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Lucky me (and hopefully you) - the muse has struck quickly - a new Buffy/Angel interlude between chapters 8 and 9 - The Game Is Afoot.

Cross posted to sickchicks and my regular journal

Hell Is In the Details – Interlude – The Game Is Afoot

Buffy toed off her shoes and threw herself face-first onto the luxurious bed in her borrowed room. God, she was exhausted. That dinner party had been a colossal bore. Her face hurt from holding onto a smile of the damned for literally hours on end.

‘Hello, I’m Buffy – nice to meet you,’

‘Yes, it’s true – I’m that Slayer,’

‘No, I certainly don’t miss guarding a Hellmouth.’

All night long, the same questions! Over and over and over again. And all night long, the same answers. She could have sent the Buffybot for all the sparkling wit or personal opinion she’d been allowed to exhibit.

And she’d been plastered to Angel’s side for the entire evening – paraded around like a show dog. It wouldn’t have surprised her if some of the guests had thought about prying her mouth open to look at her teeth. She’d practically had to ask permission to go pee!

If parties like this were going to be a staple of her new life with Angel, they were going to have to have a talk, and soon.

She remembered being introduced to some of the original Fang Gang – Gunn… and Fred, was it? Definite issues between Gunn and Angel. An undercurrent so thick you could have cut it with a dull butter knife. They’d stared and postured and waltzed around each other like prizefighters before a match.

At one point, it seemed as if Angel was sniffing at him like a dog! Buffy shuddered, delicately. No matter how much time had passed, that scenting thing was the one vampire sense that really, really creeped her out.

For the umpteenth time since she’d decided to make Angel part of her life again, Buffy pondered her choices. She missed the companionship of someone who knew her life from top to bottom. Someone who she didn’t have to explain things to, who knew what being the Slayer had done to her. Who knew her heartaches and her losses and would never inadvertently bring those subjects up to cause her pain.

Angel fit the bill, He knew almost everything that mattered about her. She’d loved him once, fully and without reservation. And he loved her. So why wasn’t she more enthused?

For a change, she wanted to talk. Needed to talk this all out with someone who wouldn’t judge her and find her wanting.

She needed Spike. It was so easy to picture in her mind’s eye and ear, the way the conversation would go:

Spike, my brain’s all muddly. I don’t know what to do about Angel.

~That ponce? Why are you bothering with him for?~

Be nice, you. I need someone in my life and since you’re no longer here, he’s the next best thing.

~Bloody hell, Slayer – who are you kidding? You don’t need anyone but yourself. And I’m always here for you, pet. All you have to do is open your heart.~

I wish there was some other way, Spike. I’m not as strong as you think.

~Yeah, well – he’s a right git, that one. Don’t let him push you around, luv. You’ve always been perfect for me. Loved your highs and your lows.~

You never judged me, even when you should have.

~Got no high point on which to stand, do I? Can’t help who you love – you just do.~

Buffy shivered and wrapped her arms protectively around herself. She wished she could just keep her eyes closed forever and listen to the sound of his voice.


Angel was thrilled. Walking into his suite, he quickly undressed and tossed his clothing into the hamper for the maid service to pick up in the morning. The smile he wore, however, he knew he wouldn’t be able to lose for a week.

Buffy had been just perfect tonight, dressed to the nines in a blood-red velvet gown with matching heels, making her at least four inches taller than her petite five feet two. Arm in arm they’d greeted his guests and employees. She’d been everything he could have hoped for – charming and sweet, winning over everyone she met.

He couldn’t remember a better night at Wolfram & Hart. Except for one little flaw… Gunn. Something was just… off about the man. Wary and ill at ease – hearkening back to the days when the street punk had first allowed his guard down enough to work with a vampire.

And his smell… something had pricked at Angel’s senses when he’d scented Gunn tonight. Something almost familial, with hints of terror and resignation. A heady aroma, but disconcerting. Was it possible he’d run into Dru?

The only other time he’d smelled quite that combination of aromas was… William! That was it. When William had first fledged, he’d been terrified. Angelus had taken full advantage of his situation to ‘teach’ William the finer points of submission and family pecking order – by beating and fucking the fear out of him until he’d come to expect and then crave the attention.

Angelus had relished destroying the last illusions of self-esteem the younger vampire had. Drusilla was a wonderful tool, and he’d used her to crack the thin veneer of importance and place William had wanted with his new ‘family.’ Tease and taunt, pretend to allow and then snatch it away at the last moment – that was the perfect way to break William down.

And the nights he’d taken his frustrations and pleasures out in William’s ass were the sweetest of all. He’d never been easy; always put up a fight before being beaten and overpowered. Plowing into that virgin hole for the first time was like being strangled by an iron fist in a velvet glove, and he’d made sure to ‘shake hands’ with the boy as often as possible.

