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
With trepidation, Dersk peered through the peephole in his door, then turned away and leaned against the wall. Putting his head in his hands, he softly whimpered, "Why me? Oh, Those Who Guide and Make why did she have to visit now?"
The knocking came again, followed by a strident, "Derskingorlus, I know you're in there, young man, now open the door and give your mother a proper hello!"
Sighing, Dersk pushed himself off the wall and said, "Coming, Mother." He opened the door and stared up at seven plus feet of neon turquoise and lime green scales.
Tiatitania Samson strode into Dersk's disheveled apartment with all the appearance of a queen entering her gold encrusted throne room. Looking around, the full blooded Ssilligorth said, "I'd love to say that your taste in domiciles has improved, my son, but I would be lying." She spotted the one chair that Dersk had managed to right and clear. Carefully, she sat, arranging herself in a way that would be most pleasing to any who would look upon her.
Dersk closed the door and turned to face his mother. Out of some fit of pique, he stubbornly held onto his human appearance, perhaps in defiance of the boldness of Tiatitania's beauty, or perhaps because he, like all children, felt the need to test his boundaries. Regardless, it was a very human Dersk who said, "Mother, what the hell are you doing here?"
The shock at her son's tone was not quite faked. Pushing her scaled, long nailed hands over her head, Tiatitania made a reptilian moue and said, "A mother likes to hear from her children every so often. Once a decade would be lovely, and better would be on the fifth year your sister Jemmaline knows how to keep in touch one would think that, you, my eldest boy, would be able to follow such a spectacular example."
Rolling his eyes, Dersk found another chair, righted it and sat. "Look, Mom, I've been busy. I'm sorry I missed the last Convocation of Ssessologiath, but I had work to do!"
Tiatitania sniffed derisively. "Such work my son ferrying the leavings of shekti-sascrum like the Barokka clan! You are of the Ssilligorth, and should be prouder of your heritage."
"Aw, Mom it's not like that. Reevis was a drinking buddy and I owed him some money."
"You break bread with such animals? How low you have sunk, my son. Your father's lineage was weaker than I thought. I should have eaten him sooner."
The mating habits of the female of his species were not something Dersk wanted to discuss, now or ever. If he had his druthers, he would find a nice, amenable human girl to settle down with someday, like maybe in another century or six.
"Mom, I didn't eat with him, I got drunk with him. We played some cards you know, man stuff. It was part of my new job."
Folding her arms over her chest, Tiatitania stared down her nose at her son. "New job, hmm? And why was I not informed of this? Why did I have to come all the way to Chicago to learn that my son has made a life altering decision without the proper consultation of Ssornegia? Must you always wound me so, Derskingorlus?"
Closing his eyes, Dersk swallowed a groan. "Mother, I can get a new job without having to sacrifice a member of an opposing tribe." He shook his head. "I still don't understand why you had to kill him. It's not like the Barokka are our blood enemies!"
Tiatitania hissed angrily. "How would you know, Son? If you called more often you would know that your sister is expecting her first brood. You would know that when the time came to perform the ritual eating of her mate, those sheski-sascrum who call themselves Barokka raided the purification chamber and kidnapped Jonathan!"
Dersk stood, threw his hands in the air and said, "Mom, that's not the act of cowards, that's Johnny saving his ass from being eaten! I swear, your ancient rituals should have died out with the dodo!"
Standing, Tiatitania loomed over her son. Her scales had darkened to a lovely shade of midnight blue, and they seemed to glow with an iridescence that would have been quite pretty if it wasn't associated with a seven foot snake demon whose teeth were longer than Dersk's fingers. "You will not disrespect the gods of your people, Derskingorlus I will not have it!"
"In case you hadn't noticed Mom, my people don't have gods. In fact, I'm not even sure I have a 'people' as such, since I'm the only half Ssilligorth I know!" The human face he had tried so hard to maintain vanished under his ire. Scaled and fanged like his mother, only in a smaller, and by some accounts, prettier version, Dersk stared up at the woman who had bourn him and glared. His human side had affected the demonic only in that he had a shock of bright lime green hair atop his head, instead of scales.
In the silence, the sound of the faucet dripping was louder than a gunshot.
Finally, Tiatitania seemed to crumple on herself. Shrinking into the chair, the Ssilligorth female's scales dulled to a grayish green tone and she sighed. "I just want you to be a part of my life, my son. A mother should not have to beg the gods for word of her first born boy's health."
Feeling about two inches tall, Dersk sat down and put his head in his hands. "Mom, I know I'm not always the most dutiful son but I do love you, honestly. It's just that I really want to live my life." He looked up at her and shrugged. With the motion, his human appearance was restored. "I like living in this world, Mom. Back home, I'd be dead and fed or fat and euniched either way, I wouldn't be me, and that's not right." He lit a smoke and took a long drag.
