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
Kate's penlight came in handy as they worked their way through a rat's warren of crates and boxes piled nearly to the rafters. What was stored in the containers was anyone's guess, but everyone present agreed that it had to have been there for years. There was a thick layer of dust on everything, and some of the higher levels were festooned with cobwebbing so old and tattered that it looked as though some demented granny had gone mad tatting monster doilies.
The sound of distant combat provided a painful soundtrack as they searched for Tiatitania. Occasional loud grunts, the odd scream and once, the very recognizable cursing of a certain slayer put grim looks on each of their faces.
Willow was visibly struggling to control herself. "I should go help them," she muttered.
A long, shrill scream pierced through the general sounds of the melee. They stopped and looked toward the front of the warehouse.
The witch's eyes were nearly black. "Keep moving. I don't know " She gritted her teeth. Grabbing the half-demon by his lapel, Willow growled, "Find your mother, Dersk."
The half-demon swallowed. "Yes, right find mom. Going now, finding mom." He backed away, nearly running as he poked his head into shadows and called out, "Mom?" softly.
Raising an eyebrow, Kate looked at Willow and said, "That's freakishly effective. You should consider going into the motivation business."
"Kate, please joke later." An aura tinged with blue began to leak from the corners of Willow's eyes.
Kate's jaw dropped and she nodded, suddenly feeling a little bit of that motivation for herself.
Bent nearly double, only backwards, Elizabeth began to wonder if her spine was about to get a very painful lesson in inertial dynamics when the vamp she was struggling with puffed away to ash. Collapsing in a heap, she flashed a grateful grin at Kennedy, leapt to her feet and dove for the spike-covered half-demon that was about to sucker punch the slayer.
She got a rude awakening when she tried to bite him. Her teeth scraped over his hide, screeling like nails on a chalkboard and sending a shock of pain through her.
"Crap," she whispered as the half-demon grinned and backfisted her.
Dersk rounded a corner and ran smack into an eight foot tall, red skinned, horned, and fanged vision that could easily have hopped from the canvas of a Frank Frazetta painting.
It grabbed the half-demon by the throat, picked him up and hurled him into Kate, sending her tumbling into Willow. When they righted themselves, it was Willow who stood first.
"From Hecate's gentle sighs, a thousand blades to your eyes." Hundreds of tiny, dart-like bolts of energy erupted from Willow's outstretched hands. They made sizzling sounds as they impacted. Dozens of smoking, bleeding wounds appeared on its flesh and it roared in pain.
Kate took aim and fired, hitting it several times before she realized that her bullets were having little to no effect.
Producing twin daggers from hidden sheaths, Dersk staggered to his feet and rushed the demon. "Mother!" he yelled as the first of his blades sank into the monster's thigh.
It roared, grabbed Dersk and shook him so hard that Kate swore she could hear bones crunching.
"Derskingorlus!" The door behind the demon opened, revealing a full blooded Ssilligorth female. Dressed in the traditional wedding colors of orange and purple, Tiatitania was a vision of silk, lace and gemstones.
When she saw what was happening, she put her hands on her hips and said, "What in the Twin Moons of Galaxin's Shadow is going on here?"
Edging around the side of the demon as it battled Dersk and Willow, Kate looked up at Tiatitania and said, "Hello ma'am, my name is Kate Lockley we're here to rescue you."
The demon returned Kate's gaze curiously. "Rescue me? But why? I'm getting married, not being held captive."
"When in doubt, knock them out," Kennedy was saying as she pulled a dizzy and bloodied Elizabeth from the clutches of her half-demon captor.
The slayer had spun around, kicked the beast in the temple and watched it topple like a rotten tree.
Groggily, Elizabeth scanned the area. Three of the half-demons were still standing, though they all nursed wounds. Not one of the vampires remained. The half-demons looked at the two women and then held up their hands in surrender.
Kennedy crossed her arms and gave each of the beasts a long, dark glare. "Take your buddies and get the hell out of here," she growled.
Still sitting on the floor, Elizabeth tried to get the pounding in her head to stop long enough to stand. Blood sheeted one side of her face from where a spike had sliced open her forehead. A thousand tiny and not so tiny hurts suddenly clamored for attention.
She groaned. "And to think, that was just the entertainment. I can't wait to see the wedding."
Kennedy turned and looked at her friend. "Oh, you are not funny, Doc."
The smile that lit the vampath's face was a reflection of her weariness.
"No, Mom, it's a trap!" Dersk yelled as he struggled with the demon. "Caruso's going to kill you!"
The demon growled and boxed his ears, driving the half-demon into the floor.
Seeing her son on the ground, bleeding from a dozen wounds galvanized Tiatitania into action. Primly, she tapped the demon on the shoulder and said, "Pick on someone your own size, Herbert."
