Disclaimer: Joss and his minions, so on and so forth
Summary: Yes, yes, it's another Angelus fic. He's haunting me. This too shall pass.
Feedback: I gotta know, how was it?
Tempest (tem' pist) n. A violent commotion, disturbance, or tumult.
"You will not go there." Giles said it quietly, firmly. "I will."
"Buffy. Please do not make me forbid it."
She raised an eyebrow. "Forbid it? Shame on you for even thinking it."
He heaved a sigh. She was right, forbidding her to do something was the equivalent of giving her a written invitation. "It's a bit mad, to go there. Suicide."
"Wow, you've perfected your dramatic flair, Giles. Suicide? Really." She inspected a chipped fingernail, behaving as if the subject were closed.
It was not. Giles stared at her in disbelief. What she had proposed was utterly ridiculous. Going to the mansion? Inspecting Angelus' belongings? Nonsense. If she were discovered, she would be killed. Giles had said as much, but she had merely shrugged.
"I'll be careful," was all she offered.
"Being careful has nothing to do with it. He has advantages over you."
She looked interested at this. "Oh? What are they?"
In his frustration, he was harsh. "No love to blind him. No conscience. No compassion. All of those things give him the upper hand."
She looked at him calmly, ignoring the barb about love. "But I'm the Slayer."
He opened his mouth, then closed it again. There was that.
And in the end, Giles gave permission, knowing that she would go regardless. The information Buffy could gain about Acathla and Angelus' plan to resurrect him would be integral to stopping the destruction of humanity. But Giles was afraid for her, and it was not a fear for her physical safety.
He was afraid for her heart.
Angelus' return had been shocking and entirely unexpected. Giles had pored through his books, looking for the prophecy, but even the Codex had not given away that nasty secret. He had found it difficult to understand Buffy's sense of loss when the change occurred, knowing only that Angel was no longer, but then had come the horrible killings.
And Jenny had been one of them. Giles understood now, understood the emptiness in Buffy's eyes, the flatness of her voice when she spoke. He understood the robot-like actions, moving through the day in a sort of fog. He understood, because now he lived it too. Angel had been killed as surely as Jenny Calendar had, and Buffy was mourning his loss sincerely.
Giles worried. He was not sure what his own response would have been if Jenny's face and body still walked, but her sweet soul did not. He felt strongly that it would have been too difficult for his brain to detect the optical illusion, and he would have succumbed to the temptation of her. He feared the same for Buffy. Her run-ins with Angelus had so far been thankfully brief, but eventually the day would come when the two would face off. At this point it was difficult for Giles to say who would emerge the victor. Angelus was still obsessed with Buffy, as Willow had gently pointed out to all of them.
"He's the complete opposite of what he was," Buffy had said bravely, in an attempt to show them that she was aware of the difference.
"Well...sort of, except..." Willow trailed off uncertainly.
"Except what?" Buffy wanted to know.
"You're still the only thing he thinks about."
And it was the truth. He was addicted to her. It was extremely
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
She crouched behind a dense hedge and watched. They had been gone for thirty minutes, Spike and Drusilla and Angelus. Still, waiting was sensible. No use trying to predict what those three would do.
Fifteen more minutes, and she moved. She blended in well with the inky dark, keeping close to the ground and moving to the back of the mansion, where she stopped at the last window on the right. Out of her small pack she took a glass cutter, produced earlier for her by Giles, who seemed to have a never-ending supply of breaking and entering paraphernalia. She cut a small hole near the window's lock and it was done just like that, the window sliding up easily for her and then she was in.
Buffy had never been inside before, and it took a moment to realize she was in a small office with only one door leading out. She took it, finding herself in the hallway, off to her right the large foyer that the vampires were using for a living area. She would start there.
Twenty minutes later, she threw up a sheaf of papers in disgust. They floated back down around her gently, settling like feathers. Nothing. There was nothing here that Giles did not already know. Acathla was killed by a virtuous knight who pierced his heart, blah, blah, and blah. We know, we know, she thought. Damn. There had to be more.
