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
Kate's day had been better than some. Sleep, the elusive drug that shut her normally restless mind down had come and allowed her to float in a senseless haze for five whole hours. Afterward, she had gone to the post office to check for any packages and discovered that Gunn had come through with flying colors.
Next had been the visit to the local cop shop where she registered her firearm, put in her paperwork for a permit and filled out the appropriate forms so that she could practice the business of being a private detective in the city of Chicago. All had gone off without a hitch. By the end of the day, she had all her licenses in order, including a permit to carry her weapon concealed.
Sometimes it was good to have friends in high places. It had only taken her ten seconds of debate over whether or not to avail herself of the services of Angel's tacit offer. Afterward, she castigated for allowing her morals to shade into the gray, but the comforting weight of her Smith and Wesson nine millimeter semi-automatic under her left arm kept those complaints to a minimum.
The pockets of her khaki cargoes contained six extra clips of bullets, two each of regular hollow-point for mortal nasties, wood for vampires and blessed silver for the special kind of demon that just wouldn't fucking die.
Not that she expected to run into anything like a Grakslar or a nest of bloodsuckers, but it never paid to be incautious, especially in a big city.
There was, of course, some quid pro quo to be paid. In the morning, she would begin to research out the possibility that a dealer in black market babies not the kind that people wanted to adopt, but rather, the kind that certain creatures considered a delicacy was based somewhere in Chicago. But that was tomorrow.
Her next goal was a set of wheels. Kate was licensed to drive a variety of vehicles, and her current fluidity allowed her to have what she wanted. She just couldn't decide if she wanted fast and easy or fast and armored.
That was why she was standing in the middle of a Yamaha dealership looking over their stock of motorcycles with a jaundiced eye. The not so sleazy saleswoman waiting by the desk had taken one look at Kate's leather jacketed form and decided to let her shop around before making her approach.
There was a lot to choose from, but Kate's eye was drawn to the FJR 1300. They had three models: Black, Purple and Blue. They were all fast. Hell, they looked like they were illegal sitting still and that was exactly the kind of speed that Kate wanted if she was trying to run from a gang of bloodthirsty vamps.
On the other hand she could go to the Dodge dealership and buy something like a Ram with a Hemi engine and have speed and armor. Decisions, decisions...
The saleswoman saw the prospective client's eyes dart for the door and knew that this was the time to make her approach. Moving quickly, she appeared at Kate's side and said, "I don't know what your partner would say, but I think you'd look hot as hell on that one." She indicated the black and gray 1300. "All blonde and black leather trust me honey, they won't know what hit them."
"Oh, I bet they won't," Kate murmured wryly. Having been a patrol officer in West Hollywood had long inured the detective against all forms of come on, including those made by women.
"Go on, straddle it. Feel it between your legs. If you want, we can take it for test drive." The words were purred softly.
"I don't have a helmet," Kate said absently. Okay, so maybe she wasn't completely immune.
"That's all right. We have loaners." Assured of a sale, and perhaps something more, the saleswoman discreetly flashed two fingers at one of the mechanics. He grinned and nodded. Turning back to Kate, she said, "Andrea Ashwood."
"Kate Lockley." They shook hands. Andrea smiled brightly while Kate tried not to show the nerves that were beginning to prick to life.
I don't flirt with women. What the hell is up with me? Surreptitiously, Kate studied Andrea and concluded, Well, she is hot enough to make a corpse stand up and take notice. It must be hormones.
Two helmets arrived and after Kate had proven that she did, indeed have a license to ride a motorcycle, Andrea pushed the bike outside and indicated that the other woman should climb aboard.
"Go on. I'll ride shotgun. You can't really get the feel for a bike unless you drive it."
Kate put the helmet on and straddled the bike. It was surprisingly light. As she got the feel for the frame, she felt the tail dip as Andrea climbed on behind her. Her helmet was tapped softly and she turned to look at the saleswoman.
"These are two way radio helmets, I'm plugging mine into yours," she said as she pushed a cord into a jack at the back of Kate's helmet.
There was a crackle and a hiss and then she could hear Andrea's voice.
"Roger that," Kate said softly.
The other woman chuckled. "Here, turn the key and push the ignition switch."