Angel could feel his demon crowing even now over those delicious memories. In his own way, William had been as much a masterpiece of devastation as Drusilla ever was. But that was done – over with.

He shrugged the memories off like an old coat. Those days were gone, Spike was gone. Unimportant in the scheme of things.

Buffy was all that mattered now.

He’d grinned to himself. Oh yeah. He had some wonderful things planned for the pair of them…


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2004 11:22 am (UTC)
You? Make Angel terrifying. He's scaryier this way than when he's Angelus. 'Cause right now? He's thinking Angelus-y stuff, but is Angel. ::shiver::

And yeah, right now, I'm a little freaked by the vampire sense of smell too. Geesh.
Apr. 17th, 2004 11:32 am (UTC)
Yup - he's so much more integrated - less and less of Angelus/Angel and we can't ever think about the things he did. Now, all memories are accessible and thought of all too fondly.

Heh - off to see if Spike is any closer to the land of the wakeful. **smooches**
Apr. 17th, 2004 11:30 am (UTC)
Angel's creeping me out. Good job.
Apr. 17th, 2004 11:32 am (UTC)
Then I'm doing my job properly! Glad you're enjoying.
Apr. 17th, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
Love it! Want more, now! Hatin' Angel more and more, and for the first time in my Buffyverse history -- I may actually like Buffy.
Apr. 17th, 2004 02:29 pm (UTC)
**Wheeee** I made a convert. Sort of. Glad you're liking my Buffy - if you like her now, you're gonna want her babies soon enough. No matter what direction I take this fic in.
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:17 pm (UTC)
Hey, love the story, but there is no more baby having by this gal. Been there, done that, ain't gonna do that no more. But okay, Buffy and I may hang...that's more than those who know me would ever expect for me and Buffster...
Apr. 17th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC)
**snickers** okay - no babies... but I'll set up a movie nite or two. Seriously - you're gonna want some bonding time. (psst! Not having any more babies, myself)
Apr. 17th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC)
It's interesting how Angel's completely clueless about how Buffy felt at that party.Anybody else would have figured out that someone coming off a long flight would not be ready to meet a bunch of strangers, but no Angel. He didn't even twig to the fact that she was bored out of his mind .

Angel's getting even creepier than ever. He's not even bothering to hide the enjoyment of the pain he caused from himself anymore.

It's interesting how he's dismissed Spike so thoroughly that he shrugs off the scent he got off of Gunn. It should make the revenge that much sweeter.
Apr. 17th, 2004 09:59 pm (UTC)
This Angel does seem to be a little self-centered, doesn't he? And as for dismissing Spike... he figures he's taken care of the problem a year ago. We'll see how long he stays this cocky.
Apr. 18th, 2004 04:34 am (UTC)
Didn't get around to reading this before, and I'm a little sorry, and a little not, because now I could inhale it in one great gulp. Hot stuff! Angel is wonderfully creepy.
Apr. 18th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC)
Nice to see a new name amongst the familiar. Very happy to hear you're enjoying the fic. Hope you continue to do so! **looks pleadingly at muse!**
Apr. 18th, 2004 11:12 am (UTC)
Okay, I have to be honest. The first time I saw this, I read the first chapter but I didn't look for it again because I like for Spike to be happy. Not that I'm knocking anyone's tastes. It's my own emotional well being I was questioning. Then I think it was like the fourth chapter, I was bored and read that chapter. It was the one where poor Spike was getting...well, hurt. Then I had to look at the next chapter to see if he got free...yep, now I'm hooked.

Angel must die and soon. I so want Buffy to kick his butt for this.

And I have to tell you that I have never read anyone that writes Gunn and Lorne the way you do. I can hear their voices in my head when I read this. It's amazing. I am in awe because I know I could never do it.

So, with all that said. Make Spike better soon!!
May. 6th, 2004 06:41 pm (UTC)
Hello, cutie! Was cleaning out my email and realized I'd never answered you all the way back at chapter 6-7! **smacks self**

I am so glad you decided to read Hell... while it's darker than I usually go, it really wasn't all about the torture. As you undoubtedly know now... there's so much more involved. Real plot! So glad you're sticking with it. **smooches you**
Apr. 18th, 2004 05:15 pm (UTC)
I LOVE your conversation Buffy imagines between herself and Spike - it's perfect.

And I want her to hit Angel really, really hard!
May. 6th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC)
Hey, Sandy! I'm so glad you liked the imaginary convo between Buffy and Spike - I really enjoyed writing it - just closed my eyes and let them at it. Sometimes they do all the work for me. **grins**
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )