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

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Ten- Chains

Jesse was going to die. He had realized it with perfect clarity the second the Master had entered the room. Until that moment he hadn’t quite figured it out, but the second he saw the deathly white face with contorted features and the permanently bloodstained lips, he knew. He was going to die.

Funny thing is, even knowing that he’d died before, he’d had the notion in his head that he was invincible. He was sixteen. Sixteen year olds don’t die while being tortured by some sadistic villain bent on world destruction. They died in car accidents, they died from alcohol binges. They weren’t murdered.

Except for him.

The longer he was in the presence of the Master the more clearly he remembered. He could almost feel the blood draining from his throat.

He’d died before and he was going to die again.

It was a concept of mortality that no sixteen year old should ever have.

The Master examined his long finger nails and paced in front of him. “You’re stronger then I suspected. I thought you were nothing before, but I underestimated you.”

Jesse couldn’t seem to move, but every inch of him seemed like it was on fire. The Master ran a cold finger down his cheek and Jesse shivered, feeling chilled to the core.

“You could have been a great vampire.” His long fingers curled as he let go of Jesse’s face. “It’s a pity.”

“Get it over with,” Jesse dared. “Kill me.”

The smile that spread across the ancient vampire’s face was the scariest thing Jesse had ever seen. “But the fun’s only just beginning. You’re mine, Jesse.”

Something cold and sharp plunged into his side and a scream tore through the still air.

Sitting outside the closed door, Eve smiled in satisfaction.


Something was chasing him. Doyle wasn’t aware of anything else. He was running and something was chasing. After that instinct had taken over. Say what you would about his actual fighting ability, Doyle knew the streets. He knew every back alley and street corner and he was good at avoiding tails. He had to be. It was what kept him alive.

He couldn’t get the picture of Angel doubled up on the street out of his head. His frantic words would echo in head for a long time. And even though Angel clearly wanted him far away, he knew he was unconsciously doubling back trying to get back to him.

But in the distant reaches of his mind, he was starting to understand.

His immediate conscious refused to accept the idea.

He rounded a corner, seeing the ruined remains of the old Angel Investigations whiz by on his right. On autopilot, he turned left sharply, darting down a familiar alley.

There was a brick wall where an old chain linked fence had used to be.

Wrong alley.

But he knew it couldn’t have been the wrong one, he’d used this short cut hundreds of times.

A voice in his head whispered, ‘four years.’

He cursed himself. He’d been dead for four years and the city had gone and changed on him.

A dark shadow swept across the alley and Doyle turned around slowly, dreading the inevitable.

But it was only Angel that stood in front of him, smiling, his leather jacket flaring out behind him. Ridiculously, the picture of ‘the Dark Avenger’ came to his mind.

“Angel,” Doyle had to fight to keep his voice from quaking. His hands quaked uncontrollably.

Angel didn’t answer, he just stood there grinning like a maniac. Angel never smiled like that. Ever.

Doyle felt his insides turn to ice as Angel’s brown eyes changed, became golden. “Angel man this isn’t you.”

Shadows played across his face, light and dark, light and dark.

“Angel,” he scoffed, “Angel’s a mask they force me into. A way to control me. Subdue me.” He laughed and for the first time in his life, Doyle was genuinely afraid of his friend. “Angel doesn’t really exist. It’s only ever been me.”

Doyle stumbled backwards. “Is that what you tell yerself?”

He’s not Angel. He’s not Angel. He had to believe that.

“Even night, your friend, Angel,” said the vampire slowly, relishing every word, “used to dream about killing you.”

Doyle froze.

“You didn’t know that did you? You didn’t know about how he wanted to snap your little half-breed neck.”

“Wouldn’t help,” Doyle choked. “And Angel would never…”

“You don’t know the first thing about me.” Angel took a step forward, eyes glowing with a demonic light. “I’ve always wondered how half demons tasted.”

Doyle had the vague notion that the only way he would survive this was to get him talking and keep him talking. He wondered how long it was until dawn, an hour? Two? He always lost track. He no longer had any watches to wear.

He hoped Jesse was still alive. He hoped the others wouldn’t find two dead bodies in the morning.

“And Angel felt so guilty when you died,” his voice was positively gleeful, “and I could start to break in little by little. It took years, but by the time he took over Wolfram and Hart I was in just as much control as he was. Angel was starting to give up.”

