The Past Can Haunt You
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Summary: A blast from the past finds Angel.
Part of The Half A Chance Series
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the BtVS characters or Angel or Cordelia. They are the creation of Joss Whedon. They belong to the WB, Fox, Mutant Enemies, etc. Angel and Cordelia probably belong to the same people. I don't know who Pike belongs to, but he's not mine. Basically I don't own any of these people. I do own Harmony though (not the mean one). Please don't sue, I'm just a poor fanfic author.
Author's Notes: This is the 5th story in the "Half a Chance" series. Thanks to my beta-reader Becca and my new beta-reader Juliet.
Feedback: I love feedback, even flames as long as they're constructive. PLEASE send feedback to lalaland(at)3n.net
"You and Harmony seem to have been getting along well," Buffy commented, as she looked around the crowded Bronze.
"Yeah, too bad she had to leave so soon though," Willow said.
"Yeah, too bad," Buffy replied vaguely, still scanning the room.
"It's nice that she was able to get her own commission though. She's stationed indefinitely in a little town in France. She says she thinks the council put her so close to the school, so they could keep an eye on her." Willow smiled at the memory of Harmony's mischievous grin, when she talked about the council.
"Hmm," Buffy said barely smiling, but turning back to look at her. "Hey where's Oz anyway?"
"Last night was the full moon remember. Xander and Cordy are taking the early shift, Giles is watching for a while in between, and I'm taking the morning shift. You said you'd stop by and say hi to Giles during his shift, remember?"
"Oh yeah," Buffy said, as she returned to scanning the crowd.
"The last two nights did give me a lot of time to talk to Harmony though. We've been talking about Ms. Calendar and how much I've been going through all her pagan, cult, and witch websites. She wanted to know how much reading and how much actual practice I've done. I haven't really done much practice, but she gave me a few pointers, and I even learned a minor spell or two. Harmony says I show a lot of promise," Willow said happily.
"Uh huh," Buffy said, obviously not paying attention.
"Of course they were just small things. I been thinking of moving on to much bigger things... I've been thinking of maybe joining SU instead of a regular college... But then again I think I like doing witchcraft on the side better, I couldn't make a career out of it." Buffy continued to stare off into the crowd, oblivious to what Willow was saying. "Besides which, they only teach white magic at SU. I think the black arts are much more to my taking. Soon, I'll be able to summon demons,... raise the dead, maybe even control vamps. Then they'll have a new master," Willow said trying to get Buffy's attention.
"Yeah, right... Wait a minute, what!" Buffy said, as what Willow said sunk in.
"Welcome back. Where have you been?" Willow replied.
"Oh I'm sorry, Will. It's just..."
"Angel's late," Willow guessed. Buffy nodded meekly.
"I'm just a little worried, that's all. I mean, we know what walks the streets of Sunnydale. He's almost 15 minutes late! What if something happened?" Buffy asked.
"Buffy, I'm sure he's just running late, that's all. He's fine," Willow told her.
"How can you be so sure?" Buffy said, placing her chin in her palms.
"Because he just walked in the door," Willow said, pointing to alley door behind Buffy. Buffy visibly brightening as she turned around and spotted Angel. Angel walked to the foot of the stairs and a small smile crept onto his face as he spotted them. He looked like he was about to walk over when the strangest look crept onto his face.
Angel walked in the door, anxiously looking around. He was quite aware that he was more than 10 minutes late. He'd had to kill a vampire, who had been about to feed off a young girl. The vampire had taken more time to dust than Angel would have liked and now he was late. He walked over to the foot of stairs, to get a better view of the room. He spotted Buffy and Willow sitting at a table across the room. He smiled as he saw Buffy, she was smiling at him, this happy little smile that seemed to start in her eyes. Every time he saw her, it amazed him that he could earn a smile from her that he knew was saved only for him. The fact that there was a smile she only bestowed upon him, never ceased to amaze and overwhelm him. He let go of the railing to walk over, when he saw a flash before his eyes, and felt something pulled tight around his neck.
