Chapter 7: Destiny
The story so far:
Thanks to Angelus’ annihilation of the convent, the prison was essentially unguarded. Rowan and Spike took advantage of the lack of guards to rescue Jeb Horner. Spike got shot in the chest, but he heals fast. Tiberius discovered he is now a werewolf. Spike is glad he didn’t eat Tiberius, or he might have become a werepire.
Marie-Angelique left for Haiti in a magically enhanced rowboat. Regis Bostwick picked up Dru and Miss Edith; boy, did he
get a surprise! His brother Charles is now safe from his machinations.
Still tracking Angelus and Darla, Daniel Holtz has turned up on Haiti. That man never gives up! Jeb Horner took Rowan, Spike and Tiberius to the Black Pearl. Spike was very put out that Drusilla was no longer there. In gratitude for their rescuing Jeb Horner, Captain Jack has agreed to use the Pearl to track down Drusilla.
Chapter Seven: Destiny
Marie-Angelique was warmly welcomed into the fold of true believers. She participated in ceremonies, performed healings and generally made herself useful. The visions were becoming stronger, but the reason for her being here had not yet been made clear to her. She knew it was important, though. When the Powers That Be took this strong an interest, it meant world-changing events were unfolding. She touched her forehead to the ground in obeisance. She would be shown what she needed to know when it was time.
Daniel Holtz was single-minded in his vengeance. He had dedicated his life to utterly destroying the two creatures who had taken his family from him. As long as there was breath in his body, he would hunt them down, and he would
eventually succeed. The alternative was inconceivable. He would not allow himself to entertain even the briefest doubt—the slightest hint of failure.
He had learned that they had set sail for the Caribbean and he would find them, if he had to search every single island in these waters. He would not rest until either Angelus and Darla or he, himself, was dead. Bringing his left hand to his mouth, he kissed his wedding ring to seal his vow, as he did every time he re-dedicated himself to the cause.
He continued making the rounds of the waterfront taverns and inns. From there, he would broaden his search to churches, Gentlemen’s Clubs, and when he had spread the word of the two he sought, he would move on to the next town and begin again.
Sooner or later, he would receive word of their whereabouts. It was inevitable. God was on his side—he could not fail.
Captain Jack knocked on the cabin door, Drusilla’s chemise in hand.
It was hers, alright. Spike could smell her distinctive scent. Drusilla smelled of apples and honey and lavender with a hint of decay—as if the apples were windfalls just beginning to rot and the lavender had been crushed by a careless boot step.
Spike wanted to wrap himself in her chemise and just inhale her scent until it became a part of him, but Rowan needed the shift for a locater spell. She thought she could track Dru’s whereabouts, and even Spike had to admit that seemed like a better plan than just sailing willy-nilly, hoping to eventually cross her path.
Rowan lit candles and burned some herbs in a brass bowl borrowed from Captain Jack. Closing her eyes, she inhaled the smoke and passed her hand, palm down, over Jack’s nautical maps, one by one. Suddenly, her index finger swooped down to touch the map. Everyone crowded around to see.
“She’s currently in the West Indies,” Jack announced.
Rowan’s finger began to move toward the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“And we should be able to catch up with her there,” he added with satisfaction.
Drusilla stopped abruptly and put both hands to her temples. A secret smile curved her lips as she started to sway.
“My Spike is coming for me,” she informed Miss Edith. “He has found me at last.”
She frowned and added, “Although, when Oi suggested we play ‘Hide and Go Seek’, Oi hadn’t thought it would take him quite
this long.” Drusilla shrugged. “Oh, well. My Spike was never one for the easy way. Likes a challenge, he does. But Oi think Oi shall let him find me, now.”
Linking her arm through Miss Edith’s, Drusilla resumed walking.
Daniel Holtz’s ears perked up as he caught a snippet of conversation from the next table. He took a long drink of his ale and subtly shifted in his chair to hear better. The tavern was loud, but he concentrated on distinguishing these two voices from the surrounding din.
“. . . just disappeared . . . thought they ran away . . .”