“Angel’s a hero,” Doyle said with confidence.

“Angel,” he sneered, “even the Powers That Be gave up on Angel. He’s a lost cause.”

Doyle didn't want to believe it, but he knew that there was at a least a grain of truth there. He’d seen the flickers of darkness in Angel’s eyes, when he talked about Connor, when he looked at him or Cordelia…

“In the end I’m always going to be the one on top.”

Doyle suddenly realized he had surprise on his side. He could slip into his demon form, take a quick hit at him and go…

Go where? He wasn’t a human. The invite rule didn’t apply to him, not that it mattered. He didn’t have a real home anymore.

He tensed, preparing to try anyway.

Angel looked at him coolly, reading his thoughts. “Don’t even think about it.”

Ignoring him, Doyle slipped smoothly into demon form and launched himself at the vampire.

Angel easily deflected his first blow and Doyle only barely managed to dodge the retaliation. He dropped to his knees, attempting to kick Angel’s legs out from under him. Angel easily jumped over him, delivering a hard kick to his head. Doyle reeled backwards, his face morphing back to human in shock.

Angel approached him and pulled him up by the collar. “You don’t get it do you,” Angel hissed, “I’m in charge here.”

“Angel,” Doyle pleaded.

“Name’s Angelus.” He threw Doyle into the wall.

Doyle tried to push himself up, but his legs gave out. Angelus advanced slowly, relishing every moment.

“Freeze!”a voice came from the alleyway.

Doyle lifted his head a fraction of an inch to see that help had arrived.

Oz and Willow stood in the mouth of the alley. Willow with her mouth hanging open slightly and Oz with his face blank and a cross bow in his hand.

Angelus snorted. “This, this is the Calvary. The wolf and the witch.”

Oz’s trigger finger tensed.

Angelus shook his head. “I’ll catch you later.” He jumped up onto the top of the building as the bolt from Oz’s crossbow shot through the air right where he had been standing.

Angelus’s laughter trailed down to them. “This is going to be fun.”

And then he was gone

Doyle pushed himself up to his knees as Willow and Oz rushed over to help, supporting him on either side.

“What happened?”

“I dunno.” Doyle choked, voice slurring. “We were jus’ talkin’ and he tol’ me to run an’.” He looked at Oz. “That wasn’t him.”

“We’ve got to get back to the hotel,” Willow said, frantically. “Tell Giles. Find Buffy.”

“That wasn’t him,” but Doyle’s voice cracked because he knew it really was.


“Gotta admit kid, I’m impressed.” Glory paced the room, studying Jesse with uncanny intensity. “I’ve never seen anyone last this long before.” She studied a perfectly manicured hand. “No one human at least.” She walked towards Jesse who hung limp in the chains, a trail of red running down his chin. “She wants to know what your purpose is. Apparently you’ve got some sort of destiny. Now I’d rather just kill ya.” She grabbed Jesse by the head and turned it sideways so that a bite mark was clearly visible on his pale neck. “But I think the vampire’s got dibs.” She gave him a feral grin. “Not that that matters much to me.”

Jesse coughed violently, more blood spewing out from his mouth. He head lolling listlessly against his chest.

Glory tilted his chin up so she could look him in the eyes. “Listen Jesse boy, why don’t you just make it easy on the both of us. Tell me what I need to know and I can put you out of your misery and get on with something that matters.”

Jesse looked at her with dull unfocused eyes. “I don’t know…” Tears started slipping down his cheeks and he was too tired and hurt to care. “I don’t know anything,” he hiccupped. “I never asked for this. I never asked to be here.” The tears wouldn’t stop. “I don’t know anything. I’ve never known anything about this.”

Glory’s expression changed, softened almost and then there was someone else standing in her place. Jesse stopped talking abruptly, tears drying on his bloodied cheeks. There was a man standing in front of him wearing a tight fitting red dress.

For some reason the sight of the man made Jesse lose the last bit of control he had and sent him dissolving into fits of hysterical laughter.

Disoriented Ben looked around, eyes widening for just a split second, reaching towards Jesse as if to help, but a second later, Glory was back in control.

Glory put a hand on her head to steady herself. “Stay put already Ben.”