As the engine roared to life, Kate felt a smile curve her lips. Any confusion regarding the salesperson vanished under the onslaught of pure adrenalin. Oh yeah, this could be bad.
Andrea Ashwood did not get the date she wanted, but she did sell the bike. She couldn't even be upset that Kate hadn't fallen for her advances. The pretty young woman had been so in love with the bike's performance that Andrea could have stripped naked and danced on the counter and Kate would still be staring at her new ride.
The saleswoman shook her head ruefully. "And she paid in cash," she whispered. "Fuck me." Even better, the young woman's name wasn't on the cop watch list. A half smile crooked her lips. There was always the two thousand mile check up to look forward to. Maybe Kate's bike lust would have given way enough to allow her to look beyond fiber and chrome.
A helmet, a pair of gloves, a pair of heavy boots and a set of leather chaps pushed the total cost of her new toy into realms of a big bite out of her nest egg, but Kate didn't care. On the highway, with the sun setting behind her, she almost felt like she could fly.
The bike's engine was a throaty purr that vibrated up her legs and into her belly. It was sexual, sensual and thrilling. Life boiled in her when she hit ungodly speeds. The smile on her face was almost a rictus. Desperation drove her to faster and faster speeds. Needle pushing the envelope, Kate raced the sun into night.
Hunger gnawed at her belly like termites writhing in the flesh of a dead tree. Elizabeth fought it, and forced herself to stay hidden in the shadows. Her clothes were filthy. Whoever had seen fit to return her to life had outfitted her in undead chic. The ragged, torn scraps of cloth that had once been a crimson gown barely covered her pearl-pale skin. Over that she had wrapped a ratty, smelly blanket that she had stolen from a trash heap behind a thrift store.
Shivering, she licked her lips and wished, again, that she had thought to find a broken cup to fill with water. If she could drink something, anything, then maybe the terrible hunger would somehow be assuaged.
It had never worked before. Nothing had worked before. God.
It rasped at her, begging for surcease. Clawing and scraping and pulling her inch by inch from the jagged darkness.
Angrily, she thrust herself against the wall, denying the craving once more.
Tears filled her eyes. Faces, countless and featureless filled her vision. Her nostrils flared and she began to pant. Her throat worked as the memory of thick, hot blood filled her mouth.
It was sweet. She never knew that it would be so sweet.
God. No. She was aroused, again.
The bike ticked softly as it cooled. Kate stood nearby, unwilling to walk away from it, but not knowing what to do to secure it. It had an alarm, but that wouldn't deter a good thief.
"Should've bought a chain," she muttered crossly. Her legs felt like rubber bands. She needed a long soak in a tub filled with hot, soapy water.
What she would get was a short sit in a lukewarm bath. It was better than nothing.
If only she could figure out what to do with the damned bike.
She felt the throaty rumble of the motor before she heard it. The single-eyed beam of the headlight traced the bike's route as it crept over the parking lot and came to a rest not more than five feet away. God. No. Not now.
On the wind came the scent. Blood. Fresh, pumping hard, thick and fast, burning with the essence of life. Elizabeth's eyes rolled back as she breathed deeply, intoxicated by the fragrance of it. Moisture flooded her mouth and her center.
God no. Please. Make it stop.
Hungry. So. Fucking. Hungry.
Help me. I can't. I cannot do this. I am not this person. I am not this monster. Do you hear me? I am not this monster! Help me, damn it!
"Help me," she whispered.
The sound was so faint, Kate was almost certain she had imagined it. Whirling while drawing her gun, she fumbled in a pocket for her penlight.
"Who's there?" she called softly. The light fell into her hand and she whipped it out, clicked it on and slashed the beam through the shadows.
In vain, Elizabeth tried to fade back, but the light caught the edge of her blanket.
No. God, please no.
"I can see you over there. Come out, now." Kate's tone brooked no argument.
"No. Go away. Please." Elizabeth was near to tears. God, make her leave. I'm so hungry and I can't. I cannot be this monster.
Kate cocked her gun. "Out, now."
The sound of the hammer ratcheting back gave Elizabeth pause. Is that a gun? Can I be killed by bullets? The inanity of the thought forced a laugh from her. Of course not. Beheading, burning, wooden stakes, yes. Guns, no.