“. . . three of mine in the last fortnight . . .”
“. . . found a body . . . drained of blood . . .”
“. . . ritual sacrifice, d’ya think?”
“. . . never seen anything like it . . .”
“. . . Fortineau said . . . wild animal . . . girl was savaged . . .”
Holtz smiled. He knew the name of Jean Fortineau. He thought he would ride out to the Fortineau plantation tomorrow and pay a call. He had learned from past experience that if he attempted to question these men directly, they would each become the soul of discretion with a stranger, but he was sure he could find out what he wanted to know from Fortineau.
The Black Pearl weighed anchor and set sail for the Ambergris Cays. Rowan, Spike and Tiberius were dining with Captain Jack in his cabin, while the crew were celebrating Jeb Horner’s return in the mess.
John Groat had outdone himself with a spicy gumbo made with conch marinated in lime. Spike inhaled the aroma and sensuously rolled a bite around on his tongue before swallowing. He loved
spicy food! He couldn’t imagine why Angelus and Darla didn’t ever eat unless they were trying to pass as human. It was fun, and Spike was always interested in new experiences . . . new sensations. Darla had trained Angelus and they both seemed to think vampires should live outside the world unless they were feeding, but Spike liked
the world. He grinned and savored another bite.
The sun had slipped below the horizon on the second day as they approached the islands Rowan had indicated. Rounding a headland, they beheld a ship with blood red sails, flying the skull and crossbones.
Spike let out a bark of laughter, looked again, and began laughing so hard he lost his breath. Silently shaking, he pointed.
Captain Jack raised an eyebrow, but couldn’t understand what was so funny. Tiberius was looking at him as if he’d gone insane.
Spike gasped for breath, but before he could explain, the mirth overtook him again.
“The flag . . .” he gasped. “Look at the flag . . . the skull has fangs!” and he doubled over holding his sides.
Captain Jack lifted his spy glass and soon he was laughing, too. Against the red background, the white skull did indeed bear a prominent set of fangs.
“Wonder if ‘Angelus’ was this pretentious when he was alive?” Spike chuckled. “Would have loved to have met the git!”
As they neared the Aurelius, Spike cupped his hands and bellowed, “Drusilla!
Wearing a diaphanous white gown, Drusilla drifted to the rail. “My Spike has come for me.”
“Damn right, I have!”
“What if Oi don’t want to go with you?”
“What’d’ya mean ‘not want to go’ with me?”
“You were a naughty boy! You left me alone in the dark and he
found me.” Drusilla pointed to Captain Jack. “P’rhaps Oi’ll go with him!”
“You already went
with him . . .”
Captain Jack put his hand on Spike’s arm and suggested, “This entire parley might go better in person . . . and at less volume.”
Spike nodded. “I’m coming over to get you, Drusilla.”
“Oi don’t want to talk to you.”
“Why the hell not?”
“You’re a bad, rude man! Oi want to talk to him
“Me?” Captain Jack looked startled.
“It’s alright,” Rowan replied. Fingers moving rapidly, she sketched signs in the air and a blue shimmer surrounded Jack.
“Good enough,” Spike said as he and Jack grabbed two coiled ropes and ran the length of the deck. In tandem, they flew over the water, releasing the ropes as they dropped to the deck of the Aurelius.
Spike and Drusilla stood glaring at each other. Captain Jack looked around, then took out a dirk and began to clean his fingernails. He figured they were going to be here for awhile.
A petite blonde in game face came up on deck to see the show. Spike thought for a moment that it was Darla, but her scent was different. Ignoring the interruption, he continued to glare at Dru. The blonde came nearer.
“William?” There were equal parts surprise and pleasure in her voice.
“Hey, wait a minute.” Furrowing his brow, Spike looked at her closely. She shifted into human face.
Drusilla stamped her foot, bringing Spike’s attention back to her.
Priscilla glided over to Captain Jack. She slowly looked him up and down.
Captain Jack froze. Rowan had assured him that none of the vampires could hurt him, but she hadn’t given him any defense against this woman’s seeming to eat him alive with her eyes. He felt like a rabbit hypnotized by a cobra, and all his vaulted charm and finesse momentarily deserted him.