Looking up from her seat on the floor, she saw the opposite end of the room stretched around a corner. She went to investigate, and discovered a small room off to the side. It contained only a bed and desk, the latter of which was almost buried under ancient books and disintegrating papers. Looks kind of demon-like, she thought. Paydirt.
She didn't realize until she actually walked into the room that it had a different feel than the rest of the mansion. It hit her right away, causing her to stop in her tracks, and she almost wanted to smell the air like an animal sensing danger. It was a presence, something in the room that spoke to her, and then she knew.
It was Angelus's room. He did not share anything in this room with Spike or Drusilla, it was entirely his. His mark was on everything. She moved to the desk, lifting a paper or two gingerly, and the sensation grew stronger. This was his own private lair. Buffy did not want to be here, every good sense she had ever had was screaming at her to run far, far away. Only one thing kept her from fleeing. She knew the answers she sought for Giles were here. But what about YOUR answers, she thought sickeningly, and then wiped her mind of it.
She lifted a book and the writings underneath and carried them to the bed, perching on the edge. The book looked interesting, though the title was Latin, and without Giles' translation she would have no idea of the contents. Better take it. And as for the papers, there seemed to be some sort of illustrations on them. She peered closer, and then gasped, dropping the paper as if scorched.
They were not illustrations of Acathla, nor the instruments needed to raise him. They were sketches. Of her. Beautifully drawn, with only a pencil, there was no doubt that Angelus had done it. Carefully Buffy picked up the one she had dropped, holding it by the corners, and looked at it closely. She was sleeping, in much the same pose as the sketch he had left on her bed a few weeks earlier. This one, too, must have been done before Willow repealed the invitation for him to enter her home.
She felt strange, lightheaded, and her heart was pounding madly. Sketching was something Angel had loved to do, and it helped him pass the time. He had frequently drawn pictures of Ireland, of Galway, where he was born. Sometimes he drew places he had wandered in his loneliness. England. China. The West Indies. But never, not even once, had he drawn a picture of her.
She put aside the one she was holding and began to look through the others with shaky fingers. She turned page after page of drawings of herself, staring at them with disbelief and a growing feeling of danger, and then began to notice something even more disturbing.
As she neared the bottom of the pile, the drawings began to have writing on them. The script was in an angry, masculine hand, slashed across the paper rather than written. Some of them were illegible, as if his anger had gotten the best of him and he could only stab at the paper with the writing instrument. Most, however, had recognizable words and sentences, and although Buffy desperately did not want to, she could not help reading them.
They seemed at first to be merely titles of the artwork. There was one named "Dawn of Midnight", a picture of her in the cemetery. He had drawn her in a fight with a vampire, her stake raised and a look of pure rage on her face. Do I really look like that? she thought. Like I want to make someone suffer for something? She put it face down on the pile and reluctantly moved on to the next. It was titled "A Bird in the Hand", and she realized with a jolt that Angelus had drawn Giles as well. The two of them, Buffy and Giles, were standing at a desk in the library, heads together, obviously in deep conversation. The picture appeared as if it had been drawn while looking through a window, and Buffy's apprehension grew even further as it dawned on her that Angelus probably had done just that. Yet another sketch was called "Breath of Air", showing Buffy alone in her kitchen, speaking on the telephone. It too appeared to have been done as if through the window. She shuddered. He had been so close to her, unable to reach her because of the repealment spell, but lurking just on the fringes. Waiting.
She would have missed the script on the last picture entirely if she hadn't accidentally dropped it on the ground. It fell face down, revealing the writing on the back of it. It covered the entire page. She turned it to the front to see the picture, and froze.
He had drawn them making love. They were both naked, clutching at each other with hungry fingers, seemingly in a sort of frenzy. The image leaped off the paper at her and she had trouble taking sufficient breath, her eyes locked on the drawing. There was no doubt that the two people were she and Angelus. He had sketched her tiny and blonde, while making himself muscled and dark, the two likenesses blending perfectly together in a harmony of naked skin. She appeared to be lying upon some sort of low altar, with a few candles around them, and he was straddling her. It was very obvious that they were joined together, and Buffy felt her face grow hot as she stared at the illustration. The title was simple, just a single word.