"That's a wire around your neck and it can easily cut your throat, so don't make any sudden moves," a voice whispered in his ear. Angel froze in place. "I know slitting your throat wouldn't do any real harm to you, Angelus, but if we got in a struggle it could do some real damage. You might even get the most painful beheading in history. Either way, it would still cause quite a stir." His senses began to heighten, as they always did before a fight. This time his opponent had the distinct advantage from the start that he was unsure of how to counter it. That sent a cold shiver of fear up his spine. He looked over at Buffy, wishing he could somehow communicate with her. He knew that with her help he could get out of this one, but he wasn't sure how to get out of it alone. Her eyes locked with his across the room, confusion written in every line of her face. "Now, we're going out into the alley, so I can be sure you never kill some innocent person again," the voice said in his ear.
"I don't kill innocents," Angel said in a low steady voice.
"Right they ask you to kill them," the stranger said sarcastically.
"I'm sure there's been some misunderstanding," Angel said, a growl rising in his throat. The growl was immediately cut off, when the man behind him yanked backwards on the wire. Angel's head snapped back and a line of fire cut across his throat. Slowly he pulled his head back forward and even more slowly he brought his hand up to feel the wire at his throat. His fingers encountered a small, slimy thread, which he interpreted to be the wire, but when he pulled his hand away he realized why the wire was slimy. His fingertips were red from blood and he could now feel the blood slowly trickling down his neck and the scent filling his senses. "Don't play tricks with me, vamp. Be a good boy and this will all be over quickly. Now we're going out the back door," the voice whispered.
"Okay," Angel said as he slowly pointed his thumb over his right shoulder, out of view of his assailant, all the while watching Buffy's face. A look of understanding and anger came over it, as the voice whispered, "That's right. Now slowly turn. Good." Angel slowly turned and walked out the back entrance of the Bronze.
Buffy watched as the strangest look came over Angel's face. It looked like a mixture of surprise and fear. He'd looked like he was going to walk over, then that look had come over his face and he'd frozen in place. "Why isn't he coming over?" Willow asked.
"I don't know," Buffy said. He seemed to be listening to someone, but although she strained her slayer hearing, she couldn't figure out who. She watched his face and knew he was getting ready for a fight. He was probably doing all he could to keep from going to game face in the Bronze. They locked eyes across the room. She could tell he was still listening to someone and getting angrier by the second. It looked like he tried to say something, but she didn't know who he was talking to. His head snapped back, Buffy and Willow let out matching gasps of surprise. Buffy jumped to her feet, all her slayer instincts on alert. As Angel slowly pulled his head forward, she could see a thin red line along his neck. He brought his hand up and touched the red line at his throat. He then slowly pointed over his right shoulder. She nodded slightly as he slowly turned around. She jumped up and made her way over to Angel as quickly as she could. He had to move rather slowly to keep from doing any more damage. She caught up to them as they were going out the back door. She could see the figure that stood behind Angel now. He was a little shorter than Angel, but still taller than her. He had his back to her, and his hands were covered in tight leather gloves. It was now obvious to her that he was holding a rope or a wire of some sort to Angel's throat. She quietly followed them out the door. As they walked out the back entrance, a grim smile crept onto the stranger's face. "Now vampire, you will learn what it is like to be the victim," he said.
"I don't think so," Buffy said grimly, pressing the point of a stake against his back. The stranger froze as did Angel. "Now slowly let go of whatever you're holding onto in your right hand." The stranger slowly opened his fist. The tension on the wire loosened and Angel carefully peeled the wire away from his throat, before stepping away. "Are you o-oofff!" Buffy said, as the stranger cut her off with a quick jab to the stomach.
He launched himself at Angel. The two tumbled to the ground as a stake appeared in the stranger's hand. Angel kicked the man off him and back towards Buffy. Buffy delivered a quick kick to his back, sending him back down. Angel had rolled out of the way, and now pinned the stranger to the ground. "You okay?" Angel asked over his shoulder.
"Fine. What about you? You're the one who's bleeding," Buffy said.
"It wasn't too deep. It's already starting to heal," Angel replied. "Now as for you," Angel said addressing the stranger, "Let's see your face." Angel turned the stranger's head to one side so they could at least have a side view of his face.
"Pike!" Buffy gasped, seeing his face.
"Buffy?" Pike replied, as he saw his attacker for the first time.
"You know this guy?" Angel asked incredulously.