Priscilla reached out and grabbed his arse. Captain Jack squeaked. There was no other word for it. He definitely *squeaked*.
“I like you,” Priscilla purred.
“Um . . . thank you? I think?”
Her hands were crawling up his chest. “What’s your name, my handsome pirate?”
“Cap—” Jack stopped to clear his throat and started again, in a lower register. “I’m Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain of the Black Pearl, at your service.”
“Really?” Priscilla’s hands were now slowly sliding down
his chest. “And what service will you be providing, Captain Jack Sparrow?”
Drusilla stamped her foot again. “Oi have my own ship, now. Why should I go with you?”
“Because . . . well, just because.”
say so? You’re not my daddy! Oi’m a pirate now. Maybe, if you’re very good, Oi’ll let you come with me
“Bloody hell! I’ve searched the whole soddin’ Caribbean to find you, woman, and now you’re tellin’ me you didn’t want
to be found? Jack! C'mon, Jack. We’re leaving! These ‘pirates’ seem to find us superfluous!”
“Thank God!” Jack murmured.
Priscilla’s hands were now wandering nowhere near his chest. “I don’t find you superfluous,” she whispered, licking his ear. “In fact, you’re quite . . . ‘perfluous’.”
“Don’t be cross, my brave knight. You can sail with us. We’ll go to Brazil. Oi’ve always wanted to see Carnival.” Drusilla’s huge eyes looked at Spike with such pleading that his anger fled.
“And someday we’ll go, pet. I’ll take you to Brazil, and my dark Princess will be the Queen of the Carnival!”
“Promise? Promise that you’ll take me to Brazil some day?”
“I promise, love.”
“Alright. Oi’ll go with you.” Drusilla turned to Priscilla. “Miss Edith, you may have the Aurelius. You’ll be able to keep our naughty boys in line. They do
need a woman’s touch. My Spike has come for me and we must leave now.”
As she passed, she patted the much smaller Priscilla on the head. “Have fun. You’ve been a very good dolly, Miss Edith.”
The Pearl had drifted close enough to throw down a plank between the two vessels. Sweeping Drusilla into his arms, Spike crossed to the Pearl. Finally managing to disengage from Miss Edith, Captain Jack gave a small bow, clapped his hat on his head and ran for all he was worth.
Back on the Pearl, he stood watching the Aurelius grow smaller as they sailed away and mused, “Years from now, when people remember the great pirates, they’ll think of Blackbeard, Bluebeard, Long John Silver, Captain Jack Sparrow, the Dread Pirate Roberts and . . . Miss Edith?”
An underground current of fear and rage was spreading throughout Haiti as the disappearances continued. The believers begged Marie-Angelique to put a stop to it—and she could. She had the power to do so. But there were reasons why she chose not to; reasons that she was not at liberty to explain. The Loas were becoming angry. They had given her much and expected her to use her gifts to protect their people, but the Greater Good would not be served if she acted rashly.
Her heart bled for these needless deaths. Good people, innocent people were dying as she stood by and watched. She tried to remind herself that there were casualties in war . . . and this war against the darkness was never ending. But, it was so hard.
Her actions now would either doom or save the earth hundreds of years from now, but Marie-Angelique did not live in the future. She lived in the present. She cared about the people dying now
. It was difficult to sacrifice them for an abstraction of humanity to be born generations from now.
A brief, regretful smile crossed her face. If it were easy, anyone could do it. She continued to fast and pray that more lives would not have to be lost before things were resolved.
Daniel Holtz left the Fortineau plantation a satisfied man. He was not a happy man—he didn’t think he would ever
be happy again—but he was satisfied. He had learned what he needed to know. ‘Lord and Lady Burroughs-Hill’ were houseguests of the La Pointes. His revenge was at hand. This
time Angelus and his whore would not escape him. He would avenge his family, and justice would finally be his.
