A Slight Miscalculation
rating: nothing worse than you've seen on either series.
main characters: Amanda, Angelus
disclaimer: I do not own Angelus or anyone else from Buffy/Angel, and I do not own Amanda or anyone else from the Highlander movie.
distribution: Twisting, Paula, TNL - anyone else ask.
note: set considerably before either Buffy or Angel starts, and before Angelus embraced Dru or Spike.
She lurked in the shadows, watching the man as he walked past, on his way to get into the carriage. He was tall, handsome, and clearly quite prosperous. Perfect, in other words. And to make things even more tempting, there was a very small staff in his town house, which would make things far easier for a thief such as herself. Not that Amanda considered herself to be an ordinary thief, she was among the best.
Carefully, she made her way to the side door where the servants entered the house. It opened without any squeals or creaks, and she slipped into the house. All she had to do would be find the Master bedroom, find a few small baubles - rings, cufflinks, silver candlesticks... that sort of thing. Find the loot, tuck it into the little pockets in her clothing, and get out again before the gentleman got back. It was a simple plan, and there should be no problems with it.
No, the problem was that the gentleman, one Angelus O'Connell had so much in the lines of easily portable valuables that she couldn't resist the chance to sneak back. The lure of a second helping of his jewels... Yes, that was definitely where the problem was.
She was just debating whether or not to take a ring with a dark sapphire framed by tiny pearls when she felt something looming behind her. Amanda had this peculiar sinking feeling that inevitable meant she’d found herself in trouble again, and turned around slowly. O’Connell stood there, his jacket unbuttoned, hair cascading down to his shoulders, a small cruel smile on his face.
Well, no harm in trying… Smiling brightly, she tried to edge her way around him. “Pardon, I was just on my way out. If you’ll excuse me…”
“Not so fast, lass. I do believe you have a few of my things with you.” His Irish accent gave the menacing tone a difference from the many other threats she’d received in her life.
The next thing Amanda knew, she’d been struck on the back of the head. Everything turned red black and painful, and she could feel herself falling towards a floor that she could no longer see. This was a problem.
Waking up, she made the unhappy discovery that her problems had only started. Instead of waking up in an alley, the valuables removed, she was somewhere dark that smelled of dust. Her hands were chained, and the chain went away, apparently connecting to a wall or post of some sort. She couldn’t see anything. On the not so dark side, there didn’t seem to be any rats.
“If this isn’t a spot of trouble, then…” She paused, certain that this could only be trouble of some sort. “Well, there has to be a way out of this somehow.”
Amanda didn’t know how long she’d been there, only that the pain in her head had faded to a simple headache, and she was thirsty. She was being held prisoner in what felt like a cellar, her hands chained, in the dark. It was unlikely that she would be rescued, which left her at the mercy of Angelus O’Connell. Considering the fact that he was the one who’d put her in here, that didn’t seem like a very good hope.
Time seemed to blur during her captivity. He’d give her just enough food and water to keep her alive, and there were also the beatings. He used a whip, leaving her back feeling excruciatingly sore and hot, his silken voice explaining the whole time that stealing was wrong and made people very unhappy. His soft words were almost a form of torture, as he described what the whip was doing to her back. It wasn’t even that he caused that much damage, but the continual pain, the darkness, the hunger… It was one of the more dreadful experiences of her life.
She knew that if this lasted for too much longer, she would loose her mind. But how to get out? Her careful explorations had proven there was no other door, no window, and that the single support beam ended in solid walls. She would stay here and bleed and scream until… wait a minute. She was immortal. Maybe there was a way out.
Amanda hung herself with the thin blanket provided for her. Dying was a miserable ordeal, and she thoroughly despised it, but she had the feeling that she’d never get out of there alive. Maybe she could get out by dying? He wouldn’t want to keep a corpse in his cellar, would he?
She came back to life, gasping for air, her throat burning. Stars twinkled above her, and she was on grass. Carefully, Amanda sat up and looked around, trying to figure out where she was beyond outside. The stars looked absolutely glorious. As she stood up, she discovered that she still had some of the filched valuables. Laughter bubbled up, and she collapsed back onto the ground, laughing until the tears streamed from her eyes and her sides burned.
It was good to be alive. Gems and gold would always sell nicely. And she was feeling a sudden urge to travel somewhere far away. Amanda walked away into the darkness, feeling incredibly glad.
End A Slight Miscalculation.