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Angel of the Morning Part Thirteen - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
speakr2customrs
speakr2customrs
Angel of the Morning Part Thirteen
The results are out for Round 7 of the Spuffy Awards and – guess what? ‘Savage Beauty’ was Runner-up for ‘Best Fantasy Fluff’ and ‘Best Fantasy Comedy’. So no surprises there, then.

Here’s the next update of my Spike/Willow fic 'Angel of the Morning', AU after 'Dead Things'. Just a short one this time, to resolve the cliff-hanger at the end of the last chapter. 1,356 words dealing with the immediate aftermath of the Seeing Red rewrite.

Previous parts here:
Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four / Part Five / Part Six / Part Seven / Part Eight

Part Nine / Part Ten / Part Eleven / Part Twelve


Angel of the Morning


Part Thirteen


Pain. Noise. Confusion.

Dawn had been shot. I must have been shot too, probably hit by the same bullet after it had passed through her. I heard the crashes of more gunshots from outside, shouts, screaming. Spike blurred past me moving at full vampire speed, first to Dawn and then to the window and back to Dawn again, a stream of words pouring from his lips.

“Willow sorry love made a promise to protect her oh my God Dawn not breathing oh Christ what do I do God Buffy fuck what the bastard Dawn Christ help me she’s not breathing what do I do?” He moved again, so fast he almost seemed to flicker from one place to another, to the bed and then back to me. I felt his hands at my shoulder, gently touching, but it hurt terribly. He snatched me up from the ground and suddenly I was lying on the bed and his hand was guiding my left hand to where his other hand was pressing a pad of cloth. My top, wadded up, it would get all spoiled, but that didn’t matter did it? “Hold that there, love, press it tight, you’re bleeding pretty bad.” He was in game face, and then he was in human face, and then the bumpies were back, flickering between the two forms every few seconds.

I tried to hold the pad in place as he had told me, but there was no strength in my arm. I lay back and tried to think, to summon up magic, to control my limbs, to speak, but nothing worked properly. “Spike …” I croaked out, but couldn’t manage anything more. I could hear a wailing from outside, a babbling without coherent words, but I couldn’t tell whose voice it was.

“What do I do?” Spike howled again. “Fucking useless, trapped in here, what can I – call 999. No, stupid, 911.” He hurtled out of the room and I heard him thundering down the stairs at high speed.

There was the crack of one more shot from outside. The babbling noise stopped abruptly. Renewed fear turned my veins to ice.

Suddenly I was calm, and clear, and angry. I pressed the pad tighter against my shoulder and thought hard. When Hallie had been pestering me to wish for vengeance against Buffy and Spike, I’d finally managed to get rid of her by taking a rain check. She’d told me a chant to use when I was ready to summon her. I hadn’t really thought I’d ever use it, but now I was ready to change my mind. I dredged up the words from my memory and gathered my strength to speak.

Spike reentered the room, talking into the phone. “She’s not breathing,” he said. He bent down to Dawn. “Still got a pulse, yeah, but it’s faint.”

“Halfrek, I beseech thee,” I said. Spike cast one single horrified glance in my direction but then bent down to Dawn and started carrying out CPR, following instructions over the telephone. “Avenger of mistreated and abandoned children, substitute avenger of all women scorned, come unto me and grant me vengeance.”

There was a ‘pop’ of displaced air and Hallie was there in the bedroom. “So, Willow, you’ve decided to –” she began, and then she stopped short as she saw what was happening in the room. “What the?” She hurried to my side. “You’ve been shot!”

“I had noticed,” I said weakly.

“It’s not really my thing, but I’ll help out until the paramedics get here,” she said. “William seems to be doing everything he can for Dawn. You’re in a bad way. I think you’re in shock.” She reached for my shoulder.

“Not me,” I gasped. “Xander and Buffy, Hallie. Outside. Help them.”

“Seeing as how it’s Xander, well, okay.” She turned away, briefly met Spike’s anguished eyes and froze for a moment, and then rushed from the room moving almost as fast as Spike had done.

Spike carried on working on Dawn. Suddenly I saw her chest heave. She coughed, retched, and then lay still again; but her chest was moving in and out.

“She’s breathing!” Spike cried into the phone. He turned to me. “She’s breathing!” He began speaking into the phone once more and I relaxed slightly, but I was still filled with fear for the others. I could hear what Spike was saying to the dispatcher, but of course his knowledge was limited to what he could see from the window, and I didn’t learn all that much. Buffy and Xander were definitely down, not moving but now apparently being tended by Hallie, and one of the attackers was down too. Andrew, by the sound of it, rather than Warren.