The detailing was painfully exquisite, so much so that it hurt Buffy to look at it. She could see the fine sheen of perspiration on Angelus's back, as well as the outline of his tattoo. He had drawn an expression on her face that she could only describe as pleasure, her eyes closed and her lips glistening, while he loomed over her. Except for the background, the whole image was like a carbon copy of the picture Buffy held reverently in her mind of their coupling. She remembered it exactly like he had drawn it: flashes of hot sweaty skin, soft whispers in the dark, pleasure creeping in to slowly overwhelm the both of them.
There was one thing, however, that differed from her memory, and the sight of it left no doubt in Buffy's mind that Angelus, not Angel, had drawn this picture. He had made a distinctive feature about himself, something that Buffy knew had not been present during their night together.
He was in full game face. His fangs were frighteningly long and sharp, the ridges deep in his forehead, and although the picture was in blacks and grays, he had managed to make his own eyes shine with what she knew was a hellish glow. It was terrifying to look at. The snarl on his face was as predatory as any jungle cat she'd ever seen, and she half-expected the lifelike picture to suddenly begin to move, the two lovers begin to moan and gasp while she watched. She stared, waiting for the likeness of Angelus to lower his head and sink the pointed fangs into Buffy's neck. She waited to hear the gasp of pleasure/pain from her mouth as he drank.
The picture did not move. The two lovers stayed frozen in their positions, bound for an eternity in their embrace. Buffy shook her head and came out of her daze, and remembered the writing on the back. Turning it, she began to read the messy scrawl that covered the entire page.
*Again, she came, when I didn't want her to, when she wasn't invited here. The fucking bitch comes whenever she wants to, yet I am exiled from her house. Insanity looms nearer because she haunts me. I dreamed again of her. She teased mercilessly, shedding her clothing easily and dancing naked in front of me, then skipping away when I reached. She calls me Angel and it makes me sick. I am Angelus. Angelus. There is no humanity in me and I rejoice, yet obsession is still there. Obsession must not be a human trait. I am obsessed with her, the golden girl. I want to crush her spirit and douse that light around her. There will be no relief until she is dead, until the Slayer lies in her own blood. The damned memory of her lush young body is strong. I want it again. I want to taste her. I want those firm breasts to slide down my body as she takes my cock in her mouth and sucks it. I want to watch her shining hair lying on my stomach while she fills her mouth with me, while she moves those soft lips up and down. I want that little tongue licking at me while her hand grips me tightly, her other hand in between her own legs because she can't control her own desire. I want her to coat me with her saliva, making me slippery and hard in her fingers, and I want her to use those fingers to bring me to the peak. Then, only then, will I lay her down and pound into her, stretching that tight little passage she has, listening to her cry out. I want her to be small inside, so I can feel totally enclosed, so I can rip it wider and bring her the first of the pain I want her to feel. I want her to understand that I am not her tender, devoted lover. I am not Angel. I am her nightmare. I want to, NEED to fuck her senseless, and then do it again because she made me need to. I want to screw her and then laugh at her lying in the dirt, laugh at her because I am only what she made me. I want her to open her legs so I can bury my face in her crotch, smell the musky smell she emits, taste her sweetness. I want to suck her until she's begging for me, crying for me to enter her again, even though a thin trickle of blood still runs from her because I tore into her. I want to spill my lifeless seed in her, I want to come deeply inside of her, so deeply that I will be able to feel her core. I want her to cry tears beneath me, and when she does, then I'll rip at that delicate throat. I want her blood in my mouth. I want to hear her gasp when I do it, I want to watch the light go out of those shining eyes.
The human feeling she brought me when that fucking soul was part of me makes me want to gag with disgust. She will die, that Slayer. She will pay for the tempest inside me.*
Buffy could not move when she finished reading. The obsessive words seemed to coil like snakes on the paper, hissing at her. Willow had been right. Angelus was not only thinking about her, he was obsessed to the point of insanity. His words in front of her proved it. The anger in them radiated off the paper and surrounded her, wrapping her in them, until she felt constricted and her heart was beating madly. Any thoughts she might have had about traces of Angel still lingering were wiped clean. He was gone, and in his place was anger and a dangerous kind of hate.
Get out, get out, a voice in her head chanted, and suddenly it dawned on her that she was still sitting in his room, on his bed, and much time had passed. She began scrambling to put the piles of papers back in order, stacking them again on the desk underneath the books, and into her pack she slid the heavy Latin book for Giles to translate. She worked quickly, afraid in a way that she had not been when she first entered the mansion.
When she noticed the picture again she paused, then without thinking she stuffed it into her pack as well. "Stupid, stupid," she spoke out loud to the empty room, the sound of her own voice comforting her. "Why did you think coming here was a smart idea?" She shook her head as she transferred the papers back and forth. "Next time, smart girl, listen to Giles. It's his job, after all. To know what he's talking about, I mean. He HAS been doing this for a while. Next time, next time..."
She continued to murmur to herself, unaware that she was babbling on and on in her panic to just get out, and perhaps if she hadn't been speaking aloud she would have heard him. Certainly she wasn't focused on listening for his return, intent only upon getting home to the relative safety of her own bed, but in any case, suddenly he was there.
"Oh, good. And I didn't even have to go hunting."
She stopped, paralyzed, and lifted horrified eyes to the doorway. He leaned against it casually, arms folded.
Beautiful, was the first thing that flashed through her mind. He...is...beautiful.
And, unfortunately, he was. His hair was incredibly dark and thick, standing up in spikes, revealing a smooth forehead. Midnight eyes glinted at her, tracking her movements. His mouth was quirked in a wry smile. His body was lean and powerful, appearing even more so because he was dressed, as always, in black.
His eyes flicked to the drawings, several of which were still scattered on the bed. Something flashed in his eyes and was gone. "You found my collection, I see," he said casually. "My dirty little secret."
"What secret? That you can draw? Angel drew."
"Not that, silly girl."
She knew what he meant. He meant his secret obsession with her, an obsession he no doubt kept hidden from Spike and Drusilla. She wanted him to say it. If she heard him admit it, it would make him seem weak. "What, then? Tell me your secret."
His exquisite mouth formed a snarl. "You are, golden girl. You tell me secrets in my head."
Uh oh, she thought. Sounds to me like he's teetering on the brink of Drusilla-ness.
He advanced on her, backing her up until her legs hit the bed and she sat, while he stood over her. "So. You're here. Let's think, shall we? Why would the mighty Slayer pay me a visit? And with none of her little friends, either. Tsk, tsk. Kind of dangerous."
"Danger girl, that's me," she said flippantly, trying desperately to convince both of them that she was not frightened.
"Always with the witty comebacks. You know, they say that sarcasm is the most obvious way of compensating for your shortcomings." He snorted. "No wonder that idiot Xander can't shut his mouth for five seconds."
Buffy bravely tried again. "Do you have a point? 'Cause I really should be going. Protecting the innocent, and all that."
Angelus looked intrigued. "Protecting the innocent...does that include yourself? Oops, I guess not. You're not so innocent anymore, are you, little Slayer?"
Her heart lurched. Angel had always called her little Slayer, using the term affectionately, and she had always gotten warm and fuzzy. When Angelus used the nickname, it sounded disrespectful and hollow. "I lost my innocence when the powers that be made me the Chosen One," she snapped at him.
"Now, now, we both know that's not what I meant. Your innocence, Buffy. Your sacred virginity. You lost that somewhere...wait, I'm thinking...where was it...oh! I remember!" He snapped his fingers and grinned brightly. "I took it from you! Well actually, you kind of gave it freely. VERY freely," he leered, making her cringe inside.
She looked him in the eye. "I gave that to Angel."
"Hmmm. So you did. Well, your sacred Angel was man enough to stand aside for my rebirth. Only manly thing he ever did, come to think of it. And I owe it all to you! I should thank you in some way."
