Running For Our Lives




Chapter 19: Heard and Not Seen

"Are we there yet?"

"For the last time; no.'re just as bad" Cordelia said, glancing down at the wrapped bundle on the floor, his dark orbs peaking out into the sunlight filled cab of the truck.

"Sorry. But I've got this feeling that we're running out of time. We've got to get to Wes soon." Angel said, fidgeting on the seat so much she could almost hear his muscles aching.

"Oh, so you're actually concerned with someone other than yourself, now?" She answered with a wry twist of her lips.

"I know I've been....obsessed with getting Connor back, but....I do care about you guys. You're my family. Even Wesley, as much as I'd like to rip his head off and feed him to a Hecklaar demon..."

"You were hurt when you thought he was dead." Cordy finished up for him, saying the thing she knew he couldn't bring himself to. She'd felt his anger and hurt all too well and had been infected with it herself. When they'd first started this quest for vengeance, all she'd been able to think about was getting the Slayer and making her pay. But now that they knew more and after Faith's phone call, things were more complicated.

And she still had a million questions. Not to mention her overwhelming feeling that feeding Wes to a Hecklaar demon might be fun to watch. Just a little bit.

"Yeah. I was. But that still doesn't mean I'm not seriously pissed at him. I'm not -quite- ready to forgive him for what he did." Angel said, voice muffled by the blanket.

"He understands that." They went silent for a moment as Cordelia watched the sun go down. As soon as the last ray slipped below the horizon, she tapped Angel on the top of the head and he promptly threw the blanket off.

"We're here." She said, turning off of 40 and heading into the rest stop parking lot. The only other car in the lot was a dusty Chevy Malibu and she pulled up next to it.

"What the fuck?" Angel breathed next to her, eyes blazing as he looked across her down into the Malibu. Her mouth dropped open and she found she was speechless.


Wesley woke with a warm strip of sunlight across his shoulder, dried blood itching on his cheek and the weight of something crushed into his arms. He opened one crusty eye and stared down into the pale face resting against his chest, her mouth parted artfully as she slept in the too warm car. He couldn't help but smile, one eye on the setting sun. It'd be night in a few minutes.

Brushing a weary thumb against her cheek, he wondered when his world had turned so completely wrong, yet so completely right. It was mind-boggling and yet, he couldn't even begin to imagine what he'd do without her. She was his rock now; the one he'd needed for so long to give him a swift kick in the ass and tell him to stop being such a prat.

Driving back to Los Angeles the night before he'd told her to shut up while he talked. He had needed to tell her something that had been painful to him and he didn't want her to interrupt, or he'd lose the courage to say it, but it was something that needed to be said. He'd told her about Billy and that long-buried hatred he had in him, well all men had in them. When he was done, she'd turned sober eyes to him and shrugged.

"And? It wasn't your fault you were born with a dick. You think there isn't a female Billy walking around infecting women and hating men? I knew plenty of bitches like that in the pen. Of course, most of them had a reason. Don't sweat it." She'd told him, leaning her head back against the seat, fingers clenched around his. He tried to talk to her more, but she wouldn't hear anything else he had to say on the subject. So he dropped the subject and turned to other things not said.

When he'd pressed her about prison; she'd gotten really quiet and stares off into space, like the recent memory was too painful for her deal with. It had hurt him to see that dark, throbbing pain in her eyes as she thought. He kissed the top of her head and pulled her that much closer to him.
"Mmmrpph.." She suddenly muttered, shaking her head and her eyes flitted open, then slammed shut a second later. "Too fucking bright..."

"The sun is down. It's just the parking lot lights."

"No shit." She asked, shaking her head and leaning away from him, the shirt sticking to his skin from where she'd lain on him all day. She righted herself and flipped the visor down, squinting into the mirror at her bleary eyes.

He was silent for a moment as he stared at her, blue eyes far away. "Was it bad?"



"Oh. Yeah it was." Faith said, that shadow crossing back over her face and the spark in her eyes dimming. "And I'm probably going back as soon as Asshole Rob finds out I'm back. I violated my parole, ya know."

"Yes, I know. I...I was thinking about that. There must be something I could do..." His voice trailed off and he rubbed his stubbled chin with one long finger.

"Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal." Faith said, lip trembling and hope springing in her eyes; it was odd how easily he could read her now, when he couldn't before.

"Yes it is. And....I don't want you to go back. I want you...out." He shifted on the seat and wiped sweat away from his neck with the palm of his hand. She turned to him and smiled, the hurt dimming and the spark of fire coming back to her eyes.

"I do's all about destiny. And I have a feeling a murdering bitch like me is destined to be locked away. Just the way it is." She shrugged, the smile making light of her words. He saw the movement of something large and rusty out of the corner of his eye, but he ignored it and reached for her.

"I don't believe that." He said simply, taking her hand in his own and pulling her toward him. Her lips grazed his and he kissed her deeply, hands pushing back into the pile of sweaty hair tangled at her neck. He pulled away a moment later and smiled into her eyes. "You won't go back. I won't let you."

"I know you won't." She said softly, reaching for him again. She nipped his lower lip and then a devilish smile crossed her lips. "Hi."

Wesley followed her line of sight and blanched as Angel and Cordelia stared at them from Gunn's truck. Cordelia's mouth was open wide, her hazel eyes bulging at the scene before her. Angel was staring at him, looking straight at him for the first time in a month. Wesley almost wished he wouldn't, when he saw the rage in his dark orbs.

"Hello." He choked out, keeping his hold on the Slayer and his mouth turning into a grim smile. Cordelia opened her mouth to speak, but then a piercing shriek cut the air and something red and massive slammed down on the roof of the Malibu, crushing in the roof.


The back of his head throbbed and he felt dried blood crackle on his neck as he moved. Tightly wound chains encircled his wrists and bit into his flesh. Gunn cursed a blue streak under his breath and stared into the darkness of the hotel lobby.

He heard a moan and knew it was Lorne, even though he couldn't see him. "Lorne?"

You're awake!" Came the demon's pain-filled reply from just behind him.

"Yeah. Where's Fred?"

"Over here!
Charles, I was so worried!" Fred's anxious voice came from the shadows near the front desk and he squinted to make her out through the fog in his brain.

"Baby, are you okay?" Gunn asked, trying to shift position and finding that the chains were wrapped all the way around his body, binding him to the floor like a roped calf.

"I'm fine. There's something in here...." She answered, her voice trembling as she looked around for that something, the chains binding her biting into the soft, white flesh on her arms.

"And whatever she is, she's mightily pissed, amigo." Lorne said, chains rattling as the green demon shifted on the floor.

"What does she want?" Gunn asked, trying to break the chains about his wrists, but he didn't even budge them. A grunt escaped his lips and he lay back down on the floor.

"I don't know. All I got was the word prize when I read her." Lorne answered, red eyes shining in the darkness.

"Fred? What did Angel say those demons following Wes looked like?" A moment of silence as the girl's mind whirred into action and then she answered him in a matter-of-fact tone.

"That they all had tattoos on their faces of crescent moons and they were females. Lorne, did you see a tattoo?"

"I didn't get a look at her, just felt her aura for a second before she slammed it shut on me. Whatever she is, she's powerful." Lorne answered in an apologetic tone.

"Yes I am." A child-like voice rang through the lobby, echoing off the walls and chiming in their ears. Fred wished she could have moved her hands to block the sound from her ears, but she suffered on the floor.

"Who the hell are you?" Gunn asked, searching through the lobby and finding nothing but a darker shape amongst the shadows.

A spine-tingling giggle sounded from the corner and bounced off the walls. "'ll see."

Lorne reached for the demon's aura once more, but a blast of something cold and hard slammed into his mind. He moaned and lost his grip on consciousness.

"Told him to wait." The petulant voice of a child said from the shadows and then that cold hardness slammed into Gunn's mind. He heard Fred moan at the same time and knew she was getting hit with it too.

"Angel...." Gunn moaned before he slipped into darkness once more.

Chapter 20