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

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Eleven- Lines

Anya wobbled on top of Xander’s shoulders. “Hold still already.”

Xander winced as Anya shifted her weight, making one of his shoulders pop in the process. I’m not exactly on stable ground here.”

He was standing on top of a dumpster in the middle of some abandoned alleyway, attempting to get a look into the second story window.

“Alright,” Anya said suddenly, “I’ve got it!”

Instinctively Xander jerked his head upwards and the sudden motion nearly sent Anya falling.

“Stop moving!” Anya hissed.

“Sorry,” Xander muttered. “What do you see?”

“Angel’s there,” Anya reported, “and so is someone else.” She stood on her toes, crunching Xander’s back in the process. “They’re chained up.”

“Who is it?” Xander asked, his voice quaking as his stomach clenched uncomfortably. “Can you see?”

His legs collapsed underneath him and Anya swayed almost comically before crashing down on top of him.

Anya pushed herself up, brushed herself off and slid down off the edge of the dumpster. “That was uncalled for.”

“Well, I didn’t do it on purpose.” Xander retorted angrily, before almost immediately refocusing. “Did you see who it was?”

Anya didn’t quite meet his eyes and Xander’s suspicions were confirmed.

He never asked for any of this, Xander thought bitterly, just wakes up in a ghost town and is plunged into this.

“Jesse,” he said aloud and he didn’t even need to see Anya’s nod of confirmation to know it was true.

A white faced Willow entered the Hyperion followed closely by a carefully stone-faced Oz. “We need to do something,” Willow babbled, “I don’t know. The spell? How did it happen? Oh God. We need to find Giles. Or Buffy!”

“What about me?” Buffy asked flippantly from the door.

Willow squeaked and turned around. “Buffy!”

Kate who had entered the room only a step behind said. “No sign of him. Nothing. Practically the whole town’s asleep.” She closed the door and looked up. “You guys have any luck.”

“None.” Oz said.

“Angel!” Willow squawked.

Kate’s eyes narrowed. “Yeah. Where is he? It’s almost dawn. Don’t vampires fry?”

Willow seemed to have lost her voice.

“He’s not Angel anymore.” Oz told them quietly.

Kate’s eyes crinkled in confusion, but Buffy had gone deathly pale. “He’s…”

“His soul.” Willow attempted to explain. “When we caught up to him. He had Doyle cornered.”

“Doyle’s…” The implication weighed heavily in Kate’s voice.

“Fine,” Willow said quickly.

Oz gave a half grin. “He said he needed a drink.”

“In case you guys haven’t realized it,” snapped Buffy, put off by their lightheartedness, “this situation suddenly got a whole lot more hairy.”

“Calm down Buffy,” Willow said, regaining some of the confidence that Angelus had rattled away. “I’ve done the spell before. I can do it again.”

Oz quickly excused himself to go find Giles and Kate followed him up the stairs and into the hallway before tapping him on the shoulder. “I want to know what’s happening here Oz. And in all honesty, you’re the only one here I trust.”

“Angel’s soul,” Oz explained shortly, “it’s gone.”

“What do you mean gone?” Kate asked suspiciously. “Souls don’t just disappear.”

“Angel’s can,” Oz replied, mildly surprised that she hadn’t heard the whole story.

“How do you know? How can you be sure?”

“Because I saw it.”

“And you didn’t stop it,” a note of hysteria had crept into Kate’s voice. “You saw it and you didn’t stop it!”

Oz didn’t reply.

“Are there any other things you’re not telling us, Oz? Did you see us all dying.” Kate’s voice dropped, venom leaving it. “I’m sorry. That’s not fair. You would have done something if you’d known.”

Tara’s form flashed in front of Oz’s eyes, but he shook it away. “We’ve got to get Giles.”

“This is ridiculous.” Jenny Calendar said, slamming another book shut. “There are references to the book in all of these but it’s just the same line over and over. The Prophesies of G’hisnakau, thought lost through the ages, are disturbingly accurate, blah, blah, blah.”

Wesley closed his own book with a sigh. “I’m afraid you’re right. We have nothing to base our interpretations. We’re on our own.”

Giles sighed and stared at the freshly translated prophecy. They’d been doing little else since they’d got here.

Ms. Calendar rubbed at her eyes. “ ‘the fallen’… ‘Seven forgotten souls’. That has to be us.” She ticked of fingers as she continued, “Jesse, Doyle, Corldelia, Anya, Alonna, Tara and me.” She swallowed. “Seven. We’ve got our seven.”

“And the time of imbalance,” Wesley said looking pointedly at Giles, “can be attributed to the slayer spell.”

“Which,” Mrs. Calendar added, “has been reversed.”

“‘Balance restored,’” muttered Wesley and by unspoken agreement, they all read the words again in silence.

“The blood sacrifice,” Wesley said suddenly, “a man named Lloyd Reylord reportedly mentioned something of that nature before killing himself and another.”

Silence again.

