FIC: Actions & Consequences (17/19)
Sensing Wood’s foot coming in for another kick, Xander reached up, snatched a hold at the ankle and twisted savagely. The former principal grunted as he stumbled back into the wall. Taking advantage of the temporary respite, Xander leapt upwards, gritting his teeth against his body’s painful protests at the sudden movement. “This ends now!”
* * *
“It is dishonourable for a warrior to run.”
Angel resisted the temptation to roll his eyes at his son’s pronouncement. Instead he kept his eyes on the smirking vampire in front of him, his tone even as he replied. “That’s as maybe, but it’s far more dishonourable for a warrior to leave the helpless unprotected.”
There was a silence. “Very well, come children.”
Lord Pain chuckled as the sound of Connor’s feet receded into the distance. “Your son, the freak.” Angel growled. “You know I’m going to hunt him down and kill him don’t you?” the older vampire continued.
Angel felt his face shift into its demonic visage. “I know you’ll try.”
Pain smiled, revealing his fangs. “Oh I’ll do rather more than try Angelus. And those sweet children too.”
* * *
Faith bit her bottom lip as the massive demon charged her. At the last second, she darted to the demon’s right, her Scythe flying up in a smooth motion to rip through three fingers of the beast’s hand, dropping the digits to the floor.
Even as the monster roared in agony, Faith let out a triumphant yell that turned into a croak when the gargantuan’s fingers immediately grew back. Stunned by the beast’s amazing recovery, she failed to react when the creature grabbed her by the back of her neck and flung her into the near-by wall.
The back of her head slammed into the wall, causing her to black out for a second. Legs failing her she fell forward, onto her knees. Before she could recover her footing, the demon was on her, his heavy fists smashing into her back with devastating impact. Again and again she tried to rise, but again and again, the monster’s power pounded her down.
* * *
Buffy’s heart leapt into her mouth as she saw the beating her fellow Slayer was getting. Slowly but surely her and the other Slayers were wiping out Pain’s childes, but Faith was going to get killed and, she winced as she blocked a shot to her head on her shoulder, nothing she could do about it.
* * *
Wood glared at him, wincing slightly as he put weight on his ankle. “Neat trick Harris,” the Kalian double agent complimented him. “I’m almost glad you managed it, I’m having so much fun kicking your ass.”
“Kicking my ass?” Xander raised an eyebrow. “And that’s what happened last time we fought.”
Wood shrugged. “You got lucky, it happens. Not this time though.”
“We’ll see,” Xander readied himself for the principal’s next onslaught. But when it came he was completely unprepared.
“You know you were always a joke to Faith,” the principal smiled. “The eager little virgin she deflowered. She told me the thing that worried her most about coming back here was seeing you with your tongue hanging out, too dumb to get the message that the only connection you had was skin. Always said she was relieved she’d moved onto a real man. Me.”
Xander stopped dead, Faith wouldn’t say that. The old Faith sure, but now? Distracted by his thoughts, he failed to note his adversary’s advance until the principal’s fist exploded against his forehead, knocking him back against the wall.
* * *
Angel sensed Lord Pain’s attack an instant before his rival exploded into action. Sliding under the bigger vamp’s right cross, he retaliated with an uppercut that knocked his adversary back a step. Anxious to press his advantage, he stepped forward - right into a headbutt that squashed his nose against his face. Tears of pain blinding him, he stumbled backwards but the older demon was relentless, driving blow after blow into his body.
Finally, exhausted, Angel dropped to one knee. Before Pain had chance to launch another attack, he reached up, grabbed his rival behind his knee and pulled.
His rival let out a surprised gasp before falling backwards. Angel lunged forward, only to catch the tip of his opponent’s foot square on his chin, knocking him onto his back, the back of his head cracking painfully on the ground.
* * *
The principal grabbed him in a headlock, attempting to choke the life out of him. Reaching into reserves he didn’t know he had, Xander looped an arm around his assailant’s waist and propelled him through a near-by office window. Unfortunately for him, his opponent failed to release his hold on his head and as a result the teacher’s momentum also carried him through the window.
His fall came to an end on a hard, unforgiving desk just inside the room, the effect of being sandwiched between the table and the principal forced the last air out of his body. In the distance he could hear Wood cursing as the teacher climbed to his feet. He winced as the African-American grabbed him by the hair and pulled him off the table and flung him onto the floor, further jarring his already battered body. “Gotta give you credit Harris,” his opponent emphasised the remark with a kick to the ribs. “You’re tougher than I thought.”
“Shut up!” Xander’s hand flew up, the shard of glass he’d snatched up off the table embedding itself deep into the shaven-headed man’s left thigh.
“Ah shit!” a look of disbelief on his face, Wood toppled backwards, falling onto the room’s other desk and onto the floor behind it.
“God, I thought teachers were annoying in my day, but you take the biscuit.”
Groaning at the effort, Xander forced himself to his feet, ignoring the pain pulsing through his ravaged body. Seeing his opponent was also struggling upright, he snatched up the computer monitor on the desk between them and flung it at the unprepared principal’s head.
