THUMB TWIDDLING/ REWRITEFandom:
BTVS; Angel the SeriesWarnings:Not really, Rating:PG,
Summary: Vamp! Xander is bored.
if you like, just tell me. :-)
Comments are most welcome. In fact, PLEASE!!!
Autthor note: This actually started as a drabble, then became a one off-- and then became the springboard for my novel-in-progress, The Hive
. I rewrote it, because I felt I could do a better job-- fleshed it out, tried to work in some writing techniques, etc, that I've been studying.
I hope you enjoy it, feel free to give feedback. It's the only way I'll learn. :-)
It was very late when Xander finally succumbed to the need to do something-- anything! and found himself downstairs at Angel's office. He stopped in the doorway, unsure of what to say; he didn't want to look like some undisciplined Fledge-- though perhaps that was unfair; he was an undisciplined fledge. But he didn't have to show it, did he? His new fangs itched. He hoped he wasn't going to lisp.
Xander knocked quietly on the door frame.
Angel looked up from the mountain of papers on his desk. "Xander?" Angel regarded the young vampire curiously. "You need something?"
Xander shifted. "I, uh-- well, I'm kinda bored." Xander did feel...fidgety. Almost itchy. "I have all this energy..." He gave Angel a pleading glance. “I just—need something to do.”
"Well, you're young. A fledge. Can't you go fix something?"Angel stared at Xander, bemused.
“I think I've fixed the whole hotel.” The young vampire was trying hard to look cool and unruffled. Xander laced his fingers together, both thumbs busily moving back and forth. Better than jumping up and down, screaming, he supposed.
Angel gave Xander an odd look. "You're twiddling your thumbs." Angel deadpanned. "Badly."
"Err." Xander sheepishly looked down at his hands and stilled them. Looking back up at Angel's now openly amused face, he jammed them into his pockets. Angel was enjoying this. Bastard.
Angel cocked his head for a moment, as if listening to something. He briskly got up, and made his way around the desk, and left the office, muttering, "Do people actually...twiddle? Their thumbs?"
Xander followed Angel as he strode towards the weapons cabinet, shaking his head. "Vampires don't twiddle, Xander.” Angel said, taking down a short sword to twirl it experimentally.
"I wasn't actually, you know, twiddling." Xander slowly followed Angel's example and grabbed a hefty axe. He tested its balance. Nice. "I mean, who actually twiddles in this day and age? Isn't that, like a Victorian gesture? Fourth century?"
He swung the ax, enjoying the feel of it. Maybe they were going to have weapons practice? Xander grinned, seriously hoping. Weapons practice was of the good. Especially now, with the vampire strength and snazzy reflexes. He swung the axe again.
"Careful with that ax, boy. Angel growled. "And that's Nineteenth Century." He snorted. And you were twiddling."
"How do you know? Have you actually ever seen anyone twiddle?" Xander asked archly. Holding onto the shreds of his dignity, Xander watched Angel glance appraisingly at the entryway behind Xander, then back at the weapons case, making a selection.
“Mmmm.” Angel mused for a moment, gaze flicking back and forth over the weaponry. He finally picked out another axe; much bigger than Xander's, very sharp."Ah ha. Perfect." He hefted it, testing its balance. He shot Xander a smug look, grin quirking one corner of his mouth."I've read about twiddling, and you were definitely doing it."
"Not." Xander struggled between pouting and laughing. Who knew that Angel was capable of teasing?
He watched Angel toss the axe up in the air and catch it by its handle. Cool. And did something smell funny? Sort of like...rancid sewage?
Puzzled, he asked, "And, ah--Angel, what's with the arming up? Are we gonna pract---"
"This." Angel suddenly pivoted on his heel, and threw his short sword in a deadly, spinning arc. The blade sank to the hilt in the chest of a small mountain of tentacled, obscenely jiggling flesh, just as it reached for Xander.
He jerked as a huge appendage glistening with slime, slammed down beside him, staring in disbelief as jagged lines of cracked marble radiated on the floor where it hit.
What the hell? Cthulhu?? He needed to quit reading so much Lovecraft. Xander twisted to avoid the writhing limb's grasp as it reached for him, and nearly lost his footing as he felt a sharp, painful tug on his ankle. Xander hissed in pain as a large, spiny tentacle wrapped around his ankle with crushing force. It burned and stung horribly, and he clenched his teeth to keep from screaming. Xander desperately hacked at the appendage, snarling as he sheared it in two with terrified strokes.