Strangely, the demon flinched when he met the Ssilligorth's gaze. Instead of fighting her, he picked up Dersk, hurled him at Willow and ran.
"Inhibeo!" The air warped around the half-demon as he was caught in a magickal net and slowly lowered to the ground. Kate fired at the retreating demon's back, but as before, the bullets seemed to have no effect.
Reloading, the detective turned to Tiatitania and said, "Ma'am, I understand that you were planning to marry Mr. Caruso?"
The demon cocked her head and examined Kate. "You are my son's employer? No wonder he speaks so highly of you." She smiled a saurian grin filled with rows of sharp teeth. "Ah but it does a mother proud to see her son serve such beauty, such grace." Circling Kate, she looked the detective over slowly. "You look strong, Miss Lockley, but are you brave enough to face the Ritual of Cleansing?"
Dersk groaned softly. "Mom I work for her, I'm not going to marry her. Unlike you and a certain piece of Underworld scum."
"Now, now, Derskingorlus, that's no way to speak of your future step-father." A smooth, melodious voice floated out of the room that Tiatitania had exited.
Kate gripped her gun tightly. If I live through this, I'm getting a second sidearm. One for each kind of bad guy mortal and undead! When she changed rounds she discovered why her shots had no effect she was loading vampkillers! If the moment weren't so tense, Kate would have smacked herself.
Vitmar Caruso seemed to float; he walked with such smooth grace. Coming to Tiatitania's side, he stopped and bowed before the tall Ssilligorth. She blushed prettily when he took her clawed hand and gently kissed the scaly palm.
"My Sweet, it pains me to see our beloved day so blighted." He turned a glare-filled gaze on Kate and her friends. "You should be ashamed of yourselves interrupting the sacred rites of our wedding!"
Kate snorted. "Right. And I suppose you were looking forward to becoming your bride's midnight snack after your vows were consummated?"
Caruso smiled evilly. "Who said our vows would be consummated tonight?"
Shock filled Tiatitania's eyes. "Vitmar, my love it is the holiest of rituals you mock! We must consecrate our union tonight! How else will the gods know of our love?"
The warlock grimaced darkly. "Of course, my dear but should we not be prepared for anything? My dearest hope is that we learn to be ever adaptive. Surely our love deserves the right to flower under our nurturing care, rather than to be spent in one admittedly glorious night of passion?" His voice was a soothing, hypnotic thrum.
Eyes half closed, Tiatitania nodded along with Caruso's words. "I guess so," she trilled softly.
"Mom! No!" Dersk struggled to his feet and ran toward the couple.
"Be still!" Coils of rope appeared and wrapped themselves around the half-demon, toppling him to the floor.
Writhing and struggling, Dersk continued to plead with his mother. "No, don't listen to him, Mom! He only wants control of the clan! He's planning to use the Husband's Gambit!"
His words seemed unable to penetrate Tiatitania's mind.
A cruel grin edged its way onto Vitmar's face. "Too late, you mutant scum. She's mine now! Take them!"
From out of the shadows emerged several hulking twins to the demon that Tiatitania had run off.
"Wings of Isis-" Cut off in mid chant, Willow seemed surprised to find that she had no voice. The witch shot the warlock a glare, which he returned and then gave her a mocking half bow.
"Sorry, I've no time to play nice, little Wiccan. Maybe another time. Today, I'm getting married."
"You'd think it would be fairly easy to find the way out of this place, but no, here we are stuck in dusty tunnel land," Kennedy groused softly as she and Elizabeth worked their way along the corridors and paths made up of towering stacks of crates.
Elizabeth nodded her agreement. "If I didn't know that Kate and the others were back here somewhere, I'd head home. I am one big walking case of ow." She winced as a particularly nasty cut on her thigh opened and wept a tiny stream of blood down her leg.
"Yeah, you do look a bit like warmed over dog snot," Kennedy said. Sighing, she scratched at a scabbed over slash on her left arm. "Not that I'm saying I'm any better off, mind you." The slayer had sustained her share of damage, but her constitution seemed more readily able to handle the cuts, bruises and punctures that dotted the landscape of her body.
Truth to be told, Elizabeth could have managed to be a little better, if only she would allow her symbiote to feed off some of the raw emotion that poured off Kennedy like a waterfall. Instead, she kept a tight control over the Tos, refusing to let it touch the slayer's aura.
She smiled weakly. "Yeah, we're quite the pair. Nothing that a long bath and a good cuddle won't cure though, right?"
Kennedy chuckled. "You cuddle. Me, I'm going for the gold." The lascivious sparkle in her eyes left no doubt as to what she thought was so precious.
