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
"The rope that twines is the length that binds our souls from two to one under this sun. A union of houses, of blood and of love we share, so let it be open to the air. By "
The droning chant was giving Kate a headache. She tried to listen, to pay attention to what Caruso was saying, but all she could do was to think about how much it sucked that she might never have the chance to kiss Elizabeth again.
Or tell her that I love her. The thought drifted by and instead of denying it, Kate smiled ruefully. Should've said something earlier, I guess.
Willow was slowly coming to, but it was obvious that the witch was in no condition to magic them out of a paper bag, much less iron shackles. Dersk had fallen silent somewhere in the first ten minutes of Caruso's chant and now he hung there, glaring impotently at the warlock.
The dagger hidden in the small of Kate's back was digging a trench into the tender flesh of her left buttock, but she wasn't about to try and shift position and call attention to it. If by some miracle she managed to get free like say, her girlfriend wasn't dead, mangled or otherwise occupied with Caruso's forces she wanted to have a weapon.
Willow watched and listened closely. She wasn't nearly as out of it as she pretended, and while Caruso's attention was on the chants that would bind his affairs with Tiatitania's, she studied the spell of silence that he had woven around her. Without his constant vigilance, cracks had formed in the substance of the magic and the witch was almost ready to try breaking it.
Seething with anger, Dersk plotted his every move. He was going to go full Ssilligorth, break his bonds and rip Caruso's head off. All he had to do was get pissed enough to call upon the natural strength of his demonic half.
"Do you accept my troth, Tiatitania Samson? Will our houses be joined this day?" Vitmar looked up at his bride-to-be and smiled lovingly. Their hands had been bound together with the cord and the chants had been sung, now all that was left was to seal the deal.
"Don't think so!"
The shout startled everyone. Caruso turned away from Tiatitania and watched in shock as Elizabeth and Kennedy landed with twin thumps on the pile of linen of the connubial bed.
"Shattered, battered and bust, what is left alone will always rust!" Willow's shackles disintegrated. As she fell, she pointed at Kate and growled, "Unbind."
Kate dropped, pulled her dagger and stabbed her demon guardian in the throat before he could move.
Ripping fabric was followed by a long, deep throated scream of pure rage. "Caruso!" The young half-demon had undergone a metamorphic change, shifting from his normal, human sized demonic state to something that approximated a pure Ssilligorth. Only his lime green shock of hair marked his half breed origins.
The two remaining guards drew their weapons and attacked.
Vitmar looked at Tiatitania and said, "Quickly, my love, finish the ritual!"
Blinking slowly, the Ssilligorth female looked from Vitmar to her son and back. "I I "
"Mother! Hear me, Tiatitania, and heed my words! It is the Husband's Gambit!" Dersk was desperate. Herbert rushed him, slicing deep cuts into every bit of flesh that he could reach as Dersk danced about trying to avoid the blows.
Elizabeth, Kate and Willow fought the remaining blade wielding demon while Kennedy struggled with the hooded platter bearer.
Tiatitania shuddered, then went utterly still, and growled, "What? You would think to deceive me, Vitmar Caruso? I am no child for you to amuse with your petty games!" With her free hand, she shredded the cord binding them together. "I nullify any contract of marriage as is my right. There will be no joining of our houses or bodies on this day."
At her words, the demons ceased fighting and backed away, turning their backs on Caruso.
"No! I command you to fight! Destroy the ones who would seek to interfere in my business!" shrieked the warlock.
"They are not yours to rule, Vitmar. Herbert and Jonas are mine and believe me when I say that you will be responsible for the deathgild of Tavas and the rest," said Tiatitania as she shook the remaining scraps of cord from her wrist. "And no one controls the Binders they are a law unto themselves."
Slowly, and with contempt oozing from every scale on her body, the Ssilligorth turned her back on Vitmar Caruso.
"Then die!" he shouted, drawing a wicked blade and plunging it toward her unprotected flank.
In slow motion, Kate, Willow, Kennedy and Elizabeth watched their friend leap across the pentagram and into Caruso. They heard the impact, and the grunt of pain that the half-demon expelled as his body collided with the warlock's. Tiatitania turned as the four women raced to their friend's side.
"Dersk!" Kate yelled.
The half-demon and the warlock were struggling, writhing about on the ground and fighting for their lives. Caruso's dagger was buried to the hilt in Dersk's abdomen and thick blood rapidly pooled around them. Ignoring his wound, Dersk had his hands wrapped around the warlock's throat.
"I'm going to rip your fucking head off you piece of fucking shit!"
Caruso gasped and flailed about weakly. "Not," he wheezed. "Today." There was a pop and suddenly, the warlock was gone.