Jesse lifted his head, laughter fading along with the memory of the man, of the change. “What just…”

A sharp uppercut sent him spiraling into the darkness


Fred hovered over her computer, reading the results of the medical examinations for what seemed like the hundredth time.

She nearly jumped out of her skin. “Cordelia!”

Cordelia smiled at her and Fred had to keep reminding herself that Cordelia wasn’t merely a ghost. That she was back.

Maybe things are starting to right themselves.

“So what did you want?” Cordelia asked, looking around the lab. “No offense, but I’m not looking to hang around Wolfram and Hart more than I have to.”

“Oh! Yeah.” Fred rolled up the sleeves of her lab coat. “It’s really great to have you back Cordy. I feel like we should go see a movie or something, but with the apocalypse and all…”


“Right,” Fred said without missing a beat. “There were some anomalies in your blood work.” She pulled two packets of paper from the stack. “You said that Skip made you a half-demon so that you could handle the visions?”

“Yeah,” Cordelia said distantly, “it was either that or have my skull blown out.”

“Well,” Fred sputtered, taking one packet and pointing to a complex series of readouts, “these are Doyle’s results.” She glance up. “Doyle’s a half demon, right? Brachen?”

“Right,” Cordelia confirmed.

“You can tell that he’s part demon because it comes out in his genetics here.” She indicated the spot. “But your readouts are far more similar to Jesse or Alonna’s.”


“You’re not part demon,” Fred said slowly, “at least not as far as I can tell.”

Cordelia froze. “Something’s wrong then.”

“But it’s here,” Fred said, “plain as day, human with no real magical ability, but here’s the interesting part.” She flipped to a different page. “Sometime before you died, you were given a massive dose of what seems to be pure power. Pretty heavy stuff. Didn’t do.. well anything to your genetics.” Fred looked up, completely unaware of the effect her speech was having on Cordelia. “In order for that, you would have had to have been a vampire or a werewolf. There’s no other way for you to just become part demon.”

The color had rapidly drained from Cordelia’s face and when she finally found her voice, it was shaking, “Then what did Skip do to me?”

Fred scrunched up her nose. “Best I can tell. He gave you the power whammy so he could control you a little and when the time was right…”

“Kill me,” Cordelia finished, face falling.

“I think so,” Fred said softly. “I’m sorry, Cordy.”

“Oh, that son of a bitch is going to pay.”

“He already has,” Fred added, not sure if this would comfort Cordelia or make her madder. “Angel killed him.”

“Figures,” Cordelia muttered. “Mr. Hero.”

There was a knock on the door and Lorne’s green head leaned it. “Ladies, am I interrupting anything.”

Fred glanced at Cordelia for a split second before saying, “Nothing that can’t wait.”

Lorne entered the room and Fred couldn’t help but notice that he was carrying a full bag over his shoulder.

“You going somewhere?” Cordelia asked.

“‘Fraid so sweetcheeks,” Lorne said with a sad smile. “As much fun as it is hanging out with you hero types, I’m not looking for an apocalypse, and from what I saw in that Anya’s head, this is worse than most of them.” He laughed dryly. “Besides Madonna’s got a gig in Malibu and I’ve been a invited for the ride.” His falsely merry tones became regretful, “I’m just not cut out for this stuff anymore. I just wanted to say goodbye to my favorite girls.” He hugged them each in turn. “Say so long to everyone.”

And he walked out the door without a second glance.


There were some things that only alcohol could help. Your best friend turning into a murderous psychopath in front of you was definitely one of them. Doyle had been sitting on the same barstool for at least an hour. It was one of those silent bars, where people sat alone to waste away in their sorrows. Only the occasional murmur of ‘keep ‘em coming’ was heard.
Someone slid into the seat next to him and ordered a shot of whiskey.

Doyle froze, recognizing the voice. He turned his head very slowly to his right and caught the barest glimpse of platinum blonde hair….

To his horror, Spike glanced over at him, lifted up a glass and mumbled, “Cheers mate.”

At this point he was sure his life could not get any worse.

Not knowing what else to do, Doyle raised his own glass and said, “Cheers.”

The glasses clanked and Spike downed his in one swallow before ordering a second shot almost immediately. He then turned to Doyle. “Do I know you from somewhere?”

“He is still alive I think. In one piece was never part of the deal.”

Doyle swallowed. “Couldn’t say.”

