The atmosphere in the room flashed and crackled like lightening in the black of night.
When Andrew came to, what felt like only seconds later, he blinked hard against the darkness of the room. All the lights were out, and he couldn't help the feeling of terror that ran through him. Dazed, he stood unsteadily and extended his arms.
His voice was small. Despite the brief surge of adrenaline he was experiencing, he felt weak and tired.
If Angel heard him, he didn't reply, and as the final crackling sounds subsided, an eerie silence filled the living area.
That voice. Andrew knew that voice. It wasn't Angel but...
He shook his head in an attempt to clear it. He felt fuzzy and disorientated. He took a step towards where he thought Angel was sitting, managing one step before his legs gave way. As he slid to the floor, firm hands took a hold of him, and Andrew panicked for a moment that Marcus or Bella had him. He had barely managed to turn his head, however, when he blacked out.
When he came to, laid on the sofa, Andrew had no idea how long he had been out. He frowned as he tried to recall the previous events, but he didn't really have anything to remember. There was light, then dark, then nothing.
Andrew sat up quickly, a move that made his head spin, but he shook it off as he scanned the room for the vampire. Spotting him lying on the other sofa, he let out a long breath, relieved that at least Angel was OK. He was about to stand up when a voice stopped him dead.
"He's OK, Andrew. He's just sleeping. Your delivery came, and I fed him."
Andrew's head turned towards the voice as quickly as his throbbing temples would allow.
The Englishman stood from the armchair, removing his glasses and polishing them frantically.
"Yes. Right. Well, I was getting ready... packing to fly over when I got your call. Things sounded... urgent. Willow couldn't make it herself. She is still weakened from the last spell, but the coven helped to expedite my arrival."
Andrew took a moment to process Giles' words. Suddenly the flash of light made sense, but...
Giles stopped his polishing and slowly replaced his glasses on his face.
"Ah, yes. Your uninvited guests." He turned away and started walking over to Angel, briefly checking on him before he approached the sofa and sat alongside Andrew.
"I am afraid we were drawn into something of a fight while you were out. The half-witch had some tricks up her sleeve but nothing I couldn't handle. The gentleman... he... they were dealt with." Giles settled on brevity rather than a full blow-by-blow account.
"I don't think they will bother you again."
"You killed them?" Andrew's jaw dropped as his voice raised, incredulous that Giles could have done such a thing. "How long was I out?"
"Goodness, no." Giles' voice sounded even more horrified than Andrew's. "There was no need to kill anybody, but I am certain that they now realise you are all no easy target."
Andrew nodded quietly, unsure whether to be relieved or worried.
"Three hours, by the way."
Andrew looked up at Giles, confusion furrowing his brow.
"You asked me how long you'd been out. Nearly three hours. I am afraid that my arrival coordinates may have been a little off and you were rather close to the teleportal. It affected you quite strongly. My apologies for that."
Giles looked remorseful, and Andrew let out a brief chuckle.
"You said the delivery came from Brutus? You fed Angel? Did he... I mean, is he... OK?" Andrew turned his attention back to the vampire who appeared to be soundly sleeping again. Giles, pre-empting Andrew's desire to stand and go over to him, put an arm out to stop him.
"He was very weak. I am unsure whether from the previous injuries or from something the witch did to him, but even his demon was weak and reluctant to feed. I eventually managed to get two pouches into him in human form though, and he has been sleeping since. It is best that he stays that way for now, I think."
Andrew nodded, relieved that Angel had fed despite his condition.
"Maybe we should contact Xander. Let him know what's been going on." Giles reached for his cellphone as he made the suggestion. It would make sense to warn Spike and Xander in case there were others out there looking for them too.
"I spoke to Xander before... before all this." Andrew waved his arm about the room. "He said they'd reached Bordensville, found a motel and been to one of the local bars to look around."
Giles let out a barely-suppressed snort at the mention of the bar. Trust Spike and Xander to choose such a starting point.
"There's more though." Andrew continued, smirking at Giles' reaction. "Turns out the Bordensville isn't quite the innocent, back-water town that we expected it to be. They spotted several demons and at least one vampire in the bar itself... and there's some sort of convention of the supernatural going on there too. It's some place!"
Giles groaned. There really wasn't any escaping their lives, wherever they went.
"Did they request any help? Any back up?"
Andrew shook his head, noting as he did so that it hurt considerably less than before.
"Xander wasn't exactly sober when I spoke to him."
Giles opened his mouth to speak, but Andrew continued before he could interrupt.
"But I'm sure they have everything under control. They'll call if they need anything." Andrew's voice lowered and he glanced across to Angel. "To be honest, Giles, I could use your help here... with Angel... if you don't need to get back to England, that is?" He turned to Giles, studying the older man's face as he waited for a response.
Giles had already known. He'd expected this. He was ready for it, and he straightened himself up, clearing his throat and nodding.
"Sure, Andrew. No problem."