I lay helpless, unable to do anything except to try to exert pressure on my own wound and to resist the temptation to give up and to slip into the welcoming blackness of unconsciousness that kept threatening to steal over me, for what seemed like hours but that must really have been only minutes, until I heard sirens approach, growing louder, and eventually coming to a halt outside the house. “Human face, Spike,” I managed to say. He fought for control and managed to stabilize his appearance before the paramedics entered the room.

They gave me only a cursory examination before all concentrating on Dawn, their faces grave, and they rushed her from the room with an oxygen mask over her face. Hallie entered as they left.

Her sleeves were soaked in blood, and there were smears of blood across her face. “They’re alive,” she announced. “That’s about all I can say about Buffy. I’ve done what I can for her. She’s been shot in the chest and she’s in as bad a state as Dawn. Xander’s unconscious but I don’t think he’s badly hurt, just a bullet crease across his head, and his skull doesn’t seem to be damaged. I’ll tell Anyanka – Anya – if you like. There’s a dead man there as well but I don’t know who he is. A skinny kid, about your age, Willow, with fair hair. Shot between the eyes.”

Tucker’s brother. Andrew. I remembered the wailing and babbling suddenly cut short by a single shot. Andrew must have cracked, realized that it wasn’t all just a game, and Warren had silenced the weak link.

“Thank you,” I told Hallie, my fears for Buffy and Xander ebbing. Slayer healing would pull Buffy round, although it would take time, and the emergency room at Sunnydale Hospital was about as good as they came. Xander should be okay.

Spike stood up very straight and spoke stiffly. “My heartfelt thanks, Miss Underwood.”

“I wouldn’t thank me if I were you, William,” she warned him. “The time has come to pay.” She stared at me with cold eyes. “Quickly, before they come back for you. You summoned me and now you must make a vengeance wish or suffer. Yet I cannot exact vengeance upon the man who shot you, for he is an enemy. He’s allowed to attack you. The vengeance must fall upon one who betrayed you. A lover, or a parent, or one of your friends or family. So, Willow Rosenberg, make your wish.”

I’d had plenty of time to think about this. I spoke up clearly. “I wish for Spike to be completely immune to harm from sunlight and that the microchip in his brain be immediately removed, without harming him in any way, and implanted instead into the brain of Tony Harris.”

Hallie frowned. “But that’s not …” she began, and then her face cleared. “Ah, I see,” she said. “Subtle. Very subtle.”

“Willow, wait,” Spike said, alarm showing on his face. “Without the chip …”

Hallie’s face transformed into the ugly visage of a Vengeance Demon. “Granted,” she intoned. “Too late, William.”

I could hear the boots of the paramedics coming back up the stairs. “It’s okay, Spike, I know what I’m doing,” I told him. “I trust you. But Warren has to pay.” I felt my mouth twisting into a snarl as savage as any vampire’s. “Go get him, Tiger.”

CHAPTER FOURTEEN


The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: Roger Waters, "The bravery of being out of range"

63 comments or speak 2 me
Comments
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debxena From: debxena Date: July 18th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooof! Brilliant - just read the latest two chapters in a fever of ... something ... and love what you've done with the story! Glad Dawn's not dead, a little sorry Andrew is - and nice to see Hallie doing some 'good' works :)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 18th, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Glad you like it.
nandibble From: nandibble Date: July 18th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You didn't kill Dawn.

You may survive.

I'm still thinking about Willow's wish....

And this is a splendid action sequence. Everything's clear. Spike running and ranting is particularly effective and vivid.

Too bad about Andrew, though. I had him in one of my Spike tales and completely forgot about him 'round about the middle.... So I guess I won't miss him now.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I never intended to kill Dawn. The CPR scene was in my mind right from the first plot bunny.

Thank you!
calove From: calove Date: July 18th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, much relieved Dawn is OK, but - oh, poor Andrew.

Excellent chapter - nice nod to the Spike/Cecily story, fantastic sense of panic with Spike and your Willow is just amazing - really. Looking forward to seeing this play out.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Andrew grasped the difference between reality and fantasy just a little too late.

Thank you!
julia_here From: julia_here Date: July 18th, 2005 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sneaky. Very sneaky.

And whereas we are no longer hung over that extremely steep cliff, we, your constant readers, are still stuck with theartistically contrived suspense.

Julia, oh, well, something to be looking forward to
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw your comment on the S'cubie board about not being thrilled with cliff-hangers! Sorry.

I also saw your comment about this being in 'a whole other universe for quality and style'. Thank you!

Unless, of course, you meant a whole other universe from fics that are of high quality and style.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: July 18th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I think that's a fairly likely consequence of Andrew escaping. Warren really doesn't think of anyone else as having any value.

Love this and the way it's going.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Warren treats people as things in exactly the way that Terry Pratchett describes as being the worst kind of human behaviour.

Thank you!
petzipellepingo From: petzipellepingo Date: July 18th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tony Harris eh? Very sneaky wish on Willow's part. Methinks Warren had better run really, really fast because Spike wasn't called William the Bloody for nothing.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 18th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Methinks Warren had better run really, really fast because Spike wasn't called William the Bloody for nothing.

I really don't think that reciting bloody awful poetry to the person who shot Willow, Dawn, and Buffy features in Spike's future plans. :-)
borrowedwings From: borrowedwings Date: July 18th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
at the risk of being a moron--
Tony Harris is... who, exactly?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 18th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Xander's dad.
frimfram From: frimfram Date: July 18th, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yoy. I came here straight from Chapter Twelve. Glad I didn't have to wait long for this.

Using Hallie was a masterstroke. In an odd way I guess she's saving the day. No Dark Willow. And that wish - sets it up perfectly for Spike to go out and deal with Warren. But how will it be if this chipless, soulless Spike does the thing that, in canon, changed Willow so much, and was her cross to bear for all of S7? Spike's got no soul and no conscience, so now we get to see if the chip was all that was stopping him from killing without mercy. And Warren's such a fantastic grey area case to test the principle on. I can't wait to see what you do with this.

Also, in the middle of all the drama - substitute avenger of all women scorned - snerk.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
And, of course, anything Spike does is Willow's responsibility.
(Deleted comment)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Not quite as much of a cliffhanger, perhaps; but it will take time to resolve, especially as the whole thing is Willow's POV so revelations will only come as they get reported back to her.
talesofspike From: talesofspike Date: July 18th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
You've left us with some wonderfully messy possible consequences here. Definite bonus points for Willow transferring the chip to Xander's dad but I can't help but worry that if Spike inflicts anything like the payback Warren deserves, that he won't be signing his own death warrant as he does so. After all, Buffy's actions when Spike and Willow were "on a break" were far more "woman scorned" than "Willow's Best Friend". If Spike's first action on having the chip removed is to harm something that comes as close to the description of human as Warren, it might not end well for our hero. Hell, she'd probably stake him just for having the chip out since he's still soulless and evil to her way of thinking... Eeep!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 18th, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is, of course, why Halfrek was prepared to grant the wish as a Vengeance wish when on the surface it seemed only to Spike's benefit; and why Spike tried to protest.

Willow is aware that the chip removal will set Spike and Buffy against each other; she thinks she can keep things under control.

We will see in a while whether or not she is correct.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
waywardchilde From: waywardchilde Date: July 18th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very cool! Very, Very Cool. BRILLIANT, MORE! MORE!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
More will come reasonably soon, but my mother's visit will slow down my writing somewhat.
molliemole From: molliemole Date: July 18th, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see I'm going to have to remain worried about Spike's well-being right up until the very end of this story. There won't be any let up with the nail-biting, will there?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Nope.
manoah From: manoah Date: July 18th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I stand by my 'you be evil', but *hugs Speakr tight* (not too tight CW!) I lurves ya!

This is wonderful and thrilling and thought provoking and, and I want more!

Thank you!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

My mother's visit is bound to slow down my writing, but there'll be more as soon as I can manage.
makd From: makd Date: July 19th, 2005 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Gah!! "Go get him, Tiger!"

Ah, our girl knows exactly what she's asked - but can she deal with the fallout?

Great chapter; great cliffhanger
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and congratulations on the nominations! Very well-deserved.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Willow thinks she can deal with the fallout; we'll just have to wait and see if she's right.

Thank you!
caliente_uk From: caliente_uk Date: July 19th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
This is the very first Spike/Willow fic I've ever read. I still can't quite believe that I'm reading it...and what's more, enjoying it immensely! Thank goodness you didn't kill Dawn (I really thought you had after the last chapter). Love the vengeance wish. Can't wait to see where you take it from here. Excellent work! :)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: July 19th, 2005 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
It's my third Spike/Willow fic.

Glad you like it!
63 comments or speak 2 me
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