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 head that went flying past Willow and Kate belonged to something of demonic origin. Black blood streaked the decking and they had to watch their footing or risk slipping in something thoroughly disgusting. Willow ran to her girlfriend's side while Kate was held transfixed by the sight of Elizabeth in full battle mode.
The vampath's eyes seemed to emit a soft glow and she actually crooned softly as she cradled the body of her opponent against her. It was whimpering softly, crying tears thick with mucous and blood. Petting it gently, Elizabeth stepped back and waited. In one hand she held a dagger while the other curled into a lose fist.
The beast staggered a few steps away, shook its head and let out a terror-filled howl and then ran away. Cursing softly, Elizabeth turned to follow but was stopped by a hand on her arm.
"Let it go." Kate's voice was soft and uncertain.
Elizabeth turned and snarled fiercely, the weapon in her hand raised to strike.
"Doc," Kate whispered.
The blade clattered to the deck as the feral glow in the vampath's eyes vanished. Shaking herself, Elizabeth pulled her lover into a brief but heartfelt embrace.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, pressing a bloody kiss against the detective's cheek.
"Shut up and pick up your knife, Doc. We've got a wizard to stop." Forgiveness shone from the depths of Kate's eyes and her smile was for Elizabeth alone. She turned to lead the way up to the next level of the ship but was stopped by a hand on her shoulder.
"Dick I "
Kate shook her head. "Don't say anything that sounds like you're saying it for the last time, Doc. You can tell me everything when we get home." But she held her hand over her heart, and smiled. I love you too.
Elizabeth's answering smile sent a thrill of warmth through the detective.
She looked at Willow. "Can you sense this blood magic you were telling me about?"
The witch pondered the question. "Maybe. Let me see if I can tap into the leylines of this dimension if they're anything like home, they'll taste a little like a strawberry smoothie. If someone's mucking with the darker arts, the strawberries'll be kinda rotten and icky." She took a deep breath and smiled. Holding a hand out to Kennedy she said, "Catch me?"
"Always," Kennedy said, smiling tightly. Her eyes were filled with worry, but she calmly took Willow's hand and pulled the witch into a loose embrace.
With her lover's support, Willow closed her eyes, exhaled slowly and slipped into a trance.
Tiatitania and her clansman arrived just as the witch was opening her eyes. The Ssilligorth female frowned when she saw the blood staining her son's clothes, but said nothing.
Willow swayed in Kennedy's arms. Voice thick with disgust, she said, "That way." Shuddering, she pulled free and started to head toward the center of the ship. "He's using blood magic," she said as she walked. A white glow limned the irises of her eyes.
The growls that rose from the Ssilligorth made the hairs on the back of Kate's neck stand up and do a credible imitation of a cartoon fright dance.
"Vestjegopf." The word was halfway between a hiss and a curse and said in a chorus of reptilian voices.
Kate looked at Dersk who softly said, "It means 'black-souled'. It's the worst curse my mother's people know."
"Apt," Kate replied shortly as she glanced from Ssilligorth to Ssilligorth. The demons, already quite fearsome in appearance, had taken on angered visages that reminded the detective of blood-maddened sharks.
The toothy grin that Dersk displayed did nothing to dispel Kate's unease.
An eerie green fog led them to a hatchway.
"He's in there," Willow said hollowly. Laying her hand on the door, her eyes flared white and the hatch popped open silently.
Soft chanting trickled out, along with the scent of charred flesh. They heard something whimper, and then cry out in terrible agony.
The sound goaded Kennedy into action. Without a word, she kicked the door open and charged into the room.
Kate was never very fond of the nightclub scene, but she was glad that she had spent a few hours in some of LA's most popular places because the flashing, smoky, throbbing environment that she stepped into was exactly like the dance floor of a club. Holstering her firearms, she pulled out a stake. The flickering red strobe made it too dangerous to bother with the guns. She would never get a clear bead on a target.
The fog was cold, and seemed to cling like pulled cotton, leeching the chill straight into her bones. Shivering, she moved through the oddly large room, seeking a target.
"Katie " Whispers erupted into being almost inside of her ears. Jumping, she turned and stabbed outward, striking nothing.
