Chapter 22: One to Go
"Did you get ahold of them?" Angel asked her
as soon as they were down the hallway from the emergency room Faith and
Wesley were in.
"No. You don't think something is wrong do you?"
Cordelia said, chewing on her lower lip and slipping her arm
through his. Despite his worry, he felt a smile tug his mouth at her
"Maybe. We should get Faith and Wesley and go
check it out. If something---" He stopped as
Cordelia's grip on his arm tightened,
her posture rigid. "Cordy?"
"Vision!" She forced through gritted teeth, her
eyes wide as images flashed across her mind's eye. "Oh God...."
"What?" Angel pressed her, glancing around the hallway and making sure no
one noticed them. Her lip trembled for a second before she snapped back to
"Wes!" Cordy breathed, snatching her arm out
of his hand and tearing off down the hallway. Angel followed a second
later, crashing back into the room amidst a flurry of red skin and glass.
"They're coming!" The cold voice said, full of
icicles and frostbite. Gunn shivered, wishing he was still unconscious so
he couldn't hear the unnaturalness of a child trapped in a demon's body.
"They're coming and we're going to play!"
"Hope you like to play war cuz I got a feeling
you're going to get one when they get here." Gunn said, his burning eyes
glaring into the shadows, his head aching.
"Shh. You're being mean again!"
"Damn straight I am!" He growled, moving in his chains and hearing them
clink against the floor.
"Charles, don't!" Fred pleaded with him, eyes round as she squirmed on the
floor. Lorne moaned, still unconscious after having been hit with more
than one blast of the demon's special brand of cold energy. Obviously she
didn't want to be read.
"Yes. Don't or I'll make you scream like Orin. Painful screams and they
won't be fun."
"Whatever." Gunn muttered, his very nature as a
man of action rubbed raw by the chains about his body. If he could have
gotten up, the demon would have something fear, but as it was, he was
stuck and there was no use trying to get himself
knocked out again. Not when Fred and Lorne still needed him. "How close
"Close. Shh....wait and you'll see. And then
I'll get the prize and you'll all be dead!"
Gunn shivered again and prayed that Angel and
Cordelia were really coming. And soon.
Faith slid down the wall, her hands flung over her face to protect herself
from the flying glass. She blinked, clearing the haze from her vision and
saw Orin rearing over her, bloody and terrible. Her glittering eyes glared
down at her and Faith felt a creeping fear snake its way up her spine.
Beside her, Wesley moaned and blinked, his eyes
going wide as he saw what was above him. Orin reared again, her claws
swooping down to strike at him, but something small got in the way.
Instead of goring Wesley, the demon knocked Cordelia
out of the way, the Seer flying and hitting the wall before she knew what
Angel followed right behind her and punched the demon's hard beak with his
fist. Orin screeched loudly and threw out a wing to dislodge the vampire
from her side. Angel dodged the wing and dived for
The Seer sat up and shouted, "We have to go! Now!"
Angel nodded and dived back toward the demon, distracting her with another
well-placed blow to her middle, his fingers digging slightly in the sword
wounds. Orin reared again and screeched, the ceiling trembling with the
Faith grabbed for Wesley and helped him up, seeing the blood flowing from
between the stitch on his chin and feeling anger at herself and the demon
behind her. Cordelia rushed past her and she
pushed Wesley toward the half-demon.
"Go! We're right behind you!" Faith shouted and then turned, her booted
heel finding the demon's middle just as Angel ducked another blow. Orin
turned on her, eyes wide as the prize engaged her. A hawkish smile
wreathed her horrible features as she opened her beak and lowered it to
the Slayer's head.
Her descent was stopped by a fist to her eye, the retina giving as the
thumb proved stronger than the gelatinous orb. The golden eye popped like
a grape and oozed out past Angel's fist. Orin screamed,
her voice filled with mind-numbing pain.
"Come on!" Angel said, grabbing for Faith as he ran toward the door. She
resisted and motioned to the screaming demon. "We can't fight her here.
A beat and then she was running with him, out of the hospital and down
into the parking lot. Cordelia, behind the
wheel of Gunn's truck, shouted at them to get in and they hopped into the
bed of the truck. They tore out of the parking lot and swerved onto the
street in front of the hospital just as Orin burst out of the hole she had
made in the side of the building. Her wings caught the air and she soared
over them, smelling the Slayer's scent on the wind and speeding in their
"Angel? You got anything I can use to throw at that bitch?" Faith asked,
searching through the hidden stockpile of weapons in the back of the
truck. He nodded and handed her a heavy crossbow with barbed arrowheads
made of steel. "Nice...."
Angel held her steady as she lifted the crossbow, her eyes squinting in
the darkness as she tried to make out the red shape in the sky. Orin
screeched again and she targeted the bleeding demon by sound. Her Slayer
instincts took over and she moved in slow motion, aiming and pulling the
trigger with deadly accuracy.
A second later, she heard a screech as the bolt found a home in the
demon's chest. Orin dropped lower in the sky, but still didn't crash to
earth. Faith aimed again and fired another shot. It hit her in the leg,
blood raining down on them from the wounds. Another shot was fired, but it
went wide of the mark as Orin dodged it, her one good eye seeing the glint
of metal in the sky in time. Two more shots missed too and Faith,
disgusted, threw the crossbow down.
Suddenly, the truck stopped and she looked up at the huge white building
before her. "Faith!" Wesley screamed, running
around the side of the truck and gesturing her to follow them. She did,
hopping out of the back of the truck and pounding hard on his trail.
Orin saw the Slayer running into the building and swooped, her wings
folded as she dived behind her. The Slayer cleared the door just as the
demon tumbled inside behind her, limbs flailing as she skidded on the
marble floor and crashed into the gray sofa in the middle of the floor.
Angel skidded to a halt beside the weapon's cabinet and pulled out an ax,
tossing it to Faith and taking out his favorite broadsword. He turned back
to the flailing demon and descended on her.
gasped, lone eye rolling in its socket as she tried and failed to get up.
Cordelia and Wesley, swords in hand, came up
behind Faith and Angel, lips curled in disdain.
"So, who gets the honors?" Cordelia asked,
smirking at the bleeding demon.
"Me." Faith said, lifting her ax, a bloodthirsty smile on her lips.
"Ssshe's here!" Orin hissed,
her head jerking back to stare at the recesses of the lobby, breath
rasping in her chest.
Faith exchanged an odd glance with Angel and he shrugged. A beat, a
swinging, deadly arch and Orin's head came away from her shoulders,
dropping onto the floor in a pool of dark brown blood. Faith threw the ax
down and stared at the great red body on the floor before her.
"Well, four down." Wesley said, grabbing ahold
of Faith's hand from behind, suddenly feeling a desperate need to touch
her and reassure her that everything was alright. She squeezed his fingers
and tore her eyes away from the dead sister. Suddenly, something tickled
the edges of her senses and Faith wheeled to the shadows near the back of
"One to go." A child-like voice said as a mad
giggle escaped her lips. Faith felt a chill creep up her spine, her heart
freezing in her chest as she looked at the fifth and last sister.