Falling to his knees, screaming in rage and agony, Dersk pounded the floor and shouted, "Come back here you coward!" then pitched forward and began to weep softly. "Oh gods, it hurts." Slowly, he reached into a pocket, withdrew his cigarette case and tried to open it, but it was smashed shut. "Damn."
Tiatitania kneeled beside her son. "Here, let me," she said softly, taking the case from him. With a flick of her wrist, she opened it while Kate and Willow helped Dersk to sit. His body shifted, becoming human. Ashen faced, he accepted a cigarette from his mother and inhaled deeply when she lit it. Blood flecked his lips when he exhaled, coughing softly.
His eyes began to glaze. Licking his lips he looked at Kate and said, "Am I dying, Boss?"
Tears flooded Kate's eyes and spilled over her cheeks.
Willow shook her head. "Nope." Pushing him flat onto his back, she laid her hands on his chest and said, "When he turns blue, pull out the daggers."
Kate took hold of one, Kennedy another and Tiatitania the third while Elizabeth prowled about the room, looking for any stragglers with an axe to grind.
"Hear me, Diancecht of the Gaels. Before you sits a warrior who has given blood in service to your kin. On this day, we ask that you come to his aid and render him free of the hurts he has sustained "
The soft chanting continued for a long time.
"I owe you a life debt," Tiatitania said softly when Willow pulled her hands away from Dersk's sleeping body. "I owe you all. The Husband's Gambit is virtually unknown among the Ssilligorth tribes only an Outsider like Vitmar Caruso would think to abuse it." She sighed.
Kate smiled. "Its okay, Mrs. Samson. We were just doing our jobs."
Kennedy snorted. "Speak for yourself, Kate. I had a blast. It's not every day you get to kick major demon ass and not have to worry about an apocalypse if you fail."
"Place's clearer than a Kansas sky," Elizabeth said as she joined them. "Damn, Will, you look shot to hell."
The witch was visibly drooping. Smiling weakly, she said, "Funny, I don't think I've got any extra holes but would someone please memo the gnomes with sledgehammers that there's no gold to be found in my brain?"
Instantly solicitous, Kennedy wrapped an arm around her girlfriend. "We need to get you home, don't we?"
"Uh huh. It's Gatorade time." They staggered upright and then Willow looked down at Tiatitania. "He's gonna be fine, Mrs. Samson. Just, take him someplace where he can rest for a while and then make sure he eats when he wakes up."
"I'll take him to my hotel. He'll have the best care." The elegant Ssilligorth stood and produced a cell phone.
Kennedy looked at Kate. "So, can we go? Or did you want to meet back at the office for a confab?"
The detective made shooing motions. "Go, go. Take a couple of days off. I'll call you when I'm ready to start hunting again."
As Kennedy and Willow staggered away, Elizabeth slipped up beside Kate, draped an arm around the blonde and whispered, "Can we go home too? I feel like I'm swimming in gore."
Out of the corner of her mouth, Kate replied, "Don't tell Tipper."
The vampath stared at her girlfriend for a moment and then burst into gales of laughter. "You nut."
"Yup, but I'm your nut," said Kate, smiling happily.
Pulling the detective into a loose embrace, Elizabeth brushed soft kisses over Kate's face. "Yes, you are."
Kate fell into the kisses with abandon, allowing the heady sense of love to wash over her. Almost immediately, she felt the link, the rapport join her with Elizabeth and she smiled.
Kissing a slow path to Elizabeth's ear, she whispered, "We'll go home as soon as Dersk and his mother are safe."
Returning her lover's smile, Elizabeth said, "Okay, I can agree to that."
Elizabeth didn't know which was better the hot water cascading over her aching body or the scent of cooking food that drifted into the bathroom. Groaning softly, she placed her hands palm up against the wall, arched her back and let the shower leach the ache from her muscles.
Wrapped in a towel, Kate deftly chopped and sliced her way through a mound of vegetables, meat and fresh herbs. Even though she was exhausted, there was something joyful and relaxing about the process of preparing a simple meal.
Each element to the dish had its own nature, its own unique flavor that combined to create a whole, and perhaps that was why she was so drawn to the craft of cooking.
That, or I just like to eat. Kate smirked and added a scattering of thyme, rosemary and garlic to the oil simmering in her wok. As soon as the garlic began to brown, she tossed in the chicken and hurriedly went to get dressed.
Standing in front of the steam-fogged mirror, Elizabeth toweled her hair dry and sighed. From neck to knee she was covered in a pattern of bruises, cuts and scrapes that were sure to earn her another lecture on safety from her lover.
At least I didn't get shot, stabbed or otherwise folded, spindled and mutilated. Slipping into a pair of worn sweats and a loose t-shirt, the vampath hung her towel over the shower door and went to see what smelled so wonderful.
