Angel checked the clock one more time. He needed to regroup before heading out to the warehouse. It was one of those rare times when he wished he'd paid closer attention when Dru had tried to teach him to meditate. If he couldn't keep his demon under control, he was putting both Spike and himself in danger.
He needed full control of his demon if he was going to get through this. Going in there fangs bared wasn't the answer. Angel wasn't a match for 3 grown men, especially three grown men with a Garchen's knife.
Angel sank back into his chair and drained his flask in one long pull.
The knife really scared Angel. He thought back to times when he had crossed paths with a Garchen's in the past. First as Angelus, and only once more as a newly ensouled Angel. He shuddered at the last thought, pushing it aside as he tried to concentrate on what he remembered of using it as Angelus.
"But she's so pretty. Like stars all twinkling together and singing to me."
Drusilla circled, eyes closed and arms open, twirling like a ballerina around the sobbing girl who was bound in the centre of the room.
"Her eyes are talking to me." she continued, "Pretty little tunes... like angels."
She turned to Angelus who was sitting, watching with a smile as his childe circled their prey. He stood, extending a hand to her which she took, willingly allowing herself to be drawn into his grounding embrace.
"Can we play with her now, Daddy?" Dru's voice sounded child-like as she brushed her lips across Angelus' cheek.
Angelus turned, pressing his fanged lips to hers, devouring her mouth as he pressed her down onto the bed. Her childish giggle pierced through him, and his demon growled as he pressed his growing hardness against her.
"Of course we can, my sweet thing." he whispered in her ear, pulling himself off her and walking over to a large table. Dru lay on the bed, her arms outstretched towards Angelus, almost beckoning him to come back.
"Daddy will play with me afterwards? After her?" Dru sat up as she came back to herself, realising, even if only with a vague grasp of reality, that there were things that needed to be done first.
Angelus lifted the knife from the table and flipped it over in his hands as he turned to face Dru with a smile. A smile that said not even wild horses could keep them apart after this was done. He approached the bound girl and threaded his fingers through her lank and knotted hair, pulling her head up to look at him.
"Do you know what this is, girl?" he snarled, holding the knife in front of her face. Her eyes showed an intense fear, of Angelus, of the whole situation, and as they came to focus on the knife, her demon rose and she roared at him.
Angelus dropped her head and laughed loudly, turning his head to Drusilla who had taken a position behind her Daddy, watching; waiting.
"She knows what it is!" Dru sang, clapping excitedly. Angelus hummed. It was always so much more fun when they knew what to expect. Even vamped out, the fear in the girl's eyes was evident. That'd teach her for trying to take what belonged to Angelus then.
Dru moved round to stand behind the girl, softly running her fingertips across the ridges of her face before crooking her fingers and carving almost symmetrical lines into the girl's cheeks with her long fingernails.
Lifting her slender fingers to her mouth, she licked at the borrowed blood that stained the tips.
"She tastes funny, Daddy." Dru whined, wrinkling her nose, "Like babies' breath and kitten smiles." She floated to Angelus' side, leaning her head against his shoulder.
"Can I go first? Please, Daddy?"
Angelus pulled away from his childe and reached for a long hunting knife. As he pressed it into Dru's palm, he placed the Garchen's down onto the table.
"Just don't dust her." he warned seriously, "She's here to learn a lesson about property. Slice her, cut her, do as you like, but when you're done with that one, we're going to make sure the Garchen's gives her something to really remember us by."
Dru's face lit up, and she turned to face the growling vampire girl bound to the chair, as Angelus settled back to watch the show.
The knife could be brutal. There was a story behind its power.
Garchen was an ancient demon.
Legend had it, if you believe in that sort of thing, that he was a kind of demon god, the one responsible for giving demons their enhanced powers of healing. It was said that one day, he came home and found his wives in bed with two of his sons. He became so enraged that he reached for his hunting knife and, as he screamed spells of hatred and vengeance, he hacked them all where they lay.
The wounds he had inflicted were widespread and long-lasting, refusing to heal even under Garchen's most ardent care and remorseful attention.
Eventually, one of his sons attacked Garchen himself, using the same knife, and the story is that they all lived many years in prolonged agony from their many unhealing lesions before Garchen, in a fit of pain and rage, locked himself and his family in their home and set fire to it, burning them in their sleep.
The knife was recovered many years later and demonstrated to have garnered particular powers during the attack.
It became both feared and revered in the demon world.
Angel closed his eyes at the memories of the pain that knife could bring. He could see it with his own eyes. He saw her scream and thrash. He saw her blanch as her body was drained of the borrowed blood that gave her life. He watched her weaken, and heard himself laugh as her skeletal remains cried out for death.
At this point, of course, Angelus fed her. Rat's blood that brought her back to a limp and pathetic excuse for her life, before he started all over again.
The knife terrified Angel. Even just seeing in in the same room as Spike scared him. If they wanted to, these men could ruin Spike; HIS Spike, and Angel knew.
Not just because he had used it himself, but because he had once been almost ruined in exactly the same way.