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 Fifty-Seven

Kate never got tired of the wave of relief that came hand in glove with aftermaths. Especially when that relief was accompanied by a profound sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that the job had been well done.

Unfortunately, that could not completely be said of the Vitmar Caruso Affair.

Sitting in her office, typing the last few pages of the report she would send to Angel, she spared a moment to castigate herself once again.

The darkness had lasted only for a second as Caruso's magicks died with him. Then, with the light came the gruesome reality of the wizard's evil. Bodies of the slain, dying and comatose littered the floor. In the cages above, more casualties were discovered among the press of children.

All in all, twenty two kids had died, including the boy chained to the altar.

Kate scrubbed at her eyes which refused to quit burning.

Tiatitania's clansman Aborlas turned out to be the final hero of the day. Having been left with the non human kids, the Ssilligorth had done what any good hired muscle would do when all the lights went out and the sound of gunfire filled the air – he pulled out a cell phone and called for backup.

Dersk had explained it rather comically on their way back to Chicago.

"Yeah, yeah, I guess he got some enchanter to hex his phone so that it can dial interdimensionally. The roaming rates are killer, but if you need to make a call and you happen to be six dimensions away from home, they're worth it."

On the heels of Aborlas' call had come three shaman and thirty of Tiatitania's best clan warriors. From there, it was fairly simple to gather up the remainder of Caruso's forces and send them packing. The shaman had put their collective heads together, figured out how to heal Willow enough to wake her and with the witch's help, they had transferred the ship and children back to Chicago.

Once there, Kate had called Vivienne Drake who had come to escort the children to a place where they would cared for by people hand picked by Angel. That there would be a few kids in the group culled by Wolfram and Hart for their own purposes didn't escape Kate's notice, but there was nothing she could do, and truth to be told, she couldn't help but wonder if the fate the law firm would choose could be any worse than what Caruso had planned.

In any event, she was just too damned tired to do more than make a mental note to ask Angel about it later.

Tiatitania and her clansmen had gone home. Willow and Kennedy were holed up in their apartment while Willow dosed herself with an array of herbal tonics and Kennedy's home brewed version of TLC.

All that was left was to write the report, which was what Kate had just done. Pulling the last few pages from the printer tray, the detective signed and dated the bottom, stacked them up and slid them into an envelope. In the morning, she would have them couriered to Angel. For now, all she wanted to do was climb upstairs, crawl into bed next to her lover and sleep for a hundred years.

She expected to find Elizabeth fast asleep; instead, Kate opened the door and discovered that her lover had contrived a surprise. Dim lighting revealed a setting that could have drifted out of any romance novel. The table was set for two; candles glowed and flickered softly while low, moody music created an aura of calm that was like stepping into a warm hug.

Kate felt her stress levels plummet. The scent of food – familiar spices of basil, oregano and garlic – wreathed around her. She smiled and looked for her lover.

In the kitchen area, Elizabeth hummed while she put the finishing touches on a simple meal of spaghetti. Dressed in an old pair of sweats, a t-shirt and a stained apron, the vampath bore little resemblance to the person who had decimated Caruso's guards with gleeful abandon. She looked up on Kate's entry and flashed her lover a grin.

"Go take a shower, Dick. Dinner's almost ready."

"You cooked?" Kate drawled as she disrobed on her way to the bathroom.

Elizabeth stopped her in the hall and pulled her in for a brief, but loving kiss. "I did."

Affecting a disbelieving attitude, Kate said, "I won't die of ptomaine will I?"

"Hardly," said Elizabeth. She snared Kate's lips in another kiss, biting them delicately.

Kate moaned and wove her hands into Elizabeth's damp red hair. "Shower with me," she said between kisses.

The vampath smiled, but pulled away leaving one last tiny kiss on Kate's nose. "Can't. Have to watch the pasta or it'll surpass al dente and become al gluey."

Sliding her hands up under Elizabeth's t-shirt, Kate murmured, "I don't care about the damn pasta." She caressed the muscles of the vampath's stomach lightly and then covered her breasts. "Shower with me, Elizabeth. Be with me while I wash the stink of Caruso from my body."

"Let me shut the stove off."

It was only moments before Kate was under a stream of hot water, wrapped in Elizabeth's arms. In one hand, the vampath held a soapy cloth, which she used to sooth dirt and blood away from the myriad of tiny cuts and scrapes that peppered the detective's body.

Kate closed her eyes and gave herself up to the tender care. This was new, but such a pure experience that she wanted to remember it forever. Never before had there been someone waiting – waiting for her to come home, waiting to hold her, to care for her after a hard day's work. That the same person also worked with her did nothing to change the sensation.

She wanted to wallow in it. To bathe in the fullness of the emotion. I wish she could feel this. The thought sparked an idea, which erupted into speech.

"Bite me," she whispered.

Startled, Elizabeth dropped the washcloth. "What?"

Kate tipped her head to the side, baring her neck. "I said, bite me. I want you to. I…" She licked her lips and tasted the minerals in the tap water. "I want to share what I'm feeling with you."

Elizabeth's gut was throbbing, sending pulsing flares of need throughout her body. "Kate, I don't need to bite you to –"

Turning in Elizabeth's arms, Kate put her finger against the vampath's lips and said, "I know." She pushed her fingers into Elizabeth's mouth and stroked her canines. "But these are a part of you – as much so as your smile, or your eyes or the arms with which you hold me. So please, Elizabeth, bite me. Feel what I feel and let me feel you."