The table was set. A vase bearing a simple arrangement of flowers that had been bought on the way home was flanked by a pair of lilac tapers, which were lit. Soft, ambient music quietly filled the background with layers of soothing sound.
In the kitchenette, Kate opened a bottle of wine. Approaching silently, Elizabeth wrapped her arms around the detective and squeezed. Kate immediately turned and returned the hug.
"Hey," she said. "Feel, um, human?" she asked with a cheeky grin.
Elizabeth laughed. "Bite your tongue, Dick."
Kate's response was to stick out the part in question and wiggle it comically.
Raising one eyebrow, the vampath tipped her head down and captured it, sucking on it gently.
Kate melted in Elizabeth's arms. Soft moans puddled in her throat as she leaned into what rapidly became a heated kiss.
Falling so hard Kate's emotions twisted and whirled into a maelstrom of need and want that battered at Elizabeth like thousands of tiny pebbles.
Control. Have to control it Slowly, the vampath slowed their frantic kissing. Breathing heavily, she said, "Kate "
Understanding everything that was poured into the harshly spoken word, Kate shivered and then sighed. "Sorry. I guess I got "
A gentle, loving kiss stopped her words. "No, don't," said Elizabeth. "Let's just eat dinner. Whatever happens will happen." Snagging one of the detective's hands, she pressed a kiss into the palm and said, "I love you. It's all right."
Laying her head on Elizabeth's shoulder, Kate closed her eyes and sighed contentedly. When she felt the vampath's cheek against her head, she smiled. "I think what I love most about you is your candor," she said.
As the words drizzled over her like honey on toast, Elizabeth swallowed thickly and said, "Yeah?"
Nodding slightly, Kate said, "Yeah. There's more, but that's the big one. You've never lied to me." Pulling away, she looked into the vampath's eyes and said, "That means a lot. You're not afraid to say what's in your heart. I " She glanced upward and frowned. "I'm not so good with that."
"You don't have to be good with words for me to know what you're saying, Kate." Elizabeth coaxed Kate's gaze back to hers with a gentle kiss. "All I have to do is look into your eyes and I know."
"Oh, Doc, I " Kate bit her lip in frustration. "Damn it, I love you!" Then, as if embarrassed by her outburst, Kate pulled away from Elizabeth and started to fumble with the wine bottle. "We should eat before dinner gets cold."
Fighting the urge to dance around the room while laughing gleefully, Elizabeth took the bottle from her lover, pulled the cork free and poured two glasses. Lifting one to her lips, she tasted it and then said, "Sounds good to me."
Kennedy was blessed with strong hands. Straddling Willow's spine, she kneaded and plied the witch's muscles with massage oil until they relaxed into a state resembling pudding.
Sighs of contentment were quickly turning to snores when the slayer poked her girlfriend in the ribs.
"My turn, oh limp and dishrag-like one," she said sharply as she flopped onto her belly beside the witch.
Grumbling, Willow stood, stretched and then grabbed for the bottle of oil warming in a pan of water on the nightstand. She drizzled some onto her hands, rubbed them together and began to work the lightly scented liquid into the slayer's knotted shoulders.
Mottled, rapidly darkening bruises covered a good portion of Kennedy's back, but Willow was careful to avoid the worst of them. Under her breath, she chanted a quick blessing not exactly a spell, and a little more than a prayer and channeled a tiny bit of her personal energy into her lover's aura.
"Will " Kennedy warned, sensing the tingle of Power as it threaded through her. "You know I'll heal on my own."
"I know, but I can't help it if I want to help," Willow replied, shrugging bashfully.
Rolling onto her side, Kennedy looked at her girlfriend and smiled fondly. "Don't you think you've done enough hoodoo sparkly stuff for one night?"
"But it wasn't much not even a spell, really. I mean, yeah, there were words and maybe a tiny gesture, but it's really all about sharing my personal energy with your aura and blending our Selves so that you can borrow some of my healing mojo and "
Laughing, Kennedy drew her girlfriend down for a long, slow kiss. As she quieted, the slayer pulled back and brushed still-damp red hair from the witch's face. "You are so adorable."
Willow grinned and blushed. For a long moment, neither woman spoke. Random sounds attempted to intrude on the quiet conversation that their eyes were having, but failed to break the gaze of earth brown and forest green.
Finally, Willow said, "I think we did good today."
"Yeah," Kennedy agreed. "I'm glad we decided to stay."
"Me too. So, what do you want to do now? Head back to slayer central?"
Kennedy rolled Willow onto her back and straddled her. Leaning down to place a provocative nip on the witch's collarbone, she said, "Well " The hard warmth of her tongue ring traced spiraling paths of distraction up Willow's throat. "For now, I say we stay here."