Laughter, hollow and empty mocked her.
"Oh come on Miss Lockley, surely you can do better than that." Vitmar Caruso's signature sonorous voice came from everywhere and nowhere.
"Show yourself Caruso!" She turned this way and that, glancing about in jerky, protected movements.
"I'm here." One end of the room lit up, and Kate saw a black cowled figure hunched over a blood drenched altar. She started to run in that direction.
"Or maybe I'm over here." Off to her left, another section of the room brightened, displaying the gruesome sight of the wizard as he cut tiny slashes into the face of a child. Pulling up short, she headed for the second vision.
"But maybe, I'm right here." Hands grabbed her from behind and she was spun round and thrown to the ground. Landing in something soft and sticky, Kate struggled to stand, but could not tear free of the goopy, syrupy stuff.
On Kate's heels, Elizabeth stepped into Hell. It was the morgue in New Orleans and there were bodies everywhere. The slabs were filled with the dead, and gurneys were stacking up against the walls in some places they were six or seven deep. A harried looking morgue attendant was attempting to catalogue the incoming corpses, but could only watch in stunned amazement as body after body was wheeled into the room by an EMT.
"Mon Dieu," he whispered in a soft Creole accent. "Her hunger does not end."
The EMT looked up and ran a hand through his tousled curls and Elizabeth bit back a gasp. It was Luke.
"Sorry man," he said. "It was all for the money. I mean, could you turn down thirty million dollars? I didn't think so."
Out of the shadows stepped a trench coated figure. "But you could stopped her, if you'd only taken her into the light."
The Asian features of Father Uffizi were filled with contempt as he brushed past Luke. His eyes glinted wickedly as he said, "Now she's my problem." A whip appeared in one hand and in the other, a scythe-like blade that snapped open with a flick of his wrist. He turned his gaze toward Elizabeth and began to chant softly in Latin.
Luke shrugged. "Cool by me." He moved off to stand beside the morgue attendant. "Should be a good show. Wonder if he's gonna rip her head off with the whip or gut her with the scythe? Either way, she's gonna fucking die like the monster she is."
The words cut into Elizabeth like razors. She began to back away as Uffizi advanced.
"No," she whispered. Her fangs erupted and her gut ached with the hunger. "No, I'm not Her. I'm not that monster."
"Oh, but you are, Elizabeth. You and I are one, tender of the dead. Blood sucker. I made you. You are mine. Everything you know is about to end."
As though peeled from the shadows, Iscariot appeared beside her. This was not the aged, broken vampire that had transformed war-torn Romania into a haven for vampires. Reaching for her, with one hand open was the blonde, beautiful boy whose hypnotic eyes and soft voice had enticed her into a realm of lust and blood that had seemed wildly romantic.
Elizabeth felt herself drawn to him. Her heartbeat slowed as she turned away from Uffizi's descending blade and reached for Iscariot.
"Come, Elizabeth join me and I shall never leave you." He smiled, and his fangs glistened wetly.
Elizabeth's lips twisted into an answering smile as she raised her hand to his.
Kennedy jumped through the hatchway with her stake raised to strike. As her feet touched the ground, she staggered, disoriented. When she opened her eyes, nothing was the same.
She was standing in a church, dressed in a gorgeous, hand beaded, Vera Wang wedding gown. Across from her, a handsome young man was holding out a ring that was mounted with the biggest diamond she had ever seen. Between them, a priest with an open bible resting on his hands waited patiently.
The slayer glanced from side to side, taking in the details. Her mother and father sat on one side of the church. One was beaming proudly while the other was softly crying into a handkerchief. The church was filled with friends and family.
A soft cough drew her attention to her side. Willow, dressed in a brilliant scarlet gown whispered, "This is where you're supposed to say I do."
Kennedy felt her eyes go saucer round. Backing away, she said, "No, oh no, I'm a slayer. A lesbian slayer. Two things which, when added to church and married equal not on your life. This is way not happening. I am stuck in some twisted, wizardly Hell, I just know it."
The groom looked hurt. "But Kennedy, honey, boopie, I love you. You love me. We're getting married. See, I got you this ring." He proffered the glittering diamond again.
