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Challenge #10: 'Release/Escape?

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  • Challenge #10: 'Release/Escape?

    Challenge: #10: "She Must Be Dying Without A Reflection"
    Title: ‘Release/Escape’
    Rating: 15/NC17 – some innuendo, mild violence throughout.
    Setting: During ‘Release’ of Angel Season Four.
    Word Count: 1250
    Disclaimer: These aren't my characters, I don't plan on profiting from them, props to Joss & co.

    “You have to be willing to take it all the way, Faith.” Wesley stared simply at Faith.
    “I can't risk killing Angel. Not after what he's done for me. There's got to be another way.” Faith let go of Wesley and walked away, Wes looking on in thought. Perhaps it was best to let her go, give her time to realise that there were no boundaries now, that Angelus had to be stopped. If Angel could be bought back, it would be done. He would try. But if not ... Wes dreaded to think of the time he might have to face Angelus, not to capture, but to kill. He started to make his way back to the Hotel, leaving Faith firmly ahead of him.

    Faith entered the Hotel, observing the group mid-conversation. Willow was talking to everyone, to Faith’s surprise.
    “Willow!” Faith exclaimed.
    “Faith.” Replied Willow.
    “What are you doing here?”
    “Wesley called. I’m here to pop a soul back into Angelus. Well Angel’s soul. Well, actually, I’m kinda shaky on how the whole soul thing works. But, hey, I can do it.”
    “So you think you can bring back Angel?” Gunn asked.
    “I‘ve done it before, and I can do it again.” Willow beamed.
    A pause of excitement filled the room.
    “No. Someone has to stop him.” Connor interjected. “Angel is evil.”
    “Angelus is evil.” Fred corrected him. “Angel is a hero.”
    “They’re the same thing! He’s a creature of evil!”
    “We are not having this discussion again. We’re not killing Angel.” Faith said simply, staring Connor down. He looked angrily at her in return. “Try and stop me.” Connor snarled, storming out of the Hotel.
    Faith faced the others. “I’ve gotta make sure he doesn‘t do something stupid.” She headed for the doors.
    “Be careful.” called Fred.
    “Sounds like I’d better start sharpish.” Willow said.

    Wesley walked down another alleyway, hoping to shortcut his way back to the Hotel. He paused suddenly as he heard a sharp snap, perhaps a bottle being broken, turning to look behind him. After briefly surveying the entrance to the alleyway and looking at the fire escapes above him, he turned back around to continue down. He flinched backwards as someone leapt in front of him. It was Angelus.
    “Hey Wes.”
    Wesley instinctively reached for his shotgun from the inside of his jacket, but he was not nearly as fast as the vampire. Angelus grabbed the shotgun from Wesley’s hands and aimed at his head.
    “Gee Wes, I didn’t think it’d be as easy as this.”
    Wes interjected bluntly, “If you fire, it will just make the others more eager to hunt you down.”
    “Oh Wes, why would I shoot you?”
    As Wesley looked nonplussed, Angelus nearly immediately dropped the weapon and grabbed Wesley, twisting his head to one side so his neck was exposed. “When I could do this?” he finished. Angelus plunged his fangs into him. Wesley grunted in pain as Angelus gulped, his eyes as wide open as the wounds on his neck felt like. Wesley wondered whether he would see memories flash before his eyes, whether he would feel a blissful peace or anxiety at facing the next world, whether he would realise some bittersweet revelation about the truth of the universe, but he only had time enough to recognise that the only thing he felt was how cold he was, and how his vision was fading into nothingness before finally hearing “Good night, sweet prince,” as Angelus pulled away and dumped him on the ground, leaving Wesley to his overwhelming, aching unconsciousness.

    ***

    Faith entered a parking lot. Her instincts told her that Connor was nearby, but she couldn’t tell where. At least in an open space she could see anything moving towards her. The sharp pain in the side of her head told her otherwise. The crossbow in her arms dropped to the ground. She turned, fist clenched, into a striking position, ready to dust whichever assh*le thought it wise to attack her, but it was no regular vamp. It wasn’t a demon, or Angelus. It wasn’t even Connor.

    “Hello Faith.”
    “Uh, what the hell?”
    Wesley merely raised his eyebrows.
    “If you’re still pissed-“ Faith broke off. “Wes?” Faith asked in disbelief.
    “Oh yes, it’s me. But now ...”
    Faith paused incredulously. She could tell by now, that he was ... She finished for him. “You’re a vampire.”
    Wesley chuckled lightly. “Very astute.”
    “Angelus.”
    “Yes. He always knew how to treat his friends. Try to smother them, maybe turn them.”
    “The others-”
    “Oh yes. I’ve already started that puzzle. Gunn tried to find you, to tell you that soon Willow will be re-ensouling Angelus. But … he ran into me first. It was so very sweet. His last thoughts were how he failed to protect Fred. How I’m going to … have my way with her.” He chuckled grimly.
    Faith grimaced. “Wes … I’m sorry.”
    “Don’t lie,” he hissed, “You’ve wanted this from the moment the Council took you away. To see me punished. Can’t bare to look at yourself, can you, so you reflect all that misery onto someone else.”
    “No, I never wanted this to happen.”
    “He’s got a point, Faithy.” Angelus joined in, appearing from behind the both of them. “Good old Wes comes along to help, and the first thing you do is to stick it to him, then you torture him some …” He tutted. “Not the best recipe for trust.”
    Wes and Angelus circled Faith, both vamping out. Faith again prepared herself for battle.

    Wesley threw the first punch. As she ducked to avoid the blow, she kicked out at him. But she hit only air. She turned to see where he had gone. Wesley and Angelus were viciously swapping punches, each pausing their attack for a split second to speak.
    “You think you’ll taste her first, Wes?” Angelus panted, Wesley’s hook catching him in the side of the head. He responded by winding Wesley with a blow to the stomach.
    “Oh, I have ideas for Faith. But it’s you I will kill first.”
    “Big words Wes. You got the balls to back ‘em up?” Wesley swung his whole body backwards, using the force to backhand Angelus to the floor. He went in for the coup de grace, stake in hand. His face, now in it’s human fa?ade, was completely emotionless. Angelus froze-then he suddenly produced the crossbow Faith had dropped earlier.
    “Game over Wes.” Angelus grinned as he fired. The bolt hit the side of the building by the parking lot. Wesley had disappeared from sight. Angelus flipped up to his feet. Wesley had gone. “Well Faith.” He approached her. “Guess it’s just you-” He bolted over, as though about to throw up. Faith lowered her fist, puzzled at first. Then, she realised what was happening. Angelus’ eyes flashed a bright orange, the kind of luminescence that could only be created through magic … the kind of dazzle that he had only seen - well, felt – in Romania, in Sunnydale.

    The memories of the last few months suddenly hit him, crushing him as the hands of Gods crush galaxies as though they were the smallest of sand particles. Gunn dead, Wesley a vampire. Angel fell to his knees, Faith beside him, holding him, lost, Angel sobbing into her arms.
    Last edited by The_Narrator; 29-09-08, 07:22 PM.
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