admittedly tarnished soul to bargain for even a tenth of Martha's power."

"Oo, I'm so scared – what can she do, organize us all to death with P-Touch labels?"

"Do no mock the Martha," Willow said warningly. "Or I shall have to be all with the angry grr face." The witch twisted her lips and narrowed her eyes in a comic approximation of monstrous ire.

"Oh no, not that, anything but that – please, oh please don't pull out the giant can of Wiccan whup ass on me," Kennedy replied in a falsetto tone. By the end of her statement, she was having trouble keeping a straight face and when Willow snorted, she lost it.

Hard on her heels, Willow's laughter joined with her lover's until the car was overflowing with the sound of their mirth. When they could finally speak, Willow snuggled up to Kennedy and said, "Do you think they make Hallmark cards for when your girlfriend stabs someone in the arm with a stake?"


Chapter Thirty-Six

Arriving at Reevis' squat, Dersk elbowed the door open and called out, "Yo, Reev – I'm here, just like I said."

Slowly, he moved through the cramped apartment. It was pitch black, smelled like a charnel house and was about as warm as the back edge of a walk in freezer. Shivering, Dersk rubbed his arms and squinted, trying to see anything in the gloom.

Like snakes, Ssilligorth preferred the heat, and the chill temperature of the place was starting to make him feel sluggish. Yawning, he tried once more to get Reevis' attention. "Yo, big, gray and in dire need of anger management – wake the fuck up!"

Nothing, not even a snorted growl of disgust.

Wary now, Dersk began to seek a light source. On a wall he found a switch plate and slapped it, making an overhead chandelier come to blazing life. As his eyes cleared, he dearly wished that he had stayed in the dark.

The walls were literally dripping with blood. Castoff, spatter, and smeared patterns were interspersed with large, thickly drawn runic sigils. The supply for this massive amount of sanguine paint was draped over a wrecked sofa. Reevis the demon would never again hound him for money because he was now lacking a head and most of his extremities.

Feeling his gorge begin to rise, Dersk slowly backed out of the apartment. Fear crawled up from his gut, ripping into his throat with razor sharp talons.

"Shit, oh shit, oh shit…" he babbled mindlessly as he scrambled out of the apartment and into the welcome warmth of the hallway. He had enough presence of mind to shut the door.

Panting, he tried to gather his straying wits. As he looked down, he noticed that his shoes and the edges of his pants were soaked with the demon's brackish blood. Revulsion shuddered through him and it was all he could do not to disrobe and abandon the ruined garments.

Slowly, he counted to one hundred twice until he could open his eyes and see the eggshell white of the walls and not the arcing, speckled patterns that wouldn't have looked out of place on a Jackson Pollock painting. His heart refused to settle down – the fear that gnawed on his innards now was not of what had caused the demon's death, but rather, why.

He knew the who and the what. The runes on the walls had been as clear as they were familiar. What nagged at him, what made his stomach churn so noxiously was one question.

What the hell was his mother doing in Chicago?

The atmosphere in Kate's apartment had gone from one of warm banter to a chilled, almost unfriendly détente. Neither woman wanted to move, speak or otherwise break the icy silence that had settled between them in the wake of Elizabeth's statement.

Yet both were just as anxious to return to that place where they could laugh and smile and behave like normal people.

In another life, I would have been your friend without a second thought, Elizabeth Blaine. Kate closed her eyes. Somewhere back in the days when the only monsters I cared about were drug dealers, murderers and rapists. Before I knew that they were only the shadows of the truth that haunts our world.

If she had known the vibrant young woman when she was a medical student – if she had somehow been able to stop her – if she had met her after her awakening and had never known of her terrible curse, of the symbiote which had given her back her life, but with a price… if, if, if… The twists and turns of life that had brought Kate to this point had come without a roadmap, tour guide or even a travel brochure and the detective was simply sick and tired of feeling like she was on holiday in hell.

Elizabeth was pressed against the wall, her head tipped back and her eyes closed. With her knees drawn up under her chin and her arms encircling them, she looked like an unfinished sculpture of a wounded angel. Her hair, mussed from sleep, fell around her shoulders in a crimson spill that mimicked the flow of blood.

Watching her, Kate came to realize something about the vampath – something so strange, so beyond her understanding of the undead that she felt as though she'd been dipped in liquid nitrogen and struck with a hammer.

She's breathing. The subtle cycle of respiration caused tiny motions to ripple over Elizabeth's body as she sat, unaware of Kate's scrutiny. The dead do not breathe. Hell, Angel only does it because it's a habit, not a necessity – I know because I've seen him walk straight into the ocean and stay there for hours and not come up for air.

That had been a particularly hellish reminder of the vampire's inhumanity. Even after all that she had learned of Angelus, a part of her had still admired the roughly handsome Irishman, but not after that day. When he had emerged from the sea, his skin had turned the color of a three day old corpse. It had taken the vampire another ten minutes before he'd even drawn a breath.

From that day forward, she had been unable to see Angel as anything other than what he was – inhuman and vaguely monstrous.

Looking at Elizabeth now, watching her breathe, seeing how very human she appeared, opened Kate's mind and a wave of change swept through, knocking away the last of her fears.

"Hey, Charlie? Yeah, it's D. Look, is mom, you know… again?" With his cell pressed against his ear and a broom in his hands, Dersk went about the gargantuan task of cleaning up his apartment.

Kate's answering machine had taken his call, so he figured the detective and the vampath were still out cold, which left him at loose ends. Having nothing better to do, he decided to return home and fix up the mess, as well as do a little information pumping.

A visit from mom was not high on Dersk's list of priorities.

The person on the other end spoke, and the half-demon paled. "Oh crap."

Just then, there was a knock at his door.

"Should we get pizza or Mexican for dinner?" Willow said as she and her girlfriend finished getting changed. A breeze off Lake Michigan had sent temperatures plummeting. Rather than head straight for Kate's office, they had swung by their residence to put on something warmer.

"I'm all for the round, gooey goodness that is a double pepperoni and olive with extra cheese and sliced mushrooms," said Kennedy as she came up from behind Willow and enfolded her in a loving hug.

"Mm, yeah, and we could get a veggie lover's with extra onions and bell peppers too – yum!"

"Let's not forget a side order of Tic-Tacs then," Kennedy replied, wrinkling her nose adorably. "Because oniony-bell pepper garlic breath is unfun to smooch."

"And we must have our smoochies," Willow said, turning her head to accept several of the aforementioned smooches.

"I'll call Kate and ask her if they'd like anything special while you finish up with the Wiccan chem lab, okay?" Kennedy said as she pulled away the last time.

Nodding, Willow replied, "I am so on that." With a gleeful grin, she rubbed her hands together and cackled. "Mad Wiccanist, Willow the Wonderfully Splendiferous shall concoct such sensational marvels as the Bruise Reducifier and the Blood Restorative, and last but certainly not the lowest of the leastest, the Bone Strengthener and Growifier!"

When Kennedy finally stopped laughing, she reached for the phone and dialed Kate's number.

Part 37

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