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[personal profile] last01standing
Title- The Fallen
Rating- pg-13 (violence)
(other story info on chapter one)

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Three- Sacrifice
They finally climbed their way out of the crater when the night had begun to permanently settle in.

“Vampires?” Jesse asked with a smile although the notion was much more amusing in the daylight.

“Real,” Ms. Calendar replied.


“Definitely exists.”



“Uh. Leprechauns.”


“You’re kidding.”


They both flinched as headlights shone in their eyes. The car stopped and a man got out. “The hell are you doing out here?”

“We’re lost,” Jesse supplied. “Been walking all day.”

“There’s nothing but a whole lot of desert here,” the man said.

“There’s Sunnydale,” Jesse told him lifting his head in a sort of exhausted defiance.

“Yeah. The big old crater. Town collapsed around six months ago. For a while it was nearly as big a mystery as area 51. Space geeks from all around coming just to stare at the boring old hole in the ground. There was rumors ‘bout a government cover-up and people saying that the town had fled before it even happened. There were supposedly some people unaccounted for.”

Out of the corner of her eyes, Ms. Calendar saw Jesse mouthing ‘six months?’

“Don’t suppose you two need a ride. I was actually heading towards LA.”

“Sound great.”

“You and your son are welcome to ride in the back, I haven’t got much room in the front.” He stuck out a hand. “My name’s Ralph Jenkins by the way.”

“I’m Jenny, and this here’s Jesse. Thanks for the ride. The last thing we want is to be out here another day.”

Doyle nervously bounced on his toes in front of his old apartment, screwing up the courage it would take to go inside. The building of Angel Investigations was nothing more than a burnt out shell and Cordelia’s apartment had been empty.

His own apartment was the last hope. He’d left his key at work which in turn had blown up. He couldn’t help but think that that probably wasn’t the best omen.

Hands shaking on their own accord, he raised a fist to the door, and feeling rather absurd, he knocked twice.

A second later a tall skinny guy who looked to be only a little older than Doyle was looking at him. “Yeah.”

“You live here?”

“Yeah. Who’s asking?”

Doyle suddenly realized how he must look, disheveled, poorly dressed, and still kind of wet. “I knew someone who lived here.”

The guy rubbed his nose. “I’ve been living here for about four years. The previous tenant managed to wind up dead. Got a real great price on the place.”

“He’s dead,” Doyle echoed as a sort of numbness washed over him.

“Yeah. A girl and a guy came by, cleaned out his stuff years ago. He didn’t have too much,” he paused. “You OK?”

“I’ve been better.” Doyle managed a weak half smile. “Thanks man. You cleared a lot of things up.”

The guy nodded and gave him a smile that was obviously intended to be friendly, but in reality was kind of creepy and shut the door.

Doyle stood still for a moment staring at his old apartment door before turning slowly and starting his way back to the docks.

“Giles,” Buffy groaned into the phone. “Why are you calling. It’s like four in the morning.”
“I do apologize for disrupting your rest,” Giles floundered and Buffy was just awake enough to hear the old school librarian coming out in his speech.

She smiled sleepily. “It’s good to hear from you Giles.”

“We have trouble.”

“And now we’re back to the not so good.” She sighed, sitting up and pulling back the covers. “What’s the what? Do I have to slip back into apocalypse mode?”

“I’m going to ignore just how eager you sound.”

She grinned broadly. “Well, I did always hang around a lot of it.”

“Yesterday, I received word from Oz.”

“Oz. God I haven’t heard about him in like forever. How’s he doing?”

“He sounded to be a tad bit strung out.” She could almost hear him polishing his glasses. “He was also rather cryptic in his message. He said that something had started, or at least it was going to start in the near future. I didn’t exactally understand all it, but the just of it would be there is an apocolypse that is going to come to pass and it would be good to have back up.”

“That’s it. No ‘hey how’s it going.’” Buffy paused. “No wait, never mind, that’s just Oz.”

“I wouldn’t have put to much stock into what he was saying if I hadn’t also gotten a call from Willow,” Giles continued, “Kennedy had informed her that she seems to be without slayer strength. Willow spoke about a shift in the balance of the world and considering the magnitude of the spell she preformed, that’s to be expe…”

“Hold on Giles, “ Buffy interrupted frantically, “I’ve definitely still got my strength. What’s going on?”

“I’ve checked with the other watchers,” Giles said dejectedly. “They’ve all confirmed it. All the cases are similar. Taken alone, it would be conceivable that it was simply a malignant spell, but taken together…”

“It looks like it’s back to being the chosen one.”

“I’m afraid that seems to be the case.”

