Cordelia circled the pentagram drawn in the
sand and eyed the center of it with an expert eye. The obsidian stone was
neatly placed in the middle atop a mound of red powder. She couldn't help
but smile as she looked over the setup. It was beautiful and oh so deadly.
The spell Wesley had written down was very simple and even she could do
it. The only thing that bothered her was the fact that it took a while for
the stone's power to build. You had to go through three steps in order to
complete the spell and there was a big build-up of energy between each
one. Of course, that was just like Wesley, she thought. Slow as hell to
get started and once he did, it was all a disaster. The first step,
activating the energy inside, was already finished. The second step was
initiating the actual spell and the third was, well...ending it all.
Glancing over at Angelus, she saw him pacing the circle, a sword in his
hands. He was expecting trouble and Cordelia
wanted to laugh. There was no way in hell this was going to be stopped. No
one could track them here; hell they hadn't even told their minions where
they were going. No, the world was going to end and her pain would go with
"Are you done?" Angelus called, shaking her out of her thoughts. She
walked like she hadn't a care in the world over to him. She kissed him,
imagining she was in the past and back where the world was right and she
was whole. When she pulled away, she smiled up him.
Angelus, she knew, had no worries and no conscience. His nature was to
destroy and he relished in it. She envied him more than a little and not
for the first time. Her nature had changed since that horrible night she'd
lost her soul and her visions. Despite the lack of her soul, there was
still something lingering in her. Pain and guilt, knowledge of what she
had done to everyone she had loved. She'd ruined them all and she knew it,
just as she knew that this was her real punishment. She'd asked the
Gatekeeper for something she had no right to and he'd punished her the
best way he knew how; by making her live with the pain. And she couldn't
live with it any longer. She wanted to end it all.
"Yes. Ready?" Angelus nodded and then grabbed her up, kissing her hard on
the lips. Cordelia felt his hunger and matched
it. This would be the last time she'd look at that angelic face and feel
him against her lips. It almost made her want to stop, but not quite. This
all had to end.
He pulled away and brushed his thumb over her lip. "I love you
Cordelia. I always have."
"I love you too." She said, not meaning it because as much as she wanted
to believe she did love him, she couldn't. He wasn't the one she wanted.
It was his face, but not even close to the man she'd fallen in love with
and destroyed. He smiled that rich smile at her words, his eyes lighting
up. "Let's do it."
Then, she slid away from him and approached the circle, her hands raised,
the short incantation she'd memorized spilling from her lips with ease. It
was so simple, she couldn't believe ending the world could be so easy, but
it was. She wondered, as the obsidian began to glow, if Wesley knew what
he'd been doing when he started collecting energy for the spell. It was
all his fault. His and hers; so what was new?
She shouted the last line of the incantation, her head thrown back to the
starry sky, her smile filling her face up. She loved this place and she
wanted to go out here. It seemed so perfect. A single tear rolled down her
cheek and that was all she showed of her emotions.
Cordelia looked back down at the obsidian and
saw it glowing, pulsating with energy. A halo surrounded it and sparks of
white-hot electricity arched through the air. Overhead, she saw the stars
were slowly being blocked by roiling clouds, heat lightning mirroring the
"Now what?" She turned toward Angelus and was
about to answer when something came hurtling out of the shadows, knocking
her to the sand. She looked up through a mass of hair and saw Faith's dark
eyes glaring at her.
"Time's up, bitch!"
Lorne was sweating, covered in sewer water and tired. Every bone in his
body ached and still he kept going because he had to. It was for Fred and
he would not, could not stop. It helped that the demon's karmic echo was
getting stronger as he went along, tracking it through the extensive
tunnel system that ran through Los Angeles. It also helped that he'd come
to know the tunnels fairly well in the three years he'd been fighting the
Up ahead, he heard a noise that made him stop and listen, head cocked to
Something was banging down in the tunnels ahead of him, something large.
Lorne silently hoped that it wasn't some other big demon looking for a
meal. That was all he needed. Lifting the axe in his hands, he stalked
along the damp brick tiles toward the T-split in the tunnel, every nerve
As he stepped into the junction, his eye widened. Some sort of strange,
shadowy nest stood before him, almost spiderweb
in appearance. And in the center of the thick black web was the nightmare
"Hello beautiful...remember me?" Lorne drawled,
eyebrow arching as the demon turned its ghastly head his way. The long
fangs dripped down its pink and purple chest, an acidic pool at its feet.
"How's the Seer?" The demon responded, jumping down, it's human like paws
hitting the ground with a wet thump. "She dead yet?"
"Not yet. You know why I'm here?"
"How much did they pay you?"
"Come on, you know a demon's personal finances are his own business!" The
nightmare demon exclaimed, hand to his chest like he wad deeply offended.
Lorne grimaced and lifted his axe.
"True, and a demon in love is a dangerous
thing. We can get a bit obsessive, if you know what I mean."
"Wouldn't know. But I do see what you mean. You know how to use that
thing? Because I saw that she-demon kick your ass back
"Still standing, sugar puff. Let's get this done. I got a lady to
get back to." Lorne said, gesturing the demon forward. The demon leapt at
him, fangs bared.
Avoid the fangs, Lorne. Avoid the fangs...
Lorne spun and caught the demon on the back of the head with the butt of
the axe handle. It screamed and reeled back, intending to catch Lorne in
the arm with its fangs. Lorne twisted out of the way just as one jagged
tooth swept downward, catching the sleeve of his blue shirt as it went.
Lorne tried to adjust in mid-step as the demon rounded on him again, using
the big human-like hind paws to swivel in place. It didn't work and he was
sent flying as the demon managed to slam a fist into his head. He slammed
against the wall of the tunnel and felt a horn crack.
"Ow." Lorne ground out, glaring up at the
demon above him.