The Black Pearl glided into a hidden cove far from the established ports on Haiti. Captain Jack was not a fool. There was a price on the head of all pirates and he was not about to blithely sail into a trap, but amongst his crew there was always someone who knew the hidden accesses to nearly every island in the Caribbean.
Drusilla was vibrating with excitement. She stretched out her arms toward land. “The drums. The drums are calling to me.”
Leaving the crew on board to guard the Pearl, Captain Jack, Rowan, Spike, Drusilla and Tiberius rowed to shore in a dingy. Stepping onto the rocky beach, Drusilla put both hands to her temples and cocked her head.
“Daddy is here . . . and Grandmother. It’s a tea party with dark, rich wine.” Her eyes glazed, and she became agitated. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.
Not yours. You shan’t have your vengeance. It’s not time . . . not nearly time. . .”
Spike took her into his arms. “Shush, love. It’s alright. You’re safe, pet.”
She continued to stare with vacant eyes. A firefly twinkled in front of them, and then started off down the beach. When the small light noticed they weren’t flowing, it returned and zoomed around in front of them.
“I’ve never seen a bug act like that! What’s the matter with it?” Tiberius asked.
“ 'S not a bug. ’s one of Rowan’s light-pets!” Spike contributed.
Rowan smiled. “Spike is right, it’s not a bug, it’s a ‘pathfinder’ sent by my mother. It will take us to her. Come.”
As they started off after the light, Drusilla’s eyes focused again. “Oi don’t like this place, Spike. It’s a bad place.” Drusilla smiled radiantly at him. “But the drums do grumble quite nicely.”
Spike’s eyes widened as they approached the sacred clearing. Nothing in his experience as either an upper-class Englishman or a vampire had prepared him for the sights, sounds and pure, primal power that washed over him. The drums were an incessant thrumming in his blood, mimicking the heartbeat he no longer had. He felt his body involuntarily begin to sway.
Captain Jack lounged against a tree at the perimeter of the clearing silently observing, for once. Tiberius seemed jittery, as if he was uncomfortable in his skin. It was only two days until the start of the three night lunar cycle that would bring out the wolf, and the rising power must be affecting him, Spike decided.
If the three men felt on edge, Drusilla had no such qualms. She floated through the clearing like a fairy princess, stopping to dance with one, accepting a snake from another, which she wrapped around her body as she glided over to the next group. She was in her element and felt welcomed.
Rowan approached the woman sitting on a throne made of bones, dipped her hand into a pot of sweet-smelling oil and touched it to her forehead and eyelids before prostrating herself on the ground before her mother. Marie-Angelique reached out and stroked Rowan’s hair before signaling her to rise.
“You have done well, my daughter.” Marie-Angelique rose from her throne and linked her arm with Rowan’s. “I would meet your guests.”
Marie-Angelique shimmered with power as Rowan led her to where the men waited. She regally bowed her head to each in turn as Rowan introduced them.
She stood before Captain Jack, and taking his left hand between her two palms, said, “Thank you for bringing my daughter and her friends safely to me. You are a good man . . . a man of honor, and will have a long and rewarding career.”
Captain Jack bowed and kissed her hand.
Laying her hands on either side of Tiberius’ head, she said, “Be calm. It is not a wolf moon tonight. The man is ascendant.”
Tiberius felt himself relax at her touch. The energy of the power build up had awakened the wolf aspect and he had been terrified that he would not be able to control himself; that he would change and hurt these innocent people, and especially Rowan. He never wanted to hurt Rowan.
Marie-Angelique smiled. His love for her daughter was clearly visible on his face. She continued, “Rowan will help you. You can trust her. You will learn to live with, and eventually control the wolf, if you choose. The wolf is strong, but you are stronger.”
“But what if I can’t? If I can’t control the wolf?”
Marie-Angelique shrugged. “Then you will lose yourself and become the beast. You have been touched by the supernatural. It gives you much power. You may give in to that power or you may learn to control it. It is your choice.”
She turned to Spike. “The same holds true for you. You think you know what you are . . . what’s to come. You haven’t even begun.”
“Well, well, well. The prodigals have returned. Fancy meetin' you here.”