Laughing, Elizabeth said, "You're incorrigible."
With a shrug, the slayer responded, "Hey, I'm human. Faith would call it the 'fight or fuck' syndrome. Will understands she says it has something to do with battle stress and the need to re-associate myself with the glory of being alive or some such psychobabble. Me, I say gimme my woman!"
The vampath only laughed harder.
"What? You should try it sometime." Wiggling her eyebrows, Kennedy added, "I guarantee that it's worth it."
"Somehow, I doubt that Kate would find 'gimme my woman' a particularly enticing phraseology."
"No, no that's what candles, soft music and slow dancing is for," Kennedy said reproachfully.
"Ah, so romance is not dead and buried in Slayerville?"
"Bite me, Doc."
Fangs flashed. "All you have to do is ask "
"Dream on, fang girl."
"Not even in my nightmares, stick bitch."
The softly traded barbs followed the slayer and the vampath as the traversed the halls.
The main floor of the warehouse had been scrubbed spotless. All traces of dust, bloodstains and demonic bodies had been swept away with a judicious use of magic. Now the place once more resembled an evil chapel straight from the pages of a demented horror novel. Black and red fabric draped the area in huge, silken swaths. A pentagram was carved into the cement floor and ruddy liquid lapped the sides of the deep trench.
At three of the five points tall posts bore the grim decorations of Dersk, Willow and Kate. Bound at the wrists and ankles and suspended from the tops of the poles, the three friends each bore testimonial marks to the fight that had ended with them as captives.
Willow was unconscious. Her lips were torn and bleeding and bruises marred her elfin features. Unable to use her magic, the witch had shortly found herself at the mercy of the first demon to pick her up and chuck her into a crate.
At her left, Dersk fared little better. The half-demon, was covered by a welter of rapidly darkening bruises as well as several lacerations. Herbert, the demon that Dersk had injured with his daggers, had returned the favor by taking the half-demon's blades and driving both of them into his thigh. The wounds bled freely each time the half-demon moved.
Kate had escaped mostly unscathed. With her weapon, she had managed to take out four of the bastards before running out of ammunition and falling prey to one of Caruso's binding spells.
Beside each of the posts stood a sword-wielding demon. The blades each held were wickedly curved sabers that glinted darkly in the dim lighting.
Incense sent puffs of gray, foul smelling smoke into the air. At the very center of the pentagram was an odd construction that appeared to be part bed, part nest.
"You see," Caruso said calmly. "The whole purpose to marriage is a union of power. Man and wife binding souls to create new life, and what new life we will have, my love," he said, stroking the Ssilligorth's arm gently. She made a strange, purring sound and nuzzled his head.
"Mother, please, don't do this." Dersk struggled against the shackles that held him to the pole.
The demon guarding him barely moved, but its sword flicked out and cut a deep gouge in the half-Ssilligorth's face.
"Your silence would be appreciated, future son," said Caruso sweetly.
"Fuck you!" Dersk spat, earning him another cut.
"Tsk tsk, such language. Really, Tia my darling, will we have to resort to washing his mouth out with soap?"
Lovingly, the female Ssilligorth stroked her intended's neck and then turned to look at her son.
"Be at peace, Derskingorlus. I am happy you must share my joy." There was a sleepy quality to Tiatitania's voice that made Kate shiver.
Hyno-spelled. I've seen this before. Got to find a way to break it. Damn it Willow, wake up!
Her gaze darted to the corners of the room. Are you out there, Elizabeth? Kennedy? Come on, heroes; time to earn your paychecks
From the shadows, a cloaked and hooded form appeared. Floating toward Vitmar and Tiatitania, the figure held a solid obsidian tray bearing a braided silver cord.
"Let the ceremony begin!" Vitmar crowed and somewhere, a gong was struck.
"Well at least we had a nice rest," Elizabeth whispered into Kennedy's ear as they looked out over the main floor of the warehouse.
The two young women, unable to locate their friends, had climbed to the top of a pile of crates. The journey through the layers of dirt and cobwebs had not been without danger many of the crates were dangerously unstable, but once they had made it to the top, they had discovered where the others were.
"True, but now we gotta climb back down. Ugh, you know, some days I wish that I could just tap a communicator button and have Scotty beam me up." Kennedy held up a dust and grime covered hand and grimaced in disgust.
Elizabeth paused at the edge of the crates and said, "What and miss all this exciting stuff?"
"Well it's not like I can leap tall buildings "
A long, slow grin crawled across the vampath's face. "What an excellent idea, Kennedy my friend."
The slayer looked at Elizabeth blankly for all of a second before shaking her head emphatically. "Oh no, no, no, no, Doc. We are not going to do that. No way. Never."
Elizabeth continued to grin.
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