Buffy sighed, running a hand through her hair. “Okay, slipping into apocalypse mode here. Did Oz say where any of this is going down? I’m so not looking to head back to Sunnydale so please say they didn’t reactivate the hellmouth.”

“Los Angeles actually.”

“Even better,” sarcasm seeped unbidden into her voice.

“Buffy…” Giles ventured hesitantly, “I know you realize that you will have to be working with Angel and his team. If you feel uncomfortable, I’m sure we can manage without…”

“Giles,” Buffy interjected, “I’m going. Besides, it’ll be good to see the gang” She paused, “The gang is going to be there right?”

“Of course. Willow should arrive about an hour before my plane and Xander should arrive about the same time as me. Barring unforeseen circumstances, your plane should be arrive then as well. There are three tickets waiting for you at the terminal. One for yourself, one for Dawn and on for Andrew.”

“You’re the best.”

“Do be careful Buffy.”

She was already throwing clothes into a suitcase, slightly disgusted at just how eager she was to jump back into the action. “You taking the weaponry? Because you know they get a little tense about you bringing crossbows onto a plane.”

“It’s taken care of.”

“I don’t want to know how.”

“I’ll see you there Buffy. Have a nice trip.”

She hung up, and went over to her drawer looking for her favorite top. “Hey Dawnie!” she called and grinned at her sister’s groggy moan. “Pack up! We’re heading to LA.”

Jesse lurched uncomfortably as the speeding truck hit a pot hole in the road at sixty-five miles per hour. He tugged at his seatbelt vaguely remembering all of the horror movies they’d shown them in driver’s ed. To his right, Ms. Calendar looked equally uncomfortable. Neither had spoken since they’d gotten into Ralph’s truck. The truck hit another pothole and Jesse could feel the contents of his stomach churning. He had a sinking sensation settling into his stomach as for the first time he noticed his surroundings.

They were in the back seat of a two door pick-up truck, the windows were appallingly grimy and Jesse could only barely make out the moon. In the back, there were a few pieces of lumber. Everything looked innocent enough, but Jesse suddenly felt trapped.

“Where were you going?” he asked spontaneously.

“‘scuse me?”

“You were coming from the direction of LA when you picked us up,” he pressed, “and when you offered us a lift, you turned back to LA. Why?

“Was just going for a ride,” Ralph replied gamely.

Jesse could make out the bright lights of the city off in the distance, even through the grimy windshield. “There’s nothing out here. You said it yourself.”

Ralph’s tone had lost its humor, “You two were out there,” he spat tersely. “You should feel lucky I was in the neighborhood.”

“We do,” Ms. Calendar cut in sharply, shooting Jesse a warning glance. “We’re very much in your debt.”

The truck had slowed to a stop outside a gas station that had seen better decades.

“What are you doing?” Ms. Calendar pointed at the lights in the distance. “The city’s that way!”

“And there’s a bus stop about two miles down,” Ralph spat, turning off the car and starting to get out. “You all can walk.”

Jesse caught a view of empty scenery where a figure should have been, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion for a second before he dismissed it as a poor angle. Ms. Calendar wasn’t making any move to leave. He starting pushing at the side window.

Ralph had made his way over to the passenger’s side of the doorway, flipped down the seat and viciously grabbed Ms. Calendar, yanking her out by the hair, she screamed shrilly.

Trying not to concentrate on that, Jesse flipped the driver’s seat forward, the horn blaring harshly into the silent night.

“Get off me, you bastard.” He heard the unmistakable sound of a fist connecting with flesh. He had been beaten up enough as a kid to know that sound. He nearly fell out of the car as he opened the driver’s seat and stumbled out the door.

Not used to running into a fight, he looked around frantically for a way to get an edge, his eyes landed on the boards in the back of the truck. Not knowing what else to do, he grabbed a two by four, holding it awkwardly in both hands and beginning to creep around the truck as fast as he dared. His stomach was tying itself in knots. He could hear growling and struggling.

He emerged from behind the truck and swung the board at the back of Ralph’s head. He crumbled, dropping Ms. Calendar. Jesse, moved towards her, offering a hand to help her up. She looked at him, battered, bruised and bloody and her lips parted in a soundless warning.

The blow hit Jesse square between the shoulders and his legs fell out from under him, chest hitting the ground and knocking all of the air from his lungs. Ms. Calendar managed to choke a horse warning of, “Move.”

Jesse had the presence of mind to roll out of the way as Ralph’s fist crashed into the pavement directly to his right. He caught a glint of yellow eyes and his brain for just a second flashed back to the empty reflection of the mirror and suddenly made the connection.