Angelus strolled into the clearing. Drusilla hurried over to him and he put one arm around her and the other around Darla, drawing them both close.
“Have we been off havin’ little adventures, William?
Have we found our ‘destiny’?” he asked snidely. “And what have we here?”
Angelus insolently looked Rowan up and down. “‘Twas kind of you to bring me a gift, William, if you think my two women aren’t enough . . .”
Spike started to lunge for Angelus, but was halted by a flaming arrow streaking past to bury itself in the tree behind Angelus. Both Darla and Dru leapt out of the way. A man carrying a crossbow stalked into the clearing.
“What are you about now, Holtz? Don’t you ever
give up?” Angelus rolled his eyes and glared at the newcomer. “Yer startin’ to bore me.”
Darla leaned toward him and whispered, “I think you were right, Angelus. We should have killed him when last we met.”
“So . . . you two know each other, then?” Spike interjected.
Holtz smiled chillingly. “Yes, you could say we ‘know’ each other. He knows me as ‘Retribution’. I know him as the murderous fiend that massacred my family. He killed my wife and son . . . but that wasn’t enough for him. He took special pleasure in turning my daughter and forcing me to kill the demon she had become.”
“Well, I always like to make a memorable first impression,” Angelus taunted. “So, tell me, Daniel . . . did she beg you not to stake her, or did she just try and rip your head off?”
Holtz loosed an arrow at Angelus, but a green shimmer appeared in front of him and the arrow harmlessly bounced off and fell to the ground. Both Holtz and Angelus appeared surprised.
From out of the woods, Tiberius heard another crossbow being notched. He didn’t know who these people were or understand what was going on, but Rowan and her mother were obviously protecting the one called Angelus and his lady, so Tiberius would do his part. With a flying leap, he knocked the second man with the crossbow to the ground.
, boy?” The man turned the bow on him and Tiberius winced as the arrow penetrated his chest just below the collarbone. He growled.
He heard Rowan’s scream and tried to get control of himself. He had felt his bones beginning to melt and change, but he fought through his pain and anger to keep the wolf in check.
At that point, all hell broke loose.
Jean Fortineau and the men he had brought to back-up Holtz streamed out of the woods, firing both pistols and crossbows. The Voodoo worshipers screamed as many were cut down. Angelus and Darla went into game face and attacked. Rowan’s fingers moved as she began a spell of protection which was cut short as Marie-Angelique forcibly grabbed her hand.
Rowan looked at her mother in confusion. “Why, maman? Innocent people are dying. I must help . . .”
“No! I need you with me. I need your power! I must open a portal, and I need your help.”
“A portal? To where?”
“I don’t know! The Powers That Be will choose, but we must open it. The vampires must escape.”
“A portal takes strong magicks . . . the blood of our people—your
followers—are they to be the sacrifice?”
“No! I would not willingly sacrifice innocents, but this must be done. It is more important than you or I will ever know.”
Rowan nodded, and grasping both Marie-Angelique’s hands in hers, she opened herself and let her power flow into her mother. Marie-Angelique concentrated, ignoring the battle raging around her.
Captain Jack drew his sword and knocked the pistol out of the hand of the man who had rushed up beside him.
The hunting party was armed with swords, pistols and some crossbows. Angelus, Darla, Spike and Dru were fighting with fists and fangs. Tiberius lay on the ground, shaking and growling, as a haze of thick body hair surrounded him and then receded, as he battled the wolf for control of the body.
Marie-Angelique’s people had no weapons but their own bodies. The man who had given Drusilla the snake was dancing, calling on Papa Legba and the Loas for help.
The scene took on the properties of a nightmare.
The blue-green shimmer, being called into existence by Marie-Angelique, expanded. A vortex was created in the center with the joined blue and green light sparkles swirling around it. It was nearly large enough.
” Rowan screamed to be heard over the melee.
Spike turned at the sound of her voice and saw the portal. He felt a sword slide through his side in that moment of distraction, and turned back to his attacker with a low growl. But he had understood Rowan’s message. He fought his way to Angelus and indicated the swirling vortex.