"Pussy." The demon arched downward with its
fangs, intending to catch Lorne in the chest. Lorne lifted the axe in
time, the fangs hooking over the top, the demon's rancid breath hot on
"Ever heard of flossing?" Lorne quipped, levering his foot up to catch the
demon in the gut. It doubled over and Lorne lifted the axe up, cracking
one of the deadly fangs in half. The demon yowled in pain and slumped to
the ground. "A horn for a tooth, asshole."
Lorne climbed to his feet and kicked the demon in the gut once more. The
crumpled nightmare demon winced and tried to get up. Lorne laid a foot on
his side and rolled him over, glaring at the demon. The blade of the axe
was set at the demons' throat.
"It's antidote time..." The demon smiled a ghastly grin and there was
sudden melting around him. Lorne blinked and the demon was gone, melting
into the shadows around him. "Fuck...”
"What's the matter, can't catch me?"
"If you'd fight fair, I would..."
"You should know by now that demons don't fight fair. We use our every
weapon...” The voice echoed around him and he glared into the thick
shadows around him. There was no way he was going to get him if he was in
His point was proven as the demon rushed out of the shadows, blindsiding
him to the ground once more. Lorne hit the stone and looked up just in
time to see him disappear back into the shadows. He started to climb to
his feet and it happened again. Lorne grunted as his bruised face
connected with stone. It happened twice more
before he could even move. Pain laced through his body and his heart
thumped wildly in his butt cheek. He wasn't going to beat him like this...
Your every weapon... Lorne suddenly smiled and rolled over, watching as
the demon rushed out of shadows. He opened his mouth and let lose the
biggest, best, most on-key note he'd ever sang in his life.
The shrill sound echoed off the rounded walls of the tunnel, assaulting
the nightmare demon as it descended on him. Knocked out of his shadow
form, he landed solidly on the floor of the tunnel next to Lorne, who
didn't let the sound drop for a second.
The demon twitched and tried to move, but the sound was too much. Lorne
kept it up, not for the first time in his life grateful that he could keep
up any note forever. He stood and lifted the axe, then brought it home in
the demon's chest.
Lorne's voice and the screams of the demon echoed off the tunnel walls,
coming back to Lorne's ears in a satisfying cacophony of sound. Lorne
dropped the note and grinned down at the dead demon.
Easy as pie.
Setting---Point Dume, 3:30am
Wesley collapsed to his knees in the sand, the weight in his chest sending
him crashing to the earth. He was surprised he'd had the strength to get
out of the car, let alone walk to the edge of the bluff. That pulling
feeling was still in him and he looked down to the stretch of sand below
him. His aching eyes caught sight of Cordelia
and Angelus standing outside a crudely drawn pentagram in the sand,
something glowing in the center of it. Sparks of
lightning arched through the air, licking around the meager barrier of the
five pointed star.
He couldn't quite make out what was in the center of the pentagram because
Angelus's body was blocking it from his view.
He sent a silent command for the vampire to move the hell out of the way,
but he stayed in place.
"What are they doing?" Faith asked, next to him, her hand on his chest as
if she were keeping his rapidly beating heart inside by the pressure of
her hand. It had taken them nearly an hour to get here and she was
frazzled, he could tell. Her promise to keep him from dying tonight seemed
on the verge of being broken and she knew it. That only made her angrier.
"End...ending the world..." He gasped out,
grabbing a hold of her hand. "Stop them...I'm sorry...can't...can't
"I know Wes. Don't worry; I'll kill em dead
for you. And then we'll find out what the hell is wrong." Faith smiled at
him and he wished he had the strength to smile back. As it was, he could
only blink his eyes when she kissed him quickly on the lips.
He watched her go, jumping over the edge of the small bluff and rolling in
the sand. She hit a chanting Cordelia
immediately as she hit the bottom, and Wesley watched as the two landed in
a sprawl at the edge of the pentagram.
Angelus started and rushed forward, grabbing the Slayer and throwing her
off of the demoness. Faith leapt up and went
after Angelus immediately, her fists flashing in the lightning overhead.
But Wesley wasn't watching her. No, his attention was riveted on the
pulsing power point in the center of the pentagram.
Now that he could see what it was, his heart dropped. The all-too familiar
orb of obsidian glinted accusingly from the center of the pentagram and he
knew...he knew. The spell he had found to open the
Quor-toth was the thing that was going to destroy the world.
It was all so clear to him now; he should have known. The prophecy had
said the world would end by something ripping a hole in the dimensions. He
hadn't thought of it at all, but that was what he'd planned on doing with
the spell. But...it wasn't finished. The stone was incomplete and any
attempt to rip through the dimensional walls would destabilize the whole
thing and...end the world.
Wesley choked and that pulling feeling came back to him. It was much
stronger now that he was near the orb and he knew it was his own
life-energy calling out to him. It belonged in him and it knew it. It
wanted him back and he knew he had to have it back. If the energy was put
back into him, the spell would be useless. But it could also kill him.
That much power channeled that quickly into a vessel would surely blast
the vessel apart. Wesley swallowed and realized he didn't have a choice.
Wesley grimaced and forced his shaking limbs to stand. For once his body
obeyed him and he stood on trembling legs. Below him, the fight raged on
and he saw Cordelia was in on it now. He
spared a thought of worry and thanks for his Slayer. Good Faith...keep
He started to go down the sand slope, when something grabbed him from
behind and tossed him forward. Limbs smacked his and Wesley landed in a
painful sprawl at the bottom of the bluff, unable to move, what breath he
had left in his body knocked out by the force of landing. He opened one
grit-filled eye and stared up into the face of a dead woman.
"Hello Wesley." Justine said, smiling as she lifted a gun in her
hands, the barrel pointed straight at Wesley's head.