The monitor hit its target, snapping his adversary’s head to one side with such force that he heard the man’s neck crack and watched with relief as his rival fell soundlessly to the floor, finally dead. Exhausted, he lent onto the desk behind him. “Thanks Unc,” he muttered. If not for his Uncle Marcus teaching him that anything could be used as a weapon he’d have lost that fight.
“Xander!” he looked up to see a panting Giles stood in the doorway. “You’re alright!”
“I won,” he corrected wryly. “Alright is a whole different thing.” His face turned pensive. “Any news.”
“Not yet,” Giles replied. “Let’s head back to the hotel.”
Xander nodded wearily. He really needed a hospital, he suspected his left shoulder was dislocated, and knew Wood had cracked some of his ribs, and given him a concussion Giles would be proud of but he wasn’t going anywhere until he’d seen his children.
* * *
For a moment, darkness beckoned, but sensing the other vampire rising, Angel shook it off and leapt to his feet. His fangs showing, Pain leapt at him. Angel waited until the last second before sidestepping and driving his knee upwards at his rival’s groin, Pain’s eyes widened as he saw the trap, and his opponent managed to partially twist away and catch the attack on his thigh.
Cursing, Angel tried for a right hook to the head. Again though Pain avoided his attack, this time by squatting beneath the punch. Angel grunted when the older vampire responded by burying a left in his gut and driving a heel into his shin. Still woozy from the inadvertent kick to the face he’d received, Angel stumbled backwards.
Pain beamed. “Well this was pathetically easy,” the older demon taunted. “Once you’re dead I think I’ll hunt down your boy and the brats, kill them. They’re no use to me now that you ruined the ceremony.” The vampire’s face beamed. “But then killing’s its own reward.”
“Shut up!” Angel lunged forward, his demon rippling to the surface as he sunk his fangs deep into Lord Pain’s thick neck. Surprised, the demon began to bombard his body with punch after punch. Angel ignored the havoc being wrecked on his body to hold on, draw his stake, and plunge it deep into his rival’s heart. Pain’s eyes widened in furious shock, a second later he exploded into dust.
Exhausted, Angel slumped against the wall, forcing his demon back under control. Finally satisfied he had Angelus chained he looked up. “You can come out now,” he raised his eyebrow as Connor led the children out of the shadows behind him. “One day, you’ll listen to what I say.” Although it was lucky he was a vampire, because he didn’t fancy holding his breath waiting.
“Are you alright Uncle Angel?”
Angel smiled at Hoppy’s concerned face before sweeping her and her brother into his arms, ignoring the weariness sweeping through his body. “Are you two okay?” he asked, the children both nodded. “In that case I’m fine.”
“Do you think Mummy will be alright, that demon was awful scary?” Lex commented.
Angel hid his concern behind a smile. “Your mummy’s real tough Lex,” he replied. “She’ll be fine.” God, he silently pleaded, don’t make me a liar.
* * *
Faith screamed as she rolled onto her side and kicked out blindly, hoping to hit the demon to give her body a respite from the savagery it had endured. She winced as her entire body jarred with the connecting impact even as she rejoiced at her attacker’s surprised grunt. Discarding her abused body’s whimpers, she leapt to her feet.
Seeing the demon’s sledgehammer sized fist hurtling towards her face, she ducked beneath the assault and slammed a right into her assailant’s stomach. Tears that combined pain and frustration sprang into her eyes when she cracked two knuckles with her attack. How the hell was she supposed to fight something she couldn’t even hurt?
She groaned when the monster grabbed her by the shoulder and lifted up into the air, his iron grip splintering bone. She was helpless to prevent the beast from backhand slapping her across the face, the blow sending blood flying and shattering her nose. A half-second later and she was flying through the air and back into the wall. “This is starting to get really old,” she muttered through battered lips, the viscera from her mouth leaking onto the floor.
Hope flared as she saw the dropped Scythe some thirty feet away. Normally such a leap would be effortless, but in her weakened state… Seeing the giant closing on her she started to half limp, half run to her hoped for salvation, diving the last few feet. As soon she grasped the weapon she felt renewed vigour flow through her veins, pushing away the pain of just a few seconds ago. Smirking, she leapt to her feet.
And into a raking left to the chest that both tore her muscle vest open and left a trio of bloody furrows across her bosom. “Ah fuck!” Her chest bathed in fiery agony, Faith staggered backwards before leaping forward, feinting with a swing at the demon’s right before turning the Scythe and slamming the shaft end into the monster’s groin. “How you like it shithead?” she snarled.
The demon’s response was immediate and painful. Letting out a howl it sent a heel crashing through her guard and into her stomach, lifting her into the air and flinging her through the door Angel and her babies had fled through.
Sweat and blood pouring down her frame in more or less equal measure, Faith staggered to her feet, her hands still wrapped around the Scythe. She winced as jolting pain shot through her left knee, obviously she’s hurt it in the fall. As the demon squeezed through the doorway, she limped to meet it. Seeing its hand sweep down to grab her hair she ignored the temptation to duck and allowed the beast to lift her into the air. When she was level with the creature’s chest she thrust out with her Scythe, slicing through the beast’s neck.
Instantly the beast exploded into dust, sending her crashing face-first to the ground. Her body trembling with the effort, she placed her hands in front of her and started to stand. “And still the champion,” she croaked through bloodied lips. And then it all went black.