"I used to. Well, if he's still human that is." Angel nodded in response. "He's a friend from LA," Buffy continued, "He used to help out with the slaying."
"Another one?" Angel asked dryly.
"Another what? Buffy, what are you doing?! He's a vampire!" Pike said, from his position on the pavement.
"He's on our side Pike. He's one of the good guys," Buffy said.
"No vampires," Pike said with a grunt as he reached back and pulled a surprised Angel off his back, "are good!" Pike rolled away and to his feet, but Angel was to his feet just as quickly. Angel didn't attack, but Pike did. "You taught me that," Pike continued as he lashed out first with a punch, which Angel blocked and followed it up with a roundhouse kick. The roundhouse connected, but so did Buffy. She landed a solid kick to Pike's front as he finished off the roundhouse kick, sending him spinning to the ground in front of the entrance to the Bronze. Buffy and Angel stood in fighting stance across from the door, ready to fight him. Pike got to his feet to face them.
"Buffy," he said carefully, keeping a careful eye on Angel who was now vamped out, "I know you're probably still mad at me about the way I left bu-"
Buffy let a half laugh escape, cutting Pike off. Angel raised his eyebrow as he looked at Buffy and back at Pike. Angel judged the man to be about 23. He was rather handsome, in a tall, dark, menacing sort of way, but he was a little old for Buffy, Angel thought. Then again, Angel was tall, dark and handsome and 242 years old, who looked to be around the age of the man standing across from him. It was a disturbing thought and Angel shook it away for a time when there wasn't eminent danger.
"But," Pike persisted, "that's no reason to side with a vampire! Look at him! You're a slayer how can you side with him?! Unless you're a..."
"Oh no, I'm perfectly human, thank you. I told you, Angel's on our side. Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Either you can stop fighting and believe-" Buffy was interrupted by a crash, as Willow smashed a bottle of holy water over Pike's head. Pike's eyes rolled back in his head as he slumped to the ground. Angel tried to keep from laughing, while Buffy stood staring at Willow who was standing in the alley entrance to the Bronze, looking at the man at her feet.
"Isn't he going to go poof?" she asked, "I mean, that was holy water. Do we need to stake him too?" This time Angel did laugh and Buffy did too, relieving the tension that had filled the air.
"No Willow, he's not a vampire," Buffy said.
"He's not? Oops," Willow said looking back down at Pike, "Is he a demon at least?"
"No, he's an old friend from LA. His name's Pike," Buffy told her. Willow looked down again at Pike, a stricken look on her face. "It's okay," Buffy reassured her, "he was being a pain. He wouldn't believe Angel was on our side. Come on, we better take him back to the library. Maybe he'll believe it if Giles tells him Angel's on our side," Buffy said walking over to the body, "Now, how to get him to the library."
"I'll run over to the library and relieve Xander and Cordy from were-sitting. Cordy can come pick you guys up in her car. Giles has the next shift, so by the time we get Pike there, Giles should be there too," Willow said, "Besides I need some rest or I'll fall asleep on my shift."
"Sounds like a plan," Buffy replied, "Just be careful."
"Don't worry, I've lived in Sunnydale long enough to know to be careful," Willow said back over her shoulder as she walked toward the entrance of the alley. Buffy watched Willow leave the alley, before turning back to Angel. He had a strange look on his face, as he looked at her standing over Pike.
"What's the matter?" Buffy asked stepping away from the body.
"Nothing," he said dismissivley. Buffy frowned, but decided to let it go.
"How's your neck," she asked, stepping up to him.
"Yeah, it looks almost fully healed," Buffy said, tilting his head up slightly so she could get a better look at the cut the wire had caused. Her hands lingered there for a moment, before she comfortably slid them back so she could put her arms around his neck and her head on his chest.
"It wasn't that deep," Angel said rather coldly, while he wrapped his arms about her waist almost protectively, his eyes fixed on Pike. "Were you two close?" he asked after a pause. Buffy stiffened at the, question, but didn't pull away.
"Yeah," Buffy said shortly.
"What happened between you two?" Angel asked. Buffy sighed and pulled away enough to look into his eyes, though his arms still circled her waist.