“What I don’t like,” Ms. Calendar said abruptly, “is the part about evil’s champions. Champions. As in more than one. Like Glory isn’t enough to worry about.”

As if on cue, the door opened and Oz stepped into the room, Kate only a half step behind him.

Giles stood up. “What’s the matter? Has something happened?”

Oz’s dark eyes focused on Jenny Calendar. “It’s Angel.”

Ms. Calendar’s eyes widened slightly and she asked, “What about Angel?”

“It’s gone.”

Wesley took a step towards him. “What’s gone?”

Oz didn’t have to answer. They already knew.

“I’m just saying Angel doesn’t just go berserk for no reason. Something tripped it.”

“Well that doesn’t mean we should be blaming each other. It could have been anything.”

“There was no blaming anyone! It’s just me stating facts. We were all out in pairs except her. And Angel doesn’t just lose his soul on his own.”

“Well, yeah, but blaming Tara isn’t fair!”

Oz and Kate reentered the lobby to the Hyperion to a full fledged screaming match. Gunn and Willow stood on opposite sides, faces red from screaming. Tara stood uncomfortably to the side, face twisted with worry. “I-I-I was t-tr-trying a l-locater spell.”

“Magic,” Gunn scoffed, “it was probably magic that got us into this mess in the first place.”

“She was trying to help!” Willow protested as Tara shyly reached out to touch her hand.

Oz absently noticed Doyle perched on the arm of the couch and he wondered if anyone had even taken notice of the Irishman’s arrival.

“Magic never helped anything!” Gunn snapped back.

“Right now,” Giles said, coming down behind Oz, “magic may be the only way to remedy the situation and get Angel back. Willow, I believe I have a majority of the ingredients the resouling spell requires, if we can procure an orb of Thessula, do you think that you and Tara might perform the spell?”

“I’ll give them a hand,” Ms. Calendar volunteered. “If I’m getting it right the spell needs three people to perform.”

“I’ll bet spells are what got us into this mess to start with,” Gunn said crossly.

Alonna cuffed him in the back of the head. “Give it a rest Charles.”

“Not to break the mood or anything,” Doyle cut in smoothly, though his voice was slightly slurred, “but we’ve still got a missing kid who’s not getting any safer.”

No one was looking at him. As a matter of fact, no one even heard him, all of the room were staring at the new arrival in the doorway.

Spike awkwardly shifted avoiding everyone’s eyes. He mumbled, “It was almost sunrise. Not looking for another stint as a bloody ghost.”

Dawn’s mouth dropped in shock. “Spike?”

Andrew echoed her only a second later, “Spike?”

Buffy stood up and took two long strides across the room before stopping right in front of Spike. “You were dead,” she whispered in a daze.

Spike smirked. “I got better.”

Buffy slugged him hard in the face.

Lindsey didn’t think he could take it anymore. He didn’t like being left in the dark. Especially when most of what was going on was supposed to be his idea.

Spike hadn’t been in his apartment when he’d gone to check up on him.

That bothered Lindsey.

Especially considering that Spike himself was essentially the plan. Unleash him on Angel, play with their heads a bit and then… Lindsey hadn’t planned father than that. He hadn’t ever really intended to hurt him. Just scare him a little.

Everyone had lines, lines that they just couldn’t cross. Levels they wouldn’t, no, couldn’t sink to. These lines define you. These lines had to be drawn. He hadn’t been able to doom the three psychic children four years ago. It just hadn’t been in him.

Line number two had jumped up at him today as he heard the screams of the boy in the room over.

He didn’t even know the kid’s name. He didn’t know why he had to be tortured. He didn’t know anything anymore, but the screams of torment had been enough to push him into a choice.

When Eve walked by in the hallway, smiling a smug smile that he had only recently come to despise, he took a deep breath, stood up and approached her.

“Lindsey,” her voice was sugar-coated with false innocence, “I didn’t know you were here.”

Something in her voice told him he wasn’t supposed to be here, but that didn’t matter anymore. He was sick of being a pawn. That was, after all, why he’d walked out of Wolfram and Hart. He wanted to have power over his own life.

That’s what it was about—power. Control. Having some say in what happened to him.

He’d lost that again.

“Eve.” He placed his hand on the wall, his arm effectively blocking any movement. “You’re going to tell me exactly what’s going on. I deserve to know.”

After pulling him back into the spare room, Eve began to explain everything. From Lloyd Reylord’s blood sacrifice to the resurrections to the ultimate ending—the end of the world. Evil’s four champions who would bring it to pass. She kept talking long after the screams coming from the next room had ceased. But as she talked, Lindsey began to spot the omissions. There were no mention of the identities of the resurrected, evil or otherwise though Lindsey could guess that the boy in the room next to them was involved.

And the more she talked about the end of the world, the more Lindsey realized that he wanted no part in it. The more he realized that he liked the world. If it was gone, well, he’d just be dooming himself as well.

He listened to her talk and the more he heard, the less he liked.

And in his head, he drew another line.