He attempted to get to his feet, but a vicious kick sent him back down and then he was covered in a thin coat of dust. He gave a sputtering cough and looked up to see Ms. Calendar standing over him with the enormous two by four he’d picked up from the back of the truck. “That was like straight out of a horror movie.”

Ms. Calendar was bracing herself on the truck. “You’re appallingly resilient.”

“I think that’s the shock.” He confessed, standing up and squeezing his eyes shut until he felt the world stop spinning. “So what now? Do we stay here?”

Ms. Calendar examined the cars, and noted that the keys were still in the engine. “I say we make it to LA before sunrise.”

Cordelia wasn’t quite sure where she was walking, only that she’d know when she got there. She must have walked for miles today and she thanked whatever powers were up there for putting her in tennis shoes and not the trendy heels she normally wore.

The ocean was unnaturally rough tonight, as if all the world was in as much upheaval as she was. She had been staring at it absently, half wondering why nothing had attacked her yet.

Up ahead of her she saw a figure sitting and looking at something far away, she closed the distance and sat down next to him without really looking at him. “So, you a brooder by nature?”

He turned to look at her. “Cordelia?” his voice was incredibly familiar, an Irish accent thickening in surprise.

She turned to study him. “Oh God. Doyle!” She hugged him tightly, surprised that she hadn’t broken any bones. “You’re dead. Oh God Doyle. I missed you so much.”

“I thought you were dead too, Cordy,” he whispered thickly into her ear, “I went to the offices and it was gone. And there was no one living in your place. Dennis told me he didn’t know where you were. I couldn’t find Angel either. There was someone in my old apartment.”

Cordelia pulled away, tears brimming in her eyes. “Doyle you died more than two years ago.”

“According to the nice man in my apartment, it’s been closer to four years.”

Cordelia frowned deeply. “Something weird is going on. Like Sunnydale weird.”

“Me being alive for instance,” Doyle said miserably. “Things just don’t go well when dead people start walking around.” He frowned. “Unless said dead person is Angel.”

“Who we should go find,” Cordelia added, standing up. “He’s probably back at the office by now.”

“Find Angel,” Doyle echoed, voice distant. “Sure. Sounds like a plan. Where’s the new offices? You know the ones that aren’t a great gaping hole in the ground?”

“Follow me.”

Wesley stood uneasily in front of his boss. “Angel.”

Angel barely looked up from his desk where he was pouring over a large book. “Did you find anything?”

Wesley sighed and took out the papers. “Nothing definitive. But.”

Angel locked eyes with him. “So keep looking!”

Wesley coughed sharply, clearing his throat, feeling the almost unstoppable urge to begin polishing his glasses. “I think you better look at this Angel.”

“What is it?” Angel asked, taking the papers and scanning through them.

“Medical readouts.” Wesley sighed. “Cordelia’s medical readouts.”

“Yeah. And…”

“And according to these, Cordelia flat lined about ten seconds before she disappeared.” Wesley sat down across from Angel and watched as the vampire absorbed the blow.

“No.” He muttered distantly.

“You’ve got to face the facts sometime Angel,” Wesley said sternly. “Before she flat-lined, all of our readouts showed that she should have been up and about since she got here. But she wasn’t. And do you want to know why?” Angel was shaking his head. “Because her soul her life force has been gone since before she came back last year. Angel. Cordelia’s been dead for two years.” Wesley got up to leave. “I’m sorry to be the one break it to you, but we’ve got more important things going on here.”

“Wife says he was absolutely fine last night.” The nurse indicated a man strapped to the bed in the psychiatric ward. “No history of mental illness, not even in his near family.”
“And today he’s a raving lunatic.” The doctor filled in, looking at the patient’s chart. “I guess I’ll talk to him. Try and identify the trigger.” He pushed open the door.

Immediately nearly inarticulate mutterings invaded the still air. “Fingers everywhere, in my head. It’s all so dark.”

“Mr. Reylord, I’d like to talk to you.”

“Just the beginning. Starts and won’t stop. Won’t ever stop.” There was a glint of something in his hands.

“Mr. Reylord, what is in your hand?”

Reylord grinned broadly and flashed a knife. “Sacrifices make happen. This here’s the start of the end.” And with a single sudden violent motion, the knife had slashed through the doctor’s throat. “She says there must be sacrifice.” He smiled almost benignly as a horrified nurse opened the door, staring at him in open mouthed shock.


“I’m delivering a message.” He announced, perfectly lucid, “The end is coming. The blood will rain from the heavens.” Reylord raised the glimmering knife. “The heroes will fall and the world will be what it was.” A manical smile spanned his gaunt features. “Sacrifice starts it.”

The blade fell as the nurse screamed and a second later Lloyd Reylord was lying in a pool of his own blood.

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