Running For Our Lives




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 contact.

"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 reality.

"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 are they?"

"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 hit her.

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 Cordelia.

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 noise.

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. Let's go!"

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 direction.

"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.

"Sssslayer!" Orin 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 the lobby.

"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.

Chapter 23