"No. Hell no. No again. Marriage is an institution and I'm not ready to be committed. Especially not against my will." She began to pat at herself. "Come on, where's that damned stake. I'm need to hard core slay something like right fucking now."
The slowly spreading stain of crimson on powder blue was like a tide of red soaking up the ocean. For every drop of blood that ran out of Tara, one beat of Willow's heart fell away, leaving an empty chamber that was filled with hollow, broken screams.
Some part of the witch recognized the magician's trick. Caught in his spell, though, she could only watch, helpless, as Tara died again and again. Tears scorched red ruined tracks into her face as she tried, over and over, to save her.
In the depths of her soul, Willow knew that Tara was gone. That never again would she hear her voice, taste her laughter and smell the subtle scent of lavender that flowed around the blonde witch like a gentle wind. It didn't matter. The grief was just as agonizing now as it had been the moment life fled with the last gasp of Tara's breath.
On her knees, pounding the earth, Willow cried out, "Don't leave me."
Dersk and Kangr dove through the hatch and then motioned for Tiatitania to follow.
"It's safe enough, ma'am," Kangr grunted. His claws were fully extended as he scanned the dimly lit room.
Box-like, it had been the mess hall before Caruso had converted it to his private temple of death and destruction. The floor was covered in dark, oily slate. The walls were painted a shade of red so dark it was a hair off black. A border of silver toned runes ran from the hatchway to the back wall and down around a large pentagram. Candle sconces set at each point of the inverted star were filled with flickering tapers that burned with an eerie, greenish hue.
Below the pentagram was an altar upon which a young human boy was strapped. Blood ran from a variety of cuts that had laid his abdomen open. The thick, crimson fluid spilled in runnels into a trough that guided the crimson flow from the boy into a second pentagram graven into the side of the basalt block altar.
The sound of muffled sobs reached the Ssilligorth's ears. They looked up and hissed in shock at what they saw. Suspended in cages above the chamber, dozens of human young looked down at the horrors their companion was suffering.
Their companions seemed not to notice the plight of the youngsters. Tiatitania reached out to tap Kate on the shoulder but was stopped by her son.
"No, don't don't you sense it? They're bespelled. He's got them." The young half-demon's nostrils were flared out and his tongue flicked at the air as if tasting something foul.
Tiatitania's eyes dilated as she switched from normal vision to second sight. The room was instantly overlaid in a web of pulsing, throbbing lines of magick. Several of the threads had wound about each of their human companions and many more were attempting to bind themselves to the Ssilligorth, but were unable to penetrate the demon's natural immunity to magic.
Through the fog of magick, Tiatitania spotted two things a set of stairs that led up and the black cloaked form of Vitmar Caruso. The wizard dipped his fingers into the belly of the moaning boy and then painted a series of runes on the wall behind the altar.
Recognizing the beginnings of a binding spell, Tiatitania quickly blinked back to normal vision and said, "Kangr over there stairs. Go up and get those kids out of here. Dersk, go with him. Wear your human guise it should help them trust you."
"But what are you going to do, Mother?"
Tiatitania grimaced. "I think I'll pay my former fiancé a visit."
"I always knew you were a failure, Katie. I just didn't realize what kind of terrible disappointment you really were." Trevor Lockley's voice startled Kate into ceasing her struggles.
"Daddy?" She scanned the darkness hopefully. "Help me, Daddy. I'm stuck."
"Of course you are, Katie. That's your problem. You're weak. You give in too quickly. Let things into your heart that should be destroyed before they get a chance to take root and fester. Evil things." The stocky form of the old cop drifted into the light. He shook his head. "Look at you, Katie. Up to your gut in crap and all you can do is flail about like a kid in a mud hole. And for what? Some piece of trash lesbo who should be dead and buried?"
Tears blurred Kate's vision. "Daddy, no, please. It's not true."
Surprised, Trevor said, "Oh please, Katie. Don't try to tell me you're not in love with her. I know you better than that. You're my daughter, remember? I made you. You're of my blood. Now don't lie to me, Katie. You've gone soft, haven't you? You've become one of them." He crossed his arms and waited for her reply.