Tiatitania looked at her son and sighed unhappily. "You do look very handsome," she said finally. Standing, she walked to his side and put her hand on his head. Gentle fingers combed through the half-demon's hair. "So very like your father, you are. Handsome devil that he was, I sometimes wonder if it was right to dally with a human." She pulled her hand away and walked to the door. "I'll be at my usual place. Join me for breakfast tomorrow, Dersk. I would hear of this new job." With all the grace of a defeated ruler exiting a conquered castle, Tiatitania left her son's apartment.
The wall was pebbled with tiny lumps. Each imperfection had pressed its shape deeply into Elizabeth's shoulder. The marks felt as though they were stabbing through her, digging stucco trenches into flesh that should have long lost its ability to feel.
Like my heart, that beats in strange syncopation. I should not sense this pain, should not feel the angered angst that trips light and delicate across the strings of my emotions like Pachelbel's Canon. Ashes and dust, fed to the earth and bound to heaven by the words and actions by a man who I might have loved, had I but opened my eyes in time.
Why do I stay where I am not wanted? What strange glue holds me to this place, this woman whose arms will never open for me?
Elizabeth felt the gathering moisture of tears prick at the edges of her eyes and angrily forced them back. I will not cry for what I cannot have!
Broken, angry images filled with the hazed overlay of memory struck her, filling her with the darkness of despair. Tanya, broken and bent with death, spread out at her feet, with open eyes staring up accusingly at those who had failed to protect her.
The looks on the faces of the others as she cried, begging them to stop the madness but it was too late. Swayed, lulled by sweet words and the false love in Lowell's eyes, Elizabeth had given way to their desires and had turned her back on path of light.
That was my mistake. My error it was the door that Iscariot needed to waltz into my soul and make me his.
Into the darkness of her thoughts came Kate's voice. "Hey Doc, you thirsty? I'm getting a cola." She felt the bed shift as the detective moved to stand.
The completely mundane tone of the other woman's voice pierced the veil of angst like a ballista shot. Lifting her head, Elizabeth looked up at Kate and said, "I'd like a glass of water, please."
Kate turned and smiled at the vampath.
With her emotions as jumbled as they were, Elizabeth's control over the symbiote was nearly gone. When Kate's gaze met hers, she fell into a mild rapport that left her breathless.
She doesn't hate me. God, and all that is good and green, she doesn't hate me!
Cocking her head slightly, Kate said, "You're wrong, you know."
The direction of her thoughts arrested, Elizabeth softly replied, "About what?"
"Trust is something earned and you're on your way to collecting a pretty healthy paycheck."
Earlier, when she had dozed in Kate's lap, Elizabeth had felt a tiny stream of hope burble through her. At the detective's words, however, that rivulet burst into a raging flood that washed away the dark clouds that had gathered over her thoughts.
Stretching out her legs, Elizabeth slid off the bed and said, "So when do I get paid, Dick?"
Pizza, the round, cheesy pie of goodness, cured many ills. Stuffed with a surfeit of pepperoni, olives and assorted vegetables, the group that sat scattered about Kate's office like blast victims after an explosion, all stared at the pile of decimated cardboard containers with wary expressions of exhaustion.
Only Kate had abstained. Instead of pizza, she had consumed a liquid meal that was thick and vaguely scented like chicken.
"Evil," Willow declared sleepily.
"Monstrous," Kennedy agreed, belching loudly. She reached for the last piece and began slowly chewing her way through it. "But delicious."
"How can you eat that?" Elizabeth asked. Surrounded by the growing warmth of friendship, the vampath felt as though she had just consumed an entire Thanksgiving dinner by herself.
"You want the rest of this?" Kate offered the dregs of her chicken noodle shake to Kennedy, who eyed the concoction skeptically.
"No, I'm good with this," she said, holding up the piece of pizza.
Taking a long pull on his eighth beer, Dersk squinted at the women and said, "Y'all ask me, slayer's got hollow legs." He echoed Kennedy burp with one of his own and then looked at his drink. Less than a swallow remained so he tossed that back and reached for another one. As he twisted off the cap, he said, "Let me tell ya, ain't nothing that sucks worse than having to scrub Barokka slime off leather. Or having to do it while feeling about this -" He held his fingers millimeters apart. "Big. Gotta love parents. Know just how ta make a guy feel all special and fucked, you know?"
Before getting ripped, the half-demon had related something of his adventures, earning him a round of sympathy and an ice pack for the raccoon's eyes he was sporting.
Blinking owlishly at the debris scattered around her office, Kate said, "What I want to know is which of you is going to help me clean this mess up?"
"Oh leave it, Boss. I'll get it in the morning." Dersk waved his hand absently. "Mess, schmess. What's another few hours of pushing a broom around? You should see my apartment! Now there's a classic case of tornado blues. This is nothing. Few pizza bins, some cans and bottles nothing. I can do it in minutes." He hiccupped and then yawned. "Tomorrow." As he spoke, his eyes rolled back into his head and he slumped to the floor.
