"I thought you said the hotel was infested with demon slugs once."
"Oh, that was a long time ago," Gunn reassured her.
Anne looked around the lobby uncertainly, still clutching her overnight bag.
"I don't know. I don't feel safe leaving the shelter-"
"Your helpers will take care of the place," Fred said, placing her hand reassuringly on Anne's shoulder. "Plus, we thought you could take some time off from work and hang with us! We have cable! Well...at least sometimes, when we hit the TV right." She gave Anne an overly bright smile.
Annie smiled weakly at Fred's attempt to comfort her and stepped into the lobby, looking around. Paper littered the main reception where Cordy used to rule. The table where Gunn did his best imitation of research was still overturned; the books still on the floor. A light was failing; flickering on and off in its death throes.
"Wow. You guys did some changes to the place. I mean, it looks kinda ... empty." Anne frowned and looked at Gunn uncertainly. "Where's everyone?"
Fred shrugged. "Away."
"Away? Where's Angel? Or Wesley-"
"He doesn't work here anymore," Gunn said quickly.
Before Anne could say anything, Fred took her hand and ushered her to the stairs. "Here, let me show you your room."
As they went up the stairs, Fred gave Gunn a sad glance. He only looked away.
Or rather, he flew and found himself above the basement, peering down at the vampires through the hole he made. He heard snarls to his right and saw that some of them have run up the stairs already.
Curiously, he felt no fear. This should scare him, or at least freak him out in a bad way. After all, he was outnumbered 1 to 50 by the undead. Once, he would have screamed like a girl.
He whirled and kicked a vamp in the head. Its head flew away and the rest of the body disintegrated into dust.
It should have pleased him, but it didn't. It only filled him with rage, the only emotion he seemed to feel with any clarity these days.
"What did they do to me?!" he snarled at the nearest vampire. The vamp screeched to a halt and stared at him puzzlement.
Fed up, Wes threw a stake at its chest, straight into its heart. It yelled in surprise and disintegrated.
"I was loyal! I fought by their side! I did everything for them!" he punched another in the face and staked him too.
"Hell, I even took a bullet for that sodding ingrate!" he grabbed one and hurled him easily against a pack of vamps standing to his right. They went down like toy soliders.
"I thought they were my friends! I thought they would listen to my side of the story!" he screamed. He hurled himself at a vamp. The vamp yelled in surprise, but the cry died halfway when he landed on a broken piece of wood from one of the boards that once covered the windows.
Wesley screamed in rage when a vampire took a bite of his leg. He grabbed the vampire by the cuff of his neck and with a quick twist, broke his neck. Furious, he tossed the vampire violently through the bay windows by the stairs.
The vampire screamed in agony as it burst into flames.
"I'm not a traitor! I'm not Judas!!" his voice was at an unnatural shriek now. The vampires looked around in shock when the building began to vibrate.
He fought mindlessly, grabbing vamp after vamp, staking one after another. They became a blur of fangs and dust; some tried to bite him and some succeeded, but none lasted long. It was a whirl in his mind, and he remembered yelling, "Burn!" and seeing flames shoot up from some of them, but it didn't matter whether it was real or not because all he wanted was to drive the darkness away.
But it didn't go back. It consumed him.
"I'm not evil! I'm not going to Wolfram and Hart! I'm not evil!"
He was hitting someone -- a vampire -- of course, just hitting and hitting and hitting till his hands became bloody. The vampire's face was bloody too, and it was still, but it was still alive, not dusted. It lay there looking at him from half shut eyes. The blue eyes were filled with terror. A vampire was looking at him in terror. Imagine that.
"I'm not evil..." he whispered, staring at the face that he had mutilated. Its blonde hair was bloody too. How long had he been at it?
Slowly, he raised his bloody hands and stared.
"I'm not," he said pathetically.
He realized that the vampire was making funny noises. He looked down.
"Please ... please don't hurt me anymore," it croaked through swollen lips.
That voice ... it was...
"Fred?" he whispered.
Fred's bloody face looked up at him. Terror in her eyes. Just like that time when Billy...
"Please," she slurred, blood dribbling from her lips.
How did she get in here? Was she trying to help him slay the vampires? He must've grabbed her and- No, she can't be dying!
He gripped her shoulders and shook her. "Don't die. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I didn't see you. I don't kill my friends," he whispered, his voice shaking, his eyes blurring with tears.
"You're ... you're crazy!" Fred croaked.
Wesley stared at her in pain and suddenly, she wasn't Fred anymore but April, the vampiress with the angelic face. Only, it was no longer so angelic. It was more of a bloody pulp.
"It's you," he said dumbly.
"Let me go," April begged. "I swear I won't bother you again," she begged.
He stared at her in horror, drawing back fitfully. April looked monstrous, and her once pristine white dress was now splattered with blood. He did this. He made a monster beg.
"No you won't," he agreed. "Because I'm setting you free." April's eyes widened as the stake came down.
Perversely, as the leader of the gang of vampires that terrorized Avarice turned into dust, the sun returned and bathed Baylor House in its light.
Wesley finally got a good look at the carnage that he had made. Piles of dust littered the floor, windows were cracked, walls were ripped of plaster...
*I did this*, he mused, looking down at his bloody hands.
He could still feel the Element coursing through him, and the rush of its strength deadened the pain he felt from the numerous cuts and bruises he had obtained.
"Suck it in, dear boy. It makes you mad, doesn't it? Mad with power. Fire is like that. Strong but uncontrollable. Don't let it take you away, dear boy..." Gavin taunted.
Absently, he looked around, although he knew that the warlock was not here.
"I did this to myself," he murmured, staring at his hands again. "Wow. Am I moving on," he grinned. And then he laughed crazily.
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