“We have to go . . . through there.”
“Saints preserve us!” The old, oft-used phrase came unbidden to Angelus’ lips. “What the hell is that?”
Spike grinned. “Our escape route!”
Angelus nodded and grabbed a man aiming a crossbow at Darla, snapping his neck.
Spike snatched up Drusilla in his arms and ran for the portal. He staggered as a pistol shot ripped through his back, but did not stop. With a burst of vampiric speed, he flung himself at the portal and he and Dru disappeared.
Holtz had now noticed the portal and saw Darla and Angelus fighting their way to it.
“No-o-o-o-o-o!” His voice was an unearthly scream of rage, frustration and loss. “You shall not
escape me, hellbeasts! Not again . . .”
Angelus shoved Darla through the portal and turned to meet Holtz’s eyes. A cocky grin formed on his face and he deliberately raised his right hand in farewell, folding his ring and little fingers into his palm. With a laugh, he jumped and the portal closed.
Holtz flew at the spot where his nemesis had disappeared, but there was nothing there. Grabbing Marie-Angelique around the throat, he shook her like a dog.
“What have you done, you bitch?”
“What I had to.”
“You haven’t beaten me! I’ll find them yet! There is no where they can go to hide from my wrath! If it takes an eternity, I will find them and they will pay. Where have you sent them?”
“I don’t know.” Marie-Angelique’s voice was faint as she began to lose consciousness. She dimly heard Rowan’s voice screaming “Maman!”
Rowan was attempting to save her, but her power had been depleted by the opening of the portal. Marie-Angelique looked at Rowan, eyes overflowing with love and peace.
“There must be a sacrifice,” she whispered, and as Holtz’s enraged fingers crushed her throat, she died.
Angelus stumbled out of the portal to find the other three sprawled on the ground.
Spike was bleeding from a sword wound in his side and there was a rather large hole in his chest where the pistol ball had exited. The women were disheveled, sporting various cuts and bruises. Angelus threw back his head and laughed. “Let’s feed!”
They made their way over unfamiliar ground until they came to a road. Hearing the clop-clop of horses’ hooves, Angelus signaled the others to lay low as he stepped into the road and grabbed the bridle of the near horse. The horse reared, and the coachman stared at him in shock.
He grabbed the man and pulled him down from his perch as the others ripped open the carriage doors.
“Where am I?” Angelus demanded. The man looked at him blankly. “Ou est? Donde esta?” He tried French, Spanish, Italian, German and even Gallic as he flung out his hand to indicate the countryside. “What . . . place . . . this?” he gritted out.
Finally understanding the question, the coachman replied, “Romania”.
Angelus smiled his thanks, then slid into game face and sunk his fangs into the coachman’s throat. Dropping the body, he peered into the coach to discover an already dead body, and Darla just finishing the last of a second. Spike and Dru had drug their victims out of the coach where there was more room, and those bodies lay sprawled on the roadway.
Angelus picked up a blood spattered newspaper and glanced at the date. 1898. He flung the paper aside and helped Darla out of the coach.
“Did you discover where we are, Angelus?”
He nodded. “Romania.”
“O-o-o-o-o, Romania,” Dru’s voice came from behind him. “Oi want to be a gypsy!”
Throwing his arms around Spike and Darla, Angelus grinned and started off down the road. Drusilla danced in front of them, twirling and humming.
“Oi’d make a lovely gypsy!”
As Spike began to burn from the inside out, memories of his past streamed through his mind. He remembered everything. He had needed to hang on long enough to get Buffy to safety and he had done that. Now he could let go.
He smiled, remembering his dismay when he had thought the witch was telling him Darla would be his destiny. Darla may have been Angelus’ destiny, but his was Buffy—always and forever.
He had seen the love and respect and grief for him in her eyes as she had looked deeply into his, touching his soul, before he sent her away. He had finally managed to do something right.
He would have liked to tell Rowan that she had been spot on—that he did
get to choose his own path, after all. Somehow . . . he figured she knew. THE END