She felt sick. It was the very thing that kept her wide awake in the early hours of the morning. Angel was gone because of her, and before her stood a demon of her own making.
She tried to stand and brush past him, but he easily blocked her path and pushed her back down on the bed. He rested a knee on the mattress, forcing her backwards, until she was lying down with her legs dangling off the side. Uneasily she eyed her pack, forgotten on the floor, with a wooden stake hiding uselessly inside it.
He saw her look at it, and kicked it even further from the bed so it slid across the floor next to the doorway. Impossible for her to reach it now. "You don't need that." He put his other knee next to her so he was straddling her.
The picture he had drawn flashed through her mind, and she began to panic in earnest. He was going to rape her. He was going to do all the things he had scrawled on that paper, and probably more. And, like he had told her once long ago, he would do it with a song in his heart.
She began to struggle, trying to get a leg free to kick him with, and swinging a fist at his face. He dodged her punch easily, her hand landing ineffectively on his arm instead.
"Stop that," he said calmly, as if speaking to a toddler. He lay on her, trapping her underneath him, and pinned her arms over her head. "If you relax, you might enjoy yourself."
"You wish," she spat, trying to break free.
He continued matter-of-factly, ignoring her. "You need to just settle down. It'll make it hurt less when I ram myself into you."
That shocked her into silence. Good God, was he going to detail everything for her?
Apparently so. "I'm going to make you bleed, you know. When I stick my cock into your tight little passage, I'm going to rip you apart, Slayer. I'm going to bite your breasts until they're raw. Then you're going to take me in your mouth and suck me dry. You'll swallow every last drop. Then we'll start again." He spoke quietly to her, but there was a raging madness in his eyes that gave him away.
"You're speaking to a child, you know," came a clipped British voice, and Buffy closed her eyes in relief.
Angelus whipped his head around to find Giles standing behind him, a loaded crossbow aimed at his heart. "Well, isn't this nice. Watcher to the rescue."
"Get off," Giles said.
He did, casually, winking at Buffy, and as soon as she was free she scrambled off the bed and lunged for her pack. "Let's go, Giles."
Giles frowned, keeping his eyes trained on the vampire. "He'll die first."
Later Buffy would punish herself for doing it, but she acted without thinking and grabbed Giles' arm just as he released the trigger on the weapon. The arrow flew through the air and sank deeply into Angelus's shoulder, missing its mark by a few inches. He let out a short cry of pain, dropping back onto the bed, and Buffy snatched Giles by the sleeve and pulled him out of the room.
They fled through the front door and down the steps, racing around the corner to Giles' car, and as soon as they were safely in, he took off with a very un-Giles screeching of tires.
There was a tight silence all the way to Buffy's house while she waited for him to speak. He did not, drawing out the tension until he had reached her house and let the car idle in the driveway. She looked at him from the corner of her eye. He was staring at the wheel, his mouth tense.
"Buffy, he is not Angel."
"Do you? Do you know? I don't believe you. Angel is gone, Buffy. Gone."
"I know, Giles," she whispered miserably. "I'm sorry."
He glanced at her huddled forlornly in the corner of the seat, and felt shamed. She was only a teenager, and one with a broken heart. In a rare moment of physical contact, he rested a hand on her bent head and stroked her hair. "Get a bit of rest. Tomorrow we'll continue the search for information in regard to Acathla."
It reminded her of the book. She pulled it out and presented it to him with a wan smile.
His eyes lit up. "Excellently done," he breathed, taking the heavy tome from her.
"Good doggie?" she asked hopefully, but as usual, the presence of an old book caused Giles to ignore all else. Buffy sighed and opened the door. "Night, Giles."
"Good night," he replied absent-mindedly, opening the cover and scanning the pages.
Buffy shook her head and left him sitting in the car.
Later, face washed and warm pajamas on, Buffy curled up under her blankets and looked at the chair next to her bed. She had propped up the picture of the lovers. In the moonlight from the window they looked ethereal, a soft gray glow about them. She slept.
And dreamed of Angel.
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