Kate sobbed softly. "Please, someone help me. Get me out of here."
As Elizabeth's hand closed on Iscariot's she snarled. "Fuck you, Caruso!" Tugging hard, she pulled the shocked vampire into her arms and then thrust him into the path of Uffizi's blade. Iscariot vanished in a blinding flash of light.
The priest barely paused in his motions, twirling the blade around for another slash, but Elizabeth ignored him.
"You're not real. None of this is real." She closed her eyes. "I'm coming, my love."
The blade harmlessly passed through her as the morgue vanished from view.
Anger was Kennedy's shield and often, her best weapon. Pissed beyond measure to be trapped in a frippish, fool's construction of a dress, she reached down and tore off several layers of skirting as she ran from the church.
"Okay, this is definitely not the lair of the big nasty bad guy," she muttered as she burst through a set of double doors and out onto a terraced verandah. "Although," she grumbled softly. "It might as well be."
The family home was as it ever was ostentatiously overdone. Even the topiaries had topiaries and she could see the distant figure of her brother as he and a group of his buddies played a drunken game of croquet.
Cars of every shape, color and value over one hundred thousand dollars lined the driveway. Bored chauffeurs chatted, smoked or read as they waited for the festivities within to finish.
One dark eyebrow rose as Kennedy turned to look back at her family chapel. Putting her hands on her hips, the slayer smirked. "You know, I really hate it when they try to fuck with my mind. Haven't they learned anything yet?"
The doors opened and Bride's Maid Willow came bursting out next to her.
Panting, the redhead said, "C'mon Kennedy, you gotta go back in there and say I do before your dad has a coronary."
The slayer laughed. "Oh, he'll deal." Reaching up, she patted her neck as if fanning herself.
Frowning slightly, Willow said, "But, don't you want him to see his little girl get all married and stuff?"
Feeling a reassuring metallic lump under her fingertips, Kennedy smiled. "Sure, but how about a good luck kiss for the bride to be, hmm?" She batted her eyelashes coyly, which caused Willow to blush.
"Well, of course, I mean, anything for my bestest best friend!" The redhead practically leapt into the slayer's arms.
Kennedy's grin was quite feral as she gathered Willow to her and then captured her lips in a fierce, almost angry kiss. The bride's maid melted into the kiss. Reaching up between them, Kennedy took hold of the talisman around her throat and pushed it into Willow's cheek.
Tearing away, she growled, "You're not my Willow," and then flung her into the wall. The redhead's cheek bore a glowing glyph that was oddly pretty.
Willow reached up and touched it, then began to convulse. Cracks appeared in her face, neck and hands. Chunks of waxen flesh began to fall away, revealing an empty shadow.
"You're fake," Kennedy said as she turned away from the smoking ruin of bride's maid Willow. "This is all so fake." The slayer closed her eyes and began to walk away as the cars, chapel and greens faded to nothingness.
Dersk and the larger Ssilligorth had to resort to feeling along the wall until they came to a place where the paint appeared to continue unbroken but was actually interrupted by an opening. For the briefest moment, the half-demon considered turning around and running the hell out of there, but one look upward at the cages filled with terrified children caused the feeling to quickly pass. Taking a deep breath, he smiled up at Kangr and said, "Let's climb some invisible stairs."
"Has anyone ever told you that you're a real bastard, Vitmar?" asked Tiatitania as she approached the altar.
Caruso looked up and grinned. "Ah, my beloved." He spat the word. "How nice of you and your little friends to come and play." The wizard never paused in his writing. With quick, economical motions, he turned, dipped his fingers in the slowly dribbling blood and kept dabbing runes on the wall.
"I am going to stop you. What you've done is monstrous."
He looked back over his shoulder and smiled nastily. With a nonchalant shrug, he flicked a few droplets of blood at her. "You can try," he said.
As the demon took another step forward, the crimson spray morphed into a shower of tiny needles. Not all of them hit their mark, but they didn't have to. Those that scored, burned deep into the Ssilligorth's flesh.
Uttering a scream of pain, Tiatitania began to slap and bat at herself as though trying to quell an angry hoard of bees.
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