Title: The More Things Change
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Concrit: by email please
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Joss and a bunch of lawyers. I'm just playing with them. No disrespect intended. No reflection on real persons or places intended. I'm not making any profit from this. This is strictly for entertainment.
Warnings/Squicks: A little strong language so far
Summary:Xander goes to LA on a fact finding mission and who does he run into but Angelus. Scariness ensues.
Previous chapters: Here
Notes: This doesn't strictly follow canon. Sooo if you don't like that sort of thing you might want to skip this. This is my first story so feedback is very welcome. Please send concrit by email.
Beta(s): The wonderful and gracious mwrgana Thank you and XOXOXOXO. All mistakes and looniness left are mine and mine alone.
Graphics: (size, and artist)
Hindsight is 20/20. He bitterly regretted making the trip to LA now, even though he had been the only one who could make the trip. It had seemed like a totally simple thing to do. Go to LA and ask Angel and crew about any information about The First they could give him to take back. Only, when he had gotten to the hotel, Wesley wasn't there, nor was Fred nor Cordelia. Angel was there, but it hadn't been Angel had it? Nooooo, he had to deliver himself right into Angelus's hands. And hadn't Angelus been delighted?
It had been several weeks since Xander had pulled a crazy Spike out of the school basement and brought him home. He gave him the spare room in his apartment and made sure he fed regularly and bathed. Spike seemed to be recovering nicely except for nightmares and the few times when a blankness would wash over him and he would stare into space at nothing for several moments. He would snap out of his daze suddenly and shake his head and mumble to himself but continue on as though nothing had happened. Xander felt it was better to ignore the lapses and just keep observing since Spike had improved so much.
Spike was quieter than he used to be and the brash ego was toned down about five notches. The hard edge of his anger seemed to have been shed along the way during his adventures as well. Xander found himself liking this Spike despite himself. He also had new found respect for the vampire. Spike had gone through excruciating trials to get his soul back unlike Angel whose soul was tacked on by a curse.
Xander sometimes wondered if it weren't more being cursed with a guilty conscience as opposed to a soul. A soul doesn't cause pain but a guilty conscience is extremely painful. Feelings of unrelenting guilt can be torture. A curse is supposed to be a bad thing anyway. How could anything good come of it? It wasn't meant to make Angel good. It was meant to make him suffer. It was revenge pure and simple. Because of what he'd seen in his short life he felt that souls didn't really matter much as a form of behavioral control. A conscience now, that can sway the mightiest of men, unless they lack one, like psychopaths and sociopaths, and they still had their souls.
Then everyone started getting the visitations from dead people. He had been really freaked when Jesse of all people had appeared to him. It had been particularly painful when the apparition had accused him of killing him and not caring. Then had tried to get him to kill himself. He'd felt like someone was carving his heart out with a dull knife.
There were Scooby meetings and discussions and it was finally decided that it was The First. The same evil that had nearly led Angel to self immolation in a Sunnydale cemetery at sunrise. Books were brought out and poured over and calls were made and they finally decided that they would send someone to LA to see if any additional information could be found there with Angel's contacts.
It was supposed to be a quick there-and-back trip.