"Put your gun away, it won't help you." Elizabeth stepped from the shadows and revealed herself. There was no use in hiding the fangs that glistened with saliva.
"Oh fucking goddamned hell." Kate's grip on her gun got tighter. Damn, damn, damn. Why didn't I load the vampkillers? Fuck!
"Yes, I'd say that about sums it up." One ruddy eyebrow rose. "You don't seem very surprised."
"I'm from Los Angeles. Nothing shocks me, you fucking demon."
Elizabeth winced, stricken by the acid hate that dripped from the stranger's tone. "I'm not a demon."
Kate laughed mirthlessly. "Oh, that's a new one. What are you then? A lost trick-or-treater? Got news for you Halloween isn't for another four months."
"Oh, I'm exactly what you think I am but I'm not who you think I am." Elizabeth took another step toward Kate. "I'm hungry, so hungry. I need God, I need ..." She shivered. "You smell like food. Like death." Her eyes narrowed and she licked her lips. "But not fear. You know me my kind. Help me. Help me fight the hunger." One tear crept down her cheek. "Please," she said through clenched teeth. "Help me."
Kate was trembling. Fire. Damn it, fire the gun, Kate. Drop the bitch where she stands, then get on the bike and get out of here. Fire. The. Gun.
Her hand went limp and she holstered her weapon. I'm such a sucker. "If you're lying if this is some kind of trick," she said warningly, "I swear to God I will stake you and scatter your ashes to the four winds."
"May God Himself strike me down if I'm lying," said the vampire. She held her hands away from her body, palms out, as if trying to present the most unthreatening target possible.
It did not escape either woman that Elizabeth was able to make free with the G word. That was truly unusual. Almost unheard of, in fact.
"Fine. Walk up the stairs but do not go more than two steps ahead of me at any time and do not stop."
"Will you at least tell me your name first? Mine's Elizabeth Elizabeth Blaine." She started to offer her hand, but let it drop instead.
"Don't push your luck, bloodsucker." Something about the vamp's name sounded familiar, but Kate just couldn't place it.
Elizabeth smiled. "Oh come on, surely you don't believe the hokum about names?"
"That they have power? You bet I believe it I've seen it in action. But that's not why I won't tell you mine."
The vampire gave the woman a long, considering look. Blonde hair that brushed the shoulders of her leather jacket, eyes so blue they seemed to glow with an inner light and a face that if it weren't so careworn would be sweetly beautiful combined to create the package of the stranger with the gun. Elizabeth was intrigued. The former medical student in her wondered what the woman's story was, and in another life, she would have found herself wanting to help.
Who am I kidding? I want to help now. What a great doctor I'd make. Paging doctor vampire, yes, we need six units of packed cells in room 203 stat! Hey, wait, that's my lunch you're transfusing into that patient. Right. Disgusted, Elizabeth mouthed off. "What am I supposed to call you? Master? Or do you prefer Mistress?"
If she had been anywhere else, watching this on a movie, Kate would have found the situation absurd in the extreme. Rolling her eyes, she said, "Kate. Call me Kate. Happy now?"
The smile that curved Elizabeth's lips was one part predatory and ninety-nine parts amused. "Thrilled." She turned and put one foot on a step, then looked back and added, "Charmed, as well."
At the top of the stairs, Kate murmured, "Room twenty-six."
Elizabeth nodded and went to the proper doorway.
"Turn and face the door. Put both of your hands flat against the surface and do not move."
"You sound like a cop, Kate. Is that what you are?" Elizabeth's tone was light and teasing. When Kate pressed into her and she felt the other woman's hand move against her hip, she nearly moaned. The hunger/arousal was so strong, so thick in her that she had to bite her lip just to keep from turning and kissing the other woman senseless. It was either that, or bite her, and Elizabeth absolutely refused to do that again. Never again. This I vow I'll die before I drink another drop of human blood.
That she had never kissed another woman didn't bother her in the slightest.
I'd kiss a frog if I thought it would keep me from drinking.
Kate slid the key home and turned the knob. "Push," she said. "Come " Before she was able to finish the invitation, the door popped open. Stumbling inside, Kate immediately shoved Elizabeth into the bed. "Stay."