Spike kept staring at him, finally saying, “You’re the Mick. You worked for Angel way back when.”

Doyle didn’t meet his eyes. “You know Angel?”


Angelus paused and looked to either side of the dark alley. He tilted his head up slightly. “Okay I’m had enough of this shadowing crap. Come out and say hello.”
“You’re good,”a female voice answered him.

Angelus didn’t turn around. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you.”

Eve smiled charmingly. “I have a proposition for you.”

Angelusspun around, slowly, menacingly. “You. You’re that liaison for the senior partners.”

“Eve, at your service.”

Angelus regarded her coolly. “And why am I here listening to you?”

“Because we set you free.” Eve’s blue eyes glinted. “And we could turn you back just as fast,” she paused. “We have a job for you.”

Angelus’s eyes narrowed, but Eve kept right on smiling. “What could you possibly need me for?”

Eve’s smiled stretched even wider. “We’re going to destroy the world.”


“This is stupid,” Anya groused. “He’s probably dead already. I don’t see why we’re even bothering.”
“Ahn,” Xander chastised, “don’t talk like that.”

“It’s not like he has much of a chance if Glory took him,” Anya said brashly. “Besides he’s dead already. Died years ago and that’s how its supposed to be. I don’t like dead people wondering around. Way too close to zombies.”

“Anya. Whatever brought Jesse back brought you back too.” Xander scanned the unfamiliar streets. “I hate to say this, but I wish we were back in Sunnydale. At least I knew that town.”

His eyes flickered to the alley on his side and he saw…

“…isn’t that Angel?” Anya asked curiously. “Let’s see if he’s found something.”

Xander clapped a hand over Anya’s mouth and pulled her out of sight, his brain on overload. Angel had been talking to a female someone, he’d only seen her back…

The female’s voice floated to his ears. “…we set you free, and we could turn you back just as fast. We have a job for you.”

Anya stopped fighting his grip and he removed his hand. “What could you possibly need me for?”

“Where’s Doyle?” Anya whispered, breathing raggedly.

“We’re going to destroy the world.” He could hear the smile in the voice’s words.

“Where do we start?” Xander had heard that sort of malice in Angel’s voice before, but the last time had been years ago. He froze in realization.

This wasn’t Angel.

“Follow me.”

Xander pulled Anya down and back out of sight as two shadows crossed in front of them.

“We’ve got to follow them.” Xander hissed into Anya’s ear.

“What! Are you insane?”

“Sun’s going to rise soon,” Xander explained. “If we know where he is, we’ll have half a chance.”


“S’not like I knew what I was getting’ into.” Spike had become more and more garrulous as he drank. “They shove a soul at me an’ the next thing I know, I’ve got this uncontrollable urge to play the hero. And that only earns me a month long stint as bloody Casper. Now I’m got some wanker telling me I’ve got a destiny.”

Doyle nodded sympathetically, only vaguely aware that he was sitting here having drinks with one of his (former?) mortal enemies.

“What’s worse is he says he’s got these visions things tha’ show him people that need help and I have to save them.”

“Visions,” Doyle repeated distantly, “of people that need help?”

Spike didn’t seem to have heard him. “Doesn’t anyone just get to die and call it quits?”

“In my experience, no,” Doyle said. “Once the powers get their hooks into you…”

“And the worst of it is I want to help. I keep waiting for Doyle to show up so I can…”

“Hold on,” Doyle interrupted, fingering his glass. “Doyle?”


Blood dripped from Jesse’s slightly open mouth and he swayed a little in his chains, surveying the room with half open eyes. It was still dark outside and prayed that this whole thing was just a nightmare, even though he was sure that he was awake.

They’d find him. They had to.

The heavy door creaked open and Jesse tried to focus on his latest visitor. Tall, dark coat, dark brown hair.

Sweet warm relief washed over him. “Angel!” He croaked, blood dripping onto his chin.

Angel approached him slowly.

“You’ve got to get me out of these chains,” Jesse said frantically, fighting to keep from passing out again. “They’ll be back soon.”

Angel didn’t move.

“Come on man!” Jesse protested, the relief quickly fading as he realized that something was seriously wrong.“They’ll be back soon!”

There was a mild crunching noise as Angel’s features changed into its vampyric mask.

Jesse looked like he could have started crying. “Oh God.”

And a cold smile crept slowly across Angel’s face.

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