Before coherent thought was completely blasted to bits, the witch said, "Uh uh, okay, yeah. Sounds like a plan."
Chuckling, Kennedy reached over and shut off the light.
Flickering shadows cavorted around the loft, covering the walls in an array of dancing shapes that looked like something out of an ancient pagan ceremony. Curled together on the couch, Kate and Elizabeth drowsed in a state of satiation. The remains of their dinner speckled the table.
All that was left of the meal that Kate had prepared was a culinary battlefield punctuated by gaping holes in plates and serving dishes where both women had eaten until they could barely move.
The click and whir of the stereo signaled a musical shift as one CD came to an end and another began to play. Slow, moody and dark, the music that replaced the soft strains of their dinner fare was almost gothic, yet deeply romantic. The beat hummed a driving rhythm that drew Elizabeth to her feet.
Looking up at her lover, Kate answered the wordless plea in the vampath's eyes and joined her. Illuminated by candlelight, the women swayed together, their bodies melding as they flowed with the music.
Winding her fingers in Elizabeth's hair, Kate lost herself in the vampath's kisses. Elizabeth's open, copper fire eyes blazed into the detective's soul as they embraced.
Slow and uncertain, Elizabeth's fingers traced shivery paths over Kate's cheeks, through her hair and down her back.
With her free hand, the detective reached up and brushed her fingers over the vampath's eyes. "Relax, Doc."
Trembling, Elizabeth shook her head. "Can't." Every inch of her flesh was afire with the need to act, to react, to reach and to touch. For every second that crept by, her breath hitched faster, harder, speaking silently of the war she fought to maintain her iron control.
Stilling their dance, Kate stepped out of Elizabeth's arms and said, "Give me your hand, Elizabeth."
Wordlessly, the vampath obeyed.
Gently, Kate cradled her lover's hand. Looking down at the pale flesh she said, "Soft and warm so unlike what I had expected." She licked her lips and drew Elizabeth's hand to her breast.
What is she doing? Elizabeth's heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was about to launch itself from her chest and come bursting out of her skull.
Slowly, Kate began to rub herself against Elizabeth's palm. "Do you feel this, Elizabeth? Do you feel my heartbeat in your hand?"
All the way to my soul. "Yes," she managed to whisper harshly. "Kate what, what are you doing?"
Everything. "Making a decision." Acting suddenly, Kate kicked Elizabeth's feet out from under her and pulled them both onto the bed. Before the vampath could speak, the detective kissed her senseless. Tonight. It will be tonight because I need this. I want this. "I love you." The words were breathed into Elizabeth's open mouth. "Touch me, I want to be yours," she whispered between kisses. Oh God, yes, I want this. Blood pounding, heart thumping, wet and burning with desire, Kate knew that this was at last, the right time.
"Yes." Elizabeth slipped her hand under Kate's shirt and skimmed her fingers over warm flesh. Soft as silk. Softer. Sweet. Kissing, licking, nipping she tasted the salt of Kate's sweat and the nubbly hardness of her lover's pebbled nipples.
Moments later, fabric rustled and fluttered to the floor.
Flesh on flesh, thigh to thigh they embraced, sharing twin moans of delighted anticipation.
Holding Kate in a loose embrace, Elizabeth feathered kisses and caresses over every inch of flesh that she could reach.
It was slow torture for Kate. She was on fire and wanted to quench herself in the depths that she could see pooling in Elizabeth's eyes. Catching the vampath's lips in a kiss, she tried to open herself, to push out the emotions that were thrumming in her gut like a second heartbeat.
I want you I want all of you. Your light, your dark I want you because of them, not in spite of them. Please, feel this. Know this. This is a truth, Elizabeth.
Awash in the flood of feeling that poured from her lover, Elizabeth could no longer control her need. With a soft moan, she tore her mouth away from Kate's, buried her fangs deep in her lover's throat and triggered the rapport.
Kate cried out and clung to the vampath. A thousand volcanic eruptions ignited her already overly sensitized nerves. Her fingers, not still, traced wild spirals over Elizabeth's body and in turn, she was so caressed.
Need to be inside of you.
It seemed to be a shared thought. Warmth cocooned and held them. Moving together, crying out, they shared the sensations that reflected back and forth like parallel mirrors until neither knew where one stopped and the other began.
You are. I am. We are. Love. I love you. We love we.
Light. Fire. The sun exploded in a roaring wave of lightning and flame. They soared, crying, sobbing, kissing, still touching, still moving, unable to stop, to cease, searching and calling and finding until at last, slowing, their mouths softly blessed bruised flesh.
Twined around each other, neither spooned nor held but cradled in a nest of their arms and legs, they slept.
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