Trembling, Elizabeth stroked her fingers up over Kate's arm to her shoulders. Slowly, she pushed the detective's wet hair away, and revealed the two small scars that marred the flesh of her neck.

"Are you ready?" she murmured and brushed her lips against Kate's throat.

"Yes, God, yes." Kate wound her fingers in Elizabeth's hair and held on as the vampath bit her. There was a tiny spark of pain, but it vanished as the sense of her lover's mind enveloped her like a blanket.

Bared to Elizabeth's touch, Kate opened her heart and let her lover see, taste and feel the tsunami of emotion that was swelling within her. She was prepared for Elizabeth's reaction – the flood of love that washed over her was more cleansing than the hottest shower. What she was not ready to face was the fact that as wonderful as Kate felt about coming home to Elizabeth, it was the vampath who was undone by Kate's trust.

Their tears indiscernible from water, Kate stroked Elizabeth's face and hair lovingly.

"Thank you," she said. "Thank you for being here."

Slowly, Elizabeth released Kate from the rapport. Brushing gentle kisses over the detective's face, she said, "Thank you for having the courage to love me."

Kate laughed. "It wasn't courage, Doc. It was… fate."

After dinner, they snuggled into their new bed and drowsed lazily. Kate was curled up on Elizabeth's chest and the vampath was sleepily drawing patterns on the detective's back.

"Why'd you shoot him?" the vampath said while yawning. "Kennedy and I had it under control."

"Mm, I know." Kate reveled in the caress. She loved having her back rubbed and scratched and Elizabeth never shorted her lover on the slow, adoring touch.

"So," Elizabeth drawled as she drew her nails from the base of Kate's spine to her neck, "why'd you shoot him?"

"Does it matter?"

"Well, no, but…" Elizabeth tickled Kate's sides. "I want to know."

Squawking, Kate rolled away, fending her lover's hands away. "Hey, hey, all right, I'll confess!"

Elizabeth smirked. "You would never last in the hot seat."

"Good thing I was always the one turning up the heat, hmm?" Kate pulled her knees up to her chin and sighed. "I didn't want his death to be on your hands."

Elizabeth frowned. "But –"

"I know you've killed… that you've been responsible for people's death, but Kennedy… she's a Slayer. Not a killer. And you –" Kate reached out and brushed her knuckles over her lover's cheek. "You're not a killer either. Vitmar Caruso was, for all of his evil, still human. Neither you or Kennedy should have his blood on your hands."

Elizabeth sat. "But you should? What makes you different?"

"I –"

"Kate, no. Maybe Kennedy, I can see. She's young – innocent in ways that you and I will never be, but me… God, Kate. You know… you know what I've done. How can you think that it's a service to save me from being a killer?"

"It's not a fucking service, Doc. It was my job! I was a cop, trained to survey a situation and act accordingly. What I saw was two friends about to commit a crime from which they might never recover. I had to do something. I had to shoot him. It was that, or watch you lose pieces of your soul to that monster."

"But what about you, Dick? What about your soul? Or is it too lily pure to be smudged by a little death?" The vampath's words were bitter and hard. She rolled to her feet and pushed her hands through her hair, lacing her fingers behind her head as she paced the length of the room.

Kate stood and went to her lover. Putting a hand on Elizabeth's stomach to stop her pacing, she said, "No. It's not too pure. You know that… Good God, I should hope that you, of all people should know that." She looked up, her eyes liquid with tears. "Please, please hear me. Think about it."

Closing her eyes, Elizabeth took a deep breath. Her heart was pounding, an aching throb that held no rhythm other than the cadence of life. Thoughts whirling, breath streaking in and out through her lungs, Elizabeth tried to find her calm. Tried to find the rational point from which Kate was speaking.

It was as though she were attempting to hop from stone to stone in a rushing creek bed. She didn't know if she would hit that one, slippery rock, fall in and be swept away. Step by step, she reviewed the battle, her knowledge of Kate and what it must have been like to be in her lover's shoes.

Finally, she opened her eyes. The pain etched in Kate's face hit Elizabeth like a bucket of ice shards. Whatever she had been about to say fled as she reached out, gathered Kate into her arms and pressed soft kisses onto her forehead.

"It doesn't matter," she murmured. "Nothing matters so much that it would make me leave you," she said, giving voice to the fear she could feel emanating off Kate in waves.

A sob bubbled out of the detective.

"Shh," Elizabeth crooned. "I love you. You love me and you did what you did because you love me. I accept that. I accept that you will always try to save me from myself, but you have to accept that I won't always want to be saved."

"Doesn't mean I won't try," said Kate through her tears.

Elizabeth wiped Kate's face. "It doesn't mean I want you to stop, either. I need that, Kate. I need to know that someone out there thinks my soul is worth saving."

"It is. Everyone deserves a second chance."

"Even resurrected vampires?"

Kate tugged Elizabeth down and kissed her passionately. "Resurrection is for the unbelievers – I prefer to think that you've become the person you were always meant to be."

"So long as that person was meant to be by your side, I'll agree to that," Elizabeth said as she slow danced Kate back to their bed.

Kate fell back and pulled Elizabeth with her. As she was consumed in a firestorm of Elizabeth's desire, the detective whispered, "Good, because I love you."

Then there was no more time for talking or crying, for all of their seconds, minutes and hours were devoted to loving. With every touch of their hands and mouths, with every hitch of their breaths and beat of their hearts, Elizabeth and Kate gave to each other the purest gift – the reverence of love.

The End

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