The vampire cocked her head, looked up at Kate and said, "Woof."
In spite of herself, Kate laughed. "You're something else, Elizabeth. If you were the dour, melancholy and morose type, I'd say that I know your brother, but you're nothing like Angel." Briefly, she thought, What is it with me and vampires who can cross my threshold without my say so?
"Angel?" Even in the wilds of Romania, Elizabeth Blaine had heard that name. Iscariot had cursed it more than once. "I assure you that I'm nothing like him. For one thing, I'm not cursed." She frowned. "Well, at least I think I'm not cursed. Not in the 'have sex and be evil' sense. Of course, we could always test that theory." She let the blanket drop and leaned back on her elbows, exposing a pale expanse of flesh the curved and sloped enticingly.
The face that Kate made nearly sent Elizabeth into paroxysms of giggles.
"First, you stink. I mean, you really reek. Second, you're female not my thing. Third, you're a vampire. Definitely not my thing. So you can take your ideas and wrap them in a little package of 'hell the fuck no' and shove them."
Elizabeth pouted. "But how will we ever discover if I'm cursed?"
"Honey, you're a vampire. That's plenty cursed for me."
Sighing, Elizabeth replied, "You're right. It is enough. I'm sorry." She hung her head. "It's the hunger. I-" She looked up at Kate with moisture-rimed eyes. "I'm supposed to be dead."
"You are dead, Elizabeth. That's all a part of being a vampire. You're dead, there's a demon in your body and your soul is trapped in hell." Kate ran her hands through her hair. "And I don't even know why we're having this discussion. I should have shot you downstairs."
"Maybe you should have, but you didn't Kate. Why? Why help me? You obviously don't like me. In fact, I'd venture to say that you hate me." Suddenly shy, Elizabeth drew the ratty blanket back up around her shoulders and looked up at Kate expectantly.
Lacing her fingers together over her head, Kate sighed and said, "I don't hate you, Elizabeth. I hate the demon."
"I'm not a demon."
"Right. Can you prove that?"
"I don't know. I just know that I am not a demon. I am not the monster that I was when I died."
"You keep saying that you died. What do you mean?"
"It's a long story. You'd better sit down." Elizabeth kicked a foot out, hooked a chair and slid it over to the detective.
Kate sat. "Wait. I need food. So do you." She pulled out a cell phone and hit a button.
"You can order a meal for a vampire from room service now?" Elizabeth gave the other woman an incredulous look. "I thought we were out of Romania."
Shushing her, Kate said, "It's me. I need a favor. Yeah, I'll get on that tomorrow, but right now yeah, I got wheels today, or didn't you know that? Uh huh. Right. Okay, here's what I need. You know where I am." She listened for a moment. "Exactly. I need a six pack delivered to me, tonight. Make it grade B." Six pints of pig's blood should be more than enough to feed Elizabeth. Hell, normally that would be enough to feed Angel for three days. "No, I'm fine. I swear. I've got a situation I'm investigating. I'll let you know what pans out, if anything." She rolled her eyes. "Yes, Fred. I'll be careful. I promise. Now, can you do it?" The voice on the other end must have said something good, because Kate smiled. "Thanks, Fred. I owe you." Closing the phone, she said, "There will be something here for you within the hour."
Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief. "Meals on wheels for vampires. What will they think of next?"
The detective stood and paced around the room twice before saying, "Look, I've got to go downstairs to get something to eat, but I can't take you with me. If I leave you here, will you stay? Or will I have to hunt you down and stake you?"
"I'm not going anywhere. Though I might be tempted to use your shower, if that's all right?"
Kate shrugged. "Did I mention that you stink? Yes. Please, get clean." She unzipped her backpack and pulled out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Throwing them at Elizabeth, she said, "You can wear these. I don't think the blanket's your style."
"No, not really. I'm really more of a jeans or scrubs gal, to tell you the truth."
"Part of the long story. Go get yourself some food, Kate. I will be here when you return." Elizabeth stood and walked over to Kate. Leaning in, she placed a hand against the detective's face and whispered, "I promise."
Letting her fingers trail down Kate's tanned skin, she backed away and headed for the bathroom.
Kate didn't know whether to be disgusted or disturbed, but the touch left her shaking for every reason except for fear.
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