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
Waking up in someone else's arms was a feeling so alien to Kate that she literally tore herself free and leapt from the bed. Gun in hand, she had turned, unlocked the safety and was half a heartbeat from firing at her alleged assailant before she realized that the person next to her was only Elizabeth.
The vampire was awake and staring down the barrel of Kate's gun with a resigned look.
"I suppose I should be used to this by now," the red haired woman said sardonically. "But I'm not. Please, for the love of God, put that thing away before you actually shoot me." She sat up and squinted against the brightness of the sunlight that streamed in through the window.
Kate could only stare at her red haired companion. The vampire should be bursting into flames. A long shaft of sunlight had striped Elizabeth's moon-pale face, picking out the subtle shifts and hues of the shapes and planes of her visage. Full lips tinted ruby red were turned down in a frown of concentration. Coppery green eyes were faded to liquid pine and long, tangled hair fell in sleep tossed waves over her high cheekbones.
"Why aren't you on fire?" It was one of those bizarre questions that are rarely heard, almost never directed toward a vampire. Distantly, Kate noted that the pallid complexion of death had gone, leaving behind a truly beautiful woman.
Realizing that she was caught in sunlight, Elizabeth could only shrug. "I don't know. Why was I able to enter your room without invitation? Why can I say God without it feeling like someone is stabbing me with a thousand daggers? Why does the taste of blood make me sick, but rare meat makes me salivate? Trust me Kate, I was a well-done, shoe leather kind of girl before Iscariot's curse took me." The vampire slid from the bed and began to pace around the room. Her long arms akimbo, she continued her rant. "Why, when I clearly remember dying having one's head cut off tends to leave one lifeless am I alive? If you have any of these answers, I'd really like to know." She came to rest in a patch of full sunlight. Throwing her head back, she absorbed its heat like a cat, stretching and making soft mewling sounds of delight.
When she was finished, she smiled and said, "Though I have to say the sunlight thing? Not complaining."
Taking a deep breath, Kate holstered her weapon and said, "I don't know. I'm not sure I want to know. I left Las Angeles to get away from creatures that hunt the shadows." Her face crumpled into an expression of pain. "I hate your kind. It makes me physically ill to think that vampires exist and yet, I can stand here with you, and see something so familiar that it's like an itch I can't scratch." She wound her hands into her hair, crushing the platinum locks in a fierce grip. "You have a soul, Elizabeth that's obvious. What's not so clear is why, unlike Angel, you appear to be human in all respects except for a few, seemingly cosmetic differences."
The vampire licked her lips, exposing the curved points of her fangs. They were short, and fairly blunt, but she knew that it wouldn't take much to lose control. When that happened, the fangs would thrust out and a thrill of lust would course through her veins. The hunger would rise and she would need to feed. It was inevitable.
"When I first saw you, I wanted no needed to bite you. The hunger, the lust for that connection was so strong it nearly overwhelmed me." In three strides she was beside Kate, nuzzling her face against the detective's now rapidly-pulsing throat.
Kate scrambled back and found herself pressed into the wall; her hands captured in a grip as iron strong as any she had endured at the hands of the undead.
Elizabeth whispered, "I can feel your heartbeat in my chest like drum, Kate. It fills the silences between my heart's rhythm." She inhaled and was awash in sensation. A thousand flavors assaulted her tongue as she tasted the detective's scent. Fear and desire flooded her mouth, filling her with need.
The emotions were like liquid plasma washing over Elizabeth's senses. A haze crept over her eyes. Her control flickered and her fangs broke the seal of her lips.
"Elizabeth, what are you doing?" Kate's voice was rock steady, and yet came out as less than a whisper.
The vampire nuzzled the scars decorating Kate's neck almost lovingly. "You've been tasted, Kate. I wonder did you kill him? Did you stake the demon that slaked his thirst in your blood?" She pulled back and caught Kate's gaze with her own. "Or did you let him live, knowing that a part of you flowed in his veins?"
"Are you going to kill me?" The question was flung at Elizabeth like a dagger.