“You’ve been back for months,” Buffy hissed venomously, “And you didn’t bother to pick up the phone and call. We thought you were dead!”

Spike stood in front of her, taking her screams with relative ease. “Buffy,” he tried to explain, “I…”

“Didn’t think we were worth it did you?” Buffy snapped, and then more quietly said, “Me and Dawn, we missed you.”

There was an uncomfortable silence and the rest of the group felt like they had invaded a private moment.

Fortunately, Xander and Anya picked this moment to make their entrance as they burst through the doors, both breathing heavily.

Kate looked at them, happy for the distraction. “What happened to you two?”

Xander’s face shone unnaturally pale in the dim light of dawn. “We found Jesse.”

Lindsey had left the building with Eve, still attempting to process the immensity of the mess he’d landed himself in. They had barely gone four blocks before, Eve had excused herself to report to Wolfram and Hart, leaving Lindsey alone.

A vague plan had begun to take shape in his mind and before he could talk himself out of it, he doubled back. The sun had just risen and the streets had only just begun to fill with traffic. It was all so painfully normal.

And tomorrow night, the world was going to end.

Unless, of course, Lindsey could stop it.

Jesse regained consciousness slowly, unwillingly.

His whole body throbbed violently and he still tasted the metallic tang of blood in his mouth. He wondered absently how vampires could stand the taste of it.

Angel had left when the sun came up. The light from the tiny window had spilled soft sunlight into the small room. It was the last thing he had realized before he sank into blissful darkness.

Now the light hurt his eyes despite the fact that he hadn’t been able to open them yet. He was fairly sure that his left eye was swollen shut.

A shadow flashed across his closed eyelids and he couldn’t help but let out a soft moan.

A warm hand clamped over his mouth and he fought the sudden urge to bite it.

A voice floated to his ears. “This is going to be hard enough without your groaning.”

Jesse forced his eyes open and tried to ask who the man was, but his voice was muffled. The hand was removed.

“Who are you?”

The corners of Lindsey’s mouth twitched upwards. “Your new best friend.”

“Where is he?” Buffy asked, easily slipping into command mode.

Xander collapsed onto the couch shaking his head. “A building downtown. We could get you there.” He lapsed into silence, staring at his feet.

“He looked like he’d gone ten rounds with Olaf the Troll,” Anya put in, not at all helpfully. “Then again, with Angel doing it.”

Buffy tore her eyes from Spike. “Angel’s…”

“Angel’s torturing him alright!” Xander exploded, pale face shifting quickly to a bright red. He took a quick breath to calm himself and turned to Buffy. “This is all your fault..”

“Wait, this is my fault now?”

“This wouldn’t have happened if you had just killed him!”

“In case you haven’t forgotten, Xander,” Buffy roared, “I did kill him!”

Anya looked at her sideways. “Well you obviously didn’t do it right.”

Buffy ignored her. “And in case you forgot, I seem to remember a little bit of help. ‘Kick his ass?’”

“That was years ago. Ancient history. This is now and the fact is, Angel needs to die.”

“For once,” Spike put in, “I agree with the whelp.”

In unison, Xander and Buffy said, “Shut up Spike.”

Doyle jumped down from his perch and positioned himself between Buffy and Xander. His words were still slightly slurred from his earlier binge, but he seemed to be sobering quickly. “Nobody’s killing anyone now.”

Buffy made a point of turning away from Xander. “ Tara,” she asked tiredly, “do you think you can get an orb of Thessula?”

“O-o-of course.” She glanced around nervously. “I think I’ll go now.”

Willow made a move to follow her out but Buffy put a hand on her shoulder. “Will, you’ve got to get the spell ready.”

“Yeah Buffy,” Willow said, “but shouldn’t someone go with her,” she trailed off, and Buffy remembered the last time Tara had wondered off alone. Glory had…

“Someone should tell Cordy,” Doyle said shakily, “she needs to be in the know.”

Gunn nodded quickly, “I’ll call Fred. I think they’re both at Wolfram and Hart.”

Andrew looked out the window. “I don’t think you could follow Tara if you wanted to. She’s long gone.”

“I dislike face to face meetings.”

“Trust me, this one is completely necessary.”

“What, is so completely necessary that you needed to meet in person.”


“Has he made his move?”

“Wait, you knew what he was going to do?”

“This is a thousand years in the making, how did you doubt that we hadn’t planned every single step. You did remember to take the blood?”

“Of course.”

“And the boy.”


“Then the world will end tomorrow.”

There was a small squeak and slowly, the two figures turned to see that the shopkeeper had entered from the back room only to hear the majority of their conversation. A mere three seconds later, her blood splattered the walls and her body was left cooling behind the counter.

And Eve’s slim form stood over her frowning. “We should go, we can’t afford to be caught.”

Tara silently stepped over the shopkeeper’s corpse and took an orb of Thessula off of the nearby shelf, and examining it thoughtfully. “If all goes according to plan, we’ll be unstoppable.”


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