"Angel, what difference does it make? It was a long time ago," Buffy said. Angel looked into her eyes, as if searching for an answer to his question. Buffy sighed again, this time in defeat. "Look, he found out I was the slayer and helped me slay for awhile. We became close, and we started dating. After we'd been going out for awhile, he got a message that his parents and his little sister had died back in Chicago. He flew out for the funeral. He never came back."
"Why not?" Angel asked.
"He sent me a letter telling me that his family had been killed by vampires. He said he was going to stay in Chicago and slay vampires. That's it, end of story. He never came back and I never heard from him again," Buffy told him.
"He came back now," Angel said coldly, looking at the unconscious Pike, and pulling her close again.
"This isn't LA. Who knows why he's here, but I doubt he was looking for me. He seemed just as surprised to see me as I was to see him."
"When was the last time you saw him," Angel asked.
"Oh god... it was... about a week before I moved to Sunnydale." Angel stiffened, not liking this new revelation.
"So you were still getting over him when you moved to Sunnydale... when you met me. Rebound, isn't that what they call it? Ready to fall for anyone?" Angel asked bitterly, slowly pulling away, "Especially if they a few similarities, which is something he and I don't seem to lack."
"Angel, stop it, stop it right now," Buffy said. She could tell he was concerned, a little angry and very jealous. It was always hard to read him, but she was getting better at it, a fact which gave her no little joy. "Angel," she said, using one hand to make her look at him, "You are not like him and I *was not* attracted to you because I was just getting over him. I'm attracted to you because I'm attracted to you."
Angel didn't look convinced, but he didn't seem angry anymore. "Angel, you have nothing to worry about. I'm not going to fall for some old flame, just because he shows up in town. Angel, I've never known anyone like you. No one else is so much my equal, who's so sweet, or such a gentleman or with such overactive guilt."
Angel gave one of his half smiles. "And no one broods quite so well as you or does those little half smiles like you. I love those little half smiles," she said running two fingers up his cheekbone and softly kissing him and that sweet half smile. He wrapped his arms around her as the kiss end. She snuggled in next to his neck, while he looked down on her golden head. "So, are you done being jealous now?" Buffy asked.
"I'm not jealous, nor was I jealous" Angel replied a little grumpily.
"Okay," Buffy said, obviously unconvinced. "Fine then, are you going to stop doubting me?" she asked nuzzling his neck.
"How could I ever doubt you?" Angel said sarcastically, although cheerier.
"Love makes you do the wacky."
"I still haven't quite figured out what wacky is," he said. "But I am in love," he whispered into her hair. She smiled, looking up to kiss him. There was a soft moan from the heap that was Pike. Buffy broke the kiss reluctantly to look over at Pike.
"Wonderful, on to round two," Buffy said sarcastically. Buffy went over to see how conscious he was.
"Is that the thing were supposed to take back to Giles?" Cordelia asked. Buffy straightened and spun around from her position of leaning over the body in one fluid motion, although Angel didn't seem to show any surprise.
"Cordelia haven't you learned not to sneak up on a Slayer, yet?" Buffy asked.
Cordelia pointedly ignored the comment, as Xander walked up behind her. "So this is the one that tried to knock off Angel, huh?" Xander asked.
"Yeah, he's an old friend, but he won't believe Angel's on our side. Could you guys take him back to the library? If anyone can convince him it's Giles," Buffy said.
"Another old friend, huh? I heard about your last one. This one's not like a vampire worshiper is he?" Cordelia asked.
"No. He used to help me hunt vampires. If anything, he hates them."
"Alright, lets get him in the car. He's not going to wake up is he?" Cordy asked.
"Not if we hurry," Buffy said while she picked up Pikes feet, while Angel grabbed his hands. They walked out to the parking lot set him in the backseat of Cordy's car.
"You guy's coming?" Xander asked.
"No, I'm going to make a few rounds, check for vamps and then head home. Considering he's probably going to have a few bruises thanks to me and Angel, it's probably best we let Giles talk to him first."
"Happy slaying," Xander said hopping into the car. Buffy and Angel watched, as the drove away. Buffy winced, as they skidded around the first corner and sped out of sight.
"Well, considering Cordy's driving and that turn they just took, I'd say it's safe to say Pike won't be waking up until they've gotten to the library," Buffy said. She sighed and pulled out a stake, "Duty calls". The slayer and vampire headed off to begin their patrol.
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