The vampire closed her eyes. An interior struggle a war without words, bombs or bloodshed took place in the mind of the resurrected woman. "I don't want to kill." The words were ground out, forced past the lengthening tips of her fangs. Ever so slightly, she was trembling.
"Then let me go."
"I can't," Elizabeth whispered brokenly. "I need to bite." With that, she spun them around, pulled Kate against her and yanked the detective's arm up to her face.
Struggling, Kate tried to pull free but Elizabeth had retained her vampiric strength along with the fangs.
"Elizabeth fight this! Didn't you tell me that you don't want to drink blood? That it makes you ill? If you do this, everything you said will be a lie and I swear I will kill you. If you bite me now, be prepared to finish the job." Kate's tone was strident, a commanding whip that did nothing to flay the vampire's resolve.
Slowly, Elizabeth's lips parted and slid over the smooth skin of Kate's wrist. The slightest pressure caused her fangs to pierce the flesh and filled her mouth with the coppery tang of blood. Along with the rush of blood came a flood of emotions. Fear, anger, hatred, disgust they battered Elizabeth's psyche like sledgehammers. Never before had she felt anything like it. In the past, even as she hated herself for slaking her thirst, she had looked forward to the tasting, the drinking of the sanguine syrup that carried with it not only the stuff of life, but the intoxicating thrill of lust that the sharing of blood with her kin brought.
Not so with Kate. In fact, the longer she remained locked in the embrace, the harder it was to ignore the emotions smashing into her brain like catapult hurled stones. Peeling her lips away from Kate's flesh in a grimace, Elizabeth fought to hold on, to understand what was happening.
When she did not feel the powerful sucking sensation she had come to associate with being bitten by a vampire, Kate risked looking at her assailant. Elizabeth's eyes were closed and she seemed to almost be cradling the detective as she bit into her flesh. There was very little blood just a thin trickle that streaked the skin around the wound.
The most amazing thing there was no pain. Nothing, not even the slight twinge one felt when being pierced by a hypodermic needle. Kate took several deep, calming breaths. She was afraid, angry, disgusted and hated every second of it, but she was also curious. It was her curiosity that kept her from damning the consequences and tearing her arm from Elizabeth's mouth.
That same curiosity also kept her from reaching for her weapon and just killing the vampire on the spot. Never could walk away from a mystery, could you Kate?
She waited. Tensing her muscles, she turned her gaze to her weapon. Okay, if she starts sucking, I'm pulling away, grabbing my gun and shooting her. Check. Otherwise, gather information. You were a good cop, Kate. Run this like a crime scene. You need evidence. If you're going to figure out what's going on, you need to know everything you can.
Still battered by the wave of feelings, Elizabeth began to get the knack of threading through them. Understanding flooded her then, as she found the key to unlocking what it was her bite was doing. She was experiencing Kate's emotions. They filled her, slaking a thirst that had gone untouched since waking from the sleep of death. Negative as they were, there were shadows, trails of golden happiness behind the darkness that called to her.
Following the thread, Elizabeth released her control just a little more and found herself swarmed by a bevy of emotion. It was heady, overwhelming stuff. Like fine whiskey and even finer cigars. Surrounded, the vampire drank deeply of it, letting the stuff of Kate's passions fill her to bursting.
Slaked, she let go of the detective. Kate stumbled away, grabbed her gun and fell into a chair.
Head a-whirl, Kate could barely think let alone draw her weapon. The pinpoint bite marks on her wrist wept two drops of blood and then sealed. Feeling strangely numb, the detective stared dumbly at her weapon and tried to gather her thoughts.
Against the wall, Elizabeth rolled her head back and let out a long, satisfied sigh. Her tongue poked out and swept away the few drops of Kate's blood. Breathing through her mouth, she began to tremble with the excitement that was building inside her.
"What the hell just happened?" Kate stammered.
Elizabeth's mouth and jaw worked, but no words were uttered.
Kate's cell chose that moment to ring. Fumbling with her gun, Kate dove for the table, grabbed her phone and flipped it open. "Lockley."
"So, like, I thought I'd give you a little research help because I know how much you just hate shopping around and "
"Willow?" Kate was honestly surprised to hear from the young woman. Willow Rosenberg, witch and slayer companion extraordinaire had barely materialized into the artery that was Los Angeles but Kate would never forget the babbling, bouncy red head.
"Yeah, Angel called and told Buffy all about you leaving and I thought that I'd see what I could do to help you get settled in Chitown because you know, wow and big lake and lots of strangers. It's a move and a half, Kate."
Blinking, the detective pulled the phone away from her ear, stared at it momentarily and then returned it. "Okay, thanks. I think. How's how is everyone?" Small talk. Ugh. Kate hated it, but she needed to get her bearings.
"Oh we're all fine. No earth shattering Armageddon's this week." The smile in Willow's voice transferred itself to a tiny grin that perched on Kate's lips. "How about you? Got any beasties that need bustin'?"
"Not exactly," Kate replied. Caffeine. She needed ah yes, the sodas. Grabbing a can from a bucket of now melted ice, she popped the top and drank deeply. "Actually, I do have question is there a place here in Chicago where I can find answers not normally given by your standard encyclopedia?"
"Oh you mean your average local supplier of spell books, herbs and magickal impedimenta? Yeah, just let me " Kate could hear the clicking of keys and mouse buttons. She imagined the young woman hovering over her laptop, tongue poking out of one corner of her mouth while her girlfriend looked on, wearing an affectionately amused smile.
"While you're doing that, you can tell me about why you called."
"Oh, yeah! Because that would be like, efficient. And I'm all about the doing multiple things at once because then so much more gets done!" Willowbabble, in full stream. Just what Kate wanted to be exposed to after being bitten by a vegetarian vampire who seemingly fed on emotions?
"Sorry! Sorry. Okay, yes. I called because I tapped into the pulsing heartbeat that is the 'For Rent' section of The Tribune. Cuz, see, I remembered how much you hate shopping. Anyway, after a little poking around, I found something that's just perfect for your brand new private detective agency." The witch sounded pleased with herself.
"And that would be?" Willow was right. Kate hated to shop around. If what the witch had found passed the Scooby muster, then who was she to quibble?
"Well, there's three choices, because I wouldn't want go all dom and just make your decision for you so I thought I'd give you a narrowed field if that's all right?"
"Fine, fine." Kate rolled her eyes. Relaxed in spite of herself, she took another drink of the cola.
Elizabeth came around by degrees. First, she regained her sense of smell, which told her that a cola-flavored soda had been opened and that the room was in need of freshening. Then her sense of sight and hearing came back simultaneously, from which she learned of Kate's current phone call.
Now able to move freely, the vampire slid away from the wall and pulled out a chair. Seating herself, she grabbed the other can of soda, eyed it hesitantly and then opened it. Drinking deeply, she laughed at the bubbly sensation of the carbonation. It was worth leaving tiny dents in the top of the can to taste the fizzy liquid for the first time in five years.
Kate reached for her backpack, pulled out a notebook and pen and began to write. "Okay, and that's where? Right. And the others?" Kate's handwriting was little more than a series of scratches and scrawls but she knew from long experience that she would be able to decipher it.
"Now, as for the location of an alternative bookstore," Willow smiled as her girlfriend laughed. "I think I've got something. Nestled between your typical head shop and a massage parlor offering full service rubdowns," here the witch chuckled, "is a place calling itself Wic's Haven: specializing in hard to find grimoires, bestiaries and occult supplies for over twenty years."
Kate wrote the address down and said, "Thanks, Will." The caller said something, and the detective chuckled again. "Yes, I'll let you know if I pick any of them. No, I'm not going to go all broody and Angel on you. Please. I think he's cornered the market. No, I left LA because I needed to get away. No, I won't do that again. I promise. Really, Willow, I'm okay. Promise. Tell everyone not to worry so much."
"Kate, you're the worst liar I've ever heard. But I like you so I'll keep your secret. Whatever made you leave, I hope you find peace. Keep in touch." Willow hung up, leaving Kate to bemusedly close her phone and chuck it onto the table.
Pinning Elizabeth with her gaze, the detective said, "Trust me when I say having a babbly witch for a friend can sometimes lead one to wish they were born in another dimension."
"Back to our little drama. What the hell did you do to me? I feel like I've been squeezed through an old fashioned wringer, hung out to dry and beaten with a stick."
Leaning forward, Elizabeth put her elbows on her knees and cradled her head in her hands. "Near as I can tell, I felt whatever you were feeling. The blood part was incidental." She closed her eyes, taken by the memory of the bite.
"Well it wasn't exactly pleasant!"
"You didn't feel a thing. In fact, I think you were too busy deciding whether or not to kill me then, or later," the vampire retorted. Opening her eyes, she looked at Kate and said, "I don't know how many times I can say it, Kate. I don't want to kill you. I have no desire to feast on you, or anyone else's blood. Your emotions well, that's a different story. I don't think I've ever felt anything I mean anything like that. It was " She searched for the right words. A wry smile danced over her lips. "Intense better than sex." A short bark of laughter erupted from her. "Lowell said that was what Iscariot's blood was like, after I injected him. I wonder if he had the same vision I did."
Since Elizabeth had told Kate of the memory in question, the detective smirked and said, "I don't know what this Lowell looked like, but I'm sure a low cut red dress wouldn't have improved his appearance much."
Bursting into laughter, Elizabeth sat back in her chair and shook her head. "You're a strange one, Kate Lockley." She extended her hand toward the detective. "Can we try to be friends? It's been a long time since I had one of those."
Kate stared at the proffered hand for a long, steady beat. Not even Angel had dared to ask that question, not after she knew what he was. She clenched her teeth and narrowed her eyes. But Elizabeth's not quite like Angel, is she? You were a cop, Kate. You arrested the guilty and made sure that they would serve their time in prison after which, they were released and considered rehabilitated. Is this what has happened with Elizabeth? Has she served her time? Paid her debt to society for her crimes?
"I don't know, Elizabeth. You're something I can't fathom. A part of me would like to be open to friendship, but there's this voice inside of me that wonders will you betray me? You were evil by your own account you've done things that, had I caught you, would have earned you a quick death at the end of a sharp stake. How do I reconcile that past with an unknown future?"
Elizabeth let her hand drop. Her head and shoulders slumped in defeat. "As you say. Not friends then. How about, not enemies either?"
"All right. I'll accept that middle ground. Not friends, or enemies." Kate stood and gathered her clothes. "I've got things I need to do. Keep the clothes." She pulled out her wallet, peeled off a couple of hundreds and tossed them on the bed. "Take those and get yourself something a little more appropriate."
Eyeing the money, Elizabeth suddenly felt very much like a cheap whore. Yet, how could she refuse the cash? All that she owned was a cast off t-shirt and a pair of shorts.
Maybe I should call Luke. He'd help me, once he actually believed I was me. Another side of her scoffed though. He'd just as soon kill you. He hated what you'd become do you think he'd be any more accepting of you now? Look at Kate she can barely stand the sight of you.
The sound of the shower drowned out the bitter tears that scalded Elizabeth's cheeks. Taking the money, the vampire paused before the mirror to sweep her hair back into a loose knot and then quietly exited the hotel room.
Six weeks passed as Kate settled into life in Chicago. Of the three choices Willow had found for her, she had discarded the first two and settled on the third. Place one had been a seedy strip mall where her neighbors were a biker bar and a barber. Choice two had been located in a part of town that even Kate, who was used to the slums of Los Angeles, had found more than a little disturbing.
The third office, a two story affair set in a building that had to have been built around the turn of the century had a bonus besides the downstairs office, there was a second floor loft apartment. This suited the detective just fine and within five days, she had hung her shingle and gone into the business of private detecting.
She had already completed a small job that involved following a man around and photographing him dating various women.
Now, she sat in her office contemplating the silent telephone. She had the case from Angel to work, but so far she had turned up nothing other than one small lead.
And Dersk isn't much of a lead. The half demon had been more than willing to parlay information for cash, but he hadn't been able to pick up more than whispers about the person who dealt in stolen children.
Of Elizabeth she had heard little. The vampire had taken the money and vanished.
At least I know a little more about that.
The bookstore that Willow had found, Wic's Haven, had one book on the subject of reincarnated vampires. Kate pulled out the book and scanned the introductory paragraphs.
This treatise, though not intended as a scholarly text as such, is meant to inform and educate those whose job it is to ward the Chosen One against Those Who Hunt the Night, so set by the hand of Jonathan Lucas Wainright, Watcher, ca. 1954 CE.
When she had told Wesley about the book, he had nearly blown a fuse having a conniption about it. Wesley Windham-Pryce, former watcher, had spluttered for a good ten minutes about the state of the Council in recent times.
"Terribly bad form," he'd groused bitterly. "To pawn off Council books like they were dog eared bodice rippers."
The book was a manual written for and by the Watcher's Council specifically for the purpose of training young slayers. How the bookstore had gotten hold of a copy was anybody's guess.
Then he'd said something that had given her pause. "Though, I suppose the book could have been phased out as the Tos ki'Dren do not exist except in the mind of the author. I mean, really a vampire that doesn't drink blood? Who's heard of such a thing? It's pure bunk. Still, if you tire of Wainright's idiocy, I should like to have the volume, for the sheer novelty of it, if nothing else."
Kate had barely managed to keep from bursting into hysterical laughter. Instead, she had begged off, saying that she was enjoying the writer's "Unique turn of phrase". She continued to read.
Purely on a theoretical basis, I have spent the latter part of my years detailing what is known about a subspecies of vampiric entity known as the Tos ki'Dren, often called a Psionic vampire or Psivamp, though they should be more properly known as the Vampath. As I have yet to encounter such a creature, I cannot say for certain that such entities share our plane, but Certain Parties have agreed that their presence is Known in demonic circles.
Thusly, I begin by stating that not all beings of vampiric nature are evil. One, as we know, is the marvelous creature whose life as Angelus inspired a legion of copycat vampires, all of whom pale in the face of the original. Little is known of the ensouled version, Angel, but what we have heard leads us to believe that he will be of some Import at a later date.
But it is not of Angel that we speak, nor is it of any other ensouled one, rather, this discourse seeks to disseminate information about an extraplanar creature of a symbiotic and empathic nature, the Tos ki'Dren.
We are not certain which dimension from which this being hales, but I have come to believe that it is one that is closely aligned with what humankind persists in naming "Heaven". It is either that, or "Hell" and I've long since argued that both are one and the same and it is only the individual's perception that delineates the realm. Nevertheless, the Tos ki'Dren seek the souls of those whose mortal lives were stolen or given over to vampirism symbiotic life form calling to symbiotic life form, I suppose.
A pact is offered, and if accepted, the vampire's body is returned to the plane on which it originated, complete with many of the abilities gained as a vampire, lacking only the need to feed upon the blood of others. This is because the symbiote's empathic nature requires it to subsist not on a diet of sanguineus homo sapiens but rather the purer sustenance of emovere homo sapiens. In proper parlance, this means that the vampath lives on emotion thus those who would seek to demonize the vampath would name them psionic vampires. Unlike the psivamps that populate popular fiction, the Tos ki'Dren do not leave their victims incapable of returning to a normal life. In fact, an argument could be made that a vampath of a charitable bent could be beneficial to such agencies as those who enforce the laws of the land.
After all, when one can sense the feelings of those around him, then it is simplicity itself to learn which of those denizens are of an evil nature.
Kate paused and reread the last paragraph several times. Closing the book, she cradled her head in her hands and sighed. When Angel had bitten her, he'd left scars.
Where Elizabeth had been, nothing remained.
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