It was hard to say which reacted faster slayer or vampath. Kennedy caught the falling beer while Elizabeth cradled Dersk's unconscious form against her. They shared a look and then Kennedy grinned. "Hey, it's good beer," she said, saluting the vampath with the bottle.
Lifting the half-demon, Elizabeth said, "Where you want him, Dick?"
"There's a futon in the storage room put him there for tonight," the detective said softly.
"Okay," the vampath replied.
Willow went to pull out the bed while Kennedy quickly cleared a path through the strewn garbage. In just a few minutes they had Dersk settled. In sleep, the half-demon had reverted to his Ssilligorthic side, which caused the bruises on his face to turn a horrific shade of neon purple.
Looking down at him, Kennedy said, "I know ravers who would pay big money for clothes that looked like that."
The witch covered him with a blanket and said, "He is kind of pretty, in a drugged out on ecstasy kind of way, isn't he?"
Elizabeth cocked her head and said, "I don't know, I'm kind of partial to reds and yellows myself he's a little too watery for me."
"Funny, I thought blue was your favorite color," Kennedy said slyly. Leaning toward the vampath she added, "It is a rather pretty shade, if you ask me."
Two sets of ruddy eyebrows rose, but it was Elizabeth who spoke. "I wasn't aware that you had a thing for scaly things."
Mock slapping the vampath's shoulder, the slayer said, "Oh ha-ha. We all know what I'm talking about here." Cocking her head, she shrugged and said, "If you ask me, I think you should just go for it but that's me, big risk taker and all that. I think Faith put it nicely want, take, have."
Willow slid an arm around the slayer's shoulders and squeezed gently. "Hon, sometimes it's not that easy. Things can be complicated right, Liz?" Two sets of green eyes found and held each other's gaze. Both held knowledge of darkness far beyond their years.
"Yeah," Elizabeth replied with a soft sigh. "Complicated."
"You didn't have to come with," Elizabeth protested as she and Kate walked up to her motel room door.
Kate gave the vampath a long look. "You're dead on your feet, Doc. Again. I don't know what Willow put in those funny tasting drinks, but if you feel half as woozy as I do, then you'll understand why I wanted to make sure that when you fell over, you landed on your bed and not the sidewalk."
Hand on the doorknob, Elizabeth paused. She really wanted Kate to leave. There was just no way that she was ready for the detective to see the inside of the squalid room where she slept.
The roaches in there are big enough to qualify as pets. Pasting a fake smile on her face, she said, "Well, thanks. You should get home get some sleep, Dick. Tomorrow we can fight the good fight and get the bad guys."
Kate folded her arms over her chest. "Not going to invite me in, Doc? I assure you, I'm not the type to bite when your back is turned."
It was wrong, the amount of sexual charge that Elizabeth felt over that statement. Wrong, but oh, so delicious. Fighting the urge to turn and show the detective just how good biting could be, the vampath licked her lips and said, "I'm fine, really. See?" She stepped away from the door and walked a perfect, three foot line. "No tottering, no falling certainly sober enough to pass a roadside inspection."
Kate looked around, taking in their surroundings. Lowering her arms, she said, "Elizabeth, I was a cop for a long time if I've seen one fleabag motel, I've seen them all. Trust me, whatever you don't want me to notice about your place, I've noticed." Her face softened into a sad smile. "I know it's hard to find a good home when your finances aren't the best." She shoved her hand into the pocket of her jacket and kicked a rock. "I wish I could afford to offer you a bigger paycheck "
"I wouldn't take it." Elizabeth strode to her door and flung it open, revealing the sleazy room in its disgusting splendor.
The first thing Kate noticed was the smell. Years of cigarette smoke, cheap booze and cheaper whores had perfumed the place, giving it a reek somewhere between that of a brothel and a crack house.
Second was the décor the carpet was a horrific blend of orange, brown, beige and pink that had faded in places to an even worse shade that resembled baby poop. The bed, a double that was probably new sometime around when Kate's father had been born, sagged in the middle and was covered by a thin, pink blanket.
Once, there had been a television, but some time in the distant past, it had been removed. All that remained was the naked, skeletal bracket that seemed to reach out from the wall, ready to snag any passerby in its jagged grip.
The rest of the furniture was equally as sad. Staring at it, Kate was positive that she didn't want to see the bathroom.
I thought the Black Lake Inn was bad, but this this is just awful.
With one foot in the door, Elizabeth turned and looked at Kate. "Well, good night, Dick. I'll be in at my usual time."
She wanted to tell the vampath to pack her things and come back to the apartment, but she wasn't quite ready to open her home to a roommate. Besides, where would she sleep?
However, having had to bunk Dersk in the storage room had reminded her of its existence and now now she knew exactly what to say.
"When you come in tomorrow, bring your stuff with you."
Confused, Elizabeth said, "What? Why?"
"Because you can't stay here. This place is a pit. It's not much, but my storage room is cleaner and less populated." Kate's smile was crooked. "Come on, Doc you'll save tens of dollars by giving this place back to the drunks and whores."
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