Bliss Took Hold 30
by Danielle


Angel clawed the throat out of the Ghorlock, glancing around to find the rest of the group. The last of the demons was dead, and the group was huddled around someone on the ground. As he approached, a sharp pain shot through his body.


He caught a glimpse of Xander as he doubled over. The vampire was captured in warm arms as Buffy came to support him. Another stab of agony to his gut and Angel fell to his knees, shaking off the Slayer’s help.


“Angel! What’s going on? Are you hurt? Angel!” Her voice barely reached him as she picked him up by the arms.


“I’m losing him…” Angel sobbed as he lunged at his childe. It took Giles, Buffy, Riley, Tara, and Willow to hold him back. The network of grey veins faded as they watched Xander but didn’t disappear.


“Xander will die without vampire blood to neutralize the poison!” Giles had grabbed Angel’s shoulders and was shaking him, trying to make him understand. The dark vampire’s face changed and he threw his head back and roared. The link between himself and Spike had been weakening, but right now, it was being ripped away violently.


“It feels like he’s dead, but he’s not dust, just dead--not like Penn at all!” His yellow eyes rolled around wildly, meeting each of their eyes. Angel’s legs went out from beneath him and he sank to the ground beside his childe and Xander. “Something’s not right, something’s not right. Got to--”


Riley was suddenly there, stopping Angel from clawing his already bloody arms. “Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it. Right now we have to try to save them both.”


“Spike’s nearly drained--we have to move him and hope it’s enough...” Tara said as she pulled Xander’s mouth from Spike’s neck. Willow and Buffy carefully rolled Spike off of Xander and gasped.


The younger’s vampire’s face was grey and dry. There was a graininess to his complexion that Angel didn’t want to think about. Spike seemed to be morphing between cohesive form and an ash sculpture. It reminded Angel of sand castles, the way the cracks and fissures appeared then disappeared.


As he watched, Willow held a dagger to her wrist and approached Spike with her bleeding hand. Her elbow brushed the blonde’s shirt and it crumbled, exposing a section of marble white skin. Cringing, she let her blood drizzle into his mouth.


“Something’s not right. Losing Spike…Not like Darla…not like Penn--torture, not dead! Not dead!” He rambled incoherently at Buffy, who was by now feeding Spike some of her blood. Angel was trying to explain what was happening, but the pain and grief had swallowed him.


“We can’t carry Spike home to tend to him if he’s dust. Give him enough so that he stays cohesive…” Riley rolled up his sleeve and added his blood to the mix. Three bleeding hands hovered over the blonde’s open mouth, almost tangled in an effort to get every drop into the vampire.


The grey veins under Xander’s skin had vanished and the needles in his legs fell away like burned sticks of incense. The human would have a set of pocked scars in his calf where the needles had been. Angel knew this from past experience.


The vampire was lost in his thoughts, rocking and sobbing at intervals. The twisting, aching knot was all he could see or feel. “Had enough to save you, boy. Too much can kill…link’s gone, long gone, ripped away--not dead! Not right!”


The humans were scurrying about, reminding Angel of emergency room doctors. //O-negative for the vampire, STAT!// The older vampire struggled to keep the maniacal laughter from bubbling to the surface.


Riley and Willow were coaxing and pleading for Spike to drink while Giles and Tara tried to get Xander to wake up. Tears rolled down Buffy’s cheeks as she looked around at the fallen heroes. Not sure whether they’d make it, Angel crumpled on the ground. Grief claimed him as he passed out from the pain.







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