The tentacle, now separated from the bloated body of the beast, wriggled frenetically on the floor, suckers opening and closing like little mouths ringed with jagged needle-like teeth. Xander curled his lip in disgust.
“Xander, look out!” Angel called, and Xander looked up to see another sinuous arm reaching for him. He rolled quickly, as Angel slashed at it with his own ax.
A powerful limb dropped down out of nowhere and with pulverizing force, slapping Angel nearly twenty feet away, all the way into the lobby. He slid along the floor at an inhuman speed, until the ringing sound of his skull fetching up against a marble pillar made Xander wince in sympathy.
Angel wasn't moving.
Xander's first thought was, Oh, no you didn't! On the heels of that followed bloodthirsty anticipation. Oh good, he thought gleefully, I finally get to kill something! Rage suffused Xander's entire being. He wanted nothing more than to rip the beast apart, tossing it's writhing limbs as far as he could. He wanted to gouge fistfuls of flesh from its hide and disembowel it in a frenzy of murderous violence. He felt his face crunch and shift as he let his demon rush forth. Nearly maddened with rage, Xander screamed and charged the creature, shearing off a tentacle as thick his own body.
It let out an unearthly deafening screech with its cephalopod mouth, spewing thick greenish fluids everywhere. The fetid stench was overwhelming, and Xander, drenched and sick with it, gagged, stumbling out of the way. He flipped long bangs dripping with ooze out of his face, and gazed resentfully at the creature for a moment.
Something moved like a serpent on the floor at the edge of his vision, and he dared a quick glance. His shoulders slumped in dismay. Severed tentacles slowly dragged themselves across the floor. One by one, each emitted long stringy threads of what looked like ectoplasm as they married themselves to the originating limbs. The stubs of the tentacles Xander had amputated became whole and began to wave around with renewed purpose and malevolence. The monster slowly began to advance on Xander once again.
Xander sighed heavily.
Killing it was going to be harder than it looked.
Snarling, he rushed the horrific monstrosity again and again, methodically, laboriously cutting it down. His clothes were in rags, cuts streaked blood on his hands and face. He was covered in disgusting fluids. Time to finish this. Angel needed his help.
Angel needed his help. Xander found his chin lifting in sudden pride.
This was the end. He would not fail his sire.
The beast slowly slithered forward. Xander wearily lifted the axe with the last of his strength.
And suddenly, the thunk of metal hitting bone sounded throughout the room and there was a machete wedged into the beast's head. It reared back, squalling with a sound somewhere between a roaring train and a bull Walrus on a rampage.
“That's my boy.” Angel twirled his other sword in his right hand, almost nonchalantly , before springing forward and hacking brutally and repeatedly at the short, bulging neck or the creature. He danced out of the way of the spray of gore jetting from the wound.
The creature's bulbous head teetered precariously and listed slowly to the left, finally falling heavily to the floor. The rest of the mangled demon followed in a slow avalanche of feebly waving limbs that continued to twitch.
Xander stood frozen, staring in shock at the dispatched demon, now oozing all over the polished marble."Where- wha- ", God, it stank! There were a lot of pluses to having Vampire super senses, but this wasn't one of them. He remembered with relief that he didn't actually have to breathe.“Angel! But I thought--” He stopped, now able to concentrate, and looked to Angel for answers.
Angel barely glanced at the fallen creature." It's an Oiukessija'hd Demon. I've been expecting something like this. Wonder who sent it?" Angel said, as he stalked to the demon and began levering the sword out of the densely gelatinous body. With a great sucking sound, the sword finally came free. It dripped messily, gobbets of flesh and ooze spattering the marble floor.
Angel walked to the weapons cabinet and grabbed a rag. He looked surprisingly cheerful as he wiped down the blade. "Pay attention, boy. That twiddling'll get you killed one day."
"Right, ", Xander followed him, nodding dutifully, "Twiddling, bad."
Angel gave Xander a fond look. “ But you did good, kid. You did good.”
Xander ducked his head, wondering if he could still blush. He cleared his throat, abruptly embarrassed. He thought he should say something, but couldn't think of anything. So he stood with Angel, staring with dismay, at the grisly remains of the demon. The floors were a mess.
Dismay became dread.
Xander looked at Angel.
Angel looked steadily at Xander. Then he looked at the floor. Xander. Floor. Xander. Floor.
Xander heaved a deep, deep sigh. "I suppose I'm on cleanup duty?", he asked, resignedly. At least he wasn't going to be bored. Much.
Angel clapped him on the shoulder, chuckling as he ambled back to his office. "You're learning. Well, you wanted something to do... "