Your Enemies Closer

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Chapter Four:

Ravina Boulevard, 9:35 p.m.

"Hello Cordelia." Faith said as the demoness sprawled on the slick brick tiles before her. Then, before Angelus could recover from the surprise attack, she spun around and cracked him across the cheek with the heel of her boot.

Angelus staggered backward a step and then smiled widely, his vampiric visage rippling and melting from his features as he looked her up and down.

"Faith. Good to see you. When did you get out?" He said amiably, his eyes flicking back and forth between Cordelia and Faith. The demoness climbed to her feet, hand held to her cheek, eyes ablaze with anger.

"Cut the shit, Angelus." Faith said, her eyebrow quirking as she lifted a crossbow in his direction. His smile got wider as he looked down the shaft of the wooden arrow. "You know why I'm here?"

"To kill me, I imagine." Angelus said, eyes bored as he stared at her.

"And her." Faith motioned to Cordelia with a flick of her head, her free hand suddenly producing a second crossbow and pointing it directly at the demoness before her.

"Angelus...." Cordelia warned, her hazel eyes widening as the crossbow was leveled at her evenly.

"Don't worry Cordy. She's not going to kill us."

"Justine put you up to this?" Cordelia piped up, inching closer to the dark-haired Slayer, her lips pursed in thought.

"Fuck Justine. This is my fight."

"Oh really? You have some personal vendetta against the two of us?" Cordelia said, the corners of her crimson mouth curling up into a wicked grin.

"Yeah. I don't like bitches. Now wipe that fucking smirk off your face, demon, or I'm gonna rip it off and feed it to him." Faith hissed, her finger squeezing down on the crossbow trigger and lifting the bow a little higher.

"You wouldn't dare." Cordelia goaded her, the confident smirk taking over her face.

"Oh no?" Faith said, her finger squeezing down on the crossbow trigger. The first arrow launched itself across the room, burying into Angelus's shoulder and dropping him onto the bricks. Before the dark-haired demon could move, she shot the second bow and watched as Cordelia stood stock-still and flashed another smile in her direction.

For one moment the arrow continued its journey through the damp air before it suddenly stopped, hovered in the air before it was suddenly caught in a brilliant flash of light emitted from Cordelia's skin. The wooden shaft flew apart, splinters catching in Faith's skin and making her stumble backward.

Blinded by the harsh glare, Faith didn't see Angelus as he leapt on her, his fist connecting solidly with her face and his teeth sinking into her skin.



Setting---Ravina Boulevard 9:25 p.m.

So, this is Ravina Boulevard, but where the hell are we supposed to go?" Gunn piped up from beside Wesley on the seat of the car. Wesley glanced over at his companion and sighed, his bespectacled eyes roving the wide avenue for a moment.

"She mentioned numbers, didn't she? I'm sure she did..." He remarked, his mind searching back through the spattering of nonsense the Seer had babbled. It was getting harder and harder to understand what she was saying these days.

"She's Fred. She's always mentioning numbers." Gunn reminded him, rubbing a strong brown hand over his chin.

"Dammit. This is getting hard to do these days. If only Fred..."

"Leave it be, bro. We can't change what's happening to her so don't even wish it." Gunn told him, interrupting his thoughts before he could linger too long in the "should be's".

"Yeah." Wesley nodded and hopped out of the car, his sword jammed into his fist and his head heavy with useless thoughts. Gunn joined him as they walked quickly down the street.

Suddenly, Wesley stopped dead in his tracks and stared up at the building before him. Gunn stopped beside him and peered up at the large yellow sign.

"Under the eight...." Wesley muttered, his eyebrows furrowed as he stared up at the Super 8 motel sign.

" we have the how do we get under it...." Gunn said, jogging forward and surveying the perimeter with sharp eyes...

Wesley's brain went a mile a minute as he walked along behind Charles, his thoughts echoing with Fred's haunting voice. "6 plus 7 is 13.....13 minus 6 is 7......"

He stopped dead in his tracks and stared at the room numbers on the open-faced motel facade. His eyes quickly spotted room number 13 on the second floor, the second from the end. His gaze trailed below to room number 7, on the very end of the row on the first floor. "Somewhere between...."

"Wes?" Gunn called as the older man walked forward and stood in the spot between rooms 6 and 7, his gaze quickly going upward to room 13 above him.

"It's me find a way down...." Wesley said, his hands hitting the stucco side of the building and pressing firmly into the concrete below with his boots. Gunn followed suit and trailed his fingers over the wall. After a few minutes of searching desperately, his flat fingers suddenly found a tiny crease in the wall and he tugged as hard as he could.

A door swung open and Wesley looked down into a dark crack in the building. It was pitch black and narrow and seemed to lead downward.

" first."

Gunn snorted and motioned him forward. Wesley went, grumbling as he entered the tiny door and wondering what he'd find at the end of that long tunnel.

He had a feeling he wouldn't like it.


Setting---Under Ravina Boulevard 9:40 pm

Little red sparks of light danced across Faith's vision as Angelus sunk his teeth into her throat, tearing and ripping, sucking greedily.

"Mother fucker..." She grunted, twisting in his grip, his jagged fangs tearing an even deeper wound in her throat. A fist followed her twist and Angelus was caught in the eye; he stumbled, sprawled against the curved sewer wall.

Blood flowed freely down her neck, trickling between her breasts and turning her blue shirt a dark maroon. Fuck, this was bad. Blinking the pain away, she whirled, eyeing Cordelia, wondering why the demon wasn't attacking her yet.

She had her arms crossed over her chest, lips curled appraisingly. "What?" Faith snapped, unsure of this new animal. The Queen C she knew was vastly different from the cruel, unaffected creature before her. There was something primal beneath the cool facade, beneath the smile that rubbed at all of Faith's edges, making her want to arch her back and hiss like a cat.

What had happened to change her so much? Sure, Cordelia had always been a bitch...but this...

"Just thinking about how much you've changed." Cordelia replied, the smile still superior, knowing.

"Same goes for you. When did you lose your soul? The visions? Angel?" Faith spat, eyeing Angelus, who had leaned up from his sprawl against the wall, rubbing at his stubborn chin with a bloody hand. Black blood. Faith noticed it for the first time. Who had they killed and why?

Swiveling back to Cordelia, she saw the demon visibly wince. Sore spot? She didn't have time to ponder the moment because it was gone in a second, the cool mask back in place. "What about you? When did you join the good fight? And here I thought you were a bad girl, Faith."

"What do you know about me?"

"More than you'd guess, Faith. I know about that darkness in you; the one you're trying to fight. I could help you with it....purge it out....or make it scream and you along with it." As she spoke Cordelia's eyes blazed white, her fingertips lighting slightly.

Faith felt a tremble go through her. What did Cordelia mean? Make it scream? Could she do that?

Faith didn't know, but the urge to touch the demon was growing and she fought against her rebelling muscles, fighting the steps that were bringing her closer and closer to the demon.

From far away, she heard Angelus chuckle and she made no move to look at him, to guess his location and strike out. All she wanted was to accept whatever Cordelia had for her. Darkness or light...she didn't care. Either one was better than the war she was fighting within herself.

Just as she reached out a hand to touch the light-shrouded fingertips before her, something large and heavy slammed into her, knocking her onto the floor.

The wound on her neck ripped more, sending her spiraling away in a bruising agony of pain. As darkness crept up on her, she stared into a familiar pair of eyes and sank into the blue depths, welcoming the bliss they brought.

Chapter 5