Warnings: Strong sexual language and M/M sexual situations.
Disclaimer: The Bee freely admits she owns none of the characters in this story
and makes no profit. I simply borrow them, then hose them down before returning
them to the shelf for others to use.
Summary: AU. This story is a follow-up to Carnivale Mystique.
At the ending of Carnivale, Willow vowed to spend her life looking for her lost
friend and that is just what she has done. Now, after nearly 40 years, she and
the carnival cross paths again. Can she finally get the answers she needs and
protect her granddaughter from falling victim to the special allure of the carnival?
During the telling of this story will be flashback chapters that tell how Spike
and Xander adjusted to their roles of master and pet.
Note: If you haven't read Carnivale Mystique or have forgotten the story,
there is a prologue that contains a brief summary of the story. Use the tags
at the top of the page to find your way there.
Thanks and credit to silk_labyrinth for betaing the spelling, punctuation and
finding wandering boo boos.
ALL CHAPTERS HERE: http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=bmblbee&keyword=Dream+Catcher&filter=all
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for her friendship and her banners that
put the perfect visual to my words.
Throughout the entire time of the carnival, Darla would appear much like a foul
stench in the wind. She would drift in unexpectedly, stay long past her welcome
was spent, then without notice, float away. She always left chaos in her wake.
As matriarch of the clan, she would claim power over the carnival and anyone
who was involved in it. Even Angelus curbed his vicious ways and acquiesced to
her when she was in residence.
It was inconvenient. It was unsettling, and it fucked with the delicate balance of
the vampires in particular and the Carnivale Mystique in general.
During one of her earlier visits, she had demanded sire's rights and claimed Xander
for an evening. Spike had fought hard and only after being chained and restrained
by Angelus, did Xander reluctantly go with her for fear his Spike would be injured
She was furious when, out of revulsion and terror, Xander was unable to perform.
He was bitten, beaten and tossed from the main trailer, where Spike found him
lying in the blood and mud. The two spent the next week tending each other's
injuries, and on her subsequent visits, Xander was kept well hidden.
In short, she made Angelus look like a kitten with a bow on its ear.
The night that would change the carnival forever started calmly enough. They
had just arrived and set up in an open field in the north of France. The weather
had been pleasantly cool, and the curious crowds that watched them hoist their
tents and feed their animals had been cheerful and plentiful. Opening night saw
a huge turnout and the vampires licked their lips at the prospect of later.
Darla had appeared on that first night. As though she were a local, she smiled
and stepped through the clown's mouth and onto the grounds. The moment her
tiny feet hit the sawdust, the turbulence filled the air and every demon and vampire
there could feel the dark clouds settle over their heads.
When the familiar shudder flushed through him, Angelus charged from his trailer
and went in search of his beloved sire. Anytime she appeared, he was assured the
most deliciously deviant and painful sexual experiences possible. Her imagination
and initiative never failed to astound him. Oh sweet Jesus, the horrible things she
could do to him. It made his cock hard in his trousers just thinking about it.
He didn't need directions or information. He knew by draw and instinct. As a
hound knows his master, Angelus rushed across the grounds and through the
masses of humanity to find the only person in the carnival that mattered.
As he quietly spoke her name, a reverence colored the tone. In answer, Darla
smiled sweetly and batted her lashes. To any passerby it would appear that the
two were innocent lovers out for a date.
"Angelus, my darling puppy. I've missed you. My long years spent in the company
of the Master have grown tedious and I needed a diversion. Will you be my diversion,
Angelus grinned goofily and nodded his head. The sight of the bloodthirsty vampire
acting like a smitten schoolboy was horrifying and left the carneys that witnessed it
scarred for life. Most turned their heads for fear their retinas would explode.
The next four days were ones of total discord. During the nights, she would queen
around the grounds, tossing nonsensical orders and making inoperable changes
that had everyone scrambling to make the unworkable work, only to be told the
next night that she wanted it changed back.
Then there were the days. The hours when the sun was high in the sky and the
humans could pretend that their lives were normal and that they were only
working this strange job for some temporary pocket change. All shared one
opinion. Coming to work here was a major mistake and none of them could
wait until the run was over, yet they knew that, till then, escape was not an option.
When the sun set, there was nowhere they could hide and death was a certain end.
All of them avoided the far end of the grounds. The areas where the owners of the
carnival, the vampires, resided.
At some point Darla had, as expected, become bored. The regimented routine
of a 24-hour day of work and sleep did not suit her short attention span and left
her twitchy and impatient, yet she was not ready to move on.
Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, dead fish and visiting relatives should not
hang around too long as they both tend to stink, and by then Darla stunk to
She had begun spending more and more of her evening time away from the carnival
and in the nearby towns and cities. She broke the cardinal rule and often returned
with her victims, both dead and alive, to share her games with Angelus. Together
they would revel in their atrocities and murderous pleasures.
The bodies of their castoffs began to stack up disturbingly.
When the local sheriff showed up requesting permission to search the grounds,
Spike demanded he return with a warrant.
Up to now, Spike had taken great pains to keep Xander under wraps and as far
away from the deadly duo as he could. Over the course of the preceding years
and after many fights, some of which had turned physical, Spike and Angelus had
come to the understanding that Xander was private property and there was no
borrowing, lending, taking, sharing or touching.
Spike's Pet was no library book.
So for the period of time that the carnival had to endure the presence of the queen
bitch, Spike preferred to pretend she didn't exist. He did his best to tend to the
nightly chores of the carnival and keep Xander tucked safely at his side, knowing
that sooner or later she would vanish into the night. He prayed for sooner.
But now the heat was on. The locals, armed with tasers and shotguns rather than
pitchforks and torches, were on their scent and closing in. Her fucking disregard
for common sense and self-control would get them burned out.
Darla wasn't stupid. She knew she had long ago worn out a welcome that she
never really had. She had entertained herself for a few moments but no matter
how outlandish the escapades got, she was still bored and the tedious lecture
Spike was babbling on with simply underlined what she already knew. It was
time to go. But this time, she didn't want to go alone.
It was the whole point in coming back to this smelly, animal-stench and fledge-
infested roach pit that they laughingly called a carnival. Darla wanted to show
Angelus just what he was missing by not being with her. She wanted to lure him
with lust and lead him off into a great adventure with her, and this was the night
to pull out all the stops. It was the ace in the hole, the hidden diamond that she
held for the final push.
The three of them stood out front of Angelus's trailer and she smiled demurely.
She had no doubt that tonight's treat would show him that being with her was
the best thing.
"You are right, of course, Spike. I'm so sorry I caused you any problems. Tell
you what, Angelus and I are going to have a small going-away party tonight
and by the morning I will be gone. Will that suit you?"
Spike frowned. That was way too easy. Her royal snottiness was never that
agreeable. Still, it was a hope to hang his hat on.
"Yeah, right that. Sorry to be so pushy, no hard feelings, yeah?"
Angelus blinked. He had never heard Darla so consenting nor could he ever
remember Spike apologizing. Chicken Little must be right. The fucking sky was
about to fall.
Two hours later it did.
Angelus had waited impatiently in his trailer as instructed, as Darla went to retrieve
the special gift she had her eye on. Then just as he was about to give up and go
search for her, the trailer door flew open and a beautiful, dark-haired girl was
tossed to his feet. She was amazing. Long, thick hair, olive skin and startling
green eyes that shot daggers at him.
Angelus sniffed her and his grin widened, showing a row of razor-sharp teeth and
two very prominent fangs. He crouched down in front of her and then looked up
at Darla in awe.
"A virgin! A gypsy virgin! Oh, Sire, what a find!"
The ensuing turmoil was a web woven from black magic, curses and chaos.
Lightning from a freak storm took out the carousel, a plague of roaches closed
down the food stands and an army of rats drove the townspeople away.
Then the unthinkable happened.
On the third day, Angelus arose to find himself face to face with a spectral
vision. A shimmering, shapeless white fog that floated, swaying in the air and
blocking his escape from the trailer.
Although it had no face or other recognizable features, Angelus was certain it
was staring directly at him. Before he had the chance to determine his choice
of fight or flight, the ectoplasm began to expand. It grew larger, whiter, and
brighter until he had to cover his eyes out of fear of blindess.
When he could feel the heat of it across his body, he screamed. At just that
moment, it lifted itself higher and wider and it began to spin. Faster and faster
it moved till it took on the shape of a tornado directly over his head, and when
the tip of the funnel cloud reached down and touched the top of his head, it
pierced through his scalp like a scalding knife through butter and it filled him
to overflowing with the goodness of mankind.
Angelus had a soul.
That night the carnival moved on, but there was no escaping what had happened
and almost immediately Darla left in disgust. Spike tried to help him but found
the brooding and eating of rats more than he could stomach. Within the month
it was decided that Spike would take over the carnival and Angel, as he now
called himself, could go to hell.
He was left behind in Los Angeles to fend for himself.