“I’m sure it does, dear boy.” Darla smirked at Angelus from her place by the doorway, perfectly coifed for a night on the town. “I warned you to stay away from that priest, didn’t I?” She swished her way back to their bed, leaning over him, her glossy lips a mere breath from his face. “You’re just lucky,” she said, “that I don’t drop you into the courtyard to fry in the morning.”
His lips, what was left of them after the holy water had been splashed over his face, peeled back. “You wouldn’t,” he said.
Darla’s smile was devilish as she said, “Remember, Angelus, everyone is replaceable. Even you.” Laughing at his roar of pain when she flicked his ear with her fingernail, she tripped lightly from the room.
Angelus lay back in the bed, thinking that he’d make her pay for this.
* * *
He could hear their laughter as he stumbled away from the gypsy camp. The pain in his chest, in his head, it threatened to overwhelm him. He tried to rage but the soul, the anguish he’d caused all those other people, it wouldn’t let him. Stumbling, he dropped to his knees, clenching his fingers into the damp soil. Gasping as memory stabbed into him, he felt everything he’d ever done to his victims welling up, smothering him.
Rolling to his back, he couldn’t even see the sky above his head. Dancing before his eyes were the faces of the people he’d murdered.
So much pain….
* * *
“…hurts, you know?”
Angel couldn’t quite force himself to look away at the starkness of the girl’s face. She spoke to the sky from her open window, tears slipping down her cheeks. From deeper within the house, he could hear voices raised in argument, a man and a woman; the girl’s parents.
Earlier this afternoon, she’d been a girl, a normal girl, sunlight in her hair, teasing the boys around her with her intense concentration on a lollypop.
She wasn’t that girl any more.
Now, she was a Slayer.
And Slayers don’t get a chance to cry.
* * *
Just like ripping out his own heart and staking it himself. He wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what she did. Instead, she stared up at him with those eyes of hers full of tears – Slayers don’t cry – and said that this wasn’t what she wanted. That she wanted her life to be with him.
And he lied and told her that he didn’t.
* * *
Spike pranced around him, cigarette firmly in his mouth, wicked smile on his face. “Yer li’l Slayer, spread open for some boy.” He pulled the cigarette out and pushed it into Angel’s bare chest, twisting the burning end into pale flesh. “Almost as much as that hurts, huh?”
Angel sucked air into his lungs.
“Y’know, maybe your li’l girl’s lookin’ for a better man for the slap an’ tickle,” Spike said, surveying his handywork. He leaned close, the breath of his words sliding across Angel’s cheek. “Maybe I’ll look her up.”
“She’ll stake you,” Angel said, “wish I could be there to watch.”
“Stake me?” Spike chuckled. “Nah. Girl’s not that good yet.” He took a puff on his cigarette then, the tip flaring before he stabbed Angel with the butt again. “I’m feelin’ artistic, what with you hangin’ around an’ all. An’ you’ve got my ring. Tell me where it is, maybe I won’t tear out your gizzard.”
Angel forced a laugh. “You wouldn’t dare,” he said, his head lolling to one side. “You don’t have it in you.”
Spike pushed close, face twitching, incisors flashing. “Oh, I do,” he said, almost cheerful, “you’ve got no idea how much I want to hurt you.” He smiled as his hand disappeared from Angel’s line of sight. “Let’s see what this does, eh?